Hey everyone. Captain Sean here today with a quick look at the three new pilots for Amazon Kids TV shows that were recently released online. Now for those that don't know: Amazon over the last few years has developed this format of releasing multiple pilots for television shows all at once. But instead of going through the usual Hollywood route, they go straight to the public to get feedback and get the regular viewers' ratings on the show versus just the high rolling backers' opinions. Now in recent years, these pilots have contained mostly shows aimed at just adults and shows aimed at just children, with only a few programs designed for all ages to enjoy together mixed in. But those few all age friendly shows wound up being critical hits including The Kicks, Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street, and definitely Just Add Magic. So this time around, Amazon has released a batch of programs featuring just shows aimed for the whole family to watch together. It's only three, but all of them do have good potential. So lets take a look at them.
The first of the pilots is: Skyward. A show about three kids trying to investigate if alien life exists. The only other way to simply explain it is: it's a kid version of the X-Files. You've got the character who believes in aliens, the one who is a skeptic, and you've got the super smart tech genius. And of course the main girl has a father who is the town sheriff who has no idea what's going on. The whole setup is pretty cliche and overdone. However what makes it work is the actors and basic character traits they work with. For example: the main girl feels like a very real preteen girl who has a flawed but very realistic relationship with her father who is trying to build a close relationship with her since the girl is all that the father has left of his now deceased wife. Plus: the way all of the characters talk gives the show a nice modern feel in all the right ways. The pilot ends in a very open ended way in that you really don't know where this show is going. The pilot is a bit cliche and somewhat predictable, but the good characters are pretty interesting.
The next pilot is: A Kid Called Mayonnaise. This series is about a kid named Mayonnaise (or Mayo for short) whose mom owns an old motel and a few odd animals. Now the look and feel of the settings in this show feel very grounded in reality. You feel like you're in a very real and lived in environment while watching the show. All of the characters though feel a bit odd. They all exist in the realm of reality, but are all far from ordinary. The show is light hearted with some of the jokes but many of them feel a little too odd, and not all land that well. But for every one or two bad jokes in the pilot, there is always a good solid joke around the corner. And despite feeling odd, every kid character in this show does feel very real. Now this does feel like a show where every episode is gonna be stand alone. Because the pilot does feel like it tied up every loose end from the story's beginning at the conclusion. The drama in this show isn't anything high stakes, but it's not meant to be. The show just feels like a slice of life from a somewhat bizarre corner of reality.
And then there's the last pilot: Will vs The Future. This series is about a seemingly ordinary boy named Will who likes to invent stuff. But then he encounters a time traveling girl from the future who is... out to kill him... because according to her, Will as an adult is going to be responsible for killing millions in the future. What!? Yeah. This show is pretty much like Terminator, but instead of a tough time traveler trying to kill the savior of the world, they're trying to kill... the killer. However Will right now is a good kid. He doesn't stick up for little kids getting picked on, but he's not a trouble maker. So after he pleads with his would time traveling assassin: Athena, she decides to help Will change the future by helping him change his character for the better. It's an all around fascinating concept. It's like the classic hypothetical scenario: if you met Hitler as a child, would you kill him or try to make him better? Can a future killer of millions be saved? It really plays with the nature vs nurture concept like very few stories have ever done. Plus it presents a scenario that teaches children that the simple ethical choices you make while you're young, can have a dramatic shaping of what you become as an adult. Plus the show also feels a bit like Back to the Future with this seemingly epic time travel story taking place in a simple town. But instead of the story focusing on the time traveler, it's focused on the one meeting the time traveler. And speaking of Back to the Future, Tom Wilson who played Biff in that movie is actually the principal of the school in this show. So that's pretty cool.
So which of these three TV pilots is the best? Well Skyward and A Kid Called Mayonnaise have good aspects and good potential, but Will vs the Future just has a lot of intriguing concepts that really deserve to be explored with more than any other pilot presented. That show just has the greatest amount of potential here. However, all three shows really do deserve to be given a chance. The pilots alone are far better than the majority of other child and family friendly TV shows out there. Definitely higher quality stuff versus 90% of any new stuff you see on Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, or Cartoon Network I honestly hope Amazon turns all three of these pilots into series. Because I remember seeing the pilots to Amazon's other hits: The Kicks, Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street, and Just Add Magic, and honestly: the pilots of those shows were my least favorite episodes of all of those series. They all showed potential, but what came after was much superior. These new pilots though are all solid. So it be amazing to see how they could improve. So if you're interested: during the month of September 2017, go the official Amazon Pilot Season website and watch these three pilots that are actually free to watch for a limited time. Give constructive feedback afterwards, and maybe we can get one, two, or all of these shows back for full seasons.