The second Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) Prime original online TV pilot derby has begun. Amazon Studios, the company's content-development arm, posted a batch of 10 dramas, comedies and children's shows last week.
So far, reaction to the shows has been mixed. Some critics have praised the efforts and say they mark an improvement over last year's initial wave of would-be shows that yielded series for "Alpha House" and "Betas."
This year, Amazon has made a show as good as "House of Cards," Slate TV critic Willa Paskin wrote, referring to Netflix's (Nasdaq: NFLX) marquee original series. "Transparent," a show from Jill Soloway starring Gaby Hoffman, Jay Duplass and Jeffrey Tambor, is "an honest to goodness great pilot that feels--and I mean this as a compliment--exactly like one of those HBO shows with a 1-to-1 ratio of viewers to think pieces," Paskin wrote.
Others agree that "Transparent" is the best of the new lot. The A.V. Club gave it an "A-" rating while handing out lower marks to Amazon's four other shows geared toward grownups. Entertainment Weekly gave the pilots similar ratings but was a little more generous with its praise.
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