Two years ago, Amazon premiered a groundbreaking new comedy series. That show, Transparent , won five Emmys for its first season and will likely earn a few more trophies again this year for its stellar sophomore season. Fellow Amazon comedy Mozart In The Jungle also managed to nab the Golden Globe for Best Comedy last year; but while some of the streaming service's other original series have earned solid critical reviews (The Man In The High Castle, Bosch, Red Oaks), none of them have managed to break out into major awards consideration. That may change soon, thanks to the five buzzy pilots Amazon just picked up, as reported by Deadline.
In its quest to become the next HBO (or AMC or FX or other prestigious awards magnets), Amazon has given the green light to a group of new shows from high-profile names including an Oscar-nominated director, the creator of a beloved dramedy, and the writer of a recent Best Picture nominee, among others. The projects span a wide array of both genres (from laugh-out-loud comedies to dark murder mysteries), time periods (from the 1950s to the near future), and locations (from the beaches of Cuba to the far reaches of outer space).
Here's a brief rundown of the five shows you may be seeing on Amazon sometime soon:
According to Deadline, Pacific Rim screenwriter Travis Beacham has been trying to get his script titled A Killing On Carnival Row made for 11 years… but it took the director of that 2013 monster mash to finally get it made. Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) has turned Beacham's script into a series, which is "set in the future in a city called the Burgue, which looks a lot like 18th Century London. It is inhabited by humans and other creatures, and a serial killer is on the loose."
The Legend Of Master Legend
Based on Joshuah Bearman's 2008 Rolling Stone article of the same name, this series will tell the story of a "real-life superhero" who operated under the code name Master Legend who — along with his trusty sidekick Ace — patrolled the streets of Orlando in their Battle Truck.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
First Gilmore Girls fans get their favorite show back and now they get a brand new series from that show's creator, Amy-Sherman Palladino? Thanks, TV gods! Mrs. Maisel will tell the story of "a 1950s housewife who decides to be one of the first female standup comics."
Strange New Things
Michel Faber, the Dutch writer of Under The Skin (which was turned into a trippy 2013 Scarlett Johansson movie), published The Book Of Strange New Things two years ago, about "Peter Leigh, an English pastor who embarks on the journey of a lifetime into deep space that takes him light years away from his beloved wife, Bea." Now Bridge Of Spies screenwriter Matt Charman is adapting it for the small screen.
No, it's not a show about orange juice. Or a Las Vegas hotel. Rather, this new series will be about The Tropicana, the world-famous nightclub in Havana. Set in "pre-revolutionary Cuba … with the club as a focal point, the series explores the intersection of entertainers, the mob, Batista loyalists, Castro revolutionaries and the American CIA."
Will one of these five shows be your next binge-worthy obsession? Will one or more of them go on to bring Amazon Emmy glory? Only time will tell… but with names like del Toro, Palladino, and Charman attached, things are certainly looking good for the budding streaming service.
Images: Joshuah Bearman/Rolling Stone