With a wacky title like Comrade Detective, you’d expect Amazon’s latest series to be a little unusual — and you’d be completely right. Already being hailed as the “craziest TV show of 2017” by GQ, the show stars two Romanian actors (Florin Piersic Jr. and Corneliu Ulici) as cops in a fictional “forgotten” TV program from the ‘80s, dubbed over by A-list celebrities like Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon Levitt. At six episodes long, however, the series is woefully short — so will Comrade Detective snag a Season 2 and give everybody more ridiculousness in the future?
Pretending to uncover a "lost classic" show that never actually aired as a way to parody a particular genre isn’t a new concept — just look at Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, a send-up of low-budget TV horror, or The Spoils of Babylon, which was inspired by the TV event miniseries craze of the ‘70s and ‘80s. What makes this new show unique is that it was actually shot in Romania with an all-Romanian cast, and is presented as Soviet propaganda from the Cold War era. You know how every single villain in an ‘80s movie is a hilariously terrible Russian stereotype? In this show, it’s the reverse — the Americans are the bad guys. The trailer premiered online last week, and doesn’t even scratch the surface of just how weird this show is going to get.
In classic over-the-top ‘80s style, every single one of the six episodes in Season 1 ends with a “To Be Continued,” sign, including the finale. When asked by GQ if this was a hint that he wanted to do more episodes in the future, Tatum responded, “You know, that’s all up to the audience—if they watch it and they like it. It was fun for us to go and make, so…”
In speaking with Bustle, show creators Bryan Gatewood and Rhys Thomas are also excited about the idea creating more Comrade Detective. "If they let us do it, we will absolutely be doing it and following Gregor and Iosif on another mission," said Gatewood.
"There’s so many avenues we feel confident we can go down with these guys, and I think we’re all eager to keep living in this universe," Thomas agreed. "So we’re thinking about it. We just need everyone to hopefully enjoy it."
Normally, I'd tell you not hold your breath over getting more episodes, as it’s often very difficult for high-concept shows like this to go on for longer than two seasons. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace similarly only got six episodes when it aired in 2004; The Spoils Of Babylon earned a sequel in 2015, The Spoils Before Dying, but hasn't been seen since.
However, in this case, it seems like Amazon and co-producers A24 are 100 percent behind the series. “Comrade Detective is unbelievably compelling, visually brilliant, and Gregor and Iosef are the heroes we need," Joe Lewis, Head of Comedy, Drama and VR at Amazon Studios, said in a statement to Deadline when the show's release date was announced. That, plus the star factor of having somebody as huge as Channing Tatum helping the project out, might be a good indicator that the show could land a second season.
In the meantime, at least Comrade Detective will get its shot at becoming a cult classic. And you never know — maybe Amazon will release the undubbed version with its original Romanian jokes. Then it'll be like watching the first season all over again!
Additional reporting by Jefferson Grubbs.