Review: Betas Amazon Original Series – Pilot

Set in the land of Silicon Valley start-ups, Betas follows four friends as they attempt to strike it rich with a new mobile social networking app.

Betas-tvshwWritten by Evan Endicott and Josh Stoddard and directed and produced by Michael Lehmann (True Blood, Dexter) along with Emmy Award winners Alan Freedland and Alan Cohen (King of the Hill), and Academy Award nominee Michael London (Sideways). The pilot episode also features Ed Begley Jr. and Moby.

There’s a lot of talent behind this show and it’s evident. Having watched several of the pilots for upcoming shows on Amazon Original Series, this is the most polished.

The four main characters in Betas follows a formulae that is rock solid but a little overused. Some reviews likened them MCs to caricatures, but you don’t care what happens to a caricature, and I did like these guys and want to see them succeed – after struggling horribly through hell – of course.

The ambitious Jay is the easiest to identify with. He knows what he wants and hasn’t got a clue about how to get it. He plays the roll least anti-normal and is likeable.

Avinash (Nash) is neurotic and easily shaken, but brilliant at what he does – coding. He uses soft rock to relax – think Christopher Cross or Toto – and has an abort sequence he uses often in social situations that become overwhelming, which is all of them.

Mitch (yes, same name as me – real funny. Ha-ha-ha) is socially inept around the opposite sex – and is none-to-competent around those of the same sex – but has a hopeless crush on a particular girl at his place of employment.

Hobbs is the crude, street-wise friend who lacks social grace but is likable, nonetheless. We are introduced to him as he’s having video sex in a laundromat while waiting for his clothes to dry. Hobbs helps offset the introverted personalities of the other MCs.

Betas is like Big Bang Theory, but crude.  Unlike BBT,  I think Betas is too insider for its own good, between the technical jargon and the quick, geek banter, it might lose some audiences.  I dig Betas, but I’ve worked for Microsoft for 18 years.  I am a geek.

I’ll watch this and I’ll pay for it.    Betas is a smart, funny show.  I want to see this series take off and dominate the world, one geek at a time.

Trailer for Betas–Amazon Original Series

Watch the brilliant pilot episode here, on Amazon Instant Video.

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