Monday, November 13, 2017

Pilot Review: The Climb

The Climb (Amazon)
Premiered November 10

Amazon pilot season is here again, and I’m making sure that I’m watching each one of its new offerings. This first one is a particular disappointment, a completely unappealing and uninviting show that feels like a desperate ripoff of “Insecure” with none of the energy and creativity. Highwire is a social media invention meant to mock the connected nature that everyone in our society craves, and it’s embodied by the character of Cooper Lewinsky, who has successfully become famous for doing nothing. What’s worse is that Nia admires that lifestyle, commending Copper on figuring out how to be Barbie and be sexy for a living, much to the chagrin of her disapproving stepmother. The fact that Nia is so interested in exemplifying that worldview that she refuses to learn what her company does just for the sake of proceeding along without knowing doesn’t make her the antiheroine this show thinks it does, ready to roar like a lion in an office meeting, but instead cements her as a truly millennial character, one who is meant to represent the worst in today’s hippest generation. Of course, her friend Misty is, somehow, even worse, not even interested in staging any sort of rebellion and even less interested in having her married mailman boyfriend talk while they’re having sex or he’s searching for her missing birth control. This is a show that I want to quickly forget, since experiencing the pilot has contributed nothing to my life much like its central character seems to be doing for those in hers.

How would it work as a series? Nia is going to need to start exploring herself and figuring out what she wants to be, if it really is more than just someone who excels at talking to people about nothing. I don’t think that’s all that interesting, and the dynamic of these two friends on this show really left me wanting more, so I wouldn’t be up for watching this show if it did get picked up.
Will it make it to series? Of Amazon’s three new offerings, this is the one that lacks a hook. Most of the shows that the streaming network has brought to life have been high-concept or specific in nature and this one, like its protagonists, feels far too aimless and general. I’d err on the side of this one not being picked up.

Pilot grade: F

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