‘The New Yorker Presents’ Review: Amazon & Alex Gibney Do Magazine Proud
Having first seen the light of day online during Amazon’s early 2015 pilot season, and then a preview at the just-wrapped Sundance Film Festival, The New Yorker Presents is launching its full 10-episode first run February 16. The result is compelling and entertaining. In fact, The New Yorker Presents is, as my video review above says, like a typically well-written and well-edited New Yorker piece: insightful and almost without an ounce of fat or unnecessary verbiage. After the dramatic successes of Transparent, Bosch and Red Oaks, this docu-series of sorts is another strong step forward for Amazon.
Similar to the 91-year-old magazine on which it is based, the series has a pretty rich pedigree with Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney as an executive producer along with former The Daily Show EP Kahane Cooperman. The latter is showrunner on the multi-formatted and multi-segmented series from Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions and Condé Nast Entertainment. Unlike the usual full-season release strategy of the streaming services, The New Yorker Presents will see new 30-minutes episodes dropped weekly – like its magazine namesake.
If you are a frequent reader of The New Yorker, as I am, then you will feel right at home with the show as it draws heavily and strongly from what is certainly one of the best magazines in the world. Looking for the big picture on the small screen, each episode features segments based on articles from the print publication: taking a look at the mag’s archives or fact checkers in action, a cartoon or two, a short film such as Billions’ Paul Giamatti as a heavily caffeinated Honoré de Balzac directed by American Splendor’s Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini, an essay, and a main feature. Add in work from Jonathan Demme and Alan Cumming among others and poetry read by Andrew Garfield and you have a series worth checking out every week — just like the award-winning The New Yorker itself.
So, check out my video review above and tell us what you think. Will you be watching it every week?