Amazon Comedy Pilot Reviews: ‘Salem Rogers’ and ‘Down Dog’


Amazon’s new comedy pilots have their share of problems, although the underdog stories may appeal to the masses. I’m giving the upper hand to Down Dog.

Salem Rogers

Leslie Bibb stars as Salem Rogers, a former model who leaves rehab after 10 years. Intense delusions and narcissistic behavior make Salem believe she can jump back into her career, so she reaches out to her old assistant Agatha Todd (Rachel Dratch), who is now a teen self-help writer. Agatha’s desire to move up to adult realm means Salem could become a potential subject, even if Salem still thinks of her as an assistant.

Down Dog

Logan (Josh Casaubon) is a guy from a comfortable background. His pot-growing father Jimmy (Kris Kristofferson) lets him do whatever he wants and girls threw themselves at him, including a teacher that got him through school. However, after his friends left to college, Logan needed to figure out what to do next. After some dead ends, Logan met Amanda (Paget Brewster), who was sick of her corporate job and together they open up a yoga studio. The employees include the scatter-brained Winter (Lyndsy Fonseca) and trouble maker Gabrielle (Alysia Reiner). When Amanda realizes her relationship with Logan will not go any further, she cuts all ties and leaves the studio to him. Now Logan must get serious about his life, even though no one believes he can do it.


Salem Rogers could be an excellent (and crass) new series; one that is unapologetic in showcasing the lives of two women trying to make things happen for themselves. The problem, however, is that I don’t really want Salem to succeed and want Agatha to have more self respect. It was a solid pilot and would make a hilarious movie, but as a long term series, I don’t see it sustaining my interest. In addition, the supporting cast falls flat except for Harry Hamlin as the head of Salem’s former agency. Salem Rogers is a fun character and Bibb is clearly enjoying herself, but I don’t really care if she makes it back to the big leagues.

The opposite is true for Down Dog. I could enjoy the series, but the cast needs some more viable members. Josh Casaubon does really well as the guy with no ambition but shows a desire to change. Lyndsy Fonseca, Alysia Reiner and Paget Brewster would be enough to get a series going, but the latter two have diminished roles in the pilot. Either they need to bring back these characters or add new employees to the mix who will make the yoga studio ideal for a workplace comedy. It can’t just be Logan and Winter carrying it all. Unlike Salem Rogers, I am rooting for Logan and really want to see him get his life together. Down Dog is a series worth watching.

I enjoyed both pilots but have more interest in Down Dog. With some new cast members, or the return of Reiner and/or Brewster, the series could be a great comedy for Amazon. It skews younger, which is a benefit for the streamers out there and has a great underdog story at the center.

-Alamin Yohannes