13 November 2013 8:01 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Stepping up into the big leagues in both the same way and same venue as Netflix, Amazon’s “Alpha House” is a polished comedy — not a game-changer, but the kind of show a premium service should be happy to have. Created by Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau and loosely inspired by a real house where congressmen live together in D.C., the half-hour series will get a “zero” rating from all the expected conservative mouthpieces but provides instant credibility to the service’s original-programming efforts. Whether or not viewers choose to subscribe to Amazon Prime in order to continue watching beyond the three-episode free preview, perception-wise, consider this primary battle won.

The show cleverly kicks off with one resident of the house (a cameo too good to spoil) oversleeping on the day he’s scheduled to turn himself in to the Dept. of Justice, which roommate Gil John Biggs (John Goodman »

- Brian Lowry

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