Down Dog is set in an Abbott Kinney yoga studio run by an barely-do-well son of California, Logon (Josh Casaubon). The less not metaphorical son of pot dealing parents, his good looks and casual attitude got him pretty much everything a teen boy would want: easy jobs, easy sex, and nearly no troubles. Except that Logon isn’t a teen anymore.
Logon tries to find his way in life, and settles on yoga instructor. His girlfriend, Amanda (Paget Brewster, Criminal Minds), leaves her job in the corporate world to support his dream.
Through a series of events instigated by one irresponsible and infatuated yoga instructor (Lyndsy Fonseca), and made worse by a gossipy one (Alysia Reiner, Orange is the New Black); Logon finds himself adrift.
The premise of a yoga studio as the focus of a comedy series may not immediately inspire excitement. But from the beginning, Dog Down makes clear its comedy will be sharp, not dulled by the calming influence of its titular yoga pose. Schiff makes good use of the habits and idiosyncrasies of the typical yoga studio while avoiding going cliche or cloyingly “inside yoga mat.”
From the start, the narration makes it clear that the audience is in trustworthy comedic hands, and there are plenty of laughs to be found. A single camera half hour program, Down Dog falls somewhere between My Name Is Earl and Louis as far as how grounded it is. Basically, the situations that occur come from very real foibles and fumbles. Thankfully the characters don’t put up with those situations for twice as long as a real person would, as happens in most multi-cam sit–coms. The presentation is filmic and flowing, and the audience has the chance to sympathize with a character who most would assume has everything.
One more thing: Amazon Studios pilot season asks that viewers help choose the pilots they will pick up. Which means that you can watch them all now for free. There are seven prime time programs and six children’s programs for you to view. If this year’s Golden Globes are any indication, Amazon’s new pilots aren’t to be missed, and Down Dog is definitely at the top of that list.
7 out of 10 Namastes
Eliot has been orbiting show business for over 20 years as an improv comedian, video director, and general guy you might barely recognize. Currently best known for his work on the comedy podcast Never Not Funny: The Jimmy Pardo Podcast. He wrote previously for MacEdition.com, and is working on a collection of short sci-fi and weird tales that will probably be published someday. He is also one of three principals in Modest Games.