Amazon continues to try to push the envelope with scenes of graphic sex and violence in an attempt to remain relevant to today’s online viewing audiences. It’s latest offering, Mad Dogs, is no different. The first episode has been available free to Prime customers for months, with the rest of the season released Friday, January 22, 2016. Proceed with extreme caution.
*Pilot episode spoilers ahead*
The story revolves around four men, all forty-somethings, who are longtime friends. The fifth musketeer, Milo (Billy Zane), has flown them down to Belize to celebrate his early retirement in tropical paradise.
After a night in a club, Cobi (Steve Zahn), who is married, brings home a young woman and the graphic, boisterous sex scene that follows leaves the other men - and the audience - uncomfortable, unable to escape the noise. For an added bonus, Cobi turns on his video camera to tape the bedroom romp and the woman is all too happy to accommodate. Porn is her favorite genre, she says. The scene is all naked boobs and butts as they loudly have sex.
It was refreshing that one of the characters was repulsed that his friend brought home a local woman to have sex with - he actually spoke up for the guy's wife. Joel (Ben Chaplin), who dated Cobi’s current wife some twenty years ago, is the guy with the conscience. He says, “We should say something, right?” when they witness Cobi and his guest going into the house. “The guy’s married. It’s kind of tragic. What is she, 20? He could be her dad.”
The boys continue their fun and games until a dead goat appears in the swimming pool. Very Godfather-style, the goat is the next jarring, graphic scene. He’s floating in the swimming pool, stiff, and the camera pans to a large, dead goat eye for effect.
After Milo steals a boat in retaliation for the dead goat, the most disturbing, graphic violence happens. Enter the cat man (Mark Povinelli). Not a regular four-legged cat, but a little man dressed in a suit wearing a cat mask. In the original UK version of this show, the man wore a Tony Blair mask. The US producers said they considered using a Donald Trump mask. God forbid they ever consider Obama!
“Where is the boat?” the cat demands. Milo feigns innocence and the cat whips out a shiny handgun and blows half of Milo’s skull off. The viewer sees an up close and personal look at the damage. Blood is all over the table, the floor, and the other men. The cat terrorizes the men, smearing blood on their faces, pointing the gun at their heads, even taking a swab of Gus’ mouth. He takes his finger and scoops up some blood from the table, puts it in his mouth and swallows. As he leaves in a police boat, lights flashing, the cat says, “Don’t bother with the police. We are the police. Twenty-four hours. Bring us the boat.”
The show is intense, and clearly there will be no refraining from making the audience squirm as the camera closes in on gratuitous acts of violence and sex, which means critics will love it. Recommended for strong stomachs only.