Amazon’s new original children’s show, A History of Radness, follows twin middle-schoolers Jack (Isaak Presley) and Tessie (Marlhy Murphy) as they form a rock band and the pilot episode, written by Andrew Green (Hannah Montana), is available to stream for free.
The series features impressive music credentials: Former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha composed the score; Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) and Bethany Cosentino (Best Coast) narrate the episodes and rock legend Henry Rollins delivers a funny cameo in the pilot as a bizarre cross-country coach.
The first episode follows the Seattle natives – guitarist Jack and drummer Tessie – as they adjust to life as outcasts at their new school, Pleasant Meadows. The twins attempt to keep their old band alive through Skype jam sessions, but they end up getting kicked out and starting from scratch, despite Jack’s initial protests.
“Soundgarden, Jimi Hendrix, Telekinesis — all awesome, all from Seattle,” he argues. “And that’s not by accident.” But Tessie convinces him to audition new members; they recruit bassist Portia, a former cellist who practices her heart out to gain the twins’ trust, and tough guy frontman Judd Pounder. Now a quartet, the band dubs themselves the Outsiders.
Rollins plays Coach Carlucci, a philosophical cross-country coach who uses weird analogies to analyze his personal issues. “Life is not easy,” he tells the team, whom he makes practice by running through the forest. “Life is full of obstacles. The thorny briar patch – that’s your wife, after you’ve forgotten her birthday…for the third year in the row.”