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Amazon have launched a new TV series to stream called Citadel. Citadel seems to be their spring tent pole TV series. The series is produced by the Russo Brothers. The Russo Brothers are responsible for four of the Marvel films up to Avengers Endgame. My favourite work by them is Welcome to Colinwood, a remake of the 1958 Italian comedy caper film I soliti ignoti (known in English speaking markets at Big Deal on Madonna Street or Persons Unknown). Unfortunately Welcome to Collinwood lost money at the box office, but has become a classic since.
It stars Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas alongside Stanley Tucci. Madden is famous for his roles in Game of Thrones and Bodyguard TV series. Chopra is famous in Bollywood film circles and was the star of the TV series Quantico.
Season one has launched just two episodes at the time of writing. So its too early for me to make a call on if Citadel is worth watching. I can tell you that it isn’t the most cerebral TV series and lags well behind Amazon’s adaption of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in this regard, but it might offer the escapism of a Bond film. So far it has well choreographed action scenes, a standout performance by Tucci and CGI sequences that are distracting in nature rather than causing you to suspend believe. The story itself seems like an update of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – where the good guys are pitted against a transnational organisation dedicated to chaos and destruction.
In this respect it probably feels like familiar territory to the Russo Brothers time making Marvel films with The Avengers, SHIELD and an assortment of enemies from Hydra to Thanos.
As seen on TV
Regardless of what I think about Citadel; Amazon are all-in on the series in a way that I hadn’t seen for The Terminal List, The Man in The High Castle or the Jack Ryan series. With Citadel, Amazon has taken a leaf out of Netflix’ book; creating a line of merchandise. The merchandise is less thoughtful than what Netflix came up with for Stranger Things and is more reminiscent of when everyone I knew in the mid-90s had an X-Files logo t-shirt in their wardrobe somewhere.
Amazon marketplace vendors Citadel lookbook
But Amazon didn’t stop there. Amazon also created a ‘look-book’ for each of the main characters, allowing fans to buy the look from Amazon’s eco-system of Chinese manufacturers, who sell on the platform via the platforms Marketplace offering.
This mix of entertainment has been done better before by the likes of GirlWalker in Japan who host the famous Tokyo Girls Collection. A number of companies have experimented with in-show shopping to augment product placement in the past and this looks to be where Amazon is going. This set of pages seem to be the first stage of experiment to link Amazon Prime Video more closely with commerce in the future.
I am curious to know how much of an uplift in sales that the look-book generates and will it inspire an uptake in red bodycon dresses from Aberdeen to Andover?