Amazon says its original show “Alpha House” is a hit (critics say it’s OK)

What was the most watched show on Amazon(s amzn) last weekend? The answer, if you take Amazon’s word for it, was its homespun Alpha House, a political comedy written by “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau and starring John Goodman.

The first three episodes of Alpha House are available for free, and subsequent ones will be available on a weekly basis to Amazon Prime subscribers — a not-so-subtle effort to get people to buy more stuff from the online retail giant.

As some noted, the initial popularity of Alpha House is not surprising given that Amazon has been promoting the show at all turns. And, like Netflix(s nflx), the company does not provide viewing figures so it’s impossible to tell what “most popular” means in terms of hard numbers.

Alpha House is Amazon’s first full-blown foray into original programming, with other shows and pilots on the way, including hour-long original dramas.

So far, critical reaction to “Alpha House” has been mixed. The show garnered a 70 on Metacritic (compared to 79 for Netflix’s Orange is the New Black) and a decidedly average 67 on Rotten Tomatoes.