Friday, May 18, 2018

Around the Tubes: 5/18/2018

- TBS' Emmy® Award-winning late-night series Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is pleased to announce it is gamifying* the 2018 midterm elections. Samantha Bee, who totally knows what coding means, is working with some of the best minds in Silicon Valley to develop the non-partisan This is Not a Game: The Game game. TINAG:TG is a heart-pounding, prize-stuffed turducken of a trivia game in which average citizens play to the death OR win kick-ass prizes, not sure which. We're waiting to hear back from our lawyers. America's dismal midterm election turnout SUCKS and we are 100% certain this game will solve everything. Full Frontal is not sure why this responsibility has been left to late-night hosts but is up for the challenge.

- Game Show Network, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, has added actor John Michael Higgins (“Great News,” “Pitch Perfect”) as host of its new survey-matching game show, American Says. The new half-hour series will premiere June 18 at 5 pm ET and will air Monday through Friday. American Says is a fast-paced studio game show where two teams of friends and family face off to guess America’s responses with fill in the blanks to survey questions covering every topic under the sun. They’ll have to be quick when trying to think of what America says, as time is always ticking and the team with the most money banked after three rounds will head to a bonus round to see if they can guess even more survey responses to win up to $15,000.

- The first seven installments of the Star Wars saga are streaming all month long on TBS. TNT’s “People in Peril” themed films include American Sniper, Green Lantern and San Andreas.

- Plain Spoken: From The Chicago Theatre – a narrative film experience by John Mellencamp –is available on DVD+CD, Blu-ray+CD, and Digital Formats. A unique voyage into the mind and music of John Mellencamp, Plain Spoken is a live concert filmed at the historic Chicago Theatre, overlaid with personal commentary from the man himself reflecting on his career and life. This DVD set not only includes the original version of the film that debuted on Netflix, but a “non-commentary” version of the concert, as well as a live CD. The set list traverses material from across John Mellencamp’s career, from classics like “Small Town” and “Pop Singer” to songs from his most recent release Sad Clowns and Hillbillies.

- Chvrches: Miracle: The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

- The Aces: Last One: Late Night with Seth Myers:

- Platinum-certified duo Marian Hill’s highly anticipated sophomore album, Unusual, is out now—listen here! Unusual is made up of ten tracks written and produced by Jeremy Lloyd (production/songwriting) and Samantha Gongol (vocals/songwriting) of Marian Hill. Leading up to the release, the duo, “known for an arty blend of jazz and R&B that fits curiously well on a dance floor” (Apple Music), released three tracks, “Subtle Thing,” “Differently” and “Wish You Would,” off the album. “Differently” was produced by Marian Hill and notable Canadian producer Boi-1da (Drake, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Lana Del Rey). Apple Music hails the track as, “an ominous hip-hop cut about jealousy…bursting with nervous energy yet feels meticulously controlled, a tension carried throughout the album.”

- Amanda Brown has built her career on taking risks that provoke intense reactions. Her new album, Dirty Water, brims with a distinct confidence, the kind only earned by choosing personal truth over people pleasing. Out now, the album meditates on the complexity of life’s ups and downs, as told by Brown’s unmistakable vocals -- capable of both awe-inspiring power and delicate nuances.

- BBC Sound of 2018 winner and the exceptional breakout star, Sigrid, releases new video for ‘High Five’ yesterday. The Spielberg inspired coming-of-age visual is directed by long-term collaborator Ivana Bobic, a relationship that has already spawned videos for breakout hit ‘Strangers’ and the live hybrid for ‘Raw’.

- Tune in Friday, May 18 at 9:00 to watch the broadcast premiere of the concert special “Stone Temple Pilots” on AT&T* AUDIENCE Network via DIRECTV Ch 239, AT&T U-verse Ch 1114 and streaming on-demand through DIRECTV NOW.

- TBS has ordered up another season of hilarious misadventures with TV’s most dysfunctional family of The Detour. After a bonkers road-trip, a disastrous move to New York City, and a run from the law in Alaska, the Parkers will be back for a fourth season of The Detour, one of cable’s top 10 comedies. With the return of The Detour, TBS is building on the extraordinary success of a 100% renewal rate since the network’s rebrand in 2016.

- Shometwim has ordered the drama series City on a Hill, starring Golden Globe winner and Emmy® nominee Kevin Bacon (The Following) and Screen Actors Guild® award winner Aldis Hodge (Underground). With a 12-episode order, City on a Hill will premiere in 2019. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Five Most (and Least) Anticipated Shows of 2018-19

I recently looked back at last year’s Most Anticipated list which turned out to be a pretty bad class. Rise and Good Girls were the best of the bunch though the former never even came close to being as good as it should have been. The Mayor and The Gifted both made the list but I was pretty meh on both (though the addition of the triplets in the latter gives me slight hope for season two). I closed the top five with Young Sheldon, a show I did not even bother to watch.

The thing is, this season is worse. Not one show grabbed my interest. Really, only one Pilot piqued my interest, The Greatest American Hero, but ABC inexplicably passed on that so they could air even more family sitcoms. Seriously, ABC will air five hours of family comedies this fall. Meh. But here are the five shows I may watch an episode or two next season:

1. Cosmos: Possible Worlds (Midseason, FOX) – I guess this is a cheating calling this a new series because there has already been a Cosmos on television twice, but everything below this is kind of meh.

2. Anne’s (Midseason, NBC) – Bill Simmons on his podcast constantly talks about how they should reboot Cheers and NBC finally did… sort of. It is not called Cheers and not in Boston (Abby’s is in San Diego). Bonus point for finding Natalie Morales getting her first regular television gig since the underappreciated The Middleman.

3. Manifest (Mondays at 10:00 on NBC) – Okay, this looks bad. And it will not last. Seriously, when was the last time one of these strangers are brought together by some weird occurrence lasted more than one season? Resurrection? And even that bombed hard in season two. Actually, is that the only one after Lost? But I miss hate watching Lost, so I will check this out.

4. Schooled (Midseason, ABC) – I did not care for the backdoor Pilot, but the announced version does not include the principal’s sister and kid, instead is replaced with Lainey for n apparent reason but I guess that is an upgrade.

5. The Neighborhood (Mondays at 8:00 on CBS) – They did recast the white dude with Deputy Leo, so…

As the great philosopher Butt-Head once pondered, how would we know if something was cool if there weren't things that sucked, here are the five shows you could not pay me to watch next fall (click on their names to watch the trailers where available).

1. I Feel Bad (Thursdays at 9:30 on NBC) – Seriously, did they name the show I Feel Bad so ever critic can write “… for watching this crap?”

2. New Amsterdam (Tuesdays at 10:00 on NBC) – Remember when medical dramas were dead. I believe Grey’s Anatomy was the last one standing. Then NBC launched one in Chicago. The Fox did one that is also returning. And now NBC has a second medical show. Yawn.

3. Magnum P.I. (Mondays at 9:00 on CBS) – Magnum does not have mustache… what the fork?

4. Last Man Standing (Fridays at 8:00 on FOX) – Um, wasn’t the show about a guy living in a house of girls? Two of the daughters are not even coming back and the third daughter moved out a couple seasons ago. If the show is just going to devolve into Tim Allen fighting about Trump with his black neighbor, who is now in the main cast, hard pass.

5. Everything on The CW – When The CW abandoned Sundays a decade ago, I figured the network would not even exist ten years later. Except here we are and the little network that barely does is actually reclaiming Sundays. With two extra hours to fill, that means they had even more new shows than usual. And they all look horrible. They got on the reboot crazy, except they are not bringing back hits like other networks; instead they are bringing back Charmed and Roswell, two shows I never watched in the first place. Then there is a Vampire Diaries spin-off which is almost as yawn inducing as a reboot. They did order a couple of original show; well as original as a crappy Friday Night Lights rip-off can be. Oh, and then there is a show about a blind chick who saves crimes with her dog. The CW everybody.

And here is my full fall schedule, at least the networks, hopefully cable has some better offerings or I may have to do something productive with my time this fall:

8:00 - The Neighborhood (CBS)
10:00 – Manifest (NBC)

8:00 - The Gifted (FOX)
9:00 – Black’ish (ABC)

8:00 – Survivor (CBS)
8:00 – The Goldbergs (ABC)
9:00 – Modern Family (ABC)


8:00 – Superstore (NBC)
8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
8:30 – The Good Place (NBC)

8:00 – Blindspot (NBC)
9:00 – Midnight, Texas (NBC)

Second straight year where this is nothing on Sundays worth watching from the networks. Did they just cede the night to football and cable?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I Want My Music Television: 5/16/2018

Hunger - Florence + The Machine

Well that was freaky sticking your finger inside like that. But I wonder if Florence + The Machine was inspired by Losing My Religion which had a similar scene. But that was a fallen angel, this seemed like some random dude.

Caterpillar - Royce da 5'9" featuring Eminem & King Green

Eminem just stood there next to Royce da 5’9’’ so long I wondered if he was just a statue. He ended up spitting a better verse than anything on his last album, of which I already forgot the name of.

Good Kisser – Lake Street Dive

Wow, the new Lake Street Dive song is super cheesy, and the video just makes it sillier, but it is cheesy in the You Make My Dreams kind of way, which is a high compliment.

2002 - Anne-Marie

I find it pretty weird that Anne-Marie would pay homage to Baby One More Time, Bye Bye Bye, in the same music video as she does 99 Problems. That last one just does not fit with the cheesy teen pop videos.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 5/13/2018

Billions: Wendy always seemed like the moral compass of the show, sure she had some issues, but after opening looking for a patsy and seducing Mafee into perjuring himself, that is no longer the case. Does that make Taylor the real moral compass? (S)he seemed very upset (or as upset as an emotionless person can be) about the Mafee situation, I wonder if she turns on Axe at any point. (S)he definitely could open up her own shop and even hire Mafee there too. Something has to happen. Obviously, we are just half way through the season. I cannot imagine the Chuck/Axe truce goes beyond this episode after they have been at each other for year. And really did not even get a tease, just Chuck’s sad victory party with Wendy and Axe somehow being even sadder.

Fear the Walking Dead: C’mon, why are you getting into a pool full of zombies? Are these people really that stupid not to lure all the zombies to the edge, kill them, and then not having to worry about zombie (except ones that are at the bottom).
You can download Fear the Walking Dead on iTunes.

Supergirl: So all the Worldkillers are dead except for Reign? And how was the black chick able to use her Worldkiller power as a human? And when Reign turned into Samantha in that one scene, it made me wonder: did Reign change her clothes after reigning terror or did Sam wake up in the Reign costume and never realized she was dressed up like the chick destroying the city when she was out. Oh yeah, but I guess the big news is Lena is making her own Kyptonite. That is not going to go over well with Kara.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Lucifer: So Charlotte actually got into heaven? Cool, but if she shows up next week (or next season) as an angel, that will be lame. Maybe Mama Lucifer will return.
You can download Lucifer on iTunes.

Rise: I have never seen Spring Awakening before but now that they spell out all the questionable content, how did this show not get axed after the district read the script? And I was extremely disappointed there was no NBC synergy why trying to replace swear words. C’mon, why not sing “Totally Forked” or “The Bench of Living”?
You can download Rise on iTunes.

The Challenge: Vendettas: I thought it was pretty convenient that the tiebreaker helped gain the Stars majority. Then Hennessey quit making things even again making me wonder if they intestinally injured Anessa to keep the balance. But, oh my goodness, what Louisa did with her Power Play was more underhanded than any “Champ” has ever done. I thought they would swap Tori out with another Star or even poach CT to make their team strong, but to take back Smashley was cruel. I loved it.
You can download The Challenge: Vendettas on iTunes.

Legion: Did they seriously devote a whole episode to multiverse theory?
You can download Legion on iTunes.

The Handmaid’s Tale: So is Offred just content in being a Handmaid now? I thought for sure when the driver kept calling out to June, I thought she would turn around and said, “My name is Offred.” Instead she just ignored him and started chanting nonsense. Between her accomplice being hung and remembering Luke’s wife, it seems like she now believes she deserves to be punished. I wonder how long that lasts before she tries to escape again. Or maybe she won’t and Luke launched a rescue mission. But something needs to happen soon.
You can stream The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.

Survivor: Ghost Island: Laurel asked a really stupid question this week, should I go with the people I trust but cannot beat at the end or the people I do not trust but I think I can beat. You always go with the people you can beat. If you stay loyal, you are probably getting third. But that is best case scenario because Wendell and Dominick could turn on you to take the easier to beat SeaBass or Donathan to the finals. It may be harder to get to the finals by going with the girls, but not impossible because SeaBass could be used as a vote. But no, Laurel seems content to just let Wendell win. It is going to be a boring final three hours. No I am just mostly interested in next season’s stupid theme. It may be time for another “all-star” season. There was just two seasons in between Second Chances and Game Changers. I would not mind a public vote because that was probably the best “all-star” season. Or more appropriately the one that sucked the least.
You can download Survivor: Ghost Island on iTunes.

The Blacklist: How convenient Samar’s abductor was in very specific ways of killing and just did not put a bullet in her brain given the FBI time to find her. Why he did not just kill her when she stabbed him was just absurb.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.

The Americans: Stan broke into the Jennings’ garage in one of the first episodes of the series so I guess it id apropos that he does it again in one of the last. But has he figured out that a lot of their bigger travel agency emergencies coincide with big failures in his FBI cases.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

Krypton: Should I know who that weird looking chick at the end was? I had to look up who the computer was.
You can download Krypton on iTunes.

Gotham: So Gordon survived because The Riddler was following him? Huh? Just how exactly did they get far away from that big explosion? And what is with this stupid Ra’s Al Gul storyline this season? He want Bruce to kill him, he dies, is brought back because Barbra was incompetent as the Demon’s Head, does not want to die anymore, and now is teaming up with Jerome’s brother to destroy Gotham. Just does not make any sense.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Blindspot: Wait, did Jane have an accent in the flashbacks? And does this secret federal task force really need two couples?
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: So that is why YoYo said let Coulsen die. The Centipede serum can either save Coulsen or cure Talbot who will likely crack apart the Earth without it. But why not just save Talbot and take Coulsen to Tahiti.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Around the Tubes: 5/11/2018

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Guns N’ Roses, Snoe Patrol, Jessie Ware, Jessie Ware, Mat Kearney, Drinks, Crime and Prohibition, Erik Griffin: Amerikan Warrior, and Final Space.

- On June 29, Geffen/UMe celebrates one of rock’s most important bands, Guns N’ Roses, with the release of Appetite For Destruction: Locked N’ Loaded Edition box set. Commemorating the band’s highly influential album debut Appetite For Destruction, this lavish box set is the ultimate GnFnR fan’s dream fulfilled. Appetite will also be released in concurrent multiple configurations, Appetite For Destruction will be made available in a 4CD/1Blu-ray Audio Super Deluxe Edition with a 96 page book featuring unreleased photos from Axl Rose’s personal archive, a 2CD Deluxe Edition, 2LP 180-gram heavyweight vinyl edition, 1 CD remaster, and digital download/streaming equivalents.

- Snow Patrol premiere Empress, their second single from Wildness, the band’s first album in seven years. Snow Patrol also return to “Later... With Jools Holland” where they debut a live rendition of Empress, along with performances of Life On Earth, Heal Me, and Chasing Cars. Listen to Empress here and watch the band perform the song on Later... With Jools Holland here.

- Jessie Ware: Selfish Love from Late Night with Seth:

- Following its release on Monday, three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated and BRIT Award-winning multiplatinum singer-songwriter James Bay shares the music video for his latest track “Slide.” Check out the “Slide” here and the video here!

- Tune in Friday, May 11 at 9:00 to watch the broadcast premiere of the concert special Mat Kearney on AT&T* AUDIENCE Network via DIRECTV Ch 239, AT&T U-verse Ch 1114 and streaming on-demand through DIRECTV NOW.

- Prohibition in America was an era of profound contradictions – a period of unprecedented government intervention into the lives of citizens, and yet also a time of exuberance, decadence and casting off restraints. Nearly a hundred years later, Smithsonian Channel’s Drinks, Crime and Prohibition takes a deep dive into the underbelly of a time characterized as much by jazz, illegal booze and female liberation as it was by gangsters and brutality. Weapons experts, historians, museum curators and mixologists weigh in on "the failed experiment” and the compelling drama it unleashed, with all its unlikely alliances, corruption and machinations of organized crime. The two-part special premieres Monday, June 11 at 8:00 on Smithsonian Channel.

- Comedian and I’m Dying Up Here star Erik Griffin returns for his second Showtime comedy special Erik Griffin: Amerikan Warrior, premiering Friday, June 8 at 10:00. Filmed at the Star Theater in Portland, Oregon, the new hour-long special flips convention on its ear with Griffin deconstructing everything from social norms, personal responsibility and lazy protesting to the righteously religious and the female renaissance, all while skewering his own sense of male entitlement.

- Chookity Pok! TBS has renewed its original animated series Final Space for a second season. Born from a seven-minute pilot created by “Tennessee wonder child” Olan Rogers, the intergalactic space saga is TBS’ youngest- skewing original series to debut on the network, reaching more than 20 million viewers across TBS’ linear, VOD and digital platforms. The series pick-up is the latest in a string of renewals for the network, which saw every original series renewed for additional seasons in the last year.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Previewing Patrick Melrose

In the first five minutes of Patrick Melrose, the titular character laughs at the news of his father’s untimely death (okay, he just shot up right before the call and was pretty high) and then finds himself in the bed of two different women. So yeah, this is yet another difficult man show. But hey, in minute six, he says he is trying to kick the heroin. Sure he purchases speed and qualudes minutes later because he just cannot give up everything at once. Oh, and he cannot give up heroin either, he buys some more half way through the first episode.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) considered Patrick Melrose a bucket list role (Hamlet being his only other one) so it is that labor of love that elevates the five part miniseries into just another difficult man retreat. And it is such a vanity project; the star barely appears in episode two when the story flashes back to Melrose childhood to highlight just how difficult a relationship he had with his father who actually thinks he is passing on wisdom to his son.

Another time jump starts the third episode, picking up eight years after the death of Papa Melrose where that pain still lingers but Patrick has to just suffer through everything as he finally was able to kick his additions for better or worse. Each episode takes an interesting take on Melrose’s life popping in for only a short time in his life for a very specific moment before taking the next big jump forward or backward. Cumberbatch is such a livewire; you do not feel like you miss a thing throughout the years.

Patrick Melrose airs Saturdays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

I Want My Music Television 5/8/2018

Cry Pretty - Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood recently had an accident where she injured her face and itt sounded like she now may now look the guy from The Mask. Nope, in her first music video, she still looks like Carrie Underwood. And she still sounds like her mostly inoffensive, boring self too. Although I guess the power ballad guitar at the end was a nice touch. I miss the good cheesy power ballad.

This Is America - Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino started out as a backpack rapper in a time of ringtone rappers. Then hi last alnbum he went full funk for now apparently reason. Apparently next he is going fully African music inspired sound yet with a very political bent to the visuals which I do not believe he release a video for the last album. .

Accelerate - Christina Aguilera feat. Ty Dolla $ign & 2 Chainz

So is Christina Aguilera trying to be Bangerz-era Miley Cyrus now because even Miley has moved on from that gross phase? And that choppy rapper cadence is even more annoying when a which chick does it.

Ashes (from the Deadpool 2 Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Céline Dion

Deadpool is super-meta and I get it, having Mrs. Titanic Céline Dion topline your soundtrack is a get, but c’mon, but if you are going to go super-meta, even in your soundtrack, you should have gotten king of the soundtracks Kenny Loggins to contribute a song. Okay, sure, this video is funnier than anything they could have done with Kenny Loggins.