Saturday, April 12, 2014

Best of the Week: 4/12/14

Quote of the Week: Didn’t, I told you, you were going to wish I killed you? Well, Don’t you? (Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, Justified)

Song of the Week: (Don't Fear) The Reaper - Blue Öyster Cult (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Stephan Colbert Gets Called up to the Majors: Just a week after David Letterman announced his retirement, CBS has already found its replacement. Interestingly as Dave was announcing his long goodbye (he is set to continue until sometime next year), Colbert was in a mild scandal over what some called a racist tweet (note to self: do not say something that can be construed as racist to make fun of racist people). Even with the mild scandal, the announcement is not a surprise because Colbert’s was the first name that was floated as a possible replacement. It should be interesting to see how viewers react to Colbert who has been playing a parody of a conservative talking head for over a decade now, so dedicated to the persona; no one has seen the real Colbert on camera for a very long time. Or maybe Colbert really is a conservative blow hard and the joke has been on the viewers all this time. Either way, one can only hope that Daft Punk performs on his first show.

Preview Picture of the Week:

“Where There’s Smoke” Dallas Winter Finale, Monday at 9:00 on TNT

Free Download of the Week: Somebody Loves You - Betty Who (iTunes)

New Album Release of the Week: Illmatic XX - Nas

New DVD Release of the Week: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Video of the Week: This year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class have been waiting awhile to get in. Hall & Oates, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, and Kiss had been eligible for a combined 87 years before being inducted. Even the E Street Band had to wait fifteen years after Bruce Springsteen was inducted by himself. The lone first ballot inductee (or one that did not have to wait more than a decade) was Nirvana. The surviving members had not played any Nirvana songs live since Kurt Cobain died, but Krist Novoselic did play bass and accordion on Foo Fighters 2011 song I Should Have Known. The following year Novoselic, Dave Grohl, and touring guitarist Pat Smear teamed up with Paul McCartney for a new song off the soundtrack of Ghohl’s Sound City documentary.

But since they never played any Nirvana songs together so there was some debate if they would do so for the Hall of Fame, and then the bigger question, who would sing? That in part answered earlier this week when Grohl posted a picture to his Instragram account of his drums, Novoselic’s bass, Smear’s guitar along with Joan Jett’s guitar. Jett, who herself has been eligible since 2005 (2001 if you count The Runaways) came out and sang Smells Like Teen Spirit. But the band did not stop there, Kim Gordon would sing Aneurysm, and St. Vincent would come out to perform Lithium (she covered the song recently on the anniversary of Cobain’s death). Then Novoselic introduced Lorde to sing All Apologies in a bright pink suit. Did not see that coming. I guess the video that popped up a month of two with Novoselic playing Royals on accordion makes a little more sense now. The crappy cell phone videos will have to do for now because The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Special does not air May 31 on HBO. Seriously HBO, it is 2014, how does it take something seven weeks to make it to air?

Next Week Pick of the Week: Mad Men, Sunday at 10:00 on AMC: It is the beginning of the end for Mad Men with its final season premiere. Granted it will be a while until the actual end because AMC split the season in two so the series finale will not air until sometime in 2015. Ugg.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Around the Tubes: 4/11/14

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 Inside the Hunt for the Boston Bombers, NBC Comedy Playground, Life Below Zero, Welcome to Sweden, ABC Family, Eric Church, The Voice, The 2014 Billboard Music Awards, Our Wild America, Jane Ellen Bryant, Flipping Boston, The Librarians, new Syfy series, and Global Force Wrestling.

- Tuesday will mark the one year anniversary of the Boston Bombings and though the even played out in real time on 24 hour news channels and the internet, Inside the Hunt for the Boston Bombers compiles the entire event from moments before the blast to the catching of the fugitive in the most comprehensive special to date. It will feature reenactment of the events culled from interviews from victims, former Boston Mayor Tomas M. Menino, Governor Deval Patrick, the superintendant and commissioner of the Boston Police Department, officers and FBI agents on the scenes, and even the carjacking victim of the bombers and the owner of the boat that one of the bombers hid out in. Inside the Hunt of the Boston Bomber airs Sunday at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel.

- In an effort to uncover additional sources of talent and open the door for aspiring comedy writers, NBC has created a ground-breaking grassroots comedy campaign, “NBC Comedy Playground”. Beginning May 1, aspiring comedy writers can submit their pitches to be considered for both digital and network comedy shows. Once submitted, the concepts will be vetted by A-list comedic talents, including Aziz Ansari, Jason Bateman, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, and others. For more on the NBC Comedy Playground:

- The return of winter brings a flurry of activity for people around the globe. But if you’re living in the remote wilderness of Alaska, the winter is about one thing only: survival. National Geographic Channel’s cult hit series Life Below Zero will return on Thursday, April 17 at 9:00 for a new season of battles against the bitter cold, unpredictable weather and hungry wildlife. Produced by Adjacent Productions, the series covers every obstacle from every angle, be it beneath the ice or the end of a hunter’s gun.

- I had not heard of Welcome to Sweden until I got the press release this week, but it is an upcoming NBC comedy starring Greg Poehler who was able to pull his sister Amy and her friends in for come cameos. Take a look of the trailer below. Welcome to Sweden will premiere July 10 at 9:00 on NBC.

- ABC Family will be airing a Mother’s Day marathon on May 10 which will feature Ice Princess (7:00 AM), Secretariat (9:00 AM), Sister Act (11:30 AM), Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1:30), Mamma Mia! (3:30), Forrest Gump (6:00), and concluding with The Blind Side (9:00).

- Eric Church recently announced the first leg of his Outsiders World Tour starting in September. Check out the dates on via the video below. Fans have the chance to gain access to pre-sale tickets for each show by becoming a Standard or Premium member of the Church Choir. Join the Church Choir by visiting:

- Fans of the hit NBC show, “The Voice”, can finally see their favorite contestants live as the season’s talented top Finalists and favorite past stars hit the road on a huge summer tour. Talpa Media and AEG Live announced today the 31-show concert tour launches June 21st in San Antonio, TX and stops in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto, ON before wrapping in Redmond, WA on August 2. Tickets go on sale April 17 at 10:00 AM local via Already confirmed on the tour is Jamaica native and Season 5 champ, Tessanne Chin. Also joining the tour from Season 5 is soul-pop teen artist, and runner up, Jacquie Lee and vocal powerhouse and family man, Will Champlin. Dia Frampton, a Team Blake favorite, from Season One will be hitting the road too, along with this season’s Winner, Runner Up, and 3rd place. Another fan favorite is guaranteed to tour and will be determined in the month of May by America via social media.

- The 2014 Billboard Music Awards will broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 18, on ABC from 8:00. Finalists Imagine Dragons and Lorde lead with twelve categories each. Imagine Dragons is vying for its first Billboard Music Award this year. Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis follow with 11, 10 and 8 categories respectively. For additional information on the 2014 Billboard Music Awards visit

- Our Wild America has developed into a popular attraction on the NYC club scene (Rockwood Music Hall, The Living Room, Mercury Lounge, Spike Hill, etc.), and it’s clear that the band’s musical preoccupation with songs that revolve around death, suicide, war, betrayal, and “other uplifting concerns,” as the band’s singer-songwriter Alec Gross puts it, has not proven to be an obstacle in finding an audience. Our Wild America’s self-titled debut will be released on May 13, 2014, on vinyl, CD, and digital download. Listen to You Don’t Love Me (The Way I Love You) which you can download for free.

- Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jane Ellen Bryant releases her new single, Here We Are, a follow up track to her acclaimed sophomore album Hourglass. The Americana-folk song features Bryant’s soaring, ethereal vocals. Take a listen, and download below:

- There I a new episode of Flipping Boston tomorrow at 12 PM on A&E which takes you on Peter and Dave’s journey of buying, flipping, restoring, renovating, designing, and selling houses. With over 18 years of combined experience, Dave and Peter are nationally known for their creative and innovative approach to renovating houses. Upcoming episodes will feature appearances by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and Medford, Massachusetts Mayor, Michael J. McGlynn.

- TNT is returning to the world of its hit movie franchise The Librarian with a brand new series from Electric Entertainment and executive producers Dean Devlin,John Rogers and Marc Roskin. Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, TNT’s King & Maxwell) is set to lead the cast of the new series, which is entitled The Librarians. Noah Wyle (Falling Skies, ER) will executive-produce and play a recurring role in the series, reprising his role as Flynn Carsen from TNT’s movie trilogy. Christian Kane (TNT’s Leverage, Angel),Lindy Booth (Dawn of the Dead, The Philanthropist) andJohn Kim (Neighbors, The Pacific) are set to round out the cast as the newest protectors of the world’s mystical treasures, with Emmy® winner John Larroquette (Night Court, Deception) slated to play their reluctant caretaker. Also appearing from the movie trilogy will be Emmy winners Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory, The Bob Newhart Show) and Jane Curtin (Kate & Allie, 3rd Rock from the Sun). And Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, TNT’s Falling Skies) is set to play a recurring role. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of The Librarians, with plans to launch the series in late 2014.

- Syfy this week announced Z Nation, a 13-episode zombie series set to debut in the fall. From production company The Asylum (Sharknado), the action-horror series depicts the epic struggle to save humanity after a zombie apocalypse. The series, which will air on Syfy, will be produced by The Asylum and sold internationally by Dynamic Television. Karl Schaefer (Eerie Indiana, Eureka, The Dead Zone) will serve as executive producer and showrunner. "Z Nation will take viewers where no zombie has gone before,” says Schaefer. The show, he continues, adds “a sense of hope to the horror of the apocalypse – our everyday heroes take the fight to the zombies. It’ll be an epic journey unlike anything you've seen before.” Syfy is also giving a series greenlight to 12 Monkeys, a drama based on the 1995 Universal Pictures film directed by Terry Gilliam, it was announced today by Syfy President, Dave Howe. Syfy is ordering 12 episodes in addition to the pilot which was filmed last year. One more from the cable channel, Olympus, which will take viewers into the action-packed world of humans, Gods and monsters. The 13-part series of one hour episodes will premiere on Syfy in 2015.

- Legendary performer and third-generation promoter Jeff Jarrett and his wife, Karen, are set to unveil Global Force Wrestling (, which promises to be the most fan-interactive and immersive wrestling experience in history. “Because of new media, new technology and more ‘in-tune’ fans than we’ve ever had, wrestling is poised for another boom like it experienced in the mid-1980s and late 1990s,” Jeff Jarrett said. “What we’re going to deliver is a multi-platform, innovative brand that will engage fans in ways they’ve never experienced. It will provide a fresh perspective inside the business that fans have been clamoring for.”

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Previewing the Final Season of Californication

The final season of Californication

After six seasons of six years of debauchery, Californication has finally ran out of kinky and humiliating sex acts because the seventh season will be its last. Although they may have run out of kinky and humiliating sex acts last season because even though it still takes place on the west coast, the fornication is at a minimum in the last season. But since there is still one season, Hank will need a job and after burning bridges in the literary world, music, education, movies, and theater, so really the only place left for him to go is in television. Or as Hank calls it, “The house the mediocrity built.”

Hank conveniently lands a spot on the writing team for Santa Monica Cop, yes the movie he worked on two seasons ago with RZA. Well that movie never got finished and instead got converted into a series complete with the director that Hank did not get along with when it was a movie. Ironically the fake television show stars Brandon T. Jackson who was cast in the Beverly Hills Cop television show as Axl Foley’s kid last year that never actually made it to air.

Of course the writers’ room is filled with interesting characters. Hank’s boss is Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos) who has spent his time since filming liquor ads growing his hair out to hippie levels. Mary Lynn Rajskub (24) is another writer and someone Charlie eyes as a potential client. And what would the final season be without an Eddie Nero sighting, who wants on the show so he can get an EGOT (though he does not entirely know what exactly what it stands for).

The final season actually starts right where last season left off, with Hank knocking on Karen’s door. Hank decided not to go on the road with a rock star to reconnect with his baby mama. The baby in question showed she was not in fact a baby to go on a road trip with a boyfriend (Becca spend most of the final season on the road, not popping back up until the penultimate episode). Also last season, Charlie and Marcy got remarried.

Without his daughter around, Hank takes an interview with a writer for a college newspaper in the season premiere. Although Oliver Cooper (Project X) spends most of time on screen ripping off Jonah Hill’s early career baboonery obese kid act. Heather Graham (Boogie Nights) will show up as his mother which leads to, well this is Californication, it is pretty obvious were this is heading with Hank. But the best part of the finale season is, even though Charlie won the girl, his feud with Stu is still has plenty of laughs to milk.

In the middle of season, there is your very special episode filled with the obligatory flashbacks which every season of the show seems to have. And with the debacle that was the How I Met Your Mother finale still fresh in people’s memory, the ending of Californication should be much less frustrating for longtime viewers.

Californication airs Sundays at 9:30 on Showtime after new episodes of Nurse Jackie.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Previewing Years of Living Dangerously

Harrison Ford on Years of Living Dangerously

The environment used to not be a political issue; it was Richard Nixon who started the Environmental Protection Agency. Now Nixon’s own party tries its very best to dismantle the agency and discredit climate chance even when every major scientist suggests its real with mountains of fact to back it up. Showtime’s nine part documentary series Years of Living Dangerously is meant to spread a light on many climate issues. Sure the right will probably try to discredit the series as leftist propaganda, but the series is being executive produced by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the opening sequence features former president George HW Bush talking about the pearls of climate change.

Okay, aside from Arnold, the series does featured some of the very left leaning celebrities you would expect on a self serving series like this including Matt Damon and Don Cheadle. And it will be easy to attack these celebrities for using very bad for the environment (probably private) jets to cross the globe to highlight regions devastated by climate change. It does not help that the first scene of the series is Harrison Ford flying a fighter jet just to collect CO2 levels (spoiler alert: they are very high).

Pretentiousness aside, these celebrities do have facts on their side. Ford is in the first two episodes looking at why we are destroying our forests which is the main cause for the high CO2 levels (forests absorb the gas) which is something called palm oil, check your ingredients list in your pantry, it is a lot of thing you eat. The most interesting parts of his segment come next week when Ford confronts forest minister of Indonesia and gives him the “get off my plane” look to the guy when he openly admits he is corrupt.

Joining Ford tonight is Cheadle who travels to Texas to a town who has resorted to praying for rain because a drought forced the closing of a meat-packing plant, the biggest employer in the area. Don also finds the rare evangelical Christian who is also a climate scientist who believes that climate change is affecting the Earth. Then Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman how climate change is affecting civil war in Syria. It is just Harrison and Arnold next week, the latter of which will be joining an elite team of wild-land firefighters as they battle a new breed of forest fighters that are cause by climate change.

Also this season, Jessica Alba follows three Climate Corps fellows as they attempt to green the corporate sector. Food journalist Mark Bittman shoots two pieces: he explores rising sea levels and the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy, with a focus on Union Beach, New Jersey; and, in an investigation that takes him all across the country, he tries to determine just how clean natural gas is. Matt Damon examines the public health impact of heat waves as they sweep across Los Angeles and other cities around the globe. America Ferrera explores wind and solar power: if they're so good, why are so many people trying to block them? Journalist Thomas Friedman investigates how climate change impacts national sovereignty in the Middle East.  Michael C. Hall goes to Bangladesh to see a vision of our climate-changed future.

Chris Hayes shoots two pieces involving Super Storm Sandy: a U.S. congressman comes face to face with climate change when extreme weather hits close to home; two Far Rockaway families endure the winter following the destructive storm. Olivia Munn) reports from Washington State as a new governor makes combating global warming a top priority. Dr. M. Sanjayan (lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy) sets out on an epic journey around the world to see the effects of climate change firsthand. Will he be convinced that climate change is real? Ian Somerhalder follows Anna Jane Joyner, the 28-year-old daughter of Evangelical preacher Rick Joyner, as she tries to convince congregations and preachers across North Carolina – including her father – that they need to join the fight. And Lesley Stahl travels to Greenland to explore the fate of the Arctic as global temperature increases melt the ice sheet at an unprecedented rate and unlock all sorts of new riches.

The main problem with Years of Living Dangerously will likely be preaching to the choir and those that would benefit from watching the documentary will probably not watch it. I bet the only far right conservatives that will watch are the ones who will try to twist facts, get angry at the facts (the Susan Rice interview will not help) or want to make fun of the celebrities and their pet cause. Pretentious celebrities aside, everyone should check out the documentary series because you will undoubtedly learn something.

Years of Living Dangerously airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Voice Season Six Battle Rounds II Power Rankings

I post my Power Rankings the day before the next round starts which gives me a week to write it. Since The Playoff start the day after the end of the Battle Round II I this will short. Not that is much to say other than the Battle Round II sucked massively. The conceit was stupid, the song selection was horrible, and the coaches’ decisions were even worse, I actually disagree with everyone the coaches picked last night (combined with about half of who they picked last week). It seems as if Shakira wants to take Christina Aguilera’s worst coach in the history of the show crown. Adam looks like he has takes Blake’s philosophy from last season of letting a new coach win, while Usher looks to be employing Adam’s previous philosophy of having one chosen one (Bria) and sabotage the rest of his team so they have less of a challenge in the Live Shows. He could have had the best team and three of the final four with Bria, Madilyn, and Morgan, but now he will probably end up taking Stevie Jo and T.J. to the Live Show , the latter two will probably gone after everyone from Shakira’s team is sent home. And Madilyn and Morgan probably will not make it that far as all the coaches shed their Steals before America is allowed to vote. So congratulations Blake, go ahead and make room for another trophy because you have the best chance of winning because you again picked amassed a team of singers that America will want to vote for. Since I have nothing to say about the Battle Round II aside that all the battles sucked aside from Have a Little Faith in Me, here is the latest power ranking with just a list, no comments.

1. Tess Boyer (Team Usher Blake Shakira)
2. Madilyn Paige (Team Usher Blake)
3. Josh Kaufman (Team Adam Usher)
4. Sisaundra Lewis (Team Blake)
5. Audra McLaughlin (Team Blake)
6. Morgan Wallen (Team Usher Adam)
7. T.J. Wilkins (Team Usher)
8. Bria Kelly (Team Usher)
9. Delvin Choice (Team Adam)
10. Patrick Thompson (Team Adam Shakira)
11. Melissa Jimenez (Team Usher)
12. Jake Worthington (Team Blake)
13. Jake Barker (Team Usher Adam)
14. Kat Perkins (Team Adam)
15. Stevie Jo (Team Usher)
16. Christina Grimmie (Team Adam)
17. Ryan Whyte Maloney (Team Blake)
18. Dani Moz (Team Shakira)
19. Deja Hall (Team Shakira)
20. Kristen Merlin (Team Shakira)

Oh Shakira, what were you thinking? You had my favorite team coming out of the Blind Auditions and now you have maybe the worst team ever to go into the Playoffs, yes, as bad as Christina in seasons one and three. Twice Shakira said she was going to go with who she thought she could help the most. No Shakira, pick who was the best, or the very least has the most potential. If you want to help someone who needs it, do it on your own time. Oh well here are how the teams stack up if you award a point to the last place and twenty to number one:

Blake – 65
Usher – 61
Adam – 47
Shakira – 37

But who cares what I think, here is a look at how high everyone charted on the top 1500 on the iTunes charts. It looks like music buyers hated the new Battle Round as much as I did.

1. Jake Worthington (100)
2. Sisaundra Lewis (184)
3. Christina Grimmie (189)
4. Morgan Wallen (216)
5. Stevie Jo (303)
6. Tess Boyer (334)
7. Deja Hall (351)
8. Josh Kaufman - Happy (416)
9. T.J. Wilkins (422)
10. Jake Barker (434)
11. Sam Behymer – Give Me Love (570)
12. Audra McLughlin (612)
13. Kristen Merlin (632)
14. Jake Worthington – It Goes Like This (645)
15. Josh Kaufman (745)
16. Madilyn Paige – Everything Has Changed (821)
17. Delvin Choice (894)
18. Madilyn Paige (919)
19. Jake Worthington - Don’t Close Your Eyes (1002)
20. Christina Grimmie – Wrecking Ball (1191)
21. Christina Grimmie – I Knew You Were Trouble (1342)

The first thing that pops out to be is that of the four steal, three of the stolen singers charted higher than the person that “won” their battle, so apparently I was not the only one who thought the coaches did a horrible job picking their teams this season. The next thing that jumps out at me is that the week old Sam Behymer song charted higher than eleven people who are moving on. Six of the top twenty could not even crack the top 1500. Compared that to last year when only one person failed to chart during the Knockout Round.

To show you just how bad the coaches were at picking their teams, if you look back at the top ten Blind Audition sales, six of them (Dawn and Hawkes, Clarissa Serna, Josh Kaufman, Madilyn Paige, Morgan Wallen, and Emily B) lost their round two Battle. A seventh (Alaska & Madi) did not even make it this far.

1. Jake Worthington (213)
2. Christina Grimmie (237.3)
3. Josh Kaufman (349.3)
4. Madilyn Paige (412)
5. Stevie Jo (421)
6. Sisaundra Lewis (511.6)
7. Morgan Wallen (531)
8. Jake Baker (539)
9. Kristen Merlin (563.3)
10. Audra McLaughlin (718.3)

That is not good that only half of the top twenty managed to have all three of their songs chart in the top 1500. For comparison, last year fifteen of them did. Of the other five, four of them had two songs chart. Only one had only one song chart. And of those five, all five did not get voted through by America during the Playoffs (Kat Robichaud was saved by her coach and managed another week because of the stupid Twitter Save) This season there were five who only charted two, three that only charted one. And there were two that did not chart at all in the top 1500. Here is how those other ten charted.

11. Bria Kelly (126, 459, NC)
12. T.J. Wilkins (714, NC, 422)
13. Delvin Choice (416, NC, 894)
14. Kat Perkins (451, 943, NC)
15. Deja Hall (1190, NC, 351)
16. Tess Boyer (NC, NC, 334)
17. Ryan White Maloney (917, NC, NC)
18. Dani Moz (NR, 1314, NR)
19. Melissa Jimenez / Patrick Thompson did not reach the top 1500 once

That is really embarrassing. It is really laughable that Melissa and Patrick are still in and Dawn and Hawkes, Clarissa Serna or even Sam Behymer and Kaleigh Glanton who were able to sell both of their songs, are all sitting at home. And since the coach decide the top 12 this season by themselves, I have a feeling their coaches will favor their own team over steals which may means Josh, Madilyn, and probably either Morgan or Jake will also not make it to be voted on by the public despite outselling most people who advance. I suggested this last season, but for the Live Show, they should introduce a fifth judge (be it Chris Martin, or breakout star Jill Scott) who picks three outcasts to rejoin the competition. I bet a team of Dawn and Hawkes, Clarissa, and Sam (or Josh, Madilyn, and Morgan if it comes to that) would be better threesome then any come this season will come up with. Or next season replaces these coaches with people who can actually spot talent.

Previewing Mad Dog: Inside the Secret World of Muammar Gaddafi

Long before Kim Jung Un there was Mammar Gaddafi who set the bar fairly high for modern despots. Dressed like Michael Jackson in concert, the billion dollars of oil his country produced per week allowed him every extravagancy he could think of. A cruise ship with a shark tank for his son? Done. Dubbed the Mad Dog of the Middle East by Ronald Reagan (who was good at coining things in the eighties as he also turned the Soviet Union into the Evil Empire) Gaddafi had school children here in the United States calling for Libya to be blown off the map.

Regan did show some restraint by not blowing the nation state off the map instead imposing severe sanctions that kept the dictator out of the public consciousness here until the “rehabilitated” ruler was all but forgiven for his crimes by George W. Bush and Tony Blair to the point he was even taking pictures with Barack Obama. But just at the time he was being accepted by the West, the Arab Spring happened and he was one of the early causalities.

Even though we saw the Arab Spring live on cable television, there was still plenty unknown about Muammar Gaddafi that the general public did not know even back when he was the world’s public enemy number one. Mad Dog: Inside the Secret World of Muammar Gaddafi, premiering Friday at 9:00 0n Showtime, uncovers the hidden atrocities he committed during his decade long run in power, even when he was being embraced by the west.

The documentary talks with poison dealers who did deals with the country as well as others still wanted by the FBI as well as one of his former female guards. There are also interviewed with CIA counter-proliferation operative Valerie Plame (yes that Valerie Plame) and those actually tortured by the man countrymen were forced to call Brother Leader. The tales told are bigger than the previous one, from hosting a terrorist Woodstock to keeping his enemies on ice so he can occasionally see his conquests. Mad Dog is a harrowing tale which shows what happens when mad men gain too much power.

Mad Dog: Inside the Secret World of Muammar Gaddafi premieres Friday at 9:00 on Showtime.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Previewing Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet

Nat Geo Wild found some success with The Incredible Dr. Pol which routinely sets rating record for the channel. But now there is a new veterinarian. But do not call Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet, which premiers this Saturday at 9:00, a rip-off because this vet is different in almost every way aside from their job title. Michelle Oakley is much younger (and very much a different gender) and where Weidman, Michigan is within driving distance of bigger cities where Dr. Pol has some competition, as the title of her suggests, Dr. Oakley is very literally in the middle of nowhere where she is one of the few vets in Canada’s most northern, western providence.

Sure she still sees plenty of your usual house pets like cats and dogs, but the remote location means Dr. Oakley sees animals big and small, sometimes driving three hundred miles in the snow to see a patient. In the first couple episodes you will see her help out muskox, yaks, lynx, and caribou. Including her own practice where she works out of her house, home visits, Dr. Oakley also runs a satellite clinic in Haines, Alaska with the American Bald Eagle Foundation and is an on-call vet for the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.

Working out of her home does give her time to spend some time with her three teenage daughters, but there are too young to help out too much. Things do get even more hectic around the house when her husband, a firefighter, get called away to fight fires up and down the west coast. The viewers will get to know the whole Oakley family as they celebrate Michelle’s birthday and await word on one of the daughter’s application into acting school that would move her away from the family.

Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet airs Saturdays at 9:00 on Nat Geo Wild.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 4/6/14

Once Upon a Time: It is probably not a good sign when you laugh through a whole death scene, but Neil’s death was just silly. C’mon, how about at least trying true love’s kiss to revive him?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Shameless: So Frank finally got his liver and then thinks the little girl in the next bed who died is Fiona. So will that actually be the catylist for him to be a better man? I am guessing he will be back to destroying his new liver by next season’s premiere.

The Walking Dead: In the lead up to the season finale, the questioned seemed like it would not be if one of the main characters died, or even which one (Rick already being booked for Talking Dead for the very first time seemed ominous), but how many. Well it ended up being none. Sure there was a very gruesome death; Rick ripping out the neck of some dude with his teeth was nearly as gruesome as any zombie on human violence in the show, but it still was anti-climatic that the foursome all made it out with only a black eye to show for it. We also found out that Terminus was naturally not what it seemed. Glen went in the front door and Rick went through the back but still ended up in the same place. It was dark, but it I did not see Carol, Tyrese, or even Beth. Now I have to spend seven months debating if to check out the graphic novel spoilers to see what I actually up with Terminus.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Resurrection: So is this going to turn into a new dead person a week type show? The latest zombie is the most interesting of the three we have met, one that committed suicide but no longer wants to die and kind of wants to rekindle her old flame who just so happens to be married now. That is a lot more interesting than the kid and the criminal.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Resurrection on iTunes.

Revenge: Why is every time Aiden leaves, they still find a dumb reason to bring him back? Just let him go, he brings nothing to the show. Or better yet, just kill him off so you are not tempted to bring him back.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

House of Lies: Finally they killed off T.I. He really dragged down this season. I am glad Marty accused Dre of setting up a gang hit so it seemed less racist when it first crossed my mind.

The Voice: So the big twist this season is that there is a second round of battles instead of the Knockout Round with the big difference being that this round the singers get to pick the song they sing. Except as we found out, the song they had to pick was from a short list of three songs. And I wonder if they really had a choice between the three because Stevie Jo and Morgan Wallen settling on One Direction looked like really bad acting.

We did not even get to learn the other two for half of the battles this week and with so many bad songs this week I have to wonder just how much worse the other were. You had Christina Grimmie and Sam Behymer doing the horrible One Republic song which was used in a Battle just last season. It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World was also used in a Battle last year. Then there was the horrible Miley Cyrus song which I think Blake included just so he could make a twerking joke. The only song choice this week that did not have me rolling my eyes was Have a Little Faith in Me, one of the greatest songs ever written.

And as bad as the song selection was, some of the coaches’ decisions were worse. I disagreed with five of the nine Battles shown (as for the one montage, I would have also would have seen Emily B advance). Personally I would have gone with Tess Boyer, Sam, and Ddendyl to win their Battles. Then there was the curious case of the steals this week. I was scratching my head when Usher and the other coaches were talking like Stevie Jo was the frontrunner when Morgan has been better (maybe he really bombed in his montaged first Battle). And then Usher let Morgan get stolen by Adam even though he could easily go further with the voter than Stevie Jo. But I am only assuming Usher let Adam have Morgan because Adam inexplicitly let Josh Kaufman go to Team Usher when Josh was Adam’s best chance of winning this season.

Now I doubt Josh and Morgan will make the Live Shows (which will not be until the top 12 this season) because I do not think any stolen contestant will make it that far except for Tess just because someone on Team Shakira has to advance besides Clarissa Serna and a third random singer who will be voted out first (I am assuming will be Deja Hall). I think we may have to pencil Blake in for a fourth win in five seasons because he is the only person that has not made a colossally bad decision so far this season and looks like he will go into the top 12 with three singers, Audra McLaughlin, Sisaundra Lewis, and Jake Worthington, that would contend to win this season. Of course there is still another round and a half for him to make a colossally bad decision himself. But this is the guy who last season dumped Holly Henry for the worst singer to ever make the Live Show.

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How I Met Your Mother: So we spent an entire weekend at Barney and Robin’s wedding just to see them get divorced about ten minutes into the series finale. But to put it in perspective, we spent nine years learning how Ted met the mother only for him to end up with Aunt Robin.
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The Blacklist: So Tom really thinks that he left behind no clues that link back to him from his evil abandoned warehouse? Maybe after his “brother” end up dead he will realize that maybe his wife may be on to him. Hopefully something finally goes down between the two in the next episode.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Blacklist on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: I was going to be fairly disappointed if The Clairvoyant ended up just being Steven Hawkings but it looks like it will end up being a SHEILD agent. But I wonder if I should even watch the next episode for fear of having Captain American spoiled for me because I have an irrational dislike of movie theaters and will not be seeing it until it comes out on Blu-Ray at the earliest. Sure the post-Thor episode did not spoil anything other than London being destroyed (but you could see that in the trailer) because it mostly took place in Asgard. It is my assumption that Winter Soldier is all about the interworking of SHIELD which should have some sort of effect on a show based on the agency.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Justified: Oh Raylan, you sneaky guy, you: having the judge go after Kendal as an adult to get Darryl to fess up for his crime. Of course that will not happen, but I am sure Wendy is not going to just go along with this, but who does she go after, Raylan or Darryl? But more importantly, what loophole will Dewey use to get him out of jail this time? Or are they finally going to greenlight my Dewey Dickie jail setting spin-off show. I am not sure if Ava will make it that long to star in a co-ed version.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Justified on iTunes.

Survivor: Cagayan: I have really come to dislike this cast, but that was still a pretty entertaining Tribal Council, maybe even top five of all time. First you had two Immunity Idols, that no one but the owners knew about prior to being played, being traded. You had the mad scramble by the non-Idol holding alliance to someone new. They managed to land on someone who was not saved by an Idol making the big Idol play by the minority alliance the anti-Parvati. Oh, but that is not it, when the final name is called, it turned out all this Idol madness did not even matter because in one of the dumber moves in Survivor history, Cass flipped out of what looks to be pure spite to Sarah for being a preening schmo. Awesome. So Cass went from being in what look to be an almost lock for final three with the remaining Brains to being sixth in a six person alliance. I do not think they could have cast dumber “Brains” if they tried.
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The Americans: Oh my, Elizabeth seducing Clark went as well as I thought it might.
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Nashville: Wait, Scarett shares the same mother with Tyra Collette (who is inexplicitly now a doctor on Jason Katim’s new show; god bless him for keeping Dillon alumni employed)?
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Community: I did not buy an HDTV so I could watch poorly drawn seventies type cartoons. I bought so I could see Alison Brie in all of her high definition glory. But if you must do a crappy seventies cartoon episode, at least when Jeff comes to, have Annie dress up in her cartoon outfit.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Community on iTunes.

Parenthood: Oh Julia, what have you done? Up until now, Joel was the idiot because nothing happened, but something did happen this time that cannot be unexplained.
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Hannibal: When Beverly got caught in his basement, I theorized that Hannibal may keep her down there and might be saved, albeit with a few parts missing by the end of the season. Of course the very next week she was found sliced up debunking that theory. That is what makes the final scenes even more shocking, that Hannibal would keep Miriam Lass alive all this time. Up to now, Hannibal has stayed a step or five ahead of law enforcement and we have yet to see him make a mistake. So I have to wonder if Hannibal left Miriam there for Jack or is this his first mistake. Miriam does know that Hannibal is the one that did this to her but is she currently mental stable to remember what happened to her so it could go either way.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Hannibal on iTunes.