Saturday, May 31, 2014

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 5/31/14

Quote of the Week: Marriage is a racket. (Pete Campbell, Mad Men)

Song of the Week: Sugar, Sugar - The Archies (Orphan Black)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Six Seasons and a Movie… Maybe: In its second season, a monumental event happened that of course Community was going to reference: The Cape premiered. Of course Abe was obsessed and declared there would be six seasons and a movie. Unfortunately The Cape barely made it past six episodes before becoming canceled but the “six seasons and a movie” became a rallying cry for the fans for the low rated fans that barely got renewed for a third. It eventually got a fourth, but show creator was booted creating a zombie season. And then not only did it miraculously enough get renewed for a fifth, Harmon was actually brought back. Except the show still felt like a zombie show, Chevy Chase was out; Donald Glover was quick to follow. But hey, they were one season away from their goal and if NBC renewed them the three previous low rated seasons, they would bring the show back for a sixth? Nope, Community got the ax earlier this month.

But we live in a time were beloved television show never really die. Cougar Town was quickly picked up by TBS. Even long dead shows like Arrested Development got another Netflix enhanced season while Veronica Mars Kickstarted a movie seven years after their demise. It looks like Community may actually get that sixth season and who knows; maybe even a movie because they are currently in negotiations to resurrect the show via Hulu. This would be interesting because unlike competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime who are going for award winning cable like programming, all of Hulu’s original programming so far looks like actual webseries with one major sponsor who gets shoehorned into plots forcibly. But then again, how Subway subsidized the last couple seasons of Community, Hulu may actually be a good fit. Plus, who says no to more Alison Brie? Although I kind of hope this not come to fruition so Brie can move on to bigger and better things.

Preview Picture of the Week:

“You’re the One I Want” Melissa and Joey, Wednesday at 8:00 on ABC Family

Mad Men: Stupid split seasons. As I watched Bert Cooper dance his way off the show (this is the second time Don has envisioned a dance sequence, at least last time it was under the influence of some butt drug; what was he taking this time?) I came to the realization that this could have very well been a good place for the series finale. Don has his job back and solidified. Peggy can get a client on her own. Rodger is learning to become a leader without Bert. Joan gets her money. Ted gets to come back to New York. But we still have eight episodes left coming sometime next year where the McCann partnership will undoubtedly go bad. Ugg.
You can download Mad Men on iTunes.

Penny Dreadful: Did we see our first werewolves, or were those just regular wolves? I also do wonder if Dr. Frankenstien will comply with his monster’s request for a mate. I find it interesting the monster seems to let the doctor choose even though he had some longing looks at the actress in the play. Granted the chick with consumption could need some resurrecting in the near future.

Crisis: I was beginning to wonder if any of the parents would call the kidnappers bluff and not do his bidding. If any of them would it would be someone who could start World War III between the USA and China. Except she did unleash the cyber attack and it was not until after the fact she stopped it. C’mon, after that point might as well save your child. But I do not understand why the president gave up the secret agent. If I were the president, I would call the Chinese leader and say, “give us the location of your rouge agent or we will take the cyber attack as a sanctioned attack on American sovereignty by the Chinese government and respond quickly and swiftly.”

I was surprised that Gibson actually went through with killing the kid though. He said he had to send a message to the most important parent yet. The president would make the most sense considering he is the most powerful man in the free world. But I am going to guess that it will actually be the parent of the nerdy boy who parent’s I do not even remember being hinted at. Watch him turn out to be the CIA director’s son.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Crisis on iTunes.

The Challenge: Free Agents: Oh Nany, you are better than that. Okay, that is probably not true. But how of all weeks they decide not to have an aftershow, I would be this week? Who would not have stuck around to see Johnny Mosley awkwardly interview Nany, Cohutta, and Johnny?
You can download The Challenge: Free Agents on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: Jungle – Jamie N Commons and X Ambassadors (iTunes)

New Album Release of the Week: Platinum - Miranda Lambert

New DVD Release of the Week: Pretty Little Liars: Season 4

Video of the Week: So they got Nicolas Cage to star in the Left Behind movie. Makes sense. I know the books were a hit, but do we really need another rapture movie after This is the End? I do not see anyone doing a better version than that.

Next Week Pick of the Week: The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Tonight at 8:00 on HBO: Sure the actual ceremony took place last month and you could watch most of the clips on YouTube, but those were mostly crappy cellphone video, if you want to see high quality video of Lorde singing Nirvana, Carrie Underwood singing Linda Ronstadt, nobody singing Kiss, and the E Street Band taking forty minutes to accept their induction, tune in tonight.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Around the Tubes: 5/30/14

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 Chasing Life, Jayhawks, Affluenza, Funniest Wins, Queer as Folk, The L Word, 7 Deadly Sins, and Sons of Anarchy.

- ABC Family is thrilled to announce an early sneak peek of the newest original series, Chasing Life, before it makes its network premiere on Tuesday, June, 10 at 9:00 following Pretty Little Liars. Chasing Life will be available to viewers two weeks early via its authenticated WATCH ABC Family service now until Monday, June 9. The premiere of Chasing Life can also be seen on all participating TV providers’ On Demand Services starting Tuesday, June 3 and on the Chasing Life Facebook page starting on Sunday, June 8. Please share the below information with your readers and be sure to tune-in to the series premiere of Chasing Life!

- Hailed as pioneers of the alt-country/Americana sound, the Jayhawks emerged from Minneapolis' mid-'80s scene with a soaring combination of folksy harmonies and power-pop melodies. The band's status as a major influence, as well as that of being one of the best bands of its generation, are richly deserved. The July 1st release of expanded versions of 1997's Sound of Lies, 2000's Smile and 2003's Rainy Day Music complete the band's remastering of its entire back catalog. All three American Recordings/UME releases contain bonus tracks, new liner notes and expanded booklets. The albums also chronicle the band's evolution into crunchier rock, purer pop and a sort of twangy, psychedelic vibe before coming full-circle with a spare country-rock sound. Sound of Lies, Smile and Rainy Day Music will also be released August 5th as deluxe, 2 LP vinyl editions to ensure maximum fidelity. The deluxe vinyl reissues will be remastered on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl and also include the bonus tracks.

- These teens have it all -- hot summer hookups, wild parties and family money. Until they don't. On behalf of FilmBuff we're excited to share the just released trailer for the new film Affluenza! This films stars hot up-and-comers Nicola Peltz (Transformers: Age of Extinction, "Bates Motel"), Grant Gustin ("Glee," CW's "The Flash"), Gregg Sulkin (MTV's "Faking It," "Pretty Little Liars") & Ben Rosenfield ("Boardwalk Empire") and veteran actors Steve Guttenberg & Samantha Mathis. Watch the trailer on

- TBS has unveiled the 10 talented comedians slated to compete against one another in Funniest Wins, a new series that's all about the laughs. Set to premiere Friday, June 20, at 10:00, Funniest Wins comes to TBS from comedy heavyweight and founder Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie, A Haunted House, The Wayans Bros.) andEyeworks USA. In the series, Wayans, along with some of his comic friends and family, will put the comics through the ringer to find the funniest multi-talented comedian working today.

- Showtime is bringing back its groundbreaking series Queer as Folk and The L Word in June in honor of gay pride month. All seasons will air on Showtime® Showcase from June through November. From June 2nd through June 30th, back-to-back episodes of both critically-acclaimed series will be offered Monday through Friday at 8:00. Then, starting on July 3rd, back-to-back episodes will air every Thursday night through November 13th. Subscribers can also catch up on the full five seasons of Queer as Folk and the six seasons of THE L WORD on Showtime on Demand® and the network's authenticated service Showtime anytime® starting this summer. These iconic series were hailed for tackling important issues and shattering stereotypes, and were both honored by the GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Drama Series. Viewers can expect more from THE L WORD executive producer and creator Ilene Chaiken in the form of a documentary which will premiere on Showtime this summer.

- Showtime will take an in-depth look at the weird and darkly comic world of sin in the documentary series 7 Deadly Sins, premiering Thursday, August 7th at 11:00. Executive produced and hosted by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), the stylized series will explore each of the seven deadly sins – gluttony, sloth, envy, pride, wrath, greed and lust -- one per episode and told through Spurlock’s unique and extreme lens.

- Marilyn Manson has been cast in FX’s hit show Sons of Anarchy as “Ron Tully,” a white supremacist prison shot-caller who Jax uses to expand his power base.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Feed Your iPod LXXXIII: Banditos

The music industry printed money back in the nineties when a song on MTV would guarantee at least a gold record. It did not even have to be on heavy rotation, all it need was to be made fun of by Beavis and Butt-head. Seriously, Rob Zombie owns his whole career to the duo. It did even matter how weird you were. I lived through a time when Ween was actually a thing (again, with some help to Beavis and Butt-head). Even though how easy it was to break band back then, there were some act that never broke as big as they should have. One of those bands was The Refreshments who put out to very good albums in the mid-nineties headlined by the song Banditos, a catchy alt-southern rock song. In a time where most of the big hits were self loathing, The Refreshments dreamed of going on a robbing spree because, the world is full of stupid people.” There was also a funny music video that accompanied by there is currently only a low quality version currently on YouTube (seriously, it is 2014, how is every music video ever produced not have an official YouTube video yet?). Though I do not recall the band ever getting the Beavis and Butt-head treatment, If you only known one song by the band it is probably from Mike Judge’s other show as the wrote King of the Hill Theme. Their lack of hits may have been because no one wanted the alternative rock of the time mixing with country music or maybe it was bad timing as the band predated the alt-country boon that came a couple years later with bands like Old 97's and Whiskeytown. But if you did miss The Refreshments the first time around, give them a try as they would fit better in the current folk rock boon. Except these guys had a sense of humor.

Banditos - The Refreshments

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 5/28/14

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Sing – Ed Sheeran

I liked Ed Sheeran’s first album as much as every other sensitive dude of the nineties. Sure the faux rapping got a little silly. Following that sensitive singer-songwriter esthetic with a dance track over a Doobie Brothers type acoustic guitar produced by Pharrell may be the most head scratching turn since U2 launched their Pop album with Discotheque. But hey, puppets in your music video make everything more palatable.

Let Me Down Gently – La Roux

I sometime wonder why artists that you obviously know will be one hit wonders do not just drop their mic and walk off like the dude from the New Radicals. I was pretty content putting La Roux on my list of The 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 00's despite their one song only being a couple months old at the time. It seemed like the duo did drop the mic and walk away considering it has been five years since they released Bulletproof. Oddly enough for their follow-up to the dance song, they went with a melancholy track. It is catchy, but I do not think I will need to update that One Hit Wonder list just yet.

Double Bubble Trouble – M.I.A.

I do not get it, what exactly is M.I.A. trying to say mixing 3-D modeled firearms with twerking and crappy EDM infused reggae?

Pittbull Terrier – Die Antwoord

Speaking of controversial music video, the weird South African rap duo Die Antwoord apparently does not like Pitbull like pretty much everyone else in the world. But at this point, isn’t taking down Pitbull, who at this point is just the Hispanic Vanilla Ice, a little too easy?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Haven't Been Gorged, Drowned, Plucked, and Roasted, Not Yet

Sequels get a bad rap but there are plenty of good sequels out there. Good prequels on the other hand are far and few in between. Patton Oswalt has a great bit on prequels equating them to being shown a picture of Jon Voight’s man region for those who think Angelina Jolie is attractive. Yet prequels, the ultimate where do we go next when we have run out of ideas solution, are still getting made. Just last year there were television shows that served as prequels to two horror icons. Surprisingly one of them did not suck. The other featured Norman Bates listening to Taylor Swift.

The other show, Hannibal probably should not have worked. In fact the previous prequel, Hannibal Rising focusing on a teenage Hannibal in Lithuania, was a commercial and critical flop. I know I had no desire to see yet another show about a serial killer especially since I have not seen any of the movies or read the books. Plus could such a story as gruesome murders and cannibalism be told on network television? Apparently yes as NBC somehow clawed its way back to the top of the ratings charts mixing the biggest draws (Sunday Night Football, The Voice) with low rated critical darling (Hannibal, Parenthood) and the show that is both (The Blacklist).

NBC gets plenty of credit for renewing Hannibal not once but twice. So for those that do not start watching shows fearing they will be canceled, it is time to catch up. Season one is currently streaming on Amazon Instant Video which is free for Prime members and season two will probably be available with enough time to catch up before season three premieres sometime in 2015. Although I never understood not watching a show because it may be canceled. I would rather a quality show that may end after thirteen to twenty-two episodes then one that will go on for around a hundred with diminishing returns. Just image how much more fondly we would remember Lost if it got canceled after one season. But anyway.

As I stated above, I had no interest in seeing a Hannibal Lecter prequel, but I still tuned into the series premiere for one reason: Bryan Fuller. This is the guy who gave us three of the greatest television shows of this millennium: Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, and Pushing Daisies. Sure those three shows ran for a total of five seasons (and a movie!) but again, would it not have been better if Homeland only lasted a season or two? Those three shows all had their whimsy even if they dealt with death and sanity. Hannibal is completely without whimsy and is set in a very real world yet Fuller’s warped eye still seeps through with the death tableaus that are the focal point of each season one episode.

Plus this Hannibal, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) subtlety chews the scenes just as much as he eats on the show. Which is quite a lot, foodies will surely enjoy the show. Well once they get over the fact that much of the meat he prepares comes from rude people. Then there is Hugh Dancy (Ella Enchanted) who seems to go through a major mental breakdown each and every episode to the point you fear for the actor’s sanity for the number of times his character goes down the preverbal rabbit hole as Hannibal toys with him.

If you are not caught up on Hannibal, this is where you should stop reading because I am about to spoil the second season; but before you go, let me just say the second season finale was one of the finest and shocking hours of television I have seen in a while.

Okay, last spoiler warning. Turn away now if you do not want to know what happened this season.

I have never seen a movie featuring Hannibal Lecter or even read the books, but I still have an idea where the show is going since he is one of the most famous antagonists in pop culture history. So it was not that shocking when Will ended up in a mental hospital for the criminally insane. Nor I was when he was eventually release considering his role in the overarching narrative of the story. But this season’s finale that was a completely different story.

Though I know that Will Graham is the one that eventually catches Hannibal, the show did a very good job making me wonder if Will was on Hannibal’s side or on Jack’s. Even at the end of the season I still question Will loyalty (but after the events of the finale, it seems clear where Will falls). Of course for weeks we have known what was about to go down. In the season premiere we saw Jack enter Hannibal’s kitchen and met with one of his knives before ending out in the wine cellar with a shard of glass in his neck.

So for weeks we had to wonder who would come to Jack’s rescue. We got that answer last week when the promo monkeys showed us Alana showing up to the Lecter estate gun in hand. Of course Hannibal took the bullets out a long time ago. Which leads us to the first big shock of the episode: Holy Abigail Hobbs sighting! I do remember giving thought to the possibility that Hannibal did not kill her, just cut her ear off and force it down Will’s throat. But that theory faded a long time ago. But I did kept looking for the missing ear which was covered by hair until her final scene where she clearly was missing it.

So Alana goes out the window just in time for Will to show up (by taxi?). Well this has to be where Will finally captures Hannibal, catching up to the books. Nope. Hannibal guts Will then, while he is helpless, slashes Abigail’s neck with Will unable to stop him much like he did Jacob Hobbes. Then, as Bryan Fuller says in an interview, Hannibal drops the mic and leaves. Jack is lifeless in the wine cellar. Will is bleeding out his abdomen while trying to stop Abigail bleeding out her neck in the kitchen. And Alana, barely still conscience, is outside in the rain, laying in glass form a two story drop. I guess it is easy to predict that the main players will eventually pull through while Will is going to be haunted with Abigail’s death.

Oh, but that is not it, we did get a tease for season three with Hannibal taking a flight… with Dr. Du Maurier. Oooo, so what happened there? Earlier in the season, Hannibal arrived at Bedelia’s house in his clear murder lab coat just after she left town. The FBI later found her. I am guessing that she knew if the FBI could find her, so could Hannibal, so she told him of the FBI’s plan as a measure of self preservation. It will make for an interesting third season, the first ever for a Bryan Fuller show. Hopefully it does not turn out like the third season of Homeland.

Hannibal 2.x gets a Terror Alert Level: Severe [RED] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 5/25/14

Mad Men: After Pete missed her twice, I was beginning to fear that we not get to see Trudy this episode and after Community got canceled, I need my Alison Brie fix anyway I can get it. I even sit through her vodka ads. But anyway. Every since Bob Benson creepily touched Pete’s thigh, people questioned his sexuality and this week we got a definitive answer as to just how he swings, going as far as to ask Joan to be his beard. Poor Joan, actually thinks she can still find love as a single mother pushing forty. Her best, and probably only hope is her baby-daddy Roger who has the maturity level of his kid.
You can download Mad Men on iTunes.

Penny Dreadful: I was beginning to think the second episode was going to enter into a sophomore episode slump after a fairly uneventful first half of the episode (consumption sex notwithstanding). But things really picked up in the second half. The séance scene was more disturbing than anything on The Walking Dead while the first Frankenstein Monster reintroducing itself to his father was just as creepy. Still the second episode felt more like an extension of the Pilot where we are introduced to two or three main characters. Now that we have met all the players, hopefully the show starts to pick up next week.

The Voice: I checked into the finale for a couple minutes and quickly realized that I wisely checked out somewhere between the first and second Battle Rounds. Somehow they found singers more boring and bland than last season’s final three in Christina and Jake. At least Josh won, though I not sure if he could have even sniffed the semi-finals in the first four seasons. This is usually where I make a long list of ways to fix the show, but I have only one right now: find better talent. I thought season four was pretty weak talent wise compared to the first three and the last two have gotten significantly worse talent wise. It is time to bring in more ringers. And good ones, not silly YouTube “superstars,” ones with actual talent and entertainment value.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Survivor: Cagayan: Sometime I just have to scratch my head at how some people vote. After three jury members attacked Tony for lying after swearing on his badge, wife and kid, and even his death father’s grave, I actually though Woo had a chance of winning, yet all three of those players ended up voting for Tony. I do not mind lying and cheating to advance in the game, but who gives a million dollars to someone who reigns on the memory of their dead father? What’s worse is that Tony did not even gain anything from voting for Trish. Ugg, so after such a promising premise, Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn, this season ended up being in the bottom five of the series.

Undoubtedly there will be an all-star edition of the format in the near future (they are already recycling Blood vs. Water), so here is my suggestion for the cast. I did fill the Beauty tribe with all hot chicks because I do not think anyone wants to know my thoughts on the subject. Plus, let’s be honest, the idea of a “beauty” tribe is that the members use their looks to advance and guys just do not do that. Look at this past season, two of the male beauties looked like they could have very well been on the Brawn tribe.

Ciera Eastin (Blood vs. Water)
Kim Spradlin (One World)
Sophie Clarke (South Pacific)
Rob Cesternino (Amazon)
Stephen Fishbach (Tocantins)
Todd Herzog (China)

Parviti Shallow (Cooke Island)
Andrea Boehlke (Redemption Island)
Morgan McLeod (Cagayan)
Natalie Tenerelli (Redemption Island)
Chelsea Meissner (One World)
Mikayla Wingle (Phillippines)

Kat Edorsson (One World)
Cliff Robinson (Cagayan)
Jeff Kent (Philippines)
James Clement (Blood vs. Water)
Stephenie LaGrossa (Palau)
Abi-Maria Gomes (Philippines)

You can stream recent episodes on You can also download Survivor: Cagayan on iTunes.

The Americans: With teaser at the end of the first season finale it seemed obvious that Paige would learn of her parents other lives sometime this season. And with Larrick hot on their trail, it seemed likely that he would kidnap and she would learn that way. Oops, got that totally wrong. It turns out it was the other kid who learned of his parents extracurricular activities. And then killed his parents. Alrighty, that was a bit rushed. But it did set up would could be a fascinating third season where Paige has to find out about her parents… right?
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

The Challenge: Free Agents: I have to grown whenever a new cast is announce and Johnny Bananas is once again a part of the season. And I have done a lot of growing because this is his tenth Challenge (he, along with C.T. and Anessa have tied Paula for the most appearance; and since I was on the Wikipeia page, I was flabbergasted to see Cara Maria just tied Sarah for most consecutive Challenges ever with seven, who keeps asking her back). So it says a lot that for the first time ever I was actually rooting for Bananas in an elimination round. That shows you juts how much of a douche Jordan is. And really there are very few things more entertaining than Jordan calling his shot against Bananas and then lose. And not just lose, but fail epically, falling of the wall. Good riddance Jordan, here is hoping you do not reach Johnny’s record.
You can download The Challenge: Free Agents on iTunes.

Hannibal: Well, frack, that is how you do a season finale. It may take me a couple days to fully compute what just happened.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Hannibal on iTunes.