Friday, October 09, 2015

Around the Tubes: 10/9/15

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 StarTalk, Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration, Fargo, Brain Surgery Live with Mental Floss, Breakthrough Prize, I Love Kellie Pickler, Hulu, House of Lies.

- The second season of National Geographic Channel’s Emmy®-nominated series StarTalk hosted by Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (, #StarTalkTV) will premiere Sunday, Oct. 25, at 11:00. President Bill Clinton will be the first guest of the new season, and additional guests include Susan Sarandon, Seth MacFarlane, David Byrne, Larry Wilmore, Bas Lansdorp, Penn and Teller, David Crosby, Brian Cox and Gina McCarthy.

- Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration, airing Tuesday, October 13, at 8:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, honors the influential TV icon by looking at her 50-plus-year career that spanned award-wining films and Broadway shows, as well as two beloved television series that broke ground and continue to entertain viewers. The show also features recent interviews with many of Mary’s co-stars including Dick Van Dyke, Betty White, Valerie Harper, Ed Asner and Carl Reiner, who fondly and emotionally recall Moore’s career accomplishments and the role her television characters played in shaping today’s society.

- FXM will air the Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning first installment of FX’s limited series Fargo on October 11, the day before the premiere of the highly-anticipated second installment. The Fargo marathon will air all 10 episodes in sequence beginning at 2 PM and feature a commercial-free exhibition of the first episode, The Crocodile’s Dilemma.

- National Geographic Channel (NGC; @NatGeoChannel), in a partnership with Mental Floss (@mental_floss), will capture the drama of an awake deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery, a modern-day medical marvel, to celebrate our most complex machine, the human brain. Produced by Leftfield Pictures, Brain Surgery Live with Mental Floss (#BrainSurgeryLive) will blend live coverage from the operating room at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center (@UHhospitals) in Cleveland, Ohio — a first on U.S. television — with preproduced features that chronicle what science and medicine have historically taught us about the brain, and what is yet to be discovered. The live two-hour special premieres in the U.S. Sunday, Oct. 25, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on NGC and Nat Geo Mundo, and globally in 171 countries and 45 languages (live in some regions, live to tape in others).

- National Geographic Channel and FOX will honor today’s most prominent scientists and mathematicians by airing the Breakthrough Prize ceremony, which will be broadcast live in the U.S. on National Geographic Channel Sunday, Nov. 8, at 10/9c, with a one-hour version of the ceremony scheduled for FOX on Sunday, Nov. 29, at 7-8 p.m. ET/PT.

- CMT today announced the updated premiere for the highly anticipated docu-comedy I Love Kellie Pickler, starring Kellie Pickler and her husband, Kyle Jacobs, on Thursday, November 5 at 10:00.

- Hulu and Viacom today announced a renewal and expansion of their content partnership that grants Hulu the exclusive subscription video on-demand rights to selected top-rated series from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV. The deal continues their existing relationship under which full episodes of late night shows including The Daily Show with Trevor Noah are available to stream on Hulu the day after airing on linear broadcast, and current seasons of selected shows from Viacom’s media networks remain available to stream on delay after airing on linear broadcast. All Viacom series will be available to stream on Hulu with a subscription for $7.99 per month with limited commercials and $11.99 per month with no commercials.

- Emmy Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes (Alpha House, The New Adventures of Old Christine) has signed on to guest star on the fifth season of the hit SHOWTIME comedy series House of Lies. In addition, three-time Emmy Award nominee Ken Marino (Children’s Hospital, Marry Me) and Nicky Whelan (Matador, Franklin & Bash) will also guest star. Marino will reunite with his Veronica Mars co-star Kristen Bell playing her love interest “Mark.” Production on the new season starts this month for premiere on Showtime in 2016 on-air, on demand and over the internet.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 10/4/15

Once Upon a Time: Seriously, who brings a baby into a twister bound restaurant to another land? But anyway. I kind of liked the ending even though it probably means for the first part of the season we will probably get split story lines from present day and six months ago.

Ray Donovan: So the pop Armenian singer did not work? Maybe I should have guessed that you should not trust Armenian gangsters to keep their word. I was a bit surprised that the FBI guy did not come back at all, Ray did shoot and left him by the side of the road. Maybe next season. Instead we had to spend too much time with Bridget and her teacher who, yes, crossed the proverbial line, but did not do so with two feet. But they did go back to the priest whose storyline was dropped halfway through the season, but no Arayians who were dropped around the same time. But I am guessing Ray going back to the Lord will not last by the time season four comes around.

Fear the Walking Dead: Wait, are the two step siblings going to hook up. That is kind of ew. And why trash the house, just live there? It is much nicer than the one you are living in and the owners are not coming back. And why do I care more about some silly throwaway scene more than the revelation that they are going to "humanely" kill off the civilian population.

Masters of Sex: Oh wow, Bill gave up on Virginia. So does that mean the Little Brown Man (when Betty first said this I was like "oh my" as I did not know that Little Brown was a publishing house) goes nuclear at the press party telling the press about Bill's legal trouble? It it plausible with how the show does time jumps that Bill could spend some time in prison (like the last two summers I am going to stay away from the spoiler zone that is his Wikipedia page). Then there are the questions of the state of his marriage, whether Virginia marries the scent king, and Bill's legal troubles. It actually may be harder not to look at spoilers this time around.

The Strain: I would not all be disappointed if the show devolved into the Gus and Angel show. It would be better than bring back the rat that sits on Eph's head. And it was a different wig to. I wonder if Corey Stoll burned the anime looking original wig and when it came time for the flashback the costume department just had to grab a random one off the rack. I joked earlier this season that they were not going to kill someone off right after including an opening credits sequence (which aired just that one time randomly) but someone has to die next week, right? With everyone descending on the Luman it is hard to think all the players get out alive. Sadly I think it may be the Nazi Vampire (who would have guessed three years ago I would be sad someone killed a Nazi vampire?).
You can download The Strain on iTunes.

Quantico: When I saw the previews I wrote that best case scenario it was going to be Homeland season four; worst case scenario: Homeland season three. After one episode it looks much more like season three. Actually it may be worse, it may be more like some crappy Shonda Rhimes show where absurdly attractive professionals have sex with each other in between twists upon twists even if those twists are extremely obvious or make little to no sense. Really the only twist I liked from the premiere (even though it fell into the makes no sense category) was the Muslim twins. I also do not like the storytelling devise of flashing back to the first days of Quantico mixed with a blown up building. Why not tell a linear story of the first days of the FBI and then blow up the building in the season or mid-season final? But I will continue to watch. And let me go ahead and predict the FBI trainer guy is the one setting up the hot Indian chick. Either him or "Taylor Swift" because it will either be the most obvious or one that makes little to no sense.
You can download Quantico on iTunes.

Gotham: So the big new from the show this week was that Jim Gordon and Leslie Thompkins are having a kid. Well not on the show but the actors are in real life. Alright. I wonder if that will be written into the show or she will be hiding behind medical tables soon or maybe she will be kidnapped in the second half of the season. As for the actual show, so a bunch of cheerleaders are about to be set on fire but no one thought to go out the fire door?
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

The Voice: The first couple seasons were mostly enjoyable, I made it through the whole season for the first and third seasons (I have to skip the disastrous second season finale). Since then I usually am out sometime around the time the show goes live. I usually fault this on the lack of good singers because in those first three seasons the openly recruited seasoned professionals but since has been more of American Idol type show with mostly armatures (seriously who are there some many teenagers with braces this season?). In the first three seasons there were about twelve different singers on the show who were already in my music library before they auditioned by since that number is one (and she was montaged off the show).

Then this week I was kind of bored again with the same old mediocre teenagers doing boring and bland karaoke versions of songs. And then they introduced another rocker nanny, which we have seen a few times on the show (remember the good old days when Alicia Keys backup singers were the cliche; have we run out of Alicia Keys back up singers?). But then rocker nanny mentioned she used to be in a band called Sleeper Agent. Wait, what? Not only were they in my music library, their song Get Burned was #22 on my list of The 100 Best Songs of 2012. Okay so her Blind Audition was not great, but if she makes it around to the Knockout Round maybe they will actually let her perform Get Burned.

Last week I mentioned how the Blind Auditions bring out some awesome song selections (before devolving into the same overused catalog in the Battle that get more tired the closer to the finale) and this we got first ever songs on the show from Cheap Trick, Mountain, Cameo, Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness, oh yeah, and someone auditioned with the Rollergirl theme song. That was definitely the most random song choice since someone sang The Jeffersons Theme Song.

Blindspot: Well that is and interesting plot that Lady Sif may be someone from the FBI's past (whom his father was accused of kidnapping and murdering). I do fear this may play out like The Blacklist where there was overwhelming evidence that Red is Lizzie's father only for Red to deny it for two seasons. I am guessing the DNA match will come up negative next week but still tease that that is what happen. The show would be much interesting if it turns out FBI guy's dad did actually kidnap Lady Sif and was the one who trained her.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes..

Castle: Wait, what just happened, is Kate leaving the show or are we getting two separate story lines every week, case of the week and Kate looking for the real killers? I mentioned last week offhandedly I would not mind if the show switched into a Veronica Mars, father daughter PI dynamic with Castle and Alexis but I did not actually think it might happen.
You can download Castle.

Marvel's Agents of S.I.E.L.D.: So over their summer vacation Fitz went from brain damaged to Indiana Jones. Alrighty. While I have spent all summer trying to figure out what happened to Gemma and a black hole portal that bends space and time never once crossed my mind. Hopefully the end of this storyline is not as bad as the ending to Intersteller. But anyway. I am not that familiar with Marvel comics so I am not entirely sure where she is and even though cinematic characters rarely show up, I will be slightly disappointed if we do not see one of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Hey, Bradly Cooper has shown willingness to show up on crappy televised versions of his movies. I would even be content with the cosmonaut dog or even Howard the Duck.I was interested in the clock counting down until the Inhumans reach one hundred percent but there are no Marvel movies coming out February 2017 (assuming my math is right) but the next movie after that is the second Guardians movie, not that Gemma will still be around by then (unless this is like the Intersteller water planet where hour equaled like five Earth years). Plus we are still four years away from an Inhumans movie. Speaking of which, the new big bad is effectively scary in a Buffy monster of the week kind of way.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Survivor: Second Chances: After thirty season, Survivor has become a well oiled machine that I can recognize every beat that it hits. But that last segment was a weird one. When Varner teased before the break that Shirin and Spencer sealed their fate, I have been conditioned to think either 1) his plan will go horribly wrong or 2) the show will may think think someone is going to flip but ended up towing the line. So when Abi Maria actually told Shirin she was probably going home I though, uh oh, you never tell someone that, now those two will scramble to get someone out. So when they talked to Wooooooooooooo I thought we would get Wooooooooooo saying that maybe he should weigh his option, but no, he shut them down right then. So when they walked to Tribal Council I thought, okay, Abi is going to go full crazy Brazilian chick and get people to turn on them. But no. The dominate alliance did not even mess up splitting the vote. So not only is the show playing with the contestants this season (two twists in the premiere and the promos spoiling another big one next week) they are playing with the viewer's expectations too. And I kind of like it.
You can download Survivor: Second Chance on iTunes.

Nashville: I wonder why they did not kill Deacon's sister last week but I guess they just waited a week.
You can download Nashville on iTunes.

The Blacklist: This show really needed a previously on package. It is hard enough for me to remember last week let along what happen three or four months ago. But, oh my, blonde Lizzy.
The Blacklist on iTunes.