Saturday, December 19, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 12/20/15

The Librarians: You would think it would get old quick, but Groundhog Day type episodes are always a high point of any series that can pull it off. Though I thought the episode turning out to being a video game instead did not add much to the story and actually drug the episode down after that reveal.
You can download The Librarians on iTunes.

Homeland: I am not sure who was more dumb this episode, whoever left the cell phone dude alone in a room with a window to jump out of, Allison's escort who gave someone suggested of treason his firearm, or Saul, who after left the room long enough for the terror suspect to jump out a window, to leave Allison alone in the operating room. Sadly I believe there are people in our intelligence agencies to do stupid stuff like this. So now we are down to one episode left, does Carrie get to the bomb in time (okay this is an easy answer, they are not going to blow up the star unless someone gives her the antidote that they gave Quinn) and does Saul find Allison before she make it to Russian soil?

The Affair: Bombshell in the courtroom, hedge fund douchebag says under oath that Noah was washing off blood in his driveway. I doubt someone that rich would lie under oath over bad feelings that happened this week. That is not to say Noah killed Scotty, it could have very well have been Allison and Noah cleaning up the mess. Or a silly red herring and Noah hit a deer even though there is no reason to clean deer blood off your car in the middle of the night. Then Cole became officially engaged this week, does that mean we will actually see the wedding next week? I wonder if they will stick to the two act structure or split it up like the hurricane episode. I kind of hope they devote the whole episode, or the very least one act, to Scotty's point of view to see what he has been up to all season. The hinted twice this season that he is the real father of Allison's kid, it would be weird if we do not actually see that affair consummated.

Quantico: Weren't we promised the identity of the bomber this episode? All we got was the gay dude admitting he was blackmailed into helping and some reveal about the FBI's head's son almost blowing himself up earlier in life, but that certainly is no smoking gun. But at least the episode gave me a good laugh at the thought of Ben Carson being at a New Years Eve party thrown by a sitting Democratic Senator. Still not even in the top ten least believable thing the show has done this season.
You can download Quantico on iTunes.

Supergirl: A hacking scandal on Supergirl... well that was kind of awkward. But anyway. After the great reveal of Martian Manhunter last week, the midseason finale was a big letdown. What a horrible ending. I thought after Supergirl and Non went after each other I thought we would get a resolution after a commercial break, except after the break there was a promo for NCIS, not even one for Supergirl or even a "Supergirl returns with new episodes..." tag. But I guess the only big new of the winter finale was Cat finally figuring out her assistant was Supergirl. Sure how she came to the realization (no way a human could have heard that conversation!) was silly and she still needed Kara to take off her glasses for confiermation, but silly is what the show does best.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Survivor: Second Chances: We had our very first no vote ever in the history of Survivor!!! Still, even after Probst explained the rules via a telestrator during the commercial break, I am still a little confused with what happened. And once again we has someone overplaying their hand, Kimmi just spent way too much time with Kelley and Keith. Still another great moment in what you have to put into the discussion of greatest ever. Unfortunately that was the last great moment of the season as the last two Tribals went as expected and Jeremy won in a blowout. Shame Kelley did not win that last Tribal because I would have liked to see that vote. It is a shame Probst did not do his usual, let's revote to see if you made the wrong decision because I wold like to see if Kelley had a chance. You would think Abi Maria, Cierra, and Kass would likely vote for her, maybe Keith, Kimmi, and Spencer (though I think his I will do whatever it takes for Kelley to win was just a ploy to get Jeremy to take him to the finale).

Speaking of Spencer I did find it interesting he did say he stopped watching because he kept second guessing himself as to if he should have taken out Jeremy. Of course, not taking out Jeremy / Tasha instead of sending Abi Maria to the jury was stupid. Going up against Abi Maria and Keith would have been a slam dunk. Oh well, on to the next one with a return of Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty. Awesome. I loved this concept unfortunately the first time they did it was one of the worst cast season's in the history of Survivor. Hopefully they did a better time next time around even though the promo looks like half the cast get pulled from the game due to injury. But I am a little more excited for next fall, is it too soon for Survivor: Third Chances? You have everyone in the cast is available sans Jeremy. Then the only way to make the Witches Coven better would be to add Kat (or their first male member Phillip). You can also reunite original castmates Gervase, Sue, and Kelly (but she can only return if she promises not to pull out that stupid pick a number way of voting), from the second season, Kimmi and Alicia can go head to head again (maybe Survivor can rip off The Challenge and have a Rivals season) one of my personal favorites Andrea, Erik the Ice Cream scoopper deserves a third chance after being pulled from the game last time, and who would not want to see Francesca get booted first for the third time?
You can download Survivor: Second Chance on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines: Since I wanted to finish all the Winter Finales (ugg) of all the fall shows before starting something new, I was did not start the new season until this week but it was worth the wait. It is so nice to have drunk Nany and crazy Camilla back in my life. The show continued its trading ideas with Survivor and stole its Blood vs. Water concept for Bloodline. But at least The Challenge is actual blood, no wives or boyfriends. Okay there is one adopted dude and I am a bid suspicious of some "cousins" while Camilla's sister lacks a Brazilian accent like Camilla and Abi Maria. The season started out strong with a deceptively great challenge with the mud hill. First it is always great to incorporate mud into a challenge, with the running water going into the dirt it made it harder to go up the hill, and of course anything physical where you have to fight for a spot is always great.

Unfortunately with all the great personalities, just in the first three episodes you had Nany and Camilla going H.A.M. as you would expect, and two bothers getting into a fight while two cousin hurled the worst insults on the show since Frank brought up gay porn and Nany's drug addled sister (how was she not here) the show is ruining this season will a really poor format. They start off putting co-ed teams in a severe disadvantage meaning they could be eligible for both male and female elimination week. Compounding this Jill goes into elimination despite eating more bugs than Jenna's cousin and Aneesa just because her cousin is a dude on a male elimination week.

And the new teams this week may not be much better. It is silly to have a bloodline go home just because their relative lost a challenge. Why change that format at all? They should have just kept the two person teams and had no co-ed (or all co-ed) teams. Or just go full Survivor and anyone can be up for elimination. Way to be stuck in the 20th century MTV by still separating the genders. I was also going to make fun of Cara Maria for managing to build a horrible team, but she actually won that first challenge and may lose her weakest teammate in the first team elimination. And if Tony goes home for turning the color of The Grinch just in time for Christmas and she can replace him with CT who we know is showing up sometime this season, she just may end up going from an embarrassingly bad team to a pretty strong one.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines on iTunes.

Childhood's End: I kind of like Syfy's annual pre-Christmas miniseries event, just as everything goes on hiatus, here is something to watch during the holidays. I still have the last two hours to go, but this one is at the very least better than last year's attempt whose name I already forgot.
You can download Childhood's End on iTunes.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Around the Tubes: 12/18/15

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 The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, After Hours, The Breaks, The Wonder Years, Paris Terror Attack: Charlie Hebdo, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party, Million Dollar American Princesses, East Los High, and TNT pick ups and renewals.

- Today, Showtime has greenlit a groundbreaking new political series The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, produced in cooperation with Bloomberg Politics and featuring Bloomberg Politics managing editors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (co-authors of the New York Times best-sellers Game Change and Double Down, and co-hosts of the nightly political show "With All Due Respect" on Bloomberg Television) and noted campaign strategist and media advisor Mark McKinnon. The real-time documentary series will pull back the curtain on the 2016 presidential race, revealing the intense, irreverent, inspiring and infuriating stories behind the headlines of what promises to be one of the most fascinating and consequential elections in modern history. Premiering in January 2016, in advance of the Iowa caucuses, The Circus will deliver the stories as they are happening and examine what really goes on behind the carefully constructed facade of a presidential campaign in real time. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President, Showtime Networks Inc. The Circus will follow multiple individual stories and key characters from the campaigns and capture their unique perspectives in weekly half-hour shows between January and November. With intimate, behind-the-scenes access, cameras will offer viewers a look at what the public rarely sees and explore the high human drama inherent in the pursuit of the Oval Office.

- The big day is almost upon us, the new Star Wars movie will finally hit theaters on Friday – which means we have ahead of us five glorious days of the best Star Wars content the internet can produce. The creative team at are starting the week off strong with a special themed episode of their Webby Award winning series After Hours, “Why the Jedi Are the Galaxy’s Biggest Idiots.” As always with After Hours, the hosts take something from pop culture they love and have a dynamic and hilarious conversation that re-contextualizes everything. In the new episode, the After Hours gang explains why the Jedi are actually terrible at their jobs. The After Hours “Star Wars” episode can be found at here.

- VH1’s new scripted movie The Breaks chronicles three friends (Mack Wilds, Afton Williamson and David Call) united by their love of hip-hop, as they work to make their big mark in the music industry. Premiering on Monday, January 4th, 2016, “The Breaks” takes viewers back to the summer of 1990 in New York City where the music industry’s artists and hustlers intersect in the dance clubs and the street corners of the city. They discover lives can be broken as fast as legends can be born. VH1’s “The Breaks,” is based on journalist Dan Charnas’ book “The Big Payback,” a narrative history of the hip-hop business. “The Breaks” cast is led by Afton Williamson (Banshee, Pariah, Man on a Ledge) and reunites “The Wire” favorites Wood Harris (Remember The Titans, Paid in Full) and Mack Wilds (90210) along with writer, director and executive producer Seith Mann (The Wire, The Walking Dead and Homeland). Newcomers David Call (Gossip Girl) along with Antoine Harris (HBO’s series Ballers and Starz’s Power), Evan Handler (Californication, Sex & The City), Russell Hornsby (Grimm, Lincoln Heights) and rapper Method Man round out the cast. “The Breaks” is scored and executive music produced by DJ Premier. “The Breaks” First Look

- For six Emmy Award®-winning seasons, The Wonder Years on ABC captured the angst of growing up in suburban middle-class America in the late '60s, as seen through the life and times of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage). Audiences eagerly followed his evolution as a typical awkward teenager who remembered every moment of his transition from childhood with excruciating detail and remarkable hindsight. Specially-Produced Bonus Features and More Than Three Dozen Songs as Featured in the Original Broadcast, Including Classics from Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys, The Who, Hank Williams and Many Others! Street Date: January 12, 2015.

- On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, ten months before the brutal terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, two radicalized Islamist brothers, Said and Chérif Kouachi, burst into the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where the publication’s weekly editorial meeting was drawing to a close. The brothers murdered a total of 11 people at the offices: cartoonists, journalists, a bodyguard and a janitor. They then murdered a 12th – a Muslim police officer – in the chase that followed. One year after the attack, Paris Terror Attack: Charlie Hebdo, premieres on Monday, January 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel. It follows, hour by hour, the event that foreshadowed the worst terrorist attack in France in over 50 years.

- Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party, the critically acclaimed new film from writer/director Stephen Cone (The Wise Kids), will open in New York at the IFP's Made in NY Media Center on January 8th, before expanding to additional markets and VOD platforms. The film focuses on a young boy coming to terms with his sexuality during his emotionally charged birthday party. Marking his feature film debut, Cole Doman plays Henry; Henry is turning 17, and Henry might be gay. But he’s not telling his pastor father (Pat Healy, Cheap Thrills, Compliance)—not during his pool party, where school and church collide in a sunny, hormonal afternoon. This funny, heartbreakingly honest portrait from Stephen Cone finds a home between devout faith and burgeoning sexuality. Trailer

- Oscar®, Golden Globe® and Emmy® nominee Elizabeth McGovern returns to host the second season of Smithsonian Channel’s Million Dollar American Princesses, the acclaimed series whose first season chronicled the fascinating in-depth stories of real-life American heiresses who inspired the TV drama Downton Abbey. Premiering on Sunday, January 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, the new season picks up the story in a tumultuous era in which women’s lives and expectations are completely transformed.

- TNT has added two new original dramas to its 2016 slate. Good Behavior, starring Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and Argentine-Spanish actor Juan Diego Botto (1492: Conquest of Paradise, El Greco) in an adaptation of the Letty Dobesh novels by Wayward Pines author Blake Crouch. Also getting the greenlight is Animal Kingdom, starring Emmy® and Tony® winner Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love, This Boy's Life, Oceans 13) as the matriarch of a Southern California family whose excessive lifestyle is fueled by their criminal activities, with Scott Speedman (The Strangers, The Vow) as her second in command. Shawn Hatosy (Southland, Reckless), Ben Robson (Vikings, Dracula: The Dark Prince), Jake Weary (Pretty Little Liars, It Follows), Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders, An Inspector Calls), Daniella Alonso (Revolution) and Molly Gordon (Love the Coopers, Ithaca) also star.

- This week it was announced Hulu Original East Los High has been picked up for a fourth season.

- TNT has renewed the hit fantasy-adventure The Librarians and the gripping crime dramas Major Crimes and Murder in the First. The Librarians is in the midst of its second season, airing Sundays at 8:00, with the season finale set for Dec. 27. Major Crimes is currently airing Monday nights at 9:00 through Dec. 21 and will return with more episodes to round out its fourth season in February 2016. Murder in the First completed it second dynamic season this past summer. TNT has ordered 10 episodes for the third season of The Librarians, which is set to air in fall 2016; 13 episodes for the fifth season of Major Crimes, scheduled to begin in summer 2016; and 10 episodes for the third season of Murder in the First, also slated for summer.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 12/13/15

Once Upon a Time: Oh my goodness, they actually killed Hook! His puppy dog love affair with Emma may be at the top of the list of why this show has sucked for a couple seasons now. They even killed Neil, a much more interesting character, just to make it easier for Hook and Swan to get together. Oh wait after the commercial break Emma made her plan known of going to the Underworld to bring him back by giving him half her heart. What!?! This show is so stupid, just cancel it now and replace it with Galavant full time. And the promo make it look like the Underworld is not the one from Hercules but just Storybrooke with a filter on the camera. Ugg.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Homeland: I found Allison's excuse last week a little flimsy, but saying she ran it past the dearly departed David Estes makes it a little more plausible. But still, Estes not even telling his supervisor at the time is a little thin. But this week's hunt for Quinn was not excited as last week's episode because it seemed pretty obvious that Carrie would end up finding him. And it was pretty convenient that she found the terrorist nest after everyone left.

The Affair: We have not seen too many overlapping scenes this season but it was kind of odd how different this one was this week where both Allison and Noah thought they had made dinner the other missed. Also an interesting choice to basically have the first act be a bottle episode with Noah in the therapist office. Granted the part I spent the most time focusing on was Noah talking about seeing Captain America. I have spent most of this season when the future segments happened but now I am beginning to wonder when the main timeline is happening. Is the main timeline happening in the past? If so was Noah talking about the first one, which was released in 2011, the sequel, which came out last year? Would this mean the future on the show is present day? Or maybe the current timeline is in the future, they jumped about a year this episode, and he is talking about next year's Captain America movie. Now I am going to start obsessing about every little thing trying to figure out when the show is taking place.

Quantico: So Asher came up with the plan to plant the bomb at Grand Central Station but never intended to implement it and someone else found that plan and used it. Alrighty. Well if the promo monkeys are to be believed we will learn who actually did it during the winter finale (ugg). I predicted Shelby did it back when the show premiered but now I am leaning toward Jacob from Lost. Which would be a cop out because they billed the show as Alex got sold out by some in her class.
You can download Quantico on iTunes.

Supergirl: Oh you sneaky writers. With a character named Hank Henshaw you had to think he was going to be Cyborg Superman behind those red eye. But it turns out the real Hank is dead and Martian Manhunter took over his identity (on a side note, I would be a little worried if I were that actor learning my character died prior to the show and the guy I am playing is a shape shifter who presumably take another form next season; but then again, the real Hank is probably off turning himself into a Cyborg and may play two characters next season). Of course his over the top anti-alien rhetoric was a bit much in the premiere make a little less sense now. And though we the viewers know Martian Manhunter is a good guy, Kara's sister should probably be very skeptical of him, maybe more so now. And is it safe to assume the one other person who knows his true identity is Superman? And does that mean we are going to get a version of the Justice League at some point. Granted if there is a team up there probably will not be anyone of the charter members because DC will want to keep them off the small screen. The show really could not do a variant of Teen Titans because TNT is developing that property. So with the properties the show will have available to them, the Justice League may just be Supergirl, Martian Manhunter, a reprogrammed Red Tornado, The Wonder Twins, Plastic Man, and Apache Chief.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Voice: All I wanted was either Amy Vachal or Madi Davis in the finals. I am not greedy, just one of them, I did not need both in. But do you know who is greedy, bored housewives and country fans who had to fill the finale with boring white dude balladeers and country singer, and of course one country singing boring white dude. A lot of people complained about the massive cut from nine to three with one Twitter Save, but it did work. I watched the semi-finals for the first time since season three because Amy and Madi made it that far. Had they done the double elimination like previous season, they may have both been gone before we lost one country singer.

But the producers should know there is a better way to keep viewers from bailing than string fans around fora month only to break everyone heart who is not a country fan or bored housewife in one fell swoop and they can do it in one of two ways. The first is something I doubt they would ever do because they clearly give these coaches complete free will no matter how dumb their decisions are, but they should sit down the coaches and tell them they are setting a hard quota to make sure the top 12 is a diverse group of different musical styles and for goodness sake Blake, no more all country teams again.

But since they will never tell the coaches what to do despite the coaches having multi-millions of reasons to do what they are told to do, the other fix is really easy. Change how we can vote. Right now you can vote for as many people as you want ten time, so if out are a country fan, you are probably just going to vote for all four country singers. And then you have cases like Braiden Sunshine who is no one's favorite but is enough people's fourth or fifth favorite to make it to the semi-finals. That has to stop, they need to change the rule so each round you have ten votes total. Put all ten on your favorites or divide them among your two to five favorites. Of course instead of doing this, the show will probably just switch the schedule next season to just eliminate one per week again but will end with an eight person finale.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Oh my goodness, they actually killed Ward! It came a season too late but they finally did it. Oh wait after the commercial break zombie Ward is standing in the street. What the frack!?! That is trice this week ABC killed someone just to be surprise, the character is sticking around! I guess we are to assume that is the Inhuman god thing that shape shifted into Ward. Pretty convenient to make it into a shape shifter all of the sudden. Why he was hanging out in the astronaut's bomb shelter was a little silly.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Survivor: Second Chances: Mostly a filler episode like these late season episodes tend to be until a really bad ending when Tasha co-opted Joe's let's vote out the person everyone want to sit next at the end pitch and somehow was able to get Jeremy, Kimmi and even Spencer on board. Well at least Abi Maria made the jury. But the most interesting part came in the credit when Probst saying something that has never happened in thirty-one season is going down in the season finale. Are we going to have our very first tie at Final Tribal? What exactly is the tie breaker for that? Building fire would be a silly way to determine who gets one million dollars.
You can download Survivor: Second Chance on iTunes.