Friday, March 11, 2016

Around the Tubes:3/11/16

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 Outdoor: Icons Revealed, Skin Wars, He Named Me Malala, Haven, Bob Hope: Entertaining the Troops, Home & Family, and Sheet Music Direct.

- Outside TV, America’s preeminent adventure television network, announces the newest installment of the hit show Outlook: Icons Revealed will premiere this Sunday March 13 at 8:00. The episode will take viewers behind the scenes with Foo Fighters drummer, Taylor Hawkins, as he talks about growing up in Laguna Beach, his love for mountain biking, and his affinity for surfing.

- GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, will premiere its third season of Skin Wars, hosted by actress Rebecca Romijn (X-Men), on Wednesday, April 20 at 10:00. Television’s first-ever body painting competition show and GSN’s most-watched original series ever, SKIN WARS seeks to find the most innovative body painter in America. In its third season, twelve contestants will compete in elaborate body painting challenges to avoid elimination and win the approval of judges, including legendary entertainer RuPaul Charles and body painting icons Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina.

- In a new agreement with National Geographic Channels, Hulu has acquired the exclusive streaming video on-demand rights to Academy Award® winner Davis Guggenheim’s feature documentary He Named Me Malala. Following its global television premiere on National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo MUNDO this week, the critically acclaimed feature documentary will make its SVOD debut exclusively on Hulu this summer.

- Haven: The Final Season (Street Date: April 19, 2016) presents hometown heroes Audrey, Nathan (Lucas Bryant), Duke (Eric Balfour) and Dwight (Adam Copeland), with challenges unlike any they've experienced before. Across 13 action-packed final episodes, the town of Haven has been cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious fog bank and is on its own. Through journeys into the past, the future, and the very fabric between worlds, events in Haven hurtle towards a cataclysmic showdown. Will the heroes be able to rid Haven of "the Troubles" forever, or will the town and its inhabitants continue to suffer the curse? Watch and see as tensions rise, allegiances shift and in a harrowing closing chapter, the mystery of "Croatoan" is finally revealed.

- On May 10, Time Life®, creator and direct marketer of unique music and home entertainment products, will deliver Bob Hope: Entertaining the Troops, a single DVD featuring three TV Christmas Specials: a rare, never-before-released 1951 special from The Korean War Era , along with shows from 1970 and 1971 - two of the most-watched shows in TV history! Featuring Hope's hilarious monologues and guest stars aplenty, these shows prove that laughter is truly the best medicine, regardless of the time zone or terrain.

Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point ball. Dale Earnhardt’s legendary pink race car. The American flag draped around goalie Jim Craig after the “Miracle on Ice.” All of those historic objects from indelible moments in sports are either lost or in dispute. Now, Smithsonian Channel debuts a unique six-hour docu-series, Sports Detectives, on Sunday, April 24 at 9:00, to try to hunt down the truth of what happened and find missing treasures behind some of the most iconic moments in American sports history.

- Hallmark Channel’s Daytime Emmy® nominated series Home & Family in partnership with DreamJobbing announces a nationwide talent search to find the next DIY star to join the on-air team. One lucky winner will be chosen to become a DIY expert on Home & Family for one week in mid-April, joining co-hosts Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare as the newest creative Family Member. They will create their own DIY projects for a national audience from the Home & Family set at Universal Studios, Hollywood. DreamJobbing is an online opportunity platform created to inspire people by giving them incredible opportunities and a chance to change their story – from once in a lifetime opportunities such as Wildlife Volunteer in Thailand, to full time positions such as Writer for Lance Bass Productions, LLC. Producers are looking for enthusiastic candidates with strong DIY ideas, the ability to show viewers step-by-step how they created their DIY projects, great on-camera presence and a fun personality. Video applications will be accepted from March 7–April 15, 2016. Submission details and additional information can be found at:

Sheet Music Direct, the world's leading digital sheet music website and destination, today released the worldwide production version of its Sheet Music Direct PlayAlong iPad app for amateur to professional musicians who want to learn, plan, record, share, and perform their favorite songs using the latest iOS technology. The App is available now on the iTunes App Store for FREE with an in-app store for optional song title purchases.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 3/9/16

Best Fake Smile - James Bay

I am not entirely sure James Bay is not just John Mayer changing his name in hopes people forget some of his hotter hot takes that put him in the public’s doghouse (somewhat unfairly; what he said was stupid, not a shunnable offence… but anyway). After a bunch of midtempo songs, this is his first upbeat single, and though catchy, cannot say it is very memorable.

LA Girlz – Weezer

A lot of Weezer’s output over the past decade has mostly been embarrassing but this song does kind of sound like their old self. Okay, and outtake or B-side, not an actual album cut or even a single. Unfortunately the music video is very chringeworthy.

Been To the Moon - Corinne Bailey Rae

The “moon” Corinne Bailey Rae goes to looks a lot like the planet Simmons went to on Agents of SHIELD. Well, without the blueish-grey filter.

Daughters – Lissie

While watching Survivor, it is sometimes easy to forget, that the lack of access to quality drinking water is a reality for large segments of the population. And it is still hard to put it in perspective because even though we know the contestants have to walk to watering hole, then boil the water, we do not see just how long that takes, and then we know that after a month they get to fly home where they can just turn on the faucet to get water (unless they live in a city like Flint or near where fracking takes place where the water is just as poisonous) But there are no plane rides home for those that live in Africa. Though it is hard to put into perspective the 40 billion miles women in Africa have to walk a year for water. I kind of wish Lissie would have done a per woman average to give us a better idea the struggle for water on that continent is.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Previewing Separation Anxiety

When I saw TBS was doing a game show called Separation Anxiety I thought maybe they were getting into the weird, kind of evil Japanese game shows you come across on the internet every once and a while. Thankfully (or disappointingly depending how you look at it), the show is more in the American vein where there is a catch but it is not that evil at all, just slightly misleading, but for the better.

See the show tells a pair of friends or significant others they are going on an internet game show for a chance to win $2500 but they really are going on a basic cable show where they can win ten times that. The name of the show comes from separating the two players, taking on player to the set of the cheap internet game show while the other gets ushered to a bigger studio to find out what the real show they are on.

The second player also learn that they will be the one’s selecting the categories for their still in the dark partners who think the first question will only net them $10, not $1000. Separation Anxiety comes off as a cheaper version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire as the questions get harder the more answers they get right, but if the miss a question, they get nothing. They can stop nd take the money at any time, but only the person that still thinks they are on an internet for chump change can stop (the other person if offered one to pull the plug but they will only get half the money they earned). But like Millionaire, there are two helps throughout the game, Crowd Source, where the host will ask five people in the crowd what they think the answer is, and Smart Phone where they can call their partner for help.

Also periodically through the game, there are Mind Meld mini games where the in the know contestant can bet on their partner on silly bets like one bro has to predict correctly if his buddy will talk to a ho model if left alone in a hall with her within thirty seconds. People who guess correctly will win a special prize that they can keep even if they end up losing the money.

A quiz show with only eight possible questions (of which an average of six got asked in the episodes I saw) is kind of small, but host of the real show Iliza Shlesinger (Last Comic Standing) keeps things lively especially when telling co-host Adam Ray (The Heat) what to do via an earpiece as he hosts the fake internet game show. It also helps when the contestants are game like the guy in the second episode who crows every time he locks in an answer. There is no roll over contestants like on Millionaire but the first couple questions are absurdly easy so no one should go out early especially with the two helps so no one should go out early.

Separation Anxiety airs Tuesdays at 10:00 on TBS.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Previewing Bates Motel: Season Four

Norma and Norman Bates

The shortened seasons you see on cable make them better because it is much easier to fill ten hours with quality content than it is to do twenty-two over the course of a year. Of course the big drawback is that the breaks are much longer. On the network shows you only have wait three months after a season finale for a new one where you can conceive and deliver a child in between the seasons of some cable show.

It does not help that the season premiere of Bates Motel does not start off with a “previously on” segment (at least the version I saw; maybe they will whip one up for the broadcast version) so it took me a while to remember what was going on. The season starts off with Romero lugging a dead body on a boat and it took me a while to realize, oh yeah, he killed Ted Chough, or maybe it was Norma and he cover it up, I vaguely remember Norma going to an evil country club last season.

Then there is Norman talking to himself in the middle of nowhere which made me remember he ran away at the end of last season and, oh Norman, why did you have to kill the hot chick? Except it was not him, sort of, because he now has this split personality where he becomes an even more overprotective version on his mother. Alrighty. But that split personality does add to the show and adds a level of paranoia (granted not as good as the way Mr. Robot handles mental illness) as something happens at the end of the season premiere and I have absolutely sure if what I saw happened or not. All of this comes to a head at the end of the second episode of the season, though no answers are given yet.

Bates Motel airs Mondays at 9:00 on A&E. You can also download Bates Motel on iTunes.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/6/16

The Oscars: I have not watched the Oscars since… well, the last time Chris Rock hosted, and again that is the only reason I turned in because I think Ex-Machina was the only nominated movie I saw last year (Straight Outta Compton sits unopened on my desk for the past month; and though I have not seen it, and I do not want to be the last person to go on a race inspired rant, but Ice Cube’s Jheri curl got robbed for Best Hair and Makeup). Okay, so I only watched the first half hour before flipping over to The Walking Dead (I did flip back during the commercials, but I was a bit underwhelmed by the monologue. Obviously Rock had to bring up the lack of diversity in the major categories, but did the topic really have to take up the entire monologue (and from what I heard, but of his bits after that)? Sure it was funny but how about actually talking about this year’s movies, even if I had not seen any? The only none-race joke I heard from the parts I heard from Rock was saying Carol was the third best girl on girl flick he saw last year. Oh well, these are the reasons why I skip the Oscars anyway. It was nice to see Brie Larson (Envy Adams!) win an award as I have supported her going all the way back to her cheesy Avril Lavinge knock-off days. Seriously, go to my list of The 100 Best Songs of 2005, and scroll down to #89.

The Walking Dead: So Abraham is going to die soon. If not those were some weird scenes with him, I am a little surprised he did not die this week. And again I show I would be too smart for the show because my first thought about the Hilltop community was, why don’t they just move in together? A lot of people died in that last zombie attack so there has to be open housing in Alexandra, the Hilltop need better protection than spears and Alexandra needs food. But of course that would be too obvious and neither trust each other anyway. Instead they are going to go kamikaze on some evil warlord camp.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Supergirl: Did they bring in Smallville’s Supergirl to make the current incarnation look like a much better actress in comparison? The Smallville version looks more the part, more than this version, but goodness she is not very good actor.
Supergirl on iTunes.

Gotham: B.D. Wong is having quite the evil moment right now. He looks to be part of some Illuminate-type group in Mr. Robot and now he shows up as Hugo Strange. But really, overall kind of a meh episode for a show returning from a big break. But then again I never really card much for Mr. Freeze.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

The Voice: Big changes on the show!!! Okay, they moved the family waiting room to the side of the stage. Has The Voice had to downsize? They did lose their big phone sponsor last season whereas the coaches’ salaries only grow every season. And come to think of it, I do not remember them mentioning their coffee sponsor either. Though watched on Hulu and every ad was promoting Jordan Smith and some unnamed credit card so they do have some money coming in. The bigger news was how lackluster the first week was I kind of like Caity Peters but I was really bored for the first four hour. But I did go back and six of my seven favorite Blind Auditions were not in the first week, so hopefully they are saving some gems for next week.

Blindspot: Maybe it is the election year and I am really tuned into government spending, but sending a team to a remote island in the Mediterranean because of tattoos does not seem like money well spent even if it did turn out to uncover a lost plane. But the more absurd part of the show was having the PC guy and his mustache being a high ranking official within the FBI. Granted President Trump may very well give the PC guy that position when he is elected.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

The Muppets: Jack White Jack White being the funniest part of the whole season probably sums up the season as a whole.
You can download The Muppets on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agent Carter: They made a really bad calculation in not having Howard Stark around full time because he is always good time, especially when he wrapped himself around Peggy to help her hold the hose. Bu overall this season just did not live up to last season because Whitney Frost just did not turn out to be much of an antagonist. Dottie was a much better foil last season.
You can download Marvel's Agent Carter on iTunes.

Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty: When the Brains lost, I thought great, Cat Lady is the obvious pick, she lost the challenge and she is annoying. Except when they got back to camp, no one brought up her name. Instead the broke down into three pairs, the “hot” pare targeted the ice cream dude for no reason, the “old” pair” wanted to get rid of Lizzie because she was a threat, and the “weird” pair wanted the doctor gone because he is pompous with the old pair getting their way. Boooo. Lizzie was easily my favorite this season and with her gone I am just now realizing just how unlikeable this cast is. Aside from the annoying cat lady and the pompous doctor, the two Brawn dudes left are douchebags, the gay Asian is also annoying, and I would probably also find Blondie annoying if I did not feel bad for her being stuck with the two douchbags kind of like Shirin two seasons ago. And that is three poorly casts of new contestants in a row if you throw in the first Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty which had three of maybe the ten most unlikeable people in the history of the show in Tony, Kass, and Trish. It may be time to find a new casting agent. Really the only people worth rooting for this season are the hot chick alliance which will probably get eliminated as soon as the tribe swap happens.

Oh yeah, and we got a big twist this season in the Super Idol! Now anyone who has two Idols in their pocket can play that AFTER the votes had been read. Seems reasonable because if you have multiple Idols that should help you more. But how often has that ever happened, in twenty two seasons that they have had Hidden Immunity Idols, I only remember three times that it has happened: James (who got booted with both in his pocket and really needed that new twist), Parviti (who pulled out the greatest move in Survivor history), and Malcolm (who pulled off the worst as his douchebag alliance went home in consecutive weeks after that). Then my buddy Doug pointed out that both Tony and Jeremy have done it more recently. Still that is about once every four seasons average. It will be interesting if this twist will cause more people share Idols instead of keeping them to themselves like most people have done in recent season, or if it will never even be utilized.
You can download Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty II on iTunes.