Friday, June 03, 2016

Around the Tubes: 6/3/16

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 Purity, The Look of Silence, Masters of Sex, Shameless, The Affair, Homeland, Mind of a Giant, and White Famous.

- Showtime announced the pick-up of the new limited series Purity, based on the novel of the same name from best-selling author Jonathan Franzen, and starring and executive produced by internationally-acclaimed actor Daniel Craig. Todd Field (Little Children, In the Bedroom) will write, direct and executive produce, along with executive producers Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, David Hare and Jonathan Franzen. Hare and Franzen will also serve as writers on the series. Field will direct every episode. Purity will be a 20-episode limited series set to air over the course of two years on Showtime. Production will begin in 2017.

- Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar®-nominated The Look of Silence is the incredible story of a man confronting his brother’s killers and demanding they accept responsibility for their crimes. Adi, an optometrist who survived the 1965 Indonesian genocide, takes this unimaginable step in a society where murderers remain in power. To break the spell of submission and terror, he forces them, and us, to reckon with his country’s dark history. A companion piece to Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, also an Oscar® nominee, The Look of Silence has been hailed as a “masterpiece” by The New York Times for bearing witness to the collapse of 50 years of silence. Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Critics Prize and Human Rights Award, 2014 Venice Film Festival. Trailer.

- Showtimw announced its fall premiere schedule, with the critically-acclaimed drama series Masters of Sex returning for a fourth season on Sunday, September 11th at 10:00, and the seventh season of the network’s No. 1 comedy series Shameless premiering on Sunday, October 2nd at 9:00. Then, on November 20th at 10:00, the third season of the Golden Globe-winning hit drama series The Affair will make its debut. The three series will be available on Showtime on-air, on demand and over the internet. Also Homeland will shift from its regular slot in the fall to a winter premiere in January 2017. The series will return to the U.S. after spending the last two seasons shooting in South Africa and Berlin. Season six is set to begin production in New York starting in August.

- Across Africa, elephants are in crisis. Each day, 96 elephants fall victim to poachers, human-elephant conflict and habitat loss. In 2013, Paul G. Allen launched the Great Elephant Census, the first pan-African aerial survey of savanna elephants in more than 40 years. Soon after surveyors began their work, they observed something that truly surprised them. In the past 40 years, in the face of growing threats, elephants have changed where and how they live in their historic ecosystems. This incredible discovery, combined with the latest studies from the top elephant researchers in the world, revealed that elephants are learning to adapt and survive in ways we’ve never seen before. We join the experts in Africa to see their work firsthand in Mind of a Giant, premiering Sunday, June 19, at 9:00 on Nat Geo WILD.

- Showtime has given a pilot order to White Famous, a half-hour comedy executive produced by Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx and Tom Kapinos. White Famous will be written by Kapinos, based on an idea by Jamie Foxx, who will guest star in a recurring role. A co-production between Lionsgate Television and Showtime, the project will focus on a talented, young African-American comedian whose star is rising, forcing him to navigate the treacherous waters of maintaining his credibility as he begins to cross-over towards becoming “white famous.” White Famous marks a return to Showtime for Kapinos who created, wrote and executive produced seven seasons of the hit series Californication.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Previewing Angie Tribeca: Season Two

The cast of Angie Tribca is back

Networks are getting creative with how the roll out new shows these days but none were are bizarre as how TBS debuted Angie Tribeca with a twenty-five hour commercial free marathon and then if you missed it, you could watch all episode via On Demand or if you only watch shows on weekly televised schedules, the season re-aired Mondays. Oh, and before it aired, TBS renewed it for ten more seasons. Okay each season would last one episode so basically it was just like greenlighting a ten episode second season because dumb jokes is what the show does best.

Because of its unconventional rollout it is hard to tell if it was a success or not. The TBS PR department has spun it into one touting 65 million social media impressions and 32% of all binge a thon viewers being first time TBS viewers. We will see how many turn into regular viewers when Angie Tribeca has a more traditional second season. The second season starts Monday with new episodes weekly. Okay to ween you in, the first week there is back to back episodes.

The first season ended on a cliffhanger with a bomb strapped to J. Geils’ chest and Angie refusing to leave his side while it counted down to zero. We do learn the fate of the two cops early on before we flashfoward one year later. Despite the possible gme changing episode and the time jump, the show continues with it dumb fun vibe leave no joke unmade. There are actually a couple changes. Unfortunately the screaming guy coming out of the title sequence is no more (c’mon, South Park made it about ten seasons before running out of ways to kill Kenny, you cannot go more than one; but alas).

The bigger change is there is an actual overarching plotline that weaves throughout the season involving a plot to bring down the mayor that brings in the FBI in the form of Heather Graham (playing Diane Duran, natch) and a not so dead guest from the first season. But there still are plenty of silly case of the week plots including a sushi chef murder which features a creative use of sub-titles, an spin on the ever increasing number of drug advertisements, and a dead boy bander that features actual former boy banders (surprisingly Joey Fatone does not play “the fat one”), and the conclusion of the season long plot is successfully enjoyable and slightly confusion in the most Angie Tribeca way possible at the same time (although they leave a very obvious Scooby Doo joke left unsaid; maybe the one missed joke the show has not made ever). Graham is not the only notable face; Maya Rudolph show up as a romance novelist brought in to help on a cast lampooning all the cop shows with wacky consultants (R.I.P. Castle), Dani Pudi as a app developer for cheaters, an ER reunion during the organ theft episode, and many blink and you will miss them cameos. But sorry, no Bill Murray this season, but if you enjoyed the first season, there is plenty to enjoy in season two. Or technically seasons two through eleven.

Angie Tribeca airs Mondays at 9:00 on TBS.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 5/31/16

Into You – Ariana Grande

I pretty much trashed the new Ariana Grande album last week, but I will say this is one of the least bad songs off the album. It helps that it just her and not one of those embarrassingly bad guests she had on the album. The video reminds me of like a less drug filled version of Rihanna’s We Found Love video; that may even be the same dude. But that pretty much sums up her career, despite naming her album Dangerous Woman, Grande comes off like a less dangerous version of Rihanna.

Lake By the Ocean – Maxwell

Cake by the Ocean was one of the songs that you hear and go meh, and move on. Except that it starts getting more and more airplay and the more you hear it, the more you hate it to the point where I see Maxwell has a new song out called the similarly titled Lake By the Ocean and my first thought was ugg. Which is a shame because it actually is a good song that should go in the Babymaking Playlist, but man, I really hate that Cake By the Ocean song.

Spiral – Eric Clapton

Kind of a cool concept for a music video for a song entitled Spiral but the problem is that Eric Clapton does not really have any distinctive visual periods. I would call myself a fan, but I really could not name the corresponding period to each picture in the video.

Hell No – Ingrid Michaelson

I have never done a list of the worst music videos of the year list, but if I did, Ingrid Michaelson’s social media filter themed video would definitely be number one. There is nothing more annoying than scrolling through Instagram and your feed is flooded hot chicks using whatever the new annoying filter is. (Um, not that I have an Instagram account solely devoted to following hot chicks or anything.)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 5/29/16

House of Lies: This was the second time this season the group got high to close a deal. Nice work if you can get it.

Penny Dreadful: So we do get a full flashback episode with Vanessa in the mental hospital and it was Frankenstein’s monster as the orderly. Kind of horror movies set up, girl in mental hospital and orderly learn to accept each other, a quick scare in the middle, and then at the end we finally see the Lucifer.. and then his brother… Dracula? And Lucifer is scared of Dracula? Mmm, alright. I kind of wish this was mixed in with other character’s segments because there was not much going on to fill an entire hour.

Gotham: I think I actually liked Clayface as Gordon more than I liked Gordon himself. Of course none of the guys figured out it was an imposter and it took Barbra only thirty seconds spot that it was not him. Speaking of doppelgangers, that last person out of the bus certainly looked a lot like Bruce with Edward Scissorhand hair.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Blindspot: So just who is Jane Doe? Taylor Shaw was a very compelling story arc that apparently is not who she is (though this is television, they can always have a twist next season and be like, nope, she really was Taylor, the bones were planted and Kurt’s dad was brainwashed; and of course my clone theory could still be in play). So Kurt arrests Jane, who surprisingly goes willingly. Sure he does not even give a reason, what exactly is she under arrest for? He does not know she killed a dude. She did not still someone else’s identity, it was assigned to her by the FBI themselves. I do have a sinking suspicion that the start of the next season, one of her tattoos will be integral to a case Kurt is working on and he will begrudgingly let her out of custody.

The Path: So the season ends where the first episode did, but instead of Eddie hallucination the leader dying with a snake slithering on him, he actually sees the cancer stricken leader up and walking around… or did he? A pretty vague ending. Still some other plot points things left unresolved. I spent most of the season wondering if certain characters were going to leave the cult while other would join. It seemed like the husband died under iffy circumstances yet that was not brought up this week and it seemed that the FBI guy may actually be back in, especially if he starts to believe Eddie’s prayer helped. And I am not entirely sure what I saw at the end. Cal spoke of a miracle a couple episodes ago, is the leader now cured and that is the miracle? Is Eddie hallucinating the leader, who is already dead, and the leader came to him in a passing of the torch situation?
You can stream The Path on Hulu.

The Americans: If one would flip, I always thought Philip would be the one as he actually seem to have empathy for his victims while Elizabeth is more single minded at her tasks. Last week was the first time I remember seeing empathy from her asking out of her con on the Asian people and then again when she got a call from the wife. Of course all that went out the window when she stabbed a dude in the neck in front of her daughter. Hard to claim to be a non-violent spy when you can kill a man that easily and not blink.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

Nashville: The show was a late cancel and it did seem like there was a good chance it was coming back (they just hired a new showrunner for a potential next season) but it did seem like they rushed to put a nice bow on every storyline (well, except Juliet’s plane going missing and of course Layla can never end up happy). Especially the Maddie, she gets mad when Deacon tries to save her from a skeevy dude at a concert caressing her leg, but is glad when he is there when a skeevy producer does the same thing. But it was definitely time for this show to go, probably could have ended last season.

The Challenge: Rivals III: So this is the fourth episode and we still have had only one elimination. As much as I enjoy see Camillinator just going H.A.M. on everyone, let’s cut some of that down and get back to one elimination per episode. Or cut down on time spent on challenges by getting rid of heat based challenges. Sure I enjoy seeing people dropping from heights into water, but we only saw three heats this week and we still have three or four left to get through. (also ending on a is Camilla hurt cliffhanger loses its suspense when we see her at the elimination on the promo for next week, stupid promo monkeys.) Figure out how to have everyone go at once because these heat based challenges are getting too repetitive. Or do a spelling bee, c’mon, who’s against a spelling be challenge (except the actual contestants)?
You can download The Challenge: Rivals III on iTunes.

Orphan Black: The Donny getting arrested scene was great, probably the most entertaining this season, but why did Allison not go down for the drug business too? As great as Donny in jail will likely be, Allison in prison would be so much better.
You can download Orphan Black on iTunes.