Friday, June 17, 2016

Around the Tubes: 6/17/16

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 Roadies, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hell Below, Bitten, and Outside Television.

- Showtime is offering viewers an early opportunity to sample the highly-anticipated music series Roadies ahead of its linear premiere on Sunday, June 26th at 10:00. The first original series from creator, executive producer, writer and director Cameron Crowe, Roadies is a one-hour comedy featuring an ensemble cast headed by Luke Wilson (Old School, Enlightened) and Screen Actors Guild® Award nominee Carla Gugino (San Andreas). The series gives an insider’s look at the reckless, romantic, funny and often poignant lives of a committed group of roadies who live for music and the de facto family they’ve formed along the way. ROADIES chronicles the rock world through the eyes of music’s unsung heroes and pays homage to the backstage workers who put the show on the road while touring for the successful arena-level group, The Staton-House Band. Consumers who do not subscribe to Showtime are now able to sample the TV-14 rated version of the series premiere for free on YouTube, Facebook and The pilot is also available for download as a free video podcast on iTunes. Consumers can also sample the premiere episode for free across multiple television and streaming providers’ devices, websites and applications and free On Demand channels.

- Tune in to watch Red Hot Chili Peppers on AT&T Live at the iHeartRadio Theater L.A. airing exclusively via nationwide broadcast this Friday, June 17 at 9:00 on the AUDIENCE Network, DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114.

- A new Smithsonian Channel series will chart the stealthy game of undersea warfare from the greatest submarine campaigns of World War II. The six-episode Hell Below premieres Sunday, July 17 at 9:00. It profiles the strategic masterminds behind the brutal tactics of Nazi U-boats and reveals the extraordinary feats of Allied subs in the Atlantic and Pacific. Both the Axis and Allies employed unrestricted submarine warfare to bring their enemies to their knees in World War II. Submariners on both sides were a special breed of warrior, always volunteers, often fighting alone. Sub warfare evolved rapidly during the war, as German U-Boats and American submarines attacked military targets and commercial shipping. Submarine attacks created chaos and unnerved adversaries. And while the world’s oceans provided concealment and protection, the environment was unforgiving. Each hour-long episode of HELL BELOW features expert analysis and stock footage along with dramatic re-enactments filmed aboard authentic World War II era submarines, placing viewers in the heart of the action.

- Based on the "Otherworld" novels by New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong, Bitten stars Laura Vandervoort ("Smallville", "V", "Haven", Ted) as Elena Michaels, the world's only female werewolf. For three seasons, the show's rabid followers have tuned in as Elena evolved from a photographer who hides her dark secret after being bitten, to a ferocious leader of the Stonehaven pack. Bitten: The Final Season picks up several months after the harrowing battle in the season two finale. Bolstering their ranks in the wake of the carnage, the Stonehaven Pack is on the hunt for the Russian Alpha and his brethren, seeking to end a decades-old vendetta. Meanwhile, Elena struggles with Pack Alpha Jeremy Danvers' new draconian leadership style, and makes a shocking and surprising discovery about herself.

- OUTSIDE TELEVISION, America’s only national 24/7 network dedicated to the active adventure lifestyle, has big plans for the month of June. Next week, new seasons of DISPATCHES and LOCALS will premiere in addition to a new original series, MAVERICK MOMENTS. If that wasn’t enough, Outside TV has also dedicated a day’s worth of programming to celebrate International Surf Day on Monday June 20th followed by the world premiere of MAVERICK MOMENTS (9pm ET) and then season six premiere of DISPATCHES (9:30pm ET). Don’t have access to Outside TV? No worries – we’ve got you covered with a month long free preview through Sling TV which runs from June 20th to July 20th.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 6/16/16

Kill Em with Kindness - Selena Gomez

Supposedly Selena Gomez just released a new music video but really, this is just a logo away from being a shampoo commercial.

Honky Talk Rules – Public Enemy

The only song that stood out on the latest Public Enemy album was this The Rolling Stones sampling song. How weird seeing Chuck D in a cowboy hat. Kind of look the dude from Hootie and the Blowfish who went country.

Remedy – Zac Brown Band

Man, that opening was dark, that is the very reason why I do not watch Teen Mom. Really this is less a Zac Brown Band music video and more a really dark short film because we barely hear the song at all. This was listed as part one, I may skip part two whenever it comes out.

Boyz n Poizn - Phoebe Ryan

A baseball themed video with mascots should be cool but really, had they not waited all that money on the aerial shot, maybe Phoebe Ryan would have had enough money to field a whole baseball team.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Previewing Animal Kingdom

There has been a lot of discussion of how hard times are for networks over the last five years or so, for the first time ever, a show that averaged sub 1.0 rating got renewed last May on the big, and actually it was five that were granted a reprieve. Though not as discussed, thing are looking bad on cable too. TNT and USA have historically been the most viewed cable channels but things are getting dire. Both used to have very distinct visions, TNT had dramas in vein of network procedurals while USA was known for its fun in the sun show. But those procedurals are getting long in the tooth and low in the ratings while the sunny shows no longer have bright rating.

With brands of shows no longer working, both channels are trying something different and trying to go after FX brand of more prestige show. USA hit it out of the park last summer with Mr. Robot, the most critically acclaimed show in recent memory. Though follow up, Colony did not get much buzz, and Shooter, based on the Marky Mark movie does not really pique my interest either. Up first for TNT’s attempt at prestige drama is Animal Kingdom from John Wells who has worked on everything from ER to most recently Shameless.

Animal Kingdom starts off with one of the stranger openers fo show without any sci-fi element with a dude nonchalantly watching Press Your Luck while what looked o be an overdosed woman next to him before paramedics look her over. The first hour also ends with the same kid walking through a house nonchalantly while equally troubling scenes are unfolding before he makes I to his room and turns on Press Your Luck.

The kid in question is now in his grandmother’s care and time could not be worse because granny (played by Ellen Barkin) is the matriarch of a family of thieves and it is unclear if they can trust the son of her estranged daughter. The kid’s three uncles are almost ready to put their latest heist in motion and things get even more complicated when uncle number four gets paroled after six years in prison.

I have talked a lot about Silver Age television, prestige shows with good acting, good plot; they are just missing that thing making them great. Ray Donovan is maybe the show that epitomizes the Silver Age and that is one of the biggest comparisons I have for Animal Kingdom, it is just a family of blue color Rays. Another big comparison is Sons of Anarchy (and not because of all the gratuitous male nudity) but instead of a surrogate family of a biker gang, it is an actual family.

But unlike those two shows, the characters of Animal Kingdom do not cross the preverbal line. As the matriarch explains, “We don’t set out to hurt people, we don’t get greedy.” There is not as much violence and it is certainly not as graphic… yet. Clearly one of the uncles has problem and is inches closer and closer to an “any means necessary” philosophy. As with any families there are dark secrets hiding underneath the surface, and the more they seep out, the more interesting Animal Kingdom gets. But I doubt it will ever reach the highs of Mr. Robot.

Animal Kingdom airs Tuesdays at 9:00 on TNT including a back to back premiere tonight. You can also download Animal Kingdom on iTunes.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Previewing Major Crimes

The ever expanding cast of Major Crimes

The big new at the start of the new season of Major Crimes is that Rusty got a haircut! Okay not exactly life changing but all jokes aside, there are three characters at the end of the episode who actually do make life changing decisions that will certainly play out for the rest of season five; one by himself, and two who make the plans together.

But before that, there is a case to solve (and that case inspires one of those big life changes). The case of the week involves a volunteer at a homeless outreach program who gets in a fight with her boyfriend while helping. Oh, and after the fight, the boyfriend goes down to Tijuana with friends and conveniently left his cell phone at home. Douchebag boyfriend or mentally unstable homeless person who mistakes kindness for an attack? And of course on a show like this, there are still more red herrings to find along the way.

And while a few characters are looking at big changes to their future, Buzz is looking backward. He has requested the thirty old cold case of his father and uncle and look to finally close that chapter of his life by looking for clues that reopen the case. I smell a season finale case of the week plot cooking.

Major Crimes airs Mondays at 10:00 on TNT. You can also download Major Crimes on iTunes.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Previewing The Last Ship: Season Three

On the cover of Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing's Shocking is a sculpture of a pair of nude female conjoined twins sitting on a sideways rocking chair with their heads on fire, which was pretty shocking for 1988. The band was just a little early because truly nothing is shocking anymore especially on television where deaths have become so commonplace no one even bats an eye. Oh, The Walking Dead killed off another black dude; it must be that time of the season. But I have to admit I was pretty shocked when The Last Ship ended last season with someone walking up to Doctor Scott and shot her point blank. Sure I am the guy who likes to see the cold body until I see I believe someone is dead (and am still a bit suspicious even then… I am looking at you The Blacklist), but a child could kill someone at point blank range, certainly militia man can, right?

I will not spoil Dr. Scott’s fate except to say we get definitive word before the title sequence rolls. Dr. Scott or not, it does not really matter, they were able to mass produce the cure even before she was shot and season three starts off one hundred and fifty-four days into the new president’s tenure who has now taken up shop in St. Louis where the area now has consistent power and some people can even watch his address to the nation on television.

So, um, why is there even a season three if everything is hunky dory? Well those evil Chinese are possibly hording the cure, letting the virus mutate across Asia so the Nathan James has to travel half way around the world to once again try to get the cure in the hands of the sick while fighting off power hungry warlords who gain more power with every death. Except they are down a captain as Chandler has taken a post in the new administration and has stayed in the land-locked new capital and Slattery has now taken the helm of the destroyer. New mother Lieutenant Foster has also traded her navy blues for some civilian clothes in the administration, separating her from her baby daddy.

Of course a diplomacy mission takes Chandler to Japan, not too far from where the Nathan James is sailing. It is also not far from a former flame in the form of Bridget Reagan (Agent Carter) who has taken up in the Chinese consulate during the virus outbreak and is also visiting the same Asian summit. Oh and at the end of the first hour of the two hour premiere someone dies. But to be honest, despite being a recognizable face, I would say this death was nothing shocking.

The Last Ship airs Sundays at 9:00. You can also download The Last Ship on iTunes.