Friday, September 02, 2016

Around the Tubes: 9/2/16

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 Masters of Sex, Shameless, POV (Point of View), Frank Zappa, Blue Oyster Cult, Weiner, Smithsonian Channel 9/11 programming, Showtime Tuesday Sports Block, Genius, and Street Fight.

- Viewers can now sample the fourth season premiere of the critically-acclaimed SHOWTIME drama series Masters of Sex across multiple platforms, ahead of its linear premiere on Sunday, September 11th at 10 p.m. ET/PT. MASTERS OF SEX stars Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominee Michael Sheen and Emmy nominee Lizzy Caplan as real-life pioneers of human sexuality, William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Season four will begin in 1968 and into the “swinging ‘70s,” during which time the series’ characters will take on new partners both professionally, personally and sexually. Starting now, consumers who do not subscribe to Showtime can watch the season four premiere for free on and Facebook. Consumers can also sample the premiere of Masters of Sex for free across multiple television and streaming providers’ devices, websites, applications and free On Demand channels.

- Showtime released the new poster art and official trailer for season seven of its No. 1 comedy series Shameless, premiering on Sunday, October 2 at 9:00. SHAMELESS stars Oscar® nominee and Emmy® winner William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher and Golden Globe® nominee Emmy Rossum as his daughter, Fiona. The series also stars Jeremy Allen White, Ethan Cutkosky, Shanola Hampton, Steve Howey, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan and Isidora Goreshter.

- Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz takes an unflinching look at the hard choices and destructive consequences of the U.S.-Mexico drug war in the acclaimed documentary Kingdom of Shadows, which will have its national television broadcast premiere on the POV (Point of View) documentary series on PBS on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016 at 10:00.

- In his trailblazing and incredibly prolific career, artist, composer and all-around musical pioneer Frank Zappa released more than 60 albums in his lifetime, as a solo artist and with his bands the Mothers of Invention and the Mothers. Coupled with more than 40 posthumous releases since his death in 1993 at 52, figuring out where to start in Zappa’s vast, genre-leaping catalog can be daunting. ZAPPAtite – Frank Zappa’s Tastiest Tracks, due September 23 on Zappa Records/UMe and available for pre-order now, collects some of Zappa’s best known and beloved compositions, from his early psychedelic rock beginnings to his avant-garde experimentation, jazz-rock explorations, symphonic suites and satirical send-ups, compiling them into one easily digestible collection and offering key entryways into the many musical worlds of the visionary musician. Available on CD and digitally, with vinyl to come at a later date, the album is divided into three courses – Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts – and the food-centric theme oozes throughout the album art, which features Zappa in a diner on the cover, a track list that resembles a menu and some of Zappa’s favorite eats. The 18 compositions that make up ZAPPAtite were compiled by Zappa’s son Ahmet Zappa and encyclopedic Zappa archivist, “Vaultmeister” Joe Travers. “This isn’t a greatest hits album as Frank didn’t really have ‘hits,’ per se, nor is it a ‘best of’ since that would be an impossibility to fit so much awesome onto one disc,” says Ahmet Zappa. “It’s a veritable smorgasbord of musicality for the curious and a buffet of favorites for the fans, ZAPPAtite collects a cross section of my favorite songs composed by my dad, that lean more towards the rock side of his expansive repertoire. I hope you're hungry because this meal for your ears rocks!”

- Tune in to the AUDIENCE Network concert special "Blue Oyster Cult" airing Friday, September 2, at 9:00 (DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114). The classic rock band stopped by Red Studios in Los Angeles to perform their seminal album Agents Of Fortune in it's entirety live. In the episode, the group sits down with Ted Stryker for an in depth interview spanning their history.

- Showtime will debut the world television premiere of the critically-acclaimed documentary Weiner on Saturday, October 22nd at 9:00. Directed and produced by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, Weiner, which won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, offers unrestricted access into the life of former congressman Anthony Weiner and his family as they take on the 2013 New York City mayoral race in the face of an on-going high-profile scandal.

- Smithsonian Channel will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a special day of programming on Sunday, September 11. The marathon will kick off at 2:00 p.m. with an encore presentation of the critically-acclaimed 9/11: Day That Changed the World, which spans from dawn to midnight on September 11, 2001, and goes behind the scenes to show how the events of the day developed.

- It’s game on this Tuesday night, September 6, on Showtime as the network offers a two-and-a-half hour sports block including two anticipated season premieres. An all-new edition of the news magazine 60 Minutes Sports debuts at 8:00, followed by the ninth season premiere of Inside the NFL at 9:00. At 10:00 Showtime Sports presents the second installment of its unique all-access college football franchise A Season with Florida State Foosball, just one day after the Florida State Seminoles begin their season and quest for the 2016 National Championship.

- Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated actress Emily Watson (“Theory of Everything,” “The Book Thief”) is set to join National Geographic Channel’s upcoming global anthology series Genius, from Fox 21 Television Studios (“Homeland,” “The People v. O.J. Simpson”), Imagine Television (“24,” “Empire”), OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow. She’ll play Elsa Einstein, the second wife — and first cousin — of the enigmatic scientist Albert Einstein, to be played in his elder years by Geoffrey Rush and in his younger years by Johnny Flynn, as was previously announced.

- Just in time for the dirtiest presidential election in memory, Street Fight, which for years has only been available on DVD and in theaters, goes up on Netflix on September 1st and also is available on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. Street Fight is the thrilling Academy Award® nominated story of bare-knuckle politics in America. When a young unknown challenger named Cory Booker (today U.S. Senator from New Jersey) takes on the head of a powerful political machine, he discovers that sometimes elections are won and lost in the streets.

- Today co-anchor Matt Lauer will moderate the NBC News and MSNBC Commander-in-Chief Forum on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The one-hour event will simulcast live at 8pm ET on the NBC broadcast network and MSNBC, and stream live on In the first joint candidate event of the 2016 general election, presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will take questions on national security, military affairs and veterans’ issues from a live audience comprised of service members and veterans.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 8/28/16

Ray Donovan: There seems to be a pacing problem this season as they are having trouble balancing between the Russian storyline and the boxer. Two episode, Ray kills a Russian and I think, well the other Russians will not like that. Except it was not brought up once last week. Then finally someone found the body this week. And just as things started to get ramped up, they had to slip in a scene with the boxer and his crazy sister. But at least the Russian plot got interesting. Does Ray get the niece back to save Avi or sacrifice him? (Or a third option where both the niece and Avi are safe?)

Fear the Walking Dead: Has there ever been a more boring season premiere than this? I was actually rooting for the dogs.
You can download Fear the Walking Dead on iTunes.

Roadies: Wait, does Machine Gun Kelly have suspenders tattooed on his body? Weird. But anyway. But man, did they really bring Phil back just to kill him? Should have stayed with Taylor Swift.

BrainDead: I do not care if it did not turn out to be true, Ramona Flowers has forever been tainted by having sex with Michael Moore. The dream nightmare sequence will forever be seared into my brain. And I thought the bug sex scene last week was the worst thing I would ever see on the show.
You can download BrainDead on Amazon Instant Video, free with a Prime membership.

Murder in the First: I have talked about the rise of incest on television considering it is one of the last taboo left. But up to this point is has been brother-sister relationship, all of which have been creepy, but oh my goodness, did this show really do a consensual father-daughter relationship? Eww. Then there was Hildy talking about the time her brother got a bit handsy because telling her partner it was a line because saying she was a good liar. I am not sure if it was the writer’s intent, but I was left wondering if her I am a good liar line was about the story she told the pop star or telling her partner she was lying.
You can download Murder in the First on iTunes.

The Voice: I was not expecting much, but I had to bail quite early on the preview episode right around the time Miley Cyrus opened her mouth. The actual person who sang was not that much better though I did like they went straight to the singing, no super sappy background. I did check out the other person they featured who was a big giant meh. The first person picked Alicia and the second picked Miley so this was clearly a showcase on the new coaches not the talent. But that is ever increasing point of the show. Each episode used to end with the best season, but the last three of four seasons, it seems to end with mediocre singers at best but a lot of coach banter and fighting. But if that was the best person Miley got on her team it will be a long season and she will rival Shakira season six as the worst collection of talent on a team ever. Then I had to skip the coaches singing Dream On because I have no desire to hear anyone sing that song on this show other than Amanda Brown.

Pretty Little Liars: I was hoping Hanna would go Liam Neeson this week and after a pitiful attempt at drugging Noel, boom goes the dynomite at the end the episode with a baseball bat. Awesome. I cannot wait to see what goes wrong with the interrogation.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Casual: Interesting they chose not to end the season like they started the series, at their father’s funeral, but I guess they ended the first season in a church so I guess they did not want to go back to that well. Instead we end with Valerie moving back in with her ex-husband. Alrighty, Hopefully the side piece did not get too comfortable, or pregnant, I thought they we going through fertility procedures. But really, for a show whose title would lead you to believe it is about casual sex, there was a lot of talk of death this season and relationships that are moving out of the “causal” category.
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

Mr. Robot: And we are back to starting episodes with flashbacks that wink and nod but do not really mean much. So the Muslim chick and fat guy who spent most of a season and a half met in a coffee show, presumably owned by the same guy Elliot took down in the first episode, but not the one with his illegal operation, one with crappy wi-fi. Of course this begs the question, when is Elliot going to run into him in prison? Back in current time, Darla kills a chick… alrighty. So is her boy toy going to give her up as the person who took his gun? Instead, Dom pulls in the fat guy. But really, I think it is safe to assume that everyone can agree the best scene this week was Angela singing Everybody Wants to Rule the World even if it was a bit on the nose. Speaking of the karaoke bar, holy Duck Phillips sighting! He has to be tied into the story somehow, you do not bring in Duck Philips just to creepily hit on someone half his age just for one scene.
You can download Mr. Robot on iTunes.

Tyrant: I thought we were going to have a repeat of the first season of Homeland where the suicide vest did not go off then… boom goes the dynamite. And now that Jamal is dead, it looks like Barry is slowly morphing from the voice of reason to the titular character.
You can download Tyrant on iTunes.