Saturday, November 19, 2016

Previewing The Affair: Season Three

As Showtime usually does with many of its shows, they premiered the first episode of The Affair new season early through various outlets. If you have not seen it yet, be warned I am going to spoil it because something huge happens at the end that I do not want to be vague about it, so head to your On Demand station or Showtime Anytime pass to watch it now. I will be vague about the other episodes I have seen. You have been warned.

At the surface, you would think The Affair was some intense family drama, but it was sneakily a murder mystery too as we learned early in the series that one of the characters was murdered. We finally learned last season that it was in fact Helen that ran over Scott Lockhart but Noah actually stood up in court and took the rap for his ex-wife. The new season picks up three years later, because apparently vehicular manslaughter is not a very serious crime in New York State. There is still the multiple act structure, but just like in the second season, it looks like some episodes, one person’s POV will take up the entire hour.

With that murder now solved, they replaced with another mystery, who stabbed Noah (I will no spoil whether he survived the attack yet, on account I do not know if he did or not yet). And what a bizarre scene, Noah clearly knew someone was there but does not turn around. And what kind of attacker just stabs once and leaves not making sure they got the job done? Of course the potential killer list is very long with all the Lockhart’s, really all of Montauk, he son was very cold at the funeral, and the eldest daughter did not even bother to show up.

I believe last season, the first couple episodes were solo perspective episodes, but in the early episodes of season three, Noah I the only one who gets a full hour to himself. The second episode gets split between Helen and Allison split time. Although this is a split from previous seasons because the two never cross paths in each other act, but we do get to see Helen’s visit to the prison from her perspective. And much like last season which saw the addition of the perspectives of Helen and Cole, this season we get the point of view of Juliette, a French Lit professor Noah meets in the first episode and we get to see the dinner party he attends (Haddie Braverman also is there as a student of both Juliette and Noah's) from her perspective in episode three.

Hopefully this opens up the show even more as the two person point of view got stale pretty quickly in season one as you were confined to following just two characters around. Even upping that to four got tedious at the end of season for. Maybe everyone is a possibly this season. I would wager a guess that Cole’s bride will get an act or two. But really, I just hope the bratty daughter gets her own episode. C’mon, who would not want to see how she ended up in a hot tub with her father last season? And this season is even better now she is dating an erotic photographer who calls himself Furkat who livens up the episode where Helen comes to visit. Actually I am now kind of hoping for a Furkat perspective episode.

The Affair airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Around the Tubes 11/18/16

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 Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, Homeland, Bon Jovi, Every Brilliant Thing, 50 Years With Peter Paul and Mary, Hockney, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and Rate My Media.

- This is a reminder that the PBS ARTS Fall Festival continues this Friday, November 18th at 9:00 (check local listings) with Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, the Tony Award-winning star’s critically acclaimed cabaret show dubbed “an emotional firestorm” by The New York Times. In a special that gives PBS audiences a front row seat at “Club Cumming”, the cabaret setting for the star’s personal and intimate performance, Cumming performs songs that mark poignant moments in his life that were originally written or made famous by artists like Annie Lennox (“Why”), Rufus Wainwright (“Dinner at Eight”), Keane (“Somewhere Only We Know”), Billy Joel (“Goodnight Saigon”), a medley of hits by Adele, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry title “Someone like the Edge of Firework” and more.

- Showtime has released the new poster art and a behind the scenes look at season six of its Emmy and Golden Globe-winning hit drama series Homeland, which will premiere on Sunday, January 15 at 9:00. Season six returns to U.S. soil after spending the last two seasons shooting abroad in South Africa and Berlin. This season focuses on the aftermath of a U.S. presidential election and the transition between election day and the inauguration for a female president-elect, played by acclaimed stage and screen actress Elizabeth Marvel.  Currently in production in New York, HOMELAND stars Emmy, Screen Actors Guild® and Golden Globe Award winner Claire Danes, Emmy nominee Rupert Friend, Elizabeth Marvel, Oscar® winner and Emmy nominee F. Murray Abraham, and Emmy and Tony® Award winner Mandy Patinkin.

- With over 130 million albums sold, an extensive catalog of hit anthems, and nearly 3000 concerts performed in 50 countries for over 35 million fans, Bon Jovi is simply one of the world’s most successful bands, ever. As their new album, This House Is Not For Sale, debuts at #1 in the US, Australia and Japan and in the Top 5 in 54 other countries, Island/UMe announces that a comprehensive vinyl box set of 25-LPs, entitled Bon Jovi: The Albums, will be released in February 2017. It will include all Bon Jovi albums and additional titles (as outlined below) for premium collectors. The box set release will coincide with the kick-off of the band’s This House Is Not For Sale Tour in North America.

- Coming December 26th during the holiday season, when many reflect on what they are most grateful for, HBO’s Every Brilliant Thing strikes a delicate balance between sobering loss and cathartic laughter. Adapting the hit off-Broadway one-character show of the same name written by Duncan Macmillan and starring British comedian Jonny Donahoe, this deeply affecting film recounts a life lived in the shadow of suicide. Emmy® winners Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (HBO’s “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures,” “Wishful Drinking”) produce and direct the heart-wrenching yet humorous presentation.

- 50 Years With Peter Paul and Mary is a new documentary by four-time Emmy Award-winning producer/ director Jim Brown that focuses on portions of the trio's career not included in previously aired PBS specials. This program features rare and previously unseen television footage including a BBC program from the early 1960s that embodies many of the trio's best performances and most popular songs. This is Peter Paul and Mary at the peak of their artistry, a time when this popular and influential trio dominated the Billboard music charts. 50 Years With Peter Paul and Mary will be available on DVD and select video on-demand platforms on December 9th.

- Hockney, the definitive two-hour documentary on one of the most significant artists of our time, gets its world television premiere on Smithsonian Channel, Monday, December 12 at 8:00. For the first time David Hockney has given access to his personal archive of photographs and films, and the result is an unparalleled visual diary of an unconventional artist who is now reaching new peaks of popularity worldwide.  

- TBS's Emmy®-nominated, award-winning late-night show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee has been renewed for a second season starting in 2017. Hailed by The New Yorker as "America’s new Comedian-in-Chief," Samantha Bee will continue her weekly series for another year following her bare-knuckled coverage of the 2016 Presidential election. The show, which is executive-produced by Bee, Jason Jones, Jo Miller, Miles Kahn and Tony Hernandez, currently airs Mondays at 10:30. In 2017, it will move to a new timeslot, Wednesdays at 10:30, starting Jan. 11.

- Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, president-elect Donald J. Trump utilized fear-inducing rhetoric to forge a platform for his candidacy. While it ultimately led him to victory, these tactics left the nation, especially children, emotionally distressed over fears of terrorism, crime, sexism, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and mass deportations. Now, as thousands of Americans take to the streets in protest of Trump and over 200 reported incidents of related harassment and intimidation occurring since the election concluded, few can argue against the existence of the “Trump Effect.” For disenfranchised Americans seeking a voice and a platform to combat the Trump Effect – as well as fake news, a first-of-its-kind web app, Rate My Media, is providing empowerment.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Previewing The Librarians: Season Three

I was a bit surprised to learn The Librarians are just on their third season, it seems like it has been on for much longer than that. I guess maybe the movies makes the series seem older than it really is. Like it has been the last two winters, The Librarians is a fun and silly diversion while other more serious shows go on a winter hiatus.

This season it looks like the team will be attacked on two fronts, one from a familiar mystical threat, this time in the form of the Egyptian God of Chaos who looks to unlock pure evil. But new this season is the new government agency with the normal jumbled governmental words of the Department of Statistical Anomalies headed by Vanessa Williams. The Librarians may not be reinventing television, but it remains cheesy fun that will keep your television glowing warmth while you wait for your shows to slowly return after the holidays.

The Librarians airs Sundays at 8:00 on TNT. You can also download The Librarians on iTunes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Previewing Good Behavior

Michelle Dockery of Good Behavior

There may be fewer people better at what they do then the people who make trailers. If only the trailer editors were the ones actually made the movies because ninety percent of the time, the actual movie does not live up to the trailers. Even when you know there is no way the movie was going to be any good, these trailers put that seed of doubt in your head. So it is very noticeable when there is a bad trailer (like the Ghostbusters reboot). Weirdly enough, the best show in recent memory, Mr. Robot, also had a really bad trailer. It was so bad I was going to pass on it until I saw Dalia Royce had a starring role.

I had a similar reaction when I saw the first trailer for Good Behavior. Like Mr. Robot, the Good Behavior trailer was very vague and like many shows in the post-Golden Age era seemed way too self-important. After seeing the first episode I understand why the trailer is vague; there is a pretty big plot twist at the end of the first episode and it would be hard to properly market the show effectively without spoiling the very interesting reveal. But wisely, TNT is running back to back episodes for the premiere so you will not have to stew waiting to see where the show goes next.

Unfortunately the show is not running back-to-back-to-back episode for the premiere because the second episode could give you a false idea where the show is going next because another curveball comes in episode three. And I cannot really talk much about it because I do not want to spoil anything for you. But the thing is, three episodes in and I still am not sure where exactly the show is heading and that is a refreshing when most everything on television these days is telegraphed from the first frame.

It is hard to explain the show without spoiling it (which is probably why this is one of the few trailer fails in recent memory. One of the few things you can deduct from the title Good Behavior is that our main character, played by Dontown Abby’s Michelle Dockery, is a recent parolee who is released from prison early because of good behavior. Now she has to decide to continue that good streak, which could lead her to reuniting with her son, now under the supervision of her mother, or go back to her petty theft past. A chance encounter throws all that up in the air.

Unlike Mr. Robot, the Pilot of Good Behavior is not a tell all your friend to get on board early type of show but what I really liked about it was that I had no idea where the show was going. Okay, I was not a fan of the direction I thought the show was taking after the big plot twist at the end of the first episode, but by the end of the third episode I was back to guessing just exactly where the show was heading next and in a landscape where most television shows are telegraphed fairly easily, Good Behavior is a refreshing show that actually leaves you guessing as to what is coming next.

Good Behavior airs Tuesdays at 9:00 on TNT. You can download Good Behavior on iTunes.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 11/13/16

Shameless: Interesting that Fiona and Frank have the same everyone has to contribute philosophy. Okay, so Frank just used it so further line his pockets.

The Walking Dead: What happened to the tiger guy? This week was back to the excruciating torture porn type show.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Masters of Sex: Poor Art, finally realizing just how poor his marriage is, I wonder if there is a scenario where Art stays in St. Louis and Nancy goes to New York. Then you had Virginia sitting through the most icky intake session ever. Hard pass on that.

Gotham: Sucks to be the actress who played Kristin Kringle, she gets killed off, brought back only to be killed off a couple weeks later.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Supergirl: Why was Supergirl so stressed that Lena asked both her and Kara to her party, couldn’t that have been easily resolved by having Martian Manhunter stand in for one of them like when she convinced Kat that Kara was not a superhero? And everyone had to know when Lena took that dramatic pause, she was going to follow it up with …mom. I got that feeling right when he mom walked into the room. But the real question is that Mrs Luther (who I do not recall ever was on Smallville or her birth mother.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X: Just when I thought the Legacy Advantage as one of the dumbest twists in the history of the show, now Adam can steal someone else’s reward, or the Guaranteed Way to Get Voted Out Next Advantage. And, um, can none of these people count, I had to recount myself to make sure I am right, but if they wanted Jay out, they could have split the vote just in case he had an Idol. Okay, I have never been much of a fan of vote splitting unless you have an overwhelming majority or you definitely know someone has an Idol and you want to flush it out, so many things can go wrong (ask Tyson who’s failure to properly execute a split led to him being voted out) so I do not have much of problem with no vote splitting. I do have a problem with them targeting Michelle for no reason other than no one with an Idol would see it coming. Seriously, just target Jay if you want him out, the guy is clearly not bright enough to find an Idol or to use even if he had one. But how apropos that in Trump’s America, this season of the show saw all the minorities go first and now the guys are voting out the women for no good reason.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X on iTunes.

Blindplot: I have been hoping for a Rich Dotcom spinoff and now I think I found his supporting cast as the weapons expert can join Rich’s team. His point of view scenes were great, especially sheepish Curt.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

The Blacklist: So after three and a half season, Red finally admitted what everyone has assumed since the first episode, he was Lizzie’s father. Now the big question, what did Red tell Kirk that made him let Red go.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.