Friday, February 03, 2017

Around the Tubes: 2/3/17

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 The National Women’s Soccer League, TNT, Twin Peaks, The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, American Jihad, and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

- The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and A+E Networks have entered an historic partnership whereby A+E Networks will become the league’s newest investor with an equity stake in the National Women’s Soccer League, joining the existing team ownership groups. As one of the leading women’s media brands, Lifetime, will become an official sponsor and broadcast partner of the league in a three-­‐year deal, beginning in April. The strategic investment is accompanied by the creation of a new joint venture, NWSL Media, and marks a watershed moment in the league’s history that will bolster the league’s growth and support of the teams, players and fans. Lifetime, the premier entertainment destination for women, is making an unprecedented commitment with a three-­‐year agreement to be the official broadcast partner. For the first time in NWSL’s history, a league game will be broadcast on television every weekend of the season. The NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime will provide fans throughout the country with a live viewing platform every Saturday at 4 p.m. ET to watch the best players in the world. A pre-­‐game show will kick off each weekly event at 3:30 p.m. ET. Showcasing the network’s sponsorship and commitment to the league, Lifetime will be featured on all official jerseys with a patch on the right sleeve.

- This Summer, TNT is debuting some hot new and returning shows with the series premiere of Claws and Will and the season two premiere of Animal Kingdom. Check out and share these four first look promos showcasing the originals coming to TNT in 2017.

- Starting on Wednesday, March 1, Showtime is offering its subscribers the opportunity to catch up on the phenomenon that is Twin Peaks by making the original series’ prequel film FIRE WALK WITH ME available on the Showtime streaming service, SHOWTIME ANYTIME® and SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®. Fire Walk with Me will also debut on air on Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Set before the original Twin Peaks, Fire Walk with Me is directed by David Lynch and chronicles the seven days leading up to the brutal murder of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). With the first two seasons of Twin Peaks already available across all of its platforms, SHOWTIME is offering subscribers the opportunity to binge watch the entirety of the original series ahead of the new Twin Peaks debut on May 21.

- Featuring acclaimed Syrian clarinet player Kinan Azmeh and four-time Grammy nominated Iranian virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, HBO’s The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, premieres on March 6 at 8:00 on HBO. Sadly, both featured musicians, permanent residents of the United State, are performing abroad right now and affected by the new executive order from the White House, making their return to the United State uncertain. This troubling turn of events is even more acute when you consider that with The Music of Strangers and the Silk Road Ensemble, legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma hopes to bridge geographic and cultural boundaries using the universal power of music.

- Today, Showtime Documentary Films announced a compelling new documentary titled American Jihad (wt), which explores home-grown Jihadism, how young men are radicalized to commit violent acts of terrorism and what can be done to prevent it. Through intimate personal stories, we witness the havoc it creates in the lives of their families and the destruction of their communities. American Jihad will premiere on Showtime on March 11 at 9:00 on-air, online and On Demand, and will serve as the closing night film at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in late February.

- TBS's late-night hit Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is pleased to announce its first annual "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner," which will take place on Saturday, April 29, at The Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. (the Old Post Office being regrettably unavailable due to a Bahraini Press Freedom Consortium). Samantha Bee, noted purveyor of FAKE NEWS™, will host the gala affair, welcoming journalists and non-irritating celebrities from around the world. We suspect some members of the press may find themselves unexpectedly free that night, and we want to feed them and give them hugs.-

- In response to President Trump's disturbing statement this morning that he would work to repeal the Johnson Amendment, the provision in the US tax code that prevents charitable organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates, the Patriotic Millionaires’ Chair released the following official statement:

“President Trump's vow to 'totally destroy' the Johnson Amendment would further damage the foundations of our already fragile democracy. The Johnson Amendment keeps charities and churches nonpartisan, and its repeal would allow dark money and secret donors to manipulate charities for partisan political purposes, tax free. Citizens United - allowing the wealthy to spend whatever they want on politics - is no longer enough for Republicans. Now they want unlimited funds for politics to be tax deductible, making American taxpayers subsidize the politics of the rich while they drag charities and churches down into the political fray,” said Patriotic Millionaires’ Chair Morris Pearl, former Managing Director BlackRock, Inc.

- Leaked recordings of last weekend’s Republican retreat in Philadelphia confirmed what we’ve known all along: the Trump team and Congressional Republicans simply don’t have a plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even as they rush to dismantle it. After yesterday’s bold delay by Senate Democrats, today the Senate Finance Committee Republicans suspended committee rules and unilaterally advanced Representative Tom Price’s candidacy for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to a full Senate vote. “If Representative Price and GOP leadership in Congress have their way and repeal the ACA they will leave most of my employees and myself without coverage,” said Sri Kumarasingam, the owner of Pastorante Restaurant in Harrisburg, PA and a member of the Main Street Alliance. "Representative Price’s shortsighted plans to repeal the ACA could cause my employees to leave for a larger competitor that can provide insurance--leaving the future of my business in the balance.”

Monday, January 30, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 1/30/17

I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (From "Fifty Shades Darker") - ZAYN and Taylor Swift

50 Shades of Grey started as a joke, it was fan fic of Twilight turned into an SnM story. Everyone who read it claimed to only doing so to see if it was really as bad as everyone said. Eyebrows were raised when it was announced to be made into a movie with big names attached. Except it ended up being Don Johnson’s kid and the dude from Sons of Anarchy. The latter of which dropped out because of embarrassment (or as he told it, scheduling conflict). But bizarrely when no one wanted to be associated with the film, somehow they managed to amass some big names for the soundtrack, most notably Beyoncé but it also spawned two hit songs and pretty muh launched The Weeknd as a pop star. The film was routinely mock upon the release and again everyone who saw it claim to do it ironically. Bizarrely they are actually doing another one and again recruited another major pop star for the soundtrack. But where Beyoncé exudes sex, Taylor Swift is very open about how she does not want to be a sex symbol. And really beside the Bad Blood video, she has succeeded at it. So it is really weird to she her parade around in her underwear in an ad for a crappy SnM movie. Meh. I am ready for her to go back to making cheesy county pop songs.

Castle on the Hill - Ed Sheeran

I always roll my eyes when conservative firebrands rail against the “mainstream media” and its anti-conservative bias (and roll even harder when normal citizens spot these same absurdities). Although I may be warming up to that bias when I recently read a headline that said (and I am paraphrasing) “Ed Sheeran fans, blame Donald Trump for having to wait until the New Year for his new album. Despite the obvious click bait headline, I still clicked on it and it turned out Sheeran’s record label had planned to release the album the week of the election but decide to delay until later because that news sucked all the air out of the room, because, you know, Sheeran fans across the world were so focused on the American election. And then since Bruno Mars already had a release date the next week and The Weeknd after that the label decided to postpone the release until after the start of the year because the crossover with these two artists and no one could possibly buy two albums the same week. No wonder the music industry is dying.

But Sheeran should have taken those extra months to try some new some new songs because the first single sounds like a cheap Coldplay rip off, complete with Sheeran walking with purpose like Chris Martin in the music video (maybe Ed should have stuck to not appearing in his videos except maybe a small cameo). But I do like him sticking to the math themed albums. I cannot wait until his eighth album differential.

Party Monster - The Weeknd

The Weeknd had one of the weirder assents to the top of the pop music. He made moody shoe gazing RnB and then out of nowhere he decided he wanted to be Michael Jackson. Now he is getting weird again hooking up with Daft Punk on his new album. But I am beginning to wonder if all his power was in his hair because I am ambivalent to his latest songs as I was towards his shoe gazing phase.

Trainwreck - Banks

I wonder if the kind of faceless men in the new Banks video were inspired by the faceless men in The Wall because that was the impression that I got.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 1/29/17

Homeland: What a juxtaposition that this season focuses on whether Carrie’s client has been radicalized or not, that Quinn is listening to some wackadoo on the right who is radicalizing angry white dudes. And we already knew Carrie was a horrible mother, but c’mon, what a horrible idea to let Quinn anywhere near her daughter. Maybe it is a good thing Quinn locks the door so Franny cannot find her way downstairs. But the big new was that Saul was right to accuse Carrie of counseling the President-Elect. Obviously we the viewers know how bad a decision that is, but just what does the future president know? I do remember Saul publically calling Carrie a crazy person live on the Congress floor once.

The Affair: Seriously Helen, you are going to eat at the Lockhart Lobster Roll? That was almost as stupid as having a Panic Room that locks from the outside. But at least she finally came clean that she was the one who killed Scotty. And so it is official, Noah is crazy since there was no cut on Gunter’s hand. Makes we wonder if all his prison memories were real. We did see his face messed up when Helen visited him. But maybe scruffy five o’clock shadow Gunther is the only real Gunther. That last scene was clearly an revelation that Noah tabbed himself.

Gotham: I have never been much of a fan of Jerome and him possibly becoming The Joker, but the who reapplying his face look is respectively freaky looking for a potential Joker.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Supergirl: Oh wow, Mon-El was not completely useless this week and I actually kind of laugh. And he caught the eye of the aliens from the crossover event which are also in Kara’s universe. Hopefully Supergirl does not have to recruit the crappy CW superheroes to defeat them on her planet. Hey, she can always call the Guardian.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Timeless: The first episode saw a big change in the timeline with Lucy’s sister being erased from history… and then nothing much changed after that. Finally someone is finally going to change the timeline when the short muscle is going to try and go back and save his wife. I kind of hope he succeeds just to shake things up a bit but I have a feeling things will not end up that way.
You can download Timeless on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Radcliff is one sneaky dude, programs Ada to go rouge and even has his own Life Model Decoy around to avoid getting caught himself when it turned out Ada #1 did not actually grow a soul. Oh yeah, and he is secretly working with the anti-Inhuman senator. I was not that eager when then teased the LMD themed block of episode but I am enjoying it more than the Ghost Rider half.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.