Friday, February 24, 2017

Around the Tubes: 2/24/17

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 Mythbusters: The Search, Castle Rock, Gin Blossoms, Black Sails, Dark Net, Americans Underground: Secret City of WWI, I’m Dying Up Here, and Animal Kingdom.

- In a LIVE broadcast of Science Channel’s Mythbusters: The Search on Saturday, February 25 at 9:00, the next generation of Mythbusters will be revealed. Throughout the season, the final four contenders have all earned the right to be called Mythbusters, displaying killer myth-busting build skills, science smarts and remarkable nerves. Unfortunately, not all of them will walk away as Mythbusters. The finale, featuring Mythbusters: The Search host and Nerdist science editor Kyle Hill, will originate from Jersey City’s Liberty Science Center.

- Hulu is taking viewers into the chilling world of acclaimed, best-selling author Stephen King in the new Hulu Original drama series Castle Rock, from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, Warner Bros. Television and executive producers/writers Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason. Hulu has ordered a 10 episode first season of the on-going series, with production set to begin this year. A teaser trailer for Castle Rock has been viewed more than one million times since it was released on Friday, Feb. 17, and can be viewed at

- Gin Blossoms were formed in 1987 in Tempe, AZ, by lead guitarist/songwriter Doug Hopkins, Bill Leen and then-lead vocalist Jesse Valenzuela, (who eventually relinquished the lead vocal position to Robin Wilson before signing to A&M Records) taking their name from a photo of W.C. Fields in Kenneth Anger’s legendary Hollywood Babylon book, which depicted him “with gin blossoms,” referring to his rosacea-ravaged face. A southwest contemporary of bands like the Sidewinders, Meat Puppets, the Refreshments and Dead Hot Workshop. Gin Blossoms’ first full-length studio album, New Miserable Experience, came out on August 4, 1992, on A&M Records, followed four years later by Congratulations, I’m Sorry, on February 13, 1996. UMe will now reissue both albums on black and limited edition colored vinyl on March 24, marking the 25th anniversary of the release of New Miserable Experience.

- In a new deal with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), Hulu has acquired the subscription streaming rights to the hit, Starz Original series premium cable network drama, Black Sails. All past episodes of the series from previous seasons will become available to stream on Hulu starting now. Hulu has also secured the rights to the fourth and final season when it becomes available.

- The second season of Dark Net, the provocative docu-series produced by Vocativ Films that shines a spotlight on the dark recesses of the deep web, will return to Showtime’s primetime schedule Thursday, April 6th at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. DARK NET chronicles the ways in which the Internet has pervaded our communities, relationships and minds, and exposes the dangers of an unregulated, unsupervised digital frontier.

- Texas trauma surgeon Jeff Gusky has revealed an underground city and hidden world beneath a French wheat field. Also an explorer and photographer, Gusky has uncovered extraordinary carvings that bring to light new information about the American soldiers who took refuge there during World War I. The Americans left their names on the ancient limestone walls in hundreds of inscriptions and images: in some cases revealing their identities, where they came from, and ultimately their fate. On the 100th anniversary of WWI, Smithsonian Channel™ exclusively reveals never-before-seen photos and shocking discoveries about these soldiers in the one-hour special Americans Underground: Secret City of WWI, premiering on Monday, March 13, at 8:00.

- Showtime will present the world premiere of its highly anticipated new one-hour drama series I’m Dying Up Here at the South by Southwest® (SXSW) Film Festival on Wednesday, March 15 at 11:30 a.m. in the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas. The world premiere will be immediately followed by a Q&A with the series’ cast and producers, including Academy Award winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Treme), Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher), Andrew Santino (Mixology), Erik Griffin (Workaholics), Al Madrigal (The Daily Show) and executive producer Michael Aguilar.

- The Codys are back, and the ties that bind them are about to be stretched to the limit when TNT's hit Animal Kingdom returns for its second season. One of cable's Top 5 new dramas this past summer, the series about a Southern California crime family stars Emmy® and Tony® winner Ellen Barkin as the matriarch of the Cody clan, Scott Speedman as her second in command and Shawn Hatosy as her volatile, mentally unstable eldest son. Also starring are Ben Robson, Jake Weary, Finn Cole, Molly Gordon and Carolina Guerra. The second season of Animal Kingdom is slated to launch Tuesday, May 30, at 9:00 on TNT.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 2/23/17

The Fighter - Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood

Good – Erin McCarley

I guess we have Sia to thank for the proliferation of singular dancer themed music video, here are a couple by two artists you would not expect to have dance themed videos, Keith Urban and Erin McCarley. Urban especially being a country artist except the song sound more like a classic disco song than a genre that was once headlined by the likes of Johnny Cash. Carrie Underwood even looks like she came straight from a Flashdance remake.

All Around You – Stugill Simpson

All of Sturgill Simpson have had the same vaguely dark abstract images that I did not really put much thought into until this one. The dude with the fake golden big hands has to be Trump, right. And the kids destroying the objects of war was not all that subtle either.

Where's the Revolution (Video) - Depeche Mode

I have to wonder when Depeche Mode wrote this song. Did they see the Trump thing coming and wrote this before the wide-spread protests after he was sworn in? Or am I being too America-centric and are they talking about their home country which recently revolted against the European Union.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Previewing Major Crimes: Winter Half of Season Five

It is always jarring whenever an episode starts with gun fire. After that we see the detectives of Major Crimes climbing the stairs of an office building as the employees there flee the scene. The thing is, the scene end up not having anything to do with the case of the week. That instead revolves around a woman being found by the LA River after rigorous has set in and bruising around her body. There is even one of the more shocking interrogation scenes I have ever seen on television.

After the case is closed, there is still some time for some personal time. Buzz has to decide whether to help out the family of the man who murdered his father. There is also a Philip Stroh update. Then the episode ends with a major life decision that we do not get as the elevator door closes before we the audience get to hear the answer. And just a reminder, as the second half of Major Crimes starts up, it was recently renewed for season six.

Major Crimes airs Wednesdays at 9:00 on TNT.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Previewing The Detour: Season Two

There was a point when watching the second season of The Detour, it actually crossed my mind to ask, does TBS actually deserve to be in the discussion for best network on television? It is an amazing thought considering people rarely talk about TBS except the, no really there is an actual great show on TBS piece and just two short years ago they were known as the channel that Conan when to die and Big Bang Theory reruns. Sure they tried a bunch of original programming, but they were all forgettable throwbacks to the time when sitcoms rarely left a work place, bar, or living room.

But since then they have diversified and have a comedy for every type of person that likes to laugh. There is the absurdist comedy of Angie Tribeca, the dark humor of Search Party, the dumb comedy Wrecked, the very weird People of Earth, for political junkies there is Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Then there is The Detour, a smarter comedy. Oh yeah, and Conan is still there.

Sure, it would be easy to write off The Detour as a cheap Vacation rip off turned into a television show, but it turned out to be better than its concept. Sure most people would have to wonder how you take the Vacation movies and turn it into a full season, but they somehow did it. Then you have to ask, um, seriously, a second season? Are actually go on another road trip? Much like Christmas Vacation, no (though there is a fake out in the premiere where you may think they are about to have a wacky bus adventure).

Instead Nate has gotten a job at a shady bottled water company and the whole family is moving to New York City. Oh yeah, and there was that cliffhanger where we learn Nate in the future is actually not being detained by law enforcement because of all the illegal things he did last season, but because his wife may not be who he thought he was.

It has been one year since the last season (though the flashforwards still remain at some unknown time in the future but is so far ahead that Nate has had enough time to grow a beard). And of course just when things start looking up for Parker family, Robin’s real husband shows up to wreak havoc. And what may be the most amazing part of the show is the children remain funny, a rarity on family sitcoms. Really, one of the best parts of the early new season is when Delilah learns the incorrect definition of cockblocker.

The Detour airs Tuesdays at 10:00 on TBS, including back to back episodes tonight. You can download The Detour on iTunes.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Previewing Bates Motel: Season Five

I have a long standing theory that a character on television is not really dead until you see the body (and even then I am usually suspicious), but it became pretty obvious in the season finale of Bates Motel that Norma was dead as a doornail. That’s not to say that Vera Farmiga is leaving show, her name remain in the credits for the upcoming, and final season, and everyone who saw the final scene from last year can see how the actress stays around as a vision of Norman.

Yep, after teetering for the first four seasons, Norman has gone full crazy and now talks to his dead mother whom he has built a shrine to in the basement (you know, where Norman does his taxidermy… ew). Imaginary Norma even claims to be pretending to be dead as an excuse to not leave the house. And you have to feel sorry for the new young lady who runs the hardware store Norman meets early in the new season who looks very much like his dead mother, you know that relationship will not be ending very nicely.

It is unclear just how long it has been since the previous season, Dylan and Emma now have a baby to take care up while Dylan admits he doesn’t talk to his mother or Norman so he has not even learned that his mother is no longer among the living. After his perjury charge, Romero starts off the season in prison. While back in the titular setting, Norman is now the manager who is having increasing amounts of blackouts and ends the premiere answering a very interesting phone call.

The second episode starts off with a very interesting meeting between Norman and Romero in the prison meeting room. Season two also sees the return of Dylan’s creepy neighbor who has a proposition to Norman. New this season is the mayor’s son from The Walking Dead (as Sam Loomis, but he is not a doctor so this is not some Halloween crossover) and Supergirl’s Ms. Teschmacher. Not seen in the first two episode is Rihanna who is reportedly showing up in a famous role sometime this season.

Like most remakes and reboots, I found Bates Motel to be mostly unnessisay, but now in the final season, the show is now what it probably should have always been. Knowing what we always knew about Norman Bates and his relationship with his mother those first couple season drug on a little slow, but now that Norma is dead and Norman is in full split personality mode, the show has turned into a horror version of Mr. Robot. It is a shame they did not kill off Norma earlier in the show’s run..

Bates Motel airs Mondays on A&E. You can download Bates Motel on iTunes.