Friday, March 10, 2017

Around the Tubes: 3/10/17

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 Guerrilla, The Handmaid’s Tale, Our Dream of Water, Brandy Clark, Disgraced, Juliana Hatfield, 50 Cent, Frankly Faraci, Billions, Fire Island, and The Alienist.

- Showtime has released a new behind the scenes video for its highly anticipated six-part limited event series Guerrilla, premiering on Sunday, April 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Created by Academy Award® winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, American Crime), Guerrilla is a love story set against the backdrop of one of the most politically explosive times in U.K. history. The series stars Screen Actors Guild Award® winner Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) and Babou Ceesay (Getting On).

- This week Hulu released a new teaser for The Handmaid’s Tale. The 10-episode first season premieres on Wednesday, April 26th.

- In advance of World Water Day on March 22, Stella Artois and National Geographic are announcing the national premiere of Our Dream of Water, a documentary film spotlighting the effects of the global water crisis by 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner director Crystal Moselle. Our Dream of Wateris Moselle’s first film since her highly acclaimed documentary “The Wolfpack” and was commissioned by Stella Artois as a part of the “Buy A Lady A Drink” campaign, an ongoing partnership with to raise awareness about the global water crisis. The film follows the journey of three women and their communities in Haiti, Peru and Kenya – countries that benefit from the campaign. As with Moselle’s previous films, Our Dream of Water is extremely character-driven and focuses on three exceptional women and their unshakeable perseverance, despite hardships they face on a daily basis. Tune-in! Our Dream of Water will debut on National Geographic at 6:00:00 on March 22, on World Water Day, with an encore presentation on March 23 at 3:00 p.m. EST/PST.

- Tune in to the AUDIENCE Network concert special Brandy Clark airing Friday, March 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT via DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114 and DIRECTVNOW. In this episode, Brandy Clark sits down with host Ted Stryker in Los Angeles foran in-depth interview spanning her musical beginnings and influences.

-The official trailer for the upcoming documentary film Disgraced was released today and is available now on and the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube page. DISGRACED will make its anticipated world premiere at the SXSW® Film Festival on Sunday, March 12 and its television premiere on SHOWTIME on Friday, March 31 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

- Boston-based singer-songwriter Juliana Hatfield will be releasing a brand-new record titled Pussycat (American Laundromat Records) on April 28th, following the kick-off of a national tour that will start on April 23rd. The first single, "Impossible Song" can be heard here:

- On March 31, 2017, almost fifteen years after his explosive debut, UMe will release Best Of 50 Cent. This is 50 Cent’s first “Best Of� compilation, which will be issued on CD and at all digital retail outlets. The double LP will be released on April 7. It includes classic cuts from the albums Get Rich or Die Tryin’, The Massacre, Curtis, Before I Self Destruct, Music From And Inspired By Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ The Motion Picture and the In Too Deep Motion Picture Soundtrack. Best Of 50 Cent also features the non-album tracks “Get Up� and “I Get It In,� plus the bonus cut “How to Rob.� Among his many legendary collaborators included are Mobb Deep, Akon, Ne-Yo, The Madd Rapper, Nate Dogg, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and Olivia, the first woman signed to 50 Cent’s G-Unit label.

- Dove Channel, Cinedigm’s (NASDAQ: CIDM) OTT family-friendly streaming service, announced today that episode one of its first original show, Frankly Faraci, is scheduled to go up on the service March 21st, with new episodes premiering weekly thereafter. Hosted by journalist Matthew Faraci, this unprecedented show provides viewers with an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at high-profile figures in entertainment, music, sports, business, and politics who are doing good things in the world.

- Showtime has picked up the hit drama series Billions for a third season. Billions delivered the network’s biggest sophomore debut since Homeland, and had its best telecast of the season this past Sunday night, up 13 percent versus the season two premiere telecast. Starring Oscar® nominee and Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Paul Giamatti, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis, Maggie Siff and Malin Akerman, Billions airs Sundays at 10:00.

- Logo this week unveiled the cast and trailer for its new unscripted series, Fire Island, from Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ Milojo Productions. Fire Island follows a group of young professionals living together in a beachfront share house for the summer as they search for the romance, temptation and thrills that have brought the LGBTQ community to the island for decades. The provocative new show will premiere later this spring.

- Sean Astin (Stranger Things) is set to star as Theodore Roosevelt, the Police Commissioner for New York City, in TNT's The Alienist, the eagerly anticipated series based on the Anthony Award-winning New York Times bestseller by Caleb Carr. Astin joins fellow series regulars Daniel Brühl (Rush) as forensic psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler; Luke Evans (The Girl on The Train) as newspaper illustrator John Moore; and Dakota Fanning (American Pastoral) as Sara Howard, a headstrong secretary at Police Headquarters, who together investigate a series of brutal m urders i n New York during the Gilded Age.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 3/8/17

Green Light - Lorde

My first impression when listening to the new Lorde song was, good, it sounds like she is not just making Pure Heroine 2.0. But on further listening, I am beginning to realize it may be too glossy. The rawness is what made her first album great. I think we have Jack Abramoff to thank, he of Fun and also produced Out of the Woods, the most bland of Taylor Swift’s single. I am still cautiously optimistic for the new album.

That's What I Like - Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars said he wanted his new album to sound like the RnB heavy middle school dances he went to in the nineties. I did not think he quite hit his goal, except his latest video does look very nineties.

Beauty and the Beast – John Legend and Ariana Grande

Remakes are universally reviled by the internet but they keep happening because for some reason people in the real world keep seeing them. One of the worse remakes ever did not happen on the silver screen but was a musical remake: We Are the World 25. Seriously, Michael Jackson headlined the orginal. The biggest name in the remake was Lil’ Wayne. I think The Pussycat Dolls were involved too. Just a huge embarrassment. But where the eighties version featured a murders row of future first ballot Hall of Famers, in the new millennium, there just are not any superstar singers anymore. Taylor Swift. Adele. That is it. That is the list. Basically every other modern day singer would be happy to be Kim Carnes level of successful today. Now I will not call the Ariana Grande / John Legend remake as bad as the We Are the World Remake but it is weird that Ariana Grande is the best they can get to replace Celine Dion. I guess Legend is an upgrade for Peabo Bryson. But I fear the Sean Mendez version of Circle of Life for the upcoming Lion King Remake.

No Lives Matter - Body Count

Nothing more annoying when both sides of the political divide fight over stupid thing (case in point: who the fork cares where people go to the bathroom). Now police violence against unarmed black man is important, but the fighting over the “(insert subsection here) lives matter” got way out of control. Leave it to Ice-T, (you know, the guy from the lemonade television commercial) and No Lives Matter - Body Count to tell it like it is, that in actuality, No Lives Matter.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Previewing The Arrangement

Full disclosure notice: I have not watched E! in probably over a decade. Sure I used to watch E! News Daily and Talk Soup occationally but the channel just got too trashy for me the more the focused on fake famous people. Now that content is king and future libraries are the key to survival and the shelf-life of red carpet coverage and trashy reality shows pretty much end the minute it airs, E! has finally realized that like every other cable network, it is time to start making their own content instead of just talking about every else’s.

E!’s first attempt at scripted programming was successful enough that The Royals is already on its third season and renewed for a fourth. It seemed apropos for the network to greenlight a trashy show about the British monarchy since they go wall to wall with every major royal event. And it also seems right up their alley that their second deals with Hollywood relationship, the kind they fawn about when they walk down the red carpet, but The Arrangement looks what happens when the camera are not on.

The Arrangement is a tale as old as cinema, for better or worse, waitress by day, struggle actress by night who can only seem to get work in vampire doctor shows meets the biggest actor in the world, fall in lust, and he asks her to marry him. Okay the show is not as fairy-tale as that as the title suggests the newly minted relationship has some string attached as the big actor seems to have some deep dark secret and likes to have all his bases covered. And no, it is not that, as he tells the actress, she is not his beard (though I cannot decide if the show would be better or worse had he actually been gay).

The young actress is Christine Evangelista who is a great find for the show as she just fills the screen whenever she is front and center. I was a bit surprised to see she does have a lengthy IMDB page, thirty roles in the past decade and yet the closest thing she has come to a big break so far is a trashy lead on E!. Well I guess there was a quickly canceled ABC show in there that I do not even remember. Really, her hip hop tribute to Shakespeare in a bikini is the single greatest thing I have seen all year.

Unfortunately that is followed up with one of the worst lines I have heard, “I have to kiss you now.” Ugg. Those words are spoken by Josh Henderson (J.R. Jr. in the Dallas reboot) who is about an unbelievable biggest actor in the world as the guy from Entourage. But the series going forward may hinge on Michael Vartan (Monster In Law) and Lexa Doig (Continuum) who play a married couple very close friends of Henderson and run some weird, possibly cultish, science institute. Really, the more evil they turn out to be, the more interested I would become. Well that and more hip-hop tributes to dead writers.

The Arrangement airs Sundays at 10:00 on E!.