Friday, March 31, 2017

Around the Tubes: 3/31/2017

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 Supremes, Ice, The Real Jesus of Nazareth, Outlaw Tech, Latin Music USA, Disgraced, What Happens at The Abbey, and The Mindy Project.

- By the time Motown released The Supremes A’ Go-Go, the group’s ninth studio album, on August 25, 1966, the group had already scaled the charts with hits like “Where Did Our Love Go?,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Back in My Arms Again” and “I Hear a Symphony.” UMe will now reissue the classic album in a deluxe, expanded two-CD edition, featuring the original 12 tracks, featuring both the stereo album, along with rare mono album mixes, alternative vocal versions and mixes, as well as a duet of “Shake Me Wake Me (When It’s Over)” with the Four Tops. There are also rarely heard album outtakes, such as covers of fellow ‘60s stalwarts Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satsifaction.”

- On May 16, go deep into the dark, dangerous underbelly of the diamond trade with Ice, exec produced by Antoine Fuqua (The Magnificent Seven). Featuring a stellar ensemble cast with Jeremy Sisto, Cam Gigandet, Donald Sutherland and Ray Winstone, Ice: Season One is a gritty, high-octane series sure to thrill home audiences. We'd love to help usher you into the thrilling, stylized LA underworld of ICE in a few different ways.

- Starring no less than seven Academy Award® winners, the 1977 miniseries Jesus of Nazareth was a global television event – one of the most celebrated TV biographies of Jesus ever made. Now, 40 years later, the actor who portrayed the Son of God, Robert Powell, is returning to the Holy Land to seek out clues to the real historical figure who inspired Christianity. The Real Jesus of Nazareth, a new four-part series, will premiere on Easter Sunday, April 16 at 8:00 on Smithsonian Channel.

- State of the art science, thrilling suspense, unforgettable characters. These are the true stories of a new wild west, where biology, physics, chemistry, and technology are tools of the outlaw trade. With complex security systems designed to stop the world’s most nefarious criminal masterminds, a new Science Channel series goes inside amazing capers to unpack the high-tech arsenal used on both sides of the law. Outlaw Tech premieres Wednesday, April 26 at 10:00.

- Discover the fascinating musical fusions that propelled Latin music to the top of the US charts with Latin Music USA, coming back for audiences on Fridays, April 28th and May 5th at 9:00 (check local listings). Produced by public media leader WGBH Boston in co-production with the BBC, this two-part, four-hour documentary explores the Latin rhythms that influenced jazz, rock, country, and rhythm and blues, highlighting the enduring contributions made by Latino musicians to the American songbook.

- Showtime released an exclusive clip from the anticipated documentary film Disgraced featuring former Baylor University men’s basketball assistant coach Abar Rouse and secret audio recordings of former head coach Dave Bliss.

- E! goes behind the bar and takes an inside look at the lives of the employees of the world-famous hot spot when its new docu-series What Happens at The Abbey premieres on Sunday, May 14th at 10:00. Located in the heart of Los Angeles’ West Hollywood neighborhood, The Abbey, hailed as the “Best Gay Bar in the World,” is an institution where labels are abandoned, inclusion is paramount and everyone, regardless of their sexuality comes to mix and mingle with celebrities.

- Johnny Galecki will appear in and executive produce Scijinks (wt), a new Science Channel series scheduled to premiere in 4th quarter 2017. SCIJINKS will use cutting-edge science as the foundation for outrageous stunts and practical jokes, creating the smartest prank show on television. The announcement was made today by Marc Etkind, General Manager of Science Channel.

- Hulu has renewed The Mindy Project for its sixth and final season to premiere September 2017 on Hulu.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Previewing Harlots

Prostitution has been called the oldest profession and brothels routinely pop up in prestige historical dramas (real or fake) from Deadwood to Game of Thrones. Yet despite being as populous as one in every five women in Victorian England in the profession, these prestige dramas usually just use them as gratuitous nudity and we rarely get to know many of these women. Until now. Harlots put these women up front. And not only are the women the focus of the show, they are also behind the scenes with all the producers, writers and directors being women too so the scene come off as less exploitative as those shows where these women are more background characters.

Harlots features two warring brothels in eighteenth century England. Samantha Morton (John Carter) is a madam of the people who goes up against Lesley Manville (Maleficent) who appeals to a more high class clientele who expect their companions to known an instrument and can converse in French. Morton has two daughters, Jessica Brown Findley (Downton Abbey) is the one who got out and is now not quick to sign a contract to be someone else’s wife. Newcomer Eloise Smyth (look out for her, she is going to be big) has yet to join the family business but there are plenty of suitors looking to be the highest bidder to take her virginity.

We have seen the spunky upstart vs. high class stalwart many of time before, but never like this. We have seen historical dramas set in 1700’s England, but never like this. Ever since The Handmaiden’s Tale trailer premiered at the Super Bowl, I have thought that show was going to be Hulu’s first great series, well, it looks like Harlots, which kind of came out of nowhere, may win that title a month sooner.

Harlots premieres today on Hulu.

Monday, March 27, 2017

I Want My Music Videos: 3/27/17

Legend Has It – Run the Jewels

I thought the twist would be that Run The Jewels would not be fingered, maybe the police dog. Instead they went with the obvious Usual Suspects ending. Oh well.

Down - Marian Hill

Okay it is a simple camera trick, the new Marian Hill video is kind of cool.

Feels Like Summer – Weezer

It feels like a bi-yearly occurrence that I complain about the latest underwhelming lead single from a Weezer album, and this is no exception.

Don’t Look Back – Dia Frampton

Aw, Dia Frampton, still my favorite contestant from The Voice. I actually liked her big pop album Red, but this song has a great slow burn build to it.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/26/17

Homeland: Oh my goodness, Carrie calls out Saul for sleeping with a Russian Spy only for him to throw Brody back in her face. Seriously, how do those two still have jobs for our government? But we finally get to what this season is all about: bringing down Dar, which Quinn almost did by himself. But who did he call? It kind of looked like they guy who ran Max’s new internet rebel rouser group but I do not think it was him.

The Walking Dead: Well that did not take long for Eugene to choose a side, I figured we would have to wait until next season at least. Then you had Rosalina wanting to go in guns a blazing only for Sasha to beat her to the punch. Alrighty.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Billions: Wait, is Axe now a member of the Nerds of Doom? Did Jerry O’Connell already with draw? But they should have hired someone more distinctive looking to replace Wendy at Axe Capital because I always forget who he is until after his scenes are over.

Into the Badlands: No “Previously On” after a year layoff, pretty bold… and stupid, I was kind of lost most of the episode.
You can download Into the Badlands on iTunes.

Supergirl: I am trying to think what happened this week on the show but cannot because my mind is completely clouded by the horrible crossover on The Flash. It started out alright with Supergirl singing Moon River mediocrely but the episode went way downhill after that. It somehow was worse than I expected.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Path: Wait, were they really painting little coffins? Creepy. But that was cold Richard, granted you reap what you sow and she just got down using other people’s unburdening against them. Turn about fair play.
You can stream The Path on Hulu.

Survivor: Game Changers: The promo monkeys spoiled there were going to be two tribes going to Tribal Council this week but left out one huge detail: they are going at the same time to vote one person out. I could not decide when it was announced if this was a good twist or not, but in the end it turned out to be a great twist as it turned out to be the most chaotic Tribal Councils ever. It even made Hali, who has been completely worthless for a season and a half, actually interesting. Seriously, what did, “I didn’t consent” even mean? You really need to re-watch Tribal just to keep an eye on Hali. She jumps up right after JT goes and tells Brad they are voting for Sierra for no apparent reason and tells her old tribe to vote for Brad. Which, great strategy. But then she sits down while her new tribe is huddling (there was also a moment where Sierra and Malcolm were just randomly talking while everyone else huddled). Then Hali joins her new tribe’s huddle. Thing settle down and we get her, I didn’t consent” line. Only for Sandra (who has been way over confident this season) stupidly telling Hali to vote and votes with her new tribe. Then Tai pulls out an Idol asks if Not-Dante Cullpepper if he wants it and in his first entertaining thing in two and a half season, Not-Dante nonchalantly points to Sierra despite his name being bandied around by his own tribe, which turned out to be a wise because Hali’s old tribe did not take her suggestion and voted for Sierra, which did not count. Awesome. Even better, Hali’s new tribe targeted Malcolm (who got a kiss of death from Sierra, her first good moment in a season and a half) pretty much taking Hali’s suggestion to target strong players when her old tribe did not do the same. This is why I still watch this show thirty seasons plus latter.
You can download Survivor: Game Changers on iTunes.

Legion: Well they explained that better than the two people living in the same body situation. I kind of understand what is going on now.
You can download Legion on iTunes.

Grimm: Wait, did the really kill off the token black dude and the token Asian in the penultimate episode? Kind of racist. Well, though I predict the stick will bring them back to life by the time the series ends.
You can download Grimm on iTunes.