Saturday, April 08, 2017

Around the Tubes: 4/8/2017

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 Origins, I’m Dying Up Here, Claws, Meg Mac, The Circus: Inside the Biggest Story on Earth, Warning: This Drug May Kill You, NASA’s Unexplained Files, Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner, Nightmare on Everest, Biblical Conspiracies: Jesus Family Tomb?, Stevie Wonder, VH1 Hip Hop Squares, and Showtime.

- National Geographic’s new original series Origins is a full-sensory, time-travel adventure that delves deep into history to find the pivotal ‘origin’ moments that fueled our evolutionary ascension. While we are in a fast-growing technological age fueled by smart phones, satellites and the ‘next big discovery,’ Origins pauses to probe the biggest questions in the universe: How did we get here? How did Homo Sapiens evolve from apes swinging tree to tree to astronauts walking on the surface of the moon? On Monday, April 10, Origins turns its focus to the very important issue of Shelter. Shelter is one of our most basic human needs—and while we have come a long way from the cave dwellings of pre-historic times, one fact is inescapable: From treetops to skyscrapers, shelter, in any form, it is the foundation of human race.

- Yesterday, Showtime debuted the new trailer for the network’s one-hour drama series I’m Dying Up Here, which will kick off the Showtime summer lineup on Sunday, June 4 at 10:00. The fictional series explores L.A.’s famed ’70s stand-up comedy scene and stars Academy Award® winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Treme), Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher), Michael Angarano (The Knick), Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine), Andrew Santino (Mixology), Erik Griffin (Workaholics), RJ Cyler (Power Rangers), Al Madrigal (The Daily Show) and Jake Lacy (Obvious Child) as part of a large ensemble cast. The series is created and executive produced by Dave Flebotte and executive produced by Golden Globe® winner Jim Carrey, Michael Aguilar and Christina Wayne.

- TNT's Claws is a midnight-dark, wickedly funny meditation on female badness set in a Central Florida nail salon, where there is a lot more going on than silk wraps and pedicures. Niecy Nash (Getting On, The Soul Man), Carrie Preston (True Blood), Harold Perrineau (Lost, Oz), Jenn Lyon (Justified), Judy Reyes (Scrubs), Karrueche Tran (The Nice Guys), Jason Antoon (Famous in Love), Kevin Rankin (Dallas Buyers Club, Friday Night Lights), Jack Kesy (The Strain) and Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) star in this hour-long dramedy. Claws is slated to launch across TNT's television, mobile and digital platforms on Sunday, June 11, at 9:00.

- MEG MAC is back with her keenly anticipated new single ‘Low Blows’, a dynamic, soulful, personal exhortation that’s distinctly and uniquely MEG MAC. Recorded in Fort Worth, Texas at the Niles City Sound Studio with additional production at Electric Lady in New York. The song premiered exclusively on W Magazine.

- All eyes are on Donald Trump as he takes his first major military action as president, launching an air attack on Syria at the end of a week when three heads of state visit America, North Korea stages a missile launch, and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee steps aside from the investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. In this season’s fourth episode, “The Whole World is Watching,” The Circus: Inside the Biggest Story on Earth takes an in-depth look at Trump’s foreign policy and its implications as the new Commander in Chief grapples with the most serious global challenges he has faced so far. Airing Sunday, April 9, at 8:00 on Showtime, the episode features conversations with lawmakers and national security experts, as well as on-the-ground coverage of the visit of the Chinese president to Mar-a-Lago.

- With nearly a hundred Americans dying everyday from opioid overdoses, the U.S. currently faces the worst drug epidemic in its history. More people die from opioid overdoses annually in the U.S. than from car accidents or gun homicides, a number that has quadrupled since 1999. From journalist Perri Peltz (HBO’s “Risky Drinking”), Warning: This Drug May Kill You tells devastating personal stories of families who have lost a loved one to an opioid overdose, all of them the result of addictions that started with doctors’ prescriptions of dangerous painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. Also featuring harrowing pictures and cellphone videos, the documentary puts a human face on the epidemic of U.S. opioid addiction and its grave consequences when it debuts Monday, MAY 1 at 10:00, exclusively on HBO.

- Outer space is still largely an uncharted frontier filled with wonder and secrets. Over the years, bold pioneers have uncovered interstellar wonders including cosmic bodies, far away galaxies, and alien worlds. These groundbreaking explorations and findings are uncovered in two Science Channel returning series, Space's Deepest Secrets, premiering April 11 at 9PM ET/PT, and NASA’s Unexplained Files, premiering April 12 at 9:00.

- The stars will be out in Washington, D.C. later this month when TBS's late-night hit Full Frontal with Samantha Bee presents the first annual Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Samantha Bee, who has been hailed by The New Yorker as "America's new Comedian-in-Chief," will host the evening's festivities from D.C.'s largest concert hall, DAR Constitution Hall. This special installment of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee will premiere Saturday, April 29, at 10:00 on TBS.

- The spectacular natural beauty of the Himalayas draws thousands of tourists and thrill-seekers to Nepal every year, but the same great forces that created the beautiful mountains also have the power to destroy. In April 2015, a violent 7.8 magnitude earthquake triggered deadly landslides and avalanches across the country. On the second anniversary of the fatal disaster, Nightmare on Everest shares the exclusive stories of climbers on Mount Everest and hikers in Langtang National Park who survived, recounting their experience with never-before-broadcast footage and interviews. Produced by Arrow Media, Nightmare on Everest premieres on Smithsonian Channel, Monday, April 24 at 9:00.

- It is one of the most controversial ancient artifacts ever found and the center of a decade long controversy. The James Ossuary, a burial bone box that dates to the 1st century, has on it, an inscription that states, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” It has been considered by some to be fake, by others to be the first piece of hard archaeological evidence of the physical existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Biblical historian Simcha Jacobovici helps unpack the mystery surrounding this potentially explosive find in Biblical Conspiracies: Jesus Family Tomb?, premiering Easter weekend, Saturday, April 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Science Channel.

- Around the world, millions of people depend on fish for food and livelihood. But what if official government data is drastically underestimating how many fish are being caught? How close are we to a global catastrophe? Government and industry regulators track the quantity of fish caught and claim the oceans can handle it, but global fish numbers have dropped significantly in recent decades. A new Smithsonian Channel special showcases an exhaustive 15-year investigation – from the Atlantic coastline to the reefs of the Bahamas and the shores of Senegal – to reveal stark new findings about our marine ecosystems. Narrated by actor and conservationist Ted Danson, a passionate advocate for the world’s oceans, An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch premieres on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 8:00 on Smithsonian Channel.

- ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, announces that it will honor legendary musician Stevie Wonder with its inaugural “Key of Life” Award at this year’s ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO in Los Angeles, April 13 – 15, where he will also appear in a keynote “I Create Music” session.

- VH1, Ice Cube and his Cube Vision production company in conjunction with Jesse Collins Entertainment, Scott St. John and Jeff Kwatinetz’s The Firm, today announced that VH1 Hip Hop Squares has been renewed for a second season. The series debuted to over 3.2 million viewers across premiere night plays, is the #1 non-sports cable show in its time period with P18-34 and ranked as VH1’s highest rated new series in a year.

- For the first time, Showtime Networks is offering subscribers to the Showtime stand-alone streaming service and SHOWTIME ANYTIME the ability to download programming on mobile devices and tablets – allowing viewers to watch content offline at no extra cost.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Previewing Beach Boys: Making Pet Sounds

The biggest eternal question in rock and roll history is “The Beatles or the Rolling Stone?” Syth rock band Metric even had a minor hit Gimme Sympathy based around that question. But whenever anyone asks be “Beatles or the Stone” my answers is always: The Beach Boys. Of all the classic rock era bands, the Beach Boys were always my favorite. And the thing about The Beach Boys is they are sneaky great, so you can instantly be attacked to their simple California themed songs as kids. Then as you grow you realize these simple songs when you listen to them very closely have very complex harmonies and musical compositions.

Those very complex harmonies and musical compositions all culminated with their album Pet Sounds (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) - The Beach Boys. Tonight takes a look at that landmark album with Beach Boys: Making Pet Sounds. Last year saw the fiftieth anniversary of the album and the documentary talks with the surviving members of The Beach Boys, (Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks) as well as musicians, writers and executives that helped shape the album. It also features exclusive interviews, classic archive and rare studio outtakes from the recording sessions

What is good about this documentary is it does not dwell too much on the Brian and Mike power struggle (there is a segment where Love defends the album and claims to have never hated like so many fans speculate). Other interesting aspects of the documentary are when Brian Wilson talks about the genius label and how the album featured a female bassist, something rare at the times. Making Pet Sounds should be something all Beach Boys fans, young and old should check out.

Beach Boys: Making Pet Sounds premieres tonight at 8:00 on Showtime.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 4/4/2017

Dis Generation - A Tribe Called Quest

Alright, the new A Tribe Called Quest video is really cool.

Shine On Me – Dan Auerbach

So am I the only one who hears Juice Newton’s Queen of Hearts in the new solo song from The Black Keys Dan Auerbach?

HUMBLE. - Kendrick Lamar

Of course a rapper releases a song called “Humble” and it is anything but. And the video features Kendrick Lamar as a pope (I think) and the head of The Last Supper (pretty obvious). And I just want to assume there is a New Jack City reference in there. I know when I see hot chicks counting money in their underwear (or less) I think New Jack City.

10,000 Miles - Cam'ron

Apropos that I first saw this video on April Fool’s Day because Cam'ron sampling A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton is just a humongous joke.

Monday, April 03, 2017

The Voice Season Twelve Battle Round Power Rankings

Can we please get a petition going to kick Gwen off the show? In three seasons she has had three very weak teams, she gave us two of the five biggest Live Show disasters Ryan Sill and Braiden Sunshine. Her best contestant ever, Ellie Lawrence, she dumped in favor of Sunshine. Her love affair with Blake this season is completely unbearable. But there is one thing this season that trumps them all and is the reason she needs to get the boot and never come back. Now I am not one of those people who say, the show is called The Voice, the best singer should always advance. I want to be entertained so I will take an entertaining singer over a boring singer who just can happened to hold the biggest note. But even that take is about singing. Gwen actually told Brennley she knew she was going to Steal her before she even started singing based on her look (and I also think Blake told her to Steal Brennley so he can Steal her back next round like I predicted).

Really the Steals all around seemed wasted. Blake paired up his country girls because there are too many of them this season, yet both losers got stolen. Adam’s steals gave boring and unmemorable performances. Then there were two boring white dudes that got a reprieve (okay, I kind of like Dawson’s cheesy performance). Surprisingly Blake had the best Steals despite best known for using his as fodder, Felicia should have never lost to a middle schooler and though I did not care for Caroline going over the top for the Battles when her Blind Audition was so sweet and subdued, maybe with the country Blake they can find something more folksy to do in the Knockouts. Other than Blake’s pair, there were some singer left by the wayside because the other coaches rather go for fodder. I though Lauryn Judd was one of the five best this Battle Round and Kenny P., Gaby, Sammie, Josh, and Kawan were all better than the other six who will be moving on. I have said it before and will say it until it happens, but The Voice needs a Second Chance season for those that did not make it to the Live Shows. All of these six should be given another try.

Then much like the Blind Audition montage victims this season, the Battle relegated to seconds of screen time got uploaded to YouTube. And clearly the producers were right to cut them from television as most were trainwrecks or just downright boring. Only one was at all memorable, Andrea vs. Micah but it looks like Andrea may have irked someone because she is currently set up to be the third ever triple montage. But hey, at least she got her performances on YouTube unlike the other two. But anyways. Here are my favorites of the season.

1. Lilli Passero (Team Alicia): I love her, not much else to say other that I am going to be irate when she gets the boot so all the boring white dudes and country singers make it to the Semi-finales.

2. Lauren Duski (Team Blake): Blake really loves his country singers because he can dip deep into the country library to grab songs people like me have never heard of. But I hope Blake lets her stay weird like doing country pop versions of nineties songs.

3. Aliyah Moulden (Team Blake): Well this was a surprise. Blake has historically been horrible at the Battle Rounds from an entertainment stand point. They are usually lopsided and whenever he picks non-country songs they end up being train wrecks. I am too lazy to look it up, but I would guess half of his Battles get monaged because of this. So when you hear he was giving his two non-country singers quite possibly the cheesiest song ever, my first thought was, wait, this is not being montaged. But congratulations to Aliyah and Dawson for actually making that an entertaining performance. Seriously, these kids’ parents may not have been alive when this song was released.

4. Chris Blue (Team Alicia): In a while I am going to complain the over use of Motown in the Battle Round, and here is proof you do not have to go to the well every time there is an RnB singer. I just wished the break into some nineties RnB tunes also.

5. TSoul (Team Blake): Here is another Battle that deserved a Steal.

6. Johnny Gates (Team Gwen): This was one of the Battles when Johnny starts singing and you go, oh yeah, he is going to win. Then Sammie started to sing and I realized, oh wait, she should win. One of the rare tossups in the Battles. Shame Sammie did not warrant a steal.

7. Felicia Temple (Team Alicia Blake): I jumped ship before the Battle last season so I was unaware of how Alicia picks singers, was she this stupid? How was this even a choice? This may have been the second worst Battle decision ever.

8. Dawson Coyle (Team Blake Alicia): I have to roll my eyes whenever Carson hypes the most shocking steal ever every episode and every commercial break, but that may have finally been appropriate this time around. There were other out there that deserved a Steal over him (Gaby and Kenny P comes to mind) but he did have a much higher degree of difficulty with the cheesiest cheesy eighties song.

9. Caroline Sky (Team Gwen Blake): Caroline came in as a soft singer-songwriter type, I liked that much better that her trying to belt out songs. Hopefully Blake can course correct that after getting some bad advice from Gwen.

10. Jesse Larson (Team Adam): Speaking of random Blake Battles, this seems like something he would have done and would have been montaged. Jesse was fine had it just been him, but goodness these two do not mix well at all. Since they actually released the montaged Battles this season I have to wonder what the producers were thinking airing this instead of half they actually reduced to five seconds.

11. Ashley Levin (Team Blake Alicia): I was kind of meh on this Battle though I leaned towards Ashley. Not so much that I thought she would get three Steal attempts
12. Vanessa Ferguson (Team Alicia): I would give the slight edge to Vanessa but the performance was just too subdued.

13. Autumn Turner (Team Alicia Adam): Again, kind of a boring Battle yet she did makes Last Dance really entertaining in 2017 so maybe she can do something better in the Knockouts, Adam does have a weak team.

14. Brennley Brown (Team Blake Gwen): Called it, stolen by Gwen, now where can I bet Blake steals her back in the Knockouts?

15. Johnny Hayes (Team Adam): I spent most of the time thinking Cody Belew was much better than either of them. Both were just trying too hard.

16. JChosen (Team Gwen): I was kind of bored with JChosen, maybe cause it has become an annoying cliché whenever there is a soul singer to have them sing Motown, so I found Keny P much more interesting in this Battle. And even though he seems to be pushed s lot, there are many other RnB singers this season I am more interested in.
17. Casi Joy (Team Blake): I just find her traditional country sound to be mostly boring.

18. Anatalia Villaranda (Team Alicia): Gee, they might as well as montaged this because it was pretty obvious who Alicia was going to pick from the pair and the energetic song choice made it even more obvious since Anatalia basically performed the same song in the Blind Auditions.

19. Malik Davage (Team Adam): Another really bad song choice from Adam, the song just does not showcase any voice very well, but I still thought Kawan was the clear winner.

20. Troy Ramey (Team Gwen): Montage win… yawn. And watching the full version I could see why, they mostly butchered one of the great middle school dance songs of all time.

21. Brandon Royal (Team Gwen): I liked his battle better than his Blind Audition but he is still on the bottom f the RnB singer power raking. Well of the grown men division.

22. Josh West (Team Adam): Montage win… yawn. Really just a bad song choice for both of them. It slightly fit Nala better but clearly Adam knew who was going to win when they paired them.

23. Davina Leone (Team Gwen Adam: This warranted a Steal? She came acrtoss as a more of a background singer to Brandon and he was not really that good either. If this was the last Steal of the season, Adam should have waited. I did notice Carson did not get the obligatory, “coaches let me remind you (the artist) is available to Steal” for Lauryn Judd, he should have waited for her.

24. Andrea Thomas (Team Blake): Double montage victim… yawn. The only question now is will be the third triple montage victim?

25. Hanna Eyre (Team Adam): Montage win… yawn. I actually thought the other chick won hands down. Too bad they did not add the coach’s commentary to the YouTube video because I wonder what Adam’s reasoning was and if the other coaches agreed. Probably another case of Adam picking the winner before he even picked the song.

26. Stephanie Rice (Team Gwen): She gets much too loud for my taste.

27. Enid Ortiz (Team Blake): The biggest shocker of the Battles, Valerie, a much ballyhooed four chair turn against a very forgettable person from the Blinds gets booted via montage. But it also really sucks getting stuck singing an obscure song by a Voice alum, no wonder this was montaged.

28. Jack Cassidy (Team Alicia): see below.

29. Hunter Plake (Team Alicia Gwen): I was going to decry this as another wasted Steal but apparently I am in the minority considering this was the highest charting Battle this season, and higher than any Blind Audition. Granted I have an irrational hatred of boring white dudes and these two are extremely boring. And with Hunter now on Gwen’s team, I fear we may have a redux of Gwen’s last season who took an annoying teenager and boring white dudes to the Lives and they went all the way to the Semi-Finals. Does that make Stephanie this season’s Korin. I would feel really sorry for her if that is the case.

30. Mark Isaiah (Team Adam): Wait, did I watch a different Battle? What was with all the praise for Mark, his voice and whiney. Gaby actually has character. Is this solely a looks thing and everyone thinks Mark is the next heartthrob? To me this goes in the pantheon of worst decisions ever.

31. Quizz Swanigan (Team Alicia): Seriously Alicia, what the fork? He better not become the black Braiden Sunshine.

32. Aaliyah Rose (Team Gwen): Montage win…. Yawn. But she better not turn out to be the female Braiden Sunshine. Seriously, Gwen is a horrible coach.

Alright let put these people into my patient pending formula to see who has the strongest team:

Blake – 170
Alicia – 151
Adam – 107
Gwen – 100

Oh my, coming out of the Blinds, somehow I thought Adam had the strongest team while Alicia had the weakest. Adam had a bunch of questionable picks and some really bad song selections that really sunk his team this round. And though Alicia made the worst decision of the round keeping Quizz, she chose wisely everywhere else and plucked some great songs too that really showcased her singers which may be why half her losers got stolen. Then there was Blake steady as always, picking the right singer and even picked up some worthy Steals in the process. But who cares what I think, here are the highest charting Battles this season:

1. Hunter Plake and Jack Cassidy (11)
2. Brennley Brown and Lauren Duski (160)
3. Lauryn Judd and Lilli Passero (180)
4. Johnny Gates and Sammie Zonana (193)
5. Autumn Turner and Vanessa Ferguson (232)
6. Ashley Levin and Casi Joy (246)
7. Caroline Sky and Stephanie Rice (311)
8. Brandon Royal and Davina Leone (389)
9. Felisha Temple and Quizz Swanigan (447)
10. Aliyah Moulden and Dawson Coyle (455)
11. Chris Blue and RJ Collins (534)
12. Jesse Larson and Taylor Alexander (555)
13. Chris Blue (579)
14. Gaby Borromea and Mark Isaiah (690)
15. JChosen and Kenny P. (698)
16. Casi Joy (896)
17. Josh Hoyer and TSoul (882)
18. Anatalia Villaranda and Missy Robertson (1348)
19. Hunter Plake (1156)
20. Johnny Hayes and Julian Martinez (1497)

You know my rant about unworthy Steals at the beginning, maybe I am wrong; all eight steals were in the top ten best sellers. Though I should note, Lauryn was third and she more than anyone else this season I think deserved to move on to the Knockouts. Since they gone to the only offering up duets instead of solo of singers advancing, it is harder to pick out front runners (although Chris Casi and Hunter being the only ones who re-charted their Blind Auditions may be a clue, although weirdly Hunter’s did not chart very high the first time), but here is how the singers rank if you average their peaks from the two rounds so far.

1. Lauren Duski (147.5)
2. Casi Joy (221)
3. Stephanie Rice (242)
4. Lilli Passero (248)
5. Chris Blue (308)
6. Johnny Gates (385)
7. Jack Cassidy (397)
8. JChosen (486)
9. Hunter Plake (570)
10. Vanessa Ferguson (617)
11. Brennley Brown (644.5)
12. Autumn Turner (646.5)
13. Mark Isaiah (651)
14. Caroline Sky (733.5)
15. TSoul (904)
16. Johnny Hayes (1069.5)
17. Anatalia Villaranda (1207.5)

Wow, that is almost half that manages to chart both performances. Ashley, Brandon, Davina, Aliyah, Dawson, and Jesse only charted their Battles. Felicia, Troy, Josh, and Hanna managed to chart only their Blind Auditions (the latter three were victims of montages not that is an excuse, Holly Henry almost cracked the top two hundred in the same position), while Malik, Quizz, Aaliyah, Enid, and Andrea have to even crack the top 1500 (again, the final three were featured in a montage, the latter twice). And shockingly Gwen has the best Team in terms of iTunes, just edging out Alicia and Blake. Adam, who had the best iTunes team after the Blinds, fell off a huge cliff. That will happen when you dump you two best charting Blind Auditions (Taylor and Kawan) and have half you team montaged because few people chart and certainly chart high when that happens.

Unlike the Battles where they complete spoiled all the pairings on their YouTube page, we only got a quick glimpse of a couple Battles:

Anatalia vs. Dawson (Team Alicia)
Hannah vs. Autumn (Team Adam)
JSoul vs. Enid (Team Blake)
Chris vs. Quizz (Team Alicia)
Johnny vs. Hunter (Team Gwen)

Not much to go on but some interesting pairings, especially those last three (the producers have been very keen on the spitfire Anatalia and the other, I guess is an obligatory team Adam shot). I would have guessed JSoul would be the easy pick, Blake does like taking a token black person to the Lives, but Enid did upset Valerie who I thought was the most obvious Team Blake Battle Round winner. Speaking of upsets, Quizz took out a former Team Alicia frontrunner, can he do it again. Then thankfully Gwen is putting on a battle of the boring white dudes.

It is hard enough to pick winners when you have the pairings, but I am still going to predict who I think will make the Live Playoffs on their same team ranked with whom I am most confident will advanced first with Steals in parentheses:

Team Adam: Mark, Josh, Jesse, Autumn (Caroline)
Team Alicia: Lilli, Anatalia, Vanessa, Chris (Felicia)
Team Blake: Lauren, Aliyah, Casi, TSoul (Brennley)
Team Gwen: JChosen, Johnny, Stephanie, Aaliyah (Quizz)

Sunday, April 02, 2017

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 4/2/2017

Once Upon a Time: What a stupid episode that took forty minutes to learn that the Evil Queen in fact hated herself with the remaining time devoted to her learning to love herself. So the Evil Queen is just gone now, just to be off screen for the rest of the series as she lives happily ever after with Bizzaro Robin? It is time to cancel this crap.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Homeland: Aw, the return of the crazy Carrie board. But we were left with two big cliffhangers, first off, what happened to Max? Although the bigger question is why this sercert internet troll cabal would even let him take a phone on the floor in the first place, when you are that paranoid, put up metal detectors and pat everyone down on the in. But these people killed a very important person; Max probably is going to be tortured at the very least. Then the final scene which gets cut short with Quinn putting the person who was spying on Carrie and planted the bomb in the crosshair. Is he actually going to pull the trigger? Carrie has to know that is not right.

The Walking Dead: Wait, we do not even get to see Sasha get captured? Now we have to wonder for a week if she was just trying to manipulate Eugene to giving her a sharp object to actual use on Negan (or any of the Saviors including Eugene) or if she really wants to kill herself. Then Rick and company over take Oceanside and no one managed to die. Meh.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Billions: Interesting that right at the halfway mark of the season, both Axe and Chuck had big wins, Axe got the casino land, Chuck got the crooked guy to admit fault and then they both had a mutual win with Axe getting Wendy back at Axe Capital in exchange for Axe dropping the lawsuits against Chuck. Yet by the end of the episode neither seemed much like winners for various winner.

Into the Badlands: Seriously, Sunny did not know there was a giant wall around the Badlands? You would think that was common knowledge or part of its lore. But I am beginning to realize the “Badlands” are a little better place to be than the, um, Goodlands(?).
You can download Into the Badlands on iTunes.

Supergirl: Well that was a horrible episode. And it was not even Mon-El whose incompetentess has grown on me. Really it is more Supergirl who is literally ready to start an interstellar incident to be with him. The only interesting part of the episode was Teri Hatcher inexplicably killing Hercules.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions: There is nothing more annoying than when the show ends the episode mid-challenge. That is alost as disappointing as not getting to see a CT-Bananas showdown which I believe would have been the first CT wore Bananas as a backpack.
You can download The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions on iTunes.

The Americans: So Stan’s partner tells him of the time he blackmailed an informant and Stan turns around and blackmails his boss to help a Russian… huh? We are at war Stan, just because he helped you does not make you even. If the CIA can milk more out of him, let them.

The Path: Wait, did Cal just try to kill a dead man? I guess another dream. Last episode, Hawk’s ex-girlfriend said the new haircut made him look like Cal. Now after everything that has happened, I am beginning to wonder who exactly is his father? Now know most shows do not cast family member to look plausibly alike, but it is getting more and more possible that Cal could be the father. Again, casting director do not always cast people who look alike, but Hawk and Eddie look nothing alike.
You can stream The Path on Hulu.

Survivor: Game Changers: I doubt we will see anything as great as last week’s wild Tribal, but Michaela just breaking up a cup of water as Probst read the votes was pretty bold, especially considering she was blindsided last time she played and was one vote away from that happening again. I actually posted when JT said he was so confident he was not even going to take his Idol to Tribal, he really cannot be that dumb, can he… well of course he can. Can we retroactively reward Stephan the winner of JT season because it is becoming more and more clear he deserved it over JT. Then we have the promo, no too surprising that there is a swap or that there will be someone exiled (they have done odd people swaps before where the odd (wo)man out would have to go back to an empty camp or island) but I am a bit worried Andrea was one of the four people they showed when Probst said this. The big shocker is Probst saying, “a former Survivor makes a surprise return.” That better not be Malcolm, or at the very least he better not be able to return to the game full time. Hopefully it is just someone who joins the exiled player for a day and then leaves or maybe a CT situation who comes into a challenge, wears someone as a backpack and then leaves right afterwards.
You can download Survivor: Game Changers on iTunes.

Blindplot: Oooh, big twist, Jane did not get kidnapped because of her, but because of her boyfriend. Plus it gave us a diversion from Sandstorm for a week which was nice. Not so nice was the promo monkey promising one person will be leaving the team. Um, didn’t Reade just quit? Or is someone else leaving?
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

Legion: I really do not like the slowly growing trend of post-credit scenes on television shows. So who exactly trapped David in the orb? It has to be someone powerful enough to keep his powers contained.
You can download Legion on iTunes.

Grimm: When they killed Wu and Hank last week my first thought was, wow, that is very racist followed by, oh, they will bring them back before the series end. Then when they killed off Eve, I was pretty confident that would kill everyone off before bringing them back for a happy ending. Although by the time they killed the Captain I thought how great if the devil just killed everyone, Nick last, then just fade to black… forever. And though you knew they would bring everyone back, the real question was how. Kind of convoluted how they did it. So the first time Nick left “hell” he jumped to an alternative universe? Or did that portal send him back in time?
You can download Grimm on iTunes.