Friday, July 01, 2016

Around the Tubes: 7/1/16



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 Marvin Gaye, Dreamers, VH1 Live!, The Unknown Flag Raiser of Iwo Jima, Guerrilla, and Turner Classic Movies.

- UMe marks 45th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On with a special What’s Going On 10” vinyl EP that features a duet version featuring with new Motown artist BJ The Chicago Kid, available June 24.

- When DREAMERS—Nick Wold (vocals/guitar), Nelson (bass), and Jacob Wick (drums)—talk about its debut LP This Album Does Not Exist, they assume a collective tone of considerate existentialism. They seek to counter the crassness of pop, the snobbery of jazz, and the pretention of indie that zaps the fun out of any music with meaning. Yet, they want to draw you in, indiscriminate of taste, style, or ideology. This Album Does Not Exist due August 26 via Fairfax Recordings.



- VH1 this week announced a new late night talk show entitled VH1 Live! debuting Sunday, July 17th at 10:00. CNN commentator and BET News host Marc Lamont Hill will anchor the weekly series delivering VH1’s pop culture spin on the hottest entertainment news and gossip.

- Academy Award winning actor Gene Hackman has signed on to narrate Smithsonian Channel’s The Unknown Flag Raiser of Iwo Jima, airing July 3 at 9:00. The one-hour special, produced by Lucky 8 TV, provides new evidence and analysis proving that U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. and Purple Heart recipient Harold Schultz was one of the flag raisers in Joe Rosenthal’s iconic Iwo Jima photo on Mount Suribachi. This evidence led the United States Marine Corps to correct the historical record.

- Screen Actors Guild® Award winner Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) has joined the cast of the new six-part limited series Guerrilla in the lead role of “Jas Mitra.” Set to air on Showtime and Sky Atlantic next year, GUERRILLA centers on a couple, “Jas” and “Marcus” (casting to be revealed soon), whose passion propels them into making the leap from political activism to radical militancy. Academy Award® winner John Ridley (American Crime) will write, direct and executive produce the limited series. Golden Globe® winner Idris Elba (Luther, Beasts of No Nation) will co-star and serve as an executive producer through his Green Door Pictures. Ridley will write the majority of the episodes and will direct the first two episodes and the finale, with Emmy Award nominee Sam Miller (Luther, No Good Deed) directing the other episodes.

- Turner Classic Movies (TCM) pays tribute the oldest film genre, and perhaps most classically American, with Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns, a month-long programming special featuring more than 100 of the greatest Western movies ever made. Hosted by acclaimed actor and Academy Award® winning songwriter Keith Carradine, programming begins July 5th and airs from sun-up to sundown every Tuesday and Wednesday in July.

Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns will feature themed programming including:

The Early Years (July 5) – in addition to The Great Train Robbery (1903), these pioneer Westerns include The Squaw Man (1914), the first producing-directing effort by the legendary Cecil B. DeMille
John Wayne/John Ford (July 5) – takes a look at the partnership of the quintessential Western star and director which encompassed 14 films ranging from Stagecoach (1939), the pairs first collaboration, to The Searchers (1956), which many consider the team’s greatest masterpiece
Directed by Sam Peckinpah (July 6) – provides examples of the iconic director’s work including Ride the High Country (1962) and The Wild Bunch (1969), which was noted for taking the Western into unprecedented levels of violence
Epic Westerns (July 12) – includes the Kirk Douglas vehicle The Big Sky (1952) and MGM’s How the West Was Won (1962), a multi-part, star-heavy epic originally filmed in Cinerama
Singing Cowboys (July 13) – a staple of the 1930s and ‘40s in a series of modest and innocently entertaining Westerns, many of them starring Gene Autry or Roy Rogers
Spaghetti Westerns/Clint Eastwood (July 19) – includes two TCM premieres - A Bullet for Sandoval (1970) and Red Sun (1971) - and overlaps with the “Starring Clint Eastwood” theme, which includes Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western classics A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1968)
Western Comedies (July 26) – ranging from Go West (1925), starring Buster Keaton, to Hearts of the West, starring Jeff Bridges, as a writer who becomes a star of B Westerns
Great Barroom Brawls (July 26) – highlighting the legendary and elusive Shane (1953), directed by George Stevens and starring Alan Ladd
True Stories? (July 27) – includes far-fetched accounts of Western legends such as Billy the Kid (1941) and Annie Get Your Gun (1950)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Previewing Barely Famous: Season Two and Dating Naked: Season Three


Jessica Alba and Erin Foster on Barely Famous

When Barely Famous premiered I heralded a changing at VH1. After year of being an trashy urban reality show channel, they seemed to be switching coarse going back to it musical roots with the nineties nostalgia Hindsight which fit in perfectly at the channel that used to run I Love the 90’s about fifty hours a week. Then there also were staking a claim in faux reality show based around eighties heavyweights Lionel Richie and David Foster’s daughters. Then there was a changing of the guard at the channel and they quickly decided to cancel Hindsight because the second season started filming and then greenlit more trashy reality shows including a Black Ink Crew spin off and a The Game dating show with an Amber Rose talk show coming next month. I got excited for a moment when it was announced VH1 was bringing back Hip Hop Honors after a six year hiatus

But hey, they still have Barely Famous and Dating Naked, both returning tonight as their lone none-trashy urban reality shows (and possibly Candidly Nicole and Twinning which may or may not be canceled; and really, no big loss if they are). The first season Was a fun summer diversion which was wisely keep to a short and easy six episodes. Another sic episodes are coming your way this summer but even though the new season is short and sweet, it really just seems like a rehash of last season.

Sara and Erin are back and it is basically just a continuation of last season where the sisters commiserate with each other on their social staus while desperately trying to move up the ladder. That shtick was wear thin even after six episodes las season and is stretch even thin this season. The season premiere sees Sara trying to extend her brand (okay, try to create one) with an energy drink while Erin tries to get on Jessica Alba’s new show’s writing staff. Also tonight, there is a second episode where VH1 sends the duo to Orlando for a vacation episode where they run into the fourth most successful former NSync member at Universal Studios.

Later in the season, there will be more celebrity cameos including Kate Hudson, Zach Braff, Kate Upton, Cindy Crawford, Brooke Burke, Dr. Phil, Ali Larter, and Lauren London. But all these cameos fall into one of two categories much like the ones last season. There are just there to look down on the barely famous sisters and be indignant of being around a reality show or play completely opposite of their public person like when Alba drunkenly twerks at a karaoke bar (I am kind of depressed that Microsoft Word recognizes “twerk” as a real word). Upton is the best of the bunch as a brain surgeon on Sara latest crap movie.  It just really feels like VH1, and everyone who used to watch the channel, is just waiting four more year so they can finally do I Love the 10’s. And that is if they even wait, they did premiere I Love the New Millennium in 2008.

Barely Famous airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on VH1.


Speaking of that other non-urban housewife show, Dating Naked also returns tonight. The first season of the show was cheesy fun. Sure I did not watch a single episode in its entirety, basically just channel surfed upon it and kept surfing when it went to commercial. It is probably why in the second season the show made a more continuous switch to two permanent daters to keep people from going in and out on the show. Okay that did not work with me because I ended up watching the show less.

There will be two permanent daters again this season, dancer Natalie and former college basketball player David who is the first minority main contestant on a dating show. The only big change to the third season is there is a new host who is about as forgettable (and fully clothed) as the last one. Except the more the new host talks, the more she sounds like Fran Dresher. After dating themselves, Natalie and David find themselves on two more dates, one of which they pick to be their “keeper” who will show up next week. It is pretty obvious who both pick this week as one dud clearly had adult ADHD and one chick thinks the guy should come to her even though he is the one doing the picking. The “This season on” montage is not very inspiring either other than there being what will likely be the oldest naked dude in the history of television (hard pass on that episode) and a chick who kind of looks like Sara Bareilles. I watched less of season two of Dating Naked than season one and based on the first episode I will likely watch less of season three.

Dating Naked airs Wednesdays at 9:00 on VH1.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Twelfth Scooter Television Awards



Welcome to the 12th Annual Scooter Television Awards honoring show that aired a majority of their season between July 2015 and June 2016. Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2016 STA's:

Best Scripted Show: Mr. Robot

Best Sitcom: Angie Tribeca

Best Sci-Fi Show: Orphan Black

Best Comic Book Adaptation: Marvel's Agent Carter

Best Period Show: Masters of Sex

Best Animated Show: Star Wars Rebels

Best Reality Show (Competition): Survivor, Season 31: Cambodia - Second Chance

Best Remake, Reboot, or Adaptation: Ash vs. Evil Dead

Best Educational Program: Brain Games

Best Talk Show: Pardon the Interuption

Best New Show: Mr. Robot

Guiltiest Guilty Pleasure: Supergirl

Best Musical: Grease Live!

Worst Show I Made Though an Entire Season Of: Quantico

Best Awards Show: 2016 Grammy Awards

Best Hour of TV: eps1.0_hellofriend.mov – Mr. Robot

Best Half Hour of TV: Weird Al – The Goldbergs

Biggest Shocker: They actually killed Norma on Bates Motel

Best Line: “You made the jury.” - Abi-Maria Gomez (Survivor: Second Chances)

Worst Idea: Reimagining The Muppets as a faux reality show as a late night talk show

Worst Moment: Even more agro sexist moments on Survivor

Biggest Disappointment: Quantico being more political Grey’s Anatomy and less Homeland: Freshman Year

Best New Title Sequence: Into the Badlands

Best Character: Elliot Alderson (Mr. Robot)

Best Recurring Character: Hugo Strange (Gotham)

Best Guest Appearance: Jack White on The Muppets

Best Duo: Alison and Donny Hendrix (Orphan Black)

Most Entertaining Reality “Star”: Abi Maria Gomez (Survivor: Second Chance)

Most Annoying Reality “Star”: Kyle Jason (Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty II)

Show That Should Be Brought Back: Marvel’s Agent Carter

Most Anticipated New Show of Next Season: The Good Place

Biggest Question for 2016-2017: Will I bother to watch Supergirl now that it’s been demoted to The CW?


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Previewing Ray Donovan: Season Four


The cast of Ray Donovan

I am sure someone like Ray Donovan has woken up in some weird places, but where he starts off the fourth season of the show named after him may be his weirdest yet: in an unknown room with a blind priest reading what I presume to be a braille Bible in what I presume to be Latin. He got there after last season getting shot in the gut during a shootout with Armenian gangsters and instead of a doctor, when to a church and collapsed.

We quickly flash forward to a time in the future where Ray is back to work, Bridget has still not come home but at least is on talking status with her family, Bunchy’s lucha wrestling bride is about to pop a baby out any day. Then there is Micky, last seen leaving California as part of a deal with Ray for taking care of his Armenian problem, actually has a new job on an Indian reservation. That is not to say he still is not up to his old tricks, because, as always with Micky, he has an angle.

Back in California, Ray met a boxer during his sabbatical in the church, and now in present time, the boxer of course needs Ray’s services when cops are called during a shouting match at a cheap motel. No, it is not what you think, the woman in question is the boxer’s sister (welcome back Lisa Bonet) who may be the most difficult person Donovan and associates have ever had to deal with, and that says a lot from the lowlife he has run into the past three seasons.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays at 9:00 on Showtime.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 6/25/16



Penny Dreadful: What is going on over at Showtime. About a month ago they announced House of Lies was ending with just episodes to go in the season. Then they announce the end of Penny Dreadful by added a “The End” title card to the end of the season finale, adding a press release saying yes this is the end the next day. Add that to the recent announcement of its flagship show Homeland will not be airing in its normal fall slot, instead being delayed to winter. I actually do like the surprise “The End” title card because sometime the anticipation of the final couple episodes of a series can really drag on the enjoyment of the show as you spend too much time worrying if the show will stick the landing.

Of course when the show ends, you still are left to decide if the show did stick the landing. The death of Vanessa did bring things full circle and it was probably for the best to put her out of her suffering. Same with Frankenstein’s monster who realized that it is for the best for everyone to let someone stay dead, no matter how much you loved them. Other storylines just kind of fell flat. Dorian was always the weakest link on the show and never really fit. Then I spent most of the season waiting for Mr. Hyde to show up, instead all we got was Lord Hyde who does not seem all that different from Dr. Jekyll. I guess you can say metaphorically that Lily was the split personally, or even Vanessa. But in the end it is probably the right call to just end the show here, it was enjoyable while it lasted but it was never going to be great. I will just be slightly disappointed the show did not last long enough to introduce the Invisible Man.

BrainDead: What a bizarre way to do a “previously On” package. I would expect it from a show like Galavant, but I wonder what possessed the writers on this show to do a musical recap about alien brain bugs and exploding heads. And I am not sure if it really exists, but sadly I can totally believe that there actually is a “Tax Prom” every year. But my big complaint with this show is I really do not understand what is going on with the aliens. Are half conservative and half liberal and just happen to inhabit different brains to continue their partisan war? Do they take on the traits of the brains they inhabit and just amplify those ideas? And why do some brains explode?
You can download BrainDead on Amazon Instant Video, free with a Prime membership.

Pretty Little Liars: There are few things I hate more than the “x amount of time earlier” title card at the end of the first scene of an episode. The only thing that is worse is when they do even resolve that scene until later in that season. So we start off the season with the Liars sans Hannah burying someone (or something, I am not entirely sold on them burying a dead body). The title card only said four days ago so hopefully we do not have to wait the whole season to get there.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Casual: It only took four episodes, but I finally see what they are doing. The first season was all about casual romantic relationships and this season is all about casual friendships. Valerie has her work neighbor, Laura has her study group buddy, and Ale, well, he still has the British dude. But now that I realized that, I have to start wondering at which point do any of the friends try to make a romantic move?
A lot was made at all the women Don Draper bedded, but if we are talking quality over quantity, Pete Campbell had Don beat hands down: Alison Brie, Sarah Wright, Alexis Bledel, Jessy Schram. So I was expecting bit more with his finance on this show. Granted if she ended up stealing all of Alex’s lightbulbs later in this season, her stock will rise greatly. And if I were the Asian chick, I would be a bit offended by being called Bill Wennington. C’mon, at least give her Horace Grant.
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

The Challenge: Rivals III: Wow, that was cheap. Vince actually throws punches and gets off with a warning, Tony hovers over his parter and gets tossed. That is like in baseball where a pitcher throws at a dudes head as hard as he can, both teams gets a warning, then a couple innings later some middling reliever drills someone between the shoulder blades with a sixty mile per hour retaliation pitch and gets the boot. To add insult to injury, it was even Vince who basically instigated the whole thing by knocking Camilla to the ground making her go full drunken Brazilian mode leading to Vince and Johnny to wake up the blacked out Tony. Karma should dictate Vince should automatically go to the Junglee. And with a memory challenge, he may very well depending how attentive Jenna is.
You can download The Challenge: Rivals III on iTunes.

Aquarius: Not a good sign for the second week in a row I fell asleep while watching. I did wake up in time to see the chick with the bad accent turn on the creepy biker dude. Worse sign, I did not even bother to look up a recap to see what I missed.
You can download Aquarius on iTunes.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Around the Tubes: 6/24/2016



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 Ray Donovan, Difficult People, The Unknown Flag Raiser of Iwo Jima, Live at 9:30, Tesla, Tony Lucca, Josh Kaufman, One and Done, Casual, Penny Dreadful, and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

- Showtime is giving viewers a chance to sample the season four premiere of its hit drama series Ray Donovan ahead of its linear premiere on Sunday, June 26th at 9:00. Ray Donovan stars Liev Schreiber in his three-time Golden Globe® and Emmy-nominated role as L.A.’s best professional fixer – the man called in to make the city’s celebrities, superstar athletes, and business moguls’ most complicated and combustible situations go away. The series is currently in production on 12 episodes in Los Angeles. Consumers who do not subscribe to Showtime can watch the TV-14 rated version of the season four premiere for free on YouTube and SHO.com. The episode is also available for download as a free video podcast on iTunes. Consumers can also sample the premiere of RAY DONOVAN for free across multiple television and streaming providers’ devices, websites and applications and free On Demand channels.

In season two of Difficult People, premiering Tuesday, July 12 on Hulu, Julie and Billy continue to search for fame, to diminishing returns. Billy embarks on the journey of finding a boyfriend while Julie tries her best to avoid a deeper commitment to Arthur and not become her mother. Julie and Billy continue to have contempt for the word around them while remaining loyal to each other, and, as they get in their own way, learn no lessons.


- For over 70 years, the iconic flag-raising photograph at Iwo Jima has been one of the most reproduced images in history, inspiring books, movies and the Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, DC. In a new one-hour Smithsonian Channel special, the United States Marine Corps will confirm the identity of a previously unknown flag raiser on Iwo Jima. Forensic evidence provided by Smithsonian Channel and production company Lucky 8 TV reveals that unsung hero U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. and Purple Heart recipient Harold Schultz was one of the flag raisers in Joe Rosenthal’s famed Iwo Jima photo taken on February 23, 1945. The full forensic investigation unfolds with never-before-seen evidence in The Unknown Flag Raiser of Iwo Jima, premiering Sunday, July 3 at 9:00 on Smithsonian Channel.

- Live At 9:30 is excited to announce the launch of LiveAt930.com. Hosted by Squarespace, LiveAt930.com will be the exclusive online destination for the program and feature clips, behind the scenes blogs, and much more from the groundbreaking TV music variety series. Episodes of “Live At 9:30” began airing on public television stations earlier this month. Viewers should contact their local public television station to learn more about when “Live At 9:30” will air locally. After each episode has aired on public television, it will be available in full at LiveAt930.com.

- Tesla’s third album, Psychotic Supper, the band’s third studio album, released on August 30, 1991, was the follow-up to the live Five Man Acoustical Jam, peaking at #13 on the Billboard 200, featuring an aggressive change in direction from the previous disc, landing an impressive five songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, including “What You Give,” which went to #7 and even cracked the Billboard Hot 100 at #86. Other memorable songs include “Edison’s Medicine,” which spotlights how its subject received credit for harnessing electricity over the band’s own namesake, Nikola Tesla, which climbed to #20 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, along with “Call It What You Want” (#19), “Song & Emotion” (#13) and “Stir It Up” (#35). Produced by Michael Barbiero (Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Anthrax) – who also helmed the band’s first two studio efforts -- the album was eventually certified platinum in 1993 by the RIAA, and was included in German magazine Rock Hard’s book of “The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.” The band themselves have been quoted as considering Psychotic Supper their best record. To help mark the album’s 25th anniversary in August, UMe is reissuing the album for the first time as a two-LP standard issue vinyl set on July 22.

- Nashville-based singer-songwriter Tony Lucca is set to hit the road this fall for an extensive cross-country tour (see full tour schedule below). Lucca has planned a Southeast, Northeast and Midwest series of co-headlining dates with labelmate Alex Dezen (of The Damnwells) which they are billing as the “Heads or Tails Tour.” (Joining Dezen and Lucca on their run will be Christian Lopez.) Lucca also plans to head out after that with Tyrone Wells for a series of twelve West Coast and Texas shows. For full dates and ticket information, head over to TonyLucca.com.

Josh Kaufman, Season 6 Champion of NBC’s The Voice, releases his first self-titled EP today, now available on all music platforms. The EP features a total of six songs, including his first single “Truth Be Told,” which was released on May 27. Other songs on the EP include the soulfully upbeat “All I Ask,” powerful vocal ballad “Avalanche,” jazzy foot-tapper “Paycheck,” love-inspired “The World,” and catchy radio-ready hit “Digging Deep.”

- Conan O'Brien will once again be immortalized with a set of four Pop! Vinyl figures to be available this July, when TBS's late-night series Conan returns to San Diego for Comic-Con® International. Created by Funko for TBS, a division of Turner, this year's collectible figure designs include "Superman™ Conan," "Stormtrooper™ Conan," "Ghostbuster™ Conan" and "The Joker™ Conan." In addition, the world of Conan will be put on full display through a virtual reality experience at the TBS Comic-Con® booth on the convention floor. During the week of Comic-Con® International, Conan will be taped at San Diego's historic Spreckels Theatre on Wednesday, July 20 – Saturday, July 23, including two rare weekend shows. Episodes will air that Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 11 p.m. (ET/PT) on all TBS platforms and will be available across TBS and Team Coco's digital, mobile and VOD platforms the day after airing.

- Showtime Sports continues its expansion of unscripted, timely and compelling sports programming with a documentary film featuring projected No. 1 NBA Draft pick Ben Simmons. The network is collaborating with MAGGIEVISION Productions on the Simmons story and his journey to the NBA titled One and Done. The feature length film will premiere in October just prior to the start of Simmons’ rookie NBA season. The announcement was made today by Executive Vice President & General Manager of Showtime Sports Stephen Espinoza.

- The Golden Globe®-nominated Hulu Original and Lionsgate Television comedy Casual from Oscar®-nominated director Jason Reitman and creator Zander Lehmann - which just premiered its second season to critical acclaim earlier this month - will return for a third season in 2017. In addition, Jason Reitman has signed a first look deal with Hulu for all television related projects. This is Hulu’s first development deal of this kind.

- The critically acclaimed SHOWTIME drama Penny Dreadful has slayed its final demon – last night’s jaw-dropping finale marked the series finale of the three-season opus envisioned by creator, writer and executive producer John Logan, it was announced today by Logan and David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. This unique mash-up of literary horror has followed Vanessa Ives (Eva Green, in her Golden Globe®-nominated role), Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), and Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) as they’ve worked together, at all costs, to vanquish the evil that relentlessly pursues them.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Previewing Murder in the First: Season Three




Cop shows have populated television as long as anyone can remember. There would be a crime at the start of the episode and solved by the end and then repeat for a hundred episodes and then probably spin it off. About a decade ago shows became more serialized and we got a few cop shows that would take a whole season to solve… or two in case of the first high profile one The Killing. At least the first season of Murder in the First ended with the murderer getting caught. Then in the second season, the show got a little creative, there was a school shooting in the first episode, except by the end of the episode, one suspect was dead the other was in custody. The rest of the season followed that case to trail and there was a secondary plot about the murder of a cop that involved the drug trade in Los Angeles.

The third season of Murder in the First starts off with a dinner meeting involving the District Attorney who not so conspicuously gets up to “make a phone call” moment as the younger hot chick leaves the table. We do get a murder in the second scene at the birthday party of a star quarterback. Sure every cop show has done the celebrity murder episode, sometimes once or twice a season, but the second death of the episode is much more shocking, especially when it comes to who does it, which will likely be the more interesting storyline of the season.

One thing the season long cases do is allow the viewers to go home with the cops, for better or worse (I would argue the latter; there were fewer things I wanted to see on The Killing than the frumpy cop in the sweater spend an entire episode looking for her kid). It is a bit eye rolling when Hildy’s eleven year old gets caught with something you do not want your kid to have. But things get worse for her when she get a call from her doctor with news they do not want to share over the phone.

Murder in the First airs Sundays at 10:00 on TNT. You can also download Murder in the First on iTunes.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Previewing Roadies


The cast of Roadies

I am a Cameron Crowe loyalist. I really enjoyed Elizabethtown (hot take alert: the Freebird scene is better Tiny Dancer) and will even defend Aloha (c’mon people, it featured Emma Stone and Bill Murray dancing). But even the biggest critics his most recent work has to admit that Almost Famous is great. The film features a young writer who goes on the road with a rock band (based on Crowe’s time at Rolling Stone) so you have to get excited when Crowe’s first venture to the small screen sees Crowe get back on the traveling concerts business with Roadies.

As the title suggests, the new show focuses on the men and women who move tours from town to town and (hopefully) makes sure everything move slowly. The cast includes Luke Wilson (Legally Blonde) as the tour manager, Carla Gugino (Son in Law) as the production manager, Imogen Poots (That Awkward Moment) takes care of lighting, Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), Ron White (Horrible Bosses) as the road manager, Richard Baker (Machine Gun Kelly) just wants any job on the tour (and gets a pretty humorous one). And since every show needs a little conflict, Rafe Spall (One Day) shows up as a financial guy who tries to make the tour run more efficiently (i.e. fire people), and when pressed about the type of music he listens to says Queen and The Mumford Sons.

Much like Almost Famous, the band on tour is fake, in this case The Station-House Band. It seems like the band was big last decade and can now live off touring, Kings of Leon being the best comparison I can think of. And wisely instead of trying to create fake hit songs for the band, we (as of yet) do not get to hear the band play a song. Though the headliners are fake, the opening acts are real. The Head and the Heart show up in the premiere, Reignwolf in the second, Lindsey Buckingham pops up in the third (those were all the episodes I have seen but I hope that the opening acts turn into a Spinal Tap drummer situation where the band just cannot seem to hold on to them).

Not only did Cameron Crowe create the show, he also wrote and directed the first episode (and third, he just listed as director for the second), for better or worse. The show has all the charm you get with his movies and you can add Imogen Poots to the long list of great female leads that Crowe was able to get a career defining performance out of. Even Machine Gun Kelly, whose music I find unbearable and despite not even being a good actor, comes off as a likeable goof reciting Crowe’s words. And of course the music curation is great, each episode even features a “song of the day” which is cool even if is just a cheap way to fit in a montage. But along with what is great about Cameron Crowe the show also includes its flaw like how he can be too earnest at time. What Poots goes on a diatribe about how fake climatic running scenes at the end of movies are, you just know she is going to break out into a sprint by the end of the first episode, set to Pearl Jam to boot.

Still with its flaws, Roadies is the best music themed show I have ever seen. Sure Cameron Crowe’s plots are not always coherent (what was Aloha about again) but the journey is always great. And what better journey than going town to town following a rock band. And even if you are not sold on the premiere (which you can watch for free below or check your On Demand channel for an uncensored version) I suggest at least give it to the third episode when Rainn Wilson (who played a Rolling Stone staffer in Almost Famous) shows up as a jaded rock critic who gave a negative review based solely on a fan’s YouTube video and Lindsey Buckingham who turns in his best work since his guest stint on What’s Up with That?

Roadies airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2016 Summer Music Preview


As it seems like every time I do a quarterly round up of albums coming soon, things just seem to be getting more and more dire. These are supposed to be the albums that will be the soundtrack to out collective summer, but most everything is a resounding meh to me. The only album I can even get a little excited for is the new Avett Brothers album. Everything else I will at least give a spin on Spotify hopping for a gem. In the past, at the "TBD" section was where a bulk of the anticipated albums landed before airdropping with little to no notice, but even that is getting thin. If you want to pre-order the album on Amazon, click on the album title, click the artist's name to be taken to their iTunes page.


Last Week
The Getaway - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Johannesburg - Mumford & Sons
Undercurrent - Sarah Jarosz
The Joker Live - Steve Miller Band

This Week
True Sadness - The Avett Brothers
Moving Day - Meiko
Conscious - Broods
Caroline Glaser - Caroline Glaser

July 1
blackSUMMERS'night - Maxwell
Young In All The Wrong Ways - Sara Watkins
The Bride - Bat for Lashes
California - blink-182
King Paten - Holly Henry

July 8
Where the Light Shines Through - Switchfoot
Blank Face LP - ScHoolboy Q
Wildflower - The Avalanches

July 15
H A R D L O V E - Needtobreathe
Love and Hate - Michael Kiwanuka

July 22
Dress to Impress - Keith Sweat

August 5
Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not - Dinosaur Jr.
XX - O.A.R.

August 12
Home of the Strange - Young the Giant

August 26
and the Anonymous Nobody... - De La Soul
Stay Gold - Butch Walker
I'm Alone, No You're Not - Joseph

September 2
My Women - Angel Olsen

September 9
Signs of Light - The Head and the Heart
Away - Okkervil River

September 16
Three - Phantogram

October 7
50 - Rick Astley
12 Voices - Sum 41

TBD
Songs of Experience - U2
Cool Aid - Snoop Dogg
LP2 - Bastille
Echosmith
HAIM
The Rolling Stones
The Stone Roses
The Shins
Tears for Fears

And this may be the quarter when Dr. Dre releases Detox.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On:




House of Lies: I hate when episode start in the third act before a “x amount of time earlier” title card, this was weird because we did not get just one scene in the future before flashing back to the beginning, we got five (and really the whole episode just jumped back and forth in time), but at least that was worth it for adding Doug making out with the old lady at the end. I guess it was good the show ended because I am not sure a season with Marty and Jeannie blissfully married. But still a weird way to end it. Before the season Kristen Bell was cast in an NBC sitcom but they said it would not interfere with House of Lies. Which makes sense, ten episode of one show, thirteen of another; some sitcoms air twenty-four episodes a year. Except when the Veronica Mars movie was being made there was talk of a television reboot but they said that could not be done because Kristen Bell could not be the face of two shows at the same time. But then David Duchovny did it with X-Files and Aquarius so maybe in that time people were lax on that. But then two weeks before the finale, Showtime announced it would be a series finale, not season. Has Showtime just decided to get out of the half-hour business? Happyish was a rare one and done on a premium network. House of Lies is now done; Episode only has one season left. So that leaves Dice as only half hour on the air that has not been canceled. Except that has not been renewed either, and not getting a renewal a month after the season ended is not a good sign. And I am not aware of any new comedies in the pipeline. Not that I am complaining, Showtime’s drama are much better. House of Lie is the best I have seen on the network and it is not in the top five all all shows.

Preacher: Being able to get people to do whatever you say in the most literal way has to be one of the lames superpowers to have. That may take a while for Preacher to master in his advantage. Okay, the scene with the Irish Vampire was fun.
You can download Preacher on iTunes.

Penny Dreadful: When shows like Lost were on I obsessed on every little detail, noticed every callback, every Easter egg, just straight off the dome. Fast forward a decade and I do not even notice that museum guy and Dracula was the same guy. Getting old really sucks. At the start of the episode when museum guy lifted up the vampire I thought, oh, I wonder what Victorian monster this guy could be. It was not until it donned on Vanessa that she was hooking up with Dracula the whole time that the lightbulb slowly flickered over my head too. But what exactly does that ending mean? Dracula want to serve Vanessa but it was still him that drank her blood. Does that mean she is a vampire now too? The hot Mr. Lyle replacement said not to believe the mythology behind Dracula, so maybe not. She definitely turned evil. But we did learn from her phycologist that she has at least three distinct personalities so there is probably still a good version or two in there.

Speaking of split personalities, Lily may be getting one soon after Dorian turned on her to team up with Dr. Frankenstein and will soon get injected with Dr. Jekyll’s formula. I have been waiting all season for Dr. Jekyll to turn into Mr. Hyde, maybe it will be Lily who turns into Mr. Hyde. Well that theory does really work because Mr. Hyde is a hideous, evil creature without compassion or remorse and, well, Lily is already there.

BrainDead: Man, this show got killed by critics (and in the ratings) but I really enjoyed the whole sixties B-movie with modern day production feel to it. It is more enjoyable than the other Ramona Flowers show that aired earlier this year.
You can download BrainDead on Amazon Instant Video, free with a Prime membership.

Casual: Nice to see Pete Campbell is still an intolerable douchebag. Here is hoping someone on this show punches him too. And here we are in the third episode and Laura is on her third learning environment. During the meet and greet, right around the “good job” discussion (speaking of intolerable people) I thought she might be on a fourth one next episode but looks like she may actually be sticking around for a while. And apparently Alex’s phase three phase is officially over after bedding one of the annoying mother. Is he back to phase one or is there a phase four?
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

The Challenge: Rivals III: For years I have been advocating that Survivor poach The Challenge challenge makers. But maybe The Challenge challenge makers have finally run out of ideas because almost all of them this season have been horrible and this week’s grab a flag going off the cliff challenge may have been the worst yet. Then they stole that build something until it reaches a certain height Jungle challenge from Survivor, albeit adding a silly ice cooler bath component to it.
You can download The Challenge: Rivals III on iTunes.

Aquarius: I spent most of last season talking about what was happening behind the scenes than what was actually happening on screen. And that is continuing for the surprise second season. No binge watch option like season one where NBC released every episode On Demand after the premiere, but instead this year we get a two hour commercial free premiere. When they announced this I thought we would get two extended episodes. But when the credits ran I noticed writers and directors for “part 3.” So instead of two extended episodes, the two hour premiere was three shortened episodes (though not by much, most hour longs run forty-two minutes so we basically got two minutes less than usual). Did this stunt work? I cannot see how it possibly could. When Angie Tribeca ran its commercial free marathon, it still had a “presenting sponsor,” Aquarius did not even have that. On a personal level it was pretty much a failure because I found myself nodding off about halfway through. But I vaguely remember Denis Wilson showing up. And guess the people that are killed in the future are the Sharon Tate murders. Meh.
You can download Aquarius on iTunes.

Orphan Black: So before season finale we learned next season will be the last raising the bar for the episode. The big reveal is that Rachel will soon meet the person behind everything that apparently is too good for dying and has been around for over a hundred years. So have we met this person yet or is going to be someone new. My first thought was Leekie, or more specifically someone who looks like him, we really cannot rule out the big bad being a clone themselves. Or will it look like Sarah and the rest of the clones that we already know and this person is the real original clone?
You can download Orphan Black on iTunes.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Around the Tubes: 6/17/16



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 Roadies, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hell Below, Bitten, and Outside Television.

- Showtime is offering viewers an early opportunity to sample the highly-anticipated music series Roadies ahead of its linear premiere on Sunday, June 26th at 10:00. The first original series from creator, executive producer, writer and director Cameron Crowe, Roadies is a one-hour comedy featuring an ensemble cast headed by Luke Wilson (Old School, Enlightened) and Screen Actors Guild® Award nominee Carla Gugino (San Andreas). The series gives an insider’s look at the reckless, romantic, funny and often poignant lives of a committed group of roadies who live for music and the de facto family they’ve formed along the way. ROADIES chronicles the rock world through the eyes of music’s unsung heroes and pays homage to the backstage workers who put the show on the road while touring for the successful arena-level group, The Staton-House Band. Consumers who do not subscribe to Showtime are now able to sample the TV-14 rated version of the series premiere for free on YouTube, Facebook and SHO.com. The pilot is also available for download as a free video podcast on iTunes. Consumers can also sample the premiere episode for free across multiple television and streaming providers’ devices, websites and applications and free On Demand channels.

- Tune in to watch Red Hot Chili Peppers on AT&T Live at the iHeartRadio Theater L.A. airing exclusively via nationwide broadcast this Friday, June 17 at 9:00 on the AUDIENCE Network, DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114.

- A new Smithsonian Channel series will chart the stealthy game of undersea warfare from the greatest submarine campaigns of World War II. The six-episode Hell Below premieres Sunday, July 17 at 9:00. It profiles the strategic masterminds behind the brutal tactics of Nazi U-boats and reveals the extraordinary feats of Allied subs in the Atlantic and Pacific. Both the Axis and Allies employed unrestricted submarine warfare to bring their enemies to their knees in World War II. Submariners on both sides were a special breed of warrior, always volunteers, often fighting alone. Sub warfare evolved rapidly during the war, as German U-Boats and American submarines attacked military targets and commercial shipping. Submarine attacks created chaos and unnerved adversaries. And while the world’s oceans provided concealment and protection, the environment was unforgiving. Each hour-long episode of HELL BELOW features expert analysis and stock footage along with dramatic re-enactments filmed aboard authentic World War II era submarines, placing viewers in the heart of the action.

- Based on the "Otherworld" novels by New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong, Bitten stars Laura Vandervoort ("Smallville", "V", "Haven", Ted) as Elena Michaels, the world's only female werewolf. For three seasons, the show's rabid followers have tuned in as Elena evolved from a photographer who hides her dark secret after being bitten, to a ferocious leader of the Stonehaven pack. Bitten: The Final Season picks up several months after the harrowing battle in the season two finale. Bolstering their ranks in the wake of the carnage, the Stonehaven Pack is on the hunt for the Russian Alpha and his brethren, seeking to end a decades-old vendetta. Meanwhile, Elena struggles with Pack Alpha Jeremy Danvers' new draconian leadership style, and makes a shocking and surprising discovery about herself.

- OUTSIDE TELEVISION, America’s only national 24/7 network dedicated to the active adventure lifestyle, has big plans for the month of June. Next week, new seasons of DISPATCHES and LOCALS will premiere in addition to a new original series, MAVERICK MOMENTS. If that wasn’t enough, Outside TV has also dedicated a day’s worth of programming to celebrate International Surf Day on Monday June 20th followed by the world premiere of MAVERICK MOMENTS (9pm ET) and then season six premiere of DISPATCHES (9:30pm ET). Don’t have access to Outside TV? No worries – we’ve got you covered with a month long free preview through Sling TV which runs from June 20th to July 20th.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 6/16/16



Kill Em with Kindness - Selena Gomez


Supposedly Selena Gomez just released a new music video but really, this is just a logo away from being a shampoo commercial.


Honky Talk Rules – Public Enemy


The only song that stood out on the latest Public Enemy album was this The Rolling Stones sampling song. How weird seeing Chuck D in a cowboy hat. Kind of look the dude from Hootie and the Blowfish who went country.


Remedy – Zac Brown Band


Man, that opening was dark, that is the very reason why I do not watch Teen Mom. Really this is less a Zac Brown Band music video and more a really dark short film because we barely hear the song at all. This was listed as part one, I may skip part two whenever it comes out.


Boyz n Poizn - Phoebe Ryan


A baseball themed video with mascots should be cool but really, had they not waited all that money on the aerial shot, maybe Phoebe Ryan would have had enough money to field a whole baseball team.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Previewing Animal Kingdom




There has been a lot of discussion of how hard times are for networks over the last five years or so, for the first time ever, a show that averaged sub 1.0 rating got renewed last May on the big, and actually it was five that were granted a reprieve. Though not as discussed, thing are looking bad on cable too. TNT and USA have historically been the most viewed cable channels but things are getting dire. Both used to have very distinct visions, TNT had dramas in vein of network procedurals while USA was known for its fun in the sun show. But those procedurals are getting long in the tooth and low in the ratings while the sunny shows no longer have bright rating.

With brands of shows no longer working, both channels are trying something different and trying to go after FX brand of more prestige show. USA hit it out of the park last summer with Mr. Robot, the most critically acclaimed show in recent memory. Though follow up, Colony did not get much buzz, and Shooter, based on the Marky Mark movie does not really pique my interest either. Up first for TNT’s attempt at prestige drama is Animal Kingdom from John Wells who has worked on everything from ER to most recently Shameless.

Animal Kingdom starts off with one of the stranger openers fo show without any sci-fi element with a dude nonchalantly watching Press Your Luck while what looked o be an overdosed woman next to him before paramedics look her over. The first hour also ends with the same kid walking through a house nonchalantly while equally troubling scenes are unfolding before he makes I to his room and turns on Press Your Luck.

The kid in question is now in his grandmother’s care and time could not be worse because granny (played by Ellen Barkin) is the matriarch of a family of thieves and it is unclear if they can trust the son of her estranged daughter. The kid’s three uncles are almost ready to put their latest heist in motion and things get even more complicated when uncle number four gets paroled after six years in prison.

I have talked a lot about Silver Age television, prestige shows with good acting, good plot; they are just missing that thing making them great. Ray Donovan is maybe the show that epitomizes the Silver Age and that is one of the biggest comparisons I have for Animal Kingdom, it is just a family of blue color Rays. Another big comparison is Sons of Anarchy (and not because of all the gratuitous male nudity) but instead of a surrogate family of a biker gang, it is an actual family.

But unlike those two shows, the characters of Animal Kingdom do not cross the preverbal line. As the matriarch explains, “We don’t set out to hurt people, we don’t get greedy.” There is not as much violence and it is certainly not as graphic… yet. Clearly one of the uncles has problem and is inches closer and closer to an “any means necessary” philosophy. As with any families there are dark secrets hiding underneath the surface, and the more they seep out, the more interesting Animal Kingdom gets. But I doubt it will ever reach the highs of Mr. Robot.

Animal Kingdom airs Tuesdays at 9:00 on TNT including a back to back premiere tonight. You can also download Animal Kingdom on iTunes.



Monday, June 13, 2016

Previewing Major Crimes


The ever expanding cast of Major Crimes

The big new at the start of the new season of Major Crimes is that Rusty got a haircut! Okay not exactly life changing but all jokes aside, there are three characters at the end of the episode who actually do make life changing decisions that will certainly play out for the rest of season five; one by himself, and two who make the plans together.

But before that, there is a case to solve (and that case inspires one of those big life changes). The case of the week involves a volunteer at a homeless outreach program who gets in a fight with her boyfriend while helping. Oh, and after the fight, the boyfriend goes down to Tijuana with friends and conveniently left his cell phone at home. Douchebag boyfriend or mentally unstable homeless person who mistakes kindness for an attack? And of course on a show like this, there are still more red herrings to find along the way.

And while a few characters are looking at big changes to their future, Buzz is looking backward. He has requested the thirty old cold case of his father and uncle and look to finally close that chapter of his life by looking for clues that reopen the case. I smell a season finale case of the week plot cooking.

Major Crimes airs Mondays at 10:00 on TNT. You can also download Major Crimes on iTunes.





Sunday, June 12, 2016

Previewing The Last Ship: Season Three




On the cover of Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing's Shocking is a sculpture of a pair of nude female conjoined twins sitting on a sideways rocking chair with their heads on fire, which was pretty shocking for 1988. The band was just a little early because truly nothing is shocking anymore especially on television where deaths have become so commonplace no one even bats an eye. Oh, The Walking Dead killed off another black dude; it must be that time of the season. But I have to admit I was pretty shocked when The Last Ship ended last season with someone walking up to Doctor Scott and shot her point blank. Sure I am the guy who likes to see the cold body until I see I believe someone is dead (and am still a bit suspicious even then… I am looking at you The Blacklist), but a child could kill someone at point blank range, certainly militia man can, right?

I will not spoil Dr. Scott’s fate except to say we get definitive word before the title sequence rolls. Dr. Scott or not, it does not really matter, they were able to mass produce the cure even before she was shot and season three starts off one hundred and fifty-four days into the new president’s tenure who has now taken up shop in St. Louis where the area now has consistent power and some people can even watch his address to the nation on television.

So, um, why is there even a season three if everything is hunky dory? Well those evil Chinese are possibly hording the cure, letting the virus mutate across Asia so the Nathan James has to travel half way around the world to once again try to get the cure in the hands of the sick while fighting off power hungry warlords who gain more power with every death. Except they are down a captain as Chandler has taken a post in the new administration and has stayed in the land-locked new capital and Slattery has now taken the helm of the destroyer. New mother Lieutenant Foster has also traded her navy blues for some civilian clothes in the administration, separating her from her baby daddy.

Of course a diplomacy mission takes Chandler to Japan, not too far from where the Nathan James is sailing. It is also not far from a former flame in the form of Bridget Reagan (Agent Carter) who has taken up in the Chinese consulate during the virus outbreak and is also visiting the same Asian summit. Oh and at the end of the first hour of the two hour premiere someone dies. But to be honest, despite being a recognizable face, I would say this death was nothing shocking.

The Last Ship airs Sundays at 9:00. You can also download The Last Ship on iTunes.



Saturday, June 11, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 6/11/16




House of Lies: This show was the first US production to film in Cuba since they lifted the embargo and, well, it kind of looks like every Central / South American setting.

Preacher: So the Irish dude is a vampire, the way he devoured the cow I though he was going to be something more demonic. Though there is still some question of what is up with the Preacher, something inhabited him last week and clearly he thinks he now has some power of persuasion telling the girl to wake up at the end, except we have to wait a week to find out if she does.
You can download Preacher on iTunes.

Penny Dreadful: Oh man, why are they getting rid of Mr. Lyle? He was the most entertaining part of the show. But of course since this is television they replaced him with a younger hotter model. But I guess they also needed to replace the hot demon chick even though you would think a witch could survive a simple gunshot wound. I guess this helps put Ethan back on the good side (he did walk away from his father instead of killing him). And now the gang can get back together just in to help Vanessa battle Dracula. But what a weird scene with Vanessa telling the museum guy there is some ancient evil trying to take her soul and not only does not run, goes on a monologue about the vampire bat before having sex with her. How long until he dies or at least getting under Dracula’s spell? I give I two episodes.

The Americans: So this is the closest Spy Philip has been to FBI Agent Stan since that time Elizabeth got caught back in I think season two being at the same park at the same time. But now that they have officially announce an end date after two more season I am just going to assume the Jennings are never going to be caught. Now my big question is when in the eighties will the show end? The season finale took place in January 1984. I was kind of surprised when I looked up the date of the Oakland-Washington Super Bowl because it seemed like it should be later. I thought the premiere took place during the Reagan inauguration which means only three years have elapsed in four seasons. If the Jennings did not get caught, I was hoping the series would at least last until at least the fall of communism but the fall of the Berlin Wall is five years and a half away and eight year until the end of The Soviet Union. So unless there is a sizable time jump we will not get there.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

The Challenge: Rivals III: Really, another episode where no one was sent home. So what are we up to, the sixth episode and only one team has sent home via the Jungle and actually stayed away. Except since another team went home voluntarily, will Jessica and Johnny replace them next week? And I kind of have to side with Camilla on the whole token scandal. It is Christina’s responsibility to keep track of her token and should not just be throwing it around willy nilly. How hard is it to tuck it in your sports bra so it does not get lost like I saw many people do? Now I was too lazy to go back and re-watch it, but if it was a situation where the tokens were color coded to the teams, then I can see disqualifying Camellia if she picked up, say, Christina’s blue token when her teams were red. But of course all that drama did not matter because another dude when home because of his girlfriend (at least this time was noble as she was entering the emergency room) and of course Nany and Wes did not draw a black skull.
You can download The Challenge: Rivals III on iTunes.

Orphan Black: Welcome back Helena. Way to spray your clone with copious amount of blood. Speaking of welcome back, holy Delphine sighting. That was so unexpected, during that final scene I originally thought it was Felix; sister until they kept talking about Delphine during the “next time on” package.
You can download Orphan Black on iTunes.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Around the Tubes: 6/10/16



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 House of Lies, Barely Famous, Winsanitty, Power, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Keith Urban, and Masters of Sex.

- This Sunday, June 12th at 9:00, our favorite corporate sharks are boarding their last flight, in grand, historic style, to Havana, Cuba for the conclusion of the Showtime comedy series House of Lies. Shot entirely on location and directed by series creator and executive producer Matthew Carnahan, this final episode, “No Es Fácil,” marks the first time an American scripted series was shot in Cuba since the restoration of diplomatic relations. Don Cheadle (Miles Ahead) headlines the stellar cast, which includes Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Emmy® winner Ben Schwartz (Parks & Recreation), Josh Lawson (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues), Donis Leonard Jr. (Criminal Minds), and Emmy winner Glynn Turman (In Treatment). As we conclude the series, the Pod is assessing their personal portfolios: in their constant quest for the almighty dollar, how much is enough? How much money buys happiness and at what cost?

- Season two continues to satirize the reality TV genre by exploring the endless hypocrisy of Hollywood wealth and fame. Each episode of Barely Famous, featuring multi-hyphenate producers, actresses and writers Erin and Sara Foster, dives into the world of celebrity in a docu-style format through the eyes of the delusional, hilarious and beautiful Foster sisters. Celebrity cameos this season include Chris Martin, Chelsea Handler, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Zach Braff, Kate Upton, Cindy Crawford, Brooke Burke, Dr. Phil, Ali Larter, Lauren London, Joey Fatone and more. Check out the Supertrailer here.

- GSN has partnered with participation TV technology company iPowow on the new game show series, Winsanity, to allow viewers – for the first time ever in cable TV – to play along at home in real-time on their mobile devices against other viewers, see their results on-screen and also get a chance to win prizes throughout the season. The play along at home feature will be part of the show, beginning with the series debut on Thursday, June 9 at 9:00 on GSN. The new iPowow play-at-home game at WinsanityLive.com, allows viewers watching the show in real-time to play along for free and stack the facts in the correct order, using their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

- Anchoe Bay Entertainment gears up for the much-anticipated release of the Starz Original series Power: The Complete Second Seasonon Blu-ray™ and DVD on Tuesday, June 14th. Executive Produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and created by Courtney A. Kemp (“The Good Wife”), POWER is a drama that straddles the opulent Manhattan lifestyle of the rich and infamous and the underbelly of the international drug trade. The second season picks up where it left off: James "Ghost" St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) doubling down on his drug business to save his nightclub and dream of a legitimate future. His work troubles pale in comparison to juggling his relationship with his wife, Tasha (Naturi Naughton), and his first love Angela (Lela Loren), who's also an Assistant United States Attorney investigating his drug organization. Ghost is set further back from his dream by his business partner Tommy (Joseph Sikora) who loves the drug game, and his former mentor, Kanan (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson), fresh out of jail, and looking for revenge. Season two has Ghost in a race against himself: can he get out of the drug game alive before Angela discovers who he is? The third season of POWER premieres on a new night Sunday, July 17 at 9:00 on Starz.

- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Greatest Hits collection will be available on vinyl for the first time in North America on July 29 as a double LP on 180-Gram Black Vinyl. The album is the biggest selling in the band’s illustrious catalog, with sales surpassing twelve million copies since its 1993 release.

Tune in to watch Keith Urban on AT&T Live at the iHeartRadio Theater NY airing exclusively via nationwide broadcast this Friday (tonight), June 10 at 9:00 on the AUDIENCE Network DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114.

- Niecy Nash and Betty Gilpin will be guest stars on the fourth season of Showtime Networks’ critically acclaimed drama series Masters of Sex Nash, who will appear in a multi-episode arc, plays Louise Bell, a local AA - chairperson running Masters’ (Michael Sheen) court-ordered daily meetings. She fervently believes in AA’s message, and uses it to push Masters to reevaluate his life. Gilpin, who will also appear in a multi-episode arc, will play Nancy, a former medical student of Barton’s (Beau Bridges), who partners with Masters adding a second MD to the practice. Production on season four recently began in Los Angeles.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Previewing Wrecked



The cast of Wrecked

Longtime readers know I have an irrational hatred of Lost. For six years I thought I was watching a sci-fi show with some relationship aspects but when the how ended I realized all those sci-fi elements did not matter and Lost was no different than all the other nighttime soaps on ABC at that time that just happened to take place in different places. Desperate Housewives took place in the suburbs, Grey’s Anatomy took place in a hospital; Lost just happened to take place on a deserted island with mystical power. But ignored the random four toed statue just offshore, the show was more about Jack and the relationship with his imaginary son. If I could turn a frozen donkey wheel to go back in time to tell my younger self to not watch that show I would.

The first time I saw the trailer for Wrecked, it was completely cold. I had never heard of the show, did not know what to expect. So when the promo started with a group of strangers stranded on a deserted island, I thought, oh goodness no. Then the previous serious tone of the ad ended with a joke and the comedy station TBS logo splashed on the screen, I realized it was not a cheap Lost rip-off, it was actually a cheap Lost parody.

Wrecked is more in vein of a Mel Brookes broad parody than the horible Wayans brother cram in as many references in a minute as they can. Sure the show opens up with the close up of a dude’s face and there is a character in the premiere that I am pretty sure the casting agent said, “get someone who looks exactly like Matthew Fox.” And unlike the creators of Lost who famously wanted to kill off Jack in the first episode of Lost, the writers gleefully do it in the promo for the show. Um, spoiler alert for anyone who did not see that promo.

Really aside from the setting and the brief stint from a Jack-like character, there is not else tying the show to Lost. No flashback, no smoke monster (yet) for better or worse. When the cop admits to another character he was not actually a cop prior to crashing I was fully expecting a flashback with a sight gag of him being the furthest thing from a respectable cop.

Also where the characters on Lost all had roles and their uses, Wrecked is populated by some useless and incompetent people. There is the grown up douchebag frat boy and his long suffering sorority girlfriend, an incompetent male flight attendant, a vapid sports agent, the pretentious liberal, and maybe the most reliable castaway is a podiatrist. Sure there is someone who can kill a boar (possibly with her bare hand), but she is not all there. The cast is rounded out with a loveable lunk who is upbeat despite having his legs crushed by debris and is played by the only recognizable member of the cast played by the lizard man from the best episode of the recent The X-Files reboot. Happy Endings’s Eliza Coupe does show up in the premiere as the higher strung flight attendant but is not seen after the plane crash. We do not see her die so possible she is on the other end of the island with The Others.

After years of putting on traditional sitcoms in vein of eighties multi-cams, TBS is ramping up more adventurous programming starting earlier this year with Angie Tribeca which is currently the funniest show on television and followed that up with the everything goes hilariously wrong The Detour. Wrecked may not be as funny, but in a summer which is lacking anything else in the funny department there are plenty of laughs to be found. My favorite bit being when one castaway finds a DVD player with two hours left of charge and then has to decide whether to watch the important and powerful Selma as possibly their last movie they ever watch, or watch Dumb or Dumber To.

Wrecked airs Tuesdays at 10:00 on TBS.