Friday, July 29, 2016

Around the Tubes: 7/29/16

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 Triumph’s Summer Election Special 2016, Great Performances, 2016 Global Citizen Festival, Sting, Tony Lucca, Mission Critical, America's National Parks at 100, Hip Hop Squares, Might Ship at War: The Queen Mary, America’s Next Top Model, and TBS.

- On the heels of its recent Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special, Triumph’s Election Special 2016, Hulu will debut a new, follow-up one-hour special hosted by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog titled Triumph’s Summer Election Special 2016. The new Hulu Original, in association with Funny Or Die, will become available to stream to Hulu subscribers on August 11.

- The PBS Arts Fall Festival returns Friday nights, beginning October 21, 2016, with all new programs, including the highly anticipated look into the making of the Broadway phenomenon Hamilton, a contemporary take on the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Visionary Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning creator and star, will host this year’s festival. Great Performances “Hamilton’s America” gives viewers a look at Miranda and his colleagues’ creative process during the three years leading up to the Broadway opening of the record-breaking musical winner of 11 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize.

- Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Selena Gomez, Major Lazer, and Metallica will headline the 2016 Global Citizen Festival, the annual free-ticketed event on the Great Lawn in Central Park in New York City on Saturday, September 24, 2016. The Festival will harness actions from millions of Global Citizens around the world to hold world leaders accountable to the progress made toward achieving the Global Goals set out by the United Nations last year. Special guest performances will be given by Usher, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Ellie Goulding, Yandel, and Yusuf/Cat Stevens. Hosts for this year’s Festival will include Chelsea Handler, Deborra-lee & Hugh Jackman, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra, Salma Hayek Pinault, and Seth Meyers.

- On September 30, A&M / Interscope Records are proud to release The Studio Collection, a career-spanning vinyl LP box set featuring all of Sting’s seminal solo studio albums brought together for the first time. The Studio Collection includes eight essential A&M Records albums across eleven LPs – The Dream Of The Blue Turtles (1985), ...Nothing Like The Sun (1987) (double LP), The Soul Cages (1991), Ten Summoner’s Tales (1993), Mercury Falling (1996), Brand New Day (1999) (double LP), Sacred Love (2003) (double LP) and The Last Ship (2013) – with both Brand New Day and Sacred Love available on vinyl for the first time ever.

- Nashville-based singer-songwriter Tony Lucca is set to release a new digital EP on August 5, 2016 via Rock Ridge Music entitled Sessions, Vol. 2: Muscle Shoals. The three tracks on the release came from a day-long session Lucca did in Muscle Shoals, AL 10 years ago when he went to the music town to explore the area and get to know some writers and players in that scene.

- For many of Earth’s species, time is running out. Iconic animals such as black rhinos, mountain gorillas and giant pandas are close to joining dodos and dinosaurs on the unfortunate list of animals gone forever. While working to preserve these threatened and endangered creatures may seem like a daunting mission, Nat Geo WILD believes that it’s a critical one. Today, Nat Geo WILD announced the premiere of Mission Critical, a new monthly programming initiative featuring powerful stories of the most incredible and endangered animals on our planet. The new series hopes to inspire a new generation of animal lovers to preserve and protect our world’s amazing wildlife, and will premiere globally in 131 countries and 38 languages. Every month, Mission Critical highlights species at the forefront of extinction and the brave individuals who are racing against the clock to make a difference. From adorable baby beluga whales to mischievous Tasmanian devils to elusive leopards, the episodes range from heartwarming to tear-jerking in hopes to shine a light on those animals that need our attention most.

- It began as a radical idea to preserve a mysterious land of “boiling sulpher springs.” Now the National Park Service is 100 years old – with more than 400 places we’ve seen fit to save forever. Smithsonian Channel will celebrate the centennial with America's National Parks at 100 premiering Sunday, August 28 at 8:00. The one-hour special tells the story of how this radical idea evolved into an enduring mission shaped by the creativity, resourcefulness and passion of individual Americans.

- VH1 is giving the classic game show Hollywood Sqares a Hip Hop makeover with the help of Ice Cube and his Cube Vision production company in conjunction with Jesse Collins Entertainment and Jeff Kwatinetz’s The Firm. Slated for a Fall 2016 premiere, celebrity contestants will match wits and test their pop culture knowledge with the superstar squares, featuring the biggest names in hip hop, comedy and entertainment. According to Ice Cube: “Hip Hop Squares is going to be fun and spontaneous; unlike typical game shows, viewers should never know what’s going to happen next. When VH1 asked us to join the producing team, we jumped aboard as we have had success with VH1, and we love their team, excitement and commitment to the show.”

- Nat Geo WILD announced today that Emmy-nominated actor Charles Dance (“Game of Thrones”) will narrate the upcoming global miniseries event Savage Kingdom, a rare look at warring animal clans battling for survival in a remote region of Africa that is drying up after years of flood-soaked abundance. The winners are rewarded with the richest hunting grounds in the kingdom, while the losers are fated to exile … or even death. Savage Kingdom premieres Friday, Nov. 25, at 9:00 on Nat Geo WILD and globally this fall in 134 countries and 37 languages.

- For six seasons, The Wonder Years captured the angst of growing up in suburban middle-class America in the late '60s, as seen through the life and times of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage). Audiences eagerly followed his evolution as a typical awkward teenager who remembered every moment of his transition from childhood with excruciating detail and remarkable hindsight. From his first kiss with Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) to his friendship with Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) and the ups and downs of the Arnold family, fans shared in laughter, love, and loss, but above all, wonder. This 22-DVD set contains all 115 episodes from the six seasons of this landmark series that aired from 1988 to 1993. Included in this specially-priced slipcase set are complete show notes with episode synopses, cast member reflections, "Current Events," and more plus nearly 12 hours of bonus material, as well as an astounding soundtrack of over 300 classic period songs as they were featured in the original broadcasts featuring such artists as: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, and of course, Joe Cocker's unforgettable theme. The Wonder Years: The Complete Series Street Date: August 23, 2016.

- All aboard Smithsonian Channel this August, as the network sets sail on an epic journey to chronicle the spectacular life and times of the singular vessel R.M.S. Queen Mary, as both a luxury passenger liner and a wartime troop ship. Might Ship at War: The Queen Mary, a new one-hour special timed to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the famed ocean liner’s maiden voyage, will premiere Sunday, August 21 at 8:00 on Smithsonian Channel.

- VH1 today announced the host and judging panel for the network’s upcoming reincarnation of America’s Next Top Model, premiering this fall. Singer, actress and entrepreneur Rita Ora will host the reinvented show with supermodel and body activist Ashley Graham, Paper Magazine Chief Creative Officer Drew Elliott and celebrity stylist and image architect Law Roach serving as judges. Show creator Tyra Banks and Ken Mok continue as executive producers of the iconic modeling competition, with Banks making surprise appearances throughout the season.

- TBS, a division of Turner, has greenlit Storyville, a new digital animated series co-created by OkayPlayer. The top-rated network is also in development on Think B.I.G., a scripted series based loosely on lyrics by the late, great Notorious B.I.G. The two projects are the first to emerge from a new strategic content partnership between TBS & TNT and New York-based content and media organization Mass Appeal.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 7/24/16

Ray Donovan: Welcome back FBI guy (although it was a little silly Ray got the epiphany to see him after seeing a chick in a “Federal Boobie Inspector” t-shirt), he and Micky’s parole officer are the best character on the show. I was actually thinking when he told Ray that he looks like a Bob Seger guy, how disappointing that we will not get to see Ray pretend to be a member of The Silver Bullet Band. Yet somehow FBI guy actually got Ray to do it. I wonder if Showtime asked for this so there would be some synergy with Roadies. That song got the asking price down three million, but apparently Ray does not have two million lying around (um, whatever happened to his buy a football team money?) and will look to get that Horseshoe money with Micky. Whenever those two work together, things never go well. Actually Ray needs that money because of killing all the Armenians for Micky.

Preacher: The hell is not as far as you think comment was really deep, too bad they muddled it by making Eugene turning out to be fake.
You can download Preacher on iTunes.

Roadies: Did someone already say the C-word on the bus before because the tour already seemed pretty cured up to now. The one guy fired everyone including Phil who seemed to be the lifeblood of the tour (bu hey, he got to go to space with Taylor Swift), they are on their third opening act (does My Morning Jacket count as the fourth or was Jim James just a stowaway), oh and this week the bassist went MIA with the band’s groupie. But I wonder if The Who cast is to explain the inevitable hookup of KellyAnn and the money guy. No way that is really happening without some devilish curse pushing them together.

Pretty Little Liars: Ugg, Ezra proposed to Aria? Still creepy after all these year. Hopefully Ezra’s not so deas fiancé comes back and ruins that relationship one more time.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Casual: I said last week the workplace would be weird if Pete Campbell found out about Alex and his fiancé and it is worse than weird, Pete Campbell plans to burn the company to the ground. Oops. And of course Alex then hooks up with her again, and it kind of looks like she is moving in as he brought a lot of luggage.
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

Mr. Robot: Fun Society? Alrighty. I fear we may be getting into Lost-ian territory of silly backstory told in way too cute of a way (the concrete scene was a bit much too). But it is hard out there for secondary characters from the first season, All Safe dude last week, hacker guy this week. I fear for the job security of Gloria Rubin. But the other hackers think it may be the Chinese. My first thought was Tyrell. Mr. Robot also crossed my mind as well as E-Corp who would rather dispense their own brand of justice than let the Feds deal with it.

Tyrant: What the frack? Why did they have and go kill off the hot chick? Sure her character was worthless but, um, yeah, oh well. And did they really kill Jamal too? Sure he was flat lining but that does not stop some people from coming back to life. I know this is a third world country, but he is a former president, so where were the doctors when he started to flat line? Still this guy survived driving off a cliff and being show at point blank range, certainly he can survive a pillow.
You can download Tyrant on iTunes.

The Challenge: Rivals III: Finally, a silly challenge harkening back to the early days and not some everyone takes turns to do something short and boring. The Jungle should have been better too except no one got dirty. How do you not pull a leg as they are going by?
You can download The Challenge: Rivals III on iTunes.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Around the Tubes: 7/22/16

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 Veep, Temple of the Dog, Wicked Tuna, Cesar and Son, Black And White, KT Tunstall, Civil Twilight, A Season with Florida State Football, and Window Warriors.

- All hail to the VEEP! As the political environment heats up leading into the upcoming conventions, HBO Home Entertainment looks to lighten the climate with the Digital HD release of this year's Emmy nominee for "Outstanding Comedy Series", Veep: The Complete Fifth Season (along with 16 additional nominations). Do our presumptive nominees have anything on President Selina Meyer? Watch and find out when every episode (and some great bonus features) are released to all leading digital platforms now.

- Temple of the Dog — the Seattle supergroup featuring Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Mike McCready, and drummer Matt Cameron (who plays drums with both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam) — has reunited and will tour for the first time ever since forming in 1990. The band will play five cities, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle, in November. A special ticket pre-sale for fans signed up to the Ten Club, Soundgarden, and Chris Cornell email lists begins immediately and runs through July 27th. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 12:00 PM local time on Friday the 29th. $1.50 from each ticket sold will benefit the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation and an additional $1.50 will benefit Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation. On September 30th UMe will release a special Temple of the Dog 25th anniversary reissue collection of their landmark album, newly mixed by Brendan O’Brien. The collection will be available in four configurations, including a four disc Super Deluxe, a double LP, a two CD Deluxe, and a single CD. Physical pre-orders are available today along with a detailed list of the contents of each configuration HERE.

- On the heels of the fifth season of its hit series Wicked Tuna, National Geographic Channel once again pits Gloucester’s finest against the best Southern fishermen, in the third season of the exciting spinoff series Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, premiering Monday, July 25, at 9:00. It was an exceptional year in Gloucester, Massachusetts, with many captains bringing in record hauls for one of the most profitable seasons in recent memory. Now, winter has descended upon New England, and the prized bluefin tuna have migrated south to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” Three of Gloucester’s top captains are following the fish and trying their luck against a fleet of the South’s best fishermen. It’s a risky gamble — the Outer Banks is a notoriously dangerous fishing spot, where the potential for earnings is offset by the challenges these waters pose. And in addition to the unpredictable, treacherous conditions, the Gloucester captains will have to contend with competition from experienced locals who will stop at nothing to beat them to the catch.

- Nat Geo WILD announced today that world-famous dog behaviorist Cesar Millan (@cesarmillan) and his son Andre Millan are road-tripping across America in search of dogs and their humans who need help and want to share their story in Nat Geo WILD’s new series Cesar and Son [wt]. From canine heroes to unsolvable pooch problems to issues affecting local dog communities, no pup is off limits as the Millans hit the road to help you. Visit to apply.

- A&E Network’s new original comedy series, Black And White is a provocative weekly in-studio show that tackles the third rail of both comedy and politics: race. Hosted by Christian Finnegan and Sherrod Small, this new series covers the biggest headlines sweeping the nation through the fresh and hilarious points of views of these comedians and longtime friends. Black And White premieres Wednesday, July 27 at 10:30 on A&E.

- KT Tunstall returns with an explosive 11 track collection of songs on her fifth studio album KIN to be released September 9th on Caroline Records. The album will be available for pre-order at all participating retailers, here.
Civil Twilight, originally from South Africa, and now Nashville based, are living proof of what happens when you stop worrying about being the chosen one and make music built on both the roots that grew you and the love that keeps you thriving every day. Civil Twilight debut ethereal acoustic album Story of an Immigrant streaming via Billboard
available July 15, 2016 via Wind-up Records.

- Showwtime Sports will chronicle Florida State University’s quest for the 2016 College Football National Championship with the all-access documentary series A Season with Florida State Football. The second installment of the groundbreaking series brings viewers behind the scenes and into the lives of the Seminoles with weekly 30-minute episodes throughout the 2016 season. The series premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 10:00 on Showtime, just one day after the Seminoles’ season opener against the Ole Miss Rebels (University of Mississippi) on Labor Day.

- GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, has added actress Garcelle Beauvais (“Hollywood Today Live,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming”) as host of their new skill-based competition series Window Warriors. Window Warriors lifts the curtain on the intensely competitive and theatrical world of visual merchandising. This new series brings the worlds of art and commerce together as the country’s most talented window designers are challenged to conceive jaw-dropping displays each week. From the festive, to the luxurious, to the latest advances in digital effects and sound technology, these artists will push their creativity to the limits in the hopes of winning a $100,000 grand prize, in addition to a feature in a retail design magazine, a one-year contract to design displays for a premiere mall developer, and a career-changing opportunity to design a holiday display at a major department store.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 7/18/2016

Good Girls (from the "Ghostbusters" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Elle King

Before I get to this actual video, let me first mention another song off the Ghostbuster Soundtrack that was released that hasn’t gotten a video yet: Fall Out Boy’s version of the classic theme is just pure hot trash. Instantly a contender to challenge Panda as Worst Song of 2016 (though I have managed to not hear it yet, just based on the title MILF $ by Fergie is also in the discussion). Wisely Elle King went with an original and did not try covering another song from the film (actually is there another song from the film?) but I cannot say the video made me all that excited for the new film, but hey, it was not as bad as the first trailer they released.

Somebody Else – The 1975

Yeah, I will admit it took me forty seconds before I had to skip ahead, what a completely useless preamble to a music video. But isn't this the fifth single that failed to hit from The 1975? There was a big marketing blitz when the album dropped but none of the songs really had much of a dent on pop culture so far this year.

(Expletive Deleted) With Myself - Banks

I am on a neverending search for new music but the last couple years it has been far and few in-between with new acts maybe having one great song and everything else on their album being mediocre at best. Banks was maybe the last new artist to put together a solid debut landing five songs on my Best Songs of 2014. But I am just not feeling her new song that much. And the hairless version of herself is just freaking me out.

I Forgive It All - Mudcrutch

Well that was kind of depressing. Yet director Sean Penn’s anger issues still crept in at the end of the Mudcrutch (AKA Tom Petty’s band before The Heartbreakers) video.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 7/17/16

Ray Donovan: Oh Bridget that was harsh, especially with the fake Boston accent. And of course Conner was just oblivious to the whole thing complaining gun shots ruining his television show. Why are the sons on anti-hero show always the most worthless and incompetent? And just how many times has Terry sat alone in the center of his gym with a gun? Well at least he had company this time around.

Roadies: It was clear by showing up and sitting next to fake Lindsey Buckingham on Saturday Night Live that the real Lindsey Buckingham had a sense of humor, but who really knew just how funny he was? Just the reaction shot of him with Rainn Wilson were great. Speaking of whom, I wonder if Rainn’s character was based on anyone in particular and this was Cameron Crowe’s revenge against some bad reviews.

Murder in the First: Kind of a weird start to the season, in the first episode, Hildy gets a dire diagnosis, but then in the second, they were just like, oops, we were looking at someone else’s records. Then Terry kills what looks to be an unarmed black man, how topical, but again, another false alarm, the perp’s gun fell out of his waist in the chase. Two storylines that looked like they could have been season long arcs that the writers were just, um, nevermind.
You can download Murder in the First on iTunes.

BrainDead: Sure I laughed at the cat CAT scan. Which begs the question what do those bugs do to cats? It clearly makes humans more partisan. And are these bug controlling their humans or just heightening already existing views? The head dive makes it seem like the former. But does that make the bugs partisan or are they just taking over the already held beliefs in the human. At any rate, those previously on segments are just gold.
You can download BrainDead on Amazon Instant Video, free with a Prime membership.

Pretty Little Liars: What a horrible plan. Some dude ran in front of you when you were following him when he kidnapped your friend, which is a legitimate excuse to the police. Instead they come uup with an elaborate plan of leaving his phone on a train (which Spencer ended up being too drunk to do) and burn the car that hit him which would have been extremely conspicuous, at Mona knew a guy who does not ask questions.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Casual: I did not see the episode title was “Threesome” until after the episode ended. The teenagers were obvious (is it horrible of me to think he may be faking), but the more interesting part of the episode were the emotional threesomes, Valerie is stuck between the two guys, one who is pushing hard and the other who is drunk texting random emojis. Then Alex is not even in a threesome, it is more of a foursome with his crazy ex, her fiancé (possibily ex, that will be one weird working environment if he finds out about them; although they seemed to figure out about him and the secritary) and their pathological assistant.
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

Mr. Robot: What a weird way to start the season, Tyrell was completely absent from the marketing of the second season except being named dropped by President Obama leading me to wonder his involvement in the second. Then he was the first person we see in season two, of course never to be seen again in the double episode premiere. One thing I went back and forth on all first season was: is Tyrell real? That opening scene made me lean back to the delusion side. Then when Elliot asked Mr. Robot where Tyrell is, it reinforced that theory as if when they are not out and about, all of Elliot’s personas are hanging out in his head like Inside Out.

But then Tyrell’s picture was plastered on an episode of Nancy Grace (natch) which pulled me back to the real person side and that maybe the reason Elliot ask Mr. Robot about Tyrell because Elliot knew Tyrell was in the game room, then Mr. Robot took over and when Elliot took over again, Tyrell was missing. I did come up with another theory in that Tyrell is both real and fake. When Elliot meets Tyrell in the Pilot, Elliot decide he is going to be his patsy and to best set him up as the fall guy had to become him and who we saw ever since was Elliot’s delusion. The flaw in that is where does the pregnant wife come from, could she be another delusion?

Speaking of patsies, RIP Gideon. I was surprised he even showed up again and of course he will not again. Though I was unclear what the other guy’s motive was: revenge, fame, hired by Evil Corp to make Gideon the fall guy? Poor Gideon, the ultimate wrong guy wrong time. But really the most interesting part of the first two episode was Elliot saying that we, the audience probably does not trust him the way he does not trust him. Very true, I am beginning to believe less and less of what my eyes see on this show. I am just hoping this does not lead to some sort of St. Elsewhere finale (where the audience learned the whole show was taking place in the mind of an autistic kid) and everything we have seen was taking place in kid Elliot’s mind who is really laying in a coma from the time his father pushed him out a window.
You can download Mr. Robot on iTunes.

The Challenge: Rivals III: Another meh challenge (okay, Vince belly flopping was somewhat entertaining), even the Jungles were stupid too this week. What ever happened to the physical challenge where teams go head to head, almost every challenge this season teams have been taking turns. But at least we got a “Greatest Moments” episode this week. Granted it was basically twenty-five minutes of waiting for the CT using Johnny as a backpack. Weird that they completely ignored all the fighting or the time Julie almost killed Veronica. I guess it was not surprising that the avoided the time Tonya emptied Beth’s luggage into the pool considering the things that happened behind the scenes with here.
You can download The Challenge: Rivals III on iTunes.

Tyrant: These types of family drama follow a familiar format; the older daughter gets a storyline (for better or worse) while the younger brother just stays in the background. This show kind of flipped that, well both children are mostly worthless, but every once and a while the son does something to remind you, oh yeah, he is a gay homosexual, but really never push that storyline very far. After three seasons, they finally gave the daughter something to do in being captured. I am with Barry, you cannot trade the daughter for the wife, they would likely just kill both, really, the obvious answer is to get the American general exactly what he wants and have them send in Seal Team 6 to rescue the daughter.
You can download Tyrant on iTunes.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll: Networks got interesting with their On Demand channels. NBC made the most noise by releasing the entire season of Aquarius after its series premiere. What I found more interesting was FX released uncensored version of this show on its On Demand channel. But much like NBC who did not air drop Aquarius this season, for some reason did not upload uncensored episode leaving me to wonder just what Denis Leary is saying whenever the audio when silent. Hurumph.
You can download Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll on iTunes.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Around the Tubes: 7/15/16

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 Cesar 911, The Incredible Dr. Pol, Open Your Eyes, Behind the Lost Empires, Roadies, Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, and Showtime,

- On Friday, July 15th, hit show Cesar 911 returns to Nat Geo WILD with all new episodes. Tune-in to see Cesar Millan help dog owners in some of the most unique situations as they learn how to deal with challenges of owning a difficult dog. Viewers will see Cesar employ creative methods ranging from calling in Jillian Michaels to going undercover as a UPS delivery man to help these owners give their dog a chance at a balanced, happy and healthy life. Coming up, Cesar brings in television personality and fitness expert, Jillian Michaels, to work with the owners of an energetic K-9. In The Biggest Loser one couple’s Vizsla Lab mix, Tic Tac, threatens to ruin their dream of living on the water because of his unruly behavior. To help the couple, Cesar calls in his friend Jillian to devise a fitness regime… but this time for the owners themselves!

- Nat Geo Wild's No. 2 Show, The Incredible Dr. Pol, is back with an all new season of sick, injured, oozing, kicking, and biting cases. Follow Dr. Pol and his team as they rush across the Michigan countryside making house calls to a variety of farm animals. Weather they are hard at work castrating a quartet of rowdy alpacas or treating cows with deadly gastric infections, everyone has their hands full in this nail-clipping, bridge-building, bone-repairing abscess-draining season of mending mysterious and sensational solutions. The new season of The Incredible Dr. Pol premieres Saturday, July 16 at 9:00 on Nat Geo Wild.

- Open Your Eyes, which chronicles the amazing journey of two elderly farmers in Nepal as their eyesight is restored, is an acclaimed new documentary directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky (Beware the Slenderman, Peabody Award-winning Hear and Now) which will premiere on HBO on July 18th at 9:00. With today's news cycles seemingly dominated by stories of conflict and negativity, the film presents a remarkable story of the global community coming together to create positive change.

- New technology and the opening of previously closed societies are ushering in a golden age of archaeology, uncovering the secrets of some of history’s most famous empires. Smithsonian Channel has gained access to some remarkable discoveries, and will reveal new insights in a major new programming block: Behind the Lost Empires. The block features specials on the lost city of Pompeii, a recently discovered Roman gladiator school in the heart of Europe, China’s Han Dynasty and its infamous female Emperor Wu, and Burma, the world’s first golden civilization. Pompeii: The Dead Speak kicks off Behind the Lost Empires on Monday, August 8 at 8:00.

- This week, Showtime wrapped production on the first season of the freshman music series Roadies with an impressive roster of musical acts set to appear in the season finale, which will air on Sunday, August 28th at 10:00. The one-hour episode will feature music personally curated by series creator, executive producer, writer and music supervisor Cameron Crowe, and performances from Jim James, Eddie Vedder, Nicole Atkins, Jackson Browne, Robyn Hitchcock, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig from Lucius, and Gary Clark Jr. The ROADIES soundtrack will be released by Republic Records and Stardog Records. Previously announced tracks include “I Wish I Was Sober” by Frightened Rabbit featuring Mike McCready, “Are You Satisfied?” by Reignwolf, and “Big Love” by Lindsey Buckingham.

- Drafthouse Films and MVD Entertainment have announced the upcoming home video release of Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack on August 16th. After Steven Spielberg's classic Raiders of the Lost Ark was released 35 years ago, three 11-year-old boys from Mississippi set out on what would become a 7-year-long labor of love and tribute to their favorite film: a faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of the action adventure film, which the New York Times calls "a testament to the transporting power of movie love." They finished every scene...except one; the film's explosive airplane set piece.

- Showtime Networks Inc. and Amblin Partners have entered into an exclusive output agreement under which qualifying Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media films theatrically released through December 2021 will air across Showtime®, The Movie Channel™ and Flix®, as well as on SHOWTIME multiplex channels and streaming services. The agreement, which extends the existing relationship between DreamWorks Pictures and Showtime Networks, allows it to exhibit high-profile Amblin Partners’ features across its premium channels on-air, on demand and over the internet. The announcement was made today by Kent Sevener, Senior Vice President, Content Acquisition, Showtime Networks Inc. and Jeff Small, Co-CEO, Amblin Partners.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 7/13/16

Bury It – Chvrches featuring Hayley Williams

The chick from Paramore jumping on a track by Chvrches seems like the most random collaboration since, well, the chick from the Civil Wars appeared on a Paramore song.

I Want it That Way – Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket

It seems like a yearly occurrence now that Chipotle can get credible artists to provide a cover to soundtrack a kind of creepy cartoon promoting their brand (Willie Nelson covering Coldplay; Fiona Apple doing Willie Wonka), but Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket teaming up for a Backstreet Song is the weirdest yet.

Cleopatra – the Lumineers

The sophomore The Lumineers album reminds me of the second Mumford and Sons album in that it just sounded like outtakes from their debuts (but here is hoping The Lumineers do not go electric on their next album). Even their new music video is derivative and the road theme seems like their Stubborn Love video complete with the five second cameo from the band.

Scares to Your Beautiful – Alessia Cara

Alessia Cara came out of nowhere with a great debut single, it is a shame the rest of the album was a big giant bore filled with boring pop songs just like others are making these days. This was her token self-empowering anthem that everyone has to make, but like all the others, at least it comes with a powerful music video.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 7/10/16

Preacher: I have been pretty ambivalent to the show but I did laugh more than once at the respawning angels. And about the ending, are we ever going to see Eugene again? I guess this is the type of show where people could escape Hell so I would not be that surprised. I wonder if doing harm accidentally via Genesis will make Jessie more inclined to let go of it. Okay, no need to wonder, there is no show without it in him.
You can download Preacher on iTunes.

Roadies: It was clear by showing up and sitting next to fake Lindsey Buckingham on Saturday Night Live that the real Lindsey Buckingham had a sense of humor, but who really knew just how funny he was? Just the reaction shot of him with Rainn Wilson were great. Speaking of whom, I wonder if Rainn’s character was based on anyone in particular and this was Cameron Crowe’s revenge against some bad reviews.

Pretty Little Liars: Oh yeah, I completely forgot the season started with the Liars burying someone (they made it seem like Hannah who was absent from the scene) or what I thought was something because, c’mon, they definitely would not bury Hannah in the middle of the woods, or as I thought then, anyone else. Oops, got that one wrong. They actually ran over Ally’s husband. Poor Hannah, she is really having a bad week, she is the one that gets captured by Uber A and then she is the one behind the wheel during the hit and run with the deceased literally starring at her with his head through the windshield.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Casual: Just two episodes ago I mentioned how this season was about casual friendships and not casual hook up, and this week all three main characters hooked up with someone. And what world do we live in when a man cannot hook p with his business partner’s secretary and not have to get lawyers involved? That seemed to be a prerequisite at Sterling Cooper (and sometimes Draper Price). Pete Campbell even impregnated one. The guy even spearheaded the pimping of Joan out to that fat slob to secure his business for the firm. Man, someone really need to punch Pete on this show.
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

The Challenge: Rivals III: No. No, no, no, no, no. You can feed me all the cow balls you want, you can make be grind on a block of ice, I will even be worn as a backpack by CT and thrown into a trash can, but you are not getting me in a box and burying me alive. Nope. But I did like the trivia (though I would rather there be a history trivia or a spelling bee), it was kind of like on Survivor when they have those late stage season challenges where people realize just where they sit in their alliance. The course of a couple season changed by people realizing they are on the bottom and flipping for a better position.
You can download The Challenge: Rivals III on iTunes.

Aquarius: I watch this how for its stupidity (c’mon, Mulder was the guy who suggested Bobby Kenedy go through the kitchen where he is assassinated and the gay Republican who had the hots for him just happened to be there and of course so was Charlie Manson) but you juxtaposed Manson trying to start a race war and what is going on today with people trying to race bait juts made me uneasy.
You can download Aquarius on iTunes.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Around the Tubes: 7/8/16

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 wild_life With Bertie Gregory, Money and Violence, Los East High, Conaan, Boyz II Men, Diana Ross, Cobi, In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive, Building Star Trek, The Country Network, and Turner Channels renewals.

- Nat Geo WILD inspires people to let the wild in every day. The network is dedicated to creating content for animal lovers everywhere to enjoy, whether it’s on TV, in magazines, or in books. Now, Nat Geo WILD is bringing the wild online with the launch of its first-ever digital series, wild_life With Bertie Gregory, premiering Wednesday, Aug. 3, on the network’s YouTube Channel, as well as on

- Reluctant gangsters, stick-up kids, and scammers hustle for survival on the unforgiving streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn, in Money and Violence: Seasons 1 & 2, available on Digital HD on August 16, 2016 from Lionsgate. The first 3 episodes of Season 1 will be available for free the first 60 days of release.

- Los East High returns for a fourth season with an addictive mix of love, dance, sex and true-to-life drama. It’s a first ever summer season and the Bomb Squad heads off to dance camp with sexy new teammates who tempt Gina (Alex Rodriguez) and Eddie’s (Carlito Olivero) relationship, on and off the dance floor. Camila (Vannessa Vasquez) and Jesus (J.D. Pardo) rekindle their love affair and must fight the odds against them as they attempt to live a crime-free life. And when Jacob (Gabe Chavarria) misbehaves, hearts are broken and the family business is threatened in more ways than one. This season, wedding bells ring while danger lurks in the streets of East LA and the students must rise to action for what they believe in. Someone will need to risk it all to fight for her future and for true love – making this an unforgettable summer.

- Conan O'Brien will welcome an all-star lineup of guests when he returns to San Diego for a week of shows to be taped during Comic-Con® International. The roster includes the stars of the new movie Suicide Squad, the casts of the television hits Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley, "Weird Al" Yankovic and more to be announced later. Conaan's Comic-Con® International shows will be taped at San Diego's historic Spreckels Theatre from Wednesday, July 20 – Saturday, July 23. Each episode will air on TBS at 11 p.m. (ET/PT), with availability across TBS and Team Coco's digital, mobile and VOD platforms the following day.

- Formed at Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts by Nathan Morris and Marc Nelson (who eventually left), later joined by fellow school choir members Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman and Michael McCrary, Boyz II Men found their inspiration in the echoes of their school bathroom and their city’s tradition in classic a cappella and doo-wop harmonies. Inspired by New Edition, they took their name from one of the group’s songs, and then impressed the band’s lead singer Michael Bivins with an impromptu backstage audition of “Can You Stand the Rain,” leading to his agreeing to manage and produce them. UMe is marking the 25th anniversary of the release of Boyz II Men’s 1991, GRAMMY®-winning debut, Cooleyhighharmony and its multi- GRAMMY®-winning 1994 follow-up, II, with exclusive vinyl releases of both, with the latter, a two-LP set, for the first time ever on that format, on August 19.

- Diana Ross was six years into her wildly successful solo career from the Supremes when she outdid herself, releasing a self-titled project, her seventh studio album, that included two No. 1 pop smashes, “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” and the dance-floor classic, “Love Hangover.” Ms. Ross also took two more tracks from the album up the charts, “I Thought It Took A Little Time (But Today I Fell In Love),” which hit the top five of Billboard magazine’s Easy Listening (now known as Adult Contemporary) chart, and “One Love In My Lifetime,” no. 5 on the Soul charts. Diana Ross, the album, peaked at no. 5 on the Billboard 200, no. 4 on the Soul album chart and no. 5 in the U.K. Marking 40 years from its original Motown release in February 1976, UMe is reissuing Diana Ross in vinyl for the first time since then on July 15, following a 2012 two-CD expanded set on the Hip-o-Select/Motown label.

- While singing the blues in dive bars throughout Northern Minnesota, a 12-year-old Cobi dreamt one day of performing on the biggest and most renowned stages in the world. He knew that music made him feel more alive than anything else and that he wanted to bring his art to a much larger audience.

- In a never-before-seen video from In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive, singer, dancer, actress and civil rights activist Lena Horne shares her disappointment in the lack of progress made toward racial equality throughout her lifetime:

- Smithsonian Channel will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek with a two-hour special that will take a look at the lasting influence the original Star Trek series has had on the world. Building Star Trek will premiere Sunday, September 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.

- This past weekend, as America was celebrating Independence Day and shooting off fireworks, The Country Network (TCN) launched its broadcast in two more viewership markets: Oklahoma City and Memphis--KBZC (UHF Channel 42) and WQEK (UHF Channel 18/PSIP Channel 36) respectively. These two markets will add well over a million DMA market households to TCN's initial 40+ million DMA household-reach across digital subchannel tiers since the network was announced just over three months ago.

- Turner's powerhouse media brands TBS and TNT have renewed three original series currently airing on the networks: the critically acclaimed TNT drama Animal Kingdom, the new TBS series Wrecked and the hit TBS comedy Angie Tribeca.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 7/5/16

Sledgehammer – Rihanna

In a post monoculture world you need a big hook to get your music in front of a lot of eyes and ears. So Rihanna released her new music video as the very first one ever shot in IMAX, apropos for s song from the new Star Trek movie. It does look cool enough for something that could fill an IMAX screen though I have no desire to actually go to one. This was not even the only big music video event Rihanna stared recently as an atomically correct lifelike doll of her popped in Kanye West’s Famous video which I will not be sharing, not because I am offended by the graphic nature but I was offended by how boring it was. Seriously, ten minutes of fake people not moving? Yawn. My big complaint of the Rihanna song though, is you cannot have a song entitled Sledgehammer without making people think of Peter Gabriel much like when Fifth Harmony released a song of the same title a couple years ago. Ironically the both came out with songs named Work this year though Fifth Harmony ended up changing theirs to Work From Home to avoid confusion even though both songs still chanted Work obnoxiously.

Heathens – twenty one pilots

Patrick Carney of The Black Keys once philosophized that the reason rock music was dying was because we let Nickelback become the biggest band in the world. So what does that mean twenty one pilots is now the biggest band in the world? I at least got Nickelback, it was frat rock. Who exactly is listening to twenty one pilots? But I can ask that about half of the top forty (seriously people, Panda?!?). But hey, we get a couple new images from Suicide Squad. I have said it before, but DC should scrap their five year Justice League plan and just start doing Suicide Squad standalone movies, which they may actually do as word on the internets is there are mulling over a Harley Quinn female antihero team up movie. Then after the standaloine, bring the Suicide Squad back together to fight the Injustice League headed by Black Manta.

Fake My Own Death – Sum 41

I will admit it, I have a couple Sum 41 songs in my library, like a lot of songs from the punk-pop era; those early songs were dumb fun. But like many other acts from that era, that act got old fast. The band always had a heavy metal side and it is probably wise to embrace that side but I am just not that into it. And Weezer already did a way past their prime music video where they took on internet memes and did it much better than this.

Bored to Death – Blink-182

Speaking of punk-pop band still at it, blink-182 was the one of the few of those bands that made it a decade of being relevant. The may be down a core member (apparently guitarist Tom DeLong is too buy rating about UFO’s) but this sound sounds like it could have been in a time capsule for the past decade, for better or worse.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 7/3/16

BrainDead: I am not sure how practical red solo cups duct taped over your ears are and it may have been wise to set the trap, leave, and check them later, but it made for one funny sight gag. But does that ending mean the aliens invaded the cat too? Aren’t cats evil enough that they do not need to be taken over by aliens?
You can download BrainDead on Amazon Instant Video, free with a Prime membership.

Pretty Little Liars: Finally someone is calling out the Aria/Ezra relationship as really creepy. Though I fear Aria will be able to talk her ex-boyfriend into the idea.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Casual: I knew it, one of the friends would try to become more than friends. Though I missed what went on with Alex’s dad. They made it seem like the dad told Alex the ex-girlfriend was committed when she just moved away. But then she stole the lightbulbs first?
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

The Challenge: Rivals III: I am shocked that every team but one was able to finish that challenge. I did a Cancer Walk that I was actually prepared for and still could not function for a week afterwards. And what is with that ball during The Jungle? The thing got dented really early. How is well above average soccer player Wes (insert eye roll here) supposed to show off his skills with a ball that is concaved?
You can download The Challenge: Rivals III on iTunes.

Aquarius: The chick with the historically bad accent has always been the best part of the show, but her pretending to be a cop pretending to be an anti-war activist is just awesomely bad. Almost make up for the unnecessary flashforwards of an event we all know is coming anyway.
You can download Aquarius on iTunes.

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: – 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 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 Hosted by Squarespace, 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

- 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

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.


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.