Saturday, April 08, 2017

Around the Tubes: 4/8/2017



I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Origins, I’m Dying Up Here, Claws, Meg Mac, The Circus: Inside the Biggest Story on Earth, Warning: This Drug May Kill You, NASA’s Unexplained Files, Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner, Nightmare on Everest, Biblical Conspiracies: Jesus Family Tomb?, Stevie Wonder, VH1 Hip Hop Squares, and Showtime.

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 07, 2017

Previewing Beach Boys: Making Pet Sounds



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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 4/4/2017



Dis Generation - A Tribe Called Quest


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


Shine On Me – Dan Auerbach


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


HUMBLE. - Kendrick Lamar


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


10,000 Miles - Cam'ron


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

Monday, April 03, 2017

The Voice Season Twelve Battle Round Power Rankings



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 02, 2017

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 31, 2017

Around the Tubes: 3/31/2017



I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on The Supremes, Ice, The Real Jesus of Nazareth, Outlaw Tech, Latin Music USA, Disgraced, What Happens at The Abbey, and The Mindy Project.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Previewing Harlots




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

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

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

Harlots premieres today on Hulu.

Monday, March 27, 2017

I Want My Music Videos: 3/27/17



Legend Has It – Run the Jewels


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


Down - Marian Hill


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


Feels Like Summer – Weezer


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


Don’t Look Back – Dia Frampton


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



Sunday, March 26, 2017

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 24, 2017

Around the Tubes: 3/24/2017





I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Barenaked Ladies, Sublime, The Handmaid’s Tale, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, Bob Hope Salutes the Troops, The Lost Tapes: LA Riots, Amy Lee, Kansas, The Looming Tower, Difficult People, and Shut Eye.

- Barenaked Ladies have partnered with PledgeMusic in support of their forthcoming album, Ladies And Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies And The Persuasions, a collaboration between BNL and the legendary "Kings of A capella". As part of their pre-order campaign, the band is offering a collection of exclusive merchandise, available today. Ladies And Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies And The Persuasions is set for release on April 14, 2017.

- Sublime has something special brewing for their fans in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their seminal debut album "40oz. to Freedom." The band, hailing from Long Beach, has enlisted the help of craft beer stalwart AleSmith Brewing Company, operating out of San Diego, to brew this namesake beverage. AleSmith Brewing Co. is brewing a Mexican-style lager on behalf of Sublime. There are plans for national distribution of the beer in 12oz. six-pack cans through AleSmith's supply channels with an initial small batch of limited edition 40oz. bottles to be made available for sale from the brewery, as reported by Rolling Stone.

- The Handmaid’s Tale Trailer (Official):


- Morgan Freeman returns to host the final four episodes of the multiple Emmy® nominated series Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman beginning Tuesday, April 25 at 10PM ET/PT on Science Channel. Freeman will challenge audiences once again to think about daring questions while taking a deeper look at the science behind topics such as hidden forces in the universe, aging, the future of Earth, and gun violence.
-
Bob Hope's legendary NBC-TV comedy and Christmas specials - some of the most-watched programs in television history -- spanned five decades, from President Truman to Clinton. And, this May, Bob Hope Salutes the Troops, a timeless 3-disc set from Time Life®, collects some of the legendary performer's greatest and most patriotic holiday specials, including seven classic shows from the '60s to the '90s, re-mastered from original broadcast elements for optimal viewing

- On the afternoon of April 29, 1992, the acquittal of four white LAPD officers in the beating of a black motorist named Rodney King set off an explosion of anger and frustration that erupted into deadly riots and devastated the already precarious social climate in Los Angeles. Resentment against the police, which had a reputation for using excessive force, turned the city into a war zone. This latest installment of Smithsonian Channel’s chilling series The Lost Tapes recaptures the chaotic days following the Rodney King verdict with powerful media coverage, home videos, gripping photographs and LAPD recordings. The documentary also includes some never-before-heard Los Angeles Fire Department dispatch calls, in which firefighters in the field are desperately pleading for police backup as they were being fired upon. The ultimate in authentic storytelling, this unique and immersive approach features no interviews or recreations – just the story as captured by video cameras and media reports at the time. The Lost Tapes: LA Riots premieres Sunday, April 23 at 8:00 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the events.

- Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee is proud to unveil her new single, “Speak To Me,” the end title theme from the upcoming suspense/drama, Voice From The Stone. Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke stars in the film alongside Marton Csokas, Caterina Murino, Remo Girone, Lisa Gastoni, and Edward Dring. Directed by Eric Howell and scored by Michael Wandmacher, the haunting thriller set in 1950’s Tuscany opens in the US on April 28th in limited theaters and VOD everywhere. USA Today premiered the movie trailer on Tuesday, which can be viewed here. The trailer received over 1 million views in its first 24 hours.

- Kansas will be expanding their highly successful Leftoverture 40th Anniversary Tour to more parts of the United States in the fall of 2017! Billboard announced the expansion of the tour in an exclusive article and interview here.

- Hulu announced this week that Peter Sarsgaard (Jackie, Experimenter, Blue Jasmine) has been cast in Hulu's original new drama series The Looming Tower.

- Hulu announced this week that John Cho (Star Trek Beyond) has been cast in season three of Hulu’s original comedy series Difficult People.

- Hulu announced this week that Original drama series Shut Eye will return for a second season.



Thursday, March 23, 2017

2017 Spring Music Preview


Oh wow, looking over the list of albums coming out this spring that I am kind of excited about. Sure not enough to make a most anticipated list, but it is inching that way. I already went on about the return of Michelle Branch dung the winter preview, then add to that Lorde and Fleet Foxes. It has been four years since Lorde debuted and changed the pop landscape and it sound like it has changed her too with two big piano based songs replacing her drum heavy sound of her first album. I has been six years since Fleet Foxes put out the excellent Helplessness Blues and it does not sound like they have chance much. Of course both albums are supposed to drop on the same day. Here is a list of other albums coming out in the next couple months that will at least be worthy of a spin on Spotify. Click on the album title to pre-order on Amazon, click the artists name to be taken to their iTunes page.


Tomorrow
The Wild - Raekwon
WildHorse - RaeLynn
We All Want the Same Things - Craig Finn
Souvenir - Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
Damage and Joy - The Jesus and Mary Chain

March 31
Triplicate - Bob Dylan
The Ride - Nelly Furtado
Emperor of Sand - Mastodon
Bloodlust - Body Count

April 7
Hopeless Romantic - Michelle Branch
L.A. Divine - Cold War Kids
Pure Comedy - Father John Misty
Whiteout Conditions - The New Pornographers

April 14
Ladies & Gentlemen - Barenaked Ladies & The Persuasions
The Seven - Talib Kweli & Styles P

April 21
Sad Clowns & Hillbillies - John Mellencamp
Be Myself - Sheryl Crow
8 - Incubus
Americana - Ray Davies
Wrangled - Angaleena Presley

April 28
God's Problem Child - Willie Nelson
Pleasure - Feist
Something Else - The Cranberries
Pussycat - Juliana Hatfield

May 5
Pollinator - Blondie
In Spades - The Afghan Whigs

May 12
Welcome Home - Welcome Zac Brown Band

May 19
One More Light - Linkin Park

June 2
Kaleidoscope EP - Coldplay

June 9
Relaxer - alt-J

June 16
Melodrama - Lorde
Crack-Up - Fleet Foxes
The Nashville Sound - Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

TBD
Forever - Phife Dawg
Fake Nudes - Barenaked Ladies
Mosaic - 311
As You Were - Liam Gallagher
Beck
Pat Benatar
Aretha Franklin
Shania Twain

And of course this could be the quarter Dr. Dre finally releases Detox

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 3/21/17



Lavender – BadBadNotGood featuring Kaytranada and Snoop Dogg


So I have been hearing about this Snoop Dogg video where he shoots Donald Trump for a week before finally looking at it. How extremely lame. All Snoop does and aims a toy gun at a clown and a “bang” flag comes out. Again lame. Any conservative complaining about this can no longer be allowed to condemn liberals for being snowflakes. I remember when Snoop carried a real gun around him and he was not aiming them at silly clowns.


Super Crip – Snoop Dogg


Now that is more like the Snoop Dogg I remember, even if it is in cartoon form. Well, the Snoop made better music.


Heavy – Linkin Park featuring Kiiara


Linkin Park’s last album seemed to be heavily influence by eighties metal so it is weird just how mellow their new some, even featuring Kiira who is part of a new crop of shoe gazing indie pop scene. Kind of got me interested in a Linkin Park album for the first time… maybe ever.


Believer – Imagine Dragon



C’mon Imagine Dragons, why would you want to get in a boxing match with Dolph Lundgren? Dude killed a guy once in the ring. He will break you. Although, when is there going to be a Creed sequil with Vince Howard taking on Dolph’s kid?

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Voice Season Twelve Blind Auditions Power Rankings



I knew Miley Cyrus was going to be annoying to the point I had to skip all the coach’s interaction (which has gotten professedly worse since the start) but the Blake-Gwen relationship was just as unbearable. And almost as worse as that was the new rule change lowering the age limit to thirteen when they should be raising it. And three middle schoolers who tried out were jus horrible and somehow two found their way on team. Scarily one on Team Gwen as it is hard not to forget how she drug a no way ready for primetime Braiden Sunshine to the Live Shows (even more inexplicable was the voting audience took him all the way to the semi-finals). What would be worse is for some reason, Gwen was able to recruite some decent three and four chair turns to her team. If they go home so Gwen can promote a middle schooler, I may finally call it quits on the show.

1. Lilli Passero (Team Alicia)
2. Kawan DeBose (Team Adam)
3. Lauryn Judd (Team Alicia)
4. Lauren Duski (Team Blake)
5. Troy Ramey (Team Gwen)
6. Micah Tryba (Team Blake)
7. Felicia Temple (Team Alicia)
8. Jesse Larson (Team Adam)
9. Josh Hoyer (Team Blake)
10. Gaby Borromeo (Team Adam)
11. Caroline Sky (Team Gwen)
12. Kenny P (Team Gwen)
13. Ashley Levin (Team Blake)
14. TSoul (Team Blake)
15. Josh West (Team Adam)
16. Johnny Hayes (Team Adam)
17. Hanna Eyre (Team Adam)
18. Nala Price (Team Adam)
19. Sammie Zonana (Team Gwen)
20. Malik Davage (Team Adam)
21. Julien Martinez (Team Adam)
22. Jozy Bernadette (Team Gwen)
23. JChosen (Team Gwen)
24. Vanessa Ferguson (Team Alicia)
25. Johnny Gates (Team Gwen)
26. Chris Blue (Team Alicia)
27. Dawson Coyle (Team Blake)
28. Valerie Ponzio (Team Blake)
29. Autumn Turner (Alicia Keys)
30. Sheena Brook (Team Adam)
31. Jack Cassidy (Team Alicia)
32. Casi Joy (Team Blake)
33. Brandon Royal (Team Gwen)
34. Aliyah Moulden (Team Blake)
35. Anatalia Villaranda (Team Alicia)
36. Brennley Brown (Team Blake)
37. Andrea Thomas (Team Blake)
38. RJ Collins (Team Alicia)
39. Edith Oritz (Team Blake)
40. Davina Leone (Team Gwen)
41. Stephanie Rice (Team Gwen)
42. Taylor Alexander (Team Adam)
43. Savannah Leighton (Team Gwen)
44. Mark Isaiah (Team Adam)
45. Hunter Plake (Team Alicia)
46. Missy Robertson (Team Alicia)
47. Quizz Swanigan (Team Alicia)
48. Aaliyah Rose (Team Gwen)

Even though the thirteen year olds were mosty a disaster (as well as most of the teenagers as usual), it is an improvement over last season and really the last two. As I usually do, I ranked the teams and here is how they rank:

Adam – 357
Blake – 309
Gwen – 266
Alicia – 257

I was a little surprised with how things turned out, Adam seemed to be kind of meh going through this season but I guess he did not have any truly horrible team members. Where I was thinking Alicia would be higher. The thing is she has some blue chippers, but a lot of bottom dwellers too. If she chooses wisely, she could be on top by the next round. Except since I did not pay attention much last season I am not sure how much I can trust her. But who cares what I think, here is who the iTunes buyers purchased the most:


1. Chris Blue (82)
2. Lauren Duski (135)
3. Taylor Alexander (153)
4. Stephanie Rice (173)
5. Casi Joy (196)
6. JChosen (274)
7. Troy Ramey (294)
8. Lilli Passero (316)
9. Valerie Ponzio (325)
10. Sammie Zonana (338)
11. Kawan DeBose (576)
12. Johnny Gates (577)
13. Mark Isaiah (612)
14. Johnny Hayes (642)
15. Josh West (679)
16. Hanna Eyre (747)
17. Jack Cassidy (783)
18. Sheena Brook (915)
19. TSoul (926)
20. Josh Hoyer (940)
21. Vanessa Ferguson (1002)
22. Autumn Turner (1061)
23. Anatalia Villaranda (1067)
24. Nala Price (1091)
25. Felicia Temple (1110)
26. Brennley Brown (1129)
27. Hunter Plake (1129)
28. Caroline Sky (1156)
29. Kenny P (1161)
30. Gaby Borromeo (1297)
31. Lauryn Judd (1387)

Wow, this is kind of pathetic, no that no one buys music anymore, it should not be hard at all to get on the iTunes charts with ten million viewers every night, but seventeen contestants this season could not crack the top 1500. It even took the very last person to gain a team to even crack the top 100. The third highest was a novelty audition by someone I doubt will advance any further. And what happened to Blake? Dead last with only half his team charting. Was it the lack of boring male country crooners? But as it always seems, Adam was in the lead, Gwen surprisingly in second, but a lot of people surprisingly picked her this season.

Usually it is easy to pick who makes the Live Shows even after the Blind Auditions because the show would completely telegraph it with their Best of the Blinds recap. Except this season it seemed like that showcased everyone but three or four on every team. And it is unclear anymore if placement in the show means anything are if they are putting singers there because of the coaches commentary. No better way to end the show this season than to have Alicia sing to you. But they did release all the Battle Pairings on their YouTube page and I listed who I think will win first and listed them by how confident I am with my picks as well as my usually way off picks of Steals. But really, nothing says you have no chance of advancing than being one of the three or four people on your team that did not even get a quick feature on the Best of the Blinds recap.

Team Adam:
Josh vs. Nala
Jesse vs. Taylor
Hanna vs. Sheena
Mark vs. Gabby (steal to Gwen)
Johnny vs. Julien
Malik vs. Kawan (steal to Alicia)

Team Alicia:
Lilli vs. Lauryn
Anatalia vs. Missy
Chris vs. RJ (Steal to Adam)
Felicia vs. Quizz (Steal to Adam)
Hunter vs. Jack
Autumn vs. Vanessa

Team Blake:
Valerie vs. Enid
Aliyah vs. Dawson
Casi vs. Ashley
TSoul vs. Josh
Andrea vs. Micah (Steal to Alicia)
Lauren vs. Brennley (steal to Gwen which Blake will steal back in the Knockouts because he always annoyingly does that)

Team Gwen
Troy vs. Jozy
Brandon vs. Davina
JChosen vs. Kenny P (Steal to Blake)
Johnny vs. Sammi
Stephanie vs. Caroline (Steal to Blake)
Aalyiah vs. Savannah

So with little help from the Best of the Blinds, I have a feeling that my prediction of who will make the Live Shows will be way off, but here they are ranked by confident that they will survive:

Team Adam: Josh, Hanna, Jesse, Malik, Gabby
Team Alicia: Felicia, Anatalia, Lilli, Chris, Hunter
Team Blake: Aliyah, TSoul, Cassie, Lauren, Brennley
Team Gwen: JChosen, Johnny, Aalyiah, Caroline, Brandon

Picking a winner this early is usually easy (even if I end up being really wrong). Either there is just a standout performer or the producers tip their hand by shoving one person down our throuts during the intro and outro of every ad break, but in recent seasons, they are shoving down the annoying coach’s banter. So if there is no obvious chose, might as well go with Team Blake, so here are my picks for the finals:

Casi over Johnny, Chris and Lauren

Sunday, March 19, 2017

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/19/2017




Once Upon a Time: Wait, Captain Hook saved David’s father just to kill him? What?!? Just bad writing.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Homeland: Does Quinn think the German chick brought him out to the cabin to take him out Of Mice and Men style and that is why he emptied her gun? He may have been wrong to do that but he was right that someone was out to get him, unfortunately for Astrid, it was the wrong person.

The Walking Dead: Really, that truck cannot ram a bunch of shopping carts? There even seemed like enough space to drive around. Just seemed like more lazy writing.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Billions: They are far and few in between, but the Chuck vs. Axe showdowns are always epic and the first this season did not disappoint. Although Chuck’s lawyer got the best line trying to get Axe to admit he had hurt feelings. And much like Axe, I did not want to see Wags new tattoo, but I need to see it, how could the show not show this? Unacceptable. That was like Chekov’s gun not going off.

The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions: Wait, there have been two Ashley’s on this season the whole time (or, well since the champions invaded)? I do not even remember when Ashley won a previous season. Oh well, I guess I will not have to bother trying to remember her the rest of the season.
You can download The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions on iTunes.

The Path: Gee, you tell Eddie is a God and all the sudden he is a believer again. But the FBI guy remains the most interesting character. I had a feeling he may become an actual believer last season which still seems in play, but being blackmailed into sabotaging his investigation clearly is now on the table. Oh, and welcome back Hawk’s high school friend, that was random but of course it happens as he goes closer to the other girl.
You can stream The Path on Hulu.

Legion: Finally, another unnecessary dance sequence, and not a moment too late, I hate dream sequence episodes.
You can download Legion on iTunes.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Around the Tubes: 3/18/2017



I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Impossible Engineering, Drop the Mic, Animal Kingdom, Emogenius, The Looming Tower and Ray Donovan.

-Today’s feats of modern engineering are truly spectacular and keep getting bigger, stronger, and more impressive. These massive have revolutionized how we travel, do business, protect our nations, and see the world. Science Channel explores these incredible achievements in an all-new season of Impossible Engineering, returning Thursday, March 30 at 9:00.

- Music icon Method Man and supermodel Hailey Baldwin are ready to pick up the mic as the hosts of TBS's Drop the Mic, the new comedic music series from executive producers James Corden, Ben Winston and Jensen Karp. The pair have been tapped to emcee the celebrity battle rap competition based on the enormously popular segment from the Emmy®-winning series The Late Late Show with James Corden. Drop the Mic, which is also co-executive-produced by Ed Thomas, will launch on Turner's TBS on Tuesday, May 2, at 10:00. The series is produced for TBS by CBS Television Studios and Fulwell 73.

- In celebration of Animal Kingdom coming to South by Southwest this Saturday, March 11, TNT is releasing a first-look clip from the Season 2 premiere, with the Cody clan back in action and beginning to fracture. Animal Kingdom Season 2 premieres Tuesday, May 30, at 9:00 on TNT. Check out the first-look clip from the Season 2 premiere of Animal Kingdom


- GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today its new programming and other initiatives, as part of the network’s 2017 Upfronts, with a focus on its core “shiny floor” game shows. GSN has greenlit a new game show series, Emogenius, and the network’s other new addition to the lineup, Divided, which launched in January 2017, has been picked up for a second season following its successful debut. Freshman hit, Winsanity, hosted by Donald Faison (“Scrubs”) returns for a second season with a new format, and perennial favorite, Idiotest, hosted by comedian Ben Gleib recently launched its fourth season.

- Hulu announced this week that Emmy Award-winning actor Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom, The Martian, Steve Jobs) has been cast to star in Hulu's original new drama series The Looming Tower.

- Showtime Networks announced that Oscar® winner and four-time Emmy®-nominated actress Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise, Dead Man Walking) will appear on the hit drama series RAY DONOVAN in a season-long guest arc. Sarandon will play Samantha Winslow, the strong, focused head of a motion picture studio. Ray Donovan returns for its fifth season this summer.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/12/17



Mercy Street: So Ramona Flowers finally got some screen time but I am still unclear what is going on there. Is she actually going o recover and be back if there is a next season or was that her deathbed, which it kind of seemed like.
You can download Mercy Street on iTunes.

Once Upon a Time: So Robin is back. Hopefully this version is evil because that will be the only way to make it interesting.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Homeland: “Greetings from Sargent Brody.” This show really likes trolling us. Oh wait, Dar and Quinn. What!??!!!!?! Although I vaguely remember that being brought up before. Less shocking was Dar reporting Carrie. Talk about a troll move. But you know what, it was the right move. Carrie has shown for seasons she is unfit to be a mother. She talks about worrying about Franny thinking her mother abandoned her. She did already. She was out in Pakistan for the first couple years of her life.

Billions: They are far and few in between, but the Chuck vs. Axe showdowns are always epic and the first this season did not disappoint. Although Chuck’s lawyer got the best line trying to get Axe to admit he had hurt feelings. And much like Axe, I did not want to see Wags new tattoo, but I need to see it, how could the show not show this? Unacceptable. That was like Chekov’s gun not going off.

Supergirl: Wait, so Kara no longer works at CatCo? So much for a secret identity. Could The CW just not able to afford to keep that set up? Does Wynn even still have a job there or does he just work at the DEO full time now? Sure James is still the Editor in Chief but he is too busy being a superhero himself. Oh yeah, can’t Kara just go over Snapper’s head to James? If not, is she just going to be a blogger/citizen journalist from now on? Maybe the Daily Planet has a National City. And what is going on with Lois Lane and Hercules? I had no idea they were going to be on the show. They have to be involved with Mon-El right? Now that they hooked him up with Kara, something interesting has to go on there.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Americans: At first I thought they finally replaced the kid who played Henry. Does that make me extremely racist or extremely colorblind that I did not even notice he was Asian until someone pointed it out? And that was a lot of digging at the end of the episode. I wonder just how many bodies the Russians have buried about ten feet underground in America?

The Path: Wait, that was Melanie Griffins? I never understand why people do that to themselves. I would much rather look old than like some alien cat person. But anyway. So Steve liked little kids. So he now is an official cult leader. Except what exactly did he knew because clearly something is happening to Eddie.
You can stream The Path on Hulu.

Survivor: Game Changers: Bittersweet first night of Survivor. Ciera has always been quality entertainment (and one of the greatest reaction shot jury member ever). Granted it is was shocking she was never voted out first in her previous two seasons being maybe the least physical contestant ever and she always seems to lose at puzzles too. But on the flip side, Tony was one of the most annoying. It is amazing he actually won. How did anyone spend thirty-one days on an island with him? I am shocked it took them day days before deciding to boot him.

Then you had the twists. Poor Andrea, my personal favorite, picking up a box with an advantage under it then stepping over it multiple times before Sierra grabbed it. Sure I turned out to be the Legacy Advantage which is still lame. Then Probst announced there are no re-votes on ties, straight to deliberate a consensus or draw rock. I initially hated it but after they discussed it on the after-show (even more Andrea this season!) and talked about how ties are sometimes used to flush out Idols I decided maybe it may be interesting. Hopefully this is used to get Malcolm or Ozzy out early.

And even more twist coming as they teased two in the promo for next week. And by teased I mean completely revealed. Not only are we getting an early swap, I think there was even a shot with one of the new tribes. JT, Malcolm, Varner, Sandra, and Aubrey are definitely on one tribe, the only tribe in the promo, so a good bet they lose the Immunity Challenge. The other twist is the for only the second time (the first being the last all-star season) they are hiding the Immunity Idols at the Immunity Challenges. And it really looked like Varner holding the clue to me. Crap, I predicted he would be the first person not to make the jury three times (at least I think, I am too lazy to fact check that; bu hey, we now live in a fact free country so who cares anyway).

Legion: So David has a parasite, I guess the big question now is who is it? Is it the yellow eyed blob that has been haunting him? Or could it be Lenny/Benny?
You can download Legion on iTunes.

The Blacklist: Redemption: Good for you Tom for not acting in the show, but do not think I did not notice you looking down multiple times.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.