Sunday, October 24, 2021

57 Channels and Only This Is On: October 24, 2921



Fear the Walking Dead:  So Strand is just a full on heel now?  But how did Alicia get to the main cult’s lair?  I thought the cult leader locked her up in the basement of a mansion and then everyone who knew she was there died before telling anyone else.  And, really, how did the Senator’s aide get there too?  Is this just a ploy?  And just how do all the horses survive the radioactive fallout that humans need gas masks to survive?


American Rust:  Oh hey, a Giant Eagle reference.  That is where I do my shopping.  But it was weird seeing Billy in a suit without his mullet looks like a completely different person.  Without context I probably would not have recognized him.  Still, what was Grace thinking?  Her husband is significantly better person in every single way.  This is like a Divine Brown situation.


The whole diversion to Pittsburg was weird.  Where was the rest of the Brotherhood?  Why did the dude shoot himself?  Is Jeff Daniels sure she got all his DNA and prints? It was dark and he did not even check to see if any blood dripped before he put something on the cut.  Are we even sure that was the right guy?  Dude flees town, but he has now been working at a diner in the same town for about a year?  And why do they need to kill him?  If the Brotherhood went after people who got away with crimes, dude was right there, arrest him.  All of this seemed strange to the point I think I may have missed something.


The Walking Dead: World Beyond:  Okay, I like those new people who kidnapped the nerd and the conman.  It was funny they knew who they were but chose not to explain that since they tried and steal from them.  Unfortunately everyone else is still pretty boring. 


Y: The Last Man:  Kind of weird to have a show where the titular character does not show up once.  It is interesting to see a bunch of females going Ladies of the Flies in the juxtaposition of the storyline where the government is trying to keep everything together, but it is not very interesting enough to fill a full episode.  I cannot say I was disappointed to hear the show was canceled.


Only Murders in the Building:  I was a little irked that they started the show with Selena Gomez standing over a bloodied Tye-Dye Guy and that did not even tie into the Tim Kono murder… or seemingly it did not.  Amy Ryan did poison Tim, put the gun in his mouth, and even pulled the fire alarm.  What are the loose ends Steve Martin mentioned how could Bunny being murdered tie into it?  It seems like everything wrapped up nicely.


But I cannot ding the finale that much for that because drugged Steve Martin was forking hilarious.  Plus it looks like my Tina Fey commits murders to keep her podcast in business theory is still in play.  Maybe jealousy of the Only Murders podcast made her want to set them up.  Could her assistant be the one that texted them knowing of her plan?  It is going to be a long wait until next season.


Stargirl:  Wait, so The Shade is dead now after going through all that trouble to get his powers back?  Is there going to be a new Shade now?  Don’t they kind of need the guy to defeat Eclipso?  Well, they do have the real Dr. Mid-Nite back who spent all that time in the shadow dimension.


La Brea:  So how did everyone get to the ground safely?  The new guy needed a parachute, it seems like all the cars got damaged in the fall, how does someone fall out of the sky and can just start walking around like nothing happened?   But we should get some answers next week as that group seems like it is going to run into people who have been there for a while.  Maybe they have some answers.  And just what can the new ship do that the old one cannot?  I feel like the father and daughter are just going to end up stranded with the mother.


Supergirl:  If they destroyed the Hope Totem, why bother trying to stop the imp from getting the other totems? 


Wu-Tang: An American Saga:  It was interesting to see how the songs came together in the last couple episodes, but it kind of fell flat in the making of C.R.E.A.M.  We saw Deck come up with his verse a couple of episodes back.  Raekwon getting evicted did not really seem to tie in very well. Then Method Man walks in, RZA says the song needs a hook and Meth heads into the booth and pulls one out of nowhere.  I wish they gave the song more time and spent less time on the label stuff.  I already knew where they were going.


Dopesick: Well, Michael Keaton punching the pharma rep certainly was cathartic.  Not too surprising he got hooked because he did come across as a little shakey during the trail from the first episode.  Now someone needs to punch the person going to N.A. meeting and selling people there Oxy.  This whole show is just infuriating. 


Survivor:  I think this is the first time they have not shown someone getting the Idol until after letting us know they have one since Guatemala which was one of the first seasons with an Idol.  They really should do that more often.  But Naseer was lucky, as the one dude had to say the same dumb phrase every week; Shan had to repeat someone else’s dumb phrase, being as confused as a goat on AstroTurf is kind of an actual response one might say to the two other dumb phases.  And given his accent, people could just assume it is a local saying.  But next week buffs will be dropped, but Probst at least makes it seem like it may not be for a merge.  Could there be a swap, or will they just combine the two smaller tribes?


The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies: Well, the mid-season promo spoiled the winner since we know Kyle will beg Devin not to send him in.  Which means it is very likely that Devin’s cell will win yet again in two week.  These mid-season trailers really need a better job not spoiling big things like this.  It seemingly happens every season.


Doom Patrol:  I was wrong that the Indian chick did not make it to the current time line, but the bird guy did not.  But I am not entirely sure what was going on with that giant bird cage.  What came out of it almost looked like flying butts with teeth.  But what exactly was Rita doing while the rest of the Sisterhood of Dada was rotting in a cell for decades?


Titans:  Not surprisingly a dumb ending to another dumb season.  And we did not even get a teaser to foolishly get our hopes up that the next season might be better before having our hopes dashed when the season actually premiere.  Though we did get a Roy Harper name drop.  Maybe we will get him and more A.R.G.U.S. next season. 


Big Sky:  Why exactly would the waitress not rat out the cartel people?  Did they promise to let her go if they set up the cop?  But then why kill the cop, which is what I assume what they are doing?  And why not tell the waitress to wait so the cops do not drive up before you can do it?  But it seems safe to say the cop is going to die, but whom else?  The two PI’s a pinned down by the psycho while the one kid is tied up with the other three lurking around.  It will be a shame if after all that just the cop dies and nothing else moves forward.


The Blacklist:  So Red is dying so he has Lizzie shoot him but she dies before that happens and two years later Red it still walking around?  This show has gotten so bad.  Since no one is in the field anymore except inexplicably Demmbe (who do you manage to become a field agent deep undercover in two years) so is there just going to be a rouge task force going forward?  The show really should have died with Lizzy… or really a few years before that.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Around the Tubes: October 23, 2021


I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting.  This post includes blurbs on The GreatThe ExpanseMarvel's Hit-Monkey, History of the World, Part II, Vice, Smallville, The Killing of Kenneth Chambelain, Single Mother by ChoiceMother/Android, Super PumpedBillie Eilish, Joy Oladokun, The Rolling Stones, and Fountain.

Check out the official trailer for Hulu Original comedy series "The Great"!  Season two premieres with all ten episodes on November 19 on Hulu.  In season two of “The Great,” Catherine finally takes the Russian throne for her own — but if she thought coup-ing her husband was difficult, it’s nothing compared to the realities of ‘liberating' a country that doesn’t want to be. She’ll battle her court, her team, even her own mother in a bid to bring the enlightenment to Russia. Meanwhile she’ll also battle her heart as Peter slowly transitions from much-hated husband, to prisoner? Ally? Lover? Ultimately Catherine will learn that to change a country, you must let it change you, that there is a fine line between idealism and delusion, and that becoming 'Great', will ask more of her than she could have imagined.

The sixth and final season of The Expanse, premieres December 10 on Amazon Prime Video, picks up with the solar system at war, as Marco Inaros and his Free Navy continue to launch devastating asteroid attacks on Earth and Mars. As the tensions of war and shared loss threaten to pull the crew of the Rocinante apart, Chrisjen Avasarala makes a bold move and sends former Martian Marine Bobbie Draper on a secret mission that could turn the tide of the conflict. Meanwhile, in the Belt, Drummer and what’s left of her family are on the run after betraying Marco. And on a distant planet beyond the Rings, a new power begins to rise.

Check out the all new trailer and key art for Hulu Original series "Marvel's Hit-Monkey." The series premieres on November 17th, 2021 with all ten episodes.  After a Japanese snow monkey’s tribe is slaughtered, he joins forces with the ghost of an American assassin and together, they begin killing their way through the Yakuza underworld.

Hulu has given a series order to Searchlight Television & 20th Television’s 8-episode variety series “HISTORY OF THE WORLD, PART II,” 40-years after the original release of Mel Brooks’ landmark 20th Century Fox film “History of the World, Part I.”  Executive produced and written by Mel Brooks, Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Kevin Salter.  The writers room begins this month and production will commence in Spring 2022.  Quote from Mel Brooks: “I can’t wait to once more tell the real truth about all the phony baloney stories the world has been conned into believing are History!”

SHOWTIME announced that the Peabody Award-winner and two-time Emmy®-nominated documentary series VICE will return to air the remaining seven episodes of season two starting Sunday, November 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Known for delivering immersive reporting from the frontlines of global conflict, civil uprisings and more from its team of global correspondents, the second half of the season covers a range of topics, from an investigation into the disturbing number of deaths in the Black community living in Louisiana’s so called “Cancer Alley,” to the new revolution in Cuba.  Watch and share a glimpse of Season 2 here:

#DCFanDome surprised fans today with a #Smallville 20th Anniversary Celebration featuring a conversation with Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum. The full conversation with even more behind the scenes stories can be viewed at:  About Smallville The Complete Series 20th Anniversary Edition, coming to Blu-ray for the first-time ever on October 19th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment:  The groundbreaking, Emmy®-winning 10-season hit that redefined the origins of the world’s greatest super hero is all here – from Krypton refugee Kal-El’s arrival on Earth through his tumultuous teen years to Clark Kent’s final steps toward embracing his destiny as the Man of Steel. Relive a decade’s worth of thrills in fantastic adventures full of action, heart and humor in abundance, all anchored by the marvelous performance of Tom Welling at its center. Savor again the series’ thoughtful and imaginative integration and reinvention of the iconic characters of DC lore. And let your spirits be lifted up, up and away.

Following the Gravitas Ventures day and date theatrical release, HBO Max has acquired exclusive streaming rights to the award-winning, critically-acclaimed film THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN. The film will debut on the platform Friday, November 19. Based on a true story, the film was directed by David Midell (NightLights), produced by Midell and Enrico Natale of Redbird Entertainment, and executive produced by Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman and Gary Lucchesi of Revelations Entertainment, along with Sharad Chib, Chris Paladino and Milan Chakraborty.  THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, which won a bevy of prestigious awards during its festival run, tells the heart-breaking true story of the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly African American veteran with bipolar disorder who was killed by the police during a welfare check after his medical alert device was accidentally activated. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances and the overly aggressive policing tactics that make the news on an all-too-frequent basis, the life of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. ended at the hands of those who were sworn to “protect and serve.”  The film’s HBO Max debut date, November 19, 2021, is the 10-year anniversary of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s death.

SINGLE MOTHER BY CHOICE, a feature film from Two Hands Productions, will debut on HBO Max on November 2.  The fictional film that tracks actress Selina Ringel’s real-life pregnancy is the Latinx writer and producer’s feature film acting debut.  SINGLE MOTHER BY CHOICE tells the story of a single, workaholic woman who sets out to have a baby on her own terms; but is truly forced to go through pregnancy alone when the world throws the unimaginable year 2020 in her path.  Selina Ringel set out to create a fictional feature film tracking the experiences of her pregnancy in real-time; she never imagined she would encounter a pandemic. SINGLE MOTHER BY CHOICE tells the story of an independent, overachieving Latinx woman determined to have a baby on her own terms. When she is thrown into the isolation and uncertainty of the year 2020 she is forced to learn that asking for help and showing vulnerability are the keys to motherhood.

Hulu has announced that “Mother/Android”, from Miramax, will release Friday, December 17 on Hulu.  Set in the near future, “Mother/Android” follows Georgia (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her boyfriend Sam (Algee Smith) through their treacherous journey of escape as their country is caught in an unexpected war with artificial intelligence. Days away from the arrival of their first child, they must face No Man’s Land – a stronghold of the android uprising, in hopes of reaching safety before giving birth. The film stars Chloë Grace Moretz (“Shadow in the Cloud,” “Kick-Ass”), Algee Smith (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Euphoria”) and Raul Castillo (“We The Animals”). 

SHOWTIME has announced that Oscar and Emmy® nominee Uma Thurman (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction) will join SUPER PUMPED, a new anthology series with the first season based on Mike Isaac’s bestselling book Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber. Thurman will star as Arianna Huffington, the businesswoman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, who was an Uber board member. She joins Emmy winner Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Trial of the Chicago 7) who has signed on to star in the first installment as Travis Kalanick, Uber’s hard-charging CEO who was ultimately ousted in a boardroom coup, and Emmy winner Kyle Chandler (Bloodline, Friday Night Lights) as Bill Gurley, the plainspoken, brilliant Texan venture capitalist who bets his sterling reputation on Uber’s success – and then has to live with the consequences. Brian Koppelman and David Levien (BILLIONS, Rounders) and Beth Schacter (Soundtrack) will executive produce, write and serve as showrunners on the series. Allen Coulter (The Sopranos, RAY DONOVAN) has signed on to direct and executive produce the first episode.

Vevo, the world's leading music video network, announces the release of Billie Eilish’s Official Live Performance of “Lost Cause” off her latest album, Happier Than Ever via Darkroom/Interscope Records. Vevo’s Official Live Performances are the result of close creative collaboration with artists and their teams, resulting in a series of very special exclusive performances. “Lost Cause” follows the release of Billie’s previous Official Live Performances of “Male Fantasy” and “Your Power.”

Breakthrough singer, songwriter and musician Joy Oladokun’s debut Spotify Singles session is out today. Listen/share HERE. Recorded at Sound Stage Studios in Nashville, the release includes a new rendition of Oladokun’s sunday” as well as a version of Bonnie Raitt’s classic “I Can’t Make You Love Me” with special guest Jason Isbell on guitar.  Reflecting on the project, Oladokun shares, “I’ve been a rabid consumer of Spotify Singles since their inception. Being asked to do one was a dream come true and I wanted to bring in the best crew. I asked Jason Isbell to play guitar on the Bonnie Raitt cover and he absolutely smashed the energy and emotion of what I was trying to do. So excited to have these out in the world.” 

The Rolling Stones today release 40th anniversary, expanded deluxe editions of their chart-topping, multi-platinum 1981 album Tattoo You via POLYDOR/INTERSCOPE/UMe. Listen to Tattoo You (40th Anniversary) here.  The newly remastered set, released today on October 22, is accompanied by no fewer than nine previously unreleased tracks from the era, including the unheard “Come To The Ball.” It follows the unveiling of the irresistible rocker “Living In The Heart Of Love” on August 19 and the never before released “Troubles A’ Comin,” an infectious and multi-faceted cover of the Chi-Lites original, on September 30.

Watch: Fountain at YouTube or via Pitchfork.  FOUNTAIN, a sci-fi/horror short film written and created by Nik Fackler & Derek Pressnall (Tilly & The Wall, Flowers Forever) of Icky Blossoms is now available to stream on Hulu as part of 20th Digital Studio’s Bite Size Halloween. Directed by Film Independent Spirit Award-nominated filmmaker Nik Fackler (Lovely Still, Sick Birds Die Easy), the film features a score composed and performed by Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound.  After Fackler and Pressnall’s band, Icky Blossoms, finished promoting their 2015 album, Mask, the duo went to work developing the screenplay and the world of Fountain. The filmmakers enlisted Cox, who they had met through friends in the music community of Atlanta, for the distinct and haunting score. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Previewing Wakefield



One quote about television that really stuck from me came from the creators of Homeland who early in their run on the show (and I am probably poorly paraphrasing here), you can no longer shock audiences with a twist anymore; they can only be shocked at when you do it.  Yet there I was at the end of the first episode of the Australian show Wakefield, completely shocked with what just happened.


The titular Wakefield refers to a psych ward in New South Wales where the show follows the patients and staff there.  It is similar storytelling of The Affair where each episode is segmented with different POV’s, sometimes, three different characters, sometimes four, alternating between staff and patients, with one episode that breaks from the format.


While the narrative rotates around, we do get one segment following Nik every single episode in the season.  Nik is a nurse at the hospital who someone dubs “The sanest person in this place” who once dated one of the doctors there and is looking to advance in employment when a better position opens up.  There is also the stress of his sister’s wedding that complicates things throughout the season.  As the season progresses, it seems like Nik may need some help at Wakefield himself.  Especially after getting a certain Australian ditty stuck in his head.  Just your normal medical drama stuff… well up until the end of the first episode.


Except unlike your normal medical drama where most patients are one episode guest stars, some of the patients are on the show for just an episode or two before they check out, while some are there the whole season and also seem like they were admitted long before the show started.  The show does a good job injecting humor into the show through some of the patents but you never spend too much time laughing before realizing the seriousness of why they are there.  While American medical shows seem like process line pumping out the same things episode after episode, season after season, Wakefield is something a little different, and the show is better for it.


Wakefield airs Mondays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

57 Channels and Only This Is On: October 17, 2021


The Walking Dead:  So Darryl’s lady friend kills the leader just so she could be in charge and has no problem with murdering people, just as long as it is not her people?  That is cold.  Now we have to wait a couple months to see how Negan and Maggie managed to not get hit with the firecrackers.


American Rust:  So Harris was tasked to arrest Billy, not just bring him in for questioning.  I am no lawyer, but the case seems a little flimsy.  And when the police rips your mattress in half, do they have to buy you a new one if they do not find anything.  That seemed a little excessive.  But the worst thing th at H arris m aid Billy cut off his mullet.  That was his whole identity.  Now he looks like just a normal boring old white dude.  Then who was the guy at the end, what was the debt, and what exactly does he want to collect?  Does this go back to back to his Pittsburg cop days.  I vaguely remember them covering up a murder.


The Walking Dead: World Beyond:  I thought the big kid split with everyone with the skinny one.  I guess I miss remember him.  So where is the skinny kid?  And why did they not take both sisters at the same time if they are going back for the other one?  And why lame hiding place behind a curtain.  Not conspicuous at all.  That would be the first place I would look.  I guess they are lucky that there were two big curtains.


Y: The Last Man:  Oh wow, the first lady just took a header off the building.   But why?  She just found out she was not actually crazy.  But guess she was still a little crazy.


Only Murders in the Building:  They put Jane Lynch in some behind the scenes video a couple weeks ago, so I knew she was coming up as Steve Martin’s stunt double, but it still ended up being hilarious, especially Martin Short being fool.  Though I was pretty shocked that nothing happened to her.  Why rign in someone who looks like Steve martin if they killer does not actually try to kill her, or at least stab her.  I guess maybe she will put on a tye-dye hoodie next episode and who is Selena Gomez is standing over from the first episode.


But just one episode left so it is time for a prediction.  Right now it really seems like Jan and Tim Kono were hooking up because he has a bassoon cleaner with his sex toys and then she killed him for as a crime of passion.  Which means that it is highly unlikely Jan in the killer.  What if the bassoon cleaner was not Jan’s, the guy sitting next to Martin Short at the recital looked like he could Tim’s younger brother.  But why have his brother’s girlfriend’s bassoon cleaner?  She looked too young to be hooking up with someone in their late twenties.  Could it be something as simple as Jan’s package getting sent to Tim by accident and Tim just kept it thinking it was something else?


While Jan caught my eye in the last couple episodes, I still think Tina Fey had something to do with it.  But I am also thinking she had some help from someone in the building.  I will go out on the limb and say the cat guy was also involved and was helping Tina Fey.


Stargirl:  Oh no, Stargirl died… but probably not.  Much like when Shiv got sucked into the black hole, I am predicting that she was just transported to the Shadow World where she will run into Shiv and probably all the original Dr. Mid-Nite.


La Brea:  Okay, I think the show won me over with the giant sloth eating everyone’s food.  That was hilarious.  But how stupid are the humans?  A drone got destroyed trying to go through the portal, so they decide to put a manned ship down there and seemed shocked that the they lost contact with that too.  What exactly were they expecting?  But I will enjoy the one dude being able to have dreams of his friend hook up with his wife in future episodes.


Supergirl:  I do not know, destroying hope for all mankind seems like a pretty bad idea.


Wu-Tang: An American Saga:  I have revlly enjoyed the last couple episodes as we get to see the Wu create songs, but I did not really need to see a full three song set performed by people doing Wu-Tang impressions.


Dopesick:  I know no one gets out of Harlan County alive, but I figured if someone would be able to do so, it would be Loretta McCready, so it was sad to see she still ended up working in a cal mine.  But seriously, this show is


Survivor:  Oh wow, a whole hour with not one new twist.  But for the third straight episode strait trip o Tribal I thought Shan made the wrong decision.  Last week was the time to vote JD out and keep her advantage.  But I would much rather work with JD than Genie who will jump ship as soon as there is a merge or swap. 


The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies: Well that was a twist, I, and seemingly most people, thought they were going to just be individuals now, but they are switching from duos to three groups.  One more big twist that the winner can join even the winning team.  Though Smashley went back to her old team.  I wonder what would have happened if she went to the winning team.  Would they just have two extra players or would someone on that team have to be sent to her old team?  I guess we will have to wait for that answer.


Doom Patrol:  So the Sisterhood of Dada were actually workers at the Department of Normalcy, I did not see that coming.  I remember seeing the bicycle guy, the older lady, and Japanese speaker last week, but I do not remember the other ones.  Are we to assume the other ones do not make it to the present day?  And does the version of Rita that goes back live concurrently with Rita prime and is the one that shoves Rita Prime?  So she never does get her memory back?


Titans:  So Nightwing did die.  And be brought back.  Joining Donna, Tim, Red Hood, and maybe Starfire who was shot in the chest.  Poor Hawk, the only one who dies and stays dead… so far.


Guilty Party:  I want to enjoy this show but Kate Beckinsale was woefully miscast.   She is just not funny.  Sadly Ilsa Fisher was originally cast butt had to drop out due to COVID.  Sometime times it seems like Kate is doing a Ilsa impression, but it is just not working.


Big Sky:  Okay, the new psychopaths are almost making this show entertaining.  Unfortunately the twin brother storyline is so bad.  And how did the waitress not able to outrun the guy who was stabbed in the leg?  Put down the phone and keep running.


Saturday, October 16, 2021

Around the Tubes: October, 16, 2021


I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting.  This post includes blurbs on Animaniacs, Desus & MeroTaste the NationChelsea Cutler, Foxes, Of Monsters and Men, CuspThe Honeymooners.

Season Two of ANIMANIACS premieres on Hulu Friday, November 5th!  Yakko, Wakko and Dot return for an all-new season of this iconic, family-friendly series with something for everyone: pop culture parodies, musical showstoppers, takedowns of historical baddies...and even some important safety tips. Join the Warners and Pinky and the Brain as they wreak havoc everywhere they go, from the Warner Bros. lot to an international beauty pageant and all the way into outer space. And keep an eye out for season one favorites Starbox & Cindy, as well as some rejected Animaniacs characters that were left on the cutting room floor.

SHOWTIME announced that DESUS & MERO returns to air with new episodes starting Sunday, October 17 at 11 p.m. ET/PT with guest Nas. Currently in its third season, the WGA Award-winning late-night series will continue to air weekly on Sunday and Thursday nights at 11 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. Shot in a revamped New York City studio, each episode features Desus Nice and The Kid Mero giving their take on the day’s hot topics and chatting with guests at the intersection of pop culture, sports, music, politics and more, with past guests including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, President Barack Obama, Zendaya, Glenn Close, Lil Nas X, Barry Jenkins, Issa Rae and Matt Damon. DESUS & MERO has been renewed for season four, which will premiere early next year.

Get a taste of the upcoming 4-part "Taste The Nation: Holiday Edition" with the new trailer and key art! All episodes premiere Thursday, November 4th, only on Hulu. In “Taste the Nation,” award-winning host, executive producer and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi, who recently received her 3rd Emmy nomination, takes audiences on a journey across America, exploring the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups, seeking out the people who have so heavily shaped what American food is today. From indigenous communities to recent immigrant arrivals, Padma breaks bread with Americans across the nation to uncover the roots and relationship between our food, our humanity and our history - ultimately revealing stories that challenge notions of identity, belonging, and what it means to be American.  "Taste the Nation” returns this Fall for a special 4-part “Holiday Edition” where each episode will highlight unique traditions through the lens of a different immigrant culture and city, like Korean New Year in Los Angeles and Cuban Christmas in Miami.  Trailer: HERE

Platinum-Certified singer, songwriter, and producer Chelsea Cutler unveils her sophomore album, When I Close My Eyes, out now—listen HERE. The 13-track album—written, recorded, and produced by Chelsea with several artists and collaborators—features her newest single, “Forever.”  On the album, she says, “I’m so excited to give you my sophomore album When I Close My Eyes. I felt so much joy being able to work on music collaboratively again, so I can only hope all of that joy is woven into this album for everyone to hear.”

Foxes releases the energetic new bop "Dance Magic"– the second single to be taken from her recently announced third studio album, The Kick, due for release on February 11 2022 via [PIAS] Recordings.  "Dance Magic" follows the latest release "Sister Ray," produced by Ghost Culture (Daniel Avery, Kelly Lee Owens) and released last month alongside the long-awaited announcement of The Kick and the official music video. Inspired by the Velvet Underground song of the same name, the single takes a more anthemic and electronic approach akin to Robyn.

Marking an important milestone, multiplatinum Icelandic collective Of Monsters and Men announce My Head Is An Animal (10th Anniversary Edition) to be released on October 29th.  To celebrate a decade since the arrival of their platinum-certified debut My Head Is An Animal, the group is releasing a version of the album as it was when it was released in Iceland in 2011. This version has a total of four tracks that were not on the 2012 US release, including two never-before-released songs: “Phantom” and “Sugar In A Bowl.” The anniversary album will also be accompanied by commemorative merchandise and a limited-edition vinyl as a special thank you for fans.  Pre-order/Pre-save My Head Is An Animal (10th Anniversary Edition) album and view exclusive merchandise—HERE.  Watch the trailer for new single “Phantom” HERE.

The SHOWTIME award-winning feature documentary CUSP, from first-time feature-film directors Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt, will premiere Friday, November 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Winners of the 2021 Emerging Filmmaker Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival®, the filmmakers present an intimate and authentic glimpse into American girlhood when the constraints of adolescence clash with the growing desire for personal agency. The film will begin an awards qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, November 12 ahead of the SHOWTIME premiere.  To watch and share the trailer, visit

- The Honeymooners Specials: A Christmas Carol comes to DVD on November 2, 2021.  SYNOPSIS:  In 1977, Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows, Art Carney and Jane Kean reunited for the second of four hour-long specials representing the final performances of their classic Honeymooners characters. Ralph enlists Alice, Ed and Trixie to perform with him on stage after he agrees to supervise and star in the annual office holiday fund-raiser for a charity chosen by his boss’ wife. Ralph ends up rewriting and reimagining Charles Dickens’ dramatic classic A Christmas Carol with comedic results when Ed serves as the inexperienced director.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

57 Channels and Only This Is On: October 10, 2021


 Billions:  Like Damian Lewis’s last Showtime show, he extended his usefulness to the show one to three seasons too long.  But if you are going to write him off the show, you are really going to write him off like that?  So basically the two main characters in their death feud somehow both seem to come out as losers?  Chuck was unable to get his white whale and Bobby was exiled, unable to do what he loves either.  I always thought the only way for the show to end after they spent so much time going after each other was for them both to lose, but I thought that should be they they end up in a cell next to each other this seems so hollow.


Making things worse is it looks like they are plugging in Mike Prince into the Bobby roll with very little change.  Prince literally is now sitting in Bobby’s office owning everything that Bobby once own.  The only difference is that Dollar Bill and McFee are gone and the logo on the wall will change.  I guess the only thing of interest going forward is which side exactly in the new Chuck vs. Prince feud will Wendy fall.  Who does she hate more?


The Walking Dead:  Watching the spin-off got me wondering, is the group that Eugene and company have gone to going to turn into the evil group in the spin-off?  Timeline is fuzzy and they do not have the three circle symbol (not that I was looking for it).  But the governor’s son was just an over the top douchebag.  No one is going to be that angry that someone saved their life. 


American Rust:  So we actually get to see what went down in episode four.  It is good they did not wait much longer because it played out exactly how I assumed it did.  But are just bringing in Billy for questioning or id this an arrest?  Bruised knuckles and an anonymous tip from someone fleeing the state seems pretty flimsy for an arrest


The Walking Dead: World Beyond:  I did not remember much going on last season, just the two girls looking for their dad, one of their companions turned out to be evil, but maybe I should have done some catching up because I was lost for most of the episode.  It did not help that some of it was dream sequences (or maybe not, that helped with the lostness).  I am not sure who that one sister killed.  Was that one of the evil people?  Is so, why were they there?  If not, was it someone guarding their community?


Y: The Last Man:  Oh wow, I was not expecting that bath scene on something that was supposed to be on FX.  But what I did expect was Y going off on his own only for Agent 355 to track him down, tell him not to do it again, only for him to do the exact same thing next episode.  But back to the bathing ladies, are they going to start cutting off breasts?  I felt like that was coming during that weird ceremony after the creepy leader talked about Amazonians doing that, but it never came.  Maybe that is coming later.


Only Murders in the Building:  Last week was a nice change of pace, but I am glad the new three amigos are back together and talking again.  It was funny how Amy Ryan quickly became the Yoko Ono of the group and once Oscar showed up, Martin Short felt so left out, he went down to get the superfans to keep him from being the fifth wheel. 

But poor Yoko, gets stabbed after one podcast session.  I guess it is time take her off my suspect list.  I am also taking Sting off because the note said “I’m watching you” not “I’ll be watching you.”  But that is Steve Martin’s girlfriend, Martin Short’s dog, is Oscar next?  We do see Selena Gomez covered in blood hovering over someone in a tye-dye sweatshirt in the first episode.  Granted the superfans were wearing the same thing.


La Brea:  Wait, did they really CGI the daughter’s leg?  And not very well since she walked with a limp?  If that flashback happened before she lost her leg, why not put her in pants?  Or do some creative editing like when the flashed back to Barbra before her accident on Titans?  The show is about a group of people who fell in a sink hole and were transported 10,000 year in the past where people try to outrun a sabretooth tiger instead of getting into an ambulance there are standing right next to, yet this was the most confusing thing. 


Stargirl:  They really retconned some things this week.  So the original JSA broke up after killing a dude, but got back together years later just to get defeated by the Injustice Society?   I am really over Eclipso at this point.  Can we get Shiv back?


Wu-Tang: An American Saga:  Another good episode, this week we get to see Ghostface and Raekwon John Wu themselves through a radio station just to get their song played.  Awesome.  But I also like the ODB and the gang going to college.  That could have been the whole episode right there.


Survivor:  Oh joy, another week, another way to lose your vote.  But I have no idea what the rules of the boat ride were.  When they show up for the stuff, I was just like, okay, that happened.  But Shan made a second mistake at Tribal Council in two trips.  She should have gotten out Brad the first week, but this week, she should have gotten out JD who lied to her.  If he goes, she has her Steal a Vote in her pocket.


The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies: Good riddance Bamber.  Only two more annoying Big Brother players to go.  I was hoping with Josh teamed up with house pariah Pricilla he would follow shortly, but it seems like we are done with pairs.  The winners did not get to pick new partners and the promo make it looks like everyone is working by themselves next week.  But are they still going to boot two people at a time?  Alternate genders?


In the Dark:  Well that was a horrible ending to one of the worst seasons of television ever.  Really, the cop was able to see the dude with a gun but somehow did not spot Jess and her new hideous bangs?  So now the blind chick is in prison with the person she helped bury’s girlfriend.  That should be a fun fourth season.


Doom Patrol:  The show regained some of that season magic after the Chief’s daughter storyline wrapped up but I found this episode to be pretty meh.  I kind of which the Brotherhood of Evil was the big bad of the season because after one episode I am out on the Sisterhood of Dada.  But with Rita heading back in time, maybe the Brotherhood will come back in place.  Mmm, I wonder if the Brotherhood of Evil and Sisterhood of Evil working together… or maybe they are enemies of each other.


Titans:  Not one, but two Titans got shot this week.  And yet Starfire somehow got powers after getting shot in the chest while I doubt Nightwing will die despite being shot in the neck and we last see him getting ganged up on by an angry mob.  Maybe Wonder Girl will show up and save him.


Big Sky:  Okay, the show is still trash, Drew Carey’s brother having a twin brother is one of the dumbest twists in the history of television, but I kind of like the new psychopath in town.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Around the Tubes: October 9. 2021


I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting.  This post includes blurbs on Billions, Crossing Swords, Oh Wonder, Lord Huron, Blondie, James Blake, How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?, The Circus, POVand Hellraiser.

On the heels of the shocking season five finale of BILLIONS, SHOWTIME has announced that season six of the hit drama series, starring Oscar® nominee and Emmy® winner Paul Giamatti, Corey Stoll and Maggie Siff, will return on Sunday, January 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Daniel Breaker (Girls5eva), who stars as Scooter, the brilliant and locked down Chief of Staff of Michael Prince (Stoll), has been upped to series regular.  In season six of BILLIONS, the dust of season five clears to reveal a world that has evolved. With Axe (Damian Lewis) gone and Michael Prince assuming his place, Chuck (Giamatti) must develop a new strategy that is keener and more sophisticated than before. All the players, from Wags (David Costabile) to Wendy (Siff), from Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon) to Sacker (Condola Rashad), and of course Senior (Jeffrey DeMunn), must sharpen their weapons and look for new alliances in order to survive. The ground is ever shifting and the stakes absolute. New king, new war, new rules.

- Crossing Swords, Season 2, coming December 10 on Hulu.  Another ten episodes of bingeable mayhem representing the next chapter in the adventures of Patrick the long-suffering squire (Nicholas Hoult) as he climbs the ladder of knighthood in the service of the volatile King Merriman (Luke Evans). There are new friends to make, new enemies to vanquish, and new horrors to scar Patrick for life; including bloodthirsty leprechauns, an island of killer monkeys, and a shadowy villain who could destroy everything Patrick has ever known! From creators John Harvatine IV and Tom Root, and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the producers of Robot Chicken and Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.! Also featuring the voice talents of Alanna Ubach, Tara Strong, Tony Hale, Adam Ray, Maya Erskine, Adam Pally, Seth Green, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Breckin Meyer, Jameela Jamil and more

Oh Wonder has today released their beautiful, surprise new album, 22 Break, alongside a stunning short film accompanying the record in full—listen to 22 Break HERE and watch the short film HERE. The album features their newest single, “Rollercoaster Baby,” released yesterday.  The band has also confirmed a global, online broadcast of their recent London show at The Albany (which sold out in seconds), which will take place on their YouTube on October 14th at 1pm EST. A 52-date world tour for 2022 is on sale now, following an eventful period for the unique London duo (who scored back-to-back top 10s with 2020’s No One Else Can Wear Your Crown album, on top of 2.7 billion streams and 1.7 million adjusted album sales).

- Recently, Lord Huron performed “Love Me Like You Used To” on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Watch the performance here!  Recently, the band has been performing on their Long Lost fall 2021 headline tour, their first shows in support of Long Lost. The shows been selling out across the country including two sold out shows at Brooklyn’s Pier 17 and the iconic Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Not to mention they recently performed at Sea. Hear Now Festival and Ohana Encore Festival performing alongside Pearl Jam and Beck. The tour continues this fall, visit for more info and ticket links.

- As the summer months come to a close, one can’t help but look ahead and begin daydreaming about the holidays to come. And this year, legendary New York rock band Blondie are bringing a little more fun to the holiday season with the release of their EP: Yuletide Throwdown. The 3-track EP, released digitally today, October 8th, and on 12” limited edition vinyl in both magenta and black, on November 5th (via UMe-Capitol/Numero Group) features the ultra-rare 80’s Christmas-inspired track “Yuletide Throwdown,” co-written and performed with Fab 5 Freddy, along with a new, exclusive remix of the song by Cut Chemist.

GRAMMY® Award-winning UK singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer James Blake releases his highly anticipated new album, Friends That Break Your Heartvia Republic Records – listen HERE. The 12-track album is James Blakes’ first new full-length album in three years.

The first teaser for the upcoming Thomas Keith-directed film How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?, starring Danny Glover, Henry Rollins, and the late Edward Asner, features Jackson Browne’s “Until Justice Is Real” and is available to watch now. The film takes the audience on a journey through the lens of the Black Lives Matter movement to better understand what it feels like to live in a society where you are not wanted, while Browne’s “Until Justice Is Real” reckons with the kind of existential questions that define who we are and where we’re headed. “What is the future I’m trying to see?” Browne asks himself. “What does that future need from me?” Aligned in their messages, “Until Justice Is Real” will be featured in the end credits of the film. Watch the teaser for How Does It Feel To Be a Problem? HERE

Recently nominated for two Emmy® awards, THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH continues its sixth season as controversial new Republican policies in Texas spark outrage across the nation.  Hosts John Heilemann, Alex Wagner, Mark McKinnon and Jennifer Palmieri crisscross the state to examine the Texas Republican Party as it turns further to the right. The program reports on the implications inside the state and across the nation of Texas' strictest-in-the-nation abortion law, contentious voting rights overhaul, and border policies.  For a preview, go to:

American Documentary | POV is pleased to announce the national broadcast premiere of North by Current, the feature documentary from acclaimed visual artist Angelo Madsen Minax. North by Current will show as part of POV’s 34th season, broadcasting on Monday, November 1st at 10 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings) and streaming online at The film will be available to stream until December 31st, 2021. North by Current arrives on POV after a decorated festival run with screenings at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival and AFI Docs in addition to receiving the Grand Jury Award at the Camden International Film Festival and an Honorable Mention for the Jury Award at Outfest. The documentary begins as Minax returns to his Michigan hometown after the inconclusive death of his niece and the wrongful persecution of his sister and brother-in-law, dwelling upon the experiences of grief and the enigmatic emotions of homecomings. 

Spyglass Media Group, LLC (“Spyglass”) and Hulu have opened the puzzle box and are unveiling its cast for the loyal, yet evolved re-imagining of Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic, “Hellraiser,” it was announced today by Peter Oillataguerre, President of Production for Spyglass. The horror film stars Odessa A’zion (“Grand Army,” “Mark, Mary, & Some Other People,”) alongside Jamie Clayton (“The L Word: Generation Q,” “Sense8,”) who portrays the iconic character “Pinhead.” Principal photography wrapped production.  Rounding out the cast are Brandon Flynn (“13 Reasons Why,” “Ratched,”) Goran Visnjic (“The Boys,” “ER,”) Drew Starkey (“Outer Banks,” “Love, Simon,”) Adam Faison (“Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,” “Into the Dark”), Aoife Hinds (“Normal People,” “Anne Boleyn,”) and Hiam Abbass (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Succession.”).  Original creator Barker, alongside Marc Toberoff, come aboard as producers, joining Phantom Four’s David S. Goyer and Keith Levine. As previously announced, David Bruckner (“The Night House”, “The Ritual,”) is directing from a screenplay by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski (“The Night House,” “Super Dark Times”) with story by Goyer.