Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Voice Season Nine Top 10 Power Rankings

Do you believe in highly unlikelys!?! One of the boring white dudes finally went home!!!!! Okay it was not Braiden, Zach, or even Barrett who gave the most embarrassingly bad performance of the week, but hey, you got to start somewhere. I actually thought Shelby would find her way to the bottom but surprisingly the country voting block still voted her through despite a disastrous Lady Gaga performance. Oh no, the finals is going to be Jordan an three country singers isn't it? Amy might want to save her best song left in her chamber for the semi-finals because she will probably need another top 10 finish to make the finals. As for my Power Rankings, there is still four groups but there was some shuffling this week as a bunch of people moved out of their groups as there was a mass exodus from the Boring But Acceptable into the newly named bottom group. But on the brighter side, someone actually joined the Top of the Crop level.

The Top of the Crop

1. Madi Davis (Up 1): Where the heck did that come from? I thought she was in the Amy lane of coffee house type singers when she was doing soft Laurel Canyon songs early in the season. Then out of nowhere this week she just starts wailing away like some diva singer (as someone wiser than me pointed out) singing a James Bond Theme sounding song. I do not know why her song did not sit along Amy in the Top 10 this week. Madi's problem may be she is the type of artist that gets better with each listen. I remember liking it when I watched it live but thought it needed a slower build. But upon another listen you just start to her the little intricacies and keep hear something new with every repeat.

2. Amy Vachal (Down 1): After how great and retaliatory Hotline Bling was last week I feared there would be a let down this week (I feared Adam would try Trap Queen next). But instead they went in a completely different from a moody and seductive song last week to a fun and flirty version of a Taylor Swift song and it was just as great. The only thing the two performances had in common beside being great was the the reappearance of the upright bass. I have been resigned to an all boring white dude finale but I am starting to think Amy can sneak in. Hopefully she has another top ten finish in her for the semi-finals. Really the only complaints I have about Amy this week was I spent most of the time during the Team Adam performance thinking, if Amy done this herself that would have been another top 10 hit. I was also disappointed she was saved first. I know it would have ruined the suspense (talking about ruining the suspense, oh Carson and his oops) to have the iTunes leader be saved last but they really could have brought her out in the outfit more than twice. Oh my.

3. Emily Ann Roberts (up 1): Had I grouped the singers every round, Emily Ann would have spent ever round in the Boring But Acceptable group. But this week she basically gave a country version of Amy's performance, simple and fun (although Emily Ann threw in some weird crazy eyed looks throughout the performance that threw me off a little). Fun used to be a death nail on this show as voter prefer big belters singing power ballads so it was nice to see two fun songs crack the top 10 on iTunes this week. In a season with an overabundance of boring white dudes, it would be nice if the finals ends up being Jordan with these three ladies above. But if Barrett and Zach already overcame Emily Ann's iTunes bonus once this season, I fear they probably had more votes this week too and will push one if not two of the girls out of the finals. Jordan and three country singers will probably be more likely than Jordan and three chicks.

The Boring but Acceptable

4. Jordan Smith (down 1): His weakest performance of the season still made the top ten. The guy could sing a nursery rhyme next week and still stroll into the semi-finals next week.

The Lucky There Was a Format Change

5. Korin Bukowski (up three): Finally someone cool enough to sing a Mandy Moore song on The Voice. Except it was not one of her cool late period songs but the sappy obscure one from A Walk to Remember. Not a very good sign of her escaping the Bottom Two again next week when she sings a kind of religious song and still finds herself in danger of getting eliminated. On the bright side, Pharrell still has one singer left for her to send home. Oh no, that is probably not going to happen because there will not be two boring white dudes in the bottom two weeks in a row and of course all the country artists will advance no matter how bad they are (and three were really bad this week). Hopefully the show manipulates things next week to help Madi (and more important to them, make sure Pharrell has someone to make it to the semi-finals). Maybe they will finally give a girl the Pimp Slot next week. Madi deserved it more than what they actually ended the show on.

The Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) Group

6. Jeffery Austin (down 1): Last week I pondered if the reason he has only sung British Blue Eyed Neo Soul music was because that is all he could do. After this week the answer is a resounding yes. Not as big a waste of the Pimp Slot as last week but there were better ways they could have ended the show this week.

7. Shelby Brown (even): What a horrible song choice. It seems clear Adam wants her gone so he can focus on Amy and Jordan. So wait for Adam's meltdown if Shelby outlasts them, it will probably be worse than his "I hate this country" moment after Amber Carrington got saved instead of Judith Hill and Sarah Simmons.

8. Zach Seabaugh (up two): I cannot believe his performance made it into the top thirty on iTunes.

9. Barrett Baber (down 4): Somehow Barrett did even worse than Zach yet still managed to chart higher than Zach. I hate this country... voters who watch this show and blindly vote for every country singer no matter how bad they are.

48. Braiden Sunshine (still dead last, always dead last): I cannot confirm nor deny I changed the bottom grouping after the Mötley Crüe song I suggested Braiden sing through The Voice App. Or that I also suggested he sing JoJo's Leave (Get Out). Or Hit The Road Jack. Or END of the Road by Boyz II Men.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 11/28/15

Homeland: So we finally learned why Allison is in bed with the Russians: blackmail for literally being in bed with her informant who she was going to run away with before he set her up. But I do wonder if Allison knew if the Acrobat was still alive or not . He did end up in the vacation destination Allison talked about (what a horrible screen saver, all that is going to do is burn that image into the screen, it should have at least rotated, and what douchebag these days still uses a screen saver instead of the auto screen shut off; it is just a waste in electricity dude). But if Allison knows that Carrie knows the Acrobat is still alive, you let the assassin to kill her because Carrie can figure out everything.

The Walking Dead: The show did not fool me when it looked like Glen was getting his guts pulled out the last time we saw him on screen. Then they pulled the actor's name from the credit making me think, oh wow, he may actually be dead, but it ended up being just a huge troll move because it was the other dude who fell on top of him and it was his guts being pulled out and Glen actually was able to pull himself under the trash bin and the and the hoard of zombies conveniently dispersed even though they knew he was under there and started clawing at him. After this obvious conclusion, I was hoping the writers actually pulled a bigger troll move and at the ended the episode with a zombie coming out of nowhere to bite him. Maybe they are saving that for the mid-season finale.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

The Affair: I am starting to wonder just what is the timeline in the future. This whole time I was thinking it was maybe five years in the future but I am beginning to think the future is right around the corner. Is the baby currently gestating in Allison's belly the one that may or may not be Scotty's? If so, does that mean the two hooked up while Allison was in her hippy retreat phase? Could Cole's wedding be the season finale?I kind of wish the show would spend more time in the future because that is becoming much more interesting. Or least give annoying daughter her own act.

Into the Badlands: The show looked stylish and there was not much else to watch this week so I thought I would give it a try. Yeah the show looked cool and the fight scenes are fun, but there is so really bad writing on this show. The plot seems to just be an amalgamation of every post apocalyptic warlord run future movie ever made. And for a show entitled Into the Badlands, there are a lot of characters talking about leaving the Badlands.
You can download Into the Badlands on iTunes.

Supergirl: Maxwell Lord is kind of a huge douchebag. Not only does he set up all those tests for Supergirl, he actually comes clean about it. Even Bond villains do not tell James their evil plan until after they think he is about to die. And I got this creepy vibe that Lord is going to hook up with Supergirl's sister at some point.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Gotham: The teenagers have been the weak link for a season and a half now thanks to some bad writing and even worse acting but that Bruce doublecross on Silver was great. When you get the dude from Sons of Anarchy to play a bad guy I completely bought that he would rough up a bunch of kids. Then you have a great scene between Alfred and Tigress, the stilettos on the elevator roof was a great shot. But it was obvious that Galivan would get off but the explanation was silly with the mayor changing his story, was that the plan all along or did Galivan threaten him from inside the prison? Fall finale (ugg) next week with James teaming up with Penguin to find Bruce and Galivan. But let me predict that it is Silver turning on her uncle that frees the Son of Gotham.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Blindspot: The promo two weeks ago promised someone would die before the Fall Finale (ugg) and I just assumed that was Chrissy Seaver's boyfriend which was kind of cheap for that tease. Except we got a legitimate shocking death this week when tree tattoo guy killed CIA guy who I thought was going to be a big bad that looms on the show. Then tree tattoo guy shows Lady Siff of Lady Siff saying everything is going as planned and she did this to herself. What!?! So if I am understanding it correctly, she basically Trojan Horsed herself into the FBI because it is corrupt and she needs to fix it from the inside. Okay, not the dumbest reveal in television history.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes..

Survivor: Second Chances: What a range of emotions it may have been good to have a double episode on Thanksgiving Eve. The first hour ended with a low as Jeremy stupidly wasted an Idol on Stephan (which looks even more stupid after what happened in the second hour) leaving Ciera with the most votes that counted. And what I thought that happened ended up happening with Stephan being targeted at the next Tribal Council and Jeremy went from an alliance with two Idols and an Extra Vote to just one Idol and your closest alliance member heading to Pondarosa. And why are you saving someone who does not even trust you enough to tell you what his advantage was. Of course Ciera deserves some blame because it was stupid to express her plan to out Stephan in ear shot of Jeremy anyway. You float the idea of Stephan being a huge threat with his advantage in the group and then sway people in smaller groups.

But as dreadful as the first episode turned out, the second Tribal Council goes in the Pantheon. Seriously, what was Stephan doing? Again the split vote was unnecessary and ultimately sent him home. Why are you fearing Abi Maria has an Idol? This is a person who openly admitted to having an Idol the last time she played simply because Probsts asked if anyone else wanted to share that they have an Idol mostly in a joking way. If you wanted to know if Abi Maria had an Idol, probably all you had to do was ask. And this led to a weird vote. When Stephan stole Joe's vote I thought, well Joe is a goner. Except Stephan instead votes for Abi Maria and they uses Joe's vote to vote for Joe (which technically should not count because Survivor rules state you cannot vote for yourself, not that it ended up mattering). So I thinking if Stephan is confidant enough to split, he must had pulled Tasha and Spencer back into the fold but when that last vote was cast, it was Stephan who when home. What a great Tribal.
You can download Survivor: Second Chance on iTunes.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Around the Tubes: 11/27/15

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 Shameless, The Avett Brothers, Soul Train Awards, Superstore, Big in 2015, Call the Midwife, Dark Net, Act Like a Musician, Moby Dick: Heart of a Whale, Taboo, and Fargo.

- In advance of the sixth season premiere of Shameless on Sunday, January 10th at 9:00, Showtime has released the full-length trailer for its highest rated comedy series. Shameless stars Oscar® nominee and Emmy® winner William H. Macy as patriarch Frank Gallagher, who moves back home, much to the chagrin of his daughter, Fiona (Golden Globe® nominee Emmy Rossum). This season, the Gallaghers are hitting a new groove as major changes attempt to pull the tight-knit clan apart. To watch and share the Shameless season six trailer, go to (

- The Avett Brothers announce their new live album, Live, Vol. Four [American Recordings/Republic Records], out Friday, December 18, 2015. The album is available for pre-order HERE. Live, Vol. Four continues a long tradition of official concert releases for the Grammy Award-nominated North Carolina alternative folk collective that began with 2002’s Live at the Double Door Inn. It captures last year’s New Year’s Eve concert where they performed to a packed crowd in Raleigh, NC at PNC Arena on a CD and DVD combo package as well as a special edition vinyl. Every fan who orders vinyl will receive a digital download of the album during release week- vinyl to be available in early 2016.

- Soul Train Awards 2015 airs simultaneously on Centric and BET, Sunday, November 29th at 8:00. The hippest trip led by the illest chick, Erykah Badu, features a plethora of unforgettable performances, including Brandy, Fantasia, surprise guest Bobby Brown, Jeremih, Boyz II Men, Jazmine Sullivan, Erica Campbell, V. Bozeman and Cameo. Special appearances by Eva Marcille, Kat Graham, Tichina Arnold, Tisha Campbell Martin, Bresha Webb and more. Jill Scott will be honored with the first-ever Lady of Soul Award while Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds gets the night’s Legend Award.

- America Ferrera ("Ugly Betty") and Ben Feldman ("Mad Men," "A to Z") star in a hilarious workplace comedy Superstore (from the producer of "The Office") about a unique family of employees at a supersized megastore. From the bright-eyed newbies and the seen-it-all veterans to the clueless summer hires and the in-it-for-life managers, together they hilariously tackle the day-to-day grind of rabid bargain hunters, riot-causing sales and nap-worthy training sessions.

- Check out Miss Piggy & Elizabeth Banks celebrating at the VH1 Big In 2015 with Entertainment Weekly celebration premiering Monday, December 7, 2015 at 9:00 on VH1. Miss Piggy presented the honor to Elizabeth Banks and she was physically overwhelmed with excitement…

- The holiday season on PBS dazzles this year with programs and specials that will delight the entire family, featuring inspirational music, savory cuisine and beloved characters from across the pond. PBS returns to London’s Poplar neighborhood in time for Christmas 1960 in the Call the Midwife Holiday Special. Joyous spirits are in plentiful supply as the community pulls together to prepare for a carol concert — to be televised by the BBC. In addition, a trip to view the Regent Street lights and a full-scale manhunt for a missing Nonnatus nun make this a Christmas to remember. The special airs on Christmas day, Friday, December 25, 2015, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET (check local listings). And, as recently announced, the highly anticipated “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride,” a 90-minute special premiering at 9:00 p.m. ET on Friday, January 1, 2016 on Masterpiece Mystery!, bookends PBS’ holiday programming schedule.

- On Thursday, January 21st at 11 p.m. ET/PT, Showtime will premiere a revelatory, at times jaw-dropping, new eight-part docuseries, Dark Net, exploring the netherworld where virtual and physical lives collide in ways surprising, disturbing and seemingly inevitable. In contrast to much of the mainstream media, DARK NET reveals a more ominous and disturbing perspective of a digitally connected world where our every action is collected and stored. The series is developed and produced by Vocativ, a technology and media company that applies exclusive proprietary technology to search and monitor the deep web, the 80 percent of the internet that lies beyond the reach of regular search engines.

- AOL announces the premiere of its new show Act Like a Musician, a show that brings together renowned musicians and well known actors to intimately discuss their lives, careers, passions and friendships. Each episode showcases a new actor and musician in a unique setting. The series launches today and will stream for six weeks every Monday at Watch now!

- Moby Dick: Heart of a Whale, draws from historical accounts where whales – then considered bloodthirsty predators – seemed to have deliberately attacked whale ships. It explores the anatomy and behavior of one of the largest creatures on the planet, capable of producing the loudest sounds, and weighing as much as sixty tons. This special tells the gripping story of the crew members of the whale ship Essex – whose epic whale hunting expedition became a tragic story as mythic in the nineteenth century as the story of the Titanic is today. The quest takes viewers from the home base of the American whaling industry in Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts, into the cruel waters of the Pacific and the sperm whale hunting grounds off the coast of South America.

- Taboo, a major eight-episode drama series created by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Locke) and directed by Kristoffer Nyholm (Danish TV series The Killing, The Enfield Haunting) for BBC One and FX, is to start filming in London this week starring Tom Hardy in the lead role alongside a major international cast. TABOO will star Hardy as ‘James Keziah Delaney’ who returns to 1814 London after 10 years in Africa to discover that he has been left a mysterious legacy by his father. Driven to wage war on those who have wronged him, Delaney finds himself in a face-off against the East India Company, whilst playing a dangerous game between two warring nations – Britain and America.

- FX has ordered a third installment of the Emmy®, Golden Globe®, AFI and Peabody award-winning limited series Fargo from Creator Noah Hawley, it was announced this week by Eric Schrier and Nick Grad, Presidents of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Voice Season Nine Top 11 Power Rankings

Adam has secretly been one of the worst coaches on the show. No one ever talks about it because he did manage to win twice and had three of four finalists two seasons ago. But the thing is he is almost always able to recruit the best talent in the Blind Auditions yet never takes his four of five best singers to the Live Shows. When someone like Gwen or Shakira only gets one great singer in the Blinds and cuts them before the public gets the vote it is more glaring when Adam cuts a couple when still has one or two great singers still around. For instance Gwen cutting Ellie, not once but twice, just looks stupid (granted America looks dumber for saving Braiden instead of Ellie), Adam dumping Alex and Andi is not as glaring because at least he still has Jordan and then stole Amy.

Then there is Adam's song selection which has been some of the worst in the show. He either goes super boring (every Tessanne Chin song) or historically bad (remember the countrified version of Skid Row) which I think sometimes are on purpose to sink someone's chances to help his favorite advance (giving Preston Pohl a rap song). So when I saw Adam was giving Amy, who up to this point has not sung a song less than fifty years old, a crappy Drake song I thought you could add Amy to the very long list of Team Adam members front-runners who he sunk thanks to a historically bad song choice.

Oh wow, I was wrong. Hotline Bling goes in the Pantheon of great performance in the history of the show. And that was not the only bizarrely awesome performance this week, let us not forget the weird reggae / lounge version of Who Will Save Your Soul, it was almost as if Cee-Lo was back as coach (the show has gotten so much more boring without him). Hopefully both stay in the weird zone (though I fear Adam will look at Amy's top ten iTunes result and think to himself, "Let's do Trap Queen next week!"). Unfortunately all the boring white dudes stayed boring and none of them found themselves in the bottom two.  I hate bored housewives.

Speaking of the bottom two, the show only eliminated one singer this week instead of the usual two, which sucks because there is a lot of fat to be trimmed this season, Korin could have well as gone home this week along with Braiden, Evan, Zach, well basically all the country singers could be instantly eliminated. But for the next three weeks, they are actually only cutting one person per week and then they are going to go from nine singer semi-finals to a four person finale, yes that means there is going to be a six person Twitter Save with five people cut at one time. Fun times.

I have seen internet conspiracy theories claiming this is to help certain contestants, keeping one coach's team from being completely decimated before another has even one person eliminated (I could have seen a scenario where Blake and Adam could have made up the entire Final 6) or it is to goose iTunes sale. Um, no. The real reason the show is doing it, and let us be honest, it is the same reason any television show does anything, they are doing it as a way to keep ratings from eroding. I remember three seasons ago they made the Playoffs not live and when asked why Mark Burrnett said that they wanted to cut down on the number of Live Shows because the rating drop a lot when the show goes live. Except that did not work, so they tried the Wildcard Round. Again that did not work so they tried the Coach Comeback, again, mostly a failure.

I agree the more singer that are around longer, the less likely people are going to stop watching when their favorites are gone if you make sure they stick around longer. I know I would stop watching if Amy and Madi are gone, had thy kept the double eliminations, maybe neither would have made the semi-finals. This way at least one, if not both will make it that far, though both will probably get cut during that semi-final bloodbath so four boring white dude and country singers can make the finals.

So the intent is a good one, but there is a much better way to stop the ratings slide when the show goes Live and that is make sure you have a more diverse cast. Look at season three where the rating were pretty stable whose final six singers were very diverse: their was a pop-rocker turned country singer, a classic rocker, a blue eyed soul weirdo, an RnB dude, and indie pop singer, and Amanda Brown, who could basically do it all. Since then the top twelve has gotten more boring and more homogeneous every passing season up to these season when America saved six boring white dudes two straight weeks in a row. There are two solutions to this, first set an unwritten quota for the coaches. Blake needs to stop it with his country heavy team, that country heavy season was a disaster for the ratings and had they done it the same elimination schedule there may very well have been another four country singer top six. Tell the coaches they should only take one singer per genre to the live show per team.  Seriously Blake, enough for turning around for every country singer, get one or two great ones in the Blinds then let some of the other coaches have some.

As for the second fix, it is also clear the bored housewives that run American Idol into a ratings nightmare with their love of boring but cute white dudes and that has started to ruin The Voice. They are currently on their third straight boring white dude winner and it looks like a lock for a fourth as in the Playoffs six of the eight singers saved by America were white dudes (and Madi was lucky she only had one boring white dude to compete against so it was six of a possible seven, and of course that one other girl was a country singer). To me it is clear that the reason Zach and Braiden are still around (seriously, how did none of the boring white dudes make the bottom two this week) is because these bored housewives vote for Barrett and Jordan and figure while I am on the Voice App I might as well vote for all the cute boring dudes so let me give ten votes to Evan too. So to limit this The Voice needs to change the voting system from being able to vote ten times per voting method per singer to ten votes per voting method period. So these country fans can no longer just vote for all country singers pushing them all into the final six, they instead would have to decide, do I want to give all ten of my votes to Barrett or do I want to split them, 3-3-2-2 among all the country singers. If The Voice does not change something soon to make the show appeal to a wider audience and not let just the bored housewives voting block dominate every season (I do not think the one elimination until a semi-final massive cut is a longtime solution; they basically lost all the RnB fans this week) it may soon get American Idol sized ratings.

Now for the Power Rankings which I have grouped into four groups:

The Top of the Crop

1. Amy Vachal (up 1)
2. Madi Davis (down 1)

The only two that actually tried something this week, one to great effect (Amy) and the other (Madi), well it was a decent try. I do hope they continue to push the envelope.  Just no Trap Queen.

The Boring But Acceptable

3. Jordan Smith (up 6)
4. Emily Ann Roberts (down 1)
5. Jeffery Austin (up 2)
6. Barrett Baber (up 4)
7. Shelby Brown (down 2)

Okay Jordan did switch things up this week doing his first non-diva power ballad but he was still mostly boring. The country gals stayed country, Barrett did another countrfied version of an adult contemporary classic. Then there was Jeffery who did his fourth straight blue eyed British neo-soul ballad pure karaoke cover. Ugg. What is he going to do next week: Amy Winehouse's Love Is a Losing Game? Duffy's Warwick Avenue after that? Time to switch things up dude. But then again the one time he has not sung a straight blue eyed British neo-soul ballad pure karaoke cover it was apparently so bad his The Weeknd Battle Round performance was montaged.

The Lucky There Was a Format Change

8. Korin Bukowski (down 5)

Korrin seemed like a lock to be the first to get the boot except instead of a bottom three there was only a bottom two and all she had to do was beat Mark. Had there been a boring white dude or (I gasp thinking of the possibility but it probably would have happened) Madi who would have split votes, she definitely would be gone. It will be shocking is she survives another Twitter Save, the only question is who will she be in the bottom with.  She has had only one great performance (the Battle Rounds) so it is unlikely she will ever find that magic again.

The Why Did They Not Cut Five Now Instead of the Semi-Finals?

9. Evan McKeel (up 2)
10. Zach Seabaugh (down 2)

48. Braiden Sunshine (still dead last, always dead last)

Seeing these three get saved by America two weeks in a row makes me think of Larry Wilmore on the Nightly Show who back in August, a month after Donald Trump topped the polls and kept rising despite calling Mexicans rapists, attacked a POW because he only likes soldiers who do not get captured, and blamed a journalists tough questions on her period, looked straight into the camera and said, "America, I am talking to you directly: Stop it! Stop it!! America, listen to me: Stop it!!!" Every time Carson calls one of their names, I just want to fly to Los Angeles, bum rush The Voice stage and say, "Bored housewives, I am talking to you directly: Stop it! Stop it!! Bored housewives, listen to me: Stop it!!!" Seriously, how many boring white dudes do you need on the show? They could eliminate all three of them and there would still be three boring white dues left. Except I bet at least two, if not all three make it to the semi-finals. Korin is close to a lock to leave next week and I would not be at all surprised if Madi or Amy follow the week before the semis. I said it before and I will say it again, to limit the bored housewife voting block, The Voice needs to change the voting so people only get ten votes per round to divvy up however they want it instead of letting the bored housewives vote for all the cute but boring white dudes ten times each.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 11/22/15

Once Upon a Time: Well that was weird, I know that it was not designed to be a two parter but still weird of all the episodes to pair up, why these two? Why not a two part winter finale instead? The first hour was heavy into the big mystery of the season where we finally learn Emma's plan (she saved Captain Hook by turning him into another Dark One, huh, and want to put the darkness into the Wicked Witch and kill her eliminating the darkness once and for all, alrighty) but then they follow it up with two characters we have not seen for a couple seasons. Both explanations of where Mulan and Red Riding Hood were a little silly. Really all it made me do was wonder what ever happened to Cinderella and Hurley the Ogre.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Homeland: When Saul was riding down the elevator, I was thinking to myself, if this were any other spy show, he would just ninja chop everyone and the door would open with everyone else conscienceless on the floor. What actually happened was almost as absurd as a bunch of ninjas abducted him instead. So now Saul has defected to Israel. Alrighty. If the CIA really wanted him, doesn't Israel give him back? Though I am sure the season will be resolved and Saul will be vindicated before that happens. Them the episode ends with Carrie calling Allison for help. So Carrie did not recognize Allison's voice when she called Quinn's attempted assassin's phone number?

The Walking Dead: So who said "Help" at the end of the episode? It did not cross my mind that it was a not so dead Glenn until the internet reminded me he was out there. Did he even had a walkie? At any rate I still do not think it was him but an yet to be seen newbie who hijacked the frequency.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

The Affair: During the early episodes I thought that the differences in the stories were just how Noah and Allison were spinning their stories to the police, but after that blow up at Thanksgiving where Allison called out Noah for distorting her versions of what happened, I am beginning to think that Noah's version his his book and Allison's version is a tell all story she will write in the future. Of course then that would mean Cole and Helen are also going to write their own tell all book... and possibly in future seasons, Whitney, the red head dude that is always lurking around, and probably even a posthumous book by Scotty. Actually the red head and drunk daughter end up getting their own segments in the future because they are becoming my favorite parts of the show because the four main characters are becoming increasingly dreadful.

Supergirl: Have we always known Dean Cain was dead? I kept wondering why he was not at Thanksgiving and then I finally learn at the end he was killed in a plane accident, possibly at the hands of Supergirl's other boss. And looking at Ally McBeal's new face may be rough but she definitely gets all the best lines: "You have the wit of a YouTube comment."
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Blindspot: I am wrong for actually kind of like Rich Dot Com? But anyway. I (apparently) was half right on Chrissy Seaver's boyfriend. So he has not turned out to be not be a bad guy but it looks like he will turn out to be the not so socking death last week promised (though it is kind of unclear if he is actually dead, the boss gave a head shack but was it a "it does not look good shake" or a "he is not going to make it" shake? Since the next promo did not promise a death I am guessing that was it.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes..

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: For me this season has been all about Simmons other planet and we finally got big reveal after big reveal about the place. So back in the earliest days of Hydra, which apparently pre-dates Red Skull by centuries, if not millenniums, there was the first Inhuman and they (for reason I did not quite understand) shipped it off to this other planet and would occasionally send sacrifices to the planet until they could build an Inhuman army for it to command. Okay, that is kind of awesome. Now evil Hydra guy want to bring the first Inhuman back and has to figure out how SHIELD was able to get Simmons back. This should be interesting to see if the evil Hydra guy is able to succeed in this plan or not or will SHIELD be able to stop them. Or maybe SHIELD will unwillingly bring that Inhuman back when they rescue Simmons astronaut friend.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Survivor: Second Chance: In a season of so many twists I have lost count we got two more this week. First off the lame one, again the show hid a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol instead of the actual Idol. But instead of hiding it at the Immunity Challenge, which was a cool chance, it was just some silly rules based scavenger hunt where Jeremy could only retrieve it at night when everyone was asleep. But the other twist was much more interesting, if you quit the Immunity Challenge you could receive an advantage in the game. I am actually surprised only two people jumped down, in the torrential downpour, I think I would take my chance with reaching the buoy first unless I was part of the Witches Coven who were on the chopping block. The advantage is a twist on last season's extra vote twist but instead of getting an extra parchment to write down another name, you get to steal someone else's vote. That is evil, I love it.

Then finally someone broke from the massive nine person alliance, I never understood why no one seemed to want to work with Abi Maria, Ciera, or Kass because those seem like lay-ups in the finals. Of course the vote came down to Kelley W. and Kelly W. (which was what Spencer actually wrote on his parchment). It looks like there may be another twist next week as the promo shows everyone drawing rocks. It is during the day so it is probably is not a tied Tribal Council (plus if you are Stephan, you make sure you break a tie with your advantage). Last season everyone who tried to bid their entire wad on an advantage at the food auction drew rocks. Could it be for the first time every everyone is smart enough to not buy food at the auction? Still I think if it came down to it I bet Abi Maria and Keith at least would still be stupid enough to buy food instead of waiting for the advantage.
You can download Survivor: Second Chance on iTunes.

Nashville: More hair drama! Though to be honest I would not have even notice if Maddie died her hair had someone not mentioned it. So it is, what, a shade or two lighter? Does not seem like much of a deal for a sixteen year old.
You can download Nashville on iTunes.

The Blacklist: For a "Fall Finale" that was a pretty week Blacklister of the week crew. They may have been the lamest Blacklisters in the history of the show (which is probably why they were not originally on the list). And Ressler's Boy Scout routine was a little much considering he was the one who let Lizzy escapee in the first place. But we got the reveal that the Senator is part of the Cabal though I am not sure how we got there, what was with the thing in Africa, I missed the significance there. Oh well. It looks like the midseason premiere has Lizzy stuck in Reddington's cage where I guess we will have a repeat of the episode where Red got stuck in the box with a shot Ressler this time with Lizzie in the box and the Cabal trying to get in.
The Blacklist on iTunes.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Around the Tubes: 11/20/15

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 Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America, VH1 Throwback Thanksgiving, truTV, Winsanity, and Smithsonian Earth,

- A+E Networks and iHeartMedia have added to the all-star lineup for Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America on Friday, November 20 at 8:00. The sold out concert will be recorded at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, November 18th. The two-hour special event will air across the entire A+E Networks portfolio in more than 130 territories globally, including A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime, H2, LMN and FYI, as well as on more than 130 iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio digital platform. Additionally, AOL has joined in the simulcast making the historic special event available to anyone with internet access across the globe on Artists Aloe Blacc, Andra Day, Nick Jonas, Tom Morello, Smokey Robinson and Big Sean join the previously announced performers including Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Jamie Foxx, Rhiannon Giddens, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Miguel, Pink, Jill Scott, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Pharrell Williams. LL Cool J, Marshall Faulk, Morgan Freeman, George Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Kurt Warner and Nick Young are among the presenters joining the telecast.

- VH1 has prepared the perfect holiday feast with the ‘Throwback Thanksgiving’ 80’s movie marathon serving up some of the decade’s most memorable films. The five-day event will begin Wednesday, November 25th at 8PM ET/PT on VH1 with the John Hughes-directed classics “Sixteen Candles” followed by “The Breakfast Club.” This holiday, settle in for an extra portion of 80’s nostalgia with hit films throughout the weekend including “Back To The Future (Parts I, II, and III),” “The Breakfast Club,” “Caddyshack,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Footloose,” “The Goonies,” “Purple Rain,” “Sixteen Candles,” and “Top Gun.” The VH1 “Throwback Thanksgiving” 80’s movie marathon will be hosted by comedians Michelle Buteau, Jade Catta-Preta and Alesha Renee. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ThrowbackThanksgiving. For the complete schedule, please check and keep it on VH1 all Thanksgiving weekend long!

- At the one-year anniversary of its brand update, truTV is celebrating its momentum by ordering three new primetime series, renewing two fan favorites and announcing the development of two new unscripted series. The moves come on the heels of audience data showing that the network’s "Way More Fun" brand refresh is working, with more premium original programming growing an audience that is larger, younger and more upscale. This includes double-digit growth among adults 18-49 (+45 percent) and adults 18-34 (+55 percent) primetime ratings since November 2014, with its median age down to 33 (from 40 in September 2014 and 37 in November 2014). truTV's program expansion begins with three series greenlights: Almost Genius, a show that celebrates the people, places, and things that are almost successful, but can't quite cut it in the end, 10 Things, hosted by Girl Code’s Jamie Lee, a list-based collection of offbeat and unusual topics, and a new documentary series truOriginals: Inside Iconic Comedy, which goes behind the scenes of some of the funniest films ever made. truTV has also ordered 13 additional half-hour episodes of The Carbonaro Effect, which draws more than 1.2 million viewers and consistently ranks among the Top 10 programs in its timeslot with key demos. And the do-it-yourself hit Hack My Life – which wrapped the 2015 third quarter as a top ten show in its time period among cable entertainment networks among men 18-34 – received an order for 10 additional half-hour episodes. On the development front, truTV has two new series in the works, including a pilot order for Jon Glaser Loves Gear, a new hybrid show where Glaser (Trainwreck, Girls) delves into his love of looking at gear, shopping for gear, wearing the gear, and talking about gear and a pilot presentation for Inside Caucasia, a cultural travelogue created by comedians Naomi Ekperigin (Broad City, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell) and Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, UCB Theatre).

- GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today it has greenlit 40 episodes of a new original game show series, Winsanity, to be hosted by actor and comedian Donald Faison (“Scrubs”). The show will begin shooting in early 2016. Each half-hour episode of Winsanity features a contestant attempting to rank ten compelling and surprising facts in numerical order, from lowest to highest (i.e.: Which is greater: the number of times a man thinks about sex in a day, or the number of words a woman speaks in a day?). Every time a contestant is correct and wins a prize, so does a randomly selected portion of the studio audience. However, if a contestant gives a wrong answer at any point, they, and the audience lose everything, and a new contestant takes his or her place and continues the game, trying to win prizes that increase in value with each round.

- Smithsonian Networks has just launched a new subscription video streaming service delivering spectacular original nature and wildlife content. The stand-alone ad-free service Smithsonian Earth will bring viewers closer than ever before to nature’s most remarkable animals and wildest locations. The announcement was made today by Tom Hayden, President of Smithsonian Networks.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 11/15/15

Once Upon a Time: If I am not mistaken, this is the first time they ever brought religion into the show. Though I think that maybe the Holy Grail on the show may not be the one Jesus reportedly drank from during The Last Supper. Of course the biggest giveaway was that this Holy Grail is too fancy, as Indiana Jones knows, Jesus would have drank from a more simplistic cup.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

The Librarians: I wonder if the elder Stone realized when he called his son a "song of a (expletive deleted) he was actually defaming his wife.
You can download The Librarians on iTunes.

Homeland: So the guardian Angel that saved Quinn just so happens to be buddies with a jihadist that was released from prison because of the leaked documents. Alrighty. And since Quinn killed him, is he now a leader of the jihadists? But my favorite part of the episode was Dar and Saul going at each other. I love it when people on this show call each other out for doing a horrible job because most of them are. And now that Saul is on to the Russians, how long until he learns his bed buddy is also in beds with them? Hopefully sooner than later.

The Walking Dead: After all the speculation on the fate of Glen (I fell in the the guts the zombies were eating were that of the other guy and he slid under the trash bin and waited the zombies out) the actor's name out of the credits. So either he really is dead or this is the biggest bit of trolling from a television show since Joss Wheadon wanted to put someone he killed of in the Pilot in the credits. I guess I am going to move Gen from the probably alive column to he is Schrodinger's Cat.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

The Affair: As they flashed the "Part 2" on screen I actually groaned thinking I had no desire to see some kid agonize in pain for another segment, but thankfully they flashed ahead a week. I believe this is the first time the second part actually happened after the first part and not at least partially concurrently. And I am horrible with names, but is the guy who is willing to sell the lawyer information about Scotty, is that the same guy who was working at the Lockheart Diner last week and worked as a mechanic back in season one?

Supergirl: I get Kara's explanation on why she does not to ever ask her cousin for help, but when she still ends up being saved by a blurry Superman, who of course makes it back to Metropolis before the show gets back from commercial, that really makes her look bad. But what actually should she expect, Jimmy Olsen's smart watch aside, does she not think he would see the news of one of his rouges kidnapping a business mogul in another ton? He does work at a newspaper.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Gotham: Oh thank goodness, I thought we were going to have a Beth Greene situation on The Walking Dead where they kill off a formally useless character right after they actually made her interesting. I spend most of that last commercial break thinking, that was a very big fall... but... there was a tree there that could break her fall. Of course now she is back in jail. And so is Galavan. So what exactly is his master plan. He said that it was too soon to kill Jim Gordon so he knew Barbara would not be able to kill him and I am guessing he intentionally had her tell Jim about the former mayor's whereabouts. So why exactly incriminate yourself? Still his sister will probably be breaking everyone out again sooner than later.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

The Voice: What the frack America? I was resigned since the Battle Round that Braiden would be this season's Ryan Sill, but I just assumed that it would be Gwen who would have to Save him, not America. Who are these morons who actually thought Braiden was better than Ellie Lawrence? Did someone resurrect Vote for the Worst and not tell me? And yeah, that Coach's Comeback was a massive fail. Of course Adam did not bring back Andi & Alex instead saved some foddery dude no one asked for and then had him sing a song perfect for duos. Adam is such a troll. Blake brought someone just to give them an embarrassing song. Since his team was weak, I though Pharrell had the best chance of one of these contestants advance but he ended up bring back someone who has not performed in a month.

The show quietly got rid of phone voting this season, I wrote it off as Sprint did not want to front the phone bill and the producers were to cheap to pay it themselves. I did not think it would have much effect on the outcome. Yet somehow even more white dudes advanced than usual. Seriously seventy-percent of the people America saved were Caucasian men. How do you end up with a cast less diverse than a Republican debate? Maybe almost as shocking as Braiden getting voted in over Ellie was Emily Ann getting the top ten iTunes bonus and yet was leaped over by not one but two white dudes for the Public Save. Really not a good week for iTunes predictions, Ellie had a twenty spot advantage, Shelby over took Amy's thirty-seven spot lead, and to a lesser extent, there was Celeste Bennon just five spots above Evan.

C'mon America, enough with the boring white dudes. The show does not need two country dudes (not to mention a third country singer voted through, oh no, we might have a season four repeat with four country singers in the top six), two blue eyed soul singers, and two wanna be alt-rockers who are too boring to be alternative to anything. I guess Madi should be thankful that there was only one white dude on her team. If it does not turn into season four, it will likely turn into season seven where the five girls in the Top 12 were the first five out with no females in the top five.

The Voice should be concerned with this because the long string of white guys with guitars phenomenon was one of American Idol's downfall. The Voice is currently on three straight white dudes and with only two females getting through by America's Vote a fourth is pretty much a lock. The fix is pretty easy, right now you can vote ten times for as many artists as you like. The Voice needs to change that to you get ten votes total per method spread out how every you like. So country fans for example cannot just vote for the four country singers ten times each anymore, instead they would have to decide, do I want to give all ten votes to Barrett or do I want to spread two or three votes among all four of the country singers. Here is my very spiteful Top 12 Power Ranking:

1. Madi Davis
2. Amy Vachal
3. Emily Ann Roberts
4. Korin Bukowski
5. Shelby Brown
6. Mark Hood
7. Jeffery Austin
8. Zach Seabaugh
9. Jordan Smith
10. Barrett Baber
11. Evan McKeel

48. Braiden Sunshine

Blindspot: So Chrissy Seaver's ex-boyfriends is still texting, so maybe is on the take from the CIA guy. But the big news from the episode was we are one episode until the mid-season final!!!!!!!! (I am really getting annoyed by all the midseason finale promos.) And someone will not survive!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we saw Chrissy Seaver, Jane's childhood friend, and the Latina (I should really try and learn their names soon especially since it has already been renewed for a second season) walk into what looked like a hospital room. Obviously you can cross Lady Siff off the list, there is no show without her. So to quote another NBC star, always bet on black. So is it the head lady chick or the other black dude who has been fairly useless so far. So the latter seems to be the front runner. That is unless the cop out and kill one of the secondary character. Granted there are not many of those, there is the CIA guy (probably not because he is the big bad, it would be silly to get rid of the antagonist already), FBI dude's father or sister (we still do not know much of them, but I am officially guessing option four, Chrissy Seaver's boyfriend. Chrissy learns he is evil and in a bit of conscious, he sacrifices his life to save Chrissy or Lady Siff.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes..

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: I am officially tired of the Lash storyline, hopefully it is now on ice since he is too. The ACU is reaching that point too, but at least we got a twist this week and we learned the head is working with a head of Hydra.
The question is does she know or does she think she is actually working for the government. But what I am still most interested this season is Simmons alien planet. And is there a more Millennials thing to do than to take selfies while stranded along on an alien planet?
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Survivor: Second Chances: It seems like a couple times every season I complain of alliances splitting votes for no reason. Usually one their members has the Idol, which they do not want to tell anyone, but splitting votes can easily lead to someone voting for the wrong person, be it intentional or on accident, and someone in your alliance. With that said, how do you have a nine to three numbers advantage and not split the votes. Someone could mess up and you would have still had the votes to get out either Kelley or Ciera. You could have been so paranoid for them to pull a Parvati and break out two Immunity Idols and still had enough to put three votes on Kelley, Ciera, and Abi Maria and get one of them out. Thankfully that did not happen because we would have been deprives of one of the greatest kiss offs in the history of the show when Abi Maria told the departing Savage, "At least you made the jury."
You can download Survivor: Second Chance on iTunes.

Nashville: So Scarlett cut her hair. I cannot remember anything else that happened this episode. Jeff died right? But seriously, that hair...
You can download Nashville on iTunes.

The Blacklist: As soon as Red realized the shaving dude was not the bad guy of the week I knew it was Samar's not so dead brother. And what does Samar do when she realizes her brother is alive? Makes out with a dude. And when she learns her brother is a terrorist? Makes out with another dude. I wished all hot chick dealt with drama in that way.
The Blacklist on iTunes.