Friday, December 02, 2016
I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Nashville, Fitz and The Tantrums, Joshua Bell's Seasons of Cuba, Gutxi Bibang, L.E.J., Risky Drinking, A-Bombs over Nevada, Running for His Life: The Lawrence Phillips Story, FilmStruck, and The Alienist.
- Hulu is excited to announce that Nashville fans will get an early glimpse into the new season just in time for the holidays! The highly-anticipated season five of Nashville may officially launch on Hulu January 6th, but the first hour of the two-hour premiere will now be available to stream early on December 16th. Need a refresh? Hulu is also the exclusive destination for fans to catch up on all episodes of Nashville and relive their favorite moments of the series anytime, anywhere. Simply head to Hulu to stream seasons 1 - 4 of Nashville now.
- une in to the AUDIENCE Network concert special Fitz and The Tantrums airing Friday, December 2 at 9:00 (DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114). On this episode, Fitz and The Tantrums' Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs sit down withhost Ted Stryker in Los Angeles foran in-depth interview spanning their musical history as well as the inspiration for group's latest self-titled studio album, out now via Elektra Records.
- The PBS ARTS Fall Festival continues with Joshua Bell's Seasons of Cuba, an event featuring renowned musicians from America and Cuba connecting cultures and artistry with beautiful music. The national air date for Joshua Bell's Seasons of Cuba is Friday, December 16 at 9:00, but we encourage you to check local listings as stations may be airing other special programming over the next several weeks.
- Gutxi Bibang is an unlikely candidate to carry the rock n’ roll torch, a second-generation African from the Basque region of northern Spain. He begins that journey today sharing the single "System Of A Gun" via French indie label OSKAR Recordings. His family emigrated to the tiny coast town of Algorta outside of Bilbao, but native son Gutxi Bibang has more in common with larger-than-life musical icons than he does his Basque countrymen. Even his unique moniker speaks of his cultural clash heritage – Gutxi, a common nickname in his Basque homeland, and Bibang, from his roots in Africa. With his distinctive manner and impeccable style, Gutxi Bibang exudes charisma - not just a reminder of when rock was a socio-cultural force for change in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but a glimpse into the music’s global future. System of a Gun has an attitude straight out of Gutxi’s primal influences, with lyrics wrenched from watching the evening news. “We deal with violence, poverty, unrest, racism and sexism in our music. We believe in the spirit of the ‘peace and love revolution.’”
- Today, classically-driven French pop trio L.E.J. [Elijay] release their very first holiday EP, Christmas Hors D’oeuvre [Republic Records], at all digital retailers. Get it HERE.
- Nearly one-third of adults in the U.S. engage in problem drinking at some point in their lives. Health professionals assess drinkers at risk on a spectrum ranging from low-risk to an alcohol use disorder that can range from mild to severe. This holiday season, HBO and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism present Risky Drinking, which challenges viewers to recognize when their drinking may be putting them at risk and offers information that could help millions of Americans lead healthier lives. The cautionary documentary debuts Monday, DEC. 19 (8:00-9:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
- In post-WWII America, the nuclear bomb was a national obsession. But in one corner of Nevada, it was a cottage industry, a daily entertainment and cultural phenomenon like no other. A new Smithsonian Channel hour-long special, A-Bombs over Nevada, uses remarkable contemporary footage to capture the extraordinary period in the 1950s and 60s when hundreds of atomic bombs were dropped over the Nevada Test Site. The race to create bigger and better bombs led scientists to push the limits and turned a sleepy desert town into a theater of the absurd. A-Bombs over Nevada premieres Monday, December 5th at 9:00 on Smithsonian Channel.
- Running for His Life: The Lawrence Phillips Story, a powerful documentary examining the cycle of domestic violence that plagued two-time NCAA Division I college football champion Lawrence Phillips and the personal demons that led to his death in January, will premiere on Friday, Dec. 16 at 9:00 on Showtime.
- Iggy Pop, in collaboration with Brian Burton (Danger Mouse), GOLD director Stephen Gaghan, and GOLD composer Daniel Pemberton, created an original song for the film GOLD — the adventure drama starring Matthew McConaughey. The song, also titled “Gold,” is director Stephen Gaghan’s songwriting debut. GOLD, inspired by actual events, is the epic tale of one man’s pursuit of the American dream and everything he’ll do to keep it from falling apart. Oscar© winner Matthew McConaughey stars as Kenny Wells, a man raised in the mining business and desperate for a lucky break. He teams up with a mythic geologist and sets off on an amazing journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. When they make the largest gold find in history, Kenny realizes his dream was only the beginning of the adventure, battling corrupt politicians, Wall Street tycoons and law enforcement, all of whom want to take it from him. Directed by Oscar© winner Stephen Gaghan, the film stars Oscar© winner Matthew McConaughey and Golden Globe© nominees Edgar Ramirez and Bryce Dallas Howard.
- FilmStruck, a new streaming movie service for film aficionados, is now available on Apple TV. FilmStruck offers the largest streaming library of contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, foreign and cult films and is the exclusive streaming home to the Criterion Collection. Film fans can now stream on Apple TV 4th generation devices as well as Amazon Fire TV, web, iOS and Android devices. FilmStruck can be accessed in the Apple App store, as well as online at FilmStruck.com and via Google Play for Android users.
- Daniel Brühl (Rush, Inglorious Bastards, Captain America: Civil War) and Luke Evans (The Girl on The Train, The Hobbit trilogy, Dracula Untold) have been cast in TNT's The Alienist, the eagerly anticipated series based on the Anthony Award-winning New York Times bestseller by Caleb Carr. Brühl will play forensic psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, while Evans will play reporter John Moore, who are both called upon to investigate a series of brutal murders in New York during the Gilded Age.
- Main Street business owners brace for the impact of President-Elect Trump’s latest cabinet nominee Steven Mnuchin, a Wall Street insider whose success has been built at the expense of small business owners and their communities. As one of the architects of the financial crisis, Mnuchin engaged in extractive business tactics that crippled the economy and forced countless small businesses to close their doors. After amassing a small fortune during his tenure with Goldman Sachs, Mnuchin led OneWest Financial, a predatory financial institution that had no significant branch presence in communities of color, rarely lent to small businesses, and has been accused of discriminatory lending practices. Given the very real challenges small business owners of color face in accessing and securing loans, it is profoundly disheartening that someone with Mnuchin’s track record would be offered this appointment. Mnuchin even managed to pocket more than $3 million from the Madoff-led Ponzi scheme that cost investors more than $65 billion.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
One of the big advantage of cable shows (other than the lack of FCC regulation) is the shorten season. When you only have eight to thirteen episodes a year to fill than the network standard of twenty-two, you storyline can be more concise and can easily trim the fat. But for some reason, occasionally cable channels expand their shows episode number (okay, that reason is obviously money). The worst in memory was when Rescue Me went from thirteen to twenty-two one season and the show cratered creatively. It quickly went down to ten the next season.
So I am a little worried to hear History has boosted the number of Vikings episodes this season from ten to twenty. Okay, they did have a seven month break between episode ten and eleven. The voice over for the intro even says, “Last season on Vikings,” even though it is still technically still season four. But no matter how you cut it, there will be twenty episodes of the show that air over twelve months.
There was a very specific break in between blocks this season as the first half ended with Ragnor being humiliated in Paris only to desert his land. A teaser at the end of the last episode jumped ahead about a decade with a returning Ragnor placing his sword in the ground that as surrounded by a crows and shouted, “Who wants to be king?” Welcome back Ragnor.
The new half of the season starts with the same question that ended the last. Sorry to anyone hoping to learn what happed between Paris and the return, no flashbacks in the premiere? Instead we get reintroduced to Ragnor’s grown sons including Gimpy who has grown into a son that only Donald Trump could love. Seriously, that kid is all sorts of horrible even though he cannot use either of his legs but still manages to crawl everywhere to watch people have sex.
As you can expect from a half season that starts with a dude striking the ground with his sword, there is plenty of conflict this season. Ragnor wants to go back to England while in his absence, Bjorn has found a map of the Mediterranean with plenty of Roman outposts to plunder. Granted this path goes through France which means permission from Uncle Rollo. And while the guys are away, the women back home will play, and not nice as Lagertha seems to want her throne back. Here is hoping this is enough storyline to keep the show from dragging on now that it has doubled its yearly episode output.
Vikings airs Wednesdays at 9:00 on History.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Shameless: Oh Fiona, you really missed out on a great opportunity, a laundromat with a whirlpool and 4K Smart TV? That would have done great business.
The Walking Dead: It seemed obvious Maggie not dead, but why lie to Negan about it? Clearly he will find out sometime and it is a silly lie.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.
Gotham: I cannot decide I like crazy Barbra or not. Clearly she is not a good actress, but still, sometime it is entertaining, other times it is annoying. Maybe the key would be to keep her to small doses. And just go ahead and reveal the comic book character she is portraying because I think most peole have figured that out by now.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.
Supergirl: Ugg, Supergirl should have just ley let Mon-El die, he is completely worthless anyway. And if it was not obvious before, it is now very clear Mon-El was brought in to be a love interest to Kara. Meh, they should have brought me on for that role. Sure Mon-El may be able to fly all through the night, but can he rock a party 'til the early light? Mon-El can't satisfy Kara with his little worm, but I can bust her out with my super sperm.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X: Somehow Jay made it through two tribal without using his Idol or getting voted out (okay, one of them he had Immunity). And the second Tribal he could just sit back and laugh while stupid people drew rocks. I think you are better of switching your vote. You have a fifty-fifty chance one of you alliance is going home anyway and a one in six chance it is you. Flip and with nine people still in the game, there are plenty of chances of getting back into the game, draw the rock and you have no chance.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X on iTunes.
Friday, November 25, 2016
I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Snowpiercer, Lang Lang’s New York Rhapsody, Wild New Zealand, Twin Peaks, How the Universe Works, Anna of the North, Stephen Kijak's We Are X.
- TNT, a division of Turner, has ordered a pilot for Snowpiercer, a futuristic thriller based on the award-winning film by Bong Joon Ho. A co-production of Tomorrow Studios and Turner's Studio T, the hour-long drama pilot is being executive-produced by writer-showrunner Josh Friedman (Avatar 4, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Tomorrow Studios' Marty Adelstein (Aquarius, Prison Break, Teen Wolf) and Becky Clements (Good Behavior, Aquarius, Last Man Standing), and the original film’s Bong Joon Ho, Park Chan-wook, Lee Tae-hun and Dooho Choi, along with CJ Entertainment. Snowpiercer is set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, and the remnants of humanity inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe. Class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival are questioned in this riveting television adaptation.
- The PBS ARTS Fall Festival continues next Friday, November 25th at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) with Lang Lang’s New York Rhapsody, the internationally acclaimed pianist’s love letter to New York City, which he considers his adoptive home. Embracing a wide range of styles and voices to capture New York’s magic, this episode features music that helped make New York famous from Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Danny Elfman to Lou Reed, Alicia Keys, and Don Henley. Also included is a rare performance of the original 1924 jazz band arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
- Hidden away on the far side of the world is a spectacular wilderness. A place of fabled landscapes, bizarre creatures and unpredictable climates. New Zealand is the land that time forgot. Produced by BBC Earth. Wild New Zealand takes you on an adventure though this breathtaking land of searing mountainscapes, mysterious lakes and rivers, dramatic volcanic plateaus and vast open plains to discover some of the most incredible animals on the planet. See the wilds of New Zealand like you've never seen them before. Wild New Zealand is a three part special event that premieres Sunday, November 27, at 8, 9, and 10:00 as party as Destination Wild.
= Showtime is kicking off the holiday season by offering a new collection of over twenty-five Twin Peaks items, available for purchase online exclusively on SHO.com. The merchandise includes printed sweatshirts, blankets, tees, mugs, scarves, tote bags and more. A portion of the items will feature original artwork by TWIN PEAKS creator David Lynch. The Twin Peaks collection is available for purchase on store.sho.com/twinpeaks, with additional items to be added in the coming weeks. The new Twin Peaks will premiere in 2017 on Showtime.
- Science Channel continues to provide the most wide ranging and in-depth space programming available and announces today the return of the network’s blue-chip series HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS. The all-new season returns to ask all-new questions about how our universe was put together while revealing the inner workings of our planet, the solar system, the galaxies and the universe itself. How the Universe Works premieres Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 10:00.
- Coming December 26th during the holiday season, when many reflect on what they are most grateful for, HBO’s Every Brilliant Thing strikes a delicate balance between sobering loss and cathartic laughter. Adapting the hit off-Broadway one-character show of the same name written by Duncan Macmillan and starring British comedian Jonny Donahoe, this deeply affecting film recounts a life lived in the shadow of suicide. Emmy® winners Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (HBO’s “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures,” “Wishful Drinking”) produce and direct the heart-wrenching yet humorous presentation.
- Oslo based duo Anna of the North unveil the video for their single "Us" - a delicate and ethereal visual accompaniment to the song, which has been streamed over 3 million times on Spotify.
- Magnolia Home Entertainment announced this week that they have acquired home entertainment rights (physical and digital) to Stephen Kijak's We Are X. From the production team behind the Academy Award© winning Searching for Sugar Man, We Are X is a transcendent and beautifully shot rock 'n' roll story about the Japanese band X JAPAN, one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Celebrated as "a fascinating and assured documentary" (The New York Times) that "tells the greatest rock 'n' roll story America has never heard" (Pitchfork), We Are X is directed by acclaimed documentarian Stephen Kijak (Stones In Exile, Scott Walker: 30 Century Man). The critically acclaimed music documentary premiered theatrically starting October 21 via Drafthouse Films and is continuing to expand in theaters in over 40 markets nationwide. We Are X will arrive on Digital EST February 21, 2017 and on Blu-ray™, DVD and VOD March 7, 2017. Territories include U.S, Bermuda and Bahamas.
Monday, November 21, 2016
In the past couple years, networks have gotten creative rolling out new shown, but none was more bold when TBS debuted Angie Tribeca during a twenty-five hour commercial free marathon. The second season had a more traditional roll out, same for every new TBS show since. TBS has gotten creative again for their latest new show Search Party which premieres tonight with back to back episodes at 11:00. And then will premiere two new episodes every night this week (yes even Thanksgivings night; a marathon of the first four episode preceding it) with the final two episodes this season airing Friday.
It is probably for the best that they are airing Search Party over a short period of time because it feels more like a very long indie movie instead of an episodic series. The show focuses on a group of self-absolved millennials, one of which Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) who becomes obsessed when a college acquaintance goes missing and is presumed dead while the other placate her new obsession.
Search Party is listed as a “dark comedy” but is pretty lite on the second half. Ironically the hardest I laughed all season was at the conclusion of the mystery in the season finale which may leave more people upset rather than in a laughing mood. But the adventure in the show is the mystery and the long line of interesting characters we meet why trying to find Shantel Witherbottom (yes that is the missing girl’s name) including a crazy real estate agent, an Inappropriate a capella group, a weird fetish model, a cult, and a shady zookeeper.
Search Party airs at 11:00 every night this week with back to back episodes on TBS.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Shameless: I figured Fiona would rip up the check, but I thought she would use that money to fix up the place and let the cat lady think she already paid for it. That 50k could have replaced enough washers to make a good start for the business. But why deposit the check into her account later? That could end badly unless she can get the cat lady to buy the new washers.
The Walking Dead: Wait, did we know that Rick’s kid is not really his kid? If so I missed that. I also missed what was going on with Maggie? It seemed like they implied to Negan she was dead, but clearly she is not. But where can she possibly be where Negan will not find her? Speaking of Negan, I am already out on him and his overacting. Every time I hear him say Rick, I think of the annoying SNL skit where Amy Poehler annoyed her stepfather Rick (played by Horatio Sanz).
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.
Masters of Sex: I have gotten gay vibes from Art from the beginning, apparently so did Bob. So I was a bit surprised when Art did not reciprocate. And what a way to start a marriage with a little deception because it was pretty clear Ginny called the reporters to their wedding. Should be interesting how that affects their marriage next season. It will also be interesting to see what happens to Libby. I just hope this does not turn into a Betty Draper situation where she is just a complete drag everytime she is on screen after the divorce.
Supergirl: Oh man, that was cold, Alex goes gay for hot lady cop and hot lady cop just shuts her down, Maybe Maxwell Lord is still lurking if she wants to go back to guys. Actually what happened to Maxwell Lord? He was on this big anti-alien crusade and just stops in between season? Maybe he went on the same sabbatical as Cat.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.
Timeless: One thing I noticed during there scene together was that either Flynn is really tall or Wyatt is really short.
You can download Timeless on iTunes.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X: Ballsy move knowing you are being targeted and not play your Idol. Of course when you are in overwhelming minority, maybe it is a good risk, now that buys you an extra week to hope the majority alliance implodes.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X on iTunes.
Blindplot: Poor Chrissy Seaver, her first boyfriend on the show was murdered basically because she let him study a tattoo. Then her next one turned out to be a mole for the group she is investigating and either ended up shooting him or was shot by him (obviously the former, whenever they do they who got shot cliffhanger, it is always the bad guy). And now that Roman has had his memory wiped, hopefully he becomes more interesting now because he has been a bit of a bore up to now.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
As Showtime usually does with many of its shows, they premiered the first episode of The Affair new season early through various outlets. If you have not seen it yet, be warned I am going to spoil it because something huge happens at the end that I do not want to be vague about it, so head to your On Demand station or Showtime Anytime pass to watch it now. I will be vague about the other episodes I have seen. You have been warned.
At the surface, you would think The Affair was some intense family drama, but it was sneakily a murder mystery too as we learned early in the series that one of the characters was murdered. We finally learned last season that it was in fact Helen that ran over Scott Lockhart but Noah actually stood up in court and took the rap for his ex-wife. The new season picks up three years later, because apparently vehicular manslaughter is not a very serious crime in New York State. There is still the multiple act structure, but just like in the second season, it looks like some episodes, one person’s POV will take up the entire hour.
With that murder now solved, they replaced with another mystery, who stabbed Noah (I will no spoil whether he survived the attack yet, on account I do not know if he did or not yet). And what a bizarre scene, Noah clearly knew someone was there but does not turn around. And what kind of attacker just stabs once and leaves not making sure they got the job done? Of course the potential killer list is very long with all the Lockhart’s, really all of Montauk, he son was very cold at the funeral, and the eldest daughter did not even bother to show up.
I believe last season, the first couple episodes were solo perspective episodes, but in the early episodes of season three, Noah I the only one who gets a full hour to himself. The second episode gets split between Helen and Allison split time. Although this is a split from previous seasons because the two never cross paths in each other act, but we do get to see Helen’s visit to the prison from her perspective. And much like last season which saw the addition of the perspectives of Helen and Cole, this season we get the point of view of Juliette, a French Lit professor Noah meets in the first episode and we get to see the dinner party he attends (Haddie Braverman also is there as a student of both Juliette and Noah's) from her perspective in episode three.
Hopefully this opens up the show even more as the two person point of view got stale pretty quickly in season one as you were confined to following just two characters around. Even upping that to four got tedious at the end of season for. Maybe everyone is a possibly this season. I would wager a guess that Cole’s bride will get an act or two. But really, I just hope the bratty daughter gets her own episode. C’mon, who would not want to see how she ended up in a hot tub with her father last season? And this season is even better now she is dating an erotic photographer who calls himself Furkat who livens up the episode where Helen comes to visit. Actually I am now kind of hoping for a Furkat perspective episode.
The Affair airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime.