Sunday, November 19, 2017

Previewing Search Party: Season Two



The first season of Search Party followed a bunch of annoying Brooklyn hipsters trying to find their missing college friend that they really did not communicate with anymore despite living in a time where it is really easy to stay in touch with everyone. But the thing is, I could tell from the very beginning how that season was going to end: with the whole missing thing being a misunderstanding and the friend would show up safe and sound on the finale. And though that is exactly how the mystery was resolved, the show did throw a huge curve at the end when the merry band of hipsters killed a dude.

Sure, they thought he had something to do with the disappearance and possible murder, except the friend was alive and well and he was a private investigator looking for a reward. So this was straight up murder. Much like the first season, early in the seconds season I f think I figured out how the season second season would end: these Brooklyn hipsters would end up in prison. Seriously, there is no way these morons could possibly get away with murder, can they? Sure it would hard for there to be a show if most the of the main characters are in prison unless there is big switch in season three.

Each of the annoying Brooklyn hipsters are rationalizing the tragedy in their own way. Dory keeps seeing things, Elliot developed a rash, Drew is trying to get his job to transfer him to the Shanghai office in hopes there is no extradition treaty, and Portia actually veers into trauma by joining a play about the Manson murders. Needless to say none of these coping mechanisms go very well. Oh yeah, and lets not forget the gang’s token black friend (who knew he went on to become ABC’s The Mayor) who joins the staff of a senatorial campaign of someone who looks a lot like nineties era Hilary Clinton. Though I am not entirely sure if this was intentional but this candidate does act more like Bill than Hilary behind close door in an eerie bit of timing with all the current senate candidates right now.

The thing about the first season was it was fun watching a bunch of incompetent hipster try to do something good for the first time in the lives and bumble their way through their task. But watching a bunch of incompetent hipster try to get away with murder and bumble their way through their task is not nearly as entertaining. It was really mostly a drag. The most entertaining part came in the second to last episode where a not so incognito Portia and Eliot do a very poor job tailing someone. See the uncomfortable comedy is much better when the stakes were low. But I will say, much like the end of the first season, I was shocked by the ending and left wondering what they possibly be doing in season three.

Search Party airs Sundays at 10:00 on TBS and airs back to back episodes each week.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 11/18/2017





The Walking Dead: Go ahead and kill all the humans you want, but why the fork did they need to kill the tiger? And just after we learned how the King saved her. Booooooooo.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Good Behavior: Wow, Letty made the worst dude ever. Are there really drag queens that skinny out there? They really should have gone with Javier in drag, at least it would have been funnier.
You can download Good Behavior on iTunes.

White Famous: Maybe it was because Mr. Robot did it a couple days before, but there was a point where I thought this was one long shot, and then there was a bunch of quick cuts and got that wrong. Then I had a suspicion that this was all a dream because that cat fight was a little weird, especially when they both just ran out of the house. Wrong on both accounts.

Supergirl: The pervert scandal hit Supergirl this week with one of the producers of the show was accused by multiple women. This was kind of shocking in that Surpergirl lays on the girl power themes pretty quick and I really never notice the guys perversion seep into them… well that was until teenaged Kara walks into the boys locker room and is offered a peep show. Well, that was poor timing especially with what is going on in Alabama.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Lucifer: Well that was weird, an episode that really does not fit in the timeline and was just basically a loop of a character we just met. Interesting that this Hell is basically the same Hell described Preacher where you have to relive the worst moment in your life over and over again. Of course if he died while Lucifer is on Earth, who exactly is administering things down there?
You can download Lucifer on iTunes.

The Challenge: Dirty 30: I know this is season where everyone is playing dirty, but c’mon, you make us wait a week after the finale to see who wins… and then wake us wake another forking week. Although where most reunion show are mostly boring, oh my goodness, what the fork happened with Tori’s phone!?!
You can download The Challenge: Dirty 30 on iTunes.

Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers: Wait, what just happened? Everyone hates Joe, the seemingly split the votes just in case Joe found yet another Idol, but then voted out Desi. What? And I have to say of all the lame advantages that have popped up recently, Laurens save a vote for later is the least stupid. Except how did she pull it off? I am at hope counting votes every week so how with eleven people do Joe and Desi not go, wait, how is this a tie with an odd number of people?
You can download Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers on iTunesr.

The Blacklist: You know what, if I ever fall afoul to some really bad dudes who are going to kill me, I hope they have the common curtosy to put on some classic yacht rock while they do it. Oh yeah, and Tom died. So I guess we are never going to get resolution on what was happening on the Redemption spin-off. Oh well.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.

Mr. Robot: I spent half the last episode with a growing suspicion that Angela would not make it out alive and the crept into this episode too. Especially when she had a gun pointed out her. But when the robber ran off, I realize, she is not going to be killed by some random person. Then in the next season when she ran into Darlene, I realize, oh, Darlene is going to kill Darlene. Except she did not. I am going to spend every episode thinking she is going to die which probably will happen the moment I stop thinking it is coming.
You can download Mr. Robot on iTunes.

Blindspot: Why didn’t drunken Patterson crash every wedding dedication? Oh well. Oh yeah, and Jane has a daughter. Wait, what? Which begs the question, who is the father? And how old is the daughter? She would have to be at least five. Except small kids are boring, it would be a lot more interesting if she is older. If Jane was a teen mom, you could reasonable say the kid could be as old as twenty if you say Jane is in her mid-thirties (the actress is currently thirty-three; not that Hollywood does not fudge ages; the Gilmore Girls were only eleven years apart in real life). I kind of hope the daughter is a Hannah situation, a kid assassin, that would be the most interesting.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Around the Tubes: 11/17/2017



I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on The Chi, Rachel Platten, Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray’s Extra Innings, Tears For Fears, Survival in the Skies: Space Suits, Ella Fitzgerald, Sigrid, Tim & Faith: Soul2Soul, Meth Storm, Megnify, Teyana & Iman, and GSN marathons.

- Showtime has released the full trailer and the official poster art for the highly-anticipated drama series The Chi, created and executive produced by Emmy® winner Lena Waithe (Master of None), and executive produced by Academy Award®, Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Common (Selma) and Elwood Reid (The Bridge, Hawaii Five-O) who also serves as showrunner. The series, which explores the humanity behind the headlines sensationalizing the South Side of Chicago, premieres on Sunday, January 7 at 10:00.


- Tune in Friday, November 10 to watch the broadcast premiere of the concert special "Rachel Platten" on AT&T* AUDIENCE Network via DIRECTV Ch 239, AT&T U-verse Ch 1114 and on-demand through DIRECTV NOW.Airing at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT theone-hourconcert features the multi-platinum, EMMY award-winning pop star Rachel Platten. Shot on location in Los Angeles in ultra high-definition 4K, Rachel performs all the hits and joins series host Ted Stryker for an intimate look at her career.

- Oso Studios and Facebook today announced the premiere of Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray’s Extra Innings, an original unscripted series on minor league baseball hosted by the comedy icons. The ten-episode digital series debuts on Facebook Watch on Monday, November 20 with new episodes available weekly on Mondays. People can add the show to their watchlist by following the Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray’s Extra Innings Show Page.

- Following a sold-out summer arena tour highlighted by their triumphant UK return in front of 65,000-plus fans as s pecial guests of The Killers during British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park, Tears For Fears - Roland Orzabal [vocals, guitar, keyboards] and Curt Smith [vocals, bass, keyboards] - close out 2017 with the release of their first career-spanning Greatest Hits album, Rule The World. The collection arrives everywhere November 10, 2017 on UMe. It's available for pre-order at the band's official site now.

- Every day, pilots and astronauts face life-or-death situations when they risk their lives to test the capabilities of physics and science. With limited time, harsh conditions and the pressure of survival, they must do everything they can to make it back on the ground safely. Survival in the Skies tells the stories behind incredible pieces of space and aviation technology, from the invention of the parachute to the development of space suits. The series features stories of the people who created these amazing breakthroughs and the men and women who relied on them when their survival hung in the balance. The premiere episode, Survival in the Skies: Space Suits, airs Tuesday, November 28 at 9:00 on Smithsonian Channel.

- Verve Records and UMe will close out their year-long celebration of jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald’s centennial with the ultimate present for her 100th birthday – a completely unreleased live album. More than 60 years after it was recorded, Ella At Zardi’s will finally be released on CD and digital on December 1. WBGO, the global leader in jazz radio, premiered the album’s opening track, “It All Depends on You,” both on the air and at WBGO.org, with an accompanying article. The song, popularized by Doris Day, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, was never released on any of Fitzgerald’s albums, making this a truly rare performance. Listen at WBGO.

- In the past nine months, Sigrid has gone from unknown to one of the most exceptional breakout artists of 2017. Sigrid’s rise has been unrivaled; from releasing her acclaimed debut Don’t Kill My Vibe EP, which has amassed over 100M global streams – to playing multiple festivals worldwide and being chosen as Apple’s Up Next Artist, all in less than a year. Now Sigrid releases the mighty ‘Strangers’, produced by Martin Sjolie, the dream pairing behind ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’. With lyrics of steel, meandering melodies and stark honesty, ‘Strangers’ embodies the natural, sincere talent Sigrid has become renowned for. Watch the lyric video to the track HERE.

- A concert special from Grammy® Award-winning superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Tim & Faith: Soul2Soul will premiere on Friday, November 17 at 9:00 on Showtime, on-air, on demand and over the internet. The special was shot over the summer in the U.S. on this year’s Soul2Soul The World Tour. Tim & Faith: Soul2Soul is directed and executive produced by the award-winning Magical Elves production team of Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Katy Perry: Part of Me). The tour documentary includes live performances from their Soul2Soul tour, as well as unprecedented access to Tim and Faith, with never-before-seen interviews and behind-the-scenes footage capturing their unmatched chemistry on and off the stage.

- Today, 90% of the methamphetamine consumed in America comes over the border from Mexico in the form of a superdrug called ICE. As drug enforcement agents battle sophisticated cartels, poor, rural users, dealers and families are caught in the middle. Featuring extensive access to law enforcement, Meth Storm tells the story of rural, economically-disadvantaged users and dealers whose addiction to ICE and lack of job opportunities have landed them in an endless cycle of poverty and incarceration, and follows police and DEA agents struggling to stop the cartels. Debuting Monday, NOV. 27 at 10:00, this timely presentation is both a cautionary tale and a high-stakes drama told from inside the war on drugs. The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

- FOX Sports Films is excited to present Megnify, a new feature-length documentary series, leveraging sports as a lens for examining important cultural stories. The films’ deep explorations of athletes’ on and off-the-field journeys connect to the challenges, change and unity that sports can bring to communities. “This commitment to deeper storytelling – pointing the cameras where they’re needed most -- diversifies our voice and gets audiences thinking about sports in a broader context beyond wins and losses,” says Charlie Dixon, EVP, Content at FOX Sports. “The aim is to create dialogue and hopefully affect change in the communities where these stories are told.” The first documentary in the series is “89 Blocks” (82 minutes) airing Sunday, November 26 on FOX. The film, executive produced by Time Inc.’s SPORTS ILLUSTRATED with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s UNINTERRUPTED, brings an authentic perspective to the story of the East St. Louis High School Flyers football team -- the pride and joy of a complex, at-risk Illinois community. This look at their exceptional challenges and heartwarming triumph during the 2016 season is directed by Emmy winner Josh Oshinsky.

- VH1 today announced the new series Teyana & Iman will premiere Monday, February 19 at 10PM ET/PT. The eight, 30-minute episodes will provide an intimate look into newlyweds Teyana Taylor, a trend-setting singer, dancer, model and actress, and Iman Shumpert, a professional athlete, musician, dedicated father and loving husband.

- Celebrate Thanksgiving with a GSN marathon! Gather the family ‘round to watch game show favorites The $25,000 Pyramid, The Chase, and Family Feud while you're waiting for (or digesting) that delicious turkey.
Thanksgiving Day Marathons, Thursday November 23rd:
8:00am - 12:00pm – The $25,000 Pyramid
12:00pm - 7:00pm – The Chase
7:00pm - 11:00pm – Family Feud (Harvey)
And the fun doesn't stop once the pumpkin pie has run out - come back on Friday, Nov. 24th and Saturday, Nov. 25th for more mini-marathons including Match Game, Cash Cab, and more Steve Harvey.
Friday November 24th Marathon:
8:00am - 12:00pm – Match Game
12:00pm -11:00pm – Family Feud (Harvey)
Saturday November 25th Marathon:
11:00am - 4:00pm – Cash Cab
4:00pm - 8:00pm – Family Feud (Harvey)
8:00pm - 11:00pm – The Chase

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Previewing There's... Johnny! and GameFace



We have finally reached peak streaming because something called Seeso just folded before I ever heard of it. According to Wikipedia, it was basically an over the top channel from NBC Universal devoted to comedy with shows that had appeared on its network. It officially launched January 2016 and shit down earlier this month. I being this up because they had just started creating original content, much of which got moved to other streaming sites I have never heard of.

The most ambitious of the bunch had not even premiered when Seeso went under but was saved by a streaming service I have actually heard of, Hulu. There’s… Johnny! follows a Midwestern guy who travels to Los Angeles mistaking a stock response from the show as an actual job offer. When he shows up for work just shy of 11:30, the surprisingly understanding guard points out the show is not live and actually let him on the lot and a day later he gets a job as a goffer on The Tonight Show.

Ian Nelson (The Boy Next Door) played the doe eyed kid. The always good Jane Levy (Suburgatory) is an assistant talent coordinator who takes a shine to the kid. T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh (In Living Color) is the gatekeeper to Johnny. And Tony Danza (Who’s the Boss) does his best Mad Men audition as the executive producer. While minus the dirty stuff the ad men did and the creator of that show was alleged to do.

Really the tone of There’s… Johnny! is more Wonder Years than Mad Men in that it is a much idealized version of the time. One of the bosses is a black woman and George Carlin does not ask any of the pages if he could touch himself in front of them. Okay the writers do refer to one of their co-workers Joy as Joy of Sex, one of the ladies takes her shirt off in front of a guy the first day they meet, while the F-word gets thrown around a couple times.

The show is quant and nostalgic which actual scenes from The Tonight Show circa 1972 thrown in. Paul Riser (Mad About You) is the creator, producer, and even wrote the first episode. Sure these episodes will likely be the last as the original network folded and Levy has already landed two more shows (including the upcoming Hulu Steven King universe show Castle Rock) but it is something most of the family can gather around with Thanksgiving next week and remember or simpler time. Or just watch it while avoiding the family next week.

All episodes of There’s… Johnny! is available to stream now on Hulu.



English humour is an acquired taste. And it is one that I have not quite acquired yet unless it is delievered by Edgar Write with Simon Pegg starring. But I will admit to laughing more than I do to most Bristish shows when watching GameFace. The show was created and stars Roisin Conaty. Her Marcella reminds me a lot of SMILF’s Bridget. Both are struggling actors who are struggling even more to keep their lives together. Thankfully Marcella does not have a kid, but on the flipside she probably has a decade on Bridget.

Sure Marcella is trying to get her life together, she is learning how to drive (though regularly called by her teacher asking where she is), she has a life coach (though it was a gift from her mom), and can still book acting gigs every once and a while (if you consider children’s parties gigs). The show does have some dark undercurrents as Marcella walks in on a suicide attempt in the first episode and has to deal with the death of an ex-boyfriend mother in the second. If you do have the acquired taste of British humour, you may want to give GameFace a try.

All episodes of GameFace is available to stream now on Hulu.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Previewing Mythbusters and Street Science



Mythbusters seems like a show I would like, except it fell into that category of television show that aired on a channel never watched mixed with being too lazy to find it. But there is no way better to get me to watch a show than to send me a screener. So now I know that the show airs on Science channel (okay, I still have no idea what channel that is on my cable box. But again I thought I would like it because I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories and I am more a Occam’s Razor guy which states “that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected” which basically the most obvious answer is usually the right one.

Since I never saw the original I really cannot judge these new guys, who won some Mythbusters Search that I also did not watch. But my first impressions are these guys are overexciteable, the type of guys who think everything is awesome

But I am not here for the host, I am much more interested in the myths. In the first episode the new host test out if when you put your feet up on the dashboard, would deploying the airbags be fatal even at low speeds and can you cut straight threw the neck where the head dramatically stays put before falling of like in ninja and zombie movies? Um, did the bust all the myths in the first run? To me, Occam ’s razor would say, you may lose some limbs but you will not die and you are not getting a blade threw bone. Well, unless a zombie has been rotting for a while. But you will have to watch to find out. I will say it is very amazing how realistic crash test dummies are now.

Then next week’s episode they will be testing that if a burgle gets stuck in a fireplace and the unknowing owners like the propane fireplace with a leak, will he become a “rocketman?” The other myth says that a bullet that is log in a tree will shoot into a lumberjack when he tries to cut into it. In my opinion Occam ’s razor would say guy may not survive but he is not going airborne. Then in the other myth, um, who would ever think of this. I am not sure there is an Occam ’s razor for that.

Mythbusters airs Wednesdays at 9:00 on Science Channel.



Now I had heard of Mythbusters, but not only have I never seen Street Science, I have never even heard of it. But they had me at: a five found Gummy Bear, potassium chlorate, a concrete block, and a blowtorch. Science people. Fun times. It is just in its second season but this show follows a bunch of scientists who perform experiments, well, on the street. Yeah, the title pretty much sums the show up. Okay not all their science happens on the street like in the premiere where the boys try to create a fire ball thrower that comes out their wrist like Spiderman’s web thrower. There is even a running segment of “Will it Burn” which is a lot more entertaining than Letterman’s “Will it Float.”

If fire launcher is not cool enough for you, the guys create a person launcher in the second episode. And the professionals are not helping because they have no interest in sharing trade secrets so the scientist have to figure it out themselves and then test it even though thirty “cannonballers” have died. Street Science is one of those fun science shows that is fun for the whole family. Well unless a member of you family is quick to ignore the “Do not try this at home” warning and go around lighting everything in the house just to see if it will burn.


Street Science airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on Science Channel.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Previewing Future Man




It is interesting in the advertising of Future Man says it is from the same guys behind Sausage Party and This Is the End and not Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s other television show on right now. It is a smart move, not just because it would be kind to say that show got mixed reviews. But Preacher was based on nineties graphic novel and Future Man is from the brains of the writing duo like the previous mention mentions. And what makes those two movies stand out was that they were high concept movies with low IQ characters.

Future Man follows that high concept filled with stupid people as Josh Henderson (Journey to the Center of the Earth) stars as a janitor who spends all his free time playing video games. He becomes so obsessed with Biotic Wars he is basically the only one left playing while everyone has moved on to the latest one. So he becomes the first person to actually beat the game. And while celebrating the only way a guy who spends too much time playing video games can, two characters from the game show up.

It turns out the game was sent from the future to recruit the best fighters from our time to fight the real Biotic Wars in the future because the resistance has run out of fighters to help win the war. (Yes this is the plot of The Last Starfighter, but even the writer cop up to this and that is even part of the trailer.) Except videos games in the future are for training, unlike this time when it is played by the least athletic. See what I said about high concept, I just burned through two paragraphs just explaining the basic plot even though must network executives want you to be able to explain your show in one line. Of course maybe this is why most network shows are boring.

One of the soldiers from the future is Derek Wilson (Preacher) who may actually be dumber than Henderson because the latter at least has a basic liberal arts education; all Wilson knows to do it fight. And his commanding officer, Eliza Coupe (Benched) is not much smarter. Like I said, high concept, stupid people. And you also get a bit of wacky partners mixed in too. The future soldiers are quick to kill the guy who invented the Biotics where Henderson, who is only comfortable with killing cartoon characters on his television would like to change history in less violent way in hilarity, ensues because everyone involved is kind of incompetent.

Oh, and a lot of hilarity ensues. Be it in the past where they debate killing baby Hitler, or in the future where they break into a famous director’s house to get more time travel material. There is a very high laughs per minute ratio. Well that is if you really enjoy sophomoric humor. If you have not liked any of Rogan or Goldberg’s movies, this show will not change your mind about them. But I will be laughing all the way to the end.

Hulu might not be pumping out the content of other streaming options or networks are, but of the three new shows they debuted in 2017, Harlots was really good, The Handmaids Tale was great, and Future Man is already one of the funniest shows on television. Then next week, Marvel’s Runaways premieres and, well, no one bats a thousand. Which may end up being my official review because the screeners I watched of the first two episodes were not for review. Hulu took those two down a month ago and have not put any up for review.

All episode of Future Man are available now to stream on Hulu.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Previewing Ill Behaviour



Cancer is not funny. This is probably why there are not many comedies about the subject. Off the top of my head there is 50/50 where Joseph Gordon Levitt is diagnosed with schwannoma neurofibrosarcoma and Funny People in which Adam Sandler has acute myeloid leukemia. Weirdly enough Seth Rogan was the second lead in both movies coming out two years apart. Leave it to the British to turn tragedy into a television show with Ill Behaviour. Of course since this is an originally a British show, the series lasts just three hours which Showtime will be showing in six half hour episodes here stateside.

Ill Behaviour stars Tom Riley (Da Vinci’s Demons), father of two who has decides after finding a cancerous lump on his neck that he is going to forgo chemotherapy, with a ninety-four percent success rate, for more holistic treatments of acupuncture, enemas and juicing. This does not sit well with his childhood friends including Chris Geere (You’re the Worst) who, after some life changing news too, decide to kidnap their sick friend and force chemotherapy treatments on their friend.

To do so, first they need some chemo drugs, and those are supplied by a morally questionable oncologist in the form of Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex). Needless to say hijinks in sue and concludes is a surprisingly tense climax. Despite hiding behind some cringeworthy British humour and drugged out characters it does tackle some deep philosophic and moral question, most importantly should you and when should you step in when someone you love is doing something harmful to their being. And at just three hours, it does not stick around too long. I wish America would do more bite sized shows like this as there are too many shows on right now whose thin conceit is spread out amongst ten to twenty episodes.

Ill Behaviour airs Mondays at 10:30 on Showtime.