Friday, March 13, 2015

Around the Tubes: 3/13/15

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 Happyish, Epix, Boash, Tubi TV, Killing Jesus, iHeartMusic Radio Music Awards, Knock Knock, It's Tig Notaro, The Ed Sullivan Show, Undateable, Last Comic Standing, and Sharknado 3.

- Showtime recently released a trailer for new show Happyish. To view the trailer, go to

- EPIX is planning an all-day Friday the 13th movie marathon, so get ready to celebrate the many lives of Jason Voorhees (and his camp counselor victims) today! Please click here for a schedule of the movie marathon.

- This week, Audible Studios released Bosch: Behind the Scenes, the official podcast of the critically acclaimed Amazon Original series about LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch – based on Michael Connelly’s bestselling novels. The interview show will provide listeners with exclusive, behind-the-scenes scoop on the show! The first two episodes will launch for free tomorrow, with subsequent episodes going on sale every week in March.

- Tubi TV boasts the largest collection of free streaming television and movies. Now, the leading free video streaming service has announced a new deal with Paramount Pictures to bring more than 50 classic feature films to the Tubi TV catalog – all available to watch completely for free. Movie buffs and film fanatics will go crazy over the abundance of fan favorites including hit blockbuster titles such as Top Gun, Basic Instinct, Total Recall and more. Horror fans will be pleased to find the entire Friday the 13th film series, Stephen King favorites and Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, among others. Tubi TV is available completely for free, worldwide on, iTunes, Google Play and streaming devices including Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Xbox 360.

- National Geographic Channel today launched the second-screen experience for the upcoming three-hour television event Killing Jesus, one of the network’s most ambitious digital undertakings ever. Available now at, and designed in collaboration with digital agency Mullen, the site builds on the story depicted in the film by providing an interactive, multi-point-of-view experience.

- The biggest names in entertainment will bring the music of the iHeartRadio app to life on Sunday, March 29 for the second edition of the iHeartRadio Music Awards hosted by Oscar and Grammy award winning actor and musician Jamie Foxx. The event will air live on NBC from 8:00 from the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and will be broadcast simultaneously on iHeartMedia stations nationwide and across the iHeartRadio digital music platform. The three hour telecast will truly reflect America’s favorite music and will showcase the year’s most popular artists and songs determined by the iHeartRadio Chart and fan voting through iHeartRadio stations nationwide. The evening will include performances by Rihanna, Iggy Azalea, Sam Smith, Madonna, Jason Aldean, Jamie Foxx, Meghan Trainor, Jason Derulo, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Snoop Dogg, Nate Ruess, Alesso and Florida Georgia Line along with appearances from Taylor Swift and more. This year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards will also feature unexpected collaborations from some of the top names in music.

- The Showtime documentary Knock Knock, It's Tig Notaro, focused on the famed comedian, will premiere on Friday, April 17 at 9:00, following its debut at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival on Monday, March 16. The film follows Notaro’s travels as she embraces her most loyal fans by creating unique and intimate comedy experiences in their homes, backyards, barns, and basements.

- No one had a better eye for talent than Ed Sullivan. That simple fact was confirmed by the broad range of incredible acts he brought into America's living rooms from his Broadway stage between 1948 and 1971 on the greatest, longest-running prime timevariety show in the history of television. This May, StarVista Entertainment/Time Life will bring home audiences front row seats for The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show, a 6-disc collector's set never before available at retail. Priced to add to every TV aficionado's collection at $59.95srp, the special edition release delivers the biggest names in music, comedy and variety captured in the prime of their careers, as well as all the astonishing novelty acts selected by Ed as his personal favorites, culled from over 1,000 hours of classic television!

- Newest cast member Bridgit Mendler leads her Undateable co-stars in an original video.

- It was announced earlier that Norm Macdonald will be joining Last Comic Standing this summer as a judge, alongside current judges and comedy icons Roseanne Barr and Keenen Ivory Wayans. Anthony Jeselnik will join the fun as the new host of the season as well.

- TBS is giving longtime Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee her own show. Hot on the heels of announcing a new scripted comedy series created and executive produced by Bee and her husband, Jason Jones, TBS is cementing its relationship with the prolific couple even further. The new show, which is in the early stages of development, is being planned as a platform for Bee to apply her smart and satirical point of view to current and relevant issues. In addition to hosting, Bee will serve as executive producer on the show, along with Jones. The series is being produced by TBS.

- David Hasselhoff (Baywatch) will trade his red swimming trunks for a chainsaw when he portrays Gilbert Sheperd, the father of Fin (Ian Ziering), in the eagerly anticipated Original Movie Sharknado 3, Syfy and The Asylum announced this week.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 3/12/15

Dearly Departed - Shakey Graves featuring Esmé Patterson

This song was one of my favorite songs of last year (it made the top fifteen on my list of the 100 Best Songs of 2015) and Shakey Graves has finally released a music video for the song which looks like it would make an awesome pitch for a Dead Like Me reboot (which he could actually star in as he played The Swede on Friday Night Lights). The video also answers the question, whatever happened to Schuyler Fisk? Orange County should have been her and Colin Hank's big break, but he ended up not being the next his father while she completely dropped off the map. Of course this means she would be available for my proposed Dead Like Me reboot.

Somebody New - Hozier

Why exactly did Hozier cast the hot chick from Game of Thrones to make out with everyone in his music video except him? That is rock star 101: 1) get a hit song, 2) cast hot chicks to make out with you in your music videos. Considering he is on One Hit Wonder watch (of which this song will not get him out of), this was a really bad missed opportunity.

I Really Like You - Carly Rae Jepsen

Speaking of One Hit Wonder watch (and Tom Hank!!!), Carly Rae Jepsen is a trick case because you can argue that she had a second hit in Good Time, but that was technically an Own City, she was just featured. Using that logic, you could call Trey Lorenz a one hit wonder, which no one does. I really do not seeing this song making that argument moot because it comes across as a cheap and blatant attempt to make a more romantic version of We Are Never Ever, Ever, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together, unless of course the video goes viral because who does not want to see Tom Hanks dance over and over again? Mmmm, that may actually work, curse you Carly Rae.

I Want You To Know - Zedd featuring Selena Gomez

Remember a couple years ago when someone caught Ryan Tedder giving Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, and a couple other singers the exact same backing track? Are we sure Zedd is not doing the same thing because every single one of his songs sound the same, the only thing that changes are the singers. Really, pretty much all the EDM-pop hybrids sound exactly the same, Zedd and Calvin Harris could very well be the exact same person but since they hide behind DJ tables, no one bothered to check. I would not be surprised if we learn that Calvin created Zedd so he could be at two shows at once so he could get double the money.

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Voice Season Eight Blind Auditions Power Rankings

It seems to me The Voice has been on a downward slide ever since season three. Sure season seven was a bit better since it was the first time in two seasons I made it to the live shows without giving up, but it was still pretty underwhelming making me consider giving up on the show all together. My biggest problem was that in the first three seasons the show recruited professional singer, be it Warped Tour singers or Alicia Keys backup singers. But around season four, the show started slowly morphing into the amateur show that made American Idol unwatchable. Where there were over ten singers from the first three season I already had music of in my library before they appeared on the show, only one singer has since.

I actually became hopeful for season eight when Jason Isbell, formally of The Drive-By Truckers of which I own a couple of songs by, mentioned on social media that the show invited him to a private audition. By his tone it sounded like we would not see him singing solo vocal and French horn rendition of Oh Comely by Neutral Milk Hotel to the back of four chairs anytime soon which he said he would do in a bikini (the guy's last album, which swept the Americana Music Awards, did better than every Voice winner's album except Cassadee Pope's) but it gave hope that they show will go back to recruiting professionals again.

Alas as we close out the Blind Audition the only recognizable names this season were someone who was in the somewhat successful Steel Magnolia country duo who once toured with Blake (one of their songs did find its way into my library) and someone who Carson claimed to be part of "the legendary DeBarge family" but it turned out she married into the family (on the flip side, there seemed to be even more teenagers than usual). The latter was montaged despite doing a Jill Scott song, a first on the show by the former (and arguably the best) adviser to the show. I am usually the pro montage guy but this season they skipped over a couple auditions I actually wanted to see (and there were a lot of montages as they cut the Blind Auditions by one hour this season for no apparent reason; hopefully the Battle Round gets cut too, I would much rather have less Battles than Blind Auditions). Aside from the first time anyone sang a Jill Scott song on the show, we also only got snippets of the first time for Jane's Addiction, Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend (this show really hates alt-rock apparently), and Anna Nalick. But hey, at least They also montaged a Sam Smith song after using what seemed to be his entire catalouge last season.

Oh well. I do not know how long I will stick this season out because no one really overwhelmed me with their audition, but here is how I rank this year's contestants on their first impressions.

1. India Carney (Team Christina)
2. Deanna Johnson (Team Adam)
3. Brooke Adee(Team Blake)
4. Ashley Morgan (Team Pharrell)
5. Treeva Gibson (Team Christina)
6. Meghan Linsey (Team Pharrell)
7. Jack Gregori (Team Adam)
8. Anthony Riley (Team Pharrell)
9. Brenna Yaeger (Team Blake)
10. Kimberly Nichole (Team Pharrell)
11. Rob Taylor (Team Christina)
12. Brian Johnson (Team Blake)
13. Gabriel Wolfchild (Team Christina)
14. Jeremy Gaynor (Team Christina)
15. Tonya Boyd-Cannon (Team Adam)
16. Noelle Bybee (Team Pharrell)
17. Mia Z (Team Pharrell)
18. Koryn Hawthorne (Team Christina)
19. Barry Minniefield (Team Adam)
20. Joshua Davis (Team Blake)
21. Nathan Hermida (Team Adam)
22. Sarah Potenza (Team Blake)
23. Katelyn Read (Team Christina)
24. Briar Jonnee (Team Pharrell)
25. Kelsie May (Team Blake)
26. Sawyer Fredericks (Team Pharrell)
27. Bren'nae DeBarge (Team Adam)
28. Caitlin Caporale (Team Pharrell)
29. Hannah Kirby (Team Blake)
30. Cody Wickline (Team Blake)
31. Corey Kent White (Team Blake)
32. Lexi Dávila (Team Adam)
33. Nicolette Maré (Team Adam)
34. Paul Pfau (Team Pharrell)
35. Michael Leier (Team Adam)
36. Joe Tolo (Team Christina)
37. Blaze Johnson (Team Adam)
38. Sonic (Team Christina)
39. Travis Ewing (Team Pharrell)
40. Vance Smith (Team Christina)
41. Bay Brooks (Team Blake)
42. Jacob Rummell (Team Blake)
43. Lowell Oakley (Team Pharrell)
44. Ameera Delandro (Team Christina)
45. James McNeiece (Team Adam)
46. Clinton Washington (Team Christina)
47. Josh Batstone (Team Adam)
48. Matt Snook (Team Blake)

For reason unknown to any reasonable person, The Voice shaved the Blind Auditions by an hour leading to an awkward Best of the Blinds recap before the Blinds were actually over last week and an episode that had both Blind Auditions and Battles last night. I was hoping they would also cut the Battle Round by an hour or two but if the TV Guide is to believe, there will be six hours worth of Battles this season just like last with three Battles per hour like last season. Seriously, if you are going to cut a pre-taped round, it should be the Battles. Or at the very least go back to four Battles per hour. But anyway. Below is how strong the teams were not considering what happened in the second hour by assigning a reverse order to each singer and adding up each team from my ranking.

Pharrell - 333
Christina - 299
Blake - 276
Adam - 268

So Pharrell easily has the best team (granted he lost one of his best last night; I actually though two of the three winners should have been picked by their coaches; but they were both stolen anyway) Adam, who the producers what us to think he had a hard time recruiting anyone to his team in the first episode yet filled his team first, is pulling up the rear. Of course this may have been a correct narrative since Deanna was really the only marquee battle he was able to convince to join his team. But for a coach who seems to only care about one of his singers per season (the guy openly admitted in an interview to sabotaging his team back in season one to make it easier for Javier Colon to make the finals), one good singer is all he really needs.

But who cares what I think, here is how this season's contestants ranked on iTunes.

1. Sawyer Fredericks (26)
2. Cody Wickline (73)
3. Deanna Johnson (99)
4. Joshua Davis (112)
5. Travis Ewing (153)
6. Brooke Adee (157)
7. Mia Z (259)
8. India Carney (284)
9. Michael Leier (310)
10. Anthony Riley (319)
11. Treeva Gibson (325)
12. Meghan Linsey (382)
13. Nathan Hermida (403)
14. Sarah Potenza (416)
15. Cory Kent White (424)
16. Blaze Johnson (452)
17. Jeremy Gaynor (484)
18. Gabriel Wolfchild (494)
19. Brenna Yaeger (530)
20. Brian Johnson (552)
21. Josh Batstone (544)
22. Ashley Morgan (648)
23. Lowell Oakley (660)
24. Paul Pfau (682)
25. Jacob Rummell (739)
26. Rob Taylor (780)
27. Tonya Boyd-Cannon (830)
28. Joe Tolo (989)
29. Barry Minniefield (1012)
30. Kelsie May (1065)
31. Caitlin Caporale (1081)
32. Matt Snook (1225)
33. Jack Gregori (1224)
34. Bay Brooks (1465)

If you use the methodology I did above, here is how the team stack up on iTunes:

Team Blake - 184
Team Pharrell - 170
Team Adam - 129
Team Christina - 202

Thanks to only have one member of his team missing iTunes (even his two montaged contestants even made it on the list; the one that missed, Hanna performed last night so she may actually squeak on after this post goes up) he tops everyone. Poor Christina, half of her team did not even crack the top 1500 so if she does not chose wisely in the next two rounds, she could finish last for four of her five seasons.  Will she actually be smart enough for once to take singers who are iTunes bait like Treeva and Gabriel, two of her three best performers on iTunes, to the Live Shows or will again stack her team with mini-Christina's like Sonic and Koryn who will likely make quick exits like she usually does?

Alright, lets get to prediction time, here who I think will reach the Live Shows this season (though not on necessarily on the team they are currently on) ranked on how confidant I am with the singer advancing that far.

Team Adam
Deanna Johnson
Tonya Boyd-Cannon
Jack Gregori
Nathan Hermida
Joshua Davis

Team Blake
Cody Wickline
Brooke Adee
Sarah Potenza
Brian Johnson
Brenna Yeager

Team Christina
India Carney
Gabriel Wolfchild
Ashley Morgan
Rob Taylor
Treeva Gibson

Team Pharrell
Sawyer Fredericks
Meghan Linsey
Anthony Riley
Mia Z
Caitlin Caporale

I stuck with five per team, but I have feeling as many as eight singers who started out on Pharrell's team make it to the Live Shows with as little as three of original Team Adam members make it (I can also see Adam stealing Paul and taking him to the Lives with Josh and maybe even a third Steal). I was not bold enough to predict a montage contestant to advance even though there were an overabundance of them this year. If I were brave enough I would think about picking Noelle Bybee but only if she gets stolen because I highly doubt she beats Sawyer who got the pimpiest of all pimp slots, closing the first episode. But if she would get stolen it would probably be by Blake who would probably just use her as Knockout Round fodder.

Previewing The Returned

The twins of The Returned

Back in 2009 after watching Zombieland I declared the era of the vampire over and the teens (if that what we are calling this decade?) the era of zombies. I made that statement in part jest and part wishful thinking after growing tired of bloodsuckers. even stop watching anything starring one since the series finale of Angel (Let Me In being the one exception in the decade since). Shocking one of my predictions actually came true, vampire are passe and The Walking Dead is the biggest show on television.

Now there is a new subsection of stories of people returning from the dead, but they do not come back immortal like vampires or want to eat human flesh or brains like zombies, they return pretty much like nothing happened. And to make things confusing, they are all called The Returned. So try not to confuse the new show The Returned, based on the 2012 French show Les Revenants, (which aired as The Returned on Sundance TV in 2013) which was based on the 2004 Fresh film of the same name (but named They Came Back for English release) premiering on A&E tonight with ABC's Resurrection which premiered last year and was based on the 2013 novel also named The Returned but has no connection to the French film or television show.

Yeah, that kind of gets confusing and only more show when you watch the premiere episode which starts with a kid returning home after dying four years earlier. Though she does not wake up in China, this girl climbs out of a ravine from where her bus drove over four years ago. A couple other souls (presumably) return to the dead but much of the narrative stays with the teenage girl in the first episode. Each episode is named after a Returned which focuses on them, a very Lost type of storytelling which has specific character-centric episodes (both shows being run by Carlton Cuse).  There are even flashbacks, though they seem to only happen one at the beginning of the episode with the only exception so far being the end of the Pilot.

Where it is very hard not to think of Resurrection while watching The Returned I will say that I enjoyed The Returned premiere more than Resurrection because of a pretty shocking plot twist at the end of the first episode when they flashback and show you why exactly the girl dies the first time. And hopefully The Returned gives more answers than Resurrection did (and will probably ever will because it probably will not get a third season; plus my sources tell me the book it was based on was not very forthcoming with answers either). I am not sure if the French program gave many answers because I did not watch Les Revenants on account that I watch television to avoid reading.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead of The Returned
Another advantage The Returned has is acting. Sure it was good to see Willie Mays Hayes #2 on the small screen, but The Returned has Ramona Flowers herself Mary Elizabeth Winstead herself in the cast. And she is not the only recognizable face: there is also Jacob from Lost! the dad from Suburgatory!! the daughter from Treme!!! Alice from Wonderland (the Once Upon a Time crappy spin-off, not the movie)!!!! Anna Nicole Smith from the Lifetime movie..... and that is just the main cast, you will also see Sydney's partner from Alias and the extremely depressing  mother from The Killing pop up from time to time too.

Those are just the recognizable cast members, and that is just half of them. It is very Lostian in size, ten in total (and to be honest about the acting, two of them are really kind of bad at it), granted not much in diversity in this very WASP-y community. Even worse the show is severely missing a Hurley type of comedic diversion. There is a nosy neighbor but she probably asks the wrong person if a cat has got his tongue that may cause her not to be around much in future episode.  But it does seem like Cuse is in a battle with his former partner Damien Lindeloff to who could create the more depressing show between The Returned and The Leftovers (which i hear is extremely depressing).

One aspect The Returned did successfully take from Lost is setting up what will be much talked about plot twists among fans, the huge and freaky one at the end of the first episode that I mentioned earlier made me quickly queue up episode two. Not surprisingly everyone in this small town has secrets in their pasts and much like the dead, the secrets will eventually rise to the surface (the dad from Suburgatory has a particularly juicy one which will undoubtedly come back to haunt him in more ways to one). Hopefully the producer from Lost has learned better timing this time around because one of the bigger flaw of that show it took way to long to pay off plot twists (did anyone still care how Locke lost the ability to walk by the time the show revealed it three or four season later?) and we do not have to wait to learn what is behind everyone secrets.

The Returned airs Mondays at 10:00 on A&E following an all new season of Bates Motel. Last season we learned that Norman gets very violent when he blackouts and can also pass lie detector tests while out, Dylan leaned his uncle is probably also his father (Kenny Johnson's name now presides in the main cast), and the town's biggest drug kingpins got offed. The third seasons starts with the DEA burning the town's cash crops, Norman getting ready for senior year, and Dylan is ready to go legal. Revolution's Tracy Spiridakos shows up as the motel's latest inhabitant and like the previous people who passed through she pays with money that was obtained not very legally. And if the promo's are correct, she will also inspire Norman to learn how to use a power drill.

Tracy Spiridakos checks into Bates Motel

Sunday, March 08, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/8/15

Once Upon a Time: Seriously, no one noticed the smoke monster slither out of the magic hat? And if Mr. Gold is such an evil genius, why wait at the city line for a sea hag that in no way should help you get back into Storybrooke when you could just stowaway in the truck of the car? But when your adversaries are dumb enough to believe someone stole your phone and just happened to call you out of nowhere, you look like a genius next to them.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

The Walking Dead: Last week I suggested there will end up being something nefarious about Alexandra, but watching this episode I am beginning to think that Rick and company will be the antagonists to the city folk, not the other way around. And why did no one offer Carl a haircut too?
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD: I was hoping through Skye's transformation she would find a new hairstyle, but alas, it is for not. overall kind of a meh episode even with the Hydra take down and the new Raina. Is it possible they can get Agent Carter into a time machine and inserted into this show?
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes

Justified: So Limehouse did sell out Ava and yet Boyd does not irrationally kill her like Dewey (aside from a brief question from Raylan last week, does anyone care that he has been missing since the first episode; Dewey deserves justice). Boyd cannot possibly trust her anymore (which is why he gave her a gun with no bullets), so I wonder if he will eventually (try to) get rid of her once he knows for sure what Raylan is doing.
You can download Justified on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Exes: Welcome back Nany, who wastes no time getting into her first fight. Whoever decided to put her in slo-mo while Bananas puts a fist in his mouth deserves a Emmy for that editing.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II on iTunes.

Survivor: White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar: I was racking my brain trying to think of a time when an entire tribe was blindsided by a vote where an Idol was not involved. And what a horrible move, Will went from the swing vote and in control of the destiny of his tribe to the least liked person in the tribe that no one can trust. This show is at its best when it is filled with morons and this season has its fair share of them.
You can download Survivor: White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar on iTunes.

Hindsight: You gotta love any show that starts off an episode with a Toad the Wet Sprocket deep cut. Though I do not understand why Becca just does not stop Kevin right away, she know what it does to her relationship with Lolly and it is clearly not something that lasts because she end up with Andy. But kudos to Lolly for deciphering that Letters to Cleo song.
You can download Hindsight on iTunes.

The Americans: After two and a half season, are we finally going to get two plot twists that should have happened at the very least last season? The promo sure makes it looks like Paige will finally learn about her parents' double life and that one of the Jennings will actually get caught after too many close calls.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

The Blacklist: Television has been littered with countless characters that should have been killed off a lot earlier than they did which range from just rolling your eyes whenever they walk on screen to completely ruining a great show, something that will forever be known as "The Brody." Tom is currently closer to the eye-rolling portion of the spectrum right now, but the show should have really killed him at the end of last season, he serves no purpose now.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.

King of the Nerds: It became pretty obvious that I would have no chance on this show. During that name as many nerd culture things as you could, I probably only would have done good in the movies and Mario Kart categories. Though I would have crushed the Stratigo Nerd Off. C'mon, you always put the flag in the front row if you are playing someone smart.
You can download King of the Nerds on iTunes.