Friday, April 17, 2015

Around the Tubes: 4/17/15

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 Dark Matter, The Draft, The Wonder Years, BarkFest Weekend, Geeks Who Drink, Megadeath, and Human Voice.

- The official trailer for Syfy's Dark Matter. Premieres June 12 at 10:00.

- The United States military draft has always stirred controversy, exposing fault lines in race, class and culture. PBS’ The Draft explores the turbulent history of the draft, from the Revolutionary War to present, including the debate over its termination. Airing Monday, April 27 at 9:00, The Draft is the first program to air as part of PBS’ special block of programming related to the Vietnam War.

- In The Wonder Years: The Complete Third Season, the newest retail installment of the fan-favorite series, the education of Kevin Arnold continues. He gets his first French kiss during an otherwise forgettable family vacation at the beach, and once back in school, he goes to his first make-out party. The boyfriend-girlfriend thing still puzzles him; his relationship with Winnie (Danica McKellar) and Paul (Josh Saviano) simply adds to the confusion. Cars enter the picture when his knucklehead brother Wayne (Jason Hervey) gets his driver's license. And the young Kevin flirts with potential rock 'n' roll stardom after new kid Larry Beeman (Joshua Miller) gets The Electric Shoes up and running. Street Date: May 26, 2015.

- Nat Geo WILD is gearing up for a weekend of all bark, no bite TV featuring some of the smartest, most unique and cutest canines in the world. There will be surfing dogs, service dogs, games to find out if your dog is a genius, Cesar Millan marathons and much more. Calling all dog lovers! Nat Geo WILD’s inaugural BarkFest weekend features the world premiere of the three-part series Is Your Dog a Genius?, beginning Friday, May 15, at 10:00 and continuing Saturday and Sunday at 10:00. Duke University dog scientist Dr. Brian Hare uses his groundbreaking research to help dog owners better understand their canine companions. He introduces at-home games that reveal your dog’s personality and introduces us to extraordinary dogs with remarkable problem-solving abilities. This interactive series will help dog owners everywhere unlock their canine’s true potential. BarkFest kicks off with World’s Greatest Dogs on Friday, May 15, at 8:00. These are the stories of extraordinary dogs: a surfing therapy dog, a bionic dog, a dog with the world record in scootering and many more. We’ll meet these incredible canines and their dedicated owners.

- Syfy announced today that Zachary Levi, star of NBC’s Chuck and upcoming Heroes Reborn, will executive produce and host the game show Geeks Who Drink through one of his production arms, The Nerd Machine. The weekly series is based on the pub trivia contest of the same name, which has become a nationwide phenomenon with more than 25,000 people participating in over 600 bars across 35 states. Produced by Kinetic Contact (Married at First Sight, Little Women, The Taste) and Condé Nast Entertainment, Geeks Who Drink will premiere on Syfy Thursday, July 16th.

- PledgeMusic is excited to announce their partnership Megadeth. The band has entered the studio to begin recording their 15th album and they want to bring you along for the ride. For the first time, Megadeth is going to bring you into the studio to be a part of the recording process, and give you a window into the world of Dave Mustaine, Kiko Loureiro, David Ellefson and Chris Adler. Some of the exclusive items available when you pledge are a pre-order the album digitally, on CD or vinyl, a signed copy of Dave Mustaine's book, a signed copy of David Ellefson's book, a 2-hour guitar lesson with Dave Mustaine, a day in the studio with Megadeth, signed guitars, Chris Adler's drum kit, a disposable camera with one-of-a-kind photos from the studio, a jam session with the band and much more.

- Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will host the U.S. Television premiere of filmmaker Edoardo Ponti’s short film Human Voice, starring Sophia Loren as part of the networks five-film tribute to the actress on Tuesday, April. 21. The evening is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. (ET) with the U.S. television debut of the internationally acclaimed Human Voice (2013), directed by Loren’s son Edoardo Ponti, based on Jean Cocteau's iconic one woman play of the same name. Human Voice, directed by Edoardo Ponti, tells the story of a woman in her twilight years, who rides the emotional roller coaster of her last telephone conversation with the man she loves as he is leaving her for another woman. The film earned Loren the 2014 David Di Donatello award for her performance and was also the Official Selection at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and the 2014 HollyShorts Film Festival.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 4/12/15

Shameless: Yeah I was totally wrong about never seeing Sammi again. Why end the episode there, between that and juvi showdown I was the most excited about this season in its final three minutes. The rest was not very shocking with Fiona choosing wrongly once again, Frank's sugar momma dying on him (or so we are lewd to believe), and Ian finding his way home. Really only shocking part of the finale was Debbie announcing she was pregnant... I think. That was kind of unclear. But having a fourteen year old pregnant really is a very Shameless storyline.

Mad Men: I was a little grumpy going into the premiere because of the stupid half season stunt and I could barely remember the first half of the season (I really only remember Bert dying and dancing his way off the show), but whoa, that is how you start off an episode after a long break (fun fact: the girl in the fur coat was Andie McDowell's daughter). Though why was Sterling Cooper still auditioning anyone after that, hire her right then and there. The rest of the episode had its ups and down and should I know what is happening (I was not entirely the chick from season one was the chick in Don's dream until her named popped up in the credits and did not even realize that was a dream until Don brought it up to the waitress). But the clear winner of the episode was Ken Cosgrove who gets one over on Rodger, that should be a fun dynamic for the rest of the season, the only way it could be more entertaining is if Ken hires Paul Kinsey to work with him.
You can download Mad Men on iTunes.

American Odyssey: The has been a glut of Homeland rip-offs networks have tried out over the past three seasons with The Blacklist the only one to get a second season (Crisis being the only other one I personally enjoyed). So I did not have much hope going into this show and it pretty much live up to my low expectations. Add in the extremely cliched rich people are evil and do everything in their power to hide their evilness with the government's help and the show will probably end up being a very tedious watch.
You can download American Odyssey on iTunes.

Bates Motel: The best part of the episode, if not the entire series, was Romero's reaction shots during Norma's blackmail attempt. I am surprised the evil businessman accepted, I am sure he does have other plans than the one Norma demanded.
You can download Bates Motel on iTunes.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Oh hey, Deathlok, I completely forgot about that guy. And oh hey, Sky's mom, I thought she was dead. I guess in addition to not aging she apparently cannot die even when disected. So when does she reveal that to Sky? You would think that would be part of the introduction.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Justified: They really should have included the hill people in the "Previously On" package because took me until he started talking about putting Raylan and Boyd in a box to remember who he was. And poor Constable Bob, about to get his biggest criminal of his life only to get shot two times. Only one episode left but it feels like they may need another two or three episodes to wrap everything up at this point. Like just how is Raylan going to get away from the state troopers. His, "Don't suppose you'd believe me if I said no" still is one of his best one liners. But the biggest question is who, if anyone, will defy the song and get out of Harlen alive?
You can download Justified on iTunes.

Survivor: Blue Collar vs. White Collar. vs. No Collar: It is time again to bid fond farewell to the Token Hot Chick this season. Well at least we will get to see Hali on the jury. As the votes came in and I wondered why the White Collar did not flip like they pondered I realized the major flaw in Survivor, annoying people always go further than they deserve because smart players know they will be easy to beat in the Final Tribal. Sure it would have been much better television had the two White Collar players joined No Collar and voted off the annoying Blue Collar tribe. But it would be harder to beat them in a final tribal and if you believe the Masshole that they are a final four with Will, those are two very beatable players. This happens every season, I sit and wonder why they do not get rid of the annoying person or people, but that is the smartest strategy.
You can download Survivor: White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar on iTunes.

The Voice: Much like the previous seasons, I have lost interest somewhere between the Blind Auditions and Live Playoffs and I have definitely reached that point this season which I am done with. Of course number one on my Power Ranking after the Knockout Round got the Preston Pohl Memorial for Worst Song Selection for the Live Playoffs. It seems like most people believe the coaches or producers do this to make sure their favorite advance (it does not help that Adam has openly admitted to sabotaging his team during the first season so Javier would have an easier path to the finale). I am not much of a conspiracy theorist (except when something questionable happens on Team Adam) but I do find it befuddling that they would give Love Me Like You Do to Brooke Adee. First off, the song just sucks. Second it is a little creepy having a teenager sing a song from a movie about a sex slave. And third, the song was already used earlier this season and apparently bombed so bad it was montaged. So are the coaches (or the producers) just really bad at figuring out songs for certain artists, especially more alternative singers (again, see Preston Pohl) or do they actually try to railroad certain artists. And if it is the latter, why sabotage Brooke if that means the boring and bland Corey advances? I could say I will never watch the show again, and I should not, but I am sure the turning chairs will draw me in again in the fall only to complain about the lack of talent by Thanksgiving.