Saturday, May 02, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 5/2/15

Mad Men: Right before the episode started, I thought to myself, I hope we get a Trudy sighting before the series runs out. Luckily we actually got one moments later with one of the more entertaining scenes in the series history with Pete and his family's hundred years feud with the headmaster (ironically the episode was actually directed by Lane Price himself as Lane punching Pete may be the number one best scene and Pete finally got his revenge on someone else's face). The rest of the episode felt like deja vu with Sterling Cooper looking to break free from their overlords once again. But surprisingly is did not work this time. But the most shocking moment of the episode was Peggy actually talking about her kid for the first time since I believe the second season when he was being taken care of by her mother. I just thought they completely dumped that story line and would never mention it again.
You can download Mad Men on iTunes.

Revenge: I was not totally convinced Victoria killed herself last week, and this week I am convinced she is still around somewhere. But then that begs the question of did she actually implanted her teeth into a corpse or payed someone to change the records. And sure her video was deleted from the server, but couldn't Nolan and his infinite computer knowledge just undelete it? Seems like something that can easily be done. Or at the very least, wouldn't it still be saved in Emily's cashe? Not that it should matter at all because there has to be surveillance footage of Emily at the air field, it would be hard to believe that is the only air field in America without cameras all over the grounds.
You can download Revenge on iTunes.

Gotham: Well, we finally learned where Harvey's proverbial line is this week and it is donkeys. Funniest part of an otherwise dark episode. Odd that Barbara told The Ogre to kill her parents, I just assumed she would say to target the good doctor instead. And where does that love triangle from from her, will the guilt drive Jim back into Barbara's arms despite the Stockholm Syndrome? I kind of hope they stray from the funny books and have Barbara become the new Ogre because that may be the only way they make the character interesting.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Bates Motel: It actually took me to this week to realize that Bob Paris is the same guy who plays Ted Chaough... I was not voted Least Observant in high school for nothing. But anyway. The big new though this week was the return of Bradley... maybe. Is she really there or just a figment of Norman's imagination?
You can download Bates Motel on iTunes.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Boooo, they should have let Simmons kill Ward, would have been poetic. But hey, we got an Age of Ultron spoiler: the Avengers are going to go after Loki's spear. Um, nice tie in, I guess.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Survivor: Blue Collar vs. White Collar vs. No Collar: Shame that Shirin did not win Immunity too, that would have made for an interesting Tribal. Granted we almost got an almost was an all time Tribal Council with Mike threatening to use his Hidden Immunity Idol. Too bad Will was the only one dumb enough to switch his vote (Tyler definitely had to just in case Mike was not bluffing, but Will, again, showed he was a moron) but it was obvious that Mike was bluffing if he was not willing to hand over the Idol pre-vote. Now the question is if Dan finally realized he is on the bottom. Too bad it may have been too late because if he does team back up with Mike and is able to pull in Sierra, the best they could do is tie the vote even with his extra vote. Then again they could always get Will to do something stupid again.
You can download Survivor: White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar on iTunes.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Around the Tubes: 5/1/15

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 Penny Dreadful, Jim Breuer: Comic Frenzy, Moone Boy, Ohio Players, The Last Ship, Driving America, David Attenborough’s Rise of Animals – Triumph of the Vertebrates, Barely Famous, Park Bench with Steve Buscemi, and Hulu.

- Showtime has partnered with YouTube content creators Fine Brothers Entertainment, MadeYewLook and VSauce3, who today have debuted their custom Penny Dreadful videos, ahead of the second season premiere of the critically-acclaimed hit drama on Sunday, May 3rd at 10:00. The Fine Brothers, Benny and Rafi Fine, recap the entire first season of Penny Dreadful in one fast-talking eight minute take, dedicating one minute per episode. Their comprehensive synopsis recounts everything fans need to know in order to catch up with the series and prepare for the second season. Also today, makeup artist Alexys Fleming unveiled the first of five videos on her channel MadeYewLook, teaching fans how to recreate their favorite Penny Dreadful characters including the Werewolf and the Creature. Finally, VSauce3 creator Jake Roper explores a prevalent theme within the series, the real-life possibility of immortality, while on the set of Penny Dreadful in Dublin, Ireland.

To view the videos, visit:
The Fine Brothers

- Jim Breuer: Comic Frenzy marks the comedian's return to EPIX. "Jim Breuer: And Laughter For All" aired on the network in 2013. Filmed at The Paramount in Huntington, New York, Jim Breuer: Comic Frenzy focuses on what Breuer's life (and all of our lives) truly consist of: dealing with the elderly, becoming our parents' caretakers, parenting teenagers, and what it takes to be a "marriage warrior." As an added bonus, Breuer also sheds some light on what it's like to perform on "heavy metal-themed" cruises. It's not nearly as glamorous as one might think. Check out the trailer below:

- The critically acclaimed series Moone Boy will return to Hulu for a third and final season with six all-new episodes on Wednesday, May 13. The 2013 International Emmy® Award-winning comedy series stars David Rawle as Martin Moone, a youngster in small-town Ireland, and co-creator/co-writer Chris O'Dowd (St. Vincent, Bridesmaids, The I.T. Crowd, Girls) as his imaginary best friend, Sean Murphy. Distributed by BBC Worldwide North America.

- The original Ohio Players members of James ‘Diamond’ Williams (Drummer), Billy Beck, (Keyboardist), Clarence ‘Chet’ Willis (Guitarist) and Robert ‘Kuumba’ Jones (Percussionist) have been back in the studio recording the new album ‘Reset’ and rest assured; that Player groove is back! Mature and refined and complete with that earthy timeless signature sound that made Ohio Players international superstars. Hearing the depth of feeling in the first single is like a breath of fresh air that puts the well needed soul back into modern music. Check out their Indiegogo campaign for more information.

TNT and Madefire are bringing The Last Ship, basic cable's #1 new series, to the thrilling realm of Motion Books™ with a five-part digital comic book series that follows a pre-season-2 story arc. The Motion Books will be made available online for free and through Madefire’s top-rated app during the weeks leading up to the second season of The Last Ship, which is slated to launch with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, June 21, at 9:00. In addition, Madefire and TNT make an exclusive print of the first six pages available for Free Comic Book Day (FCBD), which takes place Saturday, May 2, at participating comic book specialty shops across the U.S. & Canada and worldwide (

- This summer, millions of friends, families and thrill seekers will participate in a ritual that our ancestors have done for more than century: take a road trip. Trips like these wouldn’t be possible today without motels, highways and fast food restaurants, and those things wouldn’t be a part of the landscape if not for one driving force: the automobile. This Memorial Day weekend, National Geographic Channel invites viewers to buckle in for Driving America (Monday, May 25, at 9:00), a two-hour ride through the social, political and economic impact of the automobile on America.

- Smithsonian Channel will premiere the two-part series David Attenborough’s Rise of Animals – Triumph of the Vertebrates on Wednesday, May 13 at 8:00 and 9:00. From Atlantic Productions, the team that produced Sir David Attenborough’s Emmy® Award-winning series First Life, comes a new landmark series about the astonishing evolutionary advances that created the dazzling diversity of vertebrates which now dominate our planet, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and ultimately, mammals like us. Vertebrates have produced the largest, fastest, most intelligent creatures the world has ever seen.

- VH1 has renewed the critically-acclaimed series “Barely Famous” featuring Erin and Sara Foster for a second season. Season two is slated to premiere in 2016.

- AOL announced today that its Emmy-nominated Park Bench with Steve Buscemi will return for a second season. Created by and starring Steve Buscemi, Park Bench continues its local's take on the special people, places, and spirit of New York City. New celebrity friends, new misadventures, same bench!

- This week at the Hulu Upfront Presentation in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins, Head of Advertising Sales, Peter Naylor, and SVP, Head of Content, Craig Erwich, announced that Hulu has acquired the exclusive subscription video on-demand (SVOD) rights to all episodes of iconic sitcom Seinfeld, as well as a new, multi-year agreement with AMC that grants Hulu the streaming rights to future programming from AMC Networks.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Previewing HAPPYish

The cast of HAPPYish

Last fall Rolling Stone in their television preview issue included a list of The Greatest TV Series That Never Were. Most of the shows that made up that list were just shows that were passed on by the networks that developed them. One curious case was HAPPYish, a show that Showtime was high on but was shelved when star Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an overdose after the pilot was filmed. In the interim, ABC pretty much co opted the title for one of its sitcom before Showtime decided what to do with the project.

Almost half a year after Hoffman's death Showtime dusted off the script, casting Steve Coogan as the lead. It is an interesting choice as Hoffman was a well regarded dramatic actor while Coogan seems to come from the Monty Python school of British comedy. And actually casting a comedic actor as a lead in their comedy is actually kind of rare for Showtime. Kathryn Hahn returned to the project as the lead's wife while Rhys Ifans has been replaced by Bradley Whitford as the lead's boss (apparently there is room for only one Englishman on the show).

Though the general public never got to see the Hoffman version of the HAPPYsh pilot, from the description of the critics that saw the trailer that Showtime produced, the new version seems to be unchanged aside from the lead aging an extra two years to forty-four. There is even still a Keebler Elf dream sequence in both. It is hard watching Coogan version without think about how Hoffman would have approached the scene.

Coogan plays a happyish forty-something with two small kids who is dealing with being an old person in a world that only appreciates younger people. Making things worse, he works in an industry that only enforces the spotlight on being younger: marketing. Where Black-ish works as if features a black man raising his children in a white suburban world, HAPPYish is completely misleading as non of the characters have any slice of happiness in their lives. Instead everyone on the show ranges on the anger scale somewhere between curmudgeon and a Ted Cruz voter.

So if you like the idea of old people complaining about basically everything, this show is for you (i.e. anyone planning to vote for Ted Cruz). Really everyone is so angry, they really should have just gone ahead and cast Lewis Black instead. Sure the angry rants can be funny (Coogan is right, why would anyone follow Pepto Bismol on Twitter?) the show is at its best when it goes completely absurdist, be it a homicidal and over-sexed Keebler Elf, a talking Amazon smile, or a fowl mouthed Geico Gecko.

HAPPYish airs Sundays at 9:30 on Showtime.