Friday, August 26, 2016

Around the Tubes: 8/26/16

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 Roadies, 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, Three Days of Terror: The Chariie Hebdo Attacks, 9/11: The Longest War, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, 29th annual Hispanic Heritage Awards, Dexter, Martin Lawrence Doin’ Time: Uncut, From Dusk Till Dawn, Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee, Hellevator, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, WWII’S Mot Dangerous Raids, and The Handmaid’s Tale.

- The death of a rock and roll legend brings together music’s greatest for an all-star memorial at the famed L.A. Forum in the season finale of Roadies, airing this Sunday, August 28 at 10:00 on Showtime. The episode, entitled “The Load Out,” is inspired by guest star Jackson Browne’s classic song of the same name, which he performs in the episode. The eclectic roster of guest star musicians who gather to pay tribute includes Eddie Vedder, Jim James, Nicole Atkins, Robyn Hitchcock, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig from Lucius, Joy Williams and Gary Clark Jr. Roadies is created, written and executive produced by Oscar® winner Cameron Crowe, who also personally curates the music for the series.

- The 2016 MTV Video Music Awards will air LIVE from New York’s Madison Square Garden this Sunday, August 28th at 9:00. This iconic awards show has created some of TV’s most memorable moments, from Madonna’s wardrobe malfunctions to Kanye’s presidential bid, you don’t want to miss what happens this year! The VMA’s will be returning to their roots by coming to New York but this is the first time Madison Square Garden has been the home of the VMA’s in the shows’ 33-year history.

- The HBO Documentary Film Three Days of Terror: The Chariie Hebdo Attacks from Emmy®-nominated director Dan Reed will have its national television debut on HBO on September 19th at 8 PM ET/PT. The remarkable film was recently shortlisted for the 2016 Grierson Awards in the UK for Best Documentary on Current Affairs.

- On the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11, the National Geographic Channel will commemorate the tragic events of that fateful day, and the ongoing war that followed, with a daylong television tribute culled from 10 consecutive years of critically acclaimed 9/11 programming and the world premiere of a new compilation special, 9/11: The Longest War. The programming event begins Sunday, Sept. 11, at 12/11c with encores of Giuliani’s 9/11, CIA Confidential: Hunt for Bin Laden, CIA Confidential: 9/11 Mastermind, Witness: D.C. 9/11, 9/11: The Firemen’s Story, the Emmy-nominated miniseries Inside 9/11 and a special encore presentation of George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview, followed by the world premiere of a powerful new compilation special, 9/11: The Longest War, airing at 9:00.

- Morgan Freeman returns to host an all-new season of multiple Emmy Award-nominated series Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman beginning Tuesday, August 30 at 10:00. Freeman continues to challenge Science Channel audiences to think about daring questions while taking a deeper look at the science behind some of society’s most controversial and timely topics. This season of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman features some of the world's top experts plumbing deep and sometimes troubling questions, providing new insights on some of our planet’s most compelling topics. In the season premiere, Freeman explores, “What Makes a Terrorist?” Experts examine terrorism through the lens of science, revealing how a terrorist’s brain is shaped and asks, if we can understand how a terrorist thinks, can we actually win the war on terror?

- The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) announced today the 29th annual Hispanic Heritage Awards will be broadcast nationally Friday, September 30, 2016, 10:00 on PBS during Hispanic Heritage Month. The Awards are among the highest honors by Latinos for Latinos and are supported by 40 national Hispanic-serving institutions. The 2016 awardees who have been announced include Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Leadership Award), Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Junot Díaz (Literature Award), Actress/Singer Angelica Maria (Legend Award), and Latin music’s breakout new superstar J Balvin (Vision Award). Announcements of additional honorees will continue over the coming weeks leading up to the event taping, which will take place on September 22nd at the Historic Warner Theatre in Washington D.C.

- Showtime is celebrating the ten year anniversary of the launch of its groundbreaking original series Dexter with a fan-focused campaign surrounding the hit drama. Dexter, which premiered on the network on October 1, 2006, grew its loyal audience year after year in all of its eight seasons, and was the recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award, as well as 25 Emmy® and 10 Golden Globe® Award nominations. In celebration of #Dexter10, fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite DEXTER episodes in a bracket-style competition on over the course of four weeks. The top ten fan picks will culminate in an on-air #Dexter10 Fan Marathon on Saturday, October 1st, exactly ten years after the series debuted on Showtime.

- On the heels of a sold-out national tour, comedy great Martin Lawrence hits the stage in this long-awaited stand-up special, Martin Lawrence Doin’ Time: Uncut premiering Friday, September 9 at 9:00 on Showtime on-air, on demand and over the internet. Filmed live at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, Doin’ Time: Uncut showcases Lawrence’s impeccable comedic skills, physicality and engaging wit. Delivering an unforgettable night of impressions and insights, he touches on everything from sex and relationships to President Obama, Bill Cosby, Hollywood and more. Lawrence is back in a big way and will leave viewers in hysterics, from start to finish. “I look forward to having my third concert film premiere on SHOWTIME,” said Lawrence. “Fourteen years is a long time between concert specials and I am excited to know that my TV audience will be able to enjoy this show as if they came to see me live."

- Smithsonian Channel will offer fascinating new perspectives on some of the world’s most remarkable and mysterious religious locations in the new five-episode series Sacred Sites, premiering on Monday, September 12 at 8:00. Based on new scientific breakthroughs and compelling archaeological and historical research, the series includes episodes on: the ancient cities of Petra and Hegra; the secrets of the Knights of the Templar; the oracles of Ancient Greece; the magnificent tombs and temples of ancient Egypt; and the ruined great houses of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.

- Entertainment One (eOne), Miramax® and El Rey Network today announced that the complete premiere episode of season three of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series will be available for free Digital HD preview two weeks prior to its September 6 broadcast debut on El Rey Network. For fans eagerly anticipating the action-packed, horror-filled new season and newbies interested in sampling the series based on the cult film directed by Robert Rodriguez, the episode "Head Games" will be available at no charge from August 23 to September 6 on iTunes, GooglePlay, Xbox Video, Sony Playstation, Fandango Now and Vudu.

- Showtime continues to expand its slate of bold documentaries under the Showtime Documentary Films banner with Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee, a new feature-length film making its world television premiere on Saturday, September 24th at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. Oscar nominee and two-time Sundance Film Festival winner Nanette Burstein (American Teen, The Kid Stays in the Picture) delivers a deep investigation into the mysterious life of visionary anti-virus entrepreneur John McAfee. The film has been selected to make its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

- GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today its horror-themed game Hellevator returns for season two with a special four-week network event, just in time for the Halloween season, with all-new spine-chilling weekly episodes, beginning Friday, October 7 at 9:00. Hellevator is produced by Matador and Blumhouse Productions, in association with Lionsgate.

- The Republican and Democratic National Conventions provided more material than one special could fill. Emmy®-nominated Triumph the Insult Comic Dog returns to harass delegates, the Westboro Baptist Church, and everyone on Media Row. All this plus an elaborate fake book signing and one more attempt to "help" Chris Christie, streaming Thursday, Aug. 25 only on Hulu. Keep an eye out for more election coverage from Triumph the Insult Comic Dog only on Hulu.

- he new Smithsonian Channel series WWII’S Mot Dangerous Raids explores some of the most dangerous and remarkable commando raids of the war. It goes into the heart of the action with elite Allied soldiers facing deadly odds to pull off missions that can change the course of the war. Through first person testimony, cinematic reconstructions, expert commentary, weapons demonstrations and cutting edge video game style graphics, every aspect of each mission is visualized and analyzed. The six-episode series premieres Sunday, September 18 at 9:00.

- This Hulu announced Joseph Fiennes will play Commander Fred Waterford in The Handmaid’s Tale. Joseph Fiennes has joined the cast of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale as ‘Commander Fred Waterford.’ A founding father of Gilead and powerful, high-ranking official, Commander Waterford rules the household where Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a handmaid. The Handmaid’s Tale. comes to Hulu from MGM Television and is created, executive produced and written by Bruce Miller, with Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, and Ilene Chaiken serving as executive producers. Atwood is a consulting producer for the series. Reed Morano will direct and executive produce the first three episodes. The Handmaid’s Tale. is scheduled to go into production in Toronto this fall. The 10-episode series is slated to premiere in 2017.

Monday, August 22, 2016

I want My Music Television: 8/22/16

Carry On - Norah Jones

Much like The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Grateful Dead before her, Norah Jones is a by the strictest definition is a One Hit Wonder though no one would call her that (unlike Vanilla Ice who many consider one despite two top five hits). And though most know her mostly for her sleepy debut single, Jones was one of the rare artist who got better with time, as her one hit gave her the cashe to get more adventurous with her future albums. Her fifth album The Fall was her best and the album featured Happy Pills which was number one on my list of The 100 Best Songs of 2012. But for her sixth album, it sounds like she may be going back to her sleepy sound of her debut.

Hardwired – Metallica

Rock was dying when Metallica last released an album eight years ago. So does the world really need a Metallica double album in 2016 (triple if you get the deluxe edition)? Probably not, it certainly will not resurrect the genre much like the latest Red Hot Chili Peppers album who battled Metallica for biggest band in the world almost twenty-five years ago. But I do kind of like the first single. It reminds me of just a super-fast (barely three minutes) almost poppy version of heavy metal like Fuel.

Nikes – Frank Ocean

One of the few bright spots in the music industry recently is that people are not illegally downloading music anymore because of streaming; why illegally download music that will take up hard drive space when almost every song every recorded is a quick search away? Even paying the couple dollars a month is enticing. Except we are now in the start of music streaming wars where Tidal and Apple are in an arms race for exclusives (Spotify does not seem to care; neither YouTube because they know everything will be uploaded there eventually). So expect illegally to boost again as more album exclusives become the norm (unless people just stop caring about music) because I doubt there are too many people willing to subscribe to every streaming service out there. So I have not heard the new Frank Ocean album yet because it is an Apple exclusive. And based on the weird first music video he released, I may not be missing out on much aside from some pretentious journalist over-praising it like they did his first album.

Heartlines - Broods

A couple weeks ago I decried the lack of new artist in the last couple years when talking about Banks who had one of the few good debut albums of the past three years. Broods is the only other artist who put out a debut album recently that I actually liked, but much like Banks new song I was pretty meh on Broods sophomore album, granted Heartlines was one of the few songs on the second album that stood out. And if that drunk Tinkerbell in the video? I miss drunk Tinkerbell, she was the only good part of the dreadful Neverland season of Once Upon a Time.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 8/21/16

Ray Donovan: A couple weeks ago, Ray sang Bob Seger and this week he danced the Chihuahua, I am beginning to wonder if the actor did something to the writers to make him act the fool. Not that I am complaining, the main problem with the show is that it can get too serious, especially Ray, so this sillier moments make it much more enjoyable. And Connor, if you want to be taken serious, how about not playing dancing video games?

Roadies: Fun fact: I used to work at an amphitheater in college and Lynard Synard came to town, and no lie, played a forty-five minute set, obviously ending with Sweet Home Alabama. Then came back out for an encore which ended up being a forty-five minute version of Free Bird.

BrainDead: I am beginning to wonder if the show is running out of story and it is about tie to wrap things up. I really do not care if Laurel’s dad has bugs in his head.
You can download BrainDead on Amazon Instant Video, free with a Prime membership.

Pretty Little Liars: So the doctor was a complete waste. Meh. Hopefully Hanna is going to go Liam Neeson to find Uber A next week.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Casual: I spent the whole episode wondering what was going on with the dad, did I just imaging him being carted into his home by a ambulance, did I watch the episodes out of order? That storyline was much more interesting than anything that happened this week. At least it will make for an interesting finale.
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

Mr. Robot: Fan theories are a fun way to talk about like Megan would be at the Manson murders because she wore a Shannon Tate shirt; but these wild fan theories never come to fruition. Well except Lost is purgatory, which kind of what the flashsideways were in the final season even though the writers swore the island was not. So when the theory of Eliot being in prison and delusionally thinking he was back living with his mother popped up on the internet, I filed it in the crazy, Sharon Tate type theories. Sure it was an interesting theory, Eliot having a very set routine because he was forced to, but there were too many holes. Craig Robinson really being a prison guard did not really jive, plus Eliot left the house and when to places other than the basketball court, which could be a prison court yard. He even was able to get his hands on drugs to make Mr. Robot disappear.

Except the wild theory was true, Eliot has been in prison this whole time. The big problem is they did this the first season with making it obvious that Mr. Robot was in Eliot’s head, then spent a couple episodes poking holes in that theory only to be, actually he is just in Elliot’s head! And what about Craig Robinson? Was he really an evil prison guard? Was he just in Elliot’s head? Were the Craig Robinson scenes a prequel to the season and him being nabbed by the FBI after chess is why he is in prison? Except we saw Eliot with Craig at the basketball game. If not because of Craig, why is Elliot in prison? It seems it is not because of the Evil Corp hack because the FBI is still looking. Did the Ashley Madison guy get him. I am confused. I miss Alf.
You can download Mr. Robot on iTunes.