Showing posts with label Most Anticipated. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Most Anticipated. Show all posts

Monday, January 02, 2017

The Seven Most Anticipated Events of 2017

2016 sucked. Massively. We lost too many people who shaped my childhood to named. I have not been as ashamed of my Best Songs of the year’s list since 1999. Music was so bad last year; somehow Justin Beiber landed a Best Album nomination. Really, since music was so bad last year and so many great artists, died, the Grammy’s this year should just be a three hour tribute show. In some years, Leon Russell or Leonard Cohan would have gotten a lengthy tribute but they may just get stuffed in the In Memorium package this year as neither are in the top five this year (and that is not even counting David Bowie or Glen Frye who were paid tribute at last year’s ceremony). Oh yeah, and we also witnessed the worst presidential election in my lifetime, probably ever. Also as hit musical Hamilton taught us, at least no one is participation in duels. Instead we had dudes bragging about the size of his penis at a televised debate, bragging about being able to molest women, claiming political opponent’s father was involved in the JFK assassination, openly admitted to wanting to have sex with his daughter, promising to lock up his political opponents, and siding with Russia over our CIA. And that is just the guy that won. But as the great philosopher Adam Duritz one said, there is reason to believe that this year will be better than the last. So with that said, here are seven things to look forward to in 2017.

7. Obligatory Superhero Movie Mention: Superhero movies have been a mainstay on my Most Anticipated lists for a while now but honestly I am getting a bit worn out. I have had the Batman v. Superman blu-ray sitting on my desk for about a month now unopened, and I am two movies behind on the Marvel movies. Basically I did not watch one Superhero movie that was released in 2016. I am sure I will eventually and it may not happen this year, but eventually I am sure I will get around to watching Logan (March 3), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5), Wonder Woman (June 2), Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7), Thor: Ragnorok (November 3), and Justice League (November 17). And really, you might as well put Star Wars: Episode VIII (December 15) in this category too.

6. Kong: Skull Island (March 10), The Mummy (June 9): Superhero’s are no longer the only films getting their own cinematic universes, now other movie studios are getting in on the action. Kong: Skull island takes place in the same universe as 2014’s Godzilla. Although that is a pretty limited universe because it is just the two large mutant animals that will not even appear on screen together until 2020. As lackluster the concept is, it is a pretty impressive cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman. Universal is getting a bit more ambitious, rebooting the very first shared cinematic universe with its monster movies, first up, The Mummy. If all goes well, there will also be movies featuring Frankenstein's monster (starring Javier Bardem), Count Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Invisible Man (starring Johnny Depp), and Bride of Frankenstein.

5. A Few Good Men Live!(?): Hiding at the bottom of NBC’s press release for their upfronts last year was one line about adapting the Aaron Sorkin play, a break from their string of live musicals. Supposedly it was coming “early 2017.” Well here we are in early 2017 and I have not heard anything about it since. does have a page for it and it just says, “coming soon.” Hopefully they are just making sure they are getting it right and not just quietly forgotten about it because I am much more interested in it than the Jennifer Lopez starring Bye Bye Birdie.

4. The Ends of Orphan Black and Pretty Little Liars: Two show on the opposite of the quality spectrum are ending this year. After introducing one of the more adventurous ideas in television history, Orphan Black will be coming to a close. Here is hoping there is an Alison spin-off into a bad CBS sitcom. Then there is Pretty Little Liars which stretched a murder mystery further than any show before. I long ago lost track of how many different A’s there have been. And yet, I was never able to stop watching.

3. Prisoner - Ryan Adams (February 17): In the first decade of this century, Ryan Adams put out ten albums, this decade he has only put out two proper albums and none since 2014 (obviously I am not counting his Taylor Swift cover album a “proper” album. After his output last decade, three years is a long time sso hopefully he has a lot of great tunes lined up and no Rihanna covers.

2. Powerless (February 2) – The last couple years saw multiple superhero shows hit the small screen but this current season will only see one network superhero show, and that does not even star someone with powers, hence the title. (Do not fret traditional funny book fans, Legion premieres next week on FX, the ongoing Netflix shows, and ABC has already greenlighted Inhumans to premiere this fall as well as the return of Young Justice to some yet announced channel or possibly streaming service). Instead the show will follow incurrence agents living in a superhero world that sees city blocks destroyed regularly. I cannot wait to not watch this show when it gets demoted to The CW in the fall.

1. On second thought about 2017…

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Most and Least Anticipated Questions of Fall 2016

Fall cable shows have been trinkling back all month but tonight is the start of fall television for me with the first network premiere Blindspot (okay, Dancing with… um Vanilla Ice and Rick Perry did start Monday, God help us all) after the season finale of America’s Got Talent even though next week it will be airing at an earlier time. I do wonder if these special times before regular timeslots work. But alas.

People have been talking about Peak TV for a while now, it was not until I saw there were 350 new and returning show having a premiere this fall, more than half (150) starting up in September alone. My goodness. Right now I plan on watching 28 of them which seems like a lot, 23 hours a week seems slightly more manageable but that is still over three hours per day even though some seasons will end before others begin. And I may still give try to some new show; I really have not been grabbed in by the trailers from Good Behavior, Notorious, People of Earth, This Is Us, and Search Party but may give an episode or two a try. And these numbers do not even include The Voice which I have demoted watching performances on YouTube to avoid Miley Cyrus. Maybe if I am lucky, some of these shows get canceled. But anyway. As I do every year, is my list of the most anticipated questions of the new season:

1. Who will be playing the Life Model Decoy? We got a tease at the end of the third season of Agents of SHIELD going ahead six months. We learn Daisy has gone rouge and Coulsen is no longer in charge. The more interesting tease came after the commercial break when we see the Irish doctor that the team saved earlier in the episode working on something called a “L. M. D.” which I think is safe to assume stand for Life Model Decoy, a life like android. But who did he model it on? It looked kind of feminine so is this how they bring back Mockingbird after her show did not get picked up? Not that could not end up being a dude. Electro-boy is the first person I thought of. If it ends up being Ward, I just may stop watching.
2. Where does Blindspot go in the second season? Last year I said I was going to enjoy the first season but was weary of it going on for multiple season. They almost reset the show with Jane avoiding the memory erasing serum, instead the season ended with Jane being arrested for Mayfair’s murder. So is the show going to be even more like The Blacklist with Jane as a federal prisoner helping the FBI or are we going to get something new?
3. Will Powerless get demoted to The CW next year? One of the more shocking news out of Upfronts this year was Supergirl moving from CBS to The CW giving DC Comics four straight nights on the network. Powerless was the lone network superhero show picked up this year (fear not funny book fans, there are countless new DC and Marvel properties coming to cable and streaming sites over the next year) and another DC property. If it fails on NBC, will The CW be willing to go five for five?
4. Will TNT and/or USA be the next prestige cable network? For years viewers flocked to USA for “blue skies” shows and TNT for CBS type procedurals why channels like FX and AMC racked up the awards with usually fractions of the audience (The walking Dead notwithstanding). But viewers are shrinking across the board (The Walking Dead notwithstanding). USA was first to breakout of the mold last year with Mr. Robot. Since then both channels have gone bold with little success this past summer be it Queen of the South or Animal Kingdom. Both have ambitious shows coming this fall; TNT has Good Behavior, a rare female lead anti-hero show at a time when male anti-hero shows are waning (see the previously mentioned Animal Kingdom). The USA has a weird looking show Falling Water that is about people entering other people’s dream. Mr. Robot was able to hit during a downtown in television, can these two show hit when there are so many other new shows to try?
5. Will The Good Place live up to its name? The show had me at “starring Veronica Mars and Sam Malone.” And though I laughed multiple times at the trailer, I fear for the show. Will it be too high brow comedy to those that watched NBC back when it was Must See TV around the last time Ted Danson was on the Peacock Network? Will it get crushed by the CBS comedies (and that is after NFL for the first couple weeks)? And just where does a show about a bad person in heaven go? Will Ronnie be sent to the Bad Place for the second season? If there is one?

As the great philosopher Butt-Head once pondered, how would we know if something was cool if there weren't things that sucked; here are the five least antedated questions

1. Will Premier Trump ban NBC from airing the Arnold version of The Apprentice? I fear for this country.
2. How many episodes of Miley Cyrus before I (and the rest of America) give up on The Voice? Seriously, I fear for this country.
3. Will people watch music on MTV again? It seems like every five years MTV tries to remember what the M in their name stands for and this fall they are going to give it a try once again with an Unplugged reboot which was last dusted off with an embarrassing Miley Cyrus special two years ago, but its been five years since it was an actual series. Then there is Wonderland which is being described as “first weekly live music performance series in nearly twenty years” (Um, wasn’t there a short live Pete Wentz live show that aired on Fridays a couple years ago?) which will feature three live performances and stand up acts. If these show are populated by the acts that were featured during the most recent VMA’s, or really any VMA’s in the past decade, hard pass on both shows. But to answer the question: no, people only watch music on YouTube these days.
4. Will Quantico continue to suck? I believe this was the worst show ever that I made it through a full season of. I was shocked that ABC renewed it. Now the question is will I bother to continue to watch?
5. Will The CW ruin Supergirl? No Cat Grant, a musical crossover with The Flash, not to mention a week long crossover with all the other DC show. I think we already know the answer to this.

And here is my way to big list of show I plan on watching this fall (Seriously, what happed to Tuesdays? Can we move some Monday or Sunday shows there?).

8:00 – Gotham (September 19)
8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (September 19)
8:00 – Supergirl (October 10)
9:00 – Lucifer (September 19)
9:00 – 2 Broke Girls (October 10)
9:30 – The Odd Couple (October 17)
10:00 – Timeless (October 3)
10:00 – Conviction (October 3)

8:00 – The Middle (October 11)
10:00 – Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (September 20)

8:00 – Blindspot (September 14 at 10:00; timeslot premiere September 21)
8:00 – Survivor (September 21)
8:00 – The Goldbergs (September 21)
9:00 – Modern Family (September 21)
9:30 – Black-ish (September 21)

8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (October 27)
8:00 – Superstore (September 22)
8:30 – The Good Place (two episode after the Voice September 19; timeslot premiere September 22)
10:00 – The Blacklist (September 22)

8:00 – Last Man Standing (September 23)

8:00 - Once Upon a Time (September 25)
8:00 – The Librarians (November 20)
9:00 – Fear the Walking Dead (already started)
9:00 – Shameless (October 2)
9:00 – The Walking Dead (October 23)
10:00 – The Strain (already Started)
10:00 – Masters of Sex (September 11)
10:00 – Quantico (September 25)
10:00 – The Affair (November 20)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Five Most (and Least) Anticipated Shows of 2016-17

What a horrible week for female comic book leads, Agent Carter gets canceled, then ABC passes on the Mockingbird spinoff, and Supergirl gets demoted to The CW (and has to pick up shop and move to Vancouver from sunny LA). Last season was big for comic books, this season not so much only two will pop up and one is based on the Archie's comic and the one that will feature superheroes is a comedy that has an insurance salesman as a lead.

The other big trend from last year, movie adaptations, continued to this year despite everyone from last year failing miserable. One of the lone success stories of last year was The X-Files reboot and Fox has two more reboots, Prison Break and 24, while CBS is resurrecting MacGyver (Showtime’s reboot of Twin Peak may see the light of day next season too).

The big theme of this season is time travel; surprisingly none are a Quantum Leap reboot. Oh, and there are a crapload of comedies coming next season (fifteen by my count and emphasis on crap, seriously, there is an imaginary friend show and Kevin James is coming back to the small screen; and those two did not even my least anticipated list). CBS is going back to a two-hour block on Mondays, ABC is expanding its Tuesday lineup to two hours, and NBC is try to resurrect Must See TV on Thursdays though they still only have one lone hour devoted to comedy like last season, but this time on a school night instead of the Friday dead zone. At any rate here are the five shows that piqued my interest.

1. The Good Place (Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC): This show had me at Veronica Mars and Sam Malone. Thankfully the promo did not suck. The show even has the greatest bit of self-censorship since Battlestar Gallatica invented the word “frack.”

2. Powerless (Midseason, NBC): We hit superhero saturation a season or two ago but this different as it is the first superhero comedy (or least the first since The Tick which of course is getting rebooted on Amazon). And the lead is not actual superheroes but “insurance adjuster specializing in regular-people coverage against damage caused by the crime-fighting superheroes.” This is a DC property so hypothetically we could see cameos by so big names in tights but since Batman is a boy on Gotham and we can only see Superman from afar or in a lenses flare on Supergirl I am guessing we will see more DC deep cut like The Wonder Twins, Skeets (not even with Booster Gold), Plastic Man, Apache Chief, and, one can only hope, Black Manta stops by to pollute the local bay. Although the lack of a trailer makes me a bit weary.

3. Timeless (Mondays at 10:00 on NBC): They had me at Abigail Spencer (Sally Draper's teacher that of course Don hooked up with) and created by Shawn Ryan (Terriers) but I will stick around for lines like “I am black, there is literally no place in American history that will be awesome for me.”

4. Conviction (Mondays at 10:00 on ABC): Okay we are already starting to scrap the bottom of the barrel to get to five “anticipated” series. But hey, it does star Hayley Atwell even if it is not as Peggy Carter. But, sigh, that American accent needs work. C’mon, couldn’t have she played the Prime Minister’s daughter who moved to America for a sliver of anonymity and kept the accent? I never understood why studio execs keep on hiring actors with iffy American accents to play Yankees. Either let them keep their foreign accent or just hire an actual American.

5. Downward Dog (Midseason, ABC): Yeah, this season’s slate of shows are really bad when a talking dog show makes my most anticipated shows list, but I will admit, I laughed a couple times and will watch just to see if he ends up killing that fracking cat.

Bonus. A Few Good Men Live! (TBA, NBC): Hidden deep within NBC's press release was their first ever live adaptation of a play after three musicals of varying success.  It was literally one sentence and the third to last line before listing all the returning shows and legal mambo jumbo. No casting, no director, or even a producer yet, but I am more excited for this than their announce live musical. And one of the big problems with the musicals is getting big enough names to give up three or four months of rehearsals for one performance but I am guessing a play will need less time to prepare so maybe we will get more bankable names. May I suggest Coach Taylor as Tom Cruise, Lieutenant Dan as Jack Nicholson, Dr. Dre as Kiefer Sutherland, Lyla Garrity as Demi Moore, and, well, Kevin Bacon can just reprise his role because dude just does not age.

As the great philosopher Butt-Head once pondered, how would we know if something was cool if there weren't things that sucked, here are the five shows you could not pay me to watch next fall (click on their names to watch the trailers where available; networks were pretty stingy on mid season trailers this year)).

1. Taken (Midseason, NBC), Lethal Weapon (Wednesday at 8:00 on FOX), The Exorcist (Friday at 9:00 on FOX), Training Day (Midseason, CBS), Frequency (TBA, The CW): The Muppets had a quick slide last fall, Minority Report and Rush Hour were DOA, and Uncle Buck was pushed to summer to probably die quietly, while Limitless is currently in limbo but if it returns it will likely be on channel other than CBS. Yet the networks are actually increasing the number of movie adaptations (and that does not even count Time After Time based on a book that also inspired a movie, the MacGyver reboot, or Riverdale based on the Archie's comic). But hey, at least NBC was smart enough to pass on a proposed Cruel Intentions reboot (something FOX tried a decade and a half ago with a pre-fame Amy Adams) and Taken sounds the least bad. I was actually excited with the Taken-prequil sounding Legends on TNT when it started, unfortunately that did not turn out very well.

2. Still Star Cross (Midseason, ABC) – People complain about Gotham calling it, “Batman without Batman.” But there still is young Bruce Wayne who is supposed to grow up to be Batman (though doubtful we will ever see it on the show). Sill Star Crossed features Romeo and Juliet without the star crossed lovers. Instead the story takes place after their deaths and their cousins are now forced to marry to end the Capulet and Montague feud. What the frack? Oh and it was created by Shonda Rhimes, the worst thing to happen to television since they stopped letting you fast forward On Demand. She used to make ABC’s Thursdays unwatchable, and now she is soon to make the whole network unwatchable with five shows on the All Broads Network (not to be confused with CBS who passed on Nancy Drew for being “too feminine” and touts their most diverse lineup ever despite all their new fall shows being led by a white dude).

3. Doubt (Midseason, CBS): When are television executives going to learn what the movie executives learned a long time ago: America hates Katherine Heigl. Her crappy CIA show remains the lone show ever to air most of its episodes after The Voice not to get a second season.

4. Marlon (Midseason, NBC), Lethal Weapon (Wednesday at 8:00 on FOX): The Wayans family started out great with In Living Color, but has a member of the family done anything funny since? And what ever happened to the In Living Color reboot, wasn’t that supposed to happen a year or two ago?

5. This Is Us (Tuesdays at 9:00 on NBC): This show started out good enough, welcome back Mandy Moore! From the writer and directors of Crazy Stupid Love (and The Neighbors and Galavant)!! But everything goes wrong after that. Seriously, how does the guy from Heroes still get work? He can hide behind a bad Keanu Reeves beard all he wants but he still cannot act. Same goes for the Smallville version of Green Arrow. And what is this show even about? A bunch of people are born on the same day and… what? I may still end up hate watching.

Bonus. Hairspray Live! (TBA, NBC), The Rocky Horror Show (Halloween, FOX), Dirty Dancing the Musical (TBA, ABC): We are living in a golden age of live musicals, NBC got things started and sure it was a rough state, but hey, The Sound of Music Live! and Peter Pan Live!. They final figured out the formula with The Wiz Live!. Then Grease: Live showed up on FOX and raised the bar even hired. Unfortunately the musicals set for next season are based on three musicals I do not really care about and two of them are not even live. Why bother? Meh, can someone please take may idea of through copious amounts of money at Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling for Guys and Dolls Live! And is Selena Gomez and Jason Street in West Side Story Live! too obvious?

And here is what I tentatively plan on watching next season.

8:00 – Gotham (FOX)
8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
9:00 – Lucifer (FOX)
9:00 – 2 Broke Girls (CBS)
9:30 – The Odd Couple (CBS)
10:00 – Timeless (NBC)
10:00 – Conviction (ABC)

8:00 – The Middle (ABC)
10:00 – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)

8:00 – Survivor (CBS)
8:00 – Blindspot (NBC)
8:00 – The Goldbergs (ABC)
9:00 – Modern Family (ABC)
9:30 – Black-ish (ABC)

8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
8:30 – The Good Place (NBC)
9:00 – Notorious (ABC)
10:00 – The Blacklist (NBC)

8:00 – Last Man Standing (ABC)
9:00 – Grimm (NBC)

8:00 – Once Upon a Time (ABC)
10:00 – Quantico (ABC)

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The Ten Most Anticipated Events of 2016

10. Swish - Kanye West: In previous installments I would open up with Detox saying maybe this is the year Dr. Dre finally releases his album. Dre did release an album last year though not Detox which seems will officially never see the light of day (then again Bob Dylan released The Basement Tapes forty years later so maybe someday). Kanye West may be the closest thing to a long anticipated album. Yeezus came out three years ago making it his longest wait between albums. He actually released what was assumed to be the first single New Years Eve 2014, another single came out a couple months later as well as a Rihanna collaboration (who's Anti is also oft delayed), he premiered a third song at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary, and once again dropped another song this New Years Eve. Will we actually get to hear Swish this year? Will it go under another name change before being released (it was originally supposed to be called So Help Me God)? Or will it turn into the next Detox?

9. The Presidential Election (November 8): Of course Kanye may just very well forgo music and throw his hat into the race for president this year instead of waiting until 2020 like he announced last year. He might as well because this election cycle has turned into a clown show. And the Republicans said they had learned from four years ago with what was commonly referred as a clown car of horrible candidates that tainted the one guy who could actually beat Barack Obama and ended up losing in a landslide. So the Republicans conduct an autopsy, decide they need to be more welcoming to women and minorities... and ended up with a crazier group candidate with anyone who could actually win a general election languishing in single digits. I have long said I would not worry about Donald Trump until they started to vote but now that we are about a week out I am starting to get worried because Ted Cruz, who is just Trump with tact, is right behind him. Then you have the Democrats who should look at the Republicans and think they can win in a slam dunk except they rigged their nomination so someone who may be indited before the election will win with no opposition except for some guy who can be described as your crazy Jewish uncle. Seriously, people want a second Clinton as much as they want a third Bush, not at all. Yet both parties seem intent on nominating someone no one else in the country wants as president. Hopefully Canada is more open to immigrants than Trump because there may be an influx no matter who wins in November

8. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (February 5): I have not been this excited for a film based solely on its title since Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Hopefully this one is better.

7. More Live Musicals on Television!: After three tries, NBC finally got their live musical right with the Wiz. No official word if there will be another but I sure they will announce another on during May sweeps in not earlier. And now Fox is getting into the live musical business with Grease Live (starring Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Keke Palmer, and Carly Rae Jepsen) coming January 31 and they are righting one of my major gripes with the NBC version and including a live audience. Clueless ABC is also doing a musical this year but their musical version of Dirty Dancing staring Abigail Breslin will not be live. Also not live is another Fox event who is remaking Rocky Horror Picture Show set to air this fall. I have never been much of a fan of the movie and the recent casting of Victoria Justice, who acts about as well as she sings (not very) and a bunch of people I have not heard of does not get me any more excited.

6. Billions (January 17): Paul Giamatti comes to the small screen to shout at people on a weekly basis! Sure I have no idea what is going on as he tries to catch a hedge fund billionaire with ill gotten gain (Brody returns to Showtime!). I have a lengthier write up on the show coming around the time the show premieres.

5. La La Land (July 15): When NBC announced after the success of The Sound of Music Live! that a live musical would be a yearly event, one of my first fantasy castings was Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Guys and Dolls. Unfortunately that is not happening (yet) but the duo is starring in a musical (albeit not live) coming out this summer.

4. Angie Tribeca (25 Hour Marathon starring January 17 at 9:00): I have a full write up coming closer to the premiere date but let me say now that this is the funniest show on television.

3. X-Files (January, 24): Reboots can be tricky, but I am cautiously optimist for the new X-Files even though the two stars jumped ship long before the series originally ended and the mediocre at best movie from a couple years back. First off they are just dipping their toe back in the water with just six hours, including four stand alone episode and plenty of fan service with the return of the Smoking Man and the Lone Gunman (despite their demise). And even if it does end up sucking, hey, it is only six episodes.

2. The Suicide Squad (August 5): Have we finally reached superhero fatigue? The Fantastic Four reboot bombed, Ant- Man was the worst performing Marvel film. Yet by my count there are seven more comic book adaptations coming this year. Marvel has two more, DC is starting their cinematic universe with two films itself, while Fox, despite the recent disaster of the Fantastic Four, is going all in with their other Marvel owned property X-Men with three movies. To be honest there is only one that has really gotten me excited; I never cared much about the X-Men, I am two films behind on Marvel, and every passing Superman v Bat Man trailer makes me less excited; and that is The Suicide Squad. Okay I want to cut off the trailer when Jared Leto's Joker shows up because he looks horrible, but sign me up for everything else about it. Just give Margo Robbie her Oscar for Harley Quinn now. Or at the very least an MTV Movie Award.

1. The Olympics (starting August 5): Always one of my favorite events every other year and plenty of story lines for this year's game which will includes Rugby Sevens for the first time: can Micheal Phelps add it his gold medals record? Can Usain Bolt go back to back to back in the Mens 100 Yard Dash? Can the US Women Soccer team be the first team to win Gold the year after winning the World Cup? Will anyone die swimming in Rio's polluted river? Okay the modern Olympics would not be complete with controversies in the lead up and this year's big one is the rivers where they plan to host the outdoor swimming events were unsafe to swim in. A previous scandal was adverted when they announced that the organizers were going to charge for air conditioning but later reversed that decision.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Five Most (and Least) Anticipated Question for 2015-16 Television

Tomorrow is the official start of Fall television with all four networks premiering new seasons as well as three new shows including Blindspot which tops my most anticipated list. Of course with a new season comes new questions and these are the five I am most interested in:

1. What exactly is the saturation point for comic book shows? Three years ago Arrow was the lone live action funny book on network television (and that is only if you consider The CW a network). Marvel got into the game two years with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Things exploded last year, both of those shows got a spin-off with The Flash and Agent Carter respectively along with Gotham, iZombie, and the only one that did not make it to a second season Constantine (but as a consolation prize the titular character is showing up on Arrow this season). That does not even include the five Marvel Shows that are planned to air on Netflix (Daredevil being the only one that has been released; Jessica Jones is getting released later this year). The networks have adding a couple more this season with yet another Arrow spinoff Legends of Tomorrow and not officially a spin-off but share the same showrunner so a crossover is possible Supergirl. Then on Fox they are adapting Lucifer coming mid-season.

On cable The Walking Dead has remained the lone comic adaptation despite being the biggest show on all television (okay technically that is a graphic novel if you want to split hairs). But that is about to change too and that is not even count The Walking Dead spin-off that is not based on a print version. AMC is developing a show based on the DC property Preacher (ironically starring two Marvel vets Dominic Cooper, the younger Howard Stark and Raina from SHIELD) while TNT is getting into the game with a live action Teen Titans. While over at Syfy they have two funny books in development including a Superman prequil set on Krypton (which will likely have nothing to do with the CBS show just to make things confusing). And in addition to the Netflix series, Playstation's first scripted show Powers was already renewed for a second season. So that is ten comic book adaptations this season on television, six on streaming sites with three coming soon to cable. Even if you only watch comic books adaptations, that is a lot of television to watch.

2. What happened to Gemma Simmons? Speaking of comic books, the biggest cliff hanger to come from one last season was what became of our favorite biochem scientist? A lot happened in the season finale of Agents of SHIELD, Coulson had his hand cut off, the Inhumans mist thing got turned into fish oil pills, Ward was recruiting his own supervillian team, The Avengers came in and saved the day (okay the last one did not, and will never happen), but I want to know is what happened to Gemma after getting sucked into Kree obelisk? I doubt she is gone from the show and snce the obelisk is supposed to destroy Inhumans I am guessing she come out with a new superpower and possibly a new desire to kill Skye Daisy. Of course being a Joss Whedon show, thoughts of Fred who had her body taken over by a God has also crossed my mind. Whatever it is, I am sure the scientist we knew and loved will be much different this season.

3. Will any new show be as good as Mr. Robot? The surprise hit of the summer was easily Mr. Robot who just owned the conversation on the internet. I certainly did not see it coming as I initally had no interest in another attempt at television for Christian Slater until I learned Dalia Royce was also part of the cast. Can anything premiering this fall garner as much attention? My guess is no. Blindspot will probably be the best new show by how long can a procedural that rips off Memento stay in the conversation. Maybe the best at reaching Mr. Robot type hype on network television could be Quantico which looks like it could at its best be Homeland season four. Granted worst case scenario the show devolves into Homeland season three.

4. How will Continuum end? Continuum was has been one of the quietly good shows on television for the past three years and the best time traveling show since Quantum Leap. Of course it got canceled but not before airing six final fourth season episodes (two of which already aired). Evil minions from a dark future timeline showed up in the season premiere and reeked havoc on Keira. Will she finally be able to back to her time? Is there a time for her to go back to now? It will be a fun ride to see if she does.

5. Will Ash vs. The Evil Dead be any good?: We have been inundated with Heroes Reborn promos for the last couple month leading to most people who watch the original wondering, why? The show was widely reviled with most people saying it went off the rails in the second season (I contend the first season pretty much sucked too aside from the one episode Bryan Fuller scripted). On the flip side there has been little press for a reboot that people have been hankering for decades. I remember seeing Army of Darkness in high school thinking it was the greatest thing ever (I eventually went back to watch the two horror Evil Dead movies but much preferred the campiness of the third movie). Pretty much ever since there have been talks of a fourth movie in the Evil Dead saga. The closest came about a decade ago when there was talks of an Ash vs. Freddy vs. Jason movie after the first two horror legends faced off (there have been a couple of comics and video games). There was also hope when the reboot of Evil Dead (which featured Bruce Campbell in a post credits teaser) was released two years ago with a sequel that would see the two franchises combining with both Campbell and Tessa Altman starring. Instead at Comic Con last year Sam Raimi announced there would be a television show to continue the original Evil Dead to air on Starz best known for... um, well, their aired Party Down foe two seasons a couple years ago. Will it be any good? Well it is written by the Raimi brothers (Sam is directing the first episode) and Bruce is staring. As of there there seems to be no ties to the reboot as there has been no announcement of Tessa Altman's involvement, instead Xena the Warrior Princess is in the cast. Since I do not have Starz I can hear what other people say about it and can temper my expectation whenever I get around to seeing it. But as of now I am hopeful. It certainly has to be better than the the Heroes reboot or the televised versions of Limitless or Minority Report which both look dreadful (though I am a bit hopeful the former is successful enough for someone to greenlight a televised Lucy show as that movie was significantly better than Limitless; Tyra Collett as Lucy).

As the great philosopher Butt-Head once pondered, “If it weren’t for things that sucked, how would we know if something was awesome,” so here are the five least anticipated questions of the new television season.

1. Who is going to win the worst reality show this season? No I am not talking about Dancing with the Has Beens and Never Weres or even the final season of American Karaoke but by far the worst reality show on television this season is the Republican Primaries. Four years ago we had the clown car of candidates where nut jobs like Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann each got a week a top the polls before everyone realized just how crazy they were and just ended up nomination Mitt Romney, the human robot. Things were supposed to be different this time around after the Republican conducted an autopsy realizing they need to do a better job courting minorities and women after losing to Barack Obama again. Then Donald Trump got into the race by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and mad sexist statements about Megyn Kelly after she asked if he was sexist... and then went to the top of the Republican polls. He called war hero John McCain a loser for being captured... and rose higher. Most recently he insulted the lone woman in the race, Carly Fioarino's looks in a Rolling Stone interview... and still leads. NBC had and do the biggest troll in history by replacing him on The Celebrity Apprentice with an immigrant who fathered an anchor baby.

Or course this is not to say go ahead and pencil in a Democrat for 2016 because their nomination process is in as much chaos, it is just a lot less entertaining. Seriously, is there a more boring scandal than Hilary Clinton's e-mails? It makes Chris Christie's bridge problems look like a scene out of Wolf of Wall Street in comparison. Unfortunately the only other Democrat who decided to run (so far) is Bernie Sanders who just come across as your crazy Jewish uncle. He is just basically the socialist Ron Paul. How depressing we have to root for Joe Biden to get into the race as the best way to avoid a President Trump or Clinton Part Deux and as we learned from Bush, the sequel is always significantly worse than the original.

2. What happened to Becca in the Elevator at the End of Hindsight? After failing at her second chance in the nineties, actually making a bigger mess of it then she did the first time around, Becca rushed to the elevator that flashed her back to the last great decade, Numb starts playing again... and fade to black. Surprisingly VH1 renewed the lowly rated show thus making wonder where the show would go in the second season. Would it go back to present day? Go back even further? Flash forward to the 00's? Then out of nowhere, late last month VH1 sent out a press release saying "nevermind, Hindsight is canceled." What? If they wanted to cancel it outright after the first season, fine, whatever, but you cannot renew it and then renig later. Renewed shows have gotten shortened before and Southland got canned after getting renewed but that was instantly picked up by TNT, this is the first time I remember a renewed show getting canceled outright before (greenlighted shows get canned before making it to air occasionally, most recently the NBC Coach reboot). And to add insult to injury, days after canceling Hindsight, VH1 announced Black Ink Crew: Chicago, maybe the most befuddling decision by a network since The CW dumped Veronica Mars only to announce Farmer Takes a Wife shortly after.

3. Who is dumb enough to hire Carrie Mathison? I know this is a television show and it would be a boring show if Carrie was forced to get a job at the local mall because she could not get a job in defense again but no one has failed upward more than Carrie, not even Lane Kiffin or Ben Silverman. But on the new season of Homeland, Carrie finds herself with a cushy private contractors job in Germany for some millionaire.

4. Will Community be back for season seven? It was only five short years ago since DirecTV started the modern trend of saving lowly rated but beloved franchises. The trend continues this fall after Hulu saved The Mindy Project. But the big news last year was Yahoo Screen was going to get into the scripted forum by saving Community even though it lost yet another castmember when Shirley went to hang out with Matthew Perry (not to mention the Pierce replacement left to costar in the Breaking Bad prequil). New episodes debuted last spring, I watched the first couple the weekend they came out but eventually forgot about it and still have two or three to watch. Yahoo Screen had said they have interest in doing another season (their two other two original comedies have yet to set the internet aflame even though the one with the AT&T girl, Other Space, is kind of, almost watchable) except star Joel McHale has pretty much said they do not have enough money to pay the cast what they expect now that their contracts expire. I am fine with this because I really could not get up watching the show on the interest, seriously Yahoo Screen, if you want to be taken seriously, at least make a Playstation app so I can watch this on my television. Really, just make a crappy Community movie and be done with it.

Did Deacon survive his surgery? The big Nashville cliffhanger left with Deacon's life hanging in the balance in the balance. Did he survive? Of course he did.

Here is everything I plan to watch this fall and when they premiere (and one bonus question: why is there so much television on Mondays and Wednesdays and basically nothing on Thursday?):

8:00 - The Big Bang Theory (September 21)
8:00 - Supergirl (premieres at 8:30 on October 26, 8:00 the following week)
8:00 - Gotham (September 21, Fox)
8:00 - Switched at Birth (already started, ABC Family)
8:00 - The Voice (September 21, NBC)
10:00 - Blindspot (September 21, NBC)
10:00 - Castle (September 21, ABC)
10:00 - Legends (November 2, TNT)

8:00 - The Muppets (September 22, ABC)
9:00 - Marvel's Agents of SHIELD (September 29, ABC)
10:00 - Wicked City (October 27, ABC)

8:00 - Survivor: Second Chances (September 23, CBS)
8:00 - The Middle (September 23, ABC)
8:30 - The Goldbergs (September 23, ABC)
9:00 - Modern Family (September 23, ABC)
9:30 - Blask'ish (September 23, ABC)
10:00 - Nashville (September 23, ABC)
10:00 - South Park (September 16, Comedy Central)
10:30 - You're the Worst (September 9, FXX)

9:00 - The Blacklist (October 1, NBC)

8:00 - Last Man Standing (September 25, ABC)
9:00 - Grimm (October 30, NBC)
11:00 - Continuum (Already Bac, Syfy)

8:00 - Once Upon a Time (September 27, ABC)
8:00 - The Librarians (November 1, TNT)
9:00 - Homeland (October 4, Showtime)
9:00 - The Walking Dead (October 11, AMC)
10:00 - Quantico (September 27, ABC)
10:00 - The Affair (October 4, Showtime)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Five Most (and Least) Anticipated New Shows of 2015-16

When the descriptions of the new fall shows came rolling in over the weekend, my first impression was they better release some great trailers for these new shows because right now Blindspot is the only one that sounds interesting (well, I would probably end up hate watching Supergirl too). Some of the trailer did give some some hope, but overall the crop of new shows are pretty dreadful this year. To be honest, this list should be called The Single Most Anticipated Show of 2015-16 and Four That Hopefully Do Not Suck.

1. Blindside (Mondays at 10:00 on NBC): A Memento rip off starring Lady Sif with tattoois all over her body? Sign me up. My only complaint is that it is airing after The Voice, I was kind of hoping it was going to get the post-football Sunday treatment which is where NBC puts its high concept one and done shows because I am not sure this concept can hold up for over fifteen episodes.

2. Quantico (Tuesdays at 10:00 on ABC): The show that benefited most from a really good trailer. The logline made it sound like another boring rookie law enforcement type show but the trailer unveiled a deeper conspiracy that makes the show a lot more interested.

3. Wicked City (Tuesdays, Midseason at 10:00 on ABC): Not only did ABC renew bubble shows Agent Carter and Galavant, the network is doubling down on filler winter break type shows with seven different time slots taking winter breaks while a different show takes its place. Wicked City will be taking over Quantico over the winter (or possibly full time if that show fails). The show has a weird American Psycho vibe to it but instead of cooperate America, it takes place on the Sunset Strip in the eighties.

4. The Muppets (Tuesdays at 8:00 on ABC): I was tepid on a faux documentary show on The Muppets, and then Wynn Duffy showed up as the father of Fozzy Bear's girlfriend. Fine, I will watch.

5. Supergirl (Mondays at 8:00 on CBS): Odd that CBS would put this on opposite Gotham. Granted pre-pubescent Batman vs. female Superman might be as interesting as the movie that is coming out on the big screen next year. I really cannot comment on the show that much because as I wrote this, CBS had not released a trailer yet, but it has to be better than the one they released for Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice? Right?
Scooter Update: CBS finally released a trailer and to answer my own question: shockingly no. The first two minutes I thought I was watching a trailer for a bad nineties rom-com where Ally McBeal stole Anne Heche's face Face-Off style. And then it somehow got worse from there. Oh goodness, why can DC seem to not do anything right? Still I will watch every episode, which may not be that many as I expect this may not even make it to Christmas, and that is even with it not starting until November.

As the great philosopher Butt-Head once pondered, how would we know if something was cool if there weren't things that sucked, here are the five shows you could not pay me to watch next fall (click on their names to watch the trailers).

Heartbreaker (Tuesdays at 9:00 on NBC): After three failed seasons, NBC has abandoned trying to launch comedies after The Voice on Tuesdays, but looking at Heartbreaker (about, oh goodness, a heart surgeon) maybe they should tried one more time because this looks like a Greys Anatomy parody that Lorne Michaels passed on airing on Saturday Night Live. Melissa George should really fire her agent after being on the two worst new show in consecutive years with this and The Slap.

The Catch (Thursdays Midseason at 10:00 on ABC): "From Shonda Rhymes" is an instant pass for me, but this looks like her worst show yet. Seriously, what is with the chick from The Killing's voice? And who thought she could pull off sexy? Go back to shows where you can wear oversized sweaters.

Limitless (Tuesdays at 10:00 on CBS), Minority Report (Mondays at 9:00 on Fox), Rush Hour (Midseason, CBS), and Uncle Buck (Fridays Midseason at 8:30 on ABC): Networks have tried before to take a big screen and shrink it to the small screen, but to the best of my memory, Parenthood was the only one that was good. Sure the Captain America spin-off Agent Carter was great, but do not ask me why next season will feature four shows based on movies (five if you want to count Supergirl) each sounding more dreadful than the next.

Dr. Ken (Friday at 8:30 on ABC): Ken Jeong is funny at bursts on Community but I really have no desire seeing him top line a show. Then the trailer made it look worse than I expected which stole a plot from the About a Boy trailer from two seasons ago.

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (Midseason, CBS): Another year, another CBS spin off I will not be watching.

Here is the full schedule of what I will be watching come next fall

8:00 - Gotham (FOX)
8:00 - Supergirl (CBS)
8:00 - The Voice (NBC)
10:00 - Blindspot (NBC)
10:00 - Castle (ABC)

8:00 - The Muppets (ABC)
8:00 - The Voice (NBC)
9:00 - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
10:00 - Quantico (ABC)

8:00 - Survivor: Second Chances (CBC)
8:00 - The Middle (ABC)
8:30 - The Goldbergs (ABC)
9:00 - Modern Family (ABC)
9:30 - Blackish (ABC)
10:00 - Nashville (ABC)

8:00 - The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
9:00 - The Blacklist (NBC)

9:00 - Grimm (NBC)

8:00 - Once Upon a Time (ABC)

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Five Most Anticipated Albums of Summer 2014

Okay, let’s be honest, there is only one album to get excited about this summer and that is a new “Weird Al” Yankovic. There are a couple others that may be good, but Al’s is the only one that is going to get to check YouTube hoping the first video is released yet. Granted another reason is that most of the non-Al marquee names that will probably have a new album out by the end of the year have not released official dates meaning we will not be getting them until closer to Christmas. Here are the ones that will actually hit shelves (or digital shelves) before the leaves start to change colors. Click the album name or cover to preorder on Amazon (where available) or the artist’s name to be taken to their iTunes page.

1. Mandatory Fun – "Weird Al" Yankovic (July 15): It has been three year since the last Weird Al album which featured him poking fun at Taylor Swift and still the Hanna Montana era Miley Cyrus. There have been plenty of parodyable songs to come out since then. Currently we do not know much about whom he will be targeting this time around except Patton Oswalt said he has heard that album and will be parodying one of his favorite bands of the nineties and a gossip site saying Al ambushed Iggy Azalea for permission to parody one of her songs. Since there is no track listing yet, here is a Power Ranking of songs I hope made the cut:

Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen: No song in the past decade screams out for an parody from Weird Al than Call Mew Maybe. I do not want to live in a world where there is not a Weird Al Call Me Maybe parody.

Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye featuring Kimbra: When Al teased the Russian themed artwork my first thought was “Soviet That I Used to Know must be the first single.” (Call Me Ruskie was my second thought.) On the other hand, half the time the cover art has nothing to do with any of the parodies like last album’s Alpocalypse.

Royals – Lorde: There is an obvious Game of Thrones parody as low hanging fruit in there somewhere for Al.

Roar – Katy Perry: She was the biggest pop star in the nation when the last Weird Al album dropped on her way to tying a Michael Jackson record for most number ones from one album but not one song from Teenage Dream got parodied. None of them even made the polka (I Kissed a Girl did though). Roar is some overtly cheesy it was almost as Katy was begging for a Weird Al parody with it.

Pharrell: Take your pick: Get Lucky, Blurred Lines, Happy. Really Al could just do a medley or give Pharrell his own polka from Rump Shaker (yes a nineteen year old Pharrell wrote the Wreckx-n-Effect classic) to Happy. And if not a Pharrell polka…

Folk Polka: When it came to thinking of songs I would like to hear Weird Al parody, a few folk songs came across my mind like Ho Hey and Little Lion Man, but I actually would rather here those songs as part of a polka instead.

2. Get Hurt – The Gaslight Anthem (August 18): Two years ago the band released their first major label record and I thought they were poised for a Black Keys type breakout. The album was good, it just did not hit with the general public. Granted The Black Keys did not break out until their second major label album, hopefully The Gaslight Anthem follows suit. So far I have only heard about thirty seconds of the album but the band promises something completely different.

3.  x - Ed Sheeran (Tomorrow): It seems like the singer-songwriter era that John Mayer kickstarted at the start of the millennium ended right around the time he spouted off about his racist genitalia, really the only dude with an acoustic guitar with any success since them was Ed Sheeran. So it was jarring when the first single off his sophomore album was a Pharrell produced dance song built around that acoustic guitar (which bears a striking resemblance to The Doobie Brothers). Everything that has been released since (which seems like the whole album by now) does fit more with his earlier motif so it may not be a complete sea change of an album.

4. The Golden Echo – Kimbra (August 18): Most people in America only know Kimbra from the Gotye song but her debut album ended up being much better than the Goyte song was featured on. Her follow hopefully will feature a song that will end up being her first solo hit. But that will probably not be first single 90’s Music which sadly does not sound like alt-rock or something produced by Babyface (the two things I think of when I think 90’s music).

5. Wish I Were Here Soundtrack (July 15): Ten years ago, Natalie Portman promised that The Shins would change my life. It did not. But you know whose lives it changed: The Shins. And really indie pop in general as The Garden State Soundtrack brought the sub-genre to the masses going platinum and winning a Grammy. For his next film Wish I Was Here, of course The Shins are featured on the soundtrack with a brand new song. Also making a retuned appearance is Coldplay, this time as a duet with Cat Power and Paul Simon. The soundtrack also features two songs from Bon Iver.

Here are some more albums that will be at the very least worth a spin on Spotify.


One More Around the Sun – Mastodon

June 27
Ultraviolet EP – Owl City

July 1
Legend - 30th Anniversary Edition (CD + Blu-Ray Audio Disc)Bob Marley
We Are Only What We Feel NONONO
PaulaRobin Thicke
RemedyOld Crow Medicine Show

July 8
Beautiful Goodbye – Richard Marx
1000 Forms of FearSia
"Now (Chicago XXXVI) - Chicago
Redeemer of SoulsJudas Priest
Shutup&Jam!Ted Nugent

July 15
No Fools, No Fun - Puss N Boots (Sasha Dobson, Norah Jones, Catherine Popper)
Strange Desire - Bleachers
Yes!Jason Mraz

July 21
Nobody Smiling - Common
Trouble in Paradise – La Roux

July 29
Hypnotic EyeTom Petty and The Heartbreakers
The Voyager - Jenny Lewis
The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale)Eric Clapton and Friends
A Life Worth LivingMarc Broussard

August 5
They Want My Soul – Spoon
Tough Love – Jessie Ware

August 19
In Motion: The RemixesAmy Grant

August 26
Brill BruisersThe New Pornographers

September 2
V – Maroon 5

September 9
All Together Now – Better Than Ezra
Goddess – Banks
El PintorInterpol

September 16
Bulletproof Picasso - Train
Sukierae – Jeff Tweedy
World on Fire - Slash

September 22
Strut – Lenny Kravitz
This Is All Yours – alt-J

September 30
Collide – Boyz II Men

October 28
With a Little Help From My Fwends – The Flaming Lips

Everything Will Be Alright in the End - Weezer
Dear You - Meiko
Plain Spoken – John Mellencamp
24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault – Stevie Nicks
Somewhere Under Wonderland – Counting Crows
Deeply Rooted – Scarface
Mr. Wonderful – Action Bronson
Now We Even – Mase
Big Boi
Billy Idol
Bob Dylan
Christina Aguilera
Foo Fighters
Guns N' Roses
Kanye West
New Order
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Wanting Blue
Robert Plant
Ryan Adams
The Lone Bellow
The Ting Tings
The Veronicas

And of course here is the obligatory maybe this is the quarter we get to hear Detox from Dr. Dre.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Five Most (and Least) Anticipated New Shows of Fall 2014

Two major themes among the new shows for the upcoming season. First the most obvious, after dominating the cinemas the past decade, comic books are about to take over the small screen with five new shows based on comic books to add to the two that are already there. Another big trend is diversity. Kerry Washington and Omar Epps are currently the only top line star on any network show right now that are not white (unless you also count Neil DeGrass Tyson of Cosmos; also Hallie Berry is starring in the upcoming Extant). Next season high profile non WASPs Craig Robinson (The Robinsons), Octavia Spencer (Red Band Society), Terrence Howard (Empire), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), Maggie Q (Stalker) all lead new shows. Add to that two ABC comedies based around Hispanic (Cristela) and Asian (Fresh off the Boat) families and a FOX show Hieroglyph that takes place in Egypt. Granted that last show is headlined by a white dude and the Egyptians in the cast are vaguely ethnic.

After pointing out how diverse the new shows are this season, I kind of feel bad that none of them made my Most Anticipated list which is mostly filled up with superhero shows, all of which are all white. Sorry Apache Chief, no show for you yet, maybe there will be a place for you in the Justice League movie. But hey, one has a female lead, so that is progress and it is not even Wonder Woman who NBC and The CW have tried to get on the air for years. And none of the minority led shows made my least anticipated list, so there is that. But anyway. Here is my Most Anticipated list:

1. Marvel’s Agent Carter (Midseason, likely Tuesdays at 9:00 on ABC when SHIELD goes on hiatus): A show with “Marvel” in the title occupied this spot last year which turned out to be mediocre to start but built to a entertaining climax around the Captain American movie so I should be a bit weary to put another one on top again this season. Especially considering there is no trailer yet (unless you count the One Sheet that was on the Iron Man 3 DVD and only the titular character is currently signed on for the show. Howard Stark was mentioned in the press release so it seems Dominic Cooper will be around in some capacity. If the One-Sheet is considered cannon, hopefully the newly unemployed Bradley Whitford can reprise his role as Agent Carter’s boss. Of course everyone can agree Neal McDonough would be a great addition as Dum Dum Dugan. One would also assume since he was mentioned on SHIELD, Agent Triplett’s Howling Commando could also play a role. But what could make Agent Carter better than SHIELD (aside from Hayley Atwell in period costumes every week) is that since it takes place in the past, it does not have to shoehorn in everything else that is currently going on in the Marvel Universe.

2. Gotham (Mondays at 8:00 on FOX): I already talked at length about the show when the trailer was released last week (see Best of the Week: 5/10/14), so just let me reiterate, this better be worth lifting my eight year ban on Fox.

3. Constantine (Friday at 10:00 on NBC): I vaguely remember the Keanu Reeves based on the same comic book and somewhat remember being ambivalent to it. Plus the show gets the Friday death slot right out of the gate. But if NBC give the show the leeway that current inhabitant Hannibal gets, the show could do the comics justice. I am caustically optimistic.

4. Manhattan Love Story (Tuesdays at 8:30 on ABC): One more minor trend this season, there are three sitcoms this season that are basically televised versions of romantic comedies filling the void of How I Met Your Mother (ironically one of them is not How I Met Your Dad which was not picked up by CBS). The most blatant rip off is A to Z which actually stars the titular mother from How I Met Your Mother and features narration for another former sitcom star, Peg Bundy. Marry Me had me laughing a few time during the trailer, and it is always nice to see Vinnie VanLowe more often, but created by the creator of Happy Endings gives me pause. Manhattan Love Story is the one I am looking more forward to mostly because of Analeigh Tipton who ranks fairly high on the likeability scale, it is about time someone gave her a starring role in something. Unfortunately the douchebag from Greek is not. And I have to admit I was disappointed that the trailer used Aretha Franklin’s Think instead of The Gas Face by 3rd Base. I cannot be the only person who think Gas Face first when her hears that piano intro right?

5. iZombie (Midseason, The CW): Gone in one season may be eight year ban on FOX and my five year ban on The CW. After creating Veronica Mars, I am willing to give the new show from Rob Thomas a shot even if it is a zombie show on The CW starring Tinkerbell. Trailer will probably not be out until later today and I will probably update this space then once I actually get a look at it.  Scooter Update:  The CW schedule was released and iZombie was resigned to midseason and they did not even release a trailer.  Not very promising.

As the great philosopher Butt-Head once pondered, “If it weren’t for things that sucked, how would we know if something was awesome,” here are the least anticipated shows of the season (click on their names to check out their trailers if you dare). And you know there are some stinkers when a Katherine Heigl show cannot even crack the bottom five.

1. Galavant (Midseason, likely Sunday at 8:00 on ABC during the Once Upon a Time hiatus): It is rare that I would watch something on my least anticipated shows list; actually this is the first time. In a time where marketers can make anything look watchable, the Galavant trailer looks epically bad. I am talking Cop Rocks bad. Sure, best case scenario it could turn into Robin Hood: Men in Tights, but I doubt it will last that long. But I will watch all two episodes that air.
2. The McCarthys (Thursdays at 9:30 on CBS): The show is a multicamera sitcom (strike one) about a loud, sports crazed Boston family (strike two) starring Joey McIntire (strike three). No, no, and no.
3. Jane the Virgin (Monday at 9:00 on The CW): A show called Jane the Virgin on The CW… do I need to say more?
4. Selfie (Tuesdays at 8:00 on ABC): Just when you though Jane the Virgin would win the Better Off Ted Award for worst show name of the season, here comes Selfie. I dare you to watch the trailer and not think to yourself, “They canceled Suburgatory and The Neighbors for this.” The trailer is so bad, I even found myself wondering, “They canceled Mixology for this.” That is how bad the Selfie trailer looks, it made me miss Mixology.
5. NCIS: New Orleans (Tuesday at 9:00 on CBS) and CSI: Cyber (Sunday at 10:00 on CBS): CBS is just Punk’ing us at this point, right?

Of course the most fun part of the schedule release is guessing which shows will be canceled first and here are the five most likely candidates.

1. Utopia (Tuesdays at 9:00; Fridays at 9:00 on FOX): Okay this may not get canceled out right, but it will be off Tuesdays very quickly.
2. Selfie (Tuesdays at 8:00 on ABC)
3. Bad Judge (Thursdays at 9:00 on NBC)
4. A to Z (Thursdays at 9:30 on NBC)
5. Scorpion (Mondays at 9:00 on CBS)

And here is what I will be watching next far including the new shows in italics that I will at least check out once or twice.

8:00 – Gotham (Fox)
8:00 – 2 Broke Girls (CBS)
10:00 – The Blacklist (NBC)
10:00 – Castle (ABC)

8:30 – Manhattan Love Story (ABC)
9:00 - Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
9:00 – Marry Me (NBC)
9:30 – About a Boy (NBC)

8:00 – Survivor (CBS)
8:00 – The Middle (ABC)
8:30 – The Goldbergs (ABC)
9:00 – Modern Family (ABC)
9:30 – Black-ish (ABC)
10:00 – Nashville (ABC)

8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
8:30 – The Millers (CBS)
10:00 – Parenthood (NBC)

9:00 – Grimm (NBC)
10:00 – Constantine (NBC)

8:00 – Once Upon a Time (ABC)
9:00 – Resurrection (ABC)
10:00 – Revenge (ABC)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The 5 Most Anticipated Albums of Spring 2014

Beyoncé changed the game late last year dropping a visual album out of nowhere on a Thursday night about a week before Christmas. But that change looks to be slow because most of the albums released early this year were announced at least a month in advance aside the new Kid Cudi album (which went as quickly as it came) and Skrillex whose new album drops today after just announcing it last week. Granted there are still plenty of names that are supposedly at work at a new album that could break the internet much like Mrs. Carter (considering they just teamed back up at SXSW, could a second Watch the Throne album be far behind) like Adele and Taylor Swift. Here are some albums that will not be air dropping out of nowhere over the next couple months since they already have hard release dates. Click in the artists name to be taken to their iTunes page and the album tile or cover art to pre-order on Amazon.

1. Sheezus – Lily Allen (May 5): Forget Yeezus, 2014 will be the year of Sheezus. After teasing new songs for the past four months, Lily Allen finally announced her comeback album which will feature the previously released Hard Out Here, Air Balloon, L8 CMMR, Out Time (as well as the Somewhere Only We Know cover on the Bonus Track Version). I am most interested in the title track, if it is half as good as her takedown of Window Shopper’s Window Shopper off her debut, it will be a great start for the new album.

2. Ghost Stories – Coldplay (May 19): The band has always been considered the poppier version of Radiohead, but it still came as a shock when their first new music was the non-pop song Midnight which sounded like Radiohead by way of Bon Iver. A week later the released a more conventional Magic but with its throbbing bass and drum machine mixed with Chris Martin not in falsetto, it still was one of the least Coldplay songs the band has ever recorded it. It should be interesting to hear what the rest of the album sound like, will they be pushing their limits even further or is the rest what we have come to expect from the band?

3. A Dotted Line – Nickel Creek (April 1): 2013 was the year of the reunion and that has seeped into 2014 with the first new album from the Afghan Whigs in sixteen years and Outkast headlining basically every festival this summer. I am more interested in the reunited Nickel Creek who will be putting out the first album in almost ten years. Where most reunion albums are just an excuse to go on a more profitable reunion tour, the album's first single Destination is as good as anything in the band’s library.

4. Supernova – Ray LaMontagne (May 6): Ray started out as the folk guy but on his last album he recruited a full band for a fuller sound and produced the album himself. The Pariah Dogs are sitting the new album out and benched himself when it came to production. Instead The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach is doing the producing the album and if first single, and title track, are indication, Ray is going for a seventies pop-rock vibe.

5. TBA – U2: This album should be higher on the list but it is becoming more and more unclear just when we are going to hear the first U2 album since 2009. When they dropped Invisible during the Super Bowl, a spring or summer released seemed inevitable, but after the song was met with a resounding, “eh” it was reported by Billboard that the album and tour would be pushed back to 2015 and they would go back into the studio with Ryan Tedder (ugg) and Paul Epworth (Adele). But that story was refuted by a spokesman for the band who said, “U2’s album is planned for this year, is still on track and touring plans haven’t been confirmed yet.” Though still no date, or even timeframe was given. So maybe there will be a U2 album this year, but maybe not until the holiday season. Maybe after all this gossip, maybe they will just end up Beyoncing the album just before Christmas.

Here is a list of more albums coming out this spring that will at the very least worth a spin on Spotify.

Symphonica – George Michael
SupermodelFoster the People
Good Road to FollowJohn Oates
Sex and Love (Deluxe)Enrique Iglesias
The Muppets Most Wanted

March 25
Out Among The StarsJohnny Cash (Lost 80’s Album)
Shakira. - Shakira
Teeth DreamsThe Hold Steady
About Last NightSleeper Agent
This Is What I DoBoy George
ColouristThe Colourist
Night SongsBarry Manilow
Rio 2: Music From the Motion Picture
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition)Elton John
Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia: Live at The WonderThe Dandy Warhols (first live album)

April 1
Himalayan – Band of Skulls
Life JourneyLeon Russell
CopeManchester Orchestra
The Infamous Mobb Deep – Mobb Deep
Education, Education, Education & WarKaiser Chiefs

April 8
DuetsLinda Ronstadt
Pure FictionEric Hutchinson

April 15
Rivers in the Wasteland - Needtobreathe
Do to the BeastThe Afghan Whigs
Make My Head Sing - Jessica Lea Mayfield
Lights OutIngrid Michaelson
Fools Gold – Duck Sauce
Boys Night OutThe Oak Ridge Boys (first live album in 37 years)
Illmatic XXIllmatic XX - Nas (twentieth anniversary rerelease)

April 22
Pop PsychologyNeon Trees
Food - Kelis
Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver EverettEels
SugarG. Love & Special Sauce
Shine On – Dwight & Nicole

April 29
Most Messed Up – Old 97's
Everyday RobotsDamon Albarn
Phosphorescent Harvest – Chris Robinson Brotherhood
ShriekWye Oak
Song in My HeadThe String Cheese Incident

May 6
Shine OnSarah McLachlan
Natalie MerchantNatalie Merchant
I Never LearnLykke Li
Nikki NackTune-Yards

May 13
Blue SmokeDolly Parton
Everything’s Corrupt – Ice Cube

May 20
Upside Down Mountain – Conor Oberst
California BreedCalifornia Breed
A Matter Of Trust The Bridge To Russia: The Deluxe Edition (2CD/Blu-ray)Billy Joel

May 27
Are We There - Sharon Van Etten

June 3
Platinum – Miranda Lambert
Road BetweenLucy Hale
Superunknown (20th Anniversary - Remastered CD) - Soundgarden

June 10
Manslaughter – Body Count

Plectrumelectrum – Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL
A Letter Home – Neil Young
You’re Welcome – De La Soul
4:13 Dream – The Cure
B.O.A.T.S. III – 2 Chainz
World Peace Is None of Your Business - Morrissey
Better Than Ezra
Charlie Wilson
Ed Sheeran
Florence + The Machine
The Gaslight Anthem
The Jacksons
Jenny Lewis
Kendrick Lamar
Linkin Park
Raphael Saadiq
Taylor Swift

Let me end with the obligatory this may be the quarter when Dr. Dre finally releases Detox.