Saturday, July 20, 2013

Best of the Week: 7/20/13

Quote of the Week: Mo’ Mona, mo’ problems. (Spencer Hastings, Pretty Little Liars)

Song of the Week: Twerk It – V.I.C. (Ray Donavon)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: The Emmy Nominations Are Out: And like ever other year I do not care. Seriously, do Emmy voters not get FX?

Preview Picture of the Week:

"Pilot" The Vineyard, Tuesday at 10:00 on ABC Family

Free Download of the Week: Noisetrade Eastside Manor Sessions – Caitlin Rose

New Album Release of the Week: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

New DVD Release of the Week: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 3

Video of the Week: Hannibal gag reel. Insert your own joke here.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Web Therapy, Tuesday at 11:00 on Showtime: The web series turned television show returns for its third season this week, look out for a review later this week.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Around the Tubes: 7/19/13

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 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Mel Brooks, The Cheshire Murders, Sharknado, Ghost Shark, Streetcorner Symphony, Ginger and Rosa, Ray Donovan, and American Dad.

- Wednesday is the AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Mel Brooks starting at 8:00 on TCM and you can watch a clip from the special below:

- Next week, HBO returns with a riveting new documentary that explores strange circumstances surrounding the murders that took place in Connecticut back in 2007. The Cheshire Murders premieres Monday at 9:00, exclusively on HBO. Watch the trailer below:

- If you liked Sharknado, get ready for more because the Syfy movie will get a sequel next year. Even better, you can help name the movie. Just tweet your subtitle to @SyfyMovies using #Sharknado. Syfy will select the best submission as the subtitle for Sharknado 2 which will be taking place in NYC. If you cannot wait next year for another shark fix, do not worry, on Thursday, August 22 at 9:00, Syfy will premiere Ghost Shark. And like every other Syfy original movie, the title is self explanatory.

- You may remember Street Corner Symphony from the second season of The Sing-Off and they recently released their new album Southern Autumn Nostalgia which features an acapella version of The Black Crows (by way of Otis Redding) Hard to Handle.

- Out on DVD this week is Ginger & Rosa, the "exhilarating and heartbreaking" (Wall Street Journal) film that tells the emotional coming-of-age story of two best friends whose relationship is effected by the events of the 1960s starring Ella Fanning.

- If you have been enjoying the new Showtime series Ray Donovan, get ready for another season because the network has already renewed it for a second season after becoming its most watched series premiere ever and is set to premiere sometime next year.

- If you enjoy American Dad, I hope you have cable, because the animated show will be moving to TBS in late 2014

Thursday, July 18, 2013

When the Music's on She Can Do No Wrong

Where Does This Door Go - Mayer Hawthorne

After years of trolling in relative obscurity, a blue-eye soul man finally had a smash hit this year. But enough about Robin Thicke, let’s talk about a blue eyed soul man who actually deserves big success: Mayer Hawthorne. Where Thicke needed six album to reach the top of the pop charts, Mayer Hawthorne is still on album number three just releasing Where Does This Door Go. But much like Robin, he worked with Pharrell Williams, who has had a career resurgence this year, who produced three songs on the album.

None of those tracks have the instant catchiness of Blurred Lines, but The Stars Are Ours sound like something that may have come out of a session from Pharrell’s other summer smash hit Get Lucky if he skipped the electric sound of Daft Punk and made a song completely organic. Pharrell also contributed to what is probably Mayer’s most personal song yet, Reach Out Richard about his father.

The cover and title may suggest a more reflexive turn (and the title track is a bit darker and as close to Pink Floyd as a blue eyed soul man can get), but the album is a much more danceable affair than his previous two. And Mayer also trade in his trademark falsetto for his normal tenor voice for most of the album, one of the few time he goes into the upper register is the last song Pharrell produced on the album and Wine Glass Woman is the song where Hawthorne sound most like Pharrell. The album closes with maybe the least Mayer Hawthorne song he has ever recorded with All Better, it is still in his retro wheelhouse, but trades in old time soul to oldies pop in the vein of The Beatles type power ballad. It may not come with a song off of Where Does This Door Go, but if there is any justice, Mayer Hawthorne will have his breakout moment very soon.

Song to Download – The Stars Are Ours

Where Does This Door Go gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Previewing Deal with It

Deal with It with Howie Mandel and Theo Von

As we begin yet another season of The Challenge, you cannot help think back to Challengers of the past. Sure a couple went on to be legitimate stars like The Miz, Jamie Chung, and the dude from Grimm. Shawn from Real World: Boston is an actual U.S. Congressmen. While most just fade into obscurity, oh Dan from Miami and Julie from New Orleans, where have you gone? After participating on Road Rules: Maximum Velocity Tour, Theo Von went on to appear on four Challenges (the last being the first Fresh Meat season), winning two before heading off to another reality show: Last Comic Standing and has been working the comedy trail ever since.

Seven years after his last Challenge, Theo is now going head to head with his own show Deal with It, premiering tonight at 10:30 on TBS. It is another hidden camera show where celebrities find civilians willing to put an earpiece in and then do whatever the celebrity tells them to do, even if it involves throwing a show at a waitress or destroying a kid’s toy. If they complete five tasks, they will walk out of the restaurant $5000 richer (and probably with one less friend).

Tonight the celebs in question are the executive producer of the show Howie Mandel (who seems to really like producing hidden camera shows) and Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown. Having minions doing their bidding later this season include Joan and Melissa Rivers, Adam Carolla, Bobby Lee, and Josh Gad. Like every other hidden camera shows, there are plenty of laughs to be had, but it really is not really appointment television unless you really love hidden camera shows. Or you are tired of all the newbies on The Challenge and want to see one of the originals again.

Deal with It airs Wednesdays at 10:30 on TBS. Take a sneak peak at the premiere below.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Say What You Wanna Say and Let the Words Fall Out

The Blessed Unrest - Sara Bareilles

With her first two albums, Sara Bareilles recorded two late songs that were not so thinly veiled at her record company still looking for a single, which both Love Song and King of Anything became to launch the albums. Either the record label did not meddle this time around or she was tired of writing snarky anti-love songs because the first single off her third full length album The Blessed Unrest was the positive and upbeat Brave.

Maybe the record company should have irate Sara because the self empowering anthem Brave is the weakest of the three lead singles (but at least we got to see her dance in the music video which was entertaining in itself). And without the instant smash single to lead the album, the rest of The Blessed Unrest feels like a bit of a letdown as a whole without a song to latch onto.

Despite that lack of something initially bring you in, there is still plenty of good songs on the album, just nothing great. If you like your Bareilles songs to go towards the mellow stripped down route like Gravity, check out the loungey (in a good way) Manhattan. That is followed up with the spacey, equally as beautiful Satellite Call which may very well be her weirstest song o date. The album ends with December, a passionate ode to a past love. But The Blessed Unrest would probably be more memorable if it started up with something snarkier.

Song to Download – Manhattan

The Blessed Unrest gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Want My Music Television: 7/15/13

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Babel - Mumford & Sons

I know Mumford and Sons are about ninety percent passion, but no one can look cool jamming out on a stand up keyboard. Even the accordion looked cooler.

Never Gonna Let You Go – Tony Lucca

I liked Tony Lucca before he was on The Voice, even had a couple albums by the guy. And though he has my favorite Blind Audition that season, he never really found his footing after that and the feud was Christina was a bit cringeworthy. This song is better than any of his Live Show performances though still a bit pedestrian. I do like the video, it looks that as if Tony learned one thing from his coach Adam Levine, is that every music video needs a token hot chick. Granted Adam usually take that opportunity to roll around with them naked.

If - Glassvegas

C’mon, Glasvegas, how do you recruit William Shatner for your music video and not have him do a horrible spoken rendition of your song? But I guess his all the great songs have already been written monologue was appropriate for a song the repurposes the Talking Heads’ Road to Nowhere.

American Girl – Bonnie McKee

I actually liked Bonnie McKee’s debut album, but apparently I was the only one because it bombed and nine years later she was not released another one. In the intervening years she has made a name for herself writing horrible pop songs for Katy Perry (including four number one hits), Adam Lambert, and Carly Rae Jepsen, all who repaid her for showing up in her new music video featuring a slew of other celebrities for a song that sound more like the horrible songs she has been writing lately that her much better earlier stuff. That probably means this will be much more successful. Ugg.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 7/14/13

Falling Skies: So Hal was the mole? I still do not buy it (and the promo monkeys would seem to agree with me). I still find Gloria Rubin the most likely culprit although the bigger question to me is does the mole have a bug in their ear or are they doing this under their un volition?
You can download Falling Skies on iTunes.

Switched at Birth: It was only a matter of time before the show did an alternative timeline episode but I am a little surprised this was the route the writers took with the new timeline starting if Regina told the Kennish’s about the switch as soon as she figured it out. I assumed we would get a what if the girls were never switched to begin with timeline. Instead we get a Jon fever dream of a worse case scenario where everyone is much worse off had the switch happened earlier (what does it say about Jon that he killed off Regina). I kind of laughed when the end of the dream, Jon ended up dying because Regina was not there to give him CPR and is now glad that she is around all of the sudden. It is a little absurd.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Switched at Birth on iTunes.

Defiance: Since it premiered during the end of the spring season, I was behind on the show from the start and finally got caught up in time for the finale. Kind of a middling season at best. It is weird they killed off the main antagonist a couple episodes before the finale and never really replaced her (unless the white dude is supposed to be the main villain but I always found him more of an annoyance that scary). I am also not a fan of shows that leaves everyone in the cast in peril at the end of the season (Smallville was always the worst at this), and the only way they can make it worse is if everything is back to normal by the second episode (which was always the case on Smallville). I will not be surprised if the hooker turns up alive next season or the white people end up not being exiled. Hopefully the video game is better. Not that I will be playing it.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Defiance on iTunes.

Under the Dome: So the one kid is telling everyone he is living alone? Um, is he ever going to notice that his sister is missing? By my count she has not been home for two days, it is about time he starts noticing her absence.
You can stream Under the Dome exclusively on Amazon Instant Video, free for Prime members.

Siberia: I was going to complain at how stupid some of these characters are like the computer nerd going into the forest to see how that one dude died violently or trying to hide bullets under your mattress. But this is supposed to be a reality show, and there are plenty of stupid people who populate these type of shows to the extent that I made a list of the 25 Dumbest Survivor Contestants Ever and that list is not even five years old and I could easily already expand it to 50.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Siberia on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: Oh Hanna, you really need to leave the thinking up to someone else because you are no criminal mastermind. You really should have just stayed home and had more Melrose Place flashbacks (sure it was a different character but I am sure that is what they were going for). And should I have recognized who the den mother in the picture from the end of the episode was?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Perception: Apparently I am not the only person watching Brain Games because that unintentional blindness as the basis of an episode earlier this year (where they managed to have a cheerleader strip in front of me without me even noticing). But the ended was such a stretched I could not help think of the South Park episode where the one dude had sex with chickens as a way to get people to read.
You can download Perception on iTunes.

The Bridge: The show is as good as I expect coming from FX, but much like the last show they launched, The Americans, it is just missing something to make it great. Most notably being that I am completely worn out on television characters that fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. I had to roll my eyes when Diane Kruger had her first moment of social awkwardness. I also do not like it when it has random characters that are seemingly unrelated storylines that end up intersecting much later in the show. After one episode, I already do not care about Annabeth Gish or the creepy kidnapper. Hopefully the show finds its footing and soon.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Bridge on iTunes.

The Challenge: Rivals II: I thought the inception of Redemption Island to bring back Boston rob and Russell Hantz was the dumbest way to pair off any two reality contestants, but Johnny and Frank’s Twitter war just beat that. If the show really wanted to bring back those two, they should have paired CT with his backpack Johnny (which was the greatest moment ever in The Challenge history) and had Frank team up with the gay porn star from last season (and as a bonus, that would have meant no Wes this season). And there are a lot of boring people on this season, they could have eliminated both teams in The Jungle and I would not have mind. Really all the rookies are worthless up to this point. They really need to step their game up. And I have absolutely no clue who Zach’s partner is and I watched that season. Hopefully things get more interesting from here. Otherwise it might be time for another Fresh Meat season.
You can download The Challenge: Rivals II on iTunes.

The Hero: Wow, those eliminations were really lame. C’mon, you got to add some pomp and circumstance to them. Have them in the war room with The Rock there to ask questions before the decision. Just having a dude come back, say "Shawn", and be done with it is a little lame. I was really hoping Patty would have been eliminated second because you have to take the money. It is not being a hero to pass up $30,000 and get tear gassed for it, that is stupid plain and simple.
You can download The Hero on iTunes.

Hollywood Game Night: Darn you Kristen Bell, making me turn into this crap. Alright, it turned out not to be completely horrible. It reminded me of all those cheesy game shows I grew up on. The different being those were only a half hour and this would benefit from chopping it in half. If they did that, this show could be a good fill in whenever their new sitcoms inevitably fail this fall.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.