Saturday, April 19, 2014

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 4/19/14

Once Upon a Time: Please no more Captain Hook centric episodes, that was almost as boring as the Neverland episodes.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Mad Men: Last season was the deconstruction of Don Draper, hitting rock bottom to the point he actually revealed his past to his children. One would believe this season will be the redemption of Draper. He impressed Peggy with a presentation via Freddie Rumson. He was even able to turn down the advances of a fellow plane passenger that vaguely looked like Neve Campbell and admit to her that his wife knows he is a horrible person. Wait that actually was Neve Campbell? Oh wow.

There have been conspiracy theories since the beginning of the show is that the title sequence foreshadowing someone literally jumping out of a window. Most of them center on Rodger. I am not one of them because I have always thought it was a metaphorical of someone’s downward spiral. But I have to admit during the final scene, there was part of me that thought, “Oh no, Don is going to throw himself off the balcony.”
You can download Mad Men on iTunes.

Crisis: This show is surprisingly good in a best case scenario for a network to rip off Homeland kind of way. Plus the show is not afraid to get weird, which usually happens in the kidnapped house. But since this is on the same network as Hannibal, it is disappointing when the show hints, but does not go there. Like when the capture told the nerd to “touch” the student council president, he goes in for the hug, disappears off camera, and then they end the scene. Obviously from the reactions afterwards something happened, but what exactly? You know Hannibal would not have cut that scene short.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Crisis on iTunes.

Revenge: Emily finally brought back her read Sharpie, but what exactly role did Victoria play in it? It sounded like she was setting Emily up for something, but it did not seem to play out.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

2 Broke Girls: It has been a while since I have seen Lindsay Lohan in anything (I had to look at IMDB and aside from a cameo in Machete and a couple SNL hosting gigs, I have not see her in anything since Mean Girls, ten years ago). If this was the start of a comeback, she is going to have to go back to the drawing board because it was a pretty cringeworthy performance.
You can download 2 Broke Girls on iTunes.

Dallas: Very few things on television are truly shocking anymore, but I did not see Pamela breaking into J.R. Jr’s room just to offer up a threesome with his mistress.
You can download Dallas on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: I realized this episode just how much more I liked Agent Tripp on the team instead of the boring Ward. Hopefully they make this permanent. But I do have a sinking suspicion that Ward will turn out to be a triple agent. Sure that will be silly considering all the people he killed (but they could have been stunner bullets and Garrett did not bother to check for blood) and help get all the technology from SHIELD faculty (but it could be all planted). But then again, why would Coulson tell Ward of the secret floor with the Gravitron? Unless he wanted Ward to find it.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Survivor: Cagayan: Ugg, I am really ready for Tony to get his comeuppance. Since he was the focus of the whole episode, I was expecting someone was going to turn and blindside him. I still do not understand why the Brains on the bottom have not looked at the majority alliance, see there are three Brawn, two Beauties, and one Brain and give the, do not let the Brawn run away with this, let’s start a Brains and Beauty alliance and boot the Brawns. This week would have been perfect when it was three on three on three. I guess that can become a better sell in two weeks if a Brain is ousted next.
You can stream recent episodes on You can also download Survivor: Cagayan on iTunes.

The Americans: I really wanted Philip and Elizabeth’s debate on the luxuries of capitalism to be longer. It is a fascinating discussion of enjoying the very ideas you are supposed to be fighting against. I at the very least would rather they have that discussion about their kids growing up as fully fledged Americans then watching the kids break into other people’s homes to play ColecoVision.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

Community: Many people considered last year a bastard season of the show without creator Dan Harmon around, but the lack of Pierce and Troy this season made this season feel just as disjointed. But I would still watch a sixth season and possibly a movie if there is one next year. If not, I would probably watch Celebrity Beat Off with ?uestlove instead. Though a Jeff and Britta spin-off sounds horrible. An Annie’s Boobs spin-off would be much better.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Community on iTunes.

Parenthood: I was disappointed in the lack of Haddie lesbianism in the episode. We have not seen her all season; you could give her more than three of four scenes. And no one is going to point out her former black male boyfriend? We certainly defiantly did not need any of the Ryan scenes (oh please have Amber’s test come out negative). I guess it was a fitting ending of a lackluster season.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

The Challenge: Free Agents: Oh Camilla, this is the very reason why you get invited back every season, because you are good for one epic drunken stupor per season. Sure the latest one probably does not crack the top five greatest Camilla drunken stupor power rankings, but I do wonder if this was a passing of the guard situation with Nany taking the drunken stupor torch from Camilla because Nany really out-Camillaed Camilla in that fight. If this is the end of the line for Camilla, it has been a hall of fame time run for her.
You can download The Challenge: Free Agents on iTunes.

Hannibal: It seems like I say this every episode, but the stuffing a dead person in a dead horse is the creepiest motif in the show’s history. Well that was until Jeremy Davies (how has it taken him that long to appear on this show; it seems so obvious) stuffed a living person into a dead horse.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Hannibal on iTunes.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Best of the Week:4/18/14

Quote of the Week: She knows I’m a terrible husband. (Don Draper, Mad Men)

Song of the Week: You Keep Me Hanging On – Vanilla Fudge (Mad Men)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: A Mrs. Doubtfire Sequel No One Asked For: We live in an era where every property will eventually get remade because it is easier than coming up with a new idea. So it was only a matter a time before someone got around to Mrs. Doubtfire which featured Robin Williams dressing up as old lady to be a nanny for his kids because his ex-wife would not let him see them. But instead of a remake, it turns out Williams wants some of that Martin Lawrence, Big Momma money and is readying a sequel. No word on if anyone else will reprise their roles, but it sounds like the daughter will night because she took to Twitter this week to blast the sequel, including humorously claiming sequels are unnecessary unless they are part of a trilogy.

Preview Picture of the Week:

"Livin’ on a Prom" Baby Daddy, Wednesday at 8:30 on ABC Family

Free Download of the Week: Who Needs You – The Orwells (iTunes)

New Album Release of the Week: Pop Psychology - Neon Trees

New DVD Release of the Week: Ken Burns: The Address

Video of the Week: The Walk of Shame trailer looks extremely stupid. Please note that I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. And who would have guessed Britta Perry would look much better as a brunette?

Next Week Pick of the Week: Orphan Black, Saturday (tomorrow) at 9:00 on BBC America: Ever since AMC had success with the launch of Mad Men, its first scripted series, it seems like every other network has tried to get in the prestigious television series game. Even WGN has its first original series coming soon. The problem is with all these new channels offering scripted television (as well as all the streaming sites; Playstation is even coming out with one for its gaming system) it is hard to keep track of all of them. So I skipped Orphan Black when it debuted because I did not even have a clue what channel BBC America was.

After hearing an overwhelming acclaim for the series, including from people I trust, I decided to give it a try last summer when there was nothing much else on and I noted the entire season was available On Demand. We live in an era where nothing lives up to the hype, marketers and fanatics oversell everything, but Orphan Black was one of the few things that not only met expectations but actually succeeded them. If you did not catch the first season, it may be too late for you catch up for the new season, but you definitely want to catch the first season now and get caught up for (hopefully) a season three. I just need to figure out what channel BBC America is by tomorrow night.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Around the Tubes: 4/17/14

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 Rosemary's Baby, Getz/Gilberto, Defiance, Royal Pains, Wicked Tuna, The Americans, Chasing Life, and Young and Hungry.

- As we get closer to the May 11 premiere of the Rosemary’s Baby mini-series, here is the exclusive teaser:

- This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark, four-time Grammy® Award winning jazz album Getz/Gilberto. On May 27, 2014, Verve/Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) celebrates with the release of the single-disc Getz/Gilberto: Expanded Edition. It includes a newly remastered version of the jazz/bossa nova classic album in both mono and stereo, with the mono version making its CD debut and the stereo album in its original left-right configuration for the first time since its vinyl release. Additional bonus tracks include the U.S. single versions of The Girl From Ipanema, a massive hit, and Corcovado, its original B-side.

- Mark your calendars because season two premiere of Defiance on Thursday, June 19. In the meantime, please check out the launch trailer below:

- No specific date yet, but Royal Pains will also return sometime this June. There is even a promo. When we last saw Hank (Mark Feuerstein), he was embarking on a trip around the world, to provide medical care for Boris (Campbell Scott). This season, Hank will return to find that his HankMed family has moved on without him. :

- Wicked Tuna returns this Sunday at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel with the biggest episode of the season including a 900 lb fish and a 9 hour battle.

- FX has picked up its hit drama The Americans for a 13-episode third season. Season two continues on Wednesdays at 10:00.

- ABC Family has two new shows coming to you this summer, you can check out the key art for Chasing Life and Young and Hungry below.

Young adn Hungry key art

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Previewing Devious Maids: Season Two: A Dude's Review of Lifetime vol. V

Ten years ago Desperate Housewives debuted and quickly became the guiltiest guilty pleasures of all time. There was an interesting mystery about a suicide, dark underlining humor, and of course, Eva Longoria in her underwear almost every week. Once the mystery as to why Mary Alice killed herself was solved, the show had a hard time coming up with a storyline as gripping (the second season featured some weird kid in the basement storyline that may or may have not been totally cribbed from The Goonies) and the show slowly went downhill. I gave up on the show right around the time a tornado hit Wisteria Lane.

By the time Desperate Housewives was winding down, creator Mark Cherry was reading a spinoff not on any of the main characters but on guest star who works as a maid for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. ABC passed on Devious Maids, but Lifetime, possibly looking for a buzzy show that was part Desperate Housewives, part modern day Downton Abby, to counter their appearance of being the cheesy ripped from the headlines channel decided to pick it up. Much like its predecessor, it features character with plenty of secrets and dark humor.

And of course the show resolved around a murder mystery. The series premiere featured a maid being murdered and her boyfriend being charged. Naturally he did not do it because that would make a boring show. It turned out the suspect’s mother became the latest maid in the area to spy on the dead maid’s former employers in hopes to uncover who really killed her predecessor. Unfortunately the other four maids on the show had storylines that were not nearly as interesting. There was the maid who caught her employer in bed with a man who was not her husband. The maid who wanted to be a singer. And the mother who did not want her daughter to date the son they worked for.

By the end of the season, the murder mystery was wrapped up in a nice bow with the real killer “confessed before killing himself.” The aspiring pop singer was propositioned to be the beard for her employer in exchanged for a record contract. The daughter maid started packing after her mother lied to her about her boyfriend. And the cliffhanger resolved around the maid who slept with her employer getting arrested by ICE with his wife looking on with a smile on her face.

The second season naturally starts off in 1999. What happened fifteen years ago? Murder of course. Back in 2014, it has been three months since the first season finale. Two of the maid have moved on up to the east side. Carmen is enjoying her life as a beard (granted Odessa is not). Marisol has gone to cleaning houses in Beverly Hills to living in one and now has a devious maid of her own who seems to be even more devious than last year's maids. Rosie is seeking asylum in hopes staying in the country. Zoila and Valentina are still estranged because of the deception. And of course the Powell’s, who remain the most entertaining characters on the show, have a new maid, their sixth in the series (and may quickly be in the need of a seventh whom you will recognize).

Despite the opening, there really is no new murder mystery yet (we the viewers can guess one of two things that happened). The Stapports seem to be gone with nary of a mention. There are some bombshells, but mostly of the run of the mill nighttime soap kind. But hey, at least there are no creepy kids in the basement.

Devious Maids airs Sundays at 10:00 on Lifetimes. You can stream past episodes on Hulu. You can also download Devious Maids on iTunes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Previewing I Love My Pit Bull

From dog fights to dog attacks, pit bulls have been in the news for the wrong reasons for a couple decades. These negative perceptions of pit bulls have led to breed specific laws targeted at them, owners of the dogs, would say unfairly. One of those owners is the Dog Whisperer himself Cesar Millan. If you have watched any of his shows, you have undoubtedly met Daddy his pit bull and leader of his pack. And went Daddy passed away a couple years ago, Cesar replaced him with a new pit bull Junior.

The Dog Whisperer would like you to know that just like every other dog, pit bull, and their owners, just need to be trained properly. Cesar goes over how in his newest special I Love My Pit Bull airing Friday at 9:00 on Nat Geo Wild. Not only that he talk about his special relationship with his pit bulls and how rapper Redman was integral to how it came about.

The special also looks at the history of the pit bull back going back to the 1800’s when they were commonly used on farms to herd cattle. There was even a time when they were one of the most popular family pet (sometimes even considered nannies), even owned by President Theodore Roosevelt, Gen. George Patton and Helen Keller. Now associated with dog fights and gang members wants to reeducate the country on the values of the breed that is now euthanized about a million times each year. As Cesar says, “It’s not the breed that makes a good companion. All dogs are great companions. Communication creates a partnership and dogs have the simplest communication on the planet. For them, everything is about trust, respect and love.”

I Love My Pit Bull premieres Friday at 9:00 on Nat Geo Wild.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 4/14/14

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.

Magic - Coldplay

When “A Jonas Akerlund Film” popped up at the beginning of the new Coldplay video, I expected a Best Music Video of 2014 contender. Akerlund has directed such great and thought provoking videos such as Smack My (Expletive Deleted) Up by The Prodigy, Turn the Page by Metallica, and Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful. I was slightly disappointed that the video turned out to be The Prestige meets U2’s All I Want Is You video seen through an oldtimey filter.

Guilty All the Same – Linkin Park featuring Rakim

Linkin Park has made some creative, interactive music videos lately, and their latest is an actual video game (lean more here). Kind of looks like darker version of Sonic the Hedgehog. It is much cooler than the song which weirdly tries to mix early eighties heavy metal and late eighties hip-hop courtesy of the Microphone Fiend Rakim with mixed results.

I Love You (But I Hate Your Friends) - Neon Trees

The first music video off of the upcoming Neon Trees album had a definite eighties vibe. They went even further with their latest video which I am pretty sure Thompson Twins and / or Culture Club made the exact same music video back in the decade.

I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers

In the annuls of rock history, lead singers can go on to have successful solo careers, the band can go onto side projects no one cares about or joins a supergroup. So history is not on the side of Bleachers, headed by the Fun. guitarist. But the first single is catchy in an New Wave song I cannot quite place that it sound like kind of way. The whole therapist themed music video is entertaining.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 4/13/14

Once Upon a Time: So the Wicked Witch took Prince Charming’s courage, tried to take Regina’s heart. So who’s brain will be targeting? And when she gets the three she will be able to go back in time so she can be the one that executes Rumplestiltkin’s curse. Huh?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Shameless: I have long said that no one is really dead on television until you see a body (and even then so, I still give it a ten percent chance they somehow return), so when Jimmy went off to his certain doom, I still assumed he was alive until his corpse washed up along the shores of Lake Michigan. But the writers did wait long enough that I completely forgot about him and snuck him in after the credit so some people may have missed his return. But it looks like we will have to learn a third name for the character because his new female companion called him a new name.

Resurrection: What the frack just happens? Caleb is thirty and then just disappears. Is gone for good or will him and the other be back and forth through time?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Resurrection on iTunes.

House of Lies: Oh wow, Marty Kaan out of Kaan and Associates. I did not see that coming. But much like this past season where it looked bleak that the pod would all be reunited at Kaan and Associates, I have a feeling the writers will find a way for Marty to get back into the fold by the third episode of next season.

The Voice: Of course Team Blake went first because that was the most obvious of all the teams. As soon as I heard that the Playoffs were no longer live back during the first Battle Rounds, I figured those would be his final three. There was an outside chance that Blake could have dumped one of his two country singers for Madilyn Paige, but alas, Madilyn is yet another early fan favorite sent home before anyone could vote on her. Sadly she could have easily have been top three on any other team, and undoubtedly gone further than anyone still on Shakira’s team.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: After debating on whether to watch or skip to avoid spoilers from Captain America I went ahead and watched (I may have been one of the view because ratings were way down; in retrospect, ABC / Disney / Marvel probably should had scheduled so the episode before the movie was the season finale). There were some spoilers like the rise of Hydra and Nick Fury’s death but things looked dire for him in the preview at the end of the last episode (not that I believe he is really dead because you do not kill off Sam Jackson; the only question is if he faked his death or if he took a trip to Tahiti). The show did have a nice fake up making me think Victoria Hand was secretly Hydra only for John Garrett being the turncoat. But Agent Ward turning out to be Hydra was much less surprising, I saw that coming as soon as he adamantly volunteers to escort Garrett.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Justified: The Crowe storyline played out much like I expected it, Wendy turned on Daryl and he would end up dead or in jail. What I did not expect was how much time they spent setting up the next and final season. But just as it should be, next season will be Raylan vs. Boyd with Ava in the middle. After its weakest season, the show is angling to go out on its best (though I doubt anything with come close the Mags Bennet season).
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Justified on iTunes.

Survivor: Cagayan: I am beginning to think the show is actively trying to make this season even worse than Redemption Island. Hopefully Morgan wears a screw you dress to every Tribal Council from here on out.
You can stream recent episodes on You can also download Survivor: Cagayan on iTunes.

The Americans: Every time I hear about someone taking a polygraph test, I am always taken back to the Beavis and Butt-Head episode where they hold their breath to beat the test. How did the duo not know of the squeezing your anus technique to cheat on the test?
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

Community: Well that was stupid. If it were not for Annie’s treasure map dance, that would have been one complete waste of a half and hour.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Community on iTunes.

Parenthood: I do not remember anything from this week’s episode because the only thing I remember is the promo of a now blond Haddie making out with a chick. After a black dude and a chick, she is a Republican away from the Berkley parent nightmare trifecta.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

The Challenge Free Agents: We get a new format this season which turned out to be a combination of the previous formats: they will play as teams one week, small groups other, duos, and individually. I kind of like not the make up from week to week and limits the dominance of one alliance. I do wish they would switch to Survivor type voting because as is the latter voters just end up voting the inevitable. Or even better, have everyone write down a name at the same time and then reveal the names one by one to the group so those voting first do not determine what the latter voters do. And while I am making suggestions, can we please have a moratorium on Bananas and CT and just never ask Cara Maria back.
You can download The Challenge: Free Agents on iTunes.

Hannibal: Last week I pondered if Hannibal planned on Jack finding Miriam or was that his first slip up. Of course Hannibal orchestrated. How he took down Dr. Chilton was awe inspiring. Sully was the only smart person on this show and got out out Dodge without a trace once realizing who Hannibal was.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Hannibal on iTunes.