Saturday, June 14, 2014

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 6/14/14

Quote of the Week: Post Script: Your father loves you very much and will do anything to save you. But I love you in a different way. I love you enough to kill you. (Vanessa Ives, Penny Dreadful)

Song of the Week: Vacation – The Go Go’s (Growing Up Fisher)

Big News of the Week: Dynasties Over?: The NBA Finals started much like last year, Spurs and Heat trading wins (they did so until the Heat won the final two games), that was until in game four when the Spurs embarrassed the Heat for the second straight game in Miami. It is not outside the realm of possibility that the Heat could win three straight games, but it would be the first time a team came back from a 3-1 deficit. So what would be next for both teams? It is highly speculated that pop Tim Duncan and Greg Popavich would go out on top, five championships in fifteen years. Then there is the Heat, all of the big three can opt out. There are rumors that LeBron could take his talents to LA or back home to Cleveland. But losing in the finals (the second time in four trips), could all three come back and add on a big fourth in Carmelo Anthony, who I like to refer to as the worst star in the history of the sport.

Preview Picture of the Week:

"Paris" Perception Season Premiere, Tuesday at 10:00 on TNT

Orphan Black: I am all for more clones on the show, which is lacking so far this season aside from one we met via video who is already dead, , but Tony may have gone one clone too far. And that was before Felix made out with the dude who looks exactly like his sister.
You can download Orphan Black on iTunes.

Penny Dreadful: We finally learned more about Vanessa like how her ties with Sir Malcolm goes way back and she is possibly the reason Mina was targeted. We met the demon that torments her in very explicit fashion that actually scares her mother to death. But there are still plenty of questions surrounding her.

Pretty Little Liars: Wait, so Shanna has been A this whole time? I thought she has know Allison’s whereabouts. Granted I am sure there is probably more A’s out there or we will learn she was just part of the A-Team. Although it looks like Mona might be starting up her own B-team.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

The Challenge: Free Agents: I routinely mention how Survivor should steal The Challenge challenge makers, but this week The Challenge actually stole Survivor’s triangle puzzle. Nothing else much to talk about since this was the week when the show foes its once a season, end the episode before the final duel which I always hate. It does seem safe to assume that CT will win the men’s side because in the Next Time On we saw him punch through the dry wall wrist deep o one punch. Then on the other side it seems like Laurel has the clear advantage with the length, oh yeah, and she has two functioning hands.
You can download The Challenge: Free Agents on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: Try - Colbie Caillat (iTunes)

New Album Release of the Week: Mutineers - David Gray

New DVD Release of the Week: Walk of Shame

Video of the Week: For Seth Rogan and James Franco’s next movie, The Interview, there are going to kill Kim Jun Un. Awesome. Though the characters’ names are not mentioned in the trailer, I am just going to go ahead and hope this is a sequil to This Is the End where they are playing themselves. Unfortunately with Lizzy Caplan showing up as some government agent, this is probably not the case. And that is the first time anyone has used the words “unfortunately” and “Lizzy Caplan” in the same sentence.

Next Week Pick of the Week: World Cup, Monday at 5:30 on ESPN: The World Cup started earlier this week but for us xenophobes, it really does not start until Monday when the red, white and blue take the field (quite literally, and the jerseys are kind of hideous in a vertical French flag kind of way). It will be a hard road to the Knockout Round, only Group D with all four teams in the FIFA top 35 World Ranking. But Group G features two of the top four teams in the world (Germany and Portugal). At least America gets to start off with the easiest match of the group: Ghana (37th in the world) except the African country knocked the USA out of the last two World Cups. The next match is Sunday against Portugal also at 5:30 and they close the round robin against Germany, Thursday (6/26) at 11:30 A.M. both on ESPN.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Around the Tubes: 6/13/14

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 Tyrant, The Wil wheaton Project, Heroes of Cosplay, After, Captain America, Oraneg Is the New Black, Fake Off, Face Off, Californication, and Ben Fields.

- Enter the seductive and perilous world of FX's new series. Discover how tyranny reigns over a family and a country. Tyrant premieres Tuesday, June 24.

- New episodes of The Wil Wheaton Project will now air Tuesdays at 9:00 while new episodes of Heroes of Cosplay will now air Tuesdays at 10:00.

- Set in the winter of 2002 in chilly upstate New York, After tells the story of a middle class family struggling with the financial consequences of a failing family business and a series of intergenerational conflicts and rivalries. But, what truly threatens to upset their delicate balance-- and shatter the emotionally fragile family matriarch, (played by Academy Award-nominee, Kathleen Quinlan)-- is an intricately buried secret that, if revealed, could alter their lives irrevocably. A searing study of denial, deception, and self-delusion, AFTER is also a powerful portrait of the lengths we go to protect those we love.

- Building upon the success of their 2013 event, Kiehl’s has once again teamed with Marvel Custom Solutions and enlisted a Triple Threat of Super Heroes for a Limited Edition custom Captain America comic book that delivers an all-new adventure set in Kiehl’s historic New York flagship store. The 12-page story by writer William Harms and artists Tom Grummett and Scott Kolins features Captain America, Black Widow and Falcon as they fight to save the world in the Mighty Marvel Manner.

- In light of the highly-anticipated Season 2 premiere of Orange is The New Black this past Friday, Netflix launched an Orange Is the New App app. The app is a photo-sharing application, which lets you customize cards with your own messages and photos, generate OITNB-themed memes and more! All of the features can be easily shared to your social networks and via SMS.

- Actor and dancer Robert Hoffman (Step Up 2: The Streets, 90210) will host truTV's new series Fake Off, which will feature ten teams from around the country competing against each other in the captivating art of Faking. The teams better bring their A-game to every performance, as they will face an impressive judging panel that includes music superstar and five-time Grammy winner Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas of the mega-group TLC; actor-dancer-choreographer Harry Shum Jr. (Glee, The LXD); and world renowned visual & concept designer Michael Curry (Broadway’s The Lion King, Cirque du Soleil’s Love). Fake Off, which is slated to premiere on truTV this fall, will take viewers into the visually stunning world of Faking, a mix of theater, acrobatics, black light and illusion. In an elimination competition unlike anything American audiences have seen before, teams will reimagine iconic moments in pop culture to see who’s got the skills to be named America's Fake-Off Champions. Produced by Shine America.

- Syfy’s acclaimed unscripted series, Face Off, returns for a seventh season themed “Life and Death” on Tuesday, July 22 at 9:00. Sixteen talented special effects make-up artists arrive to Los Angeles, only to discover they are not on the show just yet, and will compete in a Sudden Death challenge where they must create a character that represents either life or death. After facing the judges, two artists are eliminated before ever moving into the Face Offhouse or stepping into the lab. Freddy Krueger himself, actor Robert Englund, makes an appearance and offers advice on creating a convincing makeup. “Pay attention to your model,” he tells the artists. “Look at his face and build on that. I think one of the successes of the Freddy makeup is that they kept some of my own facial structures which I was able to animate easier.” In a Face Off first, Syfy rolls out an interactive social integration for season 7, calling on viewers to each week tweet about their favorite contestant using #FaceOff. Viewer tweets will determine who the weekly fan favorite is, and at the season’s end, the contestant who ranked the overall most favorite will be rewarded with $10,000.

- he final run of the hit Showtime comedy series Californication wouldn’t be complete without a jaw-dropping appearance from the combustible Eddie Nero. This Sunday, guest star Rob Lowe returns for his final appearance as the mentally unstable movie star, in full method-actor mode for his starring role in the new television series, Santa Monica Cop. Hank’s (David Duchovny) romantic evening with Karen (Natascha McElhone) is ruined by the badly timed arrival of Charlie (Evan Handler), Marcy (Pamela Adlon), Julia (guest star Heather Graham), son Levon (guest star Oliver Cooper) - with escort in tow - and rock-and-roll butler Krull (guest star Steve Jones). But the night goes up in flames when Nero rolls through the door, literally, in a wheelchair.

- Ben Fields will be featured on an upcoming episode of The Bachelorette. The episode will feature Fields performing his hit “Extraordinary Light” during a one-on-one date with one lucky suitor and the newest Bachelorette, Andi Dorfman. The episode is scheduled to air Monday at 8:00 on ABC.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Previewing Wonder of Dogs

Coming from wolves, there are now over 300 hundred different breeds of dogs today coming in all different shapes and sizes. Dogs actually have the biggest size range of any land mammal. The three part series Wonder of Dogs digs deeper into a dog’s DNA to learn what makes one fog different from the next.

The series will also take a look at the extraordinary behind some of the world’s most iconic breeds and discover what they can actually tell us about our own human history. The show will go to ancient Mexico to find out why now extinct civilizations bred the Chihuahua and just why the Poodle is groomed the way they are. Yes there is a practical reason to that look. We also learn what each breed paw can tell us about the dog that walks on them.

The show starts off in Brightwell, England where the hosts look into the just how diverse the dog population is just in their little village. Probably the most entertaining part of the first episode is when they use a high speed camera to slow down to show how different breeds shake differently. Granted I was just entertained by how they tried to get the dogs to shake in front of the camera on cue.

Wonder of Dogs airs Saturday 14 at 10:00 on Nat Geo Wild.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Previewing David Beckham Into the Unknown

David Beckham may have a movie named after him but has never been on camera as anything but a football (soccer to us Americans) player. After a twenty-two year career, Beckham is now officially a former football player and like many retirees he has gotten a little stir crazy. But unlike many retirees, he has a sizable bank account that allows him to do almost anything and go almost anywhere. So where to go: the Amazon. And film it for a documentary

Naturally football has taken Beckham to Brazil (the site of this year’s World Cup which starts tomorrow) before but he never traveled outside the hotel or stadium. This time around Beckham is taking to the streets playing beach volleyball soccer (basically volleyball where you cannot you’re your hands) but his main reason is to travel through the Amazon by motorbike, boat, and small plane to meet the remote Yanomami. Okay he is not going completely off the grid as he is seen playing Flappy Birds at night and occasionally calling home.

Joining Beckham is joined by friends Derek White and Dave Gardner as they start at the edge of the Amazon in Manaus (one of the few sites at the World Cup not on the coastline and where America will battle Portugal June 22) and of course some cameras to document for David Beckham Into the Unknown. They are guided along the 800 mile journey by locals and even travel like locals do including leaking boats on the Cuieras River where passengers have to bail out the water to avoid sinking.

The documentary is a nice look at the host country of this year’s World Cup by one of the sport’s most recognizable stars. It can get a bit self induldgent at times (Beckham revels not being recognized with his hemet on but also says how much he likes getting to spend time with the fans). Of course Posh Spice makes an appearance to question what is he going to do with his hair without the comforts of his bathroom (not the only person who wonders this; he answers a hat both times, but you will get to see the hair in the jungle sans hat multiple times). Even if you are not a fan of the football player, the documentary is worth watching for the beautiful scenery of the Amazon.

David Beckham Into the Unknown premieres Friday at 9:00 on Showtime.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Every Single Bone in My Brain Is Electric

Lazaretto - Jack White

The nineties were a great time for rock feuds: Nirvana vs. Guns n Roses, when the Gallagher brothers were not fighting with themselves, Oasis would take aim at Blur, there were bizarre feuds like Coolio vs. Weird Al, Metallica vs. Napster, Sinead O’Conner vs. Frank Sinatra and the pope, and in rap, there was even a huge East coast vs. West coast feud. All those feuds were organic and came from places of pure hatred. Today’s feuds seemed to calculated fueled more for promotional reasons than hatred. And whenever someone is caught hating someone or something else, a quick press release apology that sounds like it was edited by multiple public relations representatives is released. Most of those do not even need to be released it is just that the media routinely takes quotes out of context in hopes of firing up a feud.

That is what makes Jack White so refreshing, he has not problem starting up a good old fashion feud. He (reportedly) banned The Black Keys guitarist from his studio and does not even want his kids at the same school. The band kind of took the high road in Rolling Stone blaming more faults at the people that leaked the information, but still thinking White is not the best guy in the world. But Jack could not find common ground at hating leakers furthered his hatred at that other two-piece in the very next issue of Rolling Stone claiming they blatantly ripped them off and would be nothing without him. Of course the media would blow his rational out of proportion with his comparison that Amy Winehouse is the reason Adele was able to have success. (I agree with Jack that there is always some who opens the door for other artist to walk through, granted the first is not always the best.)

Next came the inevitable apology but Jack White certainly did not employ a PR firm to compose it as it was dripping in sarcasm in between the line and filled with back handed comments, I find it hardly coincidently that White brought up Danger Mouse in the apology out of nowhere as basically to say, The Black Keys need a co-writer and producer to make hit records. If there is one take away from the Rolling Stone article and the subsequent apology is Jack White really likes to complain which he freely admits he does quite frequently in the article.

Jack White’s hatred of The Black Keys stems from their similar sound to his former band The White Stripes but the biggest White Stripes plagiarist may actually be Jack himself. Each of his band have a very distinctive sound, The Raconteurs were power pop, The Dead Weather were hard rock, but when it came to his solo album it was a blues rock album in the vein of The White Stripes just with more musicians (the Stripes famously only recorded songs that the duo could perform live by themselves).

White’s second solo album Lazaretto is more the same, simply good blues mixed with rock and roll with most of the songs sounding liked more fleshed out versions of The White Stripes songs. But just like the first solo album, I have to wonder if Jack White is more entertaining when he puts constraints on himself like he did with the White Stripes because when he has everything at his disposal, it somehow manages not to be as interesting. There are bits and pieces as interesting material on Lazaretto like the instrumental High Ball Stepper but nothing that makes me not wish he would patch things up with Meg White. Really the only truly interesting part of listening to Lazaretto I had was trying to figure out which bands is backing him on which songs, his all-male band The Buzzards or the all female one, The Peacocks.

Song to Download – Lazaretto

Lazeretto gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Previewing Murder in the First

I was looking through someone’s summer television preview and was shocked to see The Killing on the list. I knew that Netflix had picked it up for a third season, but I never heard anyone talk about that assumed that was it. Why Netflix picked it up in the first place was puzzling considering the show was the most universally hated thing on television since the Lost finale. Of course networks do not make decisions based on quality, only on people watching even if they were hate watching like me.

So not only did that horrible first season finale of The Killing warrant three more seasons based on the numbers, it was successful enough to spawn more television series that focus on just one case. Last summer saw the premiere of the uneven The Bridge on FX. This summer TNT is unveiling their own single case mystery Murder in the First, points for not having "The" in the title.

One of my other big problem with the show (after no conclusion after the first season) was I did not care for the characters as people, by the end; I barely cared for them as officers of the law. So I was wary of Murder in the First as before we see a dead body, we get to see Kathleen Robertson (Boss) as a single mother getting her daughter for school while the ex-husband hits her up for money (that storyline may have been dropped because when he showed up in the next two episodes he did not come across as a deadbeat) and Taye Diggs (Go) getting news that his wife cancer is incurable.

The murder in question is that of a drug addict. This should be simple right? Dick Wolfe solves five to ten of these cases in one episode per various Law in Order seasons. And this one seems to be easy too; there is even a confession early on. Except a second dead body tied to the dead drug addict’s son (Tom Felton, The Apparition) who just so happens to be the youngest billionaire on the planet: part Steve Job, part modern day King Joffrey, one hundred percent douchebag. You kind of want him to be murderer just so he can get his comeuppance.

The first couple episodes also have a few more people of interest that caught my eye, first and foremost is Steven Weber (Wings) who plays Felton’s driver and pilot and co-worker of the second victim (the person who watches too much television in me has to wonder why you would bring in Steven Weber to just be a glorified chauffeur). Then there is Richard Schiff (The West Wing) as Felton’s trusted lawyer who is always ready for a quick retort adding some humor to the show which is solely missing from its peers.

After making it through the first two seasons of The Killing and one of The Bridge, I am beginning to wonder if one case can sustain a ten episode season. Nothing n the first couple episodes of Murder in the First really change my mind. Of course with a show like this it is about sticking the landing. The Killing did not with a silly; the aunt did it, but did not know she was doing it ending. The Bridge was slightly better but way over the top. And though nothing in Murder in the First grabbed me, I will continue to watch to find out who really did it because I am a sucker for a good murder mystery. And even bad ones, like I said, I made it through two seasons The Killing.

Murder in the First airs Mondays at 10:00 on TNT. It is preceded by Major Crimes at 9:00. You can download Murder in the First on iTunes.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 6/8/14

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.

Lazaretto - Jack White

I am not going to lie, I kind of want Jack White’s suit from this video.

Boom Clap – Charlie XCX

Last week I did not have kind words for Iggy Azalia and her Fancy song, but honestly, I kind of like Charli XCX on that song (though being attracted to her as Brittney Murphy is kind of creepy), and kind of like her in general. Sure she is all sorts of bad (let it never be forgotten she was that wrote that horrible I Love It song from last year) but this is actually kind of catchy in its horribleness. If this keeps up, Charli XCX (another reason not to like her, that name, it is annoying to write and what does it mean? 90-10?) could challenge Pretty Little Liars for the guiltiest guilty please of the 10’s.

Best Friend - Foster the People

Foster the People may have only recorded one song worth listening to but they almost always release music videos worth giving a look. We have seen maneater videos plenty of times, but this is the first womaneater I remember seeing.

Zigzagging Towards the Light – Conner Oberst

Conor Oberst was the indie king as Bright Eyes for over a decade but decided it was time to sell out and sign to a major label (the same that turned The Black Keys into the defacto biggest band in the world). If their idea to bring Oberast to the masses was a two and a half minute dialogue with an omnipresent voice during a new future dystopia in black and white, maybe he should have stayed independent. Or they better have a better idea for what will be continued.