Friday, February 13, 2015

Around the Tubes: 2/13/15

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 Valentine's Day programming, Happyish, Penny Dreadful, Haunting: Australia, The Librarians, and Funny Or Die's Billy on the Street with Billy Eichner.

- Premium entertainment network EPIX delivers the cinematic equivalent of a dozen roses this Valentine's Day with a line-up of unforgettable romances. This heartwarming (and occasionally heartbreaking) all-day marathon includes a mix of enduring film classics and new romantic crowd-pleasers. Prepare to be charmed as the iconic Audrey Hepburn lights up the screen in Breakfast at Tiffany's, then grab your hankies for the timeless tearjerker Love Story. Laugh it up with modern-era classics, Moonstruck and Pretty in Pink, then sit back and enjoy new romantic stories such as Labor Day, Barefoot and They Came Together.

- This Valentine's Day, as lovebirds swoon over each other in amorous bliss, TBS is going to be commiserating with lonely hearts everywhere by exposing the true horrors of this thing called love. TBS's Un-Valentine's Day Marathon is going to pull back the curtain on dating mishaps and relationship pitfalls with seven hours of episodes from The Big Bang Theory, Friends and Seinfeld. The hilarious misery is set to air Saturday, Feb. 14, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

- Showtime is giving viewers the first look at the brand new half-hour comedy series Happyish starring Oscar® and Golden Globe® nominee Steve Coogan, Kathryn Hahn and Emmy® winner and Golden Globe nominee Bradley Whitford. Premiering on Sunday, April 26th at 9:30, the series is a comedic, soul-searching examination of our pursuit of happiness and why it continues to be so elusive. To view the tease, go to

- Showtime will now premiere the sophomore season of the critically-acclaimed psychological thriller Penny Dreadful on Sunday, May 3rd at 10:00. Penny Dreadful returns with ten episodes and will find Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) and Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) forming a deeper bond as the group, including Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), and Sembene (Danny Sapani), unite to banish the evil forces that threaten to destroy them. Meanwhile, Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), the Creature (Rory Kinnear) and Brona (Billie Piper) are all waging battles of their own. Patti LuPone will guest star as a mysterious character of great importance in Vanessa’s past. Helen McCrory returns as Evelyn Poole (a.k.a. Madame Kali), the seductive spiritualist who will pose a unique threat to our protagonists this season, along with Simon Russell Beale, who is back as eccentric Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle. Additional guest stars include Douglas Hodge as a Scotland Yard investigator; Sarah Greene as Poole’s powerful daughter, Hecate; and Jonny Beauchamp as a man with a singular past.

- EPIX recently announced that stand-up’s biggest and most off-the-wall comics Jim Norton, Jim Breuer and Lisa Lampanelli will star in three new hour-long Original Comedy Events. The laughter begins on April 24 with Jim Norton: Contextually Inadequate, followed by Jim Breuer: Comic Frenzy on May 29 and Lisa Lampanelli: Back to the Drawing Board on June 26.

- Continuing to expand its roster of global programming, Syfy this week announced that it has acquired Haunting: Australia, an eight-part unscripted series featuring six of the best ghost hunters in the world. Haunting: Australia will premiere on Syfy Tuesday, March 24 at 10:00. Hailing from all corners of the globe, the Haunting: Australia ghost hunters join forces to investigate paranormal activity in Australia’s most haunted locations, traveling across the country unearthing ghostly evidence.

- TNT has renewed its hit fantasy-adventure The Librarians. One of the hottest new shows on cable, The Librarians burst onto the scene with a chart-topping launch in December and went on to finish the year as basic cable's #2 new series of 2014, second only to TNT's The Last Ship. The show's success extends across TNT's multiple platforms, with each week's episode reaching an average of 11.4 million viewers through linear telecasts, DVR playback and VOD, digital and mobile viewing. TNT has ordered 10 episodes for the second season, which is slated to launch later this year.

- Funny Or Die's Billy on the Street with Billy Eichner is coming to truTV as part of a multi-layered deal with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. that also includes original specials and pilot commitments for networks across the Turner portfolio. At the center of the deal, the streetwise game show hosted by comedian Billy Eichner is set to become a truTV original series, starting with its fourth season later this year. Sister network TBS will present encores of each episode after initial airings on truTV.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 2/11/15

Only One - Kanye West featuring Paul McCartney

FourFiveSeconds - Rihanna and Kanye West and Paul McCartney

Kanye West christened the new year with a surprised song that featuring instrumentation from Beatle Paul McCartney. The duo then pulled in Rihanna for their next collaboration on a song presumably for her album. I cannot say I was that impressed by either. Only One sounds like a more uplifting version of a song off of 808's an Heartbreaks (my least favorite Kanye record) while FourFiveSeconds sounds just like Stay but with a singular acoustic guitar instead of a piano. Meh to both.

Doing It - Charli XCX featuring Rita Ora

Charli XCX is this bizarrely fun mix of early nineties grunge mixed with late nineties bubblegum pop. Her first album was a bit of a mess in a British version of Ke$ha kind of way. She ironed thing out for her sophomore effort which is a vast improvement. One of the catchier songs on the bubblegum end of the spectrum was Doing It. I jut d not understand why she added Rita Ora to the track who ended up being an even more unnecessary part of the music video that the fat dude in a Speedo.

Lay Me Down - Sam Smith

When someone took Hozier's Take Me to Church and inserted images of homosexual Russians being hunted down and killed in stark black and white and uploaded it to YouTube; Hozier saw it and just made it the official music video. Watching the new Sam Smith video makes me think this pitch could had been perfect for the Hozier song had he had done a more proper music video for Take Me to Church. As for the actual Sam Smith song that does accompany the video, much like the rest of his songs, it is kind of a bore.

Straight Outta Compton Red Band Trailer

That intro is a little silly, but I guess for anyone under twenty-five, they may not even know that that dude from the Are We There Yet movies and the guy who sells Beats Headphones were actually rappers at one point. Usually I stay away from bio-flick (I would rather listen to the music or watch a documentary; surprisingly there was never a N.W.A. episode of Behind the Music though Dr. Dre and Ice Cube got individual ones), but I have to admit this trailer got me a little excited for the movie.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 2/8/15

Super Bowl: I refuse to recognize cheaters as winners because cheaters should never win and winners do not cheat. And lets be honest, the true winners of the Super Bowl was the Green Bay Packers. Seriously, very few people can outshine one of the greatest living humans Anna Kendrick in her own movie trailer. I am definitely not ready for Clay Matthews's jelly, but I cannot wait to see the full performance.

Shameless: Did someone forget to tell Showtime that the Super Bowl was on? And it ended up being the best episode of the short season so far and one of the best of the series. But I guess in the age of DVR and On Demand, I guess watching the first run episode does not really matter much for premium channels who are not selling ads. As long as the viewers watch sometime. But anyway. What a great episode for Frank in his warped The Hangover type plot of trying to figure out what happened to his insurance money. That final reveal with the prosthetics my have been the most "shameless" scene in the show's history. Now with Sheila gone and his money gone, it looks like Frank is back to square one. Does he move in with Sammi at this point?

Pretty Little Liars: Rosewood really has a never ending well of absurdly attractive lesbians. But can they bring back Mona already? The show is kind of boring without her. Because much like Allison, I just do not believe Mona is dead. Hopefully it does not take Mona four years to pop back up in town.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Agent Carter: As entertaining as the show has been it is disappointing that could not figure out how to make use of Dum Dum Duggan more often. Maybe if their is a season two, maybe Peggy can take up his offer of joining the Howling Commandos for next season.
You can download Marvel's Agent Carter om iTunes.

Switched at Birth: I cannot comment on this episode because I will undoubtedly offend people with my thoughts.
You can download Switched At Birth on iTunes.

Justified: I could not believe they killed of Dewie Crowe in the season premiere (that really puts a crimp into my Dewie / Dickie spin-off) but Choo Choo may end up being an almost worthy substitute. But that mask scene just showed that Raylan is still the best character on television.
You can download Justified on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II: What a gutwrenching elimination, on one hand Johnny Bananas wore out his welcome five to ten seasons ago, on the other, Nana has quickly closing in on GOAT status. At least they have that silly ex-ile twist this season (is this the first time The Challenge stole something from Survivor? And now that I think about it, if The Challenge now allows Are You the One castmates, how about recruiting Survivor contestants too). If the show is scripted there is no doubt those two are the ones that make it back into the game. The stupid web show may end up being more entertaining than the actual show.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II on iTunes.

Hindsight: Why was Becca telling the college students how great the next R.E.M. album is? Would that not be New Adventures In Hi-Fi? C'mon Becca, it is one thing to spoil the future, but is another to give people false hope of the future. But she made up for it with a great use of Nightswimming at the of episode, one of my favorite songs ever recorded.
You can download Hindsight on iTunes.

The Americans: Sure, this is still one of the best shows on television, but something needs to happen. The show is still living off close calls every couple episodes, be it the CIA almost catching the Jennings, or Paige discovering what her parents do, but they still have not pulled the trigger on either. Interesting that NBC already beat The Americans to the punch on the second point creating a show where Russians spies tell their son about themselves (or so the previews would have me believe, I did not bother to watch Intelligence). Really the best part of this season so far was the one aspect of the show that chance: Nina in Russian prison. Why did they hold that storyline out of the premiere? Well, the second best, Stan telling Olag that if he if going to shoot him, he will have to shoot him in the back. What a "G" move.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

The Blacklist: Usually I prefer more serialized moments of television shows, but I really do not care at all about the fire Lizzie was in as a kid. And the more they talk about it, the more confused I get. So now her dad (or who she thought was her dad because it is still very plausible that Red is really her father) died in that fire. But did he not die last season when Red smothered him with a pillow? Meh, just give me the Blacklister of the week for this show. I do not care at all with the backstory.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.

King of the Nerds: One thing I noticed this week is there is copious amounts of cleavage this season. In previous season the girls wore a lot of t-shirts with nerd slogans on them, but there are a lot of tank tops this time around. Between that and all the partial lesbians running around it is clear the boys do not have a chance of winning yet again this season. But at least the challenges are silly as ever. Why was there a sumo wrestler in the Nerd Off? Who knows, but it was entertaining.
You can download King of the Nerds on iTunes.