Saturday, February 28, 2015

Around the Tubes: 2/28/15

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 The Great British Baking Show, Motown 25, The Cove, Dreamcatcher, Chili's, and Epix.

- It’s the finals... From thousands of applicants, 12 bakers made it to the tent -- and now, just three remain in the hit series The Great British Baking Show on PBS. Episode ten airs on PBS Sunday, March 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET, before Downton Abbey. (Show times may vary, please check local listings in your market). Last week, contestant Richard was named “Star Baker” for the unprecedented fifth time, while Chetna was sent home, however the three remaining contestants, Richard, Nancy and Luis start anew in the series finale.

- Where were you when Michael Jackson unveiled his iconic moonwalk for the very first time as part of the legendary TV special Motown 25: Yesterday · Today · Forever? You likely remember those "six seconds that changed the world", as the historic concert televised by NBC on May 16, 1983, became an immediate sensation and water-cooler event in an era before social media. Now, music lovers and pop culture aficionados alike will have the opportunity to see magic and history being made as the Emmy® Award-winning program will air exclusively as a fundraising event on public television stations this February and March, marking the first TV broadcast of the concert since its debut more than 30 years ago. It will make its national public broadcasting premiere on February 28 at 8:00 (check local listings).

- This Sunday, March 1st at 8:00, The Cove will make its television premiere on Participant Media’s television network, Pivot. Ric O’Barry’s Academy Award® winning documentary exposes the slaughter of more than 20,000 dolphins off the coast of Japan occurring each year. The film follows O’Barry and his team of activists as they uncover the environmental crimes that are happening in Taiji, Japan and explore the impact it is making worldwide.

- Following its recent win at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Dreamcatcher will premiere on Showtime on March 27th at 9:00. The film is an inspirational portrait of Chicago’s Brenda Myers-Powell whose Dreamcatcher Foundation fights to end human trafficking and prevent the sexual exploitation of at-risk youth. To view the trailer go to:

- TBS is hitting the road with a 10-episode order for a new comedy series from The Daily Show's Jason Jones & Samantha Bee. Jones stars in the series, which is inspired by his and Bee's own experiences with family getaways. Also starring are Natalie Zea (Justified, The Following), Ashley Gerasimovich (Louie, We Need to Talk about Kevin) and Liam Carroll (The Neighbors). Production is slated to begin this summer, with the TBS launch scheduled for Q4 2015.

- I’m sure you remember the Chili’s Baby Back Ribs jingle as one of the most recognizable in recent brand history. For the restaurants 40th anniversary, they’re asking musicians, songwriters, and everyday people to sing along as they recreate the famous jingle from the 90’s. On March 14th, 2015 during what they call “St. Chilihead Day”, Chili’s Grill and Bar will celebrate by posting an anniversary video featuring submissions from this social activation. Here’s the video they shot over 4 days with many musicians to kick off the campaign:
Viewers can share their version at

- EPIX this week announced that it has extended its agreement with Amazon to license thousands of new releases, classic library titles and original programs for Prime Instant Video. Programming from the agreement includes movies from EPIX studio partners, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, and delivers new releases such as Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Interstellar, Selma and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, along with classic big film franchises including James Bond, Star Trek, Rocky and more.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Previewing Unlikely Animal Friends: Season Two

Unlikely Animal Friends

For those that have been seeing the Android commercial over the last month or so with animals of different specials paling around like a dog swimming with a dolphin in their "Be together, not the same" ads and thought to themselves, that should be its own television show, you are in luck. There is already one. Even better Unlikely Animal Friends returns tonight with all new episodes.

The premiere episode really starts off going for the heartstrings with a two legged Chihuahua and his best friend a silkie chicken (check out of a clip of the duo), both of who have become unofficial mascots of a veterinarian's office. Also on tonight is a squirrel who hides its nut in a dog's fur, mountaineer and his rock-climbing cat and hear the incredibly sweet tale of the goat who refuses to leave his donkey friend’s side. Later on this season, get to know a Hawaiian surfer who hangs ten with his pet pig, a blind woman who relies on a guide horse and an immobilized cat that’s protected by a faithful dachshund.

Learn more about a California man who hangs ten with his surfing goat, hear the tale of the cockatoo who enjoys giving massages to her once-feral feline friend and meet a hunting dog whose best friend and co-worker is a two-and-a-half-foot-tall Eurasian eagle owl. Get to know a farm dog who loves to mother a wild orphaned fawn, an autistic boy who connects deeply with his flock of chickens and a rat who loves to hang around with a feline friend. Meet a boy who was saved by his heroic family cat, a dog who mothers a “goat puppy” and a man who spoils his pet deer. Learn more abot a dog and cheetah cub duo, a soldier who found a friend in a time of war and a pair of Dalmatians who adopted a kitten.

It seems like every time I write about something from Nat Geo Wild I have to warn animal lovers there are multiple animal on animal attacks, Unlikely Animal Friends is one of the show where two animals that may be enemies in the wild become best friends. It is also the rare show the whole family can enjoy.

Unlikely Animal Friends airs Fridays at 10:00 on Nat Geo Wild.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 2/23/15

One Last Time - Ariana Grande

Admission time: I kind of actually like Ariana Grande. One giant drawback is that everyone she collaborates with pretty much sucks massively sans The Weeknd, but I still think that song would be better without him. Finally Grande has released a song without any features as a single (I may have went with Why Try instead). Much like the song, the video is cheesy fun even if I am not entirely sure if that was the director's intention. Speaking of the director who is credited as Max Landis, is he at all related to John Landis, director of possibly the most famous music video of all time: Thiller?

Time Machine - Ingrid Michaelson

Sure Fiona Apple and Zach Galifianakis pretty much did this exact video and did it better a couple years ago (and there are three people in the video I do not even recognize; the dude on the beach and the golfers), but Ingrid Michaelson's indignation every time someone starts singing in her place is still pretty entertaining.

Irresistible - Fall Out Boy

Speaking of video concepts that were done earlier and better, the new Fall Out Boy video reminds me of Hootie and the Blowfish's Only Wanna Be With You but with the ESPN anchors.

Black Bat Licorice - Jack White

Jack White has been making novelty vinyls for years not it is surprising he has not made a novelty music video until now where Black Bat Licorice is three interactive music videos in one which you can watch over at Since that is not embeddable, I though I would share this live performance of the song featuring Q-Tip. Yes you read that right.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 2/22/15

The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special: That somehow managed to be awesome and a complete mess at the same time. Sm basically like every SNL episode ever. The great moments were great: Bill Murray singing The Love Theme to Jaws, Emma Stone, Wayne's World, Jerry Seinfeld's Q&A, Turd Ferguson, R.I.P. Jon Lovitz. But the bad was really bad: Did anyone get excited for another installment of The Californians which was almost inexplicably saved by David Spade (I wish there were more generational cross pollination), the ESPN guys, Eddie Murphy's weird acceptance speech type appearance, and why have Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake since forty years of catchphrases when ninety percent of the people who originally uttered those phrases were sitting the crowd, yet the only ones included were Debby Downer and Mary Catherine Gallagher.

Plus all the musical performances seemed unnecessary except Paul Simon (and it was nice that they brought back G.E. Smith); did we really need to hear Paul McCartney horsely sing Maybe I'm Amazed (at least it was not Hey Jude for the millionth time; the weird country version of 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (with no Vanessa Bayer sighting); which was only out-weirded by whatever Kanye West was doing. They could have cut those to give more time to Weekend Update, maybe all the guys could have read some fake news too even though the greatest anchor Dennis Miller was conspicuously absent from the evening, but it was funny during the retrospective that the the one Norm McDonald joke they showed was an OJ one considering it is assumed he was kicked off the show because of too many Simpson jokes.

And why have Jack Nicholson of all people introduce the political package when they could have had all the presidential impersonators intro that. I wonder if what stopped them was a lack of Ronald Reagan without Phil Hartman or Dennis Quaid (though Jim Carrey does a very good impression) or maybe they could not decide which of the five who did W Bush would represent. But overall it was an enjoyable walk down memory lane.

Shameless: Jimmy is back and of course Fiona made a bad decision because that is the only kind of decision she seems to make. Sure she kicked him out in the end, but I have a feeling that will not last long because her husband will undoubtedly walk in on them at some point. I do find it odd that there is no episode tonight, the show went head to head with the Super Bowl, but takes Oscar night off.

The Walking Dead: It is clear this show is at its best when the group is separated because this episode was quite boring until the guy at the end who knew Rick showed up. I take it he was the friend with the water.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Gotham: Last week's promo teased the arrival of The Joker (um, his first name is really Jerome?) but we also got our first glimpse of Robin. Well, sort of, but not really. No Dick Grayson's were mentioned but I am just going to go ahead and assume that the couple who said their were going to name their first child after him will be Robin's parents. I though for sure when the female was protesting the name I was convinced she was going to say something like, "I though we decided on Richard." Oh well. But I kind of like how excited Brody's wife was about helping Gordon out with the case.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: Those dance montage sequences may have been the most entertaining part of any episode of this show. Why couldn't Hanna training for a pageant be an entire season plotline?
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Marvel's Agent Carter: I was mildly surprised when Peggy got caught last week, but the Chief throwing himself out the building was a huge shock. Guess he will not be back if there is a second season. Not that anyone but Peggy would because it seems clear this season will end with the creation of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Peggy as its first agent.
You can download Marvel's Agent Carter om iTunes.

Justified: Oh Constable Bob, where have you and your taser been all season? Though Ava trying to leave town just seemed like filler even if the taser and the cattle prod were entertaining byproducts of that storyline.
You can download Justified on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II: Last week Zach almost a legitimate Of Mice and Men reference and this week he gave a, albeit warped, parable from The Bible; how did he not win the trivia challenge? But clearly T.J. enjoys trivia week way too much. I am guessing it was his idea to swaddle the contestants like babies and unwrap them when they lose. Disappointingly no one gave completely inane answers except when Leroy answered "Africa" when T.J. was looking for a country.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II on iTunes.

Hindsight: A couple weeks ago the show highlighted one of my favorite songs of all time, R.E.M.s Nightswimming and this week they pulled out another personal top ten, All I Want Is You by U2. I will forgive that the song actually came out in the eighties (though you could argue it is a nineties song because it was on the Reality Bites Soundtrack). The rest of the episode was pretty much a filler, Becca and Australian dude broke up, again; the two boring people did not break up again, instead got married. But next they do promise all the questions will be answered, so there is that. At the very least, it will still have an awesome soundtrack.
You can download Hindsight on iTunes.

Nashville: Oh snap, Rayna just got Jeff fired (and looking at the previews, sinks the whole label in the process). And poor Layla, about to get her shot in front of the owner and the meeting gets canceled after Jeff gets fired. Nothing is ever going to go right for that girl
You can download Nashville on iTunes.

King of the Nerds: I have been out on Under the Dome for the entirely of the second season, but who knew the chick from that show was extremely cool? Get that girl on more talk show people.
You can download King of the Nerds on iTunes.