Friday, March 06, 2015

Around the Tubes: 3/6/15

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 Broadchurch, the MTV Movie Awards, Most Expensivest (Expletive Deleted), The Big Picture With Kal Penn, Sleight of Mouth, That Which I Love Destroys Me, Cold Justice, Ask This Old House, Those Who Can't, and Sharknado 3.

- Broadchurch, winner of multiple 2014 BAFTA Awards, including "Best Drama Series", and the highest-rated drama on British television returns for its hotly anticipated Second Season on March 4. Following its BBC America premiere - details of which remain a closely guarded secret -- mystery buffs, TV aficionados and anglophiles will be able to purchase each episode of Season Two to stream or download from all major digital download platforms, exclusively from Entertainment One.

- MTV just revealed the nominees for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards. Channing Tatum, Emma Stone, Shailene Woodley, Zac Efron, Ansel Elgort, Scarlett Johansson and Rosamund Pike are among the celebrities receiving multiple nods. Starting now, fans can cast their votes for their favorites at through Saturday, April 11. Voting for “Movie of the Year” will continue throughout the live broadcast of the show. The 2015 MTV Movie Awards will be hosted by comedian Amy Schumer, and the telecast will air LIVE on Sunday, April 12 at 8:00 PM ET/PT from Nokia Theatre L.A.

- Platinum selling, GRAMMY-nominated recording artist 2 Chainz has teamed up with GQ again for the highly anticipated second season of the hilariously entertaining web series Most Expensivest (Expletive Deleted). In each episode, host 2 Chainz showcases the most outrageous toys of the rich, revealing the most rare, sought-after, and expensive extravagances available today.

- With the explosion of infographics and big data, maps aren’t just about geography anymore. They can tell us all kinds of things about the human experience. National Geographic Channel’s (NGC’s) new series The Big Picture With Kal Penn is all about finding the unexpected — and sometimes surprising — realities in both the world at large and our own backyard, revealed by crunching the numbers and finding new ways to visualize data. Produced by National Geographic Studios, The Big Picture With Kal Penn premieres on Monday, March 30, at 9:00 on NGC.

- Standout comedian and magician Justin Willman is breaking new ground with his one-of-a-kind comedy-magic show, Sleight of Mouth. Executive produced by @Midnight host Chris Hardwick and Nerdist Industries, Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ Alex Murray, and Emmy-winning producer Robert Morton (Late Show with David Letterman), this irreverent special is peppered with original sketch comedy, tech-savvy modern trickery, and cannabis-fueled social experiments with Doug Benson and Paul Scheer. “Only on Comedy Central can a guy do magic for stoners in a pot dispensary then go head-to-head with child-geniuses in the same half-hour,” Willman says. Airing at 12:30am on April 6, Sleight of Mouth will kick off immediately following Justin’s return appearance on @Midnight with Chris Hardwick.

- Participant Media’s digital magazine and social action platform for the conscious consumer, today announced that Ric Roman Waugh’s powerful documentary That Which I Love Destroys Me is available on demand at no cost throughout March at Viewers will have the opportunity to show support and make a donation in any amount to the Armed Forces Foundation ( via TakePart's donation tool (powered by CrowdRise). Viewers will also be able to take action via TakePart’s Take Action Platform on other vets-related issues, at

- As TNT's Cold Justice continues to bring closure to long-unsolved cases this winter, the powerful, real-life investigative series is already gearing up for the spring and summer with 12 additional episodes for the show's third season. TNT has also ordered two new Justice Served specials hosted by John Walsh (America's Most Wanted). The specials will update viewers on victims' families and the status of cases as they have proceeded through the legal system. In addition, the spring edition of Justice Served will include a look at Cold Justice: Sex Crimes, TNT's new series set to launch this summer. Cold Justice airs Fridays at 8:00 on TNT, with availability via TNT On Demand and TNT's digital and mobile platforms the following day. The show's winter finale is set for March 6, with the spring episodes slated to launch April 10.

- Coming up on Ask This Old House this spring, the team visits Orlando, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Wheeling, West Virginia; Cleveland, Ohio; and Portland, Maine, while also tackling projects in the show's home base of Massachusetts. As always, these episodes will feature the latest technological innovations including a house call and lesson from Richard on a new smart thermostat that automatically programs itself based on a cellphone's GPS. Electrician Scott Caron will lend a hand to a homeowner installing a charging station for an all-electric vehicle, and Richard's son, Renewable Energy Expert Ross Trethewey, will guide TV audiences through a solar photovoltaic installation on the Ask This Old House barn.

- Making its first foray into full-length scripted comedy, truTV has given the greenlight to Those Who Can't. The comedy about a trio of frustrated high school teachers stars show creators Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy, members of the Denver-based comedy troupe The Grawlix. The series is being produced by Thank You, Brain! Productions and 3 Arts Entertainment. truTV has ordered 10 episodes of Those Who Can't, with plans to launch by early 2016. Set in Denver, the half-hour comedy follows three dysfunctional high school teachers – played by Cayton-Holland, Orvedahl and Roy – who are about as screwed-up as the kids they teach. Maria Thayer (Eagleheart) plays Abbey Logan, a new librarian who questions, denies and then joins in on the antics of her co-workers.

- A new Administration is taking office before January 2017! Syfy and The Asylum today announced that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (Shark Tank) will play the President of the United States with political commentator/author Ann Coulter joining him as Vice President in the eagerly anticipated original movie Sharknado 3.

Monday, March 02, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 3/2/15

Every Moment - Jodeci

I feel bad for anyone under twenty because they have not lived in a world where there was great RnB music being made. The nineties was the last great era of the genre and since then there have been good albums but Alicia Keys and John Legend, but not that much else. The best RnB album of the nineties was Diary of a Mad Band by Jodeci. The group released one more album after that before splitting. It has been twenty years since that last album and now the boys are back to show these youngin's how its done. Sure Every Moment is not great, no one at this point wants to see a music video set in the snow, and K-Ci is slowing morphing into a Dave Chappelle, but mediocre Jodeci is better than no Jodeci and much better than pretty much everything else that passes as RnB this millennium.

From Eden - Hozier

One of my favorite pastimes is checking out a follow up single from a newly minted pop star and debate with myself if the new song can lift them out of one hit wonderdom. 2014 was a weak year for new artists. You had Sam Smith but he quickly got a second hit. Same for Meghan Trainor and Iggy Azalea (though I do wonder if history views them like Vanilla Ice, someone who had a legitimate second hit, but some still think of him as a one hit wonder). The only new artist that is still looking for that elusive second hit is From Eden - Hozier. Listening to his debut album, I did not hear a second hit, but hearing From Eden (dude loves his religious metaphors) outside the context of the album, and I do think it has some potential, though ultimately think it will not make much of a dent on the pop charts. The music video is kind of interesting, we have seen the Bonny and Clyde motif many times before, but this is the first time a kids was involved, well, if you do not count Raising Arizona.

Fly - Maddie and Tae

Though they never crossed over, I guess you could also call Maddie and Tae a country one hit wonder from 2014. And they are kind of the trickiest of one hit wonders as Girl in a Country Song was essentially a novelty song bordering on a "Weird Al" Yankovic type style parody of the bro-country movement. But it is not an impossible stigma to shed: look at Beck, from Loser, a one hit wonder if I have ever heard one, and two decades later he collected an Album of the Year Grammy. But where Beck pushed the boundaries of music on his Loser follow up, Fly pretty much sounds like a sound Martina McBride could have sung back when Beck was starting out.

Nothing Without Love - Nate Ruess

Fun. also quickly exited one hit wonderdom back in 2012, but could they end up in the elusive one album wonder category with all their hit off the same LP. Guitarist Jack Antonoff released a side project last year (oh yeah, Bleachers is another act from last year on Wonder Watch), and now another member is going solo but Nate Ruess was quick to note the band has not broken up when announcing his solo work. Smart move because Nothing Without Love sound like Nate is destined for no hit wonder territory alongside the lead singer of The Killers the members of Blink-182 and Fall Out Boy. The song sound like a middling, non-single Fun. track.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/1/15

The Walking Dead: The biggest problem with the show is that the show is predicated on the character being completely stupid for it to be any good. The smart thing to do in a zombie apocalypse would be to join up with as many living people as possible to beat back the zombie hoards. The smart thing to do back in season one would have been to join forces with the nursing home people, but had they done that, that show would have been extremely boring. So our protagonists are stupid. Which leads us to this week. The smart thing would have been to jump in the camper and ride up to Alexandra and enjoy all the homemade applesauce they would let someone else force down their throats. Instead we get an entire episode of Rick being paranoid when the alternative is that his group starves to death. Of course Rick has every reason to be cautious because the homosexuals will obviously turn out to be evil like every other group they have run into since they opted out of the nursing home: The Governor was a megalomaniac, Terminus was full of cannibals, even the cops in the hospital were basically using slave labor. Now the only question is what demented thing are these Alexandrians in to. Well, besides forcing their children to eat applesauce against their will. That is the evil cult I want to run into when their is a zombie apocalypse.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Gotham: After The Dark Knight trilogy I was hoping for a little more lighthearted Batman adaptation as a follow up. I was not expecting The Brave and the Bold or even Adam West type cheesy fun. If Man of Steel was any indication, Batfleck will be as dour as Christian Bale and the show is not much cheerier. That is why I liked all the silly comedy associated with the Red Hood this week. Unfortunately the mail characters went to darker places this week with Alfred getting stabbed and, oh goodness, why did Fish scoop out her own eye and step on it? When she said their was a option C, how did that be the only thing that crossed her mind? Fish Mooney has quickly moved into Brody territory of why did they not kill them off much earlier then they actually did? Really she is only behind Brody and Otto from Sons of Anarchy (who also lost and eye and was into self mutilation) on that list right now.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Marvel's Agent Carter: It has become Marvel tradition that the final scene is dedicated to some big plot twist or recognizable star making an appearance. I figured that scene for the season finale of Agent Carter would be dedicate to her being the first S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Nope, they went with the more shocking route with the dude from Captain America lurking in the shadows. That will be a formidable big bad team for a potential season two. Instead of waiting until next winter, how about another eight week season this summer?
You can download Marvel's Agent Carter om iTunes.

Justified: Poor Choo-Choo, it did not quite have the Of Mice and Men ending as it teased, but still sad. I thought maybe he would make it when the train stopped but alas, it looks like he is gone. And the plot twist just kept coming, it is clear the Lawnmower Man set up for Boyd to go down that hole, but why? And why exactly did Limehouse sell out Ava?
You can download Justified on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Exes: Stupid promo monkeys. From the very introduction of Ex-ile in the first episode, we have heard Sarah say, "This changes evvvvvvverything" and they play her saying that basically every week, or very least on every episode. So it was pretty clear she and Jordan would still be around by the time TJ announces the twist to the unsuspecting competitors still around. This lead to little drama in the dome as it was clear Sarah would be back. Speaking of spoilers, the promo for next week really looked like Nany's ponytail making their return inevitable (of course if the show were scripted, then Nany and Bananas would obviously be the ones chosen to get back in the game). But they do have to go through the behemoth that is Zach, but since he just lost a strength based dome, it is very possible.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II on iTunes.

Survivor: White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar: The show is at its best whenever it divides its tribe along specific attributes, well except the age season, that one not surprisingly turned out bad. And the show needs a good season after the disastrous last season when it became how flawed Blood vs. Water was. No one really stuck out as someone to root for, I kind of want to do that for the "hearing advocate" (hey, it is better than coconut vendor and this is the No Collar tribe) but the promo monkeys make it look like she is not long for this game.

One thing that really stuck out to me is how much this season resembles Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty. White Collar are the Brain, Blue Collar are the Brawn, an though they are not all that attractive, No Collar do share some attributes of the Beauty tribe. And just like the previous season, the White Collar are trying way too hard to outsmart each other early like the Brains tribe did. You just cannot take the deceit that early in the game and if you do, you better come up with a better excuse then what they did. Poor So, pretty much was voted out because of it.

Except that was a really dumb play on the White Collar tribe. The move was to vote out Carolyn, first off she seems really annoying, is old, and most importantly has the Hidden Immunity Idol. The two swing guys should had targeted her, if she does not play the Idol, a weak and annoying player is gone; if she does play it, oh well, So goes home and the Idol is flushed out.

Since I see this season playing out like Brains vs. Brawn, vs. Beauty, that means a White Collar will not win because they will try to out think each other, eventually playing themselves out of the game; the No Collar will turn on each other early and often (that love triangle cannot possibly end well); so that mean a Blue Collar wins. I just hope that the Masshole does not turn out to be this season's Tony, so I will predict Mike as the winner.
You can download Survivor: White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar on iTunes.

Hindsight: I thought the music supervisor really screwed up when Vanessa Carlton started playing at the beginning of the episode. But they threw a curve and eventually let us know they flashbacked (or forward depending how you look at it) to 2003. Lolly's normal looking hair should have been the hint at the time. Granted later in the episode during the 2003 timeline they did use the nineties Sarah McLachlan classic, so the music survivor did much that up a little.
You can download Hindsight on iTunes.

The Americans: It seems like Philip has ninety-nine problems, and they are all (expletive delete). Two wives and two fifteen year old's. The Jennings have done some pretty morally corrupt acts on the show, but seducing a fifteen year old have to be number one.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

Nashville: It seems like every week things go from bad to worse for Layla, but shockingly something went her way this week getting signed by Rayna (off of a kind of crappy song, but alas). But then it looks like she already sabotaged that relationship but hiring Rayna's archnemesis Jeff as her manager. Bad move Layla.
You can download Nashville on iTunes.

King of the Nerds: Well that was disappointing. I was kind of hoping that the secret six five alliance would make the wrong decision and Colby would send another one of them home. Oh well.
You can download King of the Nerds on iTunes.