Saturday, April 25, 2015

57 Channel and Only This Is On: 4/25/15

Orphan Black: Oh Allison, how have I missed you. Now that Raylan Givens has retired to Florida, you are now the best character on television. But I did not appreciate them teasing that she might die. Not cool.
You can download Orphan Black on iTunes.

Once Upon a Time: When Ursala got her happy ending with papa Winston Zedmore, I theorized Cruella who have some sappy reunion with her puppies. Boy was I far off from that. So is Emma really going to turn dark and she will end up being the Big Bad next season kind of like the Willow season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Mad Men: Oh hey, Creepy Glen, of course you get to come back to say goodbye one last time. Usually I would complain about him, but there was such a big gathering of horrible acting in that lobby season that it was almost entertaining. But not as entertaining as Don telling his realtor how to sell his apartment. Too bad they could not string that out for the last couple episodes.
You can download Mad Men on iTunes.

Revenge: Oh snap, Victoria actually killed herself in hopes that Amanda takes the fall. Bold move. I just hope they do not try bring her back saying she made it out in time and then planted another body there to make people think it was her. That would make it the second time that the writers wanted us to think Victoria died when she did not really.
You can download Revenge on iTunes.

Gotham: And there in lies the problem with prequils: where is the suspense that Barbara is going to be the Ogre's next victim when anyone familiar with the comic knows she is going to survive long enough to marry Jim (um, spoiler alert for those not familiar with the comics)? Though I do wish the writers were actually bold enough to kill off Barbara because she has been pretty worthless as a character so far.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Castle: Oh yeah, I forgot the season started off with Castle with amnesia that they never figured out. Maybe they should have kept it that way because the explanation was pretty thin. Sadly I do not believe that saga is over.
You can download Castle on iTunes.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Meh, I really wished they killed Ward off back in season one along with Garrett, him now playing both sides is just silly. The only way to make it worse if they do wipe his memories and make him a good guy again.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Survivor: Blue Collar. vs. White Collar. vs. No Collar: Ooooh, a new twist. So Dan can add an extra vote whenever he wants (or did they give a final date like they do with the Hidden Immunity Idol). Could be interesting. But it could end up like the Hidden Immunity Idol which has become inconsequential because if someone in the majority alliance has it, it never gets used, if it is in the minority alliance, that person is just voted out at a later date. The only time I could remember an Idol having any bearing on a season was when Paravti whipped out two during the Heroes vs. Villains season.

The other big news is Mike turned out to be an even bigger idiot than I thought. Seriously, if you are not going to buy the letter from home, then just say you are not going to do it, ad if you are stupid enough to try and lie about it, do not go back on it. Between that and his blow up after the action, this may have been one of the dumbest power moves in the history of the game. All he had to do was pull Sierra and Dan aide, point out the Masshole's four person alliance, say that if they vote out Shirin and Jenn, we would be the next three so we should recruit Shirin and Jenn, vote out the flippers, then vote out Shirin and Jenn for an all Blue Collar Final Three. Instead he managed to get booted from his alliance and did not even get the extra vote from the auction. Moron.
You can download Survivor: White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar on iTunes.

Black-iah: Was it not enough for Michael Rappaport to ruin Justified last year, he had to bring down the funniest show on television too?
You can download Black-ish on iTunes.

The American: Oooh, Paige talk Pastor Tim about her parents. Yet I will feel this will not end up with them being caught but it will be like when Martha learned of her husband and nothing will come of it. Look at Stan, just like I predicted, his correspondence with Oleg will make him look like the buy who planted the bug, but not only does he not get arrested for treason, he gets a promotion. I really wish someone will actually get caught soon.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

Nashville: Sure Christina Aguilera cannot act, but that three way cat fight in the bathroom was almost as entertaining as the bad acting meet on Mad Men this week. I always thought Layla made a much better foil to Juliet than Rayna, it is nice that the writers are finally figuring that out again.
You can download Nashville on iTunes.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Around the Tubes: 4/24/15

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 Happyish, Penny Dreadful, Turner on Hulu, Childhood's End, First Peoples, Dead End Express, Inside Comedy, Red Nose Day, BBQ with Franklin, Journey to the Draft, Iverson, Bitten, The Spy Inside the Hanoi Hilton and The Breaks.

- Showtime is giving viewers an early opportunity to sample the series premiere of the new half-hour comedy HAPPYish and the second season premiere of the critically-acclaimed psychological thriller PENNY DREADFUL across multiple platforms before their debut on Showtime. Viewers can sample the premiere of HAPPYish (, and the TV-14 rated version of Penny Dreadful ( for free now on YouTube and on The premieres are also available via a number of television providers' free On Demand channels and websites, on Showtime on Demand® and various partner sites and applications. The episodes will also be available via Showtime Anytime® on desktop, iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets, Kindle Fire™, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox 360®, Xbox One and Apple TV streaming players anywhere in the U.S., as well as for download as a free video podcast on iTunes. PENNY DREADFUL will also be available on the Showtime Preview app on Smart TVs from Samsung, LG and Panasonic. HAPPYish will premiere on Sunday, April 26th at 9:30 and Penny Deadful will premiere on Sunday, May 3rd at 10:00.

- Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., and Hulu today announced an extensive, multi-year licensing agreement that will grant Hulu the exclusive SVOD rights to previous seasons of Turner's popular programming from Cartoon Network and Adult Swim as well as select current and upcoming series from TNT and TBS. The deal marks the first-ever licensing agreement between Turner Broadcasting and Hulu. All episodes from past seasons of TNT's The Last Ship and Murder in the First will be available to stream exclusively for Hulu subscribers. Additionally, all episodes from past seasons of popular Adult Swim original series including Rick and Morty, Black Jesus,NTSF:SD:SUV and Cartoon Network original series such as The Amazing World of Gumball, Steven Universe, Over the Garden Wall and Clarence will be made available to stream through an SVOD service for the first time ever on Hulu. All Cartoon Network series will be available to stream ad-free in the Hulu Kids environment.

- This sci-fi classic gets an adaptation at last. Childhood’s End, starring Charles Dance of Game of Thrones, premieres in December. Check out the teaser below:

- 200,000 years ago our ancestors took their first steps on the African savanna. Today, seven billion of us live across the planet. How did we beat the odds and spread from continent to continent? First Peoples is a global detective story that traces the arrival of the first Homo sapiens on five continents. Airing Wednesdays on June 24-July 1 at 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. ET and July 8 at 9:00, First Peoples is part of PBS’ “Think Wednesday” programming block.

- Across the vast and untamed wildernesses of the U.S., a hardy breed of American still lives a life set apart. Not just off the beaten path, these families and individuals are physically cut off from society by Rocky Mountains, roaring rivers and frozen tundra. However self-sufficient they might be, no man is an island, and sooner or later, those isolated in these remote locales must replenish their diminishing resources, whether fuel or ammo, or life-saving essentials like food and medicine. Dead End Express follows five rugged adventurers as they live and breathe the high-stakes life of hauling critical cargo into treacherous tracts of wilderness. Produced for National Geographic Channel by Original Media, a subsidiary of Endemol Shine North America, and Punchdrunk, the new series premieres Thursday, May 7, at 10:00.

- Inside Comedy, the critically-acclaimed SHOWTIME documentary series from comedy forces David Steinberg and Steve Carell, will premiere its fourth season on Tuesday, May 5th at 11:00. The six, half hour episodes will feature some of the buzziest names in entertainment including Dan Aykroyd, Stephen Colbert, Dane Cook, Bryan Cranston, Ted Danson, Michael Keaton, Carol Leifer, Jon Stewart, Wanda Sykes, and newest additions Conan O’Brien, Cheech & Chong, and Jeffrey Tambor. Steinberg will continue as host.

- Watch as the first red nose is sold to a lucky - and unsuspecting - customer at a Chicago Walgreens. Noses are available now for $1 exclusively at your local Walgreens.

- Pitmaster Aaron Franklin takes viewers on a boisterous road trip through BBQ culture — the people, the places and, of course, the food — in the new original series BBQ with Franklin, premiering on PBS in May 2015 ( check local listings). Ten half-hour episodes celebrate the traditions, techniques and histories passed along through generations, while serving up a new take on this distinctly American passion. The tour guide for this adventure is the owner and chief firestarter at Austin’s Franklin Barbecue, Aaron Franklin, widely regarded as one of the most influential pitmasters in the U.S. Part pilgrimage, part noble quest, the series brings viewers into Franklin’s world as he visits notable BBQ joints and their legendary masters, tries new recipes, answers burning questions such as “Is it done yet?” and shovels wood at his own BBQ pits.

- AOL announced today the release of its upcoming digital docu-series, Journey to the Draft, which will premiere on April 28th. The series will release nine episodes on April 28th, followed by the finale on May 6th for 10 episodes in total streaming on NFL Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders serves as executive producer and narrator for the series. Journey to the Draft is an organic, unscripted, docu-series that follows three college football players, all with promising professional careers. These young men attend different schools across the country and play a variety of positions on the field, but at the end of the day they share one goal: to play in the NFL. The AOL docu-series follows players Leonard Williams, Kevin White and Marcus Peters.

- Showtime Sports® will present Iverson, a feature-length film on the legacy of NBA great Allen Iverson premiering on Saturday, May 16 at 9:00 on Showtime®.
The film, which debuted at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, is an in-depth look into 11-time NBA All-Star Allen Iverson whose audacious rejection of conservative NBA convention and unapologetic embrace of hip-hop culture sent shockwaves throughout the league and influenced an entire generation.

- In 2014, Syfy introduced genre audiences to Elena Michaels, the world's only female werewolf, in Bitten, a steamy, emotionally charged supernatural series based on the novels by #1 New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong. On April 17 at 8pm ET, Season 2 sees the return of Laura Vandervoort as Elena, the world's only female werewolf; Greyston Holt as Elena's passionate partner Clay Danvers; and Greg Bryk as the Alpha Pack leader Jeremy Danvers. And on April 18, Entertainment One (eOne) - also a Bitten producer - will begin to release each stunt and VFX-fueled SEASON TWO episode for purchase on all leading digital platforms the day after premiering on Syfy.

- A new Smithsonian Channel special will reveal one of the greatest secrets of the Vietnam War. The Spy in the Hanoi Hilton, premiering Monday, April 27 at 8:00, uncovers the true story of POWs inside the Hỏa Lò Prison, known as the Hanoi Hilton, who created a high-level espionage operation that reached all the way to the CIA and the White House. This included sending radio transmissions to the Pentagon and President Nixon’s White House during the brutal Christmas Bombings of 1972, signaling that POWs inside the Hanoi Hilton were still alive and that the raid should continue.

- VH1 has tapped legendary New York music producer DJ Premier to compose score and serve as executive music producer of the new original movie The Breaks. Inspired by journalist Dan Charnas’ book “The Big Payback,” a narrative history of the hip-hop business, “The Breaks” will be written, directed and executive produced by Seith Mann (“The Wire,” “The Walking Dead,” “Homeland”). VH1 plans to start principal photography in June with a premiere date set for late Fall 2015.

- Vibrant TV, the new, online network offering American viewers exclusive internationally-produced television entertainment, launches today with award-winning programming from the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Presenting popular international shows, Vibrant TV gives American viewers the chance to experience cultures from around the world – embracing their differences, celebrating their similarities and coming away with a fuller view of how people live. Vibrant TV features a full range of program categories including lifestyle, comedy, action adventure, drama, reality, travel, food, sports and family. Vibrant TV offers new subscribers a free, two-week trial followed by a $4.99 per month charge. Highlighted among Vibrant’s many noted offerings are a trio of highly-acclaimed series never before available in the U.S.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 4/21/15

American Oxygen - Rihanna

Before I even heard the new Rihanna song (I had to wait because, though I may subscribe to a streaming music site one day, it certainly will not be Tidal where the song had its exclusive premiere) I read an interview with the song's songwriter who cited Born In the U.S.A. This piqued my interest because the Bruce Springsteen song on its surface sounds like a jingoistic anthem, is really dark condemnation of the Vietnam War. Of course Springsteen can bring up darker moments in our history coming from New Jersey, Rihanna, a pop singer from Barbados may be a harder sale. Not only are the lyrics of American Oxygen touch on hardships of the nation, the video double downs on this spanning from the Klan to Eric Garner. But the songs's worst crime is that it just is not very good. But personally I cannot wait until some Republican mistakes the lyrics and using it in their 2016 campaign the way Reagan try to co-opt Born in the U.S.A. I predict Rand Paul.

Uma Thurman - Fall Out Boy

Babe of the nineties are really having a moment, first Michelle Pheiffer gets a shout out from Bruno Mars in the biggest song of the year, now Fall Out Boy has devoted an entire song to her Pulp Fiction dance. This makes me wonder what Kathy Ireland is up to these days. The video is sort of entertaining in a Up For Anything Bud Light commercial kind of way that get tiring easily.

Still Want You - Brandon Flowers

Last month Brandon Flowers released his first single off his sophomore album which was met with a resounding yawn and general, so when is the next The Killers album coming? I do actually kind of like the new single even if it is a bit on the cheesy eighties side of things (the music video only makes it cheesier). It is probably his best solo song yet. Still, I would rather have another Killers album instead.

Catch in the Dark - Passenger

In this week's installment of One Hit Wonder Watch, Passenger had a surprise hit two years ago with the sleepy Let Her Go in a time when radio was only play annoyingly upbeat songs. He followed that up with a faux rap song in the style of Ed Sheeran that failed to gain any steam. He is back with another sleepy song off his second album since the one featuring Let Her Go, but Catch in the Dark lack the instantly recognizable hook that Let Her Go had so it looks like Passenger will be saying in One Hit Wonderdom for a bit longer.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 4/19/15

Once Upon a Time: Oh yeah, I forgot Robin Hood was out there somewhere. I also forgot just how boring he is. Maybe the show can turn him into a wolf or something.

Mad Men: Weird that Betty and company showed up in the first scene and were not seen again after that. I audibly groaned when I saw them thinking we were going to have to sit through another boring Betty story line. Instead we got the loathsome Harry who managed to to creep on Megan before the ink on the divorcee papers was even dry, or technically before there was any ink on them at all. Overall a pretty meh episode even if we mostly avoided the Francis clan, it definitely needed more Ken.
You can download Mad Men on iTunes.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Holy Billy Riggins sighting! But why are they wasting his talents on just knocking on the door to a bathroom? He did not even get to run into his sister-in-law. Oh well. So we finally learned how May get her title of The Calvary before taking a desk job until Coulson brought her back into the field. Fine, whatever, But maybe the most interesting part of SHIELD this week was Clarke Gregg Skyping into Jimmy Kimmel Live during a fan Q and A segment to ask any of the Avengers if they ever thought about working on the small screen which was met by deafening silence by the six movie stars. Ouch. Guess none of The Avengers will learn Coulson is not so dead anytime soon.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Justified: For the third time in the series history, the finale episode featured the song No One Gets Out of Harlan Alive. This turned out to be one big red herring because everyone who has been around from the first season was able to get out of Harlan with their heart still beating: Raylan, Boyd, Ava, even Wynn Duffy moved to an undisclosed location presumably to to door to door dog grooming.

Not that it was a satisfying ending. Raylan got in a few more great zingers, the best being, "Try this one" as he kicked a gun to Boyd after admitting he was out of bullets. Then Raylan did get his one last showdown with Boone that even though you knew was coming the moment he stepped on screen did not make it any less epic. Raylan is actually losing his touch because he actually let Boone get a shot off.

As it seems to becoming standard for television shows, we got a "four years later" coda, most surprising being that Raylan did not get the girl (whatever did happen to Jackie Nevada), Ava had a chid of her own and we finally learn why Boyd and Raylan just could not kill each other: they were brothers in arms who just took different paths, and they managed to help each other get out of Harlan alive.

All that is left now is figuring out where the show lands in the Pantheon of all time great television shows. I am ready to call it the best of the first half of this decade. As for all time, the show boasts the all time greatest opening of all time (Raylan giving the crime boss twenty-four hours to leave town and the time is up), one of the greatest antagonist of all time in Mags Bennett (sorry Boyd). Really only two demerits: the drag of the Michael Rappaport season and the flimsy heal turn by Ava, shaking up with her brother-in-law who was more evil than the man she killed. Still, if there were a Television Hall of Fame, you could make an easy argument for Justified in five years.
You can download Justified on iTunes.

Survivor: Blue Collar vs. White Collar. vs. No Collar: I liked how Probst refused to verify the validity of the Hidden Immunity Idol for Mike. Fake Idols are not made on this show enough anymore. Other that, a pretty boring episode as we are in the long decimation of the smaller alliance post merge that happens most seasons. They should really double up those eliminations into one episode when that happens to speed things up. Hopefully the promo for next week was not a red herring and that Mike and the Masshole go after each other (which hopefully results in the Masshole's elimination).
You can download Survivor: White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar on iTunes.

The American's: When Martha found out Clark was not who he said he was I thought, well he has to kill her now. With her cracking and about to go home I thought, oh yeah, Clark is taking off his wig so Martha knows exactly who he is before he kills her. Except the episode just faded to black. But she cannot possibly survive the season. And with the season finale next week, someone has to finally take the fall for the bugged pen. Martha death making it look like a suicide because of guilt over betraying her country but I still think Stan may actually going to get caught trying to free Nina that he gets fingered.
The Americans on iTunes.

Nashville: Juliet's irrational post pregnancy moods is really the most entertaining she has ever been.
You can download Nashville on iTunes.