Saturday, September 12, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 9/12/15

Ray Donovan: Holy former head of the FBI West sighting! I certainly did not see that coming but I am glad he is back because he was the best part of the vastly improved second season. He was pretty uneventful this week but hopefully he runs into Ray next week.And though the wedding went off without a hitch despite the groom being arrested, I still fear for the safety of the bride. A couple of weeks ago when I was surprised Chekhov's gun did not kill anyone even though I though Terry would accidentally shoot her, I still think she may not make it to the en of the season with the Armenians and Aryans still out there, someone has to pay for the aggrieved parties so every week she is still around, I will be shocked.

The Last Ship: Well I did not see that ending coming. Granted I would be almost as shocked if the good doctor does not survive being shot despite being at close range and her shooter passing right by here and could have easily put a bullet in her brain to make sure he finished the job. But it may be best if she did die, they really do not need that character anymore now that the cure is being distributed and having her on the show would just be shoehorning her in.
You can download The Last Ship on iTunes.

Masters of Sex: The thing about basing television shows based on real people, you go in knowing spoilers, this biggest with this show is knowing that Bill and Virginia end up getting married. So you have to feel sorry for Libby knowing she is kind of a lame duck waiting to get divorced and either be written off the show or turn into Betty Draper with people wondering why she is still on the show every time she pops up. Though I know their marriage dissolved, I do not know the circumstances around it, and just always assumed Bill leaves her for Virginia. I am starting to think Libby may actually be the one who leaves Bill. Which ever way it is I feel bad for which ever parent is stuck with the eldest Masters chick, wow, was he harsh this week. But my favorite part of the episode was Sarah Silverman announcement she was pregnant. Can we please get a Three's Company type spin off with all of them?

The Strain: Am I the least observant person in the world or was this the first time the show had a title sequence? Odd choice to include one half way through the second season. And it kind of hurt the episode. With the Jew and the Nazi vampire looking for each other for one last battle, I figured that it would end in a stalemate yet again because why create a title sequence with both of them in it only to kill one off the first time you use it? Same goes for Vampire Mom, I figured she would get away too thanks to vampire super speed. Which begs the question, why doesn't the Master give super speed to all his spawn? That would seem helpful as apposed to the almost zombie type movements of the lesser vampires.
You can download The Strain on iTunes.

Public Morals: I though it was a weird and poor idea for the show to put up the first four episodes for the bingewatchers after the first episode but the show went full Aquarius putting all ten episode On Demand over the extended Labor Day weekend. I am not sure how successful either attempts at nontraditional releases, we will have to see if the show is renewed or if TNT tries something like this again (it is premiering a new show late this fall and the bingewatching model would seem more successful during the Christmas break as opposed to summer). I am glad they did this so I would not have to wait until November to see the two episodes that were not part of the screeners. I do have some thoughts on the series as a whole so if you did not take advantage of the binge watch you will not want to continue reading. Spoiler Alert Warning If Drew Holt's college girlfriend did not want to become pregnant maybe she should have had that hideous hairstyle earlier in the season because less people would have tried to have sex with her wit that on top of her head. But seriously, that was kind of a weird season finale. Why not end on Patton's car getting blown up instead of Michael Rappaport storming out of the prostitute with the changing accent's apartment? That makes for a much better cliffhanger. And if you are not going end on the exploding car, why have Ed Burns say he is going to go to his aunt's, where we know Neil McDonough is hiding, and not actually have him go there? It kind of felt like a rushed editing job all around.
Public Morals on iTunes.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The Peter Bjorn and John Award for Catchiest Indie-Pop Song of the Summer of 2015

Summer unofficially ended yesterday (but it is not going away quietly as it hit ninety here yesterday and looks the highs look to stay above eighty for most of the week). The last couple years I have commemorated the end of summer by crowning the Peter Bjorn and John Award for Catchiest Indie Pop Song of the Summer. Unfortunately this year has not been that good for indie pop music. Of Monsters and Men, Florence + The Machine and Death Cab for Cutie's albums were mostly meh, Nate Ruess solo work just made me wish Fun would get back together, do not even get me started on the Mumford & Sons album, Beck got fun again with Dreams but that sounded like paint by numbers indie pop and not as fun or weird as his great nineties songs. Things are looking up for the fall as Chvrches is releasing a new album early in the season.

Really this summer was all about annoyingly catchy pop songs with Tori Kelly, Rachel Platten, ZZ Ward, and The Weeknd made me hate myself for liking their hit songs. Ironically the person most responsible for the annoyingly catchy pop song trend, Carly Rae Jepsen quietly put out a surprisingly good indie pop album but stupidly made the first single I Really, Really, Really, Really Like You which managed to be more annoying but less catchy than Call Me Maybe and entitling the album E•MO•TION did not help either.

But there were some decent indie pop songs out there, Brandon Flowers second solo album had some gems (again, it was hurt by a weak first single), My Morning Jacket's Big Decisions was my favorite song the band has ever done. X Ambassadors had a surprising second hit as I would have guessed Jamie N Commons would be the one to do so with last year's Jungle collaboration.

But for me, there is a clear winner for Catchiest Indie Pop Song of the Summer goes to newcomer Alessia Cara (sadly no relations to Irene) with her breakout song Here. When Lorde broke through with a nineties aesthetics I thought we were entering a culture change yet two years later self empowerment songs like Fight Song still dominate. Hopefully Here changes that, the song is so rooted in nineties music that it samples the Portishead by way of Isaac Hayes sample Glory Box. And the lyrics are just a perfect representation of basically every house party I went to in college, may favorite part being when Alessia calls out someone talking about haters who does not even have one. Awesome