Friday, October 16, 2015

Around the Tubes: 10/16/15

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 Refreshments, Truth Be Told, The Simpsons, Scream Queens, Explorer, Conan, RocketJump: The Show, Seal Dog, First You Dream − The Music of Kander and & Ebb, Powers, Roadies, Hit the Floor, Tyrant, Impractical Jokers, and Dice.

- The Refreshments’ much adored cult classic debut album Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy, featuring the single, “Banditos,” is now being reissued in standard vinyl for the first time ever by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) on November 13. The group’s rollicking roots-rock “Southwestern Sound” made them contemporaries of similar groups like Meat Puppets, Gin Blossoms, Dead Hot Workshop and The Sidewinders, and was a harbinger of the No Depression/Americana/alt-country sound which would be made popular by the likes of Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt and Wilco in subsequent years. The group’s humorous approach can be heard on such songs as “Girly,” “Suckerpunch,” “Carefree” and “Blue Collar Suicide.” The Refreshments toured the U.S. and Canada extensively for the first album, though an Australian tour was cut short when a change in management at the label prompted them home to begin work on a second album, The Bottle & Fresh Horses, which came out in 1997, shortly before the group experienced a lineup change and new name, ending the run of The Refreshments.

- Coming Fridays this Fall to NBC. From the director of How I Met Your Mother comes Truth Be Told, a bold new comedy about two couples for whom nothing is out of bounds, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tone Bell and Bresha Webb.

- FXX will countdown to Halloween with a frightfully fun The Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” programming event beginning October 25 and concluding Halloween night with a marathon featuring all 25 spooktacular “Treehouse of Horror” episodes airing in consecutive order from 12pm – 12:30am ET/PT.

- Spend Halloween night with FX, catching up on the first six episodes of the new FOX horror comedy Scream Queens. Marathon starts Halloween Saturday, October 31, 2015 from 6pm to 12am. Kappa Kappa Tau is the most exclusive sorority on campus, but a dean with a grudge against Kappa House has decreed that pledging must be open to all students, not just the school's silver-spooned elite. Now all hell is about to break loose as a murderer in a devil mask begins wreaking havoc across the campus, and the girls of Kappa House are dying for new pledges. New Scream Queen episodes air Tuesdays at 9:00 on FOX.

- The science is clear. Our planet is warming. Weather patterns are shifting. Ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. This affects all of us. And one well-known and outspoken scientist is beside himself with grief. Acclaimed educator and “Science Guy” Bill Nye (@BillNye) realizes the reason he is feeling down is because he is in fact suffering from “climate change grief.” With a little help from Hollywood action star and environmental advocate former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (@Schwarzenegger), Nye delves into the various manifestations of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance that represent not only the clinical stages of grief, but also the shared emotions that people exhibit in relation to the stark realities of climate change. In perhaps the most unconventional hour ever devoted to the subject of climate change, National Geographic Channel (@NatGeoChannel) and Nye partner to tackle the subject in a fresh, entertaining and equally thought-provoking way by investigating how the global community is approaching the dilemma of saving both our species and the planet from rising temperatures and extreme weather. Explorer: Bill Nye’s Global Meltdown, featuring Schwarzenegger as Nye’s climate change therapist, premieres Sunday, Nov. 1, at 8:00 on National Geographic Channel.

- TBS's late-night show Conan is on the road again as host Conan O'Brien prepares to become the first American late-night host ever to do a show from Armenia. Joining Conan will be his longtime assistant Sona Movsesian, who is of Armenian descent. It will be her first time visiting the country, as well. The episode is set to air Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 11:00 and will be available across the TBS and Team Coco digital and mobile platforms the following day.

- RocketJump: The Show is a behind-the-scenes look at the RocketJump production team as they create phenomenal action-comedy short films. Each half-hour episode of the comedy series will chronicle the filmmaking behind RocketJump’s newest short. The eight full episodes will be released exclusively on Hulu on a weekly basis and the newly created shorts will premiere exclusively on Hulu, streaming weekly starting Wednesday, December 2.

- Seal Dog, a new one-hour Smithsonian Channel special, tells the story of former Navy SEAL Trevor Maroshek and his amazing war dog, Chopper. For the last eight years, Trevor and Chopper have been inseparable, having trained together, fought together, and even surfed together. And along the way, each has saved the other’s life. Now in retirement, Chopper works as a therapy dog helping Trevor heal from the psychological and physical wounds of war. This new one-hour program premieres on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11 at 8:00.

- The legendary Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winning songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb provides the soundtrack for PBS’ First You Dream − The Music of Kander and & Ebb, which premieres Friday, November 20, 2015, at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). The program, based on the musical revue conceived by stage director Eric Schaeffer and music director David Loud, features some of the greatest and best-known Broadway songs ever written. The one-hour special is part of the fifth annual PBS Arts Fall Festival.

- Los Angeles alternative electro pop superheroes Powers, Mike Del Rio and Crista Ru, just premiered their brand new buzz track “Hot” on Noisey. The brand new song from their forthcoming debut EP release on Republic Records, Legendary, available at all digital retailers October 23rd.

- Showtime is boarding The Staton-House Band bus – the network has picked up the highly anticipated pilot Roadies to series with 10 episodes. Oscar® winner Cameron Crowe will write, direct and executive produce. Emmy® and Tony® nominee Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life, Wicked) will executive produce. The music-infused, one-hour ensemble comedy is a backstage look into the lives of a tight-knit group of rock band “roadies.” Roadies will premiere across all Showtime platforms in 2016, including on linear, On Demand and over the internet. The series will go into production early next year.

- VH1 scores a three-pointer, returning its hit scripted series Hit The Floor for a third season of drama on Monday, January 18th at 10:00.

- FX has ordered a third season of Tyrant, the drama from Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning Executive Producer Howard Gordon, it was announced today by Eric Schrier and Nick Grad, Presidents of Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions. Tyrant recently completed its thrilling second season. The 10-episode third season will air in 2016.

- truTV has renewed the show Impractical Jokers for a fifth season, ordering an all new round of outrageous dares and punishments that are guaranteed to keep Sal, Joe, Murr and Q looking over their shoulders for what is next.

- Oscar® winner, Golden Globe® and Emmy® nominee Adrien Brody (The Pianist, Houdini), Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Lorraine Bracco (Goodfellas, The Sopranos) and veteran actor Kevin Corrigan (Goodfellas, Grounded For Life) have joined the upcoming Showtime comedy series Dice. Brody will guest star in one episode playing himself, while Bracco will guest star in two episodes as “Toni,” a Vegas overlord who owns series star Andrew Dice Clay’s gambling debts. As the casino boss where Dice works and plays, she forces him to perform whenever and wherever she wants. In a series regular role, Corrigan will star as “Milkshake,” Dice’s best friend and right-hand man. From Fox21 Television Studios, the half-hour, single-camera comedy began production this month for premiere in 2016 on Showtime on-air, on demand and over the internet.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Voice Season Nine Blind Auditions Power Rankings

It seems like ninety percent of the singers this season of The Voice can be divided into three different: country singers, which of course most went to Blake, indie-pop chick, which most went to Gwen (Blake used to be where they used to all go but surprisingly rarely even pushed his button for them this season), and bland singer-songwriter dudes, which are spread out through all the teams (there were way too many Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, and Sam Smith songs this round). It will be interesting how the teams shake out as the rounds progress. Blake has enough southern talent this season he could very well take four of them to the Live Shows, something he has not done since season four. Gwen's first time on the show was quite disastrous (Ryan Sill: never forget) and seemed to favor dudes and could take the boring Jeffery over her more interesting female singers. But I am sure Adam or Pharrell will end up winning anyway with one of their boring singer-songwriter dudes if Blake country block fails this season. But here is my first impressions of the ninth season:

1. Ellie Lawrence (Team Gwen)
2. Krista Hughes (Team Blake)
3. Sydney Rhame (Team Pharrell)
4. Amy Vachal (Team Pharrell)
5. Madi Davis (Team Pharrell)
6. Morgan Frazier (Team Blake)
7. Andi & Alex (Team Adam)
8. Ivonne Acero (Team Pharrell)
9. Kota Wade (Team Gwen)
10. Mark Hood (Team Pharrell)
11. Shelby Brown (Team Adam)
12. Evan McKeel (Team Pharrell)
13. Blind Joe (Team Blake)
14. Emily Ann Roberts (Team Blake)
15. Nadjah Nicole (Team Blake)
16. Siahna Im (Team Pharrell)
17. Keith Semple (Team Adam)
18. Regina Love (Team Adam)
19. Manny Cabo (Team Adam)
20. Blaine Mitchell (Team Blake)
21. Cole Criske (Team Blake)
22. Dustin Christensen (Team Blake)
23. Korin Bukowski (Team Gwen)
24. Tyler Dickerson (Team Blake)
25. Barrett Baber (Team Blake)
26. Dustin Monk (Team Adam)
27. Jeffery Austin (Team Gwen)
28. James Dupré (Team Adam)
29. Alex Kandel (Team Gwen)
30. Jordan Smith (Team Adam)
31. Summer Schappell (Team Gwen)
32. Viktor Király (Team Adam)
33. Jubal and Amanda (Team Pharrell)
34. Riley Biederer (Team Pharrell)
35. Chris Crump (Team Blake)
36. Hanna Ashbrook (Team Gwen)
37. Darius Scott (Team Pharrell)
38. Amanda Ayala (Team Adam)
39. Zach Seabaugh (Team Blake)
40. Celeste Betton (Team Pharrell)
41. Chance Peña (Team Adam)
42. Cassandra Robertson (Team Adam)
43. Tim Atlas (Team Gwen)
44. Noah Jackson (Team Gwen)
45. Lyndsey Elm (Team Gwen)
46. Daria Jazmin (Team Pharrell)
47. Chase Kerby (Team Gwen)
48. Braiden Sunshine (Team Gwen)

Wow, the first nine are all females, dude have to step up their games this season. Of course at this rate the dudes are going to run out of Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran songs to cover by the Knockout Round and will have to try something new. Of course by the time the Live Round starts, I am sure at least seven of the eight spots will be voted through by the bored housewife voting block during the Live Playoffs. But going by my rankings here is how each team ranks if you give each singer a numerical value based on the Power Rankings:

Team Blake: 352
Team Pharrell: 340
Team Adam: 279
Team Gwen: 205

I think this may be the first time I thought Blake came out of the Blind Auditions as the winner, he come out of the pre-taped rounds the winner multiple times because he has always has done the best job getting his best singer to the Live Shows while Adam likes to throw away some of his best singers to make it easier for hid chosen one, and Gwen and Pharrell go with the dumbest philosophy of picking who they think they can help the most, not who was the best (Ryan Sill: never forget).

I did complain of how the boring but cute boys take over the show when voting starts, but looking at the iTunes ranking, seven of the top ten including six of the top seven (the seventh, some even thought was a chick until we saw him), maybe this really is a woman's year.

1. Amy Vachal (31)
2. Andi and Alex (32)
3. Jordan Smith (36)
4. Shelby Brown (39)
5. Ellie Lawrence (45)
6. Sydney Rhame (58)
7. Morgan Frazier (73)
8. Barrett Baber (85)
9. Krista Hughes (111)
10. Blind Joe (150)
11. Lyndsey Elm (166)
12. Cole Criske (195)
13. James Dupre (215)
14. Chris Crump (215)
15. Manny Cabo (250)
16. Siahna Im (286)
17. Zach Seabaugh (301)
18. Ivonne Acero (314)
19. Dustin Christensen (328)
20. Madi Davis (351)
21. Chance Pena (392)
22. Emily Ann Roberts (406)
23. Jeffery Austin (412)
24. Chase Kirby (439)
25. Korin Bukowski (477)
26. Summer Schappell (426)
27. Viktor Kiraly (503)
28. Blaine Mitchell (599)
29. Keith Semple (651)
30. Evan McKeel (739)
31. Mark Hood (814)
32. Jubal and Amanda (901)
33. Tyler Dickerson (1207)
34. Darius Scott (1493)

So Najah was the one Blake team member that failed to crack the top 1500 on the iTunes chart so again, he does have a very strong team this season. Gwen is missing five but three of them were montaged. Then you have Adam dominating the top four but lets see if any of them are his favorite and which of them he throws under the bus. And if we rank them, here is who iTunes shoppers think have the strongest team:

Blake: 206
Adam: 166
Pharrell: 127
Gwen: 118

Every season after the last coach's round up I always think to myself, I really should have paid attention to who they featured in those because that is probably a spoiler to who makes the Live Shows. I actually did remember that half way though Adam's recap that I should pay attention and there were four things, interestingly enough one for each team, that really stood out to me during the recaps: 1) Andi and Alex were not features, it is amazing at just how wrong the coaches can be as this would not be the first time the highest charting Blind Audition did not make the Live Shows (and second time it was a duo on Adam's Team; seriously, duos, do not pick Adam), 2) If I was not mistaken Blake was all dudes (okay I was not paying the closest of attention); I mentioned that did not go for many indie chicks but he does have to strong country chicks, Krista and Morgan; so if this holds up, it will be the first time he has not taken a female country singer to the Live Shows since season one, 3) a montage contestant was included in Pharrell's package which seems very weird, she has to be going far otherwise why give someone as much time in a recap as the time they spend on their whole Blind Audition; 4) and seriously, Braiden Sunshine? He better not be this season's Ryan Sill (never forget) or I may have to delete all the No Doubt songs from my library, yes, all five of them; crap, that probably is a spoiler and watch him knock out Ellie next round in the worst decision on the show since Nic Hawk inexplicably booted Holly Henry. No guessing battle pairings because the previews spoiled them all and here there are with who I think will win listed first and ranked with how confident I am with my guess. I even threw in some steals even though those are very hard to predict because it sometimes seems the coaches randomly push their steal buttons.

Team Adam
Jordan Smith vs. Regina Love (S)
Andi and Alex vs. Chase Pena
Viktor Kiraly vs. Cassandra Robertson
Shelby Brown vs. Amanda Ayala
James Dupre vs. Dustin Monk
Keith Semple vs. Manny Cabo (S)

Team Blake
Barrett Baber vs. Dustin Christensen (S)
Blind Joe vs. Blaine Mitchell
Tyler Dickerson vs. Zach Seabaugh
Krista Hughes vs. Chris Crump (S)
Morgan Frazier vs. Emily Ann Robetrts
Najah Nicole vs. Cole Criske

Team Gwen
Ellie Lawrence vs. Tim Atlas
Jeffery Austin vs. Noah Jackson
Korin Bukowski vs. Chase Kerby
Alex Kandel vs. Kota Wade (S)
Summer Schappwll vs. Hanna Shbook
Braiden Sunshine vs. Lyndsey Elm

Team Pharrell
Evan McKeel vs. Riley Biederer (S)
Darius Scott and Daria Jazmin
Mark Hood vs. Celeste Beston (S)
Amy Vachal vs. Jubal and Amanda
Siahna Im vs. Ivonne Acero (s)
Madi Davis vs. Sydney Rhame

I whine a lot at how bad the song choices in the Battle Rounds are but Gwen does pick songs by Regina Specktor and Howard Jones, so points for that (but those points will be deducted if she picks Braiden Sunshine). Now it is time for my completely premature prediction of the top twenty. It does seem harder this season than in past to guess who advances to the Live Round so I may err heavy on those possible recap spoilers, well except Braiden Sunshine because there is no way he is in the Live Shows. Crap, I cannot trust Gwen, not only is he probably in the Live Show, not only does he probably knocks out Ellie, but Gwen will probably use her Coach Save on him in the Live Playoffs taking him to the Top 12. It really will be Ryan Sill all over again. I am just going to pick five from all team even though they may be on different teams via Steals by the time the Live Shows and are ranking them by how confident I think they make it that far:

Adam: Viktor, Shelby, Jordan, Keith, Manny
Blake: Barrett, Krista, Dustin, Tyler, Blaine
Gwen: Braiden Ellie, Jeffery, Alex, Korin
Pharrell: Mark, Amy, Siahna, Even, Riley, Madi

Sunday, October 11, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 10/11/15

Fear the Walking Dead: Well that had to be the dumbest idea in the history of bad ideas to let out an arena full of zombie and lead them into the building you are trying to sneak in to. Certainly there had to be a better plan out there than that. And that ocean looked pretty blood red which is ominous for the next season.
You can download Fear the Walking Dead on iTunes.

The StrainWith everyone converging on the Luman I predicted someone would die. I was right and wrong, no one going after the book perished but the show befuddingly killed off the two hot chicks. Hurph.
You can download The Strain on iTunes.

Quantico:Of course the dude did not die in the future, but I guess it is better than waiting until the middle of the season to reveal that like the first season of Revenge. Then my favorite twist from the premiere the twin Arabs got a little less interesting after learning they were brought in by the Assistant Director. And it is too obvious of a prediction that the gay dude is not really gay and just wants to be the first openly gay recruit? I would not be at all surprised if he does not hook up with one of the Arab Twins before Christmas.
You can download Quantico on iTunes.

Gotham: Barbra and Tigress, oh my. I know we the audience know he is evil, but c'mon, did no one notice how bad Galavan and Jerome were interacting in their interaction? At least they killed the latter because he was really becoming the annoying. But Alfred flirting with Dr. Tomkins really made this episode.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

The Voice: Only one episode this week but the final Auditions did bring a couple of great song choices before the coaches take over and pick the same tired songs (Ain't No Mountain High Enough and yet another Sam Smith song were featured in the promo, le sigh). The last gasp song first ever songs from the catalogs of Tom Waits, Gary Clark Jr., Wonderwall (darn you montage) and whoever you want to credit Dream a Little Dream to, Mama Cass probably being the most famous. But we hay have had our worst Blind Audition of the season when someone had the audacity to try to cover The Scientist. Um, no, Holly Henry owns that cover; it should be retired to The Voice Hall of Fame (to a lesser extent Shelby Brown was alright, but she is no Amanda Brown).

Blindspot: Well that was shocking. I expected bearded dude to be an integral part of the show and they just killed him off. But who exactly was he telling Lady Siff not to trust? I thought he was talking about the FBI but was he not the one who sent her to them? We do know he wiped her memory, but maybe he did not put the tattoos on her. Mmmm, this show is slowly getting interesting. At least we got confirmation that Lady Siff is the FBI dude's childhood friend (which ironically made me a little suspicious that maybe she is not for the first time; though I still think his father was/is involved) so they are not drawing out that storyline.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes..

Castle: I guess I read the Kate leaving situation wrong, she was not leaving town to catch the bad guys, just leaving Castle to keep him safe. Alrightly. But it turns out I am kind of right with Alexis turning into Veronica Mars. Not only did she go blonde but investigated a Stanford Prison Experiment, something Ronnie did in season three. And if Halloween lasts all month like Kate suggests, does that mean we get three more weeks of Angel Alexis? I would not have any problems with that.
You can download Castle.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Well that was disappointing. I was hoping that we would get more of Gemma on the other planet, maybe running into otherworldly characters in the Marvel universe. Instead we got maybe two minutes on the other planet. We did not even get to see what was chasing her last week. Meh. Maybe she brought back a parasite or two.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Survivor:Second Chances: For those keeping track at home, there have been three episodes and Abi Maria has switched alliances three times. Awesome. Seriously, how do you have a four to two advantage in the numbers and then have three of them being the only three discussed in going home. You would think having all returning players would cut down on the stupid mistakes but this has been the most wild season after three episodes maybe ever. On paper taking Abi Maria to the finals is a sound strategy because no one would vote for her but everyone she is aligned with keep on getting voted out the very next episode. I cannot wait to see who she turns on next week.
You can download Survivor: Second Chance on iTunes.

Modern Family: Boooooooo. I was hoping Dylan was going to move in permanently.
You can download Modern Family on iTunes.

The Blacklist: So Ressler would not stop the Russian limo because it was tantamount to invading Russian soil to arrest Lizzie, but he had no problem possibly starting World War III to save her life. I love the logic on the show.
The Blacklist on iTunes.