Saturday, January 09, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 1/9/16

Galavant: What a great way to start off 2016 with a new season. They opened with a musical number which had already been on the internets for a while so I was ready for the season to really start after the commercial break. But instead of fore silly fun, my ABC interrupted the premiere for breaking news: the Browns have fired their coach and general manager. What the frack? How is something that had been rumored for weeks worthy of beaching into a new episode for. I really doubt there were many people tuning into a musical comedy that also watch football (well, besides me). Worse yet (well aside from announcing they were hiring Jonah Hill to run the team later that week, or the guy who Hill played in Moneyball; a movie about baseball) they returned to the show already in progress. Um how about taking those twenty minutes out of the Quantico repeat. Or better yet, wait to run that news during the news. Hurumph. At least when I finally got to watch the episode in its entirety and uninterrupted later in the week it was still great. Thankfully I am the only one watching otherwise I am sure there would be some negative Nancy who would have been offended by the gay bar or the "brown cow" line.
You can download Galavant on iTunes.

Supergirl: Just how many Krptonians are on Earth? I counted about a dozen of Non's soldiers ambushing the exchange. Makes Supergirl and Superman a little less special. And maybe if there is that many roaming around, it may be time for Kara to call her cousin and ask for that help. Hopefully Martian Manhunker threw Cat off the Kara is Supergirl scent (even though leaving the office on four separate occasions to go off and be Supergirl in one day was highly suspicious) because her constant prodding got annoying. As for the ending, what exactly is Maxwell Lord up to with a chick with black eyes, no family, and the Red Tornado's arm?
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Pitch Slapped: Sing it On was a fun diversion last year (aside from the suicide episode) and I was hoping Pitch Slapped would be a high school version of that. Unfortunately it is worse because of a stupid decision of bringing in two ringers to help a pair of a capella group. The chick is super annoying and you kind of half to applaud the dude for calling her out for wanting to beat Deke more than she wants them to win (but a smack to the back of the head to the whiny Millennial for actually saying that to her face; show some respect). And it is hard to take anyone seriously when they are named after a hockey fake out. But really, I wish NBC would just revive The Sing Off preferably with Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman, and Sara Bareilles.
You can download Pitch Slapped on iTunes.

The Challenge: Bloodlines: I have longed enjoyed this show because it is one of the few shows that allows legitimately crazy people on it because you never know what they will do or say. But there is crazy fun (say, Nany) and crazy scary. Every time Abram gets that look in his eye, I just fear he would legitimately kill someone. Seriously the guy got so worked up during the elimination, one he was not even participating in, he got a nose bleed. And, goodness, that Aftershow was hard to watch. I guess it is for the best that they did not get into Tomas and Cara Maria playing "Rock, Paper, Scissors" in the back of the bus. I do not even want to know what Abram would have done had he seen that.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines on iTunes.

The Blacklist: Few things more entertaining when two or three people are able to take down a small army. Seriously, was the smoke bomb a dud? It had no effect on anyone and probably put the guys in the gas masks in a disadvantage. Then when they check to see if there are any survivors, the first guy in gets shot and everyone else just follows not realizing that the gunshot proves someone survived.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Around the Tubes: 1/8/16

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 Angie Tribeca, A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House, The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, Conan, JeruZalem, The Little Prince, Mad Men, House of Lies, The Coral Burnett Show, Unreal, People of Earth, Tales from the Crypt, and The Offspring.

- TBS's eagerly anticipated debut of the new series Angie Tribeca just got a whole lot bigger. As part of the network's 25-hour marathon kicking off the show, TBS will hold an all-day, all-night launch party packed with stars from Angie Tribeca and other TBS shows, along with special guests, surprise appearances, music, comedy and so much more. Binge-A-Thon: 25 Hours of Commercial-Free Angie Tribeca Episodes Plus Comedy with the Cast and Friends in Studio LIVE! will air in segments between episodes throughout the entire Angie Tribeca launch marathon, which begins Sunday, Jan. 17, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).

- Three-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Keb’ Mo’, recently performed at a special concert, hosted by President and Mrs. Obama, called A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House. The concert is set to air this Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 on PBS. Specific air times are available through local listings.

- Showtime has officially announced the airdate of its new groundbreaking political series The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth. The series will premiere on Sunday, January 17th at 8:00. Produced in cooperation with Bloomberg Politics and featuring Bloomberg Politics managing editors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann and noted campaign strategist and media advisor Mark McKinnon. The real-time documentary series will pull back the curtain on the 2016 presidential race, revealing the intense, irreverent, inspiring and infuriating stories behind the headlines of what promises to be one of the most fascinating and consequential elections in modern history. Premiering in advance of the Iowa caucuses, The Circus will deliver the stories as they are happening and examine what really goes on behind the carefully constructed facade of a presidential campaign in real time.

- Showtime will debut the world television premiere of Oscar® nominee Spike Lee’s latest documentary, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, on Friday, February 5th at 9:00, with multiple plays throughout the month on-air, on demand and over the internet. The film focuses on a rarely examined chapter of Jackson’s career as he evolves from the lead singer of Jackson 5 to a solo artist recording what will become his breakthrough, seminal 1979 pop record, Off The Wall. Audiences will travel with the global superstar as he strikes a new path with CBS Records, first with his brothers as The Jacksons and then stepping out on his own to create his own music with his own team. This illuminating portrait traces how an earnest, passionate, hard-working young man becomes the “King of Pop.”

- TBS has set Monday, Jan. 25, for the premiere of Conan in Qatar, featuring Conan O'Brien and First Lady Michelle Obama on their recent trip to visit U.S. troops stationed at the Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar. This latest in a string of global excursions for Conan will mark his second trip abroad to perform for the men and women of the United States military. In May 2003, he visited Kuwait and Bahrain on a USO tour.

- One of the year’s most anticipated horror films, JeruZalem is a unique, point-of-view style horror film directed by Doron and Yoav Paz. The film follows Rachel (Jane the Virgin star Yael Grobglas), and her friend Sarah (Danielle Jadelyn), two American girls on vacation in Jerusalem who find themselves trapped in the middle of an epic apocalypse. Shot on location amongst the monuments of Jerusalem’s Old City, which is typically prohibited to filmmakers, the film features extraordinary footage of the city’s ancient architecture and religious landmarks. The film also utilizes extensive point-of-view footage, shown from the perspective of Sarah’s Go ogle Glass-type smart eyewear, as she uses the glasses’ GPS, facial recognition and other apps to navigate the city and identify potentially threatening strangers.

- The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will open with the U.S. premiere of Paramount Pictures’ The Little Prince at the Arlington Theatre on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016. Directed by Mark Osborne and featuring the voices of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, James Franco, Mackenzie Foy, and Benicio Del Toro, The Little Prince is based on the classic tale of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Opening Night Film + Gala is co-sponsored by Bella Vista Designs.

- In Mad Men: A Cultural History, M. Keith Booker and Bob Batchelor offer an engaging analysis of the series, providing in-depth examinations of its many themes and nostalgic portrayals of the years from Camelot to Vietnam and beyond. Highly regarded cultural scholars and critics, Booker and Batchelor examine the show in its entirety, presenting readers with a deep but accessible exploration of the series, as well as look at its larger meanings and implications. This cultural history perspective reveals Mad Men’s critical importance as a TV series, as well as its role as a tool for helping viewers understand how they are shaped by history and culture.

- House of Lies is Havana-bound! Marty (series star and executive producer Don Cheadle) and the Pod are en route to Cuba for one episode of the fifth season of the hit Showtime comedy, premiering in 2016 on-air, on demand and over the internet. Filming in and around Havana, the episode will mark the first time an American scripted series will be shot in the country since the U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic relations last summer.

- On February 9, two new-to-retail DVD collections will be unveiled, serving up many unforgettable moments from the show's groundbreaking years, which The New York Times proclaims "helped define the golden age of television." The 6-disc Treasure from the Vault Collector's Edition ($59.95srp) features 15 complete and uncut episodes from The Carol Burnett Show, as they originally aired on television.

- Hulu has acquired the exclusive subscription video on-demand rights to Lifetime’s critically acclaimed drama series from A+E Studios, UnREAL. All episodes of season one will become available to stream through Hulu’s No Commercial and Limited Commercials plan beginning February 3rd and future seasons of the series will become available to stream on Hulu following their initial season run on Lifetime.

- TBS has greenlit People of Earth, a new original comedy about a support group for alien abductees from Emmy®-winning executive producers Conan O'Brien (CONAN), Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation) and Jeff Ross (CONAN, Eagleheart), along with David Kissinger (Eagleheart) and Larry Sullivan. People of Earth was created by David Jenkins, who penned the pilot and serves as series co-executive producer. The comedy's ensemble cast includes three-time Emmy winner Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show, Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn), Ana Gasteyer (Saturday Night Live, Suburgatory), Oscar Nuñez (The Office, Benched), Michael Cass idy (Argo, Men at Work), Alice Wetterlund (The Interview, Silicon Valley), Luka Jones (Her, The Campaign), Brian Huskey (Neighbors, This Is the End), Nancy Lenehan (The New Adventures of Old Christine, Catch Me if You Can), Tracee Chimo (Orange is the New Black, The Five-Year Engagement), Da'Vine Joy Randolph (Selfie, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn), Björn Gustafsson (Spy, Kung Fury) and Ken Hall (Patch Town, Straight Man). TBS has ordered 10 episodes of People of Earth from Conan's Conaco LLC in association with Warner Horizon Television. The premiere date will be announced later.

- TNT is teaming up with M. Night Shyamalan on a new two-hour block of terror and suspense to be curated by the Oscar®-nominated writer-director (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable) and executive producer of the summer's TV hit, Wayward Pines. The block will feature both short and long-form storytelling, led by Tales from the Crypt, based on the original EC Comics and new stories, all executive-produced by Shyamalan and his partner at Binding Edge Pictures, Ashwin Rajan. The horror block is set to launch in fall 2016.

- Round Hill Music has made a deal with the American punk rock band, The Offspring, to acquire the rights to the band’s catalogue of publishing and master recordings. The publishing catalogue includes hits from their 1994 release, Smash, which remains the biggest-selling album of all-time on an independent label as well as all the group’s subsequent releases. The masters’ acquisition includes the rights to Ixnay on the Hombre, Americana, Conspiracy of One, Splinter, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, and Days Go By.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The Ten Most Anticipated Events of 2016

10. Swish - Kanye West: In previous installments I would open up with Detox saying maybe this is the year Dr. Dre finally releases his album. Dre did release an album last year though not Detox which seems will officially never see the light of day (then again Bob Dylan released The Basement Tapes forty years later so maybe someday). Kanye West may be the closest thing to a long anticipated album. Yeezus came out three years ago making it his longest wait between albums. He actually released what was assumed to be the first single New Years Eve 2014, another single came out a couple months later as well as a Rihanna collaboration (who's Anti is also oft delayed), he premiered a third song at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary, and once again dropped another song this New Years Eve. Will we actually get to hear Swish this year? Will it go under another name change before being released (it was originally supposed to be called So Help Me God)? Or will it turn into the next Detox?

9. The Presidential Election (November 8): Of course Kanye may just very well forgo music and throw his hat into the race for president this year instead of waiting until 2020 like he announced last year. He might as well because this election cycle has turned into a clown show. And the Republicans said they had learned from four years ago with what was commonly referred as a clown car of horrible candidates that tainted the one guy who could actually beat Barack Obama and ended up losing in a landslide. So the Republicans conduct an autopsy, decide they need to be more welcoming to women and minorities... and ended up with a crazier group candidate with anyone who could actually win a general election languishing in single digits. I have long said I would not worry about Donald Trump until they started to vote but now that we are about a week out I am starting to get worried because Ted Cruz, who is just Trump with tact, is right behind him. Then you have the Democrats who should look at the Republicans and think they can win in a slam dunk except they rigged their nomination so someone who may be indited before the election will win with no opposition except for some guy who can be described as your crazy Jewish uncle. Seriously, people want a second Clinton as much as they want a third Bush, not at all. Yet both parties seem intent on nominating someone no one else in the country wants as president. Hopefully Canada is more open to immigrants than Trump because there may be an influx no matter who wins in November

8. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (February 5): I have not been this excited for a film based solely on its title since Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Hopefully this one is better.

7. More Live Musicals on Television!: After three tries, NBC finally got their live musical right with the Wiz. No official word if there will be another but I sure they will announce another on during May sweeps in not earlier. And now Fox is getting into the live musical business with Grease Live (starring Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Keke Palmer, and Carly Rae Jepsen) coming January 31 and they are righting one of my major gripes with the NBC version and including a live audience. Clueless ABC is also doing a musical this year but their musical version of Dirty Dancing staring Abigail Breslin will not be live. Also not live is another Fox event who is remaking Rocky Horror Picture Show set to air this fall. I have never been much of a fan of the movie and the recent casting of Victoria Justice, who acts about as well as she sings (not very) and a bunch of people I have not heard of does not get me any more excited.

6. Billions (January 17): Paul Giamatti comes to the small screen to shout at people on a weekly basis! Sure I have no idea what is going on as he tries to catch a hedge fund billionaire with ill gotten gain (Brody returns to Showtime!). I have a lengthier write up on the show coming around the time the show premieres.

5. La La Land (July 15): When NBC announced after the success of The Sound of Music Live! that a live musical would be a yearly event, one of my first fantasy castings was Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Guys and Dolls. Unfortunately that is not happening (yet) but the duo is starring in a musical (albeit not live) coming out this summer.

4. Angie Tribeca (25 Hour Marathon starring January 17 at 9:00): I have a full write up coming closer to the premiere date but let me say now that this is the funniest show on television.

3. X-Files (January, 24): Reboots can be tricky, but I am cautiously optimist for the new X-Files even though the two stars jumped ship long before the series originally ended and the mediocre at best movie from a couple years back. First off they are just dipping their toe back in the water with just six hours, including four stand alone episode and plenty of fan service with the return of the Smoking Man and the Lone Gunman (despite their demise). And even if it does end up sucking, hey, it is only six episodes.

2. The Suicide Squad (August 5): Have we finally reached superhero fatigue? The Fantastic Four reboot bombed, Ant- Man was the worst performing Marvel film. Yet by my count there are seven more comic book adaptations coming this year. Marvel has two more, DC is starting their cinematic universe with two films itself, while Fox, despite the recent disaster of the Fantastic Four, is going all in with their other Marvel owned property X-Men with three movies. To be honest there is only one that has really gotten me excited; I never cared much about the X-Men, I am two films behind on Marvel, and every passing Superman v Bat Man trailer makes me less excited; and that is The Suicide Squad. Okay I want to cut off the trailer when Jared Leto's Joker shows up because he looks horrible, but sign me up for everything else about it. Just give Margo Robbie her Oscar for Harley Quinn now. Or at the very least an MTV Movie Award.

1. The Olympics (starting August 5): Always one of my favorite events every other year and plenty of story lines for this year's game which will includes Rugby Sevens for the first time: can Micheal Phelps add it his gold medals record? Can Usain Bolt go back to back to back in the Mens 100 Yard Dash? Can the US Women Soccer team be the first team to win Gold the year after winning the World Cup? Will anyone die swimming in Rio's polluted river? Okay the modern Olympics would not be complete with controversies in the lead up and this year's big one is the rivers where they plan to host the outdoor swimming events were unsafe to swim in. A previous scandal was adverted when they announced that the organizers were going to charge for air conditioning but later reversed that decision.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

My 2016 Winter Television Schedule

Before I get to 2016, let me do some 2015 clean up as there were two shows that I watched last week (granted their aired five hours between them); three if you count the remaining Wicked City episode ABC dumped On Demand this week (I have only one thought on the unaired episode: it still sucked). As for the other two, TNT burned off Legends with three straight hours which is a shame because the show was vastly improved and probably the most improved from season to season ever. Not unexpected because the first season was mostly bad, but if you gave up in the first episode you should give season two a try, you do not really even need to see the first season to enjoy it (and maybe would enjoy it more because you would not have the stink of the first season in your mind) and it has a satisfying ending, no annoying cliffhangers, everything is tied up nice and neat.

For reasons unknown, MTV also aired back to back episodes of The Challenge this week and just like the recent Survivor back to back episode I came away extremely disappointed and Nany got the boot because she could not figure out to push a mattress into a bell. Hurumph. This format this season really sucks, they really should have kept the pairs of teams. But we did get a trailer for the rest of the season which again teased CT though he was wearing a grey shirt (along with Zach) instead of the red and blue of the current teams. So maybe he is not coming to replace whoever Abram kills. Are they going to add a third team or are we going to get another Johnny Bananas backpack elimination challenge (which remains the greatest moment in The Challenge history).

As for 2016, the advantage of the winter season as apposed to fall is that shows returned staggered as opposed to all at once then seasons start to finish while others are just returning or beginning. I guess the big new for winter 2016 is that I will be watching PBS regularly for the first time since they stopped airing Bob Ross on a regular scheduled (they still have some decent specials, documentaries and specials that I check out on occasion) with Mercy Street starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Sign me up for anything with Ramona Flowers, I even made it through that horrible The Returned reboot last year. Fox got me to lift their ban with a Batman show and they are going to get me to watch another funny book adaption Lucifer. Really the only other new show to catch my eye is Angie Tribeca which TBS is bizarrely premiering with a 25-hour marathon of the first season. Most everything else new looks kind of dreadful though I will probably end up hate watching Shaddowhunter because I always end up hatewatching everything that airs after Pretty Little Liars now on the very stupidly titled Freeform channel. There really cannot be a way it is any good since the movie starring Phil Collin's kid was horrible and a television version has worse acting and a smaller budget. But anyway. Here is what I will be watching while waiting for the weather to warm up. The list is incomplete as there a few shows without a return date; NBC has not even bother to announce what they are doing after football end (aka after this month) which has been mostly a disaster day for years.

8:00 - Supergirl (CBS, January 4)
8:00 - The X-Files (FOX, January 25; season premiere the night before after the NFC Championship game)
8:00 - Gotham (FOX, February 29)
8:00 - The Voice (NBC, February 29)
9:00 - Lucifer (FOX, January 25)
9:30 - Angie Tribeca (TBS, January 25; note this is the second season premiere date, the first season will air during a 25 hour commercial free marathon starting Sunday, January 17 at 9:00, or just watch it at your leisure On Demand starting that day)
10:00 - Castle (ABC, February 1)
10:00 - Blindspot (NBC, February 29)

8:00 - Pretty Little Liars (ABC FamilyFreeform, January 12)
8:00 - The Muppets (ABC, February 2)
9:00 - Marvel's Agent Carter (ABC, January 19)
9:00 - iZombie (The CW, January 12)
9:00 - Marvel's Agents of SHIELD (ABC, March 8)

8:00 - The Middle (ABC, January 6)
8:00 - 2 Broke Girls (CBS, January 6)
8:00 - Survivor (CBS, February 17)
8:30 - The Goldbergs (ABC, January 6)
9:00 - Modern Family (ABC January 6)
9:30 - Blackish (ABC January 6)
10:00 - Nashville (ABC, March 16)

8:00 - The Big Bang Theory (CBS, January 7)
8:30 - The Odd Couple (CBS, April 7)
9:00 - The Blacklist (NBC, January 7)
9:30 - Angel from Hell (CBS, January 7)
10:00 - Vikings (History, February 18)

8:00 - Last Man Standing (ABC, January 8)
9:00 - Grimm (NBC, January 29)

7:00 - Grease: Live (FOX, January 31)
8:00 - Galivant (ABC, Tonight)
8:00 - Once Upon a Time (ABC, March 6)
9:00 - Shameless (Showtime, January 10)
9:00 - The Walking Dead (February 14)
10:00 - Mercy Street (PBS, January 17)
10:00 - Billions (Showtime, January 17)
10:00 - Quantico (ABC, March 5)

The Americans
Orphan Black
Bates Motel