Saturday, January 16, 2016

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

Pretty Little Liars: Some deep allusions to the series finale in those last scene at the funeral, even with the chick in the bunker filling in for Jenna, but with two big differences. First off, unlike the first funeral where I never at any point until I was proven right, did I think Allison was dead. With an open casket, with way too much cleavage for a dead girl, it is pretty clear CeCe did not fake her death. Second, I waited and waited, but no text to the Liars after the funeral. So is there not going to be another A this season? They di do a close up on a security camera which made me believe some omnipresent figure was looking on earlier in the episode. So are they just going to do a simple murder mystery this time around, no unseen stalker? If so, let me guess the killer is Jason. I just hope we do not have to wait five seasons to find it out. And what about the scene from the last finale with the Liars rushing to Allison's classroom telling her, "he's" here? Are we going to have to wait all season to get back to that scene? And I have to say, even though she is now twenty-three(ish) and he is twenty-eight(ish), Aria and Ezra is still creepy.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Shadowhunters: I do not not know why anyone would make a television show after a horrible failed movie (granted I guessed it worker for Buffy the Vampire Slayer) yet for some reason, I always find myself watching every horrible show that comes after Pretty Little Liars. Buffy this show is not, it is basically the movie with worse actors and a much smaller budget. Yet I am somehow memorized by the lead's unnaturally orange hair. I just wonder if that is the actor's choice or that is what the character calls for (the mother did point it out in the premiere but Phil Collins daughter went with her natural hair color in the movie). I guess the good thing is these post Pretty Little Liars shows do not last very long. Until then, I can get a good laugh everytime one of them breaks out the faux lightsaber. Since Disney owns both Freeform (seriously, if you are going to change your name, how about picking something shorter and to the point, not extremely silly) and Star Wars, they really cannot sue themselves for content infringement.
You can download Shadowhunters on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines: And her in-lies the fatal flaw of this season'as format, co-ed bloodlines have absolutely no incentive to try hard and actually can benefit from losing if it is the opposite gender day to go into The Dome. Granted it took this long for KellyAnne's cousin to figure this out and still failed at throwing the challenge.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines on iTunes.

The Blacklist: So the Cabal is just going to let Red and Lizzie just get away with everything after they worked so hard to set them up? Mmmm. This really cannot be the end of this and if I were Lizzie I would not feel all that safe just because I signed a deal.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Around the Tubes: 1/15/16

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 Showtime news, Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee, Smurfs Epic Run, Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes, Supercar Superbuild, and Heartbreaker.

- SHOWTIME will be available to over 70 million households during a Free Preview Weekend from Saturday, January 16 through Monday, January 18. Viewers nationwide will be able to sample the network’s award-winning programming on SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, SHOWTIME ANYTIME® and select distributors' TV Everywhere portals. The Free Preview weekend will include sampling of the series premieres of the powerful new drama series BILLIONS, starring Oscar® nominee and Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Paul Giamatti and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis, and the groundbreaking new political series THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH. Immediately following the series premiere of BILLIONS, SHOWTIME will offer a special sneak peek of the second episode on demand, on SHOWTIME ANYTIME and on the SHOWTIME streaming service starting at 11 p.m. ET. Additionally, viewers will be able to sample new episodes of the hit comedy series SHAMELESS, along with SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING heavyweight matches and feature films, including the world television premiere of the Oscar®-winning film The Imitation Game.

- Here are some other Showtime headlines from the TCA's:

- In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month holidays, Muta’Ali Muhammad, grandson of legendary actors and activists Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis, will be premiering the documentary, Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee, on Centric TV January 17, 2016 at 3:00pm. The film will also be released February 1st via iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

-This week, Ubisoft invites players to enter the magical world of the Smurfs with the latest game installment, SmurfsTM Epic Run. Available today for free on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Amazon, Smurfs Epic Run is a state-of-the-art 2D platform mobile game developed by Ubisoft Paris [Mobile]. The game challenges players to run, jump, glide, rush and dash through more than 100 levels, all with the goal of freeing the captive Smurfs.

- Certain images are permanently etched into our national memory, and the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion is one of them. On Jan. 28, 1986, with the eyes of the world watching, the space shuttle abruptly burst into flames during a live television broadcast. All seven crewmembers died, including a social studies teacher who was supposed to be the first American civilian in space. The heartbreaking tragedy instantly became a defining moment in American history. To mark the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, the National Geographic Channel combed through long-forgotten news footage, radio reports, audio recordings and rarely seen NASA footage to retell the events leading up to, during and immediately after that fateful day. Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes, premiering Monday, Jan. 25, at 9/8c, takes viewers behind the scenes of this compelling and historic story in a way never before seen. Produced by the Peabody-award winning producers of “MLK: The Assassination Tapes,” the one-hour special includes no narration and no commentators, instead unfolding the story solely through the reports of journalists covering the story at the time, extensive audio and video recordings from NASA and archived interviews with the flight crew and others who were part of the one-of-a-kind mission.

- The new Smithsonian Channel four-part series, Supercar Superrbuild, premiering Sunday, February 14 at 9:00, goes behind the inherent beauty, amazing mechanical prowess, and basic building process of Maserati, Lamborghini, Bentley and Aston Martin, four of the world’s leading luxury automakers, as they attempt to produce what they hope is their next iconic car.

- Check out brand new trailer below for Heartbeat (starring Melissa George), coming soon to NBC! Based on the real life and achievements of Dr. Kathy Magliato, this unique character-driven medical drama follows Dr. Alex Panttiere, an outspoken world-renowned heart transplant surgeon and one of the few women in her field. Stubborn and fearless, Alex always operates on her own terms. She revels in a racy personal life that's a full-time job in itself, manages the daily demands of skeptical faculty and dutiful interns, and pushes the boundaries of medical science to impressive new heights.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Previewing Angie Tribeca


2015 was the year of peak television where there was just too many television shows not just on television but now streaming services that not even the people that actually get paid to watch television can keep up let alone us armchair critics. Last year was also a year when channels started to get creative (aside from putting series premiere online and On Demand which had been happening for almost a decade now). NBC put the entire Aquarius first season On Demand and apparently was successful to warrant a second season (but apparently not successful enough not to be relegated to the Saturday burn off slot later in the season; so let's see what they do in the second season). TNT went the On Demand root for Public Morals, but just the first four episode (later it put the whole season there for a weekend) which was not as successful because it got canceled after one season. Recently USA did a Mr. Robot 24-hour marathon and for that have still not caught up, the entire first season is still On Demand, and the last time I checked there is also an Uncensored version of the first season episodes there now too.

Of course the Mr. Robot 24-hour marathon came months after the final episode aired during the time of year marathons have become commonplace. TBS is doing the most attention grabbing roll out of a new television show ever. Starting Sunday at 9:00 PM they are airing a 25-hour marathon of the entire first season of their new show Angie Tribeca commercial free. This is either a stroke of marketing genius or someone is getting fired. Not that the marathon needs to be successful because TBS already renewed Angie Tribeca for ten more seasons (okay, this is a bit misleading because the joke is each season they renewed the show for runs one episode, so basically it just renewed it for another ten episode) which premieres Monday 25 at 9:30. So basically you have seven chances to watch the season by 10:00 PM Monday. But if you do not have three hours and a half hours to carve out, the entire first season will be available On Demand and at to watch at your leisure.

The big question though is Angie Tribeca worth the huge stunt? After watching the entire first season over a three and a half block I would have say definitely yes. I will even go ahead and call it the funniest show on television. The show is a deadpan cop show in the vein of the Naked Gun movies where they cram every dumb and absurd joke that can into every scene.

Rashida Jones (Cop Out) stars as the titular character with Hayes MacArthur (She's Out of My League) as her new partner Jay Geils that of course she does not want but is weirdly attracted to even though he last partner / boyfriend died (or did he? at any rate, you will recognized him in the flashbacks). Jere Burns (Wynn Duffy!) is the police captain while Deon Cole (the crazy co-worker on Black-ish aka the best part of Black-ish until the character got fired which I guess makes sense now) and his partner Jagger (the titular character from Max). The TBS press release would also like to point out that "Not involved with the series is Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull)." Like I said this is a show that leaves no joke unsaid no matter how stupid.

The show is the brain child of Nancy (who pops up in the premiere) and Steve Carell (who I am pretty sure provides the theme song, if you can call it a theme song). They got a work out from their Rolodex because each episode has many familiar faces including Lisa Kudrow, Gary Cole, while Alfred Molina has too much fun inn a recurring role as the department... well his role basically changes every episode. The other cameos are too many and too good to mention, but I will say you will definitely want to tune in to episode six just to see who they get to quote Carly Rae Jepsen.

After seeing the entire first season I am ready to go ahead and call Angie Tribeca the funniest show on television. If you like absurdist comedy like the Naked Gun movies or the eighties comedy Sledge Hammer!, you will definitely want to check out Angie Tribeca. Really my only complsint is the season ends with a cliff hanger (which may or may not be an homage to Sledge Hammer!) which is kind of annoying. But hey at least season two starts the following week.

Angie Tribeca first season premieres Sunday at 9:00 PM on TBS and will re-air over the course of 25 hours. Season two premieres the following Monday at 9:30 with new episodes following every week.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 1/12/16

Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift

I remember a couple years ago Jay-Z tried to make a big deal about being the first new music video of the decade. Except no one really cared because no one ever bothered to watch Carson Daly's New Years Eve show. Taylor Swift is trying the same thing with the second half of the decade. Granted it was technically the last music video to premiere in 2015, but whatever. The song itself it pretty meh, but what would you expect sixth single from an album that only had two great songs. But this is the second mediocre song in a row that Swift spent late nineties type money on for a music video (somebody better be making some money for making me sitting through that horrible Natalie Dormor horror movie before every video I watch). I wonder if people are starting to make money on music video or is it basically only Taylor and Adele that are making any money. I just wished she had gone full Evil Dead during the muddy forest scene.

Irresistible - Fall Out Boy featuring Demi Lovato

Speaking of overpriced music video from the late nineties, Fall Out Boy pay, um, homage(?) to *NSYNC in their music video (which begs the question whatever happened to Kim Smith?) and boy you can tell just how less money they spent on it compared to the original with really bad doll make up. They were able to even recruited on N'Sync member who was already referred to as Fat Spice back in their heyday and looked to have not stopped eating since. But was there a second member at the beginning, my goodness, Adele smashing their single week record is not treating these guy very well. Do not expect a N'Sync Cochella reunion anytime soon. And those she only has one song that does not suck massively, Demi Lovato actually kind of works as a backup singer.

Flip and Rewind - Boss Selection featuring Rashida Jones

One more nineties throwback. Rashida Jones has recreated some of her favorite RnB music video from the decade. I am old enough to recognize them but am too old to actually remember what half of them are. TLC's Baby Baby Baby is obvious, and Mary J. Blige's Real Love in also fairly easy but I am hard pressed to place the other. Xscape? All-4-One maybe? Are the mustard suits from Heavy D and the Boyz? And for those scratching their head as to why Rashida Jones is getting into music, just remember she got her last name from father Quincy as in the guy who produced all the great Michael Jackson records. Boss Selection is actually the stage name for Sunny Levine, Quincy's grandson and Rashida's nephew.

Lazerus - David Bowie

I actually wrote most of this post last week but did not finish it in time to post it before the weekend. Originally I started off by making a poor attempt to tie this into nineties nostalgia before mentioning how this video reminded me of Metallica's One. But David Bowie ended up passing away before I did post it. So instead of the poor jokes I originally made, let me take this time to celebrate his life. As a child of the eighties, I first learned of Bowie due to his cheesy Let's Dance phase (Modern Love being my favorite), which of course every five year old loved, so I did not realize until much latter how embarrassing that video with Mick Jagger was (or the rumors surrounding them). I did not get into his older stuff until high school when he hooked up with Trent Resnor on an album and realized just how weird he was and was much closer to what he was like in the seventies than what I grew up with. But maybe the most lasting memory I have of Bowie is when he opened The Concert for New York with a sparce cover of Simon and Garfunkel's America before launching appropriately enough into Heroes in front of the brave men and women who risked their lives on 9/11. Friday, Bowie released what turned out to be his last proper album Blackstar on his birthday which will will go down as one of the haunting final album like Johnny Cash's American albums.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Previewing Shameless: Season Six

Something shocking happened last season on Shameless. Okay, something shocking happens every episode of Shameless, usually five to ten, but the shocking thing I am talking about is that someone on the show did something that normal people would not think was shocking at all if anyone else did it, but it was shocking that it seemed like Frank showed legitimate feelings for another human being. Sure he has had bouts of conscience in the past but he has always reset to his old self by the next episode like a cartoon character.

So it is even more shocking that three months later Frank is still pining over his dead doctor buddy with benefits. And it is shocking still that those all to real human feeling may be sticking around at least for a few more episodes (after a funny montage in the season premiere, I was really hoping that they had spread those season out through the whole season). Sure Frank is not particularly very good at being a normal human being, especially when he trying to find someone to replace Bianca next week, but at least he is starting to grow if just baby steps.

But do not worry, the rest of the cast is just as shameless as ever (the title of the second episode is #AbortionEules so this may not be the time to recommend the show to your angry uncle who spent the holidays railing against Planned Parenthood; well unless you want to make him angrier). Lip started sleeping with his professor last season with her husband's blessings and that is continuing despite some more complications. Ian is now in a prescription drug haze while Micky is now three months into a fifteen year stint for attempting to kill the eldest Gallagher (but hey, he may be out in eight due to overcrowding). At least the season opens with Carl being released from Juvi, though it may just be a matter of time before he is back. And as the episode title suggests , not everyone is keen to Debbie's potential bundle of joy.

But Fiona mat still be the most messed up of them all as she tries to keep everyone together (well, except Frank). Still married and still hooking up with her boss, she experiences more troubles than the rest of her family combined. Surprisingly things may actually be looking up for Kev and V after The Alibi gets named the Best Worst Bar on the South Side which is a boon to business. Of course this is Shameless, so I do not expect it to last for very long. I put the over/under on when the health inspectors shows up at episode four.

Shameless airs Sundays at 9:00 on Showtime.