Friday, January 29, 2016

Around the Tubes: 1/29/16

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 Generation X, Stop Hate Dump Trump, Brian Wilson, Hulu, Predator Road Trip, Showtime Championship Boxing on CBS, Billions and VH1.

- America’s neglected middle child: That’s what a 2014 Pew Research study called Generation X, the 65 million people born in 1961-1981. Sandwiched between the baby boomers and millennials, Gen-Xers have always seemed to live in the shadow of those who came before and after them. But these so-called cynics have turned their childhood experiences into some of the biggest achievements the world has ever seen.
National Geographic Channel’s new series Generation X, narrated by Christian Slater, premieres Sunday, Feb. 14, at 10:00 following the new season premiere of Brain Games. Each hour examines one major milestone of Generation X — from the premiere of “Reality Bites” to the remarkable presidential election of 2008 to the legalization of gay marriage — and then breaks it down to explore the political, cultural and economic forces at play. Using original interviews with gen X members and archival footage from the era, the series puts the Generation in the spotlight it has long deserved.

- A diverse coalition cutting across race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and party affiliation has organized to give voice to Americans calling out Donald Trump for his hate speech, misogyny, Islamaphobia, and racism. A new web site,, will provide a platform for those who do not and will not stand for the continued threats, rhetoric and fear mongering by the Republican Presidential front-runner.

- Music legend Brian Wilson has announced a 2016 world tour to celebrate and perform the iconic album Pet Sounds for a final time, in honor of its 50th anniversary. Originally released on May 16, 1966, Pet Sounds is universally hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time. With more than 70 dates being confirmed, and several previously announced dates selling out in record time, Wilson and his band will be joined by former bandmates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin when they kick off the tour this Spring. Concert stops include dates in Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, Spain, Israel, and Portugal followed by a full U.S. tour later this Summer and Fall. Fans can expect a live performance of Pet Sounds in its entirety, as well as top hits and fan favorites spanning his 54-year career with The Beach Boys and as a solo artist. Ticket presales begin January 27 with the official onsale January 29 in most markets. Additional dates and special events to be announced. For up-to-date information, please visit

- In a groundbreaking agreement, Hulu and IFC Films have closed a landmark output deal that will make Hulu the exclusive streaming home for all future documentary releases from IFC Films, which will include all documentaries from the brands IFC Films, Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight. The multi-year agreement marks the first time these documentary films will be available on Hulu within the first window following their initial release in theaters and on-demand. Future IFC Films documentaries will be available to stream through Hulu’s No Commercials and Limited Commercial subscription plans. Beginning this fall, Hulu will be the exclusive streaming video on-demand home to highly anticipated documentary releases from IFC Films, and will be the only destination to stream future documentaries from IFC Films following their run in theaters. The deal also grants Hulu the streaming rights to debut future trailers for all IFC Films documentaries.

- He’s called the “Lion Whisperer” because he shares an extraordinary bond with Africa’s most fearsome predators. Now Kevin Richardson faces his biggest challenge yet – a battle to transport 27 lions, 4 black leopards and 14 hyenas to a new home, a sanctuary on the edge of the Dinokeng Game Reserve in South Africa. Smithsonian Channel follows Richardson and the move in a new special airing in two-parts, Predator Road Trip: Backseat Lion, premiering Wednesday, February 24 at 8:00, and Predator Road Trip: Hyena Breakout on Wednesday, March 2 at 8:00.

- WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman will defend his title against former champ “Showtime” Shawn Porter in a blockbuster matchup of two of the world’s best 147-pound fighters on Saturday, March 12 on Showtime Championship Boxing on CBS.

- On the heels of delivering the biggest premiere week ever for the network, Showtime has picked up its new critically-acclaimed drama Billions for a second season. BILLIONS had the best series debut performance ever for a Showtime original series with 6.5 million viewers, besting the series premiere of Ray Donovan by 7 percent (with 6.1 million viewers in June 2013). Starring Oscar® nominee and Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Paul Giamatti and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis, Billions airs Sundays at 10:00. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc.

- Love is in the air at VH1, a network that loves love. Who else has created 30 series with “Love” in the show title? (Think about it.) VH1 will celebrate Valentine’s Day with its first-ever “14 Days of Love” event, a two-week marathon of love-themed programming airing Monday, February 1 through Sunday, February 14. America will fall in love all over again when the “14 Days Of Love” event brings fan favorites Flavor Flav, Tiffany “New York” Pollard, and Bret Michaels back into viewers’ living rooms with encores of the entire first seasons of the biggest shows of love in TV history: Flavor of Love, which debuted on VH1 on January 1, 2006, I Love New York, and Rock of Love With Bret Michaels.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 1/28/16

Genghis Khan - Miike Snow

I do not know if Miike Snow is parodying the absurdity of the James Bond / supervillan relationship but I want to just ignorantly believe that was their intent with this music video.

Take it Back - Nate Ruess

Two thing that will help you get on my list of the best music videos of the year is to either get kids to lip sync your songs or a pseudo celebrities to fill into you. I am not sure why Nate Ruess picked the dude who let Don Draper bed his wife back in an early season of Mad Men (and countless other roles that none currently are coming to mind), but it is enough to be in the considerate for this year's list.

Blue Wonderful - Elton John

Last year Brandon Flowers released a music video featuring a hot chick dancing weirdly alone in the house during what looked to be the eighties. I spent way too much time watching that. It looks like Elton John is showing us where her parents were at the time, assuming the hot chicks parents have the power of flight and used it not to fight crime but to do Cir de Sole type aerial dancing. Alrightly.

My Church - Maren Morris

I do not particularly mind the two ads per fifteen minutes on streaming radio, what I do mind is that it is the same two of four ads every single time. Can these streaming services not find more advertising? I do like when ever Spotify offers to watch one ad in exchange of a half hour of music. But again, those video ads are very limited too. But I have to say it kind of works when they are advertising music. I watched so many ads for Maren Morris that I am kind of digging this song now. Not that I ever want to see that ad again.

Monday, January 25, 2016

I Want My Movie Trailers: 1/25/16

Suicide Squad

I know we are still in the first month of the year, but I am ready to call this the best trailer of 2016 which is saying a lot because I still really dislike Jared Leto's Jack Kevorian meets a drunk spring breaker version of The Joker. It is amazing that this is taking place in the same universe as the upcoming Superman v Batman movie that keeps dropping bland trailer after bland trailer. Maybe DC should just give up on building up the Justice League and focus on making Sucide Squad movies. I would much rather see a Harley Quinn stand alone movie than Wonder Woman (which dropped unimpressive footage last week too) and really every other Justice Leaguer stand alone supposedly coming over the next five years. Really the only thing that may save the DC universe is if the Suicide Squad goes rouge and is who the Justice League battles in their team up movie. Well that and Black Manta in Aquaman. Sure the recent announcement of Amber Heard as Hera is cool and all, she looks good in swimwear and all, but where is the Black Manta casting news? Here is hoping Common, who is currently cast in an unknown role in Suicide Sqaud turns out to be Black Manta.

Neighbors 2

Yeah the Neighbors 2 trailer looks like it will suffer from the Die Hard 2 Syndrome (how can the same thing happen to the same guy twice?) but there are plenty of funny bits in the trailer (old people phone... ha) though it would not be the first comedy whose only funny bits show up in the trailer. Granted I am not entirely sure about sexy soroitity Hit Girl; Selena Gomez on the other hand, yes please.

10 Cloverfield Lane

After the series finale of Lost I went on a strict no JJ Abrams diet. So naturally I skipped Cloverfield and had every intention of not watching the sequel, well that was until I happened upon the trailer. Sign me up for any movie that which features Ramona Flowers and Dan Conner playing Life.

The Nice Guys

He was great in Crazy Stupid Love so it is nice to see Ryan Gosling embrace his funny side lately between this and The Big Short.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Previewing The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth

Mark Halperin, John Heilemann, and Mark McKinnon of The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth

I was one of the few people over the summer who did not get too worried over the rise of Trump because I always assumed the people who supported him would not bother to show up when voting started and when the field narrow, someone else would emerge because Trump reached his ceiling in support. Now that we are just days before the first caucus, I am starting to worry. Not that I am beginning to think President Trump is a possibility, but the alternatives at the top of the pols are not much better. Seriously, the four people on top of the polls right now are a reality star, a socialist, a wife of an ex-president, and a Canadian; all of which would be pretty disastrous for this country.

Yet, no matter how depressing this election cycle gets, I still find myself flipping over to the twenty-four hour news channels for the latest poll numbers and candidate interviews. Showtime is getting into the political silly season with the premiere of The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth. It claims to be a real time documentary of this years political race (there is a time stamp of twenty-two days before the Iowa Caucasus in the first episode) so there is plenty of birther talk tonight. The show is produced in cooperation with Bloomberg Politic (of course it is hard not to remember the namesake of the company just tested the waters of a third party run recently) and featuring Bloomberg Politics managing editors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann and noted campaign strategist and media advisor Mark McKinnon.

Tonight's episode focuses on the "three outsiders," Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump, in the race. Insteringly enough, the guy who seems to never turn down an interview invitation because he is always on television (despite claiming to hate the media), Trump does not get a sit down interview in the episode. There really in nothing much new in terms of the politics side, if you have been even mildly following the elections, you have heard every soundbite already. The only new I leaned is that Bernie plays monster with his grandchildren, a scene that will either humanize the socialist or scare people even more.

The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth airs Sundays at 8:00 on Showtime.