Saturday, February 13, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 2/13/16

Shameless: So no one is going to think of the most obvious solution to the Gallagher's living situation: the dead Greek's house? As soon as Kev mentioned he was dead, that was my first thought. I guess it is better for them to be scattered for a little bit before realizing they need each other again. We did get two surprised returns with Lip's ex-girlfriend outting his relationship and Fiona's ex cop boyfriend outting himself. Did not see that coming. I wonder if it will turn out he is just a ringer for the gay cop team.

Billions: I have been trying to follow what has been going on with Wall Street since they destroyed out economy about seven years ago so I have hear the term "short" multiple times yet I still have no idea what it means. And now I have to figure out what a "short squeeze" is too? Though I may not know what is going on with the business side of things, but I do know music and it is kind of laughable to think Metallica who actually have a folk singer covering Ratt as an opening act. Did the guys in the band not get a full script or just got paid enough not to care?

Supergirl: The writers really need to figure out more reasons to have Martian Manhunter to stand in for Kara, that was the best part especially butting heads with Cat. Though it was weird that the actress was much better at being Martian Manhunter than she was being content Kyrptonian in the fever dream. We did get a shocking ending with Aunt Austra getting killed so I guess Non was the big bad all along (well with Maxwell Lord also an antagonist; gotta love his list of demands in exchange for helping with the virtual reality simulator). It is weird that whenever Supergirl gets preempted, it never gets a "next time on" promo even when it is just off for a week.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Lucifer: Holy Jodi Lynn O'Keefe sighting! Though big in the nineties, the new century has not been kind to three named hot chicks. But really Jodi as Ray Donovan was kind of laughable.
You can download Lucifer on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: Um, what is up with all those fake arms? Really no one is going to talk about, just stuff it back under the bed like someone does not have a fake hand under their bed? And how Lostian to end the episode on an deep tunnel. At least we do not have to wait the summer to find out what is down their, plus it does seem like a good guess that CeCe's Radley lair is down there.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Marvel's Agent Carter: Oh Vinnie Van Lowe, when did you get that temper. Hopefully Peggy runs into him later in the season. Or maybe Rose, who knew she had that in her? And though you knewshe was going to do it more than once, Peggy's using the mind eraser was just comedy gold. No one does slapstick comedy these days that this show.
You can download Marvel's Agent Carter on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines: Ugg, a two parter-finale? I am ready for this season to be over. But I had to laugh at Jenna saying so many time how she was shocked two females were leading. The female only teams dominated the first carry heavy bags challenge. Of course they would be leading as long as they did not especially mess up on the "parlor games" as Cara Maria put them. Actually they did mess up being the only team to fall off the tires and still won. I do wonder if they had more beer standing by because they almost ran out of the ones om the bar. I think I saw three left while the last team was chugging their last beer. And as luck would have it, just as when The Challenge is ending, we also get the start of Survivor next week. They really inadvertently timed that right because The Challenge started just as Survivor ended last year. Hopefully they sync this up ever year.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines on iTunes.

The Blacklist: The DMV continues to be the best part of the show, the random Leslie Jones cameo was just great. I was about to suggest just adding the DMV guy to the cast and find a way to get Red into the waiting room every week but what they should really do is just give the DMV guy his own spin-off sitcom. Certainly that would be funnier than any comedy currently on NBC or any NBC comedy since the death of must see TV.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Around the Tubes: 2/12/16

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 Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors, Dice, Roadies, Triumph’s Election Special 2016, Boom Bust Boom, King of Beasts: The Story of Lion Trophy Hunting, Live At 9:30, The AV Club, 3 Doors Down, 12 Monkeys, and VH1 Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn.

- Just in time for Mother's Day, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the critically acclaimed film Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors on DVD for the first time on May 3, 2016. Experience the magic and warmth of the television movie event that is based on the inspiring true story of living legend Dolly Parton's remarkable upbringing in rural Tennessee. To date, initial broadcast of Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors has delivered 15.9M total viewers (Live+7), becoming the #1 movie on broadcast with total viewers in more than 6 years.* Furthermore, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors has the highest total viewer L+SD to L+3 increase (2.548 M) ever!** The family-oriented faith-based movie stars Jennifer Nettles (award-winning singer/songwriter and lead vocalist of the duo Sugarland), Ricky Schroder (NYPD Blue, The Lost Battalion, 24), Gerald McRaney (Agent X, Mike & Molly, Longmire, House of Cards), and Alyvia Alyn Lind (Transparent, Revenge, Blended). Dolly Parton introduces the film and serves as narrator. Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors also contains an alternate version of the movie, deleted scenes and heartwarming extras. The DVD is priced to own at $19.98 SRP.

- This week, Showtime announced that its new comedy series Dice will premiere on Sunday, April 10th at 9:30, on-air, on demand and over the internet. The scripted, semi-autobiographical series will follow the life of renowned comedian, Andrew Dice Clay, chronicling the stops and starts of his career resurgence in his transplanted home base of Las Vegas. The series also stars Kevin Corrigan, and guest stars Natasha Leggero, Lorraine Bracco, Adrien Brody, Michael Rapaport, Wayne Newton, Criss Angel and Rita Rudner. DICE joins the SHOWTIME comedy slate that includes Shsmeless, House of Lies, Episodes, Roadies and I'm Dying up Here. To watch and share the first trailer for Dice, go to:

- Showtime is celebrating music’s unsung heroes at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film and Interactive Festival, in honor of Oscar® winner Cameron Crowe’s new music series Roadies, premiering on the network this summer. Showtime will be taking over Clive Bar on Rainey Street in Austin from March 16-18 for a three-day music experience featuring bands performing every hour on the hour for afternoon and evening sessions. Featured acts will include Jamestown Revival, Ra Ra Riot, Sun Kil Moon, Black Joe Lewis, Grizfolk, White Denim and headliners The Head and The Heart, among many others. ROADIES stars Luke Wilson (Old School, Enlightened) and Screen Actors Guild® Award nominee Carla Gugino (San Andreas) will be on hand to introduce Friday’s headliners to the SXSW Music crowd. In addition, Showtime will once again be the exclusive sponsor of the Festival’s multi-platform SXSW GO app, as well as the Film, Interactive and Music Festival’s shuttle buses.

- Triumph’s Election Special 2016 is streaming now on Hulu! In the Hulu Special, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog reports from the primary states, chases down Ted Cruz and other candidates, attends town halls, debates and Trump rallies. All this plus a spirited roundtable discussion including Alan Dershowitz and Sanjaya. See below for available photos and clips:

- A timely call to action, Monty Python Terry Jones’ new feature documentary Boom Bust Boom investigates the worldwide economic crash of 2008, and how we can avoid another global collapse in the future. Analyzing the direct link between the unstable financial system and our reliance on mainstream economics, the film puts a spotlight on the mistakes of the past some politicians and central bankers would like us to forget. A mix of live action, animation, puppetry and song, the film charts the ancient cycle of boom and bust and offers the world a solution.

- Beginning in the summer of 2011, a production four years in the making will launch a final push to spread its message to the world. King of Beasts: The Story of Lion Trophy Hunting is a provocative and timely documentary by award-winning directors Nadav Harel (Area K: A Political Fishing Documentary, Electric Mind, Absent God) and Tomer Almagor (9 Full Moons, Spare), who explore the motivation and fascination behind the highly controversial industry of lion trophy hunting and the environment and economies in which hunters pursue their ultimate ambition.

- Launching nationwide on public television this April is a new series unlike any other: Live At 9:30 Hosted by Squarespace – an unpredictable, modern-day music variety show. Off the beaten path in Washington, D.C. is one of the world’s greatest music venues -- the 9:30 Club. It’s the most-attended music club of its size in the world – a 1200-person venue where world-famous artists have started their careers, refined their sounds, and played legendary shows. Now it’s home to TV’s most groundbreaking music show. Click here for Indiegogo campaign.

- In a season where the Harlem Globetrotters taught the Pope to spin basketballs and released two music videos, the world famous team continues to prove to be everywhere during their 90th year. The latest comes out of Chicago, where Slick Willie Shaw and El Gato Melendez stopped by the offices of The A.V. Club in Chicago. The basketball spinning duo dropped in on Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer while covering Adele's "Hello" for an "Undercover" series. The video can be found here:

- New song alert: The Broken is now available everywhere! Read about it on Huffington Post. It's the first track off our new album Us And The Night, and if you pre-order the album right now, you'll get an instant MP3 download of an MP3 of "In The Dark" too!

- Hulu today announced an agreement with NBCUniversal that will make all episodes of Syfy’s critically-acclaimed time-travel thriller 12 Monkeys exclusive to the streaming service on February 24th, and adds full seasons of hit series, plus children’s programming to the Hulu library. 12 Monkeys from Universal Cable Productions will return for its second season on Syfy on Monday, April 18th at 9:00. Viewers will be able to catch up on the entire first season of the series on Hulu beginning February 24th. All first season episodes will be available to stream exclusively through Hulu’s No Commercials and Limited Commercial subscription plans.

- Blood is thicker than water – but the harsh spotlight of fame can thin it out for some families. Just ask infamous families like The Gosselins, The Duggars or The Hogans. While fame and fortune can give you almost everything you desire, it certainly doesn't buy happiness, heal past wounds or solve deep-rooted family issues. Dr. Jenn Mann returns to the couch for a new kind of therapy this spring. From the executive producers of VH1 Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn, VH1 will premiere the new series VH1 Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn on Wednesday, March 16th at 9:00.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Previewing Brain Games: Season Seven

Brain Games is back with some new changes. First off it is on a new night, now airing on Sundays at 9:00. Aside from the new nigh we are getting more of it as it is expanding to an hour (well it did start out as an hour special before becoming a half hour series). Though expanded, the concept remains the same as the show takes you on an entertaining and interactive look at how our brain work.

The expanded episodes gives you a more in depth look at the subject of the episode but does not drag even with twice the content and you may not even notice the expanded episode. The season premiere sees host Jason Silva in London to where he takes us on a tour of the brain via the London map. Of course while there he tests the English people to usual games that you can play along with at home. Who do you think can do the best job at getting though a hedge maze: a maze loving child, a mathematics academic, or a cab driver?

The more interesting comes next week when Jason looks into how our thoughts on God effects the brain. The most interesting test comes early in the episode when Jason can get people to change their favorite color in exchange for fifty dollars. But how much money, if any can he give to people to simply just say God does not exist? He also tries to see if self proclaimed atheists and agnostics actually do believe in something other worldly.

Later in the season, Jason tests what it takes to become a super survivor. The seven deadly sins are up next and just how guilt plays into our bad behavior. Jason also will look how our brain changes as we get older. Then the season closes out with how we actually have more than just the five senses we learned about in grade school. Despite the expanded episodes, Brain Games remains a fascinating show which is equally entertaining as it is informative and a show that the whole family can enjoy, from grade schoolers to their grand parents, everyone will learn something new while having fun doing it. And for those that enjoy the show and would like to interact more with the show than the mini games they show during the episode, you can pick up the Brain Games: The Game home game.

Brain Games airs Sundays at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel. You can also download Brain Games on iTunes.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Super Bowl Shuffle 2016

We have had a very long stretch of competitive football games for the past decade and a half and though the game was withing ten points for most of the game that was extremely unwatchable. Basically the theme of the night were people embarrassing themselves. Sure Peyton Manning goes out with a ring straight into the Hall of Fame but what a poor performance to cap off an embarrassing season. Then there was the other quarterback Cam Newton who was supposed to be the new face of football who was just as bad. There was a graphic late in the game which said the teams were a combined 5-22 on third down followed by Caroline failing to convert again leading to a field goal. It was at that point where I decided to flip over to Mercy Street. Really I should have just flipped over to Pitch Perfect after the halftime show.

And the offensive players were not the only ones embarrassing themselves, many screen legends tarnished their legacies: Willen Defoe in a dress, Christopher Walkin with a sock puppet, NFL legends acting opposite toe fungus, and Anthony Hopkins selling... I do not remember what he was selling so that was just a big waste of five million (seriously!) dollars. And you did not need celebrities to wast that much money, I am looking at you MonkeyBabyDog and kids singing about their parents having sex. There were a couple ads that did not suck massively, Helen Mirren shaming drunk drivers, hot dog dogs racing, and the bank robbers who stole a Prius come to mind, but none were really that great.

They did not embarrass themselves but the Coldplay halftime show will go down as one of the least memorable. Let me nitpick the set list, the problem with Coldplay is that their best songs are sad bastard song, which you want to steer clear of in the Super Bowl. So instead we get Vida la Vida, fine, whatever, but Paradise? A song off their new album that no one cares about? Where was Clocks? That should have been high on the list of songs they should have performed. Or maybe Polatik too. Then throw in a Beyoncé song no one had heard before and a Mark Ronson song people have heard too many times. Actually why did they not have Mark Ronson curate the halftime show instead? He could have brought in Bruno Mars, Mystikal, Lily Allen, Ghostface Killah, and Q-Tip. Just no Amy Winehouse hologram.

The biggest commercial buzz in recent years have been blockbuster movie trailers but this year was a mixed bag with half being superhero movies. A movie with Olivia Munn and the third best Stark kid should get me excited but I just cannot get worked up for another X-Men movie. The Team Cap vs. Team Iron Man should make Civil War more interesting than Age of Ultron but really no chills while watching the trailer. The Turkish Airlines ads masquerading as a Superman v. Batman trailer just made me a big queasy (so who put up the five million, or I guess ten for the two spot: Warner Brother or Turkish Airline; did they split the cost?). I may go on a superhero moratorium after Suicide Squad. Unless of course Black Manta shows up in Aquaman. The non-comic book movies were not much more interesting, Another Bourne? pass. Independence Day 2 fifteen years too late? Meh. Another live active version of a Disney cartoon? Why? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bastardizing Beastie Boys? Eww. Really the only trailer I enjoyed came during The Late Late Show when they premiered Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. A dumb comedy that reunites Stacey Pilgrim and Julie Powers? Yes please.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 2/7/16

Grease Live: My biggest takeaway from Fox's first try at live musicals is that NBC really needs to step their game up. I have been advocating NBC do it since their first one and the live audience really livened things up (granted on the flip side, it was quite glaring when you could not hear anyone laugh at most of Ana Gasteyer's joke even if her assistant was one of the standouts). And with the live audience, the cast gets a much deserved curtain call, even if there was not an actual curtain. It is always weird when the NBC shows just end, no applause, no curtain call, not even really any credits either. Sure there were some low points, seriously, no one in America cares about Jessie J (though the set up of the opening was great, especially the Motownphilly interlude with Boyz II Men and, um... Ana Gasteyer), Julianna Hough can sing about as well as Carrie Underwood can act, and the sound when out while Joe Jonas was singing (okay, that may have been for the best). Oh yeah, and the needlessly censored Grease Lightning. How can you get away with "pussy wagon" in a seventies PG movie but not on a live television event in 2016?

The big breakout star of the show was whoever played Patty Simcox, get that girl on a crappy NBC sitcom this fall (Does the already picked up Sam Malone, Veronica Mars show need an annoying assistant?). She and Lindsay from You're the Worst (the second most random casting after the dude from Treme as the coach) seemed like the only ones who ever ever been in a stage production before and brought the right amount of energy to their roles. Those two clearly were having fun; something missing from NBC's production: fun. It will be interesting to see what NBC this fall in responce, if anything. They have already announced Hairspray as their next musical (Patty Simcox for Amber Von Tussle); which come to think about it, very similar to Grease, set in the fifties, two worlds colliding, there is a televised school dance; so do they rip off Fox and bring in a live audience and a more sprawling set or do it like their previous events?
You can download Grease Live! (Music From The Television Event) on iTunes or pre-order the DVD below.

Shameless: Just when I thought Frank pimping his pregnant teenage daughter do a cancer stricken old man with a voice box would be the most shameless moment possibly of the season, if not just this episode, a wheelchair bound dude sets himself on fire while trying to hit Kev with a Molotov cocktail. I am guessing he probably is not dead just yet.

Billions: So Axe goes after Chuck's father's mistress to get to him. Has he yet to figure out that the guy's wife works for him?

Galavant: They actually gave us an ending this season (well, as long as you do not care about Madelana and her quest for ultimate evil). Of course that is not that the show is not holding out hope for a third season as Weird Al suggests even on a crappy cable channel. Maybe it was not the best idea to insult possible homes when you are on a very thin bubble. I would not mind if someone would be stupid enough to give this show another season.
You can download Galavant on iTunes.

Mercy Street: And this is why I usually do not watch medical shows, I have no desire to watch Ted Mosby chop some dude's leg off in graphic fashion, I just ended up scrolling through Anna Kendrick's delayed west coast reactions to Grease Live during those scenes. But what I do have a desire to watch is watching Ramona Flowers lay the smack down on Ted Mosby.
You can download Mercy Street on iTunes.

Supergirl: I like Supergirl and all but two Supergirl was really kind of annoying. And is Supergirl not powered by the sun in this universe? Because if Bizarro gains more power from kryptonite then shouldn't the sun weaken her? Oh well, at least they got rid of Cat's uber boring son.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

X-Files: During the first two episodes I came to the realization that I no longer want to believe which really hampered my enjoyment of the reboot. But you do know one thing I do want to do: laugh, and I did plenty of that in the third episode with the were-lizard. If they decide to do more episode, maybe they should do more funny episodes and less mythology ones.
You can download The X-Files on iTunes.

Lucifer: I did not think it would but I guess the show will not tie into the Constantine show from last season since Jeremy Davies played a part as one of the bigger secondary on that show. At least I am assuming he did not scrap his job as a college professor to take pictures of drunken celebrities. Shame. I think the shows would be better if they actually combined the two and get rid of the black angels that stop time.
You can download Lucifer on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: So they really are bringing back A (or an A). Meh. Watch it turn out to be a not so dead CECe or maybe a long forgotten twin.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Marvel's Agent Carter: Young Peggy! I thought young Whitney Frost would be the more interesting segments because villain origin stories are usually more interesting but her road from wanna be scientist to actress was a bit of a bore. While during Peggy' engagement party I thought, where is her brother now, bring that guy around more, only to learn why we have not seen him before in the next flashback. Well done. Also well done were all the comedic moments, the best of which was Jarvis getting tranqued.
You can download Marvel's Agent Carter on iTunes.

The Challenge: Bloodlines: This is kind of a sad final three, and it would have been even more sad had Aneesa actually one the final Pit. What a meh season which started off so great. Survivor cannot return soon enough.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines on iTunes.

The Blacklist: My biggest, and really only takeaway from the episode was Monk taking a bath with his dogs. Mine would have no part in that and would quickly jump off that platform.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.