Saturday, April 09, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 4/9/16

Once Upon a Time: Did we ever meet Dorothy when the show first introduced Oz. Weird that she barely shows up when she is the star of that movie. But right now we are in Hercules’ movie and he was just in one episode and seems to be written off the show already.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Shameless: You know a show is messed up when someone crashes a wedding to reveal the groom’s heroin stash and you are a little disappointed that that is all that happen. I was expecting the huge massive screwed up wedding and that was pretty tame for a show like this. And as much of a cliché it is, I was a bit disappointed that Chekov’s Gun never came back up. But at least the end scene was entertaining.

The Walking Dead: My favorite part of the episode: right before what looked to be a very large Mexican standoff, Savior dude just whips out a spray paint bottle and marks the dude. My least favorite, obvious the ending, as if last week’s cliffhanger was not annoying enough (and no one ended up dying; not that I thought Darryl had died anyway). Ugg, so the question is, who did Negan bludgeon to death (presumably, we did have two fake out cliffhanger deaths this season). Obviously not Rick because Negan wants him to watch the death as punishment for killing his people. I am also crossing out the females and Carl because Rick is not standing by and watching that. We already had fake out deaths of Daryl and Glen so why kill them now? That leaves Eugene, Abraham, and Aaron. Aaron is the odd man out because he is the newest to the group, but I am going to predict Abraham, he does seems like someone who would talk a beating like that for the team.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Billions: With one episode left I was expecting some big lead up to an epic finale, but instead we get a holding episode where the case was still in limbo. Instead we got weird scenes with Axe and Wendy playing basketball games, Lara and her sister paying a lot of money to shoplift jewelry again, and the DA’s setting off fireworks, we get reminded Chuck is into kinky stuff (Red is kind of a boring safe word). There was a small moment when I thought Axe was leading Wendy out to the middle of nowhere to kill her, or at least try to hook up with her, but alas, they could not even kiss when Chuck spied on them. At least in the final moments we got some movement in the plot, first Chuck catches someone taking pictures of him. Obviously Axe comes to mind first as who put the photographer up to it, but the more I thought about it, Axe won, sure having extra leverage is always nice, but I would not rule out someone else like Chuck’s father or maybe even Rob Morrow. Then, after a season of diligently keeping their private and professional lives separate, finally one of them actually broke that trust with Chuck snooping on Wendy’s computer, finding wrong doing of Axe. So just what is Chuck going to do with that information? And will Wendy realize that Chuck got that information from her?

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Fitz’s explanation of the fourth dimension just made things more confusing, and it even made my understanding of Intersteller more confused too. Then their big plan to keep the future is to make sure Daisy does not leave the base and Coulson vows to not pick up a gun until that future had passed. You just cannot keep her there indefinitely; you do not know how long in the future that happened. Then Lash show up and everyone is like, oh well, I guess Daisy should go to what may be her inevitable death, and Coulsen was quick to end his no gun vow. And why did Abercrombie model whose name I still have not bothered to learn even show up, just to get his face bloodied? But we got another glimpse of presumably will be the season finale but we do now know that is someone’s death and it is of a SHIELD agent… or t least someone wearing a SHIELD uniform.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

The Path: I wonder who is going to stray from the cult first, the father and son. And it will likely be for the same reason: a hot chick. I guess Lyla Garrity is currently Schrodinger’s Cat until the next episode when we get confirmation but she seems pretty dead. But what did Sarah think would happen. To me there were only three outcomes after kidnapping her: the release her and she goes to the police for kidnapping, they brainwash her and bring her back into the fold, or she dies, which seemed like the most likely outcome to me. And is there something in door number four? That last shot lingered pretty long on it.
You can stream The Path on Hulu.

Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty: We already had the worst meltdown in Tribal Council history this season, so Gay Asian’s faux pas does not look that bad in comparison, but c’mon, why are you leaking the Super Idol info? Information is the biggest currency in this game and he blabbed to his second tribe he had an Idol which he did not even use for his advantage, now everyone knows there is some sort of Super Idol floating around. Now I have to wonder if the girls flipped because of that or if they made a last minute decision because of that information. And if that slip was not head scratching enough, Gay Asian then goes and randomly votes for Jason. What!?! I guess the best explanation (other than dude is just completely clueless) was the girls decided to flip pre-Tribal, fed him false information because they did not trust him not to tell Nick and Gay Asian ended up doing what the girls told him. Should be interesting what happens next as two Idols are in position of the guys in the minority. Does Jason play his Idol next week, can Scot convince him to hold on to it and then convince Jason and Gay Asian to form a Super Idol after one of them is voted out?
You can download Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty on iTunes.

The Americans: Oh man was that a cold ending. Sentencing someone to death, say it will be carried out shortly and just bang. Cold, man, even for the Evil Empire.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

The Blacklist: Since they were not going to kill her, maybe giving up Lizzie would have been the right play and just try to get her back later. But Red seems to protest too much for her mother being dead, it is almost as much as he tries to makes everyone think he is not her father.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes,

Friday, April 08, 2016

Around the Tubes: 4/8/16

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 Penny Dreadful, Those Who Can't, The Mindy Project, Conan, Why Would You Do That?, The Walking Dead, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Hit The Floor, and Earth Day.

- Showtimee has released a haunting new trailer with new footage of its hit drama series Penny Dreadful, ahead of the much-anticipated third season premiere on Sunday, May 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on-air, on demand and over the internet. Starring Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton and Eva Green, PENNY DREADFUL is a frightening psychological thriller created, written and executive produced by three-time Oscar® nominee John Logan (Hugo, The Aviator, Gladiator).

- Fallen behind on truTV’s first scripted comedy series Those Who Can’t, well now is your chance to get caught up during Sunday, April 10th’s Cram-Sesh Marathon. Audiences will be able to binge on the first nine episodes from 4:30PM-9:30PM ET/PT and catch up on all the antics that happened at Smoot High in advance of the season one finale airing Thursday, April 14.

- The Mindy Project returns Tuesday, April 12 with all new episodes, only on Hulu. The Mindy Project season four returns for even more adventures! Mindy (Mindy Kaling) faces her greatest challenge yet as she struggles to balance work with being a mom, all while her tumultuous relationship with Danny gets even messier. She's joined by Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) and the rest of the staff of Shulman and Associates as they welcome some new faces (like Garret Dillahunt as Jody, a sexist Southern rascal) and tangle with old rivals like the Midwives upstairs. The Mindy Project continues to deliver its unique mix of wild comedy and heartfelt romance.

- TBS's late-night series Conan is heading back to New York City for the first time in exactly six years for a week of shows from Harlem's Apollo Theater. Host Conan O'Brien last did his show from the Big Apple in 2010 at the Beacon Theatre. This fall's visit to New York, set to take place Oct. 31 – Nov. 3, will continue O'Brien's innovative combination of international road episodes and live shows from various cities across the United States.

- Chicago-born-and-bred, Sebastian Maniscalco has tapped Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre as the backdrop for his third Showtime stand-up comedy event Why Would You Do That?, which will be filmed in front of a live audience on May 7th – one of the seven sold out shows at the theatre – to air on the network this summer on-air, online, on demand and over the internet. Directed by Joe Demaio, Maniscalco will deliver his unique brand of physical and quick-witted observational comedy in a new hour of highly anticipated skepticism, all while asking Why Would You Do That?

- This past season brought many unforeseen, exciting and pulse-pounding twists and turns. With the end of every season comes the bittersweet knowledge that we must wait with bated breath until the next ride. To keep your The Walking Dead appetite satiated, Anchor Bay Entertainment proudly continues the tradition of offering fans an opportunity to relive the ever so satisfying and stirring sixth season. The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season will be released on Blu-ray™ + Digital HD and DVD on August 23. Just like the previous award-winning home entertainment releases, The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season will take fans down The Walking Dead memory lane so they can relive all of the season’s most haunting and indelible moments.

- It's a full year for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. TBS, a division of Turner, has ordered 26 episodes of its new series less than two months after star and executive producer Samantha Bee entered the late-night fray to widespread buzz and critical raves. TBS's order brings the total number of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee episodes to 39, which will take the show to the end of 2016.

- Fans won’t have to wait long for the payoff to Hit The Floor’s jaw-dropping season three finale, VH1 announced today a special one hour episode premiering this Summer. The special will deliver all the excitement, drama and passion that Ahsha & Derek are beloved for and will also explore the huge finale cliffhanger: Who shot Jelena?

- Nat Geo WILD will celebrate Earth Day by shining a light on the wildlife advocates who inspire us to take care of our world and the animals who live in it. Beginning with premieres of the best short films from this year’s Wild to Inspire competition on Friday, April 22, at 6:30, and continuing with an investigation into the new threats facing wild orangutans in Mission Critical: Orangutan on the Edge at 9:00, we will celebrate by honoring the people who get their hands dirty making the world a better place.
Full Earth Day Schedule at a Glance:
6:30/5:30c: Wild to Inspire *PREMIERE*
7/6c: Cougars Undercover
8/7c: Mission Critical: Leopards at the Door
9/8c: Mission Critical: Orangutan on the Edge *PREMIERE*
10/9c: War Elephants

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Previewing Dice

Andrew Dice Clay is the most sophomoric comedian of all time; seriously, there really is nothing more childish than dirty nursery rhymes. You would think that would be right up my lane since I was an actual sophomore right around the height of his popularity. But he was even too immature for me at the most immature point of my life. Honestly, the only thing Andrew Dice Clay has ever been a part of that I enjoyed was his act being sampled by EMF for Unbelievable.

But I have matured in my old age, so maybe Clay has to so I figured I would give his new show, the appropriately titled Dice, a try. The show is another in the growing line of fake sitcoms based on real people (but have any besides Curb Your Enthusiasm actually been successful; anyone remember the Paul Reiser Show). Dice is quick to point out in the show that he is not his act and does not refer to women as piglets in real life (insert your own Trump parallels theories here). The problem is that pushing sixty Dice on the show is exactly what you would expect him to act after twenty-five years of not evolving. Dice could very well have been called Jersey Shore: Geriatric Edition.

Sure the premiere starts off with him attending the gay wedding of his girlfriend’s brother, how progressive of him (though his defense of homosexuality is quit crass) but the episode quickly devolves into him trying to win money at a casino to give the couple as a wedding gift which ends up taking most of the half hour. How not very progressive of him.

I guess one of the biggest allure in these fake sitcoms about real people is when they get their famous friends involved. The first person who runs into Dice is Adrian Brody who recruits the comic to help him becoming more manly. And not even for a new movie, but for a one man play (apparently even Adrian Brody forgot Adrian Brody was in a Predators movie to remind him of when he last acted manly). And that is about it. Sure a later episode features Rita Rutner, Criss Angel, and Wayne Newton calling Dice “(expletive deleted) face but it really is not a good sign when Chriss Angel is the best part of your show. And poor Lorraine Bracco, she does not even get to play herself. But at least she gets to play a hotel owner, Michael Rapaport shows up as “Bobby the Mootch.”

But through the whole season, Dice is still up to his old stick, it may not be a nursery rhyme, but in the first episode he changes the words of, “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse” where he swaps out “horse” for something I am not comfortable with repeating. But then again, maybe Dice has grown up a little, instead of dirty nursery rhymes; he is now making dirty Shakespeare monologues. I guess that is progress.

Dice airs Sundays at 9:30 on Showtime. If you have Showtime On Demand or Showtime Anywhere, you can watch all six episode starting Sunday.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Previewing House of Lies: Season Five

Kristen Bell and Don Cheadle of House of Lies

Last season on House of Lies, Marty learned Jeanie sold him out and basically he was up front about firing her after he got Kaan and Associates up and running and she basically could not go anywhere else as most firms are not in the practice of hiring very pregnant women. Not surprisingly, by the time Marty reached his goal, he had a change of heart and decided not to can his baby mama. What was surprising was that Jeanie turned him down to accept a job in the cooperate drug world.

But hey, why hold a grudge when there is money to be made. Despite the vast amount of water flowing under that bridge, Kaan and Associates are now consulting for Jeanie’s new company. Despite the shared child, both have moved on personally. Jeanie is now dating someone at her boner pill job played by Ken Marino (yes, you get to see Veronica Mars have sex with Vinnie Van Lowe). While Marino may be as far as you can get from Marty, Marty on the other hand has replaced Jeanie with another hot blonde. Except this one is an Instagram personality who wears less clothing.

While professionally, Kaan and Associates is booming, which leads to the return of Skip Gallweather. If that name sound familiar, it was one of the names on the masthead that Marty and the pod worked at in the early season. Sure Marty sank that firm, but again, if there is money to be made, that bridge can be built pretty easily. But really, the main reason to watch the new season is to watch Jeanie rap with Larry Bird (the alien from The Neighbors, not the actual basketball legend) which may be the best scene in the history of the show.

House of Lies airs Sundays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Previewing America's Greatest Makers

Mark Burnett was the first to bring reality television to the American networks with Survivor and now has four successful reality shows on three networks and he is not resting on his laurels (his name is actually on twelve shows currently in production). This time he is partnering with TNT for his newest show America’s Greatest Makers. With a title like that you may think, well, that kind of sounds like one of his other shows Shark Tank, and you will be right. Actually it kind of combines the elements of two of his shows, Shark Tank and The Voice.

Much like Shark Tank, contestants are pitching products, but instead of hoping for seed money, they must get three of the four judges (sorry, no spinning chairs, just a yes or no via a tablet, but there are lights on the floor like The Voice) to advance them to the next round with the last team standing getting a million dollars to fund their product. Much like The Voice, there is a finite number of spots in round two, fifteen (so sorry anyone who pitches late, maybe you get a better spot next season; and TNT does run two ads about applying for a second season so they are feeling pretty confident).

The four judges that each pitcher has to impress include Carol Roth, an on air commentator on CNBC where she covers big and small business, the economy, current events, politics, and pop culture. Kevin Pereira who I guess is best known for being having Olivia Munn as a sidekick on Attack of the Show and now is the co-host of Hack My Live. Brian Krzanich is the CEO of Intel (the subtitle of America’s Greatest Makers is actually “An Intel Experience”). The fourth chair is going to be a revolving door of guest judges. First up is TNT basketball commentator Kenny Smith and will also include his colleague Shaquille O’Neal, founder of Arduino Massimo Banzi, The Big Bang Theory’ss Mayim Bialik, and host of Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe.

Sure The Voice annoyingly makes its show more and more about the coaches, but is the contestants that really make the show and without good products, there is no America’s Greatest Makers. One thing I noticed in the first hour (aside from a very The Voice like sequencing of exactly on failed contestant per hour and a group of montage victims who advance but get about five seconds of screen time) is all but one of six groups that pitch in the first episode involve apps (the sixth is a light up jacket). Of all the products pitched in the first episode the one that piqued my interest was the Slapband. You mind might vaguely think of those bracelets in the eighties that high school girls would obsessively slap on their writs before the fad went away a year later, that is exactly what these are except this will give you your blood pressure eliminating those annoying arm pump things we have to use now. And of course all the information these collect get collected on an app on your smartphone.

When it comes down to it, America’s Greatest Makers just takes Shark Tank and puts in the competition reality show format. The first two episodes are where the contestants give their opening pitches. Then there are five “Make or Break Round,” where one team in each episode advances to the finale. Then the eighth and final episode, the five finalists bring their refined devices to the panel one last time for the chance to win one million dollar and the title America’s Greatest Maker. So if you like Shark Tank but want to spend a little more time with the inventors, you will probably enjoy America’s Greatest Makers.

America’s Greatest Makers airs Tuesdays at 9:00 on TNT.

Monday, April 04, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 4/4/16

Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is just cheesy fun but I really do not like it when she tries to be sexy because it just comes across as a middle schooler playing dress up.

Kiss it Better – Rihanna

Now for an actual dangerous woman who does not need to try to be sexy. And for the second video in a row, Rihanna opts for the see-through clothing which actually leaves even less to the imagination than the Work video.

Real People – Ice Cube and Common

Who would have guessed in the early nineties that Ice Cube would be on the same track as Common? And the track would come a quarter century after they both started for a crappy movie, and the song actually does not suck?

I Need Never Get Old – Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

Aw, studio hijinks from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. And since they bring it up, I kind of wish the song actually had cowbell.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Previewing The Story of God with Morgan Freemaan

God bless Morgan Freeman, the guy may be well past retirement age but still has four movies slated for release this year not to mention his growing number of narrator jobs. For the past six years he has been the voice and face of Through the Wormhole and now he is adding another hosting job to his resume in another otherworldly subject matter, The Story of God, premiering tonight on the National Geographic Channel.

This time around, Freeman is actually going across the globe to see how people celebrated God throught the years, whatever they called the entity. Each episode of The Story of Godwill center on one big question about the divine, from the mystery of creation, to the true power of miracles, to the promise of resurrection. The first episode deals with the view of the afterlife which takes Freeman from the pyramids of Egypt, to Jerusalem, currently the crossroads of three religions, where Jesus is believed to die in a time when everyone was Jewish. He also travels from Mexico to view the Day of the Dead, combining Aztec and Catholicism beliefs, to India where the locals believe in reincarnation. The episode ends in what may be the future of the afterlife: implanting our memories into artificial intelligence so we can live forever.

Future episodes of The Story of God focus on Creation – Are there similarities among the religious creation stories from around the world? How do they compare with the scientific theory of the creation of the cosmos and the dawn of civilization?. Who Is God? – How has the perception of God evolved over human history? Is God just an idea, and if so, can we find evidence of a divine presence in our brains? Evil – What is the root of evil and how has our idea of it evolved over the millennia? Is the devil real? The birth of religion may be inextricably tied to the need to control evil. Miracles – Are miracles real? For many believers, miracles are the foundation of their faith. Others regard miracles as merely unlikely events on which our brains impose divine meaning. Belief in miracles, however we define them, could be what gives us hope and drives us to turn possibility into reality. And the End of Days – Violent upheaval and fiery judgment fill popular imagination, but was the lore of apocalypse born out of the strife that plagued the Middle East two millennia ago? The true religious meaning of the apocalypse may not be a global war, but an inner revelation.

The Story of God with Morgan Freeman airs Sundays at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel.