Friday, October 14, 2016

Around the Tubes: 10/14/16

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 Great Performances, The Affair, Kid Cudi, The Circus, Years of Living Dangerously, Mighty Planes, Punkin Chunkin, Untamed With Filipe DeAndrade, Garth Brooks/Yankee Stadium/Live, and #ChooseKindness.

- PBS announced today the broadcast premiere dates for the diverse slate of performing arts specials that will air as part of the 2016 PBS Arts Fall Festival. Compelling specials from Great Performances and Live from Lincoln Center, as well as Bill Murray: The Mark Twain Prize and Alan Cumming Sings Happy Songs, will join Hamilton’S America as a part of this year’s festival. “PBS is thrilled to unveil the full lineup and airdates for the 2016 PBS Arts Fall Festival,” says Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS. “The quality and variety of programs that compose this year’s festival, from Broadway performances to comedic tributes and cabaret acts, will keep viewers coming back to PBS every Friday night this fall.” As previously announced, Hamilton’S America, from Great Performances, launches the PBS Arts Fall Festival on Friday, October 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings).

- This week, Showtime released the first look video for season three of its critically-acclaimed series The Affair, premiering on Sunday, November 20 at 10:00. THE AFFAIR stars Golden Globe nominee Dominic West, Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson, Emmy Award® nominee Maura Tierney and Screen Actors Guild® nominee Joshua Jackson.

- Grammy Award®-winning multiplatinum artist and trendsetter KID CUDI debuts the visual for his latest song “Frequency” via Republic Records/Wicked Awesome Records this week.

- The SHowtime campaign documentary series The Circus is making an early return this week to cover the fallout from the dramatic new developments in the presidential race. The Circus is cutting its two-week break in half and will air all new episodes on Sundays at 8:00 on Showtime through the election.

- National Geographic Channel (NGC) will premiere the second season of the Emmy award-winning documentary series Years of Living Dangerously— Sunday, Oct. 30, at 8:00. Years of Living Dangerously will move to its regularly scheduled time, Wednesdays at 10/9c, beginning Nov. 2. Produced in collaboration with The Years Project and from executive producers James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Years of Living Dangerously once again features some of Hollywood’s biggest influencers who are passionate about environmental issues, and it reveals emotional and hard-hitting accounts of the effects of climate change from across the planet. The full list of season two correspondents includes Jack Black, Gisele Bündchen, Ty Burrell, Don Cheadle, America Ferrera, Thomas Friedman, Joshua Jackson, David Letterman, Aasif Mandvi, Nikki Reed, executive producer Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ian Somerhalder, Cecily Strong, Sigourney Weaver and Bradley Whitford. They give first-person accounts from locations — some shockingly close to home, others in far-flung corners of the globe — where the effects of climate change are most prevalent. They cover crucial issues, like severe hurricanes, deforestation, the solar energy crisis, climate migrants, historic droughts and the rapidly increasing extinction rate of our planet’s wildlife. The result is a gritty and raw look at not only how our species has impacted our planet but also how we can save it for future generations.

- Season three of the popular Smithsonian Channel series Mighty Planes soars to new heights with some of the world’s most incredible aircraft. From one of the most legendary spy planes to NASA’s cargo-hauling giant, there is no shortage of extraordinary planes carrying out massive undertakings. MIGHTY PLANES tells the stories of the pilots, engineers, avionics specialists, load masters and ground operators behind the machines, and of course, the airplanes that bring it all home. The six-episode season premieres Sunday, November 6 at 8:00.

- Projectile pumpkins take over the sky as Punkin Chunkin returns to Science Channel with a three hour simulcast with Discovery Channel – that’s more primetime gourd-chunkin hours than ever before! Punkin Chunkin is the epic gathering of unconventional engineering teams and builders who compete using a variety of technologies - air cannons, catapults, trebuchets and other homemade contraptions - to see who can propel a pumpkin the farthest. This signature Science Channel television event celebrates the science and engineering skills of all those who compete, as well as their creativity, ingenuity, teamwork, and passion. Punkin Chunkin returns in all its glory after a two-year absence as a simulcast on Science Channel and Discovery Channel Saturday, Nov. 26 at 8:00.

- When filmmaker Filipe DeAndrade won Nat Geo WILD’s Wild to Inspire short film compeititon in 2014, he never dreamed that the opportunity would lead to his own wildlife series. However, his winning short film, “Adapt,” left audiences and judges moved and inspired, proving to Nat Geo WILD just how much experience and unmistakable talent the aspiring filmmaker possessed. Two years later, DeAndrade’s dream of using his passion for filmmaking to showcase his love for wildlife has become a reality — today at Wildscreen, Nat Geo WILD announced its new digital series, Untamed With Filipe DeAndrade, premiering on the network’s YouTube Channel in March 2017.

- AT&T's AUDIENCE® Network will present the exclusive concert event Garth Brooks/Yankee Stadium/Live. Filmed in 4K this past summer, the spectacular concert event will broadcast nationwide on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 8:00 across all AT&T platforms.

- Radio Disney Country Artist Jessie Chris announced today she is a proud supporter of Disney's new national #ChooseKindness Anti-Bullying Campaign. Jessie, who was the victim of extreme bullying in school herself, has filmed an Anti-Bullying PSA, and is joining several other artists and celebrities hoping to drive awareness to this growing epidemic.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Voice Season 11 Blind Audition Power Ranking

I knew going into this season, The Voice was going to be a drag just by the announcement of Miley Cyrus as coach and I figured I would be going back to just watching the YouTube highlights. I did watch the post Olympics preview and was unimpressed by the two they featured. Unfortunately there was nothing else on Tuesdays so I did turn in those days, but found myself flipping around to wrestling and news to see what stupid thing Donald Trump said that day to avoid Miley who is just completely unwatchable. Then this week the Best of the Blinds happened and I realized, I have not even bothered to go back watch the Mondays show. Not a good sign. But for the first time in a long time, there was actually someone who tried out that I actually had on my iPod, except the dude from Mêlée did not get anyone to turn (granted for a reason). Then there was an actual ringer, Billy Gilman, who apparently had a hit record when he was a child and probably has already won. Oh and we got two daughters of famous athletes on this season: Ron Harper and Valeri Bure. Meh.

1. Whitney & Shannon (Team Alicia)
2. Nolan Neal (Team Adam)
3. Christian Cuevas (Team Alicia)
4. Brendan Fletcher (Team Adam)
5. Jason Warrior (Team Alicia)
6. Courtney Harrell (Team Blake)
7. Blaine Long (Team Blake)
8. Austin Allsup (Team Blake)
9. Halle Tomlinson (Team Alicia)
10. Halle Tomlinson (Alicia Keys)
11. Elia Esparza (Team Adam)
12. Josette Diaz (Team Miley)
13. Sa'Rayah (Team Miley)
14. Andrew DeMuro (Team Adam)
15. Karlee Metzger (Team Miley)
16. Simone Gundy (Team Adam)
17. Kylie Rothfield (Team Alicia)
18. Kylie Rothfield (Team Miley)
19. Courtnie Ramirez (Team Miley)
20. Dana Harper (Team Blake)
21. Gabe Broussard (Team Blake)
22. Khaliya Kimberlie (Team Miley)
23. Bindi Liebowitz (Team Adam)
24. Darby Walker (Team Miley)
25. Aaron Gibson (Team Miley)
26. Wé McDonald (Team Alicia)
27. Sundance Head (Team Blake)
28. Ali Caldwell (Team Miley)
29. Sophia Urista (Team Miley)
30. Billy Gilman (Team Adam)
31. Michael Sanchez (Team Alicia)
32. Dan Shafer (Team Blake)
33. Lauren Diaz (Team Alicia)
34. Natasha Bure (Team Adam)
35. Johnny Rez (Team Adam)
36. Riley Elmore (Team Adam)
37. Ethan Tucker (Team Blake)
38. Josh Gallagher (Team Blake)
39. Ponciano Seoane (Team Adam)
40. Maye Thomas (Team Miley)
41. Gabriel Violett (Team Alicia)
42. Dave Moisan (Team Alicia)
43. Belle Jewel (Team Alicia)
44. JSOUL (Team Adam)
45. Christian Fermin (Team Blake)
46. Charity Bowden (Team Miley)
47. Tarra Layne (Team Blake)
48. Preston James (Team Blake)

This is the time I usually give digital ink to how well the contestants did on iTunes, but to be honest, I never really cared enough yet this season to check. And really, it is not just Miley, the contestants have been stale for a while now aside from a small blip two seasons ago. Watching the early seasons of The Real World on MTV Classics reminded why The Voice is becoming stale; just like The Real World recycled stereotypes (the naïve county folk! The token black guy!! The hot lesbian!!! The douchebag frat boy!!!!), it is the same singers every season. Blake has to have his downhome boring county boy. Adam has to have his big voiced diva and cute but bland white boy. Even the weird indie chick has become a cliché. I should be disappointed that the chick that turned (Don’t You) Forget About Me into a jazz standard got montaged, but instead, I just went, meh. Really the two black sisters who sang Stevie Nicks were the only Blind Auditions this season that I thought were just a baseline of interesting. Season six was the only season where I jumped ship during the Battle Round and I get the sense that not only will that happen this season, but I may actually be done with the series.

Previewing Freakish

I tend to think I am up on television news, even if the show does not even air on television. Yet I had no clue what Freakish was when Hulu sent over their screener link for the show. Nor did I even recognize anyone in the cast other than The Walking Dead’s Chad L. Coleman. The press release actually had links from the cast list to their YouTube and Vine pages which also gave me pause. Then I started to watch the first episode and realized that the reason I had never heard of the show was because it was not made for me really looking back, casting YouTube and Vine stars should have also tipped me off).

So it was pretty clear that I am well out of the show’s targeted demographic as it is more aimed to teens. But the story is still as old as time… or at least as old as John Hughes because the detention setting has a very Breakfast Club feel to it, with Coleman as the coach is supervising. Except the school is extremely busy for a Saturday morning as computer club, orchestra practice, and a basketball pickup game are all going on.

Oh yeah, there is also a chemical plant explosion that happens on the same day and everyone has to head to the bomb shelter at the bottom of the school. Except most of the students do not want to spend the week their waiting fr the all clear, and that is when things get a little, are I say, Freakish.

Like I said, I am out of the show’s demographics but the show gave me some nostalgia vibes to the stuff I watched on Nickelodeon as a kid or the Saturday morning teen block of shows with a supernatural twist that gives it a modern flavor. Of course all the main characters (the bad boy, the basketball star and his cheerleading girlfriend, the computer nerd, the normal guy, and his violinist sister) have a secret. So if you have a teen in middle school (or are one), this may be something to watch together. Although I should point out to overprotective parents, even though the show seems to be geared to the younger set there is one curse word in the first episode.

You can stream all ten episodes of Freakish starting today on Hulu.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 10/9/16

Once Upon a Time: Am I really going to dust off my high school reading list for this season? The Count of Monte Cisco? If they gang runs into the animals of Animal Farm, I may finally have to quit this show.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Fear the Walking Dead: Oh snap, Travis just totally went HAM on those people that killed his son. But Christopher should have known if they were so quick to kill their friend, they would do the same to him.
You can download Fear the Walking Dead on iTunes.

Masters of Sex: C’mon Lester, how do you not know they you have to re-fog the window by breathing on it to get the phone number? But a weird “coat” party. Betty goes home with a gay do they stares at him lingering when he answers the phone. Is she going to use him to make her girlfriend jealous, or is she looking for an assistant of her own? Then it was a shame Libby and Bill did not stick around to take coats that could have had fireworks. Then pour Virginia’s assistant, almost a sad sack as Lester, but at least the latter got some.

The Strain: What exactly was Fet doing all day? He went into the tunnels at dawn but did not get to the nest until dusk while Ephraim was quickly able to get to the lair fairly quickly. And when he ran into Gus, they all seemed comfortable letting the hot chick and the crippled old man get to the surface alone.
You can download The Strain on iTunes.

Gotham: When Hugo Strange was creating new personas for the Indian Hills residents, I thought the Alice in Wonderland book was a Mad Hatter Easter egg. Turns out it was his sister. Who knew Mad Hatter had a sister? And for someone experimented on, she seems relatively even keel: she was able to get a job, was compassionate enough to torch the bar where she spilled her blood because she knows her blood is poison, and even saved James from her brother.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Timeless: I figured that when Lucy came back, her mother would be better, but oh my, they made her sister not exist because the Hindenburg did not crash when it was supposed to. I did find the Pilot entertaining, but the more I think about their time travel laws, the more it kind of bugs me. Okay, I get they cannot go back and try to get the Hindenburg to crash on schedule to avoid seeing themselves but why is that stopping three other people from going back in time? Or go back a day before leave a message for them and travel back?
You can download Timeless on iTunes.

Conviction: It is depressing that there was actually a person who watched this Pilot and thought, “yeah, I would rather have Haley Atwell star in this on my network instead of Agent Carter.” And then make her do an American accent… c’mon, she couldn’t be the Prime Minister’s rebellious daughter who emigrated to leave the watchful eye of her parents?
You can download Conviction on iTunes.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X: Survivor has become so predictable that even when something shocking happens, it is actually predictable. When Gen X lost, I thought, obviously CeCe is going home, then in th testimonial, one of the guys said, CeCe was the obvious vote, which then made me think, wait, that means CeCe is not going home. So of course when the old dude who, c’mon, is really Baby Boomer, got targeted, I knew it was going to be him. Meh.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X on iTunes

Blindplot: I never understand all the people who put their guns down to try to talk down a crazy person with a firearm. C’mon, stay put and let the fifteen year old empty her clip and then talk her down.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

The Blacklist: As a pretentious armchair television critic, I like to complain about procedurals, but I actually liked this show a lot better when they were taking down a new bad guy every episode instead spending all this time on Liz’s baby.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.