Friday, December 09, 2016

Around the Tubes: 12/9/16

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 SURPRISE! Instant Xmas Carol, MVP: Sports Stars and Their Most Valuable Pets, Final Space, Bringing Up Bates, Growing Up McGhee, and Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour.

- This holiday season, Turner's TBS & TNT are going to turn the Christmas spirit on full blast with SURPRISE! Instant Xmas Carol, an all-new music special that puts a unique twist on the caroling tradition. The one-hour special – featuring such celebrity carolers as Conan O'Brien, Rashida Jones, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Jane Lynch, Ludacris, Kenny G, Tony Sirico, Vincent Curatola, Joseph Gannascoli, A$AP Ferg, Three Loco, Samantha Ronson, Alfonso Ribeiro, Fred Willard, T-Pain and many surprise appearances – is set to premiere on TBS on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 10:00. And the night before Christmas, Saturday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT), TBS & TNT will join forces for a simulcast of SURPRISE! Instant Xmas Carol. It will be followed by TBS & TNT's simulcast of the annual 24 Hours of A Christmas Story marathon, celebrating its 20th year as one of television's most enduring holiday traditions.

- Devoted sports fans can readily recall their favorite athlete’s bio and stats. They know that Serena Williams is a 22-time Grand Slam Champion and Olympic Gold medalist, and that Tim Tebow was the first college football sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy. But fewer people know about a MVP in their favorite athletes’ lives – their pets. In the fur-st ever MVP: Sports Stars and Their Most Valuable Pets, viewers will get to know the canine companions that brighten the lives of sports biggest stars, hear athletes discuss how their relationship with their dogs keep them in the game, and learn how these pups got their creative names. CBS Sports NFL Today Analyst Boomer Esiason hosts MVP: Sports Stars and Their Most Valuable Pets, CBS Special Airing Christmas Day at 4:00.

- Turner's TBS has greenlit the new animated series Final Space, an interstellar comedy created by independent filmmaker, actor, comedian and entrepreneur Olan Rogers. Slated to launch in 2018, Final Space is being produced by Conan O'Brien's Conaco and New Form, in association with Turner's Studio T. Rogers and creative partner David Sacks will write the episodes, executive-producing them along with O'Brien, David Kissinger, Larry Sullivan and Jeff Ross of Conaco and Kathleen Grace, Melissa Schneider and Matt Hoklotubbe of New Form. Part of TBS's continued push into animation, Final Space is a serialized intergalactic space saga about an astronaut named Gary and his adorable, planet-destroying friend, Mooncake. The series will follow their adventures as they embark on a quest to unlock the mystery of "Final Space," the place where the entire universe ends.

- UP TV, the entertainment destination that showcases stories about modern American families and the relationships that define them, announced this week that Bringing Up Bates season five will premiere Thursday, January 5 at 9:00 Joining the Thursday night lineup on UP will be the second season of Growing Up McGhee, premiering Thursday, January 12 at 9:30, following an all-new episode of Bringing Up Bates. UP has ordered 15 original episodes of Bringing Up Bates and ten original episodes of Growing Up McGhee.

- Madonna’s highly-anticipated concert film, Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour will premiere this Friday, December 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME, on-air, on demand and over the internet. For the official trailer, go to: MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR was shot around the world and features a collection of live and behind these scenes footage culminating in performances at the Sydney Olympic Park in March of this year. The film is co-directed by Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, both of whom have worked extensively with Madonna on her feature films and tour movies.

- President-Elect Trump announced his nomination of Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration (SBA), immediately raising eyebrows in the small business community. With a personal net worth of more than $500 million, Ms. McMahon is out of touch with the real small business owners she is tasked with assisting at the SBA. Having contributed at least $6.5 million to the President-Elect’s campaign and associated super PACS, and $5 million to the Trump Foundation, the selection of Ms. McMahon raises conflict of interest concerns that have become synonymous with Mr. Trump and his Cabinet nominations. It begs the question, how much does a Trump Cabinet position cost? For Linda McMahon, the position carries a $11.5 million price tag.

- You’ve probably heard: President-elect Donald Trump has a strong opinion about Boeing’s contract with the US government for an upgraded Air Force One. Here’s Boeing’s official statement regarding Air Force One.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Previewing Shut Eye

Hulu is at a crossroads. It started out as a great way to catch up on last night’s television you missed with a few webseries quality shows, usually underwritten by a advertiser who put gratuitous product placements throughout. But it clearly became envious of Netflix and all its buzz and deep pockets. Hulu slowly started adding movies you have actually heard of and more credible original programming. It also started providing commercial free version and put most of the movies and original programming behind their paid wall.

They took a very huge step earlier this year eliminating their free tier leaving people like me who are not bothered by ads and primarily use Hulu for catch-up with the choice between ponying $7.99 a month (or an extra $4 to get rid of those pesky commercials) to continue using the service or go back to channel specific websites to catch up on what we missed last night. I chose the latter and really forgot how much I hate the other video players (especially ABC).

So now that you have to pay, Hulu really need to step its game up when it comes to original programming if it even want to get to Amazon Prime territory, let along Netflix. The Path was good but a little underwhelming and Casual was solid but will not be winning any awards or show up on anyone’s top ten lists. Hulu really stumbled out of the gate with their first post no free tier era with Chance which was met with a resounding meh. Personally I was not even able to make it through a full episode. And this is coming from someone who somehow watched every episode of Wicked City.

Now comes Shut Eye which seems like it want to be The Sopranos except instead of gangsters, the show focuses on psychics. And instead of seeing a therapist, the lead sees another type of head doctor after an angry boyfriend gives him a concussion after telling his girlfriend he was cheating on him. Oh, and we are led to believe this concussion may have also given him real psychic power that are triggered whenever he is around doughnuts.

Shut Eye stars Jeffery Donovan as the small time hustler who is looking for a big score after leaving Vegas and his cushy job as the guy who builds tricks from magicians. But in Los Angeles he has run into real gypsies who do not like people taking their business (Isabella Rossilini plays the matriarch) and expect their cut from any pretend psychic. Hey, selling $5,000 candles to simpletons can only get you so far.

So Donovan sees and opening when an obvious gangster (Dexter’s David Zayas) comes in seeing help for his kid with Asperger’s. Needless to say, when you get in bed with gangsters, bad things start happening. And there is the problem with Shut Eye, I actually had to put the phrase “needlessly to say” in a review. It is kind of easy to predict where the show is going from the opening scenes. And since the show is trying to be prestigious, the show is peppered with just enough gratuitous violence (someone gets dunked in a doughnut fryer), gratuitous sex (though not gratuitous enough because Emmanuelle Chriqui manages to stay pretty hidden during a lesbian sex scene in the first episode). And what want to be prestigious show be without a worthless teenage son who abuses drugs? Though it fell flat in places, The Path was a much more ambitious attempt for Hulu to get their named made. Shut Eye just seems to be recycling decade’s old attempts at making television.

All episode of Shut Eye are streaming now on Hulu starting today.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 12/4/16

Shameless: I thought Monica revealing she was dying was going to be the big reveal of the episode (though I am not complete sold she is telling the truth, this is Shameless), then they end with Micky breaking out of prison. I wonder what will make him more upset, his ex-boyfriend hooking up with a dude without a manhood or his ex-wife shacking up with Vee and Kev.

The Walking Dead: Did we really need to devote a full extended episode to Tara? I completely forgot she even existed.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Gotham: They could not get Michelle Pfeiffer to play Catwoman’s mother? Oh well. What exactly has she been up to? I cannot think of anything since the nineties. But where, and why, has momma been hiding all this time? But I guess Jim should find her hiding hole because he broke his bring Falcone’s son in alive promise. Oh well. Hopefully this ends the Mad Hatter storyline and we move onto something new. Oh, the return of Jerome is the something new? Meh. Can’t they just have Black Manta crawl out of the Gotham harbor?
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Supergirl: So after promoting a big four night crossover for months, the Flash shows up for thirty seconds with some annoying hippie. I guess I should not complain since the other crappy CW superheroes did not ruin Supergirl worse than The CW already has this season. Seriously what was with Cyborg Superman’s silly Phantom of the Opera mask? He has this intimidating Terminator with half his face peeled off, yet he covers that up with something silly.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Lucifer: So we have known since early last season Chloe had some sort effect on Lucifer that made him more mortal, but never knew why… until now. So she was blessed by an angel before she was born. Why the angel picked an actress is still unknown, but it is a start.
You can download Lucifer on iTunes.

:Good Behavior: The one thing I like about this show is that I am not entirely sure where it is going. I was disappointed with thinking that the show was going to be a procedural with Leddy and Javier conning and/or killing new people every week. Except they parted ways in episode three leaving me wondering here exactly the show was heading again. Although with that ending, should I worry it will turn into a procedural again or will there be another twist in an episode or two?
You can download Good Behavior on iTunes.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X: What a worthless gift, her, have some worst “advantage” ever in the history of the show, one that will guarantee you not to win and will likely be voted out next if you use it. Although I actually think the new owner is dumb enough to use it.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X on iTunes.