Friday, October 13, 2017

Around the Tubes: 10/13/2017

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 SMILF, Castle Rock, Scared Famous, Shut Eye, Street Science, Marvel’s Runaways, I Love You, America, and Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film.

- Showtime has released the trailer for the upcoming comedy series SMILF, created, starring and executive produced by Frankie Shaw and based on her Sundance Film Festival Jury Award-winning short film of the same name. Shaw also wrote the pilot. The new eight-episode, half-hour SHOWTIME comedy is a raw, honest look at the life of a 20-something single mom from quadruple threat Shaw. SMILF will premiere on Sunday, November 5 at 10:00, following the 9:00 season eight premiere of the Showtime hit series Shameless.

- A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King's best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The series stars André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Sissy Spacek, Billy Skarsgård, Jane Levy and Scott Glenn.

- VH1’s new competition series Scared Famous, featuring Redman as the “Master of Scare-a-Monies,” premieres Monday, October 23rd at 9:00. Please click to see the supertrailer…if you dare.

- Check out the official teaser trailer for Hulu's upcoming second season of Shut Eye starring Jeffrey Donovan, KaDee Strickland, Isabella Rossellini and Angus Sampson. All episodes premiere Wednesday, Dec. 6 only on Hulu.

- Kevin Delaney, known to millions as the science expert on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, is back to build, execute, and nail the science behind larger-than-life experiments when a new season of Science Channel’s Street Science returns. Combining scientific method with humor and curiosity, Kevin brings mind-blowing experiments out of the lab and onto the streets to show how relevant science is to our everyday lives. The second season of Street Science, comprised of 14 half-hour episodes, begins on Wednesday, November 15 at 10:00.

- Every teenager thinks their parents are evil. What if you found out they actually were? Marvel’s Runaways is the story of six diverse teenagers who can barely stand each other but who must unite against a common foe – their parents. The 10-episode series premieres Tuesday, November 21st.

- From inciting treason to telling poop jokes, Sarah Silverman has created her fair share of online chatter. With I Love You, America, she's looking to connect with people who may not agree with her personal opinions through honesty, humor,genuine interest in others, and not taking herself too seriously. While it's great to connect with like-minded people, Silverman feels it's crucial, now more than ever, to connect with un-like-minded people. I Love You, America comes to Hulu from Funny or Die and is executive produced by Sarah Silverman, Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Amy Zvi, Gavin Purcell and Joe Farrell.

- niversal Music Enterprises is set to release, for the first time, a double-vinyl LP edition of Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film, the 2001 soundtrack which accompanied the release of his acclaimed motion picture on October 6th. In addition to its standard black-vinyl release, the anniversary LP will also be released in a limited colored-vinyl edition that will be available exclusively through the online retailer, uDiscover.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Previewing Good Behavior: Season Two

One quote about television that has really stuck with me was an interview with the creators of Homeland when asked about why they packed five to ten season finale type reveals into the first season and they said (and I am probably poorly paraphrasing) audiences are too smart these days, you can no longer shock them with what happens, you can only shock them with when you do them. And that is true with most shows these days which you can tell exactly what is going to happen in the season finale from what happens in the season premiere.

One of the rare exceptions was the first season of Good Behavior. I remember really liking the first episode but did not care for what I thought was going to be the set up for the rest of the season. Except they wrapped that up storyline in two episodes and kept playing with my expectations and surprising me with where the plot was going all the way to the finale which saw Letty sell out Javier to get her child back and then double-cross the FBI and leave town with her son and Javier.

As exhilarating the first season was, I have to admit that I was not as entertained with the first couple episodes of season two. Of course suburban bliss is never that entertaining even if both Javier and Letty quickly go back to old habits with varying results. Really the only thing that kept me away in those first two episodes was the presence of a nosy neighbor and the occasional appearance of Letty’s step-father who stole every season. Then Letty shows up for Christmas in the third episode and things get interesting.

Obviously I cannot say what happens but it may be the biggest twist to date. Granted the twist in episode four kind of dampens my enthusiasm. But still, much like the first season which may not have been perfect, I am still very intrigued to see when the rest of the season goes.

Good Behavior airs Sundays at 10:00 on TNT.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Previewing White Famous

Saturday Night Live really needed Jay Pharoah. The late night show which relayed more and more heavily on political sketches as the show aged, had one lone black man at the time, and let’s say Kennan Thompson had a hamburger or a hundred too many to play Barack Obama, instead for three years Venezuelan/German/Korean actor Fred Armisen. And really, the best presidential sketch of his tenure was The Rock Obama when the Polynesian/Black wrestler took turns pretending to be the Commander in Chief. Pharaoh’s Obama actually looked and sounded like the president even though it took two years being in the cast to take over the role.

But the thing is, other than that, it is hard to think of another Pharoah sketch. Um, there were those horrible middle school dances where he played the principle. So when Barack got the boot, so did Jay. Though there are not many of them, black SNL cast members go into categories, the eventual superstars (Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock) and the ones who stay so long because they know there is nowhere else out there for them but bit roles (both Tim Meadows and Keanan Thompson have been in alumni monologue thanking them to come back for their triumphant hosting return only for the black guy sheepishly saying they are still in the cast).

For his first post-SNL gig, Pharoah teamed with another underutilized member of a sketch comedy show who himself who went into superstardom: Jamie Foxx who started on Fox’s In Living Color and was last seen on Fox’s Beat Shazam. The reason the game show was able to land an Oscar winner was because Foxx produced the show. Foxx is also the producer of White Famous based loosely on his life and makes a cameo in the premiere lampooning getting his start wearing dresses which his stand in Pharoah wants no part of.

The first episode is funny. Showtime has already released it so you can check it out at your lesure if you do not want to wait until it official airs this Sunday. Pharoah’s agent Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect) steals the show as an Indian Ari Gold doing whatever he can do to make Pharoah white famous even though the stand-up is content telling jokes on stage. Plus he want to stay close to his baby, and maybe even more so with his estranged baby mama Cleopatra Coleman (Step Up Revolution).

But as funny as that first episode is, I am a bit more dubious of the second episode when Michael Rapaport, who even managed to ruin my enjoyment of Justified, shows up as a director interested in casting. Future enjoyment of the show may hinge on just how long Rapaport sticks around. But at least Raylan Givins baby mama shows up in episode three as his agent's rival / former boss.

White Famous premieres Sunday at 10:00 on Showtime and moves to 10:30 November 5.

Monday, October 09, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 10/9/2017

Little of Your Love - HAIM

When HAIM released their last video I said they should never not dance in their music videos, though country line dancing was not really what I had in mind.

The Last of the Real Ones - Fall Out Boy

Killer llamas may have been more entertaining if it was not in super slow motion. And it was not until the end before I realize, didn’t Kanye West do this already but with a hot model and not farm animals? Is Fall Out Boy really parodying a decade old Kanye West video I barely remember?

Heart Break - Lady Antebellum

There was no pre-ad roll before I watched this Lady Antebellum video on YouTube. I bring this up because about ten seconds in I was looking for the Skip This button because that opening was mostly boring. And really, the video’s plot did not make much sense. Unless it continues but I hate music videos that are to be continued.

Sure the new Olivia Holt (who distractedly looks like nineties Mandy Moore) song sounds like a rip off of Bad Liar, but still, it is mostly catchy.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 10/8/2017

Ray Donovan: Well that was harsh Abby, going without even telling your husband goodbye. I am not sure that was because it is easier and he could not talk him out of it or payback for all the infidelity (including the new hot actress while she was sick). And it seems weird to do long concluding flashback with four episodes left. Is there going to be more flashbacks because any more would seem anticlimactic now that Abby is dead and after that really graphic brawl. And they spent so much time with Abby in the flashbacks; it never really occurred to me that Avi also had a backstory to tell. So now we know why Avi was mostly missing for most of the season, he was back in New York arrested on heroin charges.

Lucifer: Wow, Superman got really old. But Lucifer has been redeemed? Alrighty. I am guessing the new bad guy will be his mom who did not stay in her new universe.
You can download Lucifer on iTunes.

The Gifted: In the ad before the show when they announced this show was part of The X-Men Cinematic Universe I thought, oh I have not seen the last couple movies. Days of Future Past being the last. But the problem with those films is they are all jumbled. The first three were linear, but then they did a Wolverine origin movie which was universally panned which I think is no longer cannon. Then they did two more Wolverine movies that took place in varying timelines. The First Class was in the eighties. Then Days of Future Past started in an alternative timeline flashbacked to the First Class timeline, and then created a new timeline… I think. So I have no idea where this show fits in. Making things worse is Blink is in both the movies and the television show but seem like two different entities. But I was mostly meh on the first episode, the main family cannot act besides the mother which is very distracting. But on the bright side, their powers are much less lame than those of the Inhumans.
You can download The Gifted on iTunes.

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World: This show was much better when it was called Joan of Arcadia. Put Kevin in a wheelchair and fing Amber Tamblyn and it may be watchable.
You can download Kevin (Probably) Saves the World on iTunes.

The Challenge: Dirty 30: Interesting that after springing returning players on them twice, TJ just confirmed the next batch is going to the Redemption House. Should be interesting who gets the boot next week with the winning team made up of mostly outcasts. Do they go big and target Johnny Bananas and CT or go more conservative and give Hunter the instant boot. As for females, Camilla seems like a lock to be one of the two picked, but who is the other? Again, do you go big with Cara Maria or target the newbie with Tori. I really hope they go with the bold moves but The Challenge players always seem conservative.
You can download The Challenge: Dirty 30 on iTunes.

Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers: Ugg, why do the most annoying players always find the Hidden Immunity Idols? I guess you have to be shady to actually go look for it. I am surprised no one has used the, “we should go look for it as a group” way around looking selfish going after it yourself. Although the financial analyst came up with an idea I would have never thought of: holding onto the Super Idol to see if she can use it to make people think she has a regular Idol.
You can download Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers on iTunes.

The Good Place: Mmmm, Michael says he can get everyone to the real Good Place. Sound like a bluff to me but working with him would be better than going to the real Bad Place. But do they need Michael? If Janet can take them to the Medium Place, why can she not take them to Good Place? I just hope we get more of Real Eleanor’s fake Good Place next week. Really that could be the rest of the season as they work a way to get to the real Good Place.
You can download The Good Place on iTunes.

Gotham: Wait, is Jim really going to hook up with Falcone’s daughter? I have a feeling right when that is about to happen Leigh is going to show back up. Then Barbara and Ra’s Al Ghul? Interesting. They have been teasing Barbara as Harley Quinn for a while now, but maybe she is going to end up being Talia’s mother. Or they are just subbing in Ra’s for The Joker in Harley’s backstory.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Once Upon a Time: The show had gotten really bad in recent years, but somehow the hard reboot was worse. I do not even know where to start.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Marvel’s Inhumans: I complained about the cheesy powers last week (I still am not entirely sure what the princess’s powers are), but they finally introduced an Inhuman this week with cool powers. Sure those powers were the exact same as Cyclops from the X-Men.
Marvel's Inhumans on iTunes.