Friday, December 08, 2017

Around the Tubes: 12/8/2017

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 Tarantula, The Best of the Dean Marin Celebrity Roasts: Volumns 1-3!, POV, The Trade, Darius Rucker, Cash Cowboys, White Famous, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

- In a network first, TBS is debuting a full-season binge of the highly anticipated new series Tarantula via the TBS app and beginning, Monday, December 4th. The animated half-hour comedy is written and executive produced by Carson Mell (Silicon Valley) alongside executive producers Danny McBride (Vice Principals, Eastbound & Down), Jody Hill (Vice Principals, Eastbound & Down), Brandon James and David Gordon Green for Rough House Pictures, Claudia Katz and Gregg Vanzo for Rough Draft Animation.

- This fall, Dino goes digital with The Best of the Dean Marin Celebrity Roasts: Volumns 1-3! Never before released on any digital platform, the Roastmaster General will be available exclusively on iTunes beginning December 11, with three "Best of" compilation releases priced at $14.99; individual episodes will be available for $1.99 each. The classic TV archivists at Time Life will release additional digital content throughout 2018 and beyond.

- Capstoning a year of celebrations for the documentary showcases' 30th anniversary, PBS television series POV is excited to announce its first-ever documentary marathon. Premiering on public television’s WORLD Channel, the binge-worthy marathon will showcase films from POV’s rich and diverse history of character-driven stories over a 24-hour period. Kicking off on New Year's Eve, the marathon will also run 30 films for 30 days on the POV streaming service at,, and the PBS Anywhere app. POV is the longest running independent documentary series on American television. The marathon will also include the television premiere of the film 500 Years by Emmy-nominated and veteran POV filmmaker Pamela Yates, which will broadcast twice on January 1, 2018 at 8/7 p.m. Eastern Time and at 9 p.m. Pacific Time on the WORLD Channel. The film will also begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on December 1. 500 Years had its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The marathon will begin broadcasting on the WORLD Channel at 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 31, kicking off with the three-time Emmy-nominated American Promise, which received a top prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. The television marathon will continue until 10 p.m. on January 1, 2018.

- From Columbus, Ohio to Guerrero, Mexico and countless cities in between, the opioid epidemic has ravaged communities on both sides of the border. But what about the lives behind the headlines and statistics? The timely, provocative new five-episode SHOWTIME docu-series The Trade spotlights the crisis through the eyes of those most affected: the growers, addicts, cartel bosses and law enforcement hopelessly caught in its web. Directed and executive produced by Oscar nominee and Emmy® winner Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land) and executive produced by Oscar and Emmy nominee Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), The Trade will world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and debut on Friday, February 2 at 9:00 on Showtime.

- Tune in Friday, December 8 to watch the broadcast premiere of the concert special “Darius Rucker” on AT&T* AUDIENCE Network via DIRECTV Ch 239, AT&T U-verse Ch 1114 and on-demand through DIRECTV NOW. Airing at 9:00 the one-hour concert was shot live from the iconic stage of the Apollo Theater in New York City. Darius performs hits spanning his country career---from his first country No. 1 single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” to his most recent chart topper “If I Told You” off his just released fifth album When Was the Last Time (Capitol Records Nashville)--to crowd favorites from his career as lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish. During the concert, Darius brings Robert Randolph on stage for a duet on their “Love What You Do.” The pedal steel rock star stayed on stage transitioning into an Apollo-only-worth collaboration on “Hold My Hand.” As he celebrates this latest milestone and bucket list moment in his groundbreaking, multi-genre music career, Darius joins series host Ted Stryker for an intimate interview on the stage of the legendary Apollo Theater just before the sold-out show.

- Cash Cowboys, currently airing on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. ET/PT on POP TV, features Colorado-based family, the Huwas, who are 21st Century Colorado cowboys, as they reclaim areas destroyed by naturally occurring disasters – from hurricanes to floods, tornadoes, fires, and more. A family that has had generations of working on the farm, the Huwas apply their knowledge, skill, values and disciplined work ethic to restore the damaged earth. The heart of the series is all about cowboy culture, and the spirit of the West – just as likely to be riding a five-ton bulldozer as a one-ton rodeo bull, a 200-horsepower excavator as a horse on the range. The show is about big equipment, tough terrain, bucking bulls, mother nature, and extreme deadlines that keep them on their toes. The stakes are high, and there is no room for error.

- Academy Award® winner and executive producer Jamie Foxx, who played an over-the-top, satirized version of himself in the pilot episode of White Famous, will reprise his role for the series’ season one finale airing this Sunday, December 10 at 10:30 on SHOWTIME. The episode finds Floyd Mooney (Jay Pharoah) coming full circle as his life is once again turned upside down due to a viral internet video. As the career opportunities start pouring in, Foxx comes calling to offer Floyd a chance of a lifetime.

- GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today that it has licensed seasons 14 and 15 of iconic game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, with the show to air Monday through Friday at 3:00pm and 3:30pm ET beginning Monday, December 18. In addition, on Sunday, December 24, fans can catch a stacked marathon airing from 9:00am to 2:00pm ET.

- The King of Morocco Mohammed VI, as Chairman of the Committee Al Qods, sent a message to the President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, expressing his "deep concern as well as the inquietude of the people of the Arab and Muslim States" following the information about the decision of President Trump to "recognize Al-Qods as capital of Israel and to move there the Embassy of the United States ".

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Previewing Knightfall

As Vikings debuted its fifth season last week, it is a bit surprising that History has yet to do another full series set on a fascinating but underreported moment in history (I am not counting last year’s Six which is a modern show that could have easily been on NBC). Much like Vikings which seems to have a foot in the truth and a foot in myth, Knightfall follows the Knights Templers of the around the time of the turn of the fourteenth century. This is ripe for story because secrecy surrounds the Templers though they do run into a few historical figures like Philip IV of France and his royal family along with Pope Boniface VIII.

The series starts at the end of the Siege of Arce, the last stronghold of the Templar’s in the Holy Land in 1291. The Knights have saved the Holy Grail… only to watch it sink to the bottom of the sea. Fast forward fifteen years and those Templars have settled in Paris serving the King there as peace with Britain is fragile and ready to disintegrate at any moment. The Grail still haunts the Knights until a clue that maybe the Holy Grail actually in France and the remaining Knights are following to clue to see if it never sank to the bottom of the sea.

Though information is scares, I do recommend not looking up spoilers because they do hint at what happens at the end of the season (though in retrospect, the title can be consider kind of spoilery). But I do wonder if the show would have been better off starting earlier. We spend ten minute in the Siege of Arce and that itself could have been a whole season. The writers really could have started the series as the main Templar of the show joins the Knights and worked its way to this season where he takes over the Order.

But my bigger complaint is that the show does not do a very good job paying plots off. In the penultimate episode a whisper is made that changes the fate of one of the major character. When that character asked what was said, the replay is that he will be told when he comes back… except he does not return to learn the big twist before the season ends so we, the audience, will have to wait until next season (or possibly longer which always seemed to be the case on Lost) to find out as well. It is always a pet peeve a mine when shows do not pay things off in the same season. What if this show gets canceled? Then we will never know.

Still if you like the epicness of Vikings, you should stick around for Knightfall. It reminds me of what a live action version of Assassin’s Creed should have looked like without the weird modern day mad scientist plot (full disclosure notice: I never did see the move but will take the critics’ take for it that the movie was bad). Except instead of a show where we follow an assassin who crosses path with Templars, we are following Templars who have a few run ins with secretive assassin originations.

Knightfall airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on History.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 12/3/2017

Shameless: There are few things more annoying than when people on their twelve steps try to make amends to you. Sure, it may make them feel better, but it also dregs up horrible feelings up for you that you were trying to repress. But I wonder if that is it for Shawn. And how much time is Kev and Vee going to spend in Kentucky. I bet some of the family will follow them back to Chicago at some point.

The Walking Dead: Aftershows are inherently dumb, but again I learned something I completely missed. I was wondering who that person in the cage at the garbage people only to be told by the aftershow that it was Rick. I just thought he was ushered out when they declined his offer instead of keeping him hostage.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Good Behavior: So we are back to episode one Letty: stealing from hotel rooms and doing copious amount of drugs. But while she was talking to her parole officer, it got me thinking; shouldn’t she have a new parole officer after he lost his job? But was good about that first season is tey kept me on my toes having no clue where the show was going and they finally confirmed something I have assumed since the season premiere, that Tao killed Silk and was trying ti kill Javier. Also not too surprising that Tao was hired by Javier’s father, but we did get a shocking twist at the end with the father gone missing.
You can download Good Behavior on iTunes.

SMILF: Wait, after all that baby daddy did not participate in the mud run? And way to get caught going out for lunch after the baptism instead of going straight to the mud run. I thought about doing mud run myself, but do the courses really have a sock pit? If so, hard pass. I do not mind getting a little dirty but I am not getting shocked.

White Famous: So Kali “lost” her phone? The one that looked like it was filming her and Floyd getting intimate? I am also suspicious the paparazzi happened to find her at Floyd’s place. I think he is getting played. But that video looked really bad, I hope we get to see the final cut at some point.

Supergirl: Well that sucked, I liked the CW crossover much better when just ten seconds of it happened on Supergirl. And it felt like they pushed along the plot of every show except Supergirl. I guess that happens when one two of their characters show up and pretty much the full cast of the other three shows are represented.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Challenge: Dirty 30: What is going on, did Camilla curse all the other females after she left? Jenna fractured her ankle (when if first happened I thought Shawn fractured her head on one of those bars, did not even realize it was Jenna that got hurt), then Ashley’s father is on life support and looks like she will be leaving soon too. But has CT never seen the show before? Whenever someone leaves and there is no replacements, he always teases there is going to be an elimination before doing a fake out.
You can download The Challenge: Dirty 30 on iTunes.

Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers: It is amazing how the new dominate alliance can be o smart and so dumb at the same time. When they were discussing who to vote out first, they ended voting out JP which was stupid, no one runs the Immunity table anymore because there is much more luck involved. It really blew my mind that that they did not target the guy they knew had an Idol. If you have a chance to get an Idol out of the game without the person even knowing you are targeting them, you do it.

Yet they ended up pulling off one of the best strategies in the history of the show by having Ben play dumb and still ended up flushing the Idol. Except the three people in that alliance not named Ben, you have this great chance of getting rid of Ben except they do not pull the trigger. Why would you want to sit next to a veteran who everyone thinks is running the game at the Final Tribal? You brought Joe along this far, why not take him to the end at this point?
You can download Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers on iTunes.

Mr. Robot: Well that was the most insignificant episode of the show ever. Unless the whole Back to the Future reference essentially confirms White Rose is working on time travel. Even then, that hour was really boring.
You can download Mr. Robot on iTunes.

Blindspot: Oh hey, Jane's daughter, and meeting her was the big secret in Berlin that Kurt was hiding in Berlin. But is there really no way to tell a woman has had a kid before? That seems like a pretty big body changing event. Maybe after eighteen years things may get back to "normal" but seems like you could tell somehow.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: SHIELD has gone to space, which we learned by the teaser at the end of last season. Except the big twist is that they are in the future. Which sounds cool in theory, but execution it looks like every mediocre vaguely futuristic dystonia that has ever aired on Syfy. Kurt was And it did not make much sense, so Daisy quakes apart the Earth in the future (or at least according to the Framework, which is not entirely reliable source of news) so to save humanity in the future, instead of going back in time to change the future, they bring people from the past into the future. Huh? How exactly will that work? But why was Fitz left behind? And what is with the weird dude at the beginning with the human skin?
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.