Friday, January 26, 2018

Around the Tubes: 1/26/2018

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 COVER STORY: The Notorious Lottery Heist and Billions.

- Game Show Network’s one-hour documentary special COVER STORY: The Notorious Lottery Heist, premiering on January 28th at 7:00, will explore the story behind the biggest criminal conspiracy in lottery history. Imagine spending $5 and winning a $16.5 million lottery jackpot. You’d claim the prize immediately. But in December of 2011, this Iowa Lottery winner waited until the deadline was almost up before trying to make an anonymous claim, only to eventually walk away from their life changing prize when told they had to reveal their identity. The lottery commission thought this was highly suspicious and initiated an investigation. It took nearly two years before a crime was uncovered in their own backyard – a conspiracy emanating from inside the lottery itself.

- Oscar nominated actor John Malkovich will have a guest starring arc in season three of the hit Showtime drama Billions, playing Russian billionaire Grigor Andolov. Starring Oscar nominee and Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Paul Giamatti and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis, the third season of BILLIONS will premiere on Sunday, March 25 at 10:00.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

I Want My Music Television: 1/25/2018

Lottery - Jade Bird

When I released my Winter 2018 Music Preview, one thing was clear: ain’t nothing is coming out until maybe the summer. At least nothing by anyone people have actually heard of. Winter is usually the time when you have to dig deep looking for new artist. And here is one to look out for: Jade Bird. Lottery is one of those instantly catchy songs you cannot get out of your head even after one listen. The song is a mix of pop and folk while also harkening back to the alt rock nineties Liith Fair days.

Trigger Bang – Lily Allen featuring Giggs

Heaven's Gate - Burna Boy featuring Lily Allen

It seemed to take forever for the last Lily Allen, it seems like she did not take the same amount of time for a new one. Not only did she release a new single, she also popped up on one by some dude named Burna Boy. I do like her song better, it continues the growth from the last album which was plit in two, a new grown up Lily and old snotty Lily. I hope the next one is all grown up Lily.

Walk On Water - Eminem feayturing Beyoncé

The Marshall Mathers Album 2 was my favorite Eminem album since… maybe ever. But oh my goodness, Revival, what was he trying to revive, the bad Relapse album. Sad thing is this song is about how a perfectionist Eminem is yet this and the whole album is actually worse than Relapse. I think it was wise Beyoncé sat out the music video, maybe should have skipped the song completely.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Previewing The Detour: Season Three

As interesting as the premise for the first season of The Detour was where it was a season long National Lampoon’s Vacation the question is, are they going on a trip every season? Just like later Vacation movies that stayed stationary, The Detour wisely stayed put in the second season. And then at the end of the season they became fugitives and had to go on the run.

But season three is not a repeat of season one with the Parker family is on the lamb. We actually pick things up when the family has decided to stop running. And the place they do this is Alaska, a place where everyone in the state is running away from something. It is also a place where the sun is still out at 4:00 AM in the summer which makes for plenty of funny jokes.

The town the family settles in just happens to have an alpaca for a mayor and a deputy mayor who refers to himself as Straight Jack. The family comes up with some of the dumbest jobs they can think of at the top of their heads before realizing everyone in the state is just as messed up as they are.

That is not the lower forty-eight does not slowly find them. Sure it takes until episode five for Robin’s sister to find them. Also, Edie, the USPIS agent from last season is still on the case for no apparent reason because clearly she is not very good at her job. And of course the children are still there and as wacky as usual. Clearly the new setting has not done them well. Of course with parents like theirs, they were never going to grow up well adjusted.

The Detour airs Tuesdays at 10:30 on TBS.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Previewing The Alienist

Let’s get this out of the way first: The Alienist is a horrible name for a television show. Sure not Better Off Ted bad where the name is so bad it keeps me from watching, but it just does not flow off the tip of the tongue and I doubt many people will be going to work or school asking “Did you watch The Alienist last night?”

But I will give TNT credit that they have really gone all in on trying to become a prestigious television network after being the CBS of cable for over a decade. Even if mixed results, their last period piece, Will, was dead on arrival, Animal Kingdom never really got me while Good Behavior and Claws are watchable, the both have glaring flaws. Which is why it continues to get shut out of awards contention. But The Alienist may be its most ambitious show as it just begs nominations with its meticulous period setting and top notch acting. (I am also very looking forward to the just greenlit Snowpiercer show based on the movie.)

The Alienist is set in 1896 New York City, Teddy Roosevelt is the police commissioner and cops communicate via banging their nightsticks on the lampposts. This is also a time when mental health practitioners are called “Alienist” because they treat people who alienate themselves from society. These doctors “Alleviate the conditions, not to cure them.” Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War) is the titular character who links a teenage boy prostitute to a previous murder three years ago when the police for is ready to close the case with a murder already to die probably before it goes to trial.

The Alienist has a weird group around him making the weirdest superhero team up ever. Luke Evans (Professor Marston and the Wonder Women) is a newspaper illustrator who likes too much fun. On the other end of the fun spectrum is Dakota Fanning (Push) who only wants to be taken seriously as the first woman to hold a position with the police department in New York City. Oh and there is history between the two. She does not seem to care for him while he seems to be oblivious to it and still think they are good friends. This friction is the best part of the early episodes.

A close second is a pair of brothers who may have very well be the very first CSI team, they are one of the first to use fingerprints to help solve a case), who are the closest thing to comic relief this very serious show gets. But where the show lacks in humor, it more than makes up for in detail. The sets are exquisite, looking just as good as any movie set in the time period right down to the clothing. Although you may feel bad for Fanning that the corsets are too historically accurate as her character is very vocal of her displeasure of the eveningwear as we the audience get to see the busies they leave behind.

As good as the show looks; I fear the show may suffer from the same problem other shows that just focus on one case for another season. As good as The Killing was its first couple episodes; it became a growing slog with every new red herring. Hopefully The Alienist has found a way to keep the show fresh episode after episode instead of feeling like a two hour movie that is stretched into ten (or God forbid, more) episodes even though as of the first couple episodes there is nothing that comes close to a B-plot. On the bright side, none of the main characters have children they will have to spend an entire episode looking for.

The Alienist airs Mondays at 9:00 on TNT.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 1/21/2018

Shameless: The Gallagher just cannot have nice things. Just when something goes their way, some bad will undoubtedly happen. Clearly the apartment building was too good to be true and it is surprising it took this long for something to epically go wrong. Poor Fiona. Then I would normally say if you are going to marry a crazy chick, make sure she is rich, but if I were Carl, I would have to worry about her murdering you in your sleep… or worse, a John Wayne Bobbit situation.

Supergirl: Wait, did Mon-El not only spoil the episode, but spoil the whole season when his explanation as to why he did not want to fight Reign was he knew being from the future he knows Supergirl would be fine and Reign will just eventually leave? What the fork, man? I hate that guy. Oh well, at least Saturn Girl was there to randomly quote Bon Jovi.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Gifted: So next season will be the Hellfire Club versus the handpicked X-Men replacements? Awesome. Why was that not this season which mostly sucked? Now if the only kill off the teens. And, pretty much everyone else but the triplets.
You can download The Gifted on iTunes.

The Challenge: Vendettas: When they announced the Grenade was a choice, I thought, well, might as well just take the money, it is the only guarantee. Now I wonder if anyone will choose the other two options.
You can download The Challenge: Vendettas on iTunes.

The Path: “You’ll die like the rest of them”? I knew Vera was an opportunist but I did not realize she was evil. Who are the rest of them are and just what is Vera’s motives? Then later her mother says, “The martyrdom is coming.” They have to be secret cultist right? Also, I’m calling it, the black Christian kid is gay.
You can stream The Path Hulu.

Vikings: I was wondering all season where Rollo was this whole time? I remember Bjorn asked to sail the Mediterranean with him but they got side tracked with Ragnor’s death, but I forgot what happened to Rollo. Apparently he went back to France. Though backing Ivar is a strange play and we do not even get to hear from him why. But as Lagathha and Bjorn plan on how to fight off Ivar and the French army, isn’t the answer obvious: get the brits who already hate Ivar to join in. Granted they just lost a king to a bee sting. Seriously, how did anyone survive back then if a bee sting can take down a king.
You can download Vikings on iTunes.

Knightfall: Things are picking up, Landry found the Grail (presumably) and his mother. The king’s former advisor finally figured out who the real father of the queen’s baby is (but how will he use ths information?). That cannot end well for Landry. Even more shocking is the new Templar took a sword through him. Granted, just a flesh wound, nothing the Holy Grail wouldn’t fix.
You can download Knightfall on iTunes.

The Good Place: Of course Dax Sheppard was part of The Bad Place. And I have not watched one football game this season, but if the Buddhist Monk manages to will the Jaguars to the Super Bowl, I may have to actually watch that game.
You can download The Good Place on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Well that was confusing. So those “flashbacks” were of the history had the SHIELD team had not been taken? And we only get May, Fitz and Simmons. And the latter died (I think). Though Daisy is last seen on footage and presumably breaks up the world moments later? I wonder had it been better had they just done an entire alternative universe episode. Or at the very least put all the “flashbacks” at the start of the episode instead of sprinkling them in.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.