Friday, April 27, 2018

Around the Tubes: 4/27/2028

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 Friday Night Lights, Harlots, The Killers, Poison, Lily Allen, Michael W. Smith, Ariana Grande, The Last O.G., Search Party, and Billions

- Fans can now head to Hulu to watch every episode of the acclaimed series Friday Night Lights, and relive their favorite moments from Coach Taylor & Tami, as well as all of the Dillon High School football team. Friday Night Lights comes to Hulu in a new agreement with NBCUniversal. The series joins a full offering of beloved shows streaming on Hulu, including ER, Felicity, Dawson’s Creek and the complete TGIF block.

- Hulu's critically acclaimed, salacious series Harlots returns with a bang on Wednesday, July 11th for the season two premiere (debuting with two episodes, then releasing weekly). This season of Harlots dives deeper into the feuds, betrayals, and carnal connections amongst the characters, highlighting an incredibly relevant story about gender disparity and socio-economic unrest. Oh, and did we mention, Liv Tyler is making a splash this time around!

- On June 15, Island/UMe is set to join superstars The Killers in celebrating a, well, absolutely killer career to date by releasing all seven of their albums in one complete box set for the first time, the ever-so-aptly titled The Killers Career Vinyl Box. The Killers Career Vinyl Box will be made available to all retail outlets in an across-the-board 180-gram black vinyl configuration, in addition to a limited-edition 180-gram clear vinyl version. A slip mat featuring the “K” from the band’s logo and inspired by the vintage lights of the Las Vegas strip completes both packages.

- Capitol/UMe is poised to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Poison’s best-selling album, 1988’s five-times-platinum Open Up And Say… Ahh!, with a sensationally reproduced 180-gram reissue. The LP was pressed in two collectible color variants: red vinyl (available at select retailers) and a limited edition of 1,000 in green vinyl (available exclusively at The Sound Of Vinyl). Order Poison’s Open Up And Say… Ahh! here.

- Lily Allen: Three:

- Grammy award winning and multi-platinum artist Michael W. Smith has teamed up with the co-creator of the incredibly popular kids show VeggieTales, Mike Nawrocki, to create a new infant and children’s series called “Nurturing Steps.” On May 8th, in partnership with Zonderkidz (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) Michael will release his first book “Nighty Night and Good Night,” a charming tale about a band of animals who are called upon to help their friend Ben. Michael also recorded an album of lullabies – featuring both enchanting hits and original songs – that will be released on May 4th through The Fuel Music in conjunction with Michael’s new children’s book.

- The brand new single from multiplatinum, record-breaking superstar Ariana Grande, “No Tears Left To Cry” is the #1 most added song to Top 40, Hot AC, and Rhythm radio formats. With 247 radio stations adding the song across the three formats, and one of the few artists in history to receive commitments from entire Top 40 panel in the debut week. Last Friday, iHeartRadio gave the new single its world premiere, reaching over 13 million Total Audience Spins on the day alone. Listen to “No Tears Left To Cry” HERE. Watch Official Music Video HERE.

- TBS has given season pickups to two of its original series. Cable’s #1 comedy The Last O.G. will return with a second season and the blistering breakout comedy-thriller Search Party is renewed for a third season.

- Showtimw has picked up a fourth season of its hit drama series Billions. Starring Oscar® nominee and Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Paul Giamatti and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis, the third season of BILLIONS currently airs Sundays at 10:00, and will move to 9:00 starting next Sunday, May 6 to anchor the night and serve as the lead-in for the season two premiere of I’m Dying up Here. The season three premiere of BILLIONS was its highest-rated ever, up 23 percent from last year. Billions ranks as the network’s No. 2 drama series behind HOMELAND. The announcement was made today by Gary Levine, President of Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

I Want My Music Television: 4/26/2018

No Tears Left To Cry - Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is back with moderately entertaining music, but Lionel Richie did a much better job dancing on the ceiling.

Us - James Bay

The first two songs James Bay released from his sophomore album were full, what the fork is happening type songs. The third one is much better.

Bad Bad News - Leon Bridges

I like Leon Bridges and all and this new song is very fun, but I am getting a little tired of people dancing weirdly genre of music videos.

Kings & Queens - Mat Kearney

Here is another unnecessarily choreographed music video, this time from Mat Kearney. At least Bridges’s song had a danceable groove.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Previewing The Handmaid's Tale: Season Two

We got a lot of The Handmaid’s Tale in Trump America think pieces when the show debuted all of which made me roll my eyes. Gilliad is a place run by religious zealots and Trump is by far the least religious and least moral president of my lifetime (and possibly ever) and I lived through a president who stuck cigars in an intern. Sure when (or if) Trump gets impeached, maybe we would have to worry about America turning into Gilliad under Mike Pence, a guy who forced aborted fetuses to have funerals while he was governor of Indiana (that sweeping abortion law was just deemed unconstitutional last week), but certainly not while Trump is still president. If Gilliad were to happen and he was not treated like the other adulterers, Trump would be like the Commander, taking his mistress to sex clubs on the weekend.

That is not to say The Handmaid’s Tale did not deserve all the praise that was heaped on it. The show was a shock to the system, haunting and even funny at times. Elisabeth Moss played the titular with gusto, a compliant slave on the outside with an inner monologue almost as snarky as that of Veronica Mars. While her fellow Handmaids escaped to Canada or send to the fields to work until they die, Moss ends the season still in the service of the Waterford’s.

At the end of last season, Aunt Lydia promised retribution to the Handmaids who refused to execute Janine by stoning. The new season starts up with Lydia fulfilling that promise including an apt and sadistic punishment for the Handmaid who first spoke up for Janine. Well everyone by Offred is punished because she is with child an and a trip to the doctor proves very helpful to June who gains help from someone I did not quite expect.

Where the first season was a rush of blood to the head, the second feels like it has fallen into the dreaded sophomore slump. All the fresh ideas in the first season just feel like retreads when they continue to happen in season two. And at every turn of something interesting in the first couple episodes, things just seem to reset again.

As great as Elisabeth Moss was in the first season, it feels like the second season could have been better spent on the secondary characters that are only sporadically seen at least in the first couple episodes. We get to see Moira adapt to her new life in Canada in the premiere but is not seen for at least the next five episodes. Rory Gilmore, who was last seen in episode five of the first season, does finally reappear in the second episode of this season where we get to see more of the “Unwomen.” Rory does show up one more time in the first half of the season, but I really would like to see more of the camp she was sent to.

We do get to see Rory with her family prior to the revolution and seeing just how Gilliad came to be is always fascinating. Also in flashbacks this season we get to meet June’s mother, who may be even more opinionated than her daughter, as well as Luke’s first wife who makes a great juxtaposition to what June is dealing with in that episode. Apparently the writers are keen on those Trump comparisons because “Resist” sign show up to a speech by Mrs. Waterford in one of her flashbacks. And just when you thought the people of Gilliad could not get any creepier, the Waterford’s get a new houseguest.

Sophomore slumps happen to the best of them and it is not as if The Handmaid’s Tale completely falls off a cliff. There is no Landry kills a dude moment or even a Carrie has sex with a terrorist who killed the vice-president by hacking his pacemaker moment. And unlike Lost, the flashbacks are still interesting in the second season. Really the problem is the flashbacks in the second season are more interesting than what is happening in present day. And there is the problem, the present day scenes have gotten a little stale. But something does happen at the end of the last episode I saw that hopefully sets a spark for things to pick up in the back half of the season.

The first two episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale are available today on Hulu with new episodes every Wednesday.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 4/22/2018

Homeland: Another round of electro-shock therapy for Carrie. Last time was at the end of season one. Though I do not remember her being all that much saner in season two. She did jeopardize Brody by accusing him early only to start boning him. Granted there was months, maybe years between those two seasons so maybe it will work for at least until the end of this season. But Carrie did change, actually gave up running an operation in Russia to win custody for Franny… which lasted almost a full day before giving up Franny and running back to Saul. But I do not understand how catching Simone would save Keane’s presidency. Even proving Russian meddling, I do not see how you can walk back firing your Cabinet.

The Walking Dead: Eugene certainly knows how to play the long game. Sure puking on Rosita was a bit much. But now that Negan was captured (and somehow not killed by slitting his throat during the middle of a zombie apocalypse and no modern medicine) are they really going to do a Maggie vs. Rick next season? Didn’t they already do a big showdown of to kill or not to kill with Carol and Morgan a couple seasons ago? Speaking of Morgan…
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Fear the Walking Dead: …he is on this show now? Isn’t the spin-off five to ten years behind the original? Did they just fast-forward that much? And just where are they now? The show was in southwest near the ocean but I am not sure that is where they were. I guess all those questions will be answered next week because we did not see any original cast member for more than five seconds this week. And I have to say I am not digging the Token Hot Chick from Lost’s new haircut.
You can download Fear the Walking Dead on iTunes.

Billions: There are fewer things I need to see than a naked old dude. And that is the second naked old naked dude on Showtime in as many months. But those Rhodes boys are messed up. So Papa Rhodes did not turn on his son because he squeezed out his casino land? But if he likes ruthless moves, shouldn’t the Ice Juice thing gain enough respect because that was pretty ruthless all around. Chuck screwed over his father, best friend, and his own back account just to spite Bobby Axelrod.

Supergirl: Did I take copious amounts of drugs or did I really see Kara do Beastie Boys karaoke? That was weird. But where was Saturn Girl? I feel any episode without Saturn Girl is not an episode worth watching.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Lucifer: Wait, how did Cain lose his mark? Was it just by spending time with Decker?
You can download Lucifer on iTunes.

Good Girls: Why do they continue to pay off the blackmailer. Have they yet to realize if she turns them in, the blackmailer is implicating herself too?
You can download Good Girls on iTunes.

Rise: Ted Mosby just continues to be annoying. After just overtaking the orchestra practice from the conductor last week he does the exact same to the set designer this week. Get a grip dude.
You can download Rise on iTunes.

The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars: The first two seasons of Champs vs… sucked for many reason. One of which was that the non-Champs just are not ready for how crazy and stupid the game is. So a switch up was needed. But even that was ruined because the Champs are sticking together even when they are on different teams. Meh. Hopefully this is over quickly like the other Champ vs. seasons.
You can download The Challenge: Vendettas on iTunes.

The Looming Tower: Well, here is the problem with these true crime shows, you know how it ends. I guess there were some surprises, like Martin getting his job back. And that interrogation scene was fascinating after the fact. And I wonder if all the time spent on John’s personal life was simply because of that answering machine scene. But it was a little creepy that John called his mistress instead of his wife and children. But where was Bobby during the attack? He strolls up disheveled but not quite too coved in dust and debris completely out of nowhere just for that scene.
You can stream The Path Hulu.

Survivor: Ghost Island: Meh, I really did not need a return of the gross food challenge. But I am surprised that Gervise's uneaten grubs were not on Ghost Island Seriously, why even have a Ghost Island if half the people sent there do not get anything? Random Blonde #2 could have at least gotten her something that automatically put her in the second round or something.
You can download Survivor: Ghost Island on iTunes.

The Americans: Was I supposed to see anything in that warehouse scene because I felt like I should have been increasing the brightness on my screen because I had no clue what was going on.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

Gotham: I wondered why they killed Ra’s Al Guil but now I am wondering why they killed him only to bring him back? And why does he no longer want to be dead?
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: So did they change the future? I am a bit confused at just what happened especially with Ruby. What was with that white burst? Was that just gavitonium dispersing out of her? And did they not destroy the chamber? If Daisy was to become the Destroyer of Worlds and Von Strucker was the only one that could build it, wouldn’t destroying that be smart?
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.