Friday, July 27, 2018

Around the Tubes: 7/27/2018

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 The First, Shameless, Wrecked, Meg Myers, James Bay, Dagny, Too Stupid To Die, Just Another Immigrant: Romesh at the Greek, Constance, Beast Mode, The Chi, The Affair, and Turner On Demand movies for August.

- Check out the first teaser for upcoming Hulu Original drama series The First. All eight episodes of The First debut on Friday, Sept. 14, only on Hulu.

- TBS comedy Wrecked premieres its third season on Tuesday, August 7 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). This season, the Wrecked gang find themselves shipwrecked on a mysterious billionaire's private island where they’re forced to hunt each other to the death in a basic-cable battle royale. Season three stars Ally Maki, Asif Ali, Brian Sacca, Brooke Dillman, Jessica Lowe, Rhys Darby, Will Greenberg, and Zach Cregger, along with guest stars Rob Corddry, Eugene Cordero, Jonno Roberts, Karan Soni, Rachel House, Robert Baker, and Will Hines. The series is executive-produced by Justin Shipley, Jordan Shipley and Jesse Hara.

- Showtime has unveiled the official trailer and poster for season nine of its No. 1 comedy Shameless, premiering on Sunday, September 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Starring Oscar® nominee and Emmy and SAG Award® winner William H. Macy and Golden Globe® nominee Emmy Rossum, Shameless is one of the network’s longest-running and most successful series ever and attracts the youngest-skewing audience of any Showtime series.

- Meg Myers’ new album 'Take Me To The Disco' is out now on 300 Entertainment and has been met with raves, leading the Associated Press to declare her “a genuine rock goddess,” saying “Myers definitely isn’t fooling around and there’s no denying the woman’s sheer talent, both as a songwriter and as a singer who can go from kittenish to face-melting in the same song.” The new album has also earned Meg a pick on NPR’s New Music Friday podcast, and praise from the New York Times, who dubbed Meg’s sound “seething and then exploding,” and Billboard, who called the new music “cathartic” and “life affirming.”

- Three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated and BRIT Award-winning multiplatinum singer-songwriter James Bay released the official music video for his new single “Just For Tonight.”

- The critically acclaimed Norwegian indie -pop songstress Dagny unveils her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic “Landslide.” The song was featured in a prominent and emotional scene in tonight’s episode of Freeform’s The Bold Type. Listen to Dagny’s “Landslide” Cover Here! And watch the scene from The Bold Type Here.

- MTV, in conjunction with Gunpowder & Sky, this week announced that its new stunt series Too Stupid To Die will premiere on Tuesday, August 21st with back-to-back episodes beginning at 10:00. The highly anticipated series, developed with Zach Holmes, the online sensation and daredevil who was banned by YouTube, will feature bizarre pranks, hilarious antics and outrageous stunts. In the debut episodes, viewers are introduced to rural Indiana where this amateur stunt crew has nothing better to do with their time than take rat traps to the face, dodge golf carts, set off explosives, practice public archery and open a dangerous kissing booth, just for starters. Too Stupid To Die is the story of a backyard group of friends who are making a name for themselves with nothing but blood, sweat and fearlessness.

- Showtime will premiere the comedy special Just Another Immigrant: Romesh at the Greek, from comedian and star of the network’s series JUST ANOTHER IMMIGRANT, Romesh Ranganathan, on Friday, July 27 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. Ranganathan’s true-life adventures and preparation for his performance at the historic Greek Theatre were recently chronicled in the network’s comedic docuseries. Cameras followed the UK comedian as he moved to Los Angeles and committed to selling out the 6,000-seat theater. Just Another Immigrant: Romesh at the Greek is the grand finale to Ranganathan’s journey in America. To watch and share a clip from the special, go to:

- Turner's TNT has ordered the scripted dramas Constance and Beast Mode (working title) to pilot. KC Perry (The Originals) wrote Constance, which stars Academy Award nominee Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas), with Emmy® nominee Jesse Peretz (Glow, Girls) attached to direct. Constance is produced by Team Downey, in association with Sonar Entertainment and Studio T, with Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey (Sherlock Holmes), Amanda Burrell, Bill Dubuque (Ozark), Tom Lesinski (Mr. Mercedes), Jenna Santoianni (Mr. Mercedes), Peretz, Shue and Perry serving as executive producers. Beast Mode is written and executive produced by David Schneiderman and produced by Ann Wolfe and MACRO in association with Studio T, with executive producers Stefanie Huie (Triangle) and MACRO’s Charles D. King (Mudbound), Kim Roth (Inside Man) and Poppy Hanks (Fences).

- Fan favorites Shamon Brown Jr. (Papa), Barton Fitzpatrick (Reg) and Michael Epps (Jake) have been upped from guest stars to series regulars for the highly anticipated second season of The Chi. The hit Showtime drama series is currently in production in Chicago and will return to the network in 2019. The Chi averaged 4.5 million weekly viewers across platforms and ranks as the highest-rated Showtime freshman season since Billions in 2016.

- Showtime has renewed its Golden Globe® Award winning drama series The Affair for a fifth and final season. Season four of the series is currently airing on Sundays at 9:00, with the finale airing on August 19. The announcement was made today by Gary Levine, President of Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “We love the intimacy, the nuance and the emotional honesty of THE AFFAIR’s subjective examination of both infidelity and fidelity,” Levine said. “Sarah Treem has always envisioned this as a five-season series, and we will be fascinated to see where she takes her talented cast and all of us next year in its climactic season.”

- Emmy-winning writer and producer Lena Waithe (THE CHI) has signed a first-look deal with Showtime, expanding her relationship with the network that launched her first series as a creator and executive producer. Waithe will work with SHOWTIME on comedy and drama projects that she both writes and produces through her company Hillman Grad Productions. The announcement was made today by Gary Levine, President of Programming, Showtime Networks.

- What's steaaming in August on, the TNT App, and the TBS App:
Mad Max: Fury Road: Streaming 8/5 - 9/3
San Andreas: Streaming 7/23 - 8/21
I Am Legend: Streaming 8/5 - 9/3
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: Streaming 7/1 - 8/29
The Intern: Streaming 8/1 - 8/30
How To Be Single: Streaming 8/5 - 9/3
St. Vincent: Streaming 8/11 - 8/31
Central Intelligence: Streaming 8/13 - 9/11

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Previewing Castle Rock

One thing that all comic book adaptation do, whether the show is good or not, is throw out a constant barrage of Easter Eggs for the fanboys to salivate over and make them come back for every episode, myself included. There are very few other things that have enough content to flood a screen with references of their work, but Stephen King is definitely one of them with fifty-nine novels and over two hundred short stories under his belt. And now he is getting an television show based on the amalgamation of his work, Castle Rock.

No, this is not an Avengers type team up where Pennywise will come face to face with Carrie (though the actors who portrayed them in movie versions are actually in the new cast as different characters). Instead, the show is sprinkled with plenty of references to King’s work like the titular city is the setting of twenty-four of his stories and the local prison is named Shawshank. In a measure of full disclosure, I am not the biggest Stephan King reader, so my latter example is one of the few Easter Eggs I got and had to be told of the former.

So I am coming at Castle Rock as a King novice. Sure It scared me as a kid like nothing else did (that forking spider still occasionally haunts my dreams) and most recently I made it through Under the Dome that got significantly worse with every passing episode. Naturally Castle Rock is about a town where dark things happen; scene three features a, um, interesting way to try to kill oneself. A town where all the men from there either work at the state penitentiary, which actually looks like a castle from the outside, or they are currently living there.

The show centers on a prodigal son (André Holland, A Wrinkle in Time) who is a death row lawyer who comes home when a whistleblower informs him an inmate (Bill Skarsgård, Deadpool 2) has been discovered at his hometown prison. And of course both men have mysterious pasts. The lawyer, back in 1991, went missing as a child in the dead of winter only to be discovered unharmed days later. While at the prison, an entire wing is shut down despite overcrowding and, you guessed it, the mysterious inmate has been living in this quarantined wing all by himself for an undisclosed amount of time.

To be honest, the first episode is kind of a bore. Thankfully Jane Levy (season one Mandy Milkovich on Shameless) shows up in the second episode to add some levity to the show but is not there long enough to really get a feel for why the character is there. She just pops up randomly in a church group and asks the lawyer questions the audience certainly wants to know (not that he give a satisfying answer). Weirdly Mickey Milkovich gets more screen time on the first couple episodes as a prison guard than his on screen sister.

Levy also has a job as assistant to the town’s local real estate agent (Melanie Lynskey, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) who may be the weirded of the town folks we meet in the early in the series. She lived across the lawyer as a child and, um, the connection, we learn, gets really weird.

For better or worse, Castle Rock is the general thought of King’s work, really creepy and kind of slow. Despite dying in the third scene, that character may best sum up your typical thought of a King creation with his Verse of the Day calendars stopping on the same verse every year even when the verse was on different days. And lhe leaves of with the most ominous and Kingsian line so far, “I used to think the Devil was a metaphor but the devil was a boy.” The start of Castle Rock may not be great, but it was good enough to hook me in. Granted, so did Under the Dome and that took a creative nose dive in season two.

The first three episodes of Castle Rock are on Hulu today with new episodes every Wednesday.