Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The 100 Best Songs of 2019

1. The Bones - Maren Morris

2. Stay Young - Maisie Peters

3. Hard Place - H.E.R.

4. Cross Me - Ed Sheeran feat. Chance the Rapper & PnB Rock

5. Thoughts - Sasha Sloan

6. GIRL - Maren Morris

7. Harmony Hall - Vampire Weekend

8. I Was Wrong - BAILEN

9. Lover - Taylor Swift

10. Truth Hurts - Lizzo

11. Out of Love - Alessia Cara

12. Faking It - Sasha Sloan

13. Now I'm In It - HAIM

14. Sunflower - Vampire Weekend feat. Steve Lacy

15. Summer Girl - HAIM

16. Count On Me - The Lone Bellow

17. Oh, What a World - Kacey Musgraves

18. I Get No Joy - Jade Bird

19. BLOW - Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars

20. This Is On You - Maisie Peters

21. Lo/Hi - The Black Keys

22. Orphans - Coldplay

23. bad guy - Billie Eilish

24. This Life - Vampire Weekend

25. Wildflowers - Elle Fanning

26. seasonal depression - mxmtoon

27. Family and Loyalty - Gang Starr feat. J. Cole

28. You and I - LÉON

29. Complainer - Cold War Kids

30. Late Night Feelings - Mark Ronson feat. Lykke Li

31. You Ain't the Problem - Michael Kiwanuka

32. Adore You - Maisie Peters

33. When I Wasn’t Watching - Mandy Moore

34. Missed Connection - The Head and the Heart

35. Eagle Birds - The Black Keys

36. Castles - Freya Ridings

37. Priorities - Jillian Jacqueline

38. Good as Hell - Lizzo

39. Baby Don't Talk - LÉON

40. Bang Bang - The Avett Brothers

41. Black Moon Rising - Black Pumas

42. Tucson Train - Bruce Springsteen

43. Fire - Sara Bareilles

44. I Guess I Just Feel Like - John Mayer

45. Hold Your Nerve - Boy & Bear

46. Sing Along - Sturgill Simpson

47. Gloria - The Lumineers

48. Go - The Black Keys

49. Outnumbered - Dermot Kennedy

50. prom dress - mxmtoon

51. Almost (Sweet Music) - Hozier

52. Western Stars - Bruce Springsteen

53. Seventeen - Sharon Van Etten

54. The Flower - Michael Franti & Spearhead feat. Victoria Canal

55. Heartless - The Weeknd

56. Just Do It - Lily & Madeleine

57. Supply & Demand - Wilder Woods

58. Bad - James Bay

59. Can't Help the Way I Feel - Lily & Madeleine

60. Common - Maren Morris feat. Brandi Carlile

61. Bad Name - Gang Starr

62. Hallelujah - HAIM

63. SPIRIT - Beyoncé

64. Sure Don't Miss You - The Dip

65. bury a friend - Billie Eilish

66. Gave You Everything - The Interrupters

67. TATTOOED ON MY HEART - Bishop Briggs

68. Hero - Michael Kiwanuka

69. Father of All... - Green Day

70. High Steppin' - The Avett Brothers

71. It Wasn't Easy to Be Happy for You - The Lumineers

72. Something Tells Me - Meg Mac

73. Here With Me (feat. CHVRCHES) - Marshmello

74. NASA - Ariana Grande

75. Rainbow - Kacey Musgraves

76. Burning - Maggie Rogers

77. Crowded Table - The Highwomen

78. Season’s Greetings - Stella Donnelly

79. Black Jeans - Lucie Silvas

80. At Least I Look Cool - Sasha Sloan

81. Forgive Me Friend - Smith & Thell feat. Swedish Jam Factory

82. Cheap Queen - King Princess

83. Don't Leave Me Lonely - Mark Ronson feat. YEBBA

84. Sucker Punch - Sigrid

85. Give Me My Name Back - Meg Mac

86. I Dare You - The Regrettes

87. Bad Ideas - Tessa Violet

88. My Motto - Jade Bird

89. Do Your Worst - Rival Sons

90. I Like (The idea of) You - Tessa Violet

91. No Bullets Spent - Spoon

92. Blame It On Your Love - Charli XCX

93. Insomnia - Daya

94. Out of Touch - Dove Cameron

95. Everyone Hides - Wilco

96. Beloved - Mumford & Sons

97. Prophet - King Princess

98. Ride out in the Country - Yola

99. in my head - Ariana Grande

100. Come Tomorrow - Dave Matthews Band feat. Brandi Carlile

Saturday, December 28, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: December 28, 2019

Shameless: Carl did a good deed? Wow, that has to be a first for him. For a guy who wanted to be in the army, dude only had been doing things for himself his whole life.

Ray Donovan: More brother on brother violence. But haven’t we already seen Ray and Darryl fight with Darryl complaining that Ray does not treat him like a brother before? But things came full circle with the old family friend as Succession daddy pulled a heist back in the seventies with Mickey, apparently became very rich and surely Mickey will want his cut after killing everyone else involved. But who gets to Mickey first, Ray or lady cop?

Mr. Robot: Okay, I am mildly confused at what I saw. Did anything we saw actually happen? Darla did give that speech about how many people were dead, but is Darlene real? I was under the impression that Elliot in the dream world was the “real” Elliot but he did not have a sister. And what happened to American Psycho dude. He went off to the woods to die but then there was a bright light and we never see him in the “real world” again. Le sigh. Add this show to the ever growing list of shows that would have been much better remembered had they just ended after one season
You can download Mr. Robot: on iTunes.

His Dark Materials: So both of Lyra’s parents are evil? But why didn’t Lyra yell at her father to stop. And if Daemons can morph into different animals when their humans are still young, why didn’t that Daemon morph into something smaller and leave the cage? Lyra’s ferret looked like it could slip into the cage. Now I know this is the network that ended a season with Ned Stark being beheaded, but goodness, what a depressing way to end a season.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Previewing New Order: Decades and Duran Duran: There’s Something You Should Know

Duran Duran and New Order were both synth heavy acts that released their first music in 1981 and coincidentally both released their last album in 2015 but really that is where the comparisons end. Musically they are completely different. Duran Duran used that new synthesizer sound to craft bright pop hits while New Order used the same instrument to make dark moody music after the death of their original band leader when the members were in the even moodier Joy Division. But both will be getting the documentary treatment tonight.

Naturally Duran Duran is the headliner with their eleven top ten Hot 100 singles (New Order just broke the top 40 twice and just barely both times). We get some interesting moments in There’s Something You Should Know like the four remaining members cram into their first “tour bus” and discus a many different topics. Then lead singer Simon le Bon goes back to church to listen, and critique a performance as a youth there.

But overall, this just feels like mostly a retread of their Behind the Music episode but without the iconic narrator. The stuff since that episode includes the Astronaut tour (who knew they even had an album of that name) which came eleven years after The Wedding Album and then they skip forward another eleven years to barely touch on their latest album, again, points if you remember Paper Gods. If you remember at all their Behind the Music episode, this new documentary is very skippable.

New Order shakes up their retrospective Decades a little by being part documentary, part concert film. The concert in question took part in 2018 and features a twelve piece synthesizer orchestra. The band explains the songs they picked were best suited for this type of setting so this was not a greatest hits concert. But I had to laugh when one of the band members said they would not be performing Blue Monday because the song could not get too musical considering there was a great orchestral version of the song which was recently used in the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer. So of the five songs featured in the film, Bizarre Love Triangle is the only one that casual fans like me will likely recognize but diehards will likely appreciate the band pulled out a Joy Division song which is something New Order rarely does considering how that band ended.

New Order: Decades airs tonight at 7:30 followed by Duran Duran: There’s Something You Should Know at 9:00, both on Showtime.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Previewing Into the Dark: Midnight Kiss

What made me excited for a second round of Into the Dark seasons is that maybe we would be getting some new holidays to celebrate. But here we are four installments in and we have gotten exactly the same episodes as the first season. Not only that, the New Year’s Eve/Day one kind of has the same premise in a group of friends convince at the most wealthiest friend’s house and celebrate the end of the year. It even hits midnight right at the halfway point.

But instead of four female friends, this time around it is four gay friends (and a token straight female). Oh, and there is a serial killer on the loose this time in an S&M mask. But before any anti-homosexual people out there get excited at the thought of all the gay dudes being slaughtered, be warned, there is copious amount of nudity (although aren’t the most ardent anti-gay crusaders turn out to be closeted gays anyway?). It was like they were trying to turn the tables of forty years of objectification of women in horror and cram the same amount of male objectification into less than ninety minutes. I am pretty sure all the main dudes in the cast go full backal at least once and those boys sure like getting clean because they are constantly in the shower.

The Midnight Kiss in question is a game the gays (and one chick) play every New Year’s Eve going back to 2013 where there are three simple rules: 1) it has to be to one guy who is a stranger; 2) the kiss must be consensual; 3) Do whatever you want between midnight and sunrise but no contact with the guy afterward. There does not really seem to be any prizes or anything, but basically just a way to hook up with random dudes, but since all but one have Grinr, it does not sound like a special game other than they have to do it without aide of an app.

Unfortunately Midnight Kiss, aside from the change in sexuality of the lead characters is riddled with almost every slasher cliché except the black dude dies first, but that is mostly because there were no black dues in the cast. There would have been one pretty creative kill except there was a similar death scene on the most recent season of Castle Rock. And there really is not enough death. With only four dudes (and a straight chick) it really cuts down on the number of deaths and kind of makes who the murderer kind of obvious as the movie goes along. Someone does bring back their Midnight Kiss from the club and someone is murdered Gay Psycho style (remembered how I said it was clichéd; just because it is the first time it happens to a homosexual does not make it interesting) in the opening scene though that is never mentioned by any of the friends at all.

Not only is Midnight Kiss the weakest installment of the season so far, it is one of the weakest Into the Dark episodes ever. It is not equality to give the gays their own horror movie if you are just going to make it a boring one. This is essentially to the gays in the horror genre what Catwoman was to women and African-Americans was for the Superhero genre.

Into the Dark Season Two Power Ranking:

1. Uncanny Annie (October)
2. A Nasty Piece of Work (December)
3. Pilgrim (November)
4. Midnight Kiss (December)

Into the Dark: Midnight Kiss premieres tomorrow on Hulu.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: December 22, 2019

Ray Donovan: That old family that the Donovan family grew up with seems very Sucessiony. Or wheat I believe Succession to be, really, Billions is the only rich people doing bad rich things I can watch at this time. Although, unlike Succession, I feel the patriarch will die sooner than later, be it naturally or someone speeds up the process. Now if only the Donovan patriarch will just die soon.

Watchmen: Oh wow, I got a prediction right. Lady Truie turned out to be Ozymandias’ daughter. Though I would never have guess that her mother self-inseminated herself using his private collection. And I would not have guessed she was in her thirties now either, she came across much older. But in the end everything just came together nicely. Well, except the stupid Inception ending and we never learned the identity of Lube Man.

Shameless: You know what; Debbie does have a point about the persecution of redheads. Really, we have become so politically correct in the country; really the only groups of people you can make fun of without the Twitter mob coming after you are redheads and Canadians. So I do feel her pain in that respect.

Mr. Robot: Mmmm, so I have for long times have thought White Rose’s machine was some sort of time machine. Instead it zapped everyone to an alternative dimension? Except there is no Darla. Is it because she is not dead? Or is she there, we just see her yet and there may be two of some people now like there are now two of Elliot. The one we saw was in that dimension all along while the one we saw at the end was the one we have been seeing for the first four season. This has gotten too confusing for me.
You can download Mr. Robot: on iTunes.

His Dark Materials: So Lyra just fell from that air balloon and is perfectly okay. That was some soft snow.

Survivor: Island of Idols: Yawn.
You can download Survivor: Island of the Idols on iTunes.

Vikings: So the old king captures King Herald, attacks Bjorn just to set up a meeting to discuss how Bjorn should be the king of all of Norway. Seems like there could have been a better way to do that. But these are Vikings I guess.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Around the Tubes: December 21, 2019

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 High Fidelity, The Morning Show, Twin, Guordan Banks, Keb’ Mo’, The Score, BENEE, Discogs, Freakonomics Radio, Into the Dark, Midnight Traveler, The L Word: Generation Q, Showtime Movie Premieres, and Noticias Telemundo.

- A departure from Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel and beloved 2000 film, Hulu’s High Fidelity centers on Rob (Zoë Kravitz, who also serves as an executive producer), a female record store owner in the rapidly gentrified neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn who revisits past relationships through music and pop culture, while trying to get over her one true love. High Fidelity also stars Da’Vine Joy Randolph, David H. Holmes, Jake Lacy, and Kingsley Ben-Adir.

- The Morning Show: SEASON FINALE - Debuted Friday, December 20. In the season finale, “The Interview,” The Morning Show faces a day of reckoning as a plan to upend the power structure at UBA is set in motion.

- What would you do for an identical twin you hadn't seen in 15 years? Would you assume his very different life following a tragic accident? That's but one of the pressing questions raised in TWIN, an eagerly-anticipated, suspense-filled limited series from Norway starring "Game of Thrones" Kristofer Hivju (Wildlings leader Tormund Giantsbane), and making its North American streaming premiere on MHZ Choice this February.

- Getting into the spirit of the season, critically acclaimed R&B sensation Guordan Banks releases his first-ever holiday EP, Christmas On The Vinyl. Get it HERE. On the five-song project, he brings soul and shine to classics such as “Oh Holy Night,” “Let Us Adore Him,” and “Silent Night 3000.” Check out the full tracklisting below.

- Following the release of the tongue-in-cheek tune and music video, “Christmas Is Annoying,” (watch here) newly GRAMMY®-nominated Americana artist Keb’ Mo’ now embraces the holiday season in his new music video for “Merry Merry Christmas.” Having premiered via PASTE.com, watch Keb’ spice things up at a small-town bar as he wins over the crowd with his infectious smile and unrivaled guitar dexterities. Watch the music video here: found.ee/KebMo_MerryMerryVideo.

- Gold-certified and critically acclaimed LA-based, New York-born rock band The Score—Eddie Anthony and Edan Dover—have unleashed a brand new single entitled “Bulletproof” featuring Xylø. Check out “Bulletproof” ft Xylø HERE via Republic Records. The song’s release comes in tandem with the release of Netflix’s highly anticipated new film 6 Underground starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Michael Bay. “Bulletproof” is featured as the end title song in the film and three additional songs from The Score are also featured including “Glory,” “Legend” and “The Fear.” 6 Underground is in select theaters now and on Netflix.

- 19-year-old indie pop sensation BENEE drops the video for her song “Blu,” taken from her critically acclaimed five-track EP STELLA & STEVE—watch HERE! On the inspiration behind the video, directed by fellow New Zealander Charlotte Evans, BENEE says, “We filmed in this awesome, rundown, old theatre called Crystal Palace in Auckland. I wanted the video to have a pretty but slightly off vibe about it. The dress was made by a crazy talented designer called Olli, and the rabbit suit found secondhand did a good job of makin things feel weird.”

- Discogs, the leading online physical music exchange, now enables users to preview millions of songs through the Discogs App. As of today, the Discogs iOS and Android apps integrate with Apple Music. Together with the streaming giant, Discogs hopes to provide users with a service that will make their experience in the Discogs App more complete. Users can now stream music previews from albums directly with automatic track pairing through Apple Music API. Until now, the Discogs Community has been able to manually pair YouTube videos with Master Releases on Discogs. While this has been a great feature for visitors seeking to listen to music directly on our platform, Discogs is making discoverability even better. Thanks to the Apple Music integration you’ll be able to listen to those releases directly on Discogs without waiting for a playlist to be created.

- Back in January, a little-known presidential candidate with just 27,000 Twitter followers appeared on Freakonomics Radio, one of the most popular podcasts in the country. Today, that candidate has more than a million followers and a slot in the most selective Democratic debate. And he returns to Freakonomics Radio, in an interview conducted last week from the campaign trail in Iowa. On the new episode, Andrew Yang explains why he thinks his ideas have taken off and offers some thoughts he hasn't said elsewhere, including his strategy for tonight's debate and what he thinks the Democratic Party is getting wrong — plus a colorful hypothetical imagining how he'd respond if Trump asked him to be his vice president. The full episode is available now here and on all podcast apps.

- Count down to Into the Dark's New Year's episode, Midnight Kiss, with the NEW TRAILER! In the horror anthology's newest installment, a group of longtime gay best friends head to a beautiful desert home to celebrate New Year's Eve. Relationships are put to the test and truths are revealed as the night turns into a fight for survival.

- The award-winning documentary feature Midnight Traveler, directed by Hassan Fazili, a nominee for the IFP Gotham Awards for Best Documentary, will have its national television debut on PBS television series POV on Monday, December 30, 2019 at 10 PM (check local listings). The film, which will also be available to stream at POV.org, was recently named on the Features Shortlist for the 35th Annual IDA Documentary Awards. Midnight Traveler had its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. POV is in its 32nd Season.

- Hot on the heels of being named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year, two-time World Cup-winning U.S. women’s soccer star and co-captain Megan Rapinoe will guest star on The L Word: Generation Q this Sunday, December 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Rapinoe will play herself as a guest on Alice’s (Leisha Hailey) feminist-focused talk show.

- Showtime announced that it will air the television premieres of Five Feet Apart on Monday, December 30 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, On the Basis of Sex starring Oscar® nominee Felicity Jones and Golden Globe® nominee Armie Hammer on Wednesday, January 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and The Upside starring Kevin Hart and Oscar nominee Bryan Cranston on Saturday, January 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

- Congresswomen Verónica Escobar (D-TX), Sylvia García (D-TX), and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) granted their first-ever joint exclusive interview to Noticias Telemundo’s Washington, D.C. Senior Correspondent Cristina Londoño. The Democratic Representatives discussed President Trump’s impeachment a day after the historic vote. Highlights of the interview will air today Noticias Telemundo at 6:30 pm / 5:30 CT and the full interview will be available for streaming on NoticiasTelemundo.com and the Noticias Telemundo properties on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Next some interview highlights: “It was a tragedy, because we have a President for whom the constitution is nothing, and for us, it is all.”* - Verónica Escobar (D-TX).

Sunday, December 15, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: December 15, 2019

Ray Donovan: So we are normalizing herpes now? Okay. But I hope that Bunchy throwing something away at the hospital was a sign he is not going to go with the white supremacist. Dude does have a black brother and all. So Mickey went to some tropical place only to return to New York to set up some time share scam? Please just put, and keep this guy in prison or kill him off.

Supergirl/Crisis on Infinite Earths: Of wow, they got Lucifer Morningstar and Arli$$. That was pretty shocking. Although I am not sure we needed a full minute on the Birds of Prey Earth. The Lucifer was somewhat shocking. I did read on I believe Men’s Health of all places that he would be included but I was not really going to believe television gossip I see on Men’s Health.

Makes me wonder who else will show up. Wonder Woman’s Linda Carter and Lois and Clark’s Teri Hatcher have both already appeared in previous seasons of Supergirl, and goodness knows the crossover needs a Wonder Woman presence because it is laughable in all the Earths there is not one. Granted, we did see Titans which had Wonder Girl who referenced Diana so there is definitely at least one Wonder Woman. Kind of an oversite of Harbinger who supposedly rounded up the greatest Superheroes of the multiverse. And are there no Batmen under fifty? We saw a broken down (and kind of gay) Batman of another Earth who apparel looks like Earth 1’s Batman. Then there is Michael Keaton and Sir Jorah Mormont. The Supermen are no spring chickens, but all three we saw are under fifty. There was a rumor the Gotham Batman may show up but he is on the other end of the age spectrum of being two young but that was a website I trust even less than Men’s Heath for my TV news.

So we got two seconds on the Titans’ Earth. I wonder if we will get a Doom Patrol sighting. I am mostly curious to see if they place that show on the Titans Earth or confirm what we were watching was on a slightly different Earth. There was some casting change and they gave Negative Man a completely different attitude from the Titans episode. The also completely ignored Beast Boy who has been living with them for a while and the only Titans reference was a magazine article.

Okay, fun fan service aside, that third episode was confusing. I have no idea what that whole treadmill thing was about and the Green Arrow in purgatory was a bit confusing too? So Olivier is giving up live to become the new Spectre. And the old one just came out of nowhere. And just how did they come up with those paragons? With Lex Luther, that makes four of the seven from Supergirl. I missed why Martian Manhunter was one because that dude just disappeared. Then one is an Asian scientist with no powers because… um, diversity? The only other person of color was a green dude from Mars (um, if all the other Earths are now gone, are all the Mars gone too?). I hope the last two episodes make sence because the crossover is almost as confusing as the actual comic it was based on.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Watchmen: Here is the problem with beings that are too powerful, I am left wondering why Dr. Manhattan did not zap him and Angela out of there instead of staying and fighting when he knew how that was going to end with him being zapped with the teleporter? He just zapped his kids a couple minutes earlier. But at least we got conformation of Ozymandias was put in his place by Dr. Manhattan but not a prison like most people thought but actually but as reward. Granted, I suspect that Dr. Manhattan knew that it would not be viewed as paradise very long.

Shameless: In ten seasons, it is kind of surprising they have not done the character was mad that they were the only one not molested by the town pervert before. Or maybe they did and I already forgot about it. Really after ten seasons, it is surprising the writers have not run out of messed up storylines yet.

Mr. Robot: Where has Bobby Canivalle been all this time? I have spent most of the season assuming he was dead. Kind of the same for the rapper, I definitely forgot he switched sides. Unless that was a big surprise. But what a silly rom-com ending except the two lovebirds missed each other. This show is really overthinking everything this season.
You can download Mr. Robot: on iTunes.

His Dark Materials: So are they not going to get the Daemons that were in the cages in hopes of maybe someday reuniting them with their humans?

Castle Rock: Well there goes my prediction that Joy ended up being the Annie Wilkes from the Misery book. I was also waiting to see who the author was, I thought they might make it Stephen King himself, but alas no shots of his face. But it was painfully obvious Joy was dead, she was just too happy after being “revived.” Weird we got one random shot of the creepy kid from season one but he did not figure into anything. Then there was a random missing flyer of Henry Deaver in Canada. Was that supposed to be an Easter egg or are we to believe someone actually put that up in a Canadian gas station? No post credits scene so I guess we will have to wait until season three to see if they dip back into the original story.
You can watch Castle Rock on Hulu.

Survivor: Island of Idols: Well after forking things up all season, they finally removed Dan right before the finale. And did it because an off camera incident with someone who was not a contestant. Of course this led to rampant speculation on the internet until some website claims they had multiple sources that Dan grabbed a producer’s leg betting into a boat after a challenge. So grabbing Noura’s arm to claim how innocent the action was is okay, but goodness, cannot touch anyone in production. Oh well, at least we know for sure he is not winning.
You can download Survivor: Island of the Idols on iTunes.

The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2: Kind of a borefest like most finales on the show, and honestly, I spent most of the episode searching for what Dan did. But hey, at least Paulie and Cara Maria lost after decimating their team.
You can download The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 on iTunes.

Almost Family: Well that was certainly a shocking ending. Of all the children he has fathered, the one Leon did not was the one he raised. Which begs the question, does he know? Clearly they did not need any sort of treatment but obviously he was definitely not shooting blanks. Weird that they set up this big weird family but now we know Juila is not blood related to her “sisters.”
You can download Almost Family on iTunes.

Stumptown: So Grey’s girlfriend turned out to be evil. Meh, and I kind of liked her. But what a weird plan to get rid of Dex. To assume that Grey would exile her but forgive did not seem like the best plan to me.
You can download Stumptown on iTunes.

The Blacklist: I thought last week would have made for a pretty good “fall finale” but then they really end with Lizzie’s mother being gunned down in the street… except not. Kind of extreme. And I did not get why Lizzie was so quick to side with her mother. She had been lying to her this whole time, had a dude tied up in her apartment, killed a dude in the vicinity of her kid, but lizzie still rescued her to safety.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Around the Tubes: December 14, 2019

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 New Order: Decades, Duran Duran: There's Something You Should Know, Little Fires Everywhere, The Weeknd, The Circus, Chelsea Cutler, The Boomtown Rats, Inayah, TIDAL, and Battle of the Little Big Horn.Pavarotti,

- Showtime has announced two new documentaries profiling iconic rock bands New Order and Duran Duran. New Order: Decades will premiere on Friday, December 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. Part concert, part documentary, New Order: Decades follows the band's preparations in the re-staging of their acclaimed collaboration, So It Goes, with the artist Liam Gillick and the 12-piece synthesizer orchestra that captured the headlines during Manchester International Festival 2017. Duran Duran: There's Something You Should Know offers a candid look back through the extraordinary career of one of the world’s most beloved groups, with previously unseen footage and intimate conversations with the original line-up: singer Simon Le Bon, bassist John Taylor, drummer Roger Taylor and keyboardist Nick Rhodes. The doc highlights the defining moments of their four decades-long journey and provides a glimpse into what’s next for Duran Duran. Duran Duran: There's Something You Should Know will premiere on Friday, December 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

- We are thrilled to announce that Little Fires Everywhere, staring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, will premiere Wednesday, March 18th only on Hulu!

- Logging a pair of entries on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, GRAMMY® Award-winning diamond-certified Toronto RnB / Pop icon The Weeknd captures #1 on the chart with his latest single "Heartless" as "Blinding Lights" takes the #11 spot, also making him the only R&B artist to hit #1 in his first full week on the charts in 2019. "Heartless" immediately shot up to #1 making it his 4th #1 to date, and both tracks have earned over 550,000 consumption domestically, and over 1 million globally.

- The Circus returns for its fifth season on Sunday, January 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime, a week before the crucial Iowa Democratic caucuses. After covering the burgeoning field of Democratic presidential candidates and their campaigns around the country, along with the Ukraine scandal that led to the historic impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s conduct, season four had its finale on November 10. Hosted by John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner, The Circus is the network’s most-watched docuseries, averaging more than one million weekly viewers.

- Singer, songwriter and producer Chelsea Cutler unveils the video for her latest single, “I Was In Heaven,” today—watch it HERE! Her debut album, How To Be Human, is set for release on January 17th, 2020 and now available for pre-order HERE.

- The Boomtown Rats will mark 2020 (The Year Of The Rat) with the release of ‘Citizens Of Boomtown’, their first new studio album since 1984, plus a UK tour, and a book of lyrics and reminiscence by Rats singer Bob Geldof entitled ‘Tales Of Boomtown Glory’. The Boomtown Rats’ first new studio album for 36 years, ‘Citizens Of Boomtown’ features 10 glorious new Boomtown Rats songs and will be released on March 13, 2020 on the BMG label. Produced by Rats bassist Pete Briquette, it will be available on digital platforms, CD and vinyl. The first single ‘Trash Glam Baby’, a beautifully sleazy rocker, will be released on January 10, 2020.

- Houston’s viral R&B sensation Inayah closes out 2019 with her debut album S.O.L.A.R. [Inayahlator Enterprises/EMPIRE], an acronym for Storytelling Over Lyrics and Rhymes. For the Houston native, who got her start creating jingles and viral cover videos, the narrative always comes first, and the beat follows. The 12-track album is a window into Inayah’s life, as she consistently weaves personal experiences into her music. Her 1.6 million Instagram followers (aka “Inayahlators”) connect to her no holds barred perspective on love lost and love found. Stream S.O.L.A.R. HERE.

- With the release of The Hot Rats Sessions – the 50th anniversary boxed set of Frank Zappa’s landmark first solo album, Hot Rats – just around the corner next Friday, December 20, the Zappa Trust is pleased to share the previously unreleased outtake, “Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (1969 Quick Mix).” Recorded at T.T.G. Studios in Hollywood during the sessions for Hot Rats, the instrumental composition written by Zappa features the basic rhythm tracks, performed by Max Bennett on bass and Paul Humphrey on drums, that were eventually used for the song, “Lemme Take You To The Beach,” on 1978’s Studio Tan. Unheard until now, the song from disc 6 of the six-disc collection, also features multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood’s tack piano performance that has since been lost, allowing the only opportunity to hear the original version. The quick mix was run off by Zappa following the basic track sessions so he could hear back what the musicians created. “Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (1969 Quick Mix)” is available now to stream and as an instant grat download with preorder. Stream/purchase here: https://UMe.lnk.to/HotRats50thPR

- TIDAL, a global music and entertainment streaming platform dedicated to bringing its members unique and high-quality listening experiences, and Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB), a leader in immersive entertainment technology, are introducing a more emotional and authentic way to enjoy the songs you love with Dolby Atmos Music now available on TIDAL HiFi. Members subscribing to the TIDAL HiFi tier with compatible Android smartphones or tablets will have access to a growing library of music available in Dolby Atmos from Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. The current library includes songs from some of the world’s biggest artists such as The Weeknd, Blondie, Ariana Grande and more. TIDAL is working closely with its artist-owners, including JAY-Z, to mix their catalogs in Dolby Atmos – which are expected to become available in 2020.

- Showtime announced that it will air the television premiere of Pavarotti from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard on Monday, December 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Featuring Pavarotti's iconic performances and never-before-seen footage, the film is an intimate portrait of the most beloved opera singer of all time. Network subscribers will also be able to watch the film across all platforms including SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, SHOWTIME ANYTIME® and the SHOWTIME stand-alone streaming service. Pavarotti will also air on Saturday, January 4 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

- The Battle of the Little Big Horn. Custer’s Last Stand. The Battle of the Greasy Grass. An infamous conflict known by many names is one that has been edited, embellished and sensationalized for over a century. On June 25, 1876, Hunkpapa Lakota Chief Sitting Bull and thousands of American Indians were attacked by General George Custer’s 7th Cavalry as they camped on the banks of Montana’s Little Bighorn River. Vastly outnumbered, Custer’s entire regiment was wiped out. What was to follow was a nationwide media storm – but what led to this deadly encounter, and how did history books get it so wrong? Battle of the Little Big Horn premieres Monday, January 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Previewing Marvel's Runaways: Season Three

Marvel Television has died. Long live Marvel Television. All of the signs were there after Marvel Entertainment mastermind Kevin Feige got a promotion in October taking over Jeff Loeb, who oversaw all the decade’s shows. Feige announced an ambitious slate of shows that would directly affect the MCU coming to Disney+. Then all the Loeb shows started to fall like flies. Agents Of SHIELD had already been announced for its final season coming next summer. Then Ghost Rider, which Hulu announced earlier that year, ended up not going forward. Then Cloak and Dagger was canceled, and finally, it announced Runaways would be airing its final season. Ironically, SHIELD, the first show set in the MCU may end up being the last to air too depending on when (or if) the other show Hulu ordered this year, Helstrom, gets released or is renewed for future seasons.

So the third season of Runaways will be its swan song. But at least it will go out with some fan service with something Marvel Television watchers hope for all the shows, a full-fledged crossover when Cloak and Dagger pop up in Southern California. Since SHIELD was last seen jumping back to the time of Peggy Carter, it will likely end with one last crossover too.

But before the Divine paring cross path with the Runaways, the group of teenaged heroes has to deal with some body snatching aliens. After their spaceship blew up, members of Jonah jumped into the bodies of people nearby. Jonah himself snatched Victor’s body. His wife snatched up Stacy’s body, while their daughter took up residence in Tina’s body. The end of the season left us wondering when the son ended up although it is pretty heavily implied it was Nico.

So the new season starts right where the last ended with the Runaways and Pride split up in various factions. Jonah and his family have captured Karolina, Chase, and Janet, keeping them in Victor’s simulator. Gert with Old Lace was captured by Dale after he realized something was wrong with his wife and takes them off the grid. A very pregnant Leslie is with the remaining Runaways Nico, Molly, and Alex as well as Xavin, a stowaway on Jonah’s ship who thinks she is betrothed to Karolina. The adult Wilders are in jail after their son set them up for murder while Robert is in the hospital after a confrontation from his daughter.

Cloak and Dagger are not the only new faces the Runaways run into this season. This season also sees the introduction of Morgan le Fay portrayed by Elizabeth Hurley (Bedazzled) who is a powerful sorcerer from the Dark Dimension. So a witch like the Minoru’s and from the place where Cloak can send people. So it is easy to see how everyone comes together.

This season is mostly split up into two parts, dealing with the aliens than with le Fay although the first part just seems too abruptly. There are actually a couple of surprising deaths along the way; someone actually kind of dies twice. They also up the comedy this season; Tina is much more entertaining as a bratty teenager than the button-uped CEO. Dale seems to have a break from reality. Pride never seemed too evil to be antagonist, but they made a much better comic relief this season.

But the highlight of the season, and probably the series, was when Cloak and Dagger show up. It does show just how much better the Freeform show did at casting because I was left hoping the duo shows up later in the MCU but am pretty ambivalent if we ever see the Runaways ever again. Each group up with two of the Runaways to rescue someone which leads to some interesting revelations like Dagger sees a pretty dark hope of one of the Runaways. Sadly the episode ends with the two groups saying it is likely they will cross paths again but unfortunately we the viewers know that is highly unlikely.

All episodes of Marvel’s Runaways are released on Hulu tomorrow.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: December 8, 2019

Ray Donovan: Oh no Daryl, I fear that the cop asking if she could hold on to the VIP pass was a test and he failed. If you were such a fan you should not part with the merch that easily. Then if Micky not dying was not annoying enough now they are pretending that he is going to the Maldives as is he is not going to return later this season.

Supergirl: So Martian Manhunter’s brother is going back to Mars and Assistant Director Skinner is defeated? Hopefully they do not revive either storyline after Crisis and also recon Lena into not irrationally hating Supergirl, or at the very least give a ready to hate.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Watchmen: Last week I read an article that ran down a bunch of popular Reddit theories, most so convincing they almost felt like spoilers. The last one they posted was so stupid that I kind of rolled my eyes at how non plausible it was: Cal is really Dr. Manhattan. Then Lady Truie mentioned Dr. Manhattan was in Tulsa, and I thought, oh now. Then she mentioned how Angela did not react to that new and I thought, well fork, this is why I do not read fan theories. Earlier, Lady Truie mentioned her father will be joining her soon, and her father was also one of the popular fan theories that is also going to be right.

Shameless: Oh hey, Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees. But it was weird to see her play poor. I wonder if she will be back (I had to look her up to see if she was on the show before Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and that is how she knew Debbie, she was not… man this show has been on for a while). I was sad to see Mikey go so she could get free health care, but then I realize, oh, he could just run into Ian.

Mr. Robot: So we get multiple shots of Angela in the “Previously On,” White Rose says she is alive, yet she does not show up at all. Meh. I have always thought White Rose’s end game was some sort of time machine but I guess we will not find that out. Or will we? I wonder if White Rose put on the make up and dress so (s)he will get arrested in what (s)he thinks is its true form or if it was to evade the police some how.
You can download Mr. Robot: on iTunes.

His Dark Materials: So that kid is like the male, real world version of Lyra? I wonder if we already met his father. I wonder if they gave us any good looks at family photos, but I do not care enough to rewatch.

Castle Rock: So where exactly is the creepy dude from the first season? When he was gone from his cage earlier this season I thought the old body snatchers took him. So did Henry take him somewhere? They did snatch his mother’s body I presume looking for answers so maybe he will show up in the finale.
You can watch Castle Rock on Hulu.

Survivor: Island of Idols: It seems like every season there is someone who is clearly on the bottom on their alliance and we the viewers scream at the television to flip and they rarely do unless they do one of those pecking order challenges. Dean was clearly that person this season, going as far as trying to form an anti-goat alliance not realizing he has not done anything to win yet this season. But after the loved one’s visit, it became abundantly clear that he was fifth in a four person alliance. And it worked out perfectly because Noura and Karishma were the only people he had a chance at beating this season. Then he inexplicably tells Tommy he is the target, sending home Karishma. Just when you thought this season could not get any worse…
You can download Survivor: Island of the Idols on iTunes.

The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2: So the Brits get a ten minute penalty for interference, but the Americans seemed to be doing a lot of interfering too and I thought TJ say they no one could carry the stuff individually. Granted they still have not gotten to TJ yet, so that may be coming.
You can download The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 on iTunes.

Stumptown: Well, cannot say I blame Dex for that.
You can download Stumptown on iTunes.

The Blacklist: o Red shows up when Katerina was supposed to show up and misses her… too cute. But at least they ended this charade when Lizzie figured it out. Too bad they gave the conclusion to that confirtation in the “Next Time On…”
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Around the Tubes: December 7, 2019

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 Truth Be Told, Homeland, Consequence of Sound's Top 100 Shows of the 2010s, Hala, Apple Music Awards, The Weeknd, Oh Wonder, Chelsea Cutler, Don’t Be Nice, Disasters at Sea, and Shrill.

- When new evidence compels podcaster Poppy Parnell (Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer) to reopen the murder case that made her a national sensation, she comes face-to-face with the man she may have mistakenly helped to put behind bars. Based on the novel “Are You Sleeping" by Kathleen Barber, “Truth Be Told” provides a unique glimpse into America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and challenges its viewers to consider the consequences when the pursuit of justice is placed on a public stage. The series stars an award-winning cast, including Aaron Paul, Ron Cephas Jones, Lizzy Caplan, Elizabeth Perkins, Mekhi Phifer, Michael Beach, Tracie Thoms and Haneefah Wood. Beginning December 6, the first three episodes of Truth Be Told will be available to watch on Apple TV+ in over 100 countries and regions around the world. New episodes will continue to roll out weekly, every Friday.

- Showtime has released the official trailer and poster for the final season of its Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning hit drama Homeland premiering on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Starring Emmy, Screen Actors Guild® and Golden Globe winner Claire Danes and Emmy and Tony® winner Mandy Patinkin, Homeland is the network's No. 1 drama series and one of the most acclaimed dramas on television.

- Rounding out their final "Top of the 2010s" coverage, Consequence of Sound has dropped their list of the "Top 100 Shows of the 2010s." With the launch of streaming services, ever expanding networks and series spin-offs, the 2010s ushered in a new era of television. Looking back at the decade, CoS has highlighted iconic period dramas including Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, captivating shows like Breaking Bad and Making A Murderer, the absolute phenomenon that is Stranger Things and the undeniably unique Atlanta. Be sure to check out the full list at consequenceofsound.net/2019/11/top-100-tv-shows-of-the-2010s.

- Seventeen-year-old Pakistani American teenager Hala (Geraldine Viswanathan) struggles to balance desire with her familial, cultural and religious obligations. As she comes into her own, she grapples with a secret that threatens to unravel her family. Written and directed by Minhal Baig and executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith, Hala was an official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

- Apple Music closed out 2019 with a special performance by Artist of the Year Billie Eilish on Wednesday evening at the Steve Jobs Theater in celebration of the inaugural Apple Music Awards. In addition to receiving top honors as Apple Music's Global Artist of the Year, Billie also received the award for Top Album of the Year as well as for Songwriter of the Year with her brother FINNEAS. Billie performed this exclusive bespoke show for her fans to mark the occasion and Apple Music live streamed the event in 115 countries. When introducing Billie and FINNEAS to the stage, Apple Music global creative director Zane Lowe told a packed crowd at the Steve Jobs Theater: "There are amazing artists, there are amazing producers... but there are very few who can make us think different,

- The Weeknd just shared the stunning cinematic and psychedelic music video for his new song "Heartless". The Anton Tammi-directed piece shows The Weeknd and his producer / cohort Metro Boomin shutting down Las Vegas streets and the iconic Caesars Palace.

- Oh Wonder drops a surprise Christmas song “This Christmas”—listen HERE! The duo recently confirmed details of their third album, No One Else Can Wear Your Crown, which will be released on February 7th, 2020 and includes recent tracks “Hallelujah,” “Better Now” and “I Wish I Never Met You.” The duo has also confirmed international dates for the “Wear Your Crown Tour,” which is on sale now at ohwondermusic.com.

- Singer, songwriter and producer Chelsea Cutler drops “I Was In Heaven” from her highly anticipated debut album, How To Be Human, set for release on January 17th, 2020—listen to “I Was In Heaven” HERE! How To Be Human is now available for pre-order HERE. Of “I Was In Heaven,” Chelsea says, “As much as love is a part of the human condition, so is heart break. I wrote ‘I Was In Heaven’ at a point in my life when that’s exactly what I was going through. This song is really special to me because of how honest and raw it is, and I decided to keep the original demo vocals from when I wrote the song to really capture the raw emotion.”

- Encore Telecast of Don’t Be Nice, which had its World Television Premiere earlier this year as part of the Award-Winning Fuse Docs series. Documentary – directed by Max Powers and produced by Nikhil Melnechuk and Cora Atkinson – focuses on the journey of young poets as they head to the National Poetry Slam. Date: Saturday, December 7 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Fuse. DESCRIPTION: A team of young poets from the Bowery Poetry Club have one month to compose their best work for the National Poetry Slam. Challenged by their coaches, the team must break through personal boundaries and explore issues such as family, race, relationships, sex, and bullying to create their most vulnerable and honest work yet.

- From a routine New York ferry trip that turned deadly to the mysterious loss of a fishing vessel in the Bering Sea, the question still remains – how and why do these maritime catastrophes happen? Smithsonian Channel will transport viewers to the scene of the accident in the second season of Disasters at Sea, revealing what went wrong on these fatal voyages. Using eyewitness accounts, archival footage and dramatic reenactments, experts search for answers and provide invaluable knowledge on how to prevent future fatal accidents. The new season of Disasters at Sea premieres Sunday, January 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel. Season two of Disasters at Sea continues to follow investigators as they uncover shocking revelations behind maritime disasters, and send Remotely Operated Vehicles equipped with cameras to the bottom of the sea floor to recover a ship’s black box – the Voyage Data Recorder – in order to piece together what happened.

- Hulu released the official teaser trailer for the new season of Hulu’s hit original comedy Shrill, starring Aidy Bryant! Shrill returns with eight all-new episodes, Friday, January 24, only on Hulu.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Previewing Reprisal

Since the last time I wrote about a new Hulu Series we got two new streaming services each with their own rollout for shows. Disney+ is just going to make everyone wait a week for new episodes while Apple+ dropped every episode of Dickenson when they launched but for their more adult fare they are dolling those out weekly. Which I guess makes sense if you do not stick to the every week like regular television or all at once like Netflix.

Hulu’s roll-outs still seem perplexing. It seems like they had decided on releasing their comedies all at once but then they released Four Weddings and a Funeral weekly. They release most of their older skewing shows weekly, but two adult shows with deep mysteries this year they released all at once. It was hard to avoid Veronica Mars spoilers the weekend after its release and Reprisal comes with so many twist and turns the screeners came with a list of plot lines critics are not allowed to bring up in their reviews.

Much like Veronica Mars, Reprisal is a noir story, but where Veronica Mars was an interesting take of the dark noir storytelling in sunny southern California, Reprisal is a hard noir chalk full of femme fatales and plenty of other very stylized characters and a whole lot of poetic license that will drive the people who got mad that Jack Bauer never went to the bathroom or got stuck in Los Angeles traffic extremely crazy. I first though the show was set in the fifties as plenty of the characters looked like extras from Grease but then someone checks into a motel and is mad there is no cable (which probably did not show up in some hotels until the eighties) and then another character uses a flip-phone (from earlier this century). So I am not sure when this takes place, maybe in it takes place in some alternative universe where even the gangs are racial diverse.

Reprisal stars Abigail Spencer (Mad Men) as the femmest of femme fatales who starts the series being dragged across a field and left for dead by her brother. He is played by Rory Cochrane (Dazed and Confused) who is the leader of the Banished Brawlers (symbolized with an upside-down skull with spider legs coming out) whom he punishes his sister for going against the gang. A decade later she is married, going by a different name and he is a recluse who is rarely seen at the gang ran Go-Go.

Surprisingly Spencer is not plotting her revenge the whole time despite saying they would meet again was the last thing she says to her brother; it takes her husband’s death and a couple pieces falling into space for her to find her way back to her former life. She has actually been working for her husband’s catering business, which has its own run in with gangstas (the physical embodiment being Ron Perlman) that want their cut after the owner’s death but Spencer wants the inheritance to bankroll her revenge. The weakest part of the show is that storyline just disappears and by the time it pops back up again you only vaguely remains.

The second weakest is the bloated cast, twelve in the Hulu press release (yet only eleven get a character description, sorry W. Earl Brown, one of the more recognizable members thanks to his turn on Deadwood). Some of the others worth mentioning are Rodrigo Santoro (300) as the defacto leader of the Brawlers with the actual leader rarely showing up anymore. Mena Massoud is the new guy to the club given the menial job on the scout crew for the Brawlers, The 3 River Phoenixes. Massoud earlier this week lamented that he has not had one audition since his billion dollar grossing film Aladdin had been released. Well, if he feared being type casted, this role is far from a Disney prince as you can get. Plus the best part of the Hulu upfronts earlier this year was when Spencer started singing A Whole New World during the Reprisal presentation.

The breakout star of the show is Madison Davenport (Sharp Objects) who seems like the only one having fun in this hard noir tale of revenge. She works at the Brawlers’ Go-Go, the awkwardly named Bang-a-Rang. She also has a little side hustle going on hoping to raise enough money to leave the place she grew up in. Of all the over-stylized moments in the show, her casually putting her shades on over a blood splattered face may be the most stylized. Really, for anyone into drinking games, drink whenever someone casually puts on the glasses walking away from something dramatic, make it a double if they are covered in someone else’s blood.

But Reprisal really answers the question of can something be too stylized? There are a lot of choices like Spencer’s voice or Santoro’s beard but sometimes I wished they spent more time developing a plot than developing a mood (two or three less episode could have made the season a little tighter). Still there are some great moments like a speech from Spencer about being underestimated during a Mexican Standoff, a great sequence set to Chicago's 25 or 6 to 4, and there is a random bored housewife that pops up to do something weird at just the right time. And, hey, if you need something dark to counteract all the holiday cheer coming the next couple weeks, you could do a lot worse than Reprisal.

All episodes of Reprisal premiere on Hulu today.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Previewing Into the Dark: A Nasty Piece of Work

Christmas horror movies are weird. This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of year (though why anyone would call a time which is sometimes thirty degrees and snowy “wonderful”) and yet some executives occasionally think movie goers want a little blood to offset the holiday cheer. Personally cranberry sauce is the only gooey red stuff I want to see in December. Yet the third Black Christmas is coming out on Friday the 13th and we are getting our second Christmas In the Dark episode.

Although A Nasty Piece of Work is one of those scripts that seem to be retrofitted to be holiday themed but really could have taken place any day of the year with a few minor tweaks. But as a holiday horror movie, a dark comedy tile this works better than a slasher bloodfest. A Nasty Piece of Work takes place at a firm that did not have a good year so no Christmas bonuses this year instead everyone will have to endure the shared sacrifice. But two promising executives do get an invite for a Christmas party where one will get a promotion while the other gets eliminated but you will be left wondering if they will be losing just their job.

Needless to say, the boss is the titular nasty piece of work who has some warped ways to determine who is the worthy employing. Or it could be his wife who may be even nastier than him. The respective wives of the employees also have some nastiness in them. Before long you will be left wondering what games are going on or if there is even a promotion to behave and these rich people are just getting their rocks off by all of this. I am not a big fan of being scared around Christmas but this may be close to a best case scenario for a December installment of Into the Dark.

Into the Dark Season Two Power Ranking:

1. Uncanny Annie (October)
2. A Nasty Piece of Work (December)
3. Pilgrim (November)

Into the Dark: A Nasty Piece of Work premieres tomorrow on Hulu.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Previewing Vikings: The Final Season

The one lasting memory of the last season of Vikings that stayed with me was that of Floki going into a cave and getting trapped when an earthquake blocked his exit. Now with most shows, I do not believe someone is truly dead until I see the body (and even then I am still sometimes suspicious) but being trapped in a cave on a barely populated island where no one knows where you are and your torch just went out seems is pretty dire.

There is no Floki in the two hour premiere but with Edge coming back to Kattergaurd, he is discussed. There is not even any Floki in the episodes I saw. There is not even any Iceland in the first couple episode. But there is one character that also seemed pretty dead the last time we saw them who pops up in one of the early episode (well two but one is very definitely a ghost). The bride that Ivar the Boneless turned on him and he strangled her in return shows up very alive… or at the very least the actress portrays someone who looks very much like his presumed dead wife.

Last season Ivar was ran out of Norway when his brothers banded together to exile. He takes to The Silk Road before taken in by a king he passes by. It is unclear what the new royal wants with Ivar but he does have roots in Norway and even knows the language. But I laugh at every time he or someone in his kingdom that they want to speak to Ivar in his language. But as someone who hates to read while watching television, I appreciate it.

Back in Norway, Bjorn is adjusting to his new life as ruler of Kattergaurd, but not all his brothers are thriving in the post Ivar rule. Bjorn’s mother Lagatha has moved to a small village to live out the rest of her peacefully, but that of course does not go all too well for the warrior. But the most interesting is Bjorn, now leader like his famous father. Will he be able to unite Norway like his father? Will he travel to foreign lands looking for better things like his father? Well this is the final season, so he has a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time.

airs Wednesday at 9:00 on History though it is taking Christmas Day off in three weeks.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: December 1, 2019

Ray Donovan: So Micky was burned beyond recognition? Well at least they did not drag it out very long to reveal he was not really dead considering it was extremely obvious he was not. Now they just need to explain how he survived such a huge fireball. But hey, if Micky is “dead” Ray should easily be able to get his prints to take the fall for that murder.

Watchmen: Hooded Justice was black? Did not see that coming. Although I did see after the episode someone pointed out that Lou Gossett Jr. had the same color scheme early in the season so it is not that they did not telegraph it. I kind of wish that Angela was the POV the whole time, that would have been more interesting. I also wish we had gotten more of his life than just that short few months… Unless Angela is still under the Nostalgia and that ending was how Lady Truie met Hooded Justice. That would explain how she got out of police custody.

The Walking Dead: So Michonne is just going to leave her small children to help that dude back home? Huh? Almost a big question as how Daryl and everyone is going to get out of their predicament.

Shameless: So a week after shiving a dude in the sick ward, Ian is up for parole? Then to hurt his parole chances, he tries to shiv someone else? Although the best part of the episode was when I realized Debbie did not forget to load the debit cards but instead they were all garnished by the government for unpaid debt.

Mr. Robot: RIP Janice, but you really kind of annoying. Otherwise, felt like huge filler episode.
You can download Mr. Robot: on iTunes.

His Dark Materials: Wow, it just seems like Lin-Manual Miranda is on a completely different show. I mean, both his show and the main show are bad, but just a different kind of bad.

Castle Rock: Strangulation by stethoscope… had we not seen someone this season shove an ice cream scooper down someone’s throat, that would have been a pretty imaginative self-defense scene. Interesting the episode description said, “Annie sees things for what they are.” Considering she saw her long dead mother and a waterfall that came out of a mirror. But maybe it says that because she is the only one who is not under the cult’s spell as even Joy is not walking in step. But annie is legit crazy, I wonder what is so special about the doctor? Is it just that you have to see the statue to be enthralled by it? But a surprisingly short episode, about thirty-five minutes, even less than a network drama without commercials.
You can watch Castle Rock on Hulu.

Survivor: Island of Idols: Idols have been out of control for a while now and two of the last seasons featured someone who went on a three or longer Idol run until Idols were no longer available to play, but at this point I really hope Karishma somehow finds an Idol every week and somehow finds herself in the final (but I fear she will be more like Rick than Ben in the fire making challenge) and manages to win the whole things. Only her or Janet are the only ones from this season that would land them in the bottom five winners of all time list.
You can download Survivor: Island of the Idols on iTunes.

The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2: Poor Nany, Smashley gets lost and she still cannot solve a simple Sudoku puzzle. But I wonder if she would have turncoat because the Brits with only one actual Brit clearly look like the better team at this point. Of course it would serve Cara Maria and paulie right to get beat by people who they tried to get rid of.
You can download The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 on iTunes.

Almost Family: What a nice treat of back to back episode. The Thanksgiving episode may be the best so far.
You can download Almost Family on iTunes.

Titans: When they said one Titan would fall, New Robin seemed obvious considering he famously “died” in the funny books. Except they already threw him out of a window to certain death only to be saved by Superboy in the next episode. Hawk seemed like the next most likely so he could be sacrifice himself and redeemed for his bad behavior. Why I put any thought into might happen because who actually died was completely outside the realm of reason. First of all it, it took forever for that pillar to fall, Lyla Garrity could not get two people out of harm’s way in ten seconds? Then, instead of using her super-speed to hold up the pillar, how about Super Girl using her super-speed to move people out of harm’s way instead of holding the pillar? And can a little electricity really kill an Amazon? Aren’t they Gods? Ugg, what makes things worse is she was the second best part of the show. But is she really dead-dead? Raven pretty easily healed Starfire and says her powers are evolving. And of course this is DC so I am sure there is a Lazarus Pit somewhere. Hopefully she shows up next season somehow.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Around the Tubes: November 30, 2019

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 Motown Christmas, Oh Wonder, Keb’ Mo’, Maelyn, Anna Sofia, otta, and Gossip Starring Cindy Adams.

- Three of Motown’s biggest Christmas classics – The Jackson 5’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” The Supremes’ “My Favorite Things” and The Temptations’ “Silent Night” have been brought to life with a series of official animated videos illustrating the magic of the holiday season. The videos are the latest from UMe, Universal Music Group’s global catalog company, which has partnered with legendary artists and estates to create vibrant new visuals for holiday songs that have never before had a video. The initiative launched earlier this month and includes animated clips for Bobby Helm’s “Jingle Bell Rock,” Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” Burl Ives’ “Holly Jolly Christmas,” Dean Martin’s “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” and Frank Sinatra’s “Jingle Bells.

- Oh Wonder reveals the video for their latest single, “I Wish I Never Met You,” taken from their upcoming third album, No One Else Can Wear Your Crown, set for release on February 7th, 2020. The new album will include their first single “Hallelujah” and more recent follow-up “Better Now.” The duo has also unveiled international dates for the “Wear Your Crown Tour,” which is on sale now at www.ohwondermusic.com. See a full list of dates below. WATCH THE “I WISH I NEVER MET YOU” VIDEO HERE

- Recently recognized for his GRAMMY nomination in the Best Americana Album category, Keb’ Mo’, helps the Scrooges of the world ring in the holiday season with the release of his music video for the tongue-in-cheek track, “Christmas Is Annoying.” Off his debut holiday album Moonlight, Mistletoe & You, now available (HERE), the anti-Christmas song has grown in popularity, holding a warm place in the hearts of those who may have a heart two sizes too small for Christmas season festivities. Watch the video HERE.

- On the heels of her international breakthrough as winner of NBC’s The Voice Season 16 and recent chart-topping success, Maelyn shares a spirited and seasonal take on the holiday classic “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. Get it HERE via Republic Records. Layered above lush piano, her angelic delivery emanates warmth in between the timeless hook. All at once, she channels the nostalgia of the original, while infusing her own style and soul. Representing a full circle moment, the tune forever holds a special place in her heart.

- After releasing her recent single “No Fun” to critical acclaim, today Anna Sofia has released the official music video for the track via Electric Feel Records/Republic Records. Check out Anna Sofia’s official music video for “No Fun” Here!

- South-London artist otta has released new single "small hours" and also announced a debut 5-track EP titled after it all blew over that is due for release on January 24th, 2020 via [PIAS]. Listen to the new single HERE . The British-Finnish artist will release their debut EP via [PIAS] and Warp Records producer kwes’(worked with Loyle Carner, Mica Levi, Damon Albarn, Solange Knowles, Tirzah) label BOKKLE. While all songs on the EP have been written, recorded, produced, engineered and performed by otta, kwes also lent additional production and mixing to the EP.

- SHOWTIME Documentary Films today announced a new limited docu-series, Gossip Starring Cindy Adams (w/t), profiling the longtime columnist whose work at the New York Post made her the reigning queen of gossip. Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are executive producing, with Emmy and BAFTA® nominee Jenny Carchman (THE FOURTH ESTATE) producing and directing. Scheduled to premiere in 2021, the series will be produced by Imagine Documentaries in cooperation with the New York Post. The announcement was made by Vinnie Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Nonfiction Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. Gossip Starring Cindy Adams will chronicle the history and rise of Adams and her gossip columns in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, the longtime nexus of New York’s quotidian news. Not only will the project celebrate Adams’ legendary, four-decade career, it will examine the cast of celebrated and often notorious characters that have emerged from her writing, as well as the legacies of other storied journalists within her orbit.