Friday, January 25, 2019

Around the Tubes: January 25, 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 PEN15, Minding the Gap, Tone Bell: Can't Cancel This, I Am the Night, The Avett Brothers, Florence + the Machine, James Blake, Sigrid, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom, A Night at the Garden, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Color Out of Space.

School is almost in session and we are excited to share the official trailer and key art for Hulu's hilarious new original comedy series PEN15. All 10 episodes will premiere Friday, February 8, only on Hulu.

- The critically acclaimed coming-of-age story Minding the Gap received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature for the 91st Academy Awards. Directed by Bing Liu, Minding the Gap has its national broadcast debut on the PBS documentary series POV and on Monday, February 18 at 9 p.m. (check local listings). The film is a co-production of ITVS, Kartemquin Films and American Documentary | POV and a co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). POV is American television’s longest-running independent documentary series now in its 31st season.

- Comedian Tone Bell takes the stage in his first stand-up special, Tone Bell: Can't Cancel This, premiering on Friday, February 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime on-air, streaming and on demand. In the hour-long special filmed at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater in Dallas, Bell simply wants to live in a world where Alaska is cold, student loans are paid and jelly is free. He has finally found the one place his uncompromising view of this unfair world can't be stopped.

- TNT and Cadence13, a leading podcast media company, is revealing the NEW audio trailer for the ground-breaking eight-part podcast documentary series, Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia, a companion to TNT’s six-episode suspense drama I Am the Night. The podcast series will premiere Wednesday, February 13 and joins Turner Podcast Network’s portfolio of podcasts available on Apple Podcasts and wherever podcasts are available. I Am the Night, from director Patty Jenkins and writer Sam Sheridan, starring Chris Pine, is slated to premiere on Monday, January 28, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on TNT.

- The Avett Brothers recently announced a string of North American headline tour dates for summer 2019. The GRAMMY® Award-nominated North Carolina band continue their headline tour in Bonner Springs, KS at Providence Amphitheater on July 3 and perform in major markets throughout the country until August 24 when they grace the stage of the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA. Lake Street Dive and Trampled By Turtles join them for select dates. Check out the new tour dates below and full tour dates here.

- Florence + the Machine debut two new songs, “Moderation” and “Haunted House” today. Listen here. Produced by James Ford, “Moderation” is another driving force of nature that sees Florence’s new-found confidence ride high when it comes to love and relationships. In contrast, “Moderation” is backed by the more delicate “Haunted House.” Produced by Matthew Daniel Siskin (Gambles), it’s an open and exposing song that captures Florence’s more intimate vocal style.

- Grammy nominee and Mercury Prize winner James Blake releases his highly-anticipated fourth studio album Assume Form via Republic Records. The album is Blake’s most unguarded and accessible to date; selecting it as their “Critic’s Pick,” The New York Times observes, “with ‘Assume Form,’ Blake wants to get closer. His previous albums were suffused with loneliness; this one tentatively and almost incredulously, ponders intimacy.” Throughout Assume Form, Blake showcases his evolution not only as a solo artist but as one of the music industry’s most groundbreaking collaborators, working alongside Travis Scott, André 3000, Metro Boomin, Moses Sumney and ROSALÍA (see below for full track listing). Assume Form is available now.

- Last week Norwegian pop star Sigrid released defiant new single ‘Don’t Feel Like Crying’, ahead of her highly anticipated debut album Sucker Punch, due out March 8, 2019 on Island Records. The 22-year-old’s epic songs are tales of the unexpected; fearless musical collages and shout-outs to human resilience, “There’s a romantic melancholy in the landscape,” says Sigrid. “And there’s a certain grace to heartache, a sort of…epic grace! I love dramatic pop songs,” which is the foundation of Sigrid’s extraordinary debut Sucker Punch.

- On the heels of the Golden Globe® winning film Green Book, Smithsonian Channel is taking a deeper look into the real story of The Negro Motorist Green Book during the Jim Crow era and beyond. The Green Book: Guide to Freedom tells the story of Victor H. Green’s eponymously named travel guide that allowed African Americans to safely tour the country during a time of severe institutionalized racism. The film features a wide array of experts delving into the history of The Green Book – historians, business owners and individuals who experienced first-hand the phenomenon of “traveling while black” in pre-civil rights America. Written and directed by acclaimed documentarian Yoruba Richen, the filmmaker behind The New Black, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom looks at the daily realities that African Americans faced on the road – the struggles, indignities and dangers, but also the opportunities and triumphs that were won along the way. The Green Book: Guide to Freedom premieres Monday, February 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel and will also be available to stream on the Smithsonian Channel app starting on February 18.

- Marshall Curry's A Night at the Garden, which premiered on the PBS documentary series POV Shorts and on has been nominated for the Best Documentary Short Subject prize for the 91st Academy Awards.

- Christopher Meloni and Elizabeth Reaser will guest star as Commander Winslow and Mrs. Winslow in season three of The Handmaid’s Tale.

- SpectreVision, the boutique genre division of Company X, and ACE Pictures announced today that principal photography will begin next month on Color Out of Space. Starring Nicolas Cage, the film will be directed by Richard Stanley -- his first feature in over twenty years. Based on the novella by H.P. Lovecraft, COLOR OUT OF SPACE will reunite Cage with SpectreVision, the company behind the critically acclaimed and commercially successful 2018 film MANDY. The film will also star Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck, RED SPARROW), Tommy Chong (UP IN SMOKE), Elliot Knight (DC’s Titans), Julian Hilliard (The Haunting of Hill House) and Q’Orianka Kilcher (The Alienist, DORA THE EXPLORER).

Monday, January 21, 2019

I Want My Music Television: January 21, 2019

7 rings - Ariana Grande

Weird that the first huge pop song of 2019 references The Sound of Music and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (I assume Ariana Grande means the Audrey Hepburn movie and not the nineties one hit wonder sadly). But it is weird at the height #MeToo movement that the biggest pop star of the time is making an exploitative nineties hip-hop music video.

Cop Shot the Kid – Nas featuring Kanye West

Nice of Nas to bring in Slick Rick for a cameo, but I forget how weak the Kanye verse was on this song since I have not bothered to listen to any of the G.O.O.D. month of albums since they were released.

Screwed - Janelle Monáe featuring Zoë Kravitz

Always nice when people are recognized but it is weird when someone gets a featured credit on a song but after the song is over you are note entirely sure what they contributed. Did Zoe Kravitz sing back up on this Janelle Monáe song? Does she play guitar like her father?

Land Of The Free - The Killers

Who would have guessed The Killers would make a protest song? Unfortunately is is not very good. Brandon Flowers singing about how nice it is to drive when white is pretty cringe worthy. Really, all the anti-Trump songs kind of sucks. Makes me wonder when was the last great and popular protest song was? Do we have to go all the way back to American Idiot?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: January 20, 2019

Ray Donovan: I appreciate whenever shows try something new and it was interesting how this season the show tried something new with the “Previously On” segments with very little dialogue. Though what that said to me was, none of what was said really matters. I am not sure that the new location worked either because what made Ray Donovan work in Los Angeles is the City of Angels is a bright town and it was interesting the juxtaposition of the dark things Ray did in the shadows. Moving Ray to New York, a dark town, just made this season extra dark.

I am talking Bridget copping off the head of a cop with a chainsaw dark. How did we get here? And why was she so comfortable with doing something like that? Smitty kills a dude and is throwing up but Bridget is handing out sandwiches to people with blood splatter on him. Speaking of death, I understand why Lena killed that dude with a rope considering what he did to his girlfriend, but that certainly was an interesting way of going about it.

And was that Susan Sarandon hanging at the end of the episode? I cannot imagine someone that rich and powerful killing them self after one bad scandal. So was it Ray who did it? Weird they left that ambiguous. Unless that is a plot point next season.

Manifest: Um, so what happened to the Pilot? Did he really get shot down? Will he show up in season five? Ha, like there will be a season five.
You can download Manifest on iTunes.

The Passage: So this scientific group is really just going to keep all those death row inmates turned vampires in their basement in perpetuity? Yeah, that is not going to end well. Seriously, when you realized your new treatment has not worked, cut off their head and burn the body and move on. I guess this is why The Walking Dead started a year or so into the zombie apocalypse. And why Fear the Walking Dead sucked at the beginning.
You can download The Passage on iTunes.

Vikings: I predicted that Floki would end up killing Edge at some point and after this week it looks like I may be right sooner than later. Then you have Ivar’s brother selling him out only for the other king not to bite. It is weird that no one has been able to easily over through some guy named Ivar the Boneless. Didn’t we start the show with Ragnar challenging the leader to a duel to see who would rule Kattergaurd? No one is going to challenge a guy who cannot even stand?
You can download Vikings on iTunes.

Deadly Class: No one does high concept but boring more than Syfy. But the promos for this show actually made it look kind of fun, something I would not call any Syfy show ever. And it actually was fun but I am not sure if they could have picked a less interesting character to focus on. The dude’s inner monologue may actually drag on more than the dude from You. I really came away from the first episode wishing the show focused on the hot Asian chick.
You can download Deadly Class on iTunes.

The Good Place: So season four is just going to be a soft reboot of season? I will be fine with that as long as the new humans are even half way as entertaining as Jason Mendoza. Oooo, what if Sean picks people the original four know: Donkey Doug, Kamilah Al-Jamil, Donna Shellstrop, and the chick Chidi dated earlier this season? That would be a way for Sean to torture everyone even though they are not in The Bad Place anymore. Whoever it is, I have a feeling the latest experiment will go as well as Michael’s soft reboot to start season two.
The Good Place on iTunes.

Gotham: Wait, Jim and Penguin are friends already? Penguin just had a price on Jim’s head at the start of the episode. But I guess the bigger question is who blew up the Haven? The Riddler? Or one of his personalities? The list of suspects is not very long unless it is someone new. Isn’t Bane supposed to show up this season?
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Blindspot: I thought the son was going to turn out to be evil because the cameras lingered on him after he asked if he could call his fiancée. And despite being told no, he still did which of course caused the cure to be destroyed. And why is the mother just able to go back into the world? She was alredy almost killed twice, are the evil guys not going to try a third time?
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.