Saturday, March 02, 2019

Around the Tubes: March 2, 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 Women, War and Peace, bülow, Europe in Crisis, Wolf vs. Bear, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, and Halo.

- In a year when American women mobilized, ran for office, and were elected to Congress in unprecedented numbers (and are already impacting), the acclaimed documentary series Women, War and Peace ( returns Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26, 9-11 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) with powerful stories of women’s role in dramatic conflicts and peace settlements across the globe.

- 300 Entertainment is proud to announce its involvement in curating the soundtrack for the feature film “The Unicorn.” The music curation was a joint effort between Rooney frontman/director Robert Schwartzman and rising industry star A&R Allyson Coff of 300 Entertainment. 300 Entertainment will release the soundtrack on Friday, March 8th. “The Unicorn,” is a quirky and charming tale about love and pushing boundaries starring Lauren Lapkus, Nick Rutherford, Lucy Hale, Beck Bennett, Dree Hemingway, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Maya Kazan, John Kapelos, Beverly D’Angelo and Kyle Mooney, and more. The soundtrack features two songs recorded exclusively for the movie; “Time and Time Again” by Rooney and a special collaboration between Rooney and Phony Ppl for a feel-good cover of Len Barry’s 1965 hit “1-2-3” - Out Now.

- Critically acclaimed German born pop iconoclast bülow releases brand new single “Sweet Little Lies” via Republic Records / Wax Records/ Universal Music Canada. Listen HERE. “'Sweet Little Lies' is about creating false realities.” bülow comments on the new song, “When things get real, we find escapes. Sometimes it’s hobbies, and sometimes it’s people. But the degree of it we can’t always control”

- Smithsonian Channel and the BBC have teamed up on a riveting insider account of two forces that threaten to tear Europe apart: Brexit and the migrant crisis. Two hour-long specials reveal the fierce arguments and personality clashes among Europe’s leaders as they struggled over the past decade to find common ground amid intense political pressure, overwhelming waves of refugees and a referendum in Britain that shocked the world. The back-to-back specials of Europe in Crisis premiere on Smithsonian Channel on Thursday, March 28 at 8 PM ET/PT, just as the United Kingdom enters the March 29 deadline for withdrawal from the European Union.

- Smithsonian Channel’s new special Wolf vs. Bear brings two archenemies together in a fight for food and survival. Shot over the course of a full year across the far northern wild of Norway, Finland and Russia, this one-hour special follows the tracks of two of nature’s most formidable predators and shows what makes both creatures optimal predatory machines, albeit with remarkably different strategies. Their goals are the same and are driven by the most basic of primal instincts – to hunt and breed. Each must do what it takes to endure the harsh northern wilderness and make it through the year. The competition unfolds in Wolf vs. Bear, premiering Wednesday, March 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.

- Showtime has announced that Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) will join Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, the next chapter of the Penny Dreadful saga, in the role of Magda, a supernatural demon who can take the appearance of anyone she chooses and manifests in a number of guises throughout the story. Charismatic, clever and chameleonic, Magda is a dangerous enemy and an invaluable ally. Tony® and Golden Globe® award winner and three-time Oscar® nominee John Logan, creator, writer and executive producer of the Emmy nominated series Penny Dreadful, will continue in those same roles. Michael Aguilar (KIDDING) will also serve as executive producer. Production on the drama series is expected to begin later this year.

- Showtime has announced that Tony and Emmy winner Nathan Lane (The Producers) has joined Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, the next chapter of the Penny Dreadful saga, in the role of Lewis Michener. A veteran officer in the LAPD, wise to the ways of the world and ruthless in pursuit of his goals, Lewis becomes the partner and mentor of young Tiago Vega (Daniel Zovatto). The series also stars Natalie Dormer, Jessica Garza and Johnathan Nieves. Tony and Golden Globe® award winner and three-time Oscar® nominee John Logan, the creator, writer and executive producer of the Emmy nominated series PENNY DREADFUL, continues in those same roles. Michael Aguilar (KIDDING) also serves as executive producer. Production on the drama series is expected to begin later this year.

- Otto Bathurst (Black Mirror, Robin Hood) is set to direct the highly anticipated Showtime series Halo, based on the hallowed Xbox® franchise with Kyle Killen (Awake) serving as executive producer, writer and showrunner. Bathurst will helm multiple episodes and executive produce the live-action series, which has an initial nine-episode order. Produced by Showtime in partnership with 343 Industries, along with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, HALO will begin production later this year.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Previewing Into the Dark: Treehouse

The first five episodes of Into the Dark picked pretty chalky holidays for their monthly horror anthology: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day. For March we get our first curve-ball. I am sure most people were guessing St. Patrick’s Day, but you would be wrong. Maybe because it is hard to do a horror episode based on that holiday without getting sued by the Leprechaun franchise, instead the March episode is actually based on the Ides of March.

I will say this about Treehouse, the latest episode; it does have a bunch of recognizable faces. Okay, no actual names, but if you are like me, you will spend the show going, oh hey, they guy from Breakout Kings, Howard Stern’s wife from the movie, the lady from Angel From Hell, that MuchMusic VJ, the chick from the Friday the 13th reboot, the teacher from Bunheads, the girl from a bunch of commercials.

The episode follows a semi-famous chef who escapes to his family’s vacation estate during some bad press that coincides with the wedding of his previous wife. Okay, the Ides of March theme is a bit of a stretch here. The episode open with a knife and I guess there is sort of an et tu Brute moment but the whole idea of the past coming back for what it’s due is a pretty vague concept here considering how the past episodes really banged you over the head with the holiday theme.

The Flesh and Blood episode probably set the bar foe slow moving episodes, but Treehouse is also pretty slow to pick up. It takes fifteen minutes for anything weird to happen (a random black goat), thirty minutes until we see the titular treehouse, then forty-five minutes until anything remotely scary happens. But once we get to the big reveal, the episode really picks up and goes in a direction that is a bit unexpected. Still, waiting for it to get going really keeps it low on my Into the Dark Power Rankings:

Into the Dark Power Ranking
1. The Body (October)
2. Down (February)
3. New Year, New You (January)
4. Pooka! (December)
5. Treehouse (March)
6. Flesh and Bone (November)

Into the Dark: Treehouse premieres tomorrow on Hulu.

Monday, February 25, 2019

I Want My Music Television: February 25, 2019

break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored - Ariana Grande

I found Sweetner to be Ariana Grande’s weakest album (despite God Is a Woman being her best song) and I was not expecting much from her follow up Thank U, Next after the title track, 7 Rings, and this dropped the same time as the album. But despite the week singles, I actually found it her strongest album totally. The music video had an obvious twist because that dude was acting like a total douche.

Take On Me - Weezer

Africa was fun, but Weezer’s full-fledged cover album was pretty crindgeworthy (especially No Scrubs). It was at its best with the other cheesy eighties songs like this. Still the song and video are pretty unnecessary.

Armor - Sara Bareilles

I have been complaining for two years that all the anti-Trump songs kind of totally suck. Well it took a while but Sara Bareilles finally wrote a good one. Now if we can only get someone to write a great one.

Preach - John Legend

I guess you can add Preach by John Legend to that good but not great protest song, but For What It’s Worth it is not. Although it may get a bit awkward with Legend as the newest coach on The Voice, a show by Mark Burnett who refuses to turn over the Trump tapes that reportedly has plenty of racist comments by the president.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: February 24, 2019

Supergirl: This season is just dreadful, but I did get a good laugh at The Dreamer’s outfit. So stupid.
Supergirl on iTunes.

Shameless: Fiona has done some horrible things in this back half of the season, but you cannot blame her for letting an alcoholic have some of her drink when she did not know he had been sober for a hundred days. Same with the social services guy. Really, Lip should have gotten her to rehab or at the very least take her to an AA meeting with him.

Black Monday: Weird that the show pointed out the two shows with short black kids living with rich white people and then in the very next scenes it reminds us that this is the second show in the eighties with a robot butler. Although the other show did not murder the robot butler. But wow, I never realized just how racist Teen Wolf was.

The Walking Dead: I am sure being a horny teenager in the zombie apocalypse must be hard on the libido, but how about not let the bad chick out of her cell? Same they just did not do a full on flashback episode because we did not get to see just how crazy bald momma went from an underground bunker to wearing a dead man’s face. A pretty big jump. And there have been plenty of dumb plans on this show, but waiting until nightfall to look for your buddy in a zombie apocalypse with people posing as zombies out there is high on the stupidity list. Although that bears the question, just when do the Whispers sleep? If you are hiding among the zombies and presumably they do not sleep, at what point do you break away from the heard and catch some shut eye and not get eaten by the heard you are with?
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

The Passage: Finally someone is smart enough to kill all the death row inmate vampires. Oh wait, they care about one girl. Okay, first off, didn’t they kill the vampire that turned the scientist so why is he even still alive? Maybe it is because they killed the old vampire before the scientist turned and that is some grey area. Even if that is it what it is, how about then kill all the other death row vampires and just keep the scientist alive to save the little girl. And why does it take so long to kill a vampire in the sun?
You can download The Passage on iTunes.

Manifest: What a stupid forking way to end the season. They just told us that the returned die the exact time for when they were gone so if the new guy was gone for a year, he clearly is not going to die. I guess there is the question of if the cop got shot. Not that I really care, I am fine with the show not returning.
You can download Manifest on iTunes.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction: Kind of a giant “meh” of a premiere. Did not help that it was only an hour. Usually we get ninety minutes or back to back episodes. Which gives us better idea of who these people are. We only continued the streak of annoying people is the ones that find advantages. And the Advantage Menu is a stupid name. Really, unless you are confident you are getting the boot, you gotta go with the steal reward. As predictions go, I will say Lauren will win. And I am not just saying that because she kind of looks like the hot chick from the Baywatch movie.
You can download Survivor: Edge of Extinction on iTunes.

The Challenge: War of World: Yeah, it was pretty obvious from the promo that Bananas would be the “legend” that goes home early and then Bananas gets the boot from the first round of the challenge pretty much made it a lock. So when Bananas calls out Zach it took out all the suspense because c’mon, calling Zach a legend would be a bit of a stretch. Watching Bananas leave this early should have been great but the Promo Monkeys just took all the fun out of it. And are they going to do the same next week? It seems like either Paulie or Kyle will be going home. But since next week is a double elimination, at least the other boot will be a surpise… unless they both end up going home.
You can download The Challenge: War of Worlds on iTunes.

Gotham: Sure Jim, you may have saved Gotham from that gas, but you just polluted the river worse than The Cuyahoga in the seventies when that caught on fire. So yeah, probably smart for the government to keep the city quadrated off for a little longer.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Doom Patrol: I was a bit down on the premiere because there were a bit too many origin stories to get through and way too much naked Encino Man. But this episode was much more enjoyable. And I do hope we get an episode inside Jane’s Underground.

The Blacklist: I hate arguing with the simple minded like those who think that spending billions of dollars putting up a wall would even slow the drug flow into the country. I have to tell these people that I have seen a lot of movies and shows on the subject and have seen drug smugglers dig tunnels under existing barriers, walk around the wall in low tide, pay hot chicks to put it in the car and go through customs (most recently they payed Clint Eastwood to do this), I have seen them bring in drugs through the post, I have seen them swallow condoms full of heroin, get on a plane, then crap out the condom and clean it up, but one thing I have never seen is anyone trek drugs across the desert so a wall there would be a complete waste of billions of dollars. Now surgically implant them in woman to make them seem pregnant is a new one. And I have to wonder just how would that work? Like do you have to find a former pregnant chick because it seems like it would be hard to grow that skin into a pouch.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.