Saturday, March 30, 2019

Around the Tubes: March 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 Lisa Hannigan, Aerial Britain, Tre Maison Dasan, Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase, Tony Lucca, Aly and AJ, Taylor Janzen, Amazon, The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story, Guess I'm a Ghost, Marvel’s Runaways, Homeland, and the 2020 Democratic Debate.

- Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan is pleased to share "Bookmark", a brand new single taken from her forthcoming album Live In Dublin that is due for release on May 31, 2019 through Play It Again Sam. A spellbinding collaboration with composer Andréde Ridder and his s t a r g a z e neo-classical orchestra, the project sees Lisa’s sparse, ethereal folk, now backed by strings, percussion and brass, transformed into something truly cinematic and evocative. The album was recorded when Hannigan and s t a r g a z e took their show to Dublin’s National Concert Hall following stops at the Barbican and various European festivals. Listen to "Bookmark" HERE.

- The hit aerial exploration series from Smithsonian Channel, Aerial America, expands across the pond with the debut of Aerial Britain. This newest installment takes viewers on a journey to four regions of Britain, discovering the historical significance of the island from breathtaking heights. Filmed from helicopters and drones equipped with cutting edge 4K/Ultra High Definition cameras, Aerial Britain presents views of stunning iconic landmarks, both natural and man-made, as well as fascinating monuments off the beaten path. Aerial Britain premieres Sunday, April 28 at 8 PM ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.

- Told directly through the children’s perspective, Tre Maison Dasan is an up-close and unfiltered look at the lives of three Rhode Island boys, each navigating childhood and adolescence with a parent behind bars. Each boy faces the pressure of growing up in a society that often demonizes their parents, provides little support for their families, and assumes “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Produced and directed by Denali Tiller, Tre Maison Dasan premieres on Independent Lens this Monday, April 1, 2019, 10:00-11:00 PM ET (check local listings), and will also be available simultaneously for online streaming at

- The iconic mystery solving teenager from the classic Nancy Drew books is back with an all-new feature length film that will keep you guessing until the very end! Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase is out on Digital now, and Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & DVD on April 2, 2019. Check out this never-before-seen clip from the bonus features here.

- Nashville-based singer-songwriter Tony Lucca is flexing his Americana muscles on his forthcoming new album, Ain’t No Storm, which he will be releasing on March 29, 2019. Ain’t No Storm reads like a who’s who of East Nashville notables: Ken Coomer produced the record at his studio, Cartoon Moon, great Nashville players like Michael Webb, Ted Pecchio, and Joe Garcia lent their talents — and even Patrick Sweany stopped in for a cameo on “Room With A View.” Replete with songs borne of his admiration for Nashville’s rich history – the town’s creative community ultimately fueled Lucca’s return to the studio and inspired the new album – Ain’t No Storm finds Lucca embracing with reverence the process and craft of songwriting and taking his time (more than two years) to get it right.

- “I do bad things for the sake of good times I don’t regret / Call me what you will, I’m in it for the thrill, I’m just selfish / I need redemption," the sisters Aly and AJ harmonize over a starry synth and electronic textures, producing a resounding strength from the two who are not afraid to let their voices and stories be heard on the lead single "Church" from their forthcoming 5-track EP Sanctuary.

- With her stunningly sparse melodies and minimalistic guitar riffs, 19 year old Taylor Janzen may seem softly spoken, but her staggering lyrical narrative and deeply personal writing sends a resounding message. The Winnipeg artist garnered praise from the likes of New York Times with her debut EP, "Interpersonal", which was mastered by Greg Calbi (Julien Baker, Arcade Fire, Big Thief), and co-produced by Taylor. With further praise from NYLON, Paste, The Line of Best Fit and more, Taylor kicked off the year as an Official Artist at SXSW where she performed at the Rolling Stone Emerging Artist Showcase and NPR featured her in their coveted Austin 100.

- Amazon opened its curated storefront for the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival featuring festival essentials from categories like fashion & accessories, beauty, health & wellness, tech, and camping. Items available include sunglasses, sunscreen, pain relievers, bug spray, portable fans, disposable cameras, nail art, and more. Customers can order in advance for delivery to their home or Amazon pickup point, or ship directly to an Amazon Locker located inside the festival gates, here: In addition, Amazon has worked with actress and musician Vanessa Hudgens to shop the store and select her favorite items that she plans to wear to this year’s festival

- Coming off its acclaimed world premiere at SXSW earlier this month, Pilgrim Media Group and Lance Bass Productions’ YouTube Original feature documentary The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story is getting a one-week theatrical release in limited theaters in Los Angeles and New York – beginning Wednesday, March 27 in LA (Arclight Sherman Oaks) and Friday, March 29 in New York City (AMC 34th Street). The movie will debut exclusively on YouTube April 3. Directed by Pilgrim’s Aaron Kunkel, and produced by Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian, alongside producer, artist, host and entrepreneur Lance Bass; Pilgrim Media Group’s Nicholas Caprio; and Matthew Charles Ducey, the film tracks the life of boy band impresario Lou Pearlman from his childhood in Queens, New York through discovering mega-bands the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, and chronicles his later life, including his perpetration of one of the largest Ponzi schemes in American history.

- Guess I'm a Ghost is a comedy web series in eight episodes that explores coming to terms with your past mistakes, making amends, and how we both perform ourselves and find out about death through social media. Tonally, the series is a mix between High Maintenance and The Good Place. Using both naturalistic and absurd comedy, the show looks to see how we grieve over imperfect people we think we knew, but maybe didn't at all. Diane...wasn't the best friend. She liked to bend the truth and look out for number one. After embarrassing herself at a party, she's killed in a ride-share accident when climbing into the front seat to charge her phone. Then, because of a mistake in the afterlife, she's sent back to earth and forced to haunt those she could've treated a little better, and might owe her an apology themselves.

- Hulu has renewed Marvel’s Runaways for a 10-episode third season. Marvel’s Runaways is executive produced by series showrunners/writers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (The O.C. and Gossip Girl) along with Marvel’s Head of Television, Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger) and Quinton Peeples. Fake Empire’s Lis Rowinski produces as well. Marvel’s Runaways is a co-production with ABC Signature Studios. “We are so excited to tell more Runaways stories and are so grateful to Marvel, Hulu, our amazing cast and crew and of course our passionate audience,” said co-showrunners and Executive Producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. “Season three will be a magical time on Runaways, as we deepen our connection to the Marvel universe. We are honored to continue to play in the sandbox created by Brian K Vaughn and Adrian Alphona.”

- Emmy-nominated actor Hugh Dancy (Hannibal) will guest star in a multi-episode arc on the award-winning drama series Homeland, starring Emmy and Golden Globe winner Claire Danes and Emmy and Tony® winner Mandy Patinkin. Dancy will recur as John Zabel, a savvy Washington consultant who joins the White House as a new foreign-policy advisor to the President and a formidable opponent to Saul Berenson (Patinkin). The acclaimed series is currently in production on its eighth and final season and will premiere later this year.

- NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo will host the first democratic presidential primary debate of the 2020 cycle live from Miami, Fla. The debate will take place on back-to-back nights on Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27. The prime time events will be broadcast live across all three networks with real-time Spanish-language translations on Telemundo. In addition, the two-night special event will also be streamed for free on NBC News’ digital properties, including,, NBC News Mobile App, and OTT apps in addition to Telemundo’s digital platforms.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

I Want My Music Television: March 27, 2019

I Can’t Get Enough - benny blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez and J Balvin

I was not all that interested in the new Selena Gomez song when I saw there was two other people credited on the track because she does not have the best track record when it comes to collaborations after she left The Scene. But when I actually listened to it the song was surprisingly good… until the rapper came in sounding like he was trying way too hard to be Latin Drake. Hopefully a version get released without him.

Rule the World - 2 Chainz featuring Ariana Grande

Okay, 2 Chainz and Ariana Grande has to be the weirdest pairing since… well I guess Taylor Swift / Future / Ed Sheeran was not that long ago. But really all this song does is make me miss Amerie. Now that was a great song.

Now That I Found You - Carly Rae Jepsen

Cat people scare me. Case in point: Carly Rae Jepsen.

Dancing On My Own (From Teen Spirit Soundtrack) - Elle Fanning

Elle Fanning just has that aura of likeably about her and just seems like a fun hang (unlike the other Fanning who just seems dour and a really bad hang). Though this song just sounds like bland karaoke. But since it is for a movie about someone shooting to fame on a singing competitions, I guess it is apropos because that is intiy nine percent of singing competitions.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Previewing Knightfall: Season Two

We have hit have hit peak television a couple years ago and yet it is only getting peakier as Disney, Apple, Warner Brother, and Comcast all look to start their own streaming services soon that will all have their own original programs. So what a great time to be an actor because all those shows need to be filled with a new cast. Seriously, Lyla Garrity is currently playing a superhero on DC Comics newly christened streaming service.

Too bad this was not always the case. Back in the eighties, there were only three networks who only aired nine months of programing (and that is not even taking account copious amounts of re-runs in season) and not that many movies being released each month. So while someone like Lyla Garrity can get steady work basically from being launched on Friday Night Lights, you take someone from the eighties like Mark Hamill who shot to stardom as Luke Skywalker really never got another starring role. Really, his second biggest gig may be voicing The Joker in multiple shows, movies and video games.

But now in the era of Peak TV, Mark Hamill is finally getting his just due as the lead in the biggest movie franchise as he has been brought on to the second season of Knightfall to give that show a little star power. And Knighfall really needed it because no one in the cast is all that recognizable (and it does not help the show has been off the air for thirteen months). There is a moment in the second premiere where there is a big reveal of someone in a fight club but I basically went: what, should I know who that guy is? I guess I should have paid more attention to the “Previously On” package.

Okay, so on a show set in France and filled with mostly British actors, Hamill and his gruff American accent is a bit out of place. Hamill plays a Templar elder who trains new recruits. How Yoda of him. One of which is Landry, who got booted from the order for breaking his vow of celibacy when he knocked up the Queen of France who died in childbirth at the end of last season. But Landry is allowed to rejoin but has to start from the bottom. This is actually great for the rest of the new recruits who get to train alongside one of the best Templars of the day.

Back in France, there is strife between the king and his children. The Prince is mad that his mother had died in his absence. Added to this, his bride is having trouble giving him an heir. The princess is unhappy because her mother wanted her to marry for love, and now her father is forcing her to marry for politics to a man who is known as a pervert. So the Queen may be dead, but there is still plenty of palace intrigue.

Knightfall airs Mondays at 10:00 on History.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

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

Supergirl: Oh snap, Miss Tessmaucher is evil. Oh wait, she says she has been evil this whole time? I guess maybe why someone with an advanced degree was an assistant to Cat Grant, but um, how exactly did that help with Lex Luthor’s plan? She need to have Cat leave, get close to James and have James get close to Lena. Maybe it will be better explained next week which I believe is a flashback episode of how Lex planned all this. And is Manchester gone forever? I guess it makes sense that he had this death wish so he can be with his dead girlfriend, but did not really get his revenge first.
Supergirl on iTunes.

The Walking Dead: Did I miss how Michonne and Daryl got out of their restraints after being captures by the Lord of the Flies gang? But I guess when Michonne has to kill a bunch of children because she let someone she trusted into Alexandra is a good reason to not let anyone new in after that.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Good Girls: When they learned about the every growing landfill, I thought they would actually take the body their instead of dumping it in the trash. Seems like a lot could go wrong with the body getting discovered before making it to the dump. Of course that might be the point.
You can download Good Girls on iTunes

Black Monday: A little jarring when you see that the episode takes us all the way back to seven thousand days before Black Monday. Although a bit disappointing that half the episode took place a day after the last episode and the far back half was just a red herring to make you think that Mo was capable of kidnapping only for it to be her parents which likely will be the reason Blair comes on board the plan.

The Act: The one thing that really bothered me with this whole story is if DeeDee was really faking Gypsy’s illnesses, how exactly was she able to get away with this from a doctor? Well we did see in the second episode one doctor try to get to the bottom of things, even going as far as to call Child Protective Services. But now I am left to wonder why stop? Was it just because the social worker could not find enough to go any further?
You can stream The Act on Hulu.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction: Once Immunity has been won, it is usually pretty obvious who is going home. Sure the editors will try to make you think there is another option and occasionally there are some shocking twist but ninety [percent of the time you can easily guess who it is. Like in the first hour, seemed pretty obvious Aubrey was going to be voted out because all the dominate tribe has talked about is how the returning players did not deserve to come back. Sure there was a chance the redhead ended up going with the all-chick alliance or Aubrey pulled out her Idol, but that turned out the case.

As for the second hour we had the very rare, I have no clue what was going to happen. We had five vs. five going into Tribal. Except Wendy was the only person who had not been with her tribe the whole time, and yet, she kind of hated her old tribe. Then it seemed like David and the redhead could very well switch instead of going to rock (anyone who goes to rocks is a moron, alliances do not matter anymore, just get yourself to tomorrow). Oh, and both Lauren and Wentworth have Idols.

Shockingly Wardog came up with a reasonable plan and even more shocking, it actually went off without a hitch. I mocked Wardog all episode for being the least athletic fit looking dude who could not even throw a bag despite a Yankee’s tattoo on his arm, but he somehow pulled that out of his noggin. Although all the whispering that we were not privy to via subtitles were a bit annoying. What exactly did David and Wendy talk about? Was that just a giant ruse? Did he try to sway her to vote with them? Get the name of who she was voting for? We will never know.

But we finally get the Edge of Extinction playing out next week. Crazy thing is, I was thinking if Aubrey is the player who returns (which is likely the producer’s pick) the former Manu could end up in the majority post merge. There are just four original Manu left, Aubrey would likely join them out of spite and bring Joe because he would also be targeted as a returning player and then they could recruit Aurora who also seemed on the out too. Then that would be seven to the remaining original Kama’s six. But if not Aubrey, will a former Manu player come back into the game bitter and will be fine at the bottom of Kama or try again with people who already booted them? Though the worst case scenario for everyone would be Wendy returning who would just be pure chaos.

Okay, one more group of questions: so do the losers that do not win their way back in the game go back to Edge of Extinction or are their torches snuffed again? Or is this going to be like Redemption Island where the deck is cleared and everyone post merge goes there and has a chance to come back in at around four left? Or are we done with Edge of Extinction?
You can download Survivor: Edge of Extinction on iTunes.

The Challenge: War of World: There is an old saying that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards and in heels. I thought of that this week because I believe every team had the chick walk backwards in this challenge. But I am really ready for Bear to be off my television screen. Just deport him to Ex on the Beach or something. But weird play from Wes. Targets the British alliance last week then burns a vote on one and votes in a very weak team. For a self-proclaimed genius, that seemed like a very weak play.
You can download The Challenge: War of Worlds on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists: Pretty Little Liars was a drag. They stretched out who was A way too long and just became a chore to watch the longer it went. So I was dreading watching the spin-off because the last one sucked. But then started explaining the plot of the first episode to someone: there is a dude who is dating a hot black chick, forking a hot Latina who he broke up with by letting her walking in on him forking some random which chick, oh yeah, and he is blackmailing the nerdy white dude he also forked. And then he was thrown off a building. Okay, that was kind of an awesome premiere. And I did not even get to the gay politician who got taped cheating on her wife with a dude. Hopefully they do not take five seasons to figure out who killed the guy.
You can download Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists on iTunes.

Deadly Class: Not one but two cliffhangers to end the season (especially considering the rating puts a renewal in the toss up category)? And just how did the cartel people know where everybody was?
You can download Deadly Class on iTunes.

Gotham: Mmm, an Al-Gul daughter plans an elaborate scheme to punish her father’s killer with the help of Bane… where have I heard that one before? And then why is the show taking a month off if there is just two episodes left? Just finish it now.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Doom Patrol: Well that got dark. But hey, the new Doom Patrol has one more member and a Cyborg so maybe that will even the odds in their next battle. But what exactly has Mr. Nobody been doing since that battle, just plotting for a couple decades?

Blindspot: Oh yeah, the evil therapist is still alive. For some reason I was thinking he was killed by an explosion. I guys the scars means he survived the blast.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

The Blacklist: So Red was able to bluff his way out of his execution and somehow also inadvertently uncovered the very conspiracy that was trying to kill him. Although now that he is out, isn’t he going to track down the person who put him in prison? And though Liz says she no longer cares who Red really is, what about her sister?
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.