Saturday, April 06, 2019

Around the Tubes: April 5, 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 The Chi, Queenpins, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, bülow, Jonas Brothers, Best Ever Trivia Show, Black Hole Hunters, Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story, The Carol Burnett Show, Light as a Feather, Looking For Alaska, and Intelligence.

- Starting today, the season two premiere of the hit Showtime drama The Chi is available for free sampling online, on streaming platforms and on TV on demand. Created and executive produced by Emmy® winner Lena Waithe (Boomerang, Master of None) and executive produced by Academy Award®, Emmy and Golden Globe® winner Common (Selma), The Chi is a timely coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption. The season premiere episode is available for free now on YouTube, and ahead of its linear debut this Sunday, April 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

- Think of a crime boss - do you imagine Al Capone, Tony Soprano, maybe Atilla the Hun? If so, actress Keke Palmer can now school you on some of the baddest "Queenpins" in history - the women who were loved, feared, and definitely in conflict with both the laws and gender norms of their day. Check out the first episode of 'Queenpins,' her new Glamour x FB Watch series, HERE, to learn about Stephanie St. Clair, the Queen of Harlem and the notorious "Numbers" gambling ring she ran in Roaring 20s and Great Depression NYC. She was an immigrant who, at a time when ambitious black girls were confined to career options such as: maid for a white family, cook for a white family, (you get it, etc.), owned a brownstone (409 Edgecomb Avenue, home to W.E.B. DuBois and Thurgood Marshall), sent white mobsters blackmail notes on their deathbeds, shot her cheating second husband (didn't kill him, though!), rocked hats and furs like the best of the pimps she partied with, and fought for social justice for black women at a time when it required the breaking of (many) laws to get a seat at the table.

- You have searched the internet for clues and re-read your old copies of the books with anticipation – but the suspense is over and Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase is out on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital now from Warner Bros Home Entertainment! Please check out our supercut created just for this release below celebrating the amazing "girl power" in the film!

- Award winning and multi-platinum pop iconoclast bülow has released a new EP, Crystalline, out now via Wax Records /Republic Records/Universal Music Canada. Listen to Crystalline HERE. The new EP will also be available on vinyl and can be pre-ordered HERE.

- Following the biggest comeback of the year, GRAMMY® Award-nominated multiplatinum powerhouse trio–Jonas Brothers—unleash their new single “Cool” today. Get it HERE (Republic Records)

- Game Show Network, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, has announced Sherri Shepherd (“The View”) as host of its new expert-trivia game show, Best Ever Trivia Show. The half-hour series is anticipated to premiere in Summer 2019. In Best Ever Trivia Show, three contestants face off against three Trivia Experts. The winning player then goes head-to-head against the Expert with the highest score in the final round – the ultimate trivia challenge. The Expert is asked five multiple choice questions and if the player gets one or more correct answers than the Expert, the player wins $10,000 along with the opportunity to come back and win up to a grand total of $30,000 and take his or her spot in trivia history. Trivia Experts to be announced at a later date.

- Smithsonian Channel is putting viewers in the passenger seat of the journey towards a cutting-edge outer space discovery. On the heels of a groundbreaking scientific announcement to be made on April 10, the network will air a new one-hour documentary following a team of international scientists as they attempt to document the first-ever image of a black hole. Black Hole Hunters premieres Friday, April 12 at 9 PM ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.

- Starting Sunday, April 14th, lost episodes of the groundbreaking The Carol Burnett Show will return to broadcast television only on MeTV, America’s #1 classic television network. Airing Sunday nights at 10:30pm ET/PT and Monday-Friday at 11pm ET/PT, these rarely seen episodes will showcase sketches from the first five seasons of the longstanding series, including the premiere episode with Jim Nabors, who became Burnett’s “good luck charm” and first appearances of iconic characters, like pitiful Eunice and air-headed Mrs. Wiggins, who fans continue to adore. Many of these milestone episodes have never aired beyond their original debut – until now on MeTV.

- Showtime announced the acquisition of rights to the award-winning documentary Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story based on the turbulent life of one of the NBA’s most controversial figures. Directed by Johnny Sweet (VICK) and written by journalist Tom Friend, Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story is produced by Bleacher Report and will premiere on Showtime during Mental Health Awareness Month on Friday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

- Hulu and AwesomenessTV have announced the cast of Light as a Feather season 2. New cast includes Katelyn Nacon (The Walking Dead) as “Sammi,” Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf) as “Ridge,” Adriyan Rae (Atlanta) as “Peri,” Alisa Allapach (The 15:17 to Paris) as “Amanda,” Kira Kosarin (The Thundermans) as “Nadia,” Alex Wassabi (Wassabi) as “Luke,” Robyn Lively (Teen Witch) as “Deb” and Alan & Alex Stokes (Brobot). Returning cast includes Liana Liberato as “McKenna,” Brianne Tju as “Alex,” Haley Ramm as “Violet,” Jordan Rodrigues as “Trey,” Brent Rivera as “Isaac,” and Dylan Sprayberry as “Henry.”

- Hulu is excited to share that Timothy Simons (“Veep”) and Ron Cephas Jones (“This is Us”) have been cast as series regulars in the upcoming 8-episode limited series, Looking For Alaska, which began production this month.

- Showtime has given a series commitment and opened a writers room for the new spy thriller Intelligence, a real-world scripted drama series from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty). Boal will write, direct and executive produce, marking the filmmaker’s first foray into television. The series, based on real stories from around the world, will explore the secret inner workings of power – how espionage intersects with politics, finance, media and Silicon Valley. The first season will dramatize the behind-the-scenes history leading up to the 2016 U.S. election, with each subsequent season looking at a major world event through the lens of covert operations.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Previewing The Chi; Season Two

I finished the first season of The Chi with a big feeling of meh. The pacing of the show just felt off, I never really connected with the over bloated cast that did not even interact that much, and the murder mystery at the central of the season just did not seem too compelling. We never met him until he was dead and his mother ended up not even being one of the numerous cast members. I cannot even remember how that mystery played out.

But I have to say season is a vast improvement. It probably helps that I now have a sense of who is in the over bloated cast are (although they have added to that this season). Also gone is that murder mystery element which dragged down last season. Though the effects of that murder are still being felt. Ronnie ended last season in jail after confessing to the murder of the kid who thought killed the son he helped take care of but is looking for ways to get out after his grandmother gets ruthlessly attacked. While Kevin is in therapy as he and his family debate on if he should testify against Ronnie as an eye witness.

Then you have Brandon, the brother of the kid Ronnie murdered, having to deal with the potential release of his brother’s murderer while trying to get his taco truck off the ground. One of the big complaints of the first season was the lack of interactions between the four main men on the show, but Brandon actually has some screen time with Emmitt which I do not believe happened last season, these are some of the best moments of this season. Emmitt does need to interact with some new people after his mom moves into a one bedroom apartment, which means no room for him.

But the best part of The Chi remains the trials and tribulations of Kevin and Papa who is now a regular cast member this season. Really, Papa’s picture day wardrobe is just great even if everyone else has a big issue with something that happens during picture day.

The Chi airs Sundays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Previewing The Last O.G.: Season Two

As pitched, The Last O.G. sounded like a great fish out of water story. A drug dealer who is sent away for a fifteen years and returns to find Brooklyn now fully gentrified and his baby mama (who he did not know was with child when he went to prison) is now raising their twins with a white dude. This would have been hilarious if that gangbanger in question was someone out of New Jack City but alas, the O.G. in question was the too goofy Tracy Morgan who is not really who I picture when I think O.G. I need someone who can rap as hard as Ice-T circa 1990. I would even take Ice-T today over Tracy Morgan.

But as that disappointment fades, my enjoyment of the show actually increases in season two. Of course I have come to realize that the real fish out of water is the new white husband who weirdly is the most compassionate person on the show towards Morgan. Probably the funniest storyline of the early episodes I have seen is the white dad being the most upset when one of the female twin’s white friends sings the n-word while listening to rap music. We have all been there.

Despite having to deal with a new corny white dude of his own on The Neighborhood, Cedric the Entertainer, the best part of season one, is back for a couple episodes in season two as the owner of the halfway house than Morgan is assigned to and the other inhabitants are back too. Despite his curmudgeon ways, he does find it in his heart to help Morgan out with his latest dream. He spends most of the season trying to get a food truck business off the ground where he serves his prison quinine to the people on the outside.

The Last O.G. airs Tuesdays at 10:30 on TBS. You can also download The Last O.G. on iTunes.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Previewing Into the Dark: I'm Just Forking with You

In a measure of full disclosure, I should mention I hate April Fool’s Day. Ninety-nine percent of people just are not funny and worse is when corporations try to prank their customers as if treating your customers like morons is a good idea. Really, there has only been one good April’s Fools Day prank that has ever been funny, when Taco Bell took out a full page ad in newspapers across the nation to say that have bought the Liberty Bell, were going to fix the crack, and rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. Now that was funny.

So I was hoping that for April, Into the Dark would be doing a Tax Day themed episode. But alas, it is based on April Fool’s Day. And the antagonist of this episode is the worst kind of April Fool’s prankster who is constantly trying to fool un-expecting people and even when they catch on, he still is pulling pranks and then they just keep getting bigger and more annoying.

The mark is a germ-a-phobe who for some reason picks a seedy motel to check in while attending his ex-girlfriend’s wedding who is now marrying his cousin. Ouch. But hey, he does have a fake social media account to troll the couple. He is meeting his sister at this motel but the guy gets suspicious of the prankster when she does not show up thinking that the motel clerk prankster has something to do with it. And this being Into the Dark, things start going off the rails as the pranks get bigger and bigger.

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

Into the Dark: I’m Just Forking with You premieres today on Hulu.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: March 31, 2019

Supergirl: So we get the Lex backstory by then Superman was conspicuously absent from even the trial. But we did get the Md. Tessmacher backstory… well except why exactly why she is obsessed with Lex but now we know why such an overqualified person was an assistant at Catco. But I do wonder if they did this Russian Supergirl storyline just to have someone on the show with a worse accent than Lena.
Supergirl on iTunes.

Billions: The new money girl certainly looks like Axe’s wife… ex-wife? I kind of forget their status. I believe they are just separated and she moved the kids to the west coast. And she also kind of looks like Taylor’s new version of Wendy. I actually thought that was the new money lady coming to Taylor later in the episode for a second. But it is really weird seeing Chuck and Axe in the same scene in two straight episodes. The show was better when they were at each other’s throats but only came face to face once or twice per episode. I do wonder which one will end this truce first. It has to happen eventually.

The Walking Dead: They say you save the best for last, and thought the heads on spikes parade was going to end on the pregnant Rosalita, but they really ended with the annoying kid? I never really cared for him at all and am kind of glad he died. Although was that not Rosalita in the second to last spot? I thought I saw her later. So maybe that was Tara? Everyone else was kind of a yawn. I think that redhead only had one line and that was earlier in the episode. Although this all begs the question, just how can you kidnap seven(ish) people from a carnival without anyone noticing until the daughter told the King? And if Tara is dead, who is the new leader of Hilltop? Did we ever get an explanation on Maggie? Is the show being vague in the hopes that her new show will fail (which it pretty much is)?
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Good Girls: Maybe I forgot, but I did just notice that they were trying to scam Cloud 9 from Superstore. It is a shame they could not get the actual actors to play the clerks.
You can download Good Girls on iTunes

Black Monday: Okay, so just how long has Blair been conning everyone? We get confirmation that he is a gay-homosexual this week so has he been running the Georgina play this whole time and then was scamming Mo? Was scamming Mo this whole time the plan or did he just needed someone at Wall Street and since that was the only job he could get thanks to Mo, he went with it?

The Act: Gypsy gets her first kiss. Oh was that weird and awkward. And of course DeeDee showing up was the only way it could have gotten any weirder.
You can stream The Act on Hulu.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction: It is always weird to hear people talk about their majority that is not an actual majority. I remember the last Fans vs. Favorites season there was a four person alliance in a Tribe of ten who thought they had the numbers and then promptly started getting voted out. Luckily for this six person “majority” in a tribe of thirteen, they actually got those seven other players to vote for each other. Granted, now six-six, those non-“majority” players have three Idols between then. They just got to figure out how they can work together considering they voted one of them out and tried to do it again. David is really going to need to mend those fences. Although it may not be six-six because the Promo Monkey makes it looks like someone dies. Has to be Wardog, dude has been pretty incompetent so far.

Sure the vote was surprising but so was the jury showing up already. I do wonder if the jury will be everyone who does not quite, or did they just bring everyone to Tribal just in case they make it back in the game, but the actual Jury will just be the last nine or ten that were booted. Probably the former just so they can get more screen time for Aubrey and Joe.
You can download Survivor: Edge of Extinction on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists: So we got an update on Hanna and Spencer (sorry other two Liars). Although I really want a Hermie the Hermaphadite update. But as wild as the first episode with the douchebag blackmailing everyone and then dying, kind of a boring second episode. I wonder when the not dead sister comes back into play.
You can download Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists on iTunes.

The Challenge: War of World: Oh Georgia, what is wrong with you? You literally get caught as the other woman and yet end the episode back with Bear who inexplicably keeps winning on the Killing Floor. Dude needs to go away soon.
You can download The Challenge: War of Worlds on iTunes.

Doom Patrol: I was going to call this the first meh episode, but then they had to end it with a rat called Admiral Whiskers. Awesome.

The Blacklist: Red gets his stay of execution and a weird episode to mark his escape by meeting his mentor and getting screwed over by that mentor one more time. Second episode was even more unexpected with what looks to be the exit of Samar. So how did Red know the next target was going to happen in America? Did he know it was going to be Samar?
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.