Saturday, May 11, 2019

Around the Tubes: May 11, 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 FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™, Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time, James Bay, Bene, Of Monsters and Men, Joan as Police Woman, Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, Russia's Wild Sea, CTRL ALT DELETE, Must Watch: The Chase, featuring Ken Jennings, and Billions.

- With the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ just 30 days away, FOX Sports gets fans ready for the biggest live event of the summer with its “All Eyes on Us” spot, taking fans inside a heart-pounding, midfield moment with the defending World Champion, U.S. Women’s National Team. Alex Morgan, Mallory Pugh, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz and Becky Sauerbrunn take on all comers with slick stepovers, nutmegs and turf-shattering tackles, showing the grit and skill they need to take on all challengers.

- Showtime has released all four episodes of the highly anticipated docuseries Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men early to its subscribers. Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men episodes are available now for on-demand streaming or download on the Showtime and Showtime Anytime apps and on partner on-demand platforms.

- Created in a first-ever partnership between PBS and Smithsonian Channel, When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time is a two-hour film tracing the epic origin stories of some of the world’s most spectacular creatures. From Abu Dhabi to Argentina, Kenya to China, the program takes viewers on a global adventure as top scientists investigate clues from the fossil record and use 21st-century technology to unlock the evolutionary secrets of crocodiles, birds, whales and elephants. Using innovative storytelling techniques, 3D graphics and CGI to bring ancient beasts to life, When Whales Walked offers surprising insights into the evolution of these magnificent animals, exploding myths about the path these species took over millions of years. Narrated by actor Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hobbit), the film premieres Wednesday, June 19 at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on both PBS and Smithsonian Channel and will also be available for simultaneous streaming on

- Three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated and BRIT Award-winning multiplatinum singer-songwriter James Bay surprised fans and released his new Oh My Messy Mind EP featuring new single and fan favorite song “Bad.” Check out Oh My Messy Mind HERE and “Bad” HERE.

- Hailing from the suburbs of Auckland, 19-year-old indie pop artist Bene returns with her latest single “Evil Spider,” out today—listen HERE! Coming off the heels of her Gold-Certified hit “Soaked,” the up and coming singer and songwriter also announces her upcoming debut EP is set for release on June 28th.

- Multiplatinum Icelandic quintet Of Monsters and Men announce their new album Fever Dream to be released on July 26th. Pre-order Fever Dream here and check out albums first single “Alligator” here.

- Joan Wasser aka Joan as Police Woman is pleased to release a unique reworking of the Prince classic "Kiss". Listen to it HERE . The second track to be released from her forthcoming Joanthology retrospective album ( out May 24th on Play It Again Sam), Joan’s version of "Kiss" is stripped back, raw and uniquely Joan; the cover became a live favorite on her Damned Devotion tour.

- The critically acclaimed Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience will return this fall for a 20-city amphitheater tour, bringing the music of Emmy® Award-winning Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi to stunning new life at outdoor theatres across North America. As we say goodbye to one of the biggest shows and scores in television history, relive the greatest musical pieces and footage from all eight seasons in an immersive outdoor concert experience. Tickets for the tour will be available HERE starting Monday, May 13, 2019, at 10:00am local time and a full list of dates can be found below.

- Smithsonian Channel takes the Sea of Okhotsk by storm with Russia's Wild Sea, the first comprehensive documentary revealing this untouched area of natural wonders. Located almost 4,000 miles from Moscow in Russia’s Far East, the Sea of Okhotsk is a constant survival battleground for humans and a range of wildlife that includes orcas and humpback whales, as well as tigers prowling the forests. The two-part special from award-winning director Franz Hafner tells the fascinating stories of the region’s inhabitants and presents the incredible contrasts of the sea’s beauty and wilderness, rarely seen on film. Russia's Wild Sea debuts on Wednesday, June 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel, with the second hour premiering Wednesday, June 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

- CTRL ALT DELETE, the Emmy-nominated web series stars Ed Begley Jr. in Season 2, set to launch Wednesday! Amy Brenneman is the consulting producer, and Naomi Grossman who was Emmy-nominated for her role in season 1 is of course back! The trailer is here.

- Before James Holzhauer became world famous as a Jeopardy! record breaker, he first showcased his trivia prowess as a masterful player on Game Show Network’s The Chase. In Must Watch: The Chase, featuring Ken Jennings, premiering on May 13 at 4 pm ET on Game Show Network, viewers will see a condensed encore presentation of James’ incredible appearance on The Chase, along with exclusive commentary and insight into the professional sports bettor's strategy provided by fellow Jeopardy! superstar, Ken Jennings.

- Showtime has picked up a fifth season of its hit drama series Billions. Starring Oscar® nominee and Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Paul Giamatti, and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis, Billions airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Billions is currently averaging 4.2 million viewers per week across platforms. The season four finale will air on Sunday, June 9.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Previewing Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men

If there is one thing I can impart thing to my young nieces, it is that the Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nuthin to fork wit. You know, because as a wise man once said, Wu-Tang is for the children. Unfortunately their parents have yet to let me play Wu-Tang Clan for them. And I am guessing they will not let me show them the new documentary, Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men either.

Now you might ask yourself, isn’t four hour long episodes a lot for on one group. But there are ten members (including Cappadonna) and that just comes out to twenty-four minutes per member. Really, there are a couple of events in the Wu-Tang Clan history that could have warranted a full documentary, like the one copy of the Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album, or the aborted tour with Rage Against the Machine. The ODB could have carried his own documentary.

The group came together in their home of Staten Island for the first time together there in two decades to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Naturally the first episode deals with the origin story of each member on how they grew up in Staten Island and how they all ended up toward RZA to form the rap super group. We do get some debate of just how the rappers found the name Wu-Tang Clan.

The second episode naturally goes from there as their first album just explodes as Wu becomes a cultural phenomenon that even white kids from the suburbs like me are buying up the album. Of course when that many young men get a taste of the spotlight, they start going their separate ways. And then we get to the low point at the end of the third episode with the death of the ODB.

The final episode is a bit of scattershot that bounces around too much. The album auction is talked about, then they go somewhere else, come back to that album, talk about something else, and then finally came back to the album. Again, they could have spent most of that final hour on Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album, and I would have been fine with it.

I also could have gotten more of the Rage tour. I was actually working at the local ampatheater at that time and remember distinctly that tour stop. So Atari Teenage Riot (anyone actually remember them) were the opening act… and then nothing for over an hour. I learned later the reason for the delay from a buddy backstage was because the Wu members wanted to finish their basketball game. And since the delay, Rage Against the Machine literally had the plug pulled on their set because of a strict local ordinance that all concerts had to end by at least 11:00 which pretty much cut their set in half. And from MTV News stories at the time, we were one of the luckier stops on the tour. Certainly the doc does not make the tour look like all was good, but from my vantage point; they could have gone deeper on what went wrong and why. Not that I am bitter that I was not asked to participate in the doc.

Nas, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Seth Rogan. Jim Jarmush were all asked but I wonder how much of those interviews hit the cutting room floor because they are all blink and you miss them type segments. This is a shame because it is always nice to hear from people who were inspired in music documentaries. One dude we do hear a lot from is RZA’s brother who was the group’s money man. And boy does he have a lot to say, he has more new interview moments that even some of the actual Wu members for better or worse.

Like I wish we would have gotten more from the members when they were brought together for the doc. Maybe the best part of the whole thing is when they collectively start trashing Once Upon a Time in Shaolin as the camera is constantly cutting to RZA who basically put the album together in a shady way. And while I can nit-pick all I want, Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics of Men is worthy of four hours of any fan’s time. And be sure to sit down some members of the younger generation with you so they can see real rap music.

Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men airs Fridays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: May 5, 2019

Supergirl: Just when you though The Dreamer could not be any lamer she breaks out some electric blue whip for no apparent reason. Isn’t sleeping her superpower? How does the whip tie into that? And Wonder Girl’s lasso is much cooler.
Supergirl on iTunes.

Killing Eve: We all know the French assassin likes everyone to know she is the one doing the killing, but literally killing someone in a sex window in Amsterdam is going to be hard to top.
You can download Killing Eve on iTunes.

Billions: When Taylor reached out to Wendy I thought that maybe Wendy was back to being in the middle but instead of being in between Chuck and Axe, she was now between Taylor and Axe. But that did not last very long as she was quick to help Axe try to crush Taylor. But I wonder just what did McPhee’s outburst will have any effect on her.

Good Girls: Yeah, we need more of the cash advance dude. I am not sure how they can possibly add him to the cast, possibly another undercover FBI agent, but that really needs to happen. But sure, they got Stan’s bail but how do they keep them out of prison? I was banking on the FBI dude dying, but now I have a feeling Internal Affairs will be catching up to him soon with him opening admitting to coercing false testimony.
You can download Good Girls on iTunes

The Chi: O Poppa, dressing up as The Big Poppa for picture day. How classic. But really cheap to have Brandon being tapped on the shoulder only for it to be just another chef.

The Act: I guess I never realized it until now but we never did get to see the titular act last week, they just yadda yadda-ed to the escape. Though we did not really get to see it this week either but I guess it was apropos that we got to see Gypsy’s point of view of it while it was happening. But you still have to feel bad for her, ten years seems like a lot after all of the abuse she went through even though prison may actually seem like an improvement to her previous life. There really should be a place for her where there is a punishment but not hard time, like a halfway house. The update could have a little longer, maybe with actually footage of the real Gypsy. I guess there is a documentary on HBO for the real stuff.
You can stream The Act on Hulu.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction: Just when you thought Rick could not get more insufferable. Really, you are worried that Ron’s giving you an expired Advantage will make you look like an idiot? You are doing that all by yourself Rick with your buffoonish outburst afterwards and you constant dumb jokes. Everyone else has to stay on him next week like Andrea did Malcomn after that. I cannot take this guy anymore.
You can download Survivor: Edge of Extinction on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists: Wait, some random teenager ran over the black chick? That better not be the end of that. But that just makes me think the cop actually did it now. Although, why?
You can download Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists on iTunes.

The Challenge: War of World: Paulie, what a wuss. You cannot make these big proclamations of taking out Kyle and then wuss out. Especially with Kyle hurt. Hopefully karma comes for him before the final.
You can download The Challenge: War of Worlds on iTunes.

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger: Okay, so that dinner party was not some misdirect, it was an actual memory planted by what has turned out to be the big bad. I guess that answers my question from last week of why kidnap someone who can conger light daggers in her hands. When you can manipulate memories, I guess you can think you can get away with that. Is it wrong that I found the darkest timeline the most interesting?
You can download Marvel's Cloak and Dagger on iTunes.

Doom Patrol: Just when you thought nothing could get more weird than a dude with a second dinosaur head and celery for a hand, here comes a swarm of killer butts like this a bad B-movie from the eighties. Awesome. Though it did seem like there was something else to the Doom Patrol’s plan going into the the underground bunker considering Rita was conspicuously missing. But I would have never guessed she was hiding inside Robot Man. Of course the big question now, is Silas dead? He did get punched multiple times with a metal hand. But this is a comic book show, so not exactly something that is too hard to come back from.

The Blacklist: Glow in the dark put-put golf? I was born way too early. That looked awesome.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.