Saturday, July 27, 2019

Around the Tubes: July 27, 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 Dollface, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Looking for Alaska, Reprisal, Snow Patrol, The Avett Brothers, Gary Clark Jr., Phantogram, Jeremy Zucker, Hero The Band, The Handmaid’s Tale, Love, Beth, Padma Lakshmi, Ramy, Marvel’s Runaways, Designing Women, Hunt for Eagle 56, Sid and Judy, Sick Girl, and Big Boy’s Neighborhood.

- New Original comedy series Dollface follows Jules (Kat Dennings), a young woman who – after being dumped by her longtime boyfriend – must deal with her own imagination in order to literally and metaphorically re-enter the world of women, and rekindle the female friendships she left behind. The 10-episode series will debut all episodes on Friday, November 15. Dollface stars Kat Dennings, Brenda Song, Shay Mitchell and Esther Povitsky. The series created by Jordan Weiss, who serves as an executive producer alongside showrunner Ira Ungerleider; Margot Robbie, Brett Hedblom and Tom Ackerley for LuckyChap Entertainment; Bryan Unkeless and Scott Morgan for Screen Arcade; Kat Dennings; Nicole King and Stephanie Laing (VicePrincipals). Matt Spicer (Ingrid Goes West) will executive produce and direct the first episode. Dollface is produced by ABC Signature Studios, part of Disney Television Studios.

- Previously announced, Wu-Tang: An American Saga will debut on Wednesday, September 4 with three episodes, followed by a new episode every Wu-Wednesday. Based on one of the most influential and important groups in hip-hop history, the 10-episode Wu-Tang: An American Saga is inspired by “The Wu-Tang Manual” and “Tao of Wu” and based on the true story of the Wu-Tang Clan. Set in the early '90s New York at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic, the show tracks the Clan's formation, a vision of Bobby Diggs aka The RZA, who strives to unite a dozen young, black men that are torn between music and crime but eventually rise to become the unlikeliest of American success stories. Wu-Tang: An American Saga stars Ashton Sanders, Shameik Moore, Dave East, Siddiq Saunderson, Marcus Callender, Julian Elijah Martinez, Zolee Griggs, Erika Alexander, TJ Atoms and Johnell Young. The series is created and written by Alex Tse and The RZA and executive produced by Tse, The RZA, Method Man, Brian Grazer, Michael Rosenberg and Francie Calfo. Wu-Tang: An American Saga is produced by Imagine Television.

- Also previously announced, Looking for Alaska, the limited series based on the best-selling John Green novel of the same name, will debut all eight episodes on Friday, October 18. The series centers around teenager Miles “Pudge” Halter (Charlie Plummer), as he enrolls in boarding school to try to gain a deeper perspective on life. He falls in love with Alaska Young (Kristine Froseth), and finds a group of loyal friends. But after an unexpected tragedy, Miles and his close friends attempt to make sense of what they’ve been through. The series stars Charlie Plummer, Kristine Froseth, Denny Love, Jay Lee, Landry Bender, Sofia Vassilieva, Uriah Shelton, and Jordan Connor. Also starring are Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us) and Timothy Simons (Veep). Looking for Alaska is created for television by Josh Schwartz; the series comes from Paramount Television and Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire. Savage and Schwartz serve as executive producers alongside Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, John Green, and Marty Bowen and Isaac Klausner of Temple Hill. Fake Empire executive Lis Rowinski serves as co-executive producer. Sarah Adina Smith (Hanna, Legion) directs the first episode.

- On December 6, Hulu will launch all 10 episodes of new Original drama series Reprisal. The series is a hyper-noir revenge tale following a relentless femme fatale who, after being left for dead, leads a vengeful campaign against a bombastic gang of gear heads. Reprisal stars Abigail Spencer, Rodrigo Santoro, Mena Massoud, Madison Davenport, Rhys Wakefield, David Dastmalchian, W. Earl Brown and Gilbert Owuor. The series is created by executive producer and showrunner Josh Corbin and executive produced by Warren Littlefield, Barry Jossen and Jonathan Van Tulleken, who directs 5 of the 10 episodes.

- Snow Patrol announce the first of 2 Reworked EPs, released on August 9th, including a stunning new version of Crack The Shutters available to hear now.

- This week Grammy Award®-nominated collective The Avett Brothers have reached the top Americana Radio Airplay Chart with “High Steppin’” coming in at #1. “High Steppin’” is the first single from The Avett Brothers’ anticipated album Closer Than Together [American/Republic Records], out Friday, October 4, 2019.

- Multiplatinum Icelandic quintet Of Monsters and Men release their anxiously awaited third full-length album, FEVER DREAM, via Republic Records. Check out Fever Dream Here! The band announced on their social media channels last month they have been in the studio over the last few months and are releasing a new track ahead of more music later this year, celebrating the 25th anniversary since Snow Patrol formed.

- Front and Center, the critically acclaimed concert series that kicked off its ninth season this month, announced that GRAMMY Award-winning artist Gary Clark Jr., best known for his fusion of blues, rock and soul music with elements of hip hop, is featured in its next episode on public television (check local listings).

- Phantogram unveils the video for their latest single, “Into Happiness”—watch and share HERE! Of the video, Phantogram says, “‘Into Happiness’ is a song about growth and realization of a lot of things in our lives over the years. We teamed up with Floria Sigismondi, whose work we’ve loved for some time; it was fun to put ourselves in her hands and let her take the video and song where she saw it going. Since we’ve known each other since preschool, she wanted to show our journey together throughout our lives.”

- Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter and producer Jeremy Zucker drops a new song for his fans called “oh, mexico” today—listen and share HERE! “oh, mexico” follows in the footsteps of his 2018 groundbreaking song, “comethru,” which has not only reached over a staggering 140 million Spotify streams and 100 million video views to date, but was recently re-added to Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits playlist over 10 months after its release.

- Hailing from Decateur, GA, Hero The Band makes a splash with their debut single for LAVA Records/Republic Records called “Back To Myself,” out today—watch the video HERE! Hero The Band—a quartet of brothers each born a year apart—emerge at a sonic crossroads between arena rock, experimental alternative, and swaggering R&B. “Back To Myself,” produced by Pete Nappi [Meghan Trainor, Kesha, Thirty Seconds To Mars], pairs a steady beat with earthquaking guitars and a soaring chant, “I’m getting back to myself.”

- Hulu’s 11-time Emmy®-winning drama series The Handmaid’s Tale has been picked up for a fourth season. The Handmaid’s Tale is executive produced by Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, Elisabeth Moss, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Ilene Chaiken, Eric Tuchman, John Weber, Sheila Hockin and Frank Siracusa. The series is produced by MGM Television. New episodes of the current third season stream weekly on Wednesdays.

- Hulu has joined forces with Emmy® Award-winning powerhouse comedian Amy Schumer for a first-look deal that will kick off with her new comedy series, Love, Beth. The 10-episode, half-hour comedy series from Endeavor Content stars Schumer as Beth. Love, Bethis created, directed, written, executive produced by and starring Amy Schumer. Executive producers also include Kim Caramele and Kevin Kane. Endeavor Content is also representing international sales. Further details about the series will be announced at a later date. Love, Beth is expected to launch late 2020.

- The Untitled Padma Lakshmi Series is a living cookbook made up more from people and culture than recipes. Curated by Emmy®-nominated host and author Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef), the series embraces culinary traditions from the first Americans to the latest arrivals alongside Padma’s perspectives and personal connection to each story. Filmed around the country, each episode starts with a single dish that represents and connects to a community’s history and traditions, and explores the evolution of that immigrant community through that cuisine. From family recipes and street food to high-end restaurants, each dish explored is a symbol of a unique journey and story that provides viewers a window into where communities came from and the tale of how they set roots in America. In the hands of different families and waves of immigration, an organic evolution emerges between traditional recipes and new approaches, different perspectives and emotions, all captured thru Padma’s eyes. Each 30-minute episode follows Padma as she learns, immerses and celebrates communities from around the world that have taken root in America, changed it and been changed by it. The 10-episode series is produced by Part2 Pictures.

- Two-time Academy Award® and Golden Globe® Award-winner Mahershala Ali has been cast as a special guest star in the Hulu Original comedy series Ramy. Ali, who is a huge fan of the series, will join creator Ramy Youssef in the second season, which is slated to premiere in 2020. Ali was recently nominated for an Emmy® Award for his critically-acclaimed performance in HBO’sTrue Detective. Marvel announced last week at San Diego Comic-Con that Ali has signed on to play BLADE in an upcoming feature for them. His credits include MOONLIGHT and GREENBOOK for which he won Academy Awards® for his performances. Ramy follows first-generation, Egyptian-American Ramy Hassan (Ramy Youssef) who is on a spiritual journey in his politically-divided New Jersey neighborhood. Ramy brings a new perspective to the screen as it explores the challenges of what it’s like to be caught between a religious community who believes life is a moral test, and a millennial generation that might not believe in an afterlife. In the second season, Ramy will delve further into his spiritual journey, finding a new Muslim community and embracing a deeper commitment to Islam. Ramy is written, executive produced, created by and starring Ramy Youssef, executive produced by Jerrod Carmichael, A24’s Ravi Nandan, co-creators Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch, and produced by A24.

- Marvel’s Runaways will return for season three on December 13 with all 10 episodes. In an action-packed Season 3, the Runaways frantically search for their captured friends Chase, Gert and Karolina. The kids go head to head with an unstoppable enemy who has targeted Leslie — or more accurately, the child she’s carrying. Nico draws them all into a dark realm where its ruler Morgan le Fay, played by Elizabeth Hurley, is much more nefarious than anyone the kids have yet to face. The series stars Rhenzy Feliz, Lyrica Okano, Virginia Gardner, Ariela Barer, Gregg Sulkin, Allegra Acosta, Annie Wersching, Ryan Sands, Angel Parker, Ever Carradine, James Marsters, Kevin Weisman, Brigid Brannagh, James Yaegashi, Brittany Ishibashi, and Elizabeth Hurley. 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 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger) and Quinton Peeples. Marvel’s Runaways is a co-production with ABC Signature Studios, part of Disney Television Studios. It is based on the Marvel comics created by the award winning-team of Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona.

- Yesterday, in a deal with Sony Pictures Television (SPT), Hulu has announced that it has acquired the rights to fan favorite comedy Designing Women set to stream on Hulu August 26...Women's Equality Day! Superfans can catch the entire series (163 episodes across 7 Seasons) starting August 26 to relive the 80’s hit following the women’s no-nonsense wit, humor and day-to-day antics!

- Smithsonian Channel will reveal the exclusive story of the discovery of the “Holy Grail” of missing World War II warships, the USS Eagle 56. The new three-part series, Hunt for Eagle 56, will follow the Nomad Exploration Team – a group of New England wreck divers who made the discovery – as they unearth cryptic clues 200 feet below the ocean’s surface off the coast of Maine. The revelation confirms that Eagle 56 is the last U.S. Navy warship sunk by a German submarine off the U.S. East Coast during WWII. HUNT FOR EAGLE 56 will premiere on Smithsonian Channel on Sunday, September 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Hunt for Eagle 56 features moving interviews with relatives of Eagle 56 sailors and never-before-seen accounts from survivors. Eagle 56 Seaman First Class James Cunningham will be posthumously awarded a Purple Heart for his service at a ceremony this Saturday, July 27 at NOSC Memphis in Millington, Tennessee. The Purple Heart will be presented by Rear Admiral Hughes, Navy Personnel Command (2-star) to Cunningham’s sister, Clara Cunningham Osborn, who will be accepting this honor on her late brother’s behalf.

- Showtime Documentary Films today announced it will premiere the new documentary Sid and Judy from director Stephen Kijak (STONES IN EXILE, WE ARE X), producer Diane Becker and Academy Award® winning producer John Battsek (ERIC CLAPTON: LIFE IN 12 BARS, LISTEN TO ME MARLON) on Friday, October 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Narrated by Emmy® winner Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Academy Award nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh (PATRICK MELROSE), Sid and Judy explores the dramatic career and personal struggles of the talented and tragically short-lived entertainer Judy Garland through rare concert footage, never-heard-before voice recordings and personal photos. The film premiered at the Frameline Festival in San Francisco in June and will screen at Outfest Los Angeles on Saturday, July 27 at the iconic Ford Theater in Hollywood.

- Sick Girl, is the feature-film debut for writer/director Jennifer Cram (“Inception,” ”22 Jump Street”). Nina Dobrev (”xXx: Return of Xander”) serves as both star and executive producer on the film. Dobrev is joined by Wendi McLendon-Covey (”The Goldbergs”), Brandon Mychal Smith (”Four Weddings and a Funeral”), Sherry Cola (”Good Trouble”), Stephanie Koenig (”The Gay And Wondrous Life Of Caleb Gallo”), Hayley Magnus (”The Dressmaker”), Dan Bakkedahl (”Veep”), and Ray McKinnon (”Ford Vs Ferrari”). Sick Girl, is a female driven comedy about a woman who feels that she and her life long friends have grown apart. This is very much a ‘be careful what you wish for’ film where a simple little lie begins to tear a whole community apart. The cast is led by Nina Dobrev as ”Wren Pepper,” whose white lie takes them all on an unexpected ride.

- Fuse Media has renewed Big Boy’s Neighborhood for a third season. Premiering Thursday, August 1 on Fuse at 7:30 A.M., the televised version of iHeartMedia’s nationally-syndicated hit radio show starring radio legend Big Boy is one of the youngest-skewing series on the network, attracting an audience with a median age 5-6 years younger than the Fuse average.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Previewing Light as a Feather: Season Two

In episode five of the new season of Light as a Feather, one character says to another, “Remember when I electrocuted you.., good times.” And I sat there thinking, um, no. And there lies the first world problem with Peak TV. Even though the show just dropped off of its episodes in the first season just nine months ago, I have to rack my brains to remember what happened. Obviously I remember a group of girls played Light as a Feather (it is the title) and then people started to die. And I do remember the protagonist ended the season with the weird growth on her back. But then things got fuzzy.

There were characters that popped up when I thought they died in the first season. Others that I thought were alive apparently were not. Then there were a few characters that came on screen making me wonder, should I know who this is. It probably did not help that they recast the leach chick’s mother. Instead of the prerequisite one minute “previously On” segment to open of the season, shows like this really to put a ten minute tutorial to remind watchers what exactly is going on.

So as a quick refresher, a group of cool girls invited the new girl to a slumber party. The new girls suggest playing Light as a Feather with a twist of telling a horror story of how each other the four other girls die. And then one of the girls dies that very way. And then another dies too. The season ends with the remaining two girls breaking the curse by playing the game again and having McKenna’s dead twin sister took the curse and sending the new girl Violet to juvy. Or so they thought as the final shot is the McKenna find the growth that was on Violet’s back.

As the new season starts, we have fast forward to Christmas, but since the show takes place in Southern California (I think) you could think it was still the summer if it is not for the elf costumes and Oh Holy Night playing in the background. McKenna is still dating the long haired dude boy next door (yeah, totally forgot that was a thing) , oh, and like I said earlier, there is a growth on her back that brings along with it pain, nightmares and blackouts. This then leads McKenna to the only person that can help her. And for that help, Violet (who does inform McKenna that the curse never made her blackout) asks for one thing in return, her freedom.

Season two of Light as a Feather is an interesting dichotomy of what two very different would do in the same predicament. Violet had no problem letting people die if that meant the curse was broken. On the other hand, McKenna refuses to play the game again which would kill four innocent people, even if it means she will be cured. But wouldn’t you know, during one ogf the blackouts, she plays with four unsuspecting people (one being the girl from The Walking Dead whom we last saw without here body attached as her head rested on a stake, so yeah, she was available for other work).

The twist of the blackout is well done. We also get a flashback to two years ago to see just how McKenna’s sister dies. We even meet someone who played the game long before Violet got cursed this season. Tomorrow only sees the first eight episodes of season two released with the last eight coming in October just in time for a Halloween binge. Here is hoping I can actually remember what happened in the first eight episodes in three months.

The first half of Light of a Feather premieres tomorrow on Hulu.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: July 21, 2019

Big Little Lies: When I saw the title, “The Bad Mother,” I thought to myself, well that could be just about everyone on the show. But I guess the title was supposed to be about Nicole Kidman who got raked through the coals during her trail. But with one episode left, the question is if they are going to do anything big or are they going to wrap this p. If we are going to get season three, clearly someone is going to break, the obvious being Zoe Kravitz, but Shailene Woodley’s co-worker mention the first person that crack will get off easy. But I was a bit disappointed there were no scenes between Reece’s huisbands this week, because up to this point I thought maybe one would kill the other.

Claws: Wait, Dean dumped Virginia? Did not see that one coming. But the best part of the episode was When Jenn walked in on Virginia. Just the indignity that Jenn felt when Virginia admitted that she does not subscribe to Jenn’s Instagram and them Jenn just ended the argument by hoping Virginia gets her herpes. Oh snap.
You can download Claws on iTunes.

City on a Hill: Oh yeah, this whole thing started with that snitch whose buddy killed that cop. I think this was the first time we have seen him since the first episode. And now he is hanging with Kevin Bacon’s daughter. That is probably not end well for someone.

Fear the Walking Dead: So Alicia got splattered with radiation blood. So I wonder if hert organs will melt from the inside, someone will mercy kill her first, or if hot scientist will somehow know how to cure her. Or simply that was not one of the meltdown zombies.
You can download Fear the Walking Dead on iTunes.

The Handmaid’s Tale: Good for Crazy Handmaid to point out how different Ofjoseph had become. The scene last week where she just had the weird smile during the shooting spree was just not a good look for her. Neither was rummaging through the medical waste. Maybe she is normal now. Well except for her new kidnapping scheme.
You can watch The The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.

Krpton: Well Lyta is still dead. Kind of expected to see her alive somehow by the end of the episode. But since General Zod has not been Marty McFly’d out of existence, you have to assume she will be back by the end of the season.
You can download Krypton on iTunes.

Swamp Thing: So the evil origination that Avery feared so much he killed a reporter goes all the way up to the CDC. And now they presumably have Swamp Thing himself. So just how is he getting back to the swamp?

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: I knew it was weird pilot dude passed out at the party. But now I wonder why if he was being possessed by bat lady. No one else passed afterwards out because of it. She literally knocked Mac out so he could not do anything after she left his body. But we did learn what was up with Not-Coulsen and, um, it was complicated.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.