Saturday, November 16, 2019

Around the Tubes: November 16, 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 Big Little Lies, Kristen Bell, The Morning Show, King Princess, Apple Music Replay, ANNA SOFIA, Oh Wonder, Maja Kristina, BENEE, The Band, Diana Ross, Holly Hobbie, Green Book, Eddie Griffin: E-Niggma, The Toys That Made Us, Made From Scratch, Showtime, and An Unquiet Life.

- HBO's smash-hit Big Little Lies returns for more drama, secrets, and seduction then ever before with the release of Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season on DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on January 7, 2019. Iconic actress Meryl Streep joins the all-star cast in season two, along with Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoё Kravitz. Fans can purchase the DVD with all 7 exhilarating episodes from the second season and go behind-the-scenes with an all new featurette titled, “The Lies Revealed: A Conversation with the Cast.” Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season is priced to own on DVD at $29.98 SRP ($34.99 in Canada), and is also available to own on Digital via purchase from all major digital retailers. Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season will be available on Blu-rayTM courtesy of Warner Archive Collection. The Blu-rayTM release includes all the same content on DVD and is also arriving January 7, 2020. Warner Archive Blu-ray releases are found at and your favorite online retailer.

- Kristen Bell Shares Frozen 2 Spoilers and Animation Secrets from The Tonight Show:

- The Morning Show: NEW EPISODE - Debutsed Friday, November 15: "No One’s Gonna Harm You, Not While I’m Around” In the fifth episode, “No One’s Gonna Harm You, Not While I’m Around,” a looming article threatens to upend the power structure of The Morning Show. Special guest stars include Mindy Kaling, Marcia Gay Harden, Cheyenne Jackson and Tom Irwin.

- Vevo announces the release of King Princess’ live performances of “If You Think It’s Love” and “Hit The Back.” American singer/songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist King Princess delivers her soulful vocals over warm, atmospheric synth production inspired by influences like Perfume Genius, Nick Cave, Beyoncé and Dolly Parton.

- As we near the end of another decade and the world once again becomes blanketed in layers of holiday nostalgia and pumpkin spice, we invite you take a musical journey down memory lane with the brand new Apple Music Replay. Beginning right now, Apple Music subscribers can relive the highs, lows and in-betweens of 2019 with the songs, artists, and albums that soundtracked and defined their year. Additionally, with Apple Music Replay we create a playlist with your top songs for 2019-AAAAAND one for every year that you have been an Apple Music subscriber. You can also save these to your library and share them with your friends. Apple Music Replay was built to celebrate your favorite music from our growing catalog of over 60M songs.

- On the heels of fan-adored independent anthems “Meaner Girl” and “I Try,” rising star and critically acclaimed 16-year-old singer and songwriter ANNA SOFIA serves up a new single “No Fun” as her official debut for Electric Feel Records/Republic Records. Check out “No Fun” Here!

- Oh Wonder announces details of their upcoming third album, No One Else Can Wear Your Crown, which will be released on February 7th, 2020! The new album will include their first single “Hallelujah” and most recent follow-up “Better Now.” Oh Wonder also shares a brand new track from the album, “I Wish I Never Met You,” out now.

- Buzzworthy 21-year-old Swedish songstress Maja Kristina unveils the music video for her brand new single “Idiot.” Watch the official music video for “Idiot” HERE.

- Garnering over 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify and receiving critical praise across the globe,19-year-old indie pop sensation BENEE’s STELLA & STEVE EP arrives today – listen HERE! The five-track EP includes the irresistible pop bop “Supalonely” feat. Gus Dapperton, as well as BENEE’s recently-released viral hits “Find an Island” and “Monsta” and new songs “Drifting” feat. Jack Berry and “Blu.”

- The Band’s influential, pioneering self-titled album is being celebrated with a suite of newly remixed and expanded 50th Anniversary Edition packages. Available now via Capitol/UMe, the album is available as a Super Deluxe 2CD/Blu-ray/2LP/7-inch vinyl boxed set with a hardbound book; 2CD, digital, 180-gram 2LP black vinyl, and limited edition 180-gram 2LP “tiger’s eye” color vinyl packages. All the Anniversary Edition releases were overseen by The Band’s Robbie Robertson and feature a new stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track masters, similar to the acclaimed 50th anniversary collections of last year’s Music From Big Pink releases. The 50th Anniversary Edition’s CD, digital, and box set configurations also include 13 outtakes, featuring six previously unreleased outtakes and alternate recordings from The Band sessions, as well as The Band’s legendary Woodstock performance, which has never been officially released. Order/stream The Band (50th Anniversary Edition):

- The spirit and sound of the iconic angelic voice of Diana Ross rings bright again this holiday season with the vinyl reissue of her classic Wonderful Christmas Time. The 20-track collection is available for the first time in two physical configurations, a standard black 2LP, a limited-edition translucent red 2LP. Wonderful Christmas Time is also available on CD and all major digital platforms from Ross Records/UMe.

- Holly Hobbie season 2 premieres on Hulu, Friday, November 22. As season two gets underway, Holly’s life begins to get more complicated (Boys! Bullies! Breakouts! Biology tests!) and so does her music. Holly continues to use her life as a source of inspiration for her songs but this season, for the first time, some people don’t like what she has to say. When Holly’s attempt to deal with the haters backfires, Holly wonders if some topics are off limits. Like, can she write about her crush on Tyler? Her friends? What about her family? And if she does, can she handle the consequences? All this second-guessing triggers a serious case of writer’s block and spirals Holly into a big ol’ funk which is further exacerbated when Holly meets another talented musician who isn’t afraid to express himself. As Holly starts to collaborate with him she finds her voice again – but is she ready to share it with a bigger audience?

- The television premiere of the Academy Award winning film Green Book will air on Showtime on Saturday, December 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Network subscribers will also be able to watch the film across all platforms including SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, SHOWTIME ANYTIME® and the Showtime stand-alone streaming service.

- Veteran entertainer Eddie Griffin is back for his third Showtime comedy special, Eddie Griffin: E-Niggma, premiering on Friday, December 6 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. The hour-long special is filmed at the restored, historic landmark Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, home to many iconic performers including Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Lena Horne. Griffin’s unapologetic storytelling canvasses his 30-plus year comedy career and offers an intimate glimpse into the 10th year of his nightly Las Vegas residency, The Eddie Griffin Experience. Through his quick wit and a fiery rhetoric, Griffin flexes his perspective on a number of personal family situations and real-world issues while teaching sociopolitical and hypothetical history lessons along the way.

- Prepare for a plastic-and-nostalgia overload- wildly popular Netflix docu-series The Toys That Made Us is back this Friday for its third season, with new toys, stories, and perspectives. The series delves into all of the legendary toys, action figures, and figurines that shaped America's childhoods, and this upcoming season tackles Power Rangers, My Little Pony, Wrestling, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, following prior seasons' dives into Barbie, G.I. Joe, LEGO, Hello Kitty, and more. Watch the trailer.

- An all-new episode of Made From Scratch, the unscripted weekly series from FUSE that features artists as they cook their favorite childhood dishes with family members who helped them rise to prominence, on Tuesday, November 19 at 11:00 pm, ET/PT on FUSE. On this episode of Made From Scratch, Vic Mensa and his sister Lizzy make one of their favorite meals growing up, “Omo Tuo,” a Ghanaian stew. Vic and his sister talk about the drama surrounding his foundation, when a racist landlord kicked them out because of the music video for “Camp America.” Plus, they talk about growing up taking chances, details on his new album, and founding a label. Grab a seat at the table as these artists share their personal stories and the special meaning behind their menu. Made From Scratch airs Tuesdays at 11:00 pm, ET/PT on FUSE.

- Showtime Networks Inc. and A24 Films have entered into an exclusive output agreement under which qualifying A24 films theatrically released through November 1, 2022 will air across SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as on SHOWTIME multiplex channels and streaming services. The agreement allows Showtime Networks Inc. to exhibit high-profile A24 features across its premium services on-air, on demand and online. The announcement was made by Kent Sevener, Executive Vice President, Content Acquisition and Business and Legal Affairs, Showtime Networks Inc. The deal will include up to 16 films annually produced by A24. A24’s upcoming theatrical releases include Gotham Award-nominated Waves, starring Sterling K. Brown, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Lucas Hedges; Mike Mills’ next film starring Joaquin Phoenix; Green Knight, starring Dev Patel and Alicia Vikander; Joel Cohen’s adaptation of Macbeth starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand; Zola from Janicza Bravo; and Jonathan Glazer’s untitled WWII project. The deal also gives Showtime Networks exclusive rights to the television premiere of A24’s previous Oscar®-winning and nominated films including Moonlight, Lady Bird, Room and Ex Machina.

- Align and Goldcrest Features announced today that the as currently untitled (f.k.a An Unquiet Life) feature starring Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), and Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, Misbehaviour), will begin filming on November 14th. The story of the world’s most beloved children’s author, Roald Dahl (Bonneville) and his film star wife, Patricia Neal (Hawes) will be directed by John Hay (Lost Christmas, There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble). Hay also wrote the film alongside David Logan. The picture is being produced by Donall McCusker (The Hurt Locker), Adrian Politowski (The Artist), Martin Metz (Mandy) and Nick Quested (Danger Close ).

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Previewing Dollface

Dollface on Hulu

Whenever I see awards nominations where all the acting nominations come from the same movies/shows that are also nominated for the top prizes I wonder is that a bit of a cheat? I mean congratulations; the best script and best directors of a great piece of art were able to make you look like a competent actor. I contend that the best acting awards should go to people who appear in crap but still manage a great performance. Like Kat Dennings in 2 Broke Girls, such a horrible show but she made it watchable and will it through six season when had any other actress been cast it likely would have been the first show canceled. Seriously, put Phoebe Waller-Bridge in a British remake of 2 Broke Girls and see how it does.

But thankfully 2 Broke Girls was finally canceled so Dennings can go on to do bigger and better things. The bigger is reprising her role in the MCU as Natalie Portman’s snarky side kick. Though she has not been announce to return to the Thor franchise with Portman in Thor 4 but will pop up in the Disney+ WandaVision show. Um, yeah, okay, that should be… interesting. Then the better being Hulu’s latest comedy, Dollface.

Like their dramas, Hulu’s comedies up to this year have been sparse. They launched two in 2015 as well as continued The Mindy Project that all lasted at least three season but only one of them was airing as of last season. But like the dramas that upped their output this year, Hulu launched five new comedies. The first three, PEN15, Shrill, and Ramy were all critically but it seems like no one but critics actually watched (I was lukewarm to all of them). Then came Four Wedding and a Funeral which critics and audiences all agreed was unnecessary. But Hulu saved the best for last with Dollface.

The show starts off with Dennings getting dumped by her longtime boyfriend who gives her the titular name. Though the signs should have been there, seriously ladies, do not date a guy who names his pets after Entourage characters. The thing is, after spending five years with this guy, Dennings has to reconnect with the girl friends she neglected during the relationship.

The best friend is played by Brenda Song who in nearly a decade on the Disney Channel sitcoms learned to hone a finely tuned comedic timing. Then there is their mutual name dropping friend played by Shay Mitchell who in nearly a decade on Pretty Little Liars… did not. Really, she kind of kind of comes off as a middle class American who tries too hard to be Tahani Al-Jamil. The break out star of the show is Eshter Povisky (Alone Together) who joins the friend group because… um, to be with someone she does not share her name with, I guess. I am not sure how it happened but I am glad it did because she has the best lines and just knocks even one out of the park. Just when you think her description of whiskey was going to be the funniest part of the season, she attempts to have a threesome. Please comedy writers, just please start putting her in everything.

Dollface reminds me of the critically under watched FX show Man Seeking Woman in that it can be completely absurdist at times (granted Man Seeking Woman was absurdist at all times). Like after her breakup, Dennings has to pick her things up at the “Emotion Baggage Claim” before being picked up by a cat lady bus driver. I mean an actual lady with a cat head that talks to her. It is because the show is too weird that award show will likely overlook Kat Dennings again, but I will just appreciate she is on my television again.

All episodes of Dollface are on Hulu tomorrow.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: November 10, 2019

Supergirl: This whole season makes little sense with the Lena storyline, but the sentient tattoos made the season even more nonsensical. And I do not even want to talk about the Doc Oct rip-off in the Robocop helmet.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Watchmen: Silk Specter made this episode a little less boring than the previous ones.

The Walking Dead: So Negan has his leather jacket back and a new bat. And then got captured by the Whispers. Maybe for the first time since being captured, the writers are going to finally give him something to do.

The Affair: Starting off the series finale with a flash dance. A flash dance with Helen’s neighbor that her boyfriend knocked up and then flew her across the country for her daughter’s wedding. Then there was just a random dude that I did not realize who it was until Noah mentioned his name and I finally realized, oh, that is the oldest son we have not seen since maybe the first season.

Then we finally got what I have been waiting for all season, Joanie meets a Soloway. I thought she may have bumped into one of the Soloway children, but no, she met an old Noah (in old man make-up that was very obvious him) who now owning the Lobster Roll. But what I never say coming was that the creepy reporter Joanie forked was Vic’s kid who gave a Spaceball’s explanation of how he was vaguely related to Joanie. Kind of made the whole series worth it for that scene alone.

But what a weird ending. This season seemed to be about Noah’s chickens coming home to roost set upon the backdrop of #MeToo. We the viewers knew some of those stories were made up and over-exaggerated, but Noah was still a pretty huge pervert who deserved some shame. But then they ended on a redemptive note, Noah outlive both his wives (I thought he was talking to Alison at the end; oh, and Helen’s mom lived to 100?), none of his children get even a mention in the future, and then he get the final shot doing the flash dance he choreographed as the final scene. But I kind of wish the whole season was this weird. The show set itself up as a super-serious piece of “art” but we never really got an explanation of two way some of the acts were wildly different telling of the same event. I guess Occam’s Razer is that was just how that person remembers things.

Mr. Robot: It only took me twelve minutes to realize, oh wait, no one is talking. Then two minutes later the guard whistled at Darla and I just rolled my eyes at the lengths they were going to pull off the now dialogue. Kind of a lame gimmick to pull off with so little time left. At least the one shot episode last season served a purpose and was by far the best non-season one episode. There were just too many times where there really should have been some dialogue. And I was a bit confused at where they broke into. Did this company just have a Soul Cycle open on Christmas Day?
You can download Mr. Robot: on iTunes.

His Dark Materials: This is the second attempt at adapting the books, the first bombed so bad it took down an entire movie studio. But after watching the first episode, maybe the book just is not something that should be adapted; the whole daemon thing just does not look good on screen and just comes across as weird when you see it in living color. And so far it is kind of confusing. I kind of need a Game of Thrones type map title sequence to give me an idea of where this is. Plus, and I really supposed to be scared of the chick from The Africa?

Castle Rock: Well, how Annie turned out the way she did makes much more sense now. Oh geez. Although her obsession with the song Let the River Run has a much darker context now. But from the moment that Rita started to show, I thought, oh no, is Annie going to kill her and steal her baby? Though I never thought that Joy could be her half-sister. Granted when we saw Annie’s wanted poster, it was only for murder, it did not say anything about kidnapping. But what I do not understand is where did Joy get the book. Did Annie just keep a copy this whole time; transfer it from computer to computer all this time?
You can watch Castle Rock on Hulu.

Survivor: Island of Idols: There have been plenty of dumb advantages but whatever they offered Janice may have been the worst. You get the triple wammie of not being trusted for playing it, not being able to vote, and then not even being able to view tribal Council. The Kellee was one of the most interesting plays in the history of the show. Then she managed to pull it off flawlessly and even had one unintended consequence of Jamal burning his Idol which then should put a target on his back which she clearly wants. As long as Dean does not blab about it, this may go down as one of the best moves in the history of the show. But she was one of four people targeted in the promo so maybe it will end up backfiring.
You can download Survivor: Island of the Idols on iTunes.

The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2: So now the British team has four actual British players and four non-Brits? It is a shame more people did not defect earlier. Really, Georgia, Bear, and Theo should have defected a long time ago when they realized they were never going to gain the numbers. But it will be funny if Cara/Paulie keep on sending in Americans who beat a Brit and then the “British” team then beats the Americans.
You can download The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 on iTunes.

The Good Place: Oh wow, they finished the new experiment half way through the season. So what next (the title of the next episode seems like it could be a spoiler… or just something Jason says… or maybe both)? You got Simone and the blogger MIA, did they freeze or did they go so far that they are not affected? Could they have found their way to The Bad Place (or been kidnapped by Sean) and have to be rescued? That would be too close to last episode though. Ugg, they usually they give us a teaser of what to come instead of a huge cliffhanger like this.
You can download The Good Place on iTunes.

Titans: So did Raven know the gargoyle was going to go off and kill that dude or was it an unintended consequence? And just when is Old Robin going to get out of prison and how? Kind of seems like he know how but moneybags Bruce could always donate a win to get his release. Him just abandoning everyone just seems weird and these last too episodes just seems like a waste of time while they stall for the finale.

The Blacklist: So the baddie of the week was… a computer? Alrighty. But no fall out from Aram stealing the nametag from Red’s buddy. I thought for sure his new lady friend was nefarious, maybe she just is a thrill seeker and that was a complete coiuncidence.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.