Saturday, December 28, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: December 28, 2019

Shameless: Carl did a good deed? Wow, that has to be a first for him. For a guy who wanted to be in the army, dude only had been doing things for himself his whole life.

Ray Donovan: More brother on brother violence. But haven’t we already seen Ray and Darryl fight with Darryl complaining that Ray does not treat him like a brother before? But things came full circle with the old family friend as Succession daddy pulled a heist back in the seventies with Mickey, apparently became very rich and surely Mickey will want his cut after killing everyone else involved. But who gets to Mickey first, Ray or lady cop?

Mr. Robot: Okay, I am mildly confused at what I saw. Did anything we saw actually happen? Darla did give that speech about how many people were dead, but is Darlene real? I was under the impression that Elliot in the dream world was the “real” Elliot but he did not have a sister. And what happened to American Psycho dude. He went off to the woods to die but then there was a bright light and we never see him in the “real world” again. Le sigh. Add this show to the ever growing list of shows that would have been much better remembered had they just ended after one season
You can download Mr. Robot: on iTunes.

His Dark Materials: So both of Lyra’s parents are evil? But why didn’t Lyra yell at her father to stop. And if Daemons can morph into different animals when their humans are still young, why didn’t that Daemon morph into something smaller and leave the cage? Lyra’s ferret looked like it could slip into the cage. Now I know this is the network that ended a season with Ned Stark being beheaded, but goodness, what a depressing way to end a season.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Previewing New Order: Decades and Duran Duran: There’s Something You Should Know

Duran Duran and New Order were both synth heavy acts that released their first music in 1981 and coincidentally both released their last album in 2015 but really that is where the comparisons end. Musically they are completely different. Duran Duran used that new synthesizer sound to craft bright pop hits while New Order used the same instrument to make dark moody music after the death of their original band leader when the members were in the even moodier Joy Division. But both will be getting the documentary treatment tonight.

Naturally Duran Duran is the headliner with their eleven top ten Hot 100 singles (New Order just broke the top 40 twice and just barely both times). We get some interesting moments in There’s Something You Should Know like the four remaining members cram into their first “tour bus” and discus a many different topics. Then lead singer Simon le Bon goes back to church to listen, and critique a performance as a youth there.

But overall, this just feels like mostly a retread of their Behind the Music episode but without the iconic narrator. The stuff since that episode includes the Astronaut tour (who knew they even had an album of that name) which came eleven years after The Wedding Album and then they skip forward another eleven years to barely touch on their latest album, again, points if you remember Paper Gods. If you remember at all their Behind the Music episode, this new documentary is very skippable.

New Order shakes up their retrospective Decades a little by being part documentary, part concert film. The concert in question took part in 2018 and features a twelve piece synthesizer orchestra. The band explains the songs they picked were best suited for this type of setting so this was not a greatest hits concert. But I had to laugh when one of the band members said they would not be performing Blue Monday because the song could not get too musical considering there was a great orchestral version of the song which was recently used in the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer. So of the five songs featured in the film, Bizarre Love Triangle is the only one that casual fans like me will likely recognize but diehards will likely appreciate the band pulled out a Joy Division song which is something New Order rarely does considering how that band ended.

New Order: Decades airs tonight at 7:30 followed by Duran Duran: There’s Something You Should Know at 9:00, both on Showtime.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Previewing Into the Dark: Midnight Kiss

What made me excited for a second round of Into the Dark seasons is that maybe we would be getting some new holidays to celebrate. But here we are four installments in and we have gotten exactly the same episodes as the first season. Not only that, the New Year’s Eve/Day one kind of has the same premise in a group of friends convince at the most wealthiest friend’s house and celebrate the end of the year. It even hits midnight right at the halfway point.

But instead of four female friends, this time around it is four gay friends (and a token straight female). Oh, and there is a serial killer on the loose this time in an S&M mask. But before any anti-homosexual people out there get excited at the thought of all the gay dudes being slaughtered, be warned, there is copious amount of nudity (although aren’t the most ardent anti-gay crusaders turn out to be closeted gays anyway?). It was like they were trying to turn the tables of forty years of objectification of women in horror and cram the same amount of male objectification into less than ninety minutes. I am pretty sure all the main dudes in the cast go full backal at least once and those boys sure like getting clean because they are constantly in the shower.

The Midnight Kiss in question is a game the gays (and one chick) play every New Year’s Eve going back to 2013 where there are three simple rules: 1) it has to be to one guy who is a stranger; 2) the kiss must be consensual; 3) Do whatever you want between midnight and sunrise but no contact with the guy afterward. There does not really seem to be any prizes or anything, but basically just a way to hook up with random dudes, but since all but one have Grinr, it does not sound like a special game other than they have to do it without aide of an app.

Unfortunately Midnight Kiss, aside from the change in sexuality of the lead characters is riddled with almost every slasher cliché except the black dude dies first, but that is mostly because there were no black dues in the cast. There would have been one pretty creative kill except there was a similar death scene on the most recent season of Castle Rock. And there really is not enough death. With only four dudes (and a straight chick) it really cuts down on the number of deaths and kind of makes who the murderer kind of obvious as the movie goes along. Someone does bring back their Midnight Kiss from the club and someone is murdered Gay Psycho style (remembered how I said it was clichéd; just because it is the first time it happens to a homosexual does not make it interesting) in the opening scene though that is never mentioned by any of the friends at all.

Not only is Midnight Kiss the weakest installment of the season so far, it is one of the weakest Into the Dark episodes ever. It is not equality to give the gays their own horror movie if you are just going to make it a boring one. This is essentially to the gays in the horror genre what Catwoman was to women and African-Americans was for the Superhero genre.

Into the Dark Season Two Power Ranking:

1. Uncanny Annie (October)
2. A Nasty Piece of Work (December)
3. Pilgrim (November)
4. Midnight Kiss (December)

Into the Dark: Midnight Kiss premieres tomorrow on Hulu.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

57 Channels and Only This Is On: December 22, 2019

Ray Donovan: That old family that the Donovan family grew up with seems very Sucessiony. Or wheat I believe Succession to be, really, Billions is the only rich people doing bad rich things I can watch at this time. Although, unlike Succession, I feel the patriarch will die sooner than later, be it naturally or someone speeds up the process. Now if only the Donovan patriarch will just die soon.

Watchmen: Oh wow, I got a prediction right. Lady Truie turned out to be Ozymandias’ daughter. Though I would never have guess that her mother self-inseminated herself using his private collection. And I would not have guessed she was in her thirties now either, she came across much older. But in the end everything just came together nicely. Well, except the stupid Inception ending and we never learned the identity of Lube Man.

Shameless: You know what; Debbie does have a point about the persecution of redheads. Really, we have become so politically correct in the country; really the only groups of people you can make fun of without the Twitter mob coming after you are redheads and Canadians. So I do feel her pain in that respect.

Mr. Robot: Mmmm, so I have for long times have thought White Rose’s machine was some sort of time machine. Instead it zapped everyone to an alternative dimension? Except there is no Darla. Is it because she is not dead? Or is she there, we just see her yet and there may be two of some people now like there are now two of Elliot. The one we saw was in that dimension all along while the one we saw at the end was the one we have been seeing for the first four season. This has gotten too confusing for me.
You can download Mr. Robot: on iTunes.

His Dark Materials: So Lyra just fell from that air balloon and is perfectly okay. That was some soft snow.

Survivor: Island of Idols: Yawn.
You can download Survivor: Island of the Idols on iTunes.

Vikings: So the old king captures King Herald, attacks Bjorn just to set up a meeting to discuss how Bjorn should be the king of all of Norway. Seems like there could have been a better way to do that. But these are Vikings I guess.