Saturday, January 11, 2020

Around the Tubes: January 11, 2020

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 Who Will Write Our History, Utopia Falls, Bob Seger, Oh Wonder, Our Cartoon President, I Got You Babe: The Best of Sonny & Cher, and The Binge Watchers Guide to Doctor Who.

- In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists, but with pen and paper. Now, for the first time, their story is told in the documentary Who Will Write Our History. Featuring the voices of three-time Academy Award® nominee Joan Allen and Academy Award® winner Adrian Brody, Who Will Write Our History mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive with new interviews, rarely seen footage and stunning dramatizations (shot on location in Lodz and Warsaw, Poland) to transport audiences inside the Ghetto and the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. Premiering to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Who Will Write Our History debuts SUNDAY, JANUARY 26 AT 3 pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel and on Discovery Go. In addition, the film will air on multiple Discovery owned networks around the world.

- Imagine a world with no past – only a future. Without a history, we are all equal… or are we? Hulu, in partnership with Sonar Entertainment, announced today the premiere of original teen sci-fi drama Utopia Falls. Infused with music and dance, all 10 one-hour episodes of the Hulu Original series hit the streaming service on February 14. Set in the not-too-distant future, amidst the charred ruins of Earth, Utopia Falls follows a group of teens chosen to compete in the prestigious Exemplar performing arts competition in the seemingly idyllic colony of New Babyl. When they stumble upon a hidden archive of cultural relics, they are forced to question everything they have been taught, ultimately using the power of music to ignite change and expose the truth. Showcasing a variety of musical genres and dance styles (Hip Hop, Pop, Latin, House, Classical, Indigenous, among others), and featuring themes of afrofuturism, youth activism, and eco-awareness, Utopia Falls is the first ever performance based sci-fi series for culturally diverse and socially and politically minded young audiences.

- Capitol Records/UMe is pleased to announce the debut of Bob Seger’s official artist channel on YouTube with the premiere of the brand new lyric video for “Night Moves.” The video is the first of a series of lyric videos Capitol is producing to highlight Seger's classic hits. One of Seger's most popular tracks, "Night Moves" was named by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of The 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. The Bob Seger Official Artist Channel will also premiere rare and classic Seger music videos restored for the first time in HD, and feature custom playlists of Seger's catalog in HD quality audio, fan generated videos, as well as rare and unreleased content. Fans around the world can share their favorite Seger stories on the channel's Community page. Bob Seger's new Official Artist Channel - to Subscribe for Free click here

- Oh Wonder welcomes you warmly into 2020 with their brand new single “Happy” out today—listen HERE! The new track arrives just weeks before the band’s fast-approaching third album, No One Else Can Wear Your Crown, is released on February 7th. The duo has also unveiled international dates for the “Wear Your Crown Tour,” which is on sale now at See a full list of dates below.

- The Showtime animated series Our Cartoon President will return for its third season on Sunday, January 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. Executive produced by multiple Emmy® winner Stephen Colbert, showrunner R.J. Fried and Late Show executive producer Chris Licht, Our Cartoon President kicks open the doors of the White House for a satirical look at President Trump, his family and the power players in Washington, D.C. and beyond. Season three order includes 18, 30-minute episodes, with 10 episodes airing until March 29th, and returning with 8 episodes to air this fall tied to the 2020 Presidential election.

- When Salvatore "Sonny" Bono and Cherilyn "Cher" Sarkisian came together it was undeniably magical. America first knew them as the duo behind the classic hit "I Got You Babe," and their popularity exploded with the '70s smash variety show The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. The perfect match on stage and off, millions of fans tuned in each week to watch the sparks fly and see what Cher was (or wasn't!) wearing and the show quickly became essential viewing. Now, this February, the TV DVD archivists at Time Life open wide the Classic TV vaults for a very special collection of one of the '70s hippest, goofiest and most fondly remembered TV variety programs with I Got You Babe: The Best of Sonny & Cher. The Hilarious Beat Goes on with This Nostalgia-Filled 5-Disc Collector's Set, Available on February 11, 2020 and Packed with Never-Before-Released Episodes of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, Incredible Guest Stars and Exclusive Extras Including a Brand-New Interview with Cher Herself!

- Riverdale Avenue Books has published the first book in the new series The Binge Watchers Guide to Doctor Who, featuring Jodi Whittaker’s Doctor, just in time for the international premier of the new season on January 1. The new line of books is dedicated to pop culture phenomenon from movies to TV shows and will include titles on the films of Harry Potter, Friends, Golden Girls, The Handmaid’s Tale, Riverdale, American Horror Story, Black Mirror, etc. The first book in the series, The Binge Watcher's Guide to Doctor Who, Season 11 by Mackenzie Flohr, will take readers on a journey through time and space, showing how Doctor Who became the longest-running show on television by weaving through its history, starting with the current incarnation of the Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker. The book will examine the impact of having the first female Doctor in the show’s five decade-long history among fans and critics as well as In addition to exploring the details of creating this season of the show, the book will examine the impact of having the first female Doctor in the show’s five decade-long history among fans and critics, as well as include exclusive, never-before-seen interviews with Wendy Abrahams, Beth Axford, Christian Basel, Will Brooks, Ken Deep, Stephen Hatcher, Krystal Moore, David Solomons and Alisa Stern.

- Oscar® winner John Ridley (12 Years A Slave, GUERRILLA) is joining the upcoming Showtime untitled musical drama series as executive producer, writer and director. 15-time Grammy® winner Alicia Keys serves as executive producer along with the Oscar, Tony® and Grammy winning team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman), who will also contribute music. The project centers on an emotionally complex family story that spans generations and threatens the fabric of the community in present day Milwaukee.

Monday, January 06, 2020

The Ten Most Anticipated Events of 2020

10. Ghotbusters: Afterlife (July 10) / Bill and Ted Face the Music (August 21): Two ionic eighties comedies with questionable sequels will be getting a third movie almost three decades later. Ghostbusters looks like it will be a soft reboot with Paul Rudd and a bunch of kids taking the lead but the three original Ghostbusters are supposed to nr showing up (RIP Harold Ramis). While Bill and Ted now have teenaged daughters and we now live in a world where rock, which they were supposed to be the saviors of in the first film, is pretty much dead. I am cautiously optimistic of both.

9. The Return of Rock?: Or maybe the return of Bill and Ted will bring the return of rock. The fall was when all the big albums were released but with no one even buying CD’s as Christmas gifts anymore, we are getting a few big names releasing albums early this year. Green Day, Stone Temple Pilots (2/7), Huey Lewis and the News (2/14), The 1975 (2/21), Body Count (3/6), Weezer (5/15) all have release dates with possible albums by Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers (with John Fruscianti back for the first time since… well they last had a hit song), The Killers, and The Offspring. Last decade was pretty dire for rock music with Imagine Dragons taking the top three spots with Twenty-One Pilots taking three other places in the top ten. Will any of the great rock band of yesteryear regain some traction or are we just doomed for the watered down hybrid sound for another ten years? Well at least a reunited Rage Against the Machine are headlining Cochella this year so while we may not get much great rock this year, the acts I mentioned at least have a deep catalogue to return to so I guess rock will always live on.

8. West Side Story (December 18) / High Fidelity (February 14, Hulu): Two things that may not seem like they have a lot in common but they are both IP that were adapted into all-time great movies that will be getting remakes this season that, again, will be going into the cautiously optimistic basket. At least High Fidelity is not another attempt at a movie but instead is being turned into a show starring Zoe Kravitz whose mother Lisa Bonet was in the movie.

7. Little Fires Everywhere (March 18, Hulu): Reese Witherspoon is going for the prestige TV trifecta with her third book adaptation in four years with Big Little Lies on HBO, The Morning Show on Apple+, and now her third book turned show Little Fires Everywhere. The show is set in nineties Cleveland and also star Kerry Washington. Oh, and it premiere on my birthday. Fun times.

6. Snowpiercer (TBA, TNT… maybe): What a weird trip this show has taken to make it to air and we still do not have an airdate. TNT ordered the show back in 2016. It started filming in 2017 but delays took it over a year to finish filming. Then in May of last year it was announced the show would be moving TBS because it seemed like TNT was getting out of the scripted game (another long in development show got shipped off to the upcoming HBO Max), but then switched back to TNT in October. Despite all the turmoil, the show has already been renewed for a second season which has already started filming. Now when I first saw the film, I liked it but I thought it would have been better as a television show with each episode featuring on a different car on the train so hopefully after over three years of waiting we will finally get to see it.

5. The Olympics (July 24): My favorite two weeks of every two years. Where we get to see weird sports and wonder why things like Handball do not get more airtime in off Olympic years. It is a little of a downer that much of the events will be taking place while most of this hemisphere will be asleep. Though 8:00 PM EST is 10:00 AM Tokyo time so maybe we will be getting some early live morning events in primetime. This Olympics will see the return of baseball/softball for the first time since 2008, and new events karate, sports climbing, surfing, and skateboarding.

4. How do The Good Place (returning January 9, NBC) / Homeland (February 9, Showtime) End?: It is the end of the era with two all-time great first seasons. The Good Place has been steadily good since while Homeland fell off a cliff in season three before finally finding a solid footing except for that season where we had to watch Peter Quinn slowly die (man this show waits way too long to kill off characters way past their usefulness). We last saw Carrie completely broken after months in a Russian gulag and Eleanor was last seen waking up her soulmate who is the last chance to save humanity. Should not be hard for someone who loves decisions as much as Chidi.

3. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (premiere January 7, then timeslot premiere February 16, NBC): It has not been a good year for the Pitch Perfect cast, Britany Snow’s Almost Family and Anna Camp’s Perfect Harmony are putting up CW type numbers, the last hope (baring some streamer saving one of those two) is Skylar Astin whose new show, like his wife’s Camp’s show, involves singing, but instead of a choir, Astin works with Jane Levy who hears other people’s thoughts through elaborate song and dance numbers. Awesome. Hopefully this survives somehow. But it will be nicce to see Suburgatory's Jane Levy going back to doing something fun after being a scream queen for the last couple years.

2. The Great (TBA, Hulu): During last year’s upfronts, Hulu showed off promos for a bunch of shows, all of which have aired except one: The Great. I would think The Great would be the next up, but Hulu has already announced its next three premieres (Shrill being the one I have not mentioned) so hopefully it is coming soon because what I saw was hilarious. The show stars Elle Fanning as Catherine (Helen Mirran played an older more serious version on HBO last fall) and Nicholas Hoult as her future husband who looks off his rocker. Hopefully an announcement will be come soon but if Little Fires Everywhere is airing weekly we may not get this any sooner than May.

1. Women Can Be Superheroes Too!!!!!!: It was pretty abysmal for the fairer sex with superpowers. Supergirl back in 1984 sucked and it wasn’t until twenty years later until we got Catwoman, which also sucked. Marvel’s first try at ladies who can fight with Elektra a year later, also sucked. It then took twelve more years after that to get another female fronted with Wonder Woman and it, wait, this one was actually good! Marvel, finally gave a woman her first solo film in the MCU with its twenty-first film. After those two movie made decent amount of bank, things are exploded with three female fronted films this year. You can say four with The Eternals staring Angelina Jolie who is the biggest name in that cast, but really no superhero movies will be headlined white dudes who have dominated the medium up to this point.

First up is the movie I am most excited about: Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (February 7), then Black Widow (May 1) in her first solo movie after appear in the MCU eight times already (and after apparently dying… I have not watched Endgame yet, so spoiler alert to me) and the lady who started the woman can headline a superhero film trend with Wonder Woman 1984 (June 4).

But again, I am extremely excited for Birds of Prey, Harley Quinn was the best (only good) thing about Suicide Squad. And where DC has had some head scratching casting for some of their male superheroes (like, say their last two Batmen), but have had some inspiring choices for the feminine ones. Joining Margo Robbie’s Quinn is Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress and Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary which is like my fantasy casting come to life. Now if only they will cast Jane Levy as Batgirl.

Then here is everything I will watch on television to start off the year:

8:00 – The Neighborhood (CBS, January 6)
9:00 - Brain Games (National Geographic, January 20)
10:00 – Manifest (NBC, January 6)
TBD – Cosmos: Possible Worlds (National Geographic Channel, March 9)

9:00 – Mix’ish (ABC, January 7)
9:30 – Black’ish (ABC, January 7)
10:00 – Project Blue Book (History, January 21)
10:30 – Miracle Workers: Dark Ages (TBS, January 28)

8:00 – The Goldbergs (ABC January 15)
8:00 – Survivor (CBS, February 12)
8:30 – Schooled (ABC, January 16)
9:00 – Almost Family (FOX, already back)
9:00 - Modern Family (ABC, January 8)
10:00 – Stumptown (ABC, January 8)

8:00 – Superstore (NBC, January 9)
8:00 – Grown’ish (Freeform, January 16)
8:30 – Perfect Harmony (NBC, January 9)
9:00 - The Good Place (NBC, January 9)
9:00 – The Bold Type (Freeform, January 23)
Briarpatch (USA, February 6)

High Fidelity (February 14)

9:00 – The Outsider (HBO, January 12)
9:00 – Supergirl (The CW, January 19)
9:00 – Homeland (Showtime, February 9)
9:00 – Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC, February 16, sneak peak January 7 at 10:00)
9:00 – The Walking Dead (AMC, February 23)
10:00 – Dare Me (USA, already started)
10:00 – Kidding (Showtime, February 9)
10:00 – Good Girls (NBC, February 16)