Saturday, April 11, 2020

Around the Tubes: April 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 THE LONGEST WAR, AN AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT’S GUIDE TO GREAT ESTATES, AMERICA SAYS, Pearl Jam, The Avett Brothers, Sting, Frank Sinatra, The Seattle Symphony, A Kid From Coney Island, THE AMERICAN NURSE, Disgraceland, and Sew It Online.

- SHOWTIME has released the first-look clip for the upcoming feature-length documentary THE LONGEST WAR, which hails from Emmy®-winning director Greg Barker (Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden) and Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, the executive producers of the Emmy® and Peabody-winning series HOMELAND. THE LONGEST WAR premieres on SHOWTIME on Sunday, April 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, immediately following the penultimate episode of HOMELAND.

- Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, gives an all-access pass into some of Great Britain’s most magnificent homes, revealing their incredible histories and the aristocratic families, both past and present, who have taken up residence in each estate. AN AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT’S GUIDE TO GREAT ESTATES is an intimate tour of estates with priceless treasures, exquisite gardens, aristocratic dramas and deep secrets. In the new eight-part series, Julie explores the challenges of living in a national treasure and the creative ways owners keep their estates running. AN AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT’S GUIDE TO GREAT ESTATES premieres Sunday, May 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.

- Tune-in to a specially created “sports edition” of AMERICA SAYS featuring play-by-play commentary from Emmy®-Award-winning play-by-play commentator, Rich Waltz on Game Show Network, April 11 at 5 p.m. Best known for calling television broadcasts for the Miami Marlins, CBS Sports Network, and MLB Network telecasts, Waltz will add his skilled observations to amuse viewers on the network’s survey-guessing game show, AMERICA SAYS, which is the most-watched original series on the network among W25-54[i].

- Pearl Jam’s Gigaton has been hailed “superb”, “fascinating and ambitious”, “inspiring and engaging”, “their finest studio hour” and “Pearl Jam’s best in a generation.” The critics and fans alike have praised the bands latest release and it has now bowed at #1 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums Chart this week. Additionally, it landed in the Top 5 of the Billboard Top 200. Internationally the album debuted #1 in Italy and Austria, Top 5 in Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Canada, and Finland and Top 10 in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand. Get it at

- The Avett Brothers: C Sections and Railway Trestles (Tonight Show: At Home Edition):

- Sting & The Roots Remix "Don't Stand So Close to Me" (At-Home Instruments):

- Capitol/UMe and Frank Sinatra Enterprises celebrate the 60th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s Nice ‘n’ Easy, another iconic album in a series of collaborations between Sinatra and arranger/conductor Nelson Riddle with a special anniversary edition. Originally released on Capitol Records in July 1960, the Nice 'n' Easy album topped the charts at #1 for nine weeks. The album was nominated for multiple Grammys, including Album of the Year, Best Male Vocal Performance, and Best Arrangement (Nelson Riddle). Since its original release, Sinatra’s body of work still resonates with fans and critics today.

- The Seattle Symphony brings five performances to audiences this week with three rebroadcasts of R. Schumann Symphony No. 2 (movements 1, 3 and 4), led by Music Director Thomas Dausgaard, along with two new family-friendly educational broadcasts: Meet the Instrument: Violin with Seattle Symphony Violin Andy Liang and Tiny Clips for Tiny Tots: Strings, hosted by Seattle Symphony Horn John Turman. As announced earlier this month, the Seattle Symphony is continuing to share performances that provide strength, comfort and joy through video rebroadcasts and livestreams as we confront the current global health crisis.

- A Kid From Coney Island, the highly anticipated documentary on the life and career of former NBA player, Stephon Marbury is now available on all digital and on demand platforms including Apple, Amazon, Youtube, Vudu, FandangoNow, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish and more. In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, the digital release of the documentary, which provides an intimate portrayal of the rise, fall, and rebirth of Stephon Marbury, was accelerated to April 7 to immediately bring the film to homes of fans everywhere. Due to the global health crisis, theaters closed following the documentary’s successful opening weekend of its theatrical release where A Kid From Coney Island was the number one title in multiple New York City area theaters.

- At no time in recent history has the vital role of nurses in America been so clear. To honor nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, Kino Lorber is offering a free streaming re-release of the acclaimed documentary, THE AMERICAN NURSE ( The documentary highlights the lives of five American nurses from diverse specialties, bringing to the big screen a sincere look at the commitment, necessity, and compassion behind this profession that impacts us all.

- Today, the music and true crime podcast Disgraceland takes a break from its regularly scheduled season 5 release schedule to release a surprise episode about Tiger King's Joe Exotic. This surprise episode follows an April Fool's day episode on John Denver as well as official episodes on Little Richard, Jay-Z and Guns N' Roses.

- Sew It Online, a family-owned and operated sewing & craft shop, is the epitome of the American spirit and even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rewind to early March, hospital administration at University Hospital in Cleveland reached out to the local company that provides education, supplies and machines to the sewing community about filling in the gap with their lack of masks. After working with countless medical professionals to create a medically approved mask, Sew It Online began creating masks and shared this video. The video garnered hundreds of thousands of views which prompted the launch of #MillionMaskChallenge, a global sew-a-thon aimed at supporting healthcare workers and others in need.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

57 Channels and Only This Is On: April 5, 2020

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist: Is it too soon to call this the best episode of the decade? Of course, who knows when Hollywood gets up and running, we may not get much new television after next month. You start off with a great rendition of Crazy. Zoey trying not to sing I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Pressure was not far behind. Max was pretty astute that Zoey sang him a love song but sang Simon a lust song. Then they capped things off by making everyone cry. But are they really going to kill off Peter Gallagher? After the first episode I assume they would have him sing every week, but he has sung in less than half of the episode and just sits there bug eyed most of the time. Kind of seems like a waste of his talents.
You can download Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist on iTunes.

Homeland: Last week I predicted one of Max or the Taliban dude would survive, probably both. Oops, wrong on both counts. Although the Talban guy ended up surviving the first round of bullets. Um, Pakistan, maybe it is time to get better soldiers if you can miss the head from maybe ten paces. But I do not understand why the Taliban’s son killed Max that way. Why not do it on camera?

The Walking Dead: Um, where did Carol go? That was pretty cheap to just leave Negan out there like that after he brought your mortal enemy’s head. And what was going on with Beta. Why steal Alpha’s head just to take it nowhere and kill her? Did he just want to show her the new horde he was making?
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Good Girls: So all that just for the boyfriend to chicken out at the end? Meh. Well at least he got his bird back. Maybe the children can get the chicks after the bird lays the eggs.
You can download Good Girls on iTunes.

Black Monday: I hope we get to see the Rubber Room later this season, it sounds like comedy gold. I hope we do not see Horatio Sanz pull down his pants ever again.

Manifest: Um, why were the bad guys steal the hot cop’s nephew when they could have just as easily taken her instead? It is not like her half dead husband could do anything about it.
You can download Manifest on iTunes.

Little Fires Everywhere: Well that took an unexpected turn. I actually had to rewind the scene a couple times and turn up the volume to make I heard what I was not hearing. So, at least according to her grandparents, Pearl is not Mia’s child? Oh wow. I thought the twist was that the baby daddy was abusive but the real reason is that Mia was a surrogate and really does not want anyone to know where she is because she does not want Pearl taken away. No wonder she feels so strong about her co-worker is the rightful parent because she was the one that gave birth to the child. Now the big question is, what does Elena do with this information? Will she be willing to blow up Pearl’s life just to stick it to Mia? Will she blackmail Mia to stop supporting the co-work so her buddy can keep the kid? Oh yeah, and there is the whole fire business. We see Izzy go pyro this week, but like her name getting thrown out in the first episode, it is so obvious; you have to assume it is someone else. But other than maybe Mia and the co-worker, not many other suspects right now.
You can stream Little Fires Everywhere Hulu.

Survivor: Winners at War: Oh man, we were seconds away from the darkest timeline: Rob coming back in the game with an Idol. Oh wait; the true darkest timeline would be Rob coming back in at five with two Idols after accumulating enough Fire Tokens for more. But I have to say the creepy Nick montage was the greatest bit of editing since Angelina almost died while searching for an Idol.
You can download Survivor: Winners at War on iTunes.

The Challenge Total Madness: It is the biggest twist in the history of the show!!!!! Okay, calm down T.J., I am not sure it is top five. But it will be interesting how the power players who try to avoid elimination like the plague will play this. Do you try to go in early and make sure alliance serves you up a tomato can (and hope it is the type of challenge that favors you) or do you wait until you are near the end for fear if you go in early you may have to go in multiple times if you lose power? Granted this begs the question of if T.J. will even give them a head’s up. I probably would want to get it out of the way early.

Motherland: Fort Salem: What is with all the aging and de-aging? I get that they are witches, but I do not get what ends they are doing it in this episode.

Devs: Okay, when the old dude said to the young kid that got fired last week was nineteen, I was taken aback. The kid’s voice has yet to drop yet. So I did some googling and it turns out that young boy is actually a twenty-two year old woman in real life. That may have been the biggest plot twist on the show so far.
You can download Devs on iTunes.

The Blacklist: Ugg, I forget if the guy that Lizzie was looking for was Red as a younger man or his buddy that her mom abducted. I am pretty sure it is Red, which in case, good luck finding someone who no longer exists.
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.