Friday, September 25, 2020

Around the Tubes: September 26, 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 Helstrom, Run, People Yo May Know, Sasha Sloan, Eric Clapton, INXS, Shannon LaBrie, Citizen Bio, Cold War, Kids, Nina Simone, The CircusDecision 2020, and Arrow.

Every family has its demons! Check out the official trailer and key art below for our upcoming horror series Helstrom starring Tom Austen and Sydney Lemmon.  All 10 episodes premiere Friday, October 16, only on Hulu!

Hulu Original Film RUN premieres Friday, November 20, 2020 on Hulu.  The film stars Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Sarah Paulson and introduces newcomer Kiera Allen.  RUN is the first major thriller since the 1940s starring an actual wheelchair user. Lionsgate will release the film theatrically in select international markets.  SYNOPSIS:  They say you can never escape a mother’s love... but for Chloe, that’s not a comfort — it’s a threat. There’s something unnatural, even sinister about the relationship between Chloe (newcomer Kiera Allen) and her mom, Diane (Sarah Paulson). Diane has raised her daughter in total isolation, controlling every move she’s made since birth, and there are secrets that Chloe's only beginning to grasp. From the visionary writers, producers and director of the breakout film Searching,  comes a suspense thriller that shows that when mom gets a little too close, you need to RUN.

AMC Networks’ streaming service Sundance Now features the Streaming Premiere of the new timely and hard-hitting documentary PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW on Monday, September 28, 2020. Set in the run-up to the 2020 US Presidential Election, People You May Know explores the political alliance between religious fundamentalists, oligarchs, and controversial British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and its shell companies which have fundamentally shifted the balance of politics and elections in the US. People You May Know was licensed from Abacus Media Rights.  Sundance Now is AMC Networks’ premiere streaming service for engrossing true crime, heart-stopping dramas and fiercely intelligent thrillers from around the world.  The film follows Charles Kriel, specialist advisor to a UK parliament disinformation committee, when he discovers Cambridge Analytica collaborating with a software company creating a microtargeting platform for US churches, targeting vulnerable people - the poor, the grieving, the addicted - to radicalize them for far-right politics. With the imminent US 2020 elections, Kriel gathers a team of whistle-blowers and journalists to journey across America with his young family, where he discovers a powerful organization with ties to the heart of the White House. The man who commissioned Cambridge Analytica is a member of the most powerful secret political organization in the United States with an agenda to rewrite the Constitution according to Christian Law. Going undercover, Kriel risks everything to gain access where no outsider has ever set foot. 

- Sasha Sloan: Lie:

This November sees the release of 50th Anniversary edition of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, available as a 4LP vinyl box set via UMe/Polydor. In celebration of the 50thanniversary of the 1970 double album, the original has been given the ‘Half-Speed Mastered’ treatment by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios and is completed with a certificate of authentication.The 50th anniversary 4LP box set, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songsis available exclusively through uDiscover and Sound of Vinyl and can be ordered here.  Layla is often regarded as Eric Clapton’s greatest musical achievement. The album is notably known for its title track, an evergreen rock classic, which had top ten single chart success in the U.K. and features the dual wailing guitars of Clapton and Duane Allman. Alongside this are a further 2LPs of bonus material some of which has not previously been released on vinyl. All the bonus material across all of LP3 and LP4 is mastered normally (so is not half-speed mastered). The LP set also includes a 12×12 book of sleeve notes taken from the 40th-Anniversary Edition.

-  Singer/Songwriter Andrew Farriss celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the multi-platinum selling album 'X,' released on this day 30 years ago from the world-renowned band, INXS. Farriss, a founding member of the band, played keyboard and provided backing vocals and other instrumentation. With INXS, he has sold over 60 million records, received multiple Grammy nominations, and an induction into the ARIA Hall Of Fame in 2001. 'X,' INXS’s 7th studio album, was released on September 25th in 1990.  “I can’t believe it’s been 30 years since the release of the ‘X’ album,” shares Farriss. “As INXS, we knew we had to have the right songs to follow up on the massive success of our previous album ‘KICK’. I love the energy of the ‘X’ album. My favorite songs are still “Suicide Blonde,” “Disappear,” “Bitter Tears,” “Who Pays The Price,” and “Hear That Sound,” plus having blues music legend Charlie Musselwhite playing on the ‘X’ album with us was awesome!” 

Shannon LaBrie prepares for the arrival of her upcoming LP Building, with the release of the reflective new track “Angels Fall,” that honors the gift of encouraging relationships we encounter throughout life. The lyric video premiered with Cowboys & Indians, saying, “In the midst of everything, the optimistic Nashville-based singer-songwriter finds hope…” watch the lyric video HERE.  “Angels Fall'' is now available, listen to it HERE. LaBrie’s forthcoming album Building will be available Sep. 25 and can be pre-saved HERE or pre-ordered HERE

As the world’s medical research community grapples with the current COVID-19 pandemic, SHOWTIME Documentary Films will premiere a new, timely feature-length documentary entitled CITIZEN BIO, which explores in depth the nascent biohacking movement and the unconventional scientists and researchers developing alternative medicines to prolong human life and eradicate incurable viruses and diseases. Directed by Trish Dolman and executive produced by Graeme Manson (Snowpiercer, Orphan Black), CITIZEN BIO will premiere on SHOWTIME on Friday, October 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.  To watch and share the film’s official trailer, go to:

Cold War Kids have unveiled plans for a landmark virtual tour, featuring four unique concert performances scheduled through November. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at beginning September 24 at 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET, with individual tickets priced at $15 and the four-show bundle priced at $50.  BUY TICKETS  All four shows on the virtual tour will begin at 6:00 pm PT/9:00 pm ET; the shows will then be archived though Sunday, November 29, one week after the final event.

Nina Simone's classic 1965 albums I Put a Spell on You and Pastel Blues will be released as definitive audiophile grade versions as the third installment of Verve/UMe’s recently launched audiophile vinyl reissues series Acoustic Sounds. Utilizing the skills of the top mastering engineers and the unsurpassed production craft of Quality Record Pressings, the LPs, which will be available November 6, were mastered in stereo from the original analog tapes, pressed on 180-gram vinyl and packaged by Stoughton Printing Co. in high-quality tip-on gatefold jackets. Like all Acoustic Sounds titles, the releases are being supervised by Chad Kassem, CEO of Acoustic Sounds, the world’s largest source for audiophile recordings. The Simone titles follow the Acoustic Sounds editions of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and Ballads set for release October 9.
Pre-order I Put a Spell on You
Pre-order Pastel Blues

With fewer than 40 days before the election, THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE CRAZIEST POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ON EARTH continues its fifth season this Sunday with a look at the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, what it means for the future of the Supreme Court and how it is reshaping the 2020 presidential race.  Hosts John Heilemann, Alex Wagner and Mark McKinnon, along with guest contributor Jennifer Palmieri, examine the unfolding drama as President Trump and Senate Republicans move toward filling Ginsburg's court seat before the election. As Republicans and Democrats prepare for a looming political fight, THE CIRCUS also speaks with voters and activists about how the Supreme Court battle is mobilizing both sides ahead of November 3.  For a preview, go to:

With just over six weeks until Election Day, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll published today offers the latest snapshot of Latino voters’ views on the 2020 presidential election.  The nationwide poll was conducted as part of Telemundo’s “Decision 2020” initiative, a non-partisan multiplatform news and civic engagement effort to provide Latinos with comprehensive information and resources on this year’s election. The poll is the latest in a yearlong series of Telemundo local and national surveys focused on the Latino electorate.  A story about the results of the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll is available in Spanish at Highlights of the results will also be featured on Noticias Telemundo’s Sunday newscasts at 6:30 p.m EDT/5:30 pm CT and 11:30 p.m. EDT/10:30 CT. 

After eight remarkable seasons, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC mark the end of an epic era with its final installment of the suspenseful and action-packed series with the release of Arrow: The Eighth and Final Season on Blu-ray & DVD April 28, 2020. Get ready for nonstop action from start to finish with all 10 action-packed episodes from the eighth and final season, plus the show’s 2019 Comic-Con Panel, the broadcast special Arrow: Hitting the Bullseye and deleted scenes! A limited edition bonus disc featuring all five DC Crossover Event: Crisis on Infinite Earths episodes will be available exclusively for fans who purchase the Blu-ray. Arrow: The Eighth and Final Season is priced to own at $24.98 SRP ($29.98 in Canada) and $29.98 SRP for the Blu-ray which includes a Digital Code (U.S. only), ($39.99 in Canada)Arrow: The Eighth and Final Season is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.  Arrow: The Complete Series will also be available for fans to own on Blu-ray and DVD for $189.99 / $169.99 SRP ($249.99 / $229.99 in Canada). The bonus disc is included in the Blu-ray Complete Series set. 

Majorities of Americans across racial and ethnic backgrounds support meaningful changes to policing, including requiring officers to live in the communities they police and involving community-resource workers in certain emergency calls, a new national poll found.  The poll also found broad support for economic policies and programs to reduce wealth and income inequality, including a federal jobs guarantee, temporary suspension of rent and mortgage payments, fair hiring protections for people with criminal histories, and a program to provide grants to Black entrepreneurs starting small businesses.  The results point to encouraging opportunities for unity among Black, Latinx, and white Americans on priorities for tackling inequities.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Previewing The Comey Rule

Late in the second and last episode of The Comey Rule, the United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, fighting back tears argues to the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Andrew McCabe the he should wear a wire in meeting with the president of the United States, Donald Trump, so he and the cabinet would have enough evidence to invoke the 25th amendment of the condition declaring the president is unable to serve.  Wow, what a bombshell if true.  I jumped on my phone and apparently this news was already out there with the New York Times reporting this back in September 2018 and McCabe, in an interview with 60 Minutes in February, confirmed such.  It is amazing that there has been so much craziness in the past four year that is easy to forget something as big as a conspiracy to remove the president.


Weirdly Rod Rosenstein is sort of the narrator of The Comey Rule.  He opens the two night event trashing the titular character sometime after the bulk of the show takes place and is also the last voice we hear.  We actually see more of Rosenstein in a post mortem of the show than during the time James Comey was leading the FBI.  But hey, it is weird to even have a show based mostly on the memoir of James Comey on the eve of the election featuring the guy who fired him.


The limited series was originally scheduled to premiere in late November, I guess because it wanted to adhere to the FBI rule of not wanting to open a case that might influence an election.  But unlike James Comey who stubbornly stuck to principals in hopes to keep the FBI non-partisan (and was attacked for it by Rosenstein who called him a boy scout, which apparel to Rosenstein is considered an insult) Showtime caved to pressure to move the show up to just six weeks before the election.  Granted, who at this point watch The Comey Rule and realize maybe it is not wise to re-elect a psychopath?


This is the second straight year Showtime has aired a based on a tell all political show, thankfully The Comey Rule comes off as much less icky than the Roger Ailes show, The Loudest Voice.  But Showtime split the five hours and forty-five minute over seven weeks, for The Comey Rule, they split the three and a half hour into two back to back nights.  Why not spread that out across four week, especially in the middle of a pandemic where they are probably running low on things to air?


Much like The Loudest Voice, The Comey Rule has a very recognizable cast led by Jeff Daniels as the former FBI director.  Granted this is weird for me as I was also watch The Newsroom while watch The Comey Rule because I mostly saw Will McAvoy with slightly darker hair (ironically the episode I watch prior to The Comey Rule was the first Anthony Weiner scandal, probably not a spoiler to say Weiner comes up in the new show too in a major way).  I am not sure why they did not go with the full black dye job that the real Comey likely does.  Brendan Gleeson (Gangs of New York) does a pretty bad job as Donald Trump and the bad wig and bad make-up job do not help him at all, granted, just how can anyone replicate such a mess?  Kingsley Ben-Adir (Love Life) does a better job as the former president Barack Obama despite looking a good thirty years younger than the guy he is playing.


Thankfully the show puts up a name card whenever someone new comes on screen, taking out the guess work of who they are playing.  It is surprising how many names I recognized.  I probably could not name many in past administrations other than maybe the head of the FBI, but I recognized most of the people who popped up on the show.  The limited series also features (honestly, I am just copying and pasting this from the Showtime press release) Holly Hunter (The Piano) as former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, Michael Kelly (Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan) as former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty) as Patrice Comey, Scoot McNairy (Halt and Catch Fire) as former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul) as former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones) as former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Amy Seimetz (The Girlfriend Experience) as former FBI lawyer Trisha Anderson, Steven Pasquale (The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story) as former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and Peter Coyote (The Disappearance) as Robert Mueller. Steve Zissis (Togetherness), Shawn Doyle (House of Cards), Brian d’Arcy James (Spotlight), Dalmar Abuzeid (Anne with an E), William Sadler (When They See Us), Richard Thomas (Tell Me Your Secrets), T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy), Joe Lo Truglio (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Spencer Garrett (Bombshell), Michael Hyatt (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Damon Gupton (Black Lightning) and Seann Gallagher (Good Witch) also star. 


Bizarrely, comedian Truglio is playing former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and it is not as a joke.  I got to wonder just who The Comey Rule is for.  Unlike The Loudest Voice which came off as a liberal hit job, The Comey Rule seems to want to be as noble as James Comey wants us to think he was.  The second episode starts shortly after the election and we see a guy shooting off an e-mail about how Hilary got what she deserves and then pans to a crying woman upset than Clinton lost (well this is right after a pretty hilarious song that almost makes the series worth it).  The show also takes painstaking ways to make Comey out to be the Boy Scout Rosenstein complains about like when first briefed on the Steele dossier, Comey actually asks, “What’s a golden shower?’ which was just very eye rolling.  The liberals hate James Comey because they think he swung the election to Trump while conservatives hate him because they think the Russia investigation was just done to delegitimize his presidency.  So just who is The Comey Rule for?  Probably political junkies who want to complain on Twitter how poorly their side is being represented.


The Comey Rule premieres Sunday at 9:00 on Showtime and concludes the following day.

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Sixteenth Annual Scooter Television Awards

Welcome to the 16th Annual Scooter Television Awards honoring show that aired a majority of their season between July 2019 and August 2020. Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2020 STA's:

Best Scripted Show: Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist 

Best Comedy: The Good Place 

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show: Castle Rock

Best Comic Book Adaptation: Watchmen 

Best Period Show: The Great 

Best Animated Show: Harley Quinn 

Best Reality Show: The Challenge 

Best Remake, Reboot, or (non-comic book) Adaptation: Veronica Mars 

Best Miniseries: Little Fires Everywhere 

Best Talk Show: Pardon the Interruption 

Best New Show: Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist 

Guiltiest Guilty Pleasure: Zomboat 

 Worst Show I Made Though an Entire Season Of: Dispatches From Elsewhere 

Best Hour of TV: Zoey’s Extraordinary Glitch (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) 

Best Half Hour of TV: A Very G.L.O.W. Christmas (G.L.O.W.) 

Biggest Shocker: Cal was Dr. Manhattan this whole time (Watchmen) 

Best Line: “Look: I’m stomping on your fish!” (Bane to Aquaman, Harley Quinn) 

Worst Idea: Launching your streaming service without access to seventy percent of digital media players 

Worst Moment: Roger Ailes groping and sexualizing his employees (The Loudest Voice) 

Biggest Disappointment: Run 

Best Musical Moment: The last seven minutes of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’s finale 

Best Karaoke: Crazy – Zoey Clarke (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) 

Best New Title Sequence: Little Fires Everywhere 

Best Character: Jason Mendoza (The Good Place) 

Best Recurring Character: Vicky (The Good Place) 

Best Guest Appearance: Jason Bateman (The Outsider) 

Best Cast Addition: Lizzie Caplan (Castle Rock) 

Best Duo: Catherine the Great and Peter III (The Great) 

Most Entertaining Reality “Star”: Michele Fitzgerald (Survivor) 

Most Annoying Reality “Star”: Rob Mariano (Survivor) 

Most Anticipated New Show of Next Season: Only Murders in the Building 

Show That Should Be Brought Back: The Good Place (or at least a Jason prequel in Jacksonville)

Biggest Question for 2020-2021: What is television going to look like during the Coronapocalypse?

Sunday, September 20, 2020

57 Channels and Only this Is On: September 20, 2020


Lovecraft Country:  Well that was gross.  But I wonder now if the creepy white dude ever existed?  Did he die when the mansion blew up in the second episode?  It does make the conversation where the creepy white chick and the sheriff attacked each other for not being part of the evil cult thing.  Apparently the creepy white chick was a part of it after all, just not in her form.


We Hunt Together:  The cop was right when he told Baba was not like the rest of us.  To lie that easy and then flip the bird on the way out of the police station.  But they did get her.  Thought I am not a lawyer and definitely do not know anything about British law, but, here, drawing the eyes and being is the only evidence is not enough to convict.  But I guess that is the potential season two to see if they can get anything concrete on Freddie.


Raised By Wolves:  Through most of the first episode this week I thought we were just going around and around in a circle with no major change… and then Ragnor just planted the android with an axe after stealing her eyes.  But of course he could not destroy her because he may be the vague prophecy.  Is Ragnor and the androids going to team up to destroy the religious zealots?