Saturday, October 03, 2020

Around the Tubes: October 3, 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 Good Lord Bird, Bad Hair, Belushi, Huluween, Kingdom of SilenceAmy Winehouse, James Bond, The Midnight Special, Iron Maiden, Billie Holiday, Elvis Costello, Driving While Black, Bad HombresSteven UniverseWizard World Virtual Experiencesand Billions.

SHOWTIME will release the premiere episode of its new limited series THE GOOD LORD BIRD for free online sampling, on streaming platforms and on demand beginning at midnight on Sunday, October 4. Starring and executive produced by Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke, who plays the controversial abolitionist John Brown, the seven-episode series is from Blumhouse Television and based on the National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird by bestselling author James McBride. The premiere episode will be available on YouTube and THE GOOD LORD BIRD will officially premiere on SHOWTIME on Sunday, October 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.  The episode will also be available across multiple television and streaming providers’ devices, websites, applications and authenticated online services and their free on demand channels. In addition, the season premiere will be available for free on the SHOWTIME stand-alone service at

It's time to celebrate National Hair Day with the official trailer for Hulu’s upcoming film BAD HAIRThe film will premiere on October 23rd, only on Hulu.  In this horror satire set in 1989, BAD HAIR follows an ambitious young woman (Elle Lorraine) who gets a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television. However, her flourishing career comes at a great cost when she realizes that her new hair may have a mind of its own. 


SHOWTIME has released the trailer and poster art for the upcoming documentary BELUSHI. The feature-length film examines the too-short life of the once-in-a-generation talent John Belushi, who captured the hearts and funny bones of devoted audiences. Directed by R.J. Cutler (the upcoming Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, The September Issue, The War Room) and produced by John Battsek (One Day In September, The Tillman Story), the documentary will screen at Cannes Classics 2020, the Chicago Film Festival and AFI Fest ahead of its premiere on Sunday, November 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. 

Huluween is back and spookier than ever. Horror fans can celebrate the third year of Hulu’s annual Halloween event with a full slate of nail-biting new Hulu Originals, a devilish drive-in movie theater event and an online Halloween immersive experience for fans to enjoy from home.  As the ultimate destination for Halloween lovers to “Scream it Out,” the Huluween content hub now has more titles than ever before. Highlighting the most spooktacular content on the service, the hub includes hand-picked collections of the best Halloween content including three feature collections: “Screamy as Hell,” for the most haunted fans, “Spooky not Scary,” for the viewers who are ready to have a fright, but still sleep at night and “Humorous Horror,” featuring light-hearted Halloween fun.  More than six billion minutes of Huluween programming were watched last year,* underscoring Hulu viewers’ love for fright-filled content -- and as no surprise, October ranks as the #1 month for engagement around the horror genre on Hulu. To give fans more of the thrills and chills they love, Hulu will showcase brand-new horrifying Hulu Originals and 30 bone-chilling Bite Size Halloween short films. The series of short genre films - from horror comedy to psychological thrillers - provides a platform for emerging filmmakers at 20th Digital Studio. Hulu will also feature a myriad of library content highlighting all of the Halloween episodes and films on the service. 

SHOWTIME has released the new documentary KINGDOM OF SILENCE for free online sampling, on streaming platforms and on demand, two years to the date of the controversial murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The film is directed by Oscar® nominated and Emmy winning filmmaker Rick Rowley (16 SHOTSDirty Wars). Oscar and Emmy award winning director Alex Gibney (ENEMIES: THE PRESIDENTJUSTICE & THE FBI) executive produces in collaboration with Emmy and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright (The Looming Tower). KINGDOM OF SILENCE is available for free now on YouTube and and will officially premiere on air tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.  The film is also available across multiple television and streaming providers’ devices, websites, applications and authenticated online services and their free on demand channels.

A 7” singles box set comprising all of Amy Winehouse’s memorable singles from the FrankBack To Black and Lioness: Hidden Treasures albums will be released on November 20. Featured tracks include “Stronger Than Me,” “Rehab” and “Love Is A Losing Game,” all of which won the Ivor Novello Award for Amy in 2004, 2007 and 2008. The set also includes the Grammy® Award-winning “Body and Soul,” a duet with the legendary Tony Bennett. The singles will be housed in individual picture sleeves and pressed on black vinyl. The deluxe box also features a 20-page lyrics booklet and a set of art cards. Preorder 12x7: The Singles Collection here:

On November 20, UMe will release an updated version of The Best Of Bond…James Bond, a digital, 2CD and 3LP black vinyl compilation featuring celebrated theme songs from the longest-running film franchise. In addition, a limited-edition gold vinyl will be available exclusively via uDiscover Music and Sound of Vinyl. The new collection will include “No Time To Die” by Billie Eilish from No Time To Die, the 25th film in the series*. Also now included will be Adele’s “Skyfall” from Skyfall, the highest-grossing Bond film to date, and Sam Smith’s Spectre theme, “Writing’s On the Wall,” – Oscar® winners for Best Song in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Preorder The Best Of Bond…James Bond here:

Like never before THE SOUL OF THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL brings home audiences and music lovers everywhere an unforgettable collection of legendary soul artists performing their hits in the prime of their careers -- uncut performances, just straight-from-the-heart soul singing with live musicians in front of a live audience. Now available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon for the first time on October 13, 2020.  In the period between American Bandstand and MTV, there were sev­eral shows that tried to bring new music to television, but it wasn't until The Midnight Special, premiered on August 19, 1972, that live music found a home on the air. Burt Sugarman, producer of Grammy Awards telecasts, was frustrated by television's lack of programming after The Tonight Show ended -- the screen reverting to test patterns at 1:00 a.m.. Recognizing this valuable airtime could cater to a brand-new audience that craved its latest musical heroes, he created The Midnight Special, which ran every Friday night on NBC from 1972 to 1981.

BMG are pleased to announce the release of IRON MAIDEN’s new double live album on November 20th worldwide. Containing over 100 minutes of classic Maiden music and available in multiple formats, including a limited edition Mexican Flag, triple colored (180g) vinyl and a limited edition deluxe 2 CD book format, Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast: Live in Mexico City was recorded during the band’s three sold out arena shows there in September 2019 and is a celebration of their Legacy Of The Beast World Tour which began in 2018 and will finish next Summer in Europe.   For more information go to   

Verve/UMe will release the official companion soundtrack for the anticipated documentary, Billie, about legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday on November 13. Billie: The Original Soundtrack, which will be available on CD, LP and digitally for streaming and download, collects some of Holiday’s most popular songs featured throughout the transfixing film including “God Bless The Child,” I Only Have Eyes For You,” “I Loves You, Porgy” and “Strange Fruit,” along with instrumental cues. Pre-order is available now and “I Only Have Eyes For You” is available to stream or as an instant download with digital pre-order.  Pre-order Billie: The Original Soundtrack and stream “I Only Have Eyes For You” here:

Personally curated by Elvis Costello, The Complete Armed Forces is the definitive statement of the legendary songwriter and musician’s revered and essential 1979 album, featuring the classic hits “Accidents Will Happen,” “Green Shirt,” “Oliver’s Army” and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding.” Leaving no musical stone unturned, no lyric notebook unrifled through and no detail left out, this new super deluxe edition vinyl box set is a thorough excavation of Costello’s vault from this metamorphic period of his early beginnings, painting as complete a picture as possible of the events that led to the making of the album, its creation, and the wild success that followed for him, and his band The Attractions, and ignited his career. Armed Forces is explored across nine pieces of vinyl (3 12-inch LPs, 3 10-inch LPs and 3 7-inch singles), including a new 2020 remaster of the album, B-sides, alternate versions and outtakes, demos, and a slew of live recordings – including 23 unreleased live tracks taken from three especially riotous concerts.  Releasing November 6 via UMe, The Complete Armed Forces will be exclusively available via Elvis Costello's official online store and UMG’s online stores uDiscover and Sound of Vinyl, in two vinyl versions – 180-gram black vinyl and limited edition 180-gram multi-color opaque vinyl. It will also be available digitally for streaming and download. The collection is proceeded today with the release of a three-track digital EP featuring unreleased live performances of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?,” “Goon Squad” and “Pump It Up,” taken from the new live LPs, Christmas In The Dominion - Live 24th December ’78, Riot At The Regent – Live In Sydney ’78 and Europe ’79 – Live At Pinkpop.  Pre-order The Complete Armed Forces and stream the new live EP here:

PBS recently announced DRIVING WHILE BLACK: RACE, SPACE AND MOBILITY IN AMERICA – a ground-breaking, two-hour documentary film by acclaimed historian Dr. Gretchen Sorin and Emmy–winning director Ric Burns – will air on PBS on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). Watch the trailer now here.

Showtime Sports Documentary Films today announced BAD HOMBRES, a new film chronicling the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos, the world’s only binational professional baseball team. Amid the United States government’s proposal for a border wall, and with U.S.-Mexico relations at a staggeringly low point, the team’s cross-border heritage provides a powerful symbol of unity, joining countries, cities and families. BAD HOMBRES premieres on SHOWTIME on Friday, October 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and will also be available via the SHOWTIME streaming service and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.  BAD HOMBRES follows the Tecolotes as their season unfolds, revealing what life is genuinely like in two border cities besieged by divisive rhetoric and policies, all in the shadow of America’s pastime. Filmed over the course of the 2019 Mexican Baseball League season, BAD HOMBRES examines the crossroads of perspectives as human trafficking, drug cartels, environmentalists and asylum seekers intersect with the Tecolotes’ pennant race.

Grab your popcorn and get ready to sing your hearts out as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings Cartoon Network’s award-winning series into your homes with the release of Steven Universe: The Complete Collection on DVD December 8, 2020. This ultimate 15-Disc Collector’s Edition Storybook features custom-made pieces of art on every page by Chromosphere. Inside, it is filled with every episode of Steven UniverseSteven Universe Future, as well as the smash hit TV movie, Steven Universe The Movie. Enhance the magic with hours of all-new bonus content including: Animatics, Minisodes, Commentary, Steven Universe The Movie: Sing-A-Long, and more. Steven Universe: The Complete Collection carries a suggested retail price of $89.99 for the DVD ($119.99 in Canada) and is rated TV-PG. Steven Universe: The Complete Collection is also available to currently download on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

Wizard Entertainment, Inc. (OTCBB:WIZD) brings more “Wizard World Virtual Experiences” featuring stars of iconic franchises across its digital video platforms in the coming weeks. On Saturday at 4 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT, visit Gotham City with “From Batman to Joker” featuring franchise standouts Brett Cullen, Robert Wuhl and Michael Uslan. Then on Sunday, “Ary and the Secret of Seasons” voice actors Chris Zambelis, Kira Buckland and Casey Mongillo, join lead writer Genese Davis for a discussion on the new video game at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT. On Thursday, Oct. 8, stars of scary films Diane Salinger, Ann Robinson, James Murtaugh and Jimmy Workman meet up for “Oh The Horror!” at 7 p.m ET / 4 p.m. PT, followed that evening at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT by the live trivia contest for nerd-culture know-it-alls, “Last Fan Standing,” hosted by the inimitable Bruce Campbell. "Shadowhunters" headliners Maxim Roy, Anna Hopkins and Jon Cor reunite on Friday, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.  During each celebrity session, the celebrities will participate in a FREE live moderated video Q&A, followed by one-on-one video chats, recorded videos and autographs. Sessions are accessible to virtual attendees on their computer and mobile devices via

If there was ever any doubt regarding the “Fierce Urgency of Now,” last night’s poor representation of civility, solution-oriented dialogue, intentional rudeness, and the endorsement of white supremacy confirms that the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. must aggressively intensify voter mobilization and a protection plan. When a sitting President of the United States of America openly encourages a white supremacist organization to “Stand Back and Stand By” we must intensify our efforts.  Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has historically fought against racism, voter suppression, legalized segregation, and racial violence. We are continually fighting against these injustices and their various forms today.  The immediate first step to fight racial hatred and injustice as we approach Election Day is to participate actively in the electoral process. Our Fraternity is currently engaging in voter mobilization and voter protection efforts. The resurgence of white supremacy and divisive politics must end. Our future depends on it. The Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. are utilizing our vast collective power to ensure candidates from the federal level to the local level are addressing issues related to education, the economy, healthcare, international diplomacy, social equity, police reform, and economic development.

SHOWTIME has picked up a sixth season of its acclaimed drama series BILLIONS. Starring Oscar® nominee and Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Paul Giamatti and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis, season five of BILLIONS will return with five new episodes in 2021, with season six to follow. Golden Globe nominee Corey Stoll (House of Cards), who joined to guest star as Mike Prince in season five, has signed on to return as a series regular for season six.

Friday, October 02, 2020

Previewing The Good Lord Bird

The first things that greets viewers at the start of each episode of The Good Lord Bird is a title card informing you that, “All of this is true, most of it happened.”  This reminded me of The Great that claimed its show was “Based on historical fact (sort of)”.   Both shows features main characters wearing dresses that play opposite of crazy people except the protagonist of The Good Lord Bird is a work of fiction.  Oh, and a dude.


Henry, who is forced to wear a dress for most of the series because when he is rescued as a slave, his rescuer thought someone called him Henrietta?  So when that person that rescuers you from slavery gives you a dress to wear, I guess it would be rude to refuse it.  And when they start calling you onion because you ate one, I guess you just go as “Onion” now.  Now his savior was not just any person but John Brown who you may or may not remember from the paragraph in your high school history book when they call him the most famous abolitionist who went around the South freeing slaves and murdering slave owners.


After being rescued, Onion goes on a Forrest Gumpian travel across pre-Civil War America, not only does he spend much of his time in John Brown’s gang but also has run ins with Fredrick Douglass (Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs) and Harriet Tubman.  Even though Ethan Hawke (Tesla) plays John Brown (and at times comes across like Will Forte playing Zeb Miller) this is Onion’s story and considering how Hawke’s performance is turned up to eleven most of the time he is on screen, it may be for the best.


Also appearing in The Good Lord Bird are Wyatt Russell (Everybody Wants Some!!) as a real life Confederate Soldier who plays a big part in the John Brown lore.  Ellar Coltrane, who spend twelve years playing Hawke’s son while filming Boyhood, also play’s John Brown’s son here.  Later in the series, one of John Brown’s daughters shows up and is also played by someone who Hawke is very familiar with.


Book adaptations have flourished in the time of Peak television, getting to fill out the stories over the course of four to ten episodes which movies have to cram into two(ish) hours.  The Good Lord Bird may be one of the few book adaptations that would have been better off as a movie.  The joke of Onion in a dress gets old quick.  It seems more people notice John Brown in a time before photographs than people realize Onion is not a girl.  Ethan Hawke firing on all cylinders in every scene also gets a little grating to the point you may be glad when he disappears for almost full episodes.  Still, the John Brown story is one that deserves more than a paragraph and The Good Lord Bird does a decent job expanding on his legacy to this nation.


The Good Lord Bird airs Sundays at 9:00 on Showtime.