Saturday, May 22, 2021

Around the Tubes: May 22, 2021


I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting.  This post includes blurbs on Nine Perfect StrangersOnly Murders in the Building, Hip Hop 50, The EndMcCartney 3,2,1., Lord Huron, Almost Famous, Glass Animals, BET Presents The Encore, The Warning, Carpenters, The D’Amelio ShowImmigrant.

This week, as part of the Disney/Hulu Upfront, Hulu announced premiere dates for upcoming original tentpole series “Nine Perfect Strangers” and “Only Murders in the Building.” Both Hulu Original series will debut this August.

SHOWTIME today announced HIP HOP 50, a multiyear, cross-platform programming initiative celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop in collaboration with entertainment company Mass Appeal. HIP HOP 50 will encompass unscripted series and features, podcasts and digital shorts by and about some of the foremost names in the genre, driven by Mass Appeal partner Nasir “Nas” Jones and Mass Appeal Chief Creative Officer and partner Sacha Jenkins, writer, director and producer of the Emmy® and Peabody-nominated SHOWTIME series WU-TANG CLAN: OF MICS AND MENHIP HOP 50 programming will begin airing later this year on SHOWTIME, running over the next three years and culminating with the 50th anniversary of the genre in 2023.

SHOWTIME announced today that the new half-hour dark comedy series THE END, starring Emmy® nominee Harriet Walter (Succession, The Crown, Killing Eve) and Frances O’Connor (The Missing, Mansfield Park), will premiere with two episodes airing back-to-back beginning Sunday, July 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Produced by See-Saw Films, the 10-part series is a co-production between Sky UK and Foxtel Australia, and was created and written by Samantha Strauss and directed by Jessica M. Thompson and Jonathan Brough.

Hulu announced the Original documentary series “McCartney 3,2,1.”  The six-episode music series event features intimate and revealing examinations of musical history from two living legends, Paul McCartney and super producer Rick Rubin, and hails from Endeavor Content. The series is executive produced by McCartney, Rubin, Scott Rodger, Peter Berg, Matthew Goldberg, Brandon Carroll, Jeff Pollack, Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern with Leila Mattimore serving as co-executive producer. All six episodes of “McCartney 3,2,1” premiere Friday, July 16, on Hulu.  

Whispering Pines Studios is finally open for all y’all to visit from far and wide…  Lord Huron proudly present their anxiously awaited fourth full-length album, LONG LOST, out now via Whispering Pines Studios Inc./Republic Records. Get Long Lost HERE.  With the record loose upon the world, the boys hit the television circuit. Tonight, they are set to deliver an unforgettable performance on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon performing “I Lied” with Allison Ponthier and tomorrow morning, they take the stage at CBS This Morning: Saturday for a performance not to be missed.

"Look under your bed—it'll set you free."  With those enticingly enigmatic words, an empathetic, hip older sister bequeaths to her hyper-smart but nerdy 11-year-old brother her Rosetta Stone to life in the late-'60s: a prized trove of expertly curated rock, pop, and folk albums that set into chaotic motion young William Miller's eye- ear- and mind-opening journey in director Cameron Crowe's quasi-autobiographical 2000 ode to rock 'n' roll fandom, Almost Famous.  Two decades later, the Oscar/BAFTA/Golden Globe Award-winning film remains one of the sweetest love letters to the genre, one that deftly captured the look, the sound, the feel, the attitude of what rock 'n' roll meant to its creators, its most fervent adherents, its hangers-on and its worried parents during a golden era of pop music. The movie's legacy is celebrated with the first-ever release of all the music that so powerfully fueled Crowe's story, based on his own power chord-driven odyssey from wide-eyed music-loving kid to respected rock journalist to celebrated filmmaker.

Glass Animals share a collaboration with fast-rising UK popstar Bree Runway on their huge track “Space Ghost Coast To Coast,” taken from their acclaimed third album Dreamland released last year—listen HERE.  Hot on the heels of their endearingly trippy video for “Space Ghost Coast To Coast” released last week—watch HERE—Glass Animals have also been experiencing a huge global rise in support on their single “Heat Waves,” with the original track now surpassing 530 million streams, and the band recently released a version of “Heat Waves” featuring iann dior—listen HERE.

- BET brings together nine of the most memorable solo artists and girl groups from the 1990s and 2000s to form the ultimate R&B supergroup in the new original series, “BET Presents The Encore.” Shamari DeVoe, Irish Grinstead, LeMisha Grinstead, Nivea Nash, Felisha King, Fallon King, Pamela Long, Aubrey O’ Day, and Kiely Williams have signed on to the one-of-a-kind music experiment to become the next big musical sensation. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, these talented singers turned wives, moms, and entrepreneurs, will move in together, write new music, learn choreography, record an album, and put on a live performance. The catch? The songstresses must achieve this in only 30 days, with none of them knowing who their bandmates will be ahead of time. Faced with fun twists and unforeseen constraints, the ladies will need to stretch beyond their musical and personal comfort zones to succeed as a team. An esteemed roster of music industry experts will drop in each week to prepare them for their big debut and deliver a chart-topping record, including music producer Kosine, choreographer Aliya Janell, songwriter Elijah Blake, and vocal coach Cynnamyn.  Will their artistic differences or egos get in the way of forming a group? Or will these powerhouse women show the world that they still have what it takes to make a major comeback? Only time, and the music, will tell.  “BET Presents The Encore” premieres Wednesday, June 9 at 10 PM ET/PT on BET and BET Her. 

After amassing 65 million-plus views and over 10 million streams independently, the Monterrey Mexico hard rock trio of sisters The Warning unleash a new single entitled CHOKE” today via LAVA/Republic Records.  Listen to CHOKE”HERE and watch the official music video for the track HERE.  On the single “CHOKE” and working with legendary rock producer David Bendeth (Paramore, Bring Me The Horizon, Breaking Benjamin) the band said: CHOKE is a song about drowning in your feelings and coming to terms with them. Recording it with David Bendeth (while in quarantine!) was an incredible experience and he really worked with us to bring the song to life.”

The definitive biography of one of the most enduring and endeared recording artists in history—the Carpenters—will be told for the first time from the perspective of Richard Carpenter, through more than 100 hours of exclusive interviews and some 200 photographs from Richard’s personal archive, many never published. CARPENTERS: THE MUSICAL LEGACY is coming to bookstores on October 19th. Pre-order your copy of CARPENTERS: THE MUSICAL LEGACY today, HERE:

Get ready to get social with “The D’Amelio Show” in our first look teaser!  From relative obscurity and a seemingly normal life, to overnight success and thrust into the Hollywood limelight overnight, the D’Amelios are faced with new challenges and opportunities they could not have imagined. Charli, who at 16 became one of the biggest celebrities with over 150 million followers combined and #1 on the TikTok platform in less than a year, has the world at her fingertips and is working to balance fame and family, life with dancing, running a budding empire, making new friends in LA and battling the naysayers online. Her sister Dixie, is now 19 and experiencing her own overnight rise to fame with over 78 million followers combined, one of the fastest growing YouTube channels and ranked within the Top 10 Most Followed Creators on TikTok. Dixie is now pursuing a music career in LA. For mom Heidi and dad Marc, raising teenagers is hard enough before adding in a cross-country move, supporting their daughters’ dreams and doing the best they can to stay close as a family and protect their girls from the dark side of fame, while also trying to adjust to life in Hollywood. 

Hulu has picked up “Immigrant” straight-to-series. The 8-episode, limited series hails from “Pam & Tommy” creator Robert Siegel and star/executive producer Kumail Nanjiani.  “Immigrant” is the true story of Somen “Steve” Banerjee (played by Nanjiani), the Indian-American entrepreneur who started Chippendales. The series will detail the insane, darkly comedic, crime-ridden story behind the unique male revue that became a cultural phenomenon.  The series is written by Robert Siegel and executive produced by Siegel, Nanjiani, Dylan Sellers and Emily V. Gordon as well as Rajiv Joseph and Mehar Sethi who will also write on the series. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Previewing The Chi: Season Four


There was a shocking end to the third season of The Chi.  After rescuing Keisha from her abductor, Ronnie was rewarded with a bullet to his head, a delayed payback from murdering Coogie back in the first season.  That original season was about how the lives of four black men at different stages of their development on the south side of Chicago intersected.  Now half of them are dead.


Now there are just Emmett and Kevin left on the show.  But their lives have intertwines with plenty of other Chicagoans in the ensuing seasons to pick up the slack of those that were lost.  Kevin, along with his two best friends Jake and Papa, have grown from boys to almost men.  Jake has two surrogate fathers in his life now, his real life brother who showed up after his other brother died and Douda, a gangsta turned politician, granted what is really the difference?  Emmett finally married his baby momma, except before that happened, he hooked up with his business partner who is now dating his father.  That is some Jerry Springer shirt right there.


The third season starts off with a montage set to one of the greatest song ever put on wax.  Well, it is part montage, part promo because all of it turns out to be scenes of what is to come this season as the montage culminates with something very huge happening followed by a “One Month Earlier” title card.  Unfortunately what follows is a very clunky Black Lives Matter plot and a lot of heavy hand scenes that seems like they were added because the writers felt obligated to include it since it was such a big story in the lives of black people in between seasons.  Personally, I would much rather spend time watching Papa record his new podcast.


The Chi airs Sundays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Previewing Black Monday: Season Three


Black Monday was one of the first casualties of the Coronapocalypse.  But the show was lucky that they had finished filming the season before shutdown and were able to finish editing the season and get the rest of it out by the summer.  Billions, which was airing at the same time still has not finished that season yet.  By the time Black Monday season two ended, big changes had occurred.  Dawn confessed to Black Monday.  Blair announced he was running for the seat his gay lover, who hung himself, used to have.  And we were down one Leighman brother.


Season three starts off with Dawn in prison, hustling while reading Shawshank Redemption (natch).  Mo has taken to producing jazz music in the old Jammer Group office after leaving Wall Street (or kicked off depending on who you ask).  Blair is a freshman congressman with an unfortunate historic office.  And there is a surprising Leighman brother replacement. 


The episode titles in the first season referred to the number of day until Black Monday.  They dropped that for the second season, but numbers are back for season three: the season premiere is entitled “Ten!”  Next week is “Nine!”  What are they counting down to?  It is not explicitly said, but one character does talk about heading to the nineties while the second episode features some nineties references like lyrics to a 1992 Ice Cube song.  So I guess we can assume that is it until proven otherwise.  Personally I look forward to the fourth season with Mo sporting a Kid n Play style flattop.


Black Monday airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Previewing Flatbush Misdemeanors

Showtime is getting into experimental comedy game.  After the very broad comedy of Black Comedy comes Flatbush Misdemeanors.  Based on a short film of the same name that had a budget of zero dollars, the television show is also created, written, and stars Kevin Iso (High Fidelity) and Dan Perlman (That’s My Bus!).  Dan plays Dan, a teacher while Kevin plays Kevin, a painter who has to deliver food to make money because you have to be either dead or famous to make money and crashes in Dan’s apartment after moving back to Brooklyn.


It is an experimental comedy because it is one where the writers do not feel obligated to put in at least one joke a minute for better worse like more traditional comedies.  So the show is reminiscent in that way.  The show follows a four act structure; well the first episode does get a fifth act that is designated solely by the surprise emoji. 


The two leads mostly play it straight while they surround themselves with a few more outlandish characters (well, I did laugh when it was revealed that Kevin plays chess by himself).  The funniest is Dan’s new step-dad Kareem (played by Kareem Green) who keeps trying to get Dan to call him dad.  Then there is the local petty criminal Drew (played by, you guessed it, Hassan Johnson) that keeps entertaining himself in Kevin and/or Dan’s business.


Flatbush Misdemeanors will probably be enjoys by those who prefer their comedy more experimental like Hulu's Ramy, but those who want their comedies to have jokes that come fast and furious may want to stick with Black Monday.


Flatbush Misdemeanors airs Sundays at 10:30 on Showtime.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

57 Channels and Only This Is On: May 15, 2021


Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist:  When the promo looked like is was going to be a flashback I thought, well, I guess there will not be many, if any, songs this week.  But they cleverly worked in plenty of music despite Zoey not having powers (I thought maybe the flashback would reveal Mitch had that power too).  The best had to be the weird battle between Max and the man-bunned Leif.  And how could have guess Tobin worked there before anyone else?  But that seemed very unprofessional for the therapist to say the story was a love story about her and a dude that is not her current boyfriend that happens to also be in a different relationship.


The Nevers:  I was wondering why the cop was talking to the press like it was someone we should know.  Except there was no reason for him to know her.  Or was she supposed to look like someone on the show previously?  Was the person who died the press lady and the crazy lazy convinced her to switch places with her?  If so, how?


Fear the Walking Dead:  Happy Mother’s Day everyone.  Geez.  But a pretty stupid episode.  I could not understand why none of the evil doers brought guns while looking for Morgan, or why Morgan was able to murder everyone except the one guy I remembered from last episode even though he was able to stab through the chest.  Seriously, why let him walk away?  But then the guy returns with a gun?  Why not bring it with you in the first place?  Why leave it in the car?


Good Girls:  I am no legal scholar, but how can a councilman be able to go over federal agents to convince the district attorney to not press charges?  And why is this case going to a district attorney?  If it is a federal crime, shouldn’t a US attorney be presiding over the case?


Mare of Easttown:  That dude who kidnapped that girl looked pretty big, kind of like Mare’s ex-husband.  But it is weird that they just low-key mentioned that the first kidnapping victim had a kid, but the grandma cancer patient had to get a babysitter to pay the ransoms.  Just when you thought her life could not get worse, she turns out to be a single grandmother with cancer and a missing daughter.  But who is looking over that kid when she is at work?  Who is the baby daddy?  Is that who usually takes that kid?


City on a Hill:  Well that was a stupid plan.  Why not surprise him in a building with limited exits instead of a wide open street where there could be potential bystanders?  So now that he is dead, do we go back to Decourcy and Frankie feuding?  Granted Decourcy will have to repay a favor first.


Cruel Summer: So Kate thought she saw Kate at the dunk tank and thought it was Jamie, someone of a completely different height, weight, and gender?  Well that certainly helps Jeanette’s case of mistaken identity.  But I am waiting for things to pick up, after three strong episodes to start; the next two have sort of dragged.  They need more scenes of Kate confronting Jeanette, but it was Kate that ducked away from Jeanette this episode.  And those stupid trigger warning are starting to get very spoilery.  These millennial need to grow the fork up.


Supergirl:  I did not think things could be worse than Brainiac 5 and Dreamer going back in time episodes, but this stupid everyone manifests their fears may have actually been worse.  Okay, I did laugh at Brainiac 5 being afraid of balloons.


Big Sky:  I always that that wig was so bad; no way that it is fooling anyone.  It turns out it did not, the girlfriend did know he was a sex trafficker.  And did not care?  Okay, I could see a murderer being attracted to another murderer, but shouldn’t sex trafficking cross the perverable line, even for murderers? But it looks like the wrapped up the other plotline with all the male heirs dead.  Congratulations to the daughter?  But I am not sure if the family farm is going to be worth much anymore.


The Handmaid’s Tale:  So Janine survives the train only to be buried by rubble two episodes later?  But I guess we did not see the body so I guess she may have survived.  But what was Moira doing in Chicago?  And doesn’t mass bombing a city minute before a ceasefire defeat the purpose of a ceasefire?  Would people who would give aid to Gilead really think, well, that did get that mass murdering in before the deadline, so that is okay?


The Challenge: All-Stars:  Last week I mentioned how few people in the final who actually won an elimination and it ended up being fewer than I expected since two people that went home had won previous eliminations.  So that is just four of the twelve finalists saw the Arena.  Yeah, it is definitely time to institute the rule that you have to win an elimination to run TJ’s final.  Poor Kendal, wins three of the seven dailies, and goes into three of five possible eliminations.  Thank you Yes for calling out Nehemiah for claiming everyone needs to warn their stripes and they pick the only female that already went in multiple times.


Manifest:  It is sad that the white single teenage female is the most interesting part of this show. But why is Olive hooking up with the la tech and mad that the other chick is doing the same?  Doesn’t she have a boyfriend?  And where has that dude been?


The Blacklist:  So evil dude asked the Russian spy if he or Reddington was M13 and he whispers something to him that makes evil dud go after Lizzy.  Wait, is Lizzy M13?  What could he have possibly said to make him react like that?