Saturday, August 07, 2021

Around the Tubes: August 7, 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 The GreatDopesick, John Mellencamp, Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James, The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, Anthony Hamilton, Luz, Noah Kahan, The Chiand other Hulu TCA announcements.

In season two of “The Great,” Catherine finally takes the Russian throne for her own—but if she thought coup-ing her husband was difficult, it’s nothing compared to the realities of liberating a country that doesn’t want to be. She’ll battle her court, her team, even her own mother (played by guest star Gillian Anderson) in a bid to bring the Enlightenment to Russia. Meanwhile, she’ll also battle her heart as Peter slowly transitions from a much-hated husband to a prisoner? Ally? Lover? Ultimately, Catherine will learn that to change a country, you must let it change you, that there is a fine line between idealism and delusion, and that becoming “Great” will ask more of her than she could have imagined.  The series stars Elle Fanning as Catherine, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Bayo Gbadamosi and Belinda Bromilow. 

From executive producer Danny Strong and starring and executive produced by Michael Keaton, “Dopesick” examines how one company triggered the worst drug epidemic in American history. The series takes viewers to the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction, from the boardrooms of Big Pharma to a distressed Virginia mining community to the hallways of the DEA. Defying all the odds, heroes will emerge in an intense and thrilling ride to take down the craven corporate forces behind this national crisis and their allies. The limited series is inspired by the New York Times bestselling book by Beth Macy.  The eight-episode series stars Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Poulter, John Hoogenakker, with Kaitlyn Dever and Rosario Dawson. Guest stars include Phillipa Soo and Jake McDorman. 

The first three episodes of "Wu-Tang: An American Saga” season two premiere September 8 on Hulu. New episodes stream Wednesdays. 

John Mellencamp launches the pre-order for the live album to accompany the upcoming documentary The Good Samaritan Tour 2000 out on August 27th.  Pre-order The Good Samaritan Tour 2000 live album HERE  and watch the trailer for the documentary HERE.  The Good Samaritan Tour 2000 will also be streamed on Turner Classic Movie’s (TCM) YouTube channel August 27th with Mellencamp appearing as a guest programmer on the network in September.

SHOWTIME® has released a trailer for BITCHIN’: THE SOUND AND FURY OF RICK JAMES, directed by Emmy®-nominee Sacha Jenkins (WU-TANG CLAN: OF MICS AND MENBURN, MOTHERF*CKER, BURN!). BITCHIN’ is an intimate yet propulsive look at Rick James, one of rock, funk and R&B’s most legendary and often underappreciated figures. Featuring rare footage of James’ incredible live shows, never-before-seen home video, original interviews with legendary artists, collaborators and friends, and a treasure trove of recorded interviews with James (who died in 2004), the documentary presents a full picture of James’ dramatic rise and fall, focusing in on the “Punk-Funk” music he left behind. The film, which screened at the Tribeca Festival® in June, will premiere on Friday, September 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. 

The Weeknd releases his much anticipated single “Take My Breath”, the first from his forthcoming album as announced in his GQ global cover story this week. The sonically-charged track exemplifies The Weeknd’s ability to consistently evolve his sound and his knack for story-telling through his music. The release is accompanied by a mesmerizing visual directed by Cliqua - Watch the video HERE. Listen to “Take My Breath” HERE.

Vevo, the world's leading music video network, announces the release of Billie Eilish’s Official Live Performance of “Male Fantasy” off her latest album, Happier Than Ever via Darkroom/Interscope Records. Vevo’s Official Live Performances are the result of close creative collaboration with artists and their teams, resulting in a series of very special exclusive performances. “Male Fantasy” follows the release of Billie’s previous Official Live Performance of “Your Power.”

 After teasing more music for the past year and building anticipation among fans worldwide, GRAMMY® Award-winning, multiplatinum singer, songwriter, producer, and actor, Anthony Hamilton returns with his anxiously awaited tenth full-length and first album in five years, Love Is The New Black., on September, 24th 2021. Billboard made the exclusive announcement. It notably will be the flagship release under his own label My Music Box in partnership with BMG. Pre-order Love Is The New Black.HERE.

Irish artist Luz has today revealed her brand-new single ‘permanent +1’, out now via global artist services company Platoon. Listen now here.  Recorded between Dublin and London with producer JMAC (Haux, Rosie Carney, Matilda Mann), the track is Luz’s fifth release, following previous singles ‘counting houses’, ‘we’ll be fine’, ‘i’m lonely’ and ‘the author,’ the latter of which has recently been featured in this year’s series of Love Island. Since being played on the show the track has doubled its daily streams, hitting Number 11 on Shazam’s charts, as well as re-entering the iTunes chart. 

Vermont singer and songwriter Noah Kahan drops his new fan-favorite track, “Animal,” from his upcoming album, I Was / I Am, out September 17th—listen HERE!  “Animal” was chosen by Noah’s fans as his next single after he teased the song on socials. On the song, his falsetto soars over head-bobbing beats and handclaps as he sings, “Oh, sometimes I feel like an animal. Oh, I climb so high just to feel a fall and let it go. So, look me in the eyes, am I someone else?” Of the meaning behind the song, Noah says, “‘Animal’ is about dissociating from who you thought yourself to be. I wrote it with a friend of mine. He and I speak at length about mental health and what it’s like to live with depression, and I think this song is fundamentally about that everyday struggle.”

- More news out of Hulu's TCA's

Hulu Greenlights Comedy Series “This Fool”

 “This Fool” centers on Julio Lopez, a self-described “punk-ass bitch” who still lives at home and goes out of his way to help everyone but himself. Inspired by the life and stand-up comedy of star and co-creator Chris Estrada, this cinematic half-hour comedy explores Julio’s work at a gang-rehabilitation non-profit and his quest to overcome his codependency issues with his family as he navigates working-class life in South Central Los Angeles.  “This Fool” is written and executive produced by Chris Estrada, Pat Bishop, Jake Weisman and Matt Ingebretson. Jonathan Groff and Fred Armisen also serve as executive producers on the series. The series is produced by ABC Signature.

 Hulu Expands Unscripted True Crime Collection With New Documentary “Dead Asleep” and Docuseries “Captive Audience”

 “Dead Asleep”

In a ground-breaking new spin on the true-crime genre, the documentary film “Dead Asleep,” produced in association with Sky Crime, flips the traditional thriller narrative to explore a deeper and more troubling mystery: Did a remorseful Randy Herman Jr. really commit a brutal murder in his sleep, or was it a convenient cover story? Pulse Films has secured exclusive access to Herman and his family, the defense and prosecution attorneys, journalists who covered the case, forensic psychiatrists and world experts in violent parasomnia (sleep-walking) to give viewers an inside look at the shocking twists and turns of the controversial crime. A Pulse Films production, “Dead Asleep” is directed by award-winner Skye Borgman, who is also behind the critically acclaimed documentary “Abducted In Plain Sight” and recently worked with Pulse Films on their Oxygen special “The Case Died With Her.” For Pulse Films, executive producers include Marisa Clifford, Nelesh Dhand and Sunshine Jackson. For Sky U.K., Jack Oliver and Poppy Dixon will also serve as executive producers.

 “Captive Audience”

In 1972, 7-year-old Steven Stayner mysteriously vanished on his way home from school. Nearly a decade later, his dramatic return to his family sparked ‘80s-era “stranger danger” warnings, legal reforms and one iconic Made-For-TV-Movie2, in which the family’s ordeal was transformed into a prime-time miniseries watched by 70 million Americans. When the credits rolled and the movie ended, it closed one tragic chapter of the family’s life but opened another.  This limited documentary series explores the evolution of true-crime storytelling through the lens of one family’s 50-year journey and two brothers; one deemed a villain and the other a hero. It’s about how truth becomes story and story becomes truth—on TV, in the justice system and in our minds.  “Captive Audience” is directed by Jessica Dimmock (Netflix’s “Flint Town” and “Unsolved Mysteries”) and produced by Wonderburst and High Five Content. It is executive produced by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Jen Casey and Andrew Jacobs, along with Mike Larocca, Todd Makurath, Nick Gilhool and Peter Rieveschl.

“Animaniacs” – Season Two Premiere, Friday, Nov. 5


Hellloooo, season two! Hulu, Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation have joined forces once again to bring you “Animaniacs.” This Emmy Award-winning animated series—and one of Hulu’s all-time most talked-about shows on social media—returns with 13 brand new episodes on Friday, Nov. 5.  Yakko, Wakko and Dot return for an all-new season of this iconic, family-friendly series with something for everyone: pop culture parodies, musical showstoppers, takedowns of historical baddies and even some important safety tips. Join the Warners and Pinky and the Brain as they wreak havoc everywhere they go, from the Warner Bros. lot to an international beauty pageant, even all the way into outer space. Keep an eye out for season one favorites Starbox and Cindy, as well as some rejected Animaniacs characters that were left on the cutting room floor.  Steven Spielberg returns as executive producer of the series, with Sam Register, president, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios. Amblin Television co-presidents, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, also serve as executive producers. Wellesley Wild serves as showrunner and executive producer. Gabe Swarr serves as co-executive producer. “Animaniacs” is produced by Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Animation.

 “Baker’s Dozen” – Series Premiere, Thursday, Oct. 7

 Passionate amateur bakers will go head-to-head with seasoned professionals in each episode of “Baker’s Dozen.” Join hosts Tamera Mowry-Housley (Emmy-award winning host of “The Real,” FOX’s “The Masked Singer” and Hallmark’s “Christmas Comes Twice”) and Bill Yosses (author and former White House Pastry Chef) for this fast-paced competition series that will determine the best baker of all! Which of the 13 bakers has what it takes to create the next viral baking sensation, win the golden rolling pin and take home the cash prize?  “Baker’s Dozen” is executive produced by Sandy Varo Jarrell, Suzanne Rauscher, Justin Rae Barnes, Tara Seiner and Scott Mlodzinski for Bright Spot Content, an All3Media America company. 

“The Next Thing You Eat” – Series Premiere, Thursday, Oct. 21

 From chef David Chang and Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville, “The Next Thing You Eat” is a six-episode docuseries that explores the seismic changes happening all around us and what they mean for the way we’ll eat in the future. Chang and a diverse cast of characters dive headfirst into what lies ahead, including everything from robots, to lab-grown fish, to insect farms, to artificial intelligence calling all the shots.  Executive produced by the creators of the Emmy®-nominated “Ugly Delicious,” with showrunner Dominic Musacchio

 “Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition” – Season Premiere, Thursday, Nov. 4

In “Taste the Nation,” award-winning host, executive producer and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi, who recently received her third Emmy nomination, takes audiences on a journey across America, exploring the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups and seeking out the people who have so heavily shaped what American food is today. From indigenous communities to recent immigrant arrivals, Padma breaks bread with Americans across the nation to uncover the roots and relationship between our food, our humanity and our history—ultimately revealing stories that challenge notions of identity, belonging, and what it means to be American.  “Taste the Nation” returns this fall for a special four-part “Holiday Edition,” where each episode will highlight unique traditions through the lens of different immigrant cultures and cities, like Korean New Year in Los Angeles and Cuban Christmas in Miami.  “Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition” is executive produced by Padma Lakshmi along with Part2 Pictures’ David Shadrack Smith.

SHOWTIME has picked up the hit drama series THE CHI for a fifth season. Created and executive produced by Emmy® winner Lena Waithe (Twenties, Boomerang) and executive produced by Academy Award®, Emmy and Golden Globe® winner Common (Selma), THE CHI is a timely coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents on the South Side of Chicago who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption. The fourth season, which just aired its finale last night, is averaging 4.2 million weekly viewers and is on pace to become the most-streamed SHOWTIME series ever. The fifth season will return to the network in 2022.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

57 Channels and Only This Is On: August 1, 2021


The White Lotus:  So I guess they are just not going to acknowledge the death until the final episode.  They are not even going to tease it except maybe the desk guy overdosing.  Maybe the college chick kills her friend in a jealous rage.  Not that the show needs a murder mystery (the death may not even be a murder, we just know someone died), it is entertaining without it.  The gay dad storyline is hilarious.  What point does the dad take up the desk guy’s offer?


Kevin Can Fork Himself:  So there was a shooting and that is all we know.  But who shot who and did the one who got shot die?  The police was very vague and as learned later in the episode, that is a ploy when the police do not know everything, but they want the person they are interrogating they think they do.  I am guessing Kevin did the shooting and gets off because of the Castle Doctrine.  If he did die or go to jail, does the show drop the sitcom? They did have the sitcom for the very first time without Kevin this week.  Maybe they change the name to Neil Can Fork Himself next season if Kevin did die or goes to jail.  Though I guess if Kevin goes to prison, they could do the sitcom whenever someone visits him.


The Chi:   That was a cheesy start to the show.  Sure, when I was that age I probably was doing the exact same thing to Jodeci, but at least I never filmed it.  But man, the mayor gets shot and he is back to being full evil beating a man (presumably) to death in his own house.  Someone need to finish that guy off.


Black Monday:  There goes my season long theory that the reverend’s daughter was the one killing everyone.  Though it is hard to predict someone if you were told they were dead.  The reverend’s daughter makes much more sense, why exactly would Lenny kill the reverend.  But now that I think about it, we never get actual confirmation that Lenny killed anyone, all he did was creepily grab an axe on his way out of the hospital. He could just be a huge misdirect.


Flatbush Misdemeanor:  “You don’t need to yell and cuss, one would be fine.”  Then admits he would not be mad if a guardian slaps a teacher.  Now that is quality principaling. But that was an unexpected ending.  That is one way to lose guardianship.


Motherland: Fort Salem:  The episode’s title was “My 3 Dads” and all I wanted is to know how that actually works.  But I came out of the episode more confused than when I first saw the title.  But those were some incompetent body guards.