Saturday, August 28, 2021

Around the Tubes: August 28, 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 Yellowjackets, The Unusual Suspects, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Naughty By Nature, The Beach Boys, John Mellencamp, POV, and other Showtime TCannouncements.

SHOWTIME will premiere its new survival drama YELLOWJACKETS on Sunday, November 14 at 10 pm ET/PT. Created and executive produced by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson (Narcos), the 10-episode, one-hour drama series starring Melanie Lynskey (Castle Rock), Oscar® and Emmy® nominee Juliette Lewis (Camping), Emmy nominee Christina Ricci (Z: The Beginning of Everything) and Tawny Cypress (Unforgettable) is currently in production in Vancouver. Equal parts survival epic, psychological horror story and coming-of-age drama, YELLOWJACKETS is the saga of a team of wildly talented high school girls soccer players who become the (un)lucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the remote northern wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated but thriving team to savage clans, while also tracking the lives they’ve attempted to piece back together nearly 25 years later, proving that the past is never really past and what began out in the wilderness is far from over.

- Now streaming on Hulu - U.S. Exclusive: The Unusual Suspects (APC).  In Sydney's glamorous suburbs, Sara Beasley, a rich business woman, lives along Evie, her nanny who holds her family together. What Sara ignores is that Evie has a daughter of her own, left behind in the Philippines. Roxanne Waters, a self-made Filipina socialite, is married to Jordan who bought her a precious necklace... just before being arrested for fraud. Together with Amy, Roxanne's nanny and friend, and Birdie, a retired lawyer, the five women will join forces to find a way to achieve their dreams - by planning a heist.

- Beloved Platinum-selling band, Toad the Wet Sprocket, has released their latest album, STARTING NOW, which is available everywhere you find great music now. This latest project, being released through the band's own independent label, Abe's Records, is a collection of material exploring how we manage to find hope after life's uncertainties that often force a change and challenge us to survive on a new path.  LISTEN:             STARTING NOW.  PURCHASE:      STARTING NOW 

Grammy Award winning, legendary Hip-Hop group Naughty By Nature are set to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of their self-titled album released in 1991. Few bands in music can boast about an almost 30 year career that has been both consistent and history making. Naughty By Nature, initially called New Style, began performing at talent shows and were discovered by fellow New Jersey native and then emerging Hip-Hop artist, Queen Latifah. Eventually signing the group to her management company Flavor Unit Management, Latifah helped them land a deal with Tommy Boy Records. Following the release of their self-titled debut album in 1991, Naughty By Nature quickly assaulted the music charts with the instant classic #1 hit “O.P.P.” The group quickly became crossover stars, bridging the gap between their Hip-Hop roots and the mainstream music world. To date, their success and longevity as a Hip-Hop band has been unparalleled. The trio went on to produce their follow-up albums that have become part of America’s Hip- Hop legacy: 19 Naughty III (1993), Poverty’s Paradise (1995) and Nature’s Fury (1999).  Inevitably, a break-up in 1999 would lead to the group members each following different, yet equally successful, personal endeavors. As a producer, Kay Gee went onto produce award winning music with artists including: Luther Vandross, Notorious B.I.G, Jaheim, Next and Zhane. As an actor, Treach found success in film and television offering critically-acclaimed performances on HBO’s original series The Sopranos and OZ, along with Jason’s Lyric, Soul Food, the Hip-Hop cult-classic Juice and several other films. As the marketing genius behind the group, Vin Rock developed Naughty Gear, one of the first Hip-Hop inspired clothing lines. When he got a hold of the worldwide web, he mastered it with, further developing and expanding the reach of the Naughty brand. 

The Beach Boys new box set, Feel Flows – The Sunflower and Surf’s Up Sessions 1969-1971is out now via Capitol/UMe, in honor of 50 years of the band’s timeless and often underappreciated albums, Sunflower and Surf’s Up. The expansive 5CD box set chronicles and explores in depth this metamorphic and highly influential 1969-1971 period of the band’s legendary career. Assembled by Mark Linett and Alan Boyd, the team behind 2013’s GRAMMY® Award-winning SMiLE Sessions, the comprehensive collection features newly remastered versions of Sunflower and Surf’s Up and boasts 135 tracks, including 108 previously unreleased tracks, live recordings, radio promos, alternate versions, alternate mixes, isolated backing tracks and a cappella versions, culled from the album sessions.  Housed in a book style package, the set is rounded out with a 48-page book loaded with unreleased and rare photos, lyric sheets, tape box images, recording artifacts, insightful new liner notes by noted radio veteran and Beach Boys aficionado Howie Edelson, and new and archival interviews from Al Jardine, Brian Wilson, Bruce Johnston, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, and others. Feel Flows is also available in abbreviated versions including 4LP on both black vinyl and limited edition Translucent Blue and Translucent Gold color vinyl, 2LP black vinyl and 2CD editions.  Stream/order Feel Flows – The Sunflower and Surf’s Up Sessions 1969-1971

John Mellencamp and Republic Records release the live album to accompany the The Good Samaritan Tour 2000 documentary available now on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) YouTube channel.  Stream The Good Samaritan Tour 2000 live album HERE and watch The Good Samaritan Tour 2000 documentary HERE.  The album features live versions of some of John Mellencamp’s most popular songs including “Pink Houses,” “Small Town” as well as a cover of “Oklahoma Hills” written by Woody Guthrie. See full tracklist below. The Good Samaritan Tour 2000 documentary is available on Turner Classic Movie’s (TCM) YouTube channel starting today. Next month, John Mellencamp will also appear as a guest programmer on TCM. Look out for more information soon.

THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH returns for an eight-episode run this fall, kicking off on Sunday, September 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. The acclaimed weekly docu-series, now in its sixth season and nominated this year for two Emmy Awards, is hosted by John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon, Alex Wagner and Jennifer Palmieri. With Covid-19 resurgent, Afghanistan in chaos, Joe Biden's sweeping domestic agenda on the line in Congress and the Republican Party still in thrall to Donald Trump and his Big Lie about 2020 election fraud, THE CIRCUS once again will take viewers behind the scenes and beyond the headlines at a moment when American politics is more convulsive than ever — and the stakes for the country have never been higher.

POV Shorts, the newest series from American Documentary, debuts its fourth season on Monday, September 6, 2021 on PBS and streaming online at With 13 new short nonfiction films packed into seven unique episodes, POV Shorts continues to program innovative and diverse stories that capture longing for community and identity and difficult reconciliations with family history. In just its 3rd season, POV Shorts was named the ‘Best Short Form Series’ at the 36th annual IDA Documentary Awards.

SHOWTIME has announced a pilot order for the drama series COERCION, written and directed by Oscar and Emmy® nominee Susannah Grant (Unbelievable, Erin Brockovich) and starring Sydney Chandler (Don’t Worry DarlingPistol). The series, produced by wiip, is inspired by the life of Rebecca Bender, a national leader on and survivor of sex trafficking.  Bender is now one of the nation’s foremost experts on the subject and a leading consultant for federal law enforcement on how to spot it, prosecute it and protect the victims in its web. The series picks up with her escape from this world after six years, her struggles to return to a “normal” life, and her emergence as a confident, funny and impassioned advocate for justice.

SHOWTIME has announced a pilot order for the comedy series THE WOOD, based on the feature film written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa (THE CHI, Dope). Famuyiwa will direct the pilot and executive produce with Justin Hillian (THE CHI, Snowfall), who will write the script. The project is a production of Paramount Television Studios.  THE WOOD is an honest look at friendship and dating from the perspective of three young Black males born and raised in the gentrifying L.A. suburb of Inglewood, fondly referred to by locals as the City Of Champions. The trio’s struggles to balance fatherhood, ambition and loyalty force them to question if they are growing apart … or closer together. With a knowing nod back to the characters of the 1999 film on which it is based, this romantic comedy showcases the humor and heart of young Black men and women trying to navigate life, love and likes on the ’Gram. 

SHOWTIME has picked up a second season of its half-hour comedy series FLATBUSH MISDEMEANORS. Created by Kevin Iso (High Fidelity) and Dan Perlman (That’s My Bus!), who both star, FLATBUSH MISDEMEANORS  is a raw comedy of city life following Dan and Kevin, who play characters struggling to thrive in their new surroundings in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The show explores two long-time friends seeking to climb out of their heads and connect with others. Season one cast also includes  Kristin Dodson (The Shivering Truth), Hassan Johnson (The Wire), Kareem Green and Kerry Coddett.

SHOWTIME has announced that DESUS & MERO, the network’s first-ever late night talk show, will return for a fourth season in 2022. Currently in its third season, DESUS & MERO airs weekly on Sunday and Thursday nights at 11 p.m. ET/PT from New York City through December 12. Each episode of DESUS & MERO, which won a WGA Award earlier this year for Comedy/Variety Talk Series, features co-hosts Desus Nice and The Kid Mero giving their take on the day’s hot topics and chatting with guests at the intersection of pop culture, sports, music, politics and more, with recent guests including President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Lil Nas X, Matt Damon, YoYo Ma, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Eddie Murphy, Idris Elba, H.E.R. and Glenn Close. 

SHOWTIME announced that the Peabody Award-winner and two-time Emmy-nominated documentary series VICE will premiere RETURN OF THE TALIBAN: A VICE SPECIAL REPORT, a one-hour special on the current Taliban takeover in Afghanistan on Friday, September 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Acclaimed VICE correspondents Hind Hassan, Ben Soloman, Seb Walker and Isobel Yeung will report from the ground in Afghanistan and surrounding areas – including exclusive footage and interviews captured before and after the takeover – and provide a deeper look at the militant group that seized control of the country in 11 days, following the U.S. military withdrawal.

After breaking network viewership records with its debut, SHOWTIME has picked up a second season of the hit series YOUR HONORstarring Oscar® nominee and Emmy, Screen Actors Guild® and Tony Award-winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) in his performance as Michael Desiato, a respected New Orleans judge whose teenage son is involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices. BAFTA® winner Peter Moffat (The Night Of, Undercover) serves as showrunner, executive producer and writer of multiple episodes. Premiering as a limited series, the first season of YOUR HONOR was the most-watched debut season on SHOWTIME ever (6.6 million weekly viewers) and is currently the network’s most-watched series. Production on 10 episodes for the upcoming season is scheduled to resume next year for a 2022 return to the network. The announcement was made today by Gary Levine and Jana Winograde, Presidents of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

57 Channels and Only This Is On: August 22, 2021



The White Lotus:  If there was one thing I really did not need to see in my life was what Armand did to that suitcase.  No wonder he died, that must have really angered the island Gods.  But that death should have been obvious considering days before the announced the show had been renewed for a second season in a different resort.  Why not run it back with Armand unless he would not be around for a second season?


Reservation Dogs:  This episode was severly missing the rapping twins.


Nine Perfect Strangers:  Man, I think you may have to Ferris Bueller / Parker Lewis wars of the early nineties to witness a show so poorly timed that it really hurt a show quite like Nine perfect Strangers premiering mere days after The White Lotus, another show about annoying rich people going to exotic resort.  The first episode just seemed lifeless despite having quite of few very hilarious people (Bortles!!!!).  I did enjoy the show more after watching second episode and third episodes with a bombshell that ended the third one.  Maybe that is why the firt episode was so restrained but the characters got more and more bombastic.  Hopefully the further away we get from The White Lotus, the easier it is to enjoy the show on its own merits.


The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies: Yet another agent deactivated without explanation sending everyone to the internet to figure out what happened.  But unlike Nan, not clear reason why Lauren is no longer on the show except some long, vague message from Lauren and on unverified rumor.  This show used to love the drama and now is apparently just editing it out, well except for some drunken Smashley rant.


At what point do the rookies realize they are being picked off systematically?  Two eliminations, only rookies have gone in even though there has been a rookie in the agency each week.  If I counted correctly, after four rookies going home, they are now deadlocked at fifteen veterans and fifteen rookies.  If the rookies do not start playing soon, it is going to be too late real soon.


In the Dark:  I am not sure what was more shocking, that Gene is now captain or he turned out to be black.  But I think it is pretty clear now that the woman who gets her head smashed into the car is not actually Jess, but whoever’s identity she stole which is why they never show a good shot of her.


Titans:  Booooo, how disappointing that Dove is leaving.  But will she return after Wonder Girl’s inevitable return?  I would like to point out that Scarecrow was actually working with Red Hood.