Saturday, September 04, 2021

Around the Tubes: September 4, 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 American Rust, CODA, Public Enemy, Bob Marley, the weeknd, Joy Oladokun, Audidio, People PuzzlerFruits of Laborand The Curse of Von Dutch.

SHOWTIME has released the premiere episode of its new drama series AMERICAN RUST for free sampling, on streaming platforms and on demand. The episode is available on and, as well as across multiple SHOWTIME partner platforms. Starring Emmy winner and Tony nominee Jeff Daniels (THE COMEY RULEThe Newsroom, Godless, The Looming Tower) and award-winning actress and Emmy nominee Maura Tierney (YOUR HONOR, THE AFFAIR, The Report, Beautiful Boy), the series is also executive produced by Daniels, reteaming with Oscar® nominee Dan Futterman (The Looming TowerCapote, Foxcatcher), who serves as executive producer, writer and showrunner. AMERICAN RUST will officially premiere on Sunday, September 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Additionally, the second episode of the series will be available starting at midnight on Sunday, September 12 on demand for SHOWTIME subscribers.

Republic Records and Apple Original Films have teamed up with Deaf West Theatre (David Kurs, Artistic Director) to release the official music video for the single “You’re All I Need To Get By (Duet Version)” from the CODA “Soundtrack from the Apple Original Film” today. The performance of the Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell classic song is sung by “CODA”’s lead actress Emilia Jones (Locke & Key, Doctor Who) & co-star Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (Sing Street, Vikings), as featured in the film now playing in select theaters and streaming on Apple TV+.  Watch the official music video for “You’re All I Need To Get By (Duet Version)” HERE.

Public Enemy - the legendary super group that launched a musical revolution - have announced they will bring their classic videos to the world in newly remastered HD for the first time. The remastered HD version of Public Enemy’s 911 Is a Joke from the group’s third album, Fear Of A Black Planet, is out now. The video, on platform for the first time ever, represents a seminal moment in the group’s history; one that brings Public Enemy forward as forefathers of a visual revolution that can now be celebrated digitally. Throughout the next two months and leading into the 30th anniversary of the landmark album, Apocalypse 91... The Enemy Strikes Black, UMe will be releasing a mix of music videos that have previously never been available digitally and classic videos remastered in HD formats for the first time on Public Enemy’s official YouTube channel, CHANNEL ZERO.  Additional videos will follow on CHANNEL ZERO with the debut of the videos for “Can’t Do Nuttin’ For Ya Man,” “Brothers Gonna Work It Out,” the uncensored version of “Anti-N Machine,” “Burn Hollywood Burn,” featuring Ice Cube and Big Daddy Kane, and their GRAMMY® nominated anthem “Fight The Power,” all from Fear Of A Black Planet. More HD videos coming include “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos” and “Louder Than A Bomb” from their landmark release It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, “Hazy Shade Of Criminal,” “Welcome To The Terrordome (Instrumental)” and “He Got Game.” October 1st marks the anniversary of a seminal moment in the group’s history as the forefathers of a musical, cultural, political, and visual revolution that started over 30 years. And for the October 1st anniversary of their 1991 GRAMMY® nominated release, Apocalypse 91... The Enemy Strikes Black, the videos for “By The Time I Get To Arizona,” “Nighttrain” and “Shut Em Down,” will once again make their debut and make history in HD.

- ‘Bob Marley and The Wailers: The Capitol Session ’73’ is now streaming exclusively on The Coda Collection. Meticulously restored and long believed lost, the new film features a never-before-seen studio session with 12 performances by the legendary band, filmed and recorded live at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California. Coinciding with the arrival of the film, Tuff Gong/Mercury Studios have released ‘The Capitol Session ’73’ in CD/DVD, CD, 2LP colored vinyl, and digital audio formats today, which are available now HERE.  ‘Bob Marley and The Wailers: The Capitol Session ’73’ can be streamed in-full now HERE via The Coda Collection, and the group’s performance of “Slave Driver” from the session is available to watch on Bob Marley’s official YouTube channel HERE.

SHOWTIME and Pepsi announced today that the documentary THE SHOW, a unique, first-ever look into the making of the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, will premiere on Friday, September 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The 90-minute feature chronicles the massive undertaking behind one of the most iconic musical performances of the year. This year’s show starred The Weeknd and was executive produced by Emmy nominees Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, Desiree Perez, Roc Nation and Jesse Collins and directed by acclaimed multi-award nominated Hamish Hamilton (who has directed the Halftime Show since 2010).  To watch the trailer, go to:

Breakthrough singer, songwriter and musician Joy Oladokun releases her brand new cover of The Who’s classic “Who Are You.” Stream/purchase HERE.  After CBS Marketing reached out, the critically acclaimed artist personally produced, arranged, sang, and recorded the cover to soundtrack the official trailer for CSI: Vegas which premiered on ET Online. Watch it HERECSI: Vegas premieres on Wednesday October 6, 2021 (10:00 – 11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on the CBS app and Paramount+.  Earlier this summer, Joy unveiled the deluxe edition of her latest album, in defense of my own happiness (complete). It’s out now via Amigo Records/Verve Forecast/Republic Records. Stream/purchase HERE.

After more than 20 years without a TV platform to watch live music video programming, a new Nashville-based video network called Audidio announced Thursday they have answered the call and are now streaming 16 channels of music video content 24-7-365.  Audidio, pronounced Au-did-ee-yo, like if you mixed audio with video, is a new, 24-7-365, music video platform available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android, iPhone and streaming online at

PEOPLE PUZZLER, hosted by two-time Emmy® award winner Leah Remini and based on the iconic crosswords in PEOPLE Magazinereturns with a new season on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th at 6 p.m. ET on Game Show Network and will air weeknights.  In PEOPLE PUZZLER, three lucky contestants will put their pop culture knowledge to the test to complete iconic, PEOPLE PUZZLER crosswords.  The player who has won the most points after three rounds will move on to the Fast Puzzle Bonus Round where they will have the opportunity to win a cash prize. PEOPLE PUZZLER is produced by Meredith Corporation and Start Entertainment, LLC for Game Show Network. Executive Producers are Scott St. John and Neal Konstantini for Start Entertainment, LLC, along with Dan Wakeford and Rachel Feinberg for Meredith Corporation. Rane Laymance also serves as executive producer. 

Fruits of Labor, which had its world premiere at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival, follows Ashley, a Mexican-American teenager living in a small agricultural town on the central coast of California. A moving coming-of-age story about a determined young woman and an eye-opening look at the seen and unseen forces that trap many families in poverty, Fruits of Labor is a co-presentation of POV and Latino Public Broadcasting’s VOCES.  Produced and directed by Emily Cohen Ibañez, the film premieres on Monday, October 4, 2021 at 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, and the PBS Video app.

THE CURSE OF VON DUTCH, Premiere Date: November 18, 2021 on Hulu.  Synopsis: The Curse of Von Dutch” chronicles the unbelievable true story behind the rise and fall of the 2000s most iconic fashion trend. In this epic character-driven saga, Venice Beach surfers, gangsters, European garmentos and Hollywood movers and shakers all vie for control of the infamous brand — pushing it from obscurity to one of the most recognizable labels on Earth. After a decade of backstabbing, greed, and bloodshed, their lives – and pop culture – will never be the same. 

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Previewing Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James

For anyone under forty-five, the first thing they probably think of when they think of Rick James is the Charlie Murphy True Hollywood Story from Chappelle Show.  If they were to think of a second thing about Rick James it would probably be U Can’t Touch This, the MC Hammer song that samples a Rick James song.  If there was a third thing, it would be appearing in the Eddie Murphy music video for the song he produced.  If there was a fourth thing, it would be that Rick James was a disgusting pervert who was arrested for keeping a sex slave in his basement for him and his wife. 


It is kind of amazing how artists can be so huge but can be completely unknown by future generation.  James had six top five albums on the RnB charts in six years back when being able to sell albums meant something but most people under forty-five can name a song that was not sampled by MC Hammer.  Really, I am not sure most people under twenty-five could name a song by MC Hammer.


Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James starts off with Rick James’s daughter unpacking some her father’s belonging for storages which she has not seen for 12 years.  We get plenty of information about James’s childhood growing up in Buffalo, New York, his draft dodging days, and the time he was in a band signed to Motown with Neil Young.  This is a story I have heard before, yet every time I hear it, I am still pretty shocked by it.


Aside from a short intro, they really do not get into Rick’s freaky side until about halfway through the doc.  Then it does not get to his legal troubles until the last twenty-five minutes.  Anyone looking for a takedown of someone who was sent to jail for imprisoning and beating women, this is not that documentary.  Most of the talking heads posthumously make excusing for Rick James trying to make the claim that Rick was a good person if not for the drugs.  But as Rick himself explains in the doc, no one has to force you to do crack.  The lack of culpability for someone who spent years in prison for his crimes and still refused to get clean is really lacking from this documentary.


Also conspicuously absent from the film are Dave Chappelle, MC Hammer, and Eddie Murphy, though archival footage of all are shown including the infamous Chappelle Show sketch.  The doc was able to get new sound bites from Niles Rogers, Ice Cube, Big Daddy Kane, Bootsie Collins, and his backing band that provided the best insight.  The documentary also uses animation for a couple scenes where there was not any footage of.  I really could have done without them recreating sex scenes involving James but there is a scene inside a record executive’s office which looked out of the Chappelle Show sketch.


Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James airs Friday at 9:00 on Showtime.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Previewing the Second Half of Billions Season Five

There were plenty of shows that were negatively impacted by COVID, but aside for shows like G.L.O.W. that were renewed but later canceled because of it, there is an argument that Billions was the show most negatively affected.  Of the shows that were shut down while still filming, Billions is one of the last that were not canceled to finally put out there next episode.  The last episode of Billions aired June 14, 2020 and now fifteen months later, we are finally getting the final five episodes of the fifth season.  But it will not be much break until season six which is expected to debut early 2022.


Since it has been so long, we do get a ninety second recap that touches on a few bullet points like Taylors new outfit, Wendy kissing Frank Grillo, Chuck’s father needs a kidney, Chuck going after the Treasury Secretary, Chuck becoming a professor and using his students for his needs, and Bobby’s new feud with Corey Stoll.  Hopefully that reminds everyone what is going on. 


One person who is barely mentioned in the previously on montage is Julianna Margulies who seemingly was unable to return to the show and only gets a couple passing messages from Chuck.  But that may have been for the best because that whole professor storyline was not the strongest on the show.  But in true Billions style does get a live performance on the show and features a great Tom Petty song near the end of the first episode back.  Then another guest, this time an unwanted one, seemingly will be making an appearance this season when one of the character mentions a Chinese bug that is going to fill the hospital in the near future.


Billions airs Sundays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Five Most (and Least) Anticipated Question of the 2021-22 Television Season

Usually I do my fall television preview in early September to coincide with some cable show that gets a jump before the networks premiere their fall state in the finale week of the month. Except this year, I already have seven shows that already started this month that will extend into the fall with one more starting today. August used to be the quietest month on the television calendar so I am not sure if this was COVID related or maybe the new normal in the streaming era where you cannot take the month off if you want to keep people subscribed. 

 After COVID slowed Hollywood to a halt, it seems like we have finally returned to Peak TV with a steady stream of shows coming this way this fall. Here are some of my burning questions for the next television season. 

 1. Is Disney Really Going to Make Nerds Have a Sophie’s Choice? Last December, Disney+ announced nine Marvel shows (four have already premiered and four have been announced since then) and nine Star Wars shows in addition to The Mandalorian and the previously announced Book of Boba Fett (one has already premiered). Thanks to COVID, it has taken some time for many of them to hit the small screen, but it seems as early as this fall, when both Hawkeye and The Book of Boba Fett are set to air, there will be Marvel and Star Wars airing concurrently setting up a Sophie Choice for us nerds as to what to watch first. Disney+ seemed like there were going to solve this problem when they moved Loki from their usual Friday premiere day to Wednesday but shortly announced all their television shows would premiere on Wednesday too and thus back to the Sophie’s choice. 

 So are they going to stick to this and have the conversations on Wednesday split or will they end up moving to more of a traditional network of model of premiering shows throughout the week? Most streamers have a stick release day they stick to though Hulu, which has traditions put out weekly releases on Wednesdays and binge releases on Fridays, will be releasing Only Murders in the Building on a Tuesday (FX on Hulu shows are also releasing on different days of the week). Hopefully Disney+ learns from their sister streamer and start experimenting with different release days so we do not have to decide between Marvel and Star Wars Tuesdays Nights / Wednesday mornings. 

 2. Who Will Win the Uncivil War Between Catherine and Peter? Okay, anyone who paid attention in history class knows who win, so maybe the better question is how it was won. While history class seemingly can also answer that, The Great took some pretty huge poetic licenses in the first season, so the second could take just as many. Though I think it is safe to say, there will be plenty of “Huzzah’s” in the process. 

 3. Can Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Be Saved Beyond a Movie? While there has been no official announcement that Roku will be airing a movie around Christmas, Pitch Mr. Perfect, Skylar Austin recently said in an interview that the movie is being written right now and filming will start in September so it sure seems like a done deal. Initial reports said that if the movie is successful, it can lead to another full season. Up until now, Roku has only acquired programs but have not made anything new. Zoey would be the first the original made specifically for the Roku Channel along with some recently renewed Quibi castoffs. Speaking of Quibi, those shows matched the viewership in days what those shows did over the life of Quibi, so can Zoey have that sort of success? Hopefully so because I would really like a third season even though the Roku ads can be a bit much. 

 4. Is Y: The Last Man Really Going to Happen? I have been joking for a while that Y: The Last Man is the Chinese Democracy of television. In development at FX since 2015 (there were attempts at a movie going back to 2007), it seems like we will finally get to see it after the titular last man, female lead and showrunners have all been replaced at some point. There is a trailer and everything, though I am not exactly convinced it was a real trailer and not one of those fan made trailers. Guess we will have to wait until September 13 when we open up Hulu to know for sure. 

 5. How Will These COVID Delay Shows Pick Back Up? Did the last season of Doom Patrol seem like it ended abruptly? It felt that way because they were starting to film the season finale when COVID shut everything down and they just decided to end the season there instead of coming back months later just for one episode. This will be one of the last shows to finally get around finishing telling the story that was shut down by COVID. The final episode ended with the Candlemaker encasing our heroes to wax. However this cliffhanger is resolved, hopefully it is resolved in a way that the chief’s daughter is no longer on the show. But the third season will see the addition of The Flight Attendant’s Michelle Gomez as Madame Rouge who sounds like an evil version of Elasta-Girl. The other cut off while filming was Billion which finished filming seven of twelve episodes. After fifteen months they will finally get to finish their fifth season. What happened in those first seven episodes? Who know? I vaguely remember Frank Grillo playing a painter. But on the bright side, there will not be a long wait until season six which they started filming after concluding season five and is expected to premiere in early 2022. 

 As the great philosopher Butt-Head once pondered, how would we know if something was cool if there weren't things that sucked; here are the five least anticipated questions: 

 1. Who Thought Ordinary Joe Would Do Better Than Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and/or Good Girls? Neither Zoey nor Good Girls were a ratings goldmine, but do the people at NBC actually think Ordinary Joe is going to do any better? 

 2. Why Did Netflix Revive Manifest? NBC made some questionable decision for the 2021-22 season, but the smartest thing they did was finally put Manifest out of its mystery after a particularly bad season where everyone became extremely unlikable. It was easily one of the worst shows I have watched in my life. But then Netflix inexplicably saved it forcing me with my inability to stop anything I started to watch 20 more episodes of that crap. 

 3. Just How Bad Was the Powerpuff Girls Pilot? There is nothing The CW loves more than IP, I believe they are just down to two non IP shows on their channel, one if they opt not to renew the currently airing Republic of Sarah which is currently getting ratings in the just friends and family are watching range. So it came as a shock when they chose not to pick up their biggest IP Pilot of last Pilot season The Powerpuff Girls. Makes me wonder just how bad it could possibly be that The CW will not air it. The show is being retooled and may make it to air later this season but without Chloe Bennett who seemingly was wise not to get her contract renewed. 

 4. Just How Much Dick Wolf Is Too Much Dick Wolf? When the networks schedules were announced, Dick Wolf controlled the entire night for a network on three different nights: FBI Tuesdays on CBS, Chicago Wednesdays on NBC, and Law and Order Thursdays also on NBC. Now NBC did pull the plug on the latest Law and Order and replaced it with The Blacklist, but still remains a lot of Dick Wolf. Who exactly watches all those crime shows? 

 5. Is Anyone Really Going to Watch Tik-Tokers on a Television? Hulu has a very impressive fall line-up, the have seven of maybe the fifteen shows I am most looking to this fall. Then there is The D’Amato Show. Sigh. It seems like they are trying to recreate their version of the Kardasians, except they already poached the Kardasians from E! so why do they need The D’Amato’s too? Plus has anyone actually successfully transitioned their social media fame to the small screen? This seems to have disaster written all over it. 

 Here is everything I plan on watching this fall and when they premiere:


Reservation Dogs (already started, FX on Hulu)

Y: The Last Man (September 13, FX on Hulu)

8:00 – The Neighborhood (September 20, CBS)



Only Murders in the Building (Today, Hulu)

8:00 – DC’s Stargirl (already started, The CW)

9:00 – Supergirl (already started, The CW)

9:00 – La Brea (September 28, NBC)



Nine Perfect Strangers (already started, Hulu)

Wu-Tang: An American Saga (September 8, Hulu)

Dopesick (October 13, Hulu)

Hawkeye (November 24, Disney+)

8:00 – The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies (already started, MTV)

8:00 – Survivor (September 22, CBS)

8:00 – The Goldbergs (September 22, ABC)

8:30 – The Wonder Years (September 22, ABC)



Titans (already started, HBO Max)

Doom Patrol (September 23, HBO Max)

8:00 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (already started, NBC)

8:00 – The Blacklist (October 21, NBC)

8:00 – Annie Live! (December 2, NBC)

9:00 – Ghosts (October 7, CBS)

9:30 – B Positive (October 7, CBS)

10:00 – What We Do in the Shadows (September 2, FX)

10:00 – Big Sky (September 30, ABC)



The Great (November 19, Hulu)



9:00 – The Walking Dead (already started, AMC)

9:00 – Billions (September 5, Showtime)

9:00 - Fear the Walking Dead (October 17, AMC)

9:00 – Dexter: New Blood (November 7, Showtime)

10:00 – American Rust (September 12, Showtime)

10:00 – The Walking Dead: World’s Beyond (October 3, AMC)

10:00 – Yellowjackets (November 14, Showtime)

Sunday, August 29, 2021

57 Channels and Only This Is On: August 29, 2021

The Walking Dead:  Who knew the dead could take a nap?  Or be awoken by a single drop of blood?  Yet, not the dumbest thing the show has ever done.  Then later in the episode, Negan had the opportunity to save Maggie but lets her drop into a horde of zombie.  Are they really going to do the same cheap trick with her that they did with Glen a bunch of seasons ago where he fell into a horde only to be able to slip under a trash bin?  I am just going to assume Maggie is under the subway car and will probably crawl and meet up with Daryl until proven otherwise.


Stargirl:  Okay, pen guy was pretty entertaining.  I wonder if they will ever meet up with the new owner or having a CGI genie is too expensive for The CW.  Maybe they should have moved it to HBO Max like the other DC Universe shows.  But is The Shade really a bad guy?  It seems like he was claiming there was more to Dr. Mid-Nite’s death than what we are led to believe.  We do see The Shade “swallow” Dr. Mid-Nite in darkness, but does that actually kill him.  And just what does he want with Eclipso?


Supergirl:  Well, that was just stupid.


Motherland: Fort Salem:  So the Vice President knowingly sacrificed his daughter?  That is so evil stuff right there.  Well, I guess we got someone to take down in the finale season.


Nine Perfect Strangers:  So no one objects to being drugged without their consent?  Cool.  But I find the more the “strangers” are being drugged, the more entertaining I find the show.


The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies: It looks like I counted right because even Tori said the show was evenly split to start the episode between veterans and rookies.  But not anymore.  Once again, even with a rookie winning the week, all four people sent into elimination were rookies.  Though the previews next week does make it look like the veterans alliance will be imploding.  This would be good news for Michele and Corey as the only rookie team left.  We will have to see if the preview is misleading or not, Josh can lose his cool pretty quickly.


In the Dark:  Well that was the worst episode in the history of the series.  It takes a whole hour to find a blind chick’s phone?  Then there is siblings squabbling over old newspapers.  We learned nothing important that we did not know before other than Trey left his phone at the kingpin’s house which took up five seconds of screen time. 


Titans:  Well that was a whole episode explaining what happened to Jason that I had already figured out by watching the first four episodes.  But it was weird that the dead Wonder Girl had gotten more screen time in the first five episodes than the still alive Raven.