Saturday, October 23, 2021

Around the Tubes: October 23, 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 GreatThe ExpanseMarvel's Hit-Monkey, History of the World, Part II, Vice, Smallville, The Killing of Kenneth Chambelain, Single Mother by ChoiceMother/Android, Super PumpedBillie Eilish, Joy Oladokun, The Rolling Stones, and Fountain.

Check out the official trailer for Hulu Original comedy series "The Great"!  Season two premieres with all ten episodes on November 19 on Hulu.  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 in a bid to bring the enlightenment to Russia. Meanwhile she’ll also battle her heart as Peter slowly transitions from much-hated husband, to 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 sixth and final season of The Expanse, premieres December 10 on Amazon Prime Video, picks up with the solar system at war, as Marco Inaros and his Free Navy continue to launch devastating asteroid attacks on Earth and Mars. As the tensions of war and shared loss threaten to pull the crew of the Rocinante apart, Chrisjen Avasarala makes a bold move and sends former Martian Marine Bobbie Draper on a secret mission that could turn the tide of the conflict. Meanwhile, in the Belt, Drummer and what’s left of her family are on the run after betraying Marco. And on a distant planet beyond the Rings, a new power begins to rise.

Check out the all new trailer and key art for Hulu Original series "Marvel's Hit-Monkey." The series premieres on November 17th, 2021 with all ten episodes.  After a Japanese snow monkey’s tribe is slaughtered, he joins forces with the ghost of an American assassin and together, they begin killing their way through the Yakuza underworld.

Hulu has given a series order to Searchlight Television & 20th Television’s 8-episode variety series “HISTORY OF THE WORLD, PART II,” 40-years after the original release of Mel Brooks’ landmark 20th Century Fox film “History of the World, Part I.”  Executive produced and written by Mel Brooks, Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Kevin Salter.  The writers room begins this month and production will commence in Spring 2022.  Quote from Mel Brooks: “I can’t wait to once more tell the real truth about all the phony baloney stories the world has been conned into believing are History!”

SHOWTIME announced that the Peabody Award-winner and two-time Emmy®-nominated documentary series VICE will return to air the remaining seven episodes of season two starting Sunday, November 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Known for delivering immersive reporting from the frontlines of global conflict, civil uprisings and more from its team of global correspondents, the second half of the season covers a range of topics, from an investigation into the disturbing number of deaths in the Black community living in Louisiana’s so called “Cancer Alley,” to the new revolution in Cuba.  Watch and share a glimpse of Season 2 here:

#DCFanDome surprised fans today with a #Smallville 20th Anniversary Celebration featuring a conversation with Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum. The full conversation with even more behind the scenes stories can be viewed at:  About Smallville The Complete Series 20th Anniversary Edition, coming to Blu-ray for the first-time ever on October 19th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment:  The groundbreaking, Emmy®-winning 10-season hit that redefined the origins of the world’s greatest super hero is all here – from Krypton refugee Kal-El’s arrival on Earth through his tumultuous teen years to Clark Kent’s final steps toward embracing his destiny as the Man of Steel. Relive a decade’s worth of thrills in fantastic adventures full of action, heart and humor in abundance, all anchored by the marvelous performance of Tom Welling at its center. Savor again the series’ thoughtful and imaginative integration and reinvention of the iconic characters of DC lore. And let your spirits be lifted up, up and away.

Following the Gravitas Ventures day and date theatrical release, HBO Max has acquired exclusive streaming rights to the award-winning, critically-acclaimed film THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN. The film will debut on the platform Friday, November 19. Based on a true story, the film was directed by David Midell (NightLights), produced by Midell and Enrico Natale of Redbird Entertainment, and executive produced by Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman and Gary Lucchesi of Revelations Entertainment, along with Sharad Chib, Chris Paladino and Milan Chakraborty.  THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, which won a bevy of prestigious awards during its festival run, tells the heart-breaking true story of the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly African American veteran with bipolar disorder who was killed by the police during a welfare check after his medical alert device was accidentally activated. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances and the overly aggressive policing tactics that make the news on an all-too-frequent basis, the life of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. ended at the hands of those who were sworn to “protect and serve.”  The film’s HBO Max debut date, November 19, 2021, is the 10-year anniversary of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s death.

SINGLE MOTHER BY CHOICE, a feature film from Two Hands Productions, will debut on HBO Max on November 2.  The fictional film that tracks actress Selina Ringel’s real-life pregnancy is the Latinx writer and producer’s feature film acting debut.  SINGLE MOTHER BY CHOICE tells the story of a single, workaholic woman who sets out to have a baby on her own terms; but is truly forced to go through pregnancy alone when the world throws the unimaginable year 2020 in her path.  Selina Ringel set out to create a fictional feature film tracking the experiences of her pregnancy in real-time; she never imagined she would encounter a pandemic. SINGLE MOTHER BY CHOICE tells the story of an independent, overachieving Latinx woman determined to have a baby on her own terms. When she is thrown into the isolation and uncertainty of the year 2020 she is forced to learn that asking for help and showing vulnerability are the keys to motherhood.

Hulu has announced that “Mother/Android”, from Miramax, will release Friday, December 17 on Hulu.  Set in the near future, “Mother/Android” follows Georgia (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her boyfriend Sam (Algee Smith) through their treacherous journey of escape as their country is caught in an unexpected war with artificial intelligence. Days away from the arrival of their first child, they must face No Man’s Land – a stronghold of the android uprising, in hopes of reaching safety before giving birth. The film stars Chloë Grace Moretz (“Shadow in the Cloud,” “Kick-Ass”), Algee Smith (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Euphoria”) and Raul Castillo (“We The Animals”). 

SHOWTIME has announced that Oscar and Emmy® nominee Uma Thurman (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction) will join SUPER PUMPED, a new anthology series with the first season based on Mike Isaac’s bestselling book Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber. Thurman will star as Arianna Huffington, the businesswoman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, who was an Uber board member. She joins Emmy winner Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Trial of the Chicago 7) who has signed on to star in the first installment as Travis Kalanick, Uber’s hard-charging CEO who was ultimately ousted in a boardroom coup, and Emmy winner Kyle Chandler (Bloodline, Friday Night Lights) as Bill Gurley, the plainspoken, brilliant Texan venture capitalist who bets his sterling reputation on Uber’s success – and then has to live with the consequences. Brian Koppelman and David Levien (BILLIONS, Rounders) and Beth Schacter (Soundtrack) will executive produce, write and serve as showrunners on the series. Allen Coulter (The Sopranos, RAY DONOVAN) has signed on to direct and executive produce the first episode.

Vevo, the world's leading music video network, announces the release of Billie Eilish’s Official Live Performance of “Lost Cause” 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. “Lost Cause” follows the release of Billie’s previous Official Live Performances of “Male Fantasy” and “Your Power.”

Breakthrough singer, songwriter and musician Joy Oladokun’s debut Spotify Singles session is out today. Listen/share HERE. Recorded at Sound Stage Studios in Nashville, the release includes a new rendition of Oladokun’s sunday” as well as a version of Bonnie Raitt’s classic “I Can’t Make You Love Me” with special guest Jason Isbell on guitar.  Reflecting on the project, Oladokun shares, “I’ve been a rabid consumer of Spotify Singles since their inception. Being asked to do one was a dream come true and I wanted to bring in the best crew. I asked Jason Isbell to play guitar on the Bonnie Raitt cover and he absolutely smashed the energy and emotion of what I was trying to do. So excited to have these out in the world.” 

The Rolling Stones today release 40th anniversary, expanded deluxe editions of their chart-topping, multi-platinum 1981 album Tattoo You via POLYDOR/INTERSCOPE/UMe. Listen to Tattoo You (40th Anniversary) here.  The newly remastered set, released today on October 22, is accompanied by no fewer than nine previously unreleased tracks from the era, including the unheard “Come To The Ball.” It follows the unveiling of the irresistible rocker “Living In The Heart Of Love” on August 19 and the never before released “Troubles A’ Comin,” an infectious and multi-faceted cover of the Chi-Lites original, on September 30.

Watch: Fountain at YouTube or via Pitchfork.  FOUNTAIN, a sci-fi/horror short film written and created by Nik Fackler & Derek Pressnall (Tilly & The Wall, Flowers Forever) of Icky Blossoms is now available to stream on Hulu as part of 20th Digital Studio’s Bite Size Halloween. Directed by Film Independent Spirit Award-nominated filmmaker Nik Fackler (Lovely Still, Sick Birds Die Easy), the film features a score composed and performed by Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound.  After Fackler and Pressnall’s band, Icky Blossoms, finished promoting their 2015 album, Mask, the duo went to work developing the screenplay and the world of Fountain. The filmmakers enlisted Cox, who they had met through friends in the music community of Atlanta, for the distinct and haunting score. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Previewing Wakefield



One quote about television that really stuck from me came from the creators of Homeland who early in their run on the show (and I am probably poorly paraphrasing here), you can no longer shock audiences with a twist anymore; they can only be shocked at when you do it.  Yet there I was at the end of the first episode of the Australian show Wakefield, completely shocked with what just happened.


The titular Wakefield refers to a psych ward in New South Wales where the show follows the patients and staff there.  It is similar storytelling of The Affair where each episode is segmented with different POV’s, sometimes, three different characters, sometimes four, alternating between staff and patients, with one episode that breaks from the format.


While the narrative rotates around, we do get one segment following Nik every single episode in the season.  Nik is a nurse at the hospital who someone dubs “The sanest person in this place” who once dated one of the doctors there and is looking to advance in employment when a better position opens up.  There is also the stress of his sister’s wedding that complicates things throughout the season.  As the season progresses, it seems like Nik may need some help at Wakefield himself.  Especially after getting a certain Australian ditty stuck in his head.  Just your normal medical drama stuff… well up until the end of the first episode.


Except unlike your normal medical drama where most patients are one episode guest stars, some of the patients are on the show for just an episode or two before they check out, while some are there the whole season and also seem like they were admitted long before the show started.  The show does a good job injecting humor into the show through some of the patents but you never spend too much time laughing before realizing the seriousness of why they are there.  While American medical shows seem like process line pumping out the same things episode after episode, season after season, Wakefield is something a little different, and the show is better for it.


Wakefield airs Mondays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

57 Channels and Only This Is On: October 17, 2021


The Walking Dead:  So Darryl’s lady friend kills the leader just so she could be in charge and has no problem with murdering people, just as long as it is not her people?  That is cold.  Now we have to wait a couple months to see how Negan and Maggie managed to not get hit with the firecrackers.


American Rust:  So Harris was tasked to arrest Billy, not just bring him in for questioning.  I am no lawyer, but the case seems a little flimsy.  And when the police rips your mattress in half, do they have to buy you a new one if they do not find anything.  That seemed a little excessive.  But the worst thing th at H arris m aid Billy cut off his mullet.  That was his whole identity.  Now he looks like just a normal boring old white dude.  Then who was the guy at the end, what was the debt, and what exactly does he want to collect?  Does this go back to back to his Pittsburg cop days.  I vaguely remember them covering up a murder.


The Walking Dead: World Beyond:  I thought the big kid split with everyone with the skinny one.  I guess I miss remember him.  So where is the skinny kid?  And why did they not take both sisters at the same time if they are going back for the other one?  And why lame hiding place behind a curtain.  Not conspicuous at all.  That would be the first place I would look.  I guess they are lucky that there were two big curtains.


Y: The Last Man:  Oh wow, the first lady just took a header off the building.   But why?  She just found out she was not actually crazy.  But guess she was still a little crazy.


Only Murders in the Building:  They put Jane Lynch in some behind the scenes video a couple weeks ago, so I knew she was coming up as Steve Martin’s stunt double, but it still ended up being hilarious, especially Martin Short being fool.  Though I was pretty shocked that nothing happened to her.  Why rign in someone who looks like Steve martin if they killer does not actually try to kill her, or at least stab her.  I guess maybe she will put on a tye-dye hoodie next episode and who is Selena Gomez is standing over from the first episode.


But just one episode left so it is time for a prediction.  Right now it really seems like Jan and Tim Kono were hooking up because he has a bassoon cleaner with his sex toys and then she killed him for as a crime of passion.  Which means that it is highly unlikely Jan in the killer.  What if the bassoon cleaner was not Jan’s, the guy sitting next to Martin Short at the recital looked like he could Tim’s younger brother.  But why have his brother’s girlfriend’s bassoon cleaner?  She looked too young to be hooking up with someone in their late twenties.  Could it be something as simple as Jan’s package getting sent to Tim by accident and Tim just kept it thinking it was something else?


While Jan caught my eye in the last couple episodes, I still think Tina Fey had something to do with it.  But I am also thinking she had some help from someone in the building.  I will go out on the limb and say the cat guy was also involved and was helping Tina Fey.


Stargirl:  Oh no, Stargirl died… but probably not.  Much like when Shiv got sucked into the black hole, I am predicting that she was just transported to the Shadow World where she will run into Shiv and probably all the original Dr. Mid-Nite.


La Brea:  Okay, I think the show won me over with the giant sloth eating everyone’s food.  That was hilarious.  But how stupid are the humans?  A drone got destroyed trying to go through the portal, so they decide to put a manned ship down there and seemed shocked that the they lost contact with that too.  What exactly were they expecting?  But I will enjoy the one dude being able to have dreams of his friend hook up with his wife in future episodes.


Supergirl:  I do not know, destroying hope for all mankind seems like a pretty bad idea.


Wu-Tang: An American Saga:  I have revlly enjoyed the last couple episodes as we get to see the Wu create songs, but I did not really need to see a full three song set performed by people doing Wu-Tang impressions.


Dopesick:  I know no one gets out of Harlan County alive, but I figured if someone would be able to do so, it would be Loretta McCready, so it was sad to see she still ended up working in a cal mine.  But seriously, this show is


Survivor:  Oh wow, a whole hour with not one new twist.  But for the third straight episode strait trip o Tribal I thought Shan made the wrong decision.  Last week was the time to vote JD out and keep her advantage.  But I would much rather work with JD than Genie who will jump ship as soon as there is a merge or swap. 


The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies: Well that was a twist, I, and seemingly most people, thought they were going to just be individuals now, but they are switching from duos to three groups.  One more big twist that the winner can join even the winning team.  Though Smashley went back to her old team.  I wonder what would have happened if she went to the winning team.  Would they just have two extra players or would someone on that team have to be sent to her old team?  I guess we will have to wait for that answer.


Doom Patrol:  So the Sisterhood of Dada were actually workers at the Department of Normalcy, I did not see that coming.  I remember seeing the bicycle guy, the older lady, and Japanese speaker last week, but I do not remember the other ones.  Are we to assume the other ones do not make it to the present day?  And does the version of Rita that goes back live concurrently with Rita prime and is the one that shoves Rita Prime?  So she never does get her memory back?


Titans:  So Nightwing did die.  And be brought back.  Joining Donna, Tim, Red Hood, and maybe Starfire who was shot in the chest.  Poor Hawk, the only one who dies and stays dead… so far.


Guilty Party:  I want to enjoy this show but Kate Beckinsale was woefully miscast.   She is just not funny.  Sadly Ilsa Fisher was originally cast butt had to drop out due to COVID.  Sometime times it seems like Kate is doing a Ilsa impression, but it is just not working.


Big Sky:  Okay, the new psychopaths are almost making this show entertaining.  Unfortunately the twin brother storyline is so bad.  And how did the waitress not able to outrun the guy who was stabbed in the leg?  Put down the phone and keep running.