Saturday, April 16, 2022

57 Channels and Only This Is On: April 17, 2022



Killing Eve:  I hope TV learned two important lessons from Killing Eve: 1) do not change your showrunner every season.  2)  Shows about antagonists have a short shelf life (though everyone should have learned this from Billions).  What a clusterfork of a final two episodes.  Why did Constantin’s apprentice kill him (or why was she on the shoe at all)?  Why was the 12 meeting on a boat at the same time as a gay wedding?  Why did Caroline try to kill Eve and the crazy French assassin?  None of this season made sense.


The Walking Dead:  So Daryl had the Stormtroopers stuck in a house full of zombies but instead decided to ambush them while they were all spread out around plenty of cover.  That was not the smartest plan ever.


Billions:  For a second there I thought Mike Prince actually brought down Axe and Chuck in consecutive season.  But then I thought, if we do not see Chuck sentenced by the end of the episode, he will probably weasel his way out next season.  Except he was able to weasel his way out by the end of this episode.  I do not understand his replacement’s plan.  Wouldn’t having Chuck under indictment when she had a real warrant this whole time be fraud, or wouldn’t anything Chuck do to get Prince on illegal stuff entrapment?


Super Pumped: The Fight for Uber:   Of course they leave the first and arguably the best (though I would say it is Corduroy, which I do not remember being on the show) to start and finish the final episode.  After being kind of meh on the show, I was actually enjoying the finale episode, probably because Travis was finally getting his componence, up until the point he went on his diatribe to the camera and the stupid dream sequence.  Hollywood is having a big problem at determining lengths of its stories and the story of Uber probably should have been a movie.  Or maybe it should have just stayed a book.


Moon Knight:  I kind of enjoyed when Mark took over in the first season but they stayed with Stephan’s POV were he would just come to with bodies everywhere.  I did not really care for the reverse.  Though I guess the last time it happened it was some third personality that it does not seem like Mark knows about.  But now I am wondering if every time there is a blackout it has been this third personality.  But I did not really understand the plot of the episode.  I thought that Ethan Hawke needed the scarab to find Ammut’s tomb but the sarcophagus is the only way to find it?  So what was Ethan Hawke digging?


Survivor:  How did they manage to make the Turn Back Time advantage worse?  It was even more confusing this time around.  But it was still a stupid twist because of course if you give someone a choice between being safe and not being safe, they will choose safety.  But man, did Hai turn on Lydia for no apparent reason really quickly.  Seems like a horrible idea to sacrifice your closest ally right at the merge.


The Blacklist: So they knew that Red was going to save the evil arms deal, but were cool with just looking at the paper the FBI guys handed them?  At least look at the database to see they are who they say they are.


Around the Tubes: April 16, 2022


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 Conversations with Friends, bülow, Neneh Cherry, UB40, Amy Winehouse, All Things Go Music Festival, Lyn Lapid, ZiweSpirit Halloween, Bushwick Bill: Geto Boy, and the American Ultimate Disc League.

Check out the trailer for Hulu's "Conversations with Friends" featuring the original song "Sidelines" by Phoebe Bridgers created for the series.  The limited series premieres all 12 episodes May 15, 2022 on Hulu.  “Conversations with Friends” follows Frances, a 21 year old college student, as she navigates a series of relationships that force her to confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time.

- This week, alternative pop singer and songwriter bülow shares new EP booty call via Republic Records/Universal Music Canada. The new EP highlights the new sound from bülow, which has been unleashed with previously released tracks “Playin’ Me Back” and “Don’t Break His Heart”. Listen to “Booty Call” HERE

Buffalo Stance’ was a career defining track from Neneh Cherry’s debut album Raw Like Sushi that grabbed everyone’s attention, making a global impact on music, fashion, and culture and still continues to do so. As Booker Prize winning author Marlon James says, Neneh created a movement of inclusivity and became a figurehead in the queer community with this track that so fiercely shined light on the struggles of inner city life, especially for the marginalised.  ‘Buffalo Stance’ means to “stand proud,” and today we see what the modern day version of that looks like in the accompanying video for Robyn’s re-imagining of the track, produced by Dev Hynes and featuring Mapei. Directed by Manchester-born India Sleem, who now resides in Brooklyn, the video stars model and actress Indya Moore, best known for their role in the hit TV series Pose, whose story is incredibly inspiring from leaving home at 14 - escaping a transphobic family, foster care, homelessness, and ultimately becoming an iconic and especially important figure amongst the LGBTQ+ community. Indya is joined by other young queer and BIPOC creatives in the video, who may not previously had the opportunity to show off their “buffalo stance” - their skills, their beauty, their power, their queerness.

UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell & Astro will release their new album Unprecedented, June 17 via UMe.  The album will be released as a black 2LP, a limited-edition white-color 2LP, 1CD, limited-edition cassette as well as digitally.  All formats include their new single “Sufferer”, which Ali has dedicated to his beloved friend and bandmate of over four decades, Astro, who tragically passed away last November.

UMe, Island Records, and BBC announce the release of Live at Glastonbury 2007 – the iconic performance of Amy Winehouse’s Pyramid Stage set at Glastonbury 2007, coming to vinyl for the very first time on Friday, June 3rd.  Showcasing the inimitable artistry of one of the UK’s most gifted and accomplished singers of all time, this emotionally charged live set will be released as a 2LP on black vinyl, with an exclusive crystal clear edition available HERE. The 2007 performance on the festival’s legendary Pyramid Stage, 15 years ago this summer, was Amy’s second Glastonbury appearance and a performance that saw the world completely fall in love with her music. As well as a second set later that same day on the Jazz World Stage, Amy returned the following year to perform again on the Pyramid stage, cementing herself firmly in the canon of great Glastonbury performances.

The 2022 All Things Go Music Festival returns to the iconic Merriweather Post Pavilion on October 1st, where it will host 16 artists across multiple stages. The independent festival has grown year over year and continues to support women in top billing positions with 2022 headliner and youngest GRAMMY Song Of The Year winner, LORDE - in addition to Mitski, Bleachers, King Princess, Lucy Dacus, Bartees Strange and more stacked on the bill.  Tickets go on sale Friday, April 15th at 10 am EDT and can be purchased at

After releasing a slew of viral singles over the past year, breakout songstress Lyn Lapid drops her long-awaited debut EP The Outsider today—listen HERE. The EP, dedicated to all “the outsiders” like Lyn, features 8-songs, including her new single “Pager” alongside fan favorites like “In My Mind,” “I Guess That Was Goodbye,” and the title track “The Outsider.” See the full tracklist below.  On the EP, Lyn says, “I would best describe ‘The Outsider’ as a collection of the different parts of myself that I discovered growing up, and how I learned to accept and set myself apart from the community I grew up in and the people I encountered throughout my life. The focus track of the EP, ‘Pager,’ perfectly encapsulates that sort of idea I had, and it’s the one track on the EP where I specifically talk about the kind of community I grew up in. I grew up in an academically rigorous and competitive community where careers in the fine arts were highly stigmatized and discouraged, so you can imagine the kind of reaction I got when I decided not to go to college and pursue a career as a musician; it was kinda awful, and I got a lot of backhanded comments. I knew that music was my true passion ever since I was little, and eventually I figured I could never win everyone over with the choice I made for myself. I learned to stick with the people who truly got behind me and cut ties with anyone who didn’t.”

 SHOWTIME has released a first look at the highly anticipated second season of ZIWE, the critically acclaimed late-night variety series, starring and executive produced by Ziwe (Dickinson, Succession, The Great North). ZIWE will return with all-new interviews, musical numbers, guest stars, sketches and more starting Friday, April 29 on streaming and on demand for all SHOWTIME subscribers, before making its on-air debut on Sunday, May 1 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. The season will continue to drop new episodes every Friday via streaming and on-demand platforms before appearing on air Sunday night.  The season’s first installment will include six episodes, before returning for a second installment of new episodes later this year. The trailer previews more of Ziwe’s signature, provocative interviews with season-two guests including Charlamagne Tha God, Chet Hanks, Emily Ratajkowski, Ilana Glazer, Hannibal Buress, Nicole Byer, Mia Kalifa, Adam Pally and Deux Moi, along with special appearances by Jane Krakowski and Luann de Lesseps.  To watch and share the season two trailer, go to:

 Strike Back Studios and Hideout Pictures continue their busy production schedule in 2022 having wrapped principal photography of “Spirit Halloween.” When a new Spirit Halloween store appears in a deserted strip mall, three middle school friends who think they’ve outgrown trick or treating make a dare to spend the night locked inside the store Halloween night. But they soon find out that the store is haunted by an angry evil spirit who has possessed the creepy animatronic characters. The kids embark on a thrilling and spooky adventure in order to survive the night and avoid becoming possessed themselves.  After a nationwide search the production found a group young up & coming actors to round out the cast including Donavan Colan (“Zoe,” “Getaway”), Dylan Martin Frankel (“Raven’s Home,” “Life & Beth”), Jaiden Smith (“Blue Bloods,” “The Mothership”), and Marissa Reyes (“Raven’s Home”).The film also offers audiences a cast filled with beloved veteran actors including Rachael Leigh Cook (“He’s All That,” “Love, Guaranteed”), Christopher Lloyd (“The Tender Bar”, “Back to the Future Trilogy,”) and Marla Gibbs (“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, “227”).

BUSHWICK BILL: GETO BOY, a documentary film that was previously announced as part of the SHOWTIME® HIP HOP 50 series, is no longer airing on Friday, April 29.  The other SHOWTIME HIP HOP 50 titles for April will premiere as scheduled: LA MADRINA: THE SAVAGE LIFE OF LORINE PADILLA (Friday, April 15) and CYPRESS HILL: INSANE IN THE BRAIN (Wednesday, April 20).  HIP HOP 50 runs over the next two years and encompasses unscripted series and features, podcasts and digital shorts by and about some of the foremost names in the genre, culminating with the 50th anniversary of the genre in 2023. Previous titles include YOU’RE WATCHING VIDEO MUSIC BOX, RICKY POWELL: THE INDIVIDUALIST and ROLLING LIKE THUNDER

The American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) today announced its 2022 14-week regular season schedule, which begins on Friday night, April 29, and concludes on Sunday, July 31. Click here to see the entire 2022 season schedule.  The 2022 AUDL schedule will feature each of the 25 teams playing 12 regular season games. After a three-division configuration in 2021 due to the pandemic, the AUDL’s traditional four division format—the Central, East, South, and West divisions- will return, with three playoff spots in the Central, East, and West divisions and two in the South division. The postseason schedule will be broken into two rounds: a divisional wild card game, and a championship, and the winner of each division’s championship game will have the right to represent at the 2022 AUDL Championship Weekend, starting Friday, August 26 in Madison, Wis.  The AUDL’s 11th season is headlined by three expansion teams; the Colorado SummitPortland Nitro, and Salt Lake Shred, each competing in the West division, and also includes the newly relocated Oakland Spiders from San Jose. Some teams will even have a new look and leadership, as the Dallas Legion unveiled its new logo this past February and the Chicago UnionPhiladelphia Phoenix, and Toronto Rush have all undergone several front office and coaching personnel changes. 


Friday, April 15, 2022

Previewing The First Lady


There was an old adage that the best way to win an acting Oscar was to play a real person.  Both Best Actor and Best Actress winners this year and seven of the ten nominees played real people.  21 Best Actor and Actress winners of the past two decades played real people.  That seems to be finally seeping into the Emmy’s with half of the lead acting nominees going to actors playing real people last year.  That trend seems to be continuing as there was an explosion of ripped from the headline shows this year with actors from The  Dropout, Dopesick, Under the Banner of Heaven, and The Survivor very likely to get nominations, with shows like Pam and Tommy, We Crashed, The Thing About Pam  in the hunt (sorry Inventing Anna, The Girl From Plainville, Impeachment, Super-Pumped, Joe vs. Carol, and way too many more to list).  Gold Derby gives the odds of 49 potential Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie and 15 of the top 20 are actresses playing real peaple.  It should be noted both Gold Derby and Variety currently Margaret Qualley in Maid as the winner, one of the few original characters.


Complicating things is The First Lady with three very high profile leads; Gold Derby currently predicts nominations for former Emmy winners Viola Davis and Gillian Anderson (who won last year for portraying Margaret Thatcher) with Michelle Pfeiffer slight on the outside with the eight best odds.  Though Variety thinks those three leads will get complete shut out with the lone predicted nomination for the show going to O-T Fagbenle.  Of course a bunch of the shows mentioned so far have not even premiered yet, so take all this prognostication with a grain of salt.


While it is easy to predict nominations for actors who have already received the award, for me, if there was one of the three leads on The First Lady to receive a nomination, it should be Pfeiffer who plays the most interesting first lady in our country’s history, Betty Ford (though when she first came on screen, I thought she was playing Nancy Reagan).  Ford transcended the position, becoming synonymous with rehab after setting up the Betty Ford Clinic.  Even though I knew in the back of my head they were both part of the administration, I was surprised to see Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld pop up quite frequently on the show.  Susan Ford at one point jokes they are having an affair because they are almost always seen together.


Davis plays Michelle Obama despite being currently just two year younger than the former first lady and making her 12 years older than Obama when her husband elected and plays Michelle as far back as the early 00’s (this show jumps around a lot like Dopesick and even has the date scroll on the bottom every time they change dates).  The age difference is only exacerbated by the casting of Fagbenle as Barack who is fifteen years younger than Davis and five years younger than Barack when he was first sworn in.  It should also be noted that Pfeiffer is seven years older than Ford when Nixon resigned and nine years older than Aaron Eckhart who is also a little young, and let’s be honest, way too attractive to be playing Gerald Ford.


Gillian Anderson currently is an age Eleanor Roosevelt was during her term as first lady (there were no term limits back then so she did get to reign for twelve years) and also has an appropriately aged Kiefer Sutherland as her husband Franklin.  The Roosevelt’s are also a blank slate for most of modern television watchers.  Most people are at the very least familiar with the Betty Ford Clinic and the Obamas were in office in the era of too much information so anyone who is at least a teenage today probably has a vivid memory of them, but the Roosevelts lived in a much different time.  Most Americans at the time did not even know FDR was confined to a wheelchair.  There is one very prominent rumor about Eleanor that is brought on the show.


The show does delve in the past of these three ladies; episode three is completely devoted to the origin story of how they met their husbands.  Thankfully they did cast younger actresses to play the future first ladies in their twenties.  Kristine Froseth (Looking for Alaska, her co-star Charlie Plummer plays young FDR), Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects) plays young Eleanor, while Jayme Lawson (The Batman) plays young Michelle.  I wish these actresses got more than one episode (at least so far, I have not watched the final three episodes yet) but unfortunately in the television business, when you can get actresses the caliber of Davis, Anderson, and Pfeiffer, you are not going to sideline them for very long.  Dakota Fanning (The Alienist), Cailee Spaeny (Mare of Easttown), and Lexi Underwood (Little Fires Everywhere) play first daughters Susan Ford, Anna Roosevelt, Malia Obama respectively.  There were times, like when Susan's prom which took place at the White House gets referenced, that I wished this was a first kids show instead.


Each first lady gets a third of each episode as their stories intertwine all season.  But there are times where I wonder if the show would have been better off with the episodes being an anthology with a new one devoted to each new first lady instead spreading three stories out over the course of ten episodes.  Betty Ford is the only one of the three that has held my interest throughout the season while the Obama and Roosevelt stories drag at time.  Looking at potential future season it is hard to think of anyone else compelling enough to fill even a third of ten episodes.  I am sure producers are eager to get to Hilary Clinton even though the general public is fairly sick of the former and I am not sure if the need to see JFK’s head explode yet again.  Then Nancy Reagan was an actress and Melania Trump was a model.  But if there are more seasons, maybe they should go deeper into American history where less is known about the first ladies so they can take bigger liberties and will not feel like they need to rehash the Wikipedia pages.


The First Lady airs Sundays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

57 Channels and Only This Is On: April 10, 2022



Killing Eve:  I have no idea why the crazy French assassin killed that one chick.  Simple jealousy?  But it does not seem she knew about her and Eve until she overheard them.  I also have no idea why she tried to kill the chick who gave her painkillers either.  Maybe I should pay more attention.  But with two more episodes left ever, why bother?


The Walking Dead:  I called it, the showdown between Daryl and Maggie was not as antagonistic as it seemed.  But what is so annoying about the mustache twirling villain, he was willing to kill an entire settlement to get his weapons back, but now he is bargaining with the actual person who stole he weapons to kill Maggie


Billions:  Did Mike Prince really just say “mother husker”?  But anyway.  During the whole succession thing and people trying to figure out why, my first thought was that maybe he was maybe he was dying.  Nope, the show is doing something even bigger, and more absurd, than trying to move the Olympics: he is running for president… in 2028.  Well at least the show will not be on the air by then.  Probably?


But the whole Wendy book thing made no sense to me.  How could a therapist think writing a book with thinly veiled caricature of her clients was a good idea?  At first I thought she was trying to get fired, but then she burned the book at the end.  So what was it all for?  It kind of felt like the writers did not have anything else for her to do but had to use her somehow.


Super Pumped: The Fight for Uber:  Travis was on the Trump economic team?  Yeah, definitely seems like Trump’s kind of guy and helps explain why our economy was in the toilet when Trump left office.  But I am kind of with Travis on the price surging thing, being on the side of the passengers is always the best side to be on.  But the scene with Ariana and Bill just shows what is wrong with this show, trust your actors to be able to convey those sediments, do not put subtitles on the screen.  This show is too much in all the wrong ways.  Well, except in the amount of Pearl Jam songs.


The Girl from Plainville:  I cannot confirm nor deny watching the REO Speedwagon scene multiple times.


Moon Knight:  If I am being chased by a cult who unleashes a jackal only I can see on me, I am not waiting that long to let the trained assassin living inside out. I would be perfectly fine living in glass reflections for a while if that ever happened.  But now that Steven has taken a backseat, I would be fine if he stays there for the rest of the season now.  I am kind of over his whole act after two episodes.  Give me more of the cool superhero, less of his nebbish alter ego.


Survivor: This season opened with a montage that showed Tori finding something.  I assumed it was the dumb phase advantage.  Except someone else on her tribe found that this week.  So what exactly does Tori find and when will she find it?  We are already six hours into the season.  We were already spoiled the results of two Tribals where they made it seem like she would go home, now we are at some buff dropping situation (I wonder if they are going to be split in two again with the odd person out once again getting the dumb turn back time advantage… except there are an even number of people this time) so it looks like she will be going to every Tribal going forward.


But Daniel has to go down as one of the worst Survivor contestants ever.  He played last Tribal so bad and then still managed to dig a bigger hole this week.  He even said something to the effect that he added nothing to his Tribe at the Challenge.  He did not even try to not get voted out.  Good riddance.


The Dropout:  I was listing to an interview with one of the producers and she said the finale changed after e-mails between Elizabeth and Sunny were released.  The original plan was to have half the episode take place at Burning Man.  The producer claims the finale was better with the change.  I whole-heartedly disagree.  Twenty minutes of watching Lizzy weirdly dancing at Burning Man sounds significantly more entertaining (it is not hard to find photos online and… oof) than what we got.  The final scene was particularly bad with the lawyer, who had to know what was going on and tried to ruin Tyler Shultz’s life, berating Lizzy after the fact.  Probably the right message, but not a great messenger.  Amanda Seyfried recently told Vanity Fair she would love to do Elizabeth again in a season two and I am all for it.  They could easily do a season on her and Sunny’s trial.  Oh, and give us a Burning Man episode.


Halo:  So the weird alien chick is special in some sort of way.  Although, if we told why, I missed it.  But not a good sign when your show’s most charismatic character is an AI hologram.  


Big Sky:  Oh no, Jinder Mahal was killed by a woman.  Oh well, I guess he can go back to his day job as jobber.  At least he is beat up by men there.  So the father is the one lacing their drugs?  I guess dude is hard up for money.  I wonder how much his white girlfriend was involved in that decision.

The Blacklist:  I did not see whoever the big bad is to kill the guy who actually kill the bartender.  Oh, and he also killed the lawyer.  So whoever is in charged seemingly does not want anyone to know where the black site is either.  But who else even knows of the black site to tell the lawyer?  I wonder if it is someone we have already met.