Saturday, June 04, 2022

Around the Tubes: June 4, 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 POVBob Marley & the Wailers, Neneh Cherry, Sex Pistol, Anna Bates, Rachel Bilson, Spotlights, Entitled, NYC Points Gods.

- The 35th anniversary season of POV, America’s longest running documentary series, opens with the heart rendering observational film Wuhan Wuhan, about the first wave of COVID-19, in the city where the mysterious virus was first discovered.  Directed by Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze, This is Not a Movie), and produced by Diane Quon (Minding the Gap), Donna Gigliotti (Hidden Figures, Shakespeare in Love), and Peter Luo (Crazy Rich Asians, Marshall), the documentary goes beyond the statistics and salacious headlines to provide a human experience to the early months of the pandemic through the stories of frontline medical workers, patients, and ordinary citizens.  Wuhan Wuhan makes its national broadcast and streaming premiere on PBS television series POV, Monday, July 11, 2022 at 10pmET/9C and is available to stream free through August 11, 2022 at, and the PBS Video app. In addition to standard closed captioning, POV, in partnership with audio description service DiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities.

Beginning today and throughout June, The Marley Family, Island Records, and UMe mark the 45th anniversary of Exodus – named the “Best Album of the 20th Century” by Time magazine in 1999 – with the digital premiere of three of the four nights from Bob Marley & the Wailers’ historic run at London’s Rainbow Theatre and a consolidated, revised digital Exodus: Deluxe Edition.  Following an assassination attempt in Kingston, Jamaica, in December 1976, Bob Marley and his band moved to London – in “exodus” from their home country – and recorded tracks for what became both the Exodus and Kaya albums. Marley’s Exodus, featuring the timeless tracks “Jamming,” “Three Little Birds,” “One Love/People Get Ready,” and the epic title song, came first, which led to early positive reviews, ten early dates around Western Europe and shows at the Rainbow Theatre in London’s Finsbury Park during release week. But an injury to Bob led to the abrupt cancellation of the rest of the Exodus tour, including expected U.S. breakthrough shows scheduled for late summer, leaving June 1-2-3-4 the final performances by the Wailers that year.

Neneh Cherry shares the TOKiMONSTA remix of Sia’s version of her hit “Manchild”. TOKiMONSTA has re-imagined Sia’s take of the Neneh Cherry classic into a technicolour mandala of futuristic melodies, house and IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) that encompass the Grammy-nominated DJ and producer’s sound. The remix arrives ahead of her upcoming album The Versions, a collaboration album of covers from her expansive catalogue by an all female lineup of some of the most exciting and revered artists of our time, due June 10th.  LISTEN HERE

For the first time in over 20 years, 20 of the Sex Pistol’s recordings from 1976 to 1978 are collected together to tell the story of one of the world’s most influential and extraordinary bands.  Sex Pistols: The Original Recordings (UMe) covers a historic period when the band were rarely out of the news or the charts and will be available on double vinyl, CD and limited edition double transparent green vinyl. All configurations of Sex Pistols: The Original Recordings can be pre-ordered, HERE.

 Anna Bates, the Los Angeles-born and raised singer-storyteller, releases her debut EP Here’s To The End HERE on Neon Gold Records. Classically trained in piano from a young age, it wasn’t until as recently as 2020 that Anna Bates began to release music under her own name. After her track “Holy Smokes” went viral on TikTok, Anna packed up her Belmont dorm and moved back west to pursue a career in music. To celebrate her debut, she’s revealing the music video for “Holy Smokes” HERE.  Anna performs live on Monday June 6th @ It’s A School Night HERE.

Actress and podcast host Rachel Bilson has announced the launch of her new podcast, Broad Ideas, now available on all major podcast platforms. On Broad Ideas, Rachel is joined by long-time best friend Olivia Allen to talk about sex, mental health, their belief (or lack of) in ghosts, and so much more. They’ll be joined by old friends, young friends, and some friends they haven’t met yet to have fun, casual conversations about the same kind of broad topics you'd find yourself discussing with your girlfriends. Actress and longtime friend Kristen Bell joins them as their first guest for the premiere episode, which is available now. Upcoming guests include Mandy Moore, Aubrey Plaza, Zooey Deschanel, Gina Rodriguez, Kristen Kish, Bobby Berk, and many more.  “We wanted to create a safe space where nothing is off limits, an open honest conversation on things you normally only share with your best friend. From taboo topics to bedroom secrets, we are just a couple of broads with some big ideas,” said Bilson. “Life is a lot. Anything we can do to help people laugh and cry through it. We’re here for it. We offer a space to get real. No filters or covers. We believe authenticity is the comfort people are craving,” said Allen.

SHOWTIME has announced that the new half-hour anthology series SPOTLIGHTS: A SHOWTIME SHORT FILM SERIES will roll out Sunday, June 12 with all five episodes available on streaming and on demand for SHOWTIME subscribers. The episodes will also debut on-air weekly on Sundays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. Produced for SHOWTIME by JAX Media (DESUS & MERO, Emily in Paris, Russian Doll), the episodic anthology series features the bold works of various emerging filmmakers, with each episode featuring two to three short films that vary in timely subject matter, tone and perspective. SPOTLIGHTS offers a curated approach to support emerging filmmakers, as well as mentorship opportunities for each filmmaker to engage with creatives and executives across Paramount Global. The announcement was made today by Gary Levine and Jana Winograde, Presidents of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.  To view a trailer please go to

SHOWTIME announced today that the network has ordered the half-hour comedy series ENTITLED, starring Brett Gelman (Stranger Things, Fleabag) and created by Matt Morgan (Mister Winner, The Mimic), who will both executive produce. The series is co-produced by SHOWTIME and Channel 4 in the UK, in association with All3Media International.Harry Williams, Jack Williams and Sarah Hammond of Two Brothers Pictures – the producers of the Emmy® winning Fleabag and International Emmy nominee BACK TO LIFE – also executive produce. Tim Kirkby (The Pentaverate, Don’t Forget the Driver, Veep) will direct season one and executive produce as well. Production of the eight-episode season of ENTITLED is scheduled to begin in Manchester, England in August, with the program scheduled to premiere in 2023. ENTITLED follows Gabe (Gelman), an American widower who must get to know his British wife’s estranged family In their crumbling gothic mansion in the English countryside, they compete for his affections – and his newly inherited fortune.

SHOWTIME Sports Documentary Films is announcing NYC POINT GODS, spotlighting the enduring impact of New York City point guards who honed their craft and developed their legendary showmanship on the city’s iconic playgrounds and high school gyms in the 1980s and ’90s. The documentary extends the successful collaboration between SHOWTIME and NBA superstar Kevin Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman’s Boardroom. NYC POINT GODS premieres on Friday, July 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME and will be available across the network’s on-demand and streaming platforms at premiere.  The gritty blight of New York City in the ’80s revealed a cultural resilience, one that ultimately birthed East Coast hip-hop and inspired a style of play on the basketball court that endures today. The elegance of the city’s elite point guards, molded by the packed streetball courts, unwritten rules of bruising pickup games, and the perseverance required to survive everyday life, has come to define an era of basketball and American culture. Their transcendent style is etched in the consciousness of all who have witnessed these prodigies. The New York City point gods’ lasting impact on the game of basketball can be seen around the world, in virtually every league.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Lucifer: The Complete Fifth Season Review


Full Disclosure Notice:  Warner Bros. sent me this blu-ray for free so I could review it.

You cannot keep the devil down, neither Fox, who canceled Lucifer after three seasons, but was later saved by Netflix for three more season, nor the character himself.  At the end of the fourth season, Lucifer returned to Hell as a way to protect his new nephew from demons who may escape.  In the fifth season premiere (DVD and Blu-ray out today), which picks up about two months after the finale, he even tortured the person whose murder Detective Decker is investigating.  Though, it does not take too long for the devil to make it back to the City of Angels.


New daddy Amenadiel is not the only family member Lucifer runs into in the fifth season, one of which will look extremely familiar.  One character you will be seeing less of is Trixie who gets demoted to “Recurring” this season.  There are still plenty of cases of the week, or, well, episode since Netflix released the episodes in two bunches.  Lucifer even does some ripped from the headline stories like a pop star attempted to by a convent.  Granted, when Katy Perry tried to do this, there was significantly less murder.


Lucifer: The Complete Fifth Season comes with all 16 episodes spread across four Blu-rays (four episodes per disk).  There is not much in the way of bonus features; there is just a couple deleted scenes and a gag real.  Lucifer: The Complete Fifth Season, out today, is priced to own on DVD at $29.98 SRP ($39.99 in Canada) and will also be available on Blu-ray courtesy of Warner Archive Collection.  Warner Archive Blu-ray releases are easily found at and on your favorite online retailer sites.  Lucifer: The Complete Fifth Season is also available to own on Digital now via purchase from digital retailers.


For those wondering when you can complete the Lucifer series collection, while no official date has been released yet, the first two Netflix season were released about a year after the last batch of episodes of that season were released.  So it is likely the final season could be released as early as this September.  Well, “final” season unless there is a reboot which does not seem out of the question.  Like I said earlier, you cannot keep the devil down.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

57 Channels and Only This Is On: May 29, 2022


The Time Traveler’s Wife:  There are fewer things I need to see in this life than seeing a dude perform oral sex on himself.


Fear the Walking Dead:  So Strand is a good guy all of the sudden, ready to make peace just by seeing Alicia?  But then is a band guy at the end when he refused to turn off the beacon?  Make up your mind.  Even more bizarre was they just yadda-yaddaed Wes escaping a horde of zombies stuck in the bunker only to just have Strand murder him moments later.


The First Lady:  They seem to be hinting at lesbian all season and they just came out and explicitly showed it this week.  And yes, a Wikipedia deep dive did reveal a female reporter did move into the room next door and there were rumors a plenty.  Lesbians took front and center in Michelle’s storyline where they openly implied Michelle was behind Biden’s statement which seems like a bigger stretch.  Then in the seventies, Betty was planning Susan’s prom.  Okay, she also campaigned for the ERA.  I laughed when they mentioned Regan was courting the far right but campaigning against it.  Today’s far right would consider Regan a RINO.  And probably would think he eats babies.


I Love That for You:  I predicted that if (when) Patricia finds out Joanna is lying about her cancer, she would continue to milk it for ratings, but Patricia actually being diagnosed with breast cancer is making me rethink that.  Things may get rough for Joanna if Patricia starts asking for help.  Luckily for her, I believe they would be seeing different types of doctors.


The Challenge: All Stars: How does Darrell lose that?  He was inches away but just could not get that final push. But what was really annoying is how Wes weaseled his way out of elimination for the second straight elimination that he definitely would have lost mostly because Brad was in a position of power.


Survivor:  Oh no, Probst said that stupid Do or Die twist was one of his favorite new twists.  They were lucky that both times they did it; the person did not die.  But the proposition of someone eventually “dying” is bad because it would be extremely lame if there is a Tribal Council where no one actually gets voted out.  Speaking of useless new twists, the Shot in the Dark was a huge dud.  They had a one in six chance and I believe it was played six times, but not one person got lucky.  Then the Turn Back Time twist got crushed by fans and players alike.  I think the only new twist introduced in “new” Survivor was the Caught Red Handed twist which was extremely literal.  I fear what dumb twists are coming next.  But it looks like they are actually casting disabled people again.  Survivor has talked a lot about diversity, even instituting a 50% people of color casting mandate, but disabled people are severely underrepresented.  There was a time where there was a deaf woman and two amputees, but then there was a large lull.  The amputee next season is reportedly a Paralympian so she will not be a pushover.


Oh, yeah, and Maryanne won.  She did give a much better Final Tribal performance and had the last big move of the season getting Omar out.  Though I still think Mike had a much better season as a whole.  But it was a blowout, much like every season has become a blowout ever since they switched to this forum Final Tribal format.  Maybe it is time to go back to the Q&A format just to get some more drama back into the final reveal.


The Flight Attendant: Rosie Perez getting on a flight for an airline she used to work for while being a wanted fugitive seemed like a really bad idea and Suspicious Minds seems like a horrible song to play at a wedding (though, I will say that is my favorite Elvis song) but after a sophomore slump, the finale was... perfectly fine.


I predicted Cheryl Hines was the doppelganger after the second episode because Grace became too obvious and Hines being the big bad did make sense (though, I do not understand what that thing in Cassie's pocket was that made the alarm go off).


I am glad the weird AA woman was not the big bad but turned out to be someone important to the story in a different way, though maybe a reveal that should have been in the penultimate episode.  Despite the sophomore slump, I am still looking forward to a potential third season.


Obi Wan Kenobi:  That was nice they put up a four minute “previously on” reminding us what happening episodes 1-3.  You know, if you cut the prequels down to four minutes, they are not half bad.  I thought maybe starting with Order 66; we were going to see how Grogu escaped the massacre.  But we did get a few surprise appearance, most notably a young Princess Leia.  Oh, and Flea.  I am sure I can nit-pick, but I really enjoyed this even if the prequels in full lengths were bad.


The Blacklist:  So no Aram or Park next season?  Will we be getting new agents?  But it looks like we already got a new Big bad as Marvin turned that assassin against Red and left him with a list of people Red informed on.