Saturday, October 29, 2022

Around the Tubes: October 29, 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 Brahmāstra Part One: Shiva,  Elton John, Taylor Swift, Neil Diamond, Helen Ganya, Noah Kahan, Joy Oladokun, Shania Twain, Paris Jackson, POV, The Staircase, Matt Rogers: Have You Heard of Christmas?and 2nd Chance.

Hulu announced recent that it will be the exclusive US streaming destination for the biggest Hindi film of the year, "Brahmāstra Part One: Shiva." The visual spectacle, the first in a planned trilogy, will be available on Friday, November 4th in both its theatrical Hindi and an English dubbed version for the very first time!  DATE ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEO: HERE  "Brahmāstra" – the Trilogy, is a three-part film franchise and the beginning of India’s first original universe, The Astraverse.  It is a new original cinematic universe inspired by deeply rooted concepts and tales from Indian history but set in the modern world, with epic storytelling of fantasy, adventure, good vs evil, love and hope; all told using cutting edge technology and never-seen-before visual spectacles.

 On this day, exactly 47 years ago, Elton John’s legendary performance at Dodger Stadium launched him into global stardom, and next month, he will come full circle, returning to Dodger Stadium to grace us with his final North American show. Exclusively streamed live on Disney+ on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, “Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium” is a once-in-a-lifetime live, global original concert event that offers fans from around the world a front-row seat to witness the groundbreaking magic of the Rocket Man back at Dodger Stadium.  The historic three-hour livestream, from Disney Branded Television and produced by Fulwell 73 Productions and Rocket Entertainment, will showcase Elton John as audiences have never seen him before, paying tribute to the icon and the seminal moment in 1975 that cemented his global success.  The concert will begin with “Countdown to Elton Live” from Dodger Stadium, beginning at 7:30 PST / 10:30 EST. “To feel the energy from the best fans, not only in Dodger Stadium again, but this time around the world from those watching live at home, will be truly extra special for me," said Elton John. “I’m thrilled to celebrate this momentous evening globally. I hope everyone feels the power and joy of performing on a stage as iconic as Dodger’s. Just like I did almost 50 years ago.” 

Taylor Swift’s 10th full-length studio album, Midnights, shattered Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music streaming records in less than 24 hours. Midnights was the biggest album debut for Spotify ever as it became the “Most Streamed Album in a Single Day.”  In addition, Taylor eclipsed the record as the “Most Streamed Artist in a Single Day” in Spotify history.  Midnights also remarkably breaks the all-time record for “most single day streams for an artist in Spotify history,” surpassing the record set by Bad Bunny earlier this year. Not to mention, this critically adored album captured 67 #1’s worldwide on iTunes and Apple Music with 98 #1’s worldwide. Midnights also notably broke the record for the biggest pop album of all time on Apple Music by first-day streams and "Lavender Haze" Debuted #1 on Apple Music Top 100: Global. With two tracks from the album hitting #1, Taylor has earned 55 #1 hits on US iTunes singles, the most of any artist. On Amazon Music, Taylor also received the most first day album streams globally of any artist in addition to the most Alexa requests ever. In addition, “Anti-Hero” is the #1 trending video on YouTube in the US.

Capitol/UMe celebrates the full breadth of Neil Diamond’s holiday spirit with the release of A Neil Diamond Christmas, a special, artist-curated compilation of the greatest songs culled from Neil’s four beloved and best-selling Christmas albums. The tracks Neil has personally selected for this compilation all originally appeared on September 1992’s The Christmas Album, October 1994’s The Christmas Album Volume II, October 2009’s A Cherry Cherry Christmas, and November 2016’s Acoustic Christmas.  A Neil Diamond Christmas appears in four physical configurations: 2LP 180-gram black vinyl, an exclusive, limited-edition gold opaque 2LP 180-gram vinyl, 2CD, and 1CD. All of the tracks on A Neil Diamond Christmas have been newly remastered under the artist’s direction by Neil’s longtime engineer, Bernie Becker. Additionally, Neil and Bernie created a stunning new mix of “O Holy Night,” originally released on The Christmas Album. Preorder A Neil Diamond Christmas HERE.

Helen Ganya shares a striking video for “i will hold that hand for you”, the captivating opening track from her upcoming album polish the machine out November 18th via Bella Union. The music video was created by filmmaker and video artist Sapphire Goss who mixes analog and digital to create grainy, shimmering and otherworldly visuals. Goss took the ideas behind the song and created a cold, metallic, liquid dystopian landscape held together by the warming sentiment at the heart of the song. Listen / watch HERE.  “i will hold that hand for you” follows the singles “afterparty” and “young girls never die”.

Vermont singer and songwriter Noah Kahan’s new album Stick Season is his most successful and widely praised release to date—debuting at #14 on the Billboard 200 Chart#4 on Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums Chart#5 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums Chart, and #5 on Billboard’s Top Rock & Alternative Albums Chart. Not to mention, the record debuted at #6 on Spotify’s Weekly Top Albums USA Chart, with its breakout self-titled single “Stick Season” currently at #2 on the AAA Radio Chart this week.  Noah recently kicked off his sold-out North American “Stick Season Tour” with Adam Melchor as support. The 2022 string of shows run through November, with a second leg of tour dates added in 2023 that are quickly selling out—see the complete list of tour dates below. Next spring, Noah will join Dermot Kennedy across the UK on “The Sonder Tour.” Tickets are available now HERE.

The official music video for “Sweet Symphony,” Joy Oladokun’s new collaboration with Chris Stapleton, is debuting today. Directed and produced by Gemini (Mason Allen and Nicki Fletcher), the video features puppet versions of Oladokun and Stapleton performing the song. Watch/share HERE.  Of the video, Oladokun shares, “I felt really inspired as a black kid watching Sesame Street and the Muppets because we live in a world where our differences separate us, and these shows were so clearly modeled through the art form that differences don’t matter. I love the surrealism and realism that puppet art blends together because it teaches us cool lessons about how we should treat other.”

Gearing up for another monumental chapter, five-time GRAMMY® Award-winning legend and the best-selling female artist in country music history Shania Twain will release her new album, Queen of Me, on February 3, 2023. It notably stands out as her sixth original full-length offering, first record since 2017, and official debut for her new label partner Republic Nashville, a division of Republic Records.  On November 14th at 3pm PT/6pm ET, Shania will join celebrated TV personality Nancy O’Dell for TalkShopLive where fans can hear stories around the making of Queen of Me and pre-order the autographed LP and limited edition box sets. Link HERE.

- Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, and activist paris jackson reveals her new single “just you” out now via Republic Records—listen HERE.  paris delivers another emotionally charged anthem with “just you,” which she describes as a “love song”. On the track, a steady beat builds in the background as guitars echo. Her soulful delivery breaks through as she ponders, “floored, how did i fall so swift and far for you my dear?” Once again, paris channels nineties alternative and grunge with her signature artistic spirit.  She recently delivered a stripped-back, acoustic performance of the song for SPIN—watch it HERE.

POV delves into the lives of two midwives – one a Buddhist and one a Muslim, who defy strict ethnic divisions to work side by side at a health clinic in western Myanmar, in the absorbing documentary, Midwives. Directed by Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing and produced by Snow, Emmy Award® winner Mila Aung-Thwin (Up the Yangtze), Bob Moore (Last Train Home) and Ulla Lehmann (Wood and Water), Midwives makes its national broadcast premiere on POV Monday, November 21, 2022 (check local listings) and will be available to stream with no PBS Passport membership necessary until December 21, 2022 at, and the PBS Video app.  In addition to standard closed captioning for the film, POV, in partnership with audio description service DiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities. POV, currently celebrating its 35th anniversary season, is America’s longest running non-fiction series.

Get on the case with the Max Original drama series as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases The Staircase: Limited Series on DVD December 27, 2022. Created by Antonio Campos (The Devil All the Time), The Staircase: Limited Series is priced to own at $24.98 SRP for the DVD ($29.98 in Canada). Follow all 8, one-hour episodes from the gripping series, plus all-new bonus content including Inside the Episode featurettes and a set tour! The series is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers and to stream on HBO Max.  Inspired by a true story, The Staircase explores the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling North Carolina family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson. On December 9, 2001, Michael makes a frantic 911 call reporting Kathleen has fallen down the stairs of their Durham, NC home. But when the district attorney brings murder charges, members of Michael’s blended family must choose whose side they’re on and which version of events to believe. As the case becomes engulfed in a media circus, a French documentary film crew arrives to meticulously chronicle its many twists and turns. Intertwining multiple perspectives and timelines, this gripping limited series explores the elusive nature of truth.

SHOWTIME announced today that the network will air the debut comedy special, MATT ROGERS: HAVE YOU HEARD OF CHRISTMAS?, from breakout multihyphenate Matt Rogers (I LOVE THAT FOR YOU, Fire Island). The special will premiere on Friday, December 2 on streaming and on demand for all SHOWTIME subscribers and on-air that night at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. Based on his popular long-running live show of the same name, this musical extravaganza will feature an original set of holiday pop music and comedy to get audiences in the Christmas spirit, all while Rogers seeks to win approval as the next “Pop Prince of Christmas.” Taped in front of a live audience in Joe’s Pub within The Public Theater in New York City, MATT ROGERS: HAVE YOU HEARD OF CHRISTMAS? will also feature performances and short comedic bits with guest stars Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live, Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens) and comedy duo Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson (F***ing Identical Twins) to further spread some holiday cheer.  "Ever since I was a young boy, I have wanted to be seasonally ubiquitous,” said Rogers. “So I am thrilled to finally be joining the ranks of Christmas legends like Mariah Carey and Santa with this special, MATT ROGERS: HAVE YOU HEARD OF CHRISTMAS?, and I look forward to sharing this vulnerable, intimate and ultimately incredibly stupid night."

 SHOWTIME Documentary Films announced today they are teaming up with Bleecker Street to release 2ND CHANCE, the documentary from director and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Ramin Bahrani (The White Tiger, 99 Homes, Chop Shop), in theatres. The film will open in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, December 2, expanding to additional cities December 9. SHOWTIME will then premiere the film on air, on streaming and on demand for all SHOWTIME subscribers next Spring. Bahrani’s feature-length documentary debut is an exploration of the life and legacy of Richard Davis, the charming yet brash inventor of the modern-day bulletproof vest who shot himself 192 times to prove his product worked. A hero to police and the military until tragedy brought him down, Davis offers an American story of guns, violence, lies and self-deception. The announcement was made by Vinnie Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Nonfiction Programming, Showtime Networks Inc., and Andrew Karpen, CEO of Bleecker Street.   Davis parlayed his self-tested invention into the launch of Second Chance, which became one of the largest body armor companies in the world. He directed sensational marketing films, earning him celebrity status among police and gun owners across the country. But the death of a police officer wearing a Second Chance vest catalyzed Davis’ fall, revealing a man full of contradictions cultivated over decades of reckless behavior. Equally as questionable as he was captivating, Davis saved thousands of lives while endangering exponentially more.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

57 Channels and Only This Is On: October 23, 2022


House of the Dragon:  So the cripple is into feet.  At least the writers finally gave some of these side characters some actually characterization.  Then you have Cristen Cole straight up murdering some random dude that we barely met with multiple people watching… and once again gets a promotion afterwards. Speaking of characters we barely met, were we really supposed to care about the twins with the same name racing against Cristen and One Eye to find Aemon?  It does not seem like much would be different on who got there first and that was the bulk of the episode.  Buy Rhenese if off to tell Rhenira about the Green’s plan, thus finally starting the Dance of the Dragons.  I guess the old head of the Kingsguard will join them.  But why exactly was he just able to leave with no problem, but they quickly stopped and hung the other dude?


The Walking Dead:  Oh, so the mayor wants to put all the blame on Eugene even though she knows her former lackey was the one that had the zombies released.  So I guess that is where the tension will come from.  Well that and the new climbing zombies.  But when are we going to get the fast zombies we were promised during Worlds Apart? And which variant is more frightening?  But back to the mayor and her lackey, what was going on with the kid zombie, at first I thought she was going to like the kid zombie eat the lackey, but then brought in another body to eat, so what is the lackey supposed to do?


Let the Right One In:  Okay, those monkeys are creepy.  But if the monkey could break its restraints, why couldn’t the brother?  But the sister was quick to learn that is was not just their blood and blood banks that were keeping the brother fed.  And who was that henchman working with and how much does the other guy know?  The father said it was just those two.  The henchman also ran into the other storyline, I wonder just how often those two storylines intercut this season.  And what will the henchman do when he learns the boss owns that car?


Quantum Leap:  I first though the guy who knew ben was with Al’s daughter, but why would Ben be following him?  Could there be a third team out there leaping?  But can that dude actually see Ben, or did he somehow know that the person he leaped into was not really that guy and guessed it was Sam?  And if not Al’s daughter, does that guy have a hologram following him around?  Would Ben be able to see them?  And most importantly, why no teaser of where Ben leaps next week?  But overall, seems way too early to be breaking the rules of the original and leaping to a time earlier than the leaper.  That was a big no-no in the original. 


La Brea:  The killed off the chick who knew how to get in the tower?  I am beginning to think this is a The Hatch situation where it takes way too long to get into.  Though, since this is a time travel show, that chick it out there somewhere.  But the Isaiah family tree is confusing.  So his mother is in 1987, who presumably will travel back in time with her husband and father, conceive Isaiah, leave her father to raise her son?  When do they go back in time?  Where exactly is 60(ish) year old mom now?  Where is dad at any age?


Andor: Oh wow, The Waif sure cleans up nicely.  I needed context clues to even realize that was her (though I needed someone to inform me that the Lady in Red was the shop assistant).  But my problem with the first with the first six episodes was they seemed like two district movies that did not have much to do with each other besides the lead character. You could have started on episode 4 and not be confused for the next two episode. Finally, those two blocks of episodes are coming together.  I am guessing this next block will be Bix and / or Vel (I definitely did not have to look up those names) breaking Andor out of prison.  Vel is certainly not actually going to kill him, letting him rot in prison knowing what he knows also seems risky.


The Handmaid’s Tale:  I was annoyed after making Serena slowly more sympathetic only for her to become pure evil again seemingly just to fill the main antagonist roll with Fred gone. But I guess the writers are trying to make Serena sympathetic again. She is beginning to feel like one of those WWE wrestlers who go back and forth being the good and bad guy every other feud they are in.  But who is the antagonist of the show now?  The family that was keeping Serena hostage?  Is Lawrence finally going to go full heel after going back and forth more often than Serena?


Tell Me Lies:  Well, the promo monkeys fooled me into thinking it was the brother who fell off the deck.  Instead it was Wrigley whose football career may be over.  But now that almost everything is out there, it feels like the levee is going to break in the finale and I am all for it.  Will someone have photographic proof of Stephan and Macy that night?  Was Facebook a big thing at that time?  Will we get to see what happened that night?  I am not sure I believe Stephen’s retelling, I would really like to see how that night unfolded myself.


Survivor:  Voting out Geo was the right move, you do not want to blindside someone who can turn around and steal your Idol, but I wished the Survivor Gods somehow willed Ryan to be voted off after one of the misguided plays of all time.  Also pretty dumb: Janine and Jesse risking their vote.  I am not sure what is dumber, losing your vote with so few people in your tribe, or losing your vote with the merge on the horizon?  So Geo is out and the other two lost their vote.  Compare that to the last time here Noelle came out of it with an Extra Vote and a secret alliance.  Do not be greedy people.  At least Janine still has her Idol, Jesse is out a vote and one of his tribe mates he was ready to vote out has every reason to join her secret alliance over him.  A lot of moving parts next week (even though no dumb turn back time this season, but the preview made it look like there will still be a dumb twist), Jesse seem like the most likely to get voted out next week.  Unless he somehow benefits from whatever the new dumb twist turns out to be.


The Challenge: Ride or Dies:  Ugg, I was so glad when Kacee and her loser brother were booted, why were they brought back?  I was so happy to have a season with no Josh and very little Kacee.  Plus they really need to outlaw helping people during the elimination.  It is so stupid they allow that.


Stargirl:  Oh yeah, I completely forgot they left the Green Lantern storyline on a cliffhanger.  I also forgot Keith David was playing a talking skull.  Cool.  Since this was just “Part 1” I guess we will continue this diversion from who killed The Gambler.  Though, at this point, it is pretty obviously Dragon King.


Pennyworth:  So V (of Vendetta fame) is just some aging hippy?  That is a huge letdown.