Monday, February 20, 2017

Previewing Bates Motel: Season Five




I have a long standing theory that a character on television is not really dead until you see the body (and even then I am usually suspicious), but it became pretty obvious in the season finale of Bates Motel that Norma was dead as a doornail. That’s not to say that Vera Farmiga is leaving show, her name remain in the credits for the upcoming, and final season, and everyone who saw the final scene from last year can see how the actress stays around as a vision of Norman.

Yep, after teetering for the first four seasons, Norman has gone full crazy and now talks to his dead mother whom he has built a shrine to in the basement (you know, where Norman does his taxidermy… ew). Imaginary Norma even claims to be pretending to be dead as an excuse to not leave the house. And you have to feel sorry for the new young lady who runs the hardware store Norman meets early in the new season who looks very much like his dead mother, you know that relationship will not be ending very nicely.

It is unclear just how long it has been since the previous season, Dylan and Emma now have a baby to take care up while Dylan admits he doesn’t talk to his mother or Norman so he has not even learned that his mother is no longer among the living. After his perjury charge, Romero starts off the season in prison. While back in the titular setting, Norman is now the manager who is having increasing amounts of blackouts and ends the premiere answering a very interesting phone call.

The second episode starts off with a very interesting meeting between Norman and Romero in the prison meeting room. Season two also sees the return of Dylan’s creepy neighbor who has a proposition to Norman. New this season is the mayor’s son from The Walking Dead (as Sam Loomis, but he is not a doctor so this is not some Halloween crossover) and Supergirl’s Ms. Teschmacher. Not seen in the first two episode is Rihanna who is reportedly showing up in a famous role sometime this season.

Like most remakes and reboots, I found Bates Motel to be mostly unnessisay, but now in the final season, the show is now what it probably should have always been. Knowing what we always knew about Norman Bates and his relationship with his mother those first couple season drug on a little slow, but now that Norma is dead and Norman is in full split personality mode, the show has turned into a horror version of Mr. Robot. It is a shame they did not kill off Norma earlier in the show’s run..

Bates Motel airs Mondays on A&E. You can download Bates Motel on iTunes.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 2/18/2017



The 59th Annual Grammy Awards: I figured this year’s Grammys would suck because music last year sucked. Except, it ended up not being as bad as I expected. Granted about half of the performers did not actually perform songs that were even eligible this year. By my count The Weeknd, Ed Sheeran, Metallica, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and A Tribe Called Questall performed songs that were released after this year’s deadline. Which means many of this year’s nominees got the shafted. It used to be if you were nominated in the big four you were automatically got to perform. Rihanna, Drake, and Kanye West all had the second most nominations while Justin Bieber also was up for Album and Song but none performed (I do not think the latter three even showed up; weirdly Rihanna was scheduled to perform last year but pulled out due to illness). Mike Posner, was not seen despite a Song of the Year nomination. Lukas Graham, up for Record/Song and Best New Artist was forced to mash up their song with fellow Best New Artist nominee Kelsea Ballerini which ended up being the worst of the night. Other Best New Artist nominees The Chainsmokers I do not think were even there while Anderson .Paak was barely noticeable in the A Tribe Called Quest set. And I am not a big fan, but twenty one pilots got a bunch of nominations (five, same as Adele), including Record of the Year, yet only hit the stage to accept an award in their underwear. While Bruno Mars, who was not nominated this year, got to perform twice. To put this in context, last year, only Adele performed despite releasing music too late to be eligible (although you can also count Rihanna who pulled out; Justin Beiber also performed Love Yourself but as part of a medley with a nominated collaboration with Skillex and Diplo). Of course not that I am complaining, just next year are they going to ask back all of those six performers if they are nominated? Obviously yes concerning Bruno Mars and probably Ed Sheeran. I just hope Tribe goes on an award tour next year with a bunch of nominations in the major categories.

Mercy Street: That dude was a she, did not see that coming.
You can download Mercy Street on iTunes.

Homeland: After Carrie got that guy out, I figured he would eventually carry out a terrorist attack, except instead he just made a video. TThen just when I thought Quinn was just being paranoid about the guy across the street, he follows him to a shipping yaarrd of whick Saku just happened to woeked. When he turned the key, I thought, oh, this is going to explode. Then when he put it in the reverse, I thought, oh this is going to explode. Then when he turned on the radio I thought, oh this is going to explode. Then when I figured, oh maybe he is just delivering something, the van is not actually going to explode, then it exploded. Okay, this season just got interesting.

The Walking Dead: So Rick heads out to that boathouse and no one was there. He goes back this week and there is a whole hoard of people who, to my knowledge, we have never seen before.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Supergirl: Mmm, The Luther’s are easily the most interesting part of the show (of course villains usually are). I would not mind a spinoff. And expect a lot of complaining next week, but why the fork is Mister Mxyzptlk being played by an Abercrombie model? We hear a lot made of cultural appropriation and white washing, but where is the outrage that Mister Mxyzptlk is not being played by an actual imp?
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions: Cory made an interesting decision this week by offering himself up for elimination. It is the easier way to get to the Oasis, you have a fifty-fifty chance to make it, which is better than one in eight the other way. But if you lose a challenge, you get another shot next week, you lose the elimination, you have to wait a year and hope to be asked back. Of course the easiest way to make it into the Oasis is to go against someone who quits. C’mon buddy, climbing up the mountain seems like the hard part to me. Might as well jump at that point.
You can download The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions on iTunes.

The Path: Wait, did FBI guy really plant a burner phone to set up the doctor? Obviously a great way to get Cal to trust you is to find the mole and obviously you cannot turn yourself in, but that was cold. And the FBI could also try to turn her. Speaking of sadistic acts, harsh for someone poisoning thousands of people (and cows) to increase her company’s bottom line calling someone else sadistic. But what I am interested in is how the social black warrior will figure back into the show. The head guy just did not seem like a one off character.
You can stream The Path on Hulu.

Blindplot: Rich Dot Com is always a welcome site, but him picking Kurt as his date may have made this the best episode in the show’s history.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

Powerless: Holy Black Manta sighting!!!!! Finally he gets his first live action appearance. Well even if was just a mention, not actually appearing on screen. But it is a start.
You can download Powerless on iTunes.

Emerald City: So who exactly is the Cowardly Lion? At first I thought it was the boy/girl. Then I thought it was the quit girl. Maybe neither. I still doubt boy/girl who is apparently a princess is really dead.
You can download Emerald City on iTunes.

Previewing Billions: Season Two



I got a little depressed watching the new season of Billions. Not because of what I wrote last season about if Bobby was not thrown into jail by the end of the season, the thought of Bobby vs. Chuck going on seasons seemed like a drag. No, watching Bobby being all evil could not help me think, great, these are the people running the country right now. And then when Chuck popped up for the first time, I realized, well these are the douches that use to run the country for decades.

So Chuck starts the season under internal investigation after the aborted case against Bobby while Bobby steal reeling after Chuck got close to getting him behind bars. Bobby has gotten even more paranoid (remember the last episode where he ripped apart his whole office looking for bugs) and have even more strict rules for his employees when he gets his office back together.

If season one was about Chuck taking down Bobby, season two looks like it will be Bobby trying to take down Chuck. I would say, just like I hoped with season one, that season two ends with one of them taking down the other and moving on to something different, but I have a feeling just like every movie that followed this path, the third installment is always the two former antagonists joining up to fight a mutual adversary.

Billions airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime. You can download Billions on iTunes.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Around the Tubes: 2/16/17



I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Water & Power: A California Heist, Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars, T'Pau, Maggie Rogers, Victorian Rebel – Marianne North, Pochahontas: Beyond the Myth, and In the Heat of the Night.

- Today, more than 500 million people around the world lack access to clean drinking water. Global warming, drought, overconsumption, corporate greed, terrorism and political corruption have all contributed to a stark reality where fresh water is scarce, expensive and not a guaranteed human right. Coinciding with World Water Day (March 22), National Geographic has announced two new projects from Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (“Going Clear”, “Taxi to the Dark Side”) that will air throughout the month of March and shed light on critical issues bubbling up around the world and in our own backyards. First, following a successful debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, is the feature documentary Water & Power: A California Heist. Directed by Emmy award winner Marina Zenovich (“Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired”) and executive produced by Gibney and Jigsaw Productions, the film unfolds like a real-life version of the 1974 film noir “Chinatown,” as it peels back the layers of California’s history of water manipulations.

- Showtime Documentary Films will release the new documentary Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars, an unflinching and deeply personal journey into the life of the legendary musician. The documentary will screen at domestic and international film festivals later this year, followed by a theatrical run in the U.S. and Canada, before airing nationally on SHOWTIME in 2018. The film will be directed by Oscar®-winner Lili Fini Zanuck (Rush, Driving Miss Daisy), with John Battsek (One Day In September, Searching for Sugar Man) producing for Passion Pictures. BAFTA winner Chris King (Amy, Senna) will serve as editor.

- Following on from the success of 2015's expanded ‘Bridge of Spies’ set UMG / Virgin now present T’Pau – The Virgin Anthology. This collection is a comprehensive, 4-CD curation of T'Pau's Virgin Records career: all those glorious singles from the mighty, quadruple platinum debut album ‘Bridge Of Spies’ ('87,) the two Top Ten albums which followed, the platinum-selling ‘Rage’ ('88) and Top 10 gold-selling ‘The Promise’ ('91,) plus a glimmering collector's grotto of B-sides, remixes, tantalising rarities and unreleased demo versions of the songs which lit up the late-‘80s skyline like luminous shooting stars. In the era's dominant teen-pop landscape T'Pau were a proper band, their stadium-level ambition powering into realisation via one of the most distinctive vocalists in history, Carol's singular force-of-nature tone somehow merging, stunningly, the youthful euphoria of the ingénue with the depths of a woman's wisdom.

- Maggie Rogers: “Alaska”:


- Smithsonian Channel is celebrating Women’s History Month with new specials that highlight two of the most courageous and independent-spirited women of their time, both leaving a lasting impression for centuries to follow. Victorian Rebel – Marianne North remembers one of the most adventurous female explorers and botanists of all time in a story of obsession, tragedy and ultimately triumph in Victorian England. Pochahontas: Beyond the Myth revisits the life of a legendary woman whose story continues to gain new resonance over time, even now on the 400-year anniversary of her death in March 1617. Victorian Rebel – Marianne North premieres on Wednesday, March 8 at 8:00. It is produced by Dan Chambers for Blink Films and Warner Sisters Productions. Charles Poe, David Royle and Joy Galane serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel. Pochahontas: Beyond the Myth premieres on Monday, March 27 at 8:00. It is produced by Biscuit Factory for Smithsonian Networks. Rob Lyall and Molly Herman are executive producers for Biscuit Factory. John Cavanagh and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.

- During his frequent guest appearances on The Carol Burnett Show, Tim Conway, who had originally gotten his start on McHale's Navy, was a one-man wrecking crew capable of leveling the audience and cast members alike with the slightest gesture. With an unparalleled gift for improvisation and physical comedy, Conway became a permanent part of the cast in 1975 and would go on to create a gallery of oddball characters that blossomed in their own bumbling ineptitude, from the "Oldest Man" to the irascible boss, Mr. Tudball. The Carol Burnett Show: The Best of Tim Conway celebrates this inimitable and legendary comic with four complete episodes - three not seen in more than 40 years - featuring some of his most unforgettable characters and moments. Street Date: April 4, 2017.

- Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will kick off the 8th annual TCM Classic Film Festival on Thursday, April 6th with a 50th anniversary screening of the Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger classic In the Heat of the Night (1967). The iconic actor Sidney Poitier, who will attend the screening, broke stereotypes and new ground when he starred in this five time Academy Award winner about a black detective from the north who finds himself investigating a murder in a small-town in Mississippi. Producer Walter Mirisch and Director Norman Jewison along with actress Lee Grant and composer Quincy Jones will be on hand to discuss the film which is considered to be a landmark.

- A group of governors from both ends of the political spectrum are urging President Donald Trump to support renewable energy, saying the wind and solar industries are crucial economic engines for impoverished rural regions. The Governor’s Wind & Solar Energy Coalition is seeking increased federal funding to modernize local power grids and boost clean energy research, according to a letter submitted to the White House Monday. The group is also calling for legislation to promote offshore wind farms and efforts to streamline the permitting process for wind and solar projects.

Monday, February 13, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 2/13/17



Love Is Mystical - Cold War Kids


There are three types of videos that can easily entertain me: ones taken in one shot, having kids versions of yourself lip sync for you, and the hardest of them all, the backwards video. But I was kind of disappointed in the Cold War Kids video which only featured people walking backwards and everything else filmed normally.


Two Wildly Different Perspectives – Father John Misty


Okay, maybe I spoke too soon about having kid stand ins. Much like Father John Misty’s last music video; the new one is kind of too depressing to watch in Trump’s America.


Undertow – Lisa Hannigan


Now Lisa Hannigan does a much better job mixing normal and backwards video.


Same-Drugs – Chance the Rapper


I may have to add a fourth to my list of videos that will easily entertain me and that is dueting with puppets. Thank you Chance the Rapper.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 2/12/17



Mercy Street: Right before halftime of the Super Bowl (ad winner has to be Mexican Avocados for trolling the President during the first commercial break of the most watched American show of the year) I actually posted on social media that I might as well just watch Mercy Street. The game was a blowout, the Lady Gaga halftime show was coming up (congratulations Black Eyed Peas, you are no longer the worst halftime show of all time). For some reason I did not turn over and ended up seeing another bunch of corrupt individuals win and ruin an American institution. Due to PBS’s lack of On Demand channel I had to stream it on their website. Despite PBS being commercial free, there were actually ads on streaming. Except where five commercial breaks were marked, only one actually stopped the play. Weird. As for the actual episode, are they actually going to transport a typhoid patient by boat? No wonder so many people died back then.
You can download Mercy Street on iTunes.

Supergirl: Alex’s favorite band is Barenaked Ladies? C’mon writers, we get it, she is a lesbian now, let’s move on.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Timeless: Couldn’t they bring back Ernest Hemmingway Bill and Ted style to the present and add him to the team, he can be the new “muscle.” He would instantly be the most interesting character.
You can download Timeless on iTunes.

The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions: No wonder they did back to back episodes because those first fourty minutes were extremely boring. But I did like that first challenge, individual but you needed a lot of help to complete. But after two hours, we still do not know how the “Champions” are coming back or what is going on with The Oasis. Or even what if someone who has punched their ticket to The Oasis goes home first.
You can download The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Oh hey, real Ada. It never really crossed my mind that there was an actual human that looked like that.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

The Path: Wait, the new hot blonde was involved with Eddie’s brother? I completely missed that. But her kid is not Eddie’s nephew, right? But hopefully things get interesting now that Cal knows there is a mole in the mix.
You can stream The Path on Hulu.

Legion: Um, alrighty, so that was… interesting. And I kind of hope we get a random dance sequence every week.
You can download Legion on iTunes.

The Blacklist: Wait, was that John Locke as Tom’s father? Sure looked like it to me and pretty much would confirm that he father is not really dead..
You can download The Blacklist on iTunes.

Emerald City: Wait, Scarecrow has been a secret spy for Glenda the Good Witch this whole time?!? Huh?!? Sure I did not think Dorothy was going to kill her, but I did not see that coming.
You can download Emerald City on iTunes.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Around the Tubes: 2/9/2017



I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Angie Tribeca, Showtime, After Spring, Big Cat Week, Disgraced, Conan Without Borders: Made in Mexico, FilmStruck, and Mama's Family.

- The world called, and Angie has answered with the most magnificent, masterful and moving third season of TBS's Angie Tribeca yet. Rashida Jones, Hayes MacArthur, Jere Burns, Deon Cole, Andrée Vermeulen and Jagger will be back when the powerful police drama returns Monday, April 10, at 10:30, exclusively on TBS, a division of Turner.

- Showtime will be available to more than 73 million households during a Free Preview Weekend from Friday, February 17 through Monday, February 20. Viewers nationwide will be able to sample the network’s award-winning programming on Showtime, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, SHOWTIME ANYTIME® and via select distributors' TV Everywhere portals. The Free Preview Weekend will include the season two premiere of the powerful drama series Billions, starring Oscar® nominee and Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Paul Giamatti and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Damian Lewis. Additionally, viewers will be able to sample new episodes of the Emmy-winning drama series HOMELAND, along with a live SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event, feature films and compelling documentary programming.

- Starz announced this week the critically-acclaimed documentary After Spring, executive produced by Jon Stewart and Chris McShane and directed/produced by Steph Ching and Ellen Martinez, will make its national television debut on Friday, February 10 at 9:00 exclusively on STARZ. The documentary will be made available for STARZ subscribers on the STARZ app and STARZ ON DEMAND today, Friday, February 3, one week prior to the television premiere. he outstanding documentary feature film tells the heartbreaking and inspiring personal stories of Syrian refugees and aid workers at the Zaatari Refugee Camp, home to 80,000 people and now considered the fourth largest city in Jordan. More than 50 percent of the camp’s population is under 18 years old and over 5,000 babies have been born in the camp since it opened in July 2012. The Syrian conflict has displaced more than 10 million people, according to the United Nations.

- For millions of years, big cats have stood atop the food chain as treasured icons of the wild. We have a deep, ancient connection with these revered predators. We admire them; we fear them; and now, we need to fight for them. Today, big cats such as lions, cheetahs, leopards and cougars are in decline across the globe. Nat Geo WILD’s seventh annual Big Cat Week has turned its lens on these majestic animals to shine a light on their struggle and to remind viewers of their importance in the world. Big Cat Week premieres Monday, Feb. 20, at 9:00 on Nat Geo WILD

- This week, Showtime Networks Inc. announced the feature-length documentary Disgraced, which recounts the shocking murder of Baylor University men’s basketball star Patrick Dennehy as well as an attempted cover-up of NCAA rule violations. The film, which will make its world premiere at the 2017 South By Southwest film festival next month, will premiere on Showtime on March 31 at 9:00.

- Star Wars: Rouge One star Diego Luna and former Mexican President Vincente Fox will join Conan O'Brien during the late-night host's newest primetime special, Conan Without Borders: Made in Mexico. Shot on location in Mexico City, the hour-long special is set to premiere Wednesday, March 1, at 10:00, exclusively on TBS.

- FilmStruck, the streaming movie service for film aficionados, is now available on Google Chromecast second generation and Chromecast Ultra devices. Continuing its rapid platform expansion, the streaming service will also launch on Roku, Playstation 4 and Xbox One in the coming months. FilmStruck, featuring the largest streaming library of contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, foreign and cult films and the exclusive streaming home to the Criterion Collection, is available for streaming on Apple TV 4th generation devices, Amazon Fire TV, web, iOS and Android devices.

- Everyone's favorite indelible and smart alecky small-town matriarch is back - and, she's brought her whole crazy family with her! After breaking out from "The Family" sketches on "The Carol Burnett Show," Thelma "Mama" Harper's home-spun humor earned its own well-loved sitcom which ran for six knee-slapping seasons. Set in the fictional city of Raytown, MAMA'S FAMILY revolves around the eye-opening escapades of the Harper clan, headed by Mama Harper, who does not suffer fools gladly. In fact, she makes everybody suffer a little with her patented snappy retorts that truly put the "diss" in dysfunction. Now, for the first time, home audiences can revel in the very best episodes of this outlandish family comedy with Mama's Family: The Mama's Family Favorites Collection. Street Date: March 7, 2017

- Some upcoming Showtime premiere dates:
Original Series
Billions: Sunday, February 19 at 10:00
Guerrilla: Sunday, April 16 at 9:00
Twin Peaks: Sunday May 21 at 9:00
I'm Dying Up Here: Sunday, June 4 at 10:00
Ray Donovan: Summer
Documentaries
American Jihad: Saturday, March 11 at 9:00
Beach Boys: Making of Pet Sounds: Apri
Jackson: May
More Than T: June
Becoming Cary Grant: TBD
Comedy Specials
Nick Cannon: Stand Up. Don't Shoot: Friday, Febuary 10 at 9:00
SXSW Comedy with Natasha Leggero Part Two: Friday, March 17 at 10;00
Steve Byrne: Tell the Damn Joke: April
Al Madrigal: Shrimpin' Ain't Easy: Friday May 5 at 9:00
Andrew Santino: Home Field Advantage: Friday, June 2 at 9:00
Erik Griffin: The Ugly Truth: Friday, July 7 at 9:00
Sports
Shobox: The New Generation: Friday, February 10 at 10:00
Showtime Championship Boxing: Broner vs. Granados: Saturday, Febuary 18 at 9:00
Shobox: The New Generation: Fridy, February 24 at 10:00
Prison Fighters: 5 Rounds to Freedom: Friday, February 24 at 8:30

Monday, February 06, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 2/6/17



Shape of You - Ed Sheeran


Ed Sheeran really is going all in on his music videos for the new album. Except Maroon 5 recently did their own boxing themed music video and that one featured Lyla Garrity. Oh Lyla Garrity, why are you no longer on my television every week in this age of too much TV? She could at least be a supervillain on Supergirl. Oh wait, plot twist, it is not a boxing video, but a sumo wrestler video, okay, that was kind of funny.


On + Off - Maggie Rogers


My first music video round up of 2017 was dedicated to On + Off - Maggie Rogers after two strong debut song and she gets the trifecta with her third single off her upcoming EP. Now I am always do for a one take music video but the close up where they switch her pants was kind of long and mostly seemed unnecessary. And why are you sining into an industrial fan? And the water bottle curls?.


So Good – Xara Larsson featuring Ty Dolla Sign


Up to this point Zara Larsson has been releasing mindless EDM-pop that is easily skippable, but is the first song of hers that perked up my ears thanks to the vaguely nineties feel in the sound and video. Okay so the song mostly rips off Ariana Grande’s The Way (which literally sampled nineties track Still Not a Player) complete with an unnecessary rap verse but I guess it is better than being just another mindless EDM pop song.


Pure Comedy – Father John Misty


Too soon Father John Misty, too soon.