10 Lazy Rainy Day Amazon TV Binges

If you haven’t already dived into the world of Amazon Video, you are seriously missing out. For anyone who refuses to pay the exorbitant costs of cable, most television shows are now streaming online. It puts Netflix and Hulu to the test with its up-to-date television and movie selection, even heralding new original programming worth a gander.

Unlike Netflix, Amazon has a habit of getting the rights to rent out brand new TV shows from other networks shortly after they are aired. This is great for anyone who doesn’t want to pay for cable and wants to get an Amazon Prime account instead. It comes with a 30-day free trial

1. Fear The Walking Dead

2. Hand of God

3. Mr. Robot

One of the best new shows on television just got easy to download. This show lives and breathes Guy Fawkes rebellions and brings hacker geekery to primetime…..the right way. Meaning there are no beeps and blips every time someone uses a computer, the computer screen shows actual computerese instead of gobbledygook, and

4. Outlander

Based on a novel, it’s an incredibly well-produced romance novel slash time travelling mystery based on the magical powers of a stonehengey type thing. There’s also a good amount of sexy nakedness. This is a little more for the female audience but carries the guys easily with the sci-fi, blarney beards, 12-foot beer mugs and boobs.

5. Game of Thrones

Whether you’ve been putting it off or just want to catch up before season 6 comes out, Game of Thrones is a sure thing when it comes to action, adventure and magic fantasy lands with dragons and stuff. It’s also a good way to be built up only to be devastated when your favorite character meets a fate you far worse than expected. For some reason this seems to be the successful driving force behind the show, and you won’t stop watching once you start!

6. Orphan Black

Nobody is really ready for this show. It depicts what things might be like if there were a secret experimental cloning organization running around the world doing crazy shit. There are new characters in almost every episode and the old characters never overplay. A must-watch for sci-fi enthusiasts.

7. The Americans

This cold-war era period drama takes spy movie to the next level. The two main characters are masters of disguise, wiretapping, picking locks, social engineering and various other awesome back-stabbing skills they teach you in the KGB. It successfully covers ground that no other movies or TV shows have been willing to cover in recent years, that of the overplayed 80s soviet espionage story….a story we typically only saw the American side of for two decades of action films.

8. American Horror Story

9. Better Call Saul

10. Justified

I Binge-Watched That ’70s Show And Discovered That I Hate Josh Meyers

Some new characters cast to save a show from certain death do the opposite of said desired result, and Josh Meyers on That 70s Show is a perfect example.

I sometimes look for an old sitcom to put on in the background while I work and recently found myself in a That 70s Show binge. It was fun at first because the laughter sounded like it was a real studio audience. Then the second season hit and it started feeling like a fake audience mixed in with the real one, but at least the show still had decent writing, clever jokes and running gags galore, and the casting and acting worked. It wasn’t until I finally hit the 8th season that I realized why the show was cut short.

That might sound weird because the show wasn’t officially cancelled but concluded in 2006 at the end of the 8th season, but it was pretty obvious why. Sure, season 7 had a big drop in ratings which could have possibly meant that the Wednesday night audience just wasn’t interested anymore, and it could have really meant that the show had already run its course since both Topher Grace (Eric) and Ashton Kutcher (Kelso) had already decided to pursue film careers exclusively. But you know what REALLY killed the show for me? The new characters, specifically Josh Meyers.

Josh Meyers is the brother of Late Night star Seth Meyers, whom I don’t particularly like either. The two of them have a shit-eating grin forever plastered to their face that brings my hatred of humanity to new heights every time I see them. It wasn’t just that Seth would laugh at his own jokes on SNL which pushed me over the edge, it was that his jokes just weren’t that funny yet his facial expression told a whole other story. He’s marketable, and that’s about it. There’s no artistry, only junior high level humor and the crux of his theatrical presence levitates right on the line of mediocrity. He’s a personality and it’ll probably work for Late Night for years to come, but I hope I never see him in an actual acting role.

Josh, on the other hand, has had a few and I’m still trying to figure out why. In season 8 of That 70s Show he’s the worst addition to a cast I’ve ever seen. While all the other main characters have strong, distrinctive personalities, Meyers’ is virtually non-existent. He looks perfect and only serves as a tool to push the story along. The other more perfect-looking people, Kelso and Jackie, ran archetypes that offset the more normal, geeky characters I grew to love by season 2. These new characters, though? The producers should be ashamed of themselves; Josh Meyers should have been strapped to a chair and beaten for a while before being allowed on set. It would have given him character. He was a terrible replacement for Eric Foreman, but more importantly he was a poor excuse for an actor.

I realized I hated Seth Meyers around the time that he had his brother Josh on Late Night to talk about their family. Guess what? I don’t care about your family. I want to hear about the entertainment industry, that’s why I tune into talk shows like that. It turns out, Seth worked a similar thing into his Weekend Update on SNL a few years ago as well. I looked it up to see if it was funny. It wasn’t. Again, I don’t care about your family, the jokes are only funny to you and your friends, not to me as a viewer. It’s a bigger waste of time than watching a sitcom in the first place. I mean, I’ve already chosen to waste my time and laugh at dumb jokes, but now you’re going to make jokes that only you think are funny and the audience is laughing nervously to? Argh, someone kill their careers please.

So, That 70s Show finally fell apart for me. Only 9 years late, I guess. To be honest, I don’t think I missed anything. Aside from the cultural relevance of helping to push pot smoking into the mainstream throughout the early 2000s, the show’s only real relevance is being the start of four actors’ careers.

‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Strikes Terror Inside Political Protests

As if zombies weren’t scary enough on their own, Fear The Walking Dead brings about an apocalyptic scenario a little too close to home, screenwriting even the likes of Mr. Robot season 1 haven’t yet covered.

From anarchistic rioting to California blackouts, this past week’s episode took the breakdown of society to a grisly new level by incorporating flesh eating zombies randomly into the mix, and just when you thought the chaos would finally end, we saw a blackout occur over the entire city of Los Angeles as our main cast fled the outskirts of the riots into the safeways of the suburbs.

The postmodern realism interwoven into this prequel leaves little to the imagination and much to be feared if there were to occur a zombie outbreak in the here and now amongst the plethora of disgruntled political groups on the brink of becoming angry mobs. From liberal outrage at racial inequalities to libertarian refusals to disarm, and then to anarchist anti-authoritarian desires to dismember society outright, we’ve seen an ever-increasing phenomenon of protests and riots occurring around the globe. To say the title of this show is on the mark is an understatement.

fear the walking deadPerhaps the scariest part of the riot scene in this weekend’s episode was the cop-on-cop zombie eating clip and one of our protagonists, a teenage boy, grabbing his dad’s attention to it. At this point, the demonstration turns from civilians against cops to an every-man-for-himself all-out riot; so much is happening at once that it’s difficult to even tell the difference between a protester and a zombie, a cop from the flesh-eating undead and a radical from a peacekeeping policeman. A dividing line is always there in a protest, but a zombie riot carries unforeseen consequences and violence that becomes unpredictable and outright senseless. You don’t want to be caught in this sort of unstable environment, and Fear The Walking Dead perfectly captures this sensibility.

Social media has yet to become the feeding frenzy it once was over The Walking Dead, but I give this show another month and a few more episodes of this unnerving beginning to the zombie apocalypse before people realize that it’s a much closer-to-home story than its predecessor.

Patrick Stewart Stars in Starz Comedy ‘Blunt Talk’

Jonathan Ames, the novelist who created the short-lived but critically acclaimed HBO comedy Bored to Death, is trying his might on a new network with the help of Family Guy‘s Seth MacFarlane in the producer chair. Blunt Talk stars Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: The Next Generation and X-Men fame as Walter Blunt, a British newscaster whose recent migration to Los Angeles in the hops of climbing the American nightly cable news ladder leads to misguided decisions on and off the air, resulting in calamities and chaos that he must navigate through in order to save his career.

If it sounds cliche, think again.

The same story has been running for a little while under the moniker Episodes, but has failed to live up to the edgy potential that both the millennial and gen-X audience are looking for. Episodes stars a husband and wife team of writers from England who get a shot at writing an adaptation of a show for a U.S. television network only to find themselves drowning in the woes of TV executive back-office antics and the allure of the Hollywood lifestyle. By contrast, Blunt Talk is more about the self-destruction of a talking head hell-bent on becoming America’s biggest news anchor. By teaming MacFarlane and Stewart you have some wackiness that might just spell “entertainment” with a capital E. And let’s not forget the creativity of a writer like Ames. While Episodes proves its on-air right with its dry wit and quirky, saucy story-line, Blunt Talk goes beyond the pale, which can be seen in just the trailer alone.

To watch the trailer, click the video below.


Marc Maron Relapses With Painkillers on ‘Maron’ Season Finale

In a sort of unforeseen twist of events, Marc Maron breaks his edge and destroys his chance at a successful TV career on Thursday’s season finale of IFC’s Maron. The episode ends abruptly with the notion that he may have just beheaded his integrity in one fell swoop by taking advantage of the fact that he was prescribed oxycontin for his back pain during the production of a fictional TV talk show he was to host. Are we going to see him come back to IFC next summer? We’ll have to wait and see!


Will Smith Reboots Fresh Prince of Bel Air

News arrived today that the classic 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air would be getting a reboot with Will Smith producing. Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment is leading the project with Smith’s long-time collaborator James Lassiter, along with Caleeb Pinkett and Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith all on board for the debut (or re-debut? what do you call that?).

Obviously it’ll be a more modern-day version of the show but retain much of the original spirit from the 90s prime-time comedy. While NBC was the original broadcaster of the series, Overbrook is rumored to be in the finalization process of its series pitch at the moment which means it’ll be making rounds in hollywood over the next few weeks.

NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt, currently on a TCA press tour, said he’d love to talk to Smith about rebooting the show. This is perhaps the best news for the actor/rapper/producer as, after all, it was NBC that helped kickstart his Hollywood career in the first place. Perhaps Smith hopes to use this reboot to give a boost to his wife’s career as well?

One epic moment after the other

Actor Emilia Clarke has hyped up the anticipation for the Game of Thrones season six, saying it will be “epic” and will have many “shocking” moments. “It’s really exciting. Next season, I’ve said this before, but there are a lot of seasons where you need to [rightly so] kind of need to set the scene. And… Continue reading

Proof Jon Snow Is Not Dead And Coming Back!

While the spoilers are all out, many fans refused to believe the painful ending of season 5. Viewers by now might expect their favorite characters to die at any minute, but there’s just something about Jon Snow that they’ve refused to let go. Some strongly believe he is ‘the chosen one’ therefore he will be brought… Continue reading

‘Empire,’ ‘Mad Men,’ Letterman vie for Emmy nominations

The 67th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations:

Outstanding Drama Series
Game Of Thrones
Orange Is The New Black
House Of Cards
Mad Men
Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey

Outstanding Comedy Series
Modern Family
Parks And Recreation
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Outstanding Limited Series
American Crime
American Horror Story: Freak Show
Olive Kitteridge
The Honorable Woman
Wolf Hall

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House Of Cards

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Robin Wright, House Of Cards

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Michael Kelly, House Of Cards

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game Of Thrones
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black
Emilia Clarke, Game Of Thrones

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-Ish
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House Of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
William H. Macy, Shameless
Will Forte, The Last Man On Earth
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Lily Tomlin, Grace And Frankie
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Adam Driver, Girls
Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale, Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Niecy Nash, Getting On
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Allison Janney, Mom
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Gaby Hoffman, Transparent
Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie
Adrien Brody, Houdini
Ricky Gervais, Derek Special
Timothy Hutton, American Crime
Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
David Oyelowo, Nightingale
Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Queen Latifah, Bessie
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Emma Thompson, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street Live

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie
Richard Cabral, American Crime
Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Finn Wittrock, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Michael Kenneth Williams, Bessie
Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie
Regina King, American Crime
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Mo’Nique, Bessie
Zoe Kazan, Olive Kitteridge

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Joshua Brand, The Americans (“Do Mail Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep?”)
Gordon Smith, Better Call Saul (“Five-O”)
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game Of Thrones (“Mother’s Mercy”)
Matthew Weiner, Mad Men (“Lost Horizon”)
Matthew Weiner, Mad Men (“Person To Person”)

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
David Crane and Jeffrey Klari, Episodes (“Episode 409”)
Will Forte, The Last Man On Earth (“Alive In Tucson”)
Louis C.K., Louie (“Bobby’s House”)
Alec Berg, Silicon Valley (“Two Days Of The Condor”)
Jill Soloway, Transparent (“Pilot”)
Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, and Tony Roche, Veep (“Election Night”)

Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Late Show With David Letterman
The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Drunk History
Inside Amy Schumer
Key & Peele
Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance?
Top Chef

Outstanding TV Movie
Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case
Grace Of Monaco
Hello Ladies: The Movie
Killing Jesus


WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) – Six months after the Oscars featured an all-white cast of acting nominees, television’s Emmy Awards is poised to show its big-screen Hollywood sibling how diversity is achieved. The likely contenders for Thursday’s Emmy nominations include hit series “Empire” and “black-ish” and their wealth of critically acclaimed black actors, and “Jane the… Continue reading

Can public service announcements take a bite out of Shark Week?

Suzannah Evans, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and Jessica Gall Myrick, Indiana University, Bloomington

This week, millions of Americans will tune into Shark Week, the Discovery Channel’s popular annual tribute – now in its 28th year – to the ocean’s most infamous predators.

But how does watching Shark Week actually affect people’s beliefs and feelings about sharks?

That’s what we set out to discover in our recent study, which looked at the effects of watching video of sharks alongside public service announcements (PSAs) about the need for shark conservation.

Which species should be afraid?

Shark Week is famous for portraying sharks as deadly predators that threaten our status as the world’s top species. But in fact, sharks should fear us a lot more.

Up to 100 million sharks are killed every year, whether it’s for the popular Chinese dish shark fin soup or as accidental bycatch. Meanwhile, fewer than five people are killed by sharks every year. Based on these statistics, you’re far more likely to die from a bee sting or the flu than you are to be killed by a shark.

This fact puts scientists and marine conservationists in a bind when it comes to Shark Week.

On the one hand, the series draws a vast audience of people who are interested in sharks. On the other hand, Shark Week then plies that audience with violent imagery of sharks that paints them as, well, less than sympathetic (to put it mildly), and not exactly worthy of protection.

Discovery Channel headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland got a makeover for Shark Week in 2006.
Farragutful/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Healthy shark populations are important for the oceans because they keep the systems of interdependent food chains in balance, which protects both the seafood species that we like to eat and the marine mammals that we find a bit more cuddly.

We wanted to find out if PSAs from marine conservation organizations stating the facts about sharks would mitigate people’s emotional reactions to the violent imagery often shown on Shark Week.

So we paired clips from Shark Week that contained varying levels of violence with conservation-focused PSAs. We used highly violent Shark Week clips showing a shark tearing into a person, causing serious injury; moderately violent ones in which a shark bites a person who sustained no injuries; and nonviolent clips that showed sharks simply swimming.

We used actual shark conservation PSAs in our study, which participants watched after they saw a clip from Shark Week – one from Pew and one from Oceana. (Oceana’s “Scared for Sharks” PSA featuring actress January Jones actually did run during Shark Week in past years.) Both PSAs informed viewers that their actual risk of being attacked was quite low but that sharks are killed in high numbers by humans.

A 2012 PSA on sharks from Pew.

‘Mean ocean syndrome’ for some; new ocean advocacy for others

More than 500 people watched the clips and reported their reactions, and it turns out that violent Shark Week content, whether paired with a PSA or not, caused a fearful reaction in people.

No matter what, sharks are scary – especially in high definition.

Watching a PSA didn’t mitigate people’s fearful reactions, and people continued to overestimate their own risk of being attacked by a shark, even when presented with the facts.

We call this “mean ocean syndrome,” a variant of mean world syndrome: the idea that people who watch a lot of violent crime drama on television tend to overstate their likelihood of being a victim of a crime.

Likewise, television programming that depicts the ocean as a violent place will cause people to overestimate the danger to themselves when they go in the water.

People continue to overestimate the danger sharks pose.
‘Kayak’ via www.shutterstock.com

But here’s what the PSAs did do.

For many viewers, especially younger women, the PSAs prompted an increased interest in shark conservation and an intent to do things like donate to a conservation organization or support legislation that protects sharks.

That’s major. It means that Shark Week has the opportunity to turn at least some of its viewers into ocean advocates. Given that some shark species are already headed toward extinction, Shark Week could end up being an unlikely savior for sharks – that is, if the Discovery Channel wants to use its vast reach to protect the creatures that have earned the network millions of dollars.

The Conversation

Suzannah Evans is PhD candidate in Journalism & Mass Communication at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Jessica Gall Myrick is Assistant Professor of Media at Indiana University, Bloomington .

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.