Posts tagged tv
The Medium Place EP 02 - My Brain Is Melting

Pierce and Vanessa are back to recap the second episode of The Good Place's final season! Janet breaks Jason's heart, Eleanor questions whether or not she can save the universe, and Michael's dropping NAWLEDGE per usual. Enjoy the episode, you Niednagles!

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

Throw your diamonds up for more than a decade of heat with the new TIDAL-exclusive Roc La Familia playlist from The Barber's Chair! The greatest hits from the most prolific label in hip hop history.
Listen here: https://tidal.com/playlist/dfcd8a98-7eb0-473e-8666-170acc564443

As Justin Bieber readies to drop much anticipated new music, enjoy this Barber's Chair playlist of the best hits in Bieberveli's arsenal! 
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2HdG2yN
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2HbTcME
Tidal: http://bit.ly/bieberveli

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

Random Acts of Podcast EP293: Montana Max Is Gunna

On this week's episode we bring back friend of the show @MalcJax and we chop it up about his Void magazine cover, what popular tv shows had lackluster series finales and we rank our Top 10 Most Overrated Cartoons. Also we answer voicemails from the listeners. Remember to send in YOUR questions, #TheyNeedTheirAssBeat or #RealNiggaOfTheWeek submissions, email us at MAIL@RAOPodcast.com or call 424-260-RAOP to leave a voicemail.

CHICAGO! Come out and hang with The Barber's Chair Thursday, May 30th for Game One of the NBA Finals! The Golden State Warriors will face off against the Eastern Conference Champion at 8:00 p.m. Fall through for drinks and the big game and meet Scott, Flows and Pierce. 3439 N. Sheffield

As Justin Bieber readies to drop much anticipated new music, enjoy this Barber's Chair playlist of the best hits in Bieberveli's arsenal! 
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2HdG2yN
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2HbTcME
Tidal: http://bit.ly/bieberveli

Throw your diamonds up for more than a decade of heat with the new TIDAL-exclusive Roc La Familia playlist from The Barber's Chair! The greatest hits from the most prolific label in hip hop history.
Listen here: https://tidal.com/playlist/dfcd8a98-7eb0-473e-8666-170acc564443

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

Becky might no longer have two belts but you can still get your #FreeTheMan tee on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

Nearly Canceled: Power EP 508 - This is Not a Power pod
Five under-the-radar shows worth your time

More and more millennials are moving away from trips to the movies in favor of staying planted on the couch. Aside from it being a more economical choice (a large popcorn shouldn't cost the same as floor seats at MSG), it's just more convenient to scroll through On-Demand and hit play from the comfort of home. Inviting over friends, significant others or even live-tweeting "as a family" further enhance the viewing experience. Major production companies are starting to notice the shift from the big screen to television screens as well.

The race between Netflix, Hulu, and now Amazon Prime has added to the already flooded wave of original content. To keep up with the cord cutters, premium channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz have created standalone services with a focus on creating more programming. As of late, these Digital Stream Platforms (DSPs) are having a real Suge Knight "Come to Death Row" approach to recruitment.

We are living in the Golden Age of Television yet, there's entirely way too much new TV. A good problem to have because there are more chances for the next legendary series like Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad to emerge. Plus, networks are forced to think outside-the-box for new programming which leads the way for voices of Color such as Shonda Rhimes, Donald Glover, and Issa Rae to have opportunities that wouldn't have been present for them a decade earlier.

The problem with too much new TV though is where the fuck to actually start.

Netflix has hundreds if not thousands of selections to choose from. Starting a new series is a serious decision; it could potentially be your source of entertainment for the next 10-20 hours (try to get some fresh air in between a binge, though), depending on how many seasons there are. "Do I trust this 4-star rating?" "Am I in the mood for this?" "Is this worth my time?" All of these questions cycle in our heads before we ultimately end up rewatching The Office for the seventh time (Stanley is my OG and will be respected as such).

Start here.

Below are some shows that either debuted or had a new season this year that are high quality but are somewhat off the radar. Hit us up on Twitter to let us know what you think of this list and if some other series got overlooked in 2018!

Snowfall
Premiere Date: 2017
Currently on Season: 2
IMDb: 7.7/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Where to Stream: Thursdays at 10pm EST on FX/On-Demand with FX+

The genius mind of John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood, Four Brothers) can create and tap into gritty crime dramas like none other. Centralized during the '80s crack epidemic in Los Angeles, Snowfall is a rollercoaster of emotions from the onset. The story revolves around Franklin Saint (Damson Idris), an obedient mama's boy who slowly, then abruptly decides to ditch selling weed in favor of slangin' crack for increased profits. Of course, his dreams of becoming a local kingpin aren't without major obstacles: turf wars, race wars, crew wars, and the struggle of maintaining an honest relationship with his mother, Cissy (played by Michael Hyatt; D'Angelo's mother/Stringer's sister from The Wire).  There's some comedic relief mixed in to break up the high-level intensity, but Snowfall will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Parallel storylines including crooked law enforcement and a "luchador-turned-dealer" weave their way into the main plot to create an interesting series that is only halfway through its second season. One thing is for certain: Damson Idris is a star in the making

Succession
Premiere Date: 2018
Season 1 just ended; renewed for Season 2
IMDb: 7.5/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Where to Stream: HBO Go or HBO Now

After watching the trailer for Succession, you're probably wondering why you should give a shit about another show that revolves around rich white billionaires acting like assholes to everyone in sight when you could just turn on CNN. Because this isn't just another boring re-tread of that idea. Created by and executively produced by Jesse Armstrong, Will Ferrell & Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers, Eastbound & Down), the fresh new HBO drama Succession is a compelling watch with the way it balances seriousness and deadpan absurdities. HBO's response to Showtime's Billions. What makes Succession more terrifying is than Billions is the realistic "evil" nature of the Roy's. The plot jumps head first into the world of a dysfunctional media family all jocking for positions of power within the company worth billions, all while promoting and protecting their own self-interests. Don't let the lighthearted jokes fool you early on; the cutthroat actions of each family member and the harsh dialogue will make you cringe. But like a bad car crash, you can't help but look. Also, don't be discouraged early on; Succession finds its footing around Episode Four. The nerve-wracking intensity of the final two episodes will reward you for your patience.

Killing Eve
Premiere Date: 2018
Season 1 ended in May; renewed for Season 2IMDB: 8.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Where to Stream: BBC America (Cable) / Hulu soon / get creative

An intelligent and skilled assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer), gets bored with her assignments and goes on a rogue killing spree. An equally smart detective, Eve (Sandra Oh from Grey's Anatomy), pieces clues together that are purposefully left to get lured in by the bored assassin to "hangout." If there's one show out of this list to binge, make it this one...if you aren't faint of heart. Killing Eve is one-half gruesome thriller/one-half dry, British humor whose dark jokes roll in stride. There's a weird developing appreciation that grows between the two main characters during their cat-and-mouse chase which lasts 8 episodes. Being only 40 minutes a piece, Killing Eve becomes a quick binge that'll leave you wanting more as soon as you finish. There's something about Villanelle's sadistic behavior that makes her very endearing; a testament to the brilliant acting by newcomer Jodie Comer, who brings a whole new meaning to "kill 'em with kindness." Sandra Oh, who became the first Asian actress to receive an Emmy nomination for the lead in a Drama Series for this role, does such a convincing job of bouncing through several emotions during the action-packed first season. It gets my vote for Show of the Year.

Bosch
Premiere Date: 2014
Season 4 came out in April; renewed for Season 5
IMDB: 8.3/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Where to Stream: Free on Prime Video (if you have a Prime account)

Fans of The Wire should have a strong affinity for Bosch, a great but surprisingly well under-the-radar crime show that's been tucked in Prime Video for a handful of years. The book-to-television adaptation, which takes place in Los Angeles, is a thrilling police procedural that's highly detailed from the terminology right down to the authentic tracking shots and locations of downtown LA. By any means necessary, Homicide Detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) and his partner Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector, who played Marlo Stanfield) attempt to solve murders by a singular person or a complex criminal organization from season to season. The pacing can be slow when establishing the main story arc for the season which was a chief complaint about the first (it's decent but sluggish and too cringe at times; start with the second season and you won't miss much), but the payoff with the way the plot unfolds is worth it. The show's developer, Eric Overmyer brings his expertise (and Lance Riddick, aka Lieutenant Daniels) over from his days as a producer/writer on Season Four of The Wire to create an authentically intense crime drama. Far from dense with smartly written dialogue, Bosch is a very solid show, mixed plenty of high octane shootouts and rubber burnin' car chases to keep your attention at a maximum.

Sneaky Pete
Premiere Date: 2015
Season 2 came out in March; renewed for Season 3
IMDB: 8.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Where to Stream: Free on Prime Video (if you have a Prime account)

Netflix may have had the early advantage with original programming. In terms of quality of content, however, Amazon is striding like Usain Bolt to catch up. On paper and of course on screen, Sneaky Pete does grab attention's with two notable legends (Bryan Cranston and "character actress" Margo Martindale) but is made whole by the standout performances by the rest of the relatively unknown cast.  Without giving too much away, Giovanni Ribisi stars as "Pete," a con man who takes identity theft to the next level by pretending to be his cellmate upon release from prison. "Pete" maneuvers his way and cleverly functions as a member of his new family, all the while making sure his cover doesn't get blown. He lives a double life where a violation of his parole is the least of his problems. His life, his brother's life, and increasingly his new family's life are what the titular character care about the most as they are in grave danger resulting from "Pete's" past cons. Not gonna front: the first season was incredible; the second season was a bit of a mess, but watchable. The Sophomore Slump is a real thing. Shows like these where they try to navigate through additional content after the major reveal lose their footing (Westworld for example), but the potential for a pivot with Season Three still makes Season Two of Sneaky Pete worth watching. Intriguing storyline and interesting characters will make this an enjoyable binge that won't feel like a chore.

Insecure S3E2: The Book Of Daniel

Lara been Croft and Daniel been... well Daniel. From viewer's first introduction to Daniel we see a confident, brash man with the world at his fingertips. As a professional music producer, Issa Dee’s natural ear for music align with his desire to create. Since insert time we are shown a Daniel who commands attention, yet his manhood took a blow. Daniel’s character on Insecure has evolved from the man Issa cheated with to insert yet his demeanor rang mysterious. “Familiar Like” explored the makings of Daniel, exposing the insecurities  beneath his (fine ass) surface.

 

An episode nuanced with references to viral memes and videos, "Familiar Like" took a different approach than we normally see from Insecure. We learn more about the insecurities haunting Daniel’s (Y'lan Noel) ego through social, familial and flirty interactions. Still playing it cool as roommates, Issa and Daniel continue to platonically exist under Daniel’s roof. Exchanging nonchalant text messages, viewers learn that Daniel has spent the past three nights with a social media-absorbed fling and lover of “light skin love”.

Issa, dealing with her own professional and personal struggles, plays keen to Daniel, pretending not to be bothered by his physical and mental absence. Their dedication to not exploring their mutual romantic feelings for each other holds strong. While the two toy with each other's (and their own) emotions, we learn that Daniel is just as awkward and insecure as Issa, and watch how her charisma and his passion balance them out. 

Daniel, invited to a club to check out an artist by his sketchy friend Seven, ultimately changed his mind. Seven, not able to attend anymore, discouraged Daniel, placing his drive on the bench. Issa convinces Daniel to go out by joining him. At the club, we would think that Daniel, a music producer (and we now know a former drug dealer) would have all of the juice yet that cup runs dry. 

Before the two enter the club, there's trouble at the door. Daniel, assuming they would gain entry on Seven's word, was denied, thus beginning his downward spiral. Issa, reconnecting with one of their childhood friends Khalil (Aaron Jennings) at the door ,got them into the club.  Inside, Daniel's solid swagger began to disintegrate. From getting approached by women only to get curved when they learn he is no longer in the weed game, and fumbling through conversation with Spyder, (Roshon Fegan) the artist he attended to see, I thought the episode would end with Daniel crying in the car. 

My pessimistic vision came partially true. After the club is shut down by gun fire, Issa and Daniel go for a late night meal where things get real. We see what makes Daniel and Issa friends beyond sex and physical attraction. Daniel reveals his professional frustrations with being an unknown Soundcloud producer. 

I ain’t trynna hate or nothing, but it’s like I got good and Khalil got famous
— Daniel

His insecurities on the table, Issa not only offers encouragement and sympathy but also solutions. Daniel's vulnerability to Issa shows his true passion for his music and the amount of weight her word means. Every step of the way, Issa had Daniel's back emotionally while he looked out for her physical well being. Issa's advice did not fall on dead ears. Daniel puts his pride on hold and reaches out to Kahlil for professional advice and possible collaboration. Shots rang out at the club, Daniel immediately scooped Issa, complaints about neck pain, he gives her a massage and offers his bed. 

Sharing multiple intimate moments this episode, the two never actually have sex. By the time it is over, viewers are just as confused by their situation as the characters themselves. Having watched Issa and Lawrence's relationship fail, the hope for Issa and Daniel is a slippery slope. In ways, Daniel is everything Issa hated about Lawrence, but now homeless and working two terrible jobs, Issa too shares these personal and professional gripes. As Issa continues to stay on Daniel's couch, will their relationship blossom? 

Elsewhere, episode two continues to explore the dangers of We Got Yall as Issa seems to be near breaking point as the token black women at work. Called on to call-out the companies problematic ways by her non-black co-workers, Issa explains how awkward it is to be expected to perform "angry black woman" on cue. 

Hopefully episode three involves professional growth for Issa, clear and precise communication between Daniel and Issa and of course, more Kelli. 

#TeamKelli

Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) is Issa's "tell it like it is friend" who never holds back. A financial advisor, Issa seeks Kelli's advice and guidance as she continues her search for a place to live.  Kelli, who is not only good at her job but a good friend, advises Issa to halt frivolous spending and ultimately pushes her to ask Daniel to stay longer.  Kelli keeps Issa in necessary check. Her aggressive demeanor is cloaked with kindness and humor, leaving Issa with some serious advice. 

Kelli: Don’t look a gift horse in the dick.
Issa: That’s not a saying.
Kelli: It is. My grandmother said it to me.
Insecure S3E1: Who’s Couch Is It Anyway?

Insecure season three kicked off "Better-Like" in a manner only main character Issa (Issa Rae) and her antics could. By exploring the ups and downs of adulthood, Insecure shares situations that many have been in but few will speak on; the multidimensional, all around flawed nature of characters allows the audience to engage honestly, often times exposing ourselves through the messy lives being played out on screen. The season picks up where season two left off, giving viewers a glimpse of the continuing saga of Issa's love life, along with a deeper look at the toxic nature of white saviors through the exposure of her non-profit gig We Got Y'all, and we're also introduced to the show within a show, KEV-YN - a modern reboot of a 90s sitcom.

The situationships between Issa and Daniel (Y'lan Noel), along with Molly (Y'vonne Orji) and Dro (Sarunas J. Jackson) attempt to stride towards growth by setting boundaries, yet unclear communication paired with controlling, manipulative behavior creates chaos for all four parties. While a common theme seems to be controlling your own narrative and setting boundaries, Issa, Molly, Dro and Daniel all struggle to fully take charge.

Residing on the couch of her former fling Daniel, Issa’s continues to pile up L's. The season opens with Daniel having sex with a brown skin woman presumed to be Issa until it's made aware that our favorite awkward Black girl was only listening from the living room sofa. As the sex gets even louder we learn Issa is now a Lyft driver as she leaves the house to earn money on the side. Her status at We Got Yall has downgraded from in the field to on the phone. While Issa is both romantically and professionally spiraling downward, BFF Molly has everything in order, from the outside looking in.

Getting wined and dined by vacation bae, and multiple men in triple text territory, Molly’s hoetation is unphased. While she seems to enjoy dick on-demand and professional achievements, her mask is removed and the result is not dewy skin. Both Issa and Molly refuse to acknowledge the feelings they harbor for the men in their life.

“I just think we know better” mutters Issa after refusing a kiss from Daniel. An intimate conversation left Issa facing questions from Daniel and no amount of deflection could save her. Confronted with the fact that she could have stayed elsewhere yet found refuge in his living room, Issa retorts to simply stating she needed a place to stay.  Instead of discussing why she felt his space was where she needed to be (beyond being close to work) Issa creates a reason to leave the room. While Issa shies away from verbally expressing what she really wants from Daniel, Molly is clear with her intentions with Dro but, do their results differ?

Back in California from a tropical vacation, Molly returns on some self-proclaimed, “know better, do better shit”, yet when it comes to Dro, the tables turn. Molly attempts to establish clear boundaries with Dro, who still in his “open marriage” and takes the top spot in her hoetation.

After a long night of steamy sex, Molly’s “bloop, blip, blap, blam” mindset seems to kick in. An offer to cook breakfast interrupted by a phone call from his wife Candace, Dro (who acknowledges Molly to his wife, seemingly confirming the open relationship) continues with his proposal of a pancake breakfast.

We need to decide whether we are friends who don’t have sex or acquaintances who just have sex. - Molly

The lightbulb in Molly’s head went off as the decision was made to continue to have sex and cease other interaction; she immediately put Dro out. While this power move in reclaiming her vagina monologue seems to have boosted Molly’s confidence, those words were not followed with action. Despite laying down rules of no texts, no calls, no dates, Molly doesn't hesitate to communicate with Dro. Her desire to exist as a carefree sexual being is drowned by a flood of sensitivity.

Issa and Molly navigate themselves on opposite sides of the same road accompanied by dim street lights and echoes of silence.  They both vocalize what they think they should want only to be haunted by their inner desires and it shows. Molly believes she has developed the fortitude to break the emotional ties of a “fuck-buddy" while Issa thinks pretending feelings do not exist will actually cause them to fade away.

The flawed existence of Issa and Molly do not excuse the trash demeanor of their male counterparts. Both men exploit the feelings Issa and Molly with shrewd behavior.

Daniel is taking the Future route, adding to his collection, parading his sex life in front of Issa instead of clarifying his sentiments. Getting the heads up from her roommate Daniel about his company, Issa decides to command a “Party Lyft” with Molly riding shotgun. Armed with Capri-Suns and a playlist featuring City Girls and Cardi B, the two meet some of Los Angeles’s most interesting characters.

Like most good parties all vibes come to an end often violently. While Issa and Molly text men they claim not to care about, a fight breaks out in the back of Issa’s sedan between her ride-share passengers. As the night passes, Issa finds her way back to Daniel’s couch where still confused by Issa’s unclear motives again challenges her to just be real.

You said you that you came because you wanted to be close to your job now you’re telling me that you got feelings n’shit so like what is it?...I’m confused.” - Daniel

”Both N*gga I don’t know - Issa

Although admitting she still has romantic feelings for Daniel, Issa again refuses to fully unpack her emotional baggage, relying on the strength of their former platonic friendship to carry them to peace.

Molly’s attempts of keeping their relationship to bedroom meetings only struggles to succeed when faced with Dro’s manipulative behavior.  Undeterred by new rules, Dro uses his own key to Molly’s place to let himself in, claiming she was not answering. A surprised Molly emerges from the bathroom, flirting with Dro, even kissing him, however a sign of hope prevails as she demands he return her key.  In a perfect world, the key would have been handed over, yet Dro reaches into his contriving card deck and flips over a jester. With Molly standing firm in her decision, he returns the key after advocating against it, even telling Molly he and his wife are not her business, and hesitantly leaves.

#TeamNathan

All of the characters need to not only decide what they want, but learn how to be honest with themselves and others. After week one, I’m not #TeamIssa, #TeamMolly or even #Team Lawrence.  My allegiance lies with Nathan (Kendrick Sampson). A transplant to Los Angeles with a southern accent, Nathan allows both Molly and Issa to change his destination, sparking a genuine sense of curiosity. Laughing about how the girls picked him up because he was fine, Nathan became the life of the “Party Lyft.” The next customer however had a different night planned.

Entering the car, he complained about the flavor of Capri-Sun offered by Issa and began to roll a blunt and proceed to smoke. When told by both Molly and Issa that the Party Lyft was a smoke-free occasion, the confrontational rider continued his anti behavior. Nathan decided to take the blunt and throw it out the window. This bold behavior lead to the aforementioned fight where Nathan left the guy in pretty bad shape. We later learn that Nathan tipped $50 for the Lyft ride. Hopefully his mysterious charm makes more appearances this season.