We gave a sad goodbye last week to entertainment icons Alan Rickman and David Bowie when both men died of cancer at the age of 69. But we’ll try to look at new entertainment options moving forward…

saying goodbye to david bowie

The world lost David Bowie, one of the most amazing and creative artists in the history of rock music. If Bowie had only done A Space Oddity, The Man Who Sold the World and Ziggy Stardust, he’d be a legend.  If he’d only done Diamond Dogs and Young Americans, he’d be a legend.  If he’d only done Low, Heroes and Lodger. . .you get the idea. And I only just tracked his career to about 1980.

Bowie invented glam rock.  He perfected art rock.  He was capable of producing some of the catchiest, popiest songs in the world and then could simultaneously unleash a wall of noise and confusion.  Perhaps best of all, he was capable of combining the two, turning the cacophony into a top 40 single.

His collaborations are a list of rock ‘n roll royalty:  Elton John, John Lennon, Queen, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Robert Fripp and Trent Reznor among them.

To say he will be missed doesn’t do it justice.  Instead, I’ll say, I wish I could have heard what was next.

a l w a y s

Alan Rickman, an outstanding stage and screen actor who played two rather iconic roles, first as notorious screen villain Hans Gruber in Die Hard and then as the mysterious Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series.  I enjoyed him in a number of other films too, most notably Love Actually.  He was 69.

NEW SHOW SPOTLIGHT

Tired of space based scifi that looks a lot like a luxury cruise in space with no real explanation of how the science is supposed to work? Try watching Syfy Channel’s The Expanse, based on James S.A. Corey’s popular book series of the same name.

In the future envisioned by The Expanse, there is no unexplained “hyperdrive” or other faster-than-light travel. Humanity’s exploration outward has led to the colonization of Mars and the construction of a number of large space stations in the Asteroid Belt. Earth and Mars have separate, independent governments that are frequently at odds.

In this future, air and water are commodities, space travel is an uncomfortable necessity and gravity is a way to conduct enhanced interrogations of people who live in space. Against this backdrop, several parallel stories (a noir-ish detective tracks down a missing person, political intrigue inside Earth’s United Nations, a wrong place, wrong time coincidence uncovers a conspiracy) unfold.

The Expanse is a relatively ugly look at how little humanity improves when you spread it around the solar system. For any fans of hardcore science fiction, it is worth a look.

If you liked Blade Runner and The Martian, you’ll like The Expanse.

Things we learned from TV this week:

1) Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Superman are friends (Conan);

2) Crazy loves crazy (Black-ish);

3) No one in the history of crack has woken up the next morning with leftover crack (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia)

LOOKING AHEAD

Billions debuts on Showtime January 17.

The series premiere of Angie Tribeca airs on TBS on January 18.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow premieres on The CW on January 21.

Baskets debuts on FX on January 21.

Portlandia returns January 21 to IFC

Whitney Cummings:  I’m Your Girlfriend airs on HBO on January 23.

 

TV’s a big place and I haven’t been to all of it yet.  Got a favorite show you’d like me to comment on?  Post a comment below, contact me on twitter @RobLazlo. or shoot me an email:  [email protected]  I welcome your input!

Featured image via Chicago Tribune