It’s hard to believe but we’re basically into April. Spring has sprung. However, before we leave March behind here are some TV highlights that are #CouchWorthy. Maybe you missed em or didn’t hear about em. What about something fresh? Or something different? Or fun! Then here ya go!
The Mandalorian: Season 3 (Anytime / Disney+)
Yoda Jr. and his helmeted sidekick return. Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa and co-star Carl Weathers direct new episodes and guest stars scheduled to appear in this Star Wars season include Tim Meadows and oh…interesting: Christopher Lloyd. Great Scott!
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE GRIZZLIE TRUTH (ANYTIME / CRAVE)
Filmmaker Kat Jayme investigates a sprawling true sports crime: who’s responsible for robbing us of the Vancouver Grizzlies.
The Grizzlie Truth is an investigation; it’s documentary detective work to unpack and explore a number of factors that lead to the Grizzlies basketball team moving from Vancouver to Memphis. Having been to both cities I can assure you they are completely different vibes. Vancouver won 101 games, lost 359 games and never qualified for the NBA playoffs. Oof! They subsequently moved to Memphis, Tennessee for the 2001–02 season. So…what happened?
It’s never one thing, sports teams don’t always leave for one specific reason. Just as couples don’t always break up over one thing. Kat’s documentary (she’s a diehard Vancouver Grizzlies fan) The Grizzlie Truth about the Grizzlies’ departure underscores that. This is director Kat Jayme’s second Grizzlies documentary; Finding Big Country came out in 2018. And now she’s back on the case. Do the clues add up? Watch and find out. (This doc is also floating around TSN so check your local listing for times/dates. And hear my interview with Kat in Never Gonna Give You Up: Sing Rick Astley’s hit for the Vancouver Grizzlies.)
Daisy Jones & The Six: Limited Series (Anytime / Prime Video)
Based on the best-selling novel and Reese’s Book Club Pick by Taylor Jenkins; this is the never-before-told story of the rise and dramatic fall of the renowned 1970s rock band. The original music will be released by Atlantic Records during the rollout of the series, which premieres March 3, with new episodes released every Friday through March 24.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: ESSEX COUNTY: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / CBC GEM)
The loss and loneliness in rural Ontario is offset by the redemption can be found through human connection. That all sounds vague or worse corny but that is so a solid description of Jeff Lemire’s writing.
Ready for a fresh family drama? Welcome to – Essex County, a five-part limited series by the CBC. Set in the heart of rural Ontario, this must-see series follows the lives of three families as they navigate love, loss, and everything in between. If you’ve read the comics you know, Essex County is a deft blend of heart and drama. “The story of four disparate characters linked together through bloodlines. From old Uncle Lou, to young Lester, to Anne the country nurse and Ken, the stoic farmer, the four lead characters ebb and flow into each other’s lives, slowly weaving connections between them that ultimately save and redeem them.” Whether you’re a fan of family sagas, small-town charm, or just great storytelling, this limited series is one of those that has something for everyone. And if you want to experience more of Essex County’s subtle magic check out Jeff Lemire’s engrossing graphic novel (with the same name) on which this is all based. Highly Recommended Reading.
You: Season 4 – Part 2 (Anytime / Netflix)
I appreciate the British tagline for Joe’s killer UK adventures: “Bloody hell breaks loose.” Wealthy socialites are dying, Joe Goldberg’s new identity is threatened and a killer is running for Mayor of London? “You” know how it all goes by now.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: CHRIS ROCK: SELECTIVE OUTRAGE (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Chris Rock live on stage in Baltimore, Maryland for the first-ever Netflix live streamed global event.
Netflix’s first ever global live streaming event was this Chris Rock special. Let that sink in. In the past we’ve had comedians go live on HBO which mostly at time was North American based. This was unfiltered comedy broadcast live…everywhere there is Netflix. That’s surreal. That’s literally a global event. In February 1983 M*A*S*H’s finale drew an estimated 106 million viewers in the U.S. This is like that only bigger.
Here’s the 10 minute Chris Rock: Selective Outrage mini-doc.
I watched this twice; this piece was incredibly moving. The subtle recognition of Prince is fascinating. Is The Purple One Rock’s North Star?
Treasure Chris Rock. It’s astounding to have lived through Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Rock…Jerry Seinfeld: so much. These are some of the best comics to ever do it. Nobody coming up is gonna be this good and go this hard for this long. Nobody.
Knock at the Cabin (Anytime / Peacock)
M. Night’s latest.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: BONO & THE EDGE: A SORT OF HOMECOMING WITH DAVE LETTERMAN (ANYTIME / DISNEY+)
Part concert movie, part travel adventure plus a whole lot of Bono and The Edge, with Dave’s humor throughout.
Ready for a spectacular evening of music, inspiration and Irish hospitality with Bono and The Edge rolling with David Letterman in Dublin? This docu-special coincided with the release of U2’s new-ish album, Songs of Surrender on the same day. 40 re-recorded songs that the band spent the pandemic reinterpreting, writing new lyrics and recording new vocals. Not a greatest hits album and not a new album either: hence “A Sort of” Homecoming.
With your standard exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and of course memorable performances, this docu-special is sure to leave you feeling uplifted like…a New Year’s Day. What are your Songs of Surrender thoughts/feelings? I’m still working through it.
Ted Lasso: Season 3 (Anytime / Apple TV+)
In the 12-episode third season of Ted Lasso, the newly-promoted AFC Richmond faces ridicule as media predictions widely peg them as last in the Premier League and Nate, now hailed as the “wonder kid,” has gone to work for Rupert at West Ham United.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: A SPY AMONG FRIENDS: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / MGM+)
Dramatizes the true story of Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby, two British spies and lifelong friends.
This is the true story of Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby, two British spies and lifelong friends. Sadly neither of them are 007 as this is set during the Cold War. Even worse: Kim Philby was reveled to be a defector and Soviet double agent. What?
(There’s no spoiler alert…this all happened. Kim Philby died in 1988; in 1967 he gave an interview where he revealed his purpose in life was to destroy imperialism. Umm, okay.)
I can’t even imagine the shock and British embarrassment to know one of their own was a member of the Cambridge Five, a spy ring which had divulged British secrets to the Soviets during World War II and the Cold War, So much for “Intelligence.” Programming Note: This has been on Prime Video-Canada since mid-February. Suckas. We got it first!
The Night Agent: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)
In the basement of the White House, there’s a phone that never rings. This is the story of the night it rings. The TV series follows the crooked journey of Peter Sutherland a young FBI agent who finds himself caught up in a conspiracy (of course he does!) that threatens to upend the entire nation (of course it does!). As he navigates a web of lies and deception (oh yes!), Peter must use all of his skills and training to uncover (wait for it!) the truth before it’s too late! (There it is.) A spy thriller meets political drama should be enough to…keep you up at Night. U Up for The Night Agent?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: RABBIT HOLE: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / PARAMOUNT+)
John Weir (Sutherland), a master of deception in the world of corporate espionage, is framed for murder by powerful forces who have the ability to influence and control populations.
A sure sign Rabbit Hole is Must See TV? Once again Kiefer Sutherland is in over his head and can’t trust anybody. That’s always a positive sign for TV viewers. The latest Paramount+ series that isn’t Yellowstone related follows John Weir (Kiefer), “a master of deception in the world of corporate espionage, is framed for murder by powerful forces with the ability to influence and control populations.” That sounds about right!
How do you fake out the deep fakers? I’m betting on Kiefer to bring the whole sinister operation down. Unless it’s one of those nothing is as it seems kinda deals. Reverse Inception?
The saga of a team of wildly talented high school girls soccer players who become the (un)lucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the remote northern wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated but thriving team to savage clans, while also tracking the lives they’ve attempted to piece back together nearly 25 years later, proving that the past is never really past and what began out in the wilderness is far from over.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MURDER MYSTERY 2 (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Full-time detectives Nick and Audrey are struggling to get their private eye agency off the ground. They find themselves at the center of international abduction when their friend Maharaja, is kidnapped at his own lavish wedding.
Adam Sandler as Nick Spitz, a New York City police officer and his wife Jennifer Aniston as Audrey Spitz, a hairdresser, murder mystery novel enthusiast are back! And they’re killing it, case closed! 2019’s Murder Mystery was lots of Adam Sandler goofy fun. This promises even more goofy whodunit with professionals. Nick and Audrey Spitz are full-time detectives trying to launch their own private-eye agency. I mean what’s the worst than can happen? Well…murder, I suppose. Settle in for a night of murder, mystery, and mayhem with the Sandman.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.