Citadel on the couch as it’s a fresh #SetTheVCR where we say goodbye to James Corden and David Bowie but say hello to lots of new TV.
Monday, April 24
A Tourist’s Guide to Love (Anytime / Netflix)
An executive goes through an unexpected breakup, then accepting an assignment to go undercover and learn about the tourist industry in Vietnam.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: JUDY BLUME FOREVER (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
Documents the life and legacy of trailblazing author Judy Blume.
Judy Blume was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in…2023. Really? How she is not consistently appearing on that list is odd; like Michael Jordan not winning an MVP every season he played. You know her books: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (published in 1970), Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972) and Blubber (1974). Yes those were all published in the 70s yet the books remain timeless because their themes are timeless. Divorce, sexuality, puberty, bullying, masturbation, menstruation, teen sex and birth control are the exact same issues in the 70s as they are now. We might have more information; clumsy up conversations with convoluted definitions of simple words but it’s all the same strange experiences. There’s always somebody who oddly thinks they are a unicorn; they’re weird and Blume says nope. You’re not that special you’re just as normal as everyone else. Hopefully we get more docs on writers; in this space I’ve recommended lots of music and sports docs. Remarkable writers like Judy Blume who have had and have a significant impact on her readers should be celebrated with a fantastic doc. April is that season where things Blume so this should be a fresh treat.
Tuesday, April 25
John Mulaney: Baby J (Anytime / Netflix)
The comic’s third solo Netflix special was shot in Boston’s Symphony Hall in February 2023. This is his first stand-up comedy special in five years. Since then he’s had ongoing issues with addiction, became a father and went through a divorce. All solid stand up material.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY (ANYTIME / CBC GEM)
In 1972, young women looking for a fresh start in life endure isolated captivity in a true 98-day human experiment studying the effects of marijuana on females.
“The Marijuana Conspiracy is based on a true story that took place in 1972 over 98 days. It studies the scientific, social and physical effects of Marijuana use during an all-female group study. Craig Pryce optioned this story from investigative reporter Diana Zlomislic, who acts as story consultant.” Woah: really? Yeah: the Canadian government was fearful of marijuana and its effects of course on the economy and productivity. So to alleviate their fears on the effects of weed the Canadian government organized a study: sequestering 5 women and giving them 2 fatties every night at 8pm. I’m glad director Craig Pryce high-lighted this odd Canadian heritage minute. Canadians, eh?
Wednesday, April 26
Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love (8 p.m. / NBC)
Friends and stars come together to celebrate Carol Burnett’s 90th birthday and pay tribute to her illustrious career. Streams the following day on Peacock. Carol is a #GOAT this is a well-earned honour.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SAINT X: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / HULU & DISNEY+ CANADA STAR)
Explores how a young woman’s mysterious death during an idyllic Caribbean vacation creates a traumatic ripple effect that eventually pulls her surviving sister into a dangerous pursuit of the truth.
Based on Alexis Schaitkin’s novel Saint X is sparked by a young woman’s mysterious death during a family vacation in the Caribbean. The resulting drama is told through multiple timelines and perspectives as her younger sister obsessively searches for answers. She’s got 8 episodes to discover the truth of what really happened to her sister. What do you got? Who do you think did it? And why? See if you can solve the mystery before the sister does! (No cheating by reading the book.) Programming Note: Premieres with 3 episodes and new episodes weekly.
Thursday, April 27
The Last Last Late Late Show (10 p.m. / CBS)
Smell Ya Later James Corden!! The Last Last Late Late Show at 10pm, ahead of the final episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SWEET TOOTH: SEASON 2 (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
In season 2, Gus and his fellow hybrids are held captive by the Last Men in order to find a cure for the Sick.
Sweet Tooth is a wonderful comic book series written and drawn by Jeff Lemire. (I said is present tense as the original series ran for 40 issues on the defunct Vertigo imprint (RIP!) from 2009-2013. A six issue mini-series-sequel, subtitled The Return was published in 2021. The Return was decent however I highly recommend the original 40 issue run: outstanding comics.) Sweet Tooth has now been adapted for Netflix which’ll fully allow us to explore what’s left of America following The Great Crumble. That’s the mysterious emergence of hybrid babies born part human, part animal. You don’t hafta read X-Men comics to know these mutants would be feared and hunted. And so Gus, a “sweet” young latchkey kid with deer-like features, meets drifter Jepperd after the boy’s father passes away. Jepperd promises Gus he will bring him to The Preserve a safe haven for hybrid children such as himself. And the road-trip adventures begin. If you’ve ah…got a “Sweet Tooth” for a dystopian thriller tale about Bambi fighting to exist in a Mad Max style world then here ya go: this should satisfy your craving. For Season 2 Gus and his fellow hybrids continue to fight to exist in a world where determined evil forces seek to wipe them out once and for all. Gus you know how that story is gonna be; its human nature vs the hybrids. Evolve or Adapt or Die.
Friday, April 28
Florida Man: Limited Series (Anytime / Netflix)
A disgraced cop in debt is forced to return to his home state of Florida for a shady mission only to get swept up in a wild — and deadly — treasure hunt.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: CITADEL: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
Eight years ago, Citadel fell. The independent global spy agency – tasked to uphold the safety and security of all people – was destroyed by operatives of Manticore, a powerful syndicate manipulating the world from the shadows.
We got a global spy series executive produced by the Russo Brothers. Prime Video continues to open their wallets for these super expensive TV shows. Richard Madden had his memories wiped eight years ago when Citadel fell. He has no idea he’s an elite agent (is there any other kind?) tasked with the safety of the world. The CIA if it was a global organization. Only now Stanley Tucci randomly shows up and tell him he is an elite agent (is there any other kind?). And that with Citadel gone it’s up to them to prevent the evil org Manticore from establishing a new world order (is there any other kind?). This is the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show I longed for but never got. We got spies and memory wipes and gadgets and secrets & lies and high-stakes espionage ruckus…this is my TV love language. Oh, yo. Does this TV show come with seatbelts? Only 6 episodes but Prime has already ordered Season 2; thank you Jeff Bezos! Let’s Citadel on the couch and enjoy spies saving the world.
Saturday, April 29
A riveting drama written by David E. Kelley which tells the true story of Candy and Pat Montgomery and Betty and Allan Gore – two churchgoing couples enjoying their small town Texas life… until an extramarital affair leads somebody to pick up an axe.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MOONAGE DAYDREAM (ANYTIME / HBO MAX)
A cinematic odyssey exploring David Bowie’s creative and musical journey. From visionary filmmaker Brett Morgen, and sanctioned by the Bowie estate.
Last September when this David Bowie documentary opened in cinemas near me; I just didn’t have the heart to go. Dude died in 2016 but it still feels fresh; unresolved. The documentary chronicles the three major eras of Bowie’s life: early experimentation in London, the androgynous years in Berlin, and the prestige of a later-life gonzo art elder statesman. It comes with the standard never-before-seen footage and performances with unusual remixes of classic Bowie hits. It has a 48-song soundtrack: wow. Apparently director Brett Morgen was given access to five million different artifacts, including artwork, photos, audio, journals and more. That seems like a high number…do creatives really create that many artifacts? Morgen wrote, directed, produced, and edited Moonage Daydream. This is it; this is what I mean. This is how you say goodbye and thank you to David Bowie. Heavy Sigh: okay let’s do this: Let’s Dance. Programming Note: For Canadians we score this Bowie doc on May 10 on Canadian Prime Video.
Sunday, April 30
Fatal Attraction: Season 1 (Anytime / Paramount+)
I’ve no attraction to this bunny boiler remake where Lizzy Caplan is now Glenn Close and Michael Douglas is now Joshua Jackson. This reimagining of the classic psychosexual thriller and ’80s cultural touchstone premieres with two episodes tonight.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: CLOCK (ANYTIME / HULU & DISNEY+ CANADA)
A woman who enrolls in a clinical trial to try and fix her seemingly broken biological clock.
An interior decorator succumbs to peer pressure to have a baby. Sounds about right. So fine she signs up for a voluntary study…and well this is a horror movie so you know where this is going. Can Clock “deliver” results? Will it “mother” the audience? Oh baby; let’s press play and find out.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.