Remember how Peter Parker told you with great power comes great responsibility? Well, it’s the same thing with tv ratings. Do you really wanna give Netflix’s Too Hot To Handle a second season or do you wanna use your power responsibility? If so then here’s some amazing and specular tv suggestions.
Sunday, April 26
The Simpsons (8 p.m. / Fox)
Sammy Suggestion: The Last Dance (9 p.m. & 10 p.m. / ESPN)
The Last Dance a 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls. I mean there might be something else on tv but I’d be hard-pressed to know what that would be. Episodes 3 and 4 are broadcast after Episodes 1 and 2 are re-broadcast (at 7 and 8 pm). I’ll watch all of it. (International viewers can watch the next day on Netflix.)
Monday, April 27
Sammy Suggestion: Asshole: A Theory (Anytime / CBC Gem)
Often when you bring up Kanye West you instantly get some variation of “he’s an ass” or “he’s an asshole” as if it was some sort of empirical fact. (Which I’ve always found utterly and entirely irrelevant: he’s paid to be creative and he does that well across a number of disciplines.) The asshole culture such as it is; is documented in this fascinating documentary by director John Walker. Built around an engaging conversation with philosopher Aaron James, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of California; and the author of the bestseller Assholes: A Theory. James’ book sets out to establish an academic definition of asshole so it can be studied and understood; this documentary picks up on James’ work and book and investigates “the contemporary “asshole culture” which of course brings us full circle to Kanye West. Is Kanye West an asshole…according to the documentary and professor James’ work? Or what about Michael Jordan in The Last Dance? See for yourself.
Tuesday, April 28
Sammy Suggestion: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (10 p.m. / HBO)
The 25th season rolls on with a COVID-19 sports special. “The March of COVID-19. Correspondent David Scott explores the role sports leagues and organizations domestically and overseas had in the spread of COVID-19 in the crucial days and weeks when the virus took root and became a pandemic.” Might be too early for COVID documentaries since we’re still in; s’a bit like doing a 9/11 documentary on September 13. Still, as we’ve just seen with the NFL draft some sports is better than no sports.
Wednesday, April 29
Normal People (Anytime / Hulu)
Sammy Suggestion: A Secret Love (Anytime / Netflix)
A sequel of sorts to A League of Their Own (remember “there’s no crying in baseball?” One of Madonna’s better movies…the only good one actually?). This documentary follows female baseball players Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel who fell in love…in 1947. Oh Boy. As they politely say: times were different then. Terry played in the women’s professional baseball league as seen in A League of Their Own. Women playing baseball was already a hard sell (remember Jack Robinson just started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers also in 1947 so this was a lot of upheaval to “America’s pastime.” Back then for many people, their Wonder Years narrators were working overtime trying to smooth out and grapple with all these significant changes.). Secrets have a way of coming out and their truth is revealed in this charming Netflix documentary. While the political times we currently live in will tragically weaponize this documentary in the battle between gay rights and conservatives (or however you wanna frame that endless war) however that’d overlook a crucial point. These women were pioneers and as we’ve seen throughout history the first one off the boat and storming the beach gets bloody. People who we often dismiss as “weird” or “different” tend to accomplish some inspiring feats. Soon as you break the rules it’s adventure time! Out society benefits when people break the rules.
Thursday, April 30
Parks and Recreation: A Parks and Recreation Special (8:30 p.m. / NBC)
Sammy Suggestion: Dangerous Lies (Anytime / Netflix)
I’ve no confidence this movie will be good. So why am I recommending it? First, it’s called Dangerous Lies. Excellent cheezy title. I like both those things in my movies. Second this description: “A caregiver is drawn into a web of lies and murder after a wealthy elderly man dies and leaves his estate to her.” We just scored “web of lies” now too. Web of lies, dangerous lies…I mean this’ll barely be better than a Lifetime movie. Even if it’s bad I’m spending two hours with Camila Mendes which is pretty darn good Thursday night, you know?
Friday, May 1
Upload (Anytime / Amazon Prime)
Don’t Let Go (8 p.m. / Cinemax)
Sammy Suggestion: Western Stars (Anytime / Crave)
With Western Stars, Bruce Springsteen continues to look back. His sublime Netflix special Springsteen on Broadway is his origin story. While this concert film gives us updated reflections and his place in this world. The man who gifted us Born To Run has learned to stand still. So…now what? He’s been quiet lately. I wonder what he makes of everything that’s been going on in America. For now until he chooses to speak we get Western Stars. (With Western Stars today…Beastie Boys Story the previous weekend and Jordan’s ongoing Last Dance never mind what day it is…I dunno what year it is anymore.)
Saturday, May 2
Sammy Suggestion: ParticipACTION (Anytime / Anytime)
It’s may! Go out for a walk. The Sun should be out. Bring a cigar.