RoboCop and a Wanted fugitive. Choose Love because it’s time to #SetTheVCR.
Monday, August 28
The Conversations Project: Season 1 (Anytime / Hulu)
Inspired by the Dark Tower salons during the Harlem Renaissance, sit in on funny, fearless, and far-ranging dinner parties with great Black figures, from athletes and entertainers to astronauts, Michelin-starred chefs, and philosophers. You’ll want to watch out for the Roy Wood Jr. episode.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: NFL DRAFT: THE PICK IS IN (ANYTIME / THE ROKU CHANNEL)
For the first time, Skydance Sports and NFL Films take us behind the scenes of the most dynamic weekend in football.
Nobody in gym class likes to be picked last. The NFL draft is no different, even if it means being picked…for the NFL. This rare Roku sports documentary followed four teams during the 2023 NFL Draft weekend: the Carolina Panthers (who selected quarterback Bryce Young with the first pick), Indianapolis Colts (who selected quarterback Anthony Richardson with the fourth pick of the first round), Dallas Cowboys (who selected running back Deuce Vaughn – the son of longtime team scout Chris Vaughn – in the sixth round) and Jacksonville Jaguars. Turns out this is Season 1. It has since been renewed for the 2024 NFL draft, which runs April 25-27 in Detroit. Turns out enough Roku viewers picked this programming and it was instantly renewed.
Tuesday, August 29
Armageddon Time (Anytime / Crave)
A coming-of-age story about the strength of family and the generational pursuit of the American dream.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: ROBODOC: THE CREATION OF ROBOCOP (ANYTIME / SCREAMBOX)
An immersive 4+ hour journey into the making of the seminal sci-fi movie RoboCop (1987). With over 60 cast/crew interviews and exclusive behind the scenes materials, RoboDoc is a unique, comprehensive and fully explorative scene-by-scene retrospective.
Following Living With Chucky, Pennywise: The Story of IT and Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story Screambox’s latest IP documentary is RoboDoc: The Creation of RoboCop. The 1987 film was in part inspired by writer Edward Neumeier’s work in the art department on Blade Runner. Makeup effects vet Rob Bottin (The Thing, Total Recall) created the RoboCop design and handled the film’s makeup effects. Like, yo: what a pedigree. Produced by Gary Smart, the docuseries is directed by Chris Griffiths and Eastwood Allen who previously collaborated with Smart on Pennywise: The Story of IT. The second episode is outstanding as that episode focuses on the goons including my favourite Joe Cox. RoboCop is a remarkable movie based on a ludicrous premise that effectively works. RoboDoc reveals how the magic of this 1987 movie works; crafting an indelible character who continues to have a powerful pop culture presence. Programming Note: Episode 1 airs August 29th, Episode 2 is September 5th, 3 is September 12th and 4 is September 19th.
Wednesday, August 30
Reservation Dogs: Season 3 (Anytime / Disney+ Canada)
This (final) season, the Rez Dogs find themselves stranded in Cali and have to figure out their way back home. Premiered on August 2nd on Hulu for Americans, now streaming in Canada.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: WANTED: THE ESCAPE OF CARLOS GHOSN (ANYTIME / APPLETV+)
The riveting story of CEO-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn, including his reign of power, shocking arrest, and calculated getaway that stunned the world.
This four-part docuseries tells the riveting story of CEO-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn. A CEO who becomes a fugitive is a bit on the nose. This is not that. Ghosn is a former automotive executive…the CEO of Nissan. He spearheaded the impressive turnaround of Nissan from its near-bankruptcy in 1999. So what happened? False accounting, Ghosn under-reported his compensation (a violation of securities law) and used company assets for personal use. Among other financial irregularities. Well he simply wasn’t going to jail for that. With help from an American private-security contractor Ghosn fled from Japan to Lebanon via Turkey. This is a real life Shawshank Redemption! Who doesn’t enjoy a real life jail break?
Thursday, August 31
Justified: City Primeval: Limited Series (Anytime / Disney+ Canada)
Raylan Givens left the hollers of Kentucky and is balancing life as a U.S. Marshal with being a part-time father. A chance encounter sends him to Detroit and on a collision course with a violent sociopath and a formidable defense attorney. Premiered on July 18 on Hulu for Americans, now streaming in Canada.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: CHOOSE LOVE (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
The steady boyfriend. The one who got away. The charming rock star. Who will Cami choose? In this interactive rom-com, her love life is in your hands.
Last day of August, 2023. Fall…leaves changing colour, corny Pumpkin Spice Latte memes…and a reset focus on work…this is what we can expect for 2023’s last 4 months. So today, before all that happens…why not…Choose Love?
Friday, September 1
The Wheel of Time: Season 2 (Anytime / Prime Video)
Though Rand thought he destroyed the Dark One, evil is not gone from the world. Threats new and very old seek out the young friends from the Two Rivers, now scattered over the world. The woman who found and guided them is now powerless to help, and so they must find other sources of strength. In each other, or themselves. In the Light…or the Dark.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: 300 (ANYTIME / CRAVE & NETFLIX CANADA)
The unbelievable first-hand account of Gerald Blanchard, one of the most creative, calculating and accomplished criminal masterminds in modern history.
“You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” Donald Rumsfeld basically describing the plot of 300. If you attended Fan Expo Canada this past weekend one of the con’s panels was Frank Miller and the 25th Anniversary of 300. Today it’s been added to Netflix Canada. It’s on Crave right now! 300 probably holds up. Gerard Butler’s career…does not. That hasn’t aged well; he’s such a Plane actor.
Saturday, September 2
College Football 2023 Season (All day / ESPN)
The college football season kicks into full swing with an array of games starting at 9AM PDT. Time too choose your own (football) adventure.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: COLD CASE FILES: DNA SPEAKS (ANYTIME / HULU)
A 10-part documentary series focusing on murder cases that remained unsolved for decades and were ultimately cracked with DNA evidence. It explores these stunning scientific developments – as well as the unwavering dedication of families and investigators – that eventually brought the killers to justice.
Episode 1’s description reads: “When 14-year-old Nacole Smith is brutally murdered in 1995 on a wooded path in Atlanta, the police and community rally around her mother as she seeks justice; it will take decades and a second brutal assault to finally reveal Nacole’s killer.” The cold case solved by DNA is a fascinating subgenre of True Crime. We recently saw this on the 2020 HBO docuseries I’ll Be Gone in the Dark which focuses on the elusive search for the Golden State Killer. During the decades-long investigation, several suspects were cleared through DNA evidence (but also via alibis and other classic investigative methods.). Then in 2001, after DNA testing indicated that the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker were the same person, the combined acronym EARONS came into use. This is a fingerprint type breakthrough for investigators. The Golden State Killer case was a factor in the establishment of California’s DNA database, which collects DNA from all accused and convicted felons in California and has been called second only to Virginia’s in effectiveness in solving cold cases. On April 24, 2018, Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. who was after decades of terror was confirmed to be…the Golden State Killer. DNA can provide closure.
Sunday, September 3
Unforgotten is an award-winning cold case crime drama following veteran London detectives who uncover the truth behind tangled, complicated murders from the past. But the deeper the truth lies, the bigger the emotional toll for the suspects, the families left behind, and for the detective inspectors themselves.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE POPE’S EXORCIST (ANYTIME / CRAVE)
Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist of the Vatican, uncovers a centuries-old conspiracy while investigating a young boy’s terrifying possession.
This is the story of Father Gabriele Amorth — the late Pauline priest known as the James Bond of exorcists. Makes sense now why he’s be played by Russell Crowe. If the story sparks your interest this movie is based on the 1990 book An Exorcist Tells His Story and the 1992 book An Exorcist: More Stories by Father Gabriele Amorth. It’s early September, shall we ease into horror and fear slowly? Halloween is coming!
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.