This week’s #SetTheVCR features the return of Doom Patrol, the fifth George Clooney and Julia Roberts movie, Bugs Bunny talk to other cartoons about the meaning of life and…Brad Pitt on a Bullet Train. Get cozy even as your cheeks get rosey.
Monday, December 05
His Dark Materials: Season 3 (Anytime / HBO Max & Crave)
A young girl is destined to liberate her world from the grip of the Magisterium which represses people’s ties to magic and their animal spirits known as daemons.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: BULLET TRAIN (ANYTIME / NETFLIX – US)
Five assassins aboard a swiftly-moving bullet train find out that their missions have something in common.
As part of the Netflix-Sony deal certain movies appear on the streamer in America before we get em in Canada. (American Netflix streamed Where The Crawdads Sing before Canada got it on Canadian Prime Video. Similarly, Canada gets Bullet Train on December 31st.) For now…Americans can enjoy Brad Pitt who is tasked with fetching a briefcase is on a bullet train full of assassins and other bad guys. How difficult can it be? Well turns out this Bullet Train is no Thomas the Tank Engine. Super fun movie.
Tuesday, December 06
The Turning Point: Split Screen (Anytime / Peacock)
A Trevor Noah documentary that explores how we got to this moment of polarization and disinformation and the role that media and social platforms have played along the way.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SEBASTIAN MANISCALCO: IS IT ME? (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
The Chicago native gives his hilarious takes on his wife’s restaurant etiquette, the harsh realities of present day preschool and examines every day human behavior which forces him to beg the question, is it just me?
Is It Me? was filmed in Wynn Las Vegas; hence the Rat Pack tux. This’ll be Sebastian’s fourth special with Netflix. I’m not a fan but I ain’t a hater either. There’s something off with his comedy; I dunno what it is. Is it just me? But it’s a comedy special so let’s fire that up. Tis the season for jokes. This special was directed by Peter Segal who was behind comedies like Tommy Boy and 50 First Dates so that totally works.
Wednesday, December 07
Beyond Magic with DMC: Season 1 (Anytime / Disney+ US)
llusionist Drummond Money-Coutts, otherwise known as DMC, takes to the streets in cities around the world – including London, Paris and Mexico City – to perform tricks on members of the public.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: LIAM GALLAGHER: KNEBWORTH 22 (ANYTIME / PARAMOUNT+)
Liam Gallagher returns to the site of Oasis’ defining performance, incorporating all-new interviews, behind the scenes and concert footage.
An Oasis in a sea of Christmas movies. Knebworth 22 is sparked by Liam Gallagher’s third solo album C’mon You Know. His solo work outside of Oasis is a mixed bag; the other half of Oasis Noel his music is outstanding; I’ve seen him live too. This is all Oasis related: his is an Oasis-lite return to Knebworth Park Hertfordshire in England 26 years after Oasis’ historic 1996 shows. There will be interviews unpacking those 90s shows (Don’t Look Back in Anger!) in between the 2022 concert (Whatever). So part documentary (Definitely Maybe), part concert special (Be Here Now). Man: we’re old enough that even guys in Oasis are starting to reminisce about the past.
Thursday, December 08
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (11 p.m. / Comedy Central)
Trevor Noah’s final episode on The Daily Show. A political TV show that has now become Comedy Central’s Doctor Who. Who will be the next Doctor? Who will be the next host?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: DOOM PATROL: SEASON 4 (ANYTIME / HBO MAX & CRAVE)
The adventures of an idealistic mad scientist and his field team of superpowered outcasts.
The superpowered freaks are back for Season 4. Season 3 kicked off with Madame Rouge arriving in a time machine with a specific mission. The Doom Patrol are still “out of time” (literally?) as Season 4 opens with them in the future. Can these weirdos save the future even if they’re all uncomfortable with their pasts? Programming Note: The fourth season debuts with two episodes today, followed by one episode weekly through January 5. An additional six new episodes from season four will be released in 2023. Some fresh Doom in 2023; that’s cool.
Friday, December 09
Bros (Anytime / Peacock)
Two men with commitment problems (one of em is Billy Eichner) attempt a relationship.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: TICKET TO PARADISE (ANYTIME / PEACOCK)
A divorced couple teams up and travels to Bali to stop their daughter from making the same mistake they think they made 25 years ago.
It’s…George Clooney and Julia Roberts doing their thing: once again. This is their fifth movie together; so you have a sense of what to expect (though this’ll be a lot more fun than Money Monster). Like a Marvel movie, watch the end credits…bloopers and outtakes roll during the closing credits.
Saturday, December 10
Emancipation (Anytime / Apple TV+)
Retrograde captures the final nine months of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan from multiple perspectives.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: STAY TOONED (ANYTIME / CBC GEM)
Stay Tooned is a deep dive into the world of cartoons and how they shaped us. Fun Games, interviews, and more. Join Eric and his talented, notable friends as they discuss cartoons as we know them.
Eric Bauza The Scarborough brother (represent!) who is now voicing Bugs Bunny deftly unpacks all our favourite cartoons. From the dastardly villains to the cartoon crushes we had that were so embarrassing once the cereal sugar rush crashed this series will have you animated. All 6 episodes explore the Reagan era of 1980s cartoons into the 90s and so much more. There’s a lot that we missed; we ignored or even overlooked during that glorious era of animation. This docuseries is super fun and should have you Stay Tooned for more.
Sunday, December 11
The Rising: Season 1 (Anytime / Crave)
The Rising tells the story of Neve Kelly, a young girl who finds out that she is dead. Once she realizes that she has been murdered, she determines to find her killer and get justice. As she begins her investigation, Neve discovers that she has the ability to interfere in the world around her as well as interact with certain individuals, one of whom she grows close to.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: AMSTERDAM (ANYTIME / HBO MAX & DISNEY+ CANADA)
In the 1930s, three friends witness a murder, are framed for it, and uncover one of the most outrageous plots in American history.
David O. Russell’s latest is now streaming in America and in Canada. And bonus fun…you know everybody in this. Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Robert De Niro, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rami Malek, Chris Rock, Michael Shannon, Zoe Saldana, and many more major names. Throw in a murder into the mix, some comedy bungling and you’ve got Amsterdam. I heard it’s lovely this time of year; fancy a visit?
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.
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