Let’s #SetTheVCR strongly as we conclude 2022 and slip in 2023. May your New Year’s Resolutions include Watch More TV.
Monday, December 26
The Witcher: Blood Origin: Limited Series (Anytime / Netflix)
Taking place in the elven Golden Era, 1200 years before the time of Geralt, Yennefer and Ciri, The Witcher: Blood Origin tells the story of seven strangers who join together to fight an unstoppable empire.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: TREASON: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
A triangular relationship forms between Kara, Adam and his wife, Maddy; three people who are trying to expose each other’s secrets, navigate political and diplomatic relationships, whilst hanging onto their personal lives, and those they love most.
Spend boxing day with a British agent fighting to save his life: Treason is in season. That’s gotta be way better than pushing people to score a $75 VCR at Walmart. A 5 episode limited series that’s all spies, snipers, delightful double agents and dark diplomatic relationships. Granted there’s not enough ruckus here but I’m so in!! Netflix UK describes the series as The Bodyguard meets John Le Carre. That works for me; I’ll spy this with my little eye. So: think Charlie Cox will be able to “see” the truth before it’s too late?
Tuesday, December 27
Woooooo! Becoming Ric Flair (Anytime / Peacock)
16-time World Champion and 2-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is one of the most prolific and controversial superstars in professional wrestling history. And today Ric Flair gets a Last Dance.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: CHELSEA HANDLER: REVOLUTION (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Chelsea Handler lets loose on her life choices, rowdy rescue dogs, dating frustrations and why society owes women an apology.
What makes this Chelsea Handler stand up special fascinating is it’s directed by a popular comic: Jo Koy. That’s rare to have a comic direct a comedy special; hence my curiosity. Otherwise a comedy special is a welcome break from all the cheezy Hallmark movies or Christmas Classics. It’s the 27th; TV is slowly returning back to normal. Yeah!! Programming Note: This is the second last Netflix comedy special for 2022. They are dropping Best of Stand Up 2022 on December 31st.
Wednesday, December 28
Generation X (Anytime / Disney+ – US)
Disney+ adds the 2016 docuseries today: National Geographic Channel dives into history on a quest to re-define Generation X. Each hour examines one major milestone of Generation X and then breaks it down to explore the political, cultural and economic forces at play.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE 45TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS (8 P.M. / CBS)
The Honors recipients are recognized for their contributions to American culture through the performing arts – whether in music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures or television – and are confirmed by the Executive Committee of the Center’s Board of Trustees.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has selected the 45th Honorees for lifetime artistic achievements: actor and filmmaker George Clooney; Christian pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant; legendary singer of soul, gospel, R&B and pop Gladys Knight; Cuban-born American composer, conductor, and educator Tania León; and Irish rock band U2 (Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. ). The event took place back on Sunday, December 4th in the Kennedy Center Opera House and tonight it’s televised. These events typically have some great live music performances so stay tuned. Much like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on HBO. Way more funner than an award show.
Thursday, December 29
The Black Phone (Anytime / Prime Video – US)
Black Phone continues to make the streamer rounds: After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer’s previous victims.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: HAWKING: CAN YOU HEAR ME? (ANYTIME / CBC GEM)
Exploring the remarkable human story of Stephen Hawking, as family, friends and colleagues speak candidly for the first time about his life.
Stephen Hawking got a Last Dance and now it’s on CBC Gem (this documentary aired in the UK a few months back). We tend to gloss over the basic beats of his story: diagnosed at the age of 21 with motor neurone disease, married Jane…had some kids, Simpsons jokes and ah…astonishing scientific breakthroughs as a physicist and cosmologist. The thing is anyone who has ever cared for an ill family member knows it takes a toll. It’s not an easy life. Hawking’s wife and his children are interviewed and provide that perspective. Coupled with the basic premise that anyone who has achieved greatness in this life…did so with a dedicated focus. A borderline selfishness. That’s hard too. Well; now…shall we explore Stephen Hawking’s universe?
Friday, December 30
Critical Thinking (Anytime / Netflix – US)
John Leguizamo stars in this drama based on a true story set in 1998: Five Latino and Black teenagers from the toughest underserved ghetto in Miami fight their way into the National Chess Championship.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: WHITE NOISE (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
A contemporary American family’s attempt to deal with the mundane conflicts of day-to-day life while grappling with the larger philosophical issues of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.
Like Fincher and Sandler Noah Baumbach is working with Netflix on multiple movie projects after he signed his deal with Netflix back in January 2021. I assume you saw Marriage Story, yeah? Noah’s latest movie is an adaptation of the 1985 novel White Noise by Don DeLillo. The movie kicks off with an airborne toxic event and now this family with all of its classic family struggles must content with an apocalypse. I’m assuming the apocalypse is the White Noise?
Saturday, December 31
Bullet Train (Anytime / Prime Video Canada)
Five assassins aboard a swiftly-moving bullet train find out that their missions have something in common. Turns out this Bullet Train is no Thomas the Tank Engine. Super fun movie.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: 40 YEARS OF ROCKY: THE BIRTH OF A CLASSIC (ANYTIME / CRAVE)
Over forty years after the release of Rocky (1976), Sylvester Stallone recounts the making of the beloved classic that made him an icon.
All six Rocky films along with a Rocky-centric documentary narrated by Sylvester Stallone drop today to get you pumped and ready to fight in 2023. Cue the montage music.
Sunday, January 01
Paul T. Goldman: Season 1 (Anytime / Peacock)
It’s a project that director Jason Woliner has been shooting for over a decade and a story that continues to pile on jaw-dropping new twists. In the style of Woliner’s work on Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the series is a groundbreaking project that mixes fact and fiction to tell a bizarre and incredible tale.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: DIONNE WARWICK: DON’T MAKE ME OVER (9 P.M. / CNN)
The CNN Films documentary follows the life and career of Dionne Warwick.
Check out who shows up in Dionne Warwick’s Last Dance: Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Bill Clinton, Clive Davis, Gladys Knight, Barry Gibb, Elton John, Alicia Key, Kenneth Cole, Stevie Wonder, Olivia Newton-John, Snoop Dogg and Smokey Robinson and yes…even more! Wow. That’s What Friends Are For for true. “The documentary explores her stunning range of musical styles and versatility. Her career has soared despite dramatic upheaval within a fickle industry, and flourished through multigenerational social change.” You’ll want to Walk On By CNN and check this out. Great way to ease into 2023 and Say A Little Prayer for the new year.
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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