OPEN Time Bomb Y2K is the TV Pick. TEXT Well that it’s for TV in 2023. Did TV treat you good? Did #SetTheVCR help? Onto 2024 and this week…we open and close with stand up comedy.
Tuesday, December 26
Station Eleven: Limited Series (Anytime / CBC Gem)
The HBO adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel‘s novel comes to the CBC: Twenty years after a flu pandemic resulted in the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors who make their living as traveling performers encounter a violent cult led by a man whose past is unknowingly linked to a member of the troupe.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: RICKY GERVAIS: ARMAGEDDON (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Ricky takes the stage for a provocative new stand-up special, riffing on the end of humanity, political correctness, family weddings, funerals and Artificial Intelligence.
TV sucks this time of year. Your Christmas Day TV options include NBA games, hearing Ricky Gervais say the C Word or those Horny Hallmark Holiday movies often with a horny pun for a title. Pretty easy choice, really: C Word it is! (I’m aware it’s super cringey for a grown adult to say “C Word” but it works for this jokey bit.) This is his third Netflix stand-up special, following Humanity (2018) and SuperNature (2022). The special is directed by John L. Spencer and was recorded at the London Palladium. So…nothing like some fresh Armageddon to liven up the holidays, eh?
Wednesday, December 27
Somewhere in Queens (Anytime / Crave)
Leo and Angela Russo live a simple life in Queens, surrounded by their overbearing Italian-American family. When their son ‘Sticks’ finds success on his high-school basketball team, Leo tears the family apart trying to make it happen.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: LOT NO. 249 (ANYTIME / BBC IPLAYER & BRITBOX-US)
An Oxford University student becomes obsessed with an ancient Egyptian mummy.
This year’s installment of the BBC tradition of A Ghost Story for Christmas is an adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle short story Lot No. 249. Fantastic short story. And it’s written and directed by Mark Gatiss from Sherlock so he knows his Doyle. “The story follows a group of Oxford students, one of whom undertakes research into the secrets of Ancient Egypt, which becomes the talk of the college. As these experiments continue, strange occurrences abound in the mysterious Lot. No 249.” It’s odd but Christmas is a time for ghosts. So why not enjoy this 30 minute Ghost Story since it’s the holidays.
Thursday, December 28
Sound of Freedom (Anytime / Prime Video)
The incredible true story of a former government agent turned vigilante who embarks on a dangerous mission to rescue hundreds of children from traffickers. This was a big hit in the fly over States while everybody else on the coasts was checking out Indiana Jones Dial and Mission Impossible Reckoning. Looks a bit cheezy but it’s there if you wanna check it out.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE FLASH (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO & CRAVE)
Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to.
The Flash tagline is: “Worlds collide.” General Zod returns from previous DCU movies. As does Michael Keaton as Batman. Welcome to the DC Comics multiverse. Flash slides into corny occasionally (I detest fan service) but it’s not a terrible movie. That’s good, right? Based on the box office most people have not seen it. Streaming will give it a solid boost. Though beware it’s got an open ending. And with the way things are going over the DCU it’s an ending that may never be resolved. After 10 years, 16 movies and many terrible reviews and disappointing box office performances, the DC Extended Universe has officially concluded with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Here’s a hint at the possibilities and an opportunity to mourn the potential all of which was gone in a…Flash.
Friday, December 29
The residents of Letterkenny belong to one of three groups: the Hicks, the Skids, and the Hockey Players, who are constantly feuding over seemingly trivial matters that often end with someone getting their ass kicked. In Season 12, the small town contends with a comedy night at Modean’s, a country music hit, the Degens’ bad influence, a new nightclub, and an encore at the Ag Hall. And that’s just for starters.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: GRAN TURISMO (ANYTIME / CRAVE)
Based on the unbelievable, inspiring true story of a team of underdogs – a struggling, working-class gamer, a failed former race car driver, and an idealistic motorsport exec – who risk it all to take on the most elite sport in the world.
Figured since we’re racing into a new year an inspiring story about a struggling, working-class gamer would set the tone nicely for a new year and fresh dreams.
Saturday, December 30
SYFY‘s Twilight Zone New Year’s Eve Marathon (Anytime / SYFY)
SYFY’s annual New Year’s marathon of The Twilight Zone episodes kicks off today and the twisty extravaganza stretches over four calendar days ending on Tuesday January 2nd. Nothing like a Nightmare at 20,000 Feet to welcome a fresh year. So put down your To Serve Man cookbook and invite the Monsters Due on Maple Street over: this is a fantastic holiday tradition. I wrote anytime because you just watch anytime you want…but Time Enough At Last is on at 8:30 am today! The full schedule is on the link.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: TIME BOMB Y2K (ANYTIME / HBO MAX)
An immersive, all-archival retelling of the “Y2K” millennium bug and the mass hysteria that changed the fabric of modern society.
We’re doomed! As the clock counts down to the dawn of the Year 2000, the world faces the largest potential technological disaster to ever threaten humanity. No, not Tickle Me Elmo. The problem is comically simple yet incredibly complex – a bug that could cause computers to misinterpret the year 2000 as 1900, sowing chaos throughout the world as electronic systems failed. Nerds inputted dates with 2 digits…we talk about the ’80s or the Roaring ’20s. Everything starts with 19 so we know what everyone is talking about. Until we got to…2000. Hence a bug. This millennial milestone explores how modern life has been dramatically transformed by the digital revolution. When we’ve been short sighted with technology and when we’ve failed to have a larger vision.
Sunday, December 31
New Year’s Eve (Anytime / Crave)
The lives of several couples and singles in New York City intertwine over the course of New Year’s Eve.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: 2023 BACK THAT YEAR UP WITH KEVIN HART AND KENAN THOMPSON (ANYTIME / PEACOCK)
2023 Back That Year Up With Kevin Hart and Kenan Thompson, the comedy duo will cover some of the biggest moments from this year. Hart and Thompson will deliver an unfiltered take on pop culture, sports, social media, and politics with their irreverent humor, inimitable charm, and hilarious points of view.
Laugh away 2023 and slap your knees welcome 2024. The 60 minute special features guest appearances from Simone Biles, Kelly Clarkson, Jim Cramer, Ron Funches, David Alan Grier, Jay Pharoah and many more. Quote from host and executive producer, Kevin Hart – “We are so excited to bring audiences another ‘Back That Year Up’ special as we celebrate all the ups, downs, and memorable moments of this past year. Hold onto your party hats, because this is going to be one for the books.” Kevin Hart tonight, Dave Chappelle tomorrow. So long 2023!
Monday, January 01
Not a typo! Yes I’m still an NBA guy however the NHL’s Winter Classic…is well a Classic. The highly anticipated New Year’s Day-outdoor faceoff, returns this season with the Seattle Kraken and Vegas Golden Knights as they’ll battle in the 2024 NHL Winter Classic. I mean that is cool right?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: DAVE CHAPPELLE: THE DREAMER (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
From his onstage tackle to the slap heard round the world, Dave Chappelle lets loose in this freewheeling and unfiltered stand-up comedy special.
Dave Chappelle returns to the Lincoln Theatre in his hometown of Washington, D.C. to tell jokes and ring in 2024. It’s great Dave is “at home” since this trailer is narrated by Morgan Freeman, who asks, “What do you dream about? Not the dreams you have in your sleep, the ones you hold in your heart. Don’t be intimidated by the audacity of your dream — be inspired by it.” Bring on 2024!
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.