We got Witch Hunts, Giuliani’s evolution from Rudy to Doody, Soft Rock and…Edgar Allan Poe. Welcome to 2023 and #SetTheVCR!
Monday, January 02
The Bad Guys (Anytime / Crave)
To avoid prison, a gang of notorious animal criminals pretend to seek being rehabilitated, only for their leader to secretly find that he genuinely wants to change his ways.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: ALL OF THEM WITCHES (10:00 P.M. / AMC)
The one-hour documentary will explore an alternate and authentic history told from the perspective of today’s most well-known, practicing witches, as well as scholars of history and anthropology.
In 2017’s IT movie menacing murdering clown Pennywise promised the kids of Derry: “They all float down here. You’ll float, too.” An obvious nod to the grim sewer waters where their bodies will eventually float…a dark death visual. “You’ll float” was also a clever horror reference by Stephen King recognizing the grisly practice of witch swimming; dunking women accused of witchcraft in a body of water to determine if they’ll sink or float. Floating was a guilty verdict: they all float down here. I’m sad this All of Them Witches special is only an hour; it’s really meant to serve as a companion to Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches; AMC’s new horror TV show. There’s so much to cover and an hour is not enough; still this TV special explores the “history of Witch Hunts, paganism and voodoo, and challenges the myths that have become the fabric of popular culture.” Hopefully audiences will be bewitched by the special prompting AMC to do a proper docuseries. Programming Note: All of Them Witches will debut on Sunday, January 8 at 9pm across all five of AMC Networks’ Linear Networks: BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV and WE tv will join AMC and AMC+.
Tuesday, January 03
The Menu (Anytime / HBO Max)
A young couple travel to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises. (Classy Soylent Green?!) Programming Note: The Menu will be on Disney+ Canada Star tomorrow.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH (ANYTIME / PARAMOUNT+)
The series is the untold story of soft rock, whose artists dominated pop music worldwide in the ’70s, only to crash and burn in the ’80s, eventually experiencing one of the most unlikely comebacks in music history.
If you’re old enough chances are you’ve made a mixtape for Someone Special using one or two soft rock songs. (If the mixtape was all soft rock songs; it’s easy to understand why it never worked out.) According to the media release: “The series presents all-new interviews with some of soft rock’s biggest legends, like Air Supply (All Out of Love), Dan Hill (Sometimes When We Touch), Kenny Loggins (This Is It), Ray Parker Jr. (A Woman Needs Love), Rupert Holmes (Escape: The Piña Colada Song) and Toni Tennille (Love Will Keep Us Together). Through candid and poignant stories, these stars lead a celebration of the underappreciated music that continues to have a lasting impact on American culture.” Solely based on the compelling drama of the timeless Piña Colada Song I suggest you softly rock with this 3 part docuseries.
Wednesday, January 04
Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Season 2 (Anytime / Disney+)
When the new season opens, months have passed since the events on Kamino, and the Bad Batch continue their journey navigating the Empire after the fall of the Republic. Programming Note: The first two episodes stream today.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: GRAILS: WHEN SNEAKERS CHANGED THE GAME (ANYTIME / DISNEY+ CANADA)
Profiles entrepreneurs Earl Cooper and Olajuwon Ajanaku, former Morehouse College golf champions who created the lifestyle brand Eastside Golf to promote diversity on the golf course.
This six-part docuseries profiles entrepreneurs and golf champions Earl Cooper and Olajuwon Ajanaku who created the lifestyle brand Eastside Golf to promote diversity on the golf course. Yes; this includes their inspiring Jordan collab; recently launched on November 12, 2022. And…it’s directed by ESPN’s Hannah Storm so that’s an appealing hook. (Storm is a passionate sneakerhead. She’s can kick it like nobody’s business.) The series includes interviews with notable figures such as DJ Khaled, Chris Paul, sports executive Shawn Costner, founder of Stock X, Joseph “Fat Joe” Cartagena, former MLB All-Star pitcher CC Sabathia; among others. So you’ll want to sneak this into your TV watching now that it’s in Canada (this originally aired on Hulu on December 14th). I’m so gonna “kicks” it with this.
Thursday, January 05
Ginny & Georgia: Season Two (Anytime / Netflix)
Netflix Gilmore Girls Returns: How do you live with the knowledge that your mother is a murderer? That’s what Ginny is going to have to figure out.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: COACH PRIME (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
Inside Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders’ Jackson State University football program.
Deion Sanders’ college coaching career goes Prime Time with this four-episode docuseries (obviously on “Prime” Video.). Like all live as it happens inside the locker room and out reality sports TV shows (think Hard Knocks on HBO) this will cover Jackson State University’s football program for the 2022 season. As much as this is about the kids trying to succeed in a brutal sport; in a football program that is not a blueblood college this is also about Deion Sanders. The what’s next aspect after retiring from sports can be daunting. The competition is gone and the bright lights have faded. Is Sanders a good coach? Can he become a great coach? All these questions and more are answered when you hit “play.”
Friday, January 06
The Northman (Anytime / Crave)
A young Viking prince is on a quest to avenge his father’s murder.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE PALE BLUE EYE (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
West Point, 1830. A world-weary detective is hired to discreetly investigate the gruesome murder of a cadet. Stymied by the cadets’ code of silence, he enlists one of their own to help unravel the case — a young man the world would come to know as Edgar Allan Poe.
This is the second Edgar Allan Poe at West Point movie. Before this Netflix movie we got Raven’s Hollow on Shudder back on September 22nd. Though Christian Bale is playing detective Augustus Landor who has been called to investigate a gruesome murder at West Point Military Academy. And if he’s Sherlock well then his Watson is… Edgar Allan Poe. This is all adapted from a Louis Bayard novel. I dunno who that is; but I know who Poe is. I’m so IN for all things Poe.
Saturday, January 07
The Rig: Season 1 (Anytime / Prime Video)
Workers on an oil rig off the coast of Scotland are about to take a break: when the time comes for them to return back to land, the oil rig becomes engulfed by a supernatural mist. Will they make it back?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: WITHOUT SIN: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / CRAVE)
Explores the relationship which develops between a grieving mother and the man she believes murdered her daughter.
From ITVX the UK’s freshest streaming service (launched on December 8th) comes this classic super dark, super British limited series. Stella Tomlinson is a grieving mother. Her 14-year-old daughter Maisy was found dead thanks to Charles Stone. 3 years after that awful murder Restorative Justice contacts this numb mother and the father with a recording from Charles Stone saying he wants to atone for his sins…which…doesn’t include murdering their daughter?? It sounds straightforward but you won’t need 4 episodes for something so simple. Expect despair and drama. Programming Note: This will be a binge release; all four episodes of the miniseries drop on Friday, January 6 (just as they did back when the series aired in the UK on December 28th).
Sunday, January 08
Irreverent: Season 1 (9 p.m. / Showcase)
Canadian Broadcast Premiere (aired November 30, 2022 on Peacock): A criminal from Chicago is forced to hide in a small Australian reef town posing as the new church Reverend.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: GIULIANI: WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICA’S MAYOR? (9 P.M. / CNN)
Explores how a storied figure of American politics went from a crime-fighting prosecutor to a key player in President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s response to the September 11 attacks transcended partisan politics and transformed him into a national hero. Time magazine named Giuliani its Person of the Year for 2001 noting Giuliani’s public image prior to the attacks had been that of a rigid, self-righteous, ambitious politician. So the suggestions were always there but he how did he evolve from being “America’s Mayor” to joining Donald Trump’s legal team in 2018? This is what this four part docuseries will explore. Giuliani’s political journey is not quite as heroic as Notre Dame’s Rudy; who is still my favourite pop culture Rudy.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.