Need some TV recommendations while you laze by the pool and enjoy the Summer? From Good Omens to Twisted Metal…this week’s #SetTheVCR has TV covered from Soup to Nuts.
Monday, July 24
Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine (Anytime / Netflix)
The James Webb Telescope stirs imaginations with vivid photos of distant galaxies. This documentary tracks its historic journey from inception to launch.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: FUTURAMA: SEASON 11 (ANYTIME / HULU & DISNEY+ CANADA)
After a brief ten-year hiatus, Futurama has crawled triumphantly from the cryogenic tube, its full original cast and satirical spirit intact.
An applicable quote from Futurama: Godfellas episode that was broadcast on Fox on March 17, 2002. Philip J. Fry says: “You can’t give up hope just because it’s hopeless. You have to hope even harder, cover your ears, and go “blah blah blah blah blah!” Which pretty sums up how we got here. Futurama erratically aired on Fox from March 28, 1999 to August 10, 2003. Then Fox said no more. Just like professional slacker Philip J. Fry, the show was cryogenically preserved and revived on March 23, 2008 on Comedy Central and ran until September 4, 2013. Then once again just like Dr. Zoidberg the cartoon was homeless and penniless, living in the dumpster behind Planet Express. Now in 2023 Planet Express an interplanetary delivery company is once again shipping new episodes which is great news everybody! Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth founded Planet Express Inc. to fund his work as a mad scientist. So that’ll continue as well as Bender’s cussing and drinking. Will this outstanding TV show from Simpsons creator Matt Groening finally…finally catch on? If the Simpsons roasts America; Futurama mocks society.
Tuesday, July 25
Jim Gaffigan: Dark Pale (Anytime /Prime Video)
Gaffigan’s third Amazon comedy special covers well…his kids. I bet there’s jokes about food too.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MARK NORMAND: SOUP TO NUTS (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Mark Normand’s first one-hour Netflix special, filmed at Chicago’s famed The Vic Theatre.
As it’s appropriately titled, Mark makes insightful comedic observations on everything from Soup to Nuts. Do you know Mark? He’s super dry, been on Conan a bunch of times when Conan was on TV and his recent special (also food named!) is Out to Lunch. S’on YouTube so you can check that out to get a sense of his comedy. I’m estactic he’s on Netflix and going to connect with a wider audience. Sit back, you’re gonna enjoy this. Well…unless you’re allgeric to nuts.
Wednesday, July 26
The Hardy Boys: Complete Third and Final Season (Anytime / Hulu)
When Frank and Joe Hardy receive mysterious posthumous instructions from their grandmother, they find themselves on the hunt for a third powerful relic – the same one their Great Grandfather was after. However, they aren’t the only ones looking it…so the race is on to stop a power from being unleashed on the world! Programming Note: For Americans this is a binge drop. For Canadians they’ll hafta watch all 8 episodes weekly starting on July 31st at 8 p.m. on YTV.
A 2018 fatal shark attack on a boogie boarder in the town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts rocked visitors and residents in the idyllic summer community of Cape Cod, forcing them to respond to the encroachment of apex predators.
Weddings are boring because they’re anticlimactic. Marriages though; that’s exciting…you gotta figure it, adjust to a new reality and build a new life going forward. What you used to do; no longer applies. It’s the same parallel as mass shootings. How do you move forward? How do you built a new life? We’ve seen some of that emotional exploration in documentary form. So that’s why After The Bite is interesting. How do you move forward after a fatal shark attack in 2018? Do you have a smart mayor or the mayor from Jaws? How does a community of humans interact with the wildlife whose environment is being impacted by the community of humans? This shark problem should be attacked with intelligence. Programming Note: Check out Sharksploitation currently streaming on Shudder. Jaws is celebrating its 48th anniversary this summer and among that blockbuster’s achievements is the creation of the shark attack subgenre. This documentary explores our Deep Blue See fascination with shark attacks from the deadly serious to…well whatever Sharknado is. It’s a pop culture documentary on shark attacks because…this time it’s personal.
Thursday, July 27
The Witcher: Season 3 – Volume 2 (Netflix)
Destiny brought them together. Dangerous forces are trying to tear them apart. Geralt and Yennefer fight to keep Ciri safe as war brews on the Continent.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: TWISTED METAL: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / PEACOCK)
A motor-mouthed outsider offered a chance at a better life, but only if he can successfully deliver a mysterious package across a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
This is a half-hour live-action TV series based on the classic PlayStation game series. I’ve never played Twisted Metal games so I dunno what to expect. The trailer has a Zombieland meets Mad Max feel to it. Anthony Mackie is your classic foul-mouthed outsider offered a chance at a better life. The Twist is…only if he can successfully deliver a mysterious package across a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Cue savage marauders (is there any other kind?). Oh and cue a deranged clown who drives an ice cream truck. So Zombieland meets Mad Max meets The Purge? Programming Note: This will be added to Paramount+ Canada on Thursday, August 10 for all Canadians.
Friday, July 28
Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. (Anytime / Crave)
In the aftermath of a huge scandal, Trinitie Childs, the first lady of a prominent Southern Baptist Mega Church, attempts to help her pastor-husband, Lee-Curtis Childs, rebuild their congregation.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: GOOD OMENS: SEASON 2 (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
The unlikely adventures of an angel and a demon continue in the entirely original six-episode season from co-creator Neil Gaiman.
Based on the 1990 novel Good Omens Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; Season 1 premiered on January 15, 2020. At the time it was conceived as a limited series. But it’s a miracle and we’ve been blessed with Season 2. Having thwarted the Apocalypse angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and demon Crowley (David Tennant) are living amongst mortals in London’s Soho. Of course co-showrunner Neil Gaiman is not going to allow them to live in peace. An unexpected messenger presents a surprising mystery. And we’re off…Praise God! Do you have faith in Season 2? Do you hope to watch this as soon as it drops on Prime Video?
Saturday, July 29
Heels: Season 2 (Anytime / Starz)
Season two brings fans back to the family-owned wrestling organization, Duffy Wrestling League (DWL), where brothers and rivals, Jack and Ace Spade, continue to fight over their late father’s legacy and their individual versions of success.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: TICKET TO PARADISE (ANYTIME / CRAVE)
A man and his ex-wife race to Bali, Indonesia, to stop their daughter from marrying a seaweed farmer. As they desperately try to sabotage the wedding, the bickering duo soon find themselves rekindling old feelings that once made them happy together.
This was added to Peacock mid-December last year. Might still be there, check. 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. Who do you enjoy more? George Clooney and Julia Roberts or Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore?
Sunday, July 30
Harley Quinn Season 4 (Anytime / HBO Max)
“Harlivy” strives to become the best version of themselves while also working towards Ivy’s long desired plan of transforming Gotham into an Eden paradise.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE BEANIE BUBBLE (ANYTIME / APPLE TV+)
Why did the world suddenly treat stuffed animals like gold? Ty Warner was a frustrated toy salesman until his collaboration with three women grew his masterstroke of an idea into the biggest toy craze in history.
2023 has given us biopics about a mobile phone, Nike shoes and a bomb. On May 12 we got BlackBerry the iconic mobile phone. This was after Air opened on March 18: it’s gotta be the shoes. And to that open list add…a biopic on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos streaming on Hulu in June. The same month we have Oppenheimer Nolan’s biopic about The Bomb. Now to that flourishing list you can add…a Beanie Babies biopic. A popular 90s fad Beanie Babies were limited releases, certain characters could retire and some characters were not widespread across many stores. That created scarcity, which increased demand and eventually a national craze in the US. This is the story of how we got here. And I assume how the bubble as all bubble do…burst.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.