When you look into the Black Mirror you see this week’s #SetTheVCR recommendations.
Monday, June 12
NBA Finals 2023 – Game 5 (8:30 p.m. / ABC)
On June 4 The Heat won Game 2 in Denver triggering a Game 5. So here we are! But this should be it…right?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: BUMBLEBEE (ANYTIME / PARAMOUNT+ CANADA)
On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. On the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, Charlie Watson discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.
The next (7th) installment will be Transformers: Rise of the Beasts out now. (The teaser is MCU massive!!!) This sixth installment in the Transformers live-action film series (released on December 21, 2018), serves as a spin-off and prequel to the 2007 Michael Bay movie. Plus it’s set in the 80s a glorious decade for the Transformers. So you may as well “Bumble” into a new TV week with this More than Meets the Eye blockbuster.
Tuesday, June 13
Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact (Anytime / Netflix)
Amy Schumer’s third Netflix comedy special following 2017’s The Leather Special and 2019’s Growing. Shot at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles and directed by Amy Schumer.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: 30 FOR 30: THE LUCKIEST GUY IN THE WORLD (8 P.M. / ESPN)
Directed by Steve James, the four-part series tells the colorful story of a true sports original: iconic basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton.
Parts 3 and 4 tonight! If you don’t know who he is; I dunno how to explain Bill Walton to you. Yes he’s a popular NBA player: first overall pick in the 1974 draft. In 1978 he was the league’s MVP and won a championship with the Portland Trail Blazers. Look you can Google those stats or YouTube highlights of his game. But to give you a sense of how his NBA documentary differs from other ones I recommend in this space…Grateful Dead band member Bobby Weir shares how his friendship with the band’s tallest fan formed. There’s not many 30 for 30s where the Grateful Dead randomly show up. Programming Note: 8pm is Part 3, Part 4 is 9 pm both on ESPN. Parts 1 and 2 aired last week on June 6 at ESPN. Also? If you dig NBA big men keep an eye out for Goliath a Wilt Chamberlain 3-part docuseries airing on Showtime on Friday, July 14. Trailer should be dropping soon; no doubt that’ll be a Sammy Suggestion next month.
Wednesday, June 14
Marvel Studios’ Assembled: The Making of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (Anytime / Disney+)
Join cast and crew as they delve deep into the creation of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. (Also on Disney+ today is Legends: Secret Invasion: 5 episodes that’ll recap key Secret Invasion characters as they journey through the MCU.)
SAMMY SUGGESTION: A MAN CALLED OTTO (ANYTIME / CRAVE)
A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, and shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.
Oh. I thought this was going to be a documentary about Doctor Octopus (Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius), also known as Doc Ock. Turns out? It is a remake of the 2015 Swedish film A Man Called Ove, which was based on the 2012 novel by Fredrik Backman. Well okay then. Tom Hanks though. And he’s all Oscar the Grouch. So I included it here rather than let it be another VCR Cast Away.
Thursday, June 15
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: Season 2 (Anytime / Paramount+)
Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock and Number One explore new worlds around the galaxy on the U.S.S. Enterprise.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: BLACK MIRROR: SEASON 6 (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Twisted tales that span eras – and terrors – deliver a myriad of surprises in this game-changing anthology series’ most unpredictable season yet.
The sixth season of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror returns with 5 new stories of tech produced fear-pee. We got: Joan is Awful (An average woman is stunned to discover a global streaming platform has launched a prestige TV drama adaptation of her life — in which she is portrayed by Hollywood A-lister Salma Hayek.) Then: Loch Henry (A young couple travel to a sleepy Scottish town to start work on a genteel nature documentary – but find themselves drawn to a juicy local story involving shocking events of the past.). Beyond the Sea (In an alternative 1969, two men on a perilous high-tech mission wrestle with the consequences of an unimaginable tragedy.) Mazey Day (A troubled starlet is dogged by invasive paparazzi while dealing with the consequences of a hit-and-run incident.) Finally: Demon 79 (Northern England, 1979. A meek sales assistant is told she must commit terrible acts to prevent disaster.) So do you dare look into the Black Mirror? What reflection do you think you’ll see?
Friday, June 16
Billie is plagued by blackouts and strange visions that lead her to discover she’s stuck in a series of time loops, possibly related to her mysterious new girlfriend. Another time loop movie!
SAMMY SUGGESTION: STAN LEE (ANYTIME / DISNEY+)
Tracing his life from his upbringing in New York as Stanley Lieber to the rise of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee tells the story of Stan Lee’s life, career, and legacy using his own words and personal archival material.
We lost Stan Lee in 2018. So it’s been a few years since we’ve had a classic MCU cameo. Yes “Stan Lee” is a fan-service documentary (tis a Marvel Studios production). I saw this at Tribeca and can confirm it’s well-made. For mighty Marvel fans, there’s little fresh revelations. You know the origin story by now: Stan Lee was the Uncle Ben of Marvel comics. But what he created with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko…so many collaborators remains special. They crafted distinction. Hard to believe but there was a time that Superman did not know who Batman was. Lee said yo let’s make everybody be pals. Little decisions like that proved to be seismic comic book shifts. That’s the rich soil of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s Lee’s work. And why everything works so well over the past 30 odd movies. Excelsior!
Saturday, June 17
Magic Mike’s Last Dance (Anytime / HBO Max)
Mike takes to the stage again, following a business deal that went bust, leaving him broke and taking bartender gigs in Florida. Mike heads to London with a wealthy socialite who lures him with an offer he can’t refuse.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: EXTRACTION 2 (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
After barely surviving his grievous wounds from his mission in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tyler Rake is back, and his team is ready to take on their next mission.
In May 2020 Netflix commissioned a sequel to Extraction which aired in April 2020. Chris Hemsworth returns as Tyler Rake; his latest non-MCU comic book movie. The first movie was based on the graphic novel Ciudad by Ande Parks and produced by the Russo Brothers. The Man in the Suit offers Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake an irresistible (but not Impossible!) mission. This sounds more personal, though not as personal as John Wick’s dynamic business. Are you excited for this franchise?
Sunday, June 18
Examines some of the biggest social media crises of all time to highlight the negative aspects of influencer culture.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: LOOK INTO MY EYES (ANYTIME / AMC+ & SUNDANCE TV)
Three teenagers die in a mysterious way after being hypnotized by their principal.
In the mood for some True Crime? This four-part docuseries examines the mysterious deaths of three teenagers who at one point were hypnotized by their principal. Yup. You read that sentence correctly. Look Into My Eyes: how can you read that and not have like 100 questions?! Not your classic True Crime but still super creepy. Exactly what you expect from Blumhouse Television only this is real life.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.