We got historical farts, spies in a cold war and a talking seashell…that can only mean it’s #SetTheVCR!
Monday, March 06
Perry Mason: Season 2 (Anytime / HBO Max & Crave)
Perry, Della, and Paul brace themselves for the murder trial of the century.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART II (ANYTIME / HULU & DISNEY+ CANADA)
A variety of sketches that take us through different periods of human history.
After waiting over 40 years…finally a sequel to the seminal Mel Brooks movie History of the World, Part I. You don’t need to watch the first one to understand the second one (I mean 40 years is a long time!). Basically these are goofy historical sketches brimming with actors you know well spouting Yiddish and farting throughout history. Exactly what you expect and demand from Mel Brooks. As Winston Churchill famously said: “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Unfortunately while Winston Churchill is a fantastic historical figure; he said this before Mel Brooks another remarkable historical figure…added copious puking to history’s greatest moments. Programming Note: This premieres Monday, March 6 with two episodes. Two new episodes will drop daily, with the finale on Thursday, March 9.
Tuesday, March 07
Jared From Subway: Catching A Monster (Anytime / Discovery+)
The shocking, previously untold story of the investigation that exposed the monster insidiously lurking behind Fogle’s charming persona and how his true nature as a child sex predator was finally revealed.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: ICONS UNEARTHED: MARVEL (9 P.M. / VICE TV)
Each season of Icons Unearthed focuses on a different subject. Previous seasons covered Star Wars, The Simpsons, and Fast & Furious.
Some would say the Marvel Universe is a Vice. Vice TV’s documentary anthology series which previously covered Star Wars, The Simpsons and Fast & Furious is now exploring how the MCU came to be. Icons Unearthed: Marvel features exclusive interviews with talent from Hollywood and Marvel comics, including Clark Gregg, Todd McFarlane, J. Michael Straczynski, Charlie Wen, Margaret Loesch, Lou Ferrigno, Fred Raskin, Roger Corman, Shepherd Frankel, Bob Layton, Fernando Serzedelo, Val Mayerik, Oley Sassone, Maya Shimoguchi and more. This is Marvel’s origin story: with great characters comes the responsibility of great storytelling.
Wednesday, March 08
MH370: The Plane That Disappeared (Anytime / Netflix)
In 2014, a plane with 239 people aboard vanishes from all radar. This docuseries delves into one of our greatest modern mysteries: Flight MH370.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE JESUS MUSIC (ANYTIME / HULU)
This documentary reveals Jesus Music’s untold story – from its humble beginnings at the Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California through its transformation into the multi-billion-dollar industry of Christian Contemporary Music today.
Music is the most universally experience we have as humans. Anybody who has been to a large concert be it U2 or Coldplay or Radiohead etc. knows how special that is: 20K plus people agree on 1 thing. That’s why one of my consistent #SetTheVCR themes is recommending unique music docs. You don’t need to be a believer to push play on a documentary called The Jesus Music. I have “faith” you’ve heard a number of these songs before from Amy Grant, Kirk Franklin and especially Lauren Daigle. And I “hope” you will discover new music as the cultural phenomenon of contemporary Christian music is explored. Good music is a “miracle” that enriches your life; regardless of genre. Genres are mainly designed for marketing; they don’t move the soul.
Thursday, March 09
School Spirits: Season 1 (Anytime / Paramount+)
Centered around Maddie, a teen stuck in the afterlife investigating her own mysterious disappearance. Maddie goes on a crime-solving journey as she adjusts to high school purgatory, but the closer she gets to discovering the truth, the more secrets and lies she uncovers. A weekly release for 8 episodes.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: YOU: SEASON 4 – PART 2 (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Starting anew in London, Joe vows to bury the past and be his best self. But on the rocky road to redemption, a new obsession starts to take hold.
I appreciate the British tagline for Joe’s killer UK adventures: “Bloody hell breaks loose.” Wealthy socialites are dying, Joe Goldberg’s new identity is threatened and a killer is running for Mayor of London? “You” know how it all goes by now.
Friday, March 10
The New York Times Presents: Sin Eater (10 p.m. / FX)
A two-part series on Hollywood’s dirtiest P.I. uses never-before-heard recordings to reveal the extraordinary methods Anthony Pellicano employed to hide the sins of celebrities and their lawyers when they thought no one was looking.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO-CANADA)
Feature adaptation of the animated short film interviewing a mollusk named Marcel.
In the early days of the World Wide Web what went viral wasn’t corny TikTok diatribes recorded in a car. Rather creativity and craft happily went viral. A Star Wars parody of COPS using stormtroopers; Troops was outstanding. And equally fun was Marcel the Shell with Shoes On a stop-motion animated mockumentary short. Marcel (voiced by Jenny Slate), a seashell outfitted with a single googly eye, shoes and operating in a world of giants…well us. Originally released in 2010 through 2014 on YouTube the online success lead to tie-in storybooks and to a feature film which is what this is. Marcel is about to leave his home and discover how big the world is…and yet how beautiful it is too. This is the heartwarming story of the little shell who could. It’s the epic adventure of a hero in a half shell who has real heart.
Saturday, March 11
Most Dangerous Game: New York (Anytime / The Roku Channel)
Victor, a down-on-his-luck fighter, will do anything to protect his sister – and when he learns she’s in trouble – he springs into action. Needing to come up with a half a million dollars to protect her – he agrees to participate in a deadly game – to be hunted through the mean streets of New York for 24 hours by five of the most experienced hunters in the world.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: HISTORY OF THE SITCOM: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / CBC GEM)
A docuseries that examines how sitcoms have evolved to reflect the changing face of American families.
Ready for this? “History of the Sitcom reunites audiences with the television friends, families, and co-workers they grew up with while introducing cutting-edge comedies that are sure to be your next binge-watch. The eight-part docuseries features over 180 original interviews with sitcom icons including Norman Lear, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Kim Fields, Tim Allen, Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, George Lopez, Mel Brooks, Isabella Gomez, Ted Danson, Joey Soloway, Jimmie Walker, Judd Apatow, Dan Levy, Zooey Deschanel, Chuck Lorre, Mara Brock Akil, Helen Hunt and many more, breaking down how sitcoms have helped generations of Americans navigate an ever-shifting cultural landscape.” Whew. Sitcoms have fallen out of fashion; while still made and still a popular format they’re often not “Must See TV.” However this docuseries is Must See TV.
Sunday, March 12
Just a Boy from Tupelo: Bringing Elvis to the Big Screen (Anytime / HBO Max)
A 30-minute HBO exclusive special on the phenomenon that was Elvis Presley and the making of Baz Luhrmann’s award winning film.adds
SAMMY SUGGESTION: A SPY AMONG FRIENDS: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / MGM+)
Dramatizes the true story of Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby, two British spies and lifelong friends.
This is the true story of Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby, two British spies and lifelong friends. Sadly neither of them are 007 as this is set during the Cold War. Even worse: Kim Philby was reveled to be a defector and Soviet double agent. What? (There’s no spoiler alert…this all happened. Kim Philby died in 1988; in 1967 he gave an interview where he revealed his purpose in life was to destroy imperialism. Umm, okay.) I can’t even imagine the shock and British embarrassment to know one of their own was a member of the Cambridge Five, a spy ring which had divulged British secrets to the Soviets during World War II and the Cold War, So much for “Intelligence.” Programming Note: This has been on Prime Video-Canada since mid-February.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.