This week prepare: TV & #SetTheVCR are taking it to the #Max. If you’re SmartLess about what to watch – perhaps your week has gone all #FUBAR – then you’ll enjoy all these suggestions and puns so much Moore.
Monday, May 22
Fanny: The Right to Rock (10 p.m. / PBS)
Reveals the untold story of a Filipina American garage band that morphed into the ferocious rock group Fanny, who almost became the female Beatles. Features Bonnie Raitt, Joe Elliott.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: ALL THE STREETS ARE SILENT (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO-CANADA)
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, skateboarding and hip-hop culture collide in downtown Manhattan. Archival footage from the era showcases the fusion of these two forms of expression.
You’ll want to Kick, Push this TV recommendation. All the Streets Are Silent a documentary from director Jeremy Elkin is a portrait of time 1987-1997, capturing the transformative moment when hip hop and skateboarding culture converged in New York. We got Stretch Armstrong, Fab 5 Freddy, Rosario Dawson, DMC, DJ Clark Kent and so much more in this unique doc. Another excellent way to celebrate Hip Hop’s 50th birthday. I know basketball has taken over as a core element of hip hop but skateboarding as a side culture has always been there. It’s freshtastic it gets recognized with this doc.
Tuesday, May 23
HBO Max is becoming Max — The One To Watch for all of HBO, hit series, movies, reality, and more. Yeah; I think it’s lame too. The TV version of Coke II. #StreamOnMax
JB Perrette, president and CEO of global streaming and games for Warner Bros. Discovery, explained the thinking behind the rebranding: “And we just felt like, HBO was sort of not necessary. We had Max, which was short, tight. Says something universal. Yes, the risk was ultimately that it’s sort of maybe less ownable because it’s a common word. But the flip side is that also made it very approachable and very easy. And when frankly, we found ourselves talking about the service, the shorthand was always ‘Max.’ We never said even ‘HBO’; we would just say, ‘It’s on Max.’”
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SMARTLESS: ON THE ROAD (ANYTIME / HBO MAX)
Follows the North American tour Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnet did for their Podcast project SmartLess.
On July 20, 2020 SmartLess a podcast hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett released its first episode. The premise is sarcastic and fun. One of the hosts reveals a mystery guest to the other two hosts and then a conversation unfolds. This six-part docuseries provides intimate access of the three famous friends as they travel through Boston, Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Madison, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles talking to famous people like Conan O’Brien, Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart and others. You know everybody in this; if you don’t then you are SmartLess.
Wednesday, May 24
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Anytime / Paramount+)
A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people in this hilarious and action-packed adventure. Let the Satanic Panic begin!
The DCU movie continues the story of teenage Billy Batson who, upon reciting the magic word “SHAZAM!” is transformed into his adult Super Hero alter ego, Shazam
Names have power! “So remember: Call Mr. Plow. That’s my name. That name again is Mr. Plow.” Oh wait, Shazam…the 12th installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The DCEU concludes on December 20, 2023 with the release of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. And the James Gunn run DC Universe (DCU) kicks off with The Flash on June 16, 2023. It’s not clear how this Shazam sequel flows into The Flash but you got under a month before Flash premieres so you may as well watch; otherwise you’ll face the Fury of the Gods!
Thursday, May 25
Bupkis: Season 1 (9 p.m. / Showcase)
The Peacock sitcom that follows Pete Davidson as he attempts to work through unique family dynamics and the complexities of fame to form meaningful relationships is now broadcast in Canada.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: WANDA SYKES: I’M AN ENTERTAINER (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
The comedy icon sounds off on parenting with her French wife, the perils of public bathrooms and why she’s tired of going high when others go low.
Comedy on Netflix gets back on track with Wanda Sykes. This trailer is already gold closing with the witty line/observation: “Renaissance fairs…what the fuck is that?” Amazing. Her 2019 comedy special Not Normal is still on Netflix. Need to re-watch that; only watched it once. For now I’m Sykes-ed for her new comedy special.
Friday, May 26
Blood & Gold (Anytime / Netflix)
At the bitter end of WWII, a German deserter and a young woman are drawn into bloody battle with a group of Nazis hunting for hidden gold.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: FUBAR: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
According to Netflix PR: Heroes don’t retire. They reload.
Bruce Willis has retired. Sylvester Stallone is doing TV shows (plural) so is Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford. Man and now…to that sad list add Arnold doing TV. We all got old. Fubar is Arnold…whatever. I guess there comes a time when the knees hurt too much running to the choppa. Still glad all these 80s action stars are all “sticking around” though. Watch this if you must; but know: Arnold a three-part Last Dance airs on Netflix on June 7. Directed by Lesley Chilcott that I cannot wait for. That’s the Arnold I know and treasure. I’ll Be Back to Netflix for that.
Saturday, May 27
Sarah Silverman: Someone You Love (Anytime / HBO Max)
Her first HBO comedy special since 2013’s Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles. Filmed at The Wilbur Theater in Boston and directed by Jonathan Krisel.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: PLATONIC: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / APPLE TV+)
Platonic former best friends approaching midlife reconnect after a long rift; the duo’s friendship becomes more consuming and destabilizes their lives.
A classic When Harry Met Sally line: “What I’m saying is – and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form – is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way. Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.” And…if they don’t want to have sex with you? Harry Burns has thought this through: “Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.” And as you can tell from the title that’s the premise of Platonic. Just replace Billy Crystal with Seth Rogen and Meg Ryan with Rose Byrne and it’s Season 1, not a movie: 10 episodes in total. Programming Note: Premeries with the first 3 episodes, followed by new episodes weekly, every Wednesday.
Sunday, May 28
What Am I Eating? with Zooey Deschanel (Anytime / HBO Max)
Zooey Deschanel is on a mission to solve everyday food dilemmas by asking the tough questions we all have about what we eat. In the supermarket and in our own kitchens, Zooey explores common food mysteries and reveals the shocking truths big food manufacturers want to hide as she uncovers simple solutions to the question, “What am I eating?”
Mary Tyler Moore gets a Last Dance: the film chronicles the screen icon whose storied career spanned sixty years.
I know the art but not the artist. Mary Tyler Moore was fantastic in the Mary Tyler Moore show. And of course before than the The Dick Van Dyke Show. (I’m not that old…I just never realized how much reruns I consumed in the 80s in between A-Team episodes.) So saying she’s good is an ordinary and bland position to hold. But who was Mary Tyler Moore? Well: Rob Reiner, Jim Burrows, Ed Asner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Phylicia Rashad, James L. Brooks, Norman Lear and Moore’s husband, Dr. S. Robert Levine are here to tell me who Mary was. I’m excited for this documentary. I hope it introduces me to a talented creator and leaves me wanting Moore.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.