Who is gonna watch TV this week? Who is gonna see new Doctor Who? Who is excited Who is back and so is #SetTheVCR with many outstanding TV recommendations for Whoever wants em.
Monday, November 20
Periodical (Anytime / Peacock)
Periodical is an eye-opening documentary that examines science, politics, and mystery of the menstrual cycle, through the experiences of doctors, athletes, movie stars, journalists, activists, and everyday people.
An alien scarab chooses Jaime Reyes to be its symbiotic host, bestowing the recent college graduate with a suit of armor that’s capable of extraordinary powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero known as Blue Beetle.
I’m surprised Blue Beetle struggled so much. It’s the lowest-grossing movie in the DCEU: as of November 2, 2023, Blue Beetle has grossed $72.5 million in the United States. So this Beetle is in the red; I can see why he’s Blue. I figured Warner Bros. had done a better job of the cultural experience marketing. I was incorrect. (Still not as great or as grand as Disney’s con-job pimping Black Panther! That remains a marketing master class.) Maybe there’s only so much marketing they can do for a generic DC Comics character? This is Jaime Reyes who first appearance was in Infinite Crisis #3 (February 2006). His New 52 series was decent…only lasted 16 issues though. I haven’t read much else. However we’re stuck with Jaime Reyes who is expected to surface in James Gunn’s upcoming DCU. What about Ted Kord, yo? You can’t have Blue & Gold with Reyes. Gunn’s DCU kicks off with Superman: Legacy on July 11, 2025. So we watch while we wait. (I’m fully aware when I refer to Blue Beetle as the final DCEU movie that isn’t true. See for me it is the last DCEU movie. I ain’t sitting through Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom which opens on December 22.)
Tuesday, November 21
The Lazarus Project: Season 2 (Showcase / 9 p.m.)
The British sci-fi series comes to Canada today: George wakes up one morning and discovers the calendar has been rewound six months, but neither his girlfriend Sarah nor anyone else seems to notice. George has inadvertently stumbled across The Lazarus Project, and as their newest agent, he now lives and works in a world with continuous apocalyptic threats, and faces a life-changing experience. (This has been on Sky TV in the UK since November 15.)
SAMMY SUGGESTION: BYE BYE BARRY (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
The definitive story of Barry Sanders’ Hall-of-Fame career and his extraordinary decision to walk away from the game in the prime of his career.
I dunno if I can watch this without sobbing. Barry Sanders was magic. In the NBA Kevin Garnett understood he hadda leave the Timberwolves if he wanted to win. To stay was death; to leave was life. (That’s not being overly dramatic…you can tell at the start of every NBA season which team is sadly not gonna go anywhere. If you have a hunger do you really wanna keep being eliminated in the first or second round?! It’s telling how many NBA players will switch teams but consistently remain signed to Nike. Know when to be loyal and know when not to be.) Like Garnett, Barry Sanders is an avatar of how loyalty compromises winning. In the ’90s Detroit sports was utter magic. Save the Lions. What a tragic waste of greatness. I still cannot understand how…how the Detroit Lions had Barry Sanders and couldn’t build around him. Like how do you waste that?! This is the story about the heart of a Lion.
Wednesday, November 22
Good Burger 2 (Anytime / Paramount+)
Who Asked For This?! Here’s a sequel to the 1997 movie Good Burger. Streamers are in an IP race and the nuclear option is nostalgia.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MIKE BIRBIGLIA: THE OLD MAN AND THE POOL (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
The show takes on life’s big questions: why are we here? What’s next? Exactly how much chlorine are they putting in the YMCA pool?
This marks the comedian’s fifth Netflix special. But this Broadway Show isn’t like…stand up comedy on the rocks. It’s stand up comedy and one man show in one delicious food. Mike Birbiglia cannonballs into mortality, medical tests, nature’s pillows and an overchlorinated YMCA pool in his typically candid style. If you know Mike Birbiglia (and can pronounce his last name) you’re excited. If you don’t know who Mike Birbiglia (and like me can’t pronounce his last name) you should check it out.
Thursday, November 23
Leo (Anytime / Netflix)
Adam Sandler’s latest is animated sarcasm: A 74-year-old lizard named Leo and his turtle friend decide to escape from the terrarium of a Florida school classroom where they have been living for decades. Sounds 100% Fresh already.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: GENIE (ANYTIME / PEACOCK)
A holiday fairytale comedy about a genie, a man, and landing one last chance to fix the mess you’ve made of your life.
Fine a Christmas movie. I hope this is more Elf than like say It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s no Die Hard that’s for sure…Die Hard remains the best Christmas movie of all time. Anyways this time Melissa McCarthy is the Superintelligence and she’s dressed to The Nines as a real life Genie. Which makes Paapa Essiedu the weenie. This Genie is the Life of the Party who brings Heat to the weenie’s life. Only nobody is sure who The Boss is and Life as We Know It is getting as strange as praying to St. Vincent. This movie is an Identity Thief; it’s a remake of Richard Curtis’ 1991 BBC television film Bernard and the Genie. No Pumpkin sticker for you if you saw it. Or watch this. I know I treat Christmas movies like Bridesmaids but if require a Back-up Plan for your TV viewing here ya go. Can You Ever Forgive Me? I’ma go into The Kitchen for a snack now, I feel so dirty.
Friday, November 24
On the brink of losing her home, Maddie finds an intriguing job listing: helicopter parents looking for someone to bring their introverted 19-year-old son out of his shell before college. She has one summer to make him a man or die trying.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE CHOICE IS YOURS (ANYTIME / PARAMOUNT+)
The documentary is the story of rapper and artist Dres, part of the legendary 90’s hip hop duo Black Sheep, and his incredible journey from being on top of the game to struggling with civilian life and staring down the barrel of his last chance at success.
One of my all time favourite rap lyrics: “Hold your cup, cause I got the container.” Poetry, truly. Though truly and really Black Sheep’s The Choice is Yours is brimming with incredible lines. Verily Black Sheep’s A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (released on October 22, 1991) was an instant hip hop classic. It’s still better than a huge chunk of rap made today. Easily. So to have Dres and J Dilla in one doc? I’m 100% IN. Dres was gifted a hard drive of unreleased Dilla beats and is now tasked with crafting the next Dilla record. The Choice Is Yours…do you stay and earn scorn or do you rise to this incredible challenge and fashion yet another instant hip hop classic. Is that even possible? I’ve made my choice I am so watching this with a cup of tea,
Saturday, November 25
Bottoms (Anytime / Prime Video-Canada)
Two unpopular queer high school students start a fight club to have sex before graduation.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: DOCTOR WHO: THE STAR BEAST (ANYTIME / DISNEY+ & BBC IPLAYER)
The first of 3 specials find the Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor from 2005-10) reuniting with Donna as they battle the Toymaker.
Yo…this looks good. I’ve missed Doctor Who so much. Russell T. Davies is returning as showrunner for the specials and wrote all three installments. I’m 100% IN for Davies and Tennant. (Can we get score some sweet Moffat and Matt Smith Who, too?! That era was gold, yo.) (I’m 100% OUT for Ncuti Gatwa. Hard Pass.) I’m not sure how or why David Tennant is back as the official 14th Doctor but shall we Allons-Y to Disney+ and find out together? Programming Note: The next 2023 Doctor Who Special is Wild Blue Yonder streaming on December 2nd. December 9th brings The Giggle. Outstanding way to end 2023.
Sunday, November 26
Hypnotic (Anytime / Prime Video-Canada)
A detective investigates a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program. Eh: it’s Ben Affleck.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: OBITUARY: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / HULU)
A small-town obituarist resorts to murder when work dries up locally.
Classic 80s tagline: “To live, she writes. To write, she kills.” Okay you got my attention. “Elvira Clancy relishes using ever more crafty methods to kill off the town’s unpleasant residents while making them look like accidents. Stalk. Kill. Publish. Repeat.” Yup I’m in. Did I mention this is a comedy yet? So of course if she’s writing up obituaries via murder then it stands to reason the newspaper would hire a suspicious new crime correspondent. Ha. Kinda hard to murder a crime beat reporter isn’t it? Programming Note: This is a binge release. All six episodes of Obituary are now streaming.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.