It’s (American) Thanksgiving so this week’s #SetTheVCR celebrates the Land of Hope and Dreams while giving you an Opportunity to Smile.
Monday, November 21
Where the Crawdads Sing (Anytime / Prime Video Canada)
A woman who raised herself in the marshes of the Deep South becomes a suspect in the murder of a man with whom she was once involved. Programming Note: This is streaming on Netflix in America as well.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SMILE (ANYTIME / PARAMOUNT+)
After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
Some scary news that’ll make you Smile…the recent horror movie directed by Parker Finn is now streaming on Paramount+.
Tuesday, November 22
Sports Talk (Anytime / Prime Video – US)
Sports Talk is a new programming block will feature seven shows, spanning 12 hours of live (live Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.) daily sports-talk programming. So like ESPN?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE: INTO CURSED WATERS (10 P.M. / HISTORY CHANNEL)
The docuseries follows the team as they attempt to identify wrecks found within the Bermuda Triangle – a hotbed for unexplained disappearances dating back hundreds of years.
The first episode of 1899 on Netflix featured a triangle in almost every single scene. That doomed ship kept me circling back to growing up in the 80s and the unresolved terror of The Bermuda Triangle. So the timing of this History docuseries is fantastic. Check this out: this 6 part docuseries “follows an elite team of underwater detectives anchored by underwater explorer and marine biologist Mike Barnette…” Yo: underwater detectives. I’m in. Combine that with my uneasy feelings about The Bermuda Triangle and this might be more therapy than television. What sinister power lurks within…The Bermuda Triangle?
Wednesday, November 23
Wednesday: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)
Follows Wednesday Addams’ years as a student, when she attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart and solve the mystery that embroiled her parents.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SHAQ: DOCUSERIES (9 P.M. / HBO MAX & CRAVE)
Detailing the life and career of NBA Hall of Famer and multi-hyphenate Shaquille O’Neal.
A big man gets a big docuseries: this 4 part docuseries on well Shaq will air every subsequent Wednesday. The docuseries features new interviews with the following basketball folks: Penny Hardaway, Dwyane Wade, Dennis Scott, Brian Shaw, Derek Fisher and Rick Fox; his head coaches Phil Jackson and Pat Riley; and former Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Jerry West. (But sadly, no Kobe, of course.) This pairs well with Hulu’s recent docuseries Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers. Shaq’s Last Dance starts tonight and runs until Wednesday December 7; same Shaq time; same Shaq channels.
Thursday, November 24
Love, Lizzo (Anytime / HBO Max & Crave)
The documentary shares the inspirational story behind her humble beginnings to her meteoric rise with an intimate look into the moments that shaped her hard-earned rise to fame, success, love and international stardom.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: GOOD NIGHT OPPY (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
The documentary follows Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rover affectionately dubbed Oppy by her creators and scientists at NASA. Oppy was originally expected to live for only 90 days but she ultimately explored Mars for nearly 15 years.
WALL-E but like in real life. Opportunity is a Mars rover; sent to the Red Planet on a 90-day mission but ended up surviving for 15 years. That’s so…lonely. (Unless there really are aliens on Mars…) Space exploration is one of the greatest things we do as humans. It takes will and science and engineering and science-fiction and dreams to make this outer space magic happen. For most of the history of humans we’ve always looked up at the stars and questioned their existence…while questioning ours. And…sometimes we questioned if it’s just us out here. This is a rare “Opportunity” to “roll” with Mars. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday night.
Friday, November 25
Jeff Dunham: Me The People (8:00 p.m. / Comedy Central)
Hang out with Jeff Dunham (and friends?) as he tackles how much time we dedicate to our devices, the things we spend money on and cancel culture.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY HOLIDAY SPECIAL (ANYTIME / DISNEY+)
Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket, Mantis, and Groot engage in some spirited shenanigans.
This better count as Christmas cheer so y’all get off my back! After this it’s all Lethal Weapon and Die Hard; maybe Elf. This Marvel special is goofy fun. Plus, Bacon…is always good. (Food 100%, actor mostly 100%) And thus concludes James Gunn’s Marvel work as he takes over as the face of DC Films. A moment of silence. I wonder if Warner Bros. lured him to work on DC Comics film projects with this pitch: “Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…”
Saturday, November 26
Everything Everywhere All At Once (Anytime / Prime Video Canada)
An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, in which she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: TREVOR NOAH: I WISH YOU WOULD (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
True to form, Trevor hilariously shares revelations about learning to speak German, modern communication, and his love for curry.
Trevor Noah’s final episode on The Daily Show is set for Thursday, December 8. For now you can enjoy his third Netflix comedy special. And this one was filmed; here: at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Other than Russell Peters which is an obvious choice; how rare is that…for a major comedy special filmed in Toronto?? So if you know how your friends sound when they laugh listen for them.
Sunday, November 27
Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock – Night of the Lights (Anytime / Apple TV+)
It’s the Night of the Lights, the most Fraggily holiday of the year, and the Rock is filled with songs and cheer. When Jamdolin encourages Wembley to make a special wish, the Fraggles head out on an adventure to find the brightest light and, maybe, the true meaning of the holiday. Whatever.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE HOWARD STERN INTERVIEW: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (10 P.M. / HBO MAX)
The interview features over two hours of intimate, in-depth conversation between Howard Stern and Bruce Springsteen, taking a candid look at Springsteen’s musical, professional and personal journey.
Howard Stern in conversation with Bruce Springsteen was stunning. I listened to this on SiriusXM back on Halloween when it first aired. (Stern also conducted a fantastic interview with Conan O’Brien on November 8 to promote launch of Team Coco Radio on SiriusXM. I recommend both as well: Stern with Conan and Team Coco Radio which is now streaming. It’s really good; super funny. It’s…you know Conan O’Brien.) Anyways back to Bruce. Look you need a solid rock veteran who can pull off a deft Bruce interview. Bruce is a hard interview, yet Stern killed it. Bruce can’t go on some schlub’s podcast; being a #1 fan isn’t enough. There’s a skill to producing a remarkable interview and only a few top shelf individuals can do it well. There’s 450 players in the NBA yet we only talk about 20 or maybe 30 of them for a reason. So I’m ecstatic this is being streamed on HBO Max. More people need to chill with this unique experience; make a strong tea and enjoy this slowly. I’m clearly thankful for all this.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.
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