More Doctor Who, more music docs, and a Thriller of a body-switch movie are your handy TV recommendations for this week. I mean what else can it be except #SetTheVCR.
Monday, November 27
The Doll Factory: Limited Series (Anytime / Paramount+)
A period thriller that follows the life of Iris, who paints dolls for a living alongside her twin sister. Iris then meets two men, Silas and Louis, where their lives become intertwined. As the series unfolds, dark, chilling truths are exposed.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: DOCTOR WHO COLLECTION (ANYTIME / TUBI)
First airing in 1963 on the BBC, Doctor Who centered around the humanoid alien Doctor and his companions, who traveled through time and space in the TARDIS, a time machine shaped like a British police box.
Tubi (Canada and America!) has added over 600 episodes of the classic Doctor Who series from the First Doctor (William Hartnell) and his black-and-white sci-fi adventures, through Tom Baker’s iconic stint as the Fourth Doctor, to the series’ conclusion in 1989, with the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). This is 1963-1989 Who and the core foundation of the Russell T. Davies revival in 2005. The current Who from Doctors Nine through present day…is layered with Easter Eggs, references, callbacks and retcons and more all directly pulled and related to this central core. If all you know is the current episodes it’s not enough. Go back and dive into the classics to absorb vital continuity. You don’t hafta read Action Comics #1 and everything after to understand Action Comics #1000. But there are key and vital moments and issues buried in the #1000 issues that should be consumed because they unlock depth and establish a stronger connection to the narrative and the characters. Doctor Who is celebrating 60 years…that doesn’t happen anymore. Stranger Things is not gonna be celebrating 60 years. Treasure and appreciate all the work of the crew and writers and actors who crafted a compelling foundation for this magnificent character. Programming Note: Doctor Who Revival…2005 to Doctor Twelve is on Prime Video Canada.
Tuesday, November 28
Blindsided (Anytime / HBO Max)
The latest CNN FlashDocs explores if the Sandra Bullock The Blind Side is fact…or fiction. Lies and truth. What’s the whole story?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SMILE (ANYTIME / NETFLIX-CANADA)
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 Netflix Canada. It’s the holidays shouldn’t you be Smile more?
Wednesday, November 29
Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of Loki Season 2 (Anytime / Disney+)
Through candid interviews with the creative minds behind the show, and exclusive on-set footage, discover how the talented team that powered Loki: Season 2 raised the stakes for this latest MCU adventure.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: AMERICAN SYMPHONY (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Documentary on musician Jon Batiste, who is tackling a new challenge of composing an original symphony.
Like most people I know Jon Batiste as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader. So what’s his story? Early reviews as this music doc has made the festival rounds indicate it’s “a sometimes joyful, sometimes somber celebration of spirit.” From building to Batiste’s performances at Carnegie Hall performance or at Grammy night 2022; to dealing with his partner (Suleika Jaouad) dealing with the return of her cancer this isn’t just a musical doc. Director Matthew Heineman weaves a rich American experience as this doc records the process of Batiste composing his first symphony. The best people who make music infuse each note with a story and a rich background. We often don’t have the full context so docs like are helpful for that always appreciated context.
Thursday, November 30
Obliterated: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)
An elite special forces team who thwarts a deadly threat to Las Vegas. After their celebratory party, filled with booze, drugs and sex, the team discovers that the bomb they deactivated was a fake. The now intoxicated team has to fight through their impairments, overcome their personal issues, find the real bomb, and save the world.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: FAMILY SWITCH (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
A family descends into chaos days before Christmas when a rare cosmic event causes the parents to swap bodies with their teenage kids.
A switch movie! This is one of my favourite movie genres. Though lately switch movies have struggled. So I’m grateful we can switch it up because this time the whole family body switches. Even the baby switches with the dog. Let’s go! The key to a solid switch movie is how they switch in the first place and how they go back. I’m sure there are vital lessons learned…walking in another person’s shoes or their bra but those are after-school emotions. I’m here for the magic!
Friday, December 01
Slow Horses: Season Three (Anytime / Apple TV+)
6 more episodes with Gary Oldman who stars as Jackson Lamb, the brilliant but misanthropic leader of the spies, who end up in Slough House due to their career-ending mistakes as they frequently find themselves blundering around the smoke and mirrors of the espionage world.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY (ANYTIME / DISNEY+)
Archaeologist Indiana Jones races against time to retrieve a legendary artifact that can change the course of history.
After an underwhelming theatrical release the final Indiana Jones movie comes to streaming today. Like, no guff! Of course this struggled at the box office. What did you think was gonna happen? The studio followed up a movie called The Last Crusade with the wretched The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. And now Harrison Ford is so old; he is the relic: Indiana Bones. Arnold should have never made any Terminators after T2. Same mistake here only after the third one. Get honest friends. Still here we are; let’s finish this because (ironically) Indiana Jones has been a major part of our history. Programming Note: Check out the accompanying special Timeless Heroes Indiana Jones & Harrison Ford also streaming today.
Saturday, December 02
The second of 3 specials find the Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor from 2005-10) reuniting with Donna as they face “Extreme Circumstances.”
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THRILLER 40 (ANYTIME / PARAMOUNT+)
Music can be separated into two eras: Before Thriller, and After Thriller. Go inside the making of Michael Jackson’s culture-defining album.
That Vincent Price Thriller laugh is one of most iconic Halloween sounds. It’s up there with a door that creaks as it sloooowly opens by itself. We lost Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009: one of the darkest days in pop culture. You don’t replace Michael…or Prince or Bowie. You get 1 and then they’re…GONE. Damn. You get 1 Michael Jackson and that’s it. People will continue to make music; some of it will good. But a lot of times you’re forced to settle. And this documentary is a testament to the impressive war MJ declared on mediocrity. This album was a ton of work and every single note and music video was so worth it. With this album Michael Jackson established a Gold Standard. For now: enjoy Thriller while it lasted. That Crap Carnival of crappy Christmas music is coming. Mariah Carey’s crappy All I Want for Christmas Is You is a serial killer stalking Starbucks locations for unsuspecting victims.
Sunday, December 03
May December (Anytime / Netflix)
Twenty years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, a married couple buckles under pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a film about their past.
This darkly funny comedy follows veteran Los Angeles bookie Danny (Sebastian Maniscalco) as the potential legalization of sports gambling in California threatens to upend his business for good.
You can’t (legally) bet on sports in California. (Yet?) I know that’s odd. That’s why you use a bookie like Sebastian Maniscalco. Only…there’s the potential (threat?) of legalization of sports gambling in California. Yeah so what did bookies do after sports betting became legal? We all like cars and appreciate that cars are everywhere. Nobody cares about the horse and buggy. Unless you’re the horse and buggy? How does a bookie bet on the future? And win big? Programming Note: this debuted with two of it’s eight episodes.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.