What follows are some excellent TV recommendations and if we’re being honest a one-time use of the phrase Creeping It Real. As anyone who has gone trick or treating can attest it’s a mixed bag but hey…it’s our mixed bag!
Sunday, October 18
Sammy Suggestion: The Simpsons: Season 32: (“Treehouse of Horror XXXI”) (8 p.m. / Fox)
For the sake of consistency, I’ll conclude the weekend with the same obvious salty invitation: it’s Treehouse of Horror XXXI! You’re either in or you’re out! Pixar gets licks (as they should) and here’s a brief clip spoofing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, I guess this is the Homer-Verse?
Monday, October 19
Independent Lens: Feels Good Man (10 p.m. / PBS)
Sammy Suggestion: Unsolved Mysteries: Volume 2 (Anytime / Netflix)
Robert Stack’s Unsolved Mysteries premiered on October 5, 1987. The series ran for 14 seasons and aired a whopping 581 episodes (including a fantastic D. B. Cooper episode!). I watched Unsolved Mysteries along with X-Files: spooky shows that had a reverence for their stranger subjects. What Unsolved Mysteries did as well as X-Files was lead a viewer through the act of discovery; constantly maintaining curiosity in a linear fashion like an Agatha Christie novel. Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries: Volume 2 is determined to let the Fear Pee flow. Yo…this looks freshtastic; the Japanese addition is great. They have a wonderfully creepy culture. Perfect for “Creeping It Real” during Halloween. (It’s clearly not an unsolved mystery why I’m single when I use phrases like “Creeping It Real” in public.)
Tuesday, October 20
Frontline: Whose Vote Counts (10 p.m. / PBS)
Sammy Suggestion: World Series: Game 1 (8 p.m. / Fox)
MLB has made it to the World Series! As I write this The Tampa Bay Rays (wasn’t Tampa Bay also in the NHL Finals?!) will face the Atlanta Braves or the Los Angeles Dodgers. Of course, I am not a big baseball source: coming from action movies I like that a batter steps up to a fight with 9 guys. So appreciate those odds. Rather I recognize baseball’s coronavirus experiments and how that’ll affect all sports (including the NBA) moving forward. Players contracted coronavirus which is fine…setbacks were expected and part of the continual process of figuring out protocols; schedules were shifted as games were postponed or cancelled which affects competition. And yet they successfully pulled it off: like 1 guy beating 9 guys. What happens to the next NBA season and the next MLB season? Live sports are clearly and thankfully not going away and neither is the coronavirus so now what? For now: “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio/A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.” Play Ball!
Wednesday, October 21
537 Votes (9 p.m. / HBO)
Sammy Suggestion: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction: Season 3 (Anytime / Netflix)
David Letterman’s phenomenal My Next Guest Needs No Introduction returns to Netflix. (The streamer has had a rocky relationship with talk shows…it’s one TV format they haven’t figured out…yet?) Season 3’s guests are…Dave Chappelle (#GOAT!!) and Robert Downey Jr. (Yes!) and Kim Kardashian (what? Why…I guess her prison advocacy is worth talking about.) and sadly Letterman is wasting an episode/our time with Lizzo (ugh…she’s a fad. Letterman’s My Next Guest musical choices have been odd. Wonder if he is influenced by his teenage son?) And as you can see from the trailer this isn’t corny Zoom calls these are in person comedy producing interviews and experiences: just the way God intended. Praise Baby Jesus!
Thursday, October 22
Sammy Suggestion: Cadaver (Anytime / Netflix)
And now a Norwegian horror movie from Netflix! That’s a delicious phrase. Yo…the survivors of an atomic war are invited to participate in a hotel’s ritualistic stage play. Cadaver is like a Norwegian Purge (masks, rich people behaving badly etc.) but I’m In! Hopefully, Cadaver delights and isn’t…dead weight. Stiff pun: sorry about that my “body” of work is better than that.
Friday, October 23
Sammy Suggestion: Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You (Anytime / Apple TV)
I had a little tear in my eye: “I’m in the middle of a 45-year conversation with these men and women I’m surrounded by.” says Bruce Springsteen via voiceover in this trailer a documentary about his latest album. Thing is we as the audience are part of the 45-year conversation; I mourned when the Big Man died. It’s no surprise Bruce’s 20th studio album Letter to You has a song called Ghosts. We’re just haunted now by these long staying bands: maybe pop culture has moved on; maybe the young kids don’t care. It doesn’t matter the comforting specter is always there. I’m grateful for that. The album of course: drops today. Must be killing Bruce and the band to not able to tour it.
Saturday, October 24
Sammy Suggestion: Austin City Limits (11:30 p.m. / PBS)
In mid-September Austin City Limits the PBS live performance series announced their lineup for its new season. November 7: John Legend & The Roots: Wake Up! is of course #SetTheVCR worthy. However, tonight is Rufus Wainwright performing tunes from his current release Unfollow the Rules. It came out July 10…it’s been a difficult year to properly appreciate the pop culture we have because release dates are consistently shuffled and people spend more time consuming the A section of the newspaper rather than the entertainment section. Way back in 2008 or maybe 2009 Elvis Costello hosted a remarkable program called Spectacle and it truly was. During his episode, Rufus performed a number of songs including this lasting and beautiful rendition of Vibrate.