This week’s TV recommendations pairs well with Rose Red wine especially if you a Loki evening with some Totally Killer TV. Welcome to #SetTheVCR and October where it’s scary time!
Monday, October 02
A young fashion designer’s life spirals as her darkest inner thoughts manifest into something gruesome- that won’t stop growing. You know what’s in this #FearPee Season? Freaky growths!!
SAMMY SUGGESTION: STEPHEN KING’S ROSE RED COMPLETE MINISERIES (ANYTIME / HULU)
A college professor and a team of psychics investigate an old abandoned house. Hoping to explain some of the mysterious deaths on the property, the psychics stay in the mansion, but unleash a terrifying force that threatens to destroy all.
Did you enjoy Mike Flanagan’s terrific The Haunting of Hill House? This isn’t that…but it is…kinda. Stephen King pitched Rose Red to Steven Spielberg in 1996. King pictured a loose remake of Robert Wise’s 1963 The Haunting (which was based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House.). Anyways in 1999 a feature film remake of The Haunting was released, Netflix of course gave us Hill House in 2018 (which was super loosely based on Shirley Jackson’s novel.) and here we are. I never saw Rose Red when it aired on ABC running for 3 consecutive nights starting on January 27, 2002. It’s Stephen King writing about a haunted house. Sure Christine is a haunted car, the Overlook is a haunted hotel and Derry is a haunted town but King generally hasn’t written about haunted houses. This haunted house was based in part on the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. That gives you a sense of the creepy factor. Of course this is a binge release…3 all parts are on Hulu. A haunted house, ominous psychics and Stephen King…October is off to a frightfully fun start.
Tuesday, October 03
Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood and Honey (Anytime / Peacock)
After Christopher Robin abandons them for college, Pooh and Piglet embark on a bloody rampage as they search for a new source of food. (I assume having never seen this that it is terrible but that’s exactly what you want from a horror movie. Right?)
SAMMY SUGGESTION: FLORA AND SON (ANYTIME / APPLE TV+)
It follows Flora, a single mom who is at war with her son, Max. Trying to find a hobby for Max, she rescues a guitar from a dumpster and finds that one person’s trash can be a family’s salvation.
Well…now did actress Eve Hewson get any guitar lessons from her dad Bono? In 2007 Irish filmmaker John Carney gifted us with Once a romantic musical drama film. I’m not a musical guy but Once is outstanding and highly recommended. Carney’s latest movie is “Once-again” set in Dublin and music based. This time the love is between Flora, a single mother and her estranged son Max. With the help of Joseph Gordon-Levitt who plays a washed-up LA musician the guitar becomes a conduit for Flora to connect with Max. Like most of John Carney’s work this is ultimately about the transformative power of music. Let’s take a break from the horror for a wee-bit. Oh and if you want more Joseph Gordon-Levitt check out Thursday’s Sammy Suggestion: you’ll be Super Pumped!
Wednesday, October 04
Chucky slashed his way to a third season that once again chronicles the murderous escapades of the notorious killer doll. Programming Note: For Americans this streams the next day on Peacock.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE BLACKENING (ANYTIME / STARZ)
Seven friends go away for the weekend and end up trapped in a cabin with a killer who has a vendetta. Will their street smarts and knowledge of horror movies help them stay alive? Probably not.
You know how this goes…Black people don’t survive horror movies! So much so the movie’s tagline is “We all can’t die first.” So fill the cast completely with Black folks and send them off to a cabin in the woods. Let’s see what happens? This might be one of those times where one’s blackness may not be so valuable. (I’ve never seen the two A Haunted House movies starring Marlon Wayans. Or before that the 5 Scary Movies all of which mock horror cliches like the black people die first in horror movies. But this flourishing genre confirms the line between comedy and horror is razor thin.) So…then: here’s a humorous horror break as we ease in October, slashing our way to Halloween.
Thursday, October 05
Still reeling from the tragic death of their mother, a teenage girl and her younger sister find themselves plagued by a sadistic presence in their house and struggle to get their grieving father to pay attention before it’s too late. More Stephen King for your Happy Halloween Horror TV viewing.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SUPER PUMPED: THE BATTLE FOR UBER: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / NETFLIX-US)
Based on the shocking true story, strap in for the meteoric rise and fall of Uber founder, Travis Kalanick. With a lift from venture capitalist Bill Gurley and board member Arianna Huffington, Kalanick takes a win-at-all-costs approach to forge the fledgling start-up into a multi-billion-dollar tech titan. But every surge comes at a price – and as his visionary drive spirals out of control, it threatens to be the downfall of it all.
Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber is adapted from a most excellent book by Mike Isaac. As always I’d rather a documentary than a biopic yet here we are. Uma Thurman is Arianna Huffington; Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Travis Kalanick and Hank Azaria is Tim Cook. Remember the Jerry Maguire vs Bob Sugar phone call scene that led to Show Me The Money? That’s the hyper energy you can expect with Super Pumped…as narrated by Quentin Tarantino. The 2022 limited series is 5 parts and it’s all on Netflix-US. Are you super Uber to check out Super Pumped?
Friday, October 06
Night 3! The three-part event will explore the origin behind the iconic hotel-for-assassins centerpiece of the John Wick universe through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott, as he’s dragged into the Hell-scape of 1970’s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind. As this movies conclude…how were they? Did they flesh out the John Wick world?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: LOKI: SEASON 2 (ANYTIME / DISNEY+)
The second season promises new excitement as it thrusts the infamous God of Mischief into a new set of adventures with the TVA.
More multiverse mischief with Miss Minutes and Loki. As you know from Season 1 Loki finds himself in a battle for the soul of the Time Variance Authority. What does it mean to process free will? Will you use your free will to watch this? Did you see Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania? Kang the Conqueror was in that just as he was in Season 1. He’s also back for Season 2 portraying Victor Timely, another variant of He Who Remains. It’s Kang…it’s all complicated. Loki: Season 2 will run for six episodes until November 9, as part of Phase Five of the MCU. (Phase Five rolls on with The Marvels to be released in November and December ushers in a new What If….? season but then after that it’s all on hold due to the recent Hollywood strike.)
Saturday, October 07
Pet Sematary: Bloodlines (Anytime / Paramount+)
A prequel to the utterly terrible 2019 film adaptation: In 1969, a young Jud Crandall dreams of leaving his hometown of Ludlow, Maine, behind but soon discovers sinister secrets buried within and is forced to confront a dark family history that will forever keep him connected to Ludlow. Eh, read the Stephen King novel.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: TOTALLY KILLER (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
They had so much time to kill in the ’80s…
Totally Killer is totally like…Hot Tub Time Machine meets Happy Death Day. “Thirty-five years after the shocking murder of three teens, the infamous Sweet Sixteen Killer returns on Halloween night to claim a fourth victim.” Cue…“Seventeen-year-old Jamie who comes face-to-face with the masked maniac and, on the run for her life, accidentally time-travels to 1987, the year of the original killings.” See? Hot Tub Time Machine meets Happy Death Day. Eh, alright…I’m not sure if it’s totally rad or totally bad (bad in as in bad, not bad as in good…) but I’ll totally give it a shot. I’ve got time to kill. Programming Note: If you’re in the mood for (more?) ’80s set horror you can check out V/H/S/85 now streaming on Shudder. It’s like Black Mirror but set in the ’80s. One of the writers is C. Robert Cargill. The title alone makes it easy to ah…#SetTheVCR.
Sunday, October 08
The Circus (7 p.m. / Showtime & Paramount+ & Crave)
Hosts John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Jennifer Palmieri pull back the political curtain on this critical and volatile moment for the nation. My hope is with it now streaming on Paramount+ this weekly docuseries finds an engaged audience. It’s so good!
SAMMY SUGGESTION: REPTILE (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
A mysterious murder. A hardened detective. A truth more dangerous than they could have ever imagined.
An “intricate New England–set noir in which the worlds of real estate, narcotics trafficking, and police work merge.” Oh, I enjoy those things. You know everybody in this: Benicio Del Toro, Justin Timberlake, and Alicia Silverstone. (It’s weird to see Alicia brandishing a gun, though.) The classic logline: “When a realtor is stabbed to death in a show home, homicide detective Tom Nichols (Del Toro) has no shortage of suspects to investigate. The body was discovered by the victim’s boyfriend and colleague, Will (Timberlake), with whom she fought the night before. The victim’s ex, to whom she was still married, is possibly a drug dealer. Meanwhile, an eccentric man with a longstanding grudge against Will and his family seems to take an unhealthy interest in the case.” Anyways the hook in the trailer is the line “everyone’s a suspect.” Oh…that works for me. I “suspect” I’ll check this out.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.