Halloween Horror: Netflix Ushers in fresh Mike Flanagan, Creepshow will make you Shudder and Goosebumps will give you…umm: Goosebumps. There’s also a freshtastic Mr. Dressup if you wanna take a break from all the horror TV recommendations. Either way? #SetTheVCR especially in a TV week that features Friday the 13th!
Monday, October 09
Lakota Nation vs. United States (Anytime / AMC+)
A chronicle about how the Lakota Indians fight to reclaim control of the Black Hills. Will investigate how the sacred land was stolen in violation of treaty agreements and feature interviews with Indigenous citizens.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE MILL (ANYTIME / HULU)
A businessman mysteriously wakes up in an open-air prison cell with only an old grist mill. Forced to work as a beast of burden, he must find a way to escape before the birth of his child.
Hopefully this is not your run of the Mill streamer movie. Lil Rel Howery wakes up beside an ancient grist mill (forced to Spin Me Round) and can’t (you know) Get Out. He’s no longer a Free Guy but don’t let his Poker Face fool you…this is a Bad Trip. Can he escape in time for Fatherhood?! Or is he out of Luck? Check the clock it’s Tab Time and the final bill is heavy for Good Boys like him. (The last one was a lil struggle but I stand by it!)
Tuesday, October 10
Moonlighting: The Complete Series (Anytime / Hulu)
When former fashion model Maddie Hayes goes broke and finds that one of her few remaining assets is ownership of the Blue Moon Detective Agency, she’s tempted to liquidate it until she meets the quirky employees and gets involved in their even quirkier cases. All 67 episodes starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis have been remastered in HD from the original film source.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MR. DRESSUP: THE MAGIC OF MAKE-BELIEVE (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
Ernie Coombs get a Last Dance! A detailed look about at famed, iconic television show from Canada that impacted multiple generations and its on-going legacy.
We lost Ernie Coombs (better known as Mr. Dressup) in 2001, at the age of 73. Americans know who Jim Henson is and who Mister Rogers is. Mr. Dressup is to Canadians what Mister Rogers was to Americans. That’s not an accurate comparison since their childhood shows ran on different emotional vibes; though it sort of works like how Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are tied together. Both fantastic NBA players yet totally different styles. Mr. Dressup ran for 29 years crafting 4,000 episodes: when you see that staggering number you can instantly understand the indelible impact. (It helped Sesame Street taught us to “Count:” “Ah-Ah-Ah!”) This documentary features interviews with Canadians touched by the humble kindness and contagious creativity of Mr. Dressup, including Eric McCormack, Graham Greene, the Barenaked Ladies, Jonathan Torrens, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Andrew Phung, Bruce McCulloch, Scott Thompson, Bif Naked, Peter Mansbridge and Michael J. Fox. This is gonna leave you verklempt. Programming Note: Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles…not quite the same emotional impact streams on Prime Video on October 24.
Wednesday, October 11
Big Vape: The Rise and Fall of Juul (Anytime / Netflix)
Did you watch The Curse of Von Dutch? Or LuLaRich? Or White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie? The latest contribution to that streaming genre is Big Vape: The Rise and Fall of Juul. A four-part smoking hot new docuseries from Netflix that promises to not be a puff piece as it tackles the e-cigarette company.“Won’t somebody please think of the children?”
SAMMY SUGGESTION: ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET (ANYTIME / STARZ)
When her family moves from the city to the suburbs, 11-year-old Margaret navigates new friends, feelings, and the beginning of adolescence.
Earlier this year on April 21st Prime Video streamed Judy Blume Forever. The reason why Judy Blume gets so much free loving is because of popular books like Are You There God? More than just brassieres and boys, first published in 1970 this is a YA book about an 11 year old’s struggle with faith outside of an organized religion. (To their credit this movie adaptation is still set in the 70s. It still works because spin the bottle, first kisses and first periods remain universal experiences that naturally generate angst. Nothing’s changed since the 70s which is both comforting and kinda sad, I suppose.) Margaret knows her mother is a Christian and her father is Jewish, however her family does not observe the holidays. They’ve left it up to Margaret to decide on her own religious identity as she grows older. As if going through life with small boobs wasn’t enough drama, now she has to figure out where she stands with God. Well, hopefully He’s listening. Just in case He is super busy…she’s always there to remind Him: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Programming Note: This is the American Starz channel debut…for Canadians this movie will be on Starz (via Crave) on October 27.
Thursday, October 12
Monster Inside: America’s Most Extreme Haunted House (Anytime / Hulu)
Follows the story of Russ McKamey, the Navy Veteran turned master of horror, who lures horror enthusiasts into his web. Merging documentary storytelling with the visual and cinematic language of a horror film, Monster Inside follows three participants as they dive deep into Russ’s world and then find the will to fight back.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
In this wicked series from Mike Flanagan and based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, ruthless siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher have built Fortunato Pharmaceuticals into an empire of wealth, privilege and power.
Heirs to the Usher dynasty start dying at the hands of a mysterious woman from their youth. Just like Poe himself who died in Baltimore in 1849 at age 40 under murky circumstances. Even though Mike Flanagan’s cast are basically Cheers regulars; you’ve seen them all before…keep in mind Poe deployed unreliable narrators. (Actually new to the cast is Luke Skywalker himself. Interesting…) Still this modern telling of Poe’s work echoes Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House which was (sorta) based on a 1959 Shirley Jackson novel. 8 episodes and then this limited series is Nevermore.
Friday, October 13
A chilling new series inspired by R.L. Stine’s worldwide bestselling books, follows a group of five high schoolers as they embark on a shadowy and twisted journey to investigate the tragic passing three decades earlier of a teen named Harold Biddle – while unearthing dark secrets from their parents’ past. Programming Note: Premieres toady with 5 episodes!
Executive produced by showrunner Greg Nicotero and based on the 1982 horror comedy classic Creepshow the horror anthology series returns for a fourth season.
Creepshow is a comic book coming to life in a series of vignettes, exploring terrors ranging from murder, creatures, monsters, and delusions to the supernatural and unexplainable. It’s Friday the 13th in October…really doesn’t get much better than that.
Saturday, October 14
Fair Play (Anytime / Netflix)
An unexpected promotion at a cutthroat hedge fund pushes a young couple’s relationship to the brink, threatening to unravel far more than their recent engagement.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE BURIAL (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
After his estranged brother contacts him for help, a man and his girlfriend answer the call, only to find themselves unwittingly dragged into a murderous plot with severe consequences.
Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones. That works right? Tommy Lee Jones plays funeral home owner Jeremiah O’Keefe. And Jamie Foxx is a charismatic, smooth-talking attorney Willie E. Gary. Oh, that so works, right? Well here ya go! Not horror for Halloween but it’s call The Burial so it still fits the theme.
Sunday, October 15
The Simpsons: Season 34 (Anytime / Disney+)
Instantly…always instantly ignore any fool who publicly insists The Simpsons stopped being funny after…some arbitrary season he names. Leave these people behind. They do not need to be convinced or reasoned with. Season 34 had some remarkable episodes including Not IT…a parody of the 2017 horror movie It. Featuring yes Krusty as Pennywise! There’s gold in Season 34. Enjoy it. Be thankfully; it’s rare for anything to age this well.
In the series’ gripping final episodes, the Doom Patrol meet old friends and foes as they race to defeat Immortus and get back their longevities.
The superpowered freaks are back for the end of Season 4 for one last mission. (This is the end of the series! These 6 episodes are all ya get.) Season 3 kicked off with Madame Rouge arriving in a time machine with a specific mission. The Doom Patrol are still “out of time” (literally?) as Season 4 opened with them in the future (the Year 2042!). Can these weirdos save the future even if they’re all uncomfortable with their pasts? I’ve yet to finish Doom Patrol and I never finished Titans which ran for four seasons until May 11, 2023. I’m behind on my super duper TV shows. Programming Note: It debuted with two episodes, followed by one episode weekly through November 9.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.