Did you hear the one about Thor and a tennis champ who face the Last Light as One-oh-one of the Scariest Horror Movie Moments of All Time? Sure you have; it’s all here on #SetTheVCR including a rare Deuce Bigalow reference. Boom!
Monday, September 05
Out of Office (8 p.m. / Comedy Central)
Out of Office is an ensemble comedy (Ken Jeong, Leslie Jones, Jason Alexander, Cheri Oteri, Jay Pharoah and more) about the blurring lines between working from home and would-be/should-be private life. Perfect for Labour Day.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: NO ORDINARY LIFE (10 P.M. / CNN)
This documentary celebrates the trailblazing and courageous photojournalists who captured and brought the world to our screens.
During this past Hot Docs Film Festival I watched Shooting War. A Globe & Mail documentary on the risks and trauma photojournalists endure to bring us the news via photos. It’s not always a live TV feed like 9/11. Sometimes news is just a static photograph and yet a photograph is worth a thousand words. This CNN Films documentary focuses on the following photojournalists: Jane Evans, Maria Fleet, Margaret Moth, Mary Rogers, and Cynde Strand who have boldly shot images of war, famine, revolutions, and natural disasters. Not everybody who is on the front lines is a solider.
Tuesday, September 06
Shock Docs: The Visitors (Anytime / Discovery+)
In 1985, while spending Christmas at his family’s cabin Whitley Strieber had a terrifying encounter with “visitors” not of this world.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MCENROE (ANYTIME / SHOWTIME ON DEMAND & CRAVE)
An in-depth look at a tennis legend and pop culture icon.
John McEnroe-who was No. 1 for four consecutive years-gets a Last Dance. What’s not to “Love” about McEnroe? “From his upbringing in Douglaston, N.Y., to a Wimbledon semifinals run as an 18-year-old qualifier, to his sole year at Stanford University winning the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships and his Hall of Fame professional career where he captured seven Grand Slam singles titles, the documentary covers everything inside and outside the lines.” Ah fascinating; sure glad Showtime served up this tennis documentary.
Wednesday, September 07
Follows a tumultuous but intoxicating relationship as it unfolds over the course of 8 years. Debuts with 3 episodes today. Though I ain’t gonna lie; I am so not gonna watch this; they honestly didn’t make this for me.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: 101 SCARIEST HORROR MOVIE MOMENTS OF ALL TIME (ANYTIME / SHUDDER)
A Shudder Original: master filmmakers and genre experts celebrate and dissect the most terrifying moments of the greatest horror films ever made.
Shortly after movie goers saw Psycho; many became terrified of showering. (Janet Leigh who was murdered in the scene only took baths moving forward.) Jaws made people afraid of the water. A horror scene lingers; past the end of the movie when the Sun has come up and the horror has been vanquished but a scary scene…a moment stays with the audience long after the house lights come on. “In this eight-episode new series from the producers of Eli Roth’s History of Horror, master filmmakers and genre experts celebrate and dissect the most terrifying moments of the greatest horror films ever made, exploring how these scenes were created and why they burned themselves into the brains of audiences around the world.” What are your scariest horror movie moments of all time?
Thursday, September 08
The 2022 NFL season is the 103rd season of the National Football League: 18-weeks, a 272-game regular-season schedule. It starts on Thursday, September 8, in Los Angeles and ends on Sunday, January 8.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: LAST LIGHT: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / PEACOCK)
Last Light follows a petro-chemist named Andy Nielson who has discovered his worst fears are coming true during a visit to the Middle East as the world’s oil supplies have been cut off.
The best novels or in this case a limited series begin by asking “what if?” Well: petro-chemist Andy Nielsen knows how dependent the world is on oil; if something were to happen to the world’s oil supply, it would set off a chain reaction: transportation would grind to a halt, supplies would cease to be delivered, law enforcement would be overwhelmed. All seems “Lost.” Peacock’s Last Light, is a limited drama series based on the best-selling novel by Alex Scarrow; never read it. But over 5 episodes (this is a binge drop…they’re released all at once) the expected complete chaos and things unravel as oil goes bad; like milk. That’s the thing with the future: it’s already here.
Friday, September 09
Pinocchio (Anytime / Disney+)
A live-action adaptation of Disney’s Pinocchio from Director Robert Zemeckis; staring Tom Hanks. (Programming Note: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a stop-motion musical fantasy movie and will be on Netflix in December. Two different movies…with the same characters.)
SAMMY SUGGESTION: COBRA KAI: SEASON 5 (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
As Terry leads Cobra Kai into a new regime, Daniel, Johnny and an old ally join forces in a battle that goes way beyond the mat.
I’d like to wax on, wax off about Cobra Kai but…I haven’t seen it. I know. I’m not even recommending it for you Constant Reader; rather this is a reminder for me. I’m tired of being bullied and getting crane kicked in the nuts for not watching this.
Saturday, September 10
NFL Icons: Season 2 (10pm / EPIX)
Each episode of the 8 part docuseries focuses on a single subject, whose unique impact on the game and the league is explored through a deep dive into the NFL Films archives, coupled with exclusive interviews. The first episode is the larger than life John Madden.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER (ANYTIME / DISNEY+)
Thor enlists the help of Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster to fight Gorr the God Butcher, who intends to make the gods extinct.
The 29th MCU movie only Thor is not…Thor. Well like Chris Hemsworth is still Thor; that’s his name. But now…Natalie Portman as Jane Foster is the Mighty Thor. (Did you read Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor comic books?) The whole gang is back: the Guardians of the Galaxy, Darcy Lewis and Erik Selvig, Korg, Valkyrie and more. Which is good as Christian Bale makes his Marvel debut as Gorr the God Butcher. (Again the Jason Aaron run.) So that’s gonna be a difficult challenge for Thor and his amazing friends. Once again co-writer and director Taika Waititi has captured lightening in a bottle…or well a hammer, I suppose.
Sunday, September 11
(9 p.m. / Showcase)
An anniversary trip puts a marriage to the test when the couple finds themselves embroiled in one of the Yucatan’s most bizarre unsolved mysteries that took place fifteen years prior. The Peacock TV show comes to Canada.
Exonerated after fifteen years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, former gigolo Julian Kaye (Jon Bernthal) faces the challenge of picking up the pieces as the detective who put him behind bars tries to unravel the mystery that led to his incarceration.
Yup: American Gigolo is a “rebooty” of the 1980 Richard Gere movie (written and directed by Paul Schrader). That’s all IP is…an American Gigolo we demand puts out: gimme some more. This time the Gigolo is played by Jon Bernthal and Detective Sunday is Rosie O’Donnell. Over 8 episodes she seeks the truth about the murder that sent the American Gigolo to prison all those years ago, unearthing a much larger conspiracy along the way. I’m not certain if fans of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo will enjoy this (Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo was the comedic search for a killer of man-whores so there are a number of similarities.) but let’s see shall we? Some classic 1980 taglines from the Gere movie that have nothing to do with this Showtime show…and yet they do. “Hired for Love. Framed for Murder.” Indeed. My favourite: “He’s the highest paid lover in Beverly Hills. He leaves women feeling more alive than they’ve ever felt before. Except one.” Programming Note: This is a weekly release.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.