For this week’s TV recommendations we got a Superpower, Super Models, a Saint and Saving people. That’s right it’s #SetTheVCR where this weekend we check into The Continental for a 3 night stay.
Monday, September 18
Tár (Anytime / Crave)
Set in the international world of Western classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár, widely considered one of the greatest living composer-conductors and the very first female director of a major German orchestra.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE PEACOCK MONSTERS FILM FESTIVAL (MONSTER O’CLOCK / PEACOCK)
All the best monster movies and horror classics return to Peacock. One of my favourite September traditions!!
Peacock has added a mad scientist’s pile of Universal Monsters and Hammer Films and so much more. They kindly offered this horror bounty last year; I hope this becomes a scary tradition. The Universal Studios Monsters from the 1930s to the 1950s form a seminal foundation to our modern horror movies (with dubious sci-fi contributions.). While Hammer Films are known for Gothic horror and fantasy films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s. (Indeed their Frankenstein has a terrifying face and is more brutal than the iconic Boris Karloff performance which injected the monster with sorrowful humanity.) Over 15 movies have been added so I suggest checking out 1933’s The Invisible Man…that’s Batman’s Joker 100%! Anything with Peter Cushing or Vincent Price. It Came From Outer Space from 1953 is like a long creepy Twilight Zone episode. The alien reveal scene is fantastic and brimming with terror. So if you’re in the mood for classic Gothic screaming, evil lairs and labs and of course loud frightening thunder and full moons Peacock is getting you ready for Halloween season.
Tuesday, September 19
Becoming Frida Kahlo (9 p.m. / PBS)
Explore the life of celebrated artist Frida Kahlo in a three-part docuseries. See the major personal and political events of her life, including her stormy and devoted relationship with artist Diego Rivera, whom she married not once but twice. Programming Note: Part 1 is tonight, Part 2 airs on September 26 and Part 3 airs on October 3 all at 9pm.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE SAINT OF SECOND CHANCES (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Mike Veeck grew up in the shadow of his hustler father, Hall of Fame baseball owner Bill Veeck. The Veeck name became both legendary and notorious in professional baseball as they introduced the fun at ballparks — giveaways, theme nights, fireworks, and more. But it all came to a screeching halt when Mike blew up his father’s career.
Mike Veeck’s most famous ballpark stunt to sell tickets and hotdogs was famously Disco Demolition Night on July 12, 1979. At the climax of the event, a crate filled with despised disco records was blown up on the field in Comiskey Park between games of the doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. The problem was people showed up to enjoy the explosion rather than the baseball and rushed onto the field following the detonation. They went all Lord of the Flies over the “death of disco!” The playing field was so damaged by the explosion and by the rioters that the White Sox were required to forfeit the second game to the Tigers. What also went boom is Mike Veeck’s relationship with his father…baseball owner Bill Veeck. Bill was the last owner to purchase a baseball franchise (Chicago White Sox) without an independent fortune. This is that story…all based on the famous last words: “What could possibly go wrong?” After all when you step out onto a baseball field with all the classic bases and home plate you can’t help but believe…this is a Field of Dreams. So what happens if you pray to the Saint of Second Chances?
Wednesday, September 20
The Super Models: Docuseries (Anytime / Apple TV+)
The super duper four-part series spotlights the remarkable careers of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington. That’s hot.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SUPERPOWER (ANYTIME / PARAMOUNT+)
The story of how Sean Penn heads to Ukraine to learn more about the comedic actor turned president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The best thing about being wealthy and famous is you can indulge your curiosity. In A Curious Mind a 2015 book by Brian Grazer he wrote about being curious and using his position to have lunch with all kinds of fascinating people: economists and physicists…anything he was curious about. It was his own self-directed curriculum and he was the only student in school. Echoing that self-designed curriculum is Superpower a Sean Penn documentary where he wanted to learn about Ukraine and President Zelenskyy. You and I? We watch docs like this. Penn? He goes right to the source and asks questions. So class in session…let’s identify what Penn was curious about and what we can learn about the latest skirmish dominating headlines.
Thursday, September 21
Sex Education: Season 4 (Anytime / Netflix)
The fourth and final season of Netflix’s British school comedy that sees Otis and the gang now attending Cavendish Sixth Form College. Who will go to the “head” of the class?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SANCTUARY (ANYTIME / HULU & PRIME VIDEO-CANADA)
Follows a dominatrix and Hal, her wealthy client, and the disaster that ensues when Hal tries to end their relationship.
Figured with Sex Education’s final season dropping on Netflix today a feature about a dominatrix would pair nicely. It’s a double-feature of slap and tickle today. A rather filthy set of #SetTheVCR recommendations. You do you day…especially if you’re single. #RimShot
Friday, September 22
Marvel Studios’ Assembled: The Making of Secret Invasion (Anytime / Disney+)
Through in-depth interviews with cast and crew, and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, Assembled uncovers how Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion was born. Witness what it took to conjure the world of the show, and spend time with Samuel L. Jackson as he dons the patch once again to engage in the most baffling battle of Nick Fury’s career.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE CONTINENTAL: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / PEACOCK & PRIME VIDEO-CANADA)
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.
John Wick’s Batcave gets an origin story. Wick’s dark and delightful world comes to TV in a 3 night burst of action: Night 1 is September 22nd (directed by Albert Hughes who handles Nights 1 & 3), Night 2 airs on September 29 (directed by Charlotte Brandstrom) and Night 3 is October 6. All 3 nights are Winston Scott’s Wonder Years (sans Jets jacket) in 1970s NYC. Mel Gibson joins the Wick World for these outings. Gibson is pitch perfect casting; that’s a smart and good hire; he fits in nicely in John Wick’s ugly world. Together all 3 TV movies serve as a prequel for the John Wick movies. I will for sure be checking into The Continental for a 3 night stay. Programming Note: John Wick: Chapter 4 will be on Crave on September 29; same day as Night 2. That movie has a nunchucks vs AR-15 fight! (Nunchucks are my love language…)
Saturday, September 23
Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court (Anytime / Paramount+)
The four-part series (from filmmaker Dawn Porter) reveals how the Supreme Court’s ideological balance has shifted over the years to reflect the hopes — and fears — of American citizens, exploring the interconnectedness between the Court’s and the nation’s future.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU (ANYTIME / HULU & DISNEY+ CANADA)
What follows is an action-packed face-off between Brynn and a host of extraterrestrial beings who threaten her future while forcing her to deal with her past.
Is this M Night’s Signs without all the heart? Kaitlyn Dever won’t survive this alien invasion…she’s only Booksmart.
Sunday, September 24
Krapopolis: Season 1 (8:30 p.m. / Fox)
Krapopolis is set in mythical ancient Greece and tells the story of a dysfunctional family of humans, gods and monsters that try their hand at running the world’s first cities – without trying to kill each other, that is. Programming Note: new seasons of The Simpsons and Family Guy start on October 1st.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: STILL UP: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / APPLE TV+)
An almost romantic comedy set in the after-hours world of insomniacs Danny (Craig Roberts) and Lisa (Antonia Thomas) who have no secrets except their feelings for each other.
Isn’t Late Night Talking a Harry Styles song? That’s what this is. (Mercifully without the Harry Styles.) Rather than your standard hour and a half rom-com this is an 8 episode TV season. I’m sure Still Up will keep you up as you watch and hope these two crazy insomniacs find each other. True Love…that’s the dream right? (Why isn’t this series called U Up? anyways?) Programming Note: This series will debut with the first three episodes, followed weekly by one episode every Friday through October 27.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.