Nothing Compares to fresh puns and fresher #SetTheVCR recommendations, good thing we got both!
Monday, September 26
The Simpsons: Welcome to the Club (Anytime / Disney+)
Another new short from The Simpsons; so far Disney+ has made almost 10 of em…figured this would pair well with today’s Sammy Suggestion. You know…Fox and all that.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE MURDOCHS: EMPIRE OF INFLUENCE: DOCUSERIES (ANYTIME / CNN.COM)
This seven-part series goes behind the scenes of the improbable rise of a media tycoon, his outsized influence around the globe, and the intense succession battle between his children over who will inherit his throne.
When CNN+ launched the streamer offered a number of highly anticipated CNN Films and Docuseries’ but then…CNN+ was shut down. So…now what? One of those highly anticipated documentaries is The Murdoch’s: Empire of Influence. Less a Last Dance and hopefully more of a report card of how…we as in (North) America got here. This is an adaptation and obviously expansion of Jonathan Mahler and Jim Rutenberg’s New York Times Magazine article How Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Influence Remade the World. Let’s see what the Fox dragged in. Programming Note: This 7-part docuseries airs regularly on Sundays at 10pm ET on CNN following tonight’s two-episode premiere.
Tuesday, September 27
Minions: The Rise of Gru (Anytime / Peacock)
The fifth film of the popular animated franchise starring Steve Carell explores Gru’s origin story and how he came to be the world’s greatest supervillain alongside his beloved minions. Peacock’s offerings include the following recent movies: Jurassic World: Dominion, The Black Phone, Downton Abbey: A New Era, The Northman, Ambulance and Firestarter.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: LA BREA: SEASON 2 (9 P.M. / NBC)
An epic family adventure after a massive sinkhole opens in Los Angeles pulling people and buildings into a mysterious and dangerous primeval land where they have no choice but to band together to survive.
A massive sinkhole mysteriously opens up in Los Angeles (at the site of the La Brea Tar Pits); depositing people in the past…as in the woolly mammoth past. Only as the survivors go all Ka-Zar in this historic Savage Land; the American government have made an X-Files like discovery. (Woah…lotta nerd references in that last sentence.) The sinkholes are portals to 10,000 B.C. Oh and yes there is more than one sinkhole. Mainstream sci-fi is strange now considering what we’ve consumed on streaming platforms. Yet there’s a few elements here that have potential to be great. Let’s see if they can “kick it old school” and make magic happen in Season 2. It’s sinkhole or swim time.
Wednesday, September 28
Eat The Rich: The GameStop Saga (Anytime / Netflix)
A 3-part docuseries that looks at the layers of intrigue, from the supercharged power of digital communities to the gamification of trading.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: BLONDE (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Discover a life both known and unknown in this boldly imaginative film that explores the complicated life of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe.
Oh…Netflix invites me to spend my birthday with blonde bombshell Ana de Armas. “Happy Birthday, Mr. Sammy” for true. Blonde will be the first movie released on Netflix with an NC-17 rating…oh my Some Like It Hot. Based on Joyce Carol Oates’s 2000 novel with the same name; I’m not sure if Blonde will be fictionally fake with “real people” as we just witnessed with Winning Time on HBO or will aim for a Hollywood biopic which are often not always accurate anyways. Either way shall we spend the evening with Norma Jeane Mortenson? I mean…Gentlemen (do) Prefer Blondes.
Thursday, September 29
Nick Kroll: Little Big Boy (Anytime / Netflix)
Nick Kroll shares his comedian origin story, his first heartbreak, his strange hypnosis experience and the trash-talking celebrity voice in his head.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SHADOWLAND: DOCUSERIES (ANYTIME / PEACOCK)
A shocking wakeup call about the dangerous influence of conspiracy thinking on the functioning of our democracy, as families, friends, and the nation are increasingly being torn apart.
The second of Peacock’s virtual DocFest featuring 6 documentaries. The first one aired on September 14 a COVID doc on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Not particularly compelling. However, Shadowland is gripping. Here’s the description: “Shadowland, a deeply immersive six-part docuseries, reveals how conspiracy theories have moved from the margins to the mainstream, exploring how people come to their beliefs, and what makes these theories so alluring. The series is a shocking wakeup call about the dangerous influence of conspiracy thinking on the functioning of our democracy, as families, friends, and the nation are increasingly being torn apart.” Should be much better than Daredevil’s 2010 crossover event Shadowland. Programming Note: This is a binge drop; all 6 episodes of this docuseries have been added to Peacock.
Friday, September 30
My Best Friend’s Exorcism (Anytime / Prime Video)
The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?
The series follows first-generation, Egyptian-American Ramy Hassan and his family as they navigate spirituality in their politically-divided New Jersey neighborhood.
Dave Merheje as Ahmed returns as does Ramy; the Hulu hit. Season 3, of course, features Ramy Youssef and May Calamawy and bonus it is executive produced by Jerrod Carmichael. Good looking and talented group. Originally, I described Ramy Season 1 as Atlanta but like set in New Jersey and with Muslims. The official description is: “Ramy Hassan is a first-generation Egyptian-American who is on a spiritual journey in his politically divided New Jersey neighborhood. He becomes caught between a Muslim community that thinks life is a moral test and a millennial generation that believes life has no consequences.” Oh yeah, that’s much better. If you watched the recently released Mo on Netflix, you’ll mostly likely dig Ramy. Programming Note: This is a binge release; all 10 episodes are out today.
Saturday, October 01
Munsters (Anytime / Netflix)
From Rob Zombie comes the strangest love story ever told as Herman and Lily’s crazy courtship takes The Munsters on a hauntingly hilarious trip from Transylvania to Hollywood.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: NOTHING COMPARES (ANYTIME / SHOWTIME.com & CRAVE)
The story of Sinéad O’Connor’s rise to worldwide fame, and how her iconoclastic personality resulted in her exile from the pop mainstream.
OH!! I missed this at Hot Docs22: Sinéad O’Connor got a Last Dance. Her story is fascinating as is her mainstream exile. Did she make things harder…perhaps coping with the monster success of Nothing Compares 2 U was difficult? Or was she treated badly and unfairly by the media? Sinéad was 100% right for the SNL Pope rip; just as the Dixie Chicks were 100% right about W Bush. We know that now yet at the time the outcry was a vampiric mob all teeth and no mercy. In pop music there’s a thin line between being prophetic and pathetic. Let’s see what her story is; hopefully we get…the bald truth. Programming Note: This documentary is available to stream for Showtime subscribers since Friday, September 30. (Same for Canadians just on Crave.) It’ll make its on-air Showtime TV debut on October 2nd at 10 p.m.
Sunday, October 02
Anne Rice’s Interview with The Vampire (10 p.m. / AMC)
Based on Anne Rice’s revolutionary gothic novel, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire follows Louis de Pointe du Lac, Lestat de Lioncourt and Claudia’s epic story of love, blood, and the perils of immortality, as told to journalist Daniel Molloy.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: The Walking Dead Season 11 (9 p.m. / AMC)
The fight for a future continues to be exasperated by the ominous population of walkers. Not all will survive, but for some, the walking dead lives on.
I stopped shuffling along like a zombie with the primary series back in Season 2? 3? Something like that. Tonight, begins the final 8 episodes. I dunno how you wrap up a zombie apocalypse. (Technically they don’t…during Comic-Con this past Summer they announced a number of 2023 Walking Dead spin-offs.) Are you curious to see how they wrap this all up? Programming Notes: The first two episodes are available on AMC+ with subsequent episodes available one week early on AMC+. Membership has its privileges. Following tonight’s episode is the debut of Anne Rice’s Interview with The Vampire. Yes, the movie which was a book first is now a TV show. That bites.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.