It’s a new week which means a new streamer. Sorta. CBS All Access will be rebranded as Paramount+ on March 4, 2021. It now joins Disney+, Apple TV+ and Discovery+. It’s easy to see why Hollywood is synonymous with creativity. Well this week’s + includes bountiful TV recommendations.
Monday, March 1
Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell (Anytime / Netflix)
The late rapper known as the Notorious B.I.G. is seen and heard in archival interviews, home movies. With rare footage and in-depth interviews, this documentary celebrates the life of The Notorious B.I.G. on his journey from hustler to rap king.
Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story (Anytime / Crackle)
This 5-part docuseries covers the origins and journey of Nintendo from the 1800s until today.
Sammy Suggestion: Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself (Anytime / Crave)
Magician Derek DelGaudio wows audiences with his mesmerizing tricks and autobiographical storytelling.
This is magic! Yes! But it’s also the spark magic ignites…it’s the same spark we’ve seen in Justin Willman’s Magic for Humans. Know that DelGaudio’s remarkable one-man show, which enjoyed a lengthy Off-Broadway run between 2017 and 2018, is brimming with card tricks, optical illusions, and even teleportation. What?! However, echoing Magic for Humans DelGaudio transforms the usual magic hustle into a powerful meditation on existential yearning and his own bumpy quest for meaning in life. I mean what’s more important? The magic or the magician? The story or the writer? Oh this’ll be a solid cup of tea. Bonus? If you don’t know the magician then you know the names in the credits: executive producer Stephen Colbert and director by Frank Oz. Now it just got interesting didn’t it? (This was on Hulu for Americans since January 22, this is it’s Canadian debut.)
Tuesday, March 2
The Flash: Season 7 (8/7c PM / The CW)
The Flash is back for a seventh season of this superhero drama proving he isn’t a…Flash in the pan! #Rimshot
Sammy Suggestion: Tombstone (Anytime / Disney+ Star)
Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and his brothers, Morgan (Bill Paxton) and Virgil (Sam Elliott), have left their gunslinger ways behind them to settle down and start a business in the town of Tombstone, Ariz. While they aren’t looking to find trouble, trouble soon finds them. Oh, and also the best portrayal of Doc Holiday you’ll ever see.
Oh Snap! Tombstone is among the recently launched Disney+ Star “adult” collection. Outstanding ruckus with fantastic mustaches. “You called down the thunder, well now you’ve got it! You tell ’em I’m coming! And Hell’s coming with me you hear!” Dope movie quote that can easily be used at work next time you’re on a professional zoom.
Wednesday, March 3
Moxie (Anytime / Netflix)
Amy Poehler directs and co-stars this Netflix movie about a shy teen and her self-published zine: Inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and a confident new friend, a shy 16-year-old publishes an anonymous zine calling out sexism at her school.
Sammy Suggestion: Mr. Mercedes: Season 1 & 2 (Anytime / Peacock)
A crime-drama series based on a Stephen King novel: Retired detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) is in an ongoing psychological rivalry with psychopathic serial killer Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway), Mr. Mercedes.
Mr. Mercedes arrived on Peacock back on October 15, 2020 (from the rarely viewed Audience Channel; which I believe is now defunct.) Easily one of the best Stephen King adaptations…in yo’face Castle Rock; and sorry IT with John Ritter and see you in hell Langoliers with Bronson Pinchot! Brendan Gleeson is an Irish treasure and as detective Bill Hodges he’s outstanding as is the show’s soundtrack. Mr. Mercedes rocks the disco and jams the nightclub. Based on Stephen King’s spellbinding Mr. Mercedes trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, and End of Watch) for over 3 TV seasons the David E. Kelley series combined supernatural elements, a murder mystery; devious characters, and characters seeking redemption. There’s also a lazy turtle if you dig animals. Enjoy…you’re so in for a treat. At the time this past October Peacock only offered the first two seasons; tomorrow the third (and final?) season debuts on Peacock. The show concluded on November 12, 2019 and I doubt there’s any reason for a fourth season still I’m eagerly sharing it now because with strong ratings “never say never.”
Thursday, March 4
Pacific Rim: The Black: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)
Kaiju vs Humans continues in this sci-fi animated series. Can’t we all just get along?
Mr. Mercedes: Season 3 (Anytime / Peacock)
Season 3 of the crime-drama series based on the Stephen King novel.
Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests (Anytime / HBO Max)
PERSONA explores the unexpected origin story of America’s great obsession with personality testing, uncovering the intriguing history behind the world-famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator while raising a slew of ethical questions and demonstrating how some personality tests may do more harm than good – like impacting online dating matches or job prospects.
Sammy Suggestion: The Inside Story (11/10 PM-ish / TNT)
Inside the NBA – the Sports Emmy Award-winning studio show known for its entertaining style and unfiltered commentary – pulls back the curtain on its more than 30-year history in this four-part documentary series.
The TV Guide description says it well: “Inside the NBA – the Sports Emmy Award-winning studio show known for its entertaining style and unfiltered commentary – pulls back the curtain on its more than 30-year history in this four-part documentary series. Interviews with celebrities, crew members, sports reporters and more illuminate the show’s evolution into a cultural phenomenon with untold stories that highlight the chemistry between Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.” The first episode Ernie Johnson: The Traffic Cop airs tonight following the Heat vs Pelicans game (so around 11pm-ish), followed by Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9pm. TNT is among the best NBA game packagers and I wish they could broadcast more games. So good. So fun. Even if the games are blowouts the Inside The NBA team is often entertaining and deeply sarcastic. That’s all I ask! I dunno if I’ll be able to get through this without tears. We’ll all seen so much.
Friday, March 5
WandaVision (Anytime / Disney+)
The season finale to the wildly popular and addictive WANDAVISION: Living idealized suburban lives, super-powered beings Wanda and Vision begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
Coming 2 America (Anytime / Prime Video)
Akeem and Semmi are back! Set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, newly-crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) embark on an all-new hilarious adventure that has them traversing the globe from their great African nation to the borough of Queens, New York – where it all began.
Boss Level (Anytime / Hulu)
Trapped in a time loop that constantly repeats the day of his murder, former special forces agent Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo) uncovers clues about a secret government project that could unlock the mystery behind his untimely death.
Sammy Suggestion: Yes, God, Yes (Anytime / Netflix (Canada))
A devoutly religious teen grapples with her own sexual awakening, and attends a Catholic school retreat in the hopes of suppressing her newfound urges.
Remember Saved? 2004 movie with Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin…few other friends. A Simpsons sarcastic view of American Christianity after a girl attending a Christian high school becomes pregnant. Well if dug that than here is Yes, God, Yes: “A Catholic girl finds herself having tempting thoughts after an AOL chat turns unexpectedly racy.” AOL chat! Hah. Another movie where the main character umm: takes matters into their own hands while facing eternal damnation.
Saturday, March 6
Sammy Suggestion: Becky (9/8c PM / Showtime)
A crime drama about a rebellious teenager named Becky who is brought to a weekend getaway at a lake house by her father in an effort to try to reconnect after her mother’s death. The trip immediately takes a turn for the worse when a group of convicts on the run, led by the merciless Dominick, suddenly invade the lake house.
Becky the Kevin James ghetto Cape Fear family terror movie comes to Showtime (for Americans tonight; it’s already on Prime Video for Canadians). Kevin James looks creepy and solid but…does he have range? It’s great he’s trying new things; branching out from comedy. Will the audience accept this though? Bit of a hard sell. Doesn’t help this looks like Home Alone with blood. Only one way to find out!
Sunday, March 7
The Circus: Season 6The Simpsons: Season 32 (8/7c PM / Fox)
The longest running animated TV show in history, Homer and Marge Simpson raise Bart, Lisa and baby Maggie in Springfield, where eccentric residents make everyday life interesting.
Sammy Suggestion: World War Z (Anytime / Tubi)
Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop a zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatens to destroy humanity itself.
Pour one for my homies. Since February 2019 it’s doubtful we’ll ever get a World War Z sequel (directed by Fincher!). J. Michael Straczynski was one of the (many!) World War Z writers an adaption of the Max Brooks novel. Despite some obvious flaws Z offered a few fresh zombie experiences which considering how dense that genre is; is not easy to do. That Jerusalem scene!! A revisit is in order as we continue to zoned out shuffle through this pandemic until we have “herd” immunity.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.