Hold onto your butts this is gonna be a strange yet fun #SetTheVCR!
Monday, March 8
Debris (10/9c PM / NBC)
Two agents from two different continents, and two different mindsets, must work together to investigate when wreckage from a destroyed alien spacecraft has mysterious effects on humankind.
Sammy Suggestion: Night Watch (2004) & Day Watch (2006) (Anytime / Disney+ Star)
NIGHT WATCH: Hundreds of years ago there was a battle between the Warriors of Light and the evil Warriors of Darkness. Realizing that they were evenly matched, the two sides agreed to a truce.
DAY WATCH: A member of a group of supernatural guardians who monitor the forces of the Dark, discovers that his own son is responsible for a series of murders.
You ever try to explain Lord of the Rings movies to strangers? This will be like this; there’s a lot going on. Night Watch is a 2004 Russian fantasy movie: it’s like Underworld meets Resident Evil. From IMDB: “Among normal humans live the “Others” possessing various supernatural powers. They are divided up into the forces of light and the forces of the dark, who signed a truce several centuries ago to end a devastating battle. Ever since, the forces of light govern the day while the night belongs to their dark opponents. In modern day Moscow the dark Others actually roam the night as vampires while a “Night Watch” of light forces, among them Anton, the movie’s protagonist, try to control them and limit their outrage.” Surprisingly Night Watch and it’s 2006 sequel Day Watch have been added to Disney+ Star the beaded curtain section where the adult movies are. There’s a but!! The director of both is Timur Bekmambetov and before he made the third movie Dusk Watch he went off and made Wanted (a comic book adaptation!). So a third movie is planned but never materialized. These dark movies are lots of fun plus you get to visit Russia which is great considering how we rarely travel now.
Tuesday, March 9
Underplayed (Anytime / Crave)
Filmed over the summer festival season, UNDERPLAYED presents a portrait of the current status of the gender, ethnic, and sexuality equality issues in dance music.
Sammy Suggestion: Dark Side of the Ring: Confidential (9/8c PM / VICE TV)
Finding truth at the intersection of fantasy and reality in the veiled world of professional wrestling.
There’s still no word on when Dark Side of the Ring: Season 3 will premiere so! this will hafta do. According to the description: “Each 90-minute episode of Confidential will feature series creators Evan Husney and Jason Eisener sitting down with Conrad Thompson for roundtable discussions on various topics from the first two seasons of the hit series. Guests will include names like former WWE referee Mike Chioda, Savio Vega, The Blue Meanie, and Tommy Dreamer.” Look…I know I am not a wrestling guy however I am a documentary guy and Dark Side of the Ring is really good. As a fan of ESPN’s 30 for 30s I dig it. Not every story in wrestling is fake fun. If this roundtable format doesn’t work for you you got 2 seasons to check out: some super dark stories.
Wednesday, March 10
South ParQ: The Vaccination Special (8/7c PM / Comedy Central)
The citizens of SouthParQ are clamoring for the vaccine.
Sammy Suggestion: Love, Gilda (Anytime / CBC Gem)
Diaries, audiotapes, videotapes and testimonies from friends and colleagues offer insight into the life and career of Gilda Radner — the beloved comic and actress who became an icon on SNL.
Gilda Susan Radner died on May 20, 1989 a date that feels recent yet ancient at the same time. As always with every celebrity death it’s hard to put it into context who they were and what their work was. Hence this documentary: “In her own words, comedienne Gilda Radner reflects on her life and career. Love Gilda weaves together her recently discovered audiotapes, interviews with friends (Chevy Chase, Lorne Michaels, Laraine Newman, Paul Shaffer and Martin Short), rare home movies and diaries read by modern-day comedians inspired by Gilda (Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cecily Strong).” Just that list of special talents: man you hope they eventually get a special documentary that puts their live and work into context. For now we start with Gilda.
Thursday, March 11
Stay Out of the Fucking Attic (Anytime / Shudder)
A diverse group of ex-cons who work as movers are convinced by their creepy client, Vern Muller, to stay the whole night to finish the job for a generous pay bump.
Sammy Suggestion: My Beautiful Stutter (Anytime / Discovery+)
MY BEAUTIFUL STUTTER follows five kids who stutter, ages 9 to 18, from all over the United States and all walks of life, and who, after experiencing a lifetime of bullying and stigmatization, meet other children who stutter at an interactive arts-based program, The Stuttering Association for the Young, based in New York City.
In 2012 Paul Rudd said this in a Vanity Fair interview: “I started thinking how hard it is to be a kid anyway, how hard it is to kind of talk with anybody, regardless of how old you are, but then to have a stutter, and have to contend with bullies, and, you know, just general confidence and security, that is also shaky when you’re growing up. I just really was blown away by these kids and was awed by them, really. So much so that I’m now on the board, and the play ended, but I’m still involved with the group.” He was in a play where his character stuttered though as the real life actor he deepened his involvement with those stuttering kids which has resulted in executive producing this documentary: My Beautiful Stutter. “The documentary follows five kids who stutter ages 9 to 18 who after experiencing a lifetime of bullying and stigmatization, meet other children who stutter at an interactive arts-based program, The Stuttering Association for the Young, based in New York City.” I dig documentaries like this where you get a window into a unique world and an unusual experience.
Friday, March 12
Assembled: The Making of WandaVision (Anytime / Disney+)
ASSEMBLED will take us behind the scenes of Marvel Disney Plus shows like WandaVision, Loki, and more.
Cherry (Anytime / Apple TV+)
CHERRY follows the wild journey of a disenfranchised young man from Ohio who meets the love of his life, only to risk losing her through a series of bad decisions and challenging life circumstances.
Sammy Suggestion: The Broken Hearts Gallery (Anytime / Crave)
Dumped by her boyfriend, a New York art gallery assistant creates an exhibit for souvenirs from past relationships.
What if you saved a souvenir from every relationship you’ve ever been in? And because this is a rom-com what if you started to collect those post-relationship souvenirs from strangers and like opened up an art gallery displaying all of them so people can heal and be unburdened and free to love again? You know where is going. Decent soundtrack, wildly filthy and sarcastic best friend and look out for a the bright cameo by Toronto’s own Neon Museum.
Saturday, March 13
Sammy Suggestion: Kid 90 (Anytime / Hulu)
From Soleil Moon-Frye, KID 90 presents a true time capsule of a group of friends growing up in Hollywood and New York City in the ‘90s, balancing childhood and fame pre-internet and social media explosion.
The premise is simple: “In the 1990s, Soleil Moon Frye carried a video camera with her everywhere she went. David Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Brian Austin Green, Stephen Dorff, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Harold Hunter, Justin Pierce, Danny Boy O’Connor, Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Brandis appear in the film.” I suppose it helps it is executive produced by the kid on Growing Pains: Leonardo DiCaprio. That this documentary follows Framing Britney Spears should add to that conversation. Though with this I can see the nostalgia taking over. That was a strange TV era.
Sunday, March 14
Sammy Suggestion: The Simpsons (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.
It’s Homer Simpson vs J.J. Abrams (who yes voices himself) in tonight’s Simpsons. Did you see The Simpsons got renewed for season 33 AND season 34 on March 3, 2021. If all goes well it’ll be 757 episodes with the landmark 700th episode Manger Things airing on March 21 next week. I’ve said this for a couple of years it’s too unwieldy to properly criticize; this is no longer a traditional TV shows. Yo man if you wanna do that for like Next Gen or other tv shows great. Have at it. But like 34 seasons…757 episodes? That’s generational: what I see is totally different than what your kids are seeing. It’s the NBA. My era was Jordan, some kids have Kobe, some kids have Curry. Nobody posts the 96-97 NBA season was better than last year’s. Or the NBA peaked in 2010! You just accept the season for what it is: doesn’t matter if it’s Simpsons or NBA…there will be some fun, some surprises, some oh I saw that coming then there’s an off-season then you get up and do it all again. It’s an institution.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.