You must be over the moon happy with the #SetTheVCR choices this week because choices like this happen like once in a blue moon. Streamers promise the moon but eh that’s like believing the moon is made of cheese. I’m done now.
Monday, March 28
Clive Davis: Most Iconic Performances (Anytime / Paramount+)
In the miniseries music mogul Clive Davis will take viewers through some of his favorite musical performances from the last few decades.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: SAM ROBERTS BAND PRESENTS ALL OF US (9 p.m. / CRAVE)
The documentary is titled after the band’s latest album, “All Of Us,” and follows the members as they attempt to launch their new music during the pandemic.
“By the time we got into the studio in January/February in 2020, we could feel that things were quite different…everything had ground to a halt.” The Sam Roberts Band like all creators struggled to figure out how to create during the pandemic. Could any of the music they had before be useful or was it time to throw it all out and start over? Follow the band as they write and record All Of Us, their seventh studio album released on October 16, 2020. A fun nerd-game is to listen to the album and identify the various sci-fi Easter eggs. Sam Roberts is a strong nerd and peppers his albums with nerd references; like the album before this was called TerraForm. This new album’s hope feels dangerous because to be hopeful is often to become an outlier. There’s a comforting conformity to fear; if you’re fearful you’ll fit in. Hope is a choice and easily one of the best ones we make. Because in the end the future comes for all of us.
Tuesday, March 29
The Girl from Plainville: Limited Series (Anytime / Hulu)
“The Girl From Plainville” is inspired by the true story of Michelle Carter’s unprecedented “texting-suicide” case. Based on the Esquire article of the same name by Jesse Barron, the limited series explores Carter’s relationship with Conrad Roy III and the events that led to his death and, later, her conviction of involuntary manslaughter.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: WELCOME CNN+
CNN+ is a whole new experience from the most trusted name in news. A fresh take on the day’s headlines. A chance to dive deeper and explore the stories of our world. And a way to interact and take part in the conversation. Sign up now for updates and learn how to subscribe and start streaming this spring.
New Day; New Streamer: CNN+ will be available for purchase starting today at $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year. Early subscribers that sign up within the first four weeks after March 29 directly with CNN+ will have access to the “Deal of a Lifetime,” or 50% off the monthly plan – for life – as long as they remain subscribers. It launches with the usual blah blah blah from its usual talking heads: Jake Tapper’s Book Club, Reliable Sources Daily, The Newscast with Wolf Blitzer etc. However the legit value of this streamer is the substantial new CNN+ Original Series and CNN Films that will contribute to a robust library of Video on Demand offerings. We got The Land of the Giants: Titans of Tech: this five-part docuseries investigates the meteoric rise of Meta (formerly Facebook), Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. The Murdochs: Empire of Influence: this six-part docuseries explores the legacy of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the dynasty he built. And we got The Last Movie Stars: 6 episodes that explores the lives and love story of actors Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. Directed by Ethan Hawke, and executive produced by Martin Scorsese. Plus all their previous documentaries. This is exactly like ESPN+ where all the 30 for 30s are housed in one location. A one stop nerd shop.
Wednesday, March 30
It’s not just a river in Egypt: while on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress. A fun Moon Knight appetizer?
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MOON KNIGHT: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / DISNEY+)
Mild-mannered Steven Grant has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with a mercenary.
Well Moon Knight finally makes his long awaited TV debut. Marc Spector / Moon Knight was to be introduced in the planned second season of Blade: The Series before its cancellation in September 2006. So for many viewers this is a fresh new character. (Unlike some of the recent MCU entries such as Eternals, Inhumans etc. Moon Knight has some excellent highly recommended comics.) The story follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt. So far the Disney+ TV shows have been barely PG-13 which neatly fits the stories they’re telling as well as the characters. You don’t need to go hard R for Hawkeye. However Moon Knight will be darker and rather brutal like a brisk cold shower.
Thursday, March 31
Brené Brown: Atlas of the Heart: Season 1 (Anytime / HBO Max)
For BRENÉ BROWN: ATLAS OF THE HEART, researcher and six-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Dr. Brené Brown takes viewers on an interactive journey through the range of emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human.
A woman goes after her boyfriend who has moved to Mars.
Ironically Moonshot is not a moonshot for me; I’m all over this teen movie…set on Mars. Moonshot follows Walt (Cole Sprouse) and Sophie (Lana Condor) as they board a space shuttle to travel to the Red Planet to reunite with their loved ones. A sci-fi romantic comedy? A teen movie in space? I dunno what this genre is but it’s clever to set romance on the red planet considering red is associated with Valentine’s Day, hearts and love.
Friday, April 1
Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (Anytime /Netflix)ˇ
A man narrates stories of his life as a 10-year-old boy in 1969 Houston, weaving tales of nostalgia with a fantastical account of a journey to the moon.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MOONFALL (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
Oscar winner Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, and John Bradley star in Roland Emmerich’s out of this world action-adventure about a last-ditch mission to stop the Moon from hurtling into the Earth.
“The world stands on the brink of annihilation when a mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit and sends it hurtling toward a collision course with Earth.” If you’re not Moon-ed out following Moon Knight and Moonshot then Moonfall finally “opens” in Canada. Our cinemas were irrationally closed and we never got to enjoy Roland Emmerich’s latest disaster ruckus spectacle. It’s not right to watch this on a small screen but here we are. Is it terrible? Probably but that’s the whole value of the theatrical release: join your local community and see for yourself just how terrible this truly is. The cinema is a special experience especially for fun movies like this.
Saturday, April 2
The Last Bus: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)
After embarking on a life-changing field trip, a group of whip-smart students fight to save humanity from an army of ruthless drones.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: NCAA TOURNAMENT – THE FINAL FOUR (GAME 1: 6:09 p.m. & GAME 2: 8:50 p.m. / TBS)
March Madness enters the home stretch as the Final Four face off at the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. We got Duke and Villanova and North Carolina and Kansas: all blue chips and blue bloods. Gonna be a mighty fine rumble.
March Madness is down to 3 games: The Final Four tonight is 2 games and on Monday April 4 The Championship Game. Duke is still in this thing; still battling. I can’t even imagine the pressure to win it all for Coach K’s final run. That’s the primary storyline as they take on North Carolina for the first time ever. Whew. Sucker’s getting intense: get the milk out to coat that ulcer. That’s easily gonna be one of the highest rated March Madness games of all time. But before that there’s Villanova vs Kansas. So: who wants it more?
Sunday, April 3
THE CIRCUS returns for a 7th season. This documentary series pulls back the curtain on the Trump era of presidential politics, revealing the stories behind the headlines.
Directed by Bo Burnham rising comedy star Jerrod Carmichael returns to HBO with his third standup comedy special following 2014’s Jerrod Carmichael: Love at the Store and Jerrod Carmichael: 8 in 2017.
“Fellow Americans, it is with the utmost pride and sincerity that I present this recording as a living testament and recollection of history in the making during our generation…” A legit PSA to let you know Jerrod Carmichael’s third HBO standup comedy special can now be streamed. Rothaniel was taped in February before a live audience at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. Dude’s previous special 8 is stunning. I’ve watched that special over 10 times. The way it’s shot…the use of silence and contemplation makes it one of the best specials since Rock’s Bring the Pain (and most of Chappelle’s work.).
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.