Nothing Personal about this week’s #SetTheVCR; I can promise you Under The Banner of Heaven will be your new Crush.
Monday, April 25
Yorkshire, 1834. All eyes are on Anne Lister and Ann Walker as they set up home together at Shibden Hall as wife and wife, determined to combine their estates and become a power couple.
We Own This City chronicles the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force and the corruption and moral collapse that befell an American city in which the policies of drug prohibition and mass arrest were championed at the expense of actual police work.
The talent that produced The Wire have reunited and it feels good. This time the Baltimore saga they’re telling is another chapter in city’s drug war; granted The Wire was fiction. This was a real life scandal: “Baltimore police commanders held to the belief that any street unit that could bring in guns and drugs consistently had to be championed and protected.” It’s easy to see how carte blanche naturally produces “carte corruption.” So for 6 episodes released weekly welcome Baltimore in 2017 and the Gun Trace Task Force’s captivating moral collapse. Wasn’t We Own This City a pop song??
Tuesday, April 26
Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Anytime / Prime Video Canada)
Tom Hardy returns to the big screen as the lethal protector Venom. Directed by Andy Serkis, the film also stars Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson, in the role of the villain Cletus Kasady/Carnage.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: DAVID SPADE: NOTHING PERSONAL
(ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
David Spade makes his Netflix comedy special debut with Nothing Personal filmed at the Pantages Theater in Minneapolis. From sharing his disdain for crabs to his unique approach to turning down drugs, David proves that no topic is off limits.
Today! David Spade makes his Netflix comedy special debut with Nothing Personal. (He has performed comedy in Netflix Originals like The Wrong Missy and The Do-Over.) Look: it’s Spade…you’re either in or you’re out. That’s it. I’m 100% In. And if you’re out; I get it…I hope it’s Nothing Personal.
Wednesday, April 27
Tom Brady: Man In The Arena – Episodes 1-9 (Various Times / TSN)
The ESPN+ series features Tom Brady and other notable NFL figures deconstructing the milestones of his legendary NFL career, mining the psychological and emotional terrain of each victory and defeat. In Canada TSN all this week will be broadcasting Parts 1-9; check the TV Guide for channels and times. (You can also watch the first 9 parts on Hulu and Disney+ in America.)
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MAN IN THE ARENA: TOM BRADY – EPISODE 10 (ANYTIME / ESPN+)
The series features Brady and other notable figures deconstructing the milestones of his legendary NFL career, mining the psychological and emotional terrain of each victory and defeat.
The 10th and final episode (Brady’s Tampa Bay Super Bowl victory season) has now been added to ESPN+. Episode 7 is spectacular. I watched it 3 times. On September 28 in the Wall Street Journal Tom Brady wisely said: “You think people care what you think and then you care less what people think, and then you realize no one cared, anyway.” Pretty much. The title of this ESPN+ show comes from the stirring Theodore Roosevelt speech: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” And that right there…that’s Tom Brady.
Thursday, April 28
The Mystery Of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes (Anytime / Netflix)
This documentary explores the mystery surrounding the death of movie icon Marilyn Monroe through previously unheard interviews with her inner circle.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN: LIMITED SERIES (ANYTIME / HULU & DISNEY+ CANADA)
The 7 episode limited series inspired by the true crime bestseller by Jon Krakauer, follows the events that led to the 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her baby daughter in a suburb in the Salt Lake Valley, Utah.
Andrew Garfield is on the case trying to solve the 1984 murder of Daisy Edgar-Jones in Salt Lake Valley, Utah. Playing a devout Mormon Garfield’s detective does everything…by The Book of Mormon! You’ll recognize a lot of faces in front of the camera and know a number of names behind the camera. Based on the trailer I expect the expected buried truths will be unearthed prompting Garfield to have a classic Matt Murdock crisis of faith. Still this True Detective persists because he wants to be in on the secret. Please Note: Tonight’s premiere will feature the first two episodes, with a new episode over the following five weeks.
Friday, April 29
Lost In Translation (Anytime / Crave via Starz)
A lonely, aging movie star named Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and a conflicted newlywed, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), meet in Tokyo. Bob is there to film a Japanese whiskey commercial; Charlotte is accompanying her celebrity-photographer husband. Strangers in a foreign land, the two find escape, distraction and understanding amidst the bright Tokyo lights after a chance meeting in the quiet lull of the hotel bar. They form a bond that is as unlikely as it is heartfelt and meaningful.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: CRUSH (ANYTIME / HULU & DISNEY+ CANADA)
When an aspiring young artist is forced to join her high school track team, she uses it as an opportunity to pursue the girl she’s been harboring a long-time crush on. But she soon finds herself falling for an unexpected teammate and discovers what real love feels like.
Crush is one of those not bad not good teen movies: I won’t be “crushed” if it’s terrible. The main character is gay rather than the best friend; so I guess if you consider that then Hulu is “crushing it.” A killer soundtrack might give it a boost; that’s my man-crush at the movies. Doesn’t help it’s by the Sex Appeal studio though. It’s “out” today.
Saturday, April 30
This 3 part docuseries explores the evolution of true crime storytelling: In 1972, seven-year-old Steven vanishes from Merced, CA. When he heroically returns 7 years later, the media can’t get enough of the story. But this isn’t the Hollywood ending it appears to be.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: I LOVE THAT FOR YOU: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / SHOWTIME ON DEMAND & CRAVE)
Inspired by Vanessa Bayer’s own story of overcoming childhood leukemia, the eight-episode series centers on Joanna Gold (Bayer) who dreams of becoming a host at a home-shopping channel.
“Joanna Gold (Vanessa Bayer) who dreams of becoming a host at a home shopping channel. Working to shed her life-long label as “that cancer girl,” she moves away from her parents, starts a budding romance for the first time in her adult life and forms a meaningful friendship with her idol Jackie (Molly Shannon).” So…will her idol help her become a “Superstar?” Or is she like Dawn Lazarus just not that good on TV? I’m Brecky interested in this TV show; I wonder if Bayer’s home shopping channel sells any Vitamix? Please Note: The eight-episode season will continue to drop a new episode every Friday via streaming and on-demand platforms before appearing on air Sunday night at 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 1
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.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MOST DANGEROUS GAME: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
Desperate to take care of his pregnant wife before a terminal illness can take his life, a man accepts an offer to participate in a deadly game in which he is not the hunter but the prey.
Remember Quibi? Most Dangerous Game is an American action series (well “series” it’s a 2 hour movie cut up in Quibi bite sized chunks) that debuted on Quibi on April 6, 2020. Well Quibi was ironically “short-lived” so all their content went to the Roku Channel; the series was released there on May 20, 2021. And today it’s on Prime Video Canada. The off-brand Hemsworth has entered into a game with Christoph Waltz (I guess he’d be off-brand Dennis Hopper.). Think of it like Fincher’s Game just not as clever and the hunter is the one who is hunted. So yeah remember the entire “first season” is really a 2h 10 minute movie. (And shorter than most MCU movies!) And on August 23, 2021, it was renewed for a second season on the Roku Channel. So happy hunting!
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.