I’m your TV Super Friend providing super suggestions for #SetTheVCR including Super Friends. So meta.
Monday, June 14
Boss Level (Anytime / Netflix Canada)
A retired Special Forces officer is trapped in a never ending time loop on the day of his death.
Sammy Suggestion: Shock Docs: The Devil Made Me Do It (Anytime / Discovery+)
Chronicles the real-life case of a Connecticut man who was charged with a brutal murder and claimed innocence by insisting “the devil made me do it.”
In 1981 the Trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson AKA the “Devil Made Me Do It” case, is the first known court case in the US in which the defense sought to prove innocence based upon the defendant’s claim of demonic possession and denial of personal responsibility for the crime. That case as you can tell from the movie’s title inspired The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It the third chapter in that horror franchise. While that’s a classic horror movie this Discovery+ documentary Shock Docs: The Devil Made Me Do It offers an in-depth examination into the real life case. Loaded with the classic never-before-seen interviews with the Glatzel family, the Warrens, the defendant’s lawyer, and local police. This should help to illuminate just what happened in 1980…I mean The Devil is in the details right?
Tuesday, June 15
Headspace: Unwind Your Mind (Anytime / Netflix)
Another Netflix co-production with the HEADSPACE meditation app. Company representatives tell you, with the aid of animation, three different techniques for mind-unwinding, depending on what time it is and whether you want to call it “meditation” or not.
Sammy Suggestion: Michael Smerconish: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking (Anytime / Hulu)
Michael Smerconish celebrates his 30th year as a talk radio host in a dynamic one-man performance, recorded live during a pandemic. The result is both an intimate memoir and a unique explanation of the origin of a nation’s partisan divide.
I generally don’t enjoy most of CNN’s talking heads; though Michael Smerconish will offer up moments of sarcasm in between bursts of insight. That’s all I ask! On July 11, 2020, Michael premiered his special on CNN; it’s now surfaced on Hulu. To celebrate 30 years in talk radio and ah…talk TV the original plan was to have Smerconish go all Spalding Gray and review his life experiences so he and the audience could understand how he got here. The TED Talk style event was booked as a nationwide tour; tickets were selling briskly and then…the pandemic happened. (We don’t talk enough about how the pandemic thwarted momentum for so many creative projects across various mediums.) Rather than let his work go to waste he recorded the program at the historic – and empty – Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope. Which is the special we see now.
Wednesday, June 16
Spider-Man: Far from Home (Anytime / Netflix Canada)
Even your friendly neighborhood superhero can use a vacation. But a new threat forces Peter Parker to swing into action during a school trip to Europe.
Sammy Suggestion: The Hurricane Heist (Anytime / Netflix Canada)
A deadly hurricane with mile-high waves provides the perfect cover for stealing $600 million from a U.S. Treasury outpost in Mississippi.
If ya dug Army Of The Dead then check out Hurricane Heist. Similar to Army of the Dead Hurricane Heist is a heist movie with impossible and slightly ridiculous odds. The plan and the plot are simple: “Thieves attempt a massive heist against the U.S. Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities.” But of course this isn’t the A-Team and the plan doesn’t come together. Bonus Fun? The film was released on March 9, 2018, received negative reviews and was a box-office bomb which is what you want from a bin-action movie. Cheeze It Up!
Thursday, June 17
Intelligence: Season 2 (Anytime / Peacock)
Somewhere between MI5, MI6 and the malfunctioning third-floor printer at the U.K.’s labyrinthine Government Communications Headquarters, an arrogant, maverick NSA liaison arrives from the U.S. to join a ragtag bureaucracy of cybersecurity misfits.
The Prime Day Show (Anytime / Prime Video)
THE PRIME DAY SHOW is a three-part special event featuring award-winning artists Billie Eilish, Kid Cudi and H.E.R. in an immersive musical experience. These groundbreaking performers fuse music with powerful visuals and storytelling transporting fans into unique worlds.
Sammy Suggestion: The Little Things (Anytime / HBO Max)
Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe Deacon is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a serial killer who is terrorizing the city.
It took decades for this movie to see the light of day. The first draft was written by John Lee Hancock in 1993 for Steven Spielberg to direct, but Spielberg passed feeling the story was too dark. Even Brandon Lee was briefly attached before he passed away. Anyways Hancock decided to direct his own screenplay and here we are in 2021. Your two detectives are Denzel Washington and Rami Malek and your creepy loner is Jared Leto. Is he the serial killer stalking Los Angeles? And doesn’t this all sound a “little” like Se7en? Tonight it debuts on HBO Max for Americans; for Canadians it’s on Crave tomorrow.
Friday, June 18
Physical: Season 1 (Anytime / Apple TV+)
Sheila Rubin is a quietly tormented housewife in ’80s San Diego. Behind closed doors, she battles extreme personal demons and a vicious inner voice. But things change when she discovers aerobics, sparking a journey toward empowerment and success.
Sammy Suggestion: Super Friends (Anytime / HBO Max)
The greatest of the DC Comics superheroes work together to uphold the good with the help of some young proteges.
Super Friends yes the classic 1973 animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera debuts on HBO Max today. You’ll hafta give the opening narrator side-eye for saying: “In the Great Hall of the Justice League there are assembled the world’s four greatest heroes created from the cosmic legends of the universe: Superman! Wonder Woman! Batman! AND Aquaman!” Hah. No Green Lantern? No Flash? (Really: Superman, Batman and Aquaman had each previously appeared in their own animated series produced by Filmation. So Aquaman’s presence isn’t that fishy.)
Yes this is Casey Kasem as Robin while Olan Soule (what a great name! Sounds like a DC Comics villain!) voiced Batman for decades: from the late 60s into the late 80s. (Though there was a number of Super Friends incarnations throughout the 70s and 80s so I’m not sure how HBO will be packaging all this…I assume there will be 93 episodes rather than just the original 16.)
Each episode begins with the superheroes responding to an emergency detected by the massive TroubAlert computer located within the mighty Hall of Justice. (This show was the debut of the Hall of Justice. Kinda like how the Superman radio serial gifted us Kryptonite.)
While the plotting will not doubt be dated; even corny in places (like the episode where Dr. Thinkquick brazenly uses global warming to heat up his cold country with little concern for how it would impact the rest of Earth. Dr. Thinkquick wasn’t the only subtle war on intelligentsia running throughout the show: the Super Friends battled Professor Baffles and confronted Professor Goodfellow with his G.E.E.C. (Goodfellow’s Effort-Eliminating Computer) invention. Clearly the 70s were a much simpler time. So yeah look the show won’t be any good however for many people these are some of the most iconic representations of these DC characters. Oh and “look out” for Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. See It?
Saturday, June 19
Sammy Suggestion: Fatherhood (Anytime / Netflix)
A widowed new dad copes with doubts, fears, heartache and dirty diapers as he sets out to raise his daughter on his own. Inspired by a true story.
This “I dunno what I’m doing as I never expected to be a Daddy!” movie genre seems to be a rite of passage for celebrity men. Less Big Daddy though more Three Men and a Baby Kevin Hart is left alone to raise his daughter after his wife suddenly dies. So like Jersey Girl only this time the stand up comic is Hart not George Carlin. Honestly? Anthony Carrigan plays Oscar and that’s primarily why I’m passing this on! If you’ve watched Barry on HBO dude plays Chechen mobster NoHo Hank with such dry wit it’s fantastic. So if this movie isn’t working out for you; then jump over to HBO for Barry. Either way spending time with Anthony Carrigan makes for a solid weekend.
Sunday, June 20
Sammy Suggestion: Marvel’s Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord (Anytime / Pandora)
In a post-apocalyptic future, Marvel’s WASTELANDERS: OLD MAN STAR-LORD finds Peter Quill and Rocket a little paunchier, a little slower, and a lot saltier than they were during the glory days of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
I’m going to cheat a bit and give you a classic option: there was a time when the family gathered around the radio for theatre of the mind. Back in 2008 Marvel readers were introduced to Old Man Logan and Wastelands. The success of that Mark Millar co-creation generated a couple of follow ups: Old Man Hawkeye and Old Man Quill. (I highly recommend Old Man Quill. Despite the disposable concept it’s well written: the best Guardians of the Galaxy comics are marred in Peter Parker melancholy: poor Peter Quill he is wasting away in the aptly named Wastelands and it’s devastating tragedy.) Anyways Old Man Quill has been adapted into a fictional podcast! Timothy Busfield the dude from West Wing plays Peter Quill and Chris Elliott the dude from Letterman’s late night talk show plays Rocket. That’s solid casting. It’s written by Benjamin Percy who previous penned the podcasts: Wolverine: The Long Night and Wolverine: The Lost Trail. The first three chapters are up so give it a shot. You’ll hang out with ancient Emma Frost, run into outlaw Ghost Riders, do your best to avoid a bloodthirsty Kraven the Hunter. And you hear that…is that…Doctor Doom?! This podcast can be found at all the classic podcast spots.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.