Welcome to #SetTheVCR where this week it is murder most howl! We got a woman’s basketball team eliminating the competition, black comics who are killing it, Chris Pratt has gone Terminal, Bond’s stylish watch says it’s No Time To Die and murders in a building. My “body” of work includes many puns. Let’s investigate what’s on TV this week.
Monday, June 27
Citizen Ashe (Anytime / CNN.Com)
A CNN Films documentary (co-directed by Sam Pollard!!) about the legacy of triple Grand Slam, barrier-breaking tennis legend, and global humanitarian, Arthur Ashe.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: 30 for 30: Dream On (Anytime / ESPN+)
A profile of the United States women’s national basketball team of the mid-1990s, who won gold at the 1996 Olympics and helped change the landscape for women’s basketball including the start of WNBA.
ESPN Films’ latest 30 for 30: Dream On chronicles the journey of the 1996 Women’s Olympic Basketball Team. I dunno anything about this basketball team. According to the press release: “After the ’96 Dream Team, Team USA has gone on to win 7 consecutive gold medals in Women’s basketball.” Clearly the seeds of the WNBA. All 3 parts have been added to ESPN+. 30 for 30s are good like that…they often ask did you know this story?
Tuesday, June 28
Wild ‘N Out (8 pm. / VH1)
Each episode of this Nick Cannon classic will put Team Old School against Team New School in some of the most hilarious and outrageous battles yet.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING: SEASON 2 (ANYTIME / HULU & DISNEY+ CANADA)
Three strangers share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one.
Welcome back to the Arconia and the Three Amigos! Well this is good news for viewers…the amigos not so much. Our three heroes have been implicated in Bunny’s homicide and worse they also have to deal with being the subjects of a competing podcast. It’s all becoming murderously meta. I interviewed the show’s composer Siddhartha Khosla for Season 1 and he confirmed he seeded the soundtrack with sonic clues as to who the killer was. I’d listen closely as Season 2 unfolds for any extra sonic clues.
Wednesday, June 29
The Lazarus Project: Season 1 (Anytime / Sky Max)
Currently airing in the UK…I so hope this comes to North America soon. The Project is a top secret organization dedicated to preventing mass extinction events and with the ability to make time go backwards.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: RIGHT TO OFFEND: THE BLACK COMEDY REVOLUTION (9 P.M. / A&E)
The two-part documentary explores the progression of Black comedy and the comedians who have articulate the Black experience in America.
Protests are only as strong as the best art. “Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution explores the progression of Black comedy and the comedians who have used pointed humor to expose, challenge and ridicule society’s injustices and to articulate the Black experience in America.” This aggressive social commentary is something we’ve seen before…like In Living Color. Even something such as racism…there’s an absurd quality to it that naturally creates humour. So over two nights (#SetTheVCR twice!!) you’ll hear from Tommy Davidson, Michael Eric Dyson, Norman Lear, Tiffany Haddish, Nelson George, Kevin Hart and so much more. Oh this is going to be so much fun.
Thursday, June 30
Set 400 years in the future, The Orville: New Horizons finds the crew of the U.S.S. Orville continuing their mission of exploration, as they navigate both the mysteries of the universe and the complexities of their own interpersonal relationships.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: MAN VS. BEE: SEASON 1 (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Bumbling dad Trevor tries to get the best of a cunning bee while house-sitting a posh mansion – but only unleashes more chaos in this comedy series.
Bean meaning to share this recommendation: It’s Mr. Bean vs a Bee for 9 episodes that are 10 minute each. Basically Quibi comes to Netflix. My money is on the bee!
Friday, July 01
When a strong-willed princess refuses to wed the cruel sociopath, she is kidnapped and locked in a remote tower of her father’s castle. With her vindictive suitor intent on taking her father’s throne, the princess must save the kingdom.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: STRANGER THINGS 4: VOLUME 2
The second half of the penultimate season of Netflix’s flagship show, Stranger Things. A fifth and final season is expected February 2022.
If the Avengers can commit Tony Stark to death’s embrace; then it’s time for Stranger Things to put some of the “Hawkins Avengers” in the ground. In this final battle for Hawkins there’s no way all of em are gonna survive. Will Hawkins fall? Stay Tuned.
Saturday, July 02
78/52 (Anytime / Hulu)
An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), the “man behind the curtain”, and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE TERMINAL LIST: SEASON 1
(ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
The Terminal List follows James Reece (Chris Pratt) after his entire platoon of Navy SEALs is ambushed during a high-stakes covert mission. But…something isn’t right.
All eight episodes of this Chris Pratt military thriller premieres today. It follows a platoon of Navy SEALs who’re ambushed during a covert mission. Now the mission has changed. It’s up to Pratt to find out if the intel was bad, or if there’s a sinister conspiracy in play. And if so…terminate it with extreme prejudice. Think of The Terminal List as a To-Do list of murder and mayhem.
Sunday, July 03
From world-building to universe-building, hear first hand accounts from the cast and crew on what it took to design, create and make each universe unique and believable.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: NO TIME TO DIE (ANYTIME / CRAVE)
A mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading James Bond (Daniel Craig) onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
The twenty-fifth movie in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, starring Daniel Craig in his fifth and final portrayal of British MI6 agent, James Bond. I’ve a number of issues with this Bond movie; which had the dubious honour of being one of the first movies postponed due to the pandemic: initially scheduled for release in April 2020 by early March it was clear that was no longer possible. The subsequent shuffle of opening dates, the lockdowns where cinemas were open but mostly closed all made it difficult for audiences to connect with this movie. It’s now on Crave For Your Eyes Only. Programming Notes: for Americans it’s on Prime Video. And Crave is also home to the 007 Collection which features 25 Bond titles including Spectre, Skyfall, Dr. No, Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, and more.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.