It’s going to be an Atypical #SetTheVCR week. (Like literally!)
Monday, July 05
Me And Earl and The Dying Girl (Anytime / Crave)
An awkward high-school senior (Thomas Mann) and a gravely ill classmate (Olivia Cooke) surprise themselves by becoming inseparable friends.
Sammy Suggestion: Rebel Robin: Surviving Hawkins (Anytime / Spotify etc.)
Netflix and Atypical Artists announce an original full-cast fiction podcast based on Stranger Things 3 breakout character, Robin Buckley. Rebel Robin: Surviving Hawkins is a 6 episode podcast companion to that season starring Maya Hawke and Sean Maher.
Before viewers can return to Hawkins and ah…Russia? in Stranger Things 4 Netflix has released an audio prequel of Strange Things 3. “October, 1983. There’s a monster lurking in Hawkins, Indiana. Chewing people up, spitting them out, changing them in terrible ways. Yet for some reason, everyone is acting like it’s all perfectly normal. Except for Robin Buckley. She alone knows exactly what this monster’s name is: Hawkins High School.” Maya Hawke returns as Robin, the ice cream slinging character introduced in the third season to share her high school adventures. Lately TV show podcast companions have been primarily non-fiction: interviews, fun facts etc. This is fiction with a TV show character played by the actor. Curious to see if the fans will embrace this as they impatiently await Season 4. The six-episode podcast series premiered on June 29 with new episodes dropping each week through early August. So press play and turn this up to….Eleven.
Tuesday, July 06
Judas and the Black Messiah (Anytime / Crave)
Offered a plea deal by the FBI, William O’Neal infiltrates the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party to gather intelligence on Chairman Fred Hampton.
Sammy Suggestion: Intergalactic (Anytime / Crave)
124 years into the future, a crew of fierce and adventurous high security female prisoners go on the run across the galaxy. The eclectic gang hi-jack their prison transport ship, with a wrongly accused cop on board, and go from planet to planet in search of the coordinates to Arcadia, the mythical paradise where criminals can be free.
Intergalactic is a British science fiction television series; the first season is 8 episodes. The series premiered on April 30, 2021 on Sky One; then on Peacock in the US on May 13, 2021 now it’s come to Canada via Crave. (No connection to the most excellent Beastie Boys song!) We got a prison colony, being wrongly convicted and a mutiny on a prison transfer ship: criminals are on the lam. (I dunno if humans will still use that phrase 100 plus years in the future which is where this universe takes place.) According to showrunner Julie Gearey: “The way we travel intergalactically in our show is through something called the Alcubierre drive. That’s named after [theoretical physicist] Miguel Alcubierre who’s come up with the theory that, if one could generate negative mass, it could be possible without defying the laws of relativity to travel intergalactically.” Hmm ok then let’s give this a shot and if it doesn’t work out? Well we’ll always have the most excellent Beastie Boys song.
Wednesday, July 07
Loki: Episode 5 (Anytime / Disney+)
In Marvel Studios’ “Loki,” the mercurial villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”
Sammy Suggestion: The Good, The Bart and The Loki (Anytime / Disney+)
Loki teams up with Bart Simpson to rule Springfield in a new ‘The Simpsons’ short on Disney+.
The official description: “In the new short exclusively on Disney+, Loki is banished from Asgard once again and must face his toughest opponents yet: the Simpsons and Springfield’s mightiest heroes. The God of Mischief teams up with Bart Simpson in the ultimate crossover event paying tribute to the Marvel Cinematic Universe of superheroes and villains.” I mean Bart with the God of Mischief? Even Frank Grimes would enjoy this. The Good, The Bart, and The Loki marks the second Disney+ short from The Simpsons team based on iconic Disney titles. The first was The Force Awakens From Its Nap a Star Wars-themed short starring Maggie Simpson; below is a clip of that short. (Bonus: Episode 5 of Loki drops today! Next week is the final episode.)
Thursday, July 08
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)
Federal agent Leon S. Kennedy teams up with TerraSave staff member Claire Redfield to investigate a zombie outbreak.
Sammy Suggestion: Marvel Studios’ Legends: Black Widow (Anytime / Disney+)
Get fans caught up on all Natasha Romanoff’s biggest moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the new film arrives.
Black Widow finally opens at a cinema near you tomorrow (the MCU movie was originally scheduled to be released on May 1, 2020 which simultaneously feels like last week and 100 years ago!). As such the latest and ninth episode of Marvel Studios: Legends focuses on Black Widow. Legends is a Disney+ docuseries where “each episode showcases an individual character or object with footage from past MCU films, highlighting their prominent moments from the MCU.” Episode 7 was Loki, Episode 8 released on June 4 focused on The Tesseract. If you need a useful recap of who Black Widow is and her tragic story this is your go to stop for what basically is an elaborate fan video.
Friday, July 09
Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (Anytime / Netflix)
In the cursed town of Shadyside, a killer’s murder spree terrorizes Camp Nightwing and turns a summer of fun into a gruesome fight for survival.
Biohackers: Season 2 (Anytime / Netflix)
A medical student enters a top German university on a secret mission to uncover a conspiracy linking a family tragedy to a visionary biology professor.
Sammy Suggestion: Atypical: Season 4 (Anytime / Netflix)
When a teen on the autism spectrum decides to get a girlfriend, his bid for more independence puts his whole family on a path of self-discovery. The best endings are atypical. Atypical’s fourth and final season drops July 9, only on Netflix.
Atypical one of my all time favourite Netflix TV shows returns for a fourth and final season. This show has been a special spectrum of emotions as we follow Sam Gardner an 18-year-old autistic character; his family oscillating between identity and independence (Michael Rapaport plays Sam’s Dad and initially why I tuned in) and Sam’s best friend Zahid a dorky lothario who is often closing. Each season is basically a long teen movie told in 8 or 10 parts. Great soundtrack; quirky characters who’ve failed at fitting in and everybody including the adults just want to be loved. If The Breakfast Club represented 80s teen alienation across a number of experiences (“each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal”) then Atypical is a modern Breakfast Club of lovable losers (one of us is a brain (Sam), an athlete (Casey), a basket case (Elsa), a princess (Julia) and a criminal (Zahid!)). That’s it: sounds “Atypical” but if you’ve seen the show you see what I’m seeing. If you dig The Breakfast Club you’ll enjoy Atypical.
Saturday, July 10
Sammy Suggestion: At Eternity’s Gate (Anytime / Crave)
Wild artistic inspiration and emotional turmoil fill painter Vincent van Gogh’s last years as he struggles to bring his unique vision to the world.
Have you “heard” about this van Gogh movie? (The classics are always music to my “ear.” I’m done now.). At Eternity’s Gate is a biographical drama film about the final years of painter Vincent van Gogh’s life. Directed by painter Julian Schnabel this should be a compelling addition to his impressive and artistic filmography which includes Basquiat (1996) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007).
Sunday, July 11
Wellington Paranormal: Season 1 (9 p.m. / The CW)
Sergeant Maaka and Officers Minogue and O’Leary are members of the Wellington, New Zealand, police. Their job is to investigate paranormal phenomena. (This show was created by Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi.)
Sammy Suggestion: History of the Sitcom (9 p.m. / CNN)
This eight-part docuseries reunites audiences with the television friends, families, and co-workers they grew up with while introducing cutting-edge comedies that are sure to be your next binge-watch.
Ready for this? “History of the Sitcom reunites audiences with the television friends, families, and co-workers they grew up with while introducing cutting-edge comedies that are sure to be your next binge-watch. The eight-part docuseries features over 180 original interviews with sitcom icons including Norman Lear, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Kim Fields, Tim Allen, Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, George Lopez, Mel Brooks, Isabella Gomez, Ted Danson, Joey Soloway, Jimmie Walker, Judd Apatow, Dan Levy, Zooey Deschanel, Chuck Lorre, Mara Brock Akil, Helen Hunt and many more, breaking down how sitcoms have helped generations of Americans navigate an ever-shifting cultural landscape.” Whew. Sitcoms have fallen out of fashion; while still made and still a popular format they’re often not “Must See TV.” However this docuseries is Must See TV.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.