This week’s #SetTheVCR includes a solid Milhouse reference. That alone is a worthy reward for the time you spend here, right?
Monday, August 23
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (Anytime / Netflix)
Escaping from poverty to become a witcher, Vesemir slays monsters for coin and glory, but when a new menace rises, he must face the demons of his past.
Sammy Suggestion: 100 Foot Wave (Anytime / HBO Max)
Garrett McNamara journeyed to Nazare, Portugal with one goal in mind: to conquer a 100-foot wave. His effort drove the sport of surfing to new heights and helped transform a tiny fishing village into the world’s preeminent big-wave surfing destination. From HBO Sports comes this breathtaking six-part documentary series that chronicles McNamara’s quest.
Surf’s Up! Look tonight you could watch The Ultimate Surfer on ABC a corny competition tv showcase…America’s Got Waves basically or you can check out 100 Foot Wave which just concluded last night. “The six episode docuseries captures the common spirit and fearless passion shared by Garrett McNamara (the Guinness World Record holder for the largest wave ever surfed for eight years) and big-wave surfers from across the world as they push themselves through life-altering injuries and tantalizing near-misses in their collective pursuit of the inconceivable. Spanning four continents, 100 Foot Wave is an inspirational story of a group of people on a quest to achieve new heights, and a town and a sport that were forever changed by one seemingly impossible dream.” Sounds like a wild ride; doubt you’ll be “board” watching this docuseries unlike what ABC is showing.
Tuesday, August 24
Untold: Season 1: Caitlyn Jenner (Anytime / Netflix)
Caitlyn Jenner’s unlikely path to Olympic glory was inspirational. But her more challenging road to embracing her true self proved even more meaningful.
Sammy Suggestion: The 90’s Action Movie Extravaganza Cheeze Fest (Anytime / HBO Max)
The title says it all.
On HBO Max you can enjoy the biggest stars in some of the biggest bombs. Tango & Cash (1989), Hudson Hawk (1991), Last Action Hero (1993) and The Fugitive (1993) were all added to the streamer this month. (Ok Fugitive isn’t a bomb but it’s got enough cheeze to qualify.) Chances are high you haven’t seen any of them in years…maybe even a decade. Are they truly terrible? Or are they worse than we realized and time hasn’t been kind to any of em? Are there any positives to take away from them? There’s gotta be a one-liner that you can use in real life from one of these movies. So fire up the Jiffy Pop and let’s see what we see. (Seriously if you watch any of these drop me a note @mysummerlair for IG, Twitter and Facebook. Lemme know all of your thoughts and feelings. I wanna check out Last Action Hero.)
Wednesday, August 25
Clickbait (Anytime / Netflix)
When family man Nick Brewer is abducted in a crime with a sinister online twist, those closest to him race to uncover who is behind it and why.
Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian: Season 2 (Anytime / Disney+)
Disney Gallery / Star Wars: The Mandalorian is an eight-episode documentary series that pulls back the curtain on The Mandalorian.
Sammy Suggestion: Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed (Anytime / Netflix)
Bob Ross brought joy to millions as the world’s most famous art instructor. But a battle for his business empire cast a shadow over his happy trees.
I mean dude was known for Joy of Painting not Joy of Business. (He was also known for that magnificent afro: it’s mesmerizing and brought me joy.)
Thursday, August 26
Sammy Suggestion: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (Anytime / Netflix (Canada))
It’s 1969. A TV actor and his stunt-double friend weigh their next move in an LA rocked by change as the scene’s hottest couple arrives next door.
It’s a Quentin Tarantino movie. That’s pretty much worth the time investment if you haven’t seen it. Though I suspect Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is misunderstood. The movie is literally called Once Upon a Time… which cues every single fairy tale ever. Only better: the Cinderella ball stuff is boring. (It’s only the start…the setup and the end that matters with fairy tales anyways.) Hollywood is a fairy tale: it’s good to some people and it’s bad to some people. Hollywood is a place where people go to make happy endings while failing (often) to get a happy ending themselves. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a hopeful tragedy. It’s a Disney movie for adults (especially creators) but thankfully with no cheddar like a princess or a queen. And eh…even if you disagree with me: it’s a Quentin Tarantino see for yo’self!
Friday, August 27
See: Season 2 (Anytime / Apple TV+)
In the far future, humankind has lost its sense of sight. Jason Momoa stars as the father of twins born with the mythic ability to see—who must protect his tribe against a threatened queen. Dave Bautista and Alfre Woodard also star.
Sammy Suggestion: Vacation Friends (Anytime / Hulu)
A couple meets up with another couple while on vacation in Mexico, but their friendship takes an awkward turn when they get back home.
Fine. Whatever. Vacation Friends is about…eh it doesn’t matter it is what it is. Take a Summer vacation from common sense and…plot and “enjoy” this comedy. (Please Note: Canadians can watch this on Disney+ Star.)
Saturday, August 28
Sammy Suggestion: The Incredible Hulk (Anytime / Crave)
Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately seeks a cure for the gamma radiation that contaminated his cells and turned him into The Hulk. Cut off from his true love Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) and forced to hide from his nemesis, Gen. Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), Banner soon comes face-to-face with a new threat: a supremely powerful enemy known as The Abomination (Tim Roth).
The Hulk’s relationship with TV and movies is widely fascinating. There was The Incredible Hulk TV Series from 1977–1982. And sure there was cheeze along with endlessly iconic moments. (You try changing a tire and not think of that opening!) There was Hulk, a 2003 movie directed by Ang Lee which cast Eric Bana as Bruce Banner. That was terrible because Ang Lee literally made a comic book movie. Then in 2008 on May 2nd Iron Man big banged the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Which was quickly followed up with The Incredible Hulk on June 13. And it was a decent yet flawed movie (it didn’t “smash” box office records.). Kevin Feige and team were still figuring out matters (you can see a brief shot of Captain America frozen in the ice) and yet for the most part Hulk is a stand alone movie. It’s an MCU outlier though offering a unique set up to the character who would go on to have significant evolutions. So if it’s been a while why not revisit this unique Edward Norton performance: it’s kinda like a Fight Club sequel.
Sunday, August 29
9/11: One Day in America (9 p.m. / National Geographic Channel)
9/11: One Day in America is an American documentary television miniseries directed by Daniel Bogado. The series follows the 9/11 terrorist attacks through archival footage, eyewitnesses, and survivors. The series will consist of 6-episodes and premiere on National Geographic.
Sammy Suggestion: National Clean Out your PVR Day! (Anytime)
That’s DVR for all you American plebs.
Clear out your PVR Day! For all the radical changes TV has endured with streaming we still watch non-Netflix tv shows. And those typically have a Fall start date. Season 8 of The CW’s Penn & Teller: Fool Us drops on October 1st, after Big Sky‘s Season 2 premiere on September 30 on ABC. Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken returns on September 6 while Independent Lens kicks off Season 20 on PBS on October 13. Plus all the NCIS, FBI, Chicago, Station type tv shows. So indeed clear out your PVR because the Fall will be busy and not everything can be immediately accessed via a streamer.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.