Be Patient this week: we say goodbye to a rock star and August; welcome in September with Rings of Power.
Monday, August 29
ESPN Films: Fate of a Sport (Anytime / ESPN+)
The documentary chronicles the story of lacrosse legend Paul Rabil and his fight to change the trajectory of the sport he loves by launching a new professional league, the Premier Lacrosse League.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE NEW YORK TIMES PRESENTS: SUPERSPREADER (ANYTIME / HULU)
Are you hesitant to get a Covid vaccine? This doctor opposes them. If you agree, he has some pet supplies he wants to sell you. Meet Dr. Mercola, perhaps the most influential spreader of Covid vaccine misinformation online.
COVID was a pandemic happening in real time; if you’ve ever watched breaking news on CNN you know how confusing that is; you don’t have all the facts and what they’re telling you is not even close to accurate. There’s 5 shooters? 1 shooter now? At points during the pandemic people were microwaving their mail (why?? That’s not even logical.) or hording…toilet paper (for a respiratory virus??). One of the reasons COVID was as confusing as breaking news is Dr. Mercola. “He has become a leading spreader of Coronavirus misinformation online, according to researchers, building a vast operation to push natural health cures and disseminate anti-vaccination content – while reaping immense profits.” The last two words are key: misinformation is profitable. There is a market for this. This NY Times Presents documentary will most likely blame Dr. Mercola but eventually we hafta confront the market. Because it takes two to clickbait.
Tuesday, August 30
Katrina Babies (Anytime / HBO Max)
Details the close-knit families and vibrant communities of New Orleans whose lives were uprooted by the 2005 disaster.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE PATIENT: LIMITED SERIES
(ANYTIME / HULU & DISNEY+ CANADA)
A psychological thriller about a therapist who’s held prisoner by a patient. (Wasn’t this the plot of What About Bob??)
Can you cure a serial killer with therapy? “A psychotherapist finds himself held prisoner by a serial killer with an unusual request: curb his homicidal urges.” That sounds like crazy talk! It’s always nuts when a comic performer does a serious role: Steve Carell is the psychotherapist. As for the serial killer is he a basket case for putting all of his eggs in one basket? Can Steve Carell cure his madness or will he just make him…mad? Be “patient” this 10 episode series will be released weekly; it’s a serial show about a serial killer; crazy good fun.
Wednesday, August 31
DC’s Stargirl: Season 3 (8 p.m. / The CW)
High school student Courtney Whitmore inspires an unlikely group of young heroes to stop the villains of the past.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: Power On: The Story of Xbox (Anytime / Tubi)
Xbox almost didn’t happen. Find out why in this behind-the-scenes, six-part series that takes you back to the scrappy beginnings of Microsoft’s video game console. It’s the untold story of the people behind the box, glitches and all.
The past few years have given us a number of notable video game documentaries: Console Wars, High Score, From Bedrooms to Billions: The Playstation Revolution and many others. Well now Xbox has a Last Dance. (It’s directed by Andrew Stephan who has directed two 30 for 30s so that works well.) First announced on November 15, 2021 as part of Microsoft’s 20th-anniversary Xbox celebrations, the docuseries was created to mirror a superhero origin story. “This behind-the-scenes, six-part series that takes you back to the scrappy beginnings of Microsoft’s video game console. It’s the untold story of the people behind the box, glitches and all.” Programming Note: all 6 chapters are free to enjoy on YouTube as well.
Thursday, September 01
Love In The Villa (Anytime / Netflix)
A young woman takes a trip to romantic Verona, Italy, after a break up, only to find that the villa she reserved was double-booked, and she’ll have to share her vacation with a cynical and good-looking British man who is the dude from The Umbrella Academy.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: UNTOLD: OPERATION FLAGRANT FOUL (ANYTIME / NETFLIX)
Operation Flagrant Foul, insiders tell the full story behind one of the NBA’s biggest scandals when ref Tim Donaghy was caught for betting on his own games.
In 2007 the New York Post reported that the FBI was investigating allegations an NBA referee had bet on games. Woah; read that sentence again slowly. As fans we often blame the refs for being unfair but…what if they were? What if NBA games were as fixed and as fake a wrestling? This is the documentary of NBA referee Tim Donaghy who bet on games he officiated. We got NBA, FBI and organized crime; that’s three in the key. Programming Note: Next week’s Untold is The Race of the Century. S’about the 1983 America’s Cup. Not sure about that one. Show me a trailer.
Friday, September 02
Jurassic World: Dominion Extended Version (Anytime / Peacock)
14 extra minutes and an alternate opening; which means the movie will now be over 2 hours and 30 minutes. Oh Boy…hold onto your “butts” for true. (The Theatrical Version is also released today.)
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER (ANYTIME / PRIME VIDEO)
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history.
Like Star Wars TV; this is Lord of the Rings so you’re either in or you’re out. “This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged…” Yes Middle-earth nerds…this the forging of the rings (plural!), the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Look. It’s Lord of the Rings; Prime Video’s Game of Thrones. And I dig this news: they’ve already renewed it for a second season so there’s no “oh Lord!” pressure to watch it or else. The precious fate of the rings is not in your hand. Whew. Programming Note: While I wrote anytime this streaming TV show is being released with specific times…eh…kinda like old school TV. The first two episodes will be released on Thursday, September 1 at 6 pm PDT/9pm EDT. Week Two timings through to the Season Finale will be 9pm PDT on Thursdays, Midnight for EDT on Friday mornings. So for real: #SetTheVCR.
Saturday, September 03
Teenage best friends Zoe and Becca set out to build their own fake ID empire, but when business starts booming, their life of crime gets way too real.
SAMMY SUGGESTION: THE TAYLOR HAWKINS TRIBUTE CONCERT (11:30 A.M. / PARAMOUNT+)
A Global Music Event Honoring the Life and Music of a Rock Legend.
We lost Taylor Hawkins on March 25, 2022. I can’t even fathom the pain Dave Grohl and the other Foo Fighters are going through. As the old saying goes…the show must go on. While we all wait for the next steps of the Foos here is a memorial slash celebration of life. On the bill we got Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Travis Barker, John Paul Jones, Mark Ronson, Supergrass (remember them?) and of course Foo Fighters. The reason for the early start time is the tribute is in Wembley Stadium in London. We lost an incredible drummer and musician; Taylor was also a husband, a father and a friend. But to us he was an outstanding drummer and this is an our public opportunity to say thanks for all the music…and goodbye. Programming Note: While the concert is broadcast on Paramount+ in America there are global and international options described below.
Sunday, September 04
Everything I Know About Love: Season 1 (Anytime / Peacock)
Four friends. One story of great love. A messy, raucous stumble into bad dates and heartaches – and surviving your twenties.
This film explores the life and music of Elvis Presley, seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America..
I’d rather a documentary than a biopic because I can’t trust biopics. That being said Elvis is freshtastic. This is an introduction to the King of Rock and Roll; it electrifies many of the Wikipedia dry facts about Elvis and infuses em with life…with celebrity and agency. In life…and most importantly in death Elvis is our modern celebrity template. The humble beginnings as a truck driver. The deft melding of many cultures from black music to gospel music; the clothes…the hair; the astonishing `68 Comeback Special (it’s jaw-droppingly good!), Vegas…those superhero outfits, the OD and the incredible wealth he generated in death. Even going into the Army…how do you keep the Elvis brand name alive? It’s all here; each touchstone is recognized in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis waiting to be unpacked. This is the start of a conversation not the final word. Use Elvis as a jumping off point and dive deep into this world; it’s incredible. Elvis gave and gives us so much.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.