Another week, another post-apocalyptic TV show. Oh Yes. Except this week I also also added fun! Welcome to #SetTheVCR!
Monday, September 13
Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space: Season 1: Episodes 3 & 4 (Anytime / Netflix)
From training to launch to landing, this all-access docuseries rides along with the Inspiration4 crew on the first all-civilian orbital space mission.
Sammy Suggestion: Y: The Last Man (Anytime / FX on Hulu)
Traverses a post-apocalyptic world in which a cataclysmic event decimates every mammal with a Y chromosome except one cisgender man and his pet monkey. Survivors struggle to restore what was lost and the opportunity to build something better.
Y: The Last Man is a post-apocalyptic science fiction 60 issue comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra published by Vertigo (RIP!) from 2002 through 2008. Y is one of the best comic books from the past couple of decades. (Well except for the ending which was weaker than a depowered Superman in Superman II. But still…so close. Damn fine comic book. It’s Brian K. Vaughan that’s all you need to know. Pick it up for true!) So after many fits and starts it has finally been adapted as an FX on Hulu TV show. The premise is wonderful and simple though I’m not sure yet how it’ll be perverted by the TV show: Nerd Prayers Up! According to the comic books on July 17, 2002, all living mammals with a Y chromosome—including embryos and sperm—simultaneously die, with the exception of a young amateur escape artist named Yorick Brown and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. Benjamin Schnetzer is Yorick Brown…I dunno who that is or if he’s any good. While Peta pushed FX to employ a CGI Ampersand. Now these 2 dudes must survive in this post-apocalyptic world governed by woman and their competing agendas while trying to understand why they’re still alive. This has the potential to be so good! (Please Note: this past June FX Canada confirmed it would be broadcasting Y: The Last Man (rather than Disney+ via Star).)
Tuesday, September 14
30 for 30: Once Upon a Time in Queens – Part 1 & 2 (9 p.m. & 10 p.m. / ESPN)
Parts 1 and 2 of this 4-part docuseries that tells the story of the 1986 Mets, one of the most dominating, infamous, and magical teams of all-time and their incredible season in one of the greatest cities in the world.
Sammy Suggestion: Forever Golden! A Celebration of the Golden Girls (Anytime / Disney+)
A special screening of some of the most memorable episodes from the series.
Lost in the Seinfeld is coming to Netflix hype is that Golden Girls has been added to Disney+ and Prime Video Canada. So while I’m recommending the randy seniors sitcom I’m also offering Forever Golden! A Celebration of the Golden Girls. On September 14, 36 years to the day the comedy series premiered on television, the first Forever Golden! screening will be shown in theaters followed by another screening on September 21. The episodes you can see on the big screen are The Pilot, The Flu, The Way We Met, Ladies of the Evening and Grab That Dough. So you can go put on pants today and enjoy Golden Girls on the big screen or stay home and enjoy the sitcom on the small screen. A double recommendation: talk about “thank you for being a friend!”
Wednesday, September 15
Coming to America (Anytime / Netflix Canada)
Discontented with his pampered life, an African prince (Eddie Murphy) heads to America as a working-class man to find someone who will fall for him, not his riches.
Sammy Suggestion: 30 for 30: Once Upon a Time in Queens – Part 3 & Part 4 (9pm and 10pm / ESPN)
Parts 3 and 4 of this 4-part docuseries that tells the story of the 1986 Mets, one of the most dominating, infamous, and magical teams of all-time and their incredible season in one of the greatest cities in the world.
(Yo: Parts 1 and 2 aired yesterday on ESPN and Parts 3 and 4 conclude tonight. So make sure when you #SetTheVCR be sure to record Parts 1 and 2 from last night.) Once Upon a Time in Queens is a four-part series on the 1986 Mets: it’s basically The Last Dance for 80s Mets. Executive produced by Jimmy Kimmel and directed by Nick Davis. I dunno much about baseball being an NBA guy but I’m always in for a 30 for 30 (oh yes please note…this is a 30 for 30 not a classic ESPN Films Presents…). “Once Upon a Time In Queens tells the story of the Mets’ World Series comeback, using hours of never-before-seen footage of the team. Players featured include: Bobby Ojeda; Darryl Strawberry (from The Simpsons?!); manager Davey Johnson; Dwight Gooden; Keith Hernandez (from Seinfeld?); Kevin Mitchell; Lenny Dykstra; Mookie Wilson; Roger McDowell; Sid Fernandez; and Wally Backman.” (Please Note: for Canadian viewers TSN can neither confirm or deny if they’ll be airing this. Stay Tuned…I guess?)
Thursday, September 16
Zombieland: Double Tap (Anytime / Netflix Canada)
Amid family drama and flesh-eater battles, the zombie-slaying foursome returns, encountering more survivors and a new breed of the undead.
Sammy Suggestion: The Peacock Monsters Film Festival (Monster O’clock / Peacock)
All the best monster movies, coming to Peacock.
Peacock has added a mad scientist’s pile of Universal Monsters and Hammer Films and so much more. The Universal Studios Monsters from the 1930s to the 1950s form a seminal foundation to our modern horror movies (with dubious sci-fi contributions.). While Hammer Films are known for Gothic horror and fantasy films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s. (Indeed their Frankenstein has a terrifying face and is more brutal than the iconic Boris Karloff performance which injected the monster with humanity.) Over 15 movies have been added so I suggest checking out 1933’s The Invisible Man…that’s Batman’s Joker 100%! Anything with Peter Cushing or Vincent Price. It Came From Outer Space from 1953 is like a long creepy Twilight Zone episode. The alien reveal scene is fantastic and brimming with terror. So if you’re in the mood for classic Gothic screaming, evil lairs and labs and of course loud frightening thunder and full moons Peacock is getting you ready for Halloween season.
Friday, September 17
The Morning Show: Season 2 (Anytime / Apple TV+)
An inside look at the modern workplace through the lens of the people who help America wake up, pulling back the curtain on early morning television.
Sammy Suggestion: The New York Times Presents: Season 1 (10pm / FX)
The New York Times Presents is a series of standalone documentaries representing the unparalleled journalism and insight of The New York Times, bringing viewers close to the essential stories of our time.
There’s a cultural shorthand we employ with somebody who vapes. Movies and TV shows have reinforced that stereotype. You know exactly the type of dude I’m talking about. (We haven’t (yet?) developed a female vape stereotype…) That stereotype contributed to vape’s “downfall” and seedy reputation. However this episode of NY Times Presents: Move Fast and Vape Things goes beyond the obvious stereotypes. “Two Stanford graduate students had an inspired idea and an idealistic mission: create an e-cigarette that would help millions of people stop smoking. How did the founders of Juul lose their way and end up accused of addicting a whole new generation?” Basically how did vaping once so cool…go up in smoke!
Saturday, September 18
Sammy Suggestion: Spontaneous (Anytime / Crave)
When students in their high school inexplicably start to explode, seniors Mara and Dylan struggle to survive in a world where each moment may be their last. As an unexpected romance blossoms between them, they soon discover that when tomorrow is no longer promised, they can finally start living for today.
Oh! The angst and romance of a teen movie and spontaneous combustion: I enjoy both those things. “When students in their high school begin inexplicably exploding, seniors Mara (Katherine Langford), Dylan (Charlie Plummer) and others navigate in a world where each moment may be their last. As spontaneous explosions continue unexplained, an unexpected romance blossoms between Mara and Dylan, who discover that when tomorrow is no longer promised, they can finally start living for today.” This movie has been “blowing up” since 2020 and it finally debuts on Crave.
Sunday, September 19
American Rust (10 p.m. / Showtime & Crave)
A compelling family drama and a timeless story told through the eyes of complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris (Jeff Daniels) of a Pennsylvania Rust Belt town full of good people making bad choices.
Sammy Suggestion: The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth: Season 6 (8 PM / Showtime & Crave)
Go behind the scenes and beyond the headlines of the wildest political show on earth. This documentary series reveals the high-stakes impact of the White House’s headline grabbing dramatics throughout the divided states of America.
Hosted by John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner, The Circus is a docuseries covering politics which is rage-inducing for many people. The issue isn’t the debate, it’s the lack of knowledge fueling the conversations hence my recommending this show. This is a digestible summary of the current political issues with none of the Fox rhetoric or CNN’s lack of historical context. Each episode is a tight 30 minute dynamic civics lesson providing a genuine revelation of how politics in America actually works. Think of the Schoolhouse Rocks‘ classic how a bill becomes a law: didn’t that make you smarter?
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.