You’ve had since 1994 to watch Seinfeld…if you haven’t yet, as always, #SetThVCR has you covered.
Monday, September 27
King Tut in Color (10 pm / National Geographic)
A century after the world’s most sensational archaeological find, of the tomb of Tutankhamun, now witness the dramatic scenes of its discovery and marvel at its extraordinary treasures, exactly as they were seen then, in color. It’s all thanks to the latest colorization techniques which use detailed historical research to bring the Egypt of discoverer Howard Carter back to life.
Sammy Suggestion: American Experience: Citizen Hearst (9/8c pm / PBS)
Explore the life of William Randolph Hearst, the pioneering media mogul and inspiration for Orson Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’.
We tend to think of William Hearst in terms of the whole Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane debacle. There is more to Hearst than that; he controlled a vast and dominant media empire: “In the 1930s, William Randolph Hearst’s media empire included 28 newspapers, a movie studio, a syndicated wire service, radio stations and 13 magazines. Nearly one in four American families read a Hearst publication.” Whew! So basically he was Rupert Murdoch before Rupert Murdoch. Based on David Nasaw’s biography The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst the two-part, four-hour documentary airs tonight with Part 1 while Part 2 will be broadcast tomorrow evening.
Tuesday, September 28
Attack of the Hollywood Clichés! (Anytime / Netflix)
One-man armies, meet-cutes, casual strolls away from huge explosions — stars and industry insiders toast and roast these cinematic chestnuts and more.
Sammy Suggestion: La Brea (9/8c pm / NBC)
An epic adventure begins when a massive sinkhole opens in the middle of Los Angeles, pulling hundreds of people and buildings into its depths. Those who fell in find themselves in a mysterious and dangerous primeval land, where they have no choice but to band together to survive.
Okay so the premise of La Brea is a little cheezy but there’s still potential. And ultimately that’s what all these #SetTheVCR recommendations are about: potential. Here’s the basic premise: near the La Brea tar pits in LA a massive sinkhole opens and a whole bunch of people fall into a prehistoric time. See cheezy. However this means dinosaurs in The Land That Time Forgot. See potential. Or cheezy. Whatever. I can sit through an episode or two. (Rather than a trailer here’s the first five minutes. Special effects are decent; could use some more work. Hopefully the writing is good…is that an ambitious hope??!)
Wednesday, September 29
In Their Own Words: Elon Musk (8/7c PM / PBS)
Elon Musk was a multi-millionaire by the time he reached the age of 31. He is one of a new breed of what the New York Times called “thrillionaires,” high-tech entrepreneurs who are using their newfound wealth to help turn science-fiction dreams into reality. His story is about a thrilling 21st century “Iron Man” come alive.
Sammy Suggestion: neXt: Season 1 (Anytime / Disney+ Star)
Silicon Valley pioneer Paul LeBlanc discovers that one of his own creations — a powerful A.I. called NEXT — might spell doom for humankind, so he tries to shutter the project, only to be kicked out of the company by his own brother, leaving him with nothing but mounting dread about the fate of the world.
A tech pioneer’s artificial intelligence program runs amok and what happens “neXt” is anyone’s guess in this cancelled series. “Silicon Valley pioneer Paul LeBlanc (John Slattery) discovers that one of his own creations — a powerful A.I. called NEXT — might spell doom for humankind, so he tries to shutter the project, only to be kicked out of the company by his own brother, leaving him with nothing but mounting dread about the fate of the world.” Netflix confirmed it wasn’t the hashtags it was the viewing and the ratings that saved Manifest and that led to a fourth season. And so here we are with another tv show that was canceled (perhaps prematurely?). See for yourself.
Thursday, September 30
Noted: Alicia Keys The Untold Stories (Anytime / YouTube Originals)
In this four part documentary series, Alicia takes us inside the world of Keys through her journey from vulnerable young star, to self empowered woman, musician and mother.
Sammy Suggestion: The Problem With Jon Stewart: Season 1 (Anytime / Apple TV+)
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the world’s problems. It’s harder to pinpoint the systems responsible for creating them. In this series, Jon Stewart brings together people impacted by different parts of a problem to discuss how we come up with change.
Remember: John Oliver only trends on Mondays. So how is Jon Stewart Take 2 gonna be any different from The Daily Show? “They will discuss tangible steps that can lead to a solutionary path forward.” Based on what metrics?? Let’s see what happens; who the guests are and what kind of discussions this all generates. Charlamagne’s Tha God’s Honest Truth debuted September 17 on Comedy Central. Now we’ve gotten The Problem while Fox Nation has greenlit Piers Morgan for their platform. Hope you enjoy talk TV. It’s all happening.
Friday, October 01
The Guilty (Anytime / Netflix)
A troubled police detective demoted to 911 operator duty scrambles to save a distressed caller during a harrowing day of revelations — and reckonings.
Sammy Suggestion: All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs: Limited Series (Anytime / Prime Video)
The first of the All or Nothing franchise to follow an NHL team, the docu-series brings fans closer to the Toronto Maple Leafs organization than ever before, with cameras capturing every moment during the 104th NHL regular season and playoffs.
Look I’m an NBA guy so I dunno much about hockey or the Maple Leafs. I can’t name a player but I like sports documentaries that take me on the inside. I want to note the sacrifices; I want to comprehend setbacks and all the obstacles they have to overcome. I want to understand how the players define success. That’s some of the most important reasons to watch any sports documentary. It’s inspirational. So I’ll fire this up as it covered the Leafs season during the pandemic-shortened season last season. The five-episode season will premiere in its entirety on October 1 and is narrated by Will Arnett. (I do know what a Will Arnett is!)
Saturday, October 02
Sammy Suggestion: The Haunted Museum: Season 1 (Anytime / Discovery+)
Follow the frightening and hellish tales behind the spooky relics on display in Zak Bagans’ Las Vegas museum, by way of scripted shorts produced by Roth and his accredited team, and with featured commentary from Bagans himself.
“Produced in collaboration with Eli Roth, each episode tells frightening tales inspired by some of the most terrifying, cursed artifacts on display in Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum in Las Vegas.” Oh this is like Black Museum which I guess was horror adjacent? The series features “mini horror films” based on haunted items from the Bagans vault. This frightfully fun series begins with 2 episodes tonight. So…let’s book a “Night at the Museum” shall we?
Sunday, October 03
The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth: Season 6 (8 pm / Showtime & Crave)
Come one, come all to THE CIRCUS. This documentary series pulls back the curtain on the Trump era of presidential politics, revealing the stories behind the headlines.
Sammy Suggestion: Seinfeld: Season 1-9 (Anytime / Netflix)
A show about nothing.
Seinfeld a show about nothing began streaming globally on Netflix on October 1st. As such Netflix made a trailer for a TV show that ended on May 14, 1998. And it’s real and spectacular.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.