We got horror, we got NBA, we got Jazz we got an incredible #SetTheVCR bursting with dope recommendations.
Monday, October 18
Spiral: From the Book of Saw (Anytime / Crave via Starz)
Working in the shadow of his father, Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks and his rookie partner take charge of an investigation into grisly murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.
Sammy Suggestion: NBA Today (3 PM / ESPN 2 & TSN)
NBA Today will provide in-depth, comprehensive daily coverage of all aspects of the NBA.
In 2016 ESPN introduced The Jump, a daily discussion show created by Rachel Nichols to cover the NBA. I prefer broader NBA TV shows like The Jump as they cover a variety of topics rather than local news all hyper focused on the home team. Unfortunately this past Summer ESPN has undergone a mid-life crisis that has affected its programming. After 10 years Highly Questionable was cancelled, First Take underwent cosmetic surgery, Max Kellerman launched This Just In and The Jump was cancelled on October 8. However if you’re an avid comic book reader you know nothing ever stays dead and from the ashes of The Jump comes NBA Today hosted by Malika Andrews. Same NBA games, same studio and same time as The Jump with many of the same analysts Kendrick Perkins, Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, Ramona Shelburne etc. So basically God closes a door but he opens a window? (Please note for American viewers today’s episode will be on ESPN 2 and tomorrow’s on ESPN. For Canadians it’s on 3 of the 4 TSN channels…pick one.)
Tuesday, October 19
Chucky: Season 1 (10pm / Showcase)
An idyllic American town is thrown into chaos after a vintage ‘Good Guy’ doll turns up at a suburban yard sale. Soon, everyone must grapple with a series of horrifying murders that begin to expose the town’s deep hypocrisies and hidden secrets. Meanwhile, friends and foes from Chucky’s past creep back into his world and threaten to expose the truth behind his mysterious origins as a seemingly ordinary child who somehow became this notorious monster.
Sammy Suggestion: TNT Doubleheader: Nets at Bucks; Warriors at Lakers (6pm / TNT)
It’s Open Season for the NBA, starting with Nets vs Bucks and Warriors vs Lakers.
The NBA has properly returned to a full 82-game regular season in its normal mid-October to mid-April schedule for the first time since the 2018–19 NBA season. Yes! The regular season will start tonight with 2 games on TNT via Inside The NBA. Easily The Gold Standard of NBA broadcasting. The 2022 NBA All-Star Game will be played in Cleveland on February 20, 2022. The playoffs will begin on April 16, 2022. The Finals are set to commence on June 2nd 2022. This will be the first season for Wilson as manufacturer and supplier of official NBA game balls, replacing Spalding. Oh Boy. And even though this is the 76th NBA season this year will feature a variety of 75th Anniversary celebrations including a list of the 75 greatest players in league history (The NBA did this back in 1996 with the 50 greatest players in NBA history.) And this season will feature notable anniversary games such as the Raptors facing off against the Knicks on November 1, 2021, being 75 years to the date of the first game in NBA history. Which at the time featured the Toronto Huskies and New York Knicks at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. Knicks won by 2: 68 to Toronto’s 66.) So let’s get the NBA party started shall we? Here’s a nerdy fun video of what you can expect from teams like the Warriors this year.
Wednesday, October 20
Marvel Studios: Assembled – The Making Of Black Widow (Anytime / Disney+)
Assembled is a comprehensive documentary series that chronicles the creation of Marvel Studios’ thrilling new shows and theatrical releases. Assembled is an immersive, and in-depth examination of the next phase of the MCU.
Sammy Suggestion: 50 States of Fright: Seasons 1-2 (Anytime / The Roku Channel)
Explores stories based on urban legends from different places in the United States, taking viewers deeper into the horrors that lurk just beneath the surface.
I broke up with Supernatural fairly early on. As the show was no longer able to satisfy my horror needs. The first season was exactly what I was seeking from a horror tv show. Set in all kinds of off the map American locations like Lost Creek, Colorado (X-Files did that so good too! So many odd settings.) Sam and Dean and Baby would investigate and often “effectively resolve” urban legends such as Wendigo, Bloody Mary and Hook Man. Yes! Thankfully, Sam Raimi’s 50 States of Fright mirrors that first season of Supernatural’s classic Americana . As you can guess from the title we’re road tripping into America’s darkness. The Red Rum episode is about the Colorado urban legend that inspired The Overlook Hotel. Grey Cloud Island is “one of the most haunted places in Minnesota.” You’ll also recognize a variety of faces in front of the camera (Christina Ricci, Asa Butterfield, Ron Livingston etc.) and behind the camera ( A Quiet Place writers Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, Sam Raimi is also directing etc.). Originally a Quibi TV show in January 2021 Roku acquired Quibi’s 75-show library and 50 States has been rolled out as part of the Roku Channel’s Freakout Friday Halloween/October line up
Thursday, October 21
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Anytime / HBO Max)
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren take on one of the most sensational cases of their careers after a cop stumbles upon a dazed and bloodied young man walking down the road. Accused of murder, the suspect claims demonic possession as his defense, forcing the Warrens into a supernatural inquiry unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.
Sammy Suggestion: Introducing, Selma Blair (Anytime / Discovery+)
Discovery+’s INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR is director Rachel Fleit’s deeply intimate and powerful feature of one woman’s journey of personal acceptance and resilience, which follows the singular actress as she reckons with the next chapter of her life after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
I mostly know Selma Blair from the excellent Hellboy movies. Though famous, I don’t know anything about her. Now thanks to this documentary I know she has multiple sclerosis. Which sadly means she joins the celebrity ranks of Christopher Reeve and of course Michael J. Fox. She was diagnosed in August 2018, though this documentary reveals she was ill long before then. “Since my son was born I haven’t been okay,” she says. For years, she had symptoms that went unchecked. Clearly this won’t be a movie with a Hollywood ending…a triumphant Blair conquering her illness. A rather somber recommendation though a vital one for the access and perspective it provides. Because while a handful of famous folks have MS it is a disease that harms many people. And it can be hard to give those experiences the vital language to discuss what is happening and how things are changing.
Friday, October 22
Voyagers (Anytime / Prime Video)
Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, and Colin Farrell star in this gripping sci-fi thriller about a crew of astronauts setting off for a new planet-a journey that descends into chaos.
Sammy Suggestion: Invasion: Season 1 (Anytime / Apple TV+)
For centuries, humans have searched the skies for signs of intelligent life…to no avail. But what if the explanation lies in the fact that aliens were already here…already among us? And what if all of the natural disasters were smokescreens designed to mask something far more ominous?
It’s time to extinguish humanity. I wanna see humans lose one of these alien invasions. It’s Time. Remember how M Night’s Signs was a movie about an alien invasion but hyper focused on a family on a farm in upstate Pennsylvania? Invasion is like that (an alien invasion is seen through the different perspectives of various people on different continents across the world.) but bigger: the budget was rumoured to be around $200 million. (Please Note the series premieres with a three-episode release, then the remaining seven episodes will be released weekly; 10 episodes in total.) Go aliens go!
Saturday, October 23
Uninterrupted: Northern Ties (Anytime / Crave)
The all-new original documentary, NORTHERN TIES, profiles the rising Canadian talent in the NFL, while celebrating the strong ties between the players and their home country.
Sammy Suggestion: Locke & Key: Season 2 (Anytime / Netflix)
After their dad’s murder, three siblings move with their mom to his ancestral estate, where they discover magical keys that unlock powers — and secrets.
I’ve been yelled at by aggressive nerds for not reading the Locke & Key comics. Eh…well now I don’t hafta, right? Written by Joe Hill, Locke & Key is illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez and published by IDW Publishing. So while I can’t say how the TV show has veered away from the comics; I can attest Season 1 was a lot of fun. “Locke & Key revolves around three siblings who, after the gruesome murder of their father, move to their ancestral home in Massachusetts only to find the house has magical keys that give them a vast array of powers and abilities. Little do they know, a devious demon entity also wants the keys, and will stop at nothing to attain them.” The show is like a Tim Burton movie (maybe Big Fish?) meets The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Also? Netflix took the pressure off viewers and the show has already been renewed for Season 3 so watch at your own pace.
Sunday, October 24
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: Oscar Peterson: Black + White (Anytime / Crave)
Director Barry Avrich’s affectionate celebration of Canada’s greatest jazz musician situates the master pianist in the genre’s pantheon.
And now a little jazz for your Sunday viewing pleasure. Oscar Peterson: Black + White played at TIFF this year and was warmly welcomed. Oscar Peterson was (sadly he died in 2007) a freshtastic jazz pianist and just an incredible force. Over 200 recordings, thousands of concerts and a fruitful career that lasted over 60 years. So he’s properly being recognized for his life and his music. I hope this is the first of many Oscar Peterson documentaries; it’s hard to underscore just how good he was. Directed by Barry Avrich who gave us similar compelling Canadian profiles such as David Foster: Off the Record (2019) and Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky (2012). (He’s actually a prolific documentary filmmaker and writer having written a handful of books.) Black + White features interviews with and performances of his music by Billy Joel, Jon Batiste, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis, Denzal Sinclaire and many more. Whew. Oh I’m so making a tea for this one.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.