Smell Ya Later 2020

Well: that’s all she wrote for 2020.

What a strange year…still early to tell if it was a good year or a terrible year. It was something…odd.

The usual weddings and funerals were sandwiched between lockdowns and sports going on hiatus. The commute to work was replaced by a daily constitutional. (Does that phrase mean pooping?)

We ran outta things to talk about because we didn’t do much: nobody travelled (well all that much…) or went to the movies (I did manage to see Tenet: so confusing…) or have celebrity encounters (what is gonna happen to fame in 2021?!).

Lotta times this year was like being at a party where you don’t know anybody and all the talk is small.

Still as almighty American Elvis says: TCB in 2021.

Taking Care of Business…may your schemes and dreams take flight; get others into the limelight and duck should you find yourself in a gun fight.

On To The Next One!


The Sonic Detective & The Case of The Great White Buffalo

We all have those sonic Great White Buffalos: unknown songs…sound fragments, misheard lyrics that we collect over decades of consuming pop culture. Like that utility drawer in every kitchen: cartoon bursting with…who knows what. Mostly likely dead batteries.

I finally resolved one of those Great White Buffalos today. So glad I got up and out of bed; well that was worth it.

This is Edith Piaf…it’s the classic French/Paris song that plays in every American movie to cue the audience the main characters will now be eating baguettes and watching lovely lithe Parisian girls on bicycles drift by…like wheeled gazelles.

The lyrics for Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien are in French. There was no way I was gonna sing this to google.

Well: I feel like a detective in an 80s TV show…case closed! Until next week…


p.s. All due respect to Hot Tub Time Machine for the use of Great While Buffalo.

#SetTheVCR: December 27-January 02, 2021

Christmas is over…we’re heading into a bold year with great expectations if not for ourselves than for TV. “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” ? Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

Sunday, December 27

The Simpsons: Season 32 (8 p.m. / Fox)

Sammy Suggestion: Death to 2020 (9 p.m. / EPIX)

Take a look back at 2020 through a Black Mirror! Producer and Written by Charlie Brooker Death to 2020 stars Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant plus many more: and it’s narrated by Laurence Fishburne. So that’s Neo-oh. Should be good dark black humour fun.

Monday, December 28

Sammy Suggestion: 5 To 7 (Anytime / Hollywood Suite)

A Hollywood Suite Free Preview Recommendation: From 2014: 5 to 7 (director Victor Levin’s film debut). A subtle romantic comedy co-starring Bérénice Marlohe an absolutely gorgeous actress. “An aspiring novelist enters into a relationship with a woman, though there’s just one catch: She’s married and the couple can only meet between the hours of 5 and 7 each evening.” French romance meets New York City writing. A great line from the movie: “Some of the best writing in New York won’t be found in books, or movies, or plays, but on the benches of Central Park. Read the benches, and you understand.” So true! (You got until January 5 to enjoy all these free movies on Hollywood Suite. As I wrote in this space before: “Now this is a holiday tradition I can get into. It’s the annual Hollywood Suite Free Preview for Canadians. This year it runs from December 1 to January 5. Hollywood Suite is a collection of movie channels: one channel is dedicated to the 70s, another to the 80s, 90s and finally 2000s. All uncut and no edits: swears and sex and satire.”)

Tuesday, December 29

Streets of Dreams With Marcus Lemonis (10 p.m. / CNBC)

Sammy Suggestion: I Used To Go Here (8 p.m. / HBO)

Gillian Jacobs plays Kate who is getting an F at life. She doesn’t know how to B. But you know who does C her clearly?  If you don’t know the beard you know the voice: Jemaine Clement! Like Rodney Dangerfield (Back to School), Melissa McCarthy (Life of the Party) Adam Sandler (Billy Madison)…a few other A+ comics Kate goes back to school to find life. It’s a classic genre even if most of these the movies earn a D eh: so be it. There’s always the other classic school genre: Summer School!!

Wednesday, December 30

Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy – Earthrise (Anytime / Netflix)

Sammy Suggestion: Equinox: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)

Following Dark and Into The Night this is my new Netflix Jam! “Equinox tells the story of Astrid, a young woman, whose sister, along with her entire class of graduating students, inexplicably disappeared without a trace when she was only 9 years old in 1999.”  YES! 100% Hell Yes. Equinox is a Danish mystery thriller based on the Equinox 1985 podcast. Never listened but that X-Files premise has seduced me. Ok I’m 100% IN.

Thursday, December 31

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 4 (Anytime / Netflix)

Sammy Suggestion: Best of Stand-Up 2020 (Anytime / Netflix)

Jerry Seinfeld, Marc Maron, Kevin Hart, Donnell Rawlings, Jim Jefferies, Joy Koy…lots more are among the funny folks featured in Best of Stand-Up 2020. A clip show collection: remember when sit coms used to have clip shows? Comedy has suffered greatly in 2020 between the hokey President Trump “jokes” and the pandemic closing venues: comedians have done their best to adapt with uneven results. So as the red light flashes on 2020: “Thanks: that’s my time!” hopefully we make with the funny in 2021.

Friday, January 1

Cobra Kai: Season 3 (Anytime / Netflix)
The King of Staten Island (Anytime / Crave)

Sammy Suggestion: Headspace Guide To Meditation (Anytime / Netflix)

Netflix and…chill out! Headspace the popular meditating app from Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe is now on TV.  An unusual offering from Netflix though one I hope will become popular because meditation’s benefits empowers us to effectively deal with the Stranger Things in this hectic life. Netflix has strived to become a lifestyle brand: with comic books and podcasts and now meditation. All that’s missing is a vagina scented candle. (This tranquil recommendation most likely pairs well with another decluttering your space documentary: The Minimalists: Less Is Now also on Netflix as of today.)

Saturday, January 2

Like A Boss (8 p.m. / EPIX)

Sammy Suggestion: Dark Waters (9 p.m. / Showtime)

Lotta people haven’t seen Dark Waters. “A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution.” This time your Erin Brockovich is Mark Ruffalo who makes an ideal lawyer: you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.


Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

Merry Christmas (2020)

So here we are: Merry Christmas. To paraphrase James Gordon: “Because this is the Christmas we got, but not the one we want right now.” Though as you can see the sign by the tree: “Unwrap Infinite Possibilities.” That’s about all you can do each and every day, right? The Choice Is Yours.

Hopefully you get to spend time time and be sarcastic with the ones you love. Because distance doesn’t affect sarcasm.

And if Santa was good to you…well: that’s disappointing.

The coolest people are often on the naughty list. I’m literally hanging out with the wrong people. Sigh.

Guess that’s what New Year’s Resolutions are for…make more friends with the naughty list crew.


#SetTheVCR: June 2020 Recap & Review

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

In a year that was unlike any TV year we’ve had: By the time we got to June it was clear there was nothing jejune about this month on TV.

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#SetTheVCR: 2021 Preview

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

So rather than subject you to typical TV recommendations for this rather slow week (seriously: on Christmas Eve TBS is running The Christmas Story on a 24 hour loop.) let’s look ahead to 2021 and see what we can expect (we hope!). This is just 5 simple selections…there’s so much more coming in 2021; this is the start of the conversation.

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#SetTheVCR: May 2020 Recap & Review

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

In a year that was unlike any TV year we’ve had: May I continue with a 2020 TV Recap?

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#SetTheVCR: April 2020 Recap & Review

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

In a year that was unlike any TV year we’ve had: For a month that started with April Fools’ this month was not fooling around and delivered much TV goodness.

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#SetTheVCR: March 2020 Recap & Review

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

In a year that was unlike any TV year we’ve had: March was a struggle…for a month known for Spring there was no spring in the TV schedule.

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182 | Pete Croatto (From Hang Time to Prime Time: The Birth of the Modern-Day NBA)

My Summer Lair Chapter #182: How Did The NBA Evolve From Hang Time To Prime Time?

This will be another NBA episode though not focusing so much on a team or certain players but rather the league itself.

Journalist and writer Pete Croatto has written From Hang Time to Prime Time: Business, Entertainment, and the Birth of the Modern-Day NBA. This book is delicious I consumed it whole like a python.

There’s a reason why when you go see like a Marvel movie, there’s 10 minutes of credits, right? Because there’s a lot of people who made that movie, yet what we tend to focus on or talk about is Robert Downey Jr or Kevin Fiege, or like a handful of stars in front of the camera. Yet without those 10 minutes of credits the Marvel movie is not possible.

So let’s look back to so we can look ahead: From Hang Time to Prime Time is like the NBA’s high school yearbook. Pete’s book deftly documents the corporate rise of the NBA: a league that wasn’t popular much less cool compared to the NFL and MLB. Hard to believe.

Imagine sitting down and talking to the people in those 10 minutes of Marvel’s movie credits: they made it happen. Who in the NBA should get credit for making magic happen even though most of us only know Michael Jordan?

Through many stories and many experiences and many moments Hang Time focuses on the NBA’s cultural transformation and growth especially in the 70s and 80s though thankfully unlike a yearbook there isn’t that many bad hair photos. I’m not sure how we should classify Commissioner David Stern’s mustache.

Kobe’s sudden death was proceeded by David Stern’s death: both in January 2020. Those two deaths formed fascinating bookends of the NBA that was and the NBA that is. On every tombstone you get that dash between dates but that dash can mean so so much. That tiny dash signifies a life though it fails to convey the whole story.

So let’s start there with those 2 significant bookends: Kobe Bryant and David Stern. Because we know Stern and we know Kobe and we know one of them is Prime Time and the other is Hang Time. Heh you can decide which is which.

Pete Croatto @ WT F

Host & Photography Sammy Younan

Recorded: Tuesday December 29, 2020 at 4pm

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