#CouchWorthy: Framing Britney Spears

NY Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears (Anytime / Crave) The New York Times Presents on FX is their version of PBS’s Frontline. They’re following The Killing of Breonna Taylor with umm: Framing Britney Spears. Crazy.

Gimme More hard hitting journalism. This documentary about the I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman pop star’s Toxic legal fight to wrest control over her life and Circus career from her father’s conservatorship because she’s not A Slave 4 him. (“Anytime there’s that amount of money to be made, you have to question the motives of everyone close to that person.” Which is a quote from the doc.

(But why is “follow the money” an acceptable narrative for Britney Spears and over on HBO with Allen v. Farrow they’re greedily exploiting a family in disarray with a callous disregard for journalism lusting instead for cheap Buzzfeed click validation. Always Always Always follow the money before you follow the truth: Who Benefits from Allen v. Farrow? Who is making money from this docuseries? Who & Why? Reveal em like a Scooby-Doo monster. And that includes the legion of subpar “journalists.” Don’t cherry pick: nut up and follow the money for everybody.)

Anyways I can’t name any more Britney hits without Google’s assistance. #FreeBritney I guess.

This special aired in America on Friday, February 5 but in Canada we experienced a Blackout.

#SetTheVCR: Framing Britney Spears will be on Crave for Canadians this Friday, February 26.

Americans have had since February 5 to react, make podcasts, write blogs, issue corny Tik Tok challenges and take a fully unearned and unauthorized haughty and pious position condemning Justin Timberlake and I dunno who else. Your turn is next eh?

Our insupportable streaming rights impact our cultural creators.

On the socials Crave got Wonder Woman 1984 inundated for this Britney Spears documentary.

Canada’s streaming “rights” are still Toxic. (I’m not googling new Britney songs to make my point. What I know is what I know.) But how does this make sense?

In Canada we have FX; now we have Disney+Star which has FX and Hulu stuff.  However neither are carrying Framing Britney Spears. Oops!… I Did It Again, eh?

You know who will do the Work Bitch? Crave. Which makes no sense; this streaming rights system is stupid. This only confirms Canada is a Circus.

A Stephen King book comes out: everywhere: all platforms on the same day.

Like in music a Radiohead album comes out it’s everywhere…every platform on the same day.

Why have we made it acceptable to wait a month…or longer for movies and TV shows but books and music are universal?

Can you imagine if albums were this complicated?! After we “#FreeBritney” can we “#FreeCanada” next?

Crave (On Demand) | February 26, 2021

FX on Hulu | February 5, 2021

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

189 | Michael Holley (The Big Three: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and the Rebirth of the Boston Celtics)

My Summer Lair Chapter #189: What’s Your Favourite Moment Of The Boston Big Three Era?


On July 31, 2007, the Boston Celtics traded for Kevin Garnett to solidify their Big Three. As a team they’d go on to win 1 championship while contributing to Boston’s dynasty mythology across all sports. (Though that’s mostly Tom Brady’s work.)

Written by Boston sportswriter Michael Holley; The Big Three is his 7th book having previously written about Brady, Belichick and the Red Sox.

Michael Holley is man with a Christian faith and that faith makes him an ideal sports writer.

As an analogy spiritual faith mirrors the passion and joy fans have for their NBA team. And yet for all the hope and faith and prayers—answered and unanswered—for all the preaching and teaching; the burden of prophecy and the weight of legacy: sometimes a team needs a miracle. Or two. Or three.

Miracles are spiritual surprise parties and in sports miracles are so uplifting.

And the way it all happened in this book The Big Three first with the Celtics being sold, new owners…hiring Danny Ainge…right up to the trades to assemble the championship winning team really was a miracle.

So I guess this book and this My Summer Lair conversation is the autopsy of a miracle.


189_Michael Holley_NBA.jpeg

Michael Holley @ WT F

Host & Photography by Sammy Younan

Recorded: Thursday February 18, 2021 at 5:30pm (EST)

#SetTheVCR: February 22-28, 2021

Having lived through The Cola Wars how are you enjoying The Streamer Wars? The latest shot is via Disney+ which this week adds STAR, their Adult Section. Sadly it’s not behind a beaded curtain. But that’s not all that’s on TV.

Monday, February 22

Independent Lens: “Mr. SOUL!” (10/9c PM / PBS)

Righteous! The documentary Mr. SOUL! on Independent Lens remembers Ellis Haizlip, host of a nationally syndicated 1960s-70s variety show whose guests included Black luminaries like Stevie Wonder, Cicely Tyson, James Baldwin and Muhammad Ali.
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Sammy Suggestion: The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte hosts the Tonight Show (Anytime / Crave)

In early 1968, as riots rock American cities and the Vietnam War escalates, the legendary entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte takes over “The Tonight Show” for one week. With a guest list that includes Bobby Kennedy, Aretha Franklin, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sidney Poitier, Belafonte introduces a fractured, changing country to itself for five historic nights.
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I never expected this to come to Canada. One of Peacock’s original programs when they launched it all seemed so…in-house? Anyways I’m happy to report it’s here and I cannot wait to make a seriously serious tea. “For one week in February 1968, Johnny Carson gave up his chair to Harry Belafonte, the first time an African-American had hosted a late night TV show for a whole week.” I revere Johnny Carson and his astonishing work on The Tonight Show. This week with Harry Belafonte is part of Carson’s legacy; so happy happy to see it acknowledged.

Tuesday, February 23

Pelé (Anytime / Netflix)

The Brazilian soccer legend, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, is saluted in the sports documentary “Pelé.”
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Superman & Lois (8/7 PM / The CW) & Superman & Lois: Legacy of Hope (9:30/8:30c PM/ The CW)

After years of facing supervillains, monsters and alien invaders, the world’s most famous superhero, The Man of Steel aka Clark Kent and comic books’ famed journalist Lois Lane come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever — dealing with being working parents in today’s society.

Immediately following the premiere, The CW takes fans behind the scenes with the brand-new special SUPERMAN & LOIS: LEGACY OF HOPE. The special features sneak peeks and interviews from the cast and executive producers of the new series, plus special guests discussing the legacy of the Man of Steel.
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Sammy Suggestion: Dealer’s Choice!! (Anytime / Disney+ Star)

STAR is a hub within the Disney+ streaming service for television and film content intended for an adult audience.
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On April 13, 2020 Disney endured a plethora of legit criticisms for their Splash “think of the children” edit. On Disney Plus they chose to CGI edit the Tom Hanks movie so when Daryl Hannah his mermaid girlfriend runs off into the ocean instead of seeing her butt they literally gave her hair extensions to cover it up. No butts about it: that was a lousy life choice and created an uneasy tension with the audience (it’s one thing for George Lucas to continually CGI tinker with Star Wars it’s another for a studio to blindly alter the vision of a creator out of a misguided morality.). Well today Disney Plus adds Star with all kinds of wonderfully Rated R movies and more. We got 4 Alien movies, Deadpool and Die Hards to TV shows like all the Marvel Hulu shows to the Orville and much more. (Even Hill Street Blues…no way that holds up!). Original programming includes Love, Victor (a Love, Simon spin-off) and Helstrom (which was canceled on December 14, 2020.). Do these offerings make Disney Plus a Super Star Streamer? Or will it deepen their uneasy relationship with morality?

Wednesday, February 24

Ginny & Georgia: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)

Free-spirited Georgia and her two kids, Ginny and Austin, move north in search of a fresh start but find that the road to new beginnings can be bumpy.
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Sammy Suggestion: Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan (Anytime / Netflix)

Dynamic reenactments and expert commentaries bring to life the tumultuous history and power struggles of a warring 16th-century feudal Japan.
~~~~

And now a mid-week trip to feudal Japan. Age of Samurai produced in part by Smithsonian Canada is an attempt to be educationally and historically accurate in depicting this violent yet honourable era in Japan’s history. Over 6 episodes a handful of actors (you’ll recognize some faces…from The Wolverine, Altered Carbon, 47 Ronin, Heroes Reborn) will play the villains and warlords attempting to become Japan’s absolute ruler. Yes: this includes Masamune Date (head of the Date Clan and aka One-Eyed Dragon!) who was the inspiration for Darth Vader’s helmet/design. While Japanese history is fascinating (and gory) a lot of our pop culture is rooted in this ancient time period. So this is an enchanting two-fer. Learn about them to learn about us.

Thursday, February 25

Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President (Anytime / HBO Max)

JIMMY CARTER, ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT charts the forgotten story of how Carter, a lover of all types of music, forged a bond with musicians Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan and others.
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Sammy Suggestion: Spaceship Earth (Anytime / Prime Video Canada)

A look at the group of people who built the Biosphere 2, a giant replica of the earth’s ecosystem, in 1991.
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Is it possible to have culture without a cult? Every now and then we’ll run into a documentary and go: how do people live like this? None of us fully appreciate or grasp just what’s out there and how not everyone lives and works the “exact” same way. “Spaceship Earth is the true, stranger-than-fiction, adventure of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside of a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem called BIOSPHERE 2.” Was this science or science fiction? A dream or dreamers? Only one way to find out.

Friday, February 26

Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (Anytime / Apple TV+)

Take a deeply intimate look at extraordinary teenager Billie Eilish. Award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler follows her journey on the road, onstage, and at home with her family as the writing and recording of her debut album changes her life.
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Sammy Suggestion: Irresistible (Anytime / Crave)

A Democratic political consultant helps a retired Marine colonel run for mayor in a small Wisconsin town.
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Jon Stewart’s follow up to Rosewater is pretty much what you expect from the former host of The Daily Show. “A Democratic strategist helps a retired veteran run for mayor in a small, conservative Midwest town.” It’s like a political version of Mamet’s State and Main. Americans can laugh at the political antics as well since this was added to HBO Max on February 6.

Saturday, February 27

Sammy Suggestion: John Lewis: Good Trouble (Anytime / Netflix (Canada))

The life of John Lewis is celebrated in this documentary that follows his journey from civil rights activist to United States Representative.
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The latest CNN Films documentary has magically appeared on Netflix (Canada). The 2020 documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble salutes the late Georgia congressman and lion of the civil rights movement. (If that isn’t appealing Netflix Canada has 2 other CNN Films: RBG (on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) and Apollo 11 (a sublime documentary on the Moon Landing.). All 3 docs are worth the time investment.

Sunday, February 28

The Circus: Season 6The Circus (8/7c PM / Showtime)
Nothing’s left off the table when groundbreaking docu-series THE CIRCUS returns for another season of politics, up close and personal.
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Sammy Suggestion: The Simpsons (8/7c pm / Fox)

The longest running animated TV show in history, Homer and Marge Simpson raise Bart, Lisa and baby Maggie in Springfield, where eccentric residents make everyday life interesting.
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Did you get the memo? Milton from Office Space is gonna be the guest voice on The Simpsons. Yes Stephen Root. This episode should be “fire.” And help prevent a case of the Mondays.

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

188 | Courtney Paige (The Sinners)

My Summer Lair Chapter #188: If You Could Join A Clique Based On The 7 Deadly Sins: Which Sin Would You Be?

For this episode I bring you a Thriller! 

First time writer and director though long term actress Courtney Paige introduces us to The Sinners.  

Seven schoolgirls, part of a snooty clique (is there any other kind?) each named after one of The Deadly “Se7en” Sins. It’s harder than a Jawbreaker to get into that Mean Girls group. 

And this isn’t just Girls Gone Wild this is Girls Gone Riled: The Craft of their cruel antics result in a young girl who goes milk carton missing which in a small religious town your basic Riverdale has ripples effects. Cruel Intentions (is there any other kind?) often do. 

One by one each of the sins is permanently “absolved” by a mysterious masked killer (is there any other kind?). Want to Scream out who the killer is? 

If you read between the line you’ll realize I said too much.

Here’s my conversation with director Courtney Paige about The Sinners current on many Video on Demand platforms…we also discuss the joy of doing social media for her dog. Ha! Oh and Sour Patch Kids (mmm). This is a delicious episode.

The Sinners @ WT F

Host Sammy Younan

Recorded: Friday February 21, 2021 at 4pm EST

#SetTheVCR: February 15-21, 2021

Interestingly lotta old school this week. Sometimes we just gotta look back before can look ahead. Speaking of “that sounds deep” my first recommendation is Waterworld. Oh it’s gonna be one of those types of weeks!

Monday, February 15

The Crew: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)

Life in the garage swerves off track for a NASCAR crew chief and his tight-knit racing team when a new boss steps in and shakes things up. Watch Trailer Here
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Sammy Suggestion: Waterworld (Anytime / Netflix (Canada))

In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw “smokers,” and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.
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1995’s Waterworld is known for its budget than its quality. With a budget of $172 million (and a total outlay of $235 million once marketing and distribution costs are factored in) it did not do well at the box office. “In a futuristic world engulfed by water (the polar ice cap has completely melted) a nameless antihero Kevin Costner as The Mariner witnesses a gang of pirates focused on Enola (Tina Majorino) who, according to their leader the Deacon (Dennis Hopper), has a map to Dryland tattooed on her back.” This is years after Escape from New York and years before Avatar yet Waterworld wasn’t exactly an IP machine. A video game and a couple of Universal Studios attractions. So: Does It Hold Up?

Tuesday, February 16

Kenan: Season 1 (8:30/7:30 PM / NBC)

Raising two kids is a three-man job in this new family comedy starring Kenan Thompson. Watch Trailer Here
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Sammy Suggestion: The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song (9/8c PM / PBS)

An intimate four-hour series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUT SONG will explore the 400-year-old story of the black church in America, the changing nature of worship spaces, and the men and women who shepherded them from the pulpit, the choir loft, and church pews.
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You might know Henry Louis Gates Jr. as the host of the PBS series Finding Your Roots a 23andMe type show for celebrities discovering their origins. (You might also remember Henry Louis Gates Jr. a black man was arrested in 2009 and that racially charged event led Obama to arrange a “beer summit” with the arresting officer.) Gates’ focus has consistently been greater recognition of black literature and black culture. And today visually on PBS (and via the book medium) he fulfills his artistic mandate. The Black Church features interviews with John Legend, Bishop Michael Curry, Cornel West, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Rev. Al Sharpton and many others. Together they examine the centrality of religion and spirituality to the African American experience. This’ll conclude on Wednesday night same channel and time. And the accompanying book with the same title is out today. (A bonus #NewBookAlert!).

Wednesday, February 17

Amend: The Fight for America (Anytime / Netflix)

Will Smith hosts this look at the evolving, often lethal, fight for equal rights in America through the lens of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment. Watch Trailer Here
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Sammy Suggestion: Behind Her Eyes: Limited Series (Anytime / Netflix)

A single mother enters a world of twisted mind games when she begins an affair with her psychiatrist boss while secretly befriending his mysterious wife.
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A miniseries adaptation of Sarah Pinborough’s novel (I dunno who that is), Behind Her Eyes is a thriller about a triangle between Louise (Simona Brown), the married man she’s having an affair with (Tom Bateman) and his wife Adele (Eve Hewson). In the course of six episodes, Louise begins an unlikely friendship with Adele and gradually realizes that Adele has some secrets of her own. Based on the trailer Behind Her Eyes is like Closer meets A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

Thursday, February 18

House Party (Anytime / Crave)

It’s #TBT for Kid ‘N Play. Kid decides to go to his friend Play’s house party, but n`either of them can predict what’s in store for them on what could be the wildest night of their lives. Watch Trailer Here
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Sammy Suggestion: It’s a Sin: Miniseries (Anytime / HBO Max)

1981, and a gang of friends move in together, in the heart of London. As the decade unfolds, we follow their hopes and dreams, highs and lows, all coming out and coming of age. But a terrible new virus is on the rise, and they’ll need each other more than ever as the fight begins.
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A Russell T. Davies update! (I coulda sworn he talked about writing an AIDS drama back when he was writing Doctor Who.) Set initially in the early 1980s (and yes named after the outstanding Pet Shop Boys single), It’s A Sin is a British TV series that addresses the HIV and AIDS epidemic that wrought destruction on London’s gay community. The five-episode mini-series depicts a decade of life starting from 1981, during which cases of the virus rapidly increase, and the wider world is eventually forced to take notice. I hope this is as strong and as bold as Years and Years. (Also highly recommended viewing.) Please Note: for Canadian viewers this will be on Prime Video (Canada) on Friday, February 19.

Friday, February 19

It’s a Sin: Miniseries (Anytime / Prime Video (Canada))

1981, and a gang of friends move in together, in the heart of London. Watch Trailer Up There ?
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Sammy Suggestion: Patrice O’Neal: Killing Is Easy (10/9 PM / Comedy Central)

An original documentary based on the irreverent comedian’s life and produced in collaboration with All Things Comedy.
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If you look up Patrice O’Neal on Wikipedia you’ll read this apt description: he “became known for his conversational style, deconstructive analysis, and often confrontational point of view in his stand-up routines.” That is wonderfully spot on. In his 2011 special Elephant in the Room (see?! The title makes sense!) he opened with the following lines: “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m thanking one in particular. Bad titties in the front row. Thank you so much. Thank you, audience coordinator, for putting those titties up in the front row. God bless you. Those are distracting me.” Yes that’s how the special opened! O’Neal died of a stroke resulting from his type 2 diabetes on November 29, 2011, at the age of 41. He left behind a woulda, coulda comedy career. I’m grateful Bill Burr is the executive producer of this special doc and pushed to make it happen. May this helps others to discover the comedic stylings of Patrice O’Neal.

Saturday, February 20

Sammy Suggestion: The Muppet Show (Anytime / Disney+)

Scooter scrambles to upload the Muppets’ streaming series, while the gang throws complications, distractions and obstacles at him.
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All 5 season of The Muppet Show are now on Disney+. I repeat: all 5 seasons of The Muppet Show are on Disney+. Though…Statler and Waldorf have feelings about the classic comedy show…

Waldorf: “That was wonderful!”

Statler: “Bravo!”

Waldorf: “I loved it!”

Statler: “Ah, it was great!”

Waldorf: “Well, it was pretty good.”

Statler: “Well, it wasn’t bad…”

Waldorf: “Uh, there were parts of it that weren’t very good though.”

Statler: “It could have been a lot better.”

Waldorf: “I didn’t really like it.”

Statler: “It was pretty terrible.”

Waldorf: “It was bad.”

Statler: “It was awful!”

Waldorf: “It was terrible!”

Statler: “Take ’em away!”

Waldorf: “Bah, boo!”

Statler: “Boo!”

Sunday, February 21

Modern Marvels (10/9 PM / History Channel)

History favorite MODERN MARVELS is back…with a fresh take and a new attitude. This time Modern Marvels goes straight for the taste buds in an all-compassing celebration and exploration of food. Watch Preview Here
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The Circus (8 PM ET/PT / Showtime)

Come one, come all to THE CIRCUS. This documentary series pulls back the curtain on the Trump era of presidential politics, revealing the intense, inspiring and infuriating stories behind the headlines. Watch Trailer Here
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Sammy Suggestion: Coming To America (Anytime / Prime Video)

An extremely pampered African Prince travels to Queens, New York, and goes undercover to find a wife that he can respect for her intelligence and will.
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Coming 2 America will of course debut on March 5 on Prime Video. Coming to America is of course a freshtastic 1988 comedy hit. Back in the day Coming to America reunited Eddie Murphy with director John Landis; the two men had worked together on another comedy hit Trading Places. However Coming is much stronger work and still holds up. Plus Coming to America established an Eddie Murphy trademark: this was the first time Eddie Murphy played multiple characters in the same film. Gold! Long before we visited Wakanda we lounged and laughed in Zamunda. Let’s return to this wonderful fictional country shall we? (This is added to Prime Video Canada today; however it’s been on Prime Video in America since February 1st.)

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

#CouchWorthy: Helter Skelter: An American Myth

Helter Skelter: An American Myth (Anytime / Hollywood Suite) – We’re going dark so get ready: it’s gonna be like exploring a black hole as if it was a cave.

Helter Skelter: An American Myth is like The Last Dance but like for Charles Manson. And I know it’s a terrible comparison but it’s accurate: it is a sociological and anthropological dig. It is archeology to understand sociology.

Think about it: it’s been 4 years since we visited Charles Manson in prison in Fincher’s Mindhunter. And it’s been 2 years since we witnessed the twisted Tinsel Town Terror of the Manson Family in Tarantino’s fairy tale Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood. And it’s been less than a year when Epix (in America) broadcast Helter Skelter: An American Myth on July 26, 2020.

That date was selected as it recognized it’s been 50 years since the grisly murder of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, and several others.

The 6 episode docuseries chronicles the Manson Family history, with the classic never-before-accessed interviews from former family members and journalists coupled with archival footage and newly-unearthed images. It’s stunning.

You know Lesley Chilcott as the producer on such documentaries as An Inconvenient Truth and it’s sequel as well as Waiting for Superman and It Might Get Loud: all fantastic work. This time for Helter Skelter she’s the executive producer and director behind this dramatic docuseries.

All this prompts the obvious question: this is past tense right? Something this dark couldn’t happen today right? That’s how my conversation with Lesley Chilcott started when she visited My Summer Lair.


187_Lesley Chilcott_QUOTE(1).jpg

?Past tense vs future tense is the first issue. The other is present tense…or really being tense in the present.

Often when celebrities or famous folks like a former President or say MLK pass away we eagerly participate in this ritual of reduction. We sand off the gruff edges, gloss over their sins and we reduce or even dilute their value and impact. MLK is down to greeting card soundbites when his movement and his legacy and his life is so much more. It’s so much bigger.

Oddly and every so often we expand a famous folk’s life: we’ve done this with Charles Manson. We’ve expanded his life and his legacy when we should have reduced it. His life has become a pop culture prism from which we see a colourful spectrum of positions,  conspiracy theories, and true crime fun facts, a classic complicated American saga.

I vaguely knew about the Mason Murders; I obviously knew who Charles Manson was but I had no historical handle to properly pick up the story. Lesley Chilcott’s Helter Skelter is a fantastic historical handle if you can…handle it. It is the unsettling contextual reckoning of a dark moment in the so called Summer of Love.

It is like staring at an eclipse because it’s not something that happens often. At least you hope it doesn’t happen often. Accidents suck.

We accept they’re part of the cost for flights and self-driving cars because they make the experiences better and safer. You need to have accidents so you can understand what went wrong and make the necessary safety adjustments. Because of car accidents we’ve added airbags and windshield wipers and even seatbelts. These valuable items we take for granted were not part of original car designs.

We’ve adjusted and learned from our mistakes. Even though those lessons tragically cost a lot of lives.

When Lesley says in our conversation: “It’s easy to say when you don’t know the story those are just crazy people and then you see how day by day they were just driven further and further and further.” She’s right. It is so easy to dismiss these people as crazy: that reduces the tragedy.

This is a fascinating docuseries: I highly recommend it. Must See TV. I’m not a fan of holding a strong opinion when you haven’t done the homework: there’s no need to read the room if the room isn’t well read right?

So this is a great starting point for understanding who Charles Manson was, who his family was and grappling with the horrific and devastating ripples that murder so often creates. The case isn’t closed just because the cops caught the bad guy and put him in jail. That’s the law but that’s not justice.

In Canada Helter Skelter premiered on February 11, 2021 on Hollywood Suite. Check the On Demand channel. Highly Recommended Viewing.

Make a strong tea and check out this docuseries. Reach out to me and tell me what your takeaway is: What stood out to you? What surprised you?

Hollywood Suite (On Demand) | February 11, 2021

Epix (On Demand) | July 26, 2020

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

187 | Lesley Chilcott (Helter Skelter: An American Myth)

My Summer Lair Chapter #187: How Much Do You Know About Charles Manson vs How Much Do You Think You Know?

We’re going dark for this My Summer Lair episode so get ready: it’s gonna be like exploring a black hole as if it was a cave.

Helter Skelter: An American Myth is like The Last Dance but like for Charles Manson. And I know it’s a terrible comparison but it’s accurate: it is a sociological and anthropological dig. It is archeology to understand sociology.

Think about it: it’s been 4 years since we visited Charles Manson in prison in Fincher’s Mindhunter. And it’s been 2 years since we witnessed the twisted Tinsel Town Terror of the Manson Family in Tarantino’s fairy tale Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood. And it’s been less than a year when Epix (in America) broadcast Helter Skelter: An American Myth on July 26, 2020.

That date was selected as it recognized it’s been 50 years since the grisly murder of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, and several others.

The 6 episode docuseries chronicles the Manson Family history, with the classic never-before-accessed interviews from former family members and journalists coupled with archival footage and newly-unearthed images. It’s stunning.

You know Lesley Chilcott as the producer on such documentaries as An Inconvenient Truth and it’s sequel as well as Waiting for Superman and It Might Get Loud: all fantastic work. This time for Helter Skelter she’s the executive producer and director behind this dramatic docuseries.

In Canada Helter Skelter premiered on February 11, 2021 on Hollywood Suite. Check the On Demand channel. Highly Recommended Viewing.

All this prompts the obvious question: this is past tense right? Something this dark couldn’t happen today right? That’s a good place to start my conversation with Lesley Chilcott.

Lesley Chicott @ WT F

Host Sammy Younan

Recorded: Monday February 8, 2021 at 5pm EST

#SetTheVCR: February 08-14, 2021

How was your Super Bowl Sunday?! Here’s some terrific TV recommendations while you finish off leftover chicken wings so you can Netflix and chili.

Monday, February 8

VH1 Family Reunion: Love & Hip Hop Edition (8/7 PM / VH1)
With the help of his son Jayden and Momma Dee, Trick Daddy pulls together a backyard barbecue to reunite cast members (and their families). Watch Trailer Here
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Black Lightning: Season 4 (9/8 PM / The CW)
Jefferson Pierce is a man wrestling with a secret. Nine years ago, Pierce was gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, which he used to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante BLACK LIGHTNING. Watch Trailer Here
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Sammy Suggestion: The Corporation (Anytime / YouTube)

Provoking, witty, stylish and sweepingly informative, THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time.
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The Corporation was a scintillating 2003 documentary that compared the symptoms of psychopathy with corporate behaviour. Oh Boy! The doc featured interviews with prominent corporate critics such as Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore and Howard Zinn. It is online now if you want to watch it; I highly recommend it. Especially because this Friday the sequel The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel will be broadcast on Crave. The New Corporation profiles new developments in the political and social power of corporations. It’s one of those…we’re still doing this?! kinda deals. So look out for that on Friday; after you finish checking this out. The link for 2003 is up there; here’s the trailer for the sequel.

Tuesday, February 9

Fright Club (Anytime / Discovery+)
FRIGHT CLUB features Jack Osbourne and the Ghost Brothers, Dalen Spratt, Marcus Harvey, and Juwan Mass, who freak each other out with the creepiest, craziest paranormal evidence ever caught on camera. Watch Trailer Here
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Sammy Suggestion: The Food That Built America: Season 2 (10/9 PM / History Channel)

This series turns the lens on an iconic selection of bold pioneers behind such iconic foods as Oreo, Cheetos, pizza, and more.
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This second season of The Food That Built America will reveal the fascinating history behind the titans who fought their way to the top of the food chain: Pizza Hut, Oreo, Kraft, McDonalds, Cheetos and more. As a survivour of the cola wars I can attest the food fights between these beloved brands hasn’t been savory. This series is about the trials, triumphs and tribulations of our food industry: familiar feelings if anybody has attempted a diet. PSA: The Food That Built America tonight is a special sneak preview before moving to its regular timeslot on Sundays at 9PM (starting ironically on Valentine’s Day. Talk about love and food…)

Wednesday, February 10

Tuskegee Airmen: Legacy of Courage (8/7 PM / History Channel)
In this one hour special, Robin Roberts explores the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, the legendary group of African American pilots including her father that served in WWII, revealing how these warriors for change helped end segregation in the military and pave the way for the civil rights movement. Watch Trailer Here
~~

Sammy Suggestion: Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel (Anytime / Netflix)

The notorious Cecil Hotel grows in infamy when guest Elisa Lam vanishes. From the creator of “The Ted Bundy Tapes,” a dive into crime’s darkest places.
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If you’ve ever visited the Overlook Hotel then chances are you’ll want to also make a reservation at The Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The first documented suicide at the Cecil was reported in 1931 and since then the hotel’s creepy reputation has become a harrowing list of horrors: serials killers, suicides, sex workers, violent beatings, drug activity. So naturally it’s comforting to watch all that from the safe comfort of your home via Netflix. Their latest true crime 4 part docuseries doesn’t focus on criminals but rather the crime scenes. What do we do with gruesome locations? And what happens to the people who did not heed the Amityville House warning: “GET OUT.”

Thursday, February 11

Clarice: Season 1 (10/9 PM / CBS)
CLARICE is a deep dive into the untold personal story of FBI Agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field in 1993, one year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs. Watch Trailer Here
~~

Sammy Suggestion: Red Dot (Anytime / Netflix)

Trying to rekindle their marriage and with a child on the way, a young couple on a ski trip suddenly finds themselves stalked by remorseless killers.
~~~~

And now a Swedish thriller! A couple on a camping trip attempting to rekindle their relationship fear they’ve become the targets of a sniper when they see a red dot following them wherever they go. That is not Swedish for common sense but English for terror.

Friday, February 12

Hip Hop Uncovered (9/8 PM / FX)
From executive producer Malcolm Spellman and Oscar® and Emmy®-winning production company Lightbox, comes HIP HOP UNCOVERED, an examination of a dying breed of power brokers who operate from the shadows of hip hop. Watch Trailer Here
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Marvel’s Behind The Mask (Anytime / Disney+)
MARVEL’S BEHIND THE MASK explores the power of identity behind the world’s most iconic Super Heroes we know and love today.
Watch Trailer Here
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Sammy Suggestion: Terrific Teen Temptations! (Anytime | Netflix & Prime Video)

Choose From The Following Teen Movies!
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A wild Sophie’s Choice today: To All The Boys: Always And Forever on Netflix vs Prime Video’s The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things. Lara Jean returns in the third and final To All The Boys movie. In the first movie, LJ was a high school student who wrote secret letters to boys she had a crush on – and, against her wishes, the letters were sent out to those boys. The second movie was not as solid as the first yet here we are: the ramifications of those love letters are still driving the plot as Lara Jean prepares to graduate from high school. Chick’s gotta stay with Noah Centineo right? The character is smart so she’s gotta do the smart thing. Right?! And yet over on Amazon we got The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things. A Time Loop Teen Movie!!! With the horny chica from Blockers. I dunno who the hunk is; he seems literally basic. So do you say goodbye to Lara Jean or do you say hello to a Groundhog Day Romance? (Or watch one now and save the other for Valentine’s Day? Ah: the stress of streaming.)

Saturday, February 13

Inside Pixar (Anytime / Disney+)
A documentary series of personal and cinematic stories that provide an inside look into the people, artistry, and culture of Pixar Animation Studios. Watch Trailer Here
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Sammy Suggestion: Helter Skelter: An American Myth (Anytime / Hollywood Suite)

Why, after 50 years, does the Manson Family still permeate our culture, our media, and our fears? The six-episode original series is the most definitive recounting of the Manson Family story ever put on screen.
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It’s been 4 years since we visited Charles Manson in prison in Fincher’s Mindhunter. And it’s been 2 years since we witnessed the twisted Tinsel Town Terror of the Manson Family in QT’s fairy tale Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood. And it’s been less than a year when Epix (in America) broadcast Helter Skelter: An American Myth on July 26, 2020. That date was selected as it recognized it’s been 50 years since the grisly murder of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojtek Frykowski and Steven Parent. The 6 episode docuseries chronicles the Manson Family history, with the classic never-before-accessed interviews from former family members and journalists first on the scene and in the courtroom, with archival footage and newly-unearthed images. Lesley Chilcott producer on An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman, will direct as well serve as executive producer. This debuts on February 11 on Hollywood Suite’s live channels as well as their On Demand channel if you wanna get started on this early.

Sunday, February 14

The Simpsons: Season 32 (8/7 PM / Fox)
The longest running animated TV show in history, Homer and Marge Simpson raise Bart, Lisa and baby Maggie in Springfield, where eccentric residents make everyday life interesting.
~~

A Spy in the FBI (8/7 PM / Reelz)
Former FBI agents and journalists recount the life of Robert Hanssen and what drew him to espionage, how he stayed hidden in plain sight for over 20 years, and the events that brought down the most damaging spy in American history. Watch Trailer Here
~~

Sammy Suggestion: 500 Days of Summer (Anytime / Crave)

An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn’t believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her.
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Typically a rom-com is fun: nobody in real life runs through an airport or has a loud orgasm in a dinner. As a viewer you know what you’re getting into; it’s all good. However 500 Days of Summer is not a typical rom-com. It’s devastating in many ways which makes it ideal for Valentine’s Day. Love is not what we think it is, often and even better: love is bigger than we think it is. This surreal scene Expectations vs. Reality is a punch to the nuts. Let yourself be love and as you figure out to properly and deeply love others.

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

Morning Tea: Buck Rogers But Change The B to An F

Nope.

No.

Absolutely Not.

Hell No.

George Clooney as Buck Rogers?!

Change the B to an F: I’m 100% Out.

No trailer…don’t even make it. I hope this gets Ghostbusted. I won’t see this.

Buck Rogers deserves better than George Clooney.

If You Can Do Better Then Be Better.

Let’s draw Buck Rogers battle lines: I’m happy to Buck Clooney’s attempt.

I’ve seen Clooney’s Batman: if he wants second chances he should talk to the Pope.

Come With It Now. If we work together we can trash George Clooney’s Buck Rogers.

We’re all in this together.

Yo: Read The Rest: Here.

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186 | Shirley Gnome (Quantity Time)

My Summer Lair Chapter #186: What Is A Sentient Dildo? (yes you read that correctly…)

Yo! Welcome to My Summer Lair I’m your host Sammy Younan you (wait for it!) Gnome me. You know Gnome? You know? Those weird garden statues that no doubt come to life at night. 

Alright this isn’t an episode about my issues rather it’s focused on comedian Shirley Gnome.  She’s known for making humorous songs if you’ve seen Adam Sandler’s 100% Fresh (highly recommended) or hits from The Lonely Island classics such as Dick In A Box or I’m On A Boat that’s what Shirley does: catchy songs with wonderfully filthy lyrics that get stuck in your head. 

Decoxification: is the LP, Quantity Time is EP and it’s Quantity Time that prompted the first time I’ve asked a guest What is Sentient Dildo? Almost 200 episodes of My Summer Lair and I’ve never felt the need to ask that until now. So that right there: you know this is a special and fun episode. 

So if you want to know what a “Sentient Dildo” is then hit play and in time your ignorance will dissipate. Mine did.

Shirley Gnome @ WT F

Host Sammy Younan

Recorded: Friday March 5, 2021 at 4pm EST

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