211 | Sean Sirianni (Creative Imbalance Podcast)

My Summer Lair Chapter #211: Is Your Creativity In Balance?

I’ll keep this brief as Sean will properly introduce himself and his freshtastic podcast The Creative Imbalance. Dude just hit a milestone of 150 episodes though as he’ll share his journey there are more than 150 episodes.

A remarkable achievement since so many start a podcast and don’t well…finish a podcast. The technical term is podfade; this typically happens with less than 10 episodes; a podcast just abruptly stops issuing new episodes. Itunes is really a podcast graveyard; a memorial of shattered dreams.

It is a lot of work to craft a podcast; the classic war of attrition and despite that long hard war Sean is still standing; still smiling and still seeking growth.

He and I used to record in a bar in downtown Toronto the Pacific Junction Hotel bar and we’ve since transitioned into new formats and new styles while still having old fun. As you’ll hear Sean is good with the technical EQ and the emotional IQ which which makes him a special if not quirky podcast host.

Congratulations Sean on 150 episodes! Here’s to a 150 more.

Sean Sirianni @ WT F

Host & Photography by Sammy Younan

Recorded: Thursday August 19, 2021 at 5pm (EST)

#SetTheVCR: July 26 – August 1, 2021


Hello, folks, and welcome to a special edition of #SetTheVCR with your host, social media lackey and lover of doggos (especially her own), Stephanie Cole. With Sammy on vacation, I’m taking over duties and taking you on a wild ride of sports, music, chipmunks, Ted Lasso, and the red bouncy-balls of doom. So, sit back, relax, grab some popped corn and the good spot on the couch, and Welcome to Stephanie’s #SetTheVCR.

Monday, July 26

Roswell, New Mexico: Season 3 Premiere (8/7c / The CW)

After a decade away from home, Liz Ortecho returns to her native Roswell to care for her ailing father. When she arrives, she reconnects with her high school crush Max Evans, only to discover that Max and his siblings are aliens who have kept their abilities secret their entire lives.

Stephanie Suggestion: Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes (9/8c / HBO)

A six-part, half-hour documentary series, brings to life Ronan Farrow’s intimate, revealing interviews with whistleblowers, journalists, private investigators and other sources, conducted for the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s podcast and best-selling book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and A Conspiracy to Protect Predators.

Ronan Farrow is a trip and a half. A guy who could have been a throwaway – a one trick pony, son of a scandal – has turned into one of thee most hard hitting journalists of our era. Farrow’s insanely explosive book Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and A Conspiracy to Protect Predators, took to task the concept of news outlets buying stories just to bury them through the guise of the Harvey Weinstein story. This documentary deconstructs all of that through Farrow’s own podcasts about the hubub, and if you ever wanted to see (and hear) the actual true harrowing side of journalism and how it’s played a part in keeping men like Weinstein on top, this is the doc for you. Just, you know, bring along your stockpiles of sanitizer. You’re going to need it.

Tuesday, July 27

The Operative (Anytime / Netflix)

Working as a Mossad spy assigned to Tehran, Rachel (Diane Kruger) reaches her breaking point. Now it’s dangerously hard to tell whose side she’s on. Also starring Martin Freeman.

Stephanie Suggestion: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (10/7 ET/PT / HBO Max)

REAL SPORTS is TV’s most-honored sports journalism series, with 33 Sports Emmy Awards, including 19 for Outstanding Sports Journalism. Now in its 27th season, the monthly magazine broadcast produces unchartered investigative pieces and in-depth profiles from across the sports spectrum.

Full Disclosure: I’ve never watched a single episode of Real Sports. I know very little about Bryant Gumbel other than that he knows sports, he’s got accolades out the ying yang, and he seems to be a stand up dude. But here’s the thing: I’m not immune to sports. I am more than a little obsessed with baseball (GO ANGELS!), and I grew up in an actual ‘I live my life a quarter mile at a time’ family, so I get it. The nature of competitive whatever is to the core. And because of that, I find myself recommending something I’ve never watched, because Gumbel has always at least exuded a level of professionalism, respect, and knowledge that makes me want to tune in to his perceptions of the sports world. Oh, plus the Olympics are on. Perfect time to get some fresh perspective.

Wednesday, July 28

Bartkowiak (Anytime / Netflix)

After his brother dies in a car crash, a disgraced MMA fighter takes over the family nightclub — and soon learns his sibling’s death wasn’t an accident.

Stephanie Suggestion: Chip’n’ Dale: Park Life (Anytime / Disney+)

Follows two tiny troublemakers, Chip and Dale, trying to live the good life in a big city park while having giant-sized, sky-high adventures. Nervous worrier Chip and laid-back dreamer Dale make the perfect odd couple: they’re best buddies and they drive each other nuts. In their perpetual pursuit of acorns, these ultimate underdogs are joined by Pluto, Butch and other iconic Disney characters as they face down bullies great and small.


Okay, so hear me out. This is not the sort of thing you’d see on a #SetTheVCR, I get it. Except for how it is. I mean, isn’t this all about what’s couchworthy and what we need to detach from the world for a minute? And my childhood was Chip ‘n’ Dale; their early adventures were on constant rewind with my VCR growing up, and I used to blush in nervous fangirl energy whenever I’d run into them at Disneyland. Add the fact that I was forever confused about how there was a group of stripping dudes tied into these face-stuffing dilettantes, and you get a sense of how I grew up with them as constant friends. So recommending them for thy youngins seemed fitting, especially in the middle of summer. Color me nostalgic, but it seems we could use a dose of childhood right about now.

Thursday, July 29

Dr. Death: The Undoctored Story (Anytime / Peacock)

Docuseries about Dr. Christopher Duntsch — nicknamed “Dr. Death” — an infamous neurosurgeon who was sentenced to life imprisonment after maiming, harming, or killing 33 patients who came in for complex but routine spinal surgeries in the Dallas, TX area in the early 2010s.

Behind The Music: Season 2 (Anytime / Paramount+)

The groundbreaking and prolific music documentary series returns with several new episodes and the best of the vault remastered and updated for today’s audiences featuring artist interviews, a creative refresh and reimagined visual style.

Stephanie Suggestion: Ted Lasso (Anytime / AppleTV+)

Jason Sudeikis is Ted Lasso, an American football coach hired to manage a British soccer team—despite having no experience. But what he lacks in knowledge, he makes up for with optimism, underdog determination…and biscuits.

Ever have that show literally everyone is talking about and you end up having a full existential crisis of ‘do I hide in my cone of shame and not admit I’ve never seen it, or do I go Full Hipster and act like I’m too cool for it’? That’s Ted Lasso. This is another show I’ve never seen, but crititical buzz-be-gone, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. And by good, I mean super awesome feel good. Ted Lasso is, by all accounts, the happy-go-lucky we all need in the year of our whatever, 2021. Because if there was ever a time to admit you’d never seen the thing, and you just need that push to watch the thing because it sounded like you needed the thing to feel good about things in general, this is it.

Friday, July 30

Back on the Record with Bob Costas (11/10c / HBO)

29-time Emmy®-winner and legendary broadcaster Bob Costas returns to HBO with a new series, Back on the Record with Bob Costas. The series, which will air four episodes each year, will be driven by in-depth interviews with the biggest names in sports, entertainment, and popular culture, and discussions led by Costas that will address today’s most topical sports issues.

Stephanie Suggestion: The Demi Lovato Show (Anytime / Roku)

The 10-minute episodes will find Lovato in conversation with a variety of guests with discussions covering topics such as activism, feminism, gender identity, sex, body positivity, mental health and, one of Lovato’s favorite topics, aliens.

Okay, look. Just hear me out again. We all need a win right now. And Demi Lovato – who has been through her fair share of need-a-wins – is poised, not only to get her win, but give us all the win we so need and deserve. Kelly Clarkson paved the latest path of talk show hosts who don’t trash their interviewees to get the ratings and the dirt, and Demi is the perfect follow up to that. A little bit more depth with the same level of heart from two girls that society even 10 years ago would have completely thrown away. Here’s tipping a 40 to Demi. Shine bright like a diamond, girl.

Saturday, July 31

Stephanie Suggestion: The Vault (Anytime / Netflix)

A genius engineer and his crew of amateur thieves plot a scheme to seize a legendary lost treasure hidden in a fortress beneath the Bank of Spain.

I will forever only ever see Freddie Highmore is that little kid from Love, Actually who learns to play the drums like a baller in a matter of days just to try and win over a girl from school he’s literally never spoken to, only for it to totally work in the most spectacular, TSA-is-having-a-heart-attack showdown you’ll ever see at Heathrow Airport. Except for how that wasn’t Freddie Highmore, that was Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Freddie was from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake, and all Gen Y British kids look alike, okay, stop looking at me like that. The truth is, I have no idea if The Vault is any good, and according to Rotten Tomatoes, that would be a 54% hard no, but honestly, I took one look at little Sam all grown up in full combat gear on the poster, got verklempt, and added it to my Netflix queue. Plot and rotten tomatoes be damned.

Sunday, August 01

History of the Sitcom (9/8c PM / CNN)

This eight-part docuseries reunites audiences with the television friends, families, and co-workers they grew up with while introducing cutting-edge comedies that are sure to be your next binge-watch.

Stephanie Suggestion: Wipeout: The Suicide Squad Special (9/8c / TBS)

Grab your squad on August 1! Wipeout returns with a special episode guest starring the cast of The Suicide Squad and writer-director James Gunn.

Raise your hand if you had a mild, insignificant, barely worth mentioning, possibly-borderline-unhealthy-according-to-your-therapist obsession with the OG Wipeout. No? No one? Just me? Alrighty then. There have been lots of obstacle course shows over the years (hi, American Gladiator!), but there was just something about giant red bouncy balls and a whack-a-mole wall of doom that tickled me to no end, even today. So I was already on board with this reboot when it premiered back in April, especially with JOHN CENAAAAAA!!!! as cohost. And with that little insider, nepotistic connection via a certain upcoming movie reboot-that-isn’t-a-reboot, we will now have our very own The Suicide Squad special episiode with even writer-director James Gunn himself getting bounced around. I think. The descript wasn’t clear on that one, but here’s hoping.


Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair. Stephanie Cole is the questionable sidekick who makes pretty pictures and whitty captions to promote said Lair. Think Bond and Q.
(Stephanie is obviously Q.)

210 | Virginia Abramovich (Between Waves)

My Summer Lair Chapter #210: Are You Ready To travel Between Dimensions?

We got a sci-fi movie for today’s My Summer Lair conversation. Or is it? About 14 minutes into my conversation with director Virginia Abramovich she reveals Between Waves: “It’s a love story, but then it’s like this weird love story where there’s very little love.” Hah. There’s lots to love actually.

There’s also a mystery in the middle, a disappearance with unique sci-fi elements such as the ability to travel between dimensions. I wonder if that’s responsible for one character’s disappearance? He’s not gone, he’s just not…here.

More than just Between Waves Virginia and I discuss the original Star Trek series which introduced us to the Mirror Universe, Brian Greene a theoretical physicist and telling Toronto stories in film.

Brian Greene’s fifth book Until the End of Time came out in 2020 and I’ve sadly not read any of them. I got homework to do. So do you!

Check out James Gleick’s Time Travel: A History which deftly documents this wonderful phenomenon including our relationship to time, the origins of the concept and more. This non-fiction book is fantastic: it’s sweeter than a TARDIS and funner than a DeLorean.

That’s your homework.

As for the various on demand platforms you can check out Between Waves on I recommend Hoopla the Toronto Public Library streaming service. Like Netflix for pop culture via the library.

Surf’s up! Let’s get into Between Waves.

Between Waves @ WT F

Host Sammy Younan

Recorded: Wednesday September 22, 2021 at 11:30am EST

#SetTheVCR: July 19 – 25, 2021

Oh Baby! From basketball to biographies to a Blood Red Sky this #SetTheVCR post is packed with balmy balance.

Monday, July 19

War of the Worlds: Season 2 (Anytime / Disney+ UK)

In present-day Europe, astronomers detect a transmission from another galaxy and the world waits for further contact, within days of the transmission mankind is all but wiped out by a devastating attack.

Sammy Suggestion: For Ball and Country (Anytime / Peacock)

Follow the greatest basketball players in America as they set aside their on-court rivalries and form a star-studded team to represent their country.

Well not quite another Last Dance this will provide another background on the nostalgia inducing and aptly named Dream Team. (Check out a 2012 decent documentary The Dream Team I’m sure will surface on NBA TV as the Olympics unfold.) It’s the past coupled with the present with current footage of USA Basketball with Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum etc. (The sad irony is that basketball is an international game: there are decent NBA players on almost every country’s team playing in the Olympics. Like Nigeria has seven NBA players…okay sure none of em are household names but still seven players.) So For Ball and Country is a unique window into USA Basketball from The Dream Team when it was dominant to now when they’re just I guess…prominent? “In addition to an all-access look at the 2021 team’s training camp in Las Vegas, the series looks back into the USA Basketball video vault with never-before-seen footage of this storied program.” Episodes 1 and 2 will premiere on July 19, with episodes 3 and 4 streaming on July 20 and finally episodes 5 and 6 stream on July 21.

Tuesday, July 20

Don’t Tell a Soul (Anytime / The Roku Channel)

A security officer falls down a hidden well while chasing two teenage brothers who stole more than $12,000. Desperate to get out, he soon tries to convince one of the siblings to set him free and save his life.

Sammy Suggestion: In Their Own Words: Season 2 (8pm / PBS)

Using a fresh and innovative combination of interview, archive and animated content, “In Their Own Words” is an intimate journey into the lives and minds of some of the world’s most compelling men and women.

If you dig A&E Biography then you’ll enjoy In Their Own Words: though this is more personal as you can infer from the title. The series premiered in 2015 with profiles of Queen Elizabeth ll, Muhammad Ali and Jim Henson. For this second season they’re airing six specials spotlighting Pope Francis, Chuck Berry, Princess Diana, Jimmy Carter, Elon Musk and Angela Merkel. Two of the episodes that I highly recommend are Episode 5 Elon Musk and Episode 2 Chuck Berry who of course infamously stole Johnny B. Goode from Marty McFly…I wonder if that will be in his biography special.

Wednesday, July 21

Marvel Studios’ Assembled: The Making of Loki (Anytime / Disney+)

A comprehensive documentary series streaming on Disney+ that chronicles the creation of Marvel Studios’ latest TV show, LOKI.

Sammy Suggestion: New Mutants (Anytime / Disney+ Canada)

Five teenage mutants — Mirage, Wolfsbane, Cannonball, Sunspot and Magik — undergo treatments at a secret institution that will cure them of their dangerous powers.


The New Mutants were the apocalyptic sign of this pandemic. Originally shot from July to September 2017 this Marvel Mutant Movie was supposed to come out on April 13, 2018. Then it was delayed to February 22, 2019, which was pushed to August 2, 2019 then finally a miracle happened: April 3, 2020 was the confirmed date! Trailers and everything. Then the pandemic shut everything down in March and we should have interpreted a New Mutants release as a sign. It finally came out on August 28, 2020. There were many reasons for the delay: the chief among them was the vision for the movie: Breakfast Club detention crossed with a Cuckoo’s Nest institution. Should they emphasize the YA teenager growing pains (the hallmarks of a classic teen movie) or double down on the horror aspects (teens in trouble is classic horror). After all that it’s now on Disney+ Canada and like the recently restored Snyder Cut of Justice League it’s doubtful this will go anywhere: there’s no need to restore the New Mutants verse.

Thursday, July 22

Through Our Eyes (Anytime / HBO Max)

A spotlight on the perspectives of children as they experience some of the most challenging issues facing families today – homelessness, parental incarceration, military caregiving, and climate displacement.

Sammy Suggestion: Wayward Pines (Anytime / Disney+ Canada)

A Secret Service agent travels to Wayward Pines, Idaho, in search of two federal agents who have gone missing. Instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions and he soon learns that he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

I want to do a Troy McClure opening for this blurb because you know M. Night Shyamalan from such movies as Signs and Sixth Sense and you know the Duffer brothers from such Netflix hits like Stranger Things. Go back in time to 2015 and 2016 together these fear pee inducing gentlemen had a previous show called Wayward Pines airing on Fox. Adapted from Wayward Pines novels by Blake Crouch (The plot of Crouch’s first novel in the trilogy, Pines is covered over the first five episodes of season one. The second and third novels, Wayward and The Last Town make up the remaining five episodes.) If you don’t know, Wayward Pines is set in a small town and it’s creepy, they’re “watching us” and they are eerie sci-fi elements. You get the sense this was their TV training wheels. As for what the big mystery is, here’s what M. Night said before signing on to direct: “As long as everybody isn’t dead, I’m in.” So that’s off the table.

Friday, July 23

Ted Lasso: Season 2 (Anytime / Apple TV+)

Jason Sudeikis is Ted Lasso, an American football coach hired to manage a British soccer team—despite having no experience. But what he lacks in knowledge, he makes up for with optimism, underdog determination…and biscuits.

Sammy Suggestion: Blood Red Sky (Anytime / Netflix)

When a group of terrorists hijacks an overnight transatlantic flight, a mysteriously ill woman must unleash a monstrous secret to protect her young son.

Ready? We got a German horror film: yo! It starts off with a classic flight hijacking then it goes all Die Hard on a plane only this time “Bruce Willis” is a vampire. Team Ruckus Reporting for Duty! Vampires and hijackers now that’s a good Netflix party.

Saturday, July 24

Masters of the Universe: Revelation: Part 1 (Anytime / Netflix)

After a calamitous battle fractures Eternia, Teela and an unlikely alliance must prevent the end of the Universe in this sequel to the ’80s classic.

Sammy Suggestion: Jolt (Anytime / Prime Video)

A bouncer with a slightly murderous anger-management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest she uses to shock herself back to normalcy whenever she gets homicidal. After the first guy she’s ever fallen for is murdered, she goes on a revenge-fueled rampage to find the killer while the cops pursue her as their chief suspect.

If this Kate Beckinsale movie is any good it’ll have Jolt Cola as product placement. “A bouncer with a slightly murderous anger-management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest she uses to shock herself back to normalcy whenever she gets homicidal. After the first guy she’s ever fallen for is murdered, she goes on a revenge-fueled rampage to find the killer while the cops pursue her as their chief suspect.” As I said…if this movie is any good…what do you think? Bonus Fun: If you find a Jolt Cola moment send me a screencap.

Sunday, July 25

History of the Sitcom (9/8c PM / CNN)

This eight-part docuseries reunites audiences with the television friends, families, and co-workers they grew up with while introducing cutting-edge comedies that are sure to be your next binge-watch.

Sammy Suggestion: Toys of Terror (Anytime / Crave)

Evil toys magically come to life to terrorize a couple and their children inside a secluded mansion.

Think Pixar’s Toy Story but horror. Oh yes I wanna see where this goes: these murderous toys are not playing around. It’s clean up time…


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

209 | Heather Ross (For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close)

My Summer Lair Chapter #209: Have You Heard About The One About Del Close?

Yo! For this episode I’ll need a location…I heard My Summer Lair…which makes sense. Villains need a break from their typical lairs. People have summer homes right? And I’ll need an occupation: I heard podcast host. Ok let’s put this together: Yo Welcome To My Summer Lair I’m your host Sammy “Yes And” Younan.

I actually performed improv in a group…we did it for about 2 or 3 years. It’s a challenging medium because it forces you to be decisive. Instead of saying car which is bland it’s better to be specific say Ford Pinto. Your castmates benefit; the audience benefits…and you can build on that. That is…if you have it. Because with improv some nights you just don’t have it.

Though with improv it’s best to avoid the negative and focus on the positive. So tell me this: what do John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Shelley Long and Bob Odenkirk plus many more funny folks all have in common?

Del Close: an actor, writer, and improv teacher who coached many of the best-known comedians and comic actors…I mean that list I just recited, right?

Chances are you know Bill Murray and Tina Fey and Bob Odenkirk; they’re old pop culture friends yet Del Close is a cultural stranger.

So thankfully we now have Heather Ross’ For Madmen Only a Del Close documentary. A “madman” who freely operated from the total belief that improvisational comedy was an art form. He taught his witty students to be present…to make unlikely choices. Which sounds obvious but was indeed revolutionary. In this documentary it’s a treat to hear Adam McKay and Tim Meadows talk about comedy and celebrate the freedom of improv comedy.

And even though the focus of this documentary is comedy it’s not a “funny movie.” Unfortunately there is a persistent darkness that overshadows a lot of the mirth. Laughter may be the best medicine but for Del Close it wasn’t enough to dull his pain…his unresolved hurt.

If you’re a comedy nerd or a performer this documentary For Madmen Only is a must watch (now on Hulu!). Director Heather Ross has found a creative way to present Del Close’s literal words and his life while avoiding long periods of talking heads. I’m so grateful for the wonderful contributions Del made to comedy in general and in specific in my life.

For Madmen Only @ WT F

Host Sammy Younan

Recorded: Wednesday August 10, 2021 at 4:00pm EST

#SetTheVCR: July 12 – 18, 2021

From Stan Lee to Rick Rubin to the Tenth Doctor Who this is a legendary #SetTheVCR week!

Monday, July 12

Eden: Season 1 (Anytime / Spectrum Originals)

As each episode unfolds from a different character’s perspective, EDEN explores a multi-generational tale of events that happen before, during and after a young woman goes missing one warm, summer night.

Sammy Suggestion: Stan Lee’s Alliances: A New Reality (Anytime / Audible)

Biohacker Olivia Park is obsessed with an emerging mystery within Oz, the online portal created by alien technology. What she finds is a primitive xenobot, Eno, who takes her on a mind-bending trip through time that begins as the Berlin Wall is falling, and takes her back to the origins of the modern internet and the fall of a digital Atlantis created by her father, Wesley Park, and entrepreneur William Ackerson.

Stan Lee who died in 2018 gifted us one final Universe to explore. In 2019 nerds were introduced to the final Universe Stan co-created: Stan Lee’s Alliances. In this Universe via Book 1 we meet Cameron and his cyberkinetic talent who later connects with Nia whose powers include well I can’t share. Together they of course forcibly right some wrongs. A Trick of Light was originally an Audible Original co-written by Stan Lee and Kat Rosenfield, and narrated by Yara Shahidi. It was the first story of Stan Lee’s Alliances series co-created by Lee, Luke Lieberman, and Ryan Silbert. The second story is now out, a prequel and it’s yes an audiobook; still co-written by Kool Kat Rosenfield. “Biohacker Olivia Park is obsessed with an emerging mystery within Oz, the online portal created by alien technology. What she finds is a primitive xenobot, Eno, who takes her on a mind-bending trip through time that begins as the Berlin Wall is falling, and takes her back to the origins of the modern internet and the fall of a digital Atlantis created by her father, Wesley Park, and entrepreneur William Ackerson.” Face front True Believers: it’s always great to start the week with some Science Fiction.

Tuesday, July 13

30 for 30: Breakaway (9/8c PM / ESPN)

Directed by Rudy Valdez, the documentary explores the story of WNBA Star, Maya Moore, who was one of the best basketball players in the world when she stepped away from the sport for a remarkable reason: to fight for a man she believed was wrongly imprisoned.

Sammy Suggestion: A Quiet Place: Part II (Anytime / Prime Video)

Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) continue their fight for survival in silence, now facing the terrors of the outside world in this suspenseful thriller directed by John Krasinski.

“After 89 days, most of Earth’s human population has been annihilated by blind creatures with hypersensitive hearing that attack anything making noise.” So began 2018’s A Quiet Place. I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic worlds and this one is strange: you can’t make a sound. So making one of the main characters pregnant was such a compelling choice. Another engaging character was…silence. In an interview with Headliner Magazine Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl (the sequel’s sound design, supervising sound editors) shared how sound (and silence) was a central character in the film: “We started hearing stories after the first film that people were afraid to eat their popcorn in the theatre! That was thrilling for us to hear because it’s like, ‘Okay, this experiment that we tried actually works’! We were able to literally make the audience hold their breath.” Sadly cinemas did not open in Ontario so here we are watching at home: “Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.” “Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits.”

Wednesday, July 14

A Classic Horror Story (Anytime / Netflix)

In this gruesome suspense film, strangers traveling in southern Italy become stranded in the woods, where they must fight desperately to get out alive.

Sammy Suggestion: Gunpowder Milkshake (Anytime / Netflix)

When an assassin veers off mission to rescue a child, she triggers a war with a powerful crime syndicate — and reunites a gun-wielding sisterhood.


Karen Gillan is playing a professional assassin: a hitwoman! Solid pitch right? Karen Gillan has also unleashed a gang war when her high-stake mission goes sideways and so she needs a gang. Can’t fight a gang war without a gang right? Her gang includes her mother and her former hitwomen sidekicks. Gunpowder Milkshake echoes Wanted a 2008 movie adapted from a Mark Millar mini-series: Angelina Jolie was a hitwoman, she belongs to Fraternity who select their targets via the Loom of Fate. In Gunpowder the assassins organization is called the Librarians. Let’s see where the similarities start and end.

Thursday, July 15

Dr. Death: Limited Series (Anytime / Peacock)

As patients entering the operating room of Dr. Christopher Duntsch for routine spinal surgeries start leaving permanently maimed or dead, two fellow surgeons and a young Assistant District Attorney set out to stop him.

Sammy Suggestion: Staged: Season 2 (Anytime / Hollywood Suite)

Actors Michael Sheen and David Tennant play fictionalized versions of themselves, trying to rehearse a performance during lockdown via videoconference, while the underconfident director, Simon, struggles to keep control of the production. Features guest appearances by Judi Dench, Samuel L. Jackson, and Adrian Lester.

Wanna hang out with Simon Pegg, Christoph Waltz, Ewan McGregor, Ken Jeong, Whoopi Goldberg, Josh Gad, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Cate Blanchett? Oh and David Tennant and Michael Sheen. That can easily be arranged and ah…Staged. Season 2 is now in Canada: all 8 episodes are on demand. This unique British comedy is primarily filmed using video-conferencing technology. Guess the lockdowns did prompt some creativity.

Friday, July 16

Fear Street Part Three: 1666 (Anytime / Netflix)

Thrust back to 1666, Deena learns the truth about Sarah Fier. Back in 1994, the friends fight for their lives — and Shadyside’s future.

Sammy Suggestion: ICON: Music Through The Lens (9/8c pm / PBS)

Featuring in-depth and often irreverent interviews with the world’s best-known music photographers, musicians, gallerists, music journalists and social commentators, Icon: Music Through the Lens is an eye-opening, six-part, thrill ride through the amazing world of music photography.

Originally broadcast last November on Sky Arts in the UK ICON: Music Through The Lens comes to America. The six-part series about music photography will explore all aspects of music photography. For example Episode 4 On The Cover details the role music magazines played in elevating music photography to iconic status. “Since having the idea almost a decade ago to highlight the amazing contribution photographers have made to popular music we are humbled an delighted to have been able to document the truly incredible stories and experiences of many of the most important people in this field,” says producer and director Dick Curruthers. “Nobody has shone a spotlight on the impact photography has made to our understanding of popular music in quite the way this series has and it will, we are sure, stand as testament to that contribution.” Sounds fascinating let’s look to the left and see what…develops.

Saturday, July 17

Sammy Suggestion: McCartney 3,2,1 (Anytime / Hulu)

Paul McCartney. Rick Rubin. History in the making.

It’s Rick Rubin: that’s it. I could tell you this docuseries is 6 parts or it explores Paul McCartney’s music. But it’s Rick Rubin: you in or you out? (Hulu for Americans; Disney+ for Canadians.)

Sunday, July 18

History of the Sitcom (9/8c PM / CNN)

This eight-part docuseries reunites audiences with the television friends, families, and co-workers they grew up with while introducing cutting-edge comedies that are sure to be your next binge-watch.

Sammy Suggestion: 100 Foot Wave (Anytime / HBO)

The six-part series intimately captures the decade-long odyssey of surfing pioneer Garrett McNamara, who, after visiting Nazaré, Portugal in hopes of conquering a 100 foot wave, pushed the sport to ever-greater heights and alongside locals helped transform the small fishing village into the world’s pre-eminent big-wave surfing destination.

Surf’s Up! “The six episode series captures the common spirit and fearless passion shared by Garrett McNamara ( the Guinness World Record holder for the largest wave ever surfed for eight years) and big-wave surfers from across the world as they push themselves through life-altering injuries and tantalizing near-misses in their collective pursuit of the inconceivable. Spanning four continents, 100 Foot Wave is an inspirational story of a group of people on a quest to achieve new heights, and a town and a sport that were forever changed by one seemingly impossible dream.” Sounds like a wild ride; doubt you’ll be “board” watching this docuseries.


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

208 | Andrew Farago (The Legend of Wonder Woman)

My Summer Lair Chapter #208: What Makes An 80 Year Old Woman Wonderful?

It’s Wonder Woman Day here at My Summer Lair. Though that’s everyday at the Cartoon Art Museum who are currently hosting The Legend of Wonder Woman. This exhibition celebrates 80 years of the superb superhero with a range of artwork and insights and even focuses on her villains. (If you’re lucky you might be able to see her Invisible Plane.

While in October 2021 Wonder Woman will celebrate her 80 year old debut in All-Star Comics in 1941 this isn’t the only anniversary we’re celebrating. Andrew Farago is an avid writer of pop culture slash books about comic characters while his day job is the curator of the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco.

He’ll be celebrating his 20th anniversary at the Museum having curated and arranged a variety of exhibitions in the past: a Spider-Man 40th anniversary exhibition, an American Splendor showcase. Raw Fury: The Art of Mike Zeck and the 80th Anniversary of The Dark Knight.

Like Batman Andrew operates in the shadows and like Wonder Woman Andrew relies on his wits and talents to make this world a better place.

As you’re about to hear, The Legend of Wonder Woman is “drawing” generations of fans; a preview of what to expect at the exhibition and so much more including why Andrew believes Disco Stu should be in an old folks home but oh man we’re gonna start this whole conversation by talking about the jaw dropping G. I. Joe two-parter Worlds Without End from November 4 and 5 in 1985.

A handful of Joes wake up in an alternative reality where Cobra has won. As a kid it was mind blowing and wildly unsettling. It later formed a massive cornerstone of my imagination. So yeah we’re so gonna start with that and then talk about the superhero from the mysterious island.

The Legend of Wonder Woman @ WT F

Host Sammy Younan

Recorded: Friday August 27, 2021 at 2pm EST

#SetTheVCR: July 5 – 11, 2021

It’s going to be an Atypical #SetTheVCR week. (Like literally!)

Monday, July 05

Me And Earl and The Dying Girl (Anytime / Crave)

An awkward high-school senior (Thomas Mann) and a gravely ill classmate (Olivia Cooke) surprise themselves by becoming inseparable friends.

Sammy Suggestion: Rebel Robin: Surviving Hawkins (Anytime / Spotify etc.)

Netflix and Atypical Artists announce an original full-cast fiction podcast based on Stranger Things 3 breakout character, Robin Buckley. Rebel Robin: Surviving Hawkins is a 6 episode podcast companion to that season starring Maya Hawke and Sean Maher.

Before viewers can return to Hawkins and ah…Russia? in Stranger Things 4 Netflix has released an audio prequel of Strange Things 3. “October, 1983. There’s a monster lurking in Hawkins, Indiana. Chewing people up, spitting them out, changing them in terrible ways. Yet for some reason, everyone is acting like it’s all perfectly normal. Except for Robin Buckley. She alone knows exactly what this monster’s name is: Hawkins High School.” Maya Hawke returns as Robin, the ice cream slinging character introduced in the third season to share her high school adventures. Lately TV show podcast companions have been primarily non-fiction: interviews, fun facts etc. This is fiction with a TV show character played by the actor. Curious to see if the fans will embrace this as they impatiently await Season 4. The six-episode podcast series premiered on June 29 with new episodes dropping each week through early August. So press play and turn this up to….Eleven.

Tuesday, July 06

Judas and the Black Messiah (Anytime / Crave)

Offered a plea deal by the FBI, William O’Neal infiltrates the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party to gather intelligence on Chairman Fred Hampton.

Sammy Suggestion: Intergalactic (Anytime / Crave)

124 years into the future, a crew of fierce and adventurous high security female prisoners go on the run across the galaxy. The eclectic gang hi-jack their prison transport ship, with a wrongly accused cop on board, and go from planet to planet in search of the coordinates to Arcadia, the mythical paradise where criminals can be free.

Intergalactic is a British science fiction television series; the first season is 8 episodes. The series premiered on April 30, 2021 on Sky One; then on Peacock in the US on May 13, 2021 now it’s come to Canada via Crave. (No connection to the most excellent Beastie Boys song!) We got a prison colony, being wrongly convicted and a mutiny on a prison transfer ship: criminals are on the lam. (I dunno if humans will still use that phrase 100 plus years in the future which is where this universe takes place.) According to showrunner Julie Gearey: “The way we travel intergalactically in our show is through something called the Alcubierre drive. That’s named after [theoretical physicist] Miguel Alcubierre who’s come up with the theory that, if one could generate negative mass, it could be possible without defying the laws of relativity to travel intergalactically.” Hmm ok then let’s give this a shot and if it doesn’t work out? Well we’ll always have the most excellent Beastie Boys song.

Wednesday, July 07

Loki: Episode 5 (Anytime / Disney+)

In Marvel Studios’ “Loki,” the mercurial villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”

Sammy Suggestion: The Good, The Bart and The Loki (Anytime / Disney+)

Loki teams up with Bart Simpson to rule Springfield in a new ‘The Simpsons’ short on Disney+.


The official description: “In the new short exclusively on Disney+, Loki is banished from Asgard once again and must face his toughest opponents yet: the Simpsons and Springfield’s mightiest heroes. The God of Mischief teams up with Bart Simpson in the ultimate crossover event paying tribute to the Marvel Cinematic Universe of superheroes and villains.” I mean Bart with the God of Mischief? Even Frank Grimes would enjoy this. The Good, The Bart, and The Loki marks the second Disney+ short from The Simpsons team based on iconic Disney titles. The first was The Force Awakens From Its Nap a Star Wars-themed short starring Maggie Simpson; below is a clip of that short. (Bonus: Episode 5 of Loki drops today! Next week is the final episode.)

Thursday, July 08

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)

Federal agent Leon S. Kennedy teams up with TerraSave staff member Claire Redfield to investigate a zombie outbreak.

Sammy Suggestion: Marvel Studios’ Legends: Black Widow (Anytime / Disney+)

Get fans caught up on all Natasha Romanoff’s biggest moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the new film arrives.

Black Widow finally opens at a cinema near you tomorrow (the MCU movie was originally scheduled to be released on May 1, 2020 which simultaneously feels like last week and 100 years ago!). As such the latest and ninth episode of Marvel Studios: Legends focuses on Black Widow. Legends is a Disney+ docuseries where “each episode showcases an individual character or object with footage from past MCU films, highlighting their prominent moments from the MCU.” Episode 7 was Loki, Episode 8 released on June 4 focused on The Tesseract. If you need a useful recap of who Black Widow is and her tragic story this is your go to stop for what basically is an elaborate fan video.

Friday, July 09

Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (Anytime / Netflix)

In the cursed town of Shadyside, a killer’s murder spree terrorizes Camp Nightwing and turns a summer of fun into a gruesome fight for survival.

Biohackers: Season 2 (Anytime / Netflix)

A medical student enters a top German university on a secret mission to uncover a conspiracy linking a family tragedy to a visionary biology professor.

Sammy Suggestion: Atypical: Season 4 (Anytime / Netflix)

When a teen on the autism spectrum decides to get a girlfriend, his bid for more independence puts his whole family on a path of self-discovery. The best endings are atypical. Atypical’s fourth and final season drops July 9, only on Netflix.


Atypical one of my all time favourite Netflix TV shows returns for a fourth and final season. This show has been a special spectrum of emotions as we follow Sam Gardner an 18-year-old autistic character; his family oscillating between identity and independence (Michael Rapaport plays Sam’s Dad and initially why I tuned in) and Sam’s best friend Zahid a dorky lothario who is often closing. Each season is basically a long teen movie told in 8 or 10 parts. Great soundtrack; quirky characters who’ve failed at fitting in and everybody including the adults just want to be loved. If The Breakfast Club represented 80s teen alienation across a number of experiences (“each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal”) then Atypical is a modern Breakfast Club of lovable losers (one of us is a brain (Sam), an athlete (Casey), a basket case (Elsa), a princess (Julia) and a criminal (Zahid!)). That’s it: sounds “Atypical” but if you’ve seen the show you see what I’m seeing. If you dig The Breakfast Club you’ll enjoy Atypical.

Saturday, July 10

Sammy Suggestion: At Eternity’s Gate (Anytime / Crave)

Wild artistic inspiration and emotional turmoil fill painter Vincent van Gogh’s last years as he struggles to bring his unique vision to the world.

Have you “heard” about this van Gogh movie? (The classics are always music to my “ear.” I’m done now.). At Eternity’s Gate is a biographical drama film about the final years of painter Vincent van Gogh’s life. Directed by painter Julian Schnabel this should be a compelling addition to his impressive and artistic filmography which includes Basquiat (1996) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007).

Sunday, July 11

Wellington Paranormal: Season 1 (9 p.m. / The CW)

Sergeant Maaka and Officers Minogue and O’Leary are members of the Wellington, New Zealand, police. Their job is to investigate paranormal phenomena. (This show was created by Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi.)

Sammy Suggestion: History of the Sitcom (9 p.m. / CNN)

This eight-part docuseries reunites audiences with the television friends, families, and co-workers they grew up with while introducing cutting-edge comedies that are sure to be your next binge-watch.

Ready for this? “History of the Sitcom reunites audiences with the television friends, families, and co-workers they grew up with while introducing cutting-edge comedies that are sure to be your next binge-watch. The eight-part docuseries features over 180 original interviews with sitcom icons including Norman Lear, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Kim Fields, Tim Allen, Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, George Lopez, Mel Brooks, Isabella Gomez, Ted Danson, Joey Soloway, Jimmie Walker, Judd Apatow, Dan Levy, Zooey Deschanel, Chuck Lorre, Mara Brock Akil, Helen Hunt and many more, breaking down how sitcoms have helped generations of Americans navigate an ever-shifting cultural landscape.” Whew. Sitcoms have fallen out of fashion; while still made and still a popular format they’re often not “Must See TV.” However this docuseries is Must See TV.


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

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