#SetTheVCR: September 27 – October 3, 2021

You’ve had since 1994 to watch Seinfeld…if you haven’t yet, as always, #SetThVCR has you covered.

Monday, September 27

King Tut in Color (10 pm / National Geographic)

A century after the world’s most sensational archaeological find, of the tomb of Tutankhamun, now witness the dramatic scenes of its discovery and marvel at its extraordinary treasures, exactly as they were seen then, in color. It’s all thanks to the latest colorization techniques which use detailed historical research to bring the Egypt of discoverer Howard Carter back to life.

Sammy Suggestion: American Experience: Citizen Hearst (9/8c pm / PBS)

Explore the life of William Randolph Hearst, the pioneering media mogul and inspiration for Orson Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’.

We tend to think of William Hearst in terms of the whole Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane debacle. There is more to Hearst than that; he controlled a vast and dominant media empire: “In the 1930s, William Randolph Hearst’s media empire included 28 newspapers, a movie studio, a syndicated wire service, radio stations and 13 magazines. Nearly one in four American families read a Hearst publication.” Whew! So basically he was Rupert Murdoch before Rupert Murdoch. Based on David Nasaw’s biography The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst the two-part, four-hour documentary airs tonight with Part 1 while Part 2 will be broadcast tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, September 28

Attack of the Hollywood Clichés! (Anytime / Netflix)

One-man armies, meet-cutes, casual strolls away from huge explosions — stars and industry insiders toast and roast these cinematic chestnuts and more.

Sammy Suggestion: La Brea (9/8c pm / NBC)

An epic adventure begins when a massive sinkhole opens in the middle of Los Angeles, pulling hundreds of people and buildings into its depths. Those who fell in find themselves in a mysterious and dangerous primeval land, where they have no choice but to band together to survive.

Okay so the premise of La Brea is a little cheezy but there’s still potential. And ultimately that’s what all these #SetTheVCR recommendations are about: potential. Here’s the basic premise: near the La Brea tar pits in LA a massive sinkhole opens and a whole bunch of people fall into a prehistoric time. See cheezy. However this means dinosaurs in The Land That Time Forgot. See potential. Or cheezy. Whatever. I can sit through an episode or two. (Rather than a trailer here’s the first five minutes. Special effects are decent; could use some more work. Hopefully the writing is good…is that an ambitious hope??!)

Wednesday, September 29

In Their Own Words: Elon Musk (8/7c PM / PBS)

Elon Musk was a multi-millionaire by the time he reached the age of 31. He is one of a new breed of what the New York Times called “thrillionaires,” high-tech entrepreneurs who are using their newfound wealth to help turn science-fiction dreams into reality. His story is about a thrilling 21st century “Iron Man” come alive.

Sammy Suggestion: neXt: Season 1 (Anytime / Disney+ Star)

Silicon Valley pioneer Paul LeBlanc discovers that one of his own creations — a powerful A.I. called NEXT — might spell doom for humankind, so he tries to shutter the project, only to be kicked out of the company by his own brother, leaving him with nothing but mounting dread about the fate of the world.

A tech pioneer’s artificial intelligence program runs amok and what happens “neXt” is anyone’s guess in this cancelled series. “Silicon Valley pioneer Paul LeBlanc (John Slattery) discovers that one of his own creations — a powerful A.I. called NEXT — might spell doom for humankind, so he tries to shutter the project, only to be kicked out of the company by his own brother, leaving him with nothing but mounting dread about the fate of the world.” Netflix confirmed it wasn’t the hashtags it was the viewing and the ratings that saved Manifest and that led to a fourth season. And so here we are with another tv show that was canceled (perhaps prematurely?). See for yourself.

Thursday, September 30

Noted: Alicia Keys The Untold Stories (Anytime / YouTube Originals)

In this four part documentary series, Alicia takes us inside the world of Keys through her journey from vulnerable young star, to self empowered woman, musician and mother.

Sammy Suggestion: The Problem With Jon Stewart: Season 1 (Anytime / Apple TV+)

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the world’s problems. It’s harder to pinpoint the systems responsible for creating them. In this series, Jon Stewart brings together people impacted by different parts of a problem to discuss how we come up with change.

Remember: John Oliver only trends on Mondays. So how is Jon Stewart Take 2 gonna be any different from The Daily Show? “They will discuss tangible steps that can lead to a solutionary path forward.” Based on what metrics?? Let’s see what happens; who the guests are and what kind of discussions this all generates. Charlamagne’s Tha God’s Honest Truth debuted September 17 on Comedy Central. Now we’ve gotten The Problem while Fox Nation has greenlit Piers Morgan for their platform. Hope you enjoy talk TV. It’s all happening.

Friday, October 01

The Guilty (Anytime / Netflix)

A troubled police detective demoted to 911 operator duty scrambles to save a distressed caller during a harrowing day of revelations — and reckonings.

Sammy Suggestion: All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs: Limited Series (Anytime / Prime Video)

The first of the All or Nothing franchise to follow an NHL team, the docu-series brings fans closer to the Toronto Maple Leafs organization than ever before, with cameras capturing every moment during the 104th NHL regular season and playoffs.

Look I’m an NBA guy so I dunno much about hockey or the Maple Leafs. I can’t name a player but I like sports documentaries that take me on the inside. I want to note the sacrifices; I want to comprehend setbacks and all the obstacles they have to overcome. I want to understand how the players define success. That’s some of the most important reasons to watch any sports documentary. It’s inspirational. So I’ll fire this up as it covered the Leafs season during the pandemic-shortened season last season. The five-episode season will premiere in its entirety on October 1 and is narrated by Will Arnett. (I do know what a Will Arnett is!)

Saturday, October 02

Sammy Suggestion: The Haunted Museum: Season 1 (Anytime / Discovery+)

Follow the frightening and hellish tales behind the spooky relics on display in Zak Bagans’ Las Vegas museum, by way of scripted shorts produced by Roth and his accredited team, and with featured commentary from Bagans himself.

“Produced in collaboration with Eli Roth, each episode tells frightening tales inspired by some of the most terrifying, cursed artifacts on display in Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum in Las Vegas.” Oh this is like Black Museum which I guess was horror adjacent? The series features “mini horror films” based on haunted items from the Bagans vault. This frightfully fun series begins with 2 episodes tonight. So…let’s book a “Night at the Museum” shall we?

Sunday, October 03

The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth: Season 6 (8 pm / Showtime & Crave)

Come one, come all to THE CIRCUS. This documentary series pulls back the curtain on the Trump era of presidential politics, revealing the stories behind the headlines.

Sammy Suggestion: Seinfeld: Season 1-9 (Anytime / Netflix)

A show about nothing.

Seinfeld a show about nothing began streaming globally on Netflix on October 1st. As such Netflix made a trailer for a TV show that ended on May 14, 1998. And it’s real and spectacular.


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

#SetTheVCR: September 20 – 26, 2021

We got old school Batman to new school horror; from comforting classics to confronting cryptics. Oh…welcome back to #SetTheVCR.

Monday, September 20

Time100 (10 p.m. / ABC)

ABC in partnership with TIME will bring the annual TIME100 list of the world’s most influential people to life with a special television event,

Sammy Suggestion: Batman: The Audio Adventures (Anytime / HBO Max)

A tale of life and death in Gotham City. After years of vigilante crimefighting, Batman prepares to become an official Gotham employee, deepening the rift between himself and Catwoman, who’s been using Gotham criminals as her personal ATM.

Saturday September 18 was Batman Day. As part of the Batman celebrations Batman: The Audio Adventures a 10 part scripted audio drama was released on HBO Max. Jeffrey Wright is Batman, Rosario Dawson is Catwoman and John Leguizamo is the Riddler. (Leguizamo as The Riddler could work in real life too…). . Inspired by the most excellent Batman: The Animated Series and the 1960s Batman TV show the dynamic podcast was written and directed by Dennis McNicholas. So yes you do need to be an HBO Max subscriber to enjoy all 10 episodes. However our generous corporate overlords at WarnerMedia have released the first two episodes for free on all podcasting platforms, as well as DC Universe Infinite and DC YouTube. Oh Yeah! So let’s check this out. Is Audio Batman the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now?

Tuesday, September 21

Level Playing Field: Season 1, Episode 2 (8 p.m. / HBO & Crave)

A look at the NCAA’s creation of the term “student-athlete” and how it connects to the widespread misclassification of workers today.

Sammy Suggestion: Nike’s Big Bet (Anytime / Peacock & CBC Gem)

The story of a scandal that rocked the running world as Alberto Salazar was handed a four-year ban from all coaching activities from the U.S. Anti-Doping Association.

A classic exploration of do the ends justify the means? Only imagine if you focused that debate on sports which has a clear winner and defined losers. In 2001 Nike established the Oregon Project as a program to develop elite runners (and put Americans back on top…of course.). Coach Alberto Salazar was in charge of the program and given free reign to employ his unorthodox tactics to deliver results(…of course.). In 2019 despite never failing a drug test and his athletes never testing positive, he received a four-year doping ban from all coaching activities and the project immediately collapsed. So…what happened? Malcolm Gladwell appears in this doc suggesting Salazar’s methods justified the means by pushing the boundaries of what’s fair in sport. Is that true? Documentaries are not like sports; there aren’t always clear winners and obvious losers. I spoke to the director Paul Kemp and can confirm: in Canada the CBC Gem version is 44 minutes while in America on Peacock it is 83 minutes. I guess streaming is also a “Big Bet.”

Wednesday, September 22

Star Wars: Visions (Anytime / Disney+)

Seven Japanese anime studios bring their unique talent and perspective to Star Wars: Visions, a collection of animated Original Short Films.

Sammy Suggestion: Intrusion (Anytime / Netflix)

After a deadly home invasion at a couple’s new dream house, the traumatized wife searches for answers — and learns the real danger is just beginning.

“After a deadly home invasion at a couple’s new dream house, the traumatized wife searches for answers — and learns the real danger is just beginning.” I like these types of movies where you can’t tell if the main character is paranoid; possibly suffering from dementia or she’s really onto something. Eventually as she persists and asks questions; because the facts do not align she begins to suspect her husband. Oh Oh. The trailer has a great line: “Never Ask Questions.” A tragic life lesson for all of us. Netflix recently gave us a “Things Are Not What They Seem” movie with The Woman in the Window. I hope they make more of em. Creepy cool fun.

Thursday, September 23

Creepshow: Season 3 (Anytime / Shudder)

CREEPSHOW, the anthology series based on the 1982 horror comedy classic, is still the most fun you’ll ever have being scared!

Sammy Suggestion: Doom Patrol: Season 3 (9:30 p.m. / HBO Max)

Doom Patrol is a team of traumatized and downtrodden superheroes, each of whom has suffered a horrible accident that gave them superhuman abilities but also left them scarred and disfigured.

If you’re impatiently awaiting new Umbrella Academy then here’s your tempting invitation to enjoy Doom Patrol! Same family dysfunction; same weird superpowers…same excellent soundtrack (Bowie!!) and…yes AND! Doom Patrol has a robot that swears. A lot. I so heart the HBO Max DC TV shows way more than the CW shows. In the first season, the malevolent Mr. Nobody captured the Chief launching the Doom Patrol on a rescue mission. Along the way, they uncovered secrets about themselves and the Chief, who is responsible for the tragic events that gave them their powers. Season 2 introduced Dorothy Spinner who endangered the world when her powers threatened to unleash the Candlemaker, an ancient entity. Season 3 now…ushers in the arrival of Madame Rouge in a time machine. Yo! Sweet superhero sarcasm. That’s all I ask.

Friday, September 24

Being James Bond (Anytime / Crave)

Daniel Craig candidly reflects on his fifteen year tenure as James Bond. Includes never-before-seen archival footage spanning from ‘Casino Royale’ (2006) to ‘No Time To Die’ (2021).

The Starling (Anytime / Netflix)

A woman adjusting to life after a loss contends with a feisty bird that’s taken over her garden — and a husband who’s struggling to find a way forward.

My Little Pony: A New Generation (Anytime / Neflix)

Equestria’s divided. But a bright-eyed hero believes Earth Ponies, Pegasi and Unicorns should be pals — and, hoof to heart, she’s determined to prove it.

Sammy Suggestion: Midnight Mass (Anytime / Netflix)

The arrival of a charismatic young priest brings glorious miracles, ominous mysteries and renewed religious fervor to a dying town desperate to believe.

The official synopsis as released by Netflix: “Midnight Mass tells the tale of a small, isolated island community whose existing divisions are amplified by the return of a disgraced young man (Zach Gilford) and the arrival of a charismatic priest (Hamish Linklater). When Father Paul’s appearance on Crockett Island coincides with unexplained and seemingly miraculous events, a renewed religious fervor takes hold of the community – but do these miracles come at a price?” This is created and directed by Mike Flanagan who has found a happy horror home on Netflix. This miniseries is 7 episodes (which makes sense…7 is a spiritually positive number) and continues Flanagan’s strange trend of shrinking his seasons: The Haunting of Hill House was 10 episodes, The Haunting of Bly Manor was 9 episodes and now we’re down to 7. Excellent way to kick off Halloween season.

Saturday, September 25

Sammy Suggestion: Elvira’s 40th Anniversary, Very Scary, Very Special Special (8 p.m. / Shudder)

This year marks the 40th anniversary for the horror host, icon, and Mistress of the Dark, and AMC Networks’ premium streamer is celebrating with a one-night movie marathon event.

Shudder’s Elvira’s 40th Anniversary, Very Scary, Very Special Special gives you 2 good and buoyant reasons to check it out: Horror. Movies. lol! To keep you abreast here I’m talking about classics. “In celebration of her 40th anniversary, Elvira will lend her unique blend of witty commentary to a four-movie horror marathon that includes Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988), House on Haunted Hill (1959…Vincent Price!), The City of the Dead (1960…Christopher Lee!), Messiah of Evil (1960…a seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult…of course…).” This ah…titillating horror special should be frightfully fun.

Sunday, September 26

The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth: Season 6 (8 p.m. / Showtime & Crave)

Come one, come all to THE CIRCUS. This documentary series pulls back the curtain on the Trump era of presidential politics, revealing the stories behind the headlines.

Sammy Suggestion: The Simpsons: Season 33 (8/7 p.m. / Fox)

Mr. Burns goes under cover at the nuclear power plant and becomes friends with Homer and the gang.

It’s Season 33 of The Simpsons. You’re in or you’re out. You had 32 seasons to make up your mind. This season will be twenty-two episodes with Treehouse of Horror XXXII on October 10. (This is the first Treehouse of Horror episode to consist of five segments instead of the usual three.) And Season 34 is coming. So you’re in or you’re out. I’m in to the end. Season 32 had some gems; some classic lines. The old gal still has it.


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

#SetTheVCR: September 13 – 19, 2021

Another week, another post-apocalyptic TV show. Oh Yes. Except this week I also also added fun! Welcome to #SetTheVCR!

Monday, September 13

Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space: Season 1: Episodes 3 & 4 (Anytime / Netflix)

From training to launch to landing, this all-access docuseries rides along with the Inspiration4 crew on the first all-civilian orbital space mission.

Sammy Suggestion: Y: The Last Man (Anytime / FX on Hulu)

Traverses a post-apocalyptic world in which a cataclysmic event decimates every mammal with a Y chromosome except one cisgender man and his pet monkey. Survivors struggle to restore what was lost and the opportunity to build something better.

Y: The Last Man is a post-apocalyptic science fiction 60 issue comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra published by Vertigo (RIP!) from 2002 through 2008. Y is one of the best comic books from the past couple of decades. (Well except for the ending which was weaker than a depowered Superman in Superman II. But still…so close. Damn fine comic book. It’s Brian K. Vaughan that’s all you need to know. Pick it up for true!) So after many fits and starts it has finally been adapted as an FX on Hulu TV show. The premise is wonderful and simple though I’m not sure yet how it’ll be perverted by the TV show: Nerd Prayers Up! According to the comic books on July 17, 2002, all living mammals with a Y chromosome—including embryos and sperm—simultaneously die, with the exception of a young amateur escape artist named Yorick Brown and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. Benjamin Schnetzer is Yorick Brown…I dunno who that is or if he’s any good. While Peta pushed FX to employ a CGI Ampersand. Now these 2 dudes must survive in this post-apocalyptic world governed by woman and their competing agendas while trying to understand why they’re still alive. This has the potential to be so good! (Please Note: this past June FX Canada confirmed it would be broadcasting Y: The Last Man (rather than Disney+ via Star).)

Tuesday, September 14

30 for 30: Once Upon a Time in Queens – Part 1 & 2 (9 p.m. & 10 p.m. / ESPN)

Parts 1 and 2 of this 4-part docuseries that tells the story of the 1986 Mets, one of the most dominating, infamous, and magical teams of all-time and their incredible season in one of the greatest cities in the world.

Sammy Suggestion: Forever Golden! A Celebration of the Golden Girls (Anytime / Disney+)

A special screening of some of the most memorable episodes from the series.

Lost in the Seinfeld is coming to Netflix hype is that Golden Girls has been added to Disney+ and Prime Video Canada. So while I’m recommending the randy seniors sitcom I’m also offering Forever Golden! A Celebration of the Golden Girls. On September 14, 36 years to the day the comedy series premiered on television, the first Forever Golden! screening will be shown in theaters followed by another screening on September 21. The episodes you can see on the big screen are The Pilot, The Flu, The Way We Met, Ladies of the Evening and Grab That Dough. So you can go put on pants today and enjoy Golden Girls on the big screen or stay home and enjoy the sitcom on the small screen. A double recommendation: talk about “thank you for being a friend!”

Wednesday, September 15

Coming to America (Anytime / Netflix Canada)

Discontented with his pampered life, an African prince (Eddie Murphy) heads to America as a working-class man to find someone who will fall for him, not his riches.

Sammy Suggestion: 30 for 30: Once Upon a Time in Queens – Part 3 & Part 4 (9pm and 10pm / ESPN)

Parts 3 and 4 of this 4-part docuseries that tells the story of the 1986 Mets, one of the most dominating, infamous, and magical teams of all-time and their incredible season in one of the greatest cities in the world.

(Yo: Parts 1 and 2 aired yesterday on ESPN and Parts 3 and 4 conclude tonight. So make sure when you #SetTheVCR be sure to record Parts 1 and 2 from last night.) Once Upon a Time in Queens is a four-part series on the 1986 Mets: it’s basically The Last Dance for 80s Mets. Executive produced by Jimmy Kimmel and directed by Nick Davis. I dunno much about baseball being an NBA guy but I’m always in for a 30 for 30 (oh yes please note…this is a 30 for 30 not a classic ESPN Films Presents…). “Once Upon a Time In Queens tells the story of the Mets’ World Series comeback, using hours of never-before-seen footage of the team. Players featured include: Bobby Ojeda; Darryl Strawberry (from The Simpsons?!); manager Davey Johnson; Dwight Gooden; Keith Hernandez (from Seinfeld?); Kevin Mitchell; Lenny Dykstra; Mookie Wilson; Roger McDowell; Sid Fernandez; and Wally Backman.” (Please Note: for Canadian viewers TSN can neither confirm or deny if they’ll be airing this. Stay Tuned…I guess?)

Thursday, September 16

Zombieland: Double Tap (Anytime / Netflix Canada)

Amid family drama and flesh-eater battles, the zombie-slaying foursome returns, encountering more survivors and a new breed of the undead.

Sammy Suggestion: The Peacock Monsters Film Festival (Monster O’clock / Peacock)

All the best monster movies, coming to Peacock.

Peacock has added a mad scientist’s pile of Universal Monsters and Hammer Films and so much more. The Universal Studios Monsters from the 1930s to the 1950s form a seminal foundation to our modern horror movies (with dubious sci-fi contributions.). While Hammer Films are known for Gothic horror and fantasy films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s. (Indeed their Frankenstein has a terrifying face and is more brutal than the iconic Boris Karloff performance which injected the monster with humanity.) Over 15 movies have been added so I suggest checking out 1933’s The Invisible Man…that’s Batman’s Joker 100%! Anything with Peter Cushing or Vincent Price. It Came From Outer Space from 1953 is like a long creepy Twilight Zone episode. The alien reveal scene is fantastic and brimming with terror. So if you’re in the mood for classic Gothic screaming, evil lairs and labs and of course loud frightening thunder and full moons Peacock is getting you ready for Halloween season.

Friday, September 17

The Morning Show: Season 2 (Anytime / Apple TV+)

An inside look at the modern workplace through the lens of the people who help America wake up, pulling back the curtain on early morning television.

Sammy Suggestion: The New York Times Presents: Season 1 (10pm / FX)

The New York Times Presents is a series of standalone documentaries representing the unparalleled journalism and insight of The New York Times, bringing viewers close to the essential stories of our time.

There’s a cultural shorthand we employ with somebody who vapes. Movies and TV shows have reinforced that stereotype. You know exactly the type of dude I’m talking about. (We haven’t (yet?) developed a female vape stereotype…) That stereotype contributed to vape’s “downfall” and seedy reputation. However this episode of NY Times Presents: Move Fast and Vape Things goes beyond the obvious stereotypes. “Two Stanford graduate students had an inspired idea and an idealistic mission: create an e-cigarette that would help millions of people stop smoking. How did the founders of Juul lose their way and end up accused of addicting a whole new generation?” Basically how did vaping once so cool…go up in smoke!

Saturday, September 18

Sammy Suggestion: Spontaneous (Anytime / Crave)

When students in their high school inexplicably start to explode, seniors Mara and Dylan struggle to survive in a world where each moment may be their last. As an unexpected romance blossoms between them, they soon discover that when tomorrow is no longer promised, they can finally start living for today.

Oh! The angst and romance of a teen movie and spontaneous combustion: I enjoy both those things. “When students in their high school begin inexplicably exploding, seniors Mara (Katherine Langford), Dylan (Charlie Plummer) and others navigate in a world where each moment may be their last. As spontaneous explosions continue unexplained, an unexpected romance blossoms between Mara and Dylan, who discover that when tomorrow is no longer promised, they can finally start living for today.” This movie has been “blowing up” since 2020 and it finally debuts on Crave.

Sunday, September 19

American Rust (10 p.m. / Showtime & Crave)

A compelling family drama and a timeless story told through the eyes of complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris (Jeff Daniels) of a Pennsylvania Rust Belt town full of good people making bad choices.

Sammy Suggestion: The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth: Season 6 (8 PM / Showtime & Crave)

Go behind the scenes and beyond the headlines of the wildest political show on earth. This documentary series reveals the high-stakes impact of the White House’s headline grabbing dramatics throughout the divided states of America.

Hosted by John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner, The Circus is a docuseries covering politics which is rage-inducing for many people. The issue isn’t the debate, it’s the lack of knowledge fueling the conversations hence my recommending this show. This is a digestible summary of the current political issues with none of the Fox rhetoric or CNN’s lack of historical context. Each episode is a tight 30 minute dynamic civics lesson providing a genuine revelation of how politics in America actually works. Think of the Schoolhouse Rocks‘ classic how a bill becomes a law: didn’t that make you smarter?


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

#SetTheVCR: September 06 – 12, 2021

While this week offers the somber 20th anniversary of 9/11, here are some joyful TV recommendations to help you turn that frown upside down.

Monday, September 06

Robot Chicken: Season 11 (Midnight / Adult Swim)

“Adult Swim’s off-the-wall stop-motion comedy series Robot Chicken is back for season 11 and filled with more hilarious parodies and insane characters and personalities from Joe Exotic to Peppa Pig.” – Hollywood Outbreak

Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)

From training to launch to landing, this all-access docuseries rides along with the Inspiration4 crew on the first all-civilian orbital space mission.

Sammy Suggestion: The Stand Up Show with Jon Dore: Season 2 (10:30pm / CTV Comedy)

The Stand-Up Show with Jon Dore returns for a second season, featuring a lineup of cutting-edge talent. With a small-club feel and an edgy vibe, audiences catch sets from homegrown talent.

The Season finale of The Stand Up Show with Jon Dore closes with a big time comedy draw: Dave Merheje. If you’ve seen Hulu’s Ramy or CBC’s Mr. D; Dave has made you laugh. Though that’s his acting; this is his zany standup. Loud energy with hip hop style phrasing; it’s freshtastic to include some stand up comedy as a recommendation. Lately stand up comedy has become a pop culture delicacy. Enjoy this slowly like a fine wine.

Tuesday, September 07

Untold: Season 1: Breaking Point (Anytime / Netflix)

Under pressure to continue a winning tradition in American tennis, Mardy Fish faced mental health challenges that changed his life on and off the court.

Sammy Suggestion: Being James Bond (Anytime / Apple TV+)

Discover the untold story of Daniel Craig’s 007 legacy in a special retrospective.

It’s strange but No Time To Die was supposed to come out on April 10, 2020. So if it feels like you’ve been watching James Bond trailers for a couple of years it’s because you have. Still No Time to Die is the 25th James Bond movie produced by Eon Productions. As for Daniel Craig it’s his fifth outing as British MI6 agent James Bond (Roger Moore had seven at bats). Craig has promised this will be his final Bond film. As such it’s time to look back because it looks like this movie will finally come out. “The 45-minute retrospective features Daniel Craig reflecting on his 15 years playing Bond, with never-before-seen archival footage from his oeuvre and conversations with 07 producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.” I dig this idea much more than day-and-date release movies. (No Time To Die will be released on October 8 in a cinema near you. I think.)

Wednesday, September 08

The Golden Girls: Seasons 1-7 (Anytime / Disney+ Star Canada)

Four mature women live together in Miami and experience the joys and angst of their golden years.

Sammy Suggestion: Into the Night: Season 2 (Anytime / Netflix)

Passengers and crew aboard a hijacked overnight flight scramble to outrace the sun as a mysterious cosmic event wreaks havoc on the world below.

Into the Night is a Belgian apocalyptic sci-fi drama thriller (based on the Polish science fiction novel The Old Axolotl by Jacek Dukaj). Yo. I don’t have any references for any of those things. Still the Season 1 premise was corny yet wonderful: People are on the run…from the sun. Once the cast figured out what the issue is they jumped onto a jumbo jet to head west in an attempt to survive this catastrophe that kills all living organisms during daylight hours. Like The Walking Dead survivors must deal with fuel shortage, irradiated food, hidden agendas, and other problems in their race to reach an underground military bunker. Of course getting to the bunker is not the end of the story; welcome Season 2. (Netflix has been so good to me with international sci-fi. That German show Dark not only lives up to its name but good gravy that show is hardcore sci-fi. So good. Easily one of the greatest sci-fi tv shows… of all time. Think I’m exaggerating? Check it out. While I enjoy Stranger Things Netflix has struck gold with international TV Shows.)

Thursday, September 09

Mortal Kombat (2021) (Anytime / HBO Max)

Hunted by the fearsome warrior Sub-Zero, MMA fighter Cole Young finds sanctuary at the temple of Lord Raiden. Training with experienced fighters Liu Kang, Kung Lao and the rogue mercenary Kano, Cole prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions to take on the enemies from Outworld in a high-stakes battle for the universe.

Sammy Suggestion: NFL Week 1 Game: Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8:20pm / NBC)

The 2021 NFL season officially kicks off with a match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Florida at Raymond James Stadium.

Sigh. I used to be an NBA guy. But ah…lately I’ve been watching more and more NFL games; even during the regular season. Two reasons: Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. (Also I primarily watch ESPN and they’re a football centric network plus a slew of sports documentaries have slowly decreased my NFL ignorance and increased my enthusiasm. So…they got to me.) The 2021 NFL season is the 102nd season of the National Football League. The league expanded the regular season from a 16-game schedule to 17 games. The regular season starts tonight with defending Super Bowl LV champion Tampa Bay hosting Dallas and ends on January 9, 2022. The playoffs are scheduled to start on January 15, 2022, and will conclude with Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on February 13 2022. “Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.”

Friday, September 10

The Voyeurs (Anytime / Prime Video)

A young couple find themselves becoming interested in the sex life of their neighbors across the street. What starts as an innocent curiosity turns into an unhealthy obsession, after they discover that one neighbor is cheating. Temptation and desire cause their lives to become tangled together leading to deadly consequences.

Sammy Suggestion: Sherlock: Season 1 (Anytime / CBC Gem)

In this contemporary version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories, Dr. John Watson is a war vet just home from Afghanistan. He meets new flatmate, the brilliant but eccentric Holmes, and almost as soon as Watson moves into the Baker Street flat, they are embroiled in mysteries, and Sherlock’s nemesis, Moriarty, appears to have a hand in the crimes.

I can’t remember how I discovered Sherlock Holmes. I was 13 or 14…The Final Problem was the first thing I read; not sure why I read it but so glad I did. Beyond thrilling. 100% Wow. Today CBC Gem adds the utterly brilliant Sherlock! Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are easily some of the greatest tv writers since Rod Serling. This is a modern incarnation where Benedict Cumberbatch arrogantly contends with dim witted fools while solving painfully obvious murders. Season 1 (well Series 1…) is 3 episodes: A Study in Pink (loosely based upon the first Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet), The Blind Banker and…The Great Game which introduces archenemy James Moriarty. Oh Yes. “The game is afoot.”

Saturday, September 11

9/ 11 Documentaries, TV specials, Podcasts…Dealer’s Choice.

What to watch, when, and how you can watch them.

Sammy Suggestion: Class of 2021 Enshrinement Ceremony (Basketball Hall of Fame) (5:30pm/ NBA TV)

Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh and Chris Webber headline 2021 Hall of Fame class.

While I understand this is a poignant 9-11 anniversary if you want to take a break from all the docs and specials and ceremonies I have an engaging recommendation. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is for all basketball achievements: not just a person’s NBA achievements (though that helps a lot!). The Class of 2020 was a hard year: losing Kobe, that whole pandemic, a damaged NBA season: it was a lot to deal with. This year we’re almost “back to normal.” Notable 2021 Hall of Fame Inductees and Presenters: Toni Kukoc presented by Michael Jordan; Kevin Garnett presents Paul Pierce; Chris Webber presented by Isiah Thomas. Plus many more. Get your Kleenex ready. I never get through these events without getting verklempt.

Sunday, September 12

News of the World (Anytime/Crave)

Five years after the end of the Civil War, Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd crosses paths with a 10-year-old girl taken by the Kiowa people. Forced to return to her aunt and uncle, Kidd agrees to escort the child across the harsh and unforgiving plains of Texas. But the long journey soon turns into a fight for survival as the traveling companions encounter danger at every turn — both human and natural.

Sammy Suggestion: AMERICAN RUST (10 p.m. / Showtime & Crave)

A police chief in a southwest Pennsylvania town is forced to decide what he’s willing to do to protect the son of the woman he loves after he’s accused of murder.

Adapted from Philipp Meyer’s debut novel American Rust is the story of a complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris (Jeff Daniels) in a Rust Belt town in southwest Pennsylvania. Echoing his nuanced portrayal from Newsroom only this time Daniels is investigating a murder not just reporting it. “When the woman he truly loves sees her son accused of murder, Harris is forced to decide what he’s willing to do to protect him.” We’ll find out as well.


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: Frankenstein Is An Impossible Mission…

Mission Impossible 7 update!

Dave Chappelle!

NBA Radio News! Brew a strong tea: yo!

A Twitter or well social media drinking game…

It’s September 1st: take a sip every time a White Person joyfully tweets out: “It’s Sweater Weather!”

Which is just White People code for whew…we successfully survived that hot Summer like it’s Nam.

Paramount Films Leave 2021

While shuffling blockbuster dates is not ideal; it’s still better than just blithely dumping em onto a streamer…especially a streamer like Paramount+. Deadline has give us new dates for…

Jackass Forever (February 4, 2022)

Top Gun: Maverick (May 27, 2022)

Mission: Impossible 7 (September 30, 2022)

Paw Patrol…already released means Paramount has concluded it’s 2021 business.

So this means  Tom Cruise has a “Firm” 2022:

Top Gun: Maverick will now open Memorial Day weekend 2022: Crash & Burn Huh Mav? I’m an Iceman…I’ve zero interest in this movie.

While Mission Impossible 7 opens on September 30, 2022. 2 days after my birthday. If the ruckus is there so I am. #TeamRuckus Reporting for duty.

Proof of Vaccination…and Life?

Well that sucks for Ontario: starting September 22 proof of vaccination is required.

If we’re fully determined to make a minimum wage employee’s life an utter hell then let’s fully commit to it.

Open it up: let more people into the movies; help restaurants recover etc. Go Big! Because right now you know how hard it is to enforce the mask mandate on TTC and other public places? Many employees have rightfully given up. It’s too hard.

Like the TTC can’t even enforce the mask mandate without risking the health and safety of their staff and delaying customers.

This is another thorny issue for service employees who’ve had to deal with a lot over the past 2 years. It’s not good. But here we are. A reminder: there is a BIG difference between being safe and feeling safe. They are not the same things.

On The Radio Dial: Tune In!

PSA: NBA Radio is now channel 86 on Sirius XM starting today! I don’t listen as much during the Summer but this move is appreciated; puts it beside ESPN. All the sports in one spot. Sweet. Thanks nice people. Keep up the good work. #BallorFall

Yes News: Oscar Peterson is a Jazz GOAT. And Jazz FM91 knows that too: “We’re excited to announce the launch of two specialty streams: one dedicated to the music and legacy of Oscar Peterson, and another showcasing the best in vocal jazz. Find them on our website or on the newly updated JAZZ.FM91 mobile app.” Indeed!

(If you dig this happy news be also on the look out for a Oscar Peterson: Black + White a Crave original documentary currently playing at TIFF. (S’directed by Barry Avrich dude who did the decent David Foster doc. 100% IN for the Oscar doc. Gimme a date!)

Terry Fox: #GOAT

Man: we don’t have leadership like this anymore, eh? We’re out here with gutless hashtags and cowardly changing Ryerson University’s name.

So embarrassing: how did we go from this fierce moment in 1980 to where we’re at?!

Who is the new Terry Fox?! We suck so much. I don’t trust any movement without defined leaders who can be held accountable.


Joe Rogan postponed his Nashville show with Dave Chappelle. Like Dave before him he got the Rona. Oh No!

Rogan’s comedy is eh…hit or miss; mostly miss. He’s better at podcasting than he is at comedy. (You’re free to ignore to Twitter Types who blindly react to a 2 minute out of context clip. The fastest way to lose credibility is to promote clickbait as The Truth.)

Still the big issue is determining coronavirus protocols for stand up comics: so they can tour and comedy can return. I’m worried about stand up comedy; the whole in a parking lot honking horns thing doesn’t work. What can we do to get comedy back on track?

#SetTheVCR: The Simpsons

The Simpsons Season 31 and Season 32 were added to Disney Plus today.

The new voices are as terrible (Dr. Hibbert…just the worst!!) as is the idiotic-logic that prompted the changes; thankfully the writing remains sound as a pound.

So something to watch while you wait for Season 33…which is soon.

#SetTheVCR: Seinfeld

Seinfeld a show about nothing will stream globally on Netflix starting October 1st.

The real and spectacular 2019 deal was said to be at least $500 million. Surreal.

I enjoy having a handy quick sitcom…25-30 minute episodes on the backburner so I can switch it up in between the current movies and TV shows I wanna watch.

It’s Seinfeld, Friends and Cosby Show (which is on Prime Video…the pre-Pam episodes hold up!) that clock ca$h.

#SetTheVCR Alert: The Monsters Are Coming!

On September 15 Peacock will add…Bride of Frankenstein! Yes.

Always appreciated how this 1935 gem didn’t have “The” in the title.

I guess she wasn’t “The” One. #FearPee #Classics


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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