#SetTheVCR: April 12-18, 2021

Oh! TV shows/movies and TV recommendations: I enjoy both of those things.

Monday, April 12

Run (Anytime / Netflix (Canada))

Desiring freedom after years of isolated medical care, teenager Chloe suspects her mother might be holding her back — and harboring sinister secrets.

Sammy Suggestion: Spontaneous (Anytime / Hulu & Prime Video)

Mara Carlye’s life is forever changed when students in her senior class literally explode for no reason. Mara and her friends stay close together as they await possible combustion – wondering what part of life is worth living.if it might end suddenly.

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.”

Tuesday, April 13

Frontline: American Insurrection (10 p.m. / PBS)

Over the last three years, FRONTLINE has collaborated with ProPublica to investigate the rise of extremism in America. In the aftermath of the assault on the U.S. Capitol, FRONTLINE and ProPublica team up again to examine how far-right groups were emboldened and encouraged by former President Trump and how individuals were radicalized and brought into the political landscape.

Sammy Suggestion: The Inside Story (Anytime / HBO Max)

This documentary takes viewers on a journey that started in 1989 and traces its evolution into a phenomenon. Each episode reveals stories that highlight the chemistry between Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.

Oh! NBA basketball games and deeply sarcastic responses to those games: I enjoy both those things. I shared this TV recommendation back in March when it premiered on TNT. Now it’s all together on HBO Max. The TV Guide description says it well: “Inside the NBA – the Sports Emmy Award-winning studio show known for its entertaining style and unfiltered commentary – pulls back the curtain on its more than 30-year history in this four-part documentary series. Interviews with celebrities, crew members, sports reporters and more illuminate the show’s evolution into a cultural phenomenon with untold stories that highlight the chemistry between Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.” TNT is among the best NBA game packagers and I wish they could broadcast more games. So good. So fun. Even if the games are blowouts the Inside The NBA team is often entertaining and deeply sarcastic. That’s all I ask!

Wednesday, April 14

Dad Stop You’re Embarrassing Me (Anytime / Netflix)

A single dad and cosmetics brand owner figures out fatherhood on the fly when his strong-minded teen daughter moves in with him.

Sammy Suggestion: Love and Monsters (Anytime / Netflix)

Seven years after he survived the monster apocalypse, lovably hapless Joel leaves his cozy underground bunker behind on a quest to reunite with his ex.

Oh! love and monsters: I enjoy both those things. “Joel (Dylan O’Brien) ventures out of his underground bunker seven years after the Monsterpocalypse and sets out on a journey to find his girlfriend.”

Thursday, April 15

Exit Plan (Anytime / Crackle)

We follow Max, who in the midst of an existential crisis and looking to solve a cold case checks into the clandestine Hotel Aurora. A unique secretive facility that specializes in elaborate assisted suicide fantasies. His investigation uncovers a disturbing truth that forces Max to question the very nature of life, death and his own perception of reality.

Sammy Suggestion: Spy City (Anytime / AMC+)

An English spy who is sent to Berlin in 1961 to sift out a traitor in the UK Embassy or among the Allies, shortly before the construction of the Berlin Wall.

Oh! A British spy and traitors: I enjoy both those things. “A British spy (Dominic Cooper) is up to his ankles in intrigue in Cold War-era Berlin in the new espionage drama Spy City.” This six-episode series has already aired in Germany, it’s now State side.

Friday, April 16

Van Helsing: Season 5 (10 p.m. / SYFY)

Van Helsing is set in the near future, where vampires have risen and taken control. Vanessa Van Helsing is humanity’s last hope, as her unique blood composition gives her the ability to turn vampires human. With this secret weapon, Vanessa becomes a prime target for the vampires.

Songbird (Anytime / Hulu)

In 2024 a pandemic ravages the world and its cities. Centering on a handful of people as they navigate the obstacles currently hindering society: disease, martial law, quarantine, and vigilantes.

Sammy Suggestion: Mr. Mercedes: Season 1-3 (Anytime / Prime Video)

A demented killer taunts a retired police detective with a series of lurid letters and emails, forcing the ex-cop to undertake a private, and potentially felonious, crusade to bring the killer to justice before he can strike again.

Oh! A Stephen King detective and a lazy turtle: I enjoy both those things. Mr. Mercedes arrived on Peacock on October 15, 2020 (from the rarely viewed Audience Channel; which I believe is now defunct.) now it’s in Canada. Easily one of the best Stephen King adaptations…in yo’face Castle Rock; and sorry IT with John Ritter and see you in hell Langoliers with Bronson Pinchot! Brendan Gleeson is an Irish treasure and as detective Bill Hodges he’s outstanding as is the show’s soundtrack. Mr. Mercedes rocks the disco and jams the nightclub. Based on Stephen King’s spellbinding Mr. Mercedes trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, and End of Watch) for over 3 TV seasons the David E. Kelley series combined supernatural elements, a murder mystery; devious characters, and characters seeking redemption. There’s also a lazy turtle if you dig animals. Enjoy…you’re so in for a treat. The show concluded on November 12, 2019 and I doubt there’s any reason for a fourth season still I’m eagerly sharing it now because with strong ratings “never say never.”

Saturday, April 17

Sammy Suggestion: The Blade Trilogy (Anytime / Crave)

“Blade” -Wesley Snipes plays a half-mortal, half-immortal charged with ridding the earth of a race of vampires led by Stephen Dorff in this action-packed blockbuster.
“Blade 2” – When the world is threatened by a new and deadlier breed of super vampire, the legendary Blade and his mentor, Whistler, must join forces with the Bloodpack, an elite team of vampire warriors made up of his sworn enemies.
“Blade: Trinity” – The final battle begins and the trinity comes to an end!

Oh! vampires and vampire hunters: I enjoy both those things. 10 years before Iron Man big banged the MCU Marvel somehow got Blade right. (Well the first 2 movies for sure…the third is flawed.) The first set up a “Underworld” feud between “pure-blood” vampires and those who had been human, but were “turned.” Not that Wesley Snipes cares: always bet on black! The second was directed by Guillermo del Toro while the third has the strangest cast: Parker Posey, Triple H, Patton Oswalt, Kris Kristofferson and Jessica Biel. You gotta see it to believe it. Marvel Studios have muttered they want to make another Blade…a script has been written so we wait.

Sunday, April 18

Confronting a Serial Killer: Season 1 (Anytime / Starz & Crave)

The astonishing story of the unprecedented relationship between acclaimed author and journalist Jillian Lauren and the most prolific serial killer in American history, Sam Little.

Godfather of Harlem: Season 2 (Anytime / EPIX)

Season 2 finds Bumpy Johnson battling the New York Crime Families for control of the lucrative and murderous “French Connection” heroin pipeline in an ambitious plan that will pit him against not only the Italians and the law but also friends and family.

Sammy Suggestion: Mare Of Easttown: Limited Series (10 p.m. / HBO & Crave)

As her life crumbles around her, a small-town Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet) investigates a local murder. The series explores the dark side of a close community and provides an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define our present.

Oh! local murder and Pennsylvania: I enjoy both those things. “A detective (Kate Winslet) in a small Pennsylvania town investigates a local murder while trying to keep her life from falling apart.” You got 7 episodes to figure out who the killer is. I’m putting my money on Guy Pearce he’s always wonderfully shifty.


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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