#SetTheVCR: June 21-27, 2020

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

How I Spent My Summer Vacation: well…watching good tv. Maybe get some Vitamin D and take the tablet outside? (Bonus Story: I walked into the living room to find my Mom dozing on the couch with The Manchurian Candidate unfolding on the tv. Is that a Sunday afternoon nap or irony?)

Sunday, June 21

NOS4A2: Season 2 (10 p.m. / AMC)

Sammy Suggestion: Perry Mason: Season One (9 p.m. / HBO)
Polish your dentures! Perry Mason returns to TV in a mystery drama set in 1930s Los Angeles. Created in 1933 for radio he’s now appearing on HBO for 8 episodes played by Matthew Rhys. Wasn’t Perry Mason the lawyer in the wheelchair? Or who was that character?

Monday, June 22

Sammy Suggestion: Penn & Teller: Fool Us: Season 7 (9 p.m. / The CW)
Following a magic trick you’ll hear some of the most outlandish theories: he used magnets! That wasn’t his assistant that was a hologram! He was duplicated by Tesla’s machine! It’s rarely anything so elaborate: magic is simple and elegant. It represents an off-beat way of thinking whereas the lives most of us live requires linear thinking. Which is what makes Penn & Teller: Fool Us so compelling. It’s learning to problem solve in the subtle way viewers learned to read watching The Electric Company. And it’s magic…so that’s always fresh.

Tuesday, June 23

Eric André: Legalize Everything (Anytime / Netflix)

Sammy Suggestion: American Masters: Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (8 p.m. / PBS)
While I’m not a Toni Morrison fan I’ve a deep respect for her impact and legacy. In some ways, as a novelist, she is comparable to Stephen King in how she has sculpted pop culture. Enough that when it comes to making a documentary about her life it features: Hilton Als, Fran Lebowitz, Angela Davis, Russell Banks, and many more. That many different perspectives and creators assembled for her 2019 documentary loudly speaks to her contributions to our culture. It’s easy to understand why Ton Morrison is so Beloved.

Wednesday, June 24

Athlete A (Anytime / Netflix)

Sammy Suggestion: Dark: Season 1 and 2 (Anytime / Netflix)
If you haven’t watched Dark on Netflix you’re fired. One of the best sci-fi shows of all time: there’s really no need to bother with Stranger Things as there’s no way it’s going to match in scope, ambition, and vision. Dark is breathtaking and complex. Just wow. The third and final season airs on June 27, 2020 (it was fated on the show…long story.) Dark’s final season concludes an epic sci-fi tv run: Counterpart set in Berlin with an alternative universe; Dark (set just outside Berlin) features a time portal (sorta) and The Man in the High Castle of course offered WWII Nazis/Berlin in a parallel universe. Sad to see all this has concluded in our universe.

Thursday, June 25

The Twilight Zone: Season 2 (Anytime / CBS All Access)
Yummy (Shudder / Hulu)
Gemini Man (Anytime / Amazon Prime)

Sammy Suggestion: Doom Patrol: Season 2 (Anytime / HBO Max)
Ever since 2001’s Smallville I’ve struggled to get into the CW Arrowverse. Thankfully the last few years streaming has offered a parallel adult fun comic book tv show universe with Titans, Deadly Class, and Umbrella Academy. (Marvel works as PG-13 or whatever the MCU movies are rated. However DC only works for me when it’s dark and Rated R; perhaps because it reflects back to their best comics: Blackest Night, Arkham Asylum, Identity Crisis etc.). Anyways one of the gems of this Earth 2 universe of adult comic book tv shows is Doom Patrol now on HBO Max for season 2. Season 1 was 15 episodes and featured a team of “superheroes” with tragic origins and often shunned by society all assembled by The Chief. The show is quirky and weirdly funny…the narrator is a bit meta (not a meta fan) and the soundtrack is outstanding. Swamp Thing was not long for this world; so I’m ecstatic Doom Patrol got a second season even if it’s shorter with only 9 episodes.

Friday, June 26

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (Anytime / Netflix)

Sammy Suggestion: Doctor Sleep (Anytime / Crave)
Good News: Tomorrow on HBO you can see the Director’s Cut. For now The Haunting of Hill House properly introduced Mike Flanagan to audiences who for a variety of reasons slept on Doctor Sleep. (To be fair the Stephen King novel is terrible. I dig the concept of visiting adult Danny Torrance; the execution however was disappointing.) So I’m curious to see how Flanagan handles a sequel to The Shining one of the most iconic horror movies. (Even if this is not good: The Haunting of Bly Manor will be released on Netflix this fall.)

Saturday, June 27

Sammy Suggestion: Dark: Season 3 (Anytime / Netflix)
The final season of the German Netflix show Dark that wonderfully lives up to its name. If this third and final season can stick the landing Dark will be crowned one of the greatest sci-fi shows of all time. That’s crazy talk right? There’s lots of tv shows about time travel and alternative universes but…not like this. The show’s tagline: “The end is the beginning. And the beginning is the end.” is literally true. If you’ve waited to watch this whole thing (and it works better as a trade) now is your time. Enjoy it. And share what you think is happening.

Sammy Baltic WebSammy Younan @ W • T • F

Also published on Medium.

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