#SetTheVCR: February 08-14, 2021

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

Monday, February 8

VH1 Family Reunion: Love & Hip Hop Edition (8/7 PM / VH1)
With the help of his son Jayden and Momma Dee, Trick Daddy pulls together a backyard barbecue to reunite cast members (and their families). Watch Trailer Here

Black Lightning: Season 4 (9/8 PM / The CW)
Jefferson Pierce is a man wrestling with a secret. Nine years ago, Pierce was gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, which he used to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante BLACK LIGHTNING. Watch Trailer Here

Sammy Suggestion: The Corporation (Anytime / YouTube)

Provoking, witty, stylish and sweepingly informative, THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time.

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

Tuesday, February 9

Fright Club (Anytime / Discovery+)
FRIGHT CLUB features Jack Osbourne and the Ghost Brothers, Dalen Spratt, Marcus Harvey, and Juwan Mass, who freak each other out with the creepiest, craziest paranormal evidence ever caught on camera. Watch Trailer Here

Sammy Suggestion: The Food That Built America: Season 2 (10/9 PM / History Channel)

This series turns the lens on an iconic selection of bold pioneers behind such iconic foods as Oreo, Cheetos, pizza, and more.

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

Wednesday, February 10

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

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

The notorious Cecil Hotel grows in infamy when guest Elisa Lam vanishes. From the creator of “The Ted Bundy Tapes,” a dive into crime’s darkest places.

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

Thursday, February 11

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

Sammy Suggestion: Red Dot (Anytime / Netflix)

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

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

Friday, February 12

Hip Hop Uncovered (9/8 PM / FX)
From executive producer Malcolm Spellman and Oscar® and Emmy®-winning production company Lightbox, comes HIP HOP UNCOVERED, an examination of a dying breed of power brokers who operate from the shadows of hip hop. Watch Trailer Here

Marvel’s Behind The Mask (Anytime / Disney+)
MARVEL’S BEHIND THE MASK explores the power of identity behind the world’s most iconic Super Heroes we know and love today.
Watch Trailer Here

Sammy Suggestion: Terrific Teen Temptations! (Anytime | Netflix & Prime Video)

Choose From The Following Teen Movies!

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

Saturday, February 13

Inside Pixar (Anytime / Disney+)
A documentary series of personal and cinematic stories that provide an inside look into the people, artistry, and culture of Pixar Animation Studios. Watch Trailer Here

Sammy Suggestion: Helter Skelter: An American Myth (Anytime / Hollywood Suite)

Why, after 50 years, does the Manson Family still permeate our culture, our media, and our fears? The six-episode original series is the most definitive recounting of the Manson Family story ever put on screen.

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

Sunday, February 14

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

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

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

An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn’t believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her.

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


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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