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#SetTheVCR: August 2-8, 2020

#SetTheVCR: August 2-8, 2020

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

It’s August…like how did that happen? Because the calendar is so scary let’s kick off this week’s #SetTheVCR with some frightful recommendations.

Sunday, August 2

Sammy Suggestion: Rain: Season 1 (Anytime / Netflix)

When Rain came out in 2018 I hadda Sophie’s Choice between that and Dark. I wisely chose Dark. Which is now (sadly) over. Rain is a post-apocalyptic Danish tv show about a virus carried by rainfall that has wiped out all humans in Scandinavia except for two siblings. Least that is how it has started…where they’ve gone over 3 seasons I cannot say. Yet. Rain’s third and final season drops on August 6 on Netflix. Perfect. That’s my next sci-fi show! May as well get into today. (Rain is Danish. Into the Night was my first Belgian tv show also on Netflix and highly recommended. Only season 1 is out now but Netflix has confirmed a second season. So you can wait if you want…Dark worked better as a “trade” than a monthly. And that’s the value of Netflix: gimme that good international stuff. Thanks!)

Monday, August 3

Sammy Suggestion: In Search of Darkness (Anytime / Shudder)

Shudder is slowly assembling an impressive horror documentary library. (Though no word if they’re picking up a recent Nightmare on Elm Street doc: Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street. Apparently there was a whole gay subtext to Nightmare 2?! I missed all of that.) Their latest addition began screening (began screaming?) on July 30. In Search of Darkness is: “an exploration of ’80s horror movies through the perspective of the actors, directors, producers and SFX craftspeople who made them, and their impact on contemporary cinema.” Whew. Everybody is in this: Dante, Cunningham, Carpenter you name it. It’s 4 hours and a half however like Kill Bill it was cut in half (most likely with a machete) and Part II comes out in October. (These filmmakers are working on a “sequel” called In Search of Tomorrow which recounts the history of 1980’s sci-fi movies. Yo…in for that one too.)

Tuesday, August 4

Sammy Suggestion: The Swamp (9 p.m. / HBO)

Drain the Swamp quickly became one of those linguistic Rorschach tests as we’ve seen with “cancel culture,” “entrepreneurship” and “no-pants-party.” They each mean different things to different people yet we all argue as if we’re operating from a commonly established definition. This documentary follows 3 Republican Congressmen: Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Matt Gaetz of Florida as they attempt to navigate a Washington government run by President Trump. These documentaries are beneficial as it’s embarrassingly easy to dehumanize: to treat these individuals as a Swamp Thing. Swamp is directed by Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme (Get Me Roger Stone) so it should prompt reflection and discussion as we’re hurtling towards the November election slash showdown.

Wednesday, August 5

Sammy Suggestion: Bad Boys For Life (Anytime / Amazon Prime (Canada))

A Nelson Muntz review of Bad Boys: “I can think of at least two things wrong with that title.” There was a time when bad meant good (ask your parents kids…they were hip once.) but in this case bad means…bad. And boys well there’s a whole subplot with Martin Lawrence needing glasses. So Nelson is right. Still despite the absence of Michael Bay whose slo-mo-ed high octane action style vaulted Will Smith into action stardom this third entry is the highest-grossing installment of the series. So the way these things work expect more Bad Boys movies. It’s on Amazon Prime (Canada) today and for Americans, it will debut on Starz on Friday night. Whatcha gonna do?

Thursday, August 6

An American Pickle (Anytime / HBO Max)
The Rain: Season 3 (Anytime / Netflix)
Star Trek: Lower Decks (Anytime / CBS All Access & Crave)

Sammy Suggestion: On The Trail (Anytime / HBO Max)

The Circus Showtime’s weekly documentary covering the 2020 presidential race returns (I think…) on August 16. (I said I think because I dunno how tv shows fiction or non-fiction are going to work and shoot with the coronavirus. So we’ll see what August 16 brings us.). So for now as a warmup of sorts here’s On the Trail the first of 4 CNN-backed projects that will be broadcast on HBO Max. (The other 3 coming soon docs are Heaven’s Gate (yes the cult), Persona (a personality testing obsession documentary) and Generation Hustle (a 10 part docuseries about fame and fortune.) On the Trail is the story of several female CNN journalists and their attempt at (you know and you love it) balancing work and home.

Friday, August 7

Work It (Anytime / Netflix)
Run This Town (Anytime / Crave)
Wizards: Tales of Arcadia (Anytime / Netflix)

Sammy Suggestion: The Booksellers (Anytime / CBC Gem)

Remember bookstores? The way they smell; the possibilities of discovering a fantastic writer or adding an outstanding first edition to your collection. This charming documentary is not a vintage-book hunt rather it is filled with dynamic characters as only New York City can offer. This is a documentary about the city as much as it is about readers and collectors and books. And science fiction and old school hip hop and that time Fran Lebowitz lent David Bowie a book. Now that…that is Modern Love.

Saturday, August 8

Sammy Suggestion: Richard Jewell (8 p.m. / HBO)

Richard Jewell is yet another tragic representative of how America and its media ecosystem badly functions. On July 27, 1996, during the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, a bomb detonated killing one person and wounding 11. An Centennial Olympic Park security guard Richard Jewell spotted one of the explosive devices and instantly began clearing the area thus saving lives. Of course, he was hailed as a hero and America adores heroes. However cue “you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Despite having been initially hailed as a hero Jewell came under FBI suspicion for his alleged involvement in the crime and he became the prime suspect and worse an international news story. That whiplash from hero to villain is terrifying. (Everybody was wrong too. Eric Rudolph is the Olympic Park Bomber.) This is Clint Eastwood’s feature on these horrific events.

Sammy Baltic WebSammy Younan @ W • T • F

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