Hey not sure what to watch this week on the small screen? No worries #SetTheVCR is here to help you make some of those decisions easier. Each week Sammy Younan and I will give you our picks for each day of the coming week. Please note – enjoyment NOT guaranteed.

All times are Eastern Standard Time so please adjust for your time zone.

Did you watch Locke & Key yet? No? Then get on it ASAP! Sooo good. This week we have an interesting bag of picks as Sammy is heavy on the educating and broadening your mind and I’m trying to give you the glitz of Hollywood entertainment each night. Still, we have truly interesting choices each night of the week for you. Now I have to talk with Sammy about his Annabelle concerns.

So ah… most of what I suggest this week are documentaries. Except for Annabelle Comes Home. I really hope that is not a documentary.

Sammy Younan

Monday, February 17

Sammy’s Pick of the Week

California Typewriter (Anytime / Crave) – What do Tom Hanks and John Mayer have in common? Typewriters! This is a fascinating documentary; I saw it in 2018 and trust me it’s just your type. This isn’t “get off my lawn!” anger and this isn’t “the good old days were better” nostalgia. This is a recognition of how creativity has evolved: to type is to work slowly, methodically even think things through. This is a solid doc and if you like old timey contraptions and creativity check it out. (Bonus Sammy Story: I interviewed director Doug Nichol at a type-in. A gathering of people and their typewriters: think comic book convention but substitute comics for typewriters. After I finished the interview I sat down at this table of typewriters, I haven’t used one in like 10 years maybe? It is not like a bicycle it doesn’t just come back. I struggled mightily.) (Sammy)

Girl Scout Cookie Championship (8pm / Food Network) – Doing this column weekly will provide some bizarre shows that I haven’t heard of, like this one. Making new desserts either out of or inspired by Girl Guide Cookies is simply weird. There are only 3 flavours to choose from chocolate, vanilla and chocolate mint (aka the devils’ food). Yeah, I said it I don’t like chocolate mint never have and never will. I’d rather get punched in the face than eat it. Regardless, I don’t have to worry tonight as the focus tonight is just plain old chocolate. Although I will bet money some “creative” person who will do the chocolate mint thing because they have no imaginations. Food shows are always infinitely fascinating to me. (Mr. Green)

Tuesday, February 18

Frontline (8pm / PBS) – Amazon Empire: The Rise & Reign of Jeff Bezos. Amazon and Jeff Bezos is one of those complicated concerns that all too often is reduced to a predictable, reactionary and often uninformed stance. Like a relationship status on Facebook, it’s complicated. AWS―Amazon Web Services―powers Facebook, BBC, ESPN and Netflix. A lot of the companies we dig are tethered to Amazon. Here at #SetTheVCR, we’ve also recommended some excellent Prime tv shows here including The Man In The High Castle. Prime is a burgeoning industry that contributes and creates jobs connected to a larger also problematic Hollywood machine. So yeah I dunno. I’m hoping this Frontline documentary can better frame the discussion so we get a nuanced grasp of what the issues truly are and where we go from here. If Amazon and Bezos interests you do follow up by reading The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone (a 2013 book) and Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race by Tim Fernholz (a 2018 book on the billionaire space race). (Sammy)

The Flash (8pm / CW) – Much like my complaints about Bull last week with his ever birthing baby, which by the way was finally born on last week’s episode. We have The Sue Dearborn mystery that has been dragging on forever on this show. Finally, Ralph gets his girl but when he tries to bring her back home she won’t and instead drags her future husband onto an adventure of their own. Hopefully, this won’t continue to drag on and Ralph and Sue can begin their lives together, oh who am I kidding it’s the CW. I’m sure there will drama for years with the two of them. Well, we do have Mirror Master to contend with so there is that also. (Mr. Green)

Wednesday, February 19

Bluebird (8pm / CMT) – If you go to Nashville―and I have been twice!!―there’s a number of musical tourist attractions you must visit or else your trip doesn’t count. One is of course: Third Man Records Jack White’s clubhouse and the other is The Bluebird Cafe. It is small and cramped, I don’t think it offers more than 100 seats but good gravy the musical history that echoes off those walls. Everybody has performed there. Like for real: EVERYBODY. Google it. Remember that acoustic section of the Elvis 68 Comeback Special? Where he sat on an intimate stage surrounded by a stripped-down band and a ring of adoring female fans? THAT is what it is like to see bands play at Bluebird. It’s unfortunate this doc clutters up its rich history with Taylor Swift but I get the doc economics of wanting people to see this. So we’ll take the hit for the team. (Is this the first time CMT has made a #SetTheVCR appearance?) (Sammy)

*Editor’s Note: Yes it is!

Criminal Minds (10pm / CBS)SERIES FINALE! I have watched the show on and off for years after the first 3 seasons. The show was good just not something that kept my interest every week like millions of other fans. Now in it’s 15th and final season there have been ups and downs both on and off-screen for the cast and crew. As violent, chaotic and raucous the story on screen was behind the scenes were at times just as chaotic. Thankfully they were able to work through it and give the fans 15 seasons of stories. There was even a brief moment during last season that it would be the last, however, the powers that be decided to give the show one more season and allow it to go out on its own terms. Something most other shows never get a chance to do. Here’s your last chance to catch the show as part of the regular network season. (Mr. Green)

Thursday, February 20

The Conjuring Universe (Anytime / Many Channels) – 3 seems to be my limit in understanding all the players and relationships connected to an expanding universe. In my head I got Marvel, DC and Fast and Furious. So it’s no surprise that the My Little Pony universe confuses me. I don’t have the mental capacity to absorb another universe. Another universe that deeply confuses me? The Conjuring Universe by James Wan. I dunno which movies I’ve seen in what order; which characters are connected (Are Insidious movies connected to all this?!) I give up. I’m so tired. Why am I bringing this up? Because on Saturday Annabelle Comes Home screens on HBO. While I do wanna see it; I also wanna understand it. So tonight I am gonna sit down and figure out this whole Conjuring Universe and see if I can conjure up some understanding in time for Saturday. Pray for Mojo! (Sammy)

Star Trek: Picard (9pm / CBS All Access) – I know I’m just as shocked as you are that it’s still listed here… just kidding. I will not waiver in my conviction of this shows quality. Another great episode last week and I’m sure another this week. My only regret is that we are only getting 10 episodes this year. Still, the search Dhaj’s sister continues and we might be getting some clues to Maddox as well fingers-crossed. We are still piece-mealing our way through the backstory of this universe on-screen in flashbacks that I don’t expect to stop anytime soon. Looking forward to more with Seven of Nine and Elron now they have joined the Picard Posse. (Mr. Green)

Friday, February 21

Hunters (3am / Amazon Prime)Joker was set in 1981 New York City, before that The Deuce jumped around the 70s and 80 and now Hunters takes viewers to 1977 New York City. I’m curious why we’ve lately returned to DeNiro Taxi Driver NYC. Similar to Spielberg’s Munich, Hunters are violently and wholly dedicated to eradicating Nazis attempting to set up a Fourth Reich in the U.S. It sounds cool but then it’s weird Al Pacino is hunting Nazis. I miss Al Pacino from Heat. Now that guy can hunt Nazis. (Sammy)

Mr. Green’s Pick of the Week

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3am / Disney+)SEASON PREMIERE! I have said and will continue to say that the only reason that anyone can make sense of the Prequels is because of Dave Filoni and this series. He was able to add layers of backstory to characters and events only briefly touched upon in the movies. Sometimes taking entire moments before or after the movies and giving them context that made them matter. He even took his creation Ahsoka Tano and made her matter to some fans more than any other character in the universe. Honestly other than some highlight moments such as the lightsaber duels you can skip the movies and just watch this series. It will make you understand Anakin better and give more weight to his fall to the darkside and becoming Darth Vader. Now with Disney+ Filoni returns to finally finish the story the way he wants and give what many assume will be valuable backstory to The Mandalorian which he is a producer on. This day is like Christmas all over again for me. (Mr. Green)

Saturday, February 22

Annabelle Comes Home (9pm / HBO) – See my Thursday post. I dunno what’s happening here: I am more exhausted than frightened. If you watch this and can explain its connection to mystifying Conjuring Universe but like explain it like I’m a Grade 1 student then please do so. (Sammy)

Utopia Falls (Anytime / CBC Gem/Hulu) – An interesting show that dropped last Friday. We got to speak with one of the stars of the show Kate Drummond on our latest episode of Geek Hard. Hundreds of years in the future mankind have reemerged from beneath the surface to begin anew in a post-apocalyptic earth. The old problems are now gone and everyone through a common goal of survival has been living and working together for several centuries after the return to the surface. Now New Babyl’s Tribunal rules over the four sectors and has a yearly entertainment contest called the Exemplar to promote peace and harmony in their communities. Unfortunately, the latest batch of Exemplar candidates are like your typical 16-year-olds today and they eventually get inspired and begin to show some individual defiance toward the community at large. As things escalate so does the intrigue and the secrets of New Babyl become more obvious to the viewer and the characters. It’s Divergent meets Fame which works better in the second half of the series than the first 2 episodes. All 10 episodes are available streaming now on CBC Gem and Hulu. (Mr. Green)

Sunday, February 23

D. Wade: Life Unexpected 9pm / ESPN) – First (and this is important!) ESPN Films is different than ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series. D Wade retired on April 10, 2019, so this is a look back at his life growing up in Chicago and a stellar NBA career that included some painful injuries; a couple of years where he controversially played the villain alongside LeBron James in that despised Heat Super Team and so much more. Dude’s 38 years old there is a lot to look back upon: we just lost Kobe at 41. The amount of life these guys live is incredible. (Sammy)

The Rookie (10pm / ABC) – Finally back after a really long winter break. One in which we were left with a cliffhanger ending. As a character gets abducted by a serial killers accomplice. The show has until this been relatively low key in its stories keeping them fairly close to average headline stories in LA County. However, with this the show has escalated into the more sensational TV tropes of cop shows. I’m hoping this is not going to become a regular thing on the show as I might stop watching it if it does. I have enjoyed the stories where it’s just the run of the mill type stories that real-world cops deal with. Still, I’m glad that it’s back. (Mr. Green)

Well, there you go plenty of options for the week ahead. Enjoy yourself and watch responsibly.

If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!