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 The Order last week? You should have it was another great season. Now, this week we delve into some other areas but not too far from the otherworldly craziness as Sammy’s pick of the week proves. If you look really hard there are some really interesting content available even with the effects of Covid still upon us. Documentaries being a big part of that again this week.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation: well…watching good tv. Maybe get some vitamin D and take the tablet outside?

Sammy Younan

Monday, June 22

Penn & Teller: Fool Us (9pm /The CW)SEASON PREMIERE! 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. (Sammy)

Penn & Teller: Fool Us (9pm /The CW)SEASON PREMIERE! DOUBLE WHAMMY! I should have known Sammy was going to beat me to the punch! Still, the show is a ton of fun and a great way to spend the evening enjoying yourself while watching some magicians and illusionists and many other performers of the mystic arts. As much as I love all things Star Wars – Sammy loves magic! (Mr. Green)

Tuesday, June 23

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (8pm / PBS) – While I’m not a Toni Morrison fan I’ve got 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. (Sammy)

Dark Girls 2 (10pm / OWN) – A followup sequel to the original documentary dealing with women of colour and the expectations of beauty on them. This movie continues with that looking at how these unrealistic expectations have impacted women and their lives. From New York to Ghana and more it is taking a hard look at the topic to show what they are dealing with on a daily basis. It looks like one of those important to watch but hard to watch movies. (Mr. Green)

Wednesday, June 24

Dark: Season 1 & 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. (Sammy)

Athlete A (3am / Netflix) – Trigger Warning! This documentary is dealing with the story of the USA Gymnastics team and the sexual abuses committed by Dr. larry Nassar to that team over his time as team doctor. This looks to focus on how the story broke to the public from a little newsroom in the midwest to becoming one of the biggest stories in sports. Obviously this is going to be a hard watch for anyone with empathy and especially for those who have terrible experiences in their own lives. With over 500 victims this is not going to be easy. (Mr. Green)

Thursday, June 25

Doom Patrol (3am / HBO Max)SEASON PREMIERE! 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. (Sammy)

John Wick (9pm / SyFy) – I limit myself to only one double up in a week when I can. Sammy got in first again with his great pick above Doom Patrol. Which like he mentioned had a great first season and incorporated much of what made the ’80s comics so good with the absurdist nature of the storytelling. Regardless, you can watch that or if that’s not floating your boat you can either watch or like many re-watch the uber fantastic John Wick movie. I can never recommend this enough as it is so good. Keanu is top-notch as Wick or “Baba Yaga” as he is known in the criminal underworld. When your assassin cred gives you and solid nickname you know you got a winner on your hands. Plus, that scene where that name is explained is one of my favourites in film. (Mr. Green)

Friday, June 26

Doctor Sleep (3am / 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.) (Sammy)

Mr, Green’s Pick of the Week

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (3am / Netflix) – Okay I know nothing really about the Eurovision Song Contest other than what I heard about it a few years ago when it became a social media viral hit. Now we get Will Farrell doing his usual Will Farrell schtick alongside Rachel McAdams. This could be a glorious wonderful piece on perseverance and overcoming the odds or it could be a complete and utter flop. Still, who doesn’t like to watch a metaphorical trainwreck at times? (Mr. Green)

Saturday, June 27

Sammy’s Pick of the Week

Dark (3am / 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 are 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)

The Dark Crystal (Anytime / Netflix) – LAST CHANCE! On June 30th Netflix will be pulling this title as it will most likely be transitioning over to the Disney+ service like the rest of their content. Sad to see it go but hey at least we have some time left to get another viewing in before it’s gone from the service. (Mr. Green)

Sunday, June 28

See Below – There might be other things on TV; Mr. Green will probably have a suggestion but I’m deep into Dark on Netflix. Yo… (Sammy)

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (10pm / HBO)SERIES PREMIERE! Murderino’s rejoice! A new series exploring one of America’s biggest serial killer mysteries and eventual capture. An exploration of the case of the Golden State Killer who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s, committing 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders, and true crime author Michelle McNamara’s obsessive quest to find justice on behalf of his victims. I really hope they give Michelle her fair due in this series for her part in helping to keep this case alive and helping to find the actual killer 30 years later. It’s too bad she didn’t live to see the fruits of her labour succeed. (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!