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

It’s the spooky time of the year and I’m not even talking about the pandemic. No, it’s Halloween time! So we get creepy for the rest of the month. Expect more horror themed picks as continued this month.

It’s October! As that Autumn wind begins to chill your bones we’ve got some horror suggestions destined to produce warm Fear Pee! Ah, the sites and smells of October and Halloween Season.

Sammy Younan

Monday, October 5

See Below – AMC’s latest is Soulmates a 6 episode anthology series set 15 years from now about a corporation with a scientific test that determines your soulmate. It’s basically Brave New World meets Black Mirror (co-creator William Bridges has written for Black Mirror and produced Stranger Things so that’s your “tone” heads up.). I’ll let Mr. Green take it from here. (Sammy)

Soul Mates (10pm / AMC)SERIES PREMIERE! A new series that looks into a future where humanity in the search for the perfect match in love has developed a test to show who your soul mate is. Yeah right! Like this isn’t going to end badly for those involved at all. Stories like these usually only have one outcome in entertainment – tragedy. So, I’m going to get hip-waders on and trudge through the cesspool of misery that will be on display as these hapless people find not love but its exact opposite. As Sammy mentions above having one of the writers from Black Mirror should give you plenty of idea how things are going to go over these six episodes. (Mr. Green)

Tuesday, October 6

Swamp Thing (8pm / CW) – So if you’ve read the comics this simple description will make sense: “Abby Arcane returns home to Marais, Louisiana to investigate a deadly swamp-borne virus, only to discover the dark, terrifying mysteries of the swamp.” However, the actual swamp has been DC’s streaming mess: this show was cancelled shortly after it premiered on DC Universe. Meanwhile, Doom Patrol and Titans have graduated to HBO Max empowering them a larger mainstream audience. This horror show had it; I know I’m saying what everyone else is saying but it shoulda gotten at least a second season. Studios have greenlit worse. Will we ever see “The Return of Swamp Thing?” This is a decent series that was not long for this world; I so want “Moore” episodes. We were probably cheated of that classic Heather Locklear Season 2 guest star moment too: boo! Cue Len (Wein)’s If You Steal My Sunshine…! (Sammy)

https://youtu.be/5K1OlCLNKvQ

Black Box (3am / Amazon Prime) – Blum House has several projects dropping this month with Amazon Prime. Black Box looks to be another successful story from the minds that define horror currently. Here an ordinary man who has severe memory loss and potential brain damage seeks an experimental treatment that will unlock the memories he can’t access after the tragic car accident that killed his wife. Sounds all like a good cause but it’s October and this is Blum House Productions so you have to know that the story is going to get dark and the trailer does provide some excellent hints and visuals to give us the creeps. (Mr. Green)

Wednesday, October 7

Sammy’s Pick of the Week

War of The Worlds (8pm / CBC) – When The War of the Worlds was radio broadcast live at 8 pm on Sunday, October 30, 1938, it created a panic. Orson Welles said: “Houses were emptying, churches were filling up; from Nashville to Minneapolis there was wailing in the streets and the rending of garments.” Amazing no matter if that’s marketing magic or a myth. Well like Brave New World which has recently been added to Corus; this fall Canadian nerds will also enjoy 2019’s: War of The Worlds from Fox. This dramatic Gabriel Byrne show has been broadcast in Asia, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and now it’s finally in Canada. This modern retelling has been recast as a Walking Dead-style show focusing on the survivours following an “an apocalyptic extra-terrestrial strike.” Wednesday nights on CBC though all episodes will also be added to CBC Gem. Season 2 is currently being shot so the “war” is not over. (Sammy)

Hubie Halloween (3am / Netflix) – Sammy gave you a pretty solid and serious take on a Halloween story. My turn to give you another Halloween treat. Another in a long line of projects Sandler had green-lit by Netflix coming to the streaming service. Unlike most of Sandler’s work which I’m not the biggest fan of this one looks like it might be a winner. He is teaming up again with his co-star from Happy Gilmore Julie Bowen who joins along with Kevin James, Kenan Thompson, Noah Schnapp, Steve Buscemi, Maya Rudolph, Ray Liotta and more! For some this tickles my fancy I will be watching this one. Hopefully, it’s more Happy Gilmore and less Little Nicky. (Mr. Green)

Thursday, October 8

Fantasy Island (3am / Amazon Prime) – Cue Hervé Villechaize pointing and yelling: “The remake! The remake!” Fantasy Island was a fantasy drama that aired on ABC from 1977 to 1984. It was partly made famous of course for the James Bond villain creepy-like host Ricardo Montalbán who contributed notable nerd roles in Planet of the Apes movies and of course as Khan in Star Trek II. This horror “reimagining” focused on a collection of guests invited by the “owner and operator of a luxurious island to live out their most elaborate fantasies.” Think Westworld meets The Cabin in the Woods. This may be a Fantasy on my part but it’s October and everybody’s in the mood for a satisfying horror movie…so here ya go? (Sammy)

Star Trek: Lower Decks (8pm / CBS All-Access)SEASON FINALE! This hilarious show is coming to its season conclusion. This is very sad but also should be celebrated as it was able to do something each week that I thought was impossible before this and it took the piss each week. Star Trek has always had humour but very little out and out comedy in the whole of its shows. Here we got to see a crew of misfits unleashed amongst the stars and get into shenanigans each week. I can’t wait to see another season about the crew of the USS Cerritos. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait too long for it to hit the streamer next year. Yes, Cerritos! (Mr. Green)

Friday, October 9

The Haunting of Bly Manor (3am / Netflix) -2018’s The Haunting of Hill House was a surprise Netflix hit and terrific ghostly fun. It’ll be hard to top Hill House: the advantage was that it came out of nowhere. (I’d seen Oculus and Ouija: Origin of Evil in the cinemas so I was already familiar with Mike Flanagan before the series began. Cool points for me; no points for my tastes…). Hill House’s success means Bly Manor is saddled with expectations. So the pressure is on to deliver. The premise this time is loosely based (adaptation is an ill-fitting word for Hill House. It’s technically based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel though if you’ve read the novel and watched the show there clearly aren’t a lot of similarities.) on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. That I have not read though like Hill House I do not expect much adapting. According to Netflix: “The story tells of a young governess hired by a man to look after his niece and nephew at the family country house after they fall into his care. Arriving at the Bly estate, she begins to see apparitions that proceed to haunt the premises.” Of course, she does. Happy Halloween. (Sammy)

Mr. Green’s Pick of the Week

The Right Stuff (3am / Disney+)SERIES PREMIERE! A new retelling of the Mercury space missions and what it took to get the US in space ahead of the USSR in the ’60s. Based on the novel by Tom Wolfe of the same name we get to see this unfold as series versus the highly regarded film from 1983. Like some of the Mercury missions, this could end in a fireball of despair or as triumphant as Chuck Yeager first breaking the sound barrier. Unlike Yeager though this will not be classified and will be seen by millions of Disney+ subscribers when it launches today. I’m a big fan of the ’83 film so this has a lot to live up to proving if it has the right stuff. Groan I know but I couldn’t help myself. (Mr. Green)

Saturday, October 10

Eli Roth’s History of Horror: Season 2 (10pm / AMC) – Did you watch Eli Roth’s History of Horror Season 1 back in 2018? Might still be on Shudder or AMC on Demand. As you can guess from the title this is a deep dive into all things horror. So do you want Season 2’s topics or interviewees? Topics this season range from: “magic-wielding witches” (every block has one!)  to “misshapen monsters” (is there any other kind?!) to “hell houses” (which must be a true story with this housing market.). Interviewees include Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, Jordan Peele, Ari Aster, Bill Hader, Nancy Allen, Megan Fox, Greg Nicotero, Rob Zombie, James Brolin, Edgar Wright, Piper Laurie, Leonard Maltin, Katharine Isabelle, Jack Black, Slash, Rachel True, Ashley Laurence, Joe Dante, Roger Corman, Mary Harron, John Landis, Tom Savini, Karyn Kusama, and many others. If you want to up the creep factor in your life without going on Tinder Shudder is producing the accompanying TV show podcast: Eli Roth’s History of Horror: Uncut​ podcast. Look for that…the guests are the horror luminaries listed above. Let the fear pee flow! (Sammy)

Books of Blood (Anytime / Hulu) – I read a lot of Clive Barker in high school and beyond including his anthology series The Books of Blood. A series of grim tales that like his other major work has that style of macabre that Barker is known for. Hell, this is the same guy who gave us Hellraiser that should give you the right perspective. I’m sure the Hulu series will not be as violent and vicious as that movie was but this trailer does give hints to it holding somewhat close to it’s roots in the novels. What’s great here is if successful this could really blossom into an ongoing anthology series every October for horror fans around the US, as sadly Hulu is still only legally allowed to be viewed in America. When will Disney let us have it around the world!? (Mr. Green)

Sunday, October 11

See Below – Mr. Green has a great recommendation! (Sammy)

The Haunting of Bly Manor (Anytime / Netflix) – Looking for spooky haunted house stories well Netflix has your fix. After the uber-successful runaway hit that was The Haunting of Hill House the same creative team is back to give us another haunted place to call home. If you like ghost stories or just plain creepy than this will right up your alley. I know some people have had to watch Hill House with the lights on. Let’s see if Bly manor can give us the same outcome. If you are a horror fan this month is brimming over with great options for you to watch and this doesn’t even include many of the old standards like Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street. It’s great to be a horror fan these days. (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!