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.

This week, man this week. So much going on it’s crazy. In fact we even do something we’ve never done before, a special pick from the both of us. The week is that jammed packed this week. Couple of finales and plenty of premieres. So many that we don’t have them all.

From a comedy special to a horror, special behold TV’s wide range of emotions all ready to connect to your feelings. You feeling what I’m feeling?

Sammy Younan

We have not this before but here is a special pick for this week that both Sammy and I want to watch. We both loved this show and couldn’t miss out on recommending it. It’s the show that brought Will Smith from safe rapper-lite to household mega-celebrity. Seeing the cast all get back together during this trailer already hit us in all the feels and especially when they start talking about the late James Avery (Uncle Phil). This is going to be an emotional roller coaster ride. Then they drop what many had heard rumoured for a while that the original Aunt Viv would also be part of the reunion. A word of caution here as the trailer makes it as she comes on set to join the rest of the cast in shock surprise, she doesn’t. It’s a separate segment recorded between her and Will but he really wanted to make sure was included.

Monday, November 16

What Do Foreign Correspondents Think of the U.S.? (Anytime / See Below) – One of the strangest aspects of the recent American election and the discussions leading up to the Big Event is that so many people were choosing to consume the same American media. Like we live in a world where you can literally google anything…access podcasts and articles from anywhere in the world: google will even translate for you! (We did this before with downloading music and later movie piracy: you can see how much of the debate was insular and framed only by “local” social media and American media. Hence the aggressive scolding and borderline bullying passing off as shame prompting because downloading was classified in moral terms: it’s a sin to download. Morality over music and movies was an American aspect: they didn’t write articles like that in France or China or anywhere else.) So wisely this short but insightful New Yorker documentary asks: What Do Foreign Correspondents Think of the U.S.? Here’s the whole thing. (Sammy)

His Dark Materials (9pm / HBO)SEASON PREMIERE! The far better interpretation of the Phillip Pullman novels that the Golden Compass movie was based on. The series also is playing it slightly darker and more adult than the Golden Compass movie did. Which makes sense considering its dark subtext and storylines. Still, a great return of a well-received series for us during these dark days is always welcome. (Mr. Green)

Tuesday, November 17

Kevin Hart: Zero Fucks Given (3am / Netflix) – Kevin Hart’s latest comedy special was filmed this past September so it should be current. He posted on IG: “This is the rawest that I have ever been….Real Raw stand up comedy….I can’t wait for yall to see this shit!!!!!” I’ve been worried about stand up comedy. Bands can do music performances over zoom; it’s decent, not amazing but it works. Bands can even record in a large room if they spread out far enough and just keep writing and releasing music. But comedy needs everybody in the room: the way the material is continually refined, the sarcastic experiments, those off-the-cuff moments. You can’t write a handful of jokes in your bedroom and assume they’re funny: sometimes/often they’re not. (Anybody whose read my Facebook statuses over the past year can attest to that.) Comedy is the one art form/medium I worry about until we get back to normal or a new normal or some sort of normal. Thankfully this is normal for Kevin Hart: Zero Fucks is Hart’s sixth comedy special on Netflix. (Sammy)

Mr. Green’s Pick of the Week

Big Sky (10pm / ABC)SEASON PREMIERE! What starts out looking like a typical old-school David E. Kelley series of quirky fun quickly takes the off-ramp into dark, dark territory. As two young women are abducted and gone missing the search begins and uncovers even more disturbing facts. There looks to be some small-town quirk via Twin Peaks mixed in with Kelley’s new sensibility displayed in Big Little Lies. This looks really good and we got to talk with Maria Sten last week about her work on writing for the show on Geek Hard. It’s starting to look like a TV season… shhh we don’t want to jinx it. (Mr. Green)

Wednesday, November 18

Crazy, Not Insane (9pm / HBO) – The AP Stylebook (an English grammar style and usage guide) recently recommended: “Do not use derogatory terms, such as insane, crazy/crazed, nuts or deranged, unless they are part of a quotation that is essential to the story. Avoid using mental health terms to describe unrelated issues. Don’t say that an awards show, for example, was schizophrenic.” Fair enough however the murderers in this HBO documentary are not a “schizophrenic awards show.” Crazy, Not Insane follows Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis’ research; she’s a psychiatrist who studies the psychology of murders. A fascinating wrinkle to the current true crime trend unfolding across podcasts and many documentaries. You’d be crazy to miss the one! (All apologies to the AP Stylebook I’m not sure if it covers sarcasm and cheap puns.) (Sammy)

LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (3am / Disney+) – Finally a Star Wars Holiday Special that won’t be regretted, hidden and forgotten by Lucasfilm. Besides LEGO doing it will be an instant classic for sure with fans and kids around the world. The LEGO animated studio really gets its audience and that of the properties they license like Star Wars. Their video games are always amazing as is almost every video they do. Hence my uber confidence that this will also be super solid. LEGO Masters assemble! Sorry, Ummm wrong franchise. (Mr. Green)

Thursday, November 19

Sammy’s Pick of the Week

Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist (3am / Shudder) – Alexandre Philippe’s latest documentary has arrived on Shudder! Following his previous movie docs 78/52 (on Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho) and Memory: The Origins of Alien (on well: Alien) he now focuses on William Friedkin’s The Exorcist! (Check because I believe Crave still has Memory if you wanna see it. Highly recommended.) Released in 1973 William Friedkin’s The Exorcist has disturbed audiences for decades while dramatically reducing pea soup orders in restaurants (that era’s horror movies are bone-chilling, say from Rosemary’s Baby in 1968 to Halloween in 1978 before the slasher saga of the 80s.). Following a template from his previous work, Philippe’s Leap of Faith is a spiritual cinematic essay on The Exorcist while recognizing William Friedkin’s faith and filmmaking process exploring “what possessed” him to make this bold horror movie. (Before I conclude: a special nod to the Winchesters who wrap it up tonight after 15 seasons. That’s an impressive accomplishment: most Star Treks go 7 seasons deep. Supernatural is recognizing a force beyond scientific understanding so I believe the show’s title to be apt: I don’t understand how they pulled off 15 seasons. And I certainly do not believe we’ll be getting another 15 seasons run anytime soon so take a moment tonight to drop by…say goodbye to Sam and Dean and their amazing friends. I’m sure Mr. Green has more to say about all this so I will let him Carry On… ) (Sammy)

Supernatural (9pm / CW)SERIES FINALE! It’s been a long road… No Kidding, 15 seasons is nothing to ever sneeze at. The road so far… Over that time the show has continued to have one of the most fervent fanbases in all of fandom. All the while not being jerks about. They just love the show and the brothers Winchester. Overall the lack of toxicity in this group is something other fandoms should take notes from. I’m looking at you Star Wars and Star Trek. Regardless of how the show ends this week, it will be one of those special shows in TV history. There is way too much to summarize here when discussing all of the apocalyptic finales and battles they have had, the dozens of deaths and resurrections or the number of times the brothers split up… way too many. For those who talk about the show with disdain, I’ve always believed it came from a place not getting this show has never been about a single goal. It’s been about two brothers and their car… a family of three. That’s it. It just so happens that it has monsters, demons, angels and gods (both lower “g” and upper) in the background of the story of these two brothers and their car. Now… the series finale. (Mr. Green)

Friday, November 20

Voices of Fire (3 am / Netflix) – That this fire comes from executive producer Pharrell Williams is chiefly why I’ll testify! I’m not a fan of Masked Singer, American Idol that whole genre of TV. The singing and musical competition for this Netflix show seem to be who can uplift the most. The mission if you choose to accept it is to “build a choir to change the world.” I’d make a skeptical sarcastic comment but sometimes you just gotta have faith… and I believe also Netflix so ah you can watch this. (Sammy)

The Mandalorian (3am / Disney+) – Seriously did you doubt this would be my pick here? Of course, you didn’t it’s the only thing worth watching on Fridays as appointment viewing each week. After last week’s reveal of Katee Sackoff as another character from the Dave Filoni Clone Wars & Rebels series’ that he created it becomes ever more clear that while Favreau is the big money behind the show he is relying on Filoni. His creations help create an ever-expanding storyline of awesomeness that Favreau gets to use. Which really should spark some joy for long time fans if this episode gets to the character that has most fans excited to see in the show this season. (Mr. Green)

Saturday, November 21

Dolittle (Anytime / Crave) – Turns out Robert Downey Jr.’s post-MCU lifestyle is all about to Do-Little as possible. Which based on the box office returns this movie did “Dolittle.” I’m done belittling this movie…gather the kids around the TV if you got em. (Sammy)

Run (Anytime / Hulu) – A new movie that could have come out during October and no one would have batted an eye regarding that placement. The story of a loving mother who takes care of her child. Sounds very Hallmark MOW doesn’t it? Well, maybe if Stephen King was writing it. Here the mother played by Sarah Paulson of American Horror Story and Ratched is no stranger to the morally questionable characters. After you watch the trailer you will also see why I invoked King since this has some Misery vibes happening. I just hope they don’t do the usual “Hollywood” thing and demonize mental health like they usually do. (Mr. Green)

Sunday, Month

Belushi (9pm / Showtime) – We lost John Adam Belushi on March 5, 1982. A successful and original SNL cast member and of course half of The Blues Brothers. That’s about the extent of what I know about Belushi so I’m grateful for this doc to highlight what I’ve missed. Showtime comedy seems to be on a mission from God as this documentary follows their sublime docuseries The Comedy Store. Also highly recommended for all comedy nerds. (Sammy)

Fear the Walking Dead (9pm / AMC)SEASON FINALE! For all of you who are TWD fans Fear has it’s season finale tonight. Even though I stopped watching the TWD series of shows that of course had very little effect on it’s popularity. In fact while the main show is closing in on it’s series finale soon it has spawned 2 spinoffs series which this is one of. Fear from all accounts has almost become the preferred show for many fans. Not surprising since this show had less connection to the main show for many years and these characters you realized were just fodder for the zombie hordes. What I did watch of the early seasons of this show it was clear that they had a much better handle on what the show was compared the main TWD franchise. (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!