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.

We got some old school/new school vibes this week. Including a couple of reboots of ’80s shows. Peacock is starting to make a name for itself in a busy schedule which is a good sign for NBCUniversal as they try to become relevant again.

Having lived through The Cola Wars how are you enjoying The Streamer Wars? The latest shot is via Disney+ which this week adds Star an Adult Section. Sadly it’s not behind a beaded curtain. But that’s not all. Shall we get to it?

Sammy Younan

Monday, February 22

Sammy’s Pick of the Week

The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte hosts the Tonight Show (3am / Crave) – I never expected this to come to Canada. One of Peacock’s original programs, when they launched it all, seemed so in-house? Anyways I’m happy to report it’s here and I cannot wait to make a seriously serious tea. “For one week in February 1968, Johnny Carson gave up his chair to Harry Belafonte, the first time an African-American had hosted a late-night TV show for a whole week.” I revere Johnny Carson and his astonishing work on The Tonight Show. This week with Harry Belafonte is part of Carson’s legacy; so happy to see it acknowledged. (Sammy)

Beartown (9pm / HBO) – SERIES PREMIERE! The Swedish series launches in most major territories for HBO today. The story of a small town that has it’s entire existence wrapped up in their local hockey team. When the star player and best chance to leave and make it in the NHL gets embroiled in serious sexual assault allegations it rips the entire town apart. Townspeople take sides in the battle as the victim deals with this new reality including her own father who is the boys coach. A dramatic look into the very real world stories that have been becoming all to prominent in recent years. (Mr. Green)

Tuesday, February 23

Dealer’s Choice!! (3am / Disney+ Star) – On April 13, 2020, Disney endured a plethora of legit criticisms for their Splash “think of the children” edit. On Disney Plus they chose to CGI edit the Tom Hanks movie so when Daryl Hannah his mermaid girlfriend runs off into the ocean instead of seeing her butt they literally gave her hair extensions to cover it up. No butts about it: that was a lousy life choice and created an uneasy tension with the audience (it’s one thing for George Lucas to continually CGI tinker with Star Wars it’s another for a studio to blindly alter the vision of a creator out of a misguided morality). Well, today Disney Plus adds Star with all kinds of wonderfully Rated R movies and more. We got 4 Alien movies, Deadpool and Die Hards to TV shows like all the Marvel Hulu shows to the Orville and much more. (Even Hill Street Blues… no way that holds up!). Original programming includes Love, Victor (a Love, Simon spin-off) and Helstrom (which was cancelled on December 14, 2020.). Do these offerings make Disney Plus a Super Star Streamer? Or will it deepen their uneasy relationship with morality? (Sammy)

The American Barbeque Showdown (Anytime / Netflix) – This show came out a while ago now but if you like barbeque or just cooking in general this show is for you. After gathering some of the country’s best up and coming masters of the Q they are pitted against each other for supremacy of the fire. This one also surprised me by how fun it was to watch as no one is an asshole. You end up rooting for most of them as they win and fail in each challenge. The one thing is for sure all of the food looks amazing throughout the show. (Mr. Green)

Wednesday, February 24

Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan (3am / Netflix) – And now a mid-week trip to feudal Japan. Age of Samurai produced in part by Smithsonian Canada is an attempt to be educationally and historically accurate in depicting this violent yet honourable era in Japan’s history. Over 6 episodes a handful of actors (you’ll recognize some faces…from The Wolverine, Altered Carbon, 47 Ronin, Heroes Reborn) will play the villains and warlords attempting to become Japan’s absolute ruler. Yes: this includes Masamune Date (head of the Date Clan and aka One-Eyed Dragon!) who was the inspiration for Darth Vader’s helmet/design. While Japanese history is fascinating (and gory) a lot of our pop culture is rooted in this ancient time period. So this is an enchanting two-fer. Learn about them to learn about us. (Sammy)

Resident Alien (10pm / SyFy) – It continues to be one of my favourite shows on tv. Each episode builds on the last and gives us a character in Harry that is just so entertaining to watch. Partly because of Allan Tudyk’s skills as a performer but also the great supporting cast. Last week as Harry learned that humans crave others to help them feel like they belong and are not alone. Only to return home to discover Max and Sahar knocked out in his basement. When bags them up to move them he runs into a strange woman in his kitchen. She turns out to be Harry’s estranged wife. Uh-oh. (Mr. Green)

Thursday, February 25

Spaceship Earth (3am / Prime Video Canada) – Is it possible to have culture without a cult? Every now and then we’ll run into a documentary and go: how do people live like this? None of us fully appreciate or grasp just what’s out there and how not everyone lives and works the “exact” same way. “Spaceship Earth is the true, stranger-than-fiction, adventure of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside of a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem called BIOSPHERE 2.” Was this science or science fiction? A dream or dreamers? Only one way to find out. (Sammy)

Mr. Green’s Pick of the Week

Punky Brewster (3am / Peacock) – SERIES PREMIERE! I remember watching the original show when it came on in the ’80s I also remember watching the animated series as well. Sadly, this reboot follows the live-action tv-series and not the animated series that for some reason had a magical creature named Glomer that got stuck in Punky’s world and missed its shot to get back to his home when the rainbow disappeared. Yeah, I just wrote that. Anyway, this new show will feature an older now mom Punky trying to figure out her life while separated kinda from her husband and raising 3 kids now adding an orphan. The concept sounds a little familiar. (Mr. Green)

Friday, February 26

Irresistible (3am / Crave) – Jon Stewart’s follow up to Rosewater is pretty much what you expect from the former host of The Daily Show. “A Democratic strategist helps a retired veteran run for mayor in a small, conservative Midwest town.” It’s like a political version of Mamet’s State and Main. Americans can laugh at the political antics as well since this was added to HBO Max on February 6. (Sammy)

Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (3am / IMDbTV) – A documentary that explores the high school basketball team that is littered with famous basketball players kids. Lebron’s kid Bronny plays there along with Dwayne Wade’s son Zaire. This not a normal high school basketball team. They have famous parents but they also have those famous parents’ celebrity to deal with as the pressure mounts on them to win… again. (Mr. Green)

Saturday, February 27

John Lewis: Good Trouble (3 am / Netflix (Canada)) – The latest CNN Films documentary has magically appeared on Netflix (Canada). The 2020 documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble salutes the late Georgia congressman and lion of the civil rights movement. (If that isn’t appealing Netflix Canada has 2 other CNN Films: RBG (on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) and Apollo 11 (a sublime documentary on the Moon Landing.). All 3 docs are worth the time investment. (Sammy)

WandaVision (Anytime / Disney+) – We are down to the wire as there is only one episode left at this point. The first 8 episodes have come and gone with mysteries being unravelled and new ones popping up. The below clip is not a trailer but, instead star Paul Bettany discussing some frequently asked questions about him Esquire. It’s pretty fun to hear but also realizing where his career was when he was cast as Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Regardless watch the clip and watch the show it continues to amaze each week and now with the finale in our sights, we need to be ready for anything that might happen next. (Mr. Green)

Sunday, February 28

The Simpsons (8pm / Fox) – Did you get the memo? Milton from Office Space is gonna be the guest voice on The Simpsons. Yes, Stephen Root. This episode should be “fire.” And help prevent a case of the Mondays. (Sammy)

The Equalizer (8pm / CBS) – I’ve been watching it and enjoying what I have seen so far. As a Queen Latifah fan and a fan of the material, it’s not surprising. But the show is doing it in its own way yet keeping to the heart of the original series about McCaul helping folks who are in serious trouble in which police are incapable of handling. (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!