Fears of running out of television shows have been decidedly quashed over the last few months, as streaming platforms have continued to roll out new and exciting content. This is in spite of the fact that television and film productions have resumed haltingly, and it seems as though we’re quite a long way off from being back to regularly-scheduled programming.
That said, though Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+ have all taken a step back to reassess their schedules, they’re still intent on supplying audiences with staggered original content alongside classic movies and back catalogue series. Despite the ongoing crisis, most of them have informally committed to dropping a new show or two monthly, and the month of October is no different.
Thanks to a long production pipeline, the trials of writing, filming, and editing a television series means that there’s still plenty of content in the streaming giants’ unreleased libraries to sustain us for a long time yet. Though many of the projects releasing this month were initially supposed to drop in the first half of the year, many of them had wrapped and were well into the lengthy post-production process prior to the pandemic.
As life gradually resumes, it may be harder to find more than a few hours every week to devote to trying new shows. Even with original series being released at a fraction of the usual pace, there’s still too many titles to possibly see them all. However, the cream will rise to the top—and, based on our fall TV preview, we have predictions as to which shows you should stream rather than skip. If you only have time to watch one or two new series this month, make it some of these picks below.
1 / 5
Here’s a curveball: from the writer of Gone Girl and Sharp Objects comes an arresting thriller about an obsessive group of comic book fans, who slowly come to realize that the malevolent hidden meanings in their favourite work of fiction, a cult graphic novel, are all too real. Starring John Cusack, Rainn Wilson, Sasha Lane, and an ensemble cast, this American reboot of a 2013 UK series is helmed by aforementioned novelist Gillian Flynn, who will act as executive producer and showrunner. A medical conspiracy drama and darkly satirical take on fandom alike, Utopia promises to make for your next binge favourite.
Amazon Prime; available from 25 September
2 / 5
Emily in Paris
Brought to you by the creator of Sex and the City, Darren Starr, and the costume designer from The Devil Wears Prada, Patricia Field, this new series has already generated serious buzz. Hailed as the next great fashion show, Emily in Paris sees Lily Collins as the titular Emily, who moves to Paris from Chicago after landing her dream job. Awash in adventure and romance, the series was shot on-location in Paris, and it shows in the dreamy aesthetics of the production design. Expect bold prints, unusual designer pairings, and plenty of peacoats. Originally meant to launch on the Paramount Network in April 2019, Netflix scooped it up and is set to release it just in time for all of us to start dreaming about international travel again.
Netflix; available from 2 October
3 / 5
Narrated by Paul Rudd, Tiny World takes a unique perspective on the natural world, exploring the ingenuity and resilience of the smallest animals on the planet. Brand new camera technology allows audiences, for the very first time, to see the world through the eyes of the tiniest creatures and witness the extraordinary things they do to survive. Featuring ingenious cinematography and fascinating stories, Tiny World is produced by Plimsoll Productions, and written and executive produced by Tom Hugh Jones.
Apple TV+; available from 2 October
4 / 5
The Haunting of Bly Manor
Just in time for Halloween comes the highly-anticipated follow-up to runaway hit The Haunting of Hill House. Leaving the Crain family of the first season behind, creator Mike Flanagan has again turned to another work of classic horror fiction as inspiration for the second season; this time, it’s Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. It will feature nods and easter eggs not only to James’ other works, like The Jolly Corner and The Romance of Certain Old Clothes, but also to the first season of the show. Much like other anthology series, The Haunting of Bly Manor will reuse a handful of key actors from the first season in new roles, including Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, and Catherine Parker. Superfans of the first season will be delighted by Flanagan’s announcement that the production team intend to continue their series staple of inserting multiple hidden ghosts in every episode.
Netflix; available from 9 October
5 / 5
The Queen's Gambit
Anna Taylor-Joy stars as Beth Harmon, an orphan who discovers a preternatural talent for chess. A miniseries set in the 1950s and based on the novel of the same name, The Queen’s Gambit explores Beth’s personal demons as she pursues the highest levels of achievement in a male-dominated field. She transforms into the glamourous outcast of the professional chess circuit, but battles a debilitating addiction to the tranquilizers provided to orphanages by the state. Godless showrunner Scott Frank returns to the small screen to write and direct this tale of the true cost of genius.
Netflix; available from 23 October