Massive month of new streaming shows
We are both stoked and exhausted just looking at the list of upcoming TV shows and movies premiering in October across the streaming platforms.
From tight courtroom dramas to butt-clenching horror, there is a lot to get through. Like, so, so much.
These are only the highlights while the full lists are further down. You've been warned.
The Undoing (Foxtel Now and Binge*, October 26): Any series that boasts Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant as the leads, Susanne Bier as the director and David E. Kelley as the writer is worth a little frothing. The series follows a wealthy New Yorker whose privileged life quickly unravels just as she's on the cusp of another success.
Emily in Paris (Netflix, October 2): As visually delicious as a French patisserie, Emily in Paris is a wish fulfilment series in the sense that of course its lead character - an American mid-level marketing exec on secondment in the city of lights - can have an extensive wardrobe of high fashion pieces and totter around in stilettos on those uneven Parisian streets. It's a Darren Star series (Sex and the City, Younger) so expect it to play exactly like a Darren Star series.
Brave New World (Stan, October 16): If you haven't been scarred by your year 10 English teacher banging on and on and on about Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel, this TV adaptation is an enticing prospect. Starring Alden Ehrenreich, Jessica Brown Findlay and Harry Lloyd, it takes place in a future where a person is born through reproductive technologies into a specific caste and function and where concepts such as family, monogamy and privacy are banned.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix, October 16): The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin returns to the genre in which he first made his mark, the courtroom drama. With a stacked cast including Michael Keaton, Mark Rylance, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Yayha Abdul-Mahteen, the film is based on the true story of a group of anti-Vietnam War protesters who were charged with conspiracy by the US government.
The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix, October 9): A follow-up to surprise hit The Haunting of Hill House, this next instalment is loosely based on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. The series is taking a beat from American Horror Story in that it's now an anthology with the same creative team and much of the same cast returning to tell a different story. Jeepers.
Welcome to the Blumhouse (Amazon Prime, October 6 and 13): Anyone with a passing interest in horror knows the name Jason Blum, the mega-producer who has had his hand in hits including Paranormal Activity, Invisible Man and Get Out. This new Black Mirror-style horror anthology series will debut with four films (there are four more to come later) including a story about desperate parents covering up a murder committed by their teen daughter.
The Mandalorian (Disney+, October 30): After the year that we've had, we all deserve the wholesome adorableness that is Baby Yoda, and the second season can't come soon enough. Mando and The Child continue on their space adventure to (maybe?) reunite Baby Yoda with his people, but it's bound to be a bumpy and dangerous ride.
Star Trek: Discovery (Netflix, October 16): At the end of the previous season, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the Discovery found themselves in a very different place - or should that be a very different time. After jumping well into the future - 900 years, in fact - it breaks the show free from the Star Trek universe's continuity constraints. Michelle Yeoh and Tig Notaro are back for guest spots - woo!
Chewing Gum (Foxtel Now, October 1 and Binge, October 2): If you've been enthralled by Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You and haven't seen her previous series, the irreverent Chewing Gum, now's your chance with the show returning to streaming after vanishing off Netflix a little while back. It's centred on a 24-year-old religious woman who's out to lose her virginity.
Fargo S4 (SBS On Demand, October 8): It's been a long time between seasons of Fargo - three and a half years to be exact. This instalment is set in 1950s Kansas and tracks two gangs battling for control. The cast is incredible, including Chris Rock, Ben Whishaw, Jason Schwartzman, Timothy Olyphant, Jessie Buckley and Jack Huston.
Rebecca (Netflix, October 21): It's a very gutsy move remaking Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's gothic drama about a young woman who marries a widower only to find he is still haunted by the memories of his dead wife. English director Ben Wheatley and his cast including Lily James, Armie Hammer and Kristin Scott Thomas as the suspicious Mrs Danvers is hoping he pulled it off. Are you ready to return to Manderley?
Truth Seekers (Amazon Prime, October 30): From Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, a quirky comedy about a broadband repairer who moonlights as a paranormal investigator, uploading his experiences onto a YouTube channel. As the bumps in the night become more frequent, Gus wonders if there's something bigger at play.
The Good Lord Bird (Stan, October 4): Starring Ethan Hawke and relatively unknown child actor Joshua Caleb Johnson, it's based on a 2013 book by James McBride. The story is told from the perspective of an enslaved child in the run-up to the American Civil War, during a raid that is seen as the instigator to the conflict. It also stars Daveed Diggs as Frederick Douglass. What!
The Queen's Gambit (Netflix, October 23): Look, a miniseries about chess sounds boring as hell, but since it stars the magnetic Anya Taylor-Joy as an orphaned prodigy addicted to alcohol and pills, we're thinking this has great promise. Add to that the luscious palette of 1950s glamour and now we're excited. Also stars Marielle Heller, Bill Camp, Harry Melling and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
Over the Moon (Netflix, October 23): With a voice cast that includes John Cho, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, Margaret Cho and Sandra Oh, Over the Moon looks to be a groundbreaking moment in casting diversity for an American animated film. It tells the story of a young girl named Fei Fei who builds and flies a rocket to meet the moon goddess.
On The Rocks (Apple TV+, October 2): Sofia Coppola reunites with Bill Murray, Rashida Jones and the Carlyle Hotel bar in On The Rocks, a movie about a writer and mother-of-two who confides in her father that she suspects her husband is cheating. Together, they embark on a little caviar-filled and ill-advised sleuthing.
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Condor S2 (Stan, October 31): It's been more than two years since the first season of Condor dropped in 2018 so fans have been waiting a long time to find out whether former spy Joe Turner (Max Irons) will get his revenge on the shadowy figures who killed his friends and framed him for a conspiracy.
The Right Stuff (Disney+, October 9): Set in the supercharged world of the space race and competitive astronauts, The Right Stuff is a dramatisation exploring the men and their families of the Mercury Seven missions. Under intense scrutiny and public obsession, they become instant celebrities - but not everyone can handle it. Stars Patrick J. Adams, Jake McDorman and James Lafferty.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond: (Amazon Prime Video, October 2): The second spin-off from The Walking Dead, this corner of the expanded universe is set 10 years after the apocalypse. Following four teenagers, it's the story of the first generation of survivors as they come of age in a terrifying new world. It stars Alexa Mansour, Nicolas Cantu, Hal Cumpston and Julia Ormond.
Briarpatch S1 (SBS On Demand, October 1): The hyper-talented Rosario Dawson headlines this mystery thriller about an investigator returning home to a small Texas town after his sister is killed in a car bombing. Unsurprisingly, she uncovers a wide-reaching conspiracy that extends far beyond her sister's death.
Grand Designs UK S1-4 (Binge, October 15): It remains the grande dame of design shows for a reason - being guided by Kevin McCloud through the myriad challenges of architectural ambitions is good for the soul, if not for being satisfied with your own little abode that definitely does not have floor-to-ceiling windows.
Emma (Foxtel Now and Amazon Prime, October 3): Even Jane Austen purists couldn't help but be seduced by the most recent film adaptation of Emma, a charming and beautiful love letter to the plucky, selfish and snobby heroine who learns that people are much more than first impressions. It's not Clueless but it's still pretty great.
Penance (Acorn TV, October 12): A psychological thriller with more than a hint of Oedipal Complex, it follows a family mourning the sudden death of a 20-year-old son. Into this combustible grief, a young man with a resemblance to the dead son enters their lives. And both the mother and sister start to have lusty feelings. That's, uh, intense.
Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 (Netflix, October 19): If you were sucked in by the puzzles of the revamped Unsolved Mysteries in July, then a fresh batch of six episodes will fire up the armchair detective within.
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Originally published as Massive month of new streaming shows