Eight TV shows to watch this October
(Image credit: John P Johnson/HBO)
Succession is back, Colin Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay have teamed up, and Insecure comes to a close – Amy Charles lists this month’s unmissable TV.
(Credit: David Russell/ HBO)
Money, sex and power struggles return to the small screen this October with season three of Succession. Waystar Royco, the conglomerate owned by the Roy family, is in disarray after Kendall (Jeremy Strong) went against his family’s wishes in a blistering press conference on the cruise ship scandal. In the trailer, Kendall is heard saying “I dropped a bomb. The whole world is watching for my next move”. Where will one of TV’s best recent dramas take the family next, with its aging patriarch, adult offspring vying for the throne while fighting amongst themselves, and cousins, board members and competitors all putting spanners in the work? In an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine, Matthew Macfadyen, who plays the oleaginous Tom Wambsgans, husband of Roy daughter Shiv, said “The axe is hanging over a lot of their heads”. Whatever’s next, it’s bound to be juicy.
Succession season three premieres on 17 October on HBO Max in the US, and on 18 October on Sky Atlantic/Now in the UK.
(Credit: Ricardo Hubbs/ Netflix)
When Alex (Margaret Qualley) leaves her abusive partner to start a new life with her young daughter, she turns to housecleaning to make ends meet. Inspired by Stephanie Land’s bestselling memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, this drama chronicles Alex’s quest to provide for her child while facing homelessness, battling for custody and working long, hard hours for very little money. It’s created by Molly Smith Metzler, who wrote for Orange is the New Black, Casual and the US adaptation of Shameless, while, alongside a star turn from rising star Qualley, the supporting cast includes Qualley’s mum Andie MacDowell, Billy Burke and Anika Noni Rose. Watch the trailer here.
Maid is released on 1 October 2021 on Netflix.
(Credit: Ser Baffo/ Netflix)
Colin in Black and White
NFL quarterback turned activist Colin Kaepernick tells his own story in this new limited series dramatising his early life. Co-created with Ava DuVernay (When They See Us, Selma), it sees Kaepernick narrate his life as a youngster, before he became a celebrated American football player, who was later recognised internationally for his civil rights activism, when he protested police brutality by taking the knee during the US national anthem before games while playing for the San Francisco 49ers. In the teaser trailer, Kaepernick says: “When we’re young, we’re told that the world is ours. That we should figure out our path and take our shot. Then one day, we realise that the game we’re playing is someone else’s”. Jaden Michael is young Colin, and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, Fargo) and Mary-Louise Parker (The West Wing, Weeds) play his adoptive parents, in this intimate exploration of an icon’s beginnings.
Colin in Black and White is released on 29 October 2021 on Netflix.
(Credit: BBC/ Red Productions/ Ben Blackall)
Based on the novel of the same name by Jo Bloom, this new British period drama from the BBC and PBS Masterpiece shines a light on how in 1960s London, against a backdrop of rising fascism and anti-Semitism, a collection of Jewish men and women known as the 62 group began fighting back. The protagonist of Bloom’s story, adapted by actress-writer Sarah Solemani, is Vivien (Aggi O’Casey), a young Jewish hairdresser who leaves behind her comfortable life in Manchester for the capital after she falls in love with a member of the group; when he is badly injured, she then infiltrates a prominent Neo-Nazi organisation and herself must face very real threats. Watch the trailer here.
Ridley Road premieres on 3 October on BBC One in the UK.
(Credit: Antony Platt/ Hulu)
This new drama series explores the opioid epidemic still raging in the US, with overdose deaths reaching record highs in 2020. Based on the investigative book of the same name by journalist Beth Macy, Dopesick focuses on how one pharmaceutical company changed the course of millions of lives in the US, tracing a line from the decisions made in boardrooms to doctor’s offices and street corners. The Guardian wrote that the stories in the book “attest to the unprecedented scale and devastating effect of America’s ongoing opioid epidemic on middle-class as well as poor rural communities… [and] is an in-depth exposure of corporate greed and regulatory failure”. Danny Strong (Empire, Proven Innocent) adapted the book for the screen, Barry Levinson (Rain Man) is director, and Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Will Poulter, Kaitlyn Denver, Rosario Dawson and Phillipa Soo are among the all-star cast. Watch the trailer here.
Dopesick premieres on 13 October on Hulu in the US and 12 November on Disney+ in the UK and Ireland.
This large-scale sci-fi series tells the story of an alien invasion of Earth from different perspectives across multiple continents. In the trailer, we see children suffering nosebleeds, power going out and multi-car pile-ups as the aliens coordinate their attack. Written and executive produced by Simon Kinberg (The Twilight Zone, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and David Weil (Hunters), its multi-national stars include Shamier Anderson, Golshifteh Farahani, Sam Neill, Firas Nassar and Shioli Kutsuna. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Anderson said he spent “some time sleeping in the deserts of Morocco to really get into the mind [of his character]” to prepare, and with a reported $200 million budget, Apple TV+ will be betting on this show to help cement their status in the streaming universe.
The first three episodes of Invasion are released on 22 October on Apple TV+, with the rest of the series released weekly thereafter.
(Credit: John P Johnson/HBO)
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Larry David’s seminal semi-autobiographical comedy returns for its eleventh season this October. Very little information about this series has been released, other than its return, but guest actor Richard Lewis will be back for one episode, after previously ruling himself out due to ongoing health problems. In 2020, showrunner Jeff Schaffer told Indiewire that season 11 will include pandemic storylines, “but not exactly the way you’d expect?”. But, given the fictional David’s predilection for hand sanitiser, and attempts to social-distance from people, he could adjust well to pandemic life.
Season 11 of Curb Your Enthusiasm premieres on 24 October on HBO.
(Credit: Merie Wallace/ HBO)
In the trailer for the upcoming fifth and final season of Issa Rae’s Insecure, she declares she “just wants to be drama-free and happy” – but what does that mean for her long-term relationships? In season four, Issa and long-term best friend Molly’s relationship was seriously rocky, and just when things were finally looking up for her and Lawrence, a major twist put a spanner in the works. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Rae confirmed that Covid won’t feature in the last season of Insecure, and instead she is keeping it in her so-called “fantasy world”. As this ground-breaking comedy-drama wraps up, it’s certainly made a star of its creator, who will surely go on to even bigger things.
Season five of Insecure premieres on 24 October on HBO Max.
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