Features

Ten New and Returning Shows to Watch on Netflix in October 2020

A new Haunting story, Parisian adventures, and a coming-of-age chess drama headline Netflix’s October haul.
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor, Emily in Paris and The Queen's Gambit. (Photos: Netflix)
    The Haunting of Bly Manor, Emily in Paris and The Queen's Gambit. (Photos: Netflix)

    The spooky season is upon us, and Netflix has us covered, with plenty of scary options to liven up our stay-at-home Halloween plans. New and returning shows include the much-anticipated follow-up to The Haunting of Hill House, an new anthology series that takes inspiration from our current real-life horror show, and a new batch of Unsolved Mysteries that'll leave you sleeping with the lights on.

    Here are the new releases we're most looking forward to this October:

    Emily in Paris (NEW series)

    Sex and the City and Younger creator Darren Star is ditching his signature New York City setting for the bright lights of Paris, following the titular Emily (Lily Collins) as she scores her dream job in the French capital. This half-hour series has a throwback vibe that might appeal to the escapist viewer, but as Carrie Bradshaw discovered, the fashion capital of the world isn’t as easy to navigate as one might expect. Cue romantic drama with several cute guys, career highs (and lows), and sartorial thrills in this workplace adventure.
    Available October 2

    Song Exploder (NEW series)

    Have you ever wondered how a song like REM’s “Losing My Religion” came to be? Or perhaps you'd like to know more about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton writing process. Based on the hit podcast of the same name, host Hrishikesh Hirway sits down with the artists themselves to discuss their defining tracks. Alicia Keys is on hand to break down “3 Hour Drive” and Ty Dolla $ign will chat about the opening track “LA” from his album Free TC. In-depth interviews, archival footage, and raw-recordings will bring fans deeper into their favorite songs.
    Available October 2

    The Haunting of Bly Manor (NEW series)

    The Haunting anthology swaps Shirley Jackson for Henry James as the source material for its follow-up season, with showrunner Mike Flanagan taking a mixtape approach to the choice of ghost stories. Primarily using James' late 19th century novella The Turn of the Screw — which has been adapted numerous times, most recently in the film The Turning this past January — he's also drawing on James’ spooky short stories, The Romance of Certain Old Clothes and The Jolly Corner, in this now 1980s-set horror. The ensemble includes Hill House's breakout star Victoria Pedretti taking on the lead nanny role, which thrusts her into the heart of the creepy English manor setting.
    Available October 9

    Deaf U (NEW series)

    Joining Netflix's impressive reality line-up is Deaf U, a coming-of-age docuseries boasting the involvement of executive producer Nyle DiMarco (America’s Next Top Model's first deaf winner). The show is filmed at Gallaudet University, the renowned Washington D.C. private college for the deaf and hard of hearing, which is also DiMarco’s alma mater. Following a tight-knit group of friends, the series offers an unfiltered look at life inside an institution that attracts students from across the country.
    Available October 9

    Social Distance (NEW series)

    It was only a matter of time before Netflix started releasing shows inspired by life in the pandemic. Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan delivers an eight-part anthology series starring a host of familiar faces. Whether audiences want to relive something we are still experiencing remains to ber seen, but the creative talent behind this endeavor — including Danielle Brooks, Mike Colter, Asante Blackk, and low-key power couple Dylan and Becky Ann Baker — is certainly compelling, as are the logistics behind shooting a series in lockdown.
    Available October 15

    La Révolution (NEW series)

    An alternate history horror story about the French Revolution, La Révolution is told from the perspective of Joseph Guillotin — inventor of the storied tool of decapitation — who witnesses a mysterious disease plaguing the aristocracy. Rather than telling people to eat cake, these symptoms cause an uncontrollable desire to commit murder while still enjoying the decadent fashion of the period. Literal blue blood signifies infection in this look at 18th-century opulence.
    Available October 16

    Someone Has to Die (Alguien tiene que morir) (NEW series)

    Serving up a strong Knives Out aesthetic, this three-part thriller stars many of the horny murder teens from Elite. Set in 1950s Spain, the Franco regime dictates how the conservative family at the center of this story behaves. When a young man is called home from Mexico to meet the woman his family wants him to marry, they are surprised when he brings a male ballet dancer as his companion. From the creator of hit Mexican telenovela La Casa de las Flores (The House of Flowers) this is director Manolo Caro’s first foray into thriller territory.
    Available October 16

    Unsolved Mysteries — Volume 2

    Sticking with the same presenterless format of its popular first volume, Unsolved Mysteries returns with six more unsolved true crime and supernatural cases, including at least one well-timed ghost story.
    Available October 19

    The Queen’s Gambit, (NEW series)

    Taking on the male-dominated world of competitive chess and drug addiction, Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Beth Harmon in the limited series based on Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name. Beginning in the late 1950s, Beth is abandoned at a Kentucky orphanage, where she develops a prodigious talent for chess. Thanks to the state supplying tranquilizers as a sedative to children, she also develops a narcotics dependency in the series created by Oscar-nominated writer Scott Frank. The cast also includes director Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me) in a rare acting role.
    Available October 23

    Barbarians (NEW series)

    The new epic drama tells the untold story of the bloody Teutoburg Forest conflict in 9 A.D., when Germanic warriors faced the dominant soldiers of the Roman Empire. Seen as a pivotal turning point, and featuring a great act of deception, the series follows three interconnected lives. Vikings' Steve Saint Leger directs alongside Barbara Eder. David Schütter (Charlie’s Angels) stars as the impressively named Folkwin Wolfspeer.
    Available October 23

    Emma Fraser has wanted to write about TV since she first watched My So-Called Life in the mid-90s, finally getting her wish over a decade later. Follow her on Twitter at @frazbelina

    TOPICS: Netflix, Barbarians, Deaf U, Emily in Paris, The Haunting of Bly Manor , La Revolution, The Queen's Gambit, Social Distance, Someone Has to Die, Song Exploder, Unsolved Mysteries