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Ten New and Returning Shows to Watch on Netflix in October 2021

Jake Gyllenhaal’s crime thriller, You returns, and On My Block comes to an end this month.
  • Photos: Netflix
    Photos: Netflix

    October is traditionally spooky season on TV, but Netflix is offering a mix of new shows and movies to cater to all tastes this month. Among the most anticipated returning shows are the creepy You and the charming The Baby-Sitters Club, while an IRL mother-daughter pair star in a new gritty drama, Jake Gyllenhaal is here to (maybe) save the day, and sports goes true-crime in a new docuseries. Here are the new releases and returning series we're most looking forward to seeing on Netflix this October:

    Maid (NEW series)

    Margaret Qualley has racked up roles in The Leftovers, Fosse/Verdon, and Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, but Maid marks the first time she's starring opposite her real-life mother, Andie MacDowell. Qualley plays Alex, a young single mother who flees an abusive relationship and gets a minimum wage job cleaning houses in a bid to provide a home (and a better life) for her daughter. Inspired by Stephanie Land’s best-selling memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, the new ten-episode limited series is being billed as an examination of poverty in America, generational trauma, and how the cycle keeps on spinning.

    Available October 1

    The Guilty (NEW film)

    Taking a critically acclaimed Danish crime thriller of the same name and plugging Jake Gyllenhaal into the lead role seems like a surefire way to get Netflix subscribers to hit play. Gyllenhaal stars as LAPD officer Joe Baylor who is relegated to emergency operator duty after an incident at work. Taking place over a single morning in a 911 dispatch call center, Baylor is drawn into a troubling situation when a caller claims that they've been kidnapped. Nothing is as it seems in this taut 89-minute movie directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) with a screenplay by True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto.

    Available October 1

    On My Block, Season 4

    The final season of On My Block picks up two years after the events of Season 3, and a lot has changed for the high schoolers navigating friendships, family, love, and trouble in the fictional Southern California city of Freeridge. As Season 4 begins, the squad has gone their separate ways but are reunited when a old secret bubbles to the surface.

    Available October 4

    Bad Sport Volume 1 (NEW series)

    From the Producers of Don't F**k with Cats comes this new docuseries combining sports and true-crime as it explores six controversial stories, including the marijuana-smuggling operation of Indy car driver Randy Lanier, an enormous match-fixing scandal in Italian soccer, and a horse hitman at the heart of an insurance scam.

    Available October 6

    Pretty Smart (NEW series)

    Netflix is getting into the hangout sitcom business with this new series from the writers of Crazy Ex-Girlffriend and How I Met Your Mother. Suffering from a broken heart, Harvard-educated Chelsea (Emily Osment) moves in with her carefree sister Claire (Olivia Macklin) and her gaggle of less-than scholarly friends. Chelsea’s snobbery may initially put her at odds with her new roomates, but she'll soon come to appreciate her newfound family.

    Available October 8

    The Baby-Sitters Club, Season 2

    “More love is always a happy thing,” Elizabeth Thomas-Brewer (Alicia Silverstone) astutely observes in the second season of The Baby-Sitters Club. New living arrangements and newcomers joining the babysitting business mean big changes for the Stoneybrook friends. Navigating romance, new opportunities, and another school year will test the expanding group, but they can always count on each other. The first season was critically lauded for its mix of charm, empowerment, and humor.

    Available October 11

    You, Season 3

    Parenthood and marriage are not enough to stop Joe (Penn Badgley) and Love (Victoria Pedretti) from falling into old habits. Moving to a Northern California suburb brings a new list of people to be envious of, and Love’s lethal impulses are quick to resurface. New neighbors and friends include Joe's new obsession Natalie (Michaela McManus), mom-fluencer Sherry (Shalita Grant), librarian Marienne (Tati Gabrielle), and former Felicity star Scott Speedman as a successful and mysterious CEO. How many of these people will end up in the cage (or worse)?

    Available October 15

    Locke & Key, Season 2

    It has been more than 18 months since Season 1 of Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill’s adaptation of the Locke & Key graphic novel landed on Netflix. The three Locke siblings had to contend with the murder of their father and the new world that was opened up to them when they moved to their ancestral Keyhouse residence. Season 2 is set to see American Vandal's Griffin Gluck going down a very dark road, and the Locke siblings tasked with stopping the identity-shifting villain.

    Available October 22

    Colin in Black and White (NEW series)

    Colin in Black and White tells the story of Colin Kaepernick as a docudrama, with the real Kaepernick guiding the audience as the present-day narrator and Jaden Michael portraying his younger self. The quarterback co-created the limited series with Ava DuVernay (who also directs), chronicling his coming of age and the obstacles of race, class, and cultures hes faced along the way. Mary-Louise Parker and Nick Offerman play the star cultural icon's adoptive parents..

    Available October 29

    Army of Thieves (NEW film)

    Blending the heist flick with romance and comedy, this Army of the Dead prequel is set six years earlier, as small-town bank teller Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer) is recruited by a mysterious woman named Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel) to join a misfit crew of Interpol’s most wanted criminals.

    Available October 29

    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, The Baby-Sitters Club, Bad Sport, Colin in Black & White, Locke & Key, Maid, On My Block, Pretty Smart, You (Netflix series), Jake Gyllenhaal