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Your Weekly Watch List

The Fall of the House of Usher and Goosebumps Deliver Spooky Frights

Plus: Frasier returns, Brie Larson teaches Lessons in Chemistry on Apple TV+, and more.
  • Carla Gugino in The Fall of the House of Usher; Justin Long in Goosebumps. (Photos: Eike Schroter/Netflix; Disney/David Astorga)
    Carla Gugino in The Fall of the House of Usher; Justin Long in Goosebumps. (Photos: Eike Schroter/Netflix; Disney/David Astorga)

    Looking for your next binge-watch, or just need to fill an hour? Welcome to Your Weekly Watch List, our curated collection of the best shows on television. Here's what to watch from Sunday, October 8 through Saturday, October 14.

    What better way to celebrate Friday the 13th than with a host of creepy TV shows? This week, Netflix gets into the Halloween spirit with Mike Flanagan's The Fall of the House of Usher, while Disney+ and Hulu jump-start their festivities with a new Goosebumps adaptation. For viewers looking for treats, not tricks, the Frasier revival offers up a dose of nostalgia, Lessons in Chemistry delivers 1950s romance, and more.

    The Fall of the House of Usher

    Thursday, Netflix (Full Season)
    *Our must-watch pick of the week*

    Edgar Allan Poe's gothic horror meets Succession in The Fall of the House of Usher, Mike Flanagan's final project for Netflix. An amalgamation of Poe's various works — including his 1839 short story of the same name, "The Raven," and "The Premature Burial" — the eight-episode drama centers on wildly successful siblings Roderick (Bruce Greenwood) and Madeline Usher (Mary McDonnell), who spent decades turning their pharmaceutical company into an empire. (2023 really is the year of the Sackler stand-ins.) Roderick and Madeline aren't ready to hand over the keys to Fortunato Pharmaceuticals quite yet, but that hasn't stopped Roderick's adult children (played by Flanagan favorites Samantha Sloyan, T'Nia Miller, Rahul Koli, Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas, and Sauriyan Sapkota) from jockeying for position as the heir apparent.

    However, their quest for power soon turns deadly when the Usher children begin dying off, one by one. Their deaths are ruled "accidents" or "tragedies," but Roderick knows better: He believes his children are being targeted by a mysterious woman from his and Madeline's past, a shape-shifting demon known as Verna (Carla Gugino). It's through Gugino's character, who was created specifically for the show, that The Fall of the House of Usher becomes distinctly Flanagan-esque as the supernatural seeps into family drama. The result is a bone-chilling series complete with plenty of jump scares, hauntings, and dark secrets waiting to be exposed.


    Thursday, Paramount+

    Nearly 20 years after Dr. Frasier Crane signed off the air, Kelsey Grammer's fussy psychiatrist is back — and more uptight than ever. In the long-awaited revival, Frasier returns to Boston to be closer to his son Freddy (Jack Cutmore-Scott), now an adult. Freddy is reluctant to spend quality time with his snobby father, but Frasier refuses to take "no" for an answer: He gets a job at a university, finds a new apartment, and, much to Freddy's chagrin, inserts himself into his son's dating life.

    While Frasier 2.0 does not feature some of the show's original stars, David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves, the reboot carries on the vibrant spirit of its predecessors. Even in a new era of television and surrounded by new friends and sparring partners (played by Nicholas Lyndhurst and Toks Olagundoye), the sitcom remains a solid hangout show unafraid to poke fun at its lead character's biases. And if Frasier's continued effort to fit in with the hoi polloi doesn't quite hit the same decades later, all 11 seasons of the original comedy are also available to stream on Paramount+. (Or check out Our Frasier Remake, an animated recreation of the Season 1 finale.)

    House of Villains

    Thursday, 10:00 PM ET on E!, Bravo, USA, and Syfy

    The Primetimer staff knows a thing or two about reality TV villains, so trust us when we say House of Villains is worth watching. Hosted by Joel McHale, the new series sees 10 infamous antagonists — including Vanderpump Rules' Jax Taylor, Survivor alum Jonny Fairplay, and opportunist-in-chief Omarosa Manigault Newman — compete for $200,000 and the title of "America's Ultimate Supervillain." Along the way, they participate in various physical and mental challenges that put their scheming and alliance-making (and breaking) abilities to the test; later, those same pacts are destroyed as the villains attempt to outmaneuver each other ahead of contentious elimination ceremonies.

    On its face, House of Villains seems like a straightforward all-stars season (if those all-stars were some of the most loathed people on TV), but the more meta aspect of the game separates it from its counterparts. The contestants speak openly about "the rules of reality TV," their different on-set experiences, and feeling misrepresented by their respective shows, giving the competition a raw edge that's not often seen in a heavily-produced genre. And though the challenges themselves are fairly silly, the tension between these narcissistic cast members, particularly Omarosa and Bachelor Nation's Corinne Olympios, makes for delicious television.

    Lessons in Chemistry

    Friday, Apple TV+

    The scientific method gets a glow-up in Lee Eisenberg's adaptation of Bonnie Garmus' novel. Brie Larson stars as Elizabeth Zott, a chemist grappling with her place in the misogynistic scientific community of the 1950s (and the world at large). Zott is routinely undervalued and dismissed by her male colleagues, but when her talents catch the eye of fellow genius Calvin Evans (Lewis Pullman), the two begin a fruitful professional partnership that quickly blossoms into something more. Years later, Elizabeth finds herself alone due to an unforeseen tragedy, and she's left with no choice but to accept a job hosting a TV cooking show, a responsibility she approaches with a commitment to science, fairness, and respect for the overlooked housewives watching every afternoon.

    Lessons in Chemistry isn't subtle about its feminist message, but Larson, adopting the dry humor and endearing naivete of Garmus' character, makes for a compelling lead. She and Pullman also share a sweet, nerdy chemistry — for lack of a better term — that carries early episodes and continues to be felt even after Elizabeth sets out on her own. The far-reaching impact of their romance makes the limited series feel like a special treat, one that will be served up every Friday through Thanksgiving weekend.


    Friday, Disney+ and Hulu

    Though the source material may be aimed at children, Disney+ and Hulu's take on Goosebumps isn't for the faint of heart. In 1993, a teenager named Harold Biddle (Ben Cockell) died under mysterious circumstances in his basement; 30 years later, his spirit returns with a vengeance and possesses the body of the home's new owner, Nathan Bratt (Justin Long). As the malevolent entity wreaks havoc upon the town's high schoolers, the teens begin looking into Harold's death, and their investigation unearths difficult truths about their parents' past.

    R.L. Stine's stories are creepy enough as written, but Disney ups the fear factor with well-executed digital effects and a thumping soundtrack that likely came at a steep price. It helps that Long and Rachael Harris (Lucifer), who plays a mother with secrets of her own, are familiar with darker material and set the tone for the blend of horror and comedy that unfolds across the season. The first five episodes of the live-action Goosebumps drop in one batch on Friday, followed by new episodes every week. In a show of Disney synergy, the first two episodes will also air as part of Freeform's 31 Nights of Halloween spectacular on Friday at 9:00 PM ET.

    If You Have...

    An Hour

    Archer Series Finale: Wednesday, 10:00 PM ET on FXX
    The Changeling Finale: Friday, Apple TV+
    Love Is Blind Season 5 Finale: Friday, Netflix
    Shining Vale Season 2 Premiere: Friday, 9:00 PM ET on Starz

    An Evening

    90 Day Fiancé Season 10 Premiere: Sunday, 8:00 PM ET on TLC and Max
    The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial: Sunday, 9:00 PM ET on Showtime
    Messi Meets America Part 1: Wednesday, Apple TV+
    Murdaugh Murders: The Movie Part 1: Saturday, 8:00 PM ET on Lifetime
    Saturday Night Live Season 49 Premiere: Pete Davidson, Ice Spice: 11:30 PM ET on NBC

    A Full Day

    Moonlighting Seasons 1–5: Tuesday, Hulu
    Painkiller: The Tylenol Murders: Tuesday, Paramount+
    Big Vape: The Rise and Fall of Juul: Wednesday, Netflix
    John Carpenter's Suburban Screams: Friday, Peacock
    Everybody Loves Diamonds: Friday, Prime Video

    Up Next

    Rick and Morty Season 7: Sunday, October 15 on Adult Swim
    American Horror Story: Delicate Part 1 Finale: Wednesday, October 18 on FX
    Neon: Thursday, October 19 on Netflix
    Big Mouth Season 7: Friday, October 20 on Netflix

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: The Fall of the House of Usher, Frasier, Goosebumps, House of Villains, Lessons in Chemistry