• Pierre Eustache

October 2020—New TV I'll be watching (Part One)


Courtesy of NBC; Disney; Netflix


The fall TV season has kicked off, and it looks a little different that what we're used to. As I've mentioned before, COVID-19 has affected the normal production schedules and styles of many shows, especially for the broadcast networks who still rely on following the fall schedule. As such, we're now seeing reality show competitions with no studio audiences (or manipulated fake ones) and an influx of easy-to-produce game shows—the latter of which I'm certainly not complaining about. (Oh, how I needed The Weakest Link last night to tickle my trivia bone.)


Still, October brings up plenty of new content to dive into (including some perfectly timed, traditional horror films and series, which I'll be covering in Part Two). This month, we see a couple of shows address the pandemic in Zoom-style fictional accounts, some new limited series that will keep us hooked, and finally, new seasons of favorites we've been yearning to come back. Let's check out some of what TV has got going on in the coming weeks:



**COVID-INFLUENCED SHOWS**


Connecting

Thursday, Oct. 8 (NBC)


Social Distance

Thursday, Oct. 15 (Netflix)


Through programs like Saturday Night Live and John Krasinki's Some Good News, we got to see the entertainment world make some real-time reactions to how the coronavirus pandemic has affected our daily lives. Now, it's time for a pair of scripted series to take their shot at portraying the new ways we've been forced to communicate. Connecting, from Martin Gero (Blindspot), take a comedic look at friends digitally keeping in touch; Social Distance, from Hilary Weisman Graham (Orange Is The New Black) is an eight-part anthology series that does the same but looks to take a more dramatic approach.





**BRAND NEW CONTENT**


Soulmates

Monday, Oct. 5 (AMC)


What if there was a simple test that could tell you, with absolute certainty, the identity of your one perfect partner in life? Well, what if they— or you—were already involved with someone else? What if that person had already passed away? These are some of the questions that this new anthology series will explore. Each of the six episodes will tell a different story and follow a new set of characters. The near-futuristic and emotionally raw tone reminds me of Black Mirror, which isn't surprising: Soulmates writer Will Bridges also co-wrote episodes for that series as well.



Siempre, Luis

Tuesday, Oct. 6 (HBO)


Thanks in large part to the runaway success of the Broadway musical Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda has risen his profile to new heights of superstardom. Now, we have a chance to get to know the person who served as his own inspiration: his father, Luis Miranda. This documentary film details the life of Luis as an immigrant from Puerto Rico who worked decades to lift up Latino communities in the US, and his attempts to help rebuild his home country in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Maria.



Next

Tuesday, Oct. 6 (FOX)


We all joke (but not really) about devices like iPhones and Amazon home speakers listening in and recording our private lives. This new series takes that concept and runs with it, in what looks to be an exciting conspiracy thriller. The amazing John Slattery, of Mad Men fame, plays a Silicon Valley innovator who sounds the alarm when the tech company he founded creates a next-level artificial intelligence that he believes is getting smarter and self-aware, putting the fate of humanity in danger.




**RETURNING FAVORITES**


Black-ish

Wednesday, Oct. 21 (ABC)


This Is Us

Tuesday, Oct. 27 (NBC)


At long last, the end of the month will see familiar and beloved characters of broadcast networks returning to our television screens. What remains to be seen is how the pandemic will affect the look and quality of those shows. Black-ish and This Is Us are two series that have never been too shy to tackle complex societal topics, and fortunately, both of them look like they will address the state of the world head on. Most importantly to me, since both series prominently feature popular Black characters, I'm intrigued to see how well they will handle the recent surge of the Black Lives Matter movement and the deaths of Black people at the hands of law enforcement.



The Mandalorian

Friday, Oct. 30 (Disney+)


This is the way—Everyone's favorite masked bounty hunter and his little pal finally return to close out this year by giving us all what we truly need: an endless supply of brand new "Baby Yoda" memes! Not much is known about the story in the new season of Jon Favreau's Emmy-winning series, but from the trailer, it appears that it will kick off with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) searching for the possible home planet to which "the Child" belongs, encountering new dangers along the way—like possibly WWE's Sasha Banks, in an undisclosed role.



What shows are you looking forward to checking out? What favorites are you excited to come back? Tell me in the comments below!

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