Best TV Shows to See in October: ‘Curb,’ Tracy Morgan and ‘The Walking Dead’
If we had to look for a theme for this month’s TV offerings, we might go with: Chaos Reigns. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend promises to devote its third season to a revenge plot; the one-man disruptive force known as Larry David resuscitates his antisocial HBO masterpiece Curb Your Enthusiasm; Fox’s new superhero show The Gifted features mutants on the run from government-sanctioned extermination; Riverdale is back with more warped Archie sex and violence; and The Walking Dead returns with both hungry “walkers” and all-out war. All this, and brand new Dynasty remake. Ignore the trick-or-treaters buzzing your doorbell and check out these 10 shows and small-screen one-offs. (For October”s best streaming options, go here.)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season 3 (CW, Oct. 13th)
You ever have one of those days where nothing goes right? You oversleep, you spill your coffee, then your fiancée abandons you at the altar and then you un-repress a bunch of painful memories – well, maybe that last part is just Rebecca Bunch. Rachel Bloom’s dysfunctional, delusional creation breaks bad in the latest season of this manic cringe-comedy musical, swearing revenge on her ex by any means necessary. The series began by slyly undermining the tired trope referred to in its title; with this grim pivot, it redefines the term entirely.
Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 9 (HBO, Oct. 1st)
Just when the people of Earth need him most, curmudgeon king Larry David has returned to us to spread truth, justice and skin-crawling social impropriety. Your favorite supporting players – J.B. Smoove’s slick-talking Leon, trusty sidekick Jeff Garlin, mercurial ex-wife Cheryl Hines – will be back to read our antihero the riot act, and the prospect of Larry let loose in a post-Trump world, however, is practically guaranteed comic gold (God have mercy on the first alt-right type to have the misfortune of crossing Larry’s path). The man is back. Life is pretty, pretty, pret-tay good.
Dynasty (CW, Oct. 11th)
Blood may be thicker than water, but oil’s a hell of a lot thicker than blood. (It’s science, look it up.) In this remake of the iconic 1980s primetime soap, black gold fuels the feud between two old-money drilling families grappling for supremacy over the Texan market. The new version of the Carringtons and the Colbys follow the sexy ‘n’ scandalous Gossip Girl mold: incomprehensibly rich people dispense snappy bon mots while occasionally sleeping with one another and leaving much drama in their wake. It’s the ultimate in wealth-porn escapism, transporting viewers to a world where a gal can mount her hunky limo driver in the spare moments after stepping off the private jet. Just pray to your respective deities that there’s a fountain-based catfight in our future.
Ghosted (Fox, Oct. 1st)
Former Party Down/Parks and Recreation star Adam Scott shares top billing with The Office‘s Craig Robinson in this supernatural sitcom about a skeptical ex-LAPD officer and a look-to-the-skies bookstore clerk assigned to investigate incidents beyond the realm of normalcy. What follows will hopefully be more Men in Black than RIPD, livening up the usual buddy comedy with a layer of ectoplasmic slime. Though we’ve got confirmation that no talking pugs will be in the mix, expect some lovable aliens all the same. Welcome to the new paranormal.
The Gifted (Fox, Oct. 2nd)
If you happen to own the rights to Marvel’s X-Men I.P., would you a) sit on the property until the next big-screen blockbuster or b) develop a TV series that mines supporting characters for the off-season? Three guesses, and your first two don’t count. Fox’s new superhero show revolves your average American family (led by True Blood‘s Stephen Moyer and Angel‘s Amy Acker), right up until their teenage children simultaneously manifest mutant superpowers. At which point, the whole clan goes on the lam and end up falling in with a miniature colony of underground Homo superiors, including magnetic mistress Polaris (Emma Dumont), Apache strongman Thunderbird (Blair Redford), and teleporting trickster Blink (Jamie Chung). It’s like they always say: the family that reckons with their biological abnormalities together stays together.
The Last O.G. (TBS, Oct. 24th)
Welcome back, Tracy Morgan! The 30 Rock MVP and stand-up comic returns to TV with this comedy (co-created by 2017’s Man of the Year Jordan Peele) about a convict getting out of the clink after a 15-year bid. He returns to his old Brooklyn stomping grounds to pick up where he left off, only to find out that his friends have moved on, his old girlfriend (2017’s Woman of the Year Tiffany Haddish) has married a white guy, she’s raising twin sons he didn’t even know he had – and hey, when the hell did that hipster artisanal soap shop open up? Cedric the Entertainer is also around to provide second-banana back-up jokes; given the amount of heavy-hitting comic talent on display here, this may be the one sitcom this season that we love so much we wanna take it out back and get it pregnant.
Riverdale, Season 2 (CW, Oct. 11th)
Last year’s buzz breakout par excellence, the program alternately known as Hot Archie Who Fucks returns for its sophomore season with an urge to get darker, twist-ier and steamier. We rejoin our redheaded uberjock and pals Jughead, Betty, Veronica, et al. in the wake of the shooting that left Archie’s dad in a coma and the series on a cliffhanger. There’s a lethal new mystery afoot, and swirling rumors have also suggested that our man’s relationship with the love triangle’s brunette will heat up. Also, one character may come out as bisexual and we’ll get another appearance from bob-wigged fan favorite Dark Betty. See you all at Pop’s for a burger, a shake, some hot-and-heavy love scenes and small-town shenanigans.
Spielberg (HBO, Oct. 7th)
Steven Spielberg has a trophy case the size of a small village and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom back when it still meant something. But he’ll now get the highest honor of all – a glossy HBO documentary chronicling his life, from the early years sneaking on to studio sets to permanently scaring everyone of sharks to his meteoric rise into the uppermost echelons of Hollywood. Regular American Masters director Susan Lacy handles this thorough biography, mining new anecdotes about Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Schindler’s List from her extensive sit-downs with the man himself. It’s everything you wanted to know about the man virtually invented the modern blockbuster but were afraid to ask.
The Walking Dead, Season 8 (AMC, Oct. 22nd)
The dead continue walking in the eighth year of this indestructible horror hit, and for many fans, this is the season they’ve been waiting for: the all-out war between our man Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), his allies and the diabolical clan of hostile survivors led by the violent Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). We expect thrills, chills, the spilling of guts and, hopefully, some answers to other lingering questions: Will everyone’s favorite man-with-the-plan-and-themullet Eugene switch back to the good guys? Will the unresolved sexual tension between Carol and Daryl finally get some sweet, sweet resolution? Who will we inevitably lose from the cast this go-round? And how does everyone’s hair stay so healthy and lustrous in a post-conditioner landscape?
White Famous (Showtime, Oct. 15th)
Jamie Foxx produces this caricatured account of his own rise to stardom, in addition to portraying a fictionalized version of his present-day self, i.e. an eccentric with a penchant for wearing cheerleader skirts. His fictional counterpart – named Floyd Mooney – is played by SNL grad Jay Pharaoh as a hungry kid balancing his street bona fides with dreams of showbiz success. When acting while black, every choice is charged with meaning; taking a gig in drag could be a big break personally, but it might also be a step backwards for the community. It’s one man’s struggle to keep it the realest of real.