ON THE SMALL SCREEN
By Jenny Peters
HALLOWEEN HORRORSHUBIE HALLOWEENNetflix
October means Halloween, and this year even Adam Sandler is jumping into the horror genre, albeit with laughs mixed in. In this made-for-Netflix family movie, Sandler is a small-town busybody who makes protecting everyone on Halloween his business. When weird happenings start to envelop his hometown of Salem, Hubie turns into a hero. Julie Bowen, Kevin James, Kenan Thompson, Ray Liotta, and Maya Rudolph co-star.
THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR
The next standalone installment in Netflix’s The Haunting series based on the scary stories of Henry James is The Haunting of Bly Manor, this one set in England in the 1980s. Henry Thomas stars as the Gothic estate owner where weird and terrifying events unspool as a new nanny arrives on the scene. Also starring Victoria Pedretti, Amelie Bea Smith, and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth.
Fear rules in the new anthology series Monsterland, as every episode, thrusts characters into horrors that boggle the human mind. Based on Nathan Ballingrud’s novel North American Lake Monsters, this series is sure to send shivers, even if it isn’t Halloween night. Kaitlyn Dever, Jonathan Tucker, and Taylor Schilling star.
THE WALKING DEAD: WORLD BEYOND
While AMC retires the original The Walking Dead TV show, another iteration comes to life just in time for Halloween. In the new series, the teenage characters have all been born and raised during the zombie apocalypse; they know no other life than being hyper-aware of the threat of those flesh-eating monsters. Co-starring Annet Mahendru, Nico Torotella, and Aliyah Royale (and a host of walking, rotting corpses).
THE GOOD LORD BIRD
Take a journey into history with this limited series that explores the life of John Brown (Ethan Hawke), the man whose abolitionist activism was a key catalyst of the American Civil War. Based on the award-winning novel by James McBride and told through the eyes of a young slave (played by Joshua Caleb Johnson), this historical series reminds us that the racial tensions that remain in the USA began a very long time ago.
THE RIGHT STUFF
Revisit the race for space with this eight-episode series adapted from Tom Wolfe’s famous book about America’s first astronauts. Familiar names are featured, like John Glenn, Alan Shephard, and the other Mercury Seven astronauts who vied to become the first man in space. Produced by National Geographic, this is a fascinating, in-depth look at how the USA made it into orbit. Patrick J. Adams and Jake McDorman take the leads.
Mark Strong stars and produces this tense crime drama centering on a desperate British surgeon who opens an underground (literally) clinic in the tunnels below the London Metro. Desperate to raise cash because of a family crisis, he soon discovers that you enter a world of crime and danger when you go underground. Based on a popular Norwegian series and a hit in the U.K., Temple is sure to thrill Americans that love dark thrillers.
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant bring a top pedigree to this tale of marital betrayal that unfolds over six episodes. Add in 11-time Emmy Award winning writer-creator David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, Goliath, Ally McBeal) and co-star Donald Sutherland and this one should launch it into awards contention as soon as it hits the small screen. Adapted from Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel You Should Have Known, all six episodes are directed by Emmy winner Susanne Bier (The Night Manager).
MARQUEE MOVIES HEADING STRAIGHT TO TVON THE ROCKSApple TV+
Oscar-winning writer-director Sofia Coppola teams up once again with Bill Murray (her Lost in Translation star), to create a film that was expected to be a box-office darling this fall. It’s the comical story of a father (Murray) and daughter (Rashida Jones) who band together to figure out if her husband (Marlon Wayans) is cheating on her. Their quest takes them all over NYC in this love letter to the city and to family relationships, too.
As the Oscars for 2020 are considering films released solely via streaming services, it’s no surprise that this top-Hollywood-pedigree biopic is going straight to Amazon Prime. Emmy and Tony winner Julie Taymor helms this biopic of Gloria Steinem (based on her biographical book) that stars Oscar winners Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, and Timothy Hutton and follows Steinem’s captivating story. The story is framed via a road movie, where other key characters in this true-life tale are played by Bette Midler, Janelle Monae, Lorraine Toussaint, and Monica Sanchez.
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Oscar- and Emmy-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin certainly expected his film that revisits the fates of the seven men who so famously disrupted the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention to be the talk of the nation and a box-office winner come fall awards season. Instead, it’s another high-profile movie going straight to streaming. But never fear, this still-relevant story of the Chicago 7 that stars Oscar winners Eddie Redmayne and Mark Rylance will still be Oscar eligible in this strange year of 2020.