The spookiest month of the year gets its due on TV this month, even though House of the Dragon will likely still rule TV until its season finale. Whereas August and September were largely about epic fantasy on TV, though, October will bring us all of the vampires and zombies that one can desire on TV. As well, there are serial killers and ghosts, along with plenty of other supernatural influences, but if you’re not looking to be scared, then there are other options that will work for you.
Charlie Hunnam stars in a new odyssey-fueled series coming to Apple TV+, and Jennifer Coolidge returns as a boozy socialite in a social satire that became a surprise hit last year on HBO. And Netflix’s Big Mouth also returns for more adult-animated goodness, so you’ll have an assortment of different options to choose from before we officially head into holiday season. Here are the must-see shows for October.
The Walking Dead: Season 11B (AMC series streaming on AMC+ 10/2)
This O.G. AMC zombie-universe series is coming to a close after this batch of episodes, and after that happens, Maggie and Megan are apparently getting their own show, and Daryl Dixon will head into his spinoff, which happens to be in France or something. How will he travel across the pond to Europe, exactly? No one knows or, at least, no one is telling. He’s a bike rider out of water, and he’ll have to work on reinvention to survive, apparently. Daryl and Dog in berets, make it happen.
Interview With the Vampire: Season 1 (AMC series streaming on AMC+ 10/2)
You’ve surely seen the 1990s movie starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Kirsten Dunst, and now, Anne Rice’s most popular gothic novel gets the small-screen adaptation. As the title suggests, Louis (Jacob Anderson of Game of Thrones) gives an interview to a journalist (Eric Bogosian), whose life will never be the same again. The same went for Louis once he encountered Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid), and then Claudia (Bailey Bass) rounded out their family. This series puts the added layer of Louis’ experience as a Black man in the 1900s, and the story’s still set in New Orleans while the trio traipses about at night, feeding urges while Louis wrestles with all of the guilt.
Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler: Season 3 (HBO Max series streaming 10/6)
You may be surprised to learn that this show exists. Originally titled simply Pennyworth, this series moves from Epix to the DC Comics-troubled lands of HBO Max. And considering that most DC Comics sit in precarious waters these days, it’s worth watching how this transition goes and if it might spell trouble for genuinely good shows like Doom Patrol. The name change, ideally, will make people more interested than they were at this show’s old stomping grounds. It’s a spy thriller and follows Alfred before, you know, he became Batman’s butler and at a time when cultural revolution paved the way for a new age of heroes and villains.
The Midnight Club: Season 1 (Netflix series streaming 10/7)
Mike Flanagan might be the king of Halloween-streaming programming, given his success with The Haunting Of Hill House (and its followup), along with the more recent Midnight Mass. This series gears itself toward a younger crowd as it adapts Christopher Pike’s novel about a hospice for terminal teens. They form an organization devoted to telling scary stories at night, and there’s a twist: they all take a pact to send messages from the grave, if they go before the rest. Sadly, there will be no vampirish Hamish Linklater here, but hopefully, the show can do penance for this venial sin.
Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes (Netflix documentary series streaming 10/7)
After Evan Peters starred in Netflix’s Monster, notorious cannibal/serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer gets a deep dive (from true-crime paradigm-shifter Joe Berlinger, who directed Zac Efron in Extremely Wicked; Shockingly Evil and Vile, among other grim stories, along with a Metallica documentary) that sources unearthed interviews, all tied up in a revolting bow that digs into the circumstances that allowed Dahmer to flourish as a prolific killer. You know, despite all of the tell-tale screams that emerged from his Wisconsin apartment. Close the blinds before you watch this one.
Let the Right One In: Season 1 (Showtime series debuting on 10/9 and streaming 10/7)
This series is inspired by the Tomas Alfredson-directed Swedish horror film along with the book and follows a father who must continue caring for his daughter after she gets transformed into a vamp. No macaroni and cheese will be on the dinner table, in other words, since her only form of sustenance is human blood. The show promises to turn genre expectations upon its head and take a naturalistic view of a terrifying situation.
Unsolved Mysteries: Volume 3 (Netflix series streaming 10/7)
This compelling revival returns while still leaving the narrator job unfilled (and that’s for the best) with new stories of persistently unexplained crimes and deaths. Some will be reality based, another possibly associated with the paranormal. The biggest thing to know here is that the Stranger Things producers hold onto the same vibe and spirit of the original, long-running show while also partnering with Cosgrove/Meurer Productions.
Shantaram: Season 1 (Apple TV+ series streaming 10/14)
Charlie Hunnam’s leaned into projects that run far and wide since his Sons of Anarchy days, but here, he’s a world away from Charming, California. He’s semi-similarly an outlaw, though, in this adaptation of Gregory David Roberts’ same-named book, which details the life of an Australian convict who flees from prison for a new life in India. This may or may not be a semi-autobiographical turn from Roberts himself, whose life experiences are incredibly similar. Hunnam’s character finds himself both enthralled and struggling to avoid the trouble that got him into prison in the first place. Then he meets an enigmatic woman, and life grows even more complicated. It happens!
Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities: Season 1 (Netflix series streaming 10/25)
The horror maestro unleashes an anthology series full of sinister tales, helmed by seasoned directors including Jennifer Kent (The Babadook). Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke adapts a story from H.P. Lovecraft, and other directors include Ana Lily Amirpour, Panos Cosmatos, Guillermo Navarro, David Prior, Vincenzo Natali, and Keith Thomas. It’s a fitting way to wrap up the witching season, so make it last forever.
Big Mouth: Season 6 (Netflix series streaming 10/28)
Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg’s popular adult-animated series continues to fill everyone in on how horrible it is for everyone to go through puberty. This season is largely about family, and hopefully, we’ll hear plenty of The Bear‘s Ayo Edebiri, who stepped into the Missy role after Jenny Slate departed due to a casting controversy. Hormone monsters and lovebugs never get old, and even though this show has plenty of gross-out potential, it’s also acclaimed. No one can be mad at that win-win situation.
The White Lotus: Season 2 (HBO series streaming on HBO Max 10/30)
This sleeper hit left limited series status and moved onto sequel production in short order. Jennifer Coolidge (as Tanya McQuoid) is the only returning cast member, so sadly, we won’t see Murray Bartlett’s Armond pooping in a suitcase for this installment. We will, however, get to see a new setting at an Italy resort, where there shall be the customary privileged vacationers and also “three generations of Italian American men traveling back to their ancestral country.” Jealousy will be a big theme, along with an examination of traditional masculinity and femininity myths. The new cast includes Theo James and Aubrey Plaza, who needs to awkwardly hold a Mai Tai.