Today marks the first day of fall and this brings up certain feelings. The holidays are just around the corner and as the weather gets colder, cozy sweaters and pumpkin lattes come to mind. Daylight savings will shorten the days and of course, this makes one want to cuddle up and binge some TV.
As always, Netflix
The streaming giant understands the varying tastes and insatiable appetites of its viewers and always offers a wide range of options, but despite having more time to binge than we may have had before COVID-19 disrupted our lives, no one can watch it all. Here are six stand-out series that will help you escape reality: Fall in love in Paris, explore a haunted manor, see how others are dealing with the pandemic, follow a group of teenagers as they change the world, be the one to solve an unsolved mystery and travel back in time to the 1950s and watch as one woman conquers the male-dominated world of chess, as well as her own inner demons. Happy bingeing!
Emily In Paris: This show about a young woman who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to work in Paris is truly one of the most delightfully refreshing series to hit the streamer. Lily Collins is simply adorable as Emily, an enthusiastic, extremely energetic and very hardworking twenty-something who moves from Chicago to take on a dream job when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company. The opportunity comes suddenly and though unexpected, she upends her entire life to take on the adventure. No task is too small and in this case, her assignment is to revamp their social media strategy. Brought to you by Sex and the City’s Darren Star, this new series takes you alongside Emily as she enjoys her new life in Paris, which is filled with an abundance of surprising challenges and exhilarating adventures. At first, she isn’t exactly welcomed but she has a tenacious way about her and she fumbles as she juggles winning over her new not-so-welcoming work colleagues, making new friends in a lonely city if you’re an outsider and navigating new and quite messy romances. What makes this show such a wonderful escape, in addition to its fantastic cast, is that it was shot entirely in Paris and you truly feel like you’re there. Oh, and the fashion is exquisite, which is no surprise as Patricia Field (Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada) teamed up yet again with Star. Comparisons to Audrey Hepburn and Carrie Bradshaw are sure to be plentiful as viewers devour this one. This is an easy binge with 10 half-hour episodes. The series premieres globally October 2.
The Haunting Of Bly Manor: This next chapter of The Haunting anthology series comes from The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan and producer Trevor Macy. The highly-anticipated series will take the viewer back to a 1980s England when the tragic death of an au pair sets off a chain of events. When Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) hires a young American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) to care for his orphaned niece and nephew (Amelie Bea Smith and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) who reside at Bly Manor with the estate’s chef Owen (Rahul Kohli), groundskeeper Jamie (Amelia Eve) and housekeeper Mrs. Grose (T’Nia Miller), the lives of all on the estate are forever changed. What each comes to learn is that not all is as it seems. In this chilling gothic romance, there are centuries of dark secrets of love and loss just waiting to be unearthed. And, at Bly Manor, dead doesn’t necessarily mean gone. Flanagan and Macy were inspired by and drew from the iconic supernatural stories of Henry James. Also starring are Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Tahirah Sharif, Katie Parker, Alex Essoe and Matthew Holness. The series is executive produced by Flanagan and Macy for Intrepid Pictures, along with Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey for Amblin Television. All nine one-hour episodes will premiere globally on October 9.
Social Distance: Our world has notably changed and this new series details what life has been like for so many. Set in the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, this eight-part anthology series showcases the power of the human spirit in the face of the worst kind of adversity. Isolation, uncertainty, various types of loss and forced change have led to an economic and emotional crisis for countless people all over the world. Creator and showrunner Hilary Weisman Graham has truly done something unique here. Each standalone episode, averaging 20 minutes, is told through a virtual lens and captures the experiences of its subjects as they deal with being forced apart from loved ones and what happens when you have no choice but to communicate remotely and rely on technology to maintain any sense of connection. Graham captured the human experience and provided some much-needed catharsis during this incredibly tumultuous time. The series does a beautiful job of showing the human experience we are all dealing with by highlighting real and very relatable moments that we’ve all encountered over the past few months. The show was conceived, cast and shot entirely remotely during quarantine with the actors doing all their own set up and production elements themselves. This series is created and executive produced by Graham and executive produced by Tara Herrmann, Blake McCormick and Jenji Kohan. Diego Velasco serves as co-executive producer. You can binge starting October 15.
Grand Army: This new series delves into the lives of a generation that’s raging and rising! The story follows five students at the largest public high school in Brooklyn as they take on this chaotic world and all the issues we are currently facing. We follow each as they take on life’s challenges and fight to survive, thrive, find success, break free and seize their futures. Show creator and executive producer Katie Cappiello is a theater teacher who calls this series her life’s work. Currently in quarantine from her students, this labor of love comes from 18 years of her teaching experiences. She created these characters in celebration of teenagers and in a letter to press wrote it’s because they deserve to see themselves, because their experiences are deeply important, because they’re the damn leaders and because these are the moments that will shape their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and so on. This series is a work of fiction but is based on the countless rich, bold details of non-fiction shared by her students that she says makes it burn with truth and authenticity. The cast includes actors she has taught for years. The nine hour-long episodes will premiere globally October 16.
Unsolved Mysteries (Volume 2): Netflix fans are a mighty powerful bunch and it was no surprise when the mysteries behind the first season’s six episodes gained renewed interest when the streamer recently revived the original series. With the streamer’s millions of subscribers on the case, it wasn’t shocking that one of the cold-case murders showcased in the first season was reopened. Alonzo Brooks’ mysterious death came under a microscope in the episode “No Ride Home” which brought new life to the death of the 23-year-old man who was found dead after attending a house party in April 2004. Since the reboot dropped July 1, his body was exhumed and the FBI reopened the case. Now, the streamer is spotlighting six more unexplained mysteries. This series comes from the creators of the original docuseries, Cosgrove/Meurer Productions and 21 Laps Entertainment (Stranger Things). The second season premieres globally October 19. Maybe you’ll be the viewer that holds the key to an unsolved mystery!
The Queen’s Gambit: Based on Walter Tevis’ novel, this seven-part Netflix limited series is a coming-of-age story that explores the true cost of genius. After being abandoned in the late 1950s, Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) ends up at a Kentucky orphanage where she discovers an astonishing talent for chess. She also developes an addiction to tranquilizers, which are provided by the state as a sedative for the children. With the help of the orphanage’s janitor, her natural chess abilities flourish. Haunted by her personal demons and burdened with the gift of genius, she navigates her social awkwardness and transforms into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast and fights to conquer the traditional boundaries in the male-dominated world of competitive chess. The series is directed and written by two-time Academy Award nominee Scott Frank and executive produced by Frank, William Horberg and Allan Scott, who also co-created the series. This drama premieres globally October 23.