What it is: Based on Robert Kirkman’s landmark comic book series of the same name, AMC’s The Walking Dead follows a group of survivors led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) as they struggle to find humanity, community, and purpose amid the bleak backdrop of a zombie apocalypse.
Why you should watch it: The Walking Dead has created some of genre television’s most memorable characters over the past decade. Yes, it’s a zombie show and the program does not at all shy away from gory visual effects to remind us of that fact. But the real meat of the series lies in the deeply-developed character relationships of the ever-evolving cast, and the continuing challenges the survivors face as they battle to survive in this terrifying new world. Plus, Norman Reedus’ crossbow skills and Danai Gurira’s sword-fighting prowess are absolutely worth your watch time. Season 11 returned for Part 2, the final episodes of the series, on October 2 on AMC.
Commitment: Approx. 153 hours (for the first 10 seasons)
What it is: A sequel to the Child’s Play movie franchise, but in TV-show form. Chucky relocates everybody’s favorite possessed Good Guy doll to a new neighborhood and a new locale (high school, of all places!) where he continues his old murderous habits with surprising results.
Why you should watch it: Creator Don Mancini is behind the series, which should tell you something about the level of humor and camp that is included in the storyline. Underneath the blood and bluster, resides a heartwarming gay love story that adds new depth to the already successful formula. Brad Dourif reprises his role voicing the iconic doll, and he’s joined by familiar faces from the movie franchise including Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent, and Fiona Dourif. Season 2 premieres Wednesday, October 5 on USA Network and Syfy.
Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first season)
What it is: A teen sitcom set in the ’90s during the political unrest known as “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. The series follows five Catholic School students as they struggle to fit in at school, with each other, and in the uncertain world around them.
Why you should watch it: Growing up under the thumb of English oppression doesn’t necessarily sound kindling for a good comedy, but Derry Girls succeeds at consistently delivering the laughs. Packed with smart writing, hilarious chemistry and a catchy ’90s soundtrack, this one is the laugh-out-loud binge you didn’t know you needed. Season 3 premieres October 7 on Netflix.
Where to watch seasons 1-2: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 6 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: The CW’s hit horror series Supernatural provides a 15-season-long foundation for prequel The Winchesters, debuting this month. The original featured brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) hunting monsters and frequently being hunted themselves.
Why you should watch it: An epic binge-watch, the original series boasts a massive fandom. The prequel takes viewers back to the origins of the Winchester family business of hunting monsters and battling demons, with Sam and Dean’s parents, John Winchester (Drake Rodger) and Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly), and will document their youthful beginnings as a couple. This isn’t the first time The CW has attempted a Supernatural spinoff, but with Ackles acting as the narrator on the new journey, The Winchesters may have the strongest connection to the network’s landmark series. And considering the fact that there would be no Sam and Dean without John and Mary, there’s a lot of promise riding behind the new demon-fighting outing. Season 1 of The Winchesters premieres October 11 on The CW.
Commitment: Approx. 241 hours (for all fifteen seasons)
What it is: Created by Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers, and Rhys Thomas, Documentary Now! is an unconventional mockumentary comedy series that pays homage to documentaries from the past and present that have fascinated audiences and shaped pop culture throughout the decades.
Why you should watch it: It’s a challenge to create a parody of anything without disrespecting the subject matter or punching down to gain a laugh. Documentary Now! seems to pull this off effortlessly. Thanks to the creative insight from Hader, Armisen, and company, along with the appearance of some stellar actors, including Oscar-winner Helen Mirren as the show’s host, Documentary Now! doesn’t just find the humor in these stories, it reminds viewers why documentaries, when done right, are so engaging to watch. Season 5 premieres October 19 on IFC and AMC+.
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first four seasons)
What it is: The sketch comedy series that put comedian and show creator Amy Schumer on the map. A mix of stand-up bits performed by Schumer, original comedy segments, and unique interview sessions to close out each episode, the first four seasons ran from 2013 to 2016 on Comedy Central.
Why you should watch it: Sketch comedy has historically been dominated by men. While it is always fun to watch members of Monty Python and Kids in the Hall throw on a gown and lipstick for comedy’s sake, Schumer’s addition to the sketch world added a much-needed female perspective to the art form. It’s been six years since we’ve last seen this series — Schumer has since appeared in movies like Certified Fresh The Humans, put out several comedy specials, and starred in other TV series like Certified Fresh Life & Beth — and with everything going on in the world, the return of her signature brand of comedy is a welcome development. Season 5 premieres October 20 on Paramount+.
Commitment: Approx. 20 hours (for the first four seasons)
What it is: Based on the series of children’s books written by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Mysterious Benedict Society follows the misadventures of four gifted children who are brought together by an eccentric man named Mr. Benedict (Tony Hale). Together, they strive to stop Dr. L.D. Curtain (also played by Hale) from taking over the world.
Why you should watch it: The performance by Hale, along with costar Kristen Schaal, adds a lovely quirky comedic vibe to the already offbeat series. And while this is another riff on the “gifted kids attend an oddball school” genre, The Mysterious Benedict Society keeps the stakes low and the vibes fun. Season 2 premieres October 26 on Disney+.
Where to watch season 1: Disney+ (Subscription)
Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Sherman’s Showcase is a musical sketch comedy series created by Bashir Saluhuddin and Diallo Riddle, who also star as Sherman McDaniels and Dutch Shepherd, that’s inspired by the variety shows of television’s past.
Why you should watch it: What you have here is a sketch comedy series disguising itself as a fictional music variety show — inspired by the likes of Soul Train and American Bandstand – with each episode taking viewers through a 40-year library of musical performances, comedic bits, and parody commercials. It’s an ultra-unique concept and the addition of guest stars like Common, Tiffany Haddish, and Quincy Jones makes it a thoroughly entertaining watch. Season 2 premieres October 26 on IFC.
Commitment: Approx. 4 hours (for the first season)
What it is: A raucous and surprisingly honest animated take on puberty and the human experience. Focusing on a core group of high school friends growing up in New York, the program is inspired by Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg’s awkward formative years. The duo co-created Big Mouth, as well as its successful spinoff, Human Resources.
Why you should watch it: Simply put: It’s a cartoon about sex, masturbation, and those cringy teenage years when our bodies experience difficult changes. Come for the unbearable hormones, stay for the incorrigible Hormone Monster. Season 6 premieres October 28 on Netflix.
Where to watch seasons 1-5: Netflix (Subscription)
Commitment: Approx. 26 hours (for the first five seasons)
What it is: A limited series set in an idyllic locale that shifts perspectives from the privileged vacationers staying at the island resort and the dysfunctional hotel crew barely maintaining a semblance of normalcy as each day passes in paradise.
Why you should watch it: Created by Mike White, season 1’s six-episode arc dug deep into the issue of classism residing right under the pristine surface of a five-star resort. Smart writing and deeply invested character work by its cast put The White Lotus on numerous “Best Of” lists and resulted in 10 Emmy wins, including in the categories: Outstanding Supporting Actress for Jennifer Coolidge, Outstanding Supporting Actor for Murray Bartlett, and Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. Season 2 premieres October 30 on HBO Max.
Commitment: Approx. 6 hours (for the first season)