Watching on Wednesday: Halloween TV Picks
Top TV Shows for October
October is the perfect time to wrap up in a blanket, grab a hot chocolate and have a TV marathon. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky there are SO many binge-worthy options. To help you narrow down your selection I will be sharing some of my favourite TV shows with you throughout the month. I will start with a few series that are great to watch leading up to Halloween! I am not really a horror fan (sorry) so I tend to lean more towards fantasy and the supernatural. You’ll notice a few cult shows this week (I totally blame the nostalgia on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer picture book that I reviewed here!) but they are fantastic and set the perfect tone for this month.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Originally aired: 1997-2003
Number of series: 7
Watch on: Amazon (paid)
It would be impossible for me to not list this a potential Halloween viewing as it is one of my favourite TV shows of all time. If this series has somehow passed you by then here is what you need to know! Buffy Anne Summers just wants to be a normal teenager. Her parents are getting divorced, she accidentally burnt down her last school gym and is forced to move to yet another school. Moving to Sunnydale is supposed to give Buffy and her mum, Joyce, a fresh start. There are, of course, larger forces at play. Buffy needs to accept her role as the vampire slayer before the darkness lurking below Sunnydale takes control. With vampires, werewolves, witches and the best friends a girl could ask for, Buffy was everything a 90s girl could ever want.
This is true cult TV viewing at its best. I am a huge Buffy fan having watched the show when it was originally broadcast. I remember my Mum jumping every time a vampire suddenly appeared. The special effects were good for the time but obviously nothing to what we would expect now. I am SUPER excited that there is going to be a Buffy reboot!!! It was announced earlier this year and is likely to be a spin-off rather than full reboot of the show. The Buffy universe and lore are massive. Whether they delve into the history of the older slayers or they bring it up to modern day I AM THERE.
Buffy is currently not available to stream for free in the UK (at least on the services mentioned above). It is still 100% worth watching and you can buy the first episode on Amazon Prime for only 10p! The season 1 trailer is here if you want to check it out.
Originally aired: 1998-2006
Number of series: 8
Watch on: Amazon (paid) though previously available on Netflix
Charmed is a series based around the Halliwell sisters, Prue, Piper and Phoebe. When they lose their grandmother, their magical powers are unlocked. Destined to become some of the most powerful witches of all time they discover that their magic is both a blessing and a curse. The sisters try to navigate their new existence of vanquishing evil forces whilst trying to live their normal lives. Balancing sisterly feuds with demon slaying duties! Full of sisterhood, fantasy creatures, love interests and a host of bad guys, as well as the coolest spells on TV at the time.
Another one of my cult favourites that I watched when it was first broadcast! I didn’t pretend to cast the spells from Charmed with my best friend after school… honest…. This is another series that is currently not available to stream for free in the UK (on the services mentioned above). It has been available on Netflix before so hopefully it will be again if you don’t want to part with your hard earned cash right now. However, there is a reboot that is starting to stream this month! It is a true reboot so if you are an old-school fan you may have mixed feeling about the new show. I believe that it will be just the one season due to the backlash from fans and members of the original cast. If you have access to the CW channel the series premieres in the US on October 14th and the reboot trailer is here. If you are interested in watching the original show then check out the season one (very cheesy) trailer here.
A Discovery of Witches
Originally aired: Currently airing
Number of series: 1
Watch on: Sky (DVD/Blu-ray release Dec 3rd)
You will probably already have watched or at least heard about this one! A brand new series on Sky Atlantic that is based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Diana Bishop is a witch and historian. After giving a lecture in alchemy she needs to access a book, Ashmole 782, to continue her research. When she holds the book she discovers it is a lot more than it first appears to be. Suddenly other creatures begin to appear such as Matthew Clairmont, a vampire. Other witches turn their attention towards her too. Diana doesn’t understand what is happening and realises she needs to solve the mystery of the book… fast.
I found the first couple of episodes a little slow but was intrigued by the story. After finishing episode three I am definitely invested in A Discovery of Witches and am very much looking forward to the next episode. A really good pick for a quiet night in!
The Good Place
Originally aired: 2016 – now
Number of series: 3
Watch on: Netflix
Now for something a little bit different. If you are not a huge supernatural or magic fan then check out this fantastic comedy series starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. When Eleanor wakes up she has no idea where she is. She is informed that she has died and is now in the afterlife, specifically ‘the good place’. Unfortunately, someone has made a rather huge mistake. Eleanor quickly realises, surrounded by the world’s most ethical people, that she doesn’t belong in paradise. Unsure of what to do Eleanor decides to learn to be a better person in order to stay exactly where she is!
My partner was not convinced when I put the first episode of The Good Place on one evening. Many hours later we had binged most of series one and had finished series two by the end of the next day. I think that this show is completely hilarious. It has some fantastic twists too. I have watched is several times to introduce it to different friends and they have loved it. It is a great TV show for when you want to watch something light. It has the heaven and hell aspect so I am still counting it as valid October viewing! Season three has now begun so if you binge the first two seasons as fast as I did, Fridays may become your new favourite day as you follow along with the latest episodes.
Originally aired: 2013 to now
Number of series: 6
Watch on: Netflix
When Brooklyn Nine-Nine was cancelled by Fox in May there was a huge outburst on social media from fans. It was all over my Twitter feed and I was really disappointed. The following day NBC made the very smart move of picking of the series for a sixth season! Hooray for social media. One of the reasons for the shows popularity may be due to its progressive nature. It covers a lot of social issues, with an underlying social commentary and I feel has very good representation across the board. Typical tropes and stereotypes are turned upside down and not just for a quick joke.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an American police sitcom based in, shockingly, Brooklyn’s 99th precinct. The series focuses on Jake Peralta, a talented detective despite being rather immature (in the most hilarious way) and his fellow co-workers. The series starts with the team meeting their new Captain. Not everyone makes a great first impression…. The reason why I have added the show to my Halloween viewing list is because the Halloween themed episodes are fantastic. Forget the whole ‘Christmas episode’ idea, Halloween is where it is at with Brooklyn Nine-Nine!
I hope that you like some of the suggestions above. Have you already watched any of them? What did you think? I will be adding more TV shows over this month with more recent release dates. I am very excited to talk about one in particular *cough* The Dragon Prince *cough*. I would love to hear what you are planning on watching leading up to Halloween!
Thanks for reading.