As a season, fall is divided into two parts: there’s the official start in September when the weather is still warm, and then there is the second phase in mid-October when you have to pull your sweaters out of storage. The fall TV season is similar. The middle of September is packed with the hottest new and returning shows and then about a month later the rest of the schedule gets filled out with more premiers. It’s TV’s version of sweater weather.
Set your DVR, watch previews, hit the Favorite button, practice saying show titles into your X1 Voice Remote. Round 2 begins in about two weeks, starting with the return of Sarah Jessica Parker to series TV, and to HBO, in Divorce, a sort-of dramedy created by Catastrophe’s Sharon Hogan, whose dark edge as a storyteller comes attracted Parker. Thomas Haden Church and Molly Shannon also star. Per the New York Times,“It’s not going to reinvent the breakup comedy or the HBO comedy. Its goal is more modest and midlife-appropriate: to tell one more story of two people trying to reinvent themselves.” Our take: Wait till all the episodes are in and binge on a snowy winter weekend.
Everything you need to know about ABC’s new Tuesday night comedy American Housewife (premieres October 11) can be boiled down to the moment when stay-at-home-mom Katie Otto, as played by Katy Mixon, describes herself as “the third fattest housewife in Westport.” It’s a social satire about a newly relocated family, with Mixon and her husband, played by Diedrich Bader, throwing grenades at the more conspicuous obsessions of their neighbors, and the culture in general. Take this zinger: “Who came up with the idea that a mother of three should have an ass like a 19-year-old? It’s a complete waste of feminine energy!” Recommendation: If The Middle and The Goldbergs are part of your jam, this is 30 minutes you won’t regret.
Unless you’re a fan of Rock This Boat: New Kids on the Block, Schitt’s Creek, or Unusually Thicke, you probably don’t watch much on POP. However, if horror movies are your thing, it may be time to check out the plucky network’s new six-part mini-series Wolf Creek, premiering October 14. This is an adaptation of the 2005 movie about backpackers whose vacation in the Australian outback takes “a wrenching detour into the depths of unrelenting terror.” In the TV version, it’s a family that’s on vacation, and their daughter seeks revenge. Recommendation: Since horror is a life choice, and not ours, we turned to the fan site Fangoria, which wrote, “The show is an overall blast, filled with intense twists and turns that’ll keep you watching until the bitter end.”
Other Notables: Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? That is the question for this couple from season 20 of The Bachelor, and you’ll have to see. October 11, Freeform. Falling Water – three unrelated people share the same subconscious. October 13, USA Goliath – A top legal thriller. October 14, Amazon.