Issa Rae in "Insecure."
October’s television lineup is an enchanting one. From hilarious returning comedies like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to new, highly anticipated series like Divorce, Sarah Jessica Parker’s return to HBO, there is a Halloween treat for everyone. Also let’s not forget the upcoming Hamilton documentary waiting in the wings at the end of the month.
Shameless (Showtime, returning Oct. 2)
I love Shameless, and I’m always surprised it doesn’t get the mad love it deserves. The Gallaghers are a close-knit Chicago family and what they lack in wealth, they make up in heart and potty mouths. While there’s nothing family-friendly about this series (lots of content advisories) the sense of community among kin is undeniable. I love Emmy Rossum as the oldest sister trying to raise the whole family while her alcoholic father (William H. Macy) destroys any progress with his irresponsible drinking. It’s easy to feel frustrated by the patriarch’s behavior, but both the Shameless writers and Macy always seem to keep him a lovable loser. Watch this show from the beginning on Netflix; it’s definitely worth it.
Westworld (HBO, premiering Oct. 2)
Everything about Westworld screams HBO: the buzz, the high-profile actors and creators, beautiful cinematography. The series itself is a take on Michael Crichton’s (Jurassic Park) 1973 film of the same name. It has cowboys and robots and theme parks, oh my! I have to admit that when I first saw trailers for this show I was skeptical. And I remain so. Shoehorning robots into a Western world is brilliant at best and a laughable, expensive disaster at worst. However with Game of Thrones drawing to a close soon, HBO is on the hunt for its next epic hit. Although I’m a massive Thrones fan, I believe HBO does best with understated comedies such as VEEP and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Westworld is bound to be a hot conversation topic. Check it out so you can form your own opinions.
The Mindy Project (Hulu Plus, returning Oct. 4)
The Mindy Project has only gotten funnier over the seasons, and it is one of the most undervalued comedies on TV. Since moving to Hulu, the show has become stronger. Dr. Mindy Lahiri is still as goofy and superficial as ever, but she has shown great growth over the years. TMP has always been rich with bright colors and sugar-sweet humor, but Kaling and the writers never shy away from the real-life obstacles Lahiri faces as a single mom working two jobs while trying to have a personal life. I recommend this comedy to everyone who loves pop culture, fashion and smart writing.
Divorce (HBO, premiering Oct. 9)
Sex and the City superstar Sarah Jessica Parker makes her return to HBO with the comedy Divorce. The show comes from Catastrophe star and co-creator Sharon Horgan, and is about exactly what it sounds like. But don’t think it’s going to be all Manolos, cosmopolitans and “hello lovers.” This time around, SJP plays a character who’s the polar opposite of fabulous NYC everywoman Carrie Bradshaw. She’s a married suburban woman with children who has given up on all her dreams of having a creative job — and then she gets divorced. The buzz surrounding this series is only natural; Sex and the City was a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon and there’s something comforting about seeing SJP frolicking around NYC. Divorce has a vaguely familiar feeling in the best way possible, and I’m always down for another HBO comedy.
Insecure (HBO, premiering Oct. 9)
Even though I’ve only seen the pilot, I can already tell that Insecure is going to be one of my favorite shows this season. It’s co-created by and stars Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl) as Issa, a 29-year-old woman who wants more for herself, both in her career and in her serious relationship. Not only is her character hilarious, she also has a way with words and a talent for writing raps. This series has the potential to be a huge hit for HBO and in addition to being a funny and relatable comedy, we’re long overdue for a show told from the perspective of a young, black woman.
Hamilton's America (PBS, premiering Oct. 21)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Hamilton is a musical phenomenon that’s taken not only the theater community by storm, but also the world. The rap-driven musical about Alexander Hamilton and the founding fathers is decorated with prestigious awards and has been lauded by critics and audiences alike. It’s also the hottest ticket in town; with seats nearly impossible to secure costing thousands of dollars. That’s why creator Lin-Manuel Miranda teamed up with PBS to bring us an inside look into the epic musical. Although there were rumors that the show with its original cast would air in its entirety, that doesn’t appear to be the case. However, Miranda is said to provide in-depth analysis of the ground-breaking show and peel back the curtain on the biggest Broadway phenomenon of the 21st century. Rap, musical theater and culture fans, come together for some non-stop entertainment.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW, returning Oct. 21)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a kooky show that I never thought would be able to find its audience. Luckily for all of us, the show is returning for its second season this month! Star and creator Rachel Bloom plays successful attorney Rebecca Bunch who has grown exhausted with her high-powered legal job. By chance, she comes in contact with Josh, a guy she she met at summer camp while she was in high school. She picks up her things and moves cross country from NYC to West Covina, California, where Josh currently lives.Who would pick up and move across the country with no job and no place to live for the possibility of rekindling a teenage love? The show is a little wacky and honestly perfect for The CW. I’m glad Crazy Ex-Girlfriend found its niche audience and I’m dying for some new episodes!