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The Ringer Guide to Streaming in October

It’s a huge month, from the return of ‘You’ and ‘Succession’ to the premiere of ‘Dune’

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The leaves changing color and the sun setting sooner every day are reminders that colder weather may be on the way. But for those of us who aren’t ready to really start dressin’, there’s plenty of streaming options to keep you warm. Massive series like You and Succession are returning for new seasons, while impressive films such as Zodiac and The Invisible Man are also available to stream. And if massive sandworms and long movies are your thing, Denis Villeneuve’s take on Dune should scratch your space-opera itch. Check out everything that’s new on Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and more below ...

What’s New to Streaming in October

A selected list of movies and TV shows coming this month that The Ringer is very excited about.

Bad Boys II (October 1, HBO Max)

Shea Serrano: There are Good Movies, there are Good Bad Movies, and there are Bad Good Movies. But there should be another category. It should be called something like a Highlight-Reel Movie. As in, “This movie is not one I’m very interested in sitting down to watch in its entirety, but it is absolutely one that has several scenes that I will pull up on YouTube to watch.” Because that’s what Bad Boys II is. It’s not a Good Movie and it’s not a Bad Movie and it’s not a Good Bad Movie and it’s not a Bad Good Movie. It’s a Highlight-Reel Movie.

Zodiac (October 1, Netflix)

Adam Nayman: More than any American movie of the past decade, Zodiac accepts and embraces irresolvability, which may be why it’s so hypnotically rewatchable. If it’s a cosmic drama, it’s one that works on macro and micro levels. Its depiction of the hunt for the most notorious and mysterious serial killer of the 20th century is at once suggestive of larger cultural shifts while also being detailed down to the inch.

Beverly Hills Cop (October 1, HBO Max)

The Invisible Man (October 1, HBO Max)

Nayman: The word that recurs throughout Leigh Whannell’s remake-slash-update of The Invisible Man, wielded by various characters as a warning and a weapon, is “surprise.” It’s as good a mantra as any for a thriller whose mandate is to startle its audience with surface-level shocks while simultaneously subverting expectations in a deeper way, dropping us out of our comfort zone toward some sunken place.

Sleeping With the Enemy (October 1, Hulu)

The Holiday (October 1, Hulu)

Black Widow (October 6, Disney+)

Daniel Chin: In the end, Black Widow still has more than its fair share of highlights and memorable moments as it ushers in a new star to fill in for Scarlett Johansson in the years to come. It took embarrassingly long to reach the milestone to truly give Marvel any credit, but the film also became the first to feature a solo female director at the helm (Cate Shortland), hopefully setting a new standard for Marvel Studios. Natasha Romanoff’s grand finale isn’t a proper origin story, nor is it a true hero’s farewell. It’s more of a one-shot comic, existing in tandem with the rest of the MCU’s stories to preserve the sanctity of its main timeline.

Sexy Beasts, Season 2 (October 7, Netflix)

Claire McNear: ​​Well, fellow sickos of America, we have gotten what we deserved. We inhaled Love Is Blind. We demanded a second season of Too Hot to Handle. We plummeted through the depths of the 90 Day Fiancé universe. We saw Zooey Deschanel and Michael Bolton host a Dating Game reboot, and we beseeched our television overlords for more—more unquestionably ill-advised declarations of love, more why-would-you-do-this.

And so, for our sins, we have been furnished with Netflix’s Marriage or Mortgage, in which engaged couples debate whether to plan an elaborate wedding or buy a home. We have been sentenced to Naked and Afraid of Love, a Discovery+ gambit that places 16 nude strangers with hopes for romance on an island. And now, Netflix unleashed Sexy Beasts, which outfits a singleton and three prospective suitors with monstrous latex masks and sends them on dates.

Shameless, Season 11 (October 11, Netflix)

Katie Baker: The show is set in Chicago’s steely South Side, but often feels like it’s taking place in some winsome criminal’s fever dream. Characters lie, cheat, and steal; they scheme and scam; they love and lose; they somehow live. … Just like the sprawling, self-sabotaging Gallagher family, Shameless is by turns generous and murderous; tender and wild; often exasperating and occasionally brilliant.

The Baby-Sitters Club, Season 2 (October 11, Netflix)

Baker: In putting together a much-anticipated reboot of The Baby-Sitters Club, the creative forces behind the series drew upon their very specific memories of place and time, reaching way back into that wooziness of the back seat while still driving forward. What distinguishes the Netflix series is the way in which the show stays true to its increasingly long-ago source material while still rooting itself firmly in the present, using nostalgia as a foundation rather than a roof. The Baby-Sitters Club books may be of my generation, but its latest iteration feels designed to speak for, and to, a new wave of fans.

You, Season 3 (October 15, Netflix)

McNear: Joe is who our parents told us was waiting in AOL chat rooms back in the day: He obsesses and broods and steals panties and cellphones and compulsively masturbates and has an ex whom he just doesn’t want to talk about, OK? You is, if nothing else, a cautionary tale about the perils of not keeping your social media channels set to private.

Succession, Season 3 (October 17, HBO Max)

Jason Concepcion: Succession is well-shot and has firecracker dialogue and a talented cast that is easy on the eyes. But it doesn’t elevate its characters, horrible people all; it exposes them.

Dune (October 22, HBO Max)

Nayman: [Denis] Villeneuve and his cinematographer Greig Fraser produce something weirdly timeless, all long horizon lines and cavernous rooms bisected by massive, sculptural shafts of natural light. While the story is set several thousand years in the future, the architecture is retro-Brutalist, suggesting a civilization that’s transcended the need for flashy gadgets or mass media of any kind. Glimpsed at home in their massive palace compound, the Atreides occupy their own hushed, insular world.

Some New-ish Things You Might’ve Missed

Because it’s hard to keep up with everything, here are a few things that have premiered somewhat recently that may be worth catching up on.

Star Wars: Visions (Disney+)

Chin: This anthology series provides a unique Japanese perspective on the Star Wars universe that feels both fresh and familiar. Each of the nine episodes follows new, original characters—with the exception of a few familiar faces in Studio Colorido’s “Tatooine Rhapsody”—whose journeys play out in 14-to-23-minute installments that often allude to archetypal Star Wars themes and character dynamics, all while integrating Japanese culture more directly than ever before.

Midnight Mass (Netflix)

Miles Surrey: Midnight Mass is a seven-episode Netflix miniseries that explores religion and faith with Mike Flanagan’s usual trademarks, prioritizing characters and emotions over cheap scares and shock value. It’s the type of show that will sooner make you teary-eyed over a discussion about the afterlife than jump off your couch from something going bump in the night. But as long as expectations are in check, the series’ long spells without scares are by no means a bad thing. Stick through a slow opening, and Midnight Mass unfurls into a nightmare of apocalyptic proportions on the way to becoming the new benchmark for Flanagan’s stellar body of work—and one of the best shows of the year.

Foundation (Apple TV+)

Ben Lindbergh: If there’s a single straight-to-series order that best embodies the excesses of the streaming wars, it’s Apple saying, “Fuck it, we’re filming Foundation.” Was it worth it? If you’re a Foundation fan who was hoping the series would someday reach the screen in a fashion that wouldn’t terribly besmirch the books, yes. If you’re a sci-fi fan in search of a spectacle that looks like it cost a billion bucks, by all means. If you’re an Apple TV+ executive banking on Foundation being Apple’s answer to [insert storied and expensive IP here], that’s a good deal more in doubt. Then again, the typical TV viewer doesn’t decide whether to sample a series based on whether a tech giant with infinite funds will recoup its costs. For most who are wondering whether to watch, here’s the headline: Foundation turned out to be a better series than anyone could have expected from the sixth (at least) attempt to tell Isaac Asimov’s signature story on-screen.

Schumacher (Netflix)

Ryan Hunn: Much like Senna, Schumacher provides an intimate glimpse into a legend of a sport that for so long has felt exclusive and inaccessible. Many fans who became familiar with F1 via Drive to Survive were likely not even born when Ayrton Senna was battling Alain Prost, or old enough to remember Michael Schumacher going toe-to-toe with Mika Häkkinen. For newcomers, it turns myths into reality; for seasoned fans, it is reliving iconic moments as well as tragedies.

Malignant (HBO Max)

Surrey: Malignant had mysteriously little fanfare heading into its release—for whatever reason, the movie appeared to be death-marked by Warner Bros. given a last-minute press screening and a review embargo lifting hours before its release on HBO Max. Having seen (experienced? hallucinated? freebased?) Malignant, I’m fairly certain that the studio wasn’t so much burying the movie as it was trying to prevent word getting out on just how batshit it is. [James] Wan brings the same campy energy of his blockbusters back to the genre that first put him on the map, and the movie feels destined to become an object of cult-like fervor for its sheer WTF-ery.