Best Shows to Watch on Netflix Now
October is here! You're probably doing all sorts of seasonally appropriate stuff: picking apples, drinking a pumpkin-spice latte, baking pies or shopping for Halloween costumes. Sure, these are noble pursuits, but you know what's even more seasonally appropriate? Curling up and watching that movie or TV show you've been meaning to catch up on. Don't worry; it's not too late. We can help you get started.
This month, Netflix is offering a vast array of new TV shows and movies for your instant viewing pleasure. They run the gamut, ranging from options for the kids (Chicken Run), to guilty pleasures (Sleepless in Seattle), to modern classics you've been meaning to revisit (Tombstone). Whatever your mood or preference, Netflix has what you're looking for. Here's what to watch right now.
Arrow, Season 2 (Oct. 8)
Based on the DC Comics character the Green Arrow, this dark modern adaptation follows former billionaire bad-boy Oliver Queen as he tries to save his home, Starling City, from evil villains and corruption, with the aid of a hood and pretty decent archery skills. Season 1 found Oliver brutally killing anyone he deemed to have failed the city. Season 2 brings us a more circumspect and remorseful Oliver, having lost a childhood friend at the end of Season 1. Oliver still wants to put bad guys in their place, but he no longer feels that place is always a deep, unmarked grave. With his faithful sidekicks, former soldier John Diggle and sassy computer whiz Felicity Smoak, Season 2's Arrow isn't just one lone superhero fighting the good fight; it's a veritable family affair.
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The Gilmore Girls, Seasons 1-7 (Available now)
If ever there were a more guilty-pleasure binge-watch in existence than The Gilmore Girls, then I have not been doing my homework. The whole series is available as of Oct. 1, which means you can draw the curtains and watch the entire saga of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore unfold from the beginning. In case you aren't familiar with the ladies Gilmore, here's what you need to know. Lorelai was a teen mom who fled the resources of her wealthy parents to forge a life for herself and her brilliant daughter Rory. When Lorelai needs money to finance Rory's education, this means weekly dinners with her parents. What starts off as a terrible obligation transforms not just Rory's life but Lorelai's as well, as she begins to repair her fractured relationship with her mother and father.
Raising Hope, Season 4 (Oct. 7)
Like many shows canceled before their time, Raising Hope fell under the ax this past spring. This quirky (and, at times, quite dark) comedy followed goofy Jimmy Chance, a young man left to raise the daughter he conceived during a one-night stand with a serial killer who was on the lam. Despite the premise of the show, it's ultimately a family affair. Jimmy's unconventional parents are played to great effect by brilliant character actors Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt. This is smarter and darker than your average sitcom, which is probably why it didn't last longer. Look for Cloris Leachman as Jimmy's demented and sometimes nude great-grandmother.
Reign, Season 1 (Available now)
The CW Television Network's first stab at a costume drama actually isn't half bad! It's all about your expectations. It may not be as good as The Tudors, but this drama about the early life of Mary, Queen of Scots while she lived in the French court certainly has its moments. Rather than let the lack of a big budget hamper its efforts, the show opts for an anachronistic design in costumes and sound (prepare to hear many, many top 40 tracks used to great effect). It's a teenage melodrama given historical context, and like so many melodramas that came before, it's compulsively watchable.
Django Unchained (Available now)
The only bad thing about this Quentin Tarantino film is Tarantino's own cameo as an Australian outlaw. Dear Lord, that accent! But if he can be forgiven for his acting in Reservoir Dogs, he can be forgiven for pretty much anything. Django Unchained tells the story of a slave (Jaime Foxx) and the eccentric bondsman (Christoph Waltz) who frees and employs him. Together, they go on the hunt for Django's missing wife, sold off to a wealthy and depraved plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). It is the excess of Tarantino's film that makes it so striking. It's a revenge fantasy in the same vein as Inglourious Basterds, and just as good, if not more so (probably because Eli Roth was not involved).
Galaxy Quest (Available now)
You're having a big movie-watching get-together and having a hard time picking something that is sure to please people of all ages. Then, along comes Galaxy Quest, like a lightening bolt from the heavens, and suddenly all is well. This 1999 comedy stars Tim Allen, Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver as a group of actors who became famous on a Star Trek-like television show. The show is long off the air, and they are all past their prime and feeling it — until actual aliens abduct them and insist that they are the characters they played on the show. Thus, they are the only hope in defending the world from evil alien warlords. Needless to say, shenanigans ensue. Look for an early Sam Rockwell appearance as well!
Rain Man (Oct. 31)
If you haven't seen Rain Man, you should. And if you've already seen it, you should see it again. Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman star as brothers who never knew of the other's existence until the death of their father. Cruise then learns that his older brother has spent his life institutionalized for his severe autism, and that his brother is getting all the money his father left behind. What begins as a ploy to get the money he feels he rightfully deserves turns into a brotherly love story. The film earned critical acclaim for both Hoffman and Cruise, and led to thousands of bad Rain Main impressions.
Sleepless in Seattle (Available now)
If you were to write a history of the romantic comedy, you'd spend a fair part of it chronicling the films made starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. It was Sleepless in Seattle that earned this duo the moniker of America's Sweethearts. That title may make you want to gag, but surprisingly, returning to this film won't. The smart, wry romantic comedy written by Nora Ephron and inspired by 1957's An Affair to Remember (which happens to be new on Amazon this month), isn't like many rom-coms being made today. It's sweet without being ironic; it's smart without being sarcastic. Frankly, it's refreshing. In the film, a widower (Hanks) is set up with a reporter (Ryan) by his young son. Though they live in different cities, a connection is there, and the reporter asks him to meet her on Valentine's Day at the top of the Empire State Building. Guess what happens? Well, it's probably obvious. But still, it's great.
Team America: World Police (Available now)
To cleanse your palate after feasting on the treacle of Sleepless in Seattle, it's time to have some pointless, stupid fun. Enter the epic puppet fest by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the writers of South Park. The film is a send-up of the big-budget action movies everyone knows and loves. It's also a musical. So, if watching a puppet version of Kim Jong-il sing about his loneliness sounds good to you, then this is just the right movie for you.
Tombstone (Available now)
This 1993 drama is a must-watch for any fan of the Old West, Val Kilmer or Dana Delany. What's that? You love all three? Jackpot. In addition to Kilmer and Delany, the film stars Kurt Russell, Bill Paxton and Sam Elliot. Former lawman Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) decides to settle down with his brothers in the town of Tombstone, Arizona. Of course, their peaceful life doesn't last long, and soon, the brothers, along with Doc Holliday (Kilmer), find themselves at war with a gang of outlaws called the Cowboys. It's a riveting must-watch.
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