I would cancel Netflix, Hulu and Apple TV Plus in October — here’s why

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I cancel streaming services all the time. It's really easy, provided you remember to do it, and it helps you clear some space in your budgets (or save for holiday gift giving). Near the start of this year, I canceled Netflix — and came back. That practice is called "churn," and it's the way to put your streaming budget on a diet.

So months ahead of a big Disney Plus price hike (and days before Hulu's price hike), it's time for our regular examination of what these services are going to do for you this billing cycle. Sure, these services may want to keep your subscribing as you invest in their long term goals, but you have a household to run (or your own priorities, so say the least). 

That's why we're taking a deep dive into what the best streaming services are offering in October 2022 and giving our recommendation for the streamer(s) to cut. 

As we do every month, we're breaking down what's new on Netflix, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Hulu and Disney Plus. We won't get into the stuff they already have, as it's impossible to guess what you have (and have not) already watched. 

Peacock and Paramount Plus are rising streaming services, but not up for consideration for this list as they're just not as widespread. We're also skipping Amazon Prime Video, because it's more of a Prime membership perk than a standalone service.

Should you cancel Apple TV Plus in October 2022?

Rare is it that I feel like you're better off saving your money by skipping a month of Apple TV Plus. And that's probably the point, since Apple's offering is hyper-affordable at $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 per month. The service seems to go for quality over quantity, and that can lead to some minor droughts. Also, Apple's October 2022 releases are primarily in the back-half of the month, so you can probably wait without much FOMO.

First up is Hello, Jack! The Kindness Show season 2 (Oct. 7) the whimsical kids series starring 30 Rock alum Jack McBrayer. (Yes, Kenneth is still getting work.) Adults will notice some of their favorite actors (Kristen Schaal, Kumail Nanjiani) cameoing in this show that sends a wholesome message about being good to those around you. 

After that, Apple's got Charlie Hunham (Sons of Anarchy) starring in the adaptation of Gregory David Roberts' Shantaram (Oct. 14). Fugitive Lin Ford (Hunham) escapes to Bombay in the 1980s, and you can see it here for yourself. 

Not only does this escape to India give travelogue vibes, but a complicated romance puts Ford in a situation where love and freedom are his only options.

The likely biggest title of Apple's October is the film Raymond & Ray (Oct. 21) starring Ewan McGregor (as Ray) and Ethan Hawke (as Raymond). Long-estranged brothers — Ray is kind, Raymond is ... a little bitter ... —  the two are brought together by the death of their father. In the process of fulfilling their father's request to dig his grave, the two have a second chance to bond.

(L to R) Fernando Carsa, Enrique Arrizon and Rafael Cebrián talking near a hotel pool in Acapulco

(Image credit: Apple)

For a getaway, Acapulco season 2 (Oct. 21) returns for more of the cabana boy adventures of Máximo Gallardo (Enrique Arrizon).

Apple ends the month with Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues (Oct. 28), which it positions as a "definitive" documentary about the iconic musician. Told through archival footage, "never-before-heard home recordings and personal conversations," the film tracks Armstrong's life from the Civil War through to the Civil Rights movement.

My recommendation: Yes, Apple's service is cheap, but this month is notably missing something truly compelling. We wonder when Ted Lasso season 3 arrives.

Should you cancel HBO Max in October 2022?

The claxons of House Max continue to blast that familiar dun-dun, dunna-dun-dun, dunna-dun-dun this month as House of the Dragon (Oct. 2, 9, 16 and 23) finishes its first season. After a flash-forward, we've now got Emma D'Arcy as older Rhaenyra and Olivia Cooke as the older Alicent, and this show is humming along with spite and venom. Machinations continue for the Iron Throne, and House of the Dragon is our favorite in the current fantasy TV streaming war where HBO Max fights off the Rings of Power on Prime Video.

Yes, we said you can take a month away from HBO Max in September, but the purple streamer is ensuring its title as the best streaming service with a strong October offering that goes beyond the aforementioned House of the Dragon. Some, for example, may perk up at the news that Pennyworth: The Origin Story of Batman's Butler season 3 (Oct. 6) will air on HBO Max, having left Epix. As preposterous as that new, longer show title is, Bat-shows still have fans.

Unscripted programming (never HBO Max's strong suit) makes a showing this month with Wahl Street season 2 (Oct. 6), giving folks more insight to Mark Wahlberg's three lives, as he acts, tries to be a business man and — above all else — aims to be a good husband and father.

Hugh Laurie's space-set farce is back when Avenue 5 season 2 (Oct. 10) drops. This season is all about the business of intergalactic travel. But, since space is just like our current friendly skies, the passengers are still very agitated.

Fixer Upper: The Castle (Oct. 14) brings more unscripted content, and it's not exclusive to HBO Max (it debuts on Magnolia Network and Discovery Plus on the same day) This time, Chip and Joanna Gaines will be tackling the their biggest fixer-upper yet, the historic castle of Waco, Texas. Something tells us that might cause some controversy.

HBO Max gets its documentary on with The Vow Part Two (Oct. 17), to give another spotlight to the shady lives of NXIVM (pronounced nex-ee-uhm) co-founders Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman. This 9-part season follows the founders as more evidence against them comes to light.

The end of the month delivers the return of one of HBO's best recent shows, as The White Lotus season 2 (October 30) opens up. As you can see from the above teaser, Tanya McQuoid-Hunt (Jennifer Coolidge) is back, but this time she's checking into a Sicily-based arm of her favorite luxury resort hotel. The show will again track the Lotus' rich guests — with a new batch of folks played by the likes of Michael Imperioli, F. Murray Abraham and Aubrey Plaza — for a week.

Elsewhere on HBO Max, you've got "A Whole Me" new comedy special from Yvonne Orji (Oct. 1), Batwheels (Oct. 18), a children's show where the cars belonging to the heroes of Gotham City can talk and Garcia! (Oct. 28), a new series we wish had a trailer — as it's about a young reporter who defrosts a "cryogenically frozen secret agent from the 1960s."

My recommendation: HBO Max is the strongest service in October 2022, providing the end of House of the Dragon season 1, a lot of unscripted programming from big names, and the returns of The White Lotus and The Vow.

Should you cancel Netflix in October 2022?

As we've written, the Netflix Fall TV schedule is sparse. Oh, and Schitt's Creek leaves  (Oct. 2 is the last day) and arrives on Hulu (Oct. 3) this month. So, what's Netflix doing to stop you from canceling in October 2022? Our new on Netflix for the week of Oct. 3 roundup will give you all the immediate details, but there's more.

Netflix loves laughs, so we should highlight comedy specials of the month such as Hasan Minhaj: The King’s Jester (Oct. 4), Iliza Shlesinger: Hot Forever (Oct. 11), Gabriel Iglesias: Stadium Fluffy Live From Los Angeles (Oct. 18) and Fortune Feimster: Good Fortune (Oct. 25)

Fabulous and dramatic reality is back on Netflix this month, with Bling Empire: Season 3 (Oct. 5) and one of its biggest reality shows, Love Is Blind: Season 3 (Oct. 19, 26)

If you love gripping documentaries, then The Trapped 13: How We Survived The Thai Cave (Oct. 5) is worth an entry in your watch list. And Unsolved Mysteries Vol. 3 (Oct. 25) debuts the start of its new season. That said, its lack of a full-season drop and its late-month arrival is part of why we think some can wait til November.

Netflix isn't done with Jeffrey Dahmer, either. Following Ryan Murphy's controversial Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Netflix's series of documentary specials that use archival interviews is back, with Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes (Oct. 7).

Derry Girls season 3 (Oct. 7) finally crosses the pond to Netflix this month, as Michelle, Erin, Clare and the rest of the group are here to bring the tension. The period-piece series' final season finds the kids approaching their standardized testing, while The Troubles continue in Northern Ireland.

Looking for spooky sights? The Midnight Club (Oct. 7) adapts Christopher Pike's YA series with a twist, the terminally ill teens bonding over their love of scary stories are actually retelling some of Pike's other works. More horror comes with the Marlon Wayans and Priah Ferguson-led The Curse of Bridge Hollow (Oct. 14).

Scary and style combine, though at The School for Good and Evil (Oct. 21). This bewitching-looking teen film stars Sophia Anne Caruso and Sofia Wylie as best friends who get into a magical battle at a school for the aspiringly magical. While Charlize Theron, Michelle Yeoh and Kerry Washington have roles as teachers, it's director Paul Feig who makes us consider this film.

Elsewhere on Netflix, The Redeem Team (Oct. 7) looks to recapture The Last Dance's NBA docudrama with stories of LeBron and Kobe's Olympic team, and Big Mouth season 6 (Oct. 28) returns at the tail end of the month.

Horror fans may be drawn into Guillermo del Toro’s highly anticipated horror anthology series finally has a release date. Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (Oct. 25), though, is more of a project he's created and curated, as only two chapters (Lot 36 and The Murmuring) are based on his original works. Episodes feature actors including Rupert Grint, Tim Blake Nelson and Andrew Lincoln.

My recommendation: Horror fans have some potential treats this month, as do reality TV and documentary fans, but this month of Netflix is mostly for the Big Mouth and Derry Girls fans. Another beloved scripted return would have changed our mind. 

Should you cancel Hulu in October 2022?

Hulu, starting October 10, will be at least $1 more expensive with its ad-supported version going to $7.99 per month, so its $6.99 per month rate is fleeting to say the least. If you also use Disney Plus, well, get that Disney Plus bundle to save now, because the House of the Mouse's service goes up to $10.99 (up $3) in December.

So, with that news already creating some annoyed subscribers? Well, How's Hulu staving off aggravated cancelations? In part, we bet Hulu's banking on cord-cutters who need it for next-day delivery of shows, as Atlanta season 4 (FX) Bob's Burgers (Fox) and 9-1-1 season 6 (also Fox) will arrive there.

There's also that subset of people who pay for live tv on Sling TV, which doesn't have ABC programming. They'll want Hulu for Abbott Elementary season 2 and other shows. 

But what about actual Hulu subscribers who have cable or don't need those shows? Huluween Dragstravaganza (Oct. 1) brings a big-time drag variety show to the green machine. Soon, Schitt's Creek (Oct. 3) makes its way over from Netflix. Which is great if you want to re-watch the show, but if you've been putting off giving Schitt's Creek a try, I'm not sure this will force your hand.

As for actual Hulu originals, the 2019 Dreamworks movie Abominable gets a spin-off show Abominable and The Invisible City (Oct. 5). Hulu's biggest release of the month is the Hellraiser (Oct. 7), one of the 7 best new movies to stream online in its week of release. It's basically a reboot, and comes from director David Bruckner, screenplay by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski. After Hulu won with Prey, people may be optimistic about a new Hellraiser, but we're waiting for more reactions.

New Hulu horror movie Grimcutty (Oct. 10) is about a meme that becomes a threat. More horror on Hulu arrives later with the original movie Matriarch (Oct. 21), where Laura (Jemima Rooper) returns home to her estranged mother following a near-fatal overdose, only to discover something truly creepy going on that's rooted in her family.

Rosaline (Oct. 14) is a new angle on Romeo & Juliet, with Kaitlyn Dever as the titular cousin of fair Juliet, who was Romeo's recent love interest — and seeks to play spoiler. The Handmaid's Tale season 5 (Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26) continues this month as well. 

Justin Roiland fans get a double-dip this month, with the A Sinister Halloween Scary Opposites Solar Special (Oct. 3) and The Paloni Show! Halloween Special! (Oct. 17). 

My recommendation: Unless you cut the cord, love Justin Roiland or follow all things Hellraiser? Hulu seems inessential this month.

Should you cancel Disney Plus in October 2022?

The runner-up to HBO Max for the service with the strongest October 2022, Disney Plus packs the last two episodes of this season of She-Hulk (Oct. 6, 13), and we're dying for Daredevil or Hulk King to emerge in She-Hulk episode 8. This month also offers four more episodes of Andor (Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26). If you're waiting for all 12 Andor episodes to be out, though, you won't need to come back to Disney Plus until right Thanksgiving (finale airs Nov. 23).

But early on, Disney Plus has more Marvel for you, with the Werewolf by Night (Oct. 7) special. It's directed by Michael Giacchino, stars Gael Garcia Bernal and we expect to see at least Time Variance Authority employee show up from Loki. Currently, Werewolf by Night is 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

After that, Dancing with the Stars 2022 (Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31) continues, airing live on Monday nights. The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers season 2 (Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26) is also airing new episodes — which feature the returning Bash Brothers, as Fulton Reed and Dean Portman (Elden Henson and Aaron Lohr) are back on the ice.

Oh, and Star Wars fans, Andor isn't the only treat you have awaiting. Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi (Oct. 26) is a set of original shorts coming to Disney Plus. While Rosario Dawson wasn't available to voice Ahsoka Tano (busy working on the Ahsoka show, we imagine) Liam Neeson will voice Qui-Gon Jinn. Familiar characters such as Bail Organa, Mace Windu and Count Dooku will appear, but their voice-casting is TBA.

Then, The Mysterious Benedict Society season 2 (Oct. 26) debuts, as does new series Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t (also Oct. 26) about a college senior who is pushed to join the sumo club if he wants to graduate.

My recommendation: The end of She-Hulk, more Andor, Werewolf by Night, and Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi looks like a case of quality over quantity.

Streaming services in October: Highlights this month

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ServiceNoteworthy shows and moviesMonthly price
Apple TV PlusShantaram, Raymond & Ray, Acapulco season 2$4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99
Disney PlusWerewolf by Night, Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, She-Hulk (continuing), Andor (continuing)$7.99 / £7.99 / AU$11.99
HBO MaxThe White Lotus season 2, House of the Dragon (continuing), Fixer Upper: The Castle, The Vow Part Two, $9.99 with ads, $14.99 without ads
NetflixLove Is Blind: Season 3, Derry Girls season 3, Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities$15.49 / £10.99 / AU$16.99 for Standard
HuluHellraiser (2022), Schitt’s Creek, Rosaline$6.99 with ads, $12.99 without ads (before Oct. 10), $7.99 with ads, $14.99 without ads (after Oct. 10)

The three streaming services I'd cancel this month are:

Of course, I re-iterate my usual proviso: your mileage may vary. Cord-cutters may value Hulu more. Fans of the documentary and reality TV genres may hate me for suggesting you cancel Netflix. As will the devotees of Derry Girls and Guillermo Del Toro. But right now, when we're all trying to save for holiday shopping? It's a time to make sure you're spending your money wisely — and you know about the upcoming offerings on the streaming services you pay for. Apple TV's lineup? Well, they'll score some goals once Ted Lasso is back.

For October, I'm most impressed by HBO Max's assortment. Not only does House of the Dragon look to end strong, but White Lotus and The Vow both returning in the same month is a great play on their part. Not to mention Pennyworth for the Bat-fans, and big-name reality TV stars in the Gaines' and Mark Wahlberg. Netflix may always win on sheer numbers — and I share as much as I think some may find interesting, but HBO Max's lineup just looks better.

Somehow Disney Plus is winning with a less-is-more approach, with dueling excellent shows in Andor (Wednesdays) and She-Hulk (Thursdays) arriving on back to back days. Combine that with some new Star Wars animation and more Dancing with the Stars? It's solid.

So, keep your eyes on your TV and your monthly recurring subscriptions.

Next: Circle the Hellraiser (2022) release date on your calendar. Check out our Andor episode 5 preview.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.