by Julian Spivey
“Evil” (Netflix) – Now
I’m thrilled that “Evil,” the best new television show from last fall’s slate of broadcast TV shows, is now available on Netflix for TV viewers who don’t watch television in a traditional way to enjoy. “Evil” is from Robert and Michelle King, the creators of “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,” and is about a team that includes a Priest (played by Mike Colter) and a psychologist and religious skeptic (played by Katja Herbers) that investigate unexplained mysteries like demonic possession and supposed miracles. The show is creepy as all get out, but also incredibly well-written and acted. Now that it’s found a streaming home on America’s biggest streaming service, I can’t wait for new fans to find the show – and hopefully watch season two (whenever it airs) on CBS to help keep this terrific show alive.
“The Right Stuff” (Disney+) – 10/9
Disney+’s first original scripted series that seems to truly be geared toward an adult audience is “The Right Stuff,” based on Tom Wolfe’s 1979 novel and 1983 film of the same name. The series follows the U.S. space program’s Project Mercury and the seven astronauts that became known as the Mercury Seven. The series, which is co-produced by National Geographic, stars Jake McDorman (who was excellent in the short-lived CBS drama “Limitless”) as astronaut Alan Shepard and Patrick J. Adams (who starred in USA Network’s “Suits”) as astronaut John Glenn. It’s nice to see Disney+ trying something a bit different from what you’re used to from that platform.
“The West Wing” Election Special (HBO Max) – 10/15
“The West Wing” is my all-time favorite TV drama, so I’m completely biased about this choice. The cast and creators of “The West Wing,” an Emmy darling that ran on NBC from 1999-2006, is reuniting for an election special hoping to promote voting in the 2020 Presidential election next month. The special will include a theatrical streaming of “Hartsfield’s Landing,” a third season episode of the series, that will be shot from the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles early this month. Martin Sheen, Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, Dule Hill, Janel Maloney and Rob Lowe will all reprise their roles from the original series.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) – 10/16
October is a good month on streaming services for Aaron Sorkin, not only will he be reuniting with the cast of his iconic TV show “The West Wing” for a voting special on HBO Max, but his film “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” which he wrote and directed, premieres on Netflix the very next day. The trailer for “The Trial of the Chicago 7” debuted a few weeks back and it looks absolutely phenomenal. Being written by Sorkin you know it’s going to be filled with fantastic dialogue at the very least. But the true story of a group of ant-Vietnam War protestors who were charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intent of inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention also features an incredible ensemble cast that includes Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella, Mark Rylance, Michael Keaton and recent Emmy winners Jeremy Strong and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
“David Byrne’s American Utopia” (HBO Max) – 10/17
Legendary filmmaker Spike Lee directed a performance of David Byrne’s Broadway musical “American Utopia,” a musical based on Byrne’s 2018 album of the same name, but also featuring music going back to his work with the Talking Heads in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The concert film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10 and will both be broadcast on HBO and made available for streaming on HBO Max on Oct. 17. I saw parts of the “American Utopia” performance earlier this year when Byrne and the cast of his Broadway show were musical guests on “Saturday Night Live” and it looked like a ton of fun.