Change is afoot in October's streaming highlights as a Toronto nanny plots an overseas escape and a Mexican man finds adventure at a splashy hotel resort.
Here's a look at what to watch this month:
Sabi (Bilal Baig) is looking to reset their life in a big way. Disillusioned by their dead-end nanny job and caught in a failed romantic relationship, the gender-fluid South Asian Torontonian decides its time for some big changes, starting with uprooting their life and moving to Berlin. Those plans are already in motion when a sudden turn of events leads them to reconsider everything they imagined would be their future. Cleverly written and frenetically paced, "Sort Of" is a fresh and funny series that authentically captures the vibrant energy of Toronto and the terminal indecision that plagues many of its young people. (CBC Gem, Oct. 5, episodes weekly)
Sunshine and poolside revelry add a unique energy to this candy-coloured comedy set inside a Mexican hotel resort in 1984. Young Maximo thinks he's got it made when he scores his dream job as a cabana boy at Las Colinas, but it isn’t long before he learns that working there is more complicated than serving margaritas and pocketing tips. Told in flashbacks by an older, richer Maximo (Eugenio Derbez), the 10-part series is a breezy escape stacked with family drama, romance and the pinkest hotel imaginable. (Apple TV Plus, Oct. 8)
Blood will stream across all the major platforms in a countdown to Halloween. Netflix treats viewers to a selection of horror fare, including its interactive “Escape the Undertaker” (Oct. 5) where WWE wrestler the Undertaker invites you inside his haunted house on an adventure where you choose the storyline's direction. Other Netflix picks include high school graduation murder spree “There’s Someone Inside Your House” (Oct. 6) and Los Angeles-set vampire thriller “Night Teeth” (Oct. 20). On Crave’s HBO tier, several recent scary movies arrive, including “Spiral: From the Book of Saw” (Oct. 15) and “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” (Oct. 29). Horror streaming service Shudder adds an array of titles, among them “V/H/S/94,” (Oct. 6) the latest in the popular anthology film series.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” and Beyond
Unless you’ve been living under a bedazzled rock lately, you've probably sampled the imaginative world of drag culture. Helped by the global success of RuPaul’s franchise, some queens rode their popularity to celebrity status, landing movie roles and sponsorship deals. In October, the drag train shows no signs of slowing as "RuPaul's Drag Race UK" continues its current season on Crave while “Canada’s Drag Race” (Crave, Oct. 14, episodes weekly) returns for a second season. Toronto queen Brooke Lynn Hytes holds court with actress Amanda Brugel, fashion personality Brad Goreski and CTV’s “etalk” senior correspondent Traci Melchor joining as fellow judges. Meanwhile, former "Drag Race" contestants Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O'Hara and Shangela embark on another season of their inspiring reality show “We’re Here” (Crave/HBO, Oct. 11, episodes weekly), where they visit small-town America and give average folks a dose of confidence with a drag makeover.
ALSO THIS MONTH:
"All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs" – As COVID-19 sends the 2020-2021 hockey season into a spin, this five-part docuseries looks at how Toronto's NHL team navigates the uncertainty. (Amazon Prime Video, Oct. 1)
“The Guilty” – Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a police officer reassigned to the dispatch desk when a kidnapped woman calls for help. Based on an acclaimed film from Denmark. (Netflix, Oct. 1)
“Black Widow” – Scarlett Johansson leads the Marvel superhero adventure. (Disney Plus, Oct. 6)
“Muppets Haunted Mansion” – Gonzo dares to spend one night in Disney's Haunted Mansion. (Disney Plus, Oct. 8)
“I Know What You Did Last Summer” – Lois Duncan’s 1973 novel, originally adapted into a 1997 teen slasher, gets reworked as an eight-episode series. (Amazon Prime Video, Oct. 15, episodes weekly)
“Invasion” – A slow-burn sci-fi series set on four continents as an alien life force encroaches on Earth. Starring Sam Neill. (Apple TV Plus, Oct. 22)
“Oscar Peterson: Black + White” – A look at the life of the acclaimed Montreal jazz pianist. (Crave/HBO, Oct. 22)
RETURNING SERIES: Another twisted chapter of stalker series “You” unfolds Oct. 15 on Netflix, while further chills haunt the second season of “Locke & Key” on Oct. 22. Inner-city teen drama “On My Block” wraps up its fourth and final Netflix season on Oct. 4. Meanwhile, Crave’s HBO tier begins new chapters of several marquee TV titles. Season 11 of the Larry David comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm” kicks off its weekly run on Oct. 24, the same night Issa Rae's relationship saga “Insecure” starts season 5. And family boardroom drama “Succession” makes its anticipated return on Oct. 17.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2021.
David Friend, The Canadian Press