1. “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” (available October 11)
Why Should I Watch? How can you not watch? After delivering one of the few widely beloved series finales ever and then following it up with an improbably successful prequel series, Vince Gilligan has decided to continue the “Breaking Bad” story through its sole surviving character, Jesse Pinkman.
Aaron Paul was always game to come back to the role, teasing cameos on “Better Call Saul” for years, and now the world will see if a new movie – er, sorry, a new “Netflix Television Event” can recapture the magic that captivated TV viewers (and Emmy voters) for five enthralling seasons.
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Whether it turns out as excellent as its predecessors or as terrible as our worst nightmares, “El Camino” is still a must-watch.
Bonus Reason: Written and directed by Gilligan, “El Camino” is also an invitation to see how “Breaking Bad” works in a new format. This is a one-off movie, not an ongoing series. The drug saga that came before was built on addiction — a runaway train of momentum careening forward until Walter White (Bryan Cranston) ran out of track.
“El Camino” is a shorter ride; an epilogue for Jesse Pinkman; a complete arc in two hours instead of 62. What will Gilligan do with the time? Compress a similar thriller, or explore a whole new genre through his old, established character?
No matter what, it will be exciting to find out.
2. “Big Mouth” Season 3 (available now)
Why Should I Watch? “Big Mouth” is really, really great. It’s Emmy-nominated, Gotham Award-nominated, and endorsed by critics across-the-board. It’s got a cast of excellent comedians, from co-creator Nick Kroll to John Mulaney, Jenny Slate, Jessi Klein, Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, and Andrew Rannells. It’s got great original music, colorful, inventive animation, and the writing keeps things moving at a clip guaranteed to hold your attention. If you’ve yet to discover “Big Mouth,” you’re in for one helluva binge this month.
Bonus Reason: With “BoJack Horseman” ending this season, the adult animation landscape is losing a titan — which means it’s all the more critical that “Big Mouth” sticks around, grows in audience awareness, and otherwise gets the attention it deserves. Luckily, Netflix has renewed it for three more seasons. Even better, Season 3 shows no dip in quality, so this Netflix original is ready to pick up the departing show’s slack.
3. “Raising Dion” Season 1 (available now)
Why Should I Watch? Based on Dennis Liu’s 2015 comic book and short film, the new Netflix original series brings Michael B. Jordan back to the world of grounded superhero dramas. Sure, he blew the roof off the place with “Black Panther,” but years prior Jordan was a supporting star in Josh Trank’s breakout sci-fi hit, “Chronicle” — and while “Raising Dion” isn’t made with “found footage,” it is about a young man gaining superpowers and learning how to use them for the better. Ja’Siah Young plays Dion, a boy still recovering from the death of his father (Jordan), while his mother, Nicole (Alisha Wainwright), is between jobs. “Raising Dion” focuses more on Nicole and Dion than anyone else — relegating Jordan to guest star duty — but it tells a family-friendly mystery filled with missing people, suspicious corporations, and, lest you think it’s totally off the rails, a mother-son relationship with respect for their specific reality. Plus, Jordan executive produces, so it’s not like he’s ever really gone.
Bonus Reason: By now, Jason Ritter has charmed you in one show or another. Whether it was “Parenthood,” “Drunk History,” “Gravity Falls,” “Another Period,” or (God help you), “The Tale,” John Ritter’s affable son has proven himself a versatile character actor and serves a welcome supporting role here, as Dion’s generous, always-available godfather. Even if you were hoping to see Michael B. Jordan in every episode, Ritter will quickly alleviate any disappointment.
4. “Living With Yourself” Season 1 (available October 18)
Why Should I Watch? How much do you like Paul Rudd? Enough that you’ve ever wished there were two of him? Well, Netflix got your message and is giving you two for the price of Rudd. “Living With Yourself” focuses on Miles (Rudd), a marketing executive stuck in a rut — his work bores him, he’s going through the motions with his wife, and he’s generally unfulfilled. So he takes a big risk and invests a chunk of change in a company that promises to deliver a new and improved version of Miles, no matter what. Well, things don’t go exactly as planned, and suddenly he finds himself in a fight for everything he was taking for granted. A comedy unafraid to ask big questions, “Living With Yourself” brings you all sides of Rudd in neat half-hour chunks.
Bonus Reason: Created by “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” scribe Timothy Greenberg, “Living With Yourself” is also directed and executive produced by “Little Miss Sunshine” helmers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Just imagining the amiable comic stylings of Mr. Paul Rudd mixed with the creative spirit behind “Ruby Sparks” is all the motivation we need to push play.
5. “Schitt’s Creek” Season 5 (available October 10)
Why Should I Watch? Does the name “Schitt’s Creek” sound extra familiar? Sure, it’s part of a very common phrase involving a paddle and, presumably, a raft of some kind, but “Schitt’s” with the added “c” and “t” should look a little shinier right now because the PopTV comedy was recently nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards — stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara earned lead acting accolades while the series itself fought its way into a very competitive Best Comedy field. Did anyone win? No, but the Emmys are often a war of attrition: first you’re nominated, then you’re nominated more, then you win. Consider Phase One complete.
Bonus Reason: Now the bad news: “Schitt’s Creek” doesn’t have time for a three-phase Emmy plan because it’s ending next season! But don’t fret. All that means is more people (like you, if you’re still reading) need to hop on the bandwagon and enjoy this charming treasure of a family comedy while it’s still fresh. Check out Season 5 when it’s released on Netflix, and get ready for Season 6 win it debuts in January 2020. You get to enjoy quite a few episodes packed with wonderful comedy, plus you’ll be ready to see the end the same way the biggest fans do: as it rolls out. Throw in an Emmy win or two for “Schitt’s Creek” in 2020, and it’s a win-win-win.
6. “The Kominsky Method” Season 2 (available October 25)
Why Should I Watch? Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin remain the primary draw for this Netflix original about an aging acting coach and his aging manager. The two share a solid repartee in Season 1 — the kind of ol’ buddy back-and-forth that could spark even brighter as they spend more time together. If that sounds like your cup of tea, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in this Hollywood-set comedy.
Bonus Reason: Chuck Lorre got a taste of the awards race last year, when his first pseudo-serious comedy (aka dramedy, aka non-single-cam CBS show) snagged the sitcom veteran a Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series (and the show won another for Douglas as the lead actor). But despite three nominations at the Emmys, Lorre himself couldn’t crack the race — perhaps that will motivate him to dive deeper, get funnier, and find some real gosh darn truth in this casual study of old men wishing they were young again — if only so they could pee freely. Oh, and Season 2 features Paul Reiser and Jane Seymour. They’re very nice.
7. “Daybreak” Season 1 (available October 24)
Why Should I Watch? I’m legally obligated to mention, if not outright recommend, anything that features Matthew Broderick playing some sort of school official. Sure, “Election” is a fantastic series, and yes, “The Politician” borrowed from the best just a bit last month, but Broderick himself is also having quite a moment: His last four TV roles have been on “BoJack Horseman,” “The Conners” (opposite the great Laurie Metcalf, which is important), “At Home With Amy Sedaris,” and “Better Things” — so this post-apocalyptic teen comedy about the survivors of a high school post-nuclear blast, well, it could be a big swing and a miss. But with Broderick’s hot streak on the line, we’re willing to give it a shot.
Bonus Reason: The official Netflix synopsis describes “Daybreak” as “part samurai saga, part endearing coming-of-age story, and part Battle Royale.” I don’t know about you, but that’s an enticingly strange combination of genres, and the desert-like atmosphere seen in the first trailer also evoke the wild energy of “Mad Max.” So let’s give this weird little show a shot, and watch to see if the selected tribe of survivors are worth rooting for — or against.
The Rest of Incoming TV
“My Next Guest with David Letterman and Shah Rukh Khan” (TBA)
“Carmen Sandiego” Season 2 (available now)
“Bring It On, Ghost” Season 1 (available now)
“Cheese in the Trap” Season 1 (available now)
“Chicago Typewriter” Season 1 (available now)
“Signal” Season 1 (available now)
“Tomorrow with You” (available now)
“Tunnel” Season 1 (available now)
“Living Undocumented” (available now)
“Rotten” Season 2 (available now)
“Creeped Out” Season 2 (available now)
“Peaky Blinders” Season 5 (available now)
“Super Monsters” Season 3 (available now)
“Legend Quest: Masters of Myth” Season 1 (available now)
“Rhythm + Flow” Season 1 (available October 9)
“Haunted” Season 2 (available October 11)
“Insatiable” Season 2 (available October 11)
“Plan Coeur” Season 2 (available October 11)
“YooHoo to the Rescue” Season 2 (available October 11)
“Baby” Season 2 (available October 18)
“Interior Design Masters” (available October 18)
“The House of Flowers” Season 2 (available October 18)
“MeatEater” Season 8 (available October 18)
“Tell Me Who I Am” Season 1 (available October 18)
“Toon” Seasons 1-2 (available October 18)
“Unnatural Selection” (available October 18)
“Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner” (available October 23)
“Daybreak” Season 1 (available October 24)
“Brotherhood” Season 1 (available October 25)
“Greenhouse Academy” Season 3 (available October 25)
“Prank Encounters” (available October 25)
“Shine on with Reese” Season 1 (available October 28)
“Nowhere Man” Season 1 (available October 31)
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