As we reach the end of October (and edge towards the great British holiday that is Halloween), there seems to be a slightly disappointing lack of new horror shows. Of course, the one to keep an eye out for is Ash vs. Evil Dead, the continuation of Sam Raimi’s cult classic Evil Dead franchise. Unfortunately, as of yet there is no word on when – or if – this will make its way onto UK tellies. Bummer. Luckily for us though, there is still an alright-looking host of new series starting this week, as well as a few stellar returning ones. Have a look.
First off is the only fresh horror-orientated show coming out this week, Scream Queens. Helmed by showrunner Ryan Murphy, whose television shows have a knack for starting out strong before sinking into mediocrity, the story follows the “Kappa Kappa Tau” sorority at Wallace University. Emma Roberts (We’re The Millers, American Horror Story) stars as the leader of said sorority group, who is under the sharp eye of the Dean, played by Jamie Lee Curtis (A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies), as all hell breaks loose around them due to the reemergence of a serial killer. Recently, Murphy is most famous for his work on Glee and American Horror Story, and it seems that he is mixing things up tonally this time around with this horror-comedy. The show has received mixed reviews thus far in the U.S., and while it is probably not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, this may well be worth checking out. Fun fact: Billie Lourd (daughter of Carrie Fisher) stars as one of Roberts’ cronies, and is constantly sporting a pair of earmuffs that closely resemble Princess Leia’s silly iconic hairstyle. Wasn’t that a fun fact? This show premieres on E4, at 10pm on Monday.
Most good British sitcoms seem to take donkey’s years to show up back on the television, so it’s great that Channel 4 show Catastrophe has returned fast. Proving itself earlier this year to be a catastrophe only in name, this series removed any doubt that “Twitter comedian” Rob Delaney’s wit was only limited to 140 characters of hilarious nonsense at a time, and also brought the brilliant comedy actor/writer Sharon Horgan back onto our screens. While the first series focused on Rob and Sarah’s characters getting married after a brief affair that resulted in pregnancy, this series sees the arrival of their child, and the trials and tribulations that will obviously offer. Delaney and Horgan’s minds together managed to conjure up some of the best British comedy in years, as honest as it was hilarious, and hopefully they’ve been able to repeat their success. It is also worth mentioning that Carrie Fisher actually turns up every now and then as Rob’s mum, just one member of a plethora of really funny supporting characters. Catastrophe returns at 10pm on Tuesday.
Heartbreakingly, it seems that the Carrie Fisher theme of this article is probably going to come to a crashing halt from here on out, but fortunately we have the brand new BBC One police drama Cuffs to discuss. Definitely the least well-known of the programs we’re concentrating on this week (it doesn’t have a Wikipedia page yet), this show, penned by Julie Gearey (Prisoners’ Wives, Secret Diary of a Call Girl), exhibits quite a bit of promise. Being billed as a humorous character-driven drama that displays the challenges of being a police officer, this show has lots of sterling actors you would probably recognise from other great British TV shows, including Peter Sullivan (State of Play), Amanda Abbington (Sherlock), and Paul Ready (Utopia). This cop drama premieres at 8pm on Wednesday.
Next up on Wednesday, we have the return of award-winning Showtime series The Affair. Starring the excellent Dominic West (The Wire, The Hour) and Ruth Wilson (Luther, The Lone Ranger) as the subjects of the titular extramarital affair, this American drama scrutinises the emotional effects of their sins. Back for its second season, we can expect great things, seeing as the show won both Best Drama and Best Actress in the Television Series Drama categories at the Golden Globes this year. That is of course, if you reside in the camp that doesn’t believe that the Golden Globes are stupid and meaningless. It doesn’t seem that Wilson will be returning for another show-stealing turn as Alice for the new series of Luther, but at least we have this to tide us over for now. The show has already been on for a few weeks in the States now, and the critics still love it. You can catch it for yourself on Sky Atlantic at 9pm.
Viola Davis made headlines last month for becoming the first ever African-American woman to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and by all accounts Davis is absolutely brilliant in mystery drama How to Get Away with Murder. Davis stars as a law professor who, along with five of her students, becomes involved in a murder plot, which must be still going on, seeing as this ABC show is returning for its second season. Created by Peter Nowalk (known for his writing on Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal), this is the latest product of “ShondaLand”, the production company conceived by Shonda Rhimes, the creator of the two previously mentioned shows. If you like the sound of the fast-paced, captivating How to Get Away with Murder (or if you enjoyed Scandal), the second season begins on Wednesday at 10pm, on the Universal Channel.
Finally this week, on Sky1 we have another one of those crazy superhero shows: Supergirl. Originally intended to be set in the same universe as Arrow and The Flash (its creators are even writers from those two shows), it seems as if that is no longer the case, with this show being its own entity for now. Following Melissa Benoist (Glee, Whiplash) as Kara Zor-El, this show seems to fall in with the whole DC Comics trope of a God-like being struggling to be a human. That being said, you may have seen the Saturday Night Live skit which proposed that if Marvel’s Black Widow had a solo film starring Scarlett Johansson, it would basically just be her worrying about her job and trying to find love in New York City. Well, when that huge trailer for Supergirl dropped a few months ago, it looked an awful lot like that SNL sketch, which was not encouraging in the slightest. Thankfully, early reviews of the series indicate that it is, in fact, pretty good. So, you know what they say, don’t judge a book by its overlong six-and-a-half minute trailer. You can see Supergirl on Thursday at 8pm, and you can see that mammoth of a trailer below.