Amazon and Hulu each have new series premiering this month, Good Girls Revolt and Goliath on Amazon, and Chance on Hulu. Netflix brings us returning series like Black Mirror and The Fall along with all their original movies and standup comedy specials too. Four of the five series I’m previewing this month did sessions for the Television Critics Association so I’ll let the stars of the shows speak for themselves.
Good Girls Revolt – October 28 on Amazon
Based on the true story told in Lynn Povich’s book, Good Girls Revolt is a dramatized depiction of women in a newsroom who decide to sue their male bosses for the right to have their bylines on the stories they write. Perhaps the Good Girls Revolt even paved the way for women to start their own blogs decades later. Anna Camp, Joy Bryant, Erin Drake and newcomer Genevieve Angelson star as the “Good Girls.”
“It’s definitely picking up where Mad Men leaves off,” Camp said. “At the end of the last season of “Mad Men,” Joan was starting off her own company and starting to really assert herself as a woman in the industry and business. I feel like our show does pick up pretty much right on that, and what happens to the women, who then have to come forward and take a stand and assert their rights. I feel like it’s a continuation of that in a way. I was a huge fan of that show obviously.”
Chance – October 19 on Hulu
Hugh Laurie returns to a medical drama of sorts. Eldon Chance (Laurie) is a neuro-psychiatrist, not a diagnostician like Gregory House, and Chance gets caught up in a mystery as he tries to help a patient with dissociative identity disorder. Chance is also based on a book, not the myriad medical conditions a writing staff could research every week.
“And a monosyllable,” Laurie reflected. “It’s only just occurred to me. I thought, ‘God, should he be called Chancelington or Chancefordbury?’ I honestly don’t see any similarities [to House]. Maybe that’s because I’ve got to build a wall between the two things, and maybe I’m incorrect. Maybe it would be a terrible distraction for the audience, but I hope not because, to me, the characters are massively different. Their practices are different. Their attitude to life is different, and the story that unfolds is infinitely removed from that other world.”
Black Mirror – October 21 on Netflix
When Netflix premiered the first two seasons of the brief U.K. sci-fi anthology Black Mirror, it blew streaming audiences’ minds. Now Black Mirror returns with all new episodes to surprise fans with different takes on technology. A sort of modern twist on The Twilight Zone or Outer Limits, Black Mirror only has to extrapolate on the technology we already have. It’s hardly science fiction at all.
“Technology is never the villain in this show,” said Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker. “It’s always kind of there. It’s always about human failings and human messes, basically, that technology has helped facilitate.”
Goliath – October 14 on Amazon
For some, the main draw of Goliath could be Billy Bob Thornton returning to television. If you’re a fan of legal dramas, the even bigger name would be David E. Kelley. Goliath is the first streaming series from the creator of Ally McBeal, The Practice and Boston Legal and it is a chance to show what dark corners of the law he can mine without any broadcast restrictions. Thornton plays a disgraced lawyer who gets a case that could be his redemption.
“I think people are drawn to both of those types of characters, the antihero,” Thornton said. “I guess that’s a label that’s been on a lot of characters over the years, and I’ve played a few of those. You know what this was for me, though? The thing that appealed to me anyway was a guy whose sense of justice is not exactly what’s legal. It’s more what’s fair, he believes. But he’s also got a bunch of flaws. You can’t just make a guy milk and cookies, you know. No matter what type of guy he is, every human being has their flaws, and he’s not always right. He also doesn’t always do things on the up and up. He’s kind of a guy who uses whatever means he has, which I guess any lawyer does. The Fargo character was an out and out villain, but this guy also has his really dark side, even though I suppose for the piece he is the hero.”
The Fall – October 29 on Netflix
Netflix did not have a TCA session for this returning series, so I don’t know much about the third season except for how great the first two were. With only five and six episodes respectively, The Fall was an utterly compelling drama between a brilliant police woman (Gillian Anderson) and a compartmentalized, duplicitous serial killer (Jami Dornan). With less than half the episodes per season of a Marvel show, six more episodes is not too daunting a commitment. If anything, it will leave us wanting more in the end. I can’t wait to see what series creator Alan Cubitt is up to for his third season.