From 1980s-themed horror to a real-life murder mystery, Gwyneth Paltrow’s TV return, comedy and the final season of a great sitcom, here’s September’s best TV shows to watch and stream.
American Horror Story: 1984 (Fox Showcase, Sept. 19)
The latest offering in the anthology horror-drama series from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk pays homage to movies of the 1980s, like a sicker Stranger Things (think more slasher films, less sci-fi). Emma Roberts stars alongside AHS veterans Billie Lourd, John Carroll Lynch, Leslie Grossman as well as Glee’s Matthew Morrison).
The Politician (Netflix, Sept. 27)
Busy collaborators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk – along with writer Ian Brennan – also explore backstabbing of a different kind in an eight-part satire starring Pitch Perfect’s Ben Platt as a ruthless high-schooler gunning for the gig of Student Body President as a stepping stone on his privileged path to the White House. Like Election set among the uber-wealthy. Bette Midler, Jessica Lange, Lucy Boynton and Falchuk’s wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, co-star.
Murder in the Bayou (Stan, Sept. 14)
In a true story that’s too dark to be a True Detective plot, this five-part docuseries—based on Ethan Brown’s best-selling book— investigates a serial killer case that takes an even more sinister turn. It follows the unsolved murders of eight women whose bodies were discovered between 2005 and 2009 in drainage canals and on back roads in and around the town of Jennings, Louisiana.
The Good Place (Netflix, Sept. 26)
If you haven’t yet watched one of the best forking sitcoms around – and if you don’t get that gag – do yourself a favour and binge on the afterlife-themed comedy set across multiple planes of reality before rejoining the Soul Squad (featuring Kristen Bell, Ted Danson and Jameela Jamil) as they return for the fourth and final season.
The Affair (Fox Showcase, Sept. 1)
It’s been five years since a New York City school teacher (Dominic West) stepped outside his marriage with a Montauk waitress (Ruth Wilson) and the final repercussions are set to be played out in the split-narrative – and sometimes patchy – drama’s last season, with Anna Paquin joining the cast in a decade-jumping plot twist.
Unbelievable (Netflix, Sept. 13)
Inspired by a 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning article titled ‘An Unbelievable Story of Rape’, the true-crime series tells the story of an 18-year-old woman (played by Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever) charged with falsely reporting a rape before two Colorado female detectives (Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) work together to track down the truth.
Transparent Musical Finale (Amazon Prime, Sept. 27)
The show must go on: In the wake of accusations of sexual harassment against series lead Jeffrey Tambor (the show’s titular trans parent) the fifth and final season has been cut down to a stand-alone toe-tapping episode. “What we went through over the past couple of years, we needed to find a new way to enter this story,” showrunner Jill Soloway said during a panel at the Television Critics Association Press Tour. Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass and Katherine Hahn return to go out with a bang.
Shrill (SBS Viceland, Sept.3)
Saturday Night Live scene-stealer Aidy Bryant stars as in this six-episode social commentary comedy adapted from Lindy West’s best-selling book and backed by big names producers including Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks.
Ramy (Stan, Sept. 13)
First-generation American Muslim and stand-up comedian Ramy Youssef stars in this critically acclaimed semi-autobiographical series about a dazed and confused twenty-something juggling the expectations of his heritage with the daily grind of living with his parents in New Jersey.