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Five shows to binge-watch in October

Phil on Film
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Posted at 10:35 AM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 13:35:30-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Looking to camp out on the couch and take down a show that will keep you up way too late and help you procrastinate from doing more important tasks? Here are five shows to stream.

TED LASSO

Premise: A cynical British soccer club owner hires a mid-level college football coach, hoping to undermine the team's success and get back at her ex-husband.
Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Brett Goldstein, Juno Temple.
Service: Apple TV+.
Why it's impossible to stop watching: Sudeikis has found the defining role of his career. In his Emmy-winning performance, he turns coaching cliches inside-out, adding a disarming intelligence and emotional vulnerability to the part. The writing is also top-notch, and the jokes always connect.

SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE

Premise: A couple struggles with resentment, egos, and the strain of raising a child in this series of intimate, brutal conversations.
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Michelle Williams, Tovah Feldshuh.
Service: HBO Max.
Why it's impossible to stop watching: Shot with the immediacy of a documentary, the series offers a showcase for Isaac and Chastain to take their characters to brutal depths. The drama is often uncomfortable but always captivating.

DOOGIE KAMEALOHA, M.D.

Premise: A reboot of the early-1990s classic "Doogie Howser, M.D." shifts the setting to Hawaii and focuses on a teen girl whose genius has lifted her to the top of the medical field. She still has to deal with adolescent insecurities.
Stars: Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Emma Meisel, Matthew Sato, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman.
Service: Disney+.
Why it's impossible to stop watching: Lee is an electric lead, and her strong supporting cast gives the show a flavor that echoes the original while taking it in crucial new directions. The storylines don't shy away from challenging topics.

BACK TO LIFE

Premise: After 18 years in prison, a British woman tries to reacclimate to a society that isn't quite ready to accept her.
Stars: Daisy Haggard, Geraldine James, Richard Durden, Adeel Akhtar.
Service: Showtime
Why it's impossible to stop watching: Haggard's self-loathing, ever-gloomy attitude is tinged with just enough hope to help her connect with audiences. Sharp British humor emphasizes the show's many bittersweet moments.

RUTHERFORD FALLS

Premise: A comedy about the petty political battles and sniping that goes on inside a small-town government.
Stars: Ed Helms, Jana Schmieding, Michael Greyeyes, Jesse Leigh.
Service: Peacock.
Why it's impossible to stop watching: Helms brings the awkward egotism he cultivated in "The Office" and lets it blossom in center stage. The silly plotlines and witty dialogue is meme material. If you're a fan of "Parks & Rec," this is your worthy follow-up.

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