Eat Play Drink’s highlights on Showmax for October

RESIDENT ALIEN -- "Love Language" Episode 105 -- Pictured: Alien Harry -- (Photo by: James Dittinger/SYFY)

TWO words: Alan Tudyk. I loved him in Firefly (a series which was far too short-lived) and Serenity, and even more in the original Death At A Funeral  – NOT the one with Chris Rock currently on Netflix. I could so easily have let Resident Alien slide under the radar but I did my due diligence and watched the trailer. It looks hilarious and I’m going to get stuck into it as soon as I finish the first two seasons of Succession ahead of season three on October 18.

Based on the Dark Horse comic, Syfy’s Resident Alien is a murder mystery sci-fi dramedy that follows Harry, an alien played by Tudyk who crash lands on Earth and passes himself off as a human small-town doctor. Arriving with a secret mission to kill all humans, Harry starts off living a simple life… but things get a bit rocky when he’s roped into solving a local murder and realises he needs to assimilate to his new world. As he does so, he begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his mission and asking the big life questions like: “Are human beings worth saving?” and “Why do they fold their pizza before eating it?”

Photo by James Dittinger/SYFY

Resident Alien has an 8.2/10 rating on IMDb, which picked it as “one of three innovative shows the Emmys missed”, calling it “one of the funniest shows – about destroying the entire human race.” The series also has a 94% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Los Angeles Times writing, “We are in Spielberg country here… Tudyk… is in fine form as an alien in ill-fitting human clothing, getting the hang of laughter and sex… I smiled, I laughed, I cared.”

Season two has already been greenlit, with three-time Emmy winner Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Susie Myerson) joining the cast.

So. Succession. Once upon a time I began watching it and made it all the way to episode eight of the first season when there was only one season. Then the second one came. And now, season three arrives next week. Thanks to HBO I have the first seven episodes available to watch before that (it will be weekly on Showmax) but first I have to catch up. I spend a great deal of time going back to rewatch stuff I’ve forgotten; I’ve begun Narcos at least four times so far.

The thing about Succession, which is about four filthy rich siblings behaving very badly while trying to win their father’s approval – and control of his company, a global media and entertainment empire – is that the characters are loathsome. Truly. They get it from their dad, Logan Roy (Brian Cox, pictured below), who is the worst of all, and from that I derive some kind of weird pleasure. I must make a note to ask my therapist what’s up with that.

Photo by David M. Russell/HBO ©2020 HBO. All Rights Reserved

Succession, winner of Best Drama at both the Emmys and Golden Globes in 2020, also earned Jeremy Strong the 2020 Best Actor Emmy as Kendall Roy, while Cox won the 2020 Best Actor Golden Globe. Playing Kendall’s siblings, Sarah Snook (as Siobhan) and Kieran Culkin (Rome, or Roman); and Matthew Macfadyen (Shiv’s husband), as well as Nicholas Braun (grandnewphew/cousin Greg) and James Cromwell (Logan’s brother Ewan), also earned Emmy nominations. Alan Ruck is in it too, and if you want to feel really really old, he was in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off in 1986.

Oscar winner Adrien Brody (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Pianist) and Emmy winner Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies, True Blood) join the cast in season three.

“If you’ve been without internet for the last few years, you can catch up on Succession S1-2 here.” Thanks, Showmax; I feel personally attacked. I should probably get over myself because The L Word is another series I delved back into (after watching it first time around back in whenever) and then got distracted by something shiny no doubt. It’s not even funny; the sequel, The L Word: Generation Q, is already in its second season, coming to Showmax on October 14.

Katherine Moennig as Shane. Photo by Liz Morris/SHOWTIME

Golden Globe nominee Jennifer Beals (Flashdance), Kate Moennig (Ray Donovan, Grown-ish and hottest of them all) and Leisha Hailey (CSI) reprise their original roles alongside a new generation of diverse, self-possessed LGBTQIA+ characters as they take on love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks and success in LA.

The first season was up for a 2020 Queerty for Best TV Series and a 2020 GLAAD Media Award, with a 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says Generation Q “has style and charm to spare and announces a new phase for The L Word that will please new and old fans alike.” Slate calls it “a glossy, bighearted show that’s less soapy than the original series but delivers enough secrets, sex, and secret sex to keep the stakes high.”

Emmy winner Rosie O’Donnell (SMILF), four-time Teen Choice nominee Donald Faison (Scrubs), Oscar nominee Griffin Dunne (House of Lies, This is Us) and Vanessa Williams (Candyman) guest star this season.

And then there is Chucky. Yep, a series about that creepy doll, star of eight – EIGHT! – films. The first three episodes arrive on October 27, just in time for Halloween, and will run weekly thereafter. Picking up after the events of the seventh film, Cult Of Chucky, a vintage Chucky doll turns up at a suburban yard sale, throwing an idyllic American town into chaos as a string of horrifying murders begins to expose the town’s hypocrisies and secrets.

Created by Fangoria Chainsaw Award nominee Don Mancini (Bride of Chucky, Child’s Play), the series stars Oscar nominee Brad Dourif (The Lord of the Rings’ Wormtongue and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’s Billy Bibbit) as the voice of serial-killer-possessed Good Guy doll Chucky, with child actor Zackary Arthur (Transparent) as Jake Wheeler.

Oscar nominee Jennifer Tilly (Bullets over Broadway, Bound) returns as Tiffany Valentine (yay!), and Saturn Award nominee Alex Vincent (Child’s Play) reprises his role as Chucky’s archnemesis, Andy Barclay, with Christine Elise (BH90210) returning as Andy’s foster sister, Kyle. Also look out for Dourif’s daughter and genre marvel Fiona Dourif (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Stand, The Blacklist, The Purge) returning as Nica Pierce.


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