What does September mean in this moment of Hasn’t-Even-Peaked-Yet-Peak-TV? Basically, a lot of television. Although the summer wasn’t exactly a respite, given the abundance of new Netflix series and the rejiggered schedule for a somewhat popular show about dragons, the back-to-school season is bringing an embarrassment of new series, rebooted classics, and spinoffs. Below is a brief, non-comprehensive guide to the most intriguing new shows, with a bonus section on returning series that are worth the time.
New shows, reboots, and revivals:
American Horror Story: Cult (September 5, FX)
The seventh season of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series tackles the most terrifying monster of recent times: the news. Set in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the 11-episode season uses the chaos of Donald Trump’s political ascendancy to examine cult figures, social polarization, and the looming anxiety amped up by social media. Scary clowns abound, both in costume and in power.
The Deuce (September 10, HBO)
The first collaboration between David Simon and George Pelecanos since Treme, The Deuce is set in 1970s New York City, when Times Square had more peep shows and porn theaters than Olive Gardens and Elmo impersonators. In the eight-episode series, James Franco plays twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino, a bartender and a gambler who get swept up in a mob plan to profit from the burgeoning sex industry. Maggie Gyllenhaal is Candy, a sex worker with bigger ambitions. Fans of The Wire will appreciate familiar faces: Method Man, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Chris Bauer, Anwan Glover, Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.
Riviera (September 14, Sundance Now)