The Atlantic Daily: Our Critic’s Fall TV Guide

Get ready for fall TV. Here are seven premieres to put on your calendar.

Pumpkin with a TV carved into it
CSA Images / Getty; Adam Maida / The Atlantic

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As with most years in our age of “peak TV,” this fall comes with a cascade of shows to check out. To help you choose what to watch, I’ve compiled seven new and returning titles worth adding to your list:

Dopesick (October 13, Hulu)

Michael Keaton, in his first major TV role since 2007, plays a small-town doctor in this miniseries about the rise of the opioid epidemic—a crisis that has been covered in multiple films, but is only now inspiring prestige-TV takes such as this one. Joining him is a stacked cast, including Kaitlyn Dever, Peter Sarsgaard, Rosario Dawson, Will Poulter, and Phillipa Soo.

Succession (October 17, HBO)

The Roys are back, the boar’s on the floor, and more Gregs must be broken to make a Tomlette. If none of that made sense to you, you have some catching up to do. This Emmy-winning series about an obscenely wealthy family battling for control over its media empire, now in its third season, is a satire with “truly excellent absurdity,” per my colleague Megan Garber.

Insecure (October 24, HBO)

The “quietly revolutionary” comedy returns for its fifth and final season. Issa (played by the show’s creator, Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) must figure out their frayed best friendship as well as their romantic lives, once and for all.

Colin in Black & White (October 29, Netflix)

Directed and co-created by Ava DuVernay, this six-episode series tells the story of young Colin Kaepernick, the outspoken football star who was shunned by the NFL after protesting police brutality. Kaepernick himself narrates this form-bending show—it’s part documentary, part scripted coming-of-age drama—which also features Nick Offerman and Mary-Louise Parker as his adoptive parents.

Dickinson (November 5, Apple TV+)

This surreal gem of a comedy—a “kind of bonkers Gen Z fever dream,” as our critic Sophie Gilbert put it—portrays the life of the poet Emily Dickinson (played by Hailee Steinfeld) not so much in a historically accurate way but a spiritual one. This third season will be its last.

Cowboy Bebop (November 19, Netflix)

The seminal and celebrated Japanese anime about a group of bounty hunters trawling through outer space gets a live-action treatment with John Cho in the lead role. To say the show comes with high fan expectations would be an understatement. Good thing Yoko Kanno, the composer whose music was essential to the original series’ success, is on board.

Hawkeye (November 24, Disney+)

The bow-and-arrow-wielding Avenger played by Jeremy Renner gets his own series, with Hailee Steinfeld in tow as Kate Bishop, his mentee (of sorts). The show, set during the holiday season in New York City, is inspired by an excellent run of the comic books and will mark the return of Florence Pugh’s Yelena from Black Widow. Universe-building connections, plus a cheeky tone? Sounds right on target for Marvel.

A violin-shaped boat parades near the Accademia Bridge in Venice, Italy.
Stefano Mazzola / Awakening / Getty

Explore the week that was. Our senior editor Alan Taylor selects photos from around the world.

Read. Draw some inspiration from this list of six books our writers and editors loved recently.

Watch. While you wait for the shows listed above to kick off, try something that’s already up: Showtime’s Couples Therapy allows viewers to peek in on real-life sessions—and lets them think like a therapist. Dear Evan Hansen is out today, but you’re probably better off not watching. For an older option, revisit one of these 26 films that critics got wrong.

Listen. This week’s The Experiment episode is a rerun from March: Learn about America’s original anti-vaxxer.

Coming soon: our new podcast How to Build a Happy Life, with Arthur C. Brooks. Here’s a preview.

Plan ahead for flu season. Shots are already available at pharmacies across the country. They’ll be especially important this winter, when the virus, which lay pretty dormant last year, may come roaring back.

Enjoy the first weekend of fall. Consider indulging in a seasonal pleasure, be it a soup, a sweater, or whatever feels autumnal to you.

Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.