Autumn Watchlist

By Ryan Zimmerman 

Autumn Watchlist

The first day of Fall was September 23rd this year, and rather than focusing on college applications, my utmost priority has been constructing the perfect seasonal watchlist. I doubt I’ll get through all of these in October, but I’ll certainly do my best. Hopefully you’ll consider adding a few of these to your list as well!

Ah, Autumn. The season of oversized sweaters, pumpkin-spice lattes, mystery, romantic scandal, and murder. Pretty Little Liars has all of that and more, rolled into an iconic quartet you’ll quickly grow to love. Although PLL goes through 7 seasons and 160 episodes, it manages to capture a vibe that’s eternally fall. In its first season, the show follows the reconnection of four estranged friends after their clique’s queen bee, Alison, turns up dead. The girls decide to look into the circumstances surrounding Alison’s killing, all the while managing the constant threat of an anonymous enemy exposing their deepest, darkest secrets. 

2. Boo, B*tch (Netflix)

I thought the premise of this show was incredibly charming – a little cliché maybe, but that’s part of the fun! I went into it with low expectations, but was blown away by the emotional depth of the relationships between the characters, particularly the main duo. Boo, B*tch is essentially a cautious senior’s post-death bucket list. With the help of her best friend Gia, senior Erika tries to come to terms with her death, and finally live her best life (oh, the irony – the jokes write themselves) so her soul can pass on without regret. She tries her best to accomplish all the things she wished she had been able to in life. Maybe you’ll catch the twist before the end, but I definitely didn’t!

3. Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)

Keeping with the theme of highschool kids and ghosts, another great show to try is Julie and the Phantoms. Put a musically talented teenager and 3 dead wannabe rockstars into a room and get incredibly entertaining, incredibly catchy television. Julie and the Phantoms is reminiscent of a younger A.N.T Farm, with friendship, drama, magic, and music. This show is perfect if you’re having a bad day and craving a pick-me-up, or if you want some new music for your playlists. It’s not what you’re looking for if you’re in the mood for something spooky, though. 

4. The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)

Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House, however, is. If you’re looking for TV to keep you up on a dark, cool night, this is it. The 10-episode series is a modern reimagining of Shirley Jackson’s 50s gothic horror novel. The show goes back and forth over a line separating terror from horror, and explores how and when that line blurs. The plot follows, on a fragmented timeline, five siblings’ relationship to the haunted house of their childhood. The Haunting of Hill House explores themes of complex romantic/familial dynamics, lingering effects of grief, and the origins of our fears. It’s a chilling and thought-provoking story, perfect for Halloween. 

5. Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

With an intricate plot, relatable characters, and beautiful cinematography, Only Murders in the Building is a captivating whodunnit, and the epitome of Fall. For those of you just joining us in the Arconia, Only Murders follows three unlikely friends with a shared obsession for true crime as they use their knowledge to investigate suspicious deaths in their apartment building. No matter how you feel about the show itself, the ever-evolving dynamic between Charles, Mable, and Oliver alone makes it worth watching. If this title isn’t new to you, make sure you’ve caught up with the episodes of newly premiered season 3, because the season finale comes out October 3rd. No spoilers! 

6. Over the Garden Wall (Hulu, Prime Video)

Over the Garden Wall is an animated series with 10 episodes of 11 minutes each – an easy binge, if you put your mind to it, and one I prioritize every October. This one, in my opinion, is the Fall show of all time. The series has the perfect uneasy ambiance of dying leaves and a slippery reality. Over the Garden Wall follows Wirt and his little brother Greg in their attempts to find their way back to their town (which Wirt can’t remember how or when they left). Along the way, the two meet a myriad of peculiar people and creatures; all the while, they flee from warnings of an illusory evil of the woods known only as ‘The Beast’. Some of the most compelling aspects of this show are its personable characters, creative side stories, attention to detail, and nostalgic original soundtrack. It’s a show that gets richer with every watch. 

7. Gilmore Girls (netflix)

And last but not least is Fall’s most notorious classic, the iconic mother-daughter duo, the Gilmore Girls. Nothing paints an autumnal backdrop like dreams of Harvard and a fun mom. This show is a lesson in love and perseverance, and remains a beautiful depiction of familial relationships across generations. Additionally, the Gilmore Girls lookbook is the best capture of seasonal energy around. The drama and the laughter of this incredible family will have you coming back for more every year.