The best TV series and films to stream this autumn

Anna Solomon

31 August 2021

Get cosy as the temperature cools with this season's best new TV

31 August 2021 | Anna Solomon

Well, it’s officially autumn. There are leaves on the floor and a chill in the air. Suddenly we’re consumed with thoughts of woolly jumpers, pumpkin spice lattes, crisp walks, Halloween, and – yes – curling up on the sofa of a chilly evening and getting stuck into a good film or series. There are loads coming to our screens this autumn – here’s a rundown of the must-sees. 

The Guilty (26 October)

If you love high-octane thrillers, then this one's for you. Gustav Möller’s multi-award-winning debut is a remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name, and it is just as, if not more, nerve-jangling. The Guilty follows Joe Baylor (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) as he works a morning at a 911 dispatch call centre. A woman calls in grave danger, but Baylor soon gets the sense that nothing is as it seems. From that moment on, the film is so tense that you almost forget to breathe.

Where to watch: Apple TV

The Harder They Fall (3 November)

Stop what you’re doing: Idris Elba is in a Western. And he’s accompanied by a searing cast including Regina King, Zazie Beetz, and Jonathan Majors. Did we mention that Jay Z is both producing the film and penning the soundtrack? The Harder They Fall tells the story of Nat Love, who, when he discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck (Elba) is being released from prison, assembles his old gang to take revenge. But Rufus has his own crew, who aren’t going to give up that easily.

Where to watch: Netflix

Passing (November)

Netflix was always going to be onto a winner when it bought the rights to Nella Larsen’s much-studied 1929 novel. Passing is about two light-skinned Black women living in 1920s New York. One, Clare Kendry (Ruth Negga), passes for white rather than be subjected to racial ostracisation. When she runs into her old friend Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson), Clare is given a glimpse into the life she left behind. Irene, meanwhile, is both fascinated and horrified by Clare’s privileged yet contrived existence. The women’s exploration of each other creates a complex depiction of race and gender during this fraught moment in history.

Where to watch: Netflix

Everybody's Talking About Jamie (17 September)

If you couldn’t get enough of the West End hit, then we’ve got good news: a film version of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is coming to Amazon Prime. If you missed the musical, even more reason to tune into this uplifting adaptation, which tells the story of a teenage boy who dreams of being a performer. Mentored by a drag queen named Loco Chanelle, played by a very glamorous Richard E Grant, Jamie pushes through discrimination and bullying to achieve his dreams. Max Harwood stars in the titular role, with Lauren Patel also making her big screen debut as Jamie's best friend. Bianca Del Rio (drag fans will know) also makes a cameo appearance.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

The Wheel of Time (November)

Game of Thrones fans rejoice: this fantasy series promises to be similarly epic. Based on the 15-novel series written by James Oliver Rigney Jr. (under the pen name Robert Jordan), the show inhabits a dystopian mythos where magic exists but only certain women can use it. Rosamund Pike plays Moiraine, a member of the powerful all-female organisation Aes Sedai, which works to prevent men from gaining too much magical power – when a male is suspected of using magic, he is hunted down and stripped of his abilities.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Succession Season 3 (October)

Succession follows the billionaire Roy family – and the power struggle that ensues after aging patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) begins to step back from the conglomerate that they control. Series two ended with renegade son Kendall spectacularly turning the tables on Logan in front of the global press, and we can safely assume that series three will deal with the fallout. Which member of TV’s most toxic family will bicker, backstab and manipulate their way to the top?

Where to watch: Sky Atlantic and NOW

Sex Education Season 3 (September 17)

As fans of seasons one and two will know, Sex Education follows the students, staff, and parents of the fictitious Moordale Secondary School as they contend with issues in their personal and sex lives. The comedy-drama series is back with a host of new cast members, including Girls star Jemima Kirke as Moordale’s new headteacher, plus Jason Isaacs and musician Dua Saleh, who makes their acting debut as non-binary student Cal.

Where to watch: Netflix

The Morning Show Season 2 (September 17)

When the first season of The Morning Show aired in 2019, it delighted viewers with a star-studded cast (Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell), its murky portrayal of the world of morning television, and its intersection with the #MeToo movement. It eventually garnered three Golden Globe nominations. The Morning Show is now back for a second season, which picks up after veteran anchor Alex (Aniston) and rising star reporter Bradley (Witherspoon) call out their toxic employers live on air.

Where to watch: Apple TV+

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 3 (September)

Start your engines! It feels like just yesterday that we were blessed with a series of UK Drag Race, but Mama Ru doesn’t rest. Before the glitter had even settled she was filming series three, which promises to be just as absurd and irreverent. British queens vying for the crown include Victoria Scone, the show’s first-ever female drag queen, and Veronica Green, who had to bow out of series two when she tested positive for Covid. Alan Carr and Graham Norton reprise their roles as judges, with guest judges including Sir Elton John and Emma Bunton.

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer

The North Water (September 10)

Who doesn’t love a BBC period drama? And a dark, nautical, period drama at that. The North Water is adapted from Ian McGuire’s novel of the same name, and tells of a disgraced surgeon turned ship’s doctor (Jack O’Connell) who embarks on a whaling expedition to the Arctic. The expedition proves to be ill-fated when a disturbed harpooner (Colin Farrell) reveals murderous intentions. The cast and crew actually travelled to the Svalbard archipelago for this – thought to be the furthest north that any TV series has filmed.

Where to watch: BBC Two

Colin in Black and White (October 29)

Ava DuVernay, director of Selma and 13th, is back with a biopic about American football player-turned-racial activist Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick shot to global consciousness in 2016 when he started kneeling during NFL games to protest police brutality, an act that is now used globally as a statement of resistance against racism. This series is based on the former quarterback’s early years, exploring his experience as the adopted son of a white couple, his high school years, and the events that led up to him becoming a cultural icon.

Where to watch: Netflix

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