The Best Shows To Watch On Netflix In October 2020

The new shows on Netflix:

“Emily in Paris” (Netflix Original)

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Premise: In this dramatic comedy, a woman (Lily Collins) living in Chicago gets an opportunity to move to Paris for a year. This move means having a long-distance relationship with her Chicago Cubs-loving boyfriend and deciding whether to resist the temptations of French men.

Her job in France involves helping a marketing firm understand American sensibilities, which her French coworkers mercilessly look down upon. (As a Chicagoan, I must include this link to The Chicago Tribune, which tracked the times the show makes fun of Chicago and defended the city against a few of the barbs.)

Darren Star created the show. Star also created “Younger,” “Sex and the City” and “Beverly Hills, 90210,” along with other hits.

Setting: Chicago and Paris

Netflix descriptors: “Campy,” “quirky” and “romantic”

The opening scene from “Emily in Paris” on Netflix.

How it starts: Establishing shots of Chicago’s downtown play over a dance song. A final ground-level establishing shot shows the Lakefront Trail, with runners moving along the path next to Lake Michigan, and downtown in the background. The camera cuts closer to the protagonist, breathing heavily while running in a bulky, yellow plaid coat and holding a smartphone.

She tells her phone, “Run complete.”

“Well done, Emily,” the phone responds. Running metrics appear on the screen. The voice continues, “5.3 miles. 41 minutes. Eighteen seconds faster than yesterday. Good effort.” (That’s an under-8-minute-mile pace, which is super fast for a random morning run, even on the super-flat Lakefront Trail.) Emily smiles.

Notable cast: Lily Collins

Runtime: 10 episodes of roughly 30 minutes

Bonus: Vogue Paris, which seems like a publication that’s particularly well-suited to promoting the show, interviewed cast members and the creator about differences between Parisian and American culture.

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“Song Exploder” (Netflix Original)

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Premise: In this docu-series, famous songwriters explain how particular songs came together. The show balances interviews with shots of the writers making music. The Netflix series is an adaptation of a popular podcast created by Hrishikesh Hirway, who also hosts the show.

Netflix descriptors: “Understated,” “inspiring” and “investigative”

The opening scene of "Song Exploder" on Netflix.

The opening scene of “Song Exploder” on Netflix.

How it starts: The camera holds a close-up on Alicia Keys’ hand resting on a piano. She’s singing/humming and playing the piano. The singing trails off, and she lifts her hand from the piano. “Very good,” she says to herself.

Musical guests: Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, R.E.M. and Ty Dolla $ign

Runtime: Four episodes of roughly 25 minutes

Bonus: Hirway spoke to Dropbox about creating the podcast. Obviously, the video is kind of an advertisement for Dropbox, but the conversation does a succinct job explaining the “Song Exploder” origins.

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All the shows that joined Netflix this month:

  • “Bom Dia, Verônica / Good Morning, Verônica” (Netflix Original)
  • “Carmen Sandiego” (Season 3, Netflix Family)
  • “Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood” (Netflix Original)
  • “The Worst Witch” (Season 4, Netflix Family)
  • “Bakugan: Armored Alliance” (Season 2)
  • “Code Lyoko” (Seasons 1-4)
  • “Evil” (Season 1)
  • “Familiar Wife” (Season 1)
  • “The Parkers” (Seasons 1-5)
  • “The Unicorn” (Season 1)
  • “You Cannot Hide” (Season 1)
  • “Emily in Paris” (Netflix Original)
  • “Song Exploder” (Netflix Original)

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