October TV Fest: Shameless, Titans, The Haunting of Hill House & More!
The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)
This modern reimagining of the Shirley Jackson novel follows siblings who, as children, grew up in what would go on to become the most famous haunted house in the country.. Now adults, they are forced back together in the face of tragedy and must finally confront the ghosts of their past. Some of those ghosts still lurk in their minds, while others may actually be stalking the shadows of Hill House. The ensemble cast includes Oscar winner Timothy Hutton, Carla Gugino and Henry Thomas. Mike Flanagan, a veteran of the horror genre, created the series.
The Romanoffs (Amazon)
Emmy-winning producer Matthew Weiner (“Mad Men”) created this anthology series that tells stories of people who believe that they are descendants of a Russian royal family. Each episode takes place in a new location — with filming occurring on three continents — with a new cast. Among the actors appearing in the hourlong installments are Aaron Eckhart, Amanda Peet, Diane Lane, Kathryn Hahn, Noah Wyle, and “Mad Men” alumni Christina Hendricks and John Slattery. Weiner writes and directs each episode of the Amazon original series.
Light as a Feather (Hulu)
Four best friends invite the shy new girl out on Halloween, but they quickly regret their decision when she suggests they play a game of Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. The seemingly innocent game goes awry when the five girls who played start dying off in the exact way that was predicted. The survivors are then forced to figure out why they’re being targeted — and whether the evil force hunting them down is one of their own.
Titans (DC Universe)
Young heroes from around the DC Universe come of age in this gritty take on the “Teen Titans” franchise.
Mel and Maggie Vera suffer a shock when their mother dies suddenly, but before they have time to heal from their loss, another surprise shows up on their doorstep in the shape of an older sister — brilliant geneticist Macy — whom their mother never told them existed. The emotional stress takes its toll and the girls begin to exhibit impossible new abilities. An explanation comes from an unexpected place: the new chair of the women’s studies department. Harry Greenwood reveals that the three are powerful witches, and he is their whitelighter, there to advise and guide them as they battle dark forces.
Obsessively organized L.A. mom Kathryn plans a camping trip in honor of her husband Walt’s 45th birthday, hoping the get-together with old friends lessens tension in their not-so-happy marriage. As they arrive at the underwhelming Brown Bear Lake site with Kathryn’s meek sister, her holier-than-thou ex-best friend, and a free-spirited tagalong, the supposed delightful, back-to-nature camping trip quickly becomes a weekend of tested relationships, heightened emotions, and memories everyone would rather forget. Lena Dunham (“Girls”) is among the series’ writers and executive producers.
Oscar-nominated actor William H. Macy stars as Frank Gallagher, a single father of six who spends much of his free time drinking at bars. The Gallagher children — led by oldest daughter Fiona (Emmy Rossum), who takes on much of the child-rearing responsibility due to her mother’s absence — manage to raise themselves in spite of Frank’s lack of parenting and unusual parenting style when he does choose to act like a father. The drama is an adaptation of the BAFTA Award-winning British show of the same name.