Grimm (Friday, Oct. 25, NBC), season premiere: When last we left Law and Order: Special Wesen Unit, supernatural profiler Nick had been zombie-fied and stuffed into a coffin, and was about to be FedEx-ed to Europe, leaving his friends to fight off a rising horde of Portland’s walking dead. (Is there any wonder why NBC waited until Halloween weekend to bring back Grimm?) Spoiler alert: Nick doesn’t stay faux-undead for long, and zombies aren’t the only trouble brewing in Portland—Deposed Hexenbiest Adalind is still bent on regaining her powers and isn’t above leveraging her unborn mystery baby to do it, and there are hints of another Grimm (besides Nick) arriving soon. You should really be watching this.
Dracula (Friday, Oct. 25, NBC), series debut: Fortunately, this isn’t a present-day telling with CEO Jason Dracula running a tech company between bites. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) is perfect as the 19th-century vampire bent on revenge against those who killed his wife and made him fang-y. The hipster moustache can be distracting, as can Meyers’ role-juggling here (He’s Dracula! He’s Vlad Tepes! He’s the Victorian Tony Stark!), but the gorgeous Dracula looks like the most expensive new series NBC has ever dumped on Friday night. I wonder how much money they committed before every other fall Peacock show besides The Blacklist bombed.
Strike Back: Origins (Friday, Oct. 25, Cinemax), miniseries/prequel: Before he was a Southern lawman with a drawl and a zombie problem, The Walking Dead’s Rick was a counter-terrorism operative—with a British accent! And no stubble! The original 2010 U.K. incarnation of Strike Back (starring TWD’s Andrew Lincoln and The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage) isn’t too far removed from its U.S. Cinemax run; it has the action and explosions, but it’s not yet jacked up to the Team America hyper-levels of Season 2 though the just-completed Season 4—USA! USA! USA! Still, it’s fun to see Lincoln playing someone less loony than Rick, and Origins is a mere six episodes not split up over the winter—and 100-percent zombie-free.
Zombie Night (Saturday, Oct. 26, Syfy), movie: Seriously, when is this zombie thing going to be over already? The Only TV Column That Matters™ almost misses the Twilight days. Almost. Syfy’s Zombie Night is just another variation on the same ol’ small-town-overrun-with-the-undead story, but it has the distinction of starring Daryl Hannah, Anthony Michael Hall and Shirley Jones, and it’s directed by usually reliable horror-slinger John Gulager (the Feast franchise and, oh yeah, Piranha 3DD). At least there’s—not making this up—Beast of the Bering Sea (vampire sharks!) and Stonandos (tornado boulders!) to look forward to in November.
Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem: A Klok Opera (Sunday, Oct. 27, Adult Swim), one-hour special: My love for Dethklok is well-documented; creator/guitar god Brendon Small puts on one of the best live metal shows I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen waaay to many). Metalocalypse ranks with The Venture Bros. in maintaining a deep backstory and consistent comedy—both of which are rarities on Adult Swim. But every good metalhead knows that the nadir of a band is the dreaded Symphonic Collaboration, if not the meaning of “nadir.” From Deep Purple to Metallica (let’s not even get started on the Trans-Siberian Orchestra), no good has ever come from overindulgent rockers mingling with “real musicians,” and even though Dethklok is the greatest cartoon band in the known universe (just ask ’em), The Doomstar Requiem: A Klok Opera—album version out Oct. 29, coincidentally—is no exception to that rule. But at least we get some closure on the fate of Dethklok guitarist Toki Wartooth, who’d been abducted at the end of Season 4 some 16 months (!) ago. Where’s Season 5, Brendon?
DVD RELEASE ROUNDUP FOR OCT. 29!
In a Road Warrior-y future in which corporations have destroyed society, the Council of Nine issues death sentences for white-collar criminals, making violent freelance bounty killers celebrities and, even better, Pabst Blue Ribbon a hot commodity. (Arc)
Mother-and-daughter vampires (Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton) wind up in the Byzantium Hotel on the English coast—so, of course, mom turns the joint into a brothel while the kid looks for love and Deeper Meaning. It’s bitey and thinky. (MPI)
Family Tree: Season 1
A 30-something rootless Brit (Chris O’Dowd) inherits a box from a long-lost aunt, setting him off on a genealogy quest that leads him to meet the kind of weirdoes only creator/writer Christopher Guest can dream up. (HBO)
Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
In the fifth (!) Home Alone film over 20-plus years (!!), a new kid (Christian Martyn) fends off burglars (led by Malcolm McDowell) with the usual array of violent booby traps in the comedy that will have the whole family saying, “What else is on?” (Fox)
Two mismatched cops (Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds) with the Rest In Peace Department protect the living from unruly souls who just won’t die—unlike this movie at the box office! Am I right? Thanks! I’ll be here all week! (Universal)
More New DVD Releases (Oct. 29)
All Hallow’s Eve, Margarita, Masters of Money, Monsters University, Running Mates, Silver Bells, Surrendered, Switchmas, Tabu, A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba Christmas.