Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

With its orange-hued evocation of fun things like pumpkins, scarecrows, costumed trick-or-treat kids and fall (not ours, but don’t you wish we got it twice?), Halloween is a special time — and it is also seasonal TV.

Of course, there is timely indulgence in the dark, scary and macabre – the masked serial killers, witches, monsters. But the best Halloween show also offers a warm, comforting tone: a scent of cinnamon and crisp leaves and, um, pagan ritual.

So grab a pumpkin spice latte and a pack of Biscoffs and settle for these small screen suggestions to celebrate the most wonderful time of the TV year (not you, Christmas).

That’s the big pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Apple TV +)
Is it even Halloween if you have not seen Charlie Brown in a ghost costume covering a trick-or-treat bag full of rocks? With all that apology to Dolly Parton A smoky mountain Christmas, 1966, the Peanuts classic is still the biggest seasonal TV show ever and the most important October show.

Muppets Haunted Mansion (Disney +)
Disney’s charming new Muppets special game as a little city carnival ghost ride. A Muppet-y riff on Vincent Price’s 1959 classic House on haunted hillfinds the Gonzo and the always lovely Pepe the King Rewn trying to survive a night of ghosts and ghouls (and Fozzie Bear’s hack one-liners) in a haunted hotel run by a perfectly hammy Will Arnett.

Gonzo and Muppets Haunted Mansion.

Gonzo and Muppets Haunted Mansion.Credit:Disney +

Gilmore Girls (Netflix)
Despite being TV-equivalent to a pumpkin spice latte, the classic series produced only one Halloween episode (season 6 21 Is the loneliest number), which seems like a bizarre oversight. Unless you’re traumatized by fast-talking moms, there’s nothing creepy about the show at all — but its autumnal charm gets you in a Halloween-y mood faster than a Michael Myers kill.

Midnight Mass (Netflix)
The new series from horror writer Mike Flanagan is a slow, unspoiled descent into perdition, nestled among a spooky fishing community that makes Twin Peaks’ inhabitants look normal. If you’ve into the more disturbing aspects of Halloween – you know, the pagan rituals rather than the bags of mixed lollies – let this show “vampire angels” be your guides.

Hamish Linklater as father Paul at midnight Mass.

Hamish Linklater as father Paul at midnight Mass.Credit:Netflix

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