Ghost bustin': Stranger Things 2 — The pop culture-filled sleeper hit of last summer finally returns for a second season just in time for Halloween. Steven Spielberg, Ghostbusters, Star Wars, arcade games and science fiction captivated the generation that grew up in the 1980s. And Netflix's love letter to that decade, Stranger Things, continues to captivate the current generation. In the first season, young nerd Will Byers vanishes, pushing his friends, family and local police into an extraordinary mystery. The Duffer brothers manage to cram secret government experiments, supernatural forces and an extraterrestrial-type girl into eight episodes of captivating television. Now it's 1984 in Hawkins, Ind. The town is still reeling from the Demogorgon's wrath and Will's friends are still trying to figure out what happened to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). Will (Noah Schnapp) was rescued from the Upside Down, but a more insidious entity threatens those who survived. Get your Eggos ready, Stranger Things 2 is now available Netflix.
Premier chronicler: Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold — For more than 50 years, author and journalist Joan Didion has been a steadfast chronicler of the evolution of American culture. In the new Netflix
documentary, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, her nephew, actor-director Griffin Dunne, premieres a trove of archival footage and talks to his “Aunt Joan” about the historical eras she covered. Just a few, casual things she’s experienced in her life: partying with Janis Joplin, hanging in a recording studio with Jim Morrison and cooking dinner for one of Charles Manson’s women for a story. Through her writing, she brought to life New York in the 1950s and ’60s and documented the disintegration of culture in California for two decades and the political personalities of the 1980s and 1990s. Through her numerous books, she wrote on her own personal experiences as commentary on a political and cultural landscape. The Year of Magical Thinking, about her reckoning with grief over the death of her husband, won the National Book Award for nonfiction. Now 82, she remains one of the country’s most influential writers. Now available on Netflix.
Clearwater and Spanx: Shark Tank — The reality show Shark Tank is now in its ninth season and the number of budding entrepreneurs isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Sunday’s episode sees a graphic designer and a patent attorney from Washington pitch their high-tech way of making children’s story time more magical and interactive. Then there are pitches for functional paternity clothing for new dads, solutions to hairy drain problems in the bathtub and a better version of a workout device. But Tampa Bay residents should tune in for a profile of Spanx founder and Clearwater native Sara Blakely. She started her shapewear business 17 years ago and in 2014 helped open a Spanx store in Tampa’s International Plaza. She has also been touted as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. 9 p.m. Sunday, ABC.
All Hallows Eve on the couch: AMC Fear Fest — Every year AMC gives viewers over a week of nonstop horror movies. This year, in the days leading up to Halloween on Tuesday, Fear Fest is full of slasher icons, horror classics and an obscene amount of Michael Myers. The crude 2003 flick Freddy vs. Jason pits two disfigured serial killers against each other. That one airs at 8 p.m. Friday. Then Saturday sees a marathon of the Leprechaun franchise from Origins to Leprechaun in Space starting at 3 p.m. Sunday has 2004's Dawn of the Dead, where zombies terrorize people trapped in a shopping mall. Then Monday gets a mega-marathon of all the Halloween movies starting at 1:30 p.m. and going until 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. That's more than 24 hours of Michael Myers. We just made your Halloween plans for you.
Upcoming streaming releases
Saturday: Arrival (Hulu) Sunday: Catfish Season 6 (Hulu) Nov. 3: Alias Grace (Netflix) Nov. 14: Future Man (Hulu) Nov. 17: Punisher (Netflix) Nov. 21: Marvel's Runaways (Hulu) Nov. 22: Godless (Netflix)