Over the Garden Wall: An Autumnal Watch for All

As the weather gets colder and the trees start to turn shades of red, orange, and yellow, everyone’s hunt for cozy fall media has begun. “What defines this niche subgenre of television and film?” one may ask. Well, frankly, it is a short and general list that is completely up to the interpretation of the viewer. However, if it must be defined, a fall show or movie is something that invokes the spirit of the season–something with a beautiful autumnal setting that gives viewers the warm and fuzzies. Quite a few people take this definition a bit further, especially during October, when they are looking for something to provide them with a good spook. If one may find him or herself in this category of people, look no further, as HBO Max’s Over the Garden Wall is here to save the day. 

The eight-episode animated show, which initially aired in the fall of 2014, is the perfect mix of heartwarming and eerie, childish and adult. It follows two brothers, Greg and Wirt, on their whimsical journey through a mysterious forest. They meet a reluctant guide—a talking bluebird named Beatrice, who hopes to guide them to Adelaide of the Pasture. As they go along, they encounter many strange beings–a steamship of frogs and a town of pumpkin people, for instance–who give the show its fun, whimsical feel. The cheerful beginnings and endings further enhance the show. “When my little cousins first asked me to watch [Over the Garden Wall] with them, I was a little hesitant,” said junior Giulia Sacchetti, “but I really grew to love it and its charm.” To most, the show also has a simple animation style, making it feel even more playful than just the storylines alone.

While a great deal of the show is filled to the brim with joy and whimsy, there is also an underlying scary feeling to it all. “I’m someone who likes to be scared,” noted junior Grace Devaney, “but sometimes, I really just want to watch something lighter, and this was the perfect show for me.” For instance, in the first episode, the boys are warned of a villainous beast who has been wandering the weird wood. This storyline follows throughout the course of the show, contrasting the usual bright tone of the episodes with a darker, spooky touch.

“Honestly, this has become one of my favorite things to watch during the fall,” confessed junior Marino Grillo. “It’s so fun and a little bit dark, which really just adds to the fall aesthetic of it.” To many, this show really is a quintessential fall option and a good way to start off October.

If this sounds like an interesting show, or if media with a “fall vibe” is what is being searched for, here are a few other recommendations and where to find them. For TV shows, there is Gilmore Girls on Netflix, Charmed on Pluto, and The Twilight Zone on Paramount Plus. For cozy movies, there is Fantastic Mr. Fox and Hocus Pocus on Disney Plus as well as Dead Poets Society on Prime Video and When Harry Met Sally… on Netflix and HBO Max. 

Hopefully, someone may check out a few of the autumnal shows and movies above and be sent right into the fall spirit. Get into the season and take advantage of the chill in the air by cozying up with Over the Garden Wall. Happy fall watching, everyone!