Fall is officially here! And at BYT, we are 100% not above all of the basic trimmings that have come to be associated with the coziest season (yes to decorative gourds, yes to sweaters, yes to pumpkin spice lattes), because let’s face it, we’re gonna need to lean into some major hygge energy if we’re going to get through this haunted house of an election (it is also National Voter Registration day today, but we KNOW you all are already registered, right? RIGHT!), not to mention the continued waking nightmare of the pandemic. Fortunately there are LOADS of entertainment options to keep everyone emotionally afloat, and yes, Svetlana Legetic and Megan Burns (resident streaming/reading/listening/content-consuming experts) are about to break down what they’re excited for (movies, books, tunes, TV, etc.) RIGHT NOW in hopes that maybe you, too, will find something to look forward to the next couple of weeks ‘n months:
FALL THRILLER SEASON ON HBO/HBO MAX: Because there is truly nothing more relaxing that a limited series about some crimes that have nothing to do with you. So, save those dates for: Murders on White House Farm (Sept 24th), a dramatized true crime story about exactly the things the title mentions, Flight Attendant (Coming Soon!) in which Kaley Cuoco wakes up in the wrong house, wrong bed and next to a dead man, and, of course Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant in Susanne Bier’s “The Undoing” (Oct 25th!) the teaser trailer for which is renewing my faith in teaser trailers.
Pieces of Her on Netflix (Date TBD) – Karin Slaughter is a thriller powerhouse (those who know, know). With a track record of over 20 internationally best-selling novels, it is a small miracle that this is the first streaming adaptation we are getting but at least we are all in for a treat because Toni Collette (who we’d watch doing just about anything) is signed up to play the lead, of a woman with a past that catches up with her one afternoon. Revealing anything more would be spoiling the 1001 twists and turns that await you on this journey, and we wouldn’t want to do this.
Kajillionaire – new Miranda July movie (in theatres September 25th, VOD October 16th) – because a taking a vacation on a planet known as Miranda July’s mind is the best kind of vacation (read: weird, smart, escapist, unsettling-but-hopeful) for this messed up season. In lieu of trying to explain it without seeing it – let us just point you to this New York Magazine interview we/ Miranda.
The past three seasons of FX’s Fargo anthology have been the best movies you could see that were not made for theatres. And with there being a ridiculous lack of quality cinema left for us this year, we should rejoice that season 4 is coming our way. Bonus: Chris Rock stars in a role that made for him, we just didn’t know it yet, as a 1950s Kansas City crime syndicate boss out to capture his American dream. BONUS: if you have not seen the first three seasons (none of which are connected, btw), this could be a great project for your Fall.
Michelle Buteau comedy special on Netflix – finally on September 29th – Michelle Buteau did our Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival back in 2018, did everything from host her own to variety show, to cooking with Antoni from Queer Eye to popping up to make every other show better by just being there, and we are still nursing a massive crush on her as a result. Her comedy is of the kind that makes you instantly imagine her as your best friend: the kind that says what she means, takes no prisoners, but also makes sure your glass of rose is refilled at all times because she is a GOOD friend. The special is called “Welcome to Beautopia” and well, we can’t wait to go to there (and not leave for 58 mintues).
Sofia Coppola’s On The Rocks (Oct 2nd) on Apple TV – A father daughter relationship caper starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones. I truly don’t think we need to say anything else?
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Harper Collins, October 6th) – The buzziest book of the Fall’s synopsis reads like a pandemic paranoia fueled non-supernatural version of Jordan Peele’s Us, drawn against (naturally) a racial divide (and not in a way that you’d expect). The premise involves a fancy home outside New York, a family that rented it (which is white), a family that owns it (which is black) and needs it BACK after a sudden disaster strikes the city and a long weekend that no-one signed up for. The adaptation rights are already out there and Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington are rumored to be attached to it. This is gonna be one bumpy ride, but we’re 150% here for it.
I Cook In Color – Asha Gomez (Running Press, October 6th) – since international travel continues to be a dream this season, this cookbook seems a great place to set some escapist, bright, bold experiences into motion, at least in your kitchen.
New Dolly Parton Christmas (A Holly Dolly Christmas, naturally) album (out in OCTOBER!) – because if we can’t have Dolly Parton running for president, we can at least have this ok?
David Byrne’s American Utopia on HBO (Oct 18th) – the best, most-life-affirming-yet-deeply-politically-aware show on Broadway is coming to a living room near you. Don’t miss it.
Plain Bad Heroines – Emily Danforth (Harper Collins, October 20th) – from the woman that brought us “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” comes a the Gothic, queer, horror-y, boarding school set, Secret-History-meets-Prime-of-Miss-Jean-Brodie-meets-Special-Topics-in-Calamity-Physics-meets-Hollywood-Intrigue, gorgeously illustrated beast of a book that this entire year has been preparing us for.
Marcus Samuelsson – Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food (Voracious, out Oct 25th) – Marcus Samuelsson is not just a great chef, he is a truly great writer and a natural born storyteller too. Here, we can expect “an unforgettable feast of food, culture, and history to highlight the diverse deliciousness of Black cooking today. Driven by a desire to fight against bias, reclaim Black culinary traditions, and energize a new generation of cooks, Marcus shares his own journey alongside 150 recipes in honor of dozens of top chefs, writers, and activists—with stories exploring their creativity and influence.” If you’ve taken to reading cookbooks the way some people read novels, this one is for you. Bonus: there is a Smithsonian Associates program in conjunction with it you can register for.
DOUBLE DOSE of DISCO QUEENS: – new Kylie Minogue Album (DISCO – Nov 6th) + new Roisin Murphy album (Roisin Machine – September 25th). The summer belonged to The Weekend and Dua Lipa, but the fall belongs to the two women these two artists, and dancefloors across the world, owe a lot. A LOT. Plus, putting these on may be only excuse we have to sport glitter in our homes in these coming months. I mean, check these early cuts out:
Great British Bake Off Series 11, premieres on Channel 4 in the UK September 22nd: I would honestly be lying to you if I said the main reason I got a VPN wasn’t to pretend like I was traveling (during this excruciatingly grounded time), because you can use it to work around geoblocking. Hence I’ve been watching A LOT of British TV, hence I know that GBBO returns for its 11th series on Channel 4 TODAY! (First official day of fall! Baking shows = v. cozy and appropriate!) I don’t know too many details about what’s in store, although I do know there was a bubble factor during filming due to the pandemic, so that should be interesting to watch unfold. ANYWAY, very pumped.
Sufjan Stevens’ The Ascension, out September 25th: I feel like Sufjan is permanently meme status in the modern day, but you know what? I really fucking enjoyed Carrie and Lowell, and having heard a few tracks off this forthcoming LP, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say I’ll probably really fucking enjoy The Ascension as well! (NOT ASHAMED!)
Taskmaster Series 10, premieres on Channel 4 in the UK (allegedly) sometime in October: Again, here is an instance where I am leveraging my VPN holdership specifically for TV-watching purposes! I only discovered Taskmaster towards the beginning of quarantine, but I immediately became obsessed; you can read more details here, but basically, it’s a delightfully weird ‘n funny game show that poses a series of challenges to a panel of UK comedians and personalities. It’s amazing, and I’m p. amped to tune into the newest series.
Selena: The Series, premieres on Netflix (allegedly) sometime in October: There’s not a concrete release date (to my knowledge) for this Selena biopic series, but I can already tell I’m gonna be HERE. FOR. IT.
The Haunting of Bly Manor, on Netflix October 9th: I felt ALL of the feelings watching The Haunting of Hill House back in 2018, and I couldn’t be more excited to find out what deeper meaning I can peel out of Bly Manor when it premieres in October. The trailer looks incredible, and it’s hands-down the main thing I’m looking forward to spooky season-wise.
Shamir’s Shamir, out October 9th: Need I say more? Shamir has the voice of an angel, and I, for one, am extremely pumped to grab a copy of this sure-to-be-amazing self-titled LP.
Adrianne Lenker’s songs and instrumentals, out October 23rd: In case you haven’t picked up on an overarching theme with all of these picks, I really like to lean into my feelings during fall, and Adrianne Lenker tunes provide a pretty great backdrop for having all of the emotions. Have super enjoyed what I’ve heard so far, and can’t wait to pop on the full-lengths during any/all melancholic strolls.
Laura Veirs’ My Echo, out October 23rd: This is Laura Veirs’ TWELFTH studio full-length; homegirl is a total master, and I will never tire of her voice, so you better believe this is gettin’ grabbed as soon as it hits shelves.
Marika Hackman’s Covers, out November 13th: Another great sonic canvas for having emotions, you guys! Marika Hackman is like, the ultimate when it comes to melancholic vibes, and this record (which, as you may have guessed, is all covers) has not disappointed so far re: what I’ve heard, like this stellar rendition of Grimes’ Realiti:
Ammonite, out November 13th: I mean, I already went off about how stoked I am for this to premiere, y’all. Like, I’m not trying to go to a movie theater right now, but if there’s one film that’d make me waver on that stance, it’s this one. Yes to all of the Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan period piece makeouts.
The Crown Season 4, on Netflix November 15th: I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t “gotten into” The Crown yet, mainly meaning I haven’t made a concerted effort to sit down and get absorbed. That’s all about to change, though, considering the new season will see Gillian Anderson playing Maggie Thatcher, plus there’ll be Princess Diana vibes. (And considering we’re still mid-pandemic, and there’s not much else to do than be held captive by television shows.)
His Dark Materials S2, out November 16th on HBO Max: I thoroughly enjoyed the first season of HDM, and I am genuinely BUZZIN’ for new episodes. (Could do w/o Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, but Dafne Keen and Ruth Wilson are TOTAL LEGENDS.) If you haven’t checked it out, would highly recommend hopping on ye olde bandwagon.
Happiest Season, out November 25th: FINALLY a queer holiday movie I can actually get behind…Kristen Stewart? Mackenzie Davis? Aubrey Plaza? Alison Brie? Dan Levy? CLEA DUVALL?! How could we not be on board with this? HOW COULD WE NOT?! (Again, I’m very wary of hitting up theaters during a pandemic, but would probably-maybe consider risking it specifically for this film.)
What are YOU excited for? Did we miss something major? Email [email protected], or tweet @BYT to let us know!