Do you feel it? The air is getting cooler. The leaves are falling from the trees. And football is on TV (that’s what I hear, anyway). It’s now official. Fall is here. And with it comes a whole lot of pop culture goodness.
Not only is it the season for the premiere of new TV shows and the return of many that have been on summer hiatus, but it’s also time for new music, books and movies. For the next few months, as Halloween approaches and Thanksgiving becomes an afterthought because of Christmas now starting Nov. 1, book publishers, the music industry and Hollywood will be doing everything they can to steal our money away.
And I, for one, can’t wait.
To whet your appetites, here are my top six most anticipated fall releases.
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," Sept. 24
I rarely watch a TV show the night it’s actually on television. But with Joss Whedon’s "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," you can bet I’ll be parked in front of the tube to watch it in all its glory every Tuesday night.
For those of you who don’t read comics or haven’t watched any of the Marvel movies, S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. The show will be set in the Marvel cinematic universe, but instead of focusing on superheroes such as Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, the show will be about the regular people who work for the organization, seeking out the extraordinary individuals who hide among us. And Agent Phil Coulson from the Marvel films is back, though I’m a little nervous about how Whedon explains him coming back (spoiler alert!) from the dead.
"Thor: The Dark World," Nov. 8
Speaking of Thor, he’s in a new movie. The sequel to the 2011 Marvel film directed by Kenneth Branagh is set one year after the events of "The Avengers" as Chris Hemworth’s Thor battles to save the Nine Realms from a mysterious enemy who threatens to darken the entire universe out of revenge.
Thor has never been one of my favorite comic book characters, but I have to admit, since Marvel has released its line of films, I’ve grown pretty attached to the big guy. And so has my wife, who’s a big fan of this.
Malcolm Gladwell, "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants," Oct. 1
If you were lucky enough to see Malcolm Gladwell speak at the George T. Hunter Lecture Series back in 2010, then you know what an intelligent, talented writer this guy is. The author of "Blink," "The Tipping Point" and "Outliers" will release his fifth book Oct. 1, which, according to The Atlantic, "examines heroism, the underdog mentality and the ingrained idea of 'overcoming obstacles.'"
As a comic book nerd, history geek and a man who tears up at most underdog stories, I’ll download this book on my Kindle the day it comes out. Gladwell is a pro at explaining why we as humans do the things we do. And he makes subjects like sociology and psychology enthralling and easily digestible for those of us who don’t have advanced degrees in either.
The Roots and Elvis Costello, "Wake Up Ghost," Sept. 17
What? Elvis Costello, the guy who wrote "Everyday I Write the Book"; "Allison"; and, one of my favorites, "Veronica"; has teamed up with The Roots? Yes, he has. And from the music video preview to the right, it sounds like it’s fantastic.
Apparently, after Costello worked with the house band on the set of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," they enjoyed each other’s company so much they decided to collaborate on an album together.
It came out last week, and I have yet to get it. But as soon as payday hits, it’s mine.
"Anchorman 2," Dec. 2
I’m not usually excited about comedy sequels. After two "The Hangover" sequels, I had come to the realization that comedies are best left as standalone pieces. But in the case of Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 news team, I’m willing to give it another go.
With Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig from "Bridesmaids," it’s hard to see how this film could possibly go wrong. But then again, that’s what a lot of people said about "The Hangover: Part II."
"The Walking Dead," Oct. 13
Is there anyone who doesn’t watch this show? AMC’s "The Walking Dead" has had its ups and downs with questionable writing, acting and behind-the-scenes drama, but last season gave us a few glimpses of how great this show can truly be. And I can’t wait to see what new showrunner Scott Gimple has in store for us.
Charlie Moss writes about local history and popular culture, including music, movies and comics. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.