Welcome to Q3, everyone! While we get to embark on the second half of 2013 with good old-fashioned patriotism (BBQs, stuff blowing up, the continued fight between old white dudes and literally every woman in the country for control over The Uterus), remember that our celebratory four-day weekend only means that by Monday we’ll be getting back to normal. Thankfully, we have a lot of great things to look forward after this summer of sequels, explosions, and Yeezus: in just a few months it’ll be fall, and that’s when pop culture offerings get a little more thoughtful while still staying fun. Here’s a rundown of the exiting things we have to look forward to, from new albums from old favorites to exciting movies from beloved directors to brand new TV shows to become obsessed with.
Neko Case’s The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You (September 3)
It’s been four long years since Case’s lovely record Middle Cyclone hit our eardrums, and it seems like the lady is ready to give us more of her tried-and-true country-fused rock. The first single, “Man,” has already been posted online for our listening pleasure, and it’s familiarly ethereal and moody. It’s quite likely we’ll more of this sort of thing — which is exactly what one would expect from Neko Case in the first place.
Janelle Monáe’s The Electric Lady (September 10)
One of R&B’s most idiosyncratic performers brings the follow-up to her stellar debut LP The ArchAngel with another genre-fucking album, this time featuring contributions from Miguel and Erykah Badu (check out the amazing video for “Q.U.E.E.N.” here) and at least one Jackson Five cover.
Betrayal on Broadway (opens October 1)
This fall’s biggest ticket might be Mike Nichols’ revival of Harold Pinter’s drama of infidelity. While Nichols’ name is a draw in its own right, the production has the heavy bonus of adding real-life couple Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz to the marquee. Craig will be returning to the New York stage, which might surprise a lot of people more used to his James Bond films, and Betrayal will mark Weisz’s Broadway debut.
Gravity (October 4)
Alfonso Cuaron returns from a seven-year hiatus from making amazing movies with this space-set thriller. Sure, it’s got Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as the two more gorgeous astronauts in the world, but if the terrifying trailer is any indication, this movie will inspire a lot of nail-biting.
Spike Lee’s OldBoy (October 11)
The controversial director has softened in his old age, and his last few offerings haven’t stirred up many feelings on account of the fact that pretty much no one saw them. That might change with OldBoy, Spike Lee’s American remake of the violent mystery that earned Korean director Park Chan-wook wide acclaim. With a cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Brolin, and Elizabeth Olsen, Lee will have another chance to prove he has the directorial chops that established him as a cinematic legend so early in his career.
Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch (October 22)
There are plenty of Flavorwire staffers who consider Donna Tartt’s The Secret History to be one of the greatest books ever written, and her long-awaited third novel will be heading our way this fall. (Fun fact: the other day, when an advance copy showed up in the office, things got very tense, and I’m surprised we didn’t rip it to shreds like in some National Geographic documentary about lions.)
August: Osage County (December 25)
Why wouldn’t you want to spend your Christmas Day watching a bunch of Oklahomans sit around a table and scream at each other? That’s, essentially, the draw to Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer-winning play, now getting the big-screen treatment. The trailer is questionable — it seems to be entirely more uplifting than the source material. But hey, how can we pass on Meryl Streep playing a surly, pill-poppin’ grandma?
Dan Harmon’s return to Community (premiere date TBA)
Community creator and Internet provocateur Dan Harmon returns to his old gig as showrunner for the quirky comedy series after a disastrous and misguided fourth season without him. Will Harmon’s return reignite the fire behind this weird little sitcom? There’s a lot more pressure on him than ever before. Let’s just hope he can handle it.
Super Fun Night (premiere date TBA)
Australian comedian Rebel Wilson has turned up in supporting roles all over the place, and her brief moments in Bridesmaids, Bachelorette, Pitch Perfect, and Pain and Gain proved she can nearly steal the show from the leading actor. Luckily, ABC is giving her a major shot: creating and starring in her own sitcom. The trailer isn’t too inspiring — it feels a little tame compared to what Wilson has done in the last few years — but its position in the slot following Modern Family is a good sign that it’ll be a success.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (premiere date TBA)
Joss Whedon returns to the small screen with this adaptation spotlighting the Marvel Comics universe’s agency that monitors superhuman activities across the world. Clark Gregg, Ming Na, and Nashville‘s Chloe Bennet star.