The Buzz: Our Most Anticipated TV Series and Movies of the Fall
The fall is an exciting time for the visual medium. This is the time when new TV pilots hope to catch on with Americans on the small screen and become a staple in the television diet for years to come. For movies, the time for blockbusters and spandex are put aside (except if you are Marvel or Harry Potter of course). In its place is the arbitrarily selected movies that are deemed to be possible award contenders for the end of the year Award Season. As of this writing, The Venice Film Festival is going strong while Toronto and New York Film Festival is right around the corner to start the buzz on what is to come.
To keep up the enthusiasm for the Fall entertainment season, The Buzz is going to preview five new television series that we are most excited for. Then we will look at the five movies that have us eagerly anticipating. These films and series will have to be released between September and December in order to qualify for the list.
If you have a movie or television series that you personally cannot wait for, please leave us a comment below.
Television: The Top 5 Most Anticipated TV Shows (by release date)
5. Atlanta: Donald Glover is a singular voice who has been making creative works since he was part of a sketch comedy group in NYU. FX is a television channel that has excelled in giving their creative showrunners a place to explore the medium of television. With their track record of producing shows with strong voices like Louie and You’re the Worst, there is high hopes for Donald Glover’s new show Atlanta. Early reviews have already received the show warmly as it chronicles the not always glamourous, Atlanta hip-hop scene in which two cousins try to make it in the music business while trying to support their family along the way. Glover is an artist who has traversed the spheres of traditional sitcoms and being true to himself by self-starting a rap career as Childish Gambino. This looks like the perfect melding of those two worlds for him.
Premiere date: 9/6/16 on FX
4. Better Things: Once again, FX has got me excited for another new show base on the strength of the voice of its showrunner and their proven track record. If you loved the first few seasons of Louie, you would notice the on-again-off-again relationship Louis CK had with the firebrand Pamela Adlon who served as a producer on the series. Her creative input was a major factor in the success of that show. Now, Adlon is heading her own show called Better Things. This semi-autobiographical show depicts Adlon as she struggles to be a single mother while also being an actress in Hollywood. While this may feel like well-trodden territory, Adlon has proved to be a strong presence onscreen and previews for the show has been promising. Plus, at this point, this could be the closest thing to Louie that you will be able to get for a while.
Premiere Date: 9/8/16 on FX
3. Easy: Miniseries: Every new moon there seems to be a new Joe Swanberg movie released. At least that’s what it seems like from this prolific 35-year old writer and director. His DIY-style of filmmaking feels like he decided to call up a few friends over to his house and make movies about the real struggles neurotic people just normally. This has translated into some of his best movies in the last few years including Drinking Buddies and Happy Christmas. It only seems obvious with his style of filmmaking and his prolificness that he takes this aesthetic to television with Easy, an anthology series in eight-episodes about things Joe Swanberg wants to explore including friendships, sexuality and technology. So craft back an IPA and get ready to watch famous people improvise to a loosely written script. Trust me, it is way better than it sounds.
Premiere date: 9/22/16 on Netflix
2. Crisis in Six Scenes: On the other side of the Joe Swanberg spectrum is Woody Allen who has made a movie a year for the past fifty years. This year already saw the release of his film, Café Society. But, this fall will see the release of his first ever television series for Amazon Prime. Allen has already called this one of the biggest regrets of his life because it is so much work to block out an entire television season. But, I would not let that deter you from getting excited. While Allen could be hit or miss in the past few years, the television medium and Allen’s neurotic comic sensibility seems to be a perfect match. Television is best with strong individual characters which is exactly what Allen is able to do. The show will feature starring roles for Allen and Elaine May as a suburban couple in the ’60s as they are visited by an unusual guest played by Miley Cyrus.
Premiere date: 9/30/16 on Amazon Prime
1. People of Earth: I knew nothing about this series until I sat through the videos that plays before the trailers are even screened in movie theaters. But, then I saw a preview and clips of People of Earth, a new series starring comedian Wyatt Cynac about a skeptical journalist who encounters a bunch of people who survived an alien encounter. The show is being produced by Conan O’Brien and Greg Daniels (of The Office fame) and seems so delightfully weird. The show seems to be the perfect encapsulation of Cynac’s wonderfully dry humor and a quirkiness that is quietly making TBS’ new comedy direction one of the best channels o producing original content today.
Premiere date: 10/31/16 on TBS
Film: The Top 5 Most Anticipated Films (By Release Dates): Just as a disclaimer, any movie that has appeared on the Coming Soon section of The Buzz was disqualified from the list. These movies include Moana, Arrival and Birth of a Nation.
5. In a Valley of Violence: There may not be a genre filmmaker working today as good as Ti West who has been known to make deconstructionist horror films in the past. His movies have taken the tropes of the horror genre and squeezed them for all its scares it can get. With movies like The Innkeepers and The House and the Devil, West has been a filmmaker operating in this new horror collective of filmmaker for a long time. With In a Valley of Violence, West is able to expand as he can now attempt another beloved American genre of films. Starring Ethan Hawke and John Travolta, this western made big splashes at South by Southwest earlier this year. The movies tells the story of a mysterious drifter who in orders to save time crosses through the infamous valley of violence where the title of film is derived. If the word on the street it correct, this should be on hell of a ride.
Release date: 10/21/16
4. Moonlight: Already, Moonlight has gotten approval from critics such as Wesley Morris and Eric Kohn of Indiewire, this films seems like independent filmmaking at its best. The film deals with identity on several counts as its lead character deals with race, sexuality and the intersectionality that comes with those two character traits. When people screamed about diversity onscreen, this is the type of film people were rooting for because this also gives people a voice that had never had an opportunity to shine. I don’t know much about this film, but Moonlight seems to be one to watch.
3. Loving: Jeff Nichols is another director who has been treading on his indie film street cred for the last few years, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Nichols has been making consistently good to great works with his muse Michael Shannon in the last five years including Take Shelter, Mud and Midnight Special. His oeuvre consists of a loving depiction of southern rural life where Nichols makes his home with a little touch of Spielberg-ian magical realism and awe to it. Loving is sort of a departure for him as it is a period piece (although time seems to be eternal in Nichols’ films) about Richard and Mildred Loving, the plaintiffs in the famous Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. While most people would handle this type of material with Lifetime style, shameless cheese, Nichols’ film which has garnered rave reviews at Cannes, focuses on the relationship between Richard and Mildred before the trial. This is a case that is often times distilled to its outcome rather than the story behind it. With that approach, Loving is one of my most anticipated movie of the year.
Release date: 11/4/16
2. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: As you can read from this month’s Literature for Life, I am a big fan of Ben Fountain’s book Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. It says all you can say about soldiers in the Iraq War without ever going to the battlefield. If anyone who can handle this type of material it would be the two-time Academy Award winning, Taiwanese director Ang Lee. While in more recent years, Lee has become known for the big spectacle films like Life of Pi or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, his movies that have hit close to my heart has been his small intimate dramas. This film seems to be his way of combining the two sensibilities. The film is ostensibly about a company of Iraq war heroes with one particular member dealing with the ramifications of the new found fame all while preparing to be trotted out at a halftime show of a Dallas Cowboys game. The film has become known for having the halftime game section being filmed in a higher 3D film rate to give it the insane spectacle that the story dictates. Under Ang Lee’s masterful hands, I cannot be anything but excited.
Release date: 11/11/16
1. Manchester by the Sea: Screenwriter-director, Kenneth Lonnergan, has had a tumultuous career in film, most notably with his film Margaret taking 8 years to be released. That is usually a death knell for a movie, yet Margaret proved to be one of my favorite films of 2011 because of Lonnergan’s deft handling of characters and space. Good thing his next film, Manchester by the Sea did not take so long to be distributed. The film stars Casey Affleck who is made the legal guardian of his nephew after his brother suddenly dies and has to move into the New England community of North Shore. It is small stuff plot wise, but with Lonnergan, there is no writer better at exploiting the small emotional beats for big emotional payoffs. The film had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Amazon to be distributed for $10 million, one of the highest amounts for the year. That is probably because many critics have already named it one of the films to be watched as a potential best-of candidate for the end of the year.
Release date: 11/18/16