Things We’re Looking Forward To This Fall

Today is the last day of August and that means fall is just around the corner. Not only is it our favorite season, it means all of our favorite TV shows will soon be returning, Oscar-caliber movies will start hitting theaters and some hot records will drop.

It was an awesome summer for entertainment. At the movies, we saw the biggest film franchise ever come to a fitting, well-made and moving conclusion with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” a bunch of blockbusters turned out to be better than expected (“Thor,” “Captain America”) and some legitimately good films turned into surprise box office success stories (“The Help,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Bridesmaids,” “Midnight in Paris”).

As good as this summer’s movies were, for us, however, this summer was all about music. We got a great collaboration record from Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch The Throne, plenty of dance jams from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and our favorite album of the year so far landed in late June – Beyonce’s 4.

Seriously, watch this and tell us she isn’t the best thing since sliced bread:

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So what is waiting in the wings this fall? Read on to see what we are most looking forward to in music, TV and movies.

Sept. 14 – “Up All Night”
Not only are the previews for NBC’s new sitcom hilarious, its cast is easily the best of any premiering sitcom. “Up All Night” stars the always awesome, eternally underrated Christina Applegate and “Arrested Development” star Will Arnett as careerist new parents trying to balance the ups and downs of their new life while not losing their former selves in the process. “Bridesmaids” scene stealer Maya Rudolph co-stars as Applegate’s talk show host boss. The buzz on this thing is huge and it seems like just about everyone who has seen the pilot loves it. But reviews are beside the point – we were willing to give this show a chance the second they said Christina Applegate, Maya Rudolph and Will Arnett were in it.

Sept. 20 – “Glee”
Alright, “Glee,” we are giving you one more chance. We loved this show’s first season so much and thought its second season got off to a decent start before descending into a mixed bag of forced tribute shows and preachy self-importance. But by the time its much-hyped season finale – nationals in New York City! – rolled around, we were just over it. We’ll be back for season three this fall … but we’re only giving them a few episodes to self-correct before we break up with the show entirely. “Glee” left us with some decent unresolved storylines – Santana! Karofsky! Kurt and Blaine! – so there’s a chance the show will get back to its roots and give us the goods. Or maybe it just lost the magic. We’ll have to check it out to decide.

Sept. 21 – “Modern Family”
Our second favorite sitcom on TV returns with a special one-hour episode. When we last saw the Prichetts and the Dunphys, they were celebrating the birthday of family patriarch Jay (Ed O’Neill, who just got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame). This show is equal parts razor sharp and sentimental (without being too sappy) and we love the much-Emmy-nominated cast. We’re not sure where season three will take our beloved characters, but there was baby talk between Mitchell and Cameron in the season two finale, so it’s sure to be exciting.

Sept. 22 – “Parks and Recreation”
Our favorite show returns! In the age of DVR, it takes a lot to make us flop down in front of the TV to watch a show during its first airing. Who cares, we’ll just catch up later. Right? Wrong! We wouldn’t miss “Parks and Rec” for anything. From Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford to Nick Offerman’s almost-iconic Ron Swanson, the supporting cast in this show really hit its stride last season, and we can’t wait to meet Tammy I (played by the great Patricia Clarkson, who showed off her absurdist funny bone in the big screen comedies “Easy A” and “Friends with Benefits”). But the real story is Leslie’s (Amy Poehler) potential run for office … and how it will affect her secret relationship with Ben (Adam Scott).

Sept. 22 – “Prime Suspect”
Based on the hugely popular, much-awarded British series starring Helen Mirren, this drama stars Maria Bello as a New York City detective. There’s not much word out there on just how good it is, but the TV spots make it look gritty and bad-ass.

Oct. 7 – “The Ides of March”
2011 has been the year of Ryan Gosling. The hunky star has two more big movies set for fall, “Drive” and “The Ides of March.” We’ve been hearing great things about “Drive,” but our money’s on “March” for one very big reason: George Clooney. The superstar co-wrote, directs and stars in this political drama about the dirty politics of campaigning for president. Since we know Clooney is a politics nut, our guess is that this thing will be smartly observed and well researched. We also know he can be a great, Oscar-caliber director (“Good Night, and Good Luck”), and of course, he’s one of the biggest and best movie stars on the planet. The supporting cast includes some of the best character actors in the biz, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Marissa Tomei. “March” has so much going for it that it’s impossible to ignore.

Oct. 14 – “The Skin I Live In”
Pedro Almodovar is reteaming with Antonio Banderas for the first time since “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” 21 years ago. There’s a good chance that none of these things mean anything to you. If this is the case, we’re sorry and suggest you hit IMDB and ready your NetFlix because you have some Spanish cinema to catch up on.

Oct. 25 – Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto
The biggest band in the world returns with a massive concept record produced by Brian Eno, the man behind their last smash, 2008′s “Viva La Vida.” If the first single, “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,” is any indication, it’s sure to be one of the biggest releases of the fall.

Oct. 25 – Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
The original “American Idol” is back and if her new single “Mr. Know It All” is any indication, she’s in fine form. Sassy and smart, “Know It All” may not be as aggressive as some of Clarkson’s biggest singles (think “Since U Been Gone”), but it’s ultra catchy and should take radio by storm in the coming months. If the rest of the record is anything like this, consider us excited.

Nov. 9 – “J. Edgar”
Like “Ides of March,” this flick has some serious pedigree. Written by “Milk” Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black and directed by Clint freakin’ Eastwood, this biopic of FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover stars Leonardo DiCaprio, “Social Network” breakout Armie Hammer and Naomi Watts. That’s some movie, huh? There’s been a lot of hub-bub over DiCaprio and Hammer’s kiss in the film (Hoover was allegedly gay), though Eastwood has downplayed the talk. Guess we’ll have to wait until early November to see what all the fuss is about.

What are you looking forward to this fall? Let us know in the comments.