The Best Movies, TV, Books and Music for September
Including: The return of Jon Stewart, plus a 53-song tribute to Metallica
Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise.
DISCOVER: Y the Last Man
After many, many, many false starts, Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s groundbreaking comic book series finally makes it to television — here, a mysterious event causes all men, save one, to die. The original series itself had its problematic moments, but an all-women directing team and transgender representation suggest that this dystopian series could improve upon on its (otherwise excellent) source material. (9/13, Hulu)
Other new TV series and specials: Q-Force (9/2, Netflix); On the Verge (9/7, Netflix); American Rust (9/12, Showtime); Scenes From a Marriage (9/12, HBO); The Premise (9/16, Hulu); Chicago Party Aunt (9/17, Netflix); Star Wars: Visions (9/22, Disney+); Midnight Mass (9/24, Netflix); Foundation (9/24, Apple TV+); Attack of the Hollywood Cliches (9/28, Netflix)
STUDY: Muhammad Ali
Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon oversee this four-part docu-series on the three-time heavyweight champion and global icon. (9/19, PBS)
More new documentaries: Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James (9/3, Showtime); Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles (9/3, Disney+); Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space (9/6, Netflix); Too Soon: Comedy After 9/11 (9/8, Vice TV); Once Upon a Time in Queens: The Wild Ride of the ’86 Mets (9/14, ESPN)
The slightly iffy idea of going to a packed theater right now aside, Marvel’s latest marks “Phase Four” of the superhero studio’s plans — which means fewer well-known characters as well as familiar characters in new roles (see: Sam Wilson as Captain America). Mythology aside, Shang-Chi works as an action film with some mystical/fantastical elements — you don’t need to memorize the MCU to enjoy. (9/3, theaters)
More new films coming to the small screen and big: Cinderella (9/3, Prime Video); Worth (9/3, Netflix); Karen (9/3, VOD); Come From Away (9/10, Apple TV+); Kate (9/10, Netflix); Malignant (9/10, HBO Max/theaters); Cry Macho (9/17, HBO Max/theaters); Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (9/17, Prime Video); The Nowhere Inn (9/17, VOD/theaters); Prisoners of the Ghostland (9/17, VOD); The Starling (9/24, Netflix); Dear Evan Hansen (9/24, theaters)
STREAM: The Problem With Jon Stewart
The former Daily Show host returns with an Apple TV+ show that’s being described as a “multi-season, single issue” series; each hour-long episode will be devoted to a single topic, including ones that are “currently part of the national conversation.” A bit mysterious, but happy to have him back; the show also arrives with an accompanying podcast. (9/30, Apple TV+)
Returning TV series and specials: A.P. Bio (9/2, Peacock); What We Do in the Shadows (9/2, FX); Impeachment: American Crime Story (9/7, FX); Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father (9/14, Netflix); Sex Education (9/17, Netflix); The Emmys (9/19, CBS); Doom Patrol (9/23, HBO Max); The Tony Awards (9/26, Paramount+); The Simpsons and the rest of Fox’s animated series (9/26, Fox)
READ: Harlem Shuffle
The latest from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead (Underground Railroad, The Nickel Boys) offers a bit of a left turn; it’s essentially a yarn about a failed heist and the engaging cast of characters in Harlem’s underworld during the 1960s. (9/14)
LISTEN: The Metallica Blacklist
Celebrating 30 years since the metal band’s self-titled “black album” (the one with all the hits), Metallica not only releases a commemorative 14-CD/6-DVD box set full of demos, interviews and even a 120-page picture book, but also comes out with a 53-song tribute album … to themselves. Enjoy the novelty of hearing the likes of Kamasi Washington, My Morning Jacket, Weezer and Mac DeMarco covering arena bangers like “Enter Sandman” and “The Unforgiven” — seriously, some of the new versions are great — but also pick it up because all proceeds for the tribute go to charity.
More new music: (9/3) Iron Maiden; Imagine Dragons; Bob Marley (re-issue); Taylor Swift (re-issue) … (9/10) Andrew WK; James Blake; Bela Fleck; Kasey Musgraves; Sleigh Bells; The Vaccines … (9/17) Bob Dylan (re-issue) … (9/24) Third Eye Blind; Poppy; Boys Noize
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