Now that the summer is over, it's time to look forward to what the fall has to offer. Here, in no particular order, are the ten things I'm most looking forward to over the last third of the year (pop culture category):
1. The new season of Lost.
It may just be six episodes until '07, but I'm still giddy with anticipation. This is easily the show I look forward to most each week.
2. Stephen King's new novel
Lisey's Story is, from romance novelist Nora Roberts' review on Amazon, King's attempt to pen an epic love story. Sure, he did this impeccably in Wizard and Glass, the fourth novel in his fantasy series The Dark Tower, but given how good that book was - if heartbreaking and tragic - I'm very curious to see how he handled such material in more of a "real-world" setting.
3. Bob Dylan's new album - Modern Times
Yes, I know this is already out, but my birthday is tomorrow and my wife will be getting it for me - so I've had to be a patient boy. From all reports this is a remarkable addition to the late body of work Dylan started with 1997's Time Out of Mind, and I'm shivery with anticipation.
4. Edward P. Jones' new collection of short stories - All Aunt Hagar's Children: Stories
I documented my abounding love for Jones' debut novel, The Known World, here. Our Girl in Chicago, over at About Last Night, has assured us that this is an eminently worthy follow-up, and I take her at her word.
5. Build a Bridge - Audra McDonald's new CD
Full of the best singer working in the theater today taking on some great pop songs, as well as the odd theater song. I listened to the 30-second previews on Amazon and the aching acoustic guitar-accompanied rendition of "Being Green" alone seems worth the price of admission.
6. The new season of Gilmore Girls
Last season's cliffhanger was a doozy, and I for the life of me can't figure out how (or if) new show guru David Rosenthal will be able to write his way out of it without causing permanent damage to either the characters or our hearts. But I can't wait to see him try.
7. Alan Moore's Lost Girls
I own precisely zero porn, in any form, including comic book - but the pedigree of Alan Moore and his track record of success in taking classic literary characters and mucking with them has me willing to make an exception for this pornographic look at what became of Peter Pan's Wendy, Alice in Wonderland's Alice, and The Wizard of Oz's Dorothy.
Hollywood hasn't soured yet on movie musicals, even after the relative failures of The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, and The Producers, but only because none of those films had any real stars in them. My fear is that, should Dreamgirls fail, Hollywood - seeing a musical with the names Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Foxx in it - will throw up its collective fickle hands and assume that musicals simply aren't worth the time and that Chicago was an aberration. The irony, of course, would be that Knowles', Murphy's, and Foxx's last film or films were all relative failures. Still, the little footage I've seen looks very good, and I simply can't wait to hear Jennifer Hudson let loose on "And I am Telling You."
9. The new season of The Office
They got me with the Pam and Jim stuff. Hook, line, and sinker. Good work, The Office, good work.
10. The conclusion of Mark Millar's The Ultimates 2
What? This will happen in 2006. Right?