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What to watch and read this fall

While The Observer seems to want to encourage Case Western Reserve University students to go out and see as much of the community as possible, sometimes you can’t avoid staying in. The pull of the sofa or TV becomes too strong to ignore, and you’re forced to snuggle up and watch a movie—or a show, or maybe even read a book. Here are some of my favorite fall media recommendations across various genres, from dark comedies to coming-of-age classics to reality TV.




If you loved “Knives Out,” then this movie adaptation of the infamous murder mystery board game would be right up your alley. Set in a secluded New England mansion, six strangers attend a tension-filled dinner party where bodies begin to pile up. More funny than scary, the movie features three alternate endings in an homage to the open-endedness of the board game—although most people, including myself, are partial to the third.

“Little Women” (2019)

Unlike the summer blockbuster “Barbie,” director Greta Gerwig’s previous feature “Little Women” screams fall. This adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel fleshes out the March sisters for modern audiences and stars some of the most recognizable actors of our generation: Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh and Timothée Chalamet, to name a few. Though not every scene from this movie is set during the fall, some of the most iconic ones are, and its nostalgic, bittersweet tone definitely evokes colder weather.

“The Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Though everyone is probably familiar with this Wes Anderson classic, it’s always worth mentioning just in case someone hasn’t seen it. Its stop-motion animation is adorable; it is set over a background of fall-inspired rich reds and golds that pair perfectly with the foxes’ orange fur. Watch and laugh along as Mr. and Mrs. Fox, and all of their animal friends, pull off a dangerous heist and escape from a trio of evil poultry farmers.

Some honorable mentions of fall-themed movies—since there are so many good ones—include “Dead Poets Society,” “Good Will Hunting,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” “Twilight” and any of the Harry Potter movies, but particularly “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”



“Over the Garden Wall”

This animated miniseries and its half Americana, half Halloween aesthetic is about as autumnal as it gets. The show follows two brothers, Wirt (Elijah Wood) and Greg (Collin Dean), as they travel through a mysterious forest known as the Unknown. On their journey they encounter everything from talking animals to literal demons to pumpkin-wearing skeletons, all while under the cover of fall foliage. Though this series is aimed at children, it’s surprisingly bleak, and mimics the unsettling feeling of being lost in the woods exceedingly well.

“The Great British Baking Show”

Nothing can make you feel cozier than watching the nicest reality TV contestants you’ve ever seen whip up a spectacular array of baked goods. My personal favorite season is season six, but any years’ bakers are adorable and turn out a great spread.

Honorable mentions for fall TV shows are “Gilmore Girls,” “Gossip Girl” and “Once Upon a Time.”



“Never Let Me Go”

Nobel prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2005 novel blurs the line between science fiction and literary fiction. It follows the lives of Kathy H. and her friends Ruth and Tommy, who attend a secluded boarding school where things are just a little bit … off. As the story unfolds you begin to realize what exactly is wrong with the world these three exist in, and its dark, wistful themes make it the perfect fall read.

“M Train”

Singer-songwriter and author Patti Smith reflects on loss and her later years in her second memoir—her first, “Just Kids,” is also worth a read. Smith travels all around the world, from Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico City to Reykjavík in Iceland, but mostly keeps readers inside her own head. Its slow, reflective pace and black-and-white photographs throughout are sure to put readers into an autumnal mood—its repeated mentions of cafes and coffee shops also make it the perfect book to read with a hot drink.

Other good fall reads are the original books that some of the previously mentioned movies are based on, such as “Little Women,” “Dead Poets Society” and “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” as well as classic novels like “Wuthering Heights” and “Rebecca.”

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About the Contributor
Kate Gordon
Kate Gordon, Life Editor
Kate Gordon (she/her) is a third-year student double majoring in communication sciences and disorders and cognitive science, and minoring in Spanish. Her favorite part of The Observer is being able to share her passion for movies, television, music and pop culture as a whole. When she isn’t writing or editing she likes to spend her time reading, thrifting, sipping boba and bothering her roommates.

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