Column: Get in the mood for autumn with these media picks


Jessica Xing

Whole Foods Market near Back Bay makes pumpkin picking easier for locals this season. Tune into these media picks to get into the swing of the season.

Sophia Haydon-Khan, news correspondent

For anyone looking to get into the autumn mood, look no further than these songs, movies, shows and books that pair perfectly with the crisp crunch of fallen leaves and a cup of warm cider. 


“1979,” Smashing Pumpkins 

In addition to their seasonally appropriate name, Smashing Pumpkins’ hit “1979” is the perfect grungy track for any fall playlist, featuring one of the greatest guitar riffs in alternative rock history. Their use of reverb and random experimental sounds brings the song to life and solidifies it as an absolute autumnal banger. 

“Say Yes,” Elliott Smith 

’90s alternative artist Elliott Smith’s “Say Yes” is the perfect mix of breakup song and fall optimism. Smith introduces his beautiful, raw layered vocals and complicated guitar picking to create a masterpiece one could almost mistake for a cheerful song. 

“Flowers in December,” Mazzy Star

Almost every track in ’90s folk-rock band Mazzy Star’s discography carries an effortlessly autumnal acoustic guitar sequence, but “Flowers in December” arguably does it best. With soft, melodic vocals paired with well-placed harmonica, this relaxed song feels like a stroll through a forest filled with changing leaves. 

“So Far Away,” Carole King

’70s favorite Carole King moves the genre away from previously mentioned ’90s indie rock hits. While her appearance in the show “Gilmore Girls” — another fall staple — has introduced her to a more modern audience, individually her music invokes all the comfort and warmth of a scarf on a windy autumn day. “So Far Away” in particular pairs its slow, gloomy piano with King’s powerful voice for a lovely, reflective song. 

“Lighthouse,” Adrianne Lenker 

Quick-paced “Lighthouse” is one of Adrienne Lenker’s beloved older tracks. Lenker’s soft harmonies display her lyrical genius, as first and foremost she is a poet. There is nothing sweeter than hearing this song for the first time, and for those who enjoy folk especially, her discography is the perfect entrance into the fall weather.



“The Paper Chase” (1973)

For anyone who particularly loves the academic, bookish aspect of fall — or perhaps needs some inspiration to study — “The Paper Chase” is an exceptional option. The story follows Harvard law student James Hart (Timothy Bottoms) as he struggles through the trials and tribulations of law school. Set against the backdrop of a picturesque Ivy League campus, the cardigans and blazers solidify its status as a fall movie. Although arguably a little dated, the film carries forth timeless truths about higher-level education and viewing life as more than a series of seemingly endless deadlines. 

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009)

A Wes Anderson favorite, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” could not be more appropriate for this coming season — particularly for its unique and intentional orange color palette. Voiced by a star studded cast, including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Owen Wilson and Bill Murray, the film is a stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book about a mischievous fox and his exploits stealing from nearby farmers. 

“When Harry Met Sally…” (1989)

All-time classic romantic comedy, “When Harry Met Sally…” brings viewers into an unmatched New York fall. Although the film spans years and a variety of seasons, its fall scenes mark a crucial turning point in Harry and Sally’s relationship and incorporate a series of extremely noteworthy sweaters

“Knives Out” (2019)

This Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery succeeds in every way a murder mystery can possibly succeed. From its series of masterful plot twists and superb acting to its witty dialogue and engaging characters, “Knives Out” is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. The mansion that looms over the entire movie and its grounds set it up for the perfect fall viewing. 


TV Shows 

“Gilmore Girls” (2000 – 2007)

Since its creation in 2000, “Gilmore Girls” has arguably surpassed all other TV for the spot as the fall show. The entire show is structured to highlight each season through its Connecticut small-town charm. Filled with hay bale mazes, Thanksgiving drama and Halloween costume parties, “Gilmore Girls” features all the best celebrations of the season. 

“The Haunting of Hill House” (2020) and “The Haunting of Bly Manor” (2020)

Filled with highly symbolic ghosts and monsters, these two shows are as chilling as they are heartbreaking, entangling grief, love and the complexities of relationships coupled with trauma and its manifestation into terror. Mike Flannigan created both shows, and they share overlapping casts, who do the remarkable work of balancing the fear and anguish that makes this pair of shows so unique. 

“The Queen’s Gambit” (2020) 

“The Queen’s Gambit” does a brilliant job telling the story of Beth Harmon’s success and intelligence at competitive chess amid her circumstances as a woman in the ’50s and ’60s. Autumn-ready outfits — think, Tumblr-approved Peter Pan collars — and cold skies accentuate the all-things-academia setting of the show. 

“Schitt’s Creek” (2015 – 2020)

The Canadian award-winning comedy has all of the heartwarming feelings of fall, especially in its depiction of family and small-town appreciation. Father and son Eugene and Dan Levy infuse this show with all their quick-witted humor and comfort. 



“Coraline,” Neil Gaiman 

“Coraline” remains a fall staple that draws readers into Gaiman’s dark and imaginative web (no pun intended). Despite being marketed toward children, the book takes some creepy turns as protagonist Coraline explores her already-inhabited house. Overall, Coraline is a very Halloween-appropriate choice. 

“Nancy Drew,” Carolyn Keene 

Another childhood classic, “Nancy Drew” is a great nostalgic pick. Nancy and her friend’s adventures, albeit a little predictable, will put anyone in the fall mindset trying to figure out the clues to each of her mysteries. 

“And Then There Were None,” Agatha Christie 

One of Agatha Christie’s best works, “And Then There Were None” is a clever, chilling and captivating whodunnit full of surprising twists and creepy imagery. The book solidifies Christie as a true master of the mystery genre and remains a must-read for anyone who has yet to pick up one of her books. 

“The Name of the Wind,” Patrick Rothfuss 

Rothfuss writes fantasy in a way no one else can, as exemplified by the first of his series, “In the Name of the Wind.” Despite its length, the world the book sets up is consistently exciting, filled with sorcery and dark magic — another ideal Halloween pick. 

As the days grow short and the skies turn gray, enjoy these cozy picks for the upcoming season.