If your life were a musical, it might look something like Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. The NBC dramedy created by showrunner Austin Winsberg (The Sound of Music Live!) recently finished its second season and has a dedicated fan base who are hoping it will be renewed for a third one.
On March 3, Netflix started off Women’s History Month with a bang! Moxie, Amy Poehler’s female empowerment themed movie was released. In the setting of a typical American high school, the main character, Vivian (Hadley Robinson) begins to notice and pay closer attention to the issues of sexism that occur on a daily basis all around her. Inspired by her mom’s and passion for feminism and observing the new girl in school, Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Peña) standing up for herself, Vivian distributes copies of an anonymous pamphlet entitled “Moxie.” The pamphlet calls out unacceptable behaviors and actions towards young women in her school in an attempt to make female voices heard and it received a lot of traction. As a result, a group of students also called Moxie forms to protest injustices in their school, big and small, and work to empower not only each other, but everyone in their school (especially young women) who feel as though they are not being heard.
The Crucible is one of those titles that almost everyone is familiar with or has at least heard of- and for a good reason. Arthur Miller’s 20th-century classic drama tells a brazenly timeless story, though few truly recognize its candid relevance in the modern world. As society becomes increasingly polarized in the digital age, it is easy to brush off the lessons of the past as inapplicable historical lectures. Such thinking is inherently flawed: how can we move forward if we refuse to acknowledge our past? The answers to some of today’s most pressing questions may lie in the text of a play that most high schoolers begrudgingly skim.
Television has become one of the most common American pastimes. Whether this means watching an episode of your favorite TV show or finding a new show to watch over the weekend, most people would agree that television is a strong part of their lives. Despite the variety of shows available, the casts tend to be similar. They lack diversity, especially characters who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. It is important for us to increase television representation to educate audiences and give representation to minority groups.
During a Difficult Year, Taylor Swift Releases Two Excellent Albums: folklore and evermore
By Ella Mordarski
In late July 2020, after a year of hardships, Taylor Swift released a surprise 8th studio album titled folklore. The album was a huge success and is nominated for numerous awards at the upcoming 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, set to air on Sunday, March 14th, 2021. These include Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album. If Taylor Swift wins Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammys, she will become the fourth three-time winner in the category in Grammy history and the first-ever female three-time winner of Album of the Year. Swift certainly had a brighter 2020 compared to most people, including other performers. So, the question is: how could Swift end such a successful year with a bang? By releasing another album, of course!
Live from Netflix this December, The Prom emerged onto the queue of the top 10 programs in the U.S. shortly after its debut. Directed by esteemed producer Ryan Murphy, known for his campy long-running show Glee and the frightening American Horror Story, The Prom fell nothing short of a typical Netflix original. The show stars Hollywood royalty Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman alongside The Late Late Show host James Cordon. For a cast this universally admired, the film received alarmingly low ratings, with a mere 57% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a 2.7 out of 5 star average on the film aficionado-dominated app Letterboxd.
The holiday season of 2020 is sure to be unique. With social distancing guidelines in place, many families are unable to gather for collective meals and take part in timeless traditions. Some have found creative ways to stay connected, even when apart. Thanksgiving went virtual on Zoom, where families were able to indulge in the scrumptious festivities from a safe distance. The video software even dropped its 40-minute time limit for unpaid subscribers in the spirit of the celebration. The holidays are meant to be a time of warmth and togetherness, and in a year like this, they are needed now more than ever, even if adjustments must be made. Indeed, 2020 will be the year to make brand new traditions as we all try to navigate this new world.
You can’t forget “Sadie”. Its premise can be laid out in one simple quote:
“I’m going to kill a man. I’m going to steal the light from his eyes. I want to watch it go out.”
After her younger sister is murdered, the titular character vows to seek revenge on whoever killed her. With a rented car, photograph, and blade, she drives down a dark path. Identified as a runaway, her caretaker makes a desperate phone call to popular radio host West McCray, in an effort to bring Sadie home. McCray travels to the small town of Cold Creek and picks up the clues she has left behind in a mess, which gives birth to the serialized podcast called The Girls. With every step he takes to find answers, more questions appear. In this confusing puzzle, will he be able to put the pieces together?
Every year in early November, I unearth my Christmas playlist as a guilty pleasure. My family all calls foul and tells me I can’t play it until after Thanksgiving. I’m not alone though, according to Google Trends, the week after Halloween is the first spike in Christmas music streaming, and it starts to go up even more without fail the week after Thanksgiving. Since 2004, the search “Christmas music” takes a drastic fall to zero on January first. Google search data, 2004-2020, reveal characteristic spikes every December even for quite famous artists who have other hits other than their Christmas songs. It mildly occurs with Kelly Clarkson and her recent hit “Underneath the Tree,” where bumps occurred in December 2016 and 2019 that correspond to her overall search popularity. Mining Google Trends site, I found this startling trend even affects John Lennon for his blockbuster “Happy Xmas (War is Over).” The peaks for John Lennon searches correlate with the searches for his Christmas hit.
The one Christmas hit wonder phenomenon is seen in Wham, which had the highest popularity when the lead singer, George Michaels, died on Christmas in 2016. The song,Last Christmas, continues to drive Wham’s search history, though they are not exactly the same curves. People do search for Wham outside of their Christmas music. Alone of the 20 or so Christmas hits I compared via Google’s tool, Christmas Wrapping, by The Waitresses, utterly copies the searches for the band.
The cyclical popularity of Christmas music is attributed to the season and the holiday, no doubt. The fact that there’s no other holiday with a universally adopted, commercial soundtrack offers the possibility of having revenue and wealth come in once a year without fail, only if an artist crafts that Christmas hit. Those search hits create wealth, $500,000 yearly for Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You.
Michael Buble famously has the voice of the crooner, much like Frank Sinatra. He defrosts every holiday season to play hits like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” His Google search hits respond evenly.
This commercial success can be turned to support causes other than commercial shopping. A good example is the fundraising Christmas song, Do They Know it’s Christmas, created by supergroup Bandaid for the famine in Ethiopia and reprised twice for famine relief and once for Ebola funds by different amalgamations of superstars led by Bob Geldorf.