Commentary by Grace Jordan, Campus Carrier arts & living editor
Commentary by Sydney Kate Watson, Campus Carrier asst. arts & living editor
As everyone was trying to once again live their best hot girl summer, there was plenty of high-quality entertainment content. From music from artists Doja Cat and Justin Bieber, to shows like “Loki” and movies like “A Quiet Place Part II”, this summer was one of new entertainment that captivated viewers. However, as with any media, it is subjective. Here are our views on the entertainment of summer 2021.
Doja Cat’s career started with her singing about cows and has now landed her on the top charts, collaborating with the hottest singers of our time. Doja Cat recently released her third album, “Planet Her,” receiving an array of praise. The album has 14 songs, featuring Young Thug, Ariane Grande, The Weeknd, JID and SZA. The pop album does not limit itself to one genre, with songs like “Woman” offering an Afropop vibe with an element of sexiness. This is a favorite from the album because it is fun to listen to when getting ready for a night out or driving around with friends. Songs like “Get Into It” and “Kiss Me More” have gained popularity with the younger generation, popping up on platforms like TikTok. The album is a perfect blend of pop with other influences like South African music and R&B.
“Rumors” by Lizzo featuring Cardi B was recently released on Friday Aug. 13, and it started trending on Twitter immediately. This song is about to be the anthem for fall semester. But what Lizzo song is not an anthem? The song lyrics combined with the video emit a sense of feminine power and strength but most importantly the song gives credit where credit is due: “Black people made rock and roll, yeah.” Lizzo’s line combined with the image of a Black woman playing an electric guitar on a vase in her video pays direct homage to Sister Rossetta Tharpe, also known as the godmother of rock and roll. Lizzo is using her fame and her hit songs as ways to correct the past, and that is amazing.
“Good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo was an early summer release, making its debut on May 14, and was followed by the release of her album “Sour” on May 21. The song has been played on the radio and streamed countless times. Even people who have not been through a tragic breakup this summer can easily sing their heart out to “Good 4 u.” However, the beat of Rodrigo’s song is hauntingly similar to Paramore’s “Misery Business,” released in 2007. Typically, record labels will file against such similarities due to copyright laws. For example, Martin Gaye’s estate sued Robin Thick, Pharrell Williams and T.I. for their 2013 hit “Blurred Lines.” Gaye’s family claimed that the song was a copyright infringment on Gaye’s 1977 hit song “Got to Give it Up.” It will be interesting to see if Paramore’s record company files against Rodrigo.
On March 19, Justin Bieber released his song “Peaches,” but the song was everywhere all summer long. Anywhere you went, Peaches would follow. The song became outdated quickly, due to its repetitive lyrics, airy sound and blatant overuse on the radio and TikTok. The song sounds like mush.
Lil Nas X released “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” on March 26. The song was quickly played everywhere, similar to “Peaches.” However, “Montero” has a quick tempo and hot beat, making the song a perfect bop. Lil Nas X even performed the song on “Saturday Night Live” this summer. Many people have questioned the artist’s theatrical choices for the “Montero” video, but on the stance of the First Amendment, Lil Nas X is justified in his video and lyrics. He has been outspoken for those in the LGBTQ+ community who feel they do not have a voice and has done everything he can to make them feel heard and inspired.
Summer TV Shows:
In the last ten years, Marvel’s fanbase has consistently grown. Starting with the Iron Man series, movies based on comic books have taken over the nation. This past year Marvel has shown they are not only stopping at movies, but also dipping their toes into the television industry. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Wandavision” and “Loki” have all come to Disney+ as one-season TV shows. Except, “Loki,” which will have multiple seasons. “Loki” aired on June 9 and contains six episodes. This series follows the god of mischief as he is arrested for disrupting the timeline. It is full of escapes, betrayals and a love story between Loki and…himself? Enter Sylvie, a female version of Loki from another timeline, who he begins to love. “Loki” portrays a fun adventure in a world where time can be controlled and distorted. The fight scenes are action-packed and while the love story between Loki and Sylvie is a little weird and off-putting, the true love story between Loki and Owen Wilson’s Mobius is one that will leave you feeling warm inside. Luckily for fans of “Loki,” this series is not over and will have at least one more installment, according to the end credits of the last episode of the first season.
The original “Gossip Girl,” which aired in 2007, followed a group of rich, social elites living and attending high school in New York City, all while having their dirtiest secrets revealed through an anonymous blogger. The show ended in 2012 after seven seasons. A reboot of the show, titled “Gossip Girl,” debuted over the summer and currently has six episodes available. This new series features a group of high schoolers who are rich, social elites, like those in the original show, who go to high school at Constance in the Upper East Side. This is where the similarities end. The reboot centers on Instagram influencers and the power of social media. Gossip Girl is no longer a blog, but an Instagram page run by the teachers of Constance. The show has a darker theme than the original and involves more promiscuous relationships and more drama, if that’s possible. It’s a good premise, but the show loses itself in the Instagram posts and social media centric narrative. The cast is full of gorgeous people, but eye candy can only make it so far
“Luca,” a Disney Pixar film, arrived on Disney+ on June 18. Since its premiere, “Luca” has been streamed countless times. The film is one of those where it continually gets better with each watch. It is about discovering who you are and what friendship means in your life. Going after your dreams is always frightening; and to do so, one must challenge what they have come to know. Luca’s fear of following his dreams and disobeying his parents in the process is something most viewers can relate to. However, with Alberto’s help, Luca pushes past his boundaries to fulfill his dreams, clearly displaying the power of friendship. If you are looking for inspiration to go after your dreams, this is a must-watch, feel-good movie.
Most people have at least heard of John Krasinski’s directorial debut, “A Quiet Place.” It rapidly gained popularity, earning approximately 350 million dollars at the box office and a rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is only natural that fans would demand a sequel, which released on May 28 of this summer. “A Quiet Place Part II” stars the same family, sans Lee Abbott who, spoiler alert, was killed in the first movie. It also brings in a new face, Cillian Murphy’s Emmet, who was a friend to the Abbott family before the world was overrun with monsters. The sequel sees the family split up. Emmet and Regan, Lee and Evelyn’s deaf daughter, embark on a journey to find what Regan believes to be an island where they could live peacefully. Evelyn and her son, Marcus, stay at an abandoned factory with Evelyn’s newborn and try to survive on their own. “A Quiet Place Part II” is nearly as brilliant as the first movie. The movie has a dark theme and can be anxiety inducing, similar to its predecessor. But, the underlying hopeful tone of the movie does not go unnoticed and lends itself to heartwarming moments that would make even those with the toughest exterior tear up.
Summer Social Media:
Britney Spears’s life, including her career and finances, has been under the control of her father, James Spears, since 2008 due to a conservatorship. Even though the #FreeBritney campaign began in 2009, the movement exploded this summer. On Wednesday, June 23, Britney asked a Los Angeles judge to remove James as head of her conservatorship with an extremely emotional statement. On July 14, Judge Brenda Penny granted Britney the ability to hire Mathew Rosengart, a Hollywood lawyer who fought Britney’s conservatorship more aggressively. Finally, on Aug. 12, James agreed to eventually step aside as head of Britney’s conservatorship. The question many people had this summer was “How can the American judicial system free Bill Cosby from jail but allow James to take advantage of Britney through the conservatorship?” Continue to question authority friends.
TikTok, a social media platform featuring one-to-three minute-long videos, was launched in September 2017. Numerous trends have come from this platform, ranging from certain dances like the Renegade to creating a musical for “Ratatouille.” A recent trend TikTok has seen is a surge of videos featuring “Karens.” Karen is a term used by younger generations to describe middle-aged, white women. These women exhibit certain behaviors, like asking for the manager and involving themselves in other’s business. This term has been around for numerous years, but recently has made an appearance on TikTok. Numerous people have posted videos of “Karens” berating others. One video features a woman yelling at someone in a Bath and Body Works and devolves into woman crying on the ground and faking being hit by another customer. These videos are highly entertaining and hopefully cause some consequences for these women.