Pop Culture Trends I’m So Over

Hi everyone! Let’s begin 2019 with a rant, shall we? I’ve been noticing some patterns in various areas of popular culture and, boy, do I have some thoughts. Some of you may disagree with me while others may agree completely. Either way, I’d like to hear your opinions as well.

Disney Remakes: I get why the live action-remakes of Disney movies are being made but just because we can doesn’t mean we should. It’s not like any of these movies, like The Lion King or Aladdin, are outdated necessarily. I’m pretty sure a child of today can watch the original movies and appreciate them. I don’t need flashy special effects or new songs. Just leave my childhood alone please.

Movie to Musical Adaptations: If you’re a musical theater fan, then you can understand this one. The next musical season is going to be flooded with musical adaptations of movies like Mrs. Doubtfire and The Notebook. Again, I see the market and the reason for this but there are sooooo many to the point that any original musicals or revivals are going to get absolutely buried. I’m not saying I think these musicals are going to be bad. I’m just saying that the originality factor has gone out the door and I blame Mean Girls (even though I do love the musical adaptation).

“Trendy” Horror Movies: You’ve got to stay hip with the kids, right? So that means making technology the center of your horror movie. I’m going to included Internet urban legends (i.e Slenderman) into this category. It’s honestly just so cheesy. It never turns out meaningful. This whole “what if your phone is possessed?” thing feels like it’s written by parents who are tired of their kids being on their phones.

Overly Dramatic Teen Shows/Movies: I’m specifically calling out “Riverdale” for this one because it started the trend. There’s a fine line between escapism and just being unrealistic. Netflix also recently had an influx of teen-centric movies that just strike me as being way too dramatic for the wrong reasons. I understand that I am not the target audience but I would still like to appreciate shows like this. Back in my day, you got some vampires and that was enough. (Also, to anyone who watches Riverdale, how do you classify the show? Is it supernatural? Is it horror? Is it a drama? I don’t get it). (Please read this in an old man voice).

Gender Swapped Remakes: Obviously, we need more female led movies but simply remaking a movie but with a woman instead of a man is just soooo lazy. There’s so much material out there with female leads that could be adapted to the screen and that should be adapted to the screen. There’s also probably plenty of people with completely original ideas out there. Though this trend is starting to die down, I’m afraid it’s not going to stay down.

A Few of My Favorite Musicals

Hi everyone! I just finished my Harry Potter re-read and, alas, a new book did not magically appear before me. Rather than dwell on that, I decided to talk about another passion of mine: theatre. I have been involved in theatre since I was very young. I did musicals with a summer theatre group until I was in middle school. Once I got into high school, I immediately became involved in drama club and it was what made those four years stand out. I did a little bit of acting but then went to working the stage crew. Eventually, I became a student director. When I graduated, I debated doing a minor in theatre but decided against it. That, however, doesn’t mean that my passion for theatre has stopped. I decided to share with you some of my favorite musicals and maybe I’ll do a post about my favorite plays later.

hamilton

“Hamilton: An American Musical” by Lin-Manuel Miranda: Call me basic but I absolutely adore this musical with all my heart and soul. It is so well-written and you feel as though you learn something new every time you listen to it. “Hamilton” really brought me back to Broadway after I was starting to fall out of love with it. It’s fun, inspirational, unique, and heart-warming. I never fail to get excited once it pops up on my playlist.

the great comet of 1812

“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” by Dave Malloy: This is a good musical for you book lovers out there. It is based off of only 70 pages of War and Peace but it still captures so much emotion. With Josh Groban and Denee Benton as the titular characters, they help bring the story so much life along with the rest of the incredibly talented cast. The music is a great blend of modern pop music and classical music, dubbed “popera.” I highly recommend this energetic and engaging musical.

rent

“RENT” by Jonathan Larson: Again, you can call me basic but this musical helped me fall in love with Broadway. It has such a diverse cast of characters and some of the most iconic songs known to theatre geeks. I could recognize the first note of “Seasons of Love” from 100 miles away. This musical also never fails to make me tear up when I watch it.

sideshow

“Side Show” by Bill Russell and Henry Keiger: I saw this one about two years ago when my college put it on. I was required to go for my Art of Theatre class. I’ve always had a fascination for the “freak shows” of the past so I was interested. This particular musical is based on the lives of Violet and Daisy Hilton, who were conjoined at the hip. The musical didn’t initially do well when it was on Broadway as it is kind of controversial. Regardless, it is still a great musical that has only recently been revived. If you liked “The Greatest Showman,” then I recommend you check out “Side Show.”

dear evan hansen

“Dear Evan Hansen” by Pasek and Paul: As someone who has been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, I felt a pull towards this musical when I first heard “Waving Through a Window.” Though it deals with heavy subjects, this musical has a very uplifting message that anyone can relate to. Ben Platt is absolutely brilliant in his role as Evan Hansen. “Dear Evan Hansen” embraces the age of social media and the teens who rely on it in their lives.

heathers

“Heathers: The Musical” by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy: I have never been a fan of musicals that are adaptation but “Heathers” changed my mind. I ended up listening to the music before I even saw the iconic movie that the musical is based on. It is an incredibly quotable musical with attitude and depth that you wouldn’t expect. I now love the movie and the musical. If you love the 80s, then this one is for you.

phantom of the opera

“The Phantom of the Opera” by Andrew Lloyd Webber: This is yet another testament to some of my basic tastes but, you have to admit, “The Phantom of the Opera” has certainly held up over the years. I saw the movie for the first time and I was blown away by the drama of it all. I still want to read the original novel by Gaston Leroux one day. In the meanwhile, I will still struggle to hit Christine’s high notes in the titular song.

 

It’s an effed up world but it’s a two-player game!: Reviewing Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t read a lot of YA literature in recent years. I guess it’s because I’m in college now so I’m more than happy to forget about high school nonsense, even in fictional worlds. However, after listening to the musical of the same name that was based off of this novel, I knew I immediately had to tell everybody about this particular novel. I stole it from my sister for now so I can bring you a review of Be More Chill. 

Jeremy Heere is just another high school student struggling to get through the drama of it all with his best friend, Michael Mell, by his side. One day, Jeremy decides to change his life in order to ask out the beautiful Christine Caniglia on a date. That’s when he is introduced to the squip, a pill-sized supercomputer that can make him into the coolest guy in high school. Soon, Jeremy comes to face the disastrous consequences of giving complete control of his life to the malicious squip.

Vizinni perfectly mixes the realities of high school with a touch of science fiction absurdity. Be More Chill has a great balance of quirky humor and touching moments that emulates the struggles anyone who has been to high school can understand. It’s a fast-paced read with plenty of quirky characters who get you invested immediately. If you’re already a fan of the musical, you will love this novel. If you already love this novel, I highly recommend the musical of the same name. Be More Chill is the perfect read for YA lit lovers and/or high school students looking for a relatable novel.

The Hamilton Book Tag/Challenge

I decided to try something new because I fell down a black hole of these tags/challenges or whatever you want to call them. I found this one and was immediately inspired because this is probably my all-time favorite musical. I can’t take credit for this so I will tag the blog I discovered it on. Check her out. She’s pretty cool. @thebookishlounge

1. The Room Where It Happens: A book world you would put yourself in.

I’m going to have to be obvious and say Harry Potter’s Wizarding World. I already have enough wands. I think I’ll be prepared.

2. The Schulyer Sisters: Underrated Female Characters

Tally Youngblood from The Uglies by Scott Westerfield

3. My Shot: A character that goes after what they want and doesn’t let anyone stop them

Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

4. Stay Alive: A character you wish was still alive

Spoiler Alert: Hedwig, Harry Potter’s beloved owl. RIP

5. Burn: The most heartbreaking end to a relationship you’ve read

Spoiler: Hazel and Augustus from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

6. You’ll Be Back: The sassiest villain

Iago from Othello by William Shakespeare

7. The Reynolds Pamphlet: A book with a twist you didn’t see coming

This may sound silly but when I first read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, I had no idea what was going to happen to Lenny at the end.

8. Non-Stop: A series you marathoned

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

9. Satisfied: Favorite book with multiple POVs

Its a tie between The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The Song of Fire and Ice series by George RR Martin, and Dracula by Bram Stoker

10. Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story: A book series you feel will be remembered throughout history

Obviously, Harry Potter. I predict it will become required reading in schools in the future.

11. Helpless: A relationship you were pulling for from the very start

Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

12. The Ten Duel Commandments: Favorite fight scene

Percy Jackson and co. vs Gaea

13. Say No to This: Guilty pleasure read

The Divergent series by Veronica Roth

14. What Comes Next?: A series you wish had more books

The Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs

15. Right Hand Man: Favorite BroTP

Again, I’m going to have to be obvious and say Holmes and Watson.

16. What’d I Miss?: A book/series I was late too read

Any Stephen King book, really

And that’s the end of the tag. I hope you enjoyed it and want to participate in it with me. Feel free to send me tags because they’re a great way to kill time while I try to catch up on my reading. Again, I will leave a link to the blog I found this from. thebookishlounge