Grad School Update #2

Hello everyone! Sorry I have been MIA for a bit now. I just got back from an awesome weekend in NYC. I got to see Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway. To make things even more exciting, I got to see Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Jackson, and Wayne Brady perform live together! Yes, I screamed very loudly.

I thought I would give some general life updates. I have been way too behind on my leisure reading, but I am working on it. Right now, I’ve been occupying my time with shorter novels I have found online. For all of you frugal book lovers, I found an amazing site called BookBub (not sponsored, I swear). It’s free to sign up. You select your favorite book genres and you get deals on e-books every day. I highly recommend you check it out. Typically, I am not an e-book person but I am always down for a good deal.

Anyway, grad school has been challenging in the most enjoyable way. I have certainly stumbled, but it’s been all a part of the learning process. I’m pretty darn busy outside of my classes. I also work as a teaching assistant for two College Composition I classes and I tutor at the Writing Center. Nothing crazy has happened so far. I really enjoy meeting a wide variety of students and learning about better ways to teach people. I am due to teach a course by myself at some point in the near future. It’s a scary thought, I’m not going to lie. I am thankful, though, that I have plenty of back-up to help if something were to arise. I had to take classes about how to handle troubled students or deal with traumatic student writing. It is difficult to anticipate what might happen and who might be in your class. I do think that I am more well-prepared than I feel I am. Getting to know the students and watching them thrive is so gratifying. I want to show people my passions. Hopefully, I can teach them to appreciate writing if nothing else.

As for my classes, I wanted to share with you what I have currently read. In no particular order, I have studied: Shakespeare’s As You Like It, John Lyly’s Galatea, Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Sprinkled amongst those, I have read some fascinating journal articles. Normally, I hated reading the outside material in undergrad but these have been incredibly interesting. I love being able to take my time to study the things I really care about. At the end of my two years, I have to put together a portfolio of my work. I’m dreading it while also being excited. I want to show off all of the skills I have acquired. I also want to talk about things I want to talk about and not things I am required to talk about. That’s the best part about grad school; being in a position to explore the possibilities and share your thoughts with others.

I hope you all enjoy this post. I am going to try to do something for Halloween but I currently don’t have any ideas. If anyone else is struggling with school, just know that you are doing the best you can and you should be proud of yourself.

Life Update: Grad School and Other Adventures in Academia

Hi everyone! I appreciate you all continuing to check out my blog, even when it gets a bit stagnant. Almost four hundred of you are willing to read my nonsense and I cannot thank you enough. I love checking out your stuff as well. Now, let’s get to the meat of this post: grad school.

I mentioned in previous post that I would be starting soon and I’m now on week three. Grad school presents its own set of challengers that I wasn’t entirely anticipating. I will say I do enjoy the company of my fellow grad students and the professors who are more understanding than they were in undergrad. Granted, I am just getting to know this whole new set of faculty. It is still nice having even less classes and having even more time to dedicate to my field of study. I’m also finding enjoyment in being a TA. My one class is very introverted and the other class is very extroverted. The professor I am working with has been nothing but understanding and given me many opportunities to do some teaching of my own. It has been a solid start to the semester.

As for the struggles of grad school, at the moment they are predominantly internal. Impostor Syndrome has been the hot topic when it comes to college. I’m sure many of you have felt that way too. It’s hard feeling like you’ve somehow cheated your way into the system when, in reality, you’ve worked incredibly hard to get to where you are at. It always feels like you’re one step behind everyone else, even the other people who are just as new as you. The cure to that is continuing to work hard and knowing that you’re doing your absolute best. Academia is not the most ideal career field to pursue. Then again, every professional field has its own challenges. I’ve learned to accept that it will be hard, but it will be satisfying and it will make me happy as opposed to draining me. Yeah, I’ll definitely cry but I’ll get over it and carry on.

Thanks if you have made it this far in the post. Obviously, not everyone cares for this and that is totally fine. You’re not obligated to read my non-review blogs. I should be coming at you with more book reviews soon. Hope you all have a good day.

Book Characters I Would Fight IRL

Hi all! I’m not here because I’ve finished a book. Instead, I have been inspired by BookTube. Several BookTubers I watch have made similar videos to this and I thought I would join in. Yes, I will talk smack about your favorite character. Feel free to fight back as I take down your favorite character or feel free to agree with me.

Severus Snape: “Hi, my name is Snape and my crush dumped me so I’m going to be a dick to children.” Ugh, this man pisses me off to no end. Allan Rickman gets all the kudos for giving us a great performance, but the character himself is such a douchebag. He had decades to get over Lily and accept her choices. They could have easily remained friends, but instead, Snape chose to be a bitter jerk who has thing for betraying people. I love a complex character as much as the next person, but we need to agree that Snape made bad life choices.

Sherlock Holmes: I’m a huge fan of the original Sherlock Holmes series. I’ve read all of those stories and spin-off novels. I’ve watched many live action adaptations. If I ever met Sherlock Holmes in real life, I would punch him in his smug face. The hubris of the man is ridiculous. If it weren’t for Watson, I would probably not enjoy those books at all. Holmes spends most of his time making people prove themselves to him for absolutely no reason. As much as I love the asshole genius trope, I also hate the asshole genius trope.

Amy and Nick Dunne: I thought Gone Girl was an interesting novel in the way it showcased two of the worst protagonists ever. Nick and Amy are both equally garbage human beings and I’m so glad they ended up together because they deserve each other. I get that they are supposed to be written that way and I truly found that interesting. It was also so incredibly frustrating to read too. They were both just horrible people in every way. It’s hard to read a book where you can’t root for anyone involved in the plot.

Bella Swan: I hated her when I was a Twilight fan and I still can’t stand her. Let’s ignore Edward and Jacob for a second because at least they had interesting characteristics. Bella had nothing going for her. She had no personality. She wasn’t unique in any way, shape, or form. No will power of her own. She never really comes out of her shell or opens up in any way. Let us not forget the time she flung herself off a cliff to get Jacob’s attention. I feel so bad for Kristen Stewart to this day.

Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish: Of all the scumbags in all of Westeros, I think Littlefinger takes the cake. While Joffery Baratheon and Ramsay Bolton were sadistic assholes, at least they were interesting to watch in the same way you would watch a slasher movie. Littlefinger, on the other hand, just showed up to pull some scummy, backhanded move that only provided something for himself. Every other person in Game of Thrones had some sort of solid alliance or something to fight for, but not Littlefinger. Like Snape, he also spends most of his time being bitter over a childhood crush that rejected him. He was just made me feel gross whenever he was on screen. (Also, I would have nominated Ramsay Bolton but, let’s be real, I would absolutely not fight him.)

Holden Caulfield: Oh my god, talk about being whiney. I couldn’t stand this kid. Don’t get me wrong: I understand that he was going through some stuff and he’s only a teenager. But, holy cow, nothing gets better if you just whine about it. Even as a teenager, I understood that. Also the kid thought way too highly of himself. I would absolutely punch out anyone who thought so highly of themselves for no real reason. Holden’s attitude is a classic case of “ugh I don’t want to be like everyone else. I’m different because I think.”

Humbert Humbert: Lolita is already such a hard book to read and to have such a garbage narrator makes the whole thing even worse. What else is there to say other than he preys on a young and vulnerable girl for a majority of her life? It’s disgusting and I would happily fight this guy in a back alley.

That’s all I of the characters I can think of for now. Maybe I’ll do a part two or I’ll do a list of movie and/or tv show characters I would fight. Hope you enjoyed this.

I too have an opinion on the final season of Game of Thrones

Hi everybody! Sorry but not sorry that it has been so long since I have last posted anything. I now have two jobs so, I hope you understand I have make that paper. I’m sure many of you on this website are fans of Game of Thrones. I read the books in high school around the time that the show started. It’s safe to say that I have been invested in the series as a whole for a while. This final season, which should have been incredibly epic and satisfying, has been anything but that. Before I go any farther, I do want to say that this is no shade towards the actors or the actual filming, as both are still great. I want to talk about the writing and some weird decisions that the writers seem to have made. BIG SPOILER WARNING! If you are not caught up, you may exit now. If you don’t care about spoilers and/or the show, then you may proceed.

The Character Development: Who needs consistency in their characters’ development, right? Honestly, this is my biggest gripe with the show currently, even though there is only one episode left. It’s really disheartening to see some of my favorite characters grow so much, only to be stopped for the plot. For an example, I shall direct you to Tyrion and Jaime Lannister. In my humble opinion, they have had some of the best personal development in this show. The Lannister brothers have fought so hard against their sister and we were all so proud when they finally broke away from Cersei. What happens next? Tyrion somehow becomes very convinced that she’s going to willingly surrender, even after we watched her blow up the Sept just to keep her crown. Jaime, even after he finally gets together with Brienne, decides to run back to Cersei for no reason other than he feels guilty. I’m sorry but what? You keep expecting for some sort of turn around but, then it doesn’t happen. They aren’t the only victims of this, though. Jon Snow and Daenerys aren’t much better off. Cersei even ended up being a bit of a letdown.

The Pacing: With a short run, the episodes can’t be too jam packed in order to draw out the suspense. I do normally love that but, in this case, the pacing of the show has just been off. From the battle with the Night King to the battle in Kings Landing everything feel like it should be in a different order. I don’t know how to explain it any better. Maybe some you know what I am trying to get at. I just feel like everything could be rearranged in a better order to make the story feel more cohesive. Honestly, I think that the battle for Kings Landing should have happened in the middle and the battle with the Night King should have happened at the end. I also think that the character deaths have been put in weird places as well.

The Treatment of Women: Let’s put on our feminist lens for just a moment. For starters, none of the episodes have been directed by or written by women. I’m going to call that a red flag. The female characters have not always been treated well in the show but, we have seen them bounce back and become triumphant. Unfortunately, these strong female characters have been devolved to pure emotion. Now, I’m not saying that female characters have to be perfect and strong all the time, but they do have to have development that sticks. In this season, it seems like all of that amazing characterization has been thrown out the window. (See character development above). The only female character whose development has stuck is Arya. (Honestly, she is my favorite this season). It seems like they’re going back to favoring the male characters.

The Forgotten Lore: As you all know, the show contains forms of magic that have been explored throughout the various seasons. They have helped to compose various plot points as well. Some of the biggest forms of magic have been in prophecies. Azor Ahai (aka The Prince who was Promised) and the Valonqar (Cersei’s prophecy) were huge points in the books and they were brought up in the show. It seems, however, that they have been tossed aside as well. I really liked the magical aspect of the show and I wish we could have explored it further. (By the way, I’m going to leave it to you to look up those prophecies. It leads into a lot of fan theories.)

Those were my gripes. Let me know in the comments if you have any other grievances that I may have forgotten.

The Weirdest TV Shows I’ve Watched

Hi everyone! So, as you all know at this point, I’m a tiny bit of a tv addict. I have a bunch of shows I like to keep up with and a lot of them are kind of strange. Much like the one about weird books, I do have some criteria for what I mean by “weird.” In this case, I’m talking about television shows that use strange narrative structures, bizarre visuals, or characters who have strange traits and/or powers. I’ll be excluding television shows that have weird elements like magic or time travel but still have relatively straight forward plot lines (i.e. Supernatural, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, etc). I’ll also be excluding anime because I don’t watch anime nor do I know that much about it.

Legion: Based off of the the X-Men comics, Legion is about David Haller, a young man diagnosed with schizophrenia, who begins to realize that his mental illness might be more than just that. The show is set in the 1960s so there are a bunch of trippy visuals and strange lighting. The characters have weird powers, such as Sydney, who can swap bodies with other people. The show is constantly jumping around in time. The setting is constantly changing. There are main plots but there are subplots that are popping up throughout the show that are meant to confuse you. I am behind on the show but I do really enjoy it.

Preacher: This is another show based off of a comic book. It’s about Jesse Custer, a preacher in a small Texas town, who is given an unearthly power. He then goes on a mission to find God with his gun-toting ex-girlfriend Tulip and an Irish vampire named Cassidy. This show begins out fairly straight forward then takes the turn for the bizarre as Heaven and Hell become involved in the story. The show is as funny as it is strange with its depictions of the afterlife and what God looks like. It is a very graphic show, so you have been warned. All in all, I have found it incredibly enjoyable. This is another one I definitely recommend.

Doom Patrol: Here’s yet another superhero show, but I still love them. In this one, Cliff Steele, a former race car driver, gets into a car accident and wakes up to find that his brain has been put into a robot and he is living with other “outcasts” like himself. When the Chief, who brought them together, goes missing, they must put aside their differences to find him and stop the villainous Mr. Nobody. The first thing I love about this show is that the characters are so weird yet so relatable as they are all really just dealing with their pasts. The show (so far) has involved a giant eye that disintegrates people, a donkey that’s a portal to a different world, and a nice healthy dose of magic. I have been absolutely loving this particular show and I’m surprised more people aren’t watching it.

Russian Doll: This one isn’t the weirdest but I’m still going to put it on this list because I love this show. Nadia died on her 36th birthday…but then she came back. Now, she must figure out how to break the cycle before her death becomes permanent. The show certainly isn’t afraid to get deep while still being absolutely hilarious. Natasha Lyonne is absolutely wonderful in this show. If you want a show with a strong female lead that, go watch this one on Netflix.

Black Mirror: If you love The Twilight Zone, then you will love Black Mirror. I initially thought this show was a bit overhyped but I got sucked in and ended up loving it. Here’s a few of my favorite episodes: “The USS Callister,” “Playtest,” “Nosedive,” and “Black Museum.” Go watch any of those and, I promise, you might change your mind.

American Gods: This show is based on one of my all-time favorite Neil Gaiman books. The second season came out and it is just as weird as I wanted it to be. For those of you who don’t know, the show is about Shadow Moon, who is released from prison early after learning his wife died. He soon meets a mysterious man named Mr. Wednesday who draws him into a world that he won’t come back from the same. Obviously, the idea of the gods, both new and old, is already a weird concept and the show fully embraces this. The visuals are as beautiful as they are weird. It’s really cool how the show moves between regular America and the gods’ America. The show also has some powerful messages. I definitely recommend the book a bit more but go check out the show too.

The Weirdest Books I’ve Read

Hi everyone! This post is inspired by a BookTuber I follow called mynameismarines and I recommend you check out her channel. Her video inspired me so now I want to talk about the weirdest books I have encountered. Now, I know “weird” is a subjective term. I’m defining a “weird” book as one that has a narrative structure or plot/plots that stray from the norm. I’m not exactly talking about just fantasy elements because that would take forever to talk about. I am talking about novels that stray from any sort of tropes or flip them around in some unique way. I’m not saying any of these novels are bad but they are simply strange. I hope this becomes more clear as I talk about these books. 

Anthem by Ayn Rand: I read this one way back in my freshman year of high school. Though Rand is known for her lengthy novels, this one is a novella but weirded than the rest. The novel takes place in a dystopian future where everyone’s future is pre-planned and individuality has effectively been eliminated. In fact, the strangest part of this novel is that first person pronouns don’t exist so the narrator uses “us,” “we,” and “them,” even when he is just talking about one other person. Also, the characters have names like Liberty 2569 or Unity 8764. It’s definitely one of the darker dystopians I have read. If you are really into dystopian novels, then you should give this one a try.

Dubliners by James Joyce: This one is not a novel but I am still including it as it has a strange narrative structure. Joyce’s short stories are unique as they don’t really have a beginning or an ending. They are referred to as “slice of life” stories. You have to speculate a lot in order to figure out the main point of the stories are. Along with the that, the titles are only semi-relevant. Joyce is not there to tell you what to think and I really like that aspect of this collection of short stories. I’d go ahead and recommend it if Joyce’s other novels are too lengthy for you.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: I have discovered that this novel is one of the most divisive as people either love it or hate it. In case you have never read it, Wuthering Heights is a confusing combination of characters who have the same names and a story that is told mostly in flashback through another character’s point of view. There are some possible supernatural elements. The characters are insane. I did, however, come to appreciate this insanity. Just know what you are getting into before you read this one.

Redshirts by John Scalzi: I did a review on this one a while ago and I absolutely love this novel. It begins out as a Star Trek parody but then it takes a turn for the weird as the narrative becomes very meta. Scalzi does an excellent job bending tropes and creating an odd but cohesive plot. The book also becomes surprisingly touching towards the end. I highly recommend this one to any sci-fi or Star Trek fan.

The Golden Ass by Apuleius: Yes, that is the actual name of the novel. It is the only Ancient Roman novel to have survived in its entirety. I am a Latin minor so I had to read this one for a class. To summarize the plot, a man named Lucius gets turned into a donkey (or ass) after being accused of killing three men and then must escape various thieves and murderers in order to become human again. It is just as confusing as it sounds. There are stories within stories. The novel itself is super raunchy and does not pull punches when it comes to describing any “adult” activities between the characters. I hope the Romans are proud that this is their legacy.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman: I couldn’t finish off this list without talking about my favorite (and weirdest) writer, Neil Gaiman. My favorite thing about Gaiman is he is so weird in a very matter-of-fact manner. Good Omens is the best example of that. The humor, the quirky side characters, and the intersecting plots all make this novel one weird and wild ride. There are also footnotes sprinkled throughout the novel that only add to the weirdness. I highly recommend checking this one out before the Amazon Prime adaptation comes out.

Books That Made Me Cry

Hi everybody! Let’s talk about our literary feelings. Though I am not a huge crier when it comes to novels, some have certainly hit me in the direct me in the feelings. I’m sure all of you have had books like these. Maybe there are some books that you don’t want to read again because they hurt you so badly. Well, here are the books that tore my heart into a million little pieces. Obviously, there are going to be spoilers in this post.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling: We all cried at this book. I clearly remember having to set the book down multiple times in order to pull myself together. The moment we lost Hedwig, I knew it was all going to go downhill. I was thoroughly traumatized by this novel as a child and I still tear up during the movie. (Except when Snape dies because I can’t stand that bastard.)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This is yet another book that traumatized me as a child. To begin out, this book is set during World War Two so it was due to be depressing. The details of the story are haunting and the characters go through such turmoil. I actually did cry at this book. It is still one of my favorites, though, and I would recommend it if you want a good cry.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: The saddest part about this novel was I went in knowing exactly what would happen. The novel is essentially a re-telling of The Illiad through Patroclus’ point of view. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Homer’s epic, Patroclus is Achilles’ charioteer and lover. The whole novel takes such an intimate look at the relationship between these two young men who are forced into a war that neither of them wants to fight. The ending is just so much more heart breaking. I’d highly recommend this novel.

Looking for Alaska by John Green: Green has been infamous for making many a teen girl cry at his novels and I was yet just another one. Though I did tear up during The Fault in Our Stars, I was genuinely shocked during Looking for Alaska. I had to flip back through the novel to make sure I didn’t miss anything. The book is more realistic in the sense that the loss is sudden and unexpected. I still have a hard time revisiting this novel.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: We all cried when Lenny died. Don’t even try to deny it. The whole book was just generally heart-breaking but the end gets me every time. It is one of those novels that was never going to have a happy ending.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: Holy cow, did this book hurt my soul. I read this for a class I took and I had a hard time discussing it without getting outraged. Though the novel does have a happy ending, it still absolutely hurts me to read about children getting hurt in any way, shape, or form. With that being said, go read this book.

Current Favorites: Music Edition

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these Current Favorites posts and I realized I’ve never done one talking about music I listen to. I did do a writing playlist post before but I wanted to talk about individual artists I love. I’m not a huge music nerd. My taste in music is incredibly eclectic. I wanted to share my favorites, though, with you all. Feel free to leave me any suggestions in the comments as I’m always looking for new music to listen to. (Also, trust me when I say, this list is only the tip of the music iceberg.)

Florence + the Machine: I’ve been listening to Florence since I was in middle school. Her dreamy vocals and poetic lyrics are a truly a musical experience. Her music is just so imaginative and dynamic. If you are looking for a unique and powerful singer, I would highly recommend Florence + the Machine.

Panic! at the Disco: Some of you true blue emo kids from the ’00s have very distinct memories of jamming out to “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies.” Let me tell you that your emo dreams don’t have to die because Panic! at the Disco is still an amazing band. Brendon Urie has an amazingly powerful voice. The songs are so powerful and fun. The slower songs are still just as amazing. If you are not a Panic! fan, you ought to be because anybody can enjoy their music.

Billie Eilish: I love music that doesn’t conform to genre. Billie Eilish is one of those artists that just cares about the music. With breezy vocals and surprisingly dark lyrics, Eilish is absolutely an artist to look out for. I already love her music and can’t urge you more to go listen to her.

Hozier: If you like Florence, then I can guarantee that you will love Hozier. This Irish folk musician captured my attention with “Take Me to Church” and, after quite a long hiatus, is coming back with meaningful and soulful music. He always has this mischief in his lyrics that I love to read into. If you’re interested in folk music, go listen to Hozier.

Hayley Kiyoko: Lovingly referred to as “lesbian Jesus,” Kiyoko has brought a fresh new take on pop music that is as fun as it is powerful. She is completely unafraid to express her true self in her music. I love her pride as well as her vulnerability. I’m not a huge fan of pop music but Hayley definitely makes it so much more enjoyable.

Twenty One Pilots: Yet another band that can’t be boxed in with genre, Twenty One Pilots still has an indie feel while being so mainstream. Their lyrics are incredibly quotable and their music comes together to tell epic stories. Go beyond their mainstream stuff and listen to their albums. The way the combine multiple music styles is awesome.

The Most Disappointing Movies I’ve Seen

Hi everyone! This spur of the moment post was brought to you my boredom. Well, it does have a little bit of substance behind it. As you all may know, I’m a big movie buff and, in this age of streaming, I can watch any movie I think looks remotely interesting. At the beginning of the year, I always make a little list of movies I want to see. Sometimes, these movies don’t live up to the hype so this is my “warning” to you all about some of these movies that may try to trick you with an interesting premise, good cast, or good CGI.

Velvet Buzzsaw: I actually just watched this movie last night and it basically inspired this post. This movie came to Netflix at the beginning of February. The general plot is that there are paintings that come to life and kill people. It sounded great, the cast was good, and the special effects were wild. Two out of these three things were in the movie. The cast was good and the effects were well done but that was the only good thing about the movie. It took too long to set up the crazy art world. The deaths weren’t that gory or even interesting. I spent way too long questioning the supernatural powers of the paintings. I shouldn’t be bored by a horror movie. The potential was there and then it wasn’t.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: You don’t need to be a Star Wars fan to know that this movie was not good. First of all, I was never interested in Han Solo’s backstory. Second, why would I want a movie about normal humans when Jedis exist? Did the filmmakers think we were sick of Jedis? Rogue One worked because it had characters we knew nothing about and it filled in the blanks of the plot for the trilogy. For those of you who don’t know, it took forever to make Solo because they changed the directors and the script multiple times. It would have been better just to shelve the movie.

Avengers: Age of Ultron: As a huge Marvel fan, this one hurt me. Is it the worst Marvel movie? Absolutely not. It did, however, just bring some weird things to the Avengers canon, like giving Hawkeye a family and trying to make Bruce and Natasha a couple. I was so distracted by plot points like these that it took away from the better addition such as the Maximoff twins. At the end of the day, I mostly blame Joss Whedon for this. Thankfully, Marvel has more than made up for these missteps.

The fourth and fifth movies in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise: I adored the first three movies of the Pirates of the Caribbean series as a kid. The first two movies still hold up. The third is on shaky ground but has its moments. The fourth and fifth one, however, are garbage. I only vaguely remember the plots. Neither were particularly interesting or engaging in any way. I remember the fourth one being anticlimactic but they tried to make it funny. The fifth one was just awkward. The worst part was was that they tried to set up a sixth movie. How about no.

Ready Player One: I did a review of this novel a while ago so, of course, I was excited of the movie adaptation. The movie, however, fell into the trap that a good majority of adaptations do. Weirdly enough, the movie seemed to remove a lot the video game aspect that was so important in the book. They changed the quests to be more movie based. It was as though they didn’t feel like explaining any of the video game references. The villains ended up being more of a mafia, rather than a sophisticated corporation. Even my mom, who didn’t read the book, knew there were adaptation issues.

Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom: This was not a movie I had high hopes for to begin with. I’ve always been fine with the first Jurassic Park movie and I didn’t need anything else. Jurassic World ended up being a pleasant surprise with enjoyable enough content. The sequel, however, was trying way too hard and it accomplished nothing. Half of the movie plot wasn’t even remotely hinted at in the trailer. It seemed like a straightforward island adventure movie where they were going to save dinosaurs. That only lasted half the movie. The rest of the movie was some weird thing where they had to take down a dinosaur black market thing. The movie wanted to have some political message but it failed.

The Matrix: Here is my most controversial opinion: I didn’t think The Matrix was that interesting. There I said it. Now, bring on the hate. I just felt the plot was so heavy handed. While I liked the atmosphere, I didn’t like how all of the characters talked with the same ominous tone. Throughout the movie, all of the characters keep asking if Neo is the One and it’s so annoying. You can tell the writers gave themselves a pat on the back for the whole anagram name thing. It’s not even that clever. I can see why people love the movie but I just could not get into that.

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.