Pop Culture Press https://popculturepress.org/ Pop Culture Madness Network Fri, 02 Dec 2022 18:43:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://e2dwic66dap.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/cropped-smileysq.png?strip=all&lossy=1&resize=32%2C32&ssl=1 Pop Culture Press https://popculturepress.org/ 32 32 HBO Max News and Releases https://popculturepress.org/2022/hbo-max-news-and-releases/ Fri, 02 Dec 2022 02:44:37 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3688 Discovery Gives Up HBO Max Exclusive Content It’s a sign of things to come. Discovery’s purchase of Warner Bros. established fast the company was bathing in red ink. Their first move would be to make cuts in programming. Two months later, there is new writing on the wall with Warner Bros. TV Group Chairman (Chairwoman?) …

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Discovery Gives Up HBO Max Exclusive Content

It’s a sign of things to come. Discovery’s purchase of Warner Bros. established fast the company was bathing in red ink. Their first move would be to make cuts in programming. Two months later, there is new writing on the wall with Warner Bros. TV Group Chairman (Chairwoman?) Channing Dungey announced at the Content London UK TV Conference an impending deal with Amazon to provide branded content from the DC Animated Universe. This reverses Warner Bros. 2020 decision to make their DC intellectual properties exclusive HBO Max content similar to Disney+’s collection of Marvel, Star Wars and other Disney-owned franchises confirmed by Dungey, “One of the interesting things that’s exciting for me at this moment, the approach of the previous management was much more like ‘Everything has to stay in house. We don’t want anything to go outside,’”

In related news this past week, DC Films and  TV co-CEO James Gunn proclaimed in a recent tweet that DC film, TV and animation universes are now combined. Dungey headed off any speculation that Amazon may get more than it’s bargaining for. “Certainly HBO Max is going to be our first stop, but we’re already in the process of closing a big deal with Amazon that’s going to feature some of our DC-branded content in animation,” Dungey clarified.

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Jennifer Kranz on the Incredible Team Developing New Musical The King’s Wife https://popculturepress.org/2022/jennifer-kranz-on-the-incredible-team-developing-new-musical-the-kings-wife/ Fri, 02 Dec 2022 01:22:37 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3663 Jennifer Kranz on the Incredible Team Developing New Musical The King’s Wife Read More »

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Jennifer Kranz on Developing New Musical The King’s Wife

Emmy and Tony-nominated and Drama Desk-winning producer Jennifer Kranz has always valued the importance of women’s stories in media and has dedicated her prolific career to seeking out projects that propel women into the spotlight in an industry that often favors the perspective of men. Aside from her profound achievements in television production, Kranz has also been an integral part of several Tony-nominated projects most notably The Prom, a glass-ceiling shattering musical about love and acceptance. Now, Kranz is working with twice Grammy-nominated songwriter Jamie Floyd and award-winning playwright Mêlisa Annis to develop The King’s Wife. The new musical follows the historical figures Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, the first two wives of Henry VII and former queens of England, both suffered tragically due to their not having produced a male heir. 

The show focuses on the friendship that might have been if the two were allowed to thrive and prosper in such a society. Though The King’s Wife is still in its early stages, the team has put together an Instagram account that shares some of the songs that many have already felt a visceral connection to. Such a story needs to be pioneered by a committed team of strong, compassionate, talented female writers, and according to Kranz, Floyd and Annis are just the women for the job. Though an official date has not been set for the show’s premiere, Kranz and the team are working tirelessly to capture the parts of history that have long been left undiscussed to illustrate a tragic yet beautiful story for the ages. 

Q. The King’s Wife is the story of Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, the first two wives of Henry VIII, and the friendship that might have existed between them. How did the idea for this powerful story come about?

It came about many years ago actually. Probably in 2013 when I was a busy television executive and didn’t really have time to do anything about it. But I am such a fan of so many women of this genre, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, that sort of thing. And I said “no one has ever made that sort of thing into a serious musical narrative” so that’s sort of how the idea came about. I researched them a bit and then I did more research with the writer of the musical Mêlisa Annis and we found that there were so many similarities between these two women. They were almost the same person, in a way, in their intellectual pursuits, their love of learning, their interest in human rights, and their leadership qualities. So the thing about the two of them is that they kind of get a raw deal in the history books. 

What they really talk about is that both of these women were “incapable mothers”. Catherine of Aragon’s job really as queen was not to do all of the interesting things that she did and lead troops and this and that but it was to have a male heir and she didn’t do that. She had Mary and a number of other children that died. Anne Boleyn, the same thing, she wasn’t able to have a male heir so they whipped up some charges against her and at a very young age she had her head cut off. It’s not a very happy story and when you really break it down it’s about the really poor treatment of women and the subjugation of women and what happens when we don’t let great women rise in the world. You’ll see in the musical how the world suffers because we don’t let these women step forward and assume leadership roles in the society that they’re in.

We did our first workshop of the musical, it’s still in a very early stage but we put it up on its feet with actors and scripts in hands, at the wonderful Playwright’s Horizons. They were very kind to us and gave us the time and space to work on it and what the artist came away with was there were a couple male characters that felt redundant and other key learning. They pulled out a couple of the male characters to really make this female forward. 

Q. This show features a book by Mêlisa Annis and music and lyrics by Jamie Floyd. What was it like working with these two extraordinarily talented people?

They are extraordinarily talented! You know they’re really wonderful to work with. On paper, it doesn’t look like they’d match up. As a producer, you really have to be able to see that these are artists that are going to be able to yield something together because they hadn’t worked together before and now they’re like sisters. I’d read a lot of scripts that Melisa had written and there were people that had more experience than her in writing musicals. I read a lot of different people before I approached Mêlisa about it but her voice is just so unique and brilliant. She’s originally from the UK, she’s Welsh, so she understands the culture of the UK. She has this ability to write in this beautifully elevated style but also in a way that’s really funny and contemporary so I really just think she’s such a rare talent and the same goes for Jamie. 

Jamie is a twice Grammy-nominated Nashville songwriter and also a really talented performer. A few years ago, I told a good friend of mine from LA who’s a music supervisor in the television industry, that I was looking for someone who doesn’t sound like a musical theater writer and she said “let me forward you this one person, Jamie. She would be great.” And she really nailed it because Mêlisa, and I had been working at it for about a year, and a half at that point before we really felt that we were ready to add a composer into the mix and we heard Jamie’s stuff and I said “I really think this is the person” and Mêlisa agreed so it’s really worked out. They’re doing beautiful work.

 

Q. You’ve released some of the music on your Instagram and many fans have expressed adoration, especially for the heart-wrenchingly powerful “I Know You”. What is it like to hear such positive early reactions?

I mean it’s exactly what you want when you’re creating a musical. I know the value of establishing fanbases early on from my 20+ years in television. Putting up the Instagram was a way to test the waters a bit and it was sort of the reaction we were hoping for. As a producer, it’s exactly what you want. I’m really pleased to say that I wasn’t surprised. Jamie’s music is so beautiful. We went down to Nashville and she has this great group of loyal friends and musicians down there who helped us put together some demos. It was a really special time. The demo you hear is what we recorded before the pandemic. Ultimately we’ll record some new stuff and put that out, too.“I Know You” is this really powerful song that came about from this one scene in the musical. I won’t say too much about it but Catherine and Anne have found each other and are sort of getting to know each other. Originally, it was Anne singing the song but now we think it’s going to be another person in the mix – one of Catherine of Aragon’s ladies in waiting. 

It’s a song about getting back up on your feet after something bad happens. Mêlisa and Jamie are so good at communicating with each other. At the time, Jamie asked “what are we trying to say here?” and Mêlisa said, “the character is trying to say “you can do this, I know you”, and Jamie’s wheels started turning. She’s such a fast writer – both she and Mêlisa are. Within a couple of days she came back with “I Know You” and we were like Wow! That’s so beautiful! It’s crazy because we get requests all the time for the sheet music from people wanting to use it as an audition song. People just really seem to love it and it really speaks to them because it’s about helping a person in need and helping someone get back on their feet. 

Q. A lot of the songs are beautiful ballads with some contemporary elements, how does this separate The King’s Wife from other shows that are implementing more of a pop sound into their soundtrack?

I think that’s actually the biggest differentiator. We’re huge fans of Six. That’s sort of a different thing, it’s a pop concert and it’s genius. The King’s Wife is a very linear narrative. There’s a script to it, there’s dialogue in it, there’s multiple characters but it really centers around Anne and Catherine and shows these extraordinary possibilities of these great minds together if they actually had the ability to be together for a time. There are incredible ballads. I mean that’s Jamie’s thing. She’s taken like a fish to water in terms of musical theater writing but she does come from the pop and country world. She’s able to take what we need in terms of the emotion and really put it into songs. Usually, in a musical, there’s sort of one incredible ballad like “Memory” from Cats or “Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd but in this case, just because of Jamie’s sheer nature of being an incredible ballad writer there’s like three big show-stopping ballads. So, yeah, the music is the biggest differentiator, I think. Jamie has also conceptualized really great motifs that happen throughout the musical too. I think those are the ways that it’s differentiated. This is also a very dark show. Something more akin to a Spring Awakening or Hadestown rather than something poppy and fun.

Q. Shows centering around historical events seem to be a trend in musical theater right now with hit shows like Hamilton and Six. How important is it to retell history through a musical lens?

I think it’s really fun to retell history through a musical lens but I think it’s really important to retell history through a woman’s lens. For many years history has been told through the perspective of men. I’m also a huge Hamilton fan. It’s a work of genius. It’s told from the perspective of men of course but there are also strong, powerful women in the show. It’s really nice to tell a story from a woman’s perspective. Again, what we know about Catherine and Anne is they had these jobs and they couldn’t have male children and you don’t really get the nuances of who they were as people. As Mêlisa said in a previous interview, Anne is painted as this vixen and she really wasn’t. We don’t even know if that’s true because she wasn’t telling her own story. We don’t know her experience. And Catherine is painted, again using Mêlisa’s words as an “incapable mother” and she was so much more than that. The perspectives people have because of what’s been written in the books isn’t necessarily the full picture because women didn’t get to write their own stories back then. So, I think that’s why there’s this fascination with stories from hundreds of years ago because women were literally not writing their own stories for the most part. 

Q. Can you share any behind-the-scenes workshop stories

The thing was that we were really dodging Covid. It was just a nail-biter. We had to change the workshop date about five times due to Covid. We had various people in and out due to Covid. You’re worried about “well, is the music director gonna get covid, is the director gonna get covid?” So there’s all these sort of white-knuckling things that you have to hang on and cross your fingers about. That was the biggest behind-the-scenes thing, other than that we had a great time. Playwright’s Horizons was very generous with what they gave. With Page 73, they premiered A Strange Loop, the Pulitzer prize-winning Michael R. Jackson musical. They have great taste and they’re very kind and they offer great feedback so it was just a pleasure to be in that space. 

Q. You’ve been involved with multiple Tony award-nominated projects and worked on countless other musical theater-related productions including Netflix’s The Prom. How have these projects and experiences shaped your career?

I had worked on a couple of projects with my producing partner Abigail Solomon at her company Rosalind Productions and we were producers on The Prom which was up for best musical. There was another show we did – ThreeTall Women, which was an incredible play and that was nominated for a Tony award. How has it impacted me? It’s wonderful! It’s really great. My job as a producer and especially for Rosalind Productions is to find interesting stuff that’s hopefully going to be financially successful, satisfying to work on, and artistically successful and that’s where the awards come in.

It’s my job to constantly help develop interesting stuff that’s gonna make waves and make an impact. The nice thing about Rosalind Productions and my own personal thing as a producer is that we’re all about getting women’s stories out there. It’s really incredibly satisfying to work for a company where that is their sole mission. We’re never gonna produce a show about a girl searching for a guy or a romantic partner. We’re searching for more substantive narratives even though those narratives might be fun.



Follow The King’s Wife on Instagram 

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Disenchanted Fails to Capture the Charm of the Original Film https://popculturepress.org/2022/disenchanted-fails-to-capture-the-charm-of-the-original-film/ Thu, 01 Dec 2022 22:17:02 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3652 Disenchanted Review  In 2007, Disney’s unconventional fish-out-of-water fairytale film Enchanted soared its way into the hearts of fans with catchy songs, energetic performances, and an upheaval of overdone Disney tropes. Now, 15 years later, the original cast including Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, and Idina Menzel have reunited for Disenchanted, the highly-anticipated sequel which …

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Disenchanted Review 

In 2007, Disney’s unconventional fish-out-of-water fairytale film Enchanted soared its way into the hearts of fans with catchy songs, energetic performances, and an upheaval of overdone Disney tropes. Now, 15 years later, the original cast including Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, and Idina Menzel have reunited for Disenchanted, the highly-anticipated sequel which premiered on Disney+ on November 18. 

The film picks up a few years where its predecessor left off with Giselle (Adams) and Robert (Dempsey) growing tired of the bustling streets of New York City and deciding to take on the suburbs much to the dismay of Robert’s now teenage daughter Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino). In the tight-knit town of Monroeville, they meet town queen bee Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph) who senses trouble as soon as the picture-esc couple moves to town. 

After a visit from familiar faces hailing from the animated fairytale world of Andalasia, Giselle realizes that her “happily ever after” isn’t what she wished for and with a little magic, things take a wicked turn. While this film features far more literal magic than the first, Disenchanted feels dull and lifeless compared to the original film aside from the stunning ballgowns and intricately crafted fantastical sets.

One of the biggest qualitative differences between the films lies in the music. Enchanted may not be a Disney classic on the same level as The Lion King or The Little Mermaid but many hardcore Disney fans view it as a staple of early 2000s Disney flicks featuring iconic songs “True Love’s Kiss” and “That’s How You Know”. Disenchanted doesn’t feature one memorable song despite the involvement of renowned composers Alan Menken and Stephen Swartz.

The song “Badder” features a fun, villainous dynamic between the incredibly talented Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph but even that song loses its focus in the midst of choppy editing and overpowering instrumental. Many of the songs’ lyrics are almost inaudible due to the disproportionate instrumental. Even vocal powerhouse Idina Menzel’s voice felt drowned out, a result most likely of a shoddy audio composition. 

Despite the original cast returning, the charm and intrigue of their specific characters don’t match up with the energy of the first film. Most notably Dempsey’s character Robert feels completely detached from himself and is left offscreen for most of the film. The one standout is James Marsden’s Prince Edward whose over-the-top take on the handsome heroic prince archetype is sure to bring a smile to any audience member’s face. 

While Giselle was the main character of the first movie and still has the most screen time in this film, her stepdaughter Morgan, now played by Gabriella Baldacchino instead of Rachel Covey, plays a pretty big role as this film parodies many Cinderella tropes to reinforce the stepmother/stepdaughter dynamic between Morgan and Giselle and differentiating itself from the first film which followed the story of Snow White more closely. 

This overarching theme could’ve offered a heartwarming story much like the first film about true love and seeing the magic in everyday life but instead, this message gets lost aside a variety of uninteresting b-plots and long-stretching scenes that don’t correlate to the core meanings at all. By the time the end of the film rolls around and the more picture perfect happily ever after is achieved, audiences are left underwhelmed and wanting more than the story gave them.

This begs the question, how does a company like Disney produce such mediocre or even downright awful projects? Many fans have expressed distaste towards the live-action remakes and similar issues that can be seen in Disenchanted such as unrealistic special effects, lazy or convoluted writing, and pacing that at times is impossible to follow. 

Though Disenchanted isn’t a live-action remake it still feels like one at times which is disappointing considering the status of the first film and the fact that many have been waiting for an Enchanted sequel for over a decade. 

Disenchanted may not have been what fans were hoping for but there’s still room for enjoyment in the lavish costumes, including some that you’ll recognize from Disney classics and the beautifully crafted sets which will make viewers feel like they have been transported to Andalasia.

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HBO Max December News and Releases https://popculturepress.org/2022/hbo-max-december-news-and-releases/ Thu, 01 Dec 2022 18:48:44 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3442 HBO Max Full List of December Releases Here’s everything dropping in December of 2022 on HBO Max. It’s all here, from films to originals. Dropping December 1 10,000 B.C., 2008 3:10 to Yuma, 1957 A Hollywood Christmas, 2022 Black Sheep, 1996 Branson, HBO Original Docuseries Premiere (HBO) Burn After Reading, 2008 Can’t Hardly Wait, 1998 …

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HBO Max Full List of December Releases

Here’s everything dropping in December of 2022 on HBO Max. It’s all here, from films to originals.

Dropping December 1
10,000 B.C., 2008
3:10 to Yuma, 1957
A Hollywood Christmas, 2022
Black Sheep, 1996
Branson, HBO Original Docuseries Premiere (HBO)
Burn After Reading, 2008
Can’t Hardly Wait, 1998
Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams, 1981 (HBO)
Cheech & Chong’s The Corsican Brothers, 1984 (HBO)
Cheech & Chong’s Things Are Tough All Over, 1982
De Palma, 2015 (HBO)
First Reformed, 2017 (HBO)
Friends with Benefits, 2011
Gossip Girl, Max Original Season 2 Premiere
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, 2008 (HBO)
Gone Girl, 2014 (HBO)
Green Room, 2015 (HBO)
Hellraiser: Hellseeker, 2002 (HBO)
Hellraiser: Hellworld, 2005 (HBO)
Hellraiser III Hell on Earth, 1992 (HBO)
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline, 1996 (HBO)
Hellraiser V: Inferno, 2000 (HBO)
Hellraiser VII: Deader, 2005 (HBO)
Hook, 1991
Into the Forest, 2015 (HBO)
Krisha, 2015 (HBO)
My Fellow Americans, 1996 (HBO)
Paradise (aka Paraíso), Max Original Season 2 Premiere
Redemption, 2013 (HBO)
Reindeer Games, 2000 (Director’s Cut) (HBO)
Sesame Street’s The Nutcracker, Max Original Special Premiere
Small Town Crime, 2017 (HBO)
Sort Of, Max Original Season 2 Premiere
Step Up All In, 2014 (HBO)
Step Up Revolution, 2012 (HBO)
Stomp the Yard, 2007
Stomp the Yard: Homecoming, 2010
Street Kings, 2008 (HBO)
The Children Act, 2017 (HBO)
The Murdochs: Empire of Influence
The Maze Runner, 2014 (HBO)
The Purge: Anarchy, 2014
The Sea of Trees, 2015 (HBO)
The Tomorrow Man, 2019 (HBO)
Trumbo, 2015 (HBO)
Two Can Play That Game, 2001
Urban Cowboy, 1980
¡Viva Maestro!, 2022
Win Win, 2011 (HBO)

Dropping December 2
Blippi Wonders, Season 2B
Hank Zipzer’s Christmas Catastrophe, 2016
Lellobee City Farm, Season 2

Dropping December 4
Under The Stars (aka Sous les étoiles), Max Original Premiere

Dropping December 5
His Dark Materials, Season 3 Premiere (HBO)

Dropping December 6
Amsterdam, 2022 (HBO)
Batwheels Holiday Special: Holidays on Ice
Bugs Bunny Builders Holiday Special: Looneyburg Lights
Sesame Street Mecha Builders Holiday Special: Yip Yip Tree Tree / The Snowman Scarecrow, Season 1
Unveiled: Surviving La Luz del Mundo, HBO Original Docuseries Premiere (HBO)

Dropping December 8
Doom Patrol, Max Original Season 4 Premiere
South Side, Max Original Season 3 Premiere

Dropping December 9
Silos Baking Competition: Holiday Edition, Special
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, 2018 (HBO)

Dropping December 10
Atsuko Okatsuka: The Intruder, HBO Original Premiere (HBO)

Dropping December 12
Adult Swim Yule Log

Dropping December 13
Meet the Batwheels: The Best Present in the World, Season 1
The Banshees Of Inisherin, 2022 (HBO)

Dropping December 14
Selling the Hamptons
Serving the Hamptons
Queen of Versailles Reigns Again
Trixie Motel

Dropping December 15
Jugada Peligrosa (ex El Patrón del Balón, Goles Limpios Dinero Sucio), Max Original Premiere

Dropping December 16
Martin: The Reunion Special 2022
Ranch to Table, Season 3

Dropping December 22
I Hate Suzie, Max Original Season 2 Premiere
The Head, Max Original Season 2 Premiere

Dropping December 23
Family Dinner, Season 3

Dropping December 27
The Man From U.N.C.L.E., 2015 (HBO)

Dropping December 30
The Established Home, Season 2
This Place Rules, Original (HBO)

Scooby Scrapped

Yet another film is scrapped at Warner Bros. Discovery before release. Scoob!: Holiday Haunt was allowed to finish production but it’s been announced that it will not air. While there are no fans screaming over this loss, the production team did have a lot of time and emotion invested in the project only to learn in the last days of production their work would never be released. Scoob!: Holiday Haunt was an intended prequel to Scoob! (2020). 

No Final Season For Westworld

November 4, 2022 — Westworld ends with an ambiguous season 4. It seemed inevitable. The first indicator was clear. Westworld has always been picked up for following seasons during the seasons they air. Couple a weak Westworld season 4 of 4 million viewers to House of the Dragon‘s 29 million in viewership with new owners, Discovery axing loads of HBO properties, and the writing on the wall was all but written.

Westworld’s co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy confirmed the show’s fate was up in the air in October. Jonathan stated, “We always planned for a fifth and final season. (They originally planned six seasons, and seven were rumored during season one). We are still in conversations with the network. We very much hope to make them,” referencing the existing top brass at HBO. Lisa Joy affirmed his concern, “Jonah and I have always had an ending in mind that we hope to reach. We have not quite reached it yet.” 

And yet it seems Nolan and Joy may have hedged their bets after season 3s weak performance by ending season 4 without the usual cliffhanger or stinger. 

Hopes of Westworld season 5 have ended for now unless the showrunners find another Network to pick up Westworld for its final act. The difficulty will be convincing another network to pick up a show costly in production for only one season. Back in 2016, Season 1 began with a budget of 100 million and has maintained a sky-high budget of 160 million to produce season 4 (with two fewer episodes), and has fewer viewers. Westworld has collected over 50 Emmy nominations, with fewer each season. 

For now, HBO’s final word is:  “Over the past four seasons, Lisa and [Jonathan] have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step. We are tremendously grateful to them, along with their immensely talented cast, producers, and crew, and all of our partners at Kilter Films, Bad Robot, and Warner Bros. Television. It’s been a thrill to join them on this journey.”

For now, any remaining fans of Westworld will have to be on the lookout for any news indicating Westworld has found a new home for season 5. 

Season 4 Takes Titans Back to San Francisco

As the Titans leave Gotham in season 4 of Titans to head back to San Francisco, the stop along the way in Metropolis where the series introduces Brother Blood (Joseph Morgan) from DC graphic novel source material.  Seasons 1 and 2 offered a lot of hope despite rushing new characters into play. In fact, it was the addition of so many additional teen superheroes that left you thinking the showrunners had a long-term plan. Season 3 proved that entirely wrong with a horrible depiction of No Man’s Land (1999) by Jordan B. as the teens saved Gotham. To be fair, season 3 did an adequate job of the death of Jason Todd based on Death in the Family (1988) by Jim Starlin & Jim Aparo. However, the reincarnation of Jason Todd as the Red Hood was hard to accept knowing how far from canon this version was venturing off to. 

Farcical Use of Cannon

At times Titans take on characters is off-putting. The actor and manner in which Bruce Wayne is depicted are hard to swallow. Titans is a low-budget Dawson’s Creek superhero show a notch above the CW Arrowverse. Each season shoehorns an element of cannon into the series without much regard for how a character was created or grew in their respective original print run. And yet the show draws you in because we are being offered an opportunity to see many characters come to life in reasonably original graphic novel accuracy by actors and actresses who most often look like their comic book counterparts. 

Who Is Brother Blood?

As his name hints, his powers center around blood. Unlike a vampire, he doesn’t need it to survive. Instead, the blood of others grants him power, special powers. By consuming the blood of others, he gains those same powers. In addition, Brother Blood has a photographic memory and can perform mind control. His shawl makes him immune to Raven’s powers.  Of course, one challenging bad guy is never enough. Another Titan adversary to look forward to in season 4 is Mother Mayhem (Franka Potente).

Batmanless Robin, Tim Drake

Ignoring canon completely, Titans features a Tim Drake, Robin who never serves as Batman’s sidekick let alone works with him. In fact, In Titans, Tim Drake never even meets Batman. Or will he? If season 4 shares with any of the previous seasons, Bruce Wayne will make a cameo in some form. 

Showrunner Greg Walker

While Titans changed homes from the now defunct DC Universe App (seasons 1 & 2) to HBO Max (seasons 3 & 4), a consistent single-camera production lead by Greg Walker has kept the series centered around Dick Grayson’s Nightwing character. 

Did James Gunn Greenlight Green Lantern?

In spite of losing showrunner & writer Seth Graham-Smith, the Green Lantern series on HBO Max may be redeveloped once again with the recent hiring of James Gunn to head up DC Studios. Smith finished scripts for the standard eight episodes featuring Green Lantern’s Hal Jordan and Alan Scott. Word is it will now feature John Stewart, a sign the series is being scaled back to the CW Network size budget. In 2019 Green Lantern was touted as DC’s most expensive show. This move is in keeping with HBO Max’s cutbacks. The recent Discovery Channel take-over has shown its teeth once again, with yet another HBO Max project being victim to their drastic cut budgets. 
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Marvel Cinematic Universe News https://popculturepress.org/2022/marvel-cinematic-universe-news/ Thu, 01 Dec 2022 06:16:58 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3217 One of Marvel’s Strongest Characters in the Universe Arrives December 1, 2022 — While the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. III trailer touts the end of an era in the MCU, one of the strongest, if not the strongest character in the MCU is shown in the trailer aggressively pounding on Nebula.    Who is …

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One of Marvel’s Strongest Characters in the Universe Arrives

December 1, 2022 — While the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. III trailer touts the end of an era in the MCU, one of the strongest, if not the strongest character in the MCU is shown in the trailer aggressively pounding on Nebula. 

 

Who is Adam Warlock? We got a glimpse of the humanoid in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II. post-credit stinger. In response to stealing the Sovereigns’ battery, the high priestess Ayesha creates Adam Warlock to get payback. Adam Warlock’s original comic book entity is a bit more complex with a completely different origin. He was actually created by a group of scientists known as the Enclave and joined the Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

Adam Warlock was also known for a short period of time as the Living Tribunal, most fan sites place him in the top three when he absorbed the essence of the Living Tribunal. Only Heart of the Universe and  The One Above All would be superior in abilities during this time. He’s known to have variants from Earth-616 to Earth-19141 with the Living Tribunal combo existing in Earth-19141.  Eventually, both Adam Warlocks would merge across the multiverse. At this point, Adam Warlock becomes a singular entity across the multiverse, making him a nexus being. When Adam Warlock absorbs or becomes both himself and the Living Tribunal, he follows the Living Tribunal’s bound nature — he cannot interfere with events.  

It’s safe to say the MCU won’t introduce Adam Warlock to the Living Tribunal entity, but should it happen you now have a better understanding of his background. 

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Amazon Prime Video News and Releases https://popculturepress.org/2022/prime-news-and-releases/ Wed, 30 Nov 2022 04:34:18 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3493 Amazon CEO Andy Jassy Has Final Word on Hebrews 2 Negros | December 2, 2022 — Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America is still for sale on Amazon. The documentary goes far beyond what some black entertainers have wanted to discuss about Jewish people in powerful positions. Amazon’s current CEO Andy Jassy has taken …

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy Has Final Word on Hebrews 2 Negros

| December 2, 2022 — Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America is still for sale on Amazon. The documentary goes far beyond what some black entertainers have wanted to discuss about Jewish people in powerful positions. Amazon’s current CEO Andy Jassy has taken point announcing the documentary will not be removed from their platform, “As a retailer of content to hundreds of millions of customers with a lot of different viewpoints, we have to allow access to those viewpoints, even if they are objectionable — objectionable and they differ from our particular viewpoints.”

According to the author of Hebrews 2 Negros, the documentary uncovers the true identity of the Children of Israel as read in the synopsis. 

The question many are framing around the documentary asks is it an anti-semetic hate piece or a warning to blacks.

The scope of this matter impacts wider questions in today’s society. Who is the arbiter of what is good and bad in tech media? To what end are they responsible? Why do such matters rise to such importance now when they did not just a decade ago? Is talking about sensitive subjects equal to taking a stand for or against it? How do we have a rational debate and what would the standards be? For now, it appears top brass are making more than bold decisions, they are taking action. 

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DCU News and Releases https://popculturepress.org/2022/dcu-news-and-releases/ Tue, 29 Nov 2022 17:30:27 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3424 DC Animation Streaming Deal with Unlikely Partner November 30, 2022 — CBR claims late talks are taking place between Warner Bros. Discovery and get this, Amazon Prime Video. Not to be confused with Amazon Studios. That difference should clear up the meaning of such a deal. In short, it means DC Animation may be available …

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DC Animation Streaming Deal with Unlikely Partner

November 30, 2022 — CBR claims late talks are taking place between Warner Bros. Discovery and get this, Amazon Prime Video. Not to be confused with Amazon Studios. That difference should clear up the meaning of such a deal. In short, it means DC Animation may be available on Prime. 

This news is telling. It’s a clear departure from Warner Bros. recent approach of keeping all their content in-house that propped up the HBO MAX platform.

If you like to think in terms of cause and effect, this move seems like a natural response to Discovery’s purchase of Warner Bros. and its immediate desire to cut corners and create revenue. If they don’t have enough content to justify an HBO Max subscription among all the streaming services, then sell it to others. 

DCU is Missing This Great Holiday Feature

There is agreement across the board that the best on-screen Marvel and DC stories are based on existing graphic novel stories even if they don’t honor canon. One theme Marvel has picked up on is the holiday special. DC has seen many holiday specials in print. With the recent addition of the Justice Society to the DC Universe, the 2004 Geoff Johns and Don Kramer Virtue and Vice Thanksgiving crossover would be one ideal candidate for DC. As long as Santa is a safe reference, Jack Kirby’s 1997 Holiday Bash is a strong contender. 

While DC prints holiday special comics infrequently, they have a bank of great stories assembled. Here are a few:

  • Christmas with the Super-Heroes (1988)
  • Harley Quinn Holiday Special (2014) (2016)
  • Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special (1991)
  • Hawk & Dove  Seasons Greetings (1989)
  • DC Presents SuperMan and Santa Claus (1978)
  • Teen Titans A Christmas Happening (1966)
  • Superman Leaping Into the New Year (1938)

Super-Hero holiday specials would be ideal for HBO Max or whatever Warner Bros/Discovery streaming service distribution is unveiled in the future. Is there a must-have on our list or one we missed?

BATMAN DIES — AT 66 KEVIN CONROY LEAVES US

Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman across films, video games, and audiobooks has died at age 66. Fans to friends in film are at a loss. Long-time voice of Joker Mark Hamill, and friend to Kevin Conroy reflects, “He was one of my favorite people on the planet, and I loved him like a brother. He truly cared for the people around him – his decency shone through everything he did. Every time I saw him or spoke with him, my spirits were elevated.”  Another fellow voice actor and the original voice of Harly Quinn, Tara Strong reflected on Twitter, “I don’t the words. Not today. My heart is broken. There will never be another. He is #Batman.”

Kevin grew up in the east, born in 1955 in Westbury New York, and growing up in Westport, Connecticut. Conroy’s voice as Batman is iconic and revered as the true voice of Batman across all media. He began as a Julliard-trained actor, studying with Superman’s Christopher Reeve and comedian Robin Williams. After a few years of acting assignments in TV during the 1980s, Kevin hit paydirt in 1992. It was then the classic Batman Animated Series aired in September of 92. 

With all his accomplishments as Batman in scores of Batman animations and video games, he was paid his greatest tribute in 2019 when he could portray Batman beyond the voice. Kevin lead an openly gay life and leaves behind his husband, Vaughn C. Williams. The cause of death is reported as cancer-related. Kevin was a long-time smoker, however, there is been little said to confirm it played a part in his cancer. 

Titans Season 4 Tim Drake is NOT Robin if He’s Not with Batman

Fanboy writers to daily writers on pop culture are writing speculation articles around Titans Season 4 trailers where Tim Drake is involved with the Titans. They are excitedly speculating, “When will Tim Drake get his Robin costume?” The answer is, “Why should he?” He’s not Robin. Yet. Of course, this is an ‘alternate’ DC universe and in this one, Tim Drake can become Robin without ever serving under Batman, but has anyone even considered that in this universe he may simply not become Robin and only operate as Tim Drake? 

It’s as if the only thing that matters to fanboys is, When will we see him in costume? If that’s you, get a grip. Step back and consider how it would or wouldn’t move the story forward. Then again, the live-action Titans have been a bizarro version of the DC universe with many unique alterations to origin stories. Perhaps it isn’t so dumb to think that Robin can originate in Titans without a Batman. But it sure would be just one more reason that Titans Season 4 will be the last. The show is increasingly becoming Dawson’s Creek in superhero outfits. For now, why not simply watch Season 4 for as long as it’s tolerable and enjoy the story as it unfolds without the constant, What Titans needs to do in Season 4 bull$#it fanboy demands. If Drake dons the Robin outfit, great. If he doesn’t, it will at the very least fit in slightly better into canon than much of the previous Titan character origins. 

James Gunn and Peter Safran are DC’s answers to Marvel’s Kevin Fiege

OCTOBER 25, 2022 — Comic book fandom and non-superhero fans are blown away on Tuesday when DC announced both James Gunn and Peter Safran as Co-Chairs and Co-CEOs of DC Studios. Gunn and Safran replace Walter Hamada and report directly to David Zaslav. A newly formed DC Studios is replacing DC Films. While Warner Brothers made news in 2022 week after week with shake-ups and changes in lead management a priority remained the DC movie universe. Everyone in management desired a respected leader to produce the same success as Marvel’s Kevin Feige. 

Fandom across the Internet has resoundingly cheered in surprise, relief, and glee with one name, in particular, James Gunn. His past success at Marvel with Guardians of the Galaxy (2014 & 2017) to DC’s Suicide Squad (2021)and HBO Max original Peacemaker (2022) deftly threads the needle in meeting the needs of every stakeholder, from comic-book faithful and social justice viewers to accountants pleased with huge returns.  Gunn’s role will focus on the production of DC movies and may still get more directly involved in individual films or originals. 

Black Adam Surprises Audiences with over 71 million at Box Office While Critics Disagree

Was it Dwayne Johnson’s input or change in the guard at Warner Brothers that had the positive impact on the overall storyline, who knows but Black Adam is doing so well in its first week that word of mouth may surprise everyone with strong numbers in week two?  With Aquaman opening at 68 million in 2018, Black Adam is laughing in the face of critics who’ve panned it for clunky dialog and a weak storyline assigning it a 39 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes with audiences rating it at 90 percent. At 71 million and a projected 300 million worldwide, this will be Dwayne Johnson’s best film as top-billed talent.
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‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’ is a Must-See Theater Experience This Holiday Season! https://popculturepress.org/2022/tina-the-tina-turner-musical-is-a-must-see-theater-experience-this-holiday-season/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 18:00:58 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3629 Tina: – The Tina Turner Musical is a true triumph! Part Broadway musical, part R&B/rock concert, and all heart, it is truly an evening of theater you do not want to miss. You just can’t help singing along and dancing in your seat! Part of the Broadway series, this high-energy show is appearing at the …

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Tina: – The Tina Turner Musical is a true triumph! Part Broadway musical, part R&B/rock concert, and all heart, it is truly an evening of theater you do not want to miss. You just can’t help singing along and dancing in your seat!

Part of the Broadway series, this high-energy show is appearing at the Kimmel Cultural Camps’ Academy of Music through Sunday, December 4.

This is an extremely powerful and emotional musical with an extremely talented cast led by two women (on alternating nights) who each have a beautiful and electrifying stage presence. Wow!

The role of Tina Turner is so physically and mentally exhausting that it is shared by two actresses, Naomi Rodgers and Zurin Villanueva. They each have their own nights to bring the legendary singer, songwriter, and icon to life, and they seize the opportunity to take our theater experience to new heights.

The many musical numbers are a true walk down memory lane and are intermingled with Tina Turner’s biography of hardship, family troubles, motherhood, domestic abuse, and her rise to fame – and she did it twice.

The two dozen or so songs include Proud Mary, River Deep- Mountain High, Private Dancer, What’s Love Go to Do with It, We Don’t Need Another Hero, and Simply the Best.

This is the story of an extremely talented singer and songwriter who endured great personal sacrifice and difficulties but was resilient enough to never give up; providing vital life lessons for all of us.

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical originally opened on Broadway on November 7, 2019, and was nominated for 12 Tony® Awards, including Best Musical. The production reopened at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on October 8, 2021, following the 18-month industry-wide shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Naomi Rodgers as ‘Tina Turner’ in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

Naomi, tell me what you love about this show.

Naomi Rodgers:  Playing this role is exhilarating, and empowering, and is something that I enjoy doing every chance that I get.  I don’t see myself getting tired anytime soon.

Zurin, how much of Tina’s work did you know?

Zurin Villanueva:  I knew a chunk of it; I knew all of the old standbys. I knew more than I thought I knew, but just from growing up in the nineties. So , it was really a pleasure to find the B-side tracks and find the little cracks and really start listening to musical specifics I had never delved into before, and really seeing why she was a such musical genius in her recording.

What are some of the highlights of this show for each of you?

Zurin Villanueva:  I enjoy so many things, but I think I enjoy River Deep – Mountain High; it is very high on my list of enjoyment. It’s just a beast of a song, and standing there flat-footed and letting it all come out of your soul is just the most beautiful feeling.  I also love Simply the Best because I love to sing with the audience.

I was not used to it at first.  I’m a theater girl, I’m an actor.  We do the fourth wall, we put it up. But in this show, we get to take it down and I’m really getting used to and loving playing with the people, playing with the audience, and really getting into that concert mode I get to play a rock star.  Who does that?  Not many of us. 

Naomi Rodgers in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

And your highlights and stand-out moments?

Naomi Rodgers: That’s going to be the Megamix; when we do the extra two songs at the end. I find joy in just seeing everyone’s faces, standing up and being able to touch them, reach out to them. Really just being able to use everything that I’ve learned about Tina and her mannerisms, and how she actually really, really connects with the audience because she loves her fans and she loves to perform.

Let me tell you something, Tina Turner puts on a show.  I think I found the fun that she found in it every single time.  I think I found it.  Maybe I might have to talk to her one day and say, “Hey, is that what you felt?”  But I’m enjoying that so much.

How emotional is this show?  Her songs and music itself, to me, puts me back to where I was when I enjoyed a certain song.  Music is emotional for most of us.

Naomi Rodgers:  Oh my gosh, the audience cannot stop singing.  Every song in this show is a song that your mom played, your dad played, grandma or you played.  You said you’re going to go get your soda pop, it really brings you back.  I remember watching because I got the opportunity to be able to watch Zurin for a while in the audience so I would be able to see the audience’s reactions.

Every single time they sang or they did a song that everyone knew, one of them it’s What’s Love Got to Do with It? or no, it’s Let’s Stay Together. People scream when they hear that song. They scream, start clapping and they start singing along.  It’s such a feel-good, it’s really one of those. As you said, it really transports you.  I saw one lady, she just closed her eyes and started listening. It’s one of those moments that definitely transports you to a different place and time

Zurin Villanueva: Yes. And then on top of that, her story and the relationship she was going through at such a young age. And having children and then marrying Ike and falling into that relationship with him, takes you through an emotional journey that a lot of the parts you might not know, and then you’ll learn them.  But the songs and where they’re placed support her story perfectly. And so, we are really put on an emotional journey, going from beginning to finish.  It’s a huge rollercoaster.  And me loving the drama, I love it so much. I love it.

What is it like for each of you to share a role?  Because I think that’s pretty unique.

Naomi Rodgers:  Yes, it is definitely something that I think they really thought about and they needed it. This show is worth putting on the tour and being shown to the world, but also it is worth the energy that the Tinas have to bring every night.  For me and Zurin to alternate and to be able to have certain days off is amazing.

Zurin Villanueva as Tina in The Tina Turner Musical. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade, 2022

Zurin Villanueva:  Yeah, especially on tour, it is way more difficult to do any show on the tour that is on Broadway. Because of the moving, a lot of the time if it’s a one-week stint like we’re doing here in Baltimore, our day off has been our travel day.  So it is of the utmost importance that we do have two Tinas in this show.  Because we do not leave the stage, two hours and 45 minutes, we’re in it the whole time, so we need to make sure that we rest so we can give 1000 percent.

What does each of you see as the messages and the life lessons from Tina’s story and from the show?

Zurin Villanueva:  Well, definitely one of them is nothing’s over till you say it’s over. She had a completely new career in her 40’s.  It was completely unheard of, especially for a woman of color, especially for a black woman in the business. Everyone’s young and cute and switching around and blonde, so the fact that she was able to do that and have her number one at that age, she completely changed it around. And she did so because she would not quit because she kept going until she found someone who believed in her, someone who wanted to record with her.

Because she was having a lot of trouble finding someone in the States, she went to the UK, she went to Europe because they were always big fans of hers. And they were like, “Yes, I want to record with you,” and she became a hit.

What are the downsides and the upsides of a tour like this?

Naomi Rodgers:  I think Zurin kind of touched on that a little bit with being that we travel a lot and that it’s a traveling tour. And it’s not one of these tours where there’s like two weeks or a month we’re sitting down, we’re moving every week.  We just left, where did we just go?  Cincinnati, no, Buffalo.  I don’t know, it’s so fast.  Everything has just been so fast.  So, for the last three weeks, we’ve just been on go, on go, on go.

I think that has to be the hardest thing about it, is that you really can’t focus and settle into a city.  You have to settle into your Airbnb at the moment and then get right back into work.  But also I feel like that’s just the tour life and it makes me feel a little bit more like Tina.

Zurin Villanueva as Tina in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. Photo by Evan Zimmerman

Do you try to find a coffee shop or a bookstore or something in each city that you can kind of call your own?  Could you write a little travel guide if you had to?

Zurin Villanueva:  Well, I do, I follow the food.  I follow the food.  I’m a big fan of the show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  On my last tour, I went to one spot in each city.  Just to get something that’s specific to the city or something, just where the locals go just to get some good food. Because at the end of the day, that’s usually all I need, is a good plate and then I’ll be all right and I’m good for the next show.

Naomi Rodgers:  I’ve been on the road for the past five years. I have not sat down except for when the quarantine was going on, so that was the first time I sat down and lived my life.  So ever since I was 18 I’ve been on the road.  I’m a foodie as well, but lately, I have been getting into every city that I go to I want to try the best Spanish grilled octopus.  So that is my journey, I have a travel guide for that in every city. In every city, I know exactly where the octopus is, where it is and where’s the best.

Zurin Villanueva as Tina Turner and Max Falls as Erwin in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical MUSICAL. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman.

What would you say is the dream that you had of your career five, 10, 15 years ago, or even as a young girl versus the reality of what you’re doing?  Is it better?  Is it different?

Zurin Villanueva:  It’s hitting on target.  It’s right on target, I couldn’t believe it.  When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Nala, and right before the pandemic I was in Lion King and I got to do Nala, so I was like, well.  I’ve always wanted to play a rock star ever since I saw Josie and the Pussycats, so it’s really good to be doing Tina.

I did not imagine in my wildest dreams that I would actually do it at this scale.  I thought maybe if I was lucky, I would get a cute little cameo in some television show somewhere. But this, where it’s just you, rocking it out, has just been just the biggest, sweetest surprise of my career.

Naomi Rodgers:  I grew up in the church, so I’ve always enjoyed singing, but I never knew or never thought that my drama side, would turn into my mom taking me to a theater show, and having me audition the next week, would become the thing that I do for the rest of my life.

It shocked me to know how fast everything was moving for me in my life, but everything is always intentional and everything has intentions, and I believe that this is going to get me and Zurin where we’re really going to go. It’s a dream come true.  Yes, this is the dream role, but this is one of those things.  I always say, “Where would I be if I didn’t have Tina?  If I didn’t have this show?” I’m grateful that I get to do this, and that it can get us the TV series regular that we want.

Why do you each recommend that my readers come to see this show in Philadelphia or at other stops on the tour?

Zurin Villanueva:  Oh yes, you have to come because you have to feel the magic.  You have to get electrified. You have to remember that you are driving this ship.  You have to be emboldened. You have to feel, you have to come and get a good cry. There are so many things to do when you come to this show.

Naomi: Rodgers:  I’m going to have fun with what I’m about to say.  I would love for your readers to bring sunglasses.  And what I would love for them to do is during “Simply the Best”, when I sing, when I start singing Simply the Best I’d like people to put on their sunglasses.  I will not be frightened; I will not be scared.  Because there are going to be bright lights that shine in your face in the next 2.5 seconds and you have no clue it’s coming.  But I feel like it’s such a moment and it’s so cool that you just get to see with some sunglasses.  All you need is sunglasses.  It’s so good!  It is so good.  So that’s all, come see Tina.

Naomi Rodgers as Tina in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

For tickets and information to see Tina – The Tina Turner Musical in Philadelphia go to: kimmelculturalcampus.org

For information about the Tina – The Tina Turner Musical Tour go to: https://tinaonbroadway.com/

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Disney+ News and Releases https://popculturepress.org/2022/disney-news-and-releases/ Sun, 20 Nov 2022 18:14:14 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3439   Why Bob Iger’s return to Disney replacing Bob Chapek Doesn’t Matter November 2022 at Disney may be marked as a special moment in Disney history. One of Disney’s most profound CEOs has returned.  Bob Iger’s replacement of Bob Chapek has Disney team members, associates, and anyone who has worked with Disney in the past …

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Why Bob Iger’s return to Disney replacing Bob Chapek Doesn’t Matter

November 2022 at Disney may be marked as a special moment in Disney history. One of Disney’s most profound CEOs has returned.  Bob Iger’s replacement of Bob Chapek has Disney team members, associates, and anyone who has worked with Disney in the past 10 years cheering from the sidelines. Fanboys with no insider information about Disney, interpret this as good news due to all of  Disney’s failures over the past three years. Fans see it as a signal Disney will return to a less woke agenda. That’s not necessarily why anyone including fans should be hopeful about Disney’s future. After all, under Iger, Disney had already run the Star Wars movie franchise into the ground. To best understand, some historical points of interest will help best understand why Iger’s return matters. 

From the start of Bob Iger’s tenure in 2005, he has demonstrated he’s the type of CEO that plays a move like chess. It’s not the first move that pays off, it’s what he sees as possible based on a move. Take for example his purchase of Pixar (at 7.4 billion) in 2006, Marvel (at 4 billion) in 2009, and The Star Wars Franchise (at 4 Billion) in 2012. These moves and others quadrupled Disney’s market capitalization from a modest 48 billion to 257 billion. One can argue the woke agenda manifested under Iger, but overall, Bob Iger had made all the right moves, which included Disney+ (and Hulu).

Best yet, unlike Chapek, Iger was hands-off. He didn’t need to fix Pixar, Marvel, or Lucas Films. He counted on each enterprise to continue its winning formulas. What he couldn’t forecast was the next generation of writers influencing every Disney franchise with their social-political views. He didn’t seem to have the social equity to push back.  

In the end, Iger the visionary isn’t perfect. His return isn’t to fix wokism as an anti-woke leader. He ushered it in. 

When Iger retired in January 2020 he hand-picked Chapek. People may think Iger rode off into the sunset. He didn’t. He quietly stayed on as Executive Chairman. He claimed it was to assist Chapek to navigate his new CEO role and avoid a Game of Thrones death by internal Disney politics. One would assume they saw eye-to-eye. In truth, by the time COVID-19 shut down the economy and entertainment business, it became apparent Iger was never truly interested in retiring or assisting Chapek. Chapek made his own decisions without consulting Iger. Bob Chapek’s public battle with Black Widow star Scarlett Johansen resulted in exposing her salary. This infuriated Iger. 

Their working relationship continued its negative spiral coinciding with Disney’s brand image and box office issues. When Florida’s Governor DiSantis signed a 2022 bill into law forbidding educators to instruct children on gender identity in relation to sexual orientation before reaching 4th grade, Disney employees positioned Disney as woke with threats towards the state to sway public opinion. The law was successfully labeled in the media as the “Don’t say gay” bill. DeSantis pushed back threatening to end Disney’s special tax status and self-governing status. In April of 2022 he made good on both threats. Disney employees then held Chapek responsible for failing to take a bigger stand on their LGBTQ position, such as moving Disney from Florida. 

The mess Disney suffered has been felt over continued poor quarterly earnings reports. Mo is the bottom line for any business and Disney needed more than a scapegoat. Iger has now eagerly retaken the crown of CEO at Disney. As fans of Star Wars and Marvel comics rejoice along with the full-time YouTube critics of Star Wars and Disney films, the woke industry insiders are doing the very same Snoopy ecstasy dance. 

The sum result of this change is more of the same. Disney may or may not have intended any drastic policy changes to its storytelling. The reaction across the Internet may quickly redefine what direction they take. The wind is blowing hard for the anti-woke community. The wind may be blowing harder yet within the woke community. Money has made an impact on this change of leadership. Will money have an additional impact on policy? That’s yet to be determined, but anyone who believes the return of Bob Iger is going to return Disney’s Marvel and Star Wars franchises to their earlier glory – clearly, doesn’t read beyond headlines. 

Is Disney+ Building West Coast Avengers?

Two related news items in the MCU are coming to Disney+ and to the discerning MCU aficionado, it appears MCU is quietly building up a streaming-only West Coast Avengers. 

MCU News Item #1 — Vision Quest

After the success of Wandavision in 2021, Marvel and Disney have their sights on another big story involving Wanda and Vision. Step back to the 80s. Writer John Byrne used the West Coast Avengers as a vehicle for the story of the white Vision. Elements of that story played out in the last episode of Wandavision. Vision Quest aims to take on the conundrum of who is the White Vision at length.  There’s more to the story of course, but let’s not enter spoiler territory before Vision Quest even has a chance to air. Still, if you feel the need to deep dive, Marvel has a complete graphic novel reading list in complete reading order.

MCU News Item #2  — Wonderman

Breaking the last of October 2022, it’s reported that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is in talks with Disney+ for a Wonderman series. Wonderman is a legacy Marvel character debuting in 1964 in Avengers #9.  He quickly shifted from a chaotic neutral character to a hero.  How do these two news events relate besides simply being news from the MCU? The White Vision and Wonderman make up part of the West Coast Avengers. Is it a stretch to think the remaining team members are due for appearances or shows on Disney+? 

Warwick Davis Returns to Willow Series

An epic period fantasy series with a modern sensibility set in an enchanted land of breathtaking beauty, “Willow” features a diverse international cast with Jonathan Kasdan, Ron Howard, Wendy Mericle, Kathleen Kennedy, and Michelle Rejwan serving as executive producers. The story began with an aspiring magician from a Nelwyn village and an infant girl destined to unite the realms, who together helped destroy an evil queen and banish the forces of darkness. Now, in a magical world where brownies, sorcerers, trolls, and other mystical creatures flourish, the adventure continues, as an unlikely group of heroes set off on a dangerous quest to places far beyond their home, where they must face their inner demons and come together to save their world. 
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FemCity CEO Violette de Ayala Shares the Story of her Inspiring Business, and the Importance of Female Companionship https://popculturepress.org/2022/femcity-ceo-violette-de-ayala-shares-the-story-of-her-inspiring-business-and-the-importance-of-female-companionship/ Tue, 15 Nov 2022 00:27:41 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3596 Interview With FemCity CEO Violette de Ayala   FemCity CEO Violette de Ayala reiterates the importance of diligence and generosity in all areas from her career, to her personal life, and in her colleague’s and client’s lives as she helps them navigate the trials and triumphs of running a small business.    After starting FemCity …

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Interview With FemCity CEO Violette de Ayala

 
FemCity CEO Violette de Ayala reiterates the importance of diligence and generosity in all areas from her career, to her personal life, and in her colleague’s and client’s lives as she helps them navigate the trials and triumphs of running a small business. 
 
After starting FemCity almost 14 years ago, she quickly gained traction for her inclusive approach, inviting all women from around the world to join a prosperous community of female support in a society that often encourages competition and negativity between women in business. 

De Ayala has made clear that her approach is completely detached from the traditional limiting corporate setting and instead allows women to foster positive connections with each other all the while taking their businesses to the next level and reaching the actualization they are meant for. 

Even in the tumultuous time of the pandemic, de Ayala and her team of FemCity members called FEMS have stayed committed to creating accessibility through virtual means so that female entrepreneurs could still connect with the common goal of growth, positivity, and success. Today, de Ayala is moving forward with partnerships and events that continue to expand her community and spread her message of female productivity and comradery across the globe. 

Q. Violette, please tell us about your upbringing and how that instilled a strong work ethic in you.

A. I’m first generation Cuban-American. My upbringing was really surrounded by conversations about immigrants and exiles arriving in the United States with nothing, with not a dollar, not knowing the language, and not being able to obtain financial wealth and security through entrepreneurship. 

So, as a young girl that’s all I really heard about becoming a successful person and all these amazing inspirational stories about people coming to this country and they were able to obtain very successful avenues of financial security through starting a business. Even to this day especially in Miami, we have people that arrive from Cuba or other countries and the way they can generally get back on their feet is by starting a business. 

When I turned 22 I was a young mom and I didn’t want my child to be at daycare the whole day like I was. I wanted things to be a little bit different so starting a business was the solution I found. I started my first business at 22 with a little baby boy with me and from that, I ended up opening up another business. 

My first one was a personal training company, and then I had a pilates business. I had a location and then I started opening up satellite locations and I ran that for about 10 years. I just loved it. I really think that I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a young girl because the stories that I heard steered me to go down that avenue. 

Q. Was there a specific event that transpired in the formulation of FemCity?

A. There have been so many. I think the first one that inspired me was when I first started FemCity, I wanted to have in my life a circle of friends and women entrepreneurs and businesswomen that I could go to for help and referrals or just support. That was the first aha moment that I had like “let me just create this for myself”. My second aha moment was when women started asking for FemCity when we started posting our pictures on Facebook. 

That kind of had an effect on women wanting to have a FemCity chapter in their community and I didn’t know what that meant at the time. I really didn’t get it until I started researching focus groups, and I started listening to them. We started launching FemCity chapters all along the East coast. I would pause in between launching to make sure it felt really good, it felt like a community, and it didn’t feel clinical or corporate-like. 

I wanted it to be a resource and a community for women. Then I think my third aha moment was when Google reached out to us shortly after and asked about hosting events and classes for our members. So they started teaching our members how to use hangouts, how to create a business profile, and just how to use Google for business. We ended up getting a lot more traction from other corporations that wanted to partner up and that really pivoted us into that online space. So we were doing local networking events, socials, and business workshops, and then we started doing more online because of these partnerships. 

We’ve been doing online classes for over 10 years. I think another point would be during the pandemic. We were obviously having 100 to 200 events a month in our local chapters and when the pandemic happened we had to close all of that. As an organization that does in-person events, how do you navigate in a place where it’s all virtual and through zoom? We really pivoted strong, almost overnight and we started to create classes and conversations that were about business. 

We did a lot of mental health summits, and a lot of conversations about inclusivity, diversity, and equity. We started to create other programs and address the holistic approach of being happy and thriving even during the pandemic times. Now we’re kind of going through the growth pattern again. 

We’re getting a lot of new interest with women starting FemCity chapters. We have about 10 new chapters launching soon. We’re kind of now starting to get back to that place of real-life events. We’ve had all these moments within our evolution that have changed us and pivoted us. 

Q. You’ve been able to broaden your business immensely and connect with companies like Yelp and Google. How did you secure these partnerships?

A. Actually, they reached out to us. Often they’ll reach out and say hey we’d like to offer this resource or program. We form a lot of partnerships now with local chambers of commerce and were really passionate about supporting our chambers. We’ve also formed a lot of partnerships with other women’s organizations. 

A lot of people say “wow, you’re partnering up with people you can beat” but we don’t see it like that. We want to be there for all women. We have a really great partnership with an organization that is like FemCity but they’re located in India so we do a lot of networking, we share a lot of our resources, we give them free memberships for their members and they also give memberships to our global members. We’ve been working with the Aruba Chamber of Commerce for example, for the last couple of years and we recently reconnected in a virtual space. We hosted a virtual networking event so that our global members can connect with women in business members from the Aruba Chamber of Commerce. 

I think what’s great about FemCity is that we’re able to be that supplemental program for a lot of organizations and we also help corporations. We help them with their women’s initiatives because a lot of them don’t have the resources or the teams in place so we actually create curriculums and programs so that corporations can fulfill their DI. 

Q. Please talk about the importance of women in business. What individual experiences do you have as a woman in business?

A. I mean I’ve been a woman in business for so long. I’m 51 years old and I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. I think the commonality over those decades has been to be very connected to the growth and the evolution of running your business.

One of the things I’ve seen is that if you’re gonna have something over the course of 30 years or FemCity which is now 13 years old, is to forecast where the trends are going to be and what the conversations are going to be so you can position yourself before your clients even arrive. 

One thing that has been common in all of my businesses is to just make sure you are constantly growing and not stagnant. I think when you’re stagnant you have a tendency to lose growth and that’s where a lot of businesses and brands just disintegrate and then people move on. 

There’s a lack of resources and a lack of support. We still have society telling us we’re not worth the same or valued the same. Women think that they’re not worthy. There are always societal narratives that hinder our growth that we’re still working on. 

Q. How did you coin the term FEMS? What does it mean to you?

A. It means women supporting other women. Women who want to elevate. When we call someone a FEM it means someone who’s passionate about the success of all women and someone who’s incredibly connected to their community. 

It’s someone who realizes their success is connected to other women’s success and vice-versa. We have a say and almost a duty to help other women. As we elevate higher whether it’s financial or reach, or community impacts, we look around to see who we can take higher also. 

You offer a variety of services from consultations to one-on-one coaching sessions. How do these services allow you to broaden your clientele? 

We look to see how we can be there for all women. We have a 30-day free trial membership and then of course we have the global, higher-priced membership. We have retreats and we even have a scholarship. If we have someone who comes to us and says I can’t afford your membership, of course, we price it so that everyone can afford it but if someone can’t we have the resources to give them a scholarship. I think part of FemCity is making sure we’re accessible to all women. 

We have women that came to us during the pandemic that had lost their jobs and had to take care of children and had to take on online learning. We wanted to make sure we were able to help them to start a business. 

So we started creating programs that were like, how to start a business on Etsy or how to start selling on Poshmark or “how to start a freelancing business. That was really important to us to make sure we’re there at every point in a woman’s life to make sure they have the resources that they need and the emotional support as well. Even cheering someone on makes a huge impact. 

Q. What are you planning to do this month for the small business season?

We’re teaching classes. We had one yesterday on how to prepare for Holiday sales and we had a professor join us who helped us to start thinking about ways we can leverage this time to increase our sales. So you know, engaging on social media, creating products and experiences now. People aren’t so much into a new lipstick they want a new experience that’s been kind of cooked up a bit. 

She taught us what we can do to prepare for Black Friday, so we have those types of classes going on. We want to make sure our members make as much money as possible and finish the year off as strong as possible. 

Q. What does it mean to you when your clients express prosperity in their personal and professional lives?

A. It brings me so much joy to see women creating wealth and doing it while they’re happy and balanced and creating the life that they’ve always envisioned for themselves. There’s no greater joy for me to see our members go through that.

Even through social media, they’re able to connect with other members and support each other so it even goes into this like tier 2, tier, tier 3 connectivity. You can see them flourish and partner up together, they write books, they’re each other’s guests on podcasts, and it’s really incredibly magical. 

Q. As the holiday season approaches, what do you anticipate is next for FemCity?

We’re really excited about getting into real-life events. We’re doing more retreats and more gatherings. We have one in Portugal, one in Toronto, and one in Miami now. That’s what we love doing is bringing women together in real-life but we will still continue to have virtual programs. 

During the pandemic, we released a virtual chapter for the United States and a virtual chapter for Canada and we’re gonna keep that because we have members that travel all over the place or have homes in different parts of the world because of work so we will have those resources for our members. For us, if I could sum up 2023 in one word – it would be events (she laughed).

Q. How can our readers reach you?
 
To join FemCity please go to femcity.com
 

For FemCity: FacebookInstagramTwitter

For Violette Ayala: Facebook,  Instagram, Twitter

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Netflix News and Releases https://popculturepress.org/2022/netflix-news-and-releases/ Sun, 06 Nov 2022 16:22:06 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3419 Sandman Season 2 is Finally Greenlit November 2, 2022 — Deadline reports Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series on Netflix is renewed for season 2. In news that seemed as if it should have been announced during its explosive season 1 viewership, it follows a leak made on Twitter in recent days. During Sandman’s initial release on …

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Sandman Season 2 is Finally Greenlit

November 2, 2022 — Deadline reports Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series on Netflix is renewed for season 2. In news that seemed as if it should have been announced during its explosive season 1 viewership, it follows a leak made on Twitter in recent days. During Sandman’s initial release on Netflix, viewership blew up week after week. Week one, 70 million hours. In week two it doubled to 127 million and finally cooled off to 77 million in week three. Even week four’s 58 million hours were still astronomical for any streaming show.  

While these numbers are strong, industry profit calculations place it on the bubble in justifying a second season as it relates to cost. Will the showrunners and producers be mindful of this in season 2 or will another delay after it airs leave its fate in limbo? For now, fans of Sandman can breathe a sigh of relief at receiving a second season. 

Henry Cavill Leaves Witcher

It’s stunning to think this is not fake news but Henry Cavill is leaving Netflix’s runaway hit, The Witcher. For those who love Henry in the Role of Geralt of Rivia, there is a silver lining. He’s leaving after The Witcher season three (2023). 

Who’s Replacing Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia?

The news of Henry Cavill’s replacement on The Witcher came from Netflix in a company blog post. The new Geralt of Rivia on Netflix’s The Witcher will be Liam Hemsworth who is quoted, “Henry Cavill has been an incredible Geralt, and I’m honoured that he’s handing me the reins and allowing me to take up the White Wolf’s blades for the next chapter of his adventure. Henry, I’ve been a fan of yours for years and was inspired by what you brought to this beloved character. I may have some big boots to fill, but I’m truly excited to be stepping into The Witcher world.”

Fans and critics have speculated on why Cavill is leaving The Witcher. Some think it’s due to his recent return to the DCU as Superman. Many more speculate it is due to his vocal complaints towards Netflix’s The Witcher showrunners disdain for The Witcher source material. Meanwhile, Cavill has taken the high road upon exit, “My journey as Geralt of Rivia has been filled with both monsters and adventures, and alas, I will be laying down my medallion and my swords for Season 4.”

Korean Anime Lookism drops on November 4th

A high school student awakes one morning to discover that he now has a handsome face and perfect body…

The popular Korean webtoon is now an animated series produced by Studio Mir, the studio behind “DOTA: Dragon’s Blood” and “The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf.”

Currently serialized on LINE Manga and Naver WEBTOON, “Lookism” follows the protagonist as he works hard to live life against the backdrop of various social issues. It began serialization in 2014 and has 8.7 billion views globally.

Just like the original webtoon, the story of the animated series “Lookism” also deals with the subtle lookism and materialism present in the lives of people living in modern society.
Unique character designers have breathed life into the main characters of the original manga, giving them vivid voices, dynamic direction, and gorgeous effects. Through fascinating episodes with a slightly different feel compared to the original manga, this series will deliver excitement and new discoveries.
Enjoy the story of Park Hyeong-seok as he overcomes diverse encounters and conflicts and grows to fulfill his dreams.

More deets at: https://www.netflix.com/lookism

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Season 6 of Big Mouth is All Over the Place, and That’s not Necessarily a Good Thing https://popculturepress.org/2022/season-6-of-big-mouth-is-all-over-the-place-and-thats-not-necessarily-a-good-thing/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 20:13:14 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3565 Review of  Season 6 of Big Mouth  The raunchy, gross, and heartfelt Big Mouth is back on Netflix. After an emotionally volatile 5th season complete with the introduction of hate worms and love bugs as well as the release of the spin-off series Human Resources, season 6 is diving into an integral part of any growing, …

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Review of  Season 6 of Big Mouth 

The raunchy, gross, and heartfelt Big Mouth is back on Netflix. After an emotionally volatile 5th season complete with the introduction of hate worms and love bugs as well as the release of the spin-off series Human Resources, season 6 is diving into an integral part of any growing, hormonal teenager’s life; family. The series, though gaining a reputation for grotesque and shocking humor, has delivered some surprisingly tender and thought-provoking moments, proving that it’s more than just a zany adult cartoon. The latest season definitely features some tear-jerking scenes and new characters that absolutely spice up the screen but overall, season 6 simply has too many overarching plot threads that are left untied by the cliched season finale. 

The familial theme of this season has a lot to offer in terms of humor and social commentary (the show’s favorite combination). From an anthropomorphized country song about the Rice Purity Test (Annaleigh Ashford) to an exploration of gender norms placed upon young children, season 6 further expands upon the seeds planted in earlier seasons and allows characters to explore new parts of themselves but ultimately these narratives conclude in a lackluster format which come off as extremely lazy when considering this show has always existed in a delicate balance between drama and comedy. Perhaps it’s the fact that season 6 only features 10 episodes which is pretty standard for Big Mouth but leaves much to be unanswered especially when this season is dealing with so many serious moments, from generational trauma, to new family dynamics, and divorce. 

These are topics earlier seasons have discussed before, but seeing how these issues affect different characters allows viewers to gain even more insight into some of the show’s most infamous characters. Particularly Andrew’s arc feels incomplete which may signify the ever changing status of family but it comes off as evasive and leaves viewers feeling cheated out of a full-circle story, something that season 5 in particular mastered. Speaking of season 5, it may as well have barely happened as some of the most charming characters are now completely absent from the show (perhaps their being saved for the next season of Human Resources). Emmy the love bug has yet to make an official Big Mouth appearance despite her canonically taking Sonya’s place and would therefore be Jessi’s new lovebug. Not only is Emmy not mentioned in this season but neither is Jessi’s crush on Ali which was an extremely prevalent plot point last season. 

Jessi and Ali barely interact and the same goes for many of the show’s female characters. Most of the episodes centering around the series’ female characters are dedicated to Jessi adapting to her new family, Missy developing a new crush, and Lola’s Mamma Mia! parody when it’s revealed that she has three possible dads who are hilariously played by Ed Helms, Matt Rogers, and Adam Levine. As for the boys, Andrew is thrown in the midst of an increasingly hostile home environment, Jay and Matthew are together and Jay is trying to stifle his “wolf” side, and Nick seeks out his estranged grandfather (Peter Capaldi) after discovering a shocking secret in a school DNA test. Each character has a clear part to play in this season but by the time the finale rolls around, it feels the audience is essentially back where they started with certain characters. Other characters have a glimmer of an interesting arc like Jessi’s relationship with her new baby sister (Chloe Fineman) but that conflict is seemingly solved in the last episode which borrows its plot from Freaky Friday. 

Big Mouth deriving insightful commentary from pop culture is not new, in fact it’s something that the show has done extremely well in previous seasons. Most notably the season 3 episode Disclosure the Movie: The Musical! uses the 1994 film to analyze double standards and commentate on sexual harrassment in again, a shockingly profound way that doesn’t feel gratuitous and instead feels thoughtful. The season 6 finale however, loses its footing because an entire season’s arc is solved in a 25 minute episode rather than being stretched across multiple episodes. The show has weaved themes through episodes that are solved in its runtime but these are usually small conflicts and not the overall season’s focus. 

While there are still outlets to explore and actions to be resolved, season 6 leaves much too much to be anticipated and sidetracks many important developments introduced in season 5 and in Human Resources. One of the highlights of the season is in fact when the two shows entwine and we’re introduced to Montel (Cole Escola), Connie and Maury’s hormone monster baby and the first character on the show to use they/them pronouns. Hopefully we’ll see more of Montel in the next season of Human Resources and hopefully season 7 of Big Mouth won’t forget about them. This certainly isn’t a horrible season, the humor is still hilariously outlandish and it’s sweet to see these characters grow even more in the face of family struggles. However it seems that Human Resources is going to surpass its predecessor, narratively and structurally. Some would say that it already has.

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Streaming on Amazon Prime in November 2022 https://popculturepress.org/2022/streaming-on-amazon-prime-in-november-2022/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 15:42:44 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3562 Streaming on Amazon Prime  in November 2022 Released November 1 10 Things I Hate About You, 1999  2 Days In The Valley, 1996 A Belle for Christmas, 2014 A Christmas Carol, 1984  Adventureland, 2009 (Freevee) After Earth, 2013 (Freevee) Alex Cross, 2012 (Freevee) American Gigolo, 1980 Anita, 2013 Annihilation, 2018 (Freevee) A Perfect Getaway, 2009 …

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Streaming on Amazon Prime  in November 2022

Released November 1

10 Things I Hate About You, 1999 
2 Days In The Valley, 1996
A Belle for Christmas, 2014
A Christmas Carol, 1984 
Adventureland, 2009 (Freevee)
After Earth, 2013 (Freevee)
Alex Cross, 2012 (Freevee)
American Gigolo, 1980
Anita, 2013
Annihilation, 2018 (Freevee)
A Perfect Getaway, 2009 (Freevee)
Arthur Christmas, 2011
Being John Malkovich, 1999 (Freevee)
Black Rain, 1989
Blade Runner, 1982 (Freevee)
Blade Runner 2049, 2017) (Freevee)
Broken Flowers, 2005 (Freevee)
Brown Sugar, 2002
Charlie Wilson’s War, 2007 (Freevee)
Christmas with the Kranks, 2004 (Freevee)
Coffy, 1973
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, 2011
Contraband, 2012
Cousins, 1989
Diary of a Mad Black Woman, 2005 (Freevee)
Domestic Disturbance, 2001
Down To Earth, 2001
Due Date, 2010 (Freevee)
Dune, 1984 (Freevee)
Face/Off, 1997
Fight Club, 1999 (Freevee)
Fruitvale Station, 2013
Gridiron Gang, 2006 (Freevee)
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, 1957)
Heaven’s Gate, 1981
High Fidelity, 2000
Hitman, 2007
Hitman, Uncut, 2007
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1956)
Jacob’s Ladder, 1990
Jennifer’s Body, 2009 (Freevee)
Jumping the Broom, 2011
Just Go with It, 2011 (Freevee)
Just Like Heaven, 2005
Just Wright, 2010
Kingdom of Heaven, 2005
Kingdom of Heaven, Directors Cut Roadshow Version, 2005
Little Women, 1994 (Freevee)
Los simuladores, 2002
Mallrats, 1995 (Freevee)
Men At Work, 1990
Miami Blues, 1990
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, 2016 (Freevee)
Money Monster, 2016 (Freevee)
MouseHunt, 1997
Nick of Time, 1995
Now You See Me, 2013 (Freevee)
Now You See Me 2, 2016 (Freevee)
October Sky, 1999 (Freevee)
Once Upon a Time in the West, 1969)
One Day, 2011 (Freevee)
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, 2015 (Freevee)
Paul, 2011 (Freevee)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop, 2009 (Freevee)
Pixi Saves Christmas, 2018 (Freevee)
Primal Fear, 1996)
Prince Avalanche, 2013)
Racing Stripes, 2005 (Freevee)
Rise of the Guardians, 2012 (Freevee)
Road to Perdition, 2002)
Safe House, 2012 (Freevee)
Salt, 2010 (Freevee)
Salvador, 1986
Scrooged, 1988
Sherlock Gnomes, 2018 (Freevee)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, 2004
Sliver, 1993
Something’s Gotta Give, 2003 (Freevee)
Something Wild, 1986
Soul Plane, 2004
Superbad, 2007, (Freevee)
Surviving Christmas, 2004
Tales From The Darkside: The Movie, 1990
The Barefoot Contessa, 1954
The Big Country, 1958
The Doors, 1991
The Expendables, 2010
The Expendables 2, 2012
The Expendables 3, 2014
The Land Before Time, 1988 (Freevee)
The Machinist, 2004
The Madness of King George, 1994
The Manchurian Candidate, 2004
The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, 1994
The Perfect Guy, 2015 (Freevee)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, 2012 (Freevee)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits, 2012 (Freevee)
The Place Beyond the Pines, 2012 (Freevee)
The Pope of Greenwich Village, 1984
The Professional, 1994
The Relic, 1997
The Time Traveler’s Wife, 2009 (Freevee)
The Watcher, 2000 (Freevee)
There’s Something About Mary, 1998) (Freevee)
The Sum of All Fears, 2002
The Suze Orman Show: S9-11, 2002 (Freevee)
Things We Lost in the Fire (2007
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, 1974
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, 2005 (Freevee)
Tooth Fairy 2, 2012
Train, 1965
Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls, 2007
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family, 2011
War Horse, 2011
Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004)
Year One, 2009, (Freevee)

Released November 2

Cujo, 1983)
En donde estan los ladrones?, 2017

Released November 3

The Cabin in the Woods, 2012

Released November 4            

El Presidente: The Corruption Game: S2, 2022 *Prime Video Original Series
My Policeman, 2022 *Prime Video Original Movie

Released November 7

Judy Justice: S2, 2022 (Freevee) *Freevee Original Series 

Released November 9 

Savage X Fenty: Vol. 4, 2022 *Prime Video Original Series

Released November 10

Autumn Beat, 2022 *Prime Video Original Movie
Warm Bodies, 2013

Released November 11

From the Top of My Lungs, 2022 *Prime Video Original Series
La Caida / Dive, 2022 *Prime Video Original Movie
Mammals, 2022 *Prime Video Original Series
Play-Doh Squished, 2022 (Freevee) *Freevee Original Series 
The English, 2022) *Prime Video Original Series

Released November 15

The Mindy Project: S1-6, 2013
The Mountain Between Us, 2017,  (Freevee)
The Suze Orman Show: S12-14, 2002 (Freevee)

Released November 16

Leverage: Redemption: S2, 2022 (Freevee) 
Pasos de héroe, 2016
The Green Inferno, 2013, (Freevee)

Released November 17

Fantastica: A Boonie Bears Adventure, 2017 (Freevee)

Released November 18

Busco Novia, 2021
The People We Hate At The Wedding, 2022 *Prime Video Original Movie

Released November 22

Animal Kingdom: S6, 2022

Released November 23

Cyrano, 2022
Good Night Oppy, 2022, *Prime Video Original Movie

Released November 24

The Kid, 2019, (Freevee)

Released November 27

Angry Angel, 2017

Released November 29

Angel Falls Christmas, 2021

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Streaming on Hulu in November 2022 https://popculturepress.org/2022/streaming-on-hulu-in-november-2022/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 15:06:56 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3549 Hulu Streaming Releases For November 2022 November 1 12 Dates Of Christmas, 2011 28 Weeks Later, 2007 8 Mile, 2002 Adaptation., 2002 Along Came Polly, 2004 America’s Next Top Model: Complete Season 23 (CBS) A Merry Friggin’ Christmas, 2014 Aquamarine, 2006 Baby Boy, 2001 Battle of the Year, 2013 Black Christmas, 2006 Can’t Hardly Wait, …

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Hulu Streaming Releases For November 2022

November 1

12 Dates Of Christmas, 2011
28 Weeks Later, 2007
8 Mile, 2002
Adaptation., 2002
Along Came Polly, 2004
America’s Next Top Model: Complete Season 23 (CBS)
A Merry Friggin’ Christmas, 2014
Aquamarine, 2006
Baby Boy, 2001
Battle of the Year, 2013
Black Christmas, 2006
Can’t Hardly Wait, 1998
Carpool, 1996
Cast Away, 2000
Catering Christmas, 2022
Christmas on the Farm, 2021
City of Angels, 1998
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Complete Seasons 11 & 12 (Viacom
Dawn Of The Dead, 2004
Deck the Halls, 2011
Devil in a Blue Dress, 1995
Fools Rush In, 1997
Girl Code: Complete Seasons 1 & 2 (Viacom
God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty, 2022 *Hulu Original
Goodbye Lover, 1999
Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas (2013
Hall Pass, 2011
Horses of McBride, 2012
I Am Not Your Negro, 2016
I Am Number Four, 2011
I Know What You Did Last Summer, 1997
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, 1998
It’s Christmas Carol!, 2012
Julie & Julia, 2009
Kollek, 1995
Legends Of The Fall, 1994
Mama, 2013
Mamma Mia!, 2008
Mas Negro Que La Noche, 2014
Meet Joe Black, 1998
Mom and Dad, 2017
Mr. Popper’s Penguins, 2010
​​My Bloody Valentine, 2009
My Scientology Movie, 2015
My Super Sweet 16: Complete Season 4 & 6 (Viacom
Naruto Shippuden: Season 1, Episodes 366-377 (DUBBED) (Viz)
Nativity 3: Dude Where’s My Donkey?! (2014
Nativity Rocks!, 2018
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008
Night Of The Living Dead, 1990
Norman, 2017
Not Another Teen Movie, 2001
Notting Hill, 1999
Oblivion, 2013
Office Space, 1999
Once Upon A Time In Mexico, 2003
Open Season 3, 2011
Poetic Justice, 1993
Punch-Drunk Love, 2002
Punk’d: Complete Seasons 1 & 2 (Viacom
Santa Claus: The Movie, 1985
Santa Who?, 2000
Say Anything, 1989
Second Best, 1994
Secret Window, 2004
Shanghai Knights (2003
Shaun Of The Dead, 2004
Silent Hill, 2006
Snakes On A Plane, 2006
Snowglobe, 2007
Sommersby, 1993
Spanglish, 2004
Still Alice (2015
Stir Crazy, 1980
Talk To Her, 2002
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Terminator Salvation, 2009
The Call, 2013
The Hundred-Foot Journey, 2014
The Jane Austen Book Club, 2007
The Last Song, 2010
The Magic Crystal, 2011
The Net, 1995
The Nutcracker, 1993
The Patriot (2000
The Perfect Storm, 2000
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, 2012
The Raven, 2012
The Sessions, 2012
The Sweetest Thing, 2002
The Three Stooges, 2011
This Means War, 2010
Tootsie, 1982
True Life: Complete Seasons 11 & 12 (Viacom)
Ultraviolet, 2006
Undercover Boss: Complete Season 7 & 11 (CBS)
Underworld, 2003
Underworld Awakening, 2012
Underworld Evolution, 2006
Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans, 2009
You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, 2008
Yu-Gi-Oh! Sevens: Season 1C (Disney XD)

November 2

Saw, 2004
Saw 2, 2005
Saw 3, 2006
Saw 3D, 2010
Saw 4, 2007
Saw 5, 2008
Saw 6, 2009)

November 3

Dreaming Walls, 2022

November 4

All I Want For Christmas, 2022
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War: Series Premiere (DUBBED) (Viz
Christmas Child, 2004
Christmas on Repeat, 2022
Funny Thing About Love, 2021
Good Neighbor, 2022
Menorah In The Middle, 2022
My Christmas Fiancé, 2022
Noelle, 2007
Passion of the Christ, 2004
Santa Games, 2022
Saving Christmas, 2014

November 7

Nektronic, 2018

November 8

War Dogs, 2016

November 9

All Rise: Season 3A (OWN)

November 10

Warm Bodies, 2013

November 11

Code Name Banshee, 2022
First Love, 2022
Fruitvale Station, 2013
Pil’s Adventure, 2021

November 13

A Merry Christmas Wish, 2022
Catch the Fair One, 2021

November 15

10.0 Earthquake, 2014
12 Pups of Christmas, 2018
2:22, 2017
A Christmas Movie Christmas, 2019
Christmas Crush, 2019
Christmas Perfection, 2018
E​​very Other Holiday, 2018
Georgia Rule, 2007
Ghost Team: Unrated, 2016
Mistletoe & Menorahs, 2021
The Dinner, 2017

November 16

Johnny English Strikes Again, 2018
Where is Private Dulaney?: Complete Limited Series *ABC News/Hulu Original

November 17

Country Christmas Album, 2018
Dragons: The Nine Realms: Complete Season 4 *Hulu Original
FX’s Fleishman is in Trouble: Series Premiere *Only on Hulu
My Old School, 2022
The Spruces and the Pines, 2017

November 18

An En Vogue Christmas, 2014
Merry Kissmas, 2015
The Forgiven, 2022

November 20

Dual, 2022

November 21

Death in the Dorms: Complete Limited Series *ABC News/Hulu Original

November 22

Welcome to Chippendales: Two-Episode Series Premiere *Hulu Original

November 24

A Christmas Winter Song, 2021
A Unicorn for Christmas, 2021
Merry Kiss Cam, 2022

November 25

A Snow White Christmas, 2018
Four Cousins and a Christmas, 2021
The Croods: Family Tree: Complete Season 5 *Hulu Original
The Immaculate Room, 2022
Wrong Place, 2022

November 26

A Banquet, 2021
Alone Together, 2022
How to Please a Woman, 2022

November 29

Christmas at the Drive-In, 2022
Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne: Complete Season 1 *Hulu Original

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Streaming on HBO Max in November 2022 https://popculturepress.org/2022/streaming-on-hbo-max-in-november-2022/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 14:51:57 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3546 November 1 (500) Days of Summer, 2009 (HBO) 50 First Dates, 2004 Accepted, 2006 (HBO) A Christmas Dream, 1984 A Guy Thing, 2003 (HBO) Amazing Grace, 2006 (HBO) American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince, 1978 A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, 1982 (HBO) A Million Ways to Die in the West, 2014 (Extended Version), (HBO) …

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November 1

(500) Days of Summer, 2009 (HBO)
50 First Dates, 2004
Accepted, 2006 (HBO)
A Christmas Dream, 1984
A Guy Thing, 2003 (HBO)
Amazing Grace, 2006 (HBO)
American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince, 1978
A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, 1982 (HBO)
A Million Ways to Die in the West, 2014 (Extended Version), (HBO)
A Prayer Before Dawn, 2017 (HBO)
Arthur Christmas, 2011
Caddyshack, 1980
City Hall, 1996 (HBO)
Devil’s Due, 2014 (HBO)
Draft Day, 2014 (HBO)
Equals, 2015 (HBO)
Excess Baggage, 1997 (HBO)
From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, 1999 (HBO)
From Dusk Till Dawn 3: Hangman’s Daughter, 1999 (HBO)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, 2010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, 2011
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2009
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2007
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 2001
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone: Magical Movie Mode, 2001
Ingrid Goes West, 2017 (HBO)
It’s Not Just You, Murray!, 1974
Italianamerican, 1974
Leatherface, 2017 (HBO)
Legion, 2020 (HBO)
Little Woods, 2018 (HBO)
Lizzie, 2018 (HBO)
Loser, 2000 (HBO)
Miss Sloane, 2016 (HBO)
Morris From America, 2016 (HBO)
Mr. Mom, 1983 (HBO)
Murder In The First, 1995 (HBO)
My Beautiful Laundrette, 1985 (HBO)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 1989
Never Goin’ Back, 2018 (HBO)
Neighbors, 2014 (HBO)
Pieces of April, 2003 (HBO)
Prom Night, 2008
Race, 2016 (HBO)
Raging Bull, 1980 (HBO)
Richard III, 1995 (HBO)
Se7en, 1995
See How They Run, 2022 (HBO)
Shutter, 2008 (Extended Version), (HBO)
Slice, 2018 (HBO)
Stargate, 1994 (Director’s Cut), (HBO)
Star Trek: First Contact, 1996 (HBO)
Star Trek Generations, 1994 (Director’s Cut), (HBO)
Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan, 1982 (HBO)
Star Trek III The Search For Spock, 1984 (HBO)
Star Trek: Insurrection, 1998 (HBO)
Star Trek IV The Voyage Home, 1986 (HBO)
Star Trek: Nemesis, 2002 (HBO)
Star Trek The Motion Picture, 1979 (Director’s Cut), (HBO)
Star Trek V The Final Frontier, 1989 (HBO)
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, 1991 (Director’s Cut), (HBO)
The Automat, 2021
The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography (HBO)
The Big Shave, 1967
The Bucket List, 2007
The Man With Two Brains, 1983 (HBO)
The Next Karate Kid, 1994
!Three Amigos!, 1986 (HBO)
Time Freak, 2018 (HBO)
What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?, 1992
While We’re Young, 2014 (HBO)
Yentl, 1983 (HBO)

November 3 

Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This?, Max Original Premiere
Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty, Max Original Premiere
My Sesame Street Friends, Max Original Season 3 Premiere
Sesame Street, Season 53 Premiere
Titans, Max Original Season 4

November 4

Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines, Season 7

November 5

Bugs Bunny Builders, Season 1B

November 8

Batwheels, Season 1C
Craig of the Creek, Season 4D
Say Hey, Willie Mays!, 2022 (HBO)

November 9

All Rise, Season 3A
Hard Knocks: In Season: The Arizona Cardinals (HBO)

November 10

HBO First Look: The Menu (HBO)
The Big Brunch, Max Original Season 1 Premiere
The Critic (aka El Crítico), Max Original Premiere

November 11

Entre Nos: The Winners 3
For the Love of Kitchens, Season 2
Fruitvale Station, 2013
Ian Lara: Romantic Comedy (HBO)
The Craftsman, Season 2

November 12

Lil Rel Howery: I Said  It: Y’all Thinking It (HBO)

November 13

Hazlo Como Hombre, 2017
Luna’s World (aka No Mundo Da Luna), Max Original Season 1 Premiere

November 16

Entourage, 2015 (HBO)
Master of Light (HBO Documentary)

November 17

A Christmas Story Christmas, 2022
Muxes, Max Original Premiere
Paradise (aka Paraíso), Max Original Season 2 Premiere
Santa Camp, Max Original Premiere
The Sex Lives of College Girls, Max Original Season 2 Premiere 

November 18

Camilo: El Primer Tour De Mi Vida (HBO)
Food Affair with Mark Wiens, Max Original Premiere

November 19

2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (HBO)

November 20

King Tweety, 2022

November 21

Ben Is Back

November 23

Shaq (HBO)

November 24

A Christmas Mystery, 2022
Holiday Harmony, 2022
Love, Lizzo, Max Original Premiere 

November 25

We’re Here, Season 3 Premiere (HBO)

November 29

My So-Called High School Rank (HBO Original Documentary)
Piano Y Mujer 2

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Hulu News and Releases https://popculturepress.org/2022/hulu-news-and-releases/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 02:28:33 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3509 Stylized Hellraiser Rebooted on Hulu Since 2007 Clive Barker has planned to reboot his 1987 horror classic Hellraiser based on his novella, The Hellbound Heart. The new Hellraiser (2022)still center’s around Lemarchand’s box, but the original premise of a search for unbounded pleasures and pain has evolved into desires on many planes. Opening the box …

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Stylized Hellraiser Rebooted on Hulu

Since 2007 Clive Barker has planned to reboot his 1987 horror classic Hellraiser based on his novella, The Hellbound Heart. The new Hellraiser (2022)still center’s around Lemarchand’s box, but the original premise of a search for unbounded pleasures and pain has evolved into desires on many planes. Opening the box still summons Cenobites and the fan-favorite Pinhead has been gender-flipped. 

This coveted franchise has been aiming for a reboot since 2008 with Hulu landing the distribution rights in 2017. Hellraiser (2022) dropped on Hulu, on October 7th, 2022. 

 

 

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Streaming on Disney+ in November 2022 https://popculturepress.org/2022/streaming-on-disney-in-november-2022/ Tue, 01 Nov 2022 15:27:46 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3559 Streaming on Disney+  in November 2022 November 2 Donna Hay Christmas (Limited Series) Andor (Season 1, Episode 9) The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers (Season 2, Episode 6) The Mysterious Benedict Society (Season 2, Episode 3) Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t! (Season 1, Episode 3) Airport Security (Seasons 1-3) Cesar Millan: Better Human Better Dog (Season 2) …

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Streaming on Disney+  in November 2022

November 2

Donna Hay Christmas (Limited Series)
Andor (Season 1, Episode 9)
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers (Season 2, Episode 6)
The Mysterious Benedict Society (Season 2, Episode 3)
Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t! (Season 1, Episode 3)
Airport Security (Seasons 1-3)
Cesar Millan: Better Human Better Dog (Season 2)
Critter Fixers: Country Vets (Season 4)
Dino Ranch (Season 2 – 6 episodes)
Locked Up Abroad (Season 3, 9 episodes; Season 4, three episodes, Seasons 5-9, 10 episodes, Season 10, 10 episodes, Season 11)
To Catch a Smuggler (Seasons 1-3)

November 3 

Marvel Studios’ Assembled
(Season 1, Episode 13 – “The Making of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law)

November 4

Director by Night (Special)
Marvel Studios: Legends (Season 1, Episodes 22-24)
The Gift
Ocean’s Breath
Saving Notre Dame
Shortsgiving

November 7

Dancing with the Stars (Season 31, Episode 9)

November 9

The Montaners (Season 1, five episodes)
Save Our Squad with David Beckham (Season 1)
Zootopia+ (Shorts)
Andor (Season 1, Episode 10)
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers (Season 2, Episode 7)

The Mysterious Benedict Society (Season 2, Episode 4)
Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t! (Season 1, Episode 4)
Breakthrough (Seasons 1-2)
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted Showdown (Season 1)
The Incredible Dr. Pol (Season 21)
The Lion Ranger (Season 1)
World’s Deadliest (Season 3)

November 11 

Eyewitness: D-Day
Fire of Love
Mary Poppins Returns (Sing-Along Version)
Port Security: Hamburg
Sea of Shadows

November 14

Dancing with the Stars (Season 31, Episode 10)

November 16 

Limitless with Chris Hemsworth (Season 1)
The Santa Clauses (Limited Series, Episodes 1-2)
Andor (Season 1, Episode 11)
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers (Season 2, Episode 8)
The Mysterious Benedict Society (Season 2, Episode 5)
Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t! (Season 1, Episode 5)
Atlas of Cursed Places (Season 1)
Ice Road Rescue (Season 6)
Minnie’s Bow-Toons: Party Palace Pals (Season 2, 11 episodes)
Ultimate Survival WWII (Season 1)
World’s Deadliest Snakes (Season 1)

November 18 

Best in Snow (Holiday Special)
Disenchanted 
Mickey: The Story of a Mouse
The Wonderful Autumn of Mickey Mouse
Game of Sharks
Genoa Bridge Disaster
Me & Mickey (Shorts, 20 episodes)
Mickey and the Roadster Racers: Diggity Dog (Season 1)
Mickey Mousekersize (Season 1)
Virus Hunters

November 20 

Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium (Live Concert)

November 21

Dancing with the Stars (Season 31, Episode 11 – season finale)

November 23

Andor (Season 1, Episode 12 – season finale)
Daddies On Request (Season 1)
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers (Season 2, Episode 9)
The Mysterious Benedict Society (Season 2, Episode 6)
The Santa Clauses (Limited Series, Episode 3)
Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t! (Season 1, Episode 6)
Egypt with the World’s Greatest Explorer (Season 1)
Last of the Giants: Wild Fish (Season 1)
Puppy Dog Pals (Season 5, two episodes)
The Villains of Valley View (Season 1, four episodes)
Witness to Disaster (Season 1)
World’s Deadliest: Jaws and Sins (Season 1)

November 25

The Hip Hop Nutcracker (Holiday Special)
Heroes of the Sky: The Mighty Eighth Air Force (Special)
Life and Death in Paradise: Crocs of the Caribbean (Special)

November 28

Mickey Saves Christmas

November 30

“Willow (Season 1, Episode 1)
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers (Season 2, Episode 10)
The Mysterious Benedict Society (Season 2, Episode 7)
The Santa Clauses (Limited Series, Episode 4)
Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t! (Season 1, Episode 7)
Buried Secrets of WWII (Season 1)
Firebuds (Season 1, three episodes)
Spidey and His Amazing Friends (Season 2, four episodes)
The Witch Doctor Will See You Now (Season 1)

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Streaming on Netflix in November 2022 https://popculturepress.org/2022/streaming-on-netflix-in-november-2022/ Tue, 01 Nov 2022 15:21:27 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3556 Netflix Streaming Releases For November 2022 Available November 1 Gabby’s Dollhouse, season 6 – Netflix Family The Takeover – Netflix Film Young Royals, season 2 – Netflix Series Attack on Finland The Bad Guys The Bodyguard Dennis the Menace Dolphin Tale Key & Peele, seasons 1-3 The Legend of Zorro The Little Rascals The Little Rascals …

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Netflix Streaming Releases For November 2022

Available November 1

Gabby’s Dollhouse, season 6 – Netflix Family
The Takeover – Netflix Film
Young Royals, season 2 – Netflix Series
Attack on Finland
The Bad Guys
The Bodyguard
Dennis the Menace
Dolphin Tale
Key & Peele, seasons 1-3
The Legend of Zorro
The Little Rascals
The Little Rascals Save the Day
Man on a Ledge
The Mask of Zorro
Mile 22
Moneyball
Notting Hill
Oblivion
The Pink Panther
The Pink Panther 2
Still Alice
Think Like a Man
Top Gear, season 31
Training Day
Up in the Air

Available November 2

The Final Score — Netflix Series
Killer Sally – Netflix Documentary

Available November 3

Blockbuster – Netflix Series
The Dragon Prince, season 4 – Netflix Family
Panayotis Pascot: Almost – Netflix Comedy

Available November 4

Buying Beverly Hills – Netflix Series
Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman – Netflix Film
Enola Holmes 2 – Netflix Film
The Fabulous – Netflix Series
Lookism – Netflix Anime
Manifest, season 4, part 1 – Netflix Series

Available November 5

Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaster – Netflix Documentary

Available November 6

Captain Phillips

Available November 7

Deepa & Anoop, season 2 – Netflix Family

Available November 8

Behind Every Star – Netflix Series
The Claus Family 2 – Netflix Film
Minions & More Volume 2
Neal Brennan: Blocks – Netflix Comedy
Triviaverse – Netflix Special

Available November 9

Angels & Demons
The Crown, season 5 – Netflix Series
FIFA Uncovered – Netflix Documentary
The Railway Man
The Soccer Football Movie – Netflix Film

Available November 10

Falling for Christmas – Netflix Film
Lost Bullet 2 – Netflix Film
Love Never Lies: Destination Sardinia – Netflix Series
State of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith – Netflix Documentary
Warrior Nun, season 2 – Netflix Series

Available November 11

Ancient Apocalypse – Netflix Documentary
Capturing the Killer Nurse – Netflix Documentary
Don’t Leave – Netflix Film
Down to Earth with Zac Efron: Down Under, season 2 – Netflix Series
Goosebumps
Is That Black Enough for You?!? – Netflix Documentary
Laguna Beach, seasons 1-2
Monica, O My Darling – Netflix Film
My Father’s Dragon – Netflix Film

Available November 14

Stutz – Netflix Documentary
Teletubbies – Netflix Family

Available November 15

Deon Cole: Charleen’s Boy – Netflix Comedy
Johanna Nordström: Call the Police – Netflix Comedy
Jurassic World Camp Cretacecous: Hidden Adventure – Netflix Family
Run for the Money – Netflix Series

Available November 16

In Her Hands – Netflix Documentary
The Lost Lotteries – Netflix Film
Mind Your Manners – Netflix Series
Off Track – Netflix Film
Racionais MC’s: From the Streets of São Paulo – Netflix Documentary
The Wonder – Netflix Film

Available November 17

1899 – Netflix Series
Bantú Mama
Christmas with You – Netflix Film
Dead to Me, season 3 – Netflix Series
I Am Vanessa Guillen – Netflix Documentary
Pepsi, Where’s My Jet? – Netflix Documentary

Available November 18

The Cuphead Show!: Part 3 — Netflix Family
Elite, season 6 – Netflix Series
The Great British Baking Show: Holidays, season 5 – Netflix Series
Inside Job: Part 2 – Netflix Series
Reign Supreme – Netflix Series
Slumberland – Netflix Film
Somebody – Netflix Series
The Violence Action – Netflix Film

Available November 21

My Little Pony: Winter Wishday – Netflix Family
StoryBots: Answer Time – Netflix Family

Available November 22

LEGO: City Adventures, season 4
Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would – Netflix Comedy

Available November 23

The Boxtrolls
Blood, Sex & Royalty – Netflix Documentary
Christmas on Mistletoe Farm – Netflix Film
Lesson Plan – Netflix Film
The Swimmers – Netflix Film
Taco Chronicles: Cross the Border – Netflix Documentary
The Unbroken Voice – Netflix Series
Wednesday – Netflix Series
Who’s a Good Boy? – Netflix Film

Available November 24

First Love – Netflix Series
The Noel Diary – Netflix Film
Southpaw
The Vanishing
Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

Available November 25

Blood & Water, season 3 – Netflix Series
Ghislaine Maxwell: Filthy Rich – Netflix Documentary

Available November 28

The Action Pack Saves Christmas – Netflix Family

Available November 29

The Creature Cases, season 2 – Netflix Family
Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields – Netflix Documentary
Romesh Ranganathan: The Cynic – Netflix Comedy

Available November 30

A Man of Action – Netflix Film
My Name is Vendetta – Netflix Film
The Lost Patient – Netflix Film
Snack VS. Chef – Netflix Series
Take Your Pills: Xanax – Netflix Documentary

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Penelope Reed Captures Our Hearts and Minds in the Riveting Act II Playhouse’s ‘Eleanor’ https://popculturepress.org/2022/penelope-reed-captures-our-hearts-and-minds-in-the-riveting-act-ii-playhouses-eleanor/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 19:25:54 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3462 Penelope Reed as Eleanor Roosevelt It is a perfect opportunity to spend an evening with an iconic First Lady, and Penelope Reed certainly delivers in her role in Eleanor. Written by Mark St. Germain, the Act II Playhouse in Ambler is hosting the regional premiere of Eleanor through November 20. More than a retelling of …

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Penelope Reed as Eleanor Roosevelt

It is a perfect opportunity to spend an evening with an iconic First Lady, and Penelope Reed certainly delivers in her role in Eleanor.

Written by Mark St. Germain, the Act II Playhouse in Ambler is hosting the regional premiere of Eleanor through November 20.

More than a retelling of Eleanor’s life as a diplomat, writer, and champion of social justice, St. Germain boldly peels back the layers of the private Mrs. R. and reveals the fascinating truths behind the woman who forever redefined the office of the First Lady.

In this titular one-woman role, portraying many characters, is theater treasure Penelope Reed, who brings enormous stage presence, depth, humor, and insight into the life of Eleanor Roosevelt. It is an insightful evening of theater, combined with history, legacy, and much more.

Eleanor celebrates the legacy of an incredible First Lady, patriot, and public servant,” says the show’s director Kate Brennan. “I hope it will inspire us to be just as extraordinary as Mrs. Roosevelt in these most extraordinary times.”

Sixty years after her passing, Eleanor Roosevelt remains a defining figure of American history.

Penelope Reed as Eleanor Roosevelt in “Eleanor” at the Act II Playhouse

“Eleanor had a moral compass,” said St. Germain. “While Franklin was a politician in every sense, she looked at those around her as human beings with dignity, not votes. She said what she felt and stood up to injustice in any form. Eleanor was the heart of the White House and our country.”

Another aspect of the First Lady’s life that resonates with Reed is caring for those who are less fortunate than we are.

For many years Reed has worked on literacy programs, especially involving young people in the inner city. “I am taken with all of these phenomenal minds and how we can cultivate them if we give them a chance to shine”

Reed, who has tackled many complicated roles before including Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst, is an award-winning theater actress. In fact, she won a Barrymore Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

She has close personal ties to Rose Valley’s Hedgerow Theatre, (in Media, PA.), which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023.

Penelope grew up at Hedgerow. Later, she worked at the Milwaukee Repertory Company. She was a lead member of the McCarter Theatre in New Jersey and ran the drama department at the Lawrenceville School. Then in the wake of a 1985 fire that reduced Hedgerow to a shell, she moved back to help raise it from the ashes. The theater reopened in 1990.

In 2017, Reed, who had run the Hedgerow company since 1998, passed the reins to her son, Jared Reed, who took the theater to new professional heights and kept the theater alive through digital video and sound offerings performed by the Hedgerow residents. Currently, her son is running programming for the Media Arts Council Center.

Reed had taken over from her own mother, Janet Kelsey, who died in 2018, but had served for many years as an actress, costume designer, business manager, and board member.

Read on for more about Penelope Reed’s experience taking a deep dive into the life of Eleanor Roosevelt, how the play resonated with her own life, and her joy in working with young people, especially in the inner city.

Penelope Reed in Eleanor at the Act II Playhouse

Penelope, why did you want to delve into this extraordinary play about an amazing subject?

Penelope Reed: I loved the play because it goes way into all her feelings and other aspects of her life. So, it isn’t as much ‘ra ra’ Franklin. It’s a wonderful piece with a slightly different take by the writer and truly includes everything. She and President Roosevelt were so different and she rose above the challenges they both brought to each other.

The script will inform you. When the play opens, Eleanor is dead at Rock Creek Park Cemetery, where her spirit is and she often came, although she was buried at Hyde Park with her late husband, FDR. Early on she explains that Eleanor met with betrayal from Franklin with Lucy Mercer, certainly a devastating blow. Yet, I don’t think they wouldn’t have been as great if she hadn’t demanded that Franklin give her freedom to live her life the way that she choose to. This allowed her to travel extensively and using her compassion and concern for people, to head up many committees and programs that changed our society.

So, how does the play see the partnership between Eleanor and FDR?

It is about deep mutual respect for each other’s minds and they were able to create phenomenal things because of each other. She reflects on her life. You will love the layers of this play. She was a great First Lady and she was his continuing voice after FDR’s death. Her activism woke him up to understanding many aspects of changing society, including the suffragette movement. Franklin encouraged his wife to get involved in the League of Women Voters because it showed her that women voting would help all the women’s and human rights issues that she so passionately believed in.

How did this play personally resonate with you?

I have always had great admiration for her. Once I was asked to audition, I started to go deep into her multi-layered life. My director Kate and I meet every day before rehearsal. We read from Eleanor in her own words.

My understudy, April Woodhill, brings in these books and we have these volumes we read from to inspire the day ahead.

Penelope Reed as in “Eleanor” at the Act II Playhouse

You say this is more than a one-woman show. Please talk about this aspect of the production.

Yes, I play Eleanor, but I also I play 14 other people as she shares stories about them. She connects with the audience and her stories deeply resonate with us. We discover Eleanor finding she has to deal with the baggage in her life, as well all must. But it is also about all of the incredible designers and theater professionals who work under the direction of Kate Brennan who leads the play and Tony Braithwaite who leads this stellar company. 

What has their experience been like?

I believe that it is a celebration of the creative arts. We are dealing with her mind. Anyone who wants to learn about Eleanor and Franklin will learn a lot from this piece. The entire creative team is honoring Eleanor. I am so in sync with parts of Eleanor. I love whenever you take on a play and it becomes so much more evolved and it takes you with it. This has been a phenomenal experience with Act II; the entire company is led by Artistic Director Tony Braithwaite.

Eleanor was quite the writer with her daily My Day newspaper column.

Yes, in the show I read from two of her letters over the pretend radio, they give a wonderful tapestry of what’s going on. The playwright did enormous research for this play. There are many details to convey, starting with FDR’s mother, Sarah, taking control of their lives. Other details are that her bedroom in Hyde Park was so simple it was almost like a nun lived there; with just a bed and a desk. 

One aspect of her life at her Val-Kill Cottage is eye-opening. It is so beautiful, like a Monet painting, where you walk along this gravel road over a bridge. The cook would make dinner and Eleanor would tell her there would be three for dinner, but the cook was wise to her and made food for many more and 12 people would show up. Eleanor just loved people and her charm was a magnet for them. Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “Val-Kill is where I used to find myself and grow.  At Val-Kill I emerged as an individual.”

Why do you want my readers to see Eleanor?

I think her take on life right now is so timely. This is a person who as FDR’s political advisor Louis Howe put it, “can put herself in anybody’s shoes.” She was such an advocate for democracy and for both political parties working together. She was such a major advocate for not forgetting the little guy. This raises awareness for loving one another and having hope.

Eleanor’s message is…?

What we need rather than judging and pointing fingers is to always look at people as individuals. She was a great listener. When the audience comes together to see this production, they will feel really good about being a human being and the potential for change for good.

There is a genuine sense of humor and love, and because of her uncle President Teddy Roosevelt, she was brought up in that world to navigate all sides, especially in her family. What do you do in families that have different political takes — the key is to listen and use humor. I believe this is a terrific lesson for how we can navigate this period of time and work hard toward bringing people together.

For Tickets check out:

https://actiiplayhouse.secure.force.com/ticket?_ga=2.165987646.1880887782.1665508432-11700628.1647790593#/events/a0S4p000009ZM1HEAW

For Information:

Eleanor runs from October 25 through November 20, 2022. Ticket prices start at $32 and are available online at act2.org, by calling the Act II Box Office at 215-654-0200, or in person at the Box Office at 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, PA. The Box Office is open Mon-Sat, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Student tickets are $15 and group discounts are available. Subscriptions are also available. 

More about the Act II Playhouse:

The Act II Playhouse is committed to creating and programming world-class theatre in a venue whose intimacy draws audiences and actors into dynamic interaction. Act II produces new, classic, and contemporary plays and musicals that reflect the highest artistic standards.

WEBSITE

http://www.act2.org

EMAIL

info@act2.org

BOX OFFICE

215.654.0200

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paramount Plus News and Releases https://popculturepress.org/2022/paramount-plus-news-and-releases/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 03:08:49 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3526 Top Gun Maverick Release Date on Paramount + Your patriotic Christmas gift awaits. Top Gun Maverick drops on December 22nd, 2022 on Paramount +. Meanwhile, if you can’t wait and willing to pay, it’s available on Prime Video on Demand. Top Gun Maverick has made the biggest haul in 2022 box office receipts at a …

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Top Gun Maverick Release Date on Paramount +

Your patriotic Christmas gift awaits. Top Gun Maverick drops on December 22nd, 2022 on Paramount +. Meanwhile, if you can’t wait and willing to pay, it’s available on Prime Video on Demand. Top Gun Maverick has made the biggest haul in 2022 box office receipts at a whopping 1.4 billion.

Paramount + is a fledgling streaming service launched in March of 2021. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to pick up Paramount +, it is priced at $9.99 or $99 for the year if paid in up-front in advance. 

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The Young Musicians of Daze Talk About Balancing School and Performing https://popculturepress.org/2022/the-young-musicians-of-daze-talk-about-balancing-school-and-performing/ Sat, 29 Oct 2022 03:14:10 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3454 Daze Talks About Balancing School and Performing Since joining Union County, New Jersey’s School of Rock program, siblings Gabe and Adriana Rivera knew they loved performing. The two were selected to join the advanced section of the program and are scheduled to play at the Prudential Center in Newark with other student musicians from around …

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Daze Talks About Balancing School and Performing

Since joining Union County, New Jersey’s School of Rock program, siblings Gabe and Adriana Rivera knew they loved performing. The two were selected to join the advanced section of the program and are scheduled to play at the Prudential Center in Newark with other student musicians from around the county. School of Rock also provides these dedicated young musicians with opportunities to perform gigs around town, gaining exposure to the local musical climate-a crucial stepping stone for any new artist. After self-producing and releasing his first album “Drifting”, Gabe wanted to take the next step into his musical journey and formed the band Daze along with his sister and friends Sofia and Vicente. The four have only performed live on a few occasions, but their energy and synchronization alone are enough to rile up a crowd. Spicing up hit songs from Maroon 5 and Neon Trees, Daze brings their own sound to the table-proving that you’re never too young to actualize your aspirations. 

 

Q. You’re all in high school. How did you find the time to start a band, make music, and perform shows all the while balancing school? 

A. Sofia: I kind of just try to incorporate learning the songs into my life. So for example, like any chance I get, I’m playing the set in my Airpods. I had like three tests last weekend and it was super hard to cram it all in so I was just playing [the set] over and over again while I was studying. I was like multitasking. 

Gabe: It’s funny cause I’ve been trying to make a band with my friends since 7th grade when I couldn’t play any instruments. Over the course of those few years I’ve been in a few bands but never my own. I had built the skill of learning stuff but this time it’s actually my own band with my friends. That’s kind of how I put it all together.

Adriana: Yeah same for me, I’ve been getting more used to having to learn a bunch of different songs in a small time frame. I’ve been doing School of Rock for a while. That’s been helping me get used to learning songs in a shorter time frame. 

 

Q. You focus on covers but you also play songs from Gabe’s album “Drifting”. What are your favorite songs to play?

Sofia: That’s a hard question. Maybe Harder To Breathe, Pool house, and Kilby Girl. I would say those are my top three.

Gabe: Mine are Harder To Breathe, Poolhouse, and Drifting. 

Adriana: Mine are Harder To Breathe, Drifting, and I don’t know I wanna say either Pool house or Everybody Talks because it’s very fun and upbeat.

Vicente: I would say Harder To Breathe, Kilby Girl, and Basket Case.

 

Q. Is there an official Daze album in the works? 

A. Gabe: I mean I’ve talked to you guys about it. About maybe starting to write our own stuff but it’s like not gonna happen for a few months, if it does. 

 

Q. Talk about the atmosphere of performing together. 

A. Sofia: This is just something for me but I’ve never been in a band before so I was like really nervous. I was comfortable with the actual things we were doing but I was still nervous cause this was just a little new for me so I think that’s where the nerves were coming from. 

Vicente: I’ve had a lot of different feelings depending on the type of gig. The ones that are more laidback I feel like I have a lot more freedom with what I do. I think the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re performing is to have fun cause that’s one of the big parts of it. You don’t want to feel like you’re forced to be there. It’s something we all wanna do and it’s really fun. We’re making music. 

Gabe: For me, performing is one of my favorite things to do because not only do you get to do your favorite thing to do but you also get to make people’s days better. We haven’t had a show where you’ve had to pay to get in but for those types of shows people are paying to see you so you want to give them a show. You have to show that you’re happy and excited to be there. I feel like that’s very easy to do with this band because we’re all close even though we’ve only known Sofia for what, two months? It doesn’t feel like it. Obviously I’ve known my sister(Adriana) for 15 years and Vicente for a while so it’s really easy to have fun on stage without being awkward. 

Adriana: Yeah I think at the end of the day it’s like what Vicente said. We’re just making music. Yeah obviously it’s about learning the songs and getting them right but it’s really about having fun. You have to be comfortable and kind of feel like music when you’re doing it and not just going through the motions. I feel like part of being able to do that is having a good chemistry with each other and then once you have that it’s not really that nerve wracking anymore, at least for me. It’s more fun.

 

Q. How do you plan to keep Daze rocking when you all head off to college? 

A. Adriana: I mean I’m really the only one going off to college next year but we’re making the most of it now. 

Gabe: I feel like this is just a for now thing. The bands that I’ve been in have gone their separate ways and off to college and stuff. I feel like that’s gonna be the same thing if we don’t blow up with our original stuff.

 

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Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” Illustrates Emotional Intensity but Delivers Musical Mediocrity https://popculturepress.org/2022/taylor-swifts-midnights-illustrates-emotional-intensity-but-delivers-musical-mediocrity/ Tue, 25 Oct 2022 23:56:02 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3409 Review of Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” Swifties have been riled up since the announcement of “Midnights”, Taylor Swift’s 10th studio album. Swift also fueled the excitement with “Midnights Mayhem”, a series spanning across her social media accounts that featured her revealing a new title track out of the 13 songs on her latest project. Now, “Midnights” …

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Review of Taylor Swift’s “Midnights”

Swifties have been riled up since the announcement of “Midnights”, Taylor Swift’s 10th studio album. Swift also fueled the excitement with “Midnights Mayhem”, a series spanning across her social media accounts that featured her revealing a new title track out of the 13 songs on her latest project. Now, “Midnights” is here as well as the 3 am version which contains seven more songs chronicling even more stories from the Taylor Swift vault. Swift herself has described the record as a concept album comprised of the adventure of 13 “sleepless nights”. “Midnights” as expected, has broken multiple records, including most streamed album in a day on Spotify and Swift herself now holds the record as the artist most listened to in a single day according to Spotify’s analytics. 

Despite these early accolades, a close listen might reveal “Midnights” to be one of the most overhyped Taylor Swift albums especially in comparison to her recent work on “Folklore” and “Evermore”. “Midnights” , like every Swift album, has its standouts. From the eerie vocals and provocative lyrics of “Snow on The Beach” (featuring the talents of Lana Del Ray), to the reflective indignation embedded into “Anti-Hero” which has quickly become one of the album’s most popular songs. “Mastermind” cheekily deconstructs a relationship and the means one goes through to win someone over, while “Vigilante Sh*t” discusses the glamor of vengeance- a topic Swift writes about all too well(see what I did there). 

While these songs are mostly well crafted lyrically and paint a clear picture of the story Swift is trying to tell, the poppy, bass-boosted beats feel repetitive and derivative. Swift has experimented with multiple genres since her humble country star days from alternative to pop but her pop music has never felt this paralleled to the mainstream. “Midnights” aims to explore specific intense feelings but the rhythms and melodies of each song feel generic and ultimately don’t fully capture the emotional rawness of what’s trying to be conveyed.

Throughout a full listen-through, songs tend to bleed into one another, especially when similar themes of love, revenge, and self-doubt are being mentioned on each track. The convergence of each song ties together the album’s concept but this uniformity sacrifices a unique exploration of these feelings from a musical standpoint. Each song utilizes melancholy vocals alongside a redundant beat that recycles elements from the previous tracks. When in reference to “Folklore”, this album heavily featured similar vocals and a heavy piano presence but each song felt distinguishable while after a couple listens of “Midnights” you still might not be able to tell the difference between tracks that appear next to each other. 

The 3 am edition tracks fall into the category of sameness as well with many more mediocre lyrics that offer context or further elaboration on a particular theme in “Midnights” but serve as just a side dish to the more satisfying meal that only a few “Midnights” main tracks offer. The 3 am tracks have proved to be widely popular with fans however, and Swift expressed in an Instagram post that she’s been, “loving the feeling of sharing more of our creative process with you” which isn’t surprising considering how close the artist has always been with her dedicated fans.

The songs’ compartmentalization of an upbeat and vibrant musical exterior and a layered, passionately conflicted lyrical interior works for the overall atmosphere and allows listeners to once again dissect and pinpoint the individual feelings in each song. This is something that Swift does masterfully with each song and one of the reasons for the longevity of her career despite many insisting on her being just another flashy popstar. Her stories are real. She writes about herself and other celebrities as they are; real people with flaws, which not only invites viewers and listeners to hear about the internal lives of some of the most idolized people in the world, but also works to reinforce that singers and actors are just people like the rest of us, and a sleepless night can too fall upon them.




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The School for Good and Evil Creates a Fantastical Atmosphere but Contains a Rushed, Oversaturated Story https://popculturepress.org/2022/the-school-for-good-and-evil-creates-a-fantastical-atmosphere-but-contains-a-rushed-oversaturated-story/ Sun, 23 Oct 2022 19:20:20 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3430 Review of Netflix’s The School for Good and Evil  Netflix’s latest fantasy thriller, The School for Good and Evil had a lot of expectations to live up to. Fans of the original book series by Soman Chainani were skeptical as most who have a previous attachment to a franchise are, hoping that the film version would …

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Review of Netflix’s The School for Good and Evil 

Netflix’s latest fantasy thriller, The School for Good and Evil had a lot of expectations to live up to. Fans of the original book series by Soman Chainani were skeptical as most who have a previous attachment to a franchise are, hoping that the film version would accurately capture the magic instilled in the pages of this beloved series. Meanwhile, fantasy lovers and film critics alike remained inquisitive of just how successful the film would be with its acclaimed source material attached to it as well as a star-studded cast including Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington, Laurence Fishburne, and others. The film also features gen-z favorites as its leading ladies, including Sophia Anne Caruso (Beetlejuice The Musical) and Sofia Wylie (High School Musical: The Musical: The Series). 

The film secured the number 1 slot in Netflix’s top 10 most popular films/shows until it was overtaken by the true crime series The Watcher. Rotten Tomatoes critics gave the film a failing grade at 35% while general audiences were more generous with their rating at 70%. Letterboxd reviews average out at 2.9, stars-about a 6/10 stars wise. While the film delivers a fantastical adventure alongside dedicated performances and fascinatingly beautiful costumes, a mixture of a pandering modern soundtrack, lazy special effects, and an oversaturated core theme that’s been done again and again, attributes to the film’s fast-paced, convoluted and ultimately loose-threaded nature. 

The School for Good and Evil is about as literal as its title gets as two childhood best friends Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) and Agatha (Sofia Wylie) are transported to another world in which princes, witches, and magic are all regular occurrences. While Sophie with quintessential blonde locks, obsession with princesses, and a handmade, colorful, pastel patch gown wishes to attend the school for good, she is instead dropped at the school for evil while Agatha with dark hair, more traditionally masucline attire, and witchcraft ties is dropped at the school for good. Led by the school’s deans played by Kerry Washington and Charlize Theron, the girls learn to peer inside themselves and look past the archetypes they’ve played into their entire lives, discovering that good and evil are not measured by one’s appearances but instead what lies beneath. 

The film is roughly two and a half hours long and by the end, still feels like the audience has missed a quarter of the overall story. Perhaps this is because the very end of the film is already setting up the next film with a semi-cliffhanger ending. However, many character arcs feel resolved too quickly or completely forgotten about. While the central arc of Sophie and Agatha’s friendship is given ample time to develop and involves some pinnacle moments of the film in order to strengthen their dynamics, the other princesses and villains feel left behind and only there to propel the conflict between our two protagonists. Perhaps the only other student at the school for good and evil who is allotted generous screen time is Tedros the song of King Arthur who’s featured in some of the worst choreographed fight scenes ever placed on a screen with plenty of choppy editing and cringeworthy special effects to coincide. 

 

Aside from Tedros, and the two deans, other characters are completely sidelined in order to showcase a classic narrative of two polar opposite friends drifting apart. As for worldbuilding, audiences don’t receive too much information about where exactly The School for Good and Evil is. We’re treated to the fact that many of the students at this school are the children of esteemed fairytale characters while Sophia and Agatha are “readers” who come from the non-fairytale realm. Fans of the novel have complained that the film should’ve been made into a TV show in order to flesh out more interesting and crucial aspects of the series. This definitely would have benefited the film as the climax of the film features a conflict that is snuffed out in seconds in a moment that definitely thinks it’s more subversive than it actually is. 

 

The rules of the world feel arbitrary which might be chalked up to a twist towards the climax. However, this twist is barely given any time to develop or have an overall impact on the story before we return to the central conflict between Sophie and Agatha. Many fans of the books have also complained about how Sophie and Agatha’s relationship and overall personalities were completely misguided in how they were adapted. The negative attention has mainly shifted to Sophie, who fans claim, was not portrayed as accurately as she could have been. The modernized elements of the film have also received criticism most notably the soundtrack. It seems these days that every Netflix film directed at gen-z audiences thinks they can play “Brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo and that’s enough to solidify artistic relatability. The film also features “you should see me in a crown” by Billie Eilish played during a scene that some view as empowering and others see as embarrassingly pandering. 

Of course, no book adaptation is perfect and The School for Good and Evil is far from the first film to prove that an A-list cast isn’t an indicator of the quality of the film’s final product. As it stands, The School for Good and Evil is a fun, whimsical, yet familiar journey. It certainly isn’t as magical or thought-provoking as it wishes it was but those in need of a quick fantasy fix will be satisfied with the majority of the film.

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Will Wood Leaves the Musical Scene With “In case I make it” https://popculturepress.org/2022/will-wood-leaves-the-musical-scene-with-in-case-i-make-it/ Thu, 20 Oct 2022 15:57:27 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3397 Will Wood Talks About His 4th Album: “In case I make it” Singer/songwriter Will Wood recently released his fourth studio album “In case I make it” and unfortunately, it might be his last. The singer rose to prominence in 2020 with experimental and upbeat single I/Me/Myself which especially resonated with the queer community and music …

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Will Wood Talks About His 4th Album: “In case I make it”

Singer/songwriter Will Wood recently released his fourth studio album “In case I make it” and unfortunately, it might be his last. The singer rose to prominence in 2020 with experimental and upbeat single I/Me/Myself which especially resonated with the queer community and music lovers in general that relished in the poppy sensations contrasting with melancholy lyrics. Since “The Normal Album” in 2020, Will has delved into some darker themes due to his newfound fame, which he shares hasn’t always had the best mental effect. “In case I make it” serves as a farewell to Will as he heads into the next chapter of his career as well as delivering another set of thought-provoking, somber songs for fans to enjoy in the years to come. 

Q. I like many fans, first heard of you when hearing your song I/Me/Myself. How has your career progressed since the virality of that song?

A. That virality brought me my first real period of genuine success, which brought with it a lot of attention that I wasn’t prepared for. I’m grateful to see the turnout at shows and I love the feeling of connecting with an audience, but especially in the era of social media there’s a downside most people don’t really like to talk about. The way people interact with media right now and the manner in which its currently commodified seems to exacerbate the more difficult elements. I’ve experienced people developing antagonistic parasocial relationships with me, which a handful of times has culminated in actual criminal behavior. My position can create increased difficulty navigating the dynamics of one’s personal life, and the way having an audience can sort of atomize your identity and make it public domain is tough to ignore.

The “microcelebrity” doesn’t have the resources and connections to others with similar experiences that a celebrity does, which can be isolating and sometimes sort of dangerous. Taking this and the sort of endless workload into consideration, I need to give myself a break for the sake of my health and to reassess a lot of my values, goals, and ideas about myself and the world. I’m going to be taking an indefinite hiatus starting in the next couple weeks once I wade through one last workload. I’ll have a live album out on streaming services soon, and then I’ll see ya later.

Q. Your music has been described a myriad of ways. How would you personally describe/categorize your music?

A. I tend to think of it as singer-songwriter, pop, experimental sort of stuff. I never wanted to commit to a genre, and have always loved using genre as a tool for self-expression rather than a category for me to work in, so it’s hard for me to say myself.

Q. You recently collabed with another band I spoke to a little bit ago, Human Zoo. What was that experience like? 

A. It was a lot of fun. The folks in that band and I go way back, and I’m really happy to see them get some more attention. Hopefully they’ll find the success they deserve.

 

Q. Your latest single “Ferryman” is a collaboration with Shayfer James. How was working with him and putting this song together? 

A. It’s really Shayfer’s song, I can’t say I had a hand in “putting it together” aside from writing my bridge and helping to lay down some baritone sax with Matt Berger. But he’s such a kind, genuine, and relentlessly positive person. He really loves what he does and it shows while you work with him. It was a pleasure touring with him too.

 

Q. You do a lot more than create music. Talk about some of your other projects. 

A. I do a comedy podcast called “Life in the World to Come” with my friend and longtime collaborator Chris Dunne. I also occasionally write and do some visual art that I hope to create more of while I’m on my hiatus, although I’d approach it without the intent to publish I think.

 

Q. What’s a project or song that you’ve worked on that you really feel speaks to you and your career as a whole. 

A. One’s artistic identity will always be a fictional character to a certain extent, whether you try to create a fictionalized persona or not. So there’s always a story you’re telling in your discography, whether you intend to or not. I intended my latest album originally as a farewell in the event that I checked out early so to speak, but when I started to recover from the rough times those songs came from, I changed the name from “In Case I Die” to “In case I make it.” I talked about that publicly with a focus on the hope present in the new title, and I chose to express using more major key work and softer vocals on the record, a lot of fans have told me they “can tell you’re doing better” on it, which is about as far from the reality of where those songs came from as can be.

If the story goes that “Will Wood” recovers over the course of his discography, I’m fairly satisfied with that. It’s a nice story, and fictionalization is inevitable so I don’t mind telling it. It says a lot that way, and speaks to me and parts of my career fairly well in that context. But I think I want to at least try to say something more accurately “based on a true story” before I finish it. So I’ll be calling my upcoming live album what I was originally going to call the studio release, to re-contextualize the songs and give a more raw look at the material.

 

Q. In the future, do you see yourself still engaging in music and other multimedia? Or do you see yourself heading in another direction? 

A. Sure, I plan to keep doing “Life in the World to Come” and may take on other projects, but I won’t be doing music and I’ll be limiting public appearances for the foreseeable future.


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Why Everybody Loves Season 6 of ‘Somebody Feed Phil,’ His New Companion Cookbook, and Visit to the Keswick Theatre on November 10 https://popculturepress.org/2022/why-everybody-loves-season-6-of-somebody-feed-phil-his-new-companion-cookbook-and-visit-to-the-keswick-theatre-on-november-10/ Thu, 20 Oct 2022 12:40:25 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3359 Phil Rosenthal has a job that is the envy of everyone he meets, but he does it with such charm and aplomb that they love spending time with him on and off the air. The star and creator of the Netflix hit, Somebody Feed Phil travels the world and eats. The adventurous food and travel …

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Phil Rosenthal has a job that is the envy of everyone he meets, but he does it with such charm and aplomb that they love spending time with him on and off the air.

The star and creator of the Netflix hit, Somebody Feed Phil travels the world and eats. The adventurous food and travel writer also meets fascinating locals, and extraordinary chefs, and shares all of his wealth with his viewers. He often interviews local restaurateurs to learn about their personal and cultural origins.

Much to the delight of his local fans, the creator, writer, and producer of Everybody Loves Raymond, is bringing his live tour  An Evening with Phil Rosenthal tour to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, November 10.

Since Somebody Feed Phil’s 2018 premiere, Rosenthal has traveled the world in pursuit of delicious regional food, while meeting tourists and also enjoying a home-cooked meal. He also highlights the architecture, music, and other ambiance.

“I am on a mission. I am just using food and my stupid sense of humor to get you to understand the beauty of travel,” he said, “the world would be better if we could all experience just a little bit of other people’s experience.”

Along the way, we are treated to his charm, his humor, his facial expressions, and much more. He often says, “Don’t you wish you were me right now?”

Season 6 of his Netflix show, and his new cookbook, Somebody Feed Phil: The Book,  (Simon & Schuster), both debuted on October 18. The cookbook is filled with untold stories, behind-the-scenes photos, and favorite recipes.

With this new book, Rosenthal said he is “trying to do two things here: make a great companion book to the series, and give you some of the best recipes from our favorite chefs and places on the show.”

“My favorite part about doing the show has been the people I’ve met, not just during the filming, but also those of you who watch it and reach out to me,” he explained in the introduction to the cookbook.

“It’s been my calling card to the world and one of the greatest pleasures of my life. It feels like a fantasy, but what I am telling you is that everything you see me doing is 100 percent real, and you can do it, too. In fact, the name of the show could be, “If That Guy Can Do It, Anyone Can!”

Phil Rosenthal dines with Paton Oswald on the Netflix series Sombody Feed Phil
Patton Oswalt with his close friend Phil Rosenthal on Somebody Feed Phil. Photo Credit: Netflix.

The new season — complete with everything from soup to nuts –includes stops in Croatia, Santiago, Chile, Austin, Nashville, and Philadelphia. He began Season 6 with a tour of Philadelphia with stops at the Redding Terminal Market.

Then they headed for the traditional local fare of pizza (Angelo’s) and Philly cheesesteaks (Dalessandro’s) roast pork (John’s Roast Pork), pasta (Fiorella Pasta), South Philly Barbacoa, while also taking in some fine dining at several Philadelphia hot spots, including  Zahav, Kalaya, and Laser Wolf. He was joined during his Philadelphia tour by his wife, members of her family, her childhood friends, as well as chef and food writer, Shola Onunloyo. Dessert, in the form of banana splits, was had at The Franklin Fountain.

The Emmy-nominated unscripted documentary series, which combines Rosenthal’s love of food and travel with his unique brand of humor, has enjoyed over 24 million viewers in 190 countries and has become must-see  TV  for foodies,  restaurateurs,  travelers,  and armchair enthusiasts all over the world.

Rosenthal’s wife, Monica Horan, best known for her part as Amy on Everybody Loves Raymond, his two children, Lily and Ben, and well-known celebrities, award-winning chefs, cookbook authors, and bloggers join him on various episodes of the series.

In fact, one of the highlights of the show was the appearances by his late parents Max and Helen Rosenthal, and Max would always have a joke or two to share. Now, some of Rosenthal’s famous comedian friends share a joke with the viewers in honor of Max.

Rosenthal recently won a 2022 Critics Choice Real TV Award for Best Travel/Adventure Show, and he also garnered a 2022 James Beard Award nomination for Visual Media—Long Form.

As the companion cookbook to his hit Netflix show, this is the ultimate collection of must-have recipes, never-before-heard stories, behind-the-scenes photos, and more from the first four seasons of the beloved series. 

Rosenthal was born in Queens, New York, and moved with his parents and brother to New City, New York, in  Rockland  County,  where he was raised. 

After graduating from  Hofstra  University on  Long  Island, where he majored in theater, he embarked on a career as an actor, writer, and director in New York City. In 1989, he relocated to Los Angeles.

Rosenthal’s early writing credits include the comedy series Down the Shore and Coach. In 1995, Rosenthal created the hit CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond, which premiered the following year.  He served as the showrunner and  executive producer for  all  nine years  of the show’s  very  successful run,  which ended in  2005. 

During its  original run,  the  show was  nominated for more than  70  Emmy  Awards and won  15  awards,  including two for  Best  Comedy  Series in  2003  and  2005.   The show continues to make TV viewers laugh and relate to the family dynamics since it is still seen on reruns around the world.

Rosenthal won the  2002  Writers  Guild  Award for  Excellence in  Television  Writing  for his  “Italy”  script, in which he took Ray Romano to Italy and ignited a previously dormant passion of travel for the actor.

Phil Rosenthal enjoys a beer with his daughter Lily on the Netflix series Sombody Feed Phil
Lily and her dad, Phil Rosenthal, on Somebody Feed Phil. Photo Credit: Netflix.

After the series wrapped, Rosenthal penned a book on the art of comedy and the making of a sitcom classic. You’re Lucky You’re Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom, was published in 2007 via Penguin Publishing Group.

Signed copies of Phil’s new book will be on sale at The Keswick on the night of the show.

To purchase tickets, call the box office at 215-572-7650, or go online at keswicktheatre.com.

 

 

 

 

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Nothing but a Nightmare’s Eddie Tamanini Shares the Band’s story from High School to Now https://popculturepress.org/2022/nothing-but-a-nightmares-eddie-tamanini-shares-the-bands-story-from-high-school-to-now/ Wed, 19 Oct 2022 13:58:03 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3351 Interview with Eddie Tamanini of Nothing but a Nightmare Since 8th grade when being introduced to the alt-rock band Panic! At The Disco, Eddie Tamanini knew he wanted to be a musician. In 2018, Eddie and his friends launched that dream into a reality by forming Nothing but a Nightmare and releasing their first single …

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Interview with Eddie Tamanini of Nothing but a Nightmare

Since 8th grade when being introduced to the alt-rock band Panic! At The Disco, Eddie Tamanini knew he wanted to be a musician. In 2018, Eddie and his friends launched that dream into a reality by forming Nothing but a Nightmare and releasing their first single and music video for “The Girl From Scandinavia”. The song was heard incessantly around the halls of Neshaminy High School where Eddie attended along with most of his bandmates. Even after a rocky start at Berklee College of Music, Eddie has now found a home at Rider University with Nothing but a Nightmare still by his side.

The group has just released their third album “The Salvation” which features more of the pop-punk influences that Eddie cites as his main drive to becoming a musician. With nine new grungy, lyrically loaded songs as well as the re-mastering of earlier hits “Can’t Fix Stupid” and “Pretty Good at Bad Decisions”, NBN is delivering a vibrant, fresh rock sound that will surely resonate with the next generation of pop-punk lovers. 

Q.  Tell us about your time at Neshaminy High School. How has that community strengthened or inhibited your growth? 

A. Oh, it totally strengthened my growth. I’m glad to say that I went to Neshaminy now that I’m in college, I’m a music [education] major. My ultimate goal is to teach in the district I grew up in so if I somehow get to teach at Neshaminy that would be the coolest thing, obviously if performing doesn’t work out. The music program at the high school was a huge stepping stone for me. Teachers of mine from high school, they’re like the most incredible humans to me. They’ve become friends now more than teachers. Also, the community itself and the friends that I had. I wouldn’t have started the band in the first place if it weren’t for Neshaminy. It’s totally helped me grow for sure. 

 

Q. A lot of your songs have personalized titles that seem to be referring to certain people like “The Girl From Scandinavia” and more recently “Sex With My Ex”. How do your personal experiences play into your songwriting process?

A. This album for sure was kind of like a diss. I hate to say diss but yeah, towards certain people. “Sex With My Ex” for example, I had that title for a long time and I just had it in my back pocket and one day Clayton our bass player was like “I got this riff, check it out.” He plays this riff, the opening riff of the song and I go “that would totally work for the title I have”. So yeah, based on his personal experiences and other personal experiences from people around me, we created this album. It’s kind of a hodgepodge of stuff from friends and I think a lot of people can relate to it. I know it’s kind of blunt and to the point with the story and stuff but I think there are people who get out of relationships and get back with the person for a second. You know it happens that way.

In terms of relationships, I used to have, back in the day when the band was what it was before with different members, cause obviously, we’ve had members change. It was always David and I. It was always him and I together. For “Nostalgia” and “Kleptomania” it was him and I, and Ryan would come in certain times and do things. Then Clayton and Dom would kind of have to learn the songs. I think that now things have changed in our lives and as a group, everybody was involved in this. David and Ryan aren’t with us anymore but they had a piece of this too. Everybody had a piece and that feels good for me to know.  

 

Q. You’re a huge Panic! At The Disco fan and even took lessons from touring bassist Nicole Row during the pandemic. How was that experience for you?

A. Nicole is one of my favorite people I got to meet [over zoom]. I kind of hit her up during quarantine cause she was offering lessons and I was like “I’ll try”. She taught me so much not just about playing the instrument but also musically like things that I didn’t even think about. It translates well to guitar and to all other instruments that I play. 

 

Q. Were you able to see Panic! on tour recently? 

A. My girlfriend and I went to see them on September 30th in Philly and we were in the 6th row. That was my 7th show. I went to go see them on the Today show in New York recently. I woke up at 2:00 in the morning. My girlfriend didn’t wanna go cause she didn’t wanna wake up early so I brought Owen who’s one of our bandmates now. That’s my girlfriend’s brother. So he came with me and my friend Latrice who I’ve been friends with for years. We blasted the album in the car just to stay awake. I love listening to something brand new because I didn’t expect what was coming and I was like “oh my god”! Anyway, that’s my Panic! speil (laughs).

 

Q. Who are other major inspirations for your music? 

A. There are tons. For this album in particular we were listening to a lot of Machine Gun Kelly. Say what you want about him as a person but his music was a big inspiration. Fall Out Boy has always been one of my listening points. Harry Styles recently. I’m crazy into Harry Styles. A lot of people have been saying that one of our new songs “The Old Days” is kind of like giving those “Sign of the Times” vibes so I was like “ok, makes sense”. It goes across the board like Adele, her new album. “Easy On Me” was another inspiration for “The Old Days”, I was listening to that song a lot. Then it goes back into the old days of rock like Journey, Queen, and Billy Joel. Even jazz like Sinatra and Dean Martin. We didn’t do horns that much on this album. We re-did “Can’t Fix Stupid” and “Pretty Good at Bad Decisions” which were two of our older songs and we have horns on those, and kind of like a jazzy feel. My parents raised me listening to rock and roll like old school 80s, 90s, and all that. It’s all across the board there are so many influences. 

 

Q. I heard that you got into a very prestigious music school but you didn’t end up attending to keep playing with NBN. Talk about this decision. 

A. I actually ended up going for a little bit. I got into Berklee College of Music. It was my dream music school. I visited there in Boston, the city is beautiful, and the school was very nice. A lot of prestigious alumni went there like John Mayer and Charlie Puth, Imagine Dragons. I ended up going to the school and for the first couple months or weeks, I don’t even know, it was such a blur I don’t even know the timetable. It was terrible and it wasn’t anything the school could’ve done. I was depressed. I got there and I didn’t eat. My family had left and I was extremely scared. I was like “what’s happening right now”? I lost like 15 pounds more and I had already lost 40 pounds that year so I was a skinny little kid walking around Boston all sad. I wouldn’t go to any parties, nothing. So I called Ryan (Scott) one day and I cried my eyes out. I said, “I miss you guys, if I came back would you guys still play with me in the band?” And his response was, “F— yeah dude, what are you talking about?”(laughs). That’s what he said.

So, my parents came up and they were like, “Eddie you look terrible like you need to come home.” My parents are so supportive, and it really was a big decision for me, but it was the best possible choice, and to come back and get back with the band and do what I’m doing now, it’s been the best choice. People always say, “do you regret not going to Berklee and following through”? Nope. I was upset and I needed to leave. I have a lot of experience from that city and from going there. I would not have written “Sittin’ in the Corner (Friday Night in Boston)”, that song we did off of “Kleptomania” if it were not for that experience. I took that back and a lot of the Kleptomania album was based on my experience in Boston and Covid and stuff like that. 

 

Q. What is it like practicing and meeting with the rest of your band members now that you’re all working and or in college? 

A. Well, the Scott brothers (Ryan and David) are not with us anymore, so we had to rethink our formation. I can’t replace Ryan like I can’t see anyone else playing guitar besides Ryan so I said, “I’ll just do it myself”. I took on the guitar roles. We thought “oh we could kind of be like Blink-182 you know”. We brought in Owen to play the keyboard. It formulated itself very quickly. To come together and play; that’s why we do it. Practicing is just an excuse to hang out. We all come together and talk about different things. We’re mostly talking rather than playing and laughing about something and then we get down to business. I felt like a couple of years ago maybe during Covid, the practicing process was getting too serious. People in our group were knocking each other down and it wasn’t a positive environment anymore. I hated to go there. Once the band worked itself out, everybody kinda reconvened and got back together. But yeah it was a bad time during Covid when we didn’t even wanna talk to each other. It worked out for all parties, everybody’s in their own lane and happy and that’s all that matters. 

Q. NBN just released “The Salvation”, talk a little bit about bringing the album together. 

A. The process for it started about two years ago. You can go back even further cause we did “Can’t Fix Stupid” and “Pretty Good at Bad Decisions”. Those songs were on like a little EP. They never really got the attention that I believed they should’ve because we weren’t really as produced as we are now at the time. The album has its own flow and story. Its production came together very quickly. “Baggage Claim” for example was a song that I had for years. I’ve had that melody since I was maybe 15 years old but I didn’t have anything to use it for. I finally put it into that song. We were looking to do a punk album, that was the goal. The first album was very much experimental I guess, like finding our footing and figuring out what we were going to do. Kleptomania was very pop-rock, more on the poppy side.

Then we kind of divulged into this pop-punk deal. This definitely is my favorite album we’ve done, definitely my favorite thing I’ve ever done musically. The best part about this album and the process is we all did it together. On other albums, it was like me, David, and Ryan putting together tracks. Dom never actually played drums on anything(laughs). On this album, he ended up having all the say on the drum parts. He created them. Clayton created some bass lines. They all did backing vocals, everything was how it should be. We wanted to kind of create the feeling of a live show in an album. We wanted to make it sound as live as it could be. 

Q. Are there any shows or music videos coming up?

We’re definitely gonna make some more music videos. We did one for a song called “I Hate You”. We usually have a crew do our videos, and we’ll have people come out and help us but this one I was like, “you know what it’s too much money let’s just do it ourselves”. I got a camera for my birthday recently so I rented this piece of equipment called the “glide gear”. It’s this thing that makes it look like you’re in the first person. The view is like the environment is moving around you and you’re just stationary. So that’s what we did, we just did it all ourselves. In terms of shows, we have a show at Shadybrook Farm on the 27th of October, and a show at Rider University on October 29th, at my school. My ultimate goal is to play some college basement shows, like some underground stuff. So yeah, we’ll make that happen. We’ve got some more shows coming up that I can’t talk about just yet, but we’re excited to play some more.

 

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Luckiest Girl Alive: The Book Changed my Life, The Film is an Insulting , Shallow Mess https://popculturepress.org/2022/luckiest-girl-alive-the-book-changed-my-life-the-film-is-an-insulting-shallow-mess/ Tue, 11 Oct 2022 12:29:39 +0000 https://popculturepress.org/?p=3341 Luckiest Girl Alive Review  *Spoilers Below* *This review discusses sensitive topics that may be triggering to some readers.  Over the summer, I decided I wanted to start reading again. Not that I hadn’t been reading for school and work, but the leisurely reading I engaged in as a kid slowly drifted into a forgotten activity …

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Luckiest Girl Alive Review 

*Spoilers Below*

*This review discusses sensitive topics that may be triggering to some readers. 

Over the summer, I decided I wanted to start reading again. Not that I hadn’t been reading for school and work, but the leisurely reading I engaged in as a kid slowly drifted into a forgotten activity when the business of young adult life rushed in. Summer is one of the rare times I’m able to almost catch a breath, I picked up New York Times Best Seller Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. The novel instantly clicked with me as I was not only impressed with the clever and sharp writing but captively engrossed in the larger story about a woman who’s undergone tremendous trauma and despite being overlooked and belittled by almost everyone around her, chooses to use her voice to stand up to those same people and finally tell her story. 

The book not only provided me with an entertaining and powerful story but forced me to confront my own experiences. I was even more heartbroken when I read a personal essay by the author on her website detailing horrific events that occurred when she was a teenager; events that the main character in the novel faced. This book reinforced the sheer magnitude of writing and the catharsis that’s derived from it, and as someone who wants to tell stories for the rest of her life and address topics that the media often steers away from due to their taboo nature, this book quickly became one of my favorites and one that will certainly resonate with me for the rest of my life. 

When I heard that a film adaptation was coming to Netflix I was ecstatic. Much to my dismay, the film, like many book to movie adaptations, completely fell short of what made the book so dynamic. The film stars Mila Kunis whose performance as protagonist Tifani FaNelli completely embodies the character. The cunning, motivated journalist who’s so afraid of letting the past creep in until she realizes she can no longer stay silent. Chiara Aurelia plays Tifani at a younger age and though she’s on screen for a limited amount of time her performance goes lengths beyond just a one-dimensional traumatized teenage girl. The real stand-out performance goes to Thomas Barbusca who plays Ani’s childhood friend Arthur. His snark and anger perfectly encapsulate the Author from the book, although some of his best moments from the novel are not shown in the film. 

Many who’ve seen Luckiest Girl Alive have remarked that the film would’ve captured the book’s essence more accurately if made into a TV series, a statement I completely agree with. For those who’ve read the book, though it’s a relatively short read, the amount of plot progression, character development, and overall narrative packed into one novel simply could not be translated accurately in an almost 2-hour run time. As a result almost every moment in the film feels rushed. Jumpy editing and lazily executed cinematography suck the life out of this compelling story and replace it with an abundance of loose threads all meant to tie together in the film’s final act but remain unresolved or at the most lightly touched upon. 

A pivotal example of this is Mr. Larson played by Scoot McNairy who’s prominence in the book (though sometimes problematic) played a great deal in shaping Ani’s story and her ultimate decision to take the steps necessary to share her story. He appears only a select amount of times towards the film’s beginning in flashbacks and when Ani and her finance run into him again. After he and Ani’s lackluster heart-to-heart in the present part of the film he is barely mentioned and never seen again. It truly feels that outside of her best friend Nell, played by Justine Lupe, another character the film managed to get shockingly right, Ani has no allies in telling her story. Even the director of the documentary revolving around another horrible event at Ani’s high school seems miscalculated and selfish in the film, only hoping to get his pretty picture rather than vindicate Ani, which is not how he appeared in the book. The book makes it evident that the ones who are closest to Ani are against her being her mother and her fiance.

In the film, her fiance is not nearly as cruel or unsupportive as the film even changes the way their wedding is called off, a riveting and intense moment from the book that’s reduced to a shallow emotional fallout in the film. So many pinnacles of the book are completely changed or ignored to the point where the film’s message is staggeringly altered.

The pressure on Ani to tell her story and to not tell her story as well as the flashbacks that gatekeep her younger self into shutting herself off, completely misdirect the message the novel illustrated perfectly and comes off as almost victim blaming as if Ani doesn’t tell her story she’s doing a disservice to all the women who’ve experienced similar adversities to her. When dealing with such heavy issues like rape and sexual assault, there is already such a stigmatized view on those who’ve survived such harrowing and traumatic experiences, and we don’t need to further the pain by faulting the victim of a heinous, violating crime that isn’t even taken seriously in the eys of our law enforcement. Survivors’ stories are their own, they’re not entitled to public consumption and it’s up to the individual to decide if they want to speak out or not. As the film notes towards its end, hundreds of other women have stories that have gone untold as Ani publishes an essay detailing the atrocities committed against her and a surge of comments remind her that she is not alone. 

The upsetting truth is: rape is the most unreported crime as 63% of sexual assaults are never reported to authorities due to the immense victim-blaming that takes place as well as men rarely being held responsible for crimes of this nature. Luckiest Girl Alive, the book, remains an incredible resource for women who’ve gone through similar experiences as well as a wake-up call for others to listen to victim’s stories and grant them the validation they deserve. As for the film, its convoluted and misleading narrative will forever be a misstep as it taints a story that could have easily been one of the most powerful films in Netflix’s catalog.

This should not distract from the wonderful material in the book. However, Luckiest Girl Alive will continue to speak to thousands of people worldwide and serve as a guiding light for those feeling lost after encountering a situation that no one should ever have to go through. I know it did for me, I can only hope the novel expands its reach and touches the hearts of even more readers in the years to come.

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