American Horror Story makes a comeback

Jacob Bryant

With a story rooted in recent real-world politics, this season of the popular horror drama may be the most chilling and controversial yet. Continue reading “American Horror Story makes a comeback”


Stranger Things have happened

Courtney Carroll

If you have Netflix, then you’ve probably seen the new summer series Stranger Things as you’ve scrolled through the show and movie choices.

The directors, Matt and Ross Duffer, often referred to as the Duffer Brothers, who have collaborated on other film projects such as Hidden, Eater, and We All Fall Down. The US Cross-Platform Audience established the show to be the most popular digital original series in the United States during the week of July 17th, and 8.2 million people have watched it. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 95% critic rating, and it was given four out of five stars on Common Sense media. TV Guide refers to Stranger Things as a “Steven Spielberg meets Stephen King sci-fi thriller”. It has already been renewed for a season two.

The show depicts a small town in Indiana in 1983 where a young boy, Will (Noah Schnapp) is abducted. Will’s mother (Winona Ryder) and brother (Charlie Heaton) cope with his disappearance in different ways as the town’s police chief investigates the case as it becomes stranger and more intense. Will’s friends, Mike, Lucas and Dustin (Finn Wolfhard, Caleb Mclaughlin and Gaten Matarazzo) are greatly affected by the boy’s disappearance and try to aid in solving the mystery as well, where they meet Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) who tries to help them. As the search goes on, mysteries such as failed government experiments and supernatural monsters unravel as the show progresses.

Nostalgic viewers continue to watch and recommend Stranger Things because of its 80’s vibe and soundtrack including “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash, “Africa” by Toto, as well as songs by Joy Division, New Order and Dolly Parton. The 80’s atmosphere was  inspired by movies and television programs like E.T., The Goonies, Firestarter, The Thing, Poltergeist, The X-Files, Twin Peaks and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  The show was scored by two members of the band S U R V I V E, Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon.

Sophomore Ali Woodward had a lot to say on the subject of the show. “I managed to sympathize with characters after just the first episode, and that is a hard thing to achieve. Each character is incredibly singular in their own way, and even the ones that died early on made a fantastic impression on the show itself, but no one won my heart like the children did. I fell in love with every single one right off the bat, and I don’t even like kids.”

Sophomore Marina Hernandez said, “I like everything about Stranger Things. It is addicting without having much action in it. The story plot is brilliant and the character development was done amazingly. You get so in touch with them since they are made more realistic than most TV show characters.”

“I like that it’s horror but not cheesy horror,” sophomore Grace Bost said. “They don’t overuse jump scares and they lead up to big moments really well.”

Viewers want a Season 2. They can’t wait for more from the Duffer Brothers and the talented cast.

Sizzling must-see summer blockbusters

Searlait Coffey

Summer is here and so are cringe
worthy, but spectacularly entertain-
ing summer blockbusters.
Pixar’s long, long, long
awaited sequel to “Finding Nemo”
(2003), will finally be here on June
17, 2016 with “Finding Dory.” The
beloved blue tang charmed our
hearts with her combination of am-
nesia and optimism. Now she’s back
and not so better than ever. Dory
struggles to search for her family in
the new movie. Old characters are
sure to make an appearance in the
new film, such as Crush, Dude, Mar-
lin, Mr. Ray and Nemo. We all have
to just keep swimming until we get
to find out Dory’s life story.
“The BFG” was published way back in
1982, writ- ten by the
infamous children’s author Roald
Dahl. An arguably equally
infamous person, Steven Spielberg,
has directed a live action film
of the old classic. If you
haven’t read the book, first of
all you need to, and
second of all you’ve got until July 1st
to get your life together to read the
book before seeing the highly antici-
pated film.
This has been one of the
most arduous and stressful election
years since 2012. What better way
to kick back and watch the future
world crumble in “The Purge: Elec-
tion Year?” The all-too appropriate
movie title will be the franchises
third installment. The previous films
being “The Purge” (2013) and “The
Purge Anarchy” (2014). The thriller
will be released on July 1, 2016.
The all-male “Ghostbusters”
came out in 1984, with its sequel
coming five years later. So, natural-
ly, it only took 32 years for the all-
female reboot to come out. Melissa
McCarthy, Kirsten Wiig, Kate McK-
innon and Leslie Jones are the new
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold
Moranis and Ernie Hudson. Look for
it in theatres on July 15, 2016.
The big super hero movie of
the summer is more of an anti-hero
movie. “Suicide Squad” features no-
torious villains The Joker, Harley
Quinn and several lesser known DC
universe baddies. If you feel like be-
ing a little rebellious this summer,
don’t go see this movie, or maybe
you should so you can make fun of it
for trying to be cooler than the other
flopped super hero sagas. Either way,
it comes out August 5 so live it up.

“Control” celebrates the life of a punk god

Madeline Wheeler

May 18th marks the 36th anni-
versary of Joy Division’s lead
singer Ian Curtis’ suicide on
the eve of their perspective
tour of America.
Curtis departed this world with
a blossoming music career, a
newborn baby, and tumultuous
personal struggles with love and
his epilepsy.
The 2007 film Control directed by
Anton Corbijn lays out Curtis’s
rise to fame and gradual self-
destruction. Beginning in Curtis’s
hometown of Manchester when he was
a teenager, Curtis is depicted as
a normal, long-haired British teen
who smokes in his bed shirtless and has
shrines of Bowie, Lou Reed, and the
Doors glittering on his walls. After
stealing his friend’s girlfriend
Debbie, he marries her when he is
19 and she is 18, only after a cou-
ple months of dating. Shortly after
eloping, Curtis joins the band War-
saw when the members spoke of
needing a singer in a smoke filled
venue. As the band gains a little
more popularity, Ian decides that he
wants to start a family with Debbie
due to the increase in funds from
more gigs, and the band changes
their name to Joy Division.
Curtis works a normal job at an
employment agency to take care
of his family during the day and
sweats and jerks on stage to a mosh-
ing audience in the smoke of an
ancient concert hall at night. Dur-
ing a fight in a drive home from an
unsuccessful gig, Curtis has one of
his first seizures due to his epilepsy,
which worsens and depresses him
throughout the course of the film.
His deep concern about his
health distracts him from his fam-
ily because he does not want to
be a burden or leech to them. He
drifts into an affair with a journalist
named Annik as his disconnection
increases, which makes him tempo-
rarily happy but damages his family
life which he cannot let go of.
Curtis believes he cannot solve
any of his problems and after a
night of heavy drinking and sei-
zures, he writes a suicide note short
and devoid of direct meaning and
hangs himself in his home.
Sam Riley, member of the band
10,000 things, portrays Curtis with
a vivid electricity and sweet yet
rebellious nature. In Riley’s face,
shockingly similar to Curtis’, the
audience can clearly see the break-
ing down of the thriving, bright ge-
nius that once was the subject of the
screen. Riley’s live onstage perfor-
mances as Curtis copies his manner-
isms to perfection down to the epi-
leptic nature of Curtis’ dance moves
and the look of pure blue shock in
his eyes.
The movie was filmed in flaw-
less black and white, adding to the
authenticity of the classically grey
and dead Great Britain. How could
anyone so miserable heal when ev-
erything is grey around them?
Curtis’ feelings are summed up in
this line from the song “New Dawn
“Oh I’ve walked on water, run
through fire,
Can’t seem to feel it anymore,
It was me, waiting for me,
Hoping for something more,
Me, seeing me this time, hoping
for something else.”
Joy Division disbanded after
Curtis’ suicide, and the formation
of the band New Order followed a
couple years after with some of the
remaining members.


Georgia Geen


Beyonce performs in her music video for “Hold Up” from Lemonade. Photo by

Mystery surrounded the exact
content of “Lemonade” in the days
leading up to its release on HBO,
but predictions that it would
be another “visual album” held true.
Beautiful is the only word that can
describe the opening measures of
the first song, “Pray You
Catch Me,” which are simple, but
crescendo into the opening lyrics.
Arguably, it’s one of the
strongest points of the song.
Orchestral sounds contribute
variety to the sound of the song and
album overall, making it different
from Beyoncé’s usual R&B style.
“Hold Up” is jaunty with repetitive,
echoing beats that provide consistency
between the first two songs, despite
the difference in overall style. Like
most of the album, watching the film is
necessary to appreciate the full
effect of this song, due to the
stunning visual element. There’s
an enjoyable reference to “hot sauce,”
mentioned in the previously released
single, “Formation,” in the form of a
baseball bat that the Queen Bee uses
in a rather destructive, yet liberating
It’s at this point in the album that
the genre-hopping becomes apparent.
While this definitely hurts the
over-all consistency and clarity,
the variety in style also improves its
Drum beats and jazzy opening vocals of
“Don’t Hurt Yourself” add character
to the song. Vintage rock tones
throughout this song combine nicely
with the singer’s modern, attitude-
filled vocals. Moments of channeling
Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. Beyon-
cé’s emotional and coarse singing-
style hint at tones of influence from
Janis Joplin and Tina Turner.
The lyrics of the most unapologetic
song on the album, ironically enough
titled “Sorry” can get a little repetitive
for some listeners, but are nonetheless
coupled with enough variety and mu-
sical embellishments to make the song
a standout. Trap elements towards the
end of the song expose the more se-
rious message conveyed towards the
end of the song. The heartbreak con-
veyed with the line, “He only want
me when I’m not there” mixes sur-
prisingly well with the pop-culture,
internet frenzy that became the refer-
ence to “Becky with the good hair.”
The use of transitions are extreme-
ly strong within the entire album
and are even better within the film.
Strong imagery of black culture links
the differing styles, but the musical
and visual transitions do an excellent
job of making the work cohesive.
“6 Inch” has a strong buildup to
flaring, echoing vocals. The feature
by The Weeknd provides contrast to
Beyoncé’s more sultry sound in the
beginning of the song. It’s the first
work of the album that doesn’t have
any obvious theme of infidelity; rath-
er, it can be interpreted as a bit of a
feminist anthem. Assuming the entire
album is reflective of elements of the
singer’s experiences, it’s likely that
she’s building herself back up after
the admittance of being cheated on.
After a rapid change in style, the song
ends with fading, emotional vocals,
“Come back, come back, come back,”
which are likely adding an even sad-
der twist to the past-tense undertones
of the next song.
“Daddy Lessons,” a tribute to the
singer’s father, begins with old-school
blues instrumentals, complete with
layers of trumpet, percussion and
saxophone. Later, it moves into some-
what of a borderline-country feel
with steady guitar instrumentals and
a background of musical shouts and
clapping, reflecting the loving noisi-
ness of a family gathering. The singer
admits the flaws that her father had
with the line, “When trouble comes to
town, and men like me come around,
oh, my daddy said shoot,” implying
that her father knew his daughter
should avoid men like him (which she
later found in her husband). The pain
that it causes to admit this is conveyed
through the emotional tones of the
vocals. “My daddy warned me about
men like you, he said, ‘Baby girl, he’s
playing you.’” The film includes home
footage from the singer’s childhood
which features her father, adding to
the sentimentality of the song.
“Love Drought” loosely traces the
line of a ballad with its slower, me-
lodic sections. A level of conflict is
brought up by the lyrics “10 times out
of 9 I know you’re lying, but 9 times
out of 10 I know you’re trying.” The
song covers the journey and difficulty
of forgiveness, with lines of open-
ended questions mimicking those of a
tense argument or discussion between
“Sand Castles” hits listeners with
an intense few lines of piano chords.
Hints of contradiction are brought
up with the lyrics, “And although I
promised that I couldn’t stay, baby,
every promise don’t work out that
way.” This part of the album seems to
focus more on the journey and com-
plications of forgiveness, rather than
the danceable beats of empowerment
present in the beginning few songs.
The instrumentals play as important
of a role as the lyrics in conveying the
message, which continues into the
next song.
“Forward” is extremely short, and
so similar to Sand Castles that a listen-
er might not realize that the two are
different songs, especially since James
Blake sings more or less the entirety
of the piece. Transitions remaining
an important part of the album, the
vocals start to break up and the piano
turns to synth in preparation for the
next song on the album.
“Freedom” makes a few small ref-
erences to the theme of emotional
freedom, but the overall message
is one of black empowerment as a
stance against brutality, made espe-
cially clear through Kendrick La-
mar’s rap feature, saying “Channel 9
News tell me I’m moving backwards,
Eight blocks left, death is around the
corner.” Within the film, the im-
ages of the mothers of the victims of
police brutality holding pictures of
their late sons is extremely powerful
and emotional. Even the title, “Free-
dom,” which is repeated many times
throughout the song in an almost gos-
pel-like style makes reference to the
Civil Rights movement. Musically,
the transition is made successfully,
but the theme clashes a little bit with
the overall album, as does Daddy Les-
sons. Upon further reflection, consis-
tency can be seen, however. It’s as if
Beyoncé is looking within herself, her
race, and her heritage to draw power
to address the issues facing her rela-
“Formation” is an incredible single,
but it can’t help but feel as if it were
tacked on at the end of the album,
since its theme doesn’t necessarily
fit in with that of “All Night,” which
feels like the proper end of the album.
Not to say that the same issue isn’t
present throughout the rest of the al-
bum’s genre hopping, but in the other
instances the quality of the transi-
tions made up for it. However, when
listened to in context of the film, the
song rolls during the closing credits,
which makes it fall into place more so
than in the album alone.

Chopped self-cooking challenge: a walkthrough

Madeline Wheeler

Resurfacing from the wicker basket
of terror on my version of the Food
Network’s hit show Chopped are red
onions, a can of tuna, quail, and gummy
worms. Why me?
Chopped is aired late for a cooking
program (10 pm) for its intense competition
directed towards older audiences.
Heads will roll with the stress
of the competition, as I learned myself.
The clock begins to count down and
the sweat beads are forming on my pale
forehead. I have 40 minutes to make
a dish worthy of being served at the
Ritz Carlton. The quail immediately
puzzles me. I have never cooked an
entire animal in my life. I decide to
salt it, throw in a stick of butter and a
rosemary sprig and slam it into the 350
degree (standard heat) kitchen hell pit.
Now that that beast has been defeated,
the culinary queen, myself, turns to
the can of tuna. How do I even open
this? Culinary Gods, help me now. I
decide to get myself a nice meaty warrior
knife and stab it into the lid. Juice
spews onto my floral apron and the
smell is intoxicating. Please let me give
up. I stab a couple more times until the
juice is able to flow into the sink and
I am able to jam a spoon through the
major stab wound to remove some of
the contents.
Alright now what to do with this.
I dice the red onion (only a couple tears
were shed, mostly from stress) and
stick it in with the tuna. Add a little
salt, pepper, and paprika. Eureka! Let’s
add it on top of the sweltering quail,
shall we? Lovely.
Now for the kicker- gummy worms.
I was mistaken at first sight- they are
indeed sprinkled with sour powder. I
decide to dilute the sugar with water
and pour it into a pan to boil down
with ketchup and spices for a super
sweet quail BBQ. Yee-haw!
As I pull the bird out of the oven, I
have to clench my nose closed because
of the foul stench. With my barbeque
basting brush, I spread the thick concoction
over the surprisingly tender
bird, and hope it tastes better than its
odor leads on.
I let the steam roll off of the bird as
I look on with a major sense of pride.
I created this culinary Frankenstein
in less than an hour and it’s smell and
ratchet appearance make it difficult for
me to stick a fork in. So I decide this is
a simply a prop and pretend I am the
editor of Southern Living’s recipe section.
Whipping out the trusty ol’ iPhone
5c, Instagram worthy shots one after
the other appear on my camera roll.
Technological magic at its finest. Now
it is time to dispose of the bird on an
unwanted neighbor’s lawn.

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