The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich marks the beginning of our summer bonus blog series: Mary and Emily's Summer YA Book Club. Since we're both students in a PhD program, we thought it would be nice to spend the summer with a few fun Young Adult new releases. We'll be casually reading these books and casually sharing our thoughts with you. Please read along if, like us, you need a break from the heavy reading during the summer months. Here are our books for the series:
1. End of May: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
2. End of June: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
3. End of July: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
4. End of August: The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Check out our review of our first book after the cut, and please let us know your thoughts about the book in the comments section, if you read it as well!
If you are a person who uses the internet, you’re probably aware that this week saw the long-awaited return of Mark Frost and David Lynch’s beloved and bizarre television series Twin Peaks. The first two-hour episode of the new season premiered on Sunday night to half a million viewers, and Showtime has already released the second episode online. So far, the revival has been very well-received by fans and critics alike, spawning a truly impressive number of think pieces in the few days since its first four parts were released.
Watching the premiere with friends on Sunday night, it was hard not to let out a squeal of excited recognition every time a familiar face showed up on screen. To see where these characters are, what they’re doing, what they look like after more than 25 years — it’s a thrilling experience, to say the least. But of the many returning character appearances, there was only one that sent the room into hushed sort of awe: TV’s original Dead Girl, Laura Palmer (as played by the inimitable Sheryl Lee).
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Laura Palmer and where she fits into the canon of “Beautiful Dead Girls” in pop culture. Twin Peaks is often cited as the series responsible for popularizing this motif on television — just google ‘dead girl TV trope’ and you’ll see what I mean. Although Laura Palmer may be the single most influential murder victim to grace the small screen, her blue-skinned corpse still one of Lynch’s most iconic images, the mystery surrounding her death isn’t what makes Twin Peaks work so well two decades after it’s original air-date. In fact, I would argue that what ultimately keeps fans going back to Twin Peaks time and time again is the mystery surrounding Laura Palmer herself.
(spoilers after the cut!)
It's Almost Time for the Newest Season of the Bachelorette!
The new season of The Bachelorette premieres on Monday, May 22 on ABC. Susan, Emily, and Mary are super excited to see Rachel embark on her journey to find love-or-something with one of these thirty-one Instagram model wannabes. And Kelli? Well, we beat her down until she finally had to give in and agree to watch with us. So now we're officially all on board to watch this season of the Bachelorette, and we've been prepping by setting up our Fantasy League (which you should join and participate along with us!) and judging the new batch of Bachelor boys based on their official bios.
Check out our opinions after the cut.
At some point during my viewing of FX’s critically acclaimed show The People v. O.J. Simpson, Marcia Clark became my hero. For those of you who somehow missed the O.J. Simpson Trial as well as both award-winning shows that came out in 2016, the ESPN documentary O.J.: Made in America and FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson, Marcia Clark is the kick-ass prosecutor who went after Simpson in the Trial of the Century.
I was a child (of an undisclosed age) when the Simpson trial happened, so my opinions of Marcia Clark do not come from the trial itself. My opinions are almost solely based on Sarah Paulson’s award-winning portrayal of Clark on The People v. O.J. Simpson. I didn’t know much about Marcia Clark during the actual trial. At the time, the white Bronco chase was a way more interesting story to my [redacted] year-old mind. Marcia Clark was barely a blip on my radar. So now as I find myself voraciously consuming articles and interviews with Clark following my second viewing of the FX show, I want to examine the Marcia Clark the show has created in contemporary minds, the character of Marcia Clark as a “perfect” icon of white feminism.
Archie comics have always been an ubiquitous part of every grocery store checkout line, right beside the magazines and newspapers. As a kid, I read these tiny digests voraciously without thinking much of them, but looking back, I think these comics were doing something impressive. They sent kids (the presumed audience) a message that despite class differences, teens of different backgrounds could be friends.* The 2017 CW drama Riverdale takes the world of Archie and dumps a lot of great details from the comics. Yet ultimately, it keeps the spirit of the comics alive, promoting narratives on class and friendship.
Riverdale is a drama that follows Archie Andrews, a small town football star, as he struggles to balance his social life, football practice, and his blossoming music career. Sigh. He’s just so busy. Meanwhile, his best friend Jughead is literally homeless, his childhood sweetheart Betty is dealing with her institutionalized sister, and newcomer Veronica must sort through her feelings about her recently incarcerated father.
Oh, and there’s also a murder.
The show revolves around the murder of Jason Blossom, another local football star, but as the series progresses his murder seems to be less important than the simmering drama surrounding the other Riverdale teens. And oh is there drama. In the first episode, Archie’s love affair with his teacher comes to light, which may be surprising for fans of the more wholesome comic book. The rollercoaster of plot twists skyrocketed from there, but where can they go from here?
Spoilers to follow, after the cut.
I really want people to stop acting like The Bachelor franchise is diametrically opposed to feminism and female empowerment. You don’t have to “turn off” your feminism to enjoy The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, or even – the newest and greatest spinoff – Bachelor In Paradise. The Bachelor franchise is actually this lovely hidden well of lady power and strong female friendships, and you can totally appreciate those kickass aspects while still acknowledging that this whole setup is completely bonkers.
The original iteration, The Bachelor, is the variation people seem to have the most major problems with. After all, the premise is 25-30 women competing for a man’s attention, and, in the end, a proposal. It doesn’t exactly sound empowering if you’re one of the 25. Watching 25 women fall all over themselves to win the lead’s attention at any cost doesn’t exactly give the viewer a great feeling. In fact, it feels pretty icky. (Anyone remember when Jamie Otis tried to seduce Ben Flajnik?*) But that’s not what’s happening anymore.
About the Blog
The authors of this blog are four women with opinions about pop culture. That's all you really need to know.