For two insane weeks, Bachelor Universe is going to have to put up with not one, not two, but three nights of Bachelor television. I don't know about you guys, but I'm not sure if my wine budget can handle two nights a week of this show on top of the regular Bachelor. Regardless, I will be here to recap all four episodes of the Bachelor Winter Games over these two insane weeks, and I'll even live tweet when I have nothing better to do with my time. Don't say I never did anything for you.
Like the rest of Bachelor Universe (we're a universe now, btw. We were a nation and then this show happened and introduced us to the International Bachelor contestants. Next season on Winter Games, I fully expect The Bachelor: Mars to participate), I had no idea what to expect from this show. After watching two episodes, I still have no idea to expect. So similar to the format of the show itself, the format of my recaps is going to be... nonexistent. I'm just going to chat about whatever moves me. Hold on tight.
On February 15th, Marvel released the highly anticipated Black Panther movie, directed by Creed's Ryan Coogler and featuring a star-studded cast including Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o . . . the list goes on. Did the movie live up to the hype? Mary and Emily are here to provide their spoiler-filled opinions.
Emily: Let me turn on the Black Panther soundtrack for this. I advise our readers do the same.
Mary: So, like the rest of the world, Black Panther has been on our radar for a while now. The new Marvel film features an all star cast, high budget special effects, and a look at something we haven’t seen before from Marvel: world building (on earth).
The movie follows Prince T’Challa, the successor to the throne of Wakanda, as he takes his place as the Black Panther, the mystical, powerful protector of the nation. However, as he journeys to take down the noted thief and all around crazy person Ulysses Klaue, T’Challa discovers that there’s an even bigger threat to Wakanda’s way of life. Michael B. Jordan.
In a town where there aren’t a lot of independent book stores, Church Street Coffee and Books in Birmingham, Alabama is a sweet little refuge where you can find your new favorite book – and enjoy one of the best cookies you’ll ever taste.
Hello, Riverdale fans and victims! As we prepare for some exciting things on the Book Squad horizon, Mary takes control of the recap yet again. While she misses Kelli horribly, she's doing her best to keep you abreast of all the moving and shaking happening in our favorite hot mess of a show. This week, we're breaking things up by character yet again, because this show loves nothing more than rando one second scenes. Join us after the cut for more drama than a pit full of serpents.
These episode titles are starting to be a little meh for me. And in case this title made you think you could expect some seriously unconventional stuff, think again. It’s really not that unconventional at all.
Ashley Graham shows up to the house to talk about unconventional beauty and how it’s a great time in the modeling industry because it’s finally embracing all body types, skin colors, etc. She asks the models how their beauty is unconventional. Jeana talks about her baldness and being a voice for anyone with hair loss. Coura talks about how she’s struggled with appearing too masculine. Rio had some body issues and remembers that she was not recognized as “pretty.” Sandra is like, I’m really pretty so idk what to say. *shrug*
Time for a special guest!
Big-time beauty vlogger Patrick Starr arrives. He tells them this week’s challenge: The models will make a beauty vlog alongside Patrick Starr using unconventional items as beauty tools. Teams of two (and one team of three) will compete for the chance to have their vlog featured on Starr’s channel. There will be an individual winner who gets a “special advantage” in the upcoming photoshoot. Every team only gets one take. Aaaaaaand go!
I want to preface this post with a disclaimer that I’m attempting to be as spoiler free as possible.
I won’t reveal any big plot points beyond the basic premise of the game, and I encourage you to play it to find out what happens for yourself! I will, however, be discussing central themes and mechanics of the game, so if keeping those things secret would make the game more enjoyable for you, save this post for after you finish playing.
Oxenfree, a 2016 game by Night School Studio, released to positive reviews, but quiet fandom about a year ago. I played the game when it first came out, and loved it, but I’ve recently picked it up again on the Nintendo Switch. A year is a considerable amount of time in some ways. Since I first played this game I’ve finished my comprehensive exam, immersed myself in my dissertation, moved, got a new cat, had some personal life changes, etc. etc.. The game feels different now in a way that’s hard to explain, but for this post I’m going to try to.
The game follows Alex, a high school senior who’s going to a semi-illegal beach party with her best friend Ren, his crush Nona, Alex’s new step-brother Jonas, and Clarissa—whose relationship to the group becomes clearer as the game progresses. The crew begins encountering some spooky things once Alex tunes her radio to a weird frequency and soon Alex begins a quest of self-discovery and memory and healing.
If this summary seems vague, that’s because it is. The meat of this story isn’t the gameplay mechanics or the puzzles—it’s the plot. The very intricate plot that gets slowly revealed over the course of several hours. There are a few key points this game covers, all of them favorite plot tropes of mine:
Sadly, Kelli is out this week and I’m left driving the Riverdale train. As always, it’s a wild ride, and I’m trying out a different format for recaps, tackling one character at a time. As a show notorious for super-short scenes and an interlaced plot, Riverdale is sometimes hard for me to recap coherently. Let us know what you think about this format! We’re always trying to make things better for you, our reader.
Riverdale is struggling after returning from it’s mid-season break, and the newest episode is no exception. Archie is still stuck in a weird mob-like predicament and Chic coaches Betty on how to be a cam-girl as the Serpents deal with an internal power struggle against its members. Oh, and Veronica is getting confirmed in the Catholic church, too, for some reason. All this and more on this week's episode of Riverdale, “The Wicked and the Divine!”
Of all the sexual misconduct stories that have come out of Hollywood since the Weinstein debacle, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I was most disappointed to read about Aziz Ansari. It’s not just because I think he’s funny and I like his work — it’s because he is a person who has consistently presented himself as an ally to women. He has repeatedly self-identified as a feminist, and he doesn’t just talk the talk; with his success, he’s certainly done his part to boost the careers and voices of the women around him.
Ansari’s willingness to help women tell their stories is a huge part of what makes his alleged behavior so surprising and frustrating. It feels like a personal betrayal to so many of us who have loved his work, who’ve been following and rooting for him all along the way because he’s one of the few male voices we felt we could trust to tell our stories as well as his own. If we can’t trust someone like Aziz to understand consent in its complexity, the road ahead of us is even more difficult than we thought.
In processing my reaction to the story, I’ve been thinking about how to reconsider Ansari’s work with this new context: in particular, Master of None, a show I’ve enjoyed immensely (and one I’m not so sure will ever get that third season after all). When Season 2 first dropped on Netflix, it was met with a flood of praise, but in the weeks following its release, people had some questions: specifically about the viability and likability of Dev’s love interest, Francesca. People were starting to realize that Francesca, as a character, was poorly drawn. Think pieces were written, and ultimately, the general consensus seemed to be that Francesca’s lack of depth was most likely intentional.
At the time, I believed this too. There was no way a writer as intelligent as Ansari would have written such a flat character without an underlying motivation for doing so. Now, of course, I’m not so sure. With what’s come to light, I thought it might be interesting to reexamine Francesca and her romance with Dev — not as a clever statement about modern romance, but as a failure on Ansari’s part to convey (or even grasp) the complexity and nuance of romantic relationships with women.
When I see this episode title, my first thought is, God I hope that means someone’s gonna fight. Hopefully over something political.
Back in the model house, we get a little recap of the Liz/Brendi K. drama from the backstage footage from the previous episode where Liz calls Brendi K.’s family “crazy.” She acknowledges this wasn’t cool and tries to (sort of) apologize. Brendi’s like, nah girl. Let’s just keep away from each other. I’m thinking If this is the drama I was promised, I am already dissatisfied.
Apparently last week they found out they are doing screen tests this week, so they’ve had lines since the night before they’ve had to practice. Also: holy shit. Panel was just the night before? Is all of this just one day at a time? Have they only been there for like…five days? Mind blown.
It's Month 2 of YA Book Club Winter Games, and I bet you thought you were going to see a picture of the book we read up at the top, huh? Well you guessed wrong, and you'll soon see why we chose a picture of Sonic slushies instead. Besides just being delicious, Sonic is an integral part of our January novel There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. Let's get into it, shall we?
Emily: So what happens when you mix Scream with YA Romance with a dash of Sonic slushies? You get this book, There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins, a book about high school and cliques and getting the hell out of your crappy small town, and of course, murder. Lots and lots of murder. This novel was advertised as a horror novel for teens, which was a shocker for many YA aficionados because Stephanie Perkins usually writes romance novels, such as Anna and the French Kiss, so this was supposed to be a big departure for her. What did you think of Perkins's first foray into horror fiction?
About the Blog
The authors of this blog are four women with opinions about pop culture. That's all you really need to know.