Caitlin’s Pop of Culture: April Viewings

As the school year comes to a close, classes, activities, and the minds of college students start to wind down-including me. Unfortunately, this last month I am one of the many college students whose brain has fallen idle amongst the piles of papers, presentations, and tests and that has spilled over into my television watching. To make up for it, I’ve included all of my in-progress shows and all the movies I watched this past month. Get ready! I’ve got some interesting viewings for you this month! As always, some spoilers lie ahead!

TV Shows

“The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Part 2

The only show I actually finished watching this month, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” was a thrilling follow-up to its first series. Part 2 picks up with a look into Sabrina’s new life as a full-fledged witch after signing the Book of the Beast. Kiernan Shipka’s acting chops are at their finest, and she has an excellent ensemble cast to support her. The first three episodes are a bit slow, but after that, the series picks up with new romances, suspenseful plots and excellent character development.

Rating: A

“The Act” Season 1

True crime dramas are all the rage and, like most Americans, I eat them up. This Hulu anthology series’ first season focuses on the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, an act orchestrated by Blanchard’s daughter, Gypsy, and Gypsy’s boyfriend, Nicholas Goodejohn. I’ve followed this intriguing case since Buzzfeed published an article and I was excited about the adaptation. But, there’s something off about this show. Patricia Arquette and Joey King provide performances worthy of award nominations, but the execution of the show does not meet the high standards that similar “FX” dramas have put in place.

Rating: B+

“Fosse/Verdon”

Speaking of those FX dramas, the network has served up yet another soon-to-be-award-winning TV show in the form of “Fosse/Verdon”. From the director of the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton,” “Fosse/Verdon” follows the complicated relationship and marriage of legendary Broadway choreographer Bob Fosse, played by Sam Rockwell, and Broadway actress Gwen Verdon, played by Michelle Williams. The show does an excellent job of framing and weaving together the beginning and end of Fosse and Verdon’s relationship and will make any Broadway buff squeal in delight with all of its classic theatre history. Rockwell and Williams, along with the show itself, will for sure be drowning in nominations when award season rolls around.

Rating: A+

“Game of Thrones” Season 8

Winter has come, and now we all must watch the throne. After eight thrilling seasons, “Game of Thrones” is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean this HBO show is slowing down. With lots of questions to answer (like who the heck is going to sit on the dang throne?), “GOT” has a lot to cover in a short amount of time, but I am sure we will all be pleased! Has this show ever disappointed?

Rating: A+

“Riverdale” Season 3

“Riverdale” was once a beacon of hope for the CW network. It proved that teen shows could feature solid acting performances and have strong writing. But, that was then, and this is now. “Riverdale” is now a hot mess that I know is trash, but I can’t look away from because its good trashy television. My biggest complaint from this season is the messy writing and plots. Instead of one or two cohesive plots, we are stuck with a jumble of three or more. Quite frankly, I am still confused about this whole Gargoyle King mess and while Chad Michael Murray is a great addition to the cult plot, I just continuously shake my head at this show. Clean up your act, “Riverdale” PLEASE!!!!!

Rating: B

Movies

“The Dirt”

To be honest, I am loving this trend of music biopics, but I did have to reconsider this thought after this movie. Based on their autobiography of the same name, “The Dirt” tells the story of the legendary rock band, Motley Crue. I didn’t know anything about the group before watching, but they have left quite a bad impression on me. This film is essentially just one big pile of trash. While hardly featuring any of the group’s music, “The Dirt” chooses to focus on the groups’ sexual exploits and their love of alcohol and drugs. Motley Crue exhibits wild, unnecessary “rockstar” acts. Did you really have to lick your own pee by the pool, Nikki Sixx? The answer is a big, fat no! Overall, this film looks merely on the surface level of both the band and its members and makes me seriously question as to why the internet has declared the cast their new internet boyfriends.

Rating: F

“Ant-Man and the Wasp”

With a new era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe dawning, it was time for me to catch up before “Endgame”. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” acts as both a sequel to 2015’s “Ant-Man” and as a brick into the larger MCU. Scott Lang is under house arrest for his team-up with Captain America in “Civil War” in this film and is determined to stay out of the superhero business. Enter in Hope Van Dyne and her father, Hank Pym, determined to save Hope’s mother from the Quantum Realm. Of course, a superhero movie wouldn’t be complete without some pushback from a villain, Ghost in this movie’s case. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” proves to be a solid sequel and is a must-see for any hardcore MCU fan.

Rating: B+

W.

All politics aside, I do have a small obsession with our 43rd president, Mr. George W. Bush. His antics, little quirks, sunny disposition, and the fact that he always carries candy always brings me joy, but “W.” left something to be desired. The angle director Oliver Stone takes proves to be a bit too unattainable for his abilities and only displays President Bush as a man trying to prove everyone wrong. The inclusion of dream sequences and interjecting flashbacks makes the film rough and puts it on uneven footing. A more straight-laced biopic would have sufficed for President 43.

Rating: C-

“Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”

A good ‘ol Southern Fried comedy, “Ya-Ya” tells the story of Siddalee Walker, a New York playwright, who has a troubled and complicated relationship with her mother, Vivi. After a scandalous article in “Time Magazine,” Vivi’s life-long friends, the Ya-Ya Sisters, take matters into their own hands and share with Siddalee her mother’s traumatic past. While Ashley Judd gives a stellar performance as a young Vivi, the movie could’ve spent more time in developing Vivi and the sisterhood’s past, the real highlights of the film. The movie, though, is still enjoyable with lots of southern belle sass!

Rating: C+

“Someone Great”

Netflix is once again fueling the entertainment industry’s love of rom-coms. “Someone Great” stars the fabulous Gina Rodriguez as a woman who has just gotten her heart broken by her boyfriend. So, like any millennial, she decides to go on an epic adventure around New York City with her BFFs. While this movie does a great job of displaying heartbreak to the sound of a great soundtrack, the script could benefit from focusing more on its characters rather than their raunchy actions. Even still, I believe everyone can find a character or storyline they can relate to. For instance, I too will stop in a bodega to sing Selena’s “Dreaming of You,” and I would totally name my dog Barbra Streisand.

Rating: C+

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