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What I’ve Been Obsessed With This Month: March Edition

Welcome! This article is the third of my monthly series this semester, where I detail the films, shows, pop culture items, etc. that I’ve been obsessed with. Since this is my final semester of undergrad here at UGA, this series won’t be that long, but I thought it’d be fun to have something kind of regular to put on the Her Campus blog. Join me as I tell you all about the things I’ve been loving (and maybe kind of love-hating?) this month!

Pixar | YouTube

Disney’s turning red

Disney’s turning red Turning Red is Disney-Pixar’s latest animated feature that follows Meilin “Mei” Lee, a quirky and confident 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl, as she navigates family life, growing up, and womanhood. Her parents know her as a hard-working honors student who helps out at the Lee family’s temple, while Mei’s three friends Miriam, Priya, and Abby know of her crushes and love of karaoke and boy bands, especially 4*Town. Mei’s mother, Ming, keeps a watchful eye on her daughter and has high expectations of her. However, Mei finds out that, due to ancient powers from her maternal bloodline, she turns into a huge, fluffy red panda when triggered by extreme levels of emotions such as anger, embarrassment, anxiousness, and love. The story follows as Mei comes to terms with this newfound ability alongside the usual problems of growing up, like dealing with crushes, overbearing parents, and just wanting to go see a boy band live in concert. 

Set in 2002 Toronto, Canada, Turning Red is a testament to director Domee Shi’s childhood, and despite what some critics have said about its “limited scope,” the film has had an overwhelming amount of praise. Turning Red is a story that many people can relate to, but even then, centering on Asian-Canadian girlhood is something to highlight in and of itself. The film had me laughing, crying, and cheering, and it’s yet another film in Disney-Pixar’s recent lineup of projects dealing with generational trauma (Encanto) and specific storylines (Luca). 

Stay tuned for my article where I deep dive into Turning Red and the mixture of controversy and celebration surrounding it!

Funimation | YouTube

Fruits basket (2019)

Fruits Basket is an anime I’ve been meaning to watch for a while, and when I found that both the original version and the more recent 2019 version were on Hulu, I was thrilled. (To my anime fans: don’t knock on Hulu’s anime selection! There are some gems on there.) I only watched the 2019 version because I was told by a friend that the earlier version might have some less-than appealing sexual jokes and humor I probably wouldn’t appreciate, even for the usual Japanese anime sexual humor that’s typically employed in projects.

Fruits Basket follows an orphan high school girl named Tohru Honda “who moves in with members of the reclusive Soma family. When she learns they carry a curse that turns them into animals from the Chinese zodiac at awkward times, [she] resolves to help them lift the curse and restore peace to their family” (Google). I always love a good reverse harem storyline, but add in the supernatural and I’m sold. At first I didn’t like Tohru because she seemed like a damsel in distress a lot of the time and was too nice for her own good, but she eventually grew on me. She’s seriously a ball of sunshine and genuine purity in a world full of cruelty and darkness, a world the Soma family members know all too well. The show made me feel a rollercoaster of emotions, and I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.

NPR’s Up First Podcast

I’ve been a long-time fan of NPR and its media products, but the Up First podcast is definitely something that I tried to actively listen to a lot during this month, especially considering current events like the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Kentaji Jackson Brown hearings to the Supreme Court. Each episode of this podcast aims to focus on the three biggest stories of the day and provides about ten minutes of reporting and analysis. Episodes are posted every morning so that you can start your day with the news you need to know, although Sundays are dedicated to a lengthier explanation of a specific news topic. I’d highly recommend listening to the Up First podcast while you’re getting ready in the mornings on your way to class!

The Deeply Human Podcast, Season Two

Continuing on the wave of podcasts, the Deeply Human podcast is something I discovered last semester and have become a huge supporter of. Hosted by rapper, singer, and writer Dessa Darling, Deeply Human delves into the question of “Why you do what you do” and “[explores] our loves, our fears, our habits and hopes” (Spotify). With experts from varying fields such as sociology, psychology, biology, and even more “-oligies” one could possibly think of, Dessa takes a deeply personal look into what makes humans do human things. Season two just dropped not too long ago, and it’s already so good. I even recommended this podcast to a friend and he loved it! Some of my favorite episodes thus far are the ones on dating, standing lines, sad music, deja vu, accents, and dance. Dessa herself is incredibly funny, genuine, and charming, so it helps that the host is so fun, making for a very fun listen overall!

The Oscars

Actually to be clear, I mean “the Oscar-nominated films.” I’m not a big fan of awards shows except for the performances that come out of them and the memes that people make of them, which might hurt the hearts of my fellow entertainment and media studies peers and professors. That being said, I tried to do better this year by actually watching some of the Oscar-nominated films so that I could be included in discussions about them. It helps that a majority of them are available for streaming now. Evidently, I watched 4/5 of the nominations for Best Animated Feature even before they were announced (the one excluded was Flee but it’s an animated documentary, so like, of course I watched the other animated ones with my younger brother and my little cousins). I’m rooting for Kristen Stewart for Best Actress because it’s about time people realized she’s more than just Bella from Twilight, and I have absolutely no clue who’s going to win Best Picture. It’s such a wide net that’s been cast, and I can’t wait to see who actually wins this highly-coveted category. 

The Oscars air on Sunday, March 27th at 8pm EDT. You can find a list of the Oscar nominations here.

Lady Gaga | YouTube

Rediscovering Musical Artists: Lady Gaga

I feel like there’s a Lady Gaga song for like, every mood you could possibly be in.

  • Wanna dance? Listen to “Just Dance” or “Rain on Me” (ft. Ariana Grande)
  • Wanna cry? Listen to “Million Reasons” or “Always Remember Us This Way”
  • Wanna feel like the main character? Listen to “Applause” or “Perfect Illusion”

To say that Lady Gaga is iconic would be an understatement. Not only is she a talented musical artist, she’s an To say that Lady Gaga is iconic would be an understatement. Not only is she a talented musical artist, she’s an activist and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and has more recently come onto the Hollywood scene as a huge actress, starring in films like A Star is Born (2018) alongside Bradley Cooper and House of Gucci (2021) alongside Adam Driver. I’m not sure why Lady Gaga reappeared for me during March, maybe it’s because a lot of people feel that House of Gucci got snubbed for this year’s Oscars. Honestly, there doesn’t have to be an exact reason, but I’m glad she did reappear because I needed her energy this month!

VictoriousVEVO | YouTube

The victorious Albums

There’s not much to say about this because people with taste will back me up on the notion that the Victorious albums are absolute masterpieces. The Victorious cast will definitely make an appearance in my Spotify Wrapped Top 100 at the end of the year because of how much I listen to these albums, but you know what? I’m not ashamed! “Best Friends Brother”? Slaps. “Give It Up”? Legendary. “Song 2 You” and “Here’s 2 Us”? Underrated, the “2” of them. I liked Tori and Andre’s friendship on the show, and even more so, I think Leon Thomas III’s and Victoria Justice’s voices sound great together.

Kayla is a Communication Studies and Entertainment & Media Studies (EMST) double-major, with a Women's Studies minor. She enjoys good music, Marvel movies, and Tik Toks. In the rare moments where she's not writing, watching, or listening to something, you can catch her hiking outdoors, eating good food, and spending time with family and friends.
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