Hollywood science: Fact or fiction

By: Grace Helmke

Hollywood has allowed us to visit incredible places and experience thrilling adventures filled with death-defying jumps, and heart-wrenching love stories. It has allowed science to come alive in a way that’s never before been seen. It has led us through stories of time travel, cloning, and so much more.

However, sometimes these films have a little more fiction than fact. Today, we are going to explore the science behind some famous TV shows and movies, and determine whether or not they are fact or fiction. 

Jurassic Park’ 

Image taken from: http

‘Jurassic Park’ centers around the idea that one one could create dinosaurs from blood in a mosquito, encased in amber, and preserved for millions of years.

This is simply false.

Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist, said that the likelihood of cloning a dinosaur is close to impossible. In order to make this happen, you would need the whole genome. However, no one has ever found dinosaur DNA. So, it’s incredibly unlikely that a T-Rex could get loose and wreak havoc in the future. 

‘Star Trek’ 

A major part of the show was the crew’s ability to travel at the speed of light. They called this warp speed. Warp speed essentially distorted the fabric of spacetime, allowing the crew to travel superluminally, or faster than the speed of light.

Einstein’s theory of general relativity suggests that this is not a totally unheard of thought. In fact, it’s entirely possible. In 1994, a scientist named Miguel Alcubierre discovered what today is known as the Alcubierre Drive. His theory was that it’s possible to bend space time in a way that contracts in front of you, and expands behind you, moving you in a forward motion.

‘Back to the Future’

This classic 80s film features the creation of the DeLorean, a time travel machine.

Is time travel truly possible?

NASA tells us it is, but not in the way one thinks. In NASA’s words, “Although humans can’t hop into a time machine and go back in time, we do know that clocks on airplanes and satellites travel at a different speed than those of earth.”

So, although it’s not possible to go see the dinosaurs, or visit famous historical figures, it is possible to travel in space for three years and come back to find that five years have passed on earth. This is called time dilation, and is an incredibly prevalent topic of study in physics and astronomical sciences. 

‘Contact’

This film features a lot of fictional science and inaccuracies. It was praised for its realistic depiction of the search for extraterrestrial life.

The film used radio signals and the translation of alien language using mathematical equations. This is incredibly accurate and is rooted in science. Math is a universal language. So, it’s entirely possible that their forms of communication could be based upon science and math.

There are also some concepts that have stirred debate; such as the idea that the main character traveled through a wormhole to speak to the aliens. It’s difficult to say whether or not a person traveling through a wormhole would survive or not.

For a significant period of time, it was believed that upon entering the wormhole you would either be stretched out into a spaghetti noodle, or be expanded into molecules. Both would mean certain death. But a Harvard physicist recently discovered that not only do wormholes exist and can connect one part of the universe to another, but it’s possible to travel through it. The only catch is that you would have to do so very slowly. It would actually take less time to go to the location directly than it would through a wormhole.  

For more information, please visit:

Why live action adaptations are bad

By: Bijou Kruszka

Live-action adaptations are getting out of hand. It seems like there’s always a new film that has everybody on the internet talking, and it’s hardly ever people saying, “Oh wow, look at this cool new idea for a movie.”

No, the discussion usually goes along the lines of, “Oh wow, I can’t believe that they’re adapting this movie, and it looks like garbage.”

How did we get here?

Technically, this trend started in 2010, with the remake of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. This movie is genuinely good, and it did what adaptations are supposed to do: stay somewhat faithful to the story in tone and plot, while adding some fun changes and fixing anything that needed to be fixed.

This continued in 2015, when Disney released ‘Maleficent’, which also follows what adaptations are supposed to do. This was the film that started the never-ending train of remakes.

After that, Disney started to release 1 or 2 live-action remakes every year. Why? Because of the money. For example, 2017’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ made over 1 billion dollars in the box office.

All Disney had to do to make money was use the nostalgia to get parents to take their kids to see it, get a few celebrities in the cast, and boom, 1 billion dollars. They think that because some live-action movies were good, all of them would be. So, they don’t put much effort into it, leaving the terrible movies we’re getting.

Now, because Disney only has a limited amount of movies that deserved the remake treatment, they started adapting the good movies, like ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Aladdin’. Though these movies are nowhere near perfect (like the issues with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and Stockholm Syndrome), most of their problems are embedded in the plot, and can’t be removed without heavily changing the story. Plus, the originals have added charm because of the magical elements, which are elevated because of the animation. When you take the animation away, it feels flat and dull.

Because Disney is a media giant, others are following their lead, like the ‘Sonic’ movie. Although it isn’t an exact adaptation, it is a live-action movie using a name almost everyone knows with a few celebrities in the cast.

If more movies are made like this, it does not bode well for the film industry. Not only does it feed the idea that movies don’t have to be original, but it also just means that companies like Disney will get millions of dollars for something they didn’t put effort into because people will still want to see how terrible the movie is.

In the end, live-action remakes, though fun in concept, create a lot of problems, especially with unoriginality.

Elon Musk’s SNL feature

By Caroline Crosby

I’ll begin with a confession. I watched the SNL episode that featured Elon Musk on the night it aired, May 8. However, “watched” may not be the most appropriate term for my experience. 

For context, it was technically Sunday. That evening, I had participated in every IB student’s favorite recurring nightmare: furiously writing an overdue English essay until ungodly hours of the night. For reasons still unknown to me, I decided to reward myself (after its completion) by watching the entire program at 4 am rather than sleeping. 

So, in a delirious, half-conscious haze, a few extreme opinions were formed. To clarify, I’ve never been a devote supporter of Elon Musk. Nor am I particularly familiar with his life’s details. Most of my thoughts on his content made little sense then, as you may have guessed. 

After some thorough reflection though (and thorough re-watching), I’ve returned to share!

Surprisingly, the “lovable billionaire’s” appearance as a celebrity host on the widely popular ‘Saturday Night Live’ was a bit mundane. For someone who spends their free time manufacturing flamethrowers and sending cars to space, I’d have thought that Musk would be more adept with simple jokes and public entertainment. 

To expand on that, SNL’s celebrity host changes episode to episode. They appear in “sketches” throughout the show and act as announcers for the regular act changes and assorted commercial breaks. You can think of the weekly guest as one of those charismatic hosts on ‘Jeopardy’, but make them moderately political and multiply their contractual salary by 1000. 

Many of these featured, famed individuals consistently use SNL’s opening monologue to connect to fans. This usually consists of a heartwarming, comedic, or down-to-earth routine that hosts write and perform themselves.

Elon, however, broke the mold – as he has many times before (though usually with the aid of inane sums of money), and somehow achieved to be neither down-to-earth, comedic, or heartwarming. 

This isn’t to say that nothing good came of his performance, though. 

After all, I, a middle-class high school student, can now proudly support the space cars and hieroglyphic named children (all due respect to little X Æ A-Xii), with the knowledge that I would absolutely demolish Elon Musk in a game of ‘Apples-to-Apples’. Or any other terrible, serialized, and humor-based activity for that matter.

Getting down to the specifics, the sketch capitalized on a very exhaustive comedic narrative. Namely, that Elon is rich; you aren’t.

But fear not! He also unearthed the time, in September of 2018, when he “smoked weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast”. I admire the guts it takes to bring up something that publicly embarrassing, but…why? What did it add? The only line I found outwardly laughable was what he said about OJ Simpson. Which speaks for itself, I feel.

In any case, SNL has always been famous for its lighthearted satire of celebrities and superficial social stereotypes. However, it can prove difficult to land a punchline about the “hilariously” unfathomable economic gap between people like Elon Musk and everyone else, when you are Elon Musk. The man, the myth, the legend: could pay his way into a class or two on writing standup comedy, preferably before performing in front of a live televised audience. 

To no one’s surprise, the most notable extent of his social media influence is economic.

Perhaps the raging sea of devoted fans would argue that “You could buy, demolish, and rebuild an entire country from the ground up with his pocket change alone! Elon Musk doesn’t need to be funny, he’s rich!” To these individuals, I might admit that such a controversial statement merits a degree of truth. Do wealthy people really need to be good at everything they do? In Elon’s case, I believe we have our answer.

Scathing criticism aside, I would like to clarify that any and all critique is directed only towards the content of his routine, not the delivery and performance. I’ve noticed a circulation of comments on social media that target Musk’s monotonous tone and use that to dehumanize him. Jeers like “I like the way he tries hard to host the show like a human does,” or “Him and his mom talking sounds like 2 robots trying to simulate human emotion,” under the YouTube clip of the SNL appearance (linked below) are uncalled for.

As someone with Aspergers, Elon Musk may struggle with public speaking and anxiety. Prosody has long been a source of difficulty for people with autism. Individuals on the spectrum may speak in a monotone way, or do the opposite and exaggerate their intonation. The first instance seems likely here. Attacking Musk for something beyond his control is callous, to say the least.

Though, he is an adult and an accomplished CEO who has addressed and spoken to national audiences before. Numerous times, even. It’s not impossible to handle.

Entertaining a live audience, however, in addition to writing and performing a stand-up act using a medium you’ve never experienced before, is an entirely different matter. 

Really, it’s important to remember that the man is by no means a professional comedian, and a creative medium of this scale is difficult to pull off even for those with years of experience. Regardless of all questionable punchlines, I applaud him for taking a break from running a company and launching things into space, and setting out to try something new.

To watch the performance in question, please visit: 

Netflix’s ‘Shadow and Bone’ review

By: McKenna Nutter

On April 23rd, 2021, Netflix released an 8 episode series called ‘Shadow and Bone’. ‘Shadow and Bone’ is based on the young adult fantasy novels by Leigh Bardugo, of the same name. The Netflix adaptation is a mix between two series, ‘Shadow and Bone’ and ‘Six of Crows,’ both series by the same author, and taking place in the same fictional universe, known as the Grishaverse. Adaptation writer Eric Heisserer worked very closely with original author, Leigh Bardugo, to bring the character and world to life.

‘Shadow and Bone’ follows orphaned Alina Starkov as she uncovers long-awaited, extraordinary power. Her struggle to stay with childhood best friend, Maylen Oretsev, or Mal, becomes a lot harder when they are seperated due to an incident dealing with the land of complete darkness and dangers that runs across the country of Ravka, called the Fold.

The show also follows other stories, only for them to come together in the end. Kay Brekker, the leader of the Crows, leads Inej Ghafa and Jesper Fahey in a dangerous, million kruge (form of currency) heist, creatively bringing ‘Six of Crows’ characters into the ‘Shadow and Bone’ plot. 

According to many original fans, who have read both book series, Netflix’s adaptation is a fan favorite, and one of the most well-done adaptations ever made by Netflix.

The show was shot in Budapest, and stars Jessie Lei Mei as Alina Starkov, Archie Renaux as Mal Oretsev, Ben Barnes as General Kirigan or the Darkling. Freddy Carter stars as Kay Brekker, Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa, and Kit Young as Jesper Fahey.

Fan favorite characters, such as Nina Zenik, Matthias Helvar, and Genya Safin also make multiple appearances played by Danielle Galligan, Callahan Skogman, and Daisy Head.

After the announcement of the cast and release of the trailer, book fans had been highly anticipating the release of the show, and many were not disappointed. 

‘Good Omens’: A review

By: Bijou Kruszka

‘Good Omens’ is an Amazon Prime mini-series following the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley as they work together to stop an 11-year-old Antichrist. The show, although not without its faults, is very entertaining. It is a good, but quick, watch.

To start, let’s look at all the positives. The
first few minutes of the show are narrated by God,
who is voiced by Frances McDormand. The
monologue is reminiscent of the clever writing
style found in Douglas Adams’s ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’. It does an excellent job of setting the tone for the series, and it is a very entertaining start.

Both protagonists, Aziraphale and Crowley, are well-written, and their relationship dynamic works very well (some would say too well, but I’ll touch on that later).

Aziraphale, played by Michael Sheen, has a very interesting character arc. The series follows him internally debating whether he should fight for Earth with Crowley, or turn his back on them and be with his fellow, but inhumane, angels.

Crowley, played by David Tennant, also has an interesting character. He is very loyal to Aziraphale, and he is best described as chaotic neutral. He is often in scenes blaring Queen music out of his car, and from a person who loves Queen, I appreciate just how many scenes they play Queen songs in.

Besides Aziraphale and Crowley, there is a whole cast of side protagonists. For starters, there’s the “Them”, a group of 4 kids led by Adam, who just so happens to be the Antichrist. Though the children don’t get much screen time, they’re always entertaining and feel more like children than most young protagonists.

There’s also Newt Pulsifer and Anathema Device, a witchfinder and a witch, respectively. While Newt doesn’t get much development, he helps Anathema realize she doesn’t have to live her life centered around the prophecies written by her ancestor.

The villains, Lord Beelzebub and Archangel Gabriel are antagonists you love to hate. Beelzebub is just plain evil, as expected from a demon, but Gabriel is evil in a passive-aggressive way, which isn’t a common occurrence and is an interesting character trait.

The ending of the series is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. It’s closed enough for a nice series finale. But, it’s also open-ended just enough for a possible second season.

On the other hand, let’s look at the possible negatives. No series is without its faults, and ‘Good Omens’ is not an exception by any means.

First off, due to its religious contents, it is not a good fit for some. That’s not necessarily a negative if you enjoy that; just something to keep in mind for people who don’t. In fact, a group of Christian moms petitioned Netflix to take ‘Good Omens’ down, but failed to realize that the show was on Amazon Prime, which is hilarious.

Then, there’s the issue of queerbaiting. For those of you unaware with the term, queerbaiting is when fictional media hints at characters being LGBTQ+, but don’t ever confirm it to keep conservative audiences watching. People have said that ‘Good Omens’ is guilty of queerbaiting, but I disagree. The whole concept of ‘Good Omens’ would turn conservative audiences away, so if the creators of the series wanted Aziraphale and Crowley to end up together, they would have. I don’t deny that the characters have romantic tension, but I think that may have been accidental, and that queerbaiting is an inaccurate accusation.

Lastly, I wish there could have been more character development. Side characters like Newt and Adam’s friends barely get much screen time, therefore not giving them a chance to grow.

In the end, ‘Good Omens’, though accused of queerbaiting and unpopular with conservative audiences, is a good series, and an excellent binge watch for a boring weekend.

‘May I Please Enter’ by Alan Resnick review

Alan Resnick, known for his creepy and strange lil’ shorts that he puts out every once in a while, made this Adult Swim “small” known as “May I Please Enter”. And with it being sorta one of the “newer” ones of his, I thought I’d review it, in an opinionated way, talking about what I personally saw in it, so yeah, here we go.

So, Alan Resnick has been making stuff for years and years, whether it be mini series’, shorts, music videos, etc, and the common theme which most people and I could probably notice when watching his stuff, is that he really enjoys making people uncomfortable. Through either building unrealistic, yet surprisingly tangible tension, or through breaking the viewer’s expectations so irrationally, that they might not even know how a scene was supposed to make them feel. It definitely might not be for everyone, but hey, I think it’s pretty good, so yeah, this short “May I Please Enter,” is assuredly no different. 

Once you get to this point in the article you should probably watch it on YouTube if you’re interested (https://youtu.be/TgxSIFcTvLo). It’s about 10 minutes, and at least I think it’s pretty good enough to the point that it’ll be worth watching to avoid what could be considered spoilers. (That and you’ll probably not really understand like 80% of this without watching the short beforehand anyway).

So, it opens up with Alan in some sorta cowboy getup, doing a sort of “reality show” where he tries to enter someone’s home, and that’s supposed to just be the show I guess. By the first minute, he already sets the tone pretty well by contrasting the somewhat “upbeat” opening theme with an eerie aftermath of him looming towards the door of the house he “selected” and being strangely threatening towards the random people who he comes across while they wonder if he should come into their living space.

One thing you’ll notice, is how blunt, awkward, and strangely obvious every line of dialogue happens to be. This, while also adding to the humor of it all, sets the unsettling tone pretty well, as it leaves the viewer to desire some semblance of normalcy in an already uncomfortable situation.

Even self aware stuff, such as the “He reminds me of North American colonialism”, almost parodying the viewer trying to make sense of, and take meaning from, what they are being presented with, really just feeds into how unnatural it all is from the start. 

Alan Resnick honestly builds tension in a pretty impressive way as well. As one YouTube commenter put it, “This is a horror movie without the horror”. There is so much rising discomfort in how the audio cues, visual hints, and even scenes that look as though they contain eerie foreshadowing, all ultimately go nowhere, and just leave the viewer dazed and confused by the end of it all.

Like, the “other people live in this house” thing, just perfectly had the atmosphere of the obvious cadence which tells you “something’s not right”, but it just ends unresolved with Alan wanting to just go and see more of the house.

There’s plenty of scenes like this throughout that also do the “fake foreshadowing” thing, like the whole breathing slipper/weapon scene and whatnot, but I think you get the idea.

Another smaller scene I wanted to point out, was the whole part about those “funny little phrases they bought on the internet” with most notably the one that went: “Imagine being so wealthy that your body stops moving”, which sorta predicted the whole phenomenon of NFT’s that’s going on right now if you think about it. It’s not too important specifically to this review, but I just found that interesting watching it again and wanted to mention it here for whatever reason.

But honestly, no scene in this short really is integral or meaningful to the plot, which at the same time, makes all of it equally important, if that makes sense. I mean, without the atmosphere this is total nonsense, and nothing anybody does really matters, but honestly, that’s kinda what makes it, and things like it so interesting.

I mean, most narratives in general, take place in a comfortable “grounded” reality in how people interact with each other on a day to day basis. Like if you watch a movie where it takes place in a sorta crazy ol’ fantasy world or whatnot, characters will still be made to be like, relatable to the viewer. But this makes it seem almost as though our own world is more unreal than any fantasy situation we could see in a movie or book, as we watch just how honestly strange and unsatisfying everyday interactions, and general human behavior, could be as viewed as, through the perspective of a sorta artificial intelligence based robot, or something like that, looking into the breakdown of human behavior as a whole.

So, that’s how efficiently I feel Alan makes our world seem fictional. Like everything they do in the short, easily could be something people do in their every day lives, but it’s presented in such an unconventional, yet uncomfortably blatant way, that it feels almost like an uncanny reflection of how we as people see ourselves, and how incredibly alien and awkward it all feels when you just ever so slightly offset the typical path of how life plays out as a whole in human society.

So yeah, I personally thought it was amazingly strange, creepy, and awkward throughout all of it. And like all Alan Resnick’s shorts, I could definitely find the humor in the discomfort of it all, so I’m not gonna give it a score or anything, all I’m gonna say is, if you’re into this sorta thing, I hope you enjoyed it, and if not, at least you can see where I’m coming from with this breakdown/review of it.

‘Forrest Gump’ review

By: Charlie Fragassi

*Note, even though the movie is over 25 years old, spoiler alerts in this article

The movie ‘Forrest Gump’ is a fictional story that was made in 1994, directed by Robert Zemeckis, and written by Eric Roth.

The movie starts off with Forrest at the bus stop where he’s telling people the story of his life. He starts off as a young kid growing up in rural Alabama.

Forrest is classified as a slow learner in the movie and you can see it displayed throughout the movie as it takes him longer to understand things.

Forrest finds the love of his life Jenny. Jenny and Forrest spend a huge part of their life together until Forrest goes to college on a football scholarship because of his lightning fast speed.

After college, Forrest enlists in the army and makes many friends. Forrest gets deployed in Vietnam where he loses one of his best friends, Bubba. Throughout his stay at the army he becomes a national level ping pong competitor, and wins $25,000 which he used to buy a shrimping boat.

Forrest is financially stable and is living well when Jenny pops back into his life. He asks Jenny to marry him and she originally declines but later on in life sees Forrest on national TV as he was running across America. She finds Forrest and he finds out he has a kid. Jenny then marries Forrest and they all move back to Greensboro, Alabama.

The movie ends with Forrest talking to Jenny at her gravestone as she had a virus and didn’t make it through.

This is a tremendous movie as it takes you on an emotional roller coaster and fits all genres for everyone to love. I liked how it included many historical events throughout the movie and displayed them as accurately as possible, all while still making the movie entertaining and funny.

The problem with ‘Dear Evan Hansen’

By: Bijou Kruszka

Image taken from: https://bit.ly/3m9CLmT

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ is a musical that premiered on Broadway in 2016, and has been extremely well-received. The show won 6 Tony awards, including best musical. A movie adaptation was announced late last year and will be released in September.

With the movie awaiting release, and Broadway closer to reopening, I wanted to shed some light on the issues within the story of the hit musical.

A short plot review is necessary for context, so here it is:

Evan Hansen is a socially awkward high-schooler who has no friends, a broken arm from falling out of a tree, and deals with social anxiety. His therapist recommends writing letters to himself, as a way to motivate Evan.

One day at school, he meets Connor Murphy, another teen who struggles with mental illnesses as well as drug addiction, who signs his cast. When Connor accidentally reads one of Evan’s letters, which had a few lines about Evan having a crush on his sister, Connor storms out with Evan’s letter in hand.

The next day, Evan learns that Connor has killed himself, and the Murphys believe that Evan’s letter, found on Connor, is, in fact, Connor’s suicide note. Now, here’s where the plot gets sticky. Instead of coming clean, Evan pretends that he and Connor were best friends. He tells the Murphys a whole narrative of their friendship.

Evan then enlists the help of Jared Kleinman to fake emails between the two. Evan also starts an organization, the Connor Project, dedicated to keeping Connor’s memory alive. This sounds nice on paper, but to do it, he has Alana Beck take charge, who’s only interested in it for publicity and her college application.

Later, Evan develops a romance with Zoe, built on more lies about Connor.

In the end, he tells the truth about Connor. The finale is Evan, a year later, living a good life, when he sees Zoe again.

So, what exactly is wrong?

Quite a few things. Let’s start with the titular character, Evan Hansen himself. He has so many opportunities throughout the show to tell the Murphys the truth. Instead, he continues to build more and more of a false narrative of his “friendship” with Connor. Evan feels more like a part of a family with the Murphys than with his single mom, so he continues to manipulate them. It happens to the point where Connor’s parents offer to pay Evan’s college tuition. That is awful, considering how large of a financial decision that is, especially today.

In Act 2, the truth comes out, and Evan sings what is supposed to be an apology to the Murphys, but slowly turns into a pity party for him. The song is nearly 5 minutes long, and he barely says sorry once for his actions. Evan has manipulated this family into believing this web of lies, including lying to Zoe to create a romantic relationship, and can’t even bring himself to properly apologize. He then leaves, and the Murphys don’t see him again for a year! He goes on living his life as if he hasn’t just destroyed a family emotionally. It’s infuriating.

Then, there’s Connor Murphy. To start, both Evan and Connor struggle with mental illnesses. Where Evan’s is used as a redeeming quality, Connor’s is used to villainize him. It doesn’t make sense. The show also uses him to romanticize suicide. That’s a bold statement, I know, but hear me out.

Connor, disliked by both his family and peers when he is alive, commits suicide. Then, when he dies, Evan steps in. Evan lies about Connor to Zoe, and she starts to believe that Connor did actually like her. Evan starts The Connor Project, convincing his peers and people online that Connor was a good person. Connor was actually a very aggressive person and was very unkind to those around him. The message is this: if you are disliked in life, just die and you will be remembered as a better person. What a horrible thing to tell people, especially knowing that the fanbase is made up of mostly teenagers!

In the end, the music of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ is beautiful, but the story and characters have lots of issues.

‘The Sopranos’ and its relevance today

By: Teah Henry 

I recently finished my first watch through of ‘The Sopranos’, and I wasn’t the only one who was binging the show. According to HBO, the show’s viewership went up 179% at the start of the pandemic. ‘The Sopranos’ still manages to be relevant today with its commentary on mental health, social issues, and American capitalism despite its finale airing in 2007. 

The show cemented itself as a staple in television history with its realistic, complex characters and being one of the first shows that proved T.V. could be just as effective as film.

It was also one of the first to utilize the anti-hero; a protagonist that the viewer isn’t meant to agree with or even like. ‘The Sopranos’ paved the way for other shows like ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Rescue Me’. 

It’s not far fetched to say that most mafia stories are critiques of capitalism. They take place in a system that encourages cheating and competitiveness, and the members are often not happy with the way things are. The way that only a few in the mafia make a large profit while sending out lower ranking members to do the dangerous work is reminiscent of the small amount of people that hold the majority of wealth while most Americans are stuck working for a living. Christopher’s frustrations with Tony are the same as workers towards their own bosses; feeling used and not cared about. 

During the pandemic, the rich got insanely richer while the working class struggled to make ends meet. Congress couldn’t agree to send out another stimulus check a year after the first one, while other countries were consistently sending them out monthly. A lot of people became aware of America’s unfair distribution of wealth, and ‘The Sopranos’ bleak look at how capitalism only keeps its citizens unhappy helped people feel heard. 

Tony’s struggle with his mental health was also something viewers could relate to. Struggling with depression and panic attacks, Tony has to hide his problems to nearly everyone in his life due to social stigma. Tony’s inability to feel completely happy and satisfied is something a lot of people deal with, especially now as living conditions in America become worse.

Teens may also see themselves in the character AJ, Tony’s son, who is a teen throughout most of the show. He inherited his father’s mental health issues. His struggle with school and finding a purpose in his life is familiar to many. 

While almost all of the characters in ‘The Sopranos’ are irredeemable, there is something relatable about their feelings and struggles, and the commentary it makes will always ring true with American culture. 

‘Attack on Titan’ season 4 review

By: Mohamed Ahmed

As you may know, ‘Attack on Titan’ season 4, is coming out weekly. As of March 24th there are 16 episodes out. This anime is arguably the most watched seasonal anime coming out right now. Apparently, season 4 is the final season of the anime, and this is what I think about the season so far. 

Animation 

The animation for this last season is really good. The studio in charge is most known for doing another anime called ‘Vinland Saga’. The animation studio is WIT studio.

They have the task of animating much harder things and details than the other seasons, like the technological advancements in this series during the timeskip. Trains, guns, and explosions are rampant in this season making it a much more difficult task to animate. Even with all that, they are doing a great job with consistency and the animation is much better than expected. 

Voice acting 

For this season, you have good news for both sub (Japanese) and dub (English), because the voice acting is phenomenal. Especially in Japanese, this part of the anime is flawless.

The octaves of the voices changed according to what they used to sound like, and for me personally, they sound exactly like what four years would do to someone; older characters sound the same as younger characters grew up. 

Designs 

The designs are really good for most characters. The main character, his sister, and his best friend have all aged and the designs were really good. On top of that, the change in animation really made the designs look significantly better because we were unfamiliar with this animation style.

Changes 

This is by far the worst part of this season. The changes they made to save time cheapens the story. They keep the most important parts intact, but the foreshadowing and other details, like character interaction and buildup, were removed. The more time passes the worse it will get, and the more they will skip.

They are claiming that this is the final season, but to this day, the manga is still coming out.