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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Culture Corner

The Arts Desk’s weekly picks for television, movies, books and music

Television: “Schitt’s Creek”

Father-son duo Eugene and Daniel Levy created and star in this Canadian sitcom about a family who lost all of their money in a Ponzi scheme and are forced to move to the small town they bought as a joke: Schitt’s Creek. Schitt’s Creek is filled with many interesting characters, such as the wildly annoying Mayor Roland Schitt and his wife Jocelyn. Daniel Levy’s chemistry with his father, on-screen mother Catherine O’Hara and on-screen sister Annie Murphy is pure comedy. Each character delivers their own brand of sarcasm so perfectly that I find myself mimicking Murphy’s eye-rolling, “Daaaavid!” to anyone around me. Watching the spoiled, shallow Rose family grow over time and adjust to small-town life and small-town antics is touching and hilarious.

Movie: “Obvious Child”

This Gillian Robespierre-directed flick defies any box in which you try to put it. It’s a romance, comedy and drama. Starring Jenny Slate as Donna, a stand-up comedian who finds out she’s pregnant after a one-night stand, the film follows her decision to get an abortion. It feels strange to cry and laugh at a movie centered around abortion. But that’s what so special about this film. Her decision and the situation surrounding it are not revolutionary. She is supported by her friends, mother, the guy who forgot a condom and the woman next to her at the clinic. The normality and real range of emotions create a narrative that is needed in today’s political climate. When the credits rolled, I felt peace. This part of Donna’s journey came full circle. Of course I was left wanting more, but I didn’t need more.

Book: “The Houseguest and Other Stories” by Amparo Dávila

“The Houseguest and Other Stories” is Amparo Dávila’s first anthology of short stories to be published in English. While quick reads, these short stories will stay with you for a long time after you close the book. Each story is mysterious, creepy and leaves the reader spooked and wondering what exactly Dávila is describing. The first story, “Moses and Gaspar,” sets the tone for the rest of the anthology. I still don’t know what terrorized Señor Kraus and his brother. Each story is incredibly detailed and eloquently written, leaving room for your imagination to run wild.  

Album: “Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo

“Cuz I Love You” is a powerhouse album, from the title song “Cuz I Love You” to “Lingerie.”  For 33 minutes, Lizzo defies all genres. The Minneapolis star’s third studio album has elements of jazz, rap, rhythm and blues, pop, hip-hop and soul. A symbol of body positivity, empowerment and confidence, Lizzo has the power to appeal to everyone. When the feel-good album was released on April 19, I was listening to it as I got ready for my day. Suddenly, my roommate burst in to sing the chorus of “Like a Girl” with me. We danced around my room to the upbeat, feminist anthem. The rest of the album explores themes of body positivity, confidence and love. “Jerome,” a ballad about an ex-lover, is emotionally and vocally powerful, whereas “Tempo,” which features Missy Elliot, is a sexy banger, perfect for dropping it low.

Written by: Liz Jacobson — arts@theaggie.org


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