Culture Corner with Alyssa Ilsley

Culture Corner with Alyssa Ilsley

Photo Credits: COURTESY

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

Television: “Bojack Horseman”

Since the last season premiered this January, Bojack Horseman should be mentioned as one of the best animated comedies since “The Simpsons.”  What began as a show about a quick-witted, but cripplingly depressed, horse-man has evolved during its six-season run to be a contemplative analysis of the human condition. Characters in “Bojack Horseman” wrestle with trauma, substance abuse and mental health problems in a painfully accurate and beautifully written way. Of the last season, “Good Damage” is one of the most well-animated and empowering episodes. It explores the concept of trauma and the ways in which people attempt to cope with it. 

Movie: “Little Women” (2019)

Greta Gerwig’s take on this classic tale is fresh and unique, reinvigorating the beloved story for our modern times. The cast is made up of many well-respected contemporary actors, from Laura Dern to Meryl Streep. The most notable performance, however, was Saoirse Ronan’s role as the strong and independent Jo. She imbues humor and passion into the character and acts as the glue that keeps the entire story together. Timothée Chalamet’s depiction of Laurie became a fan-favorite as well, and it is hard not to be charmed by his depiction of the heartwarming and romantic character. 

Novel: “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah

In his new autobiography, comedian and political commentator Trevor Noah details his childhood in South Africa and the several odd jobs he worked while struggling with poverty before landing his role as the host of “The Daily Show.” The novel is praised for its wit and endearing anecdotes, as well as his depiction of growing up mixed race and his constant search for belonging. The book is fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable to read. 

Musician: Noah Cyrus 

Sister of popstar Miley Cyrus and daughter of country music artist Billy Ray Cyrus, Noah Cyrus has a long history in the entertainment business. She began her acting career at the age of two. Since 2016, her focus has been on her music. She is vocal about her struggles with addiction and mental health, and her transparency courses through her music. Cyrus’s hit song “July” was released in 2019 and depicts the downfall of a toxic relationship. The somber lyrics over a folk-inspired beat is almost haunting and truly feeds on the heart of the listener. 

Written By: Alyssa Ilsley — arts@theaggie.org