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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Culture Corner

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

TV Show: “Shadow and Bone” 

This Netflix series is based off of author Leigh Bardugo’s book series, which gives us an entrance to what fans call the Grishaverse. The series is centered around the fictional country Ravka, which is split between the East and West by a darkness called the Shadow Fold which is inhabited by carnivorous winged creatures that terrorize anyone that dares attempt to cross. The country’s only hope of ridding themselves of this darkness is the mapmaker Alina Starkov (played by Jessie Mei Li), who only recently discovered her power to create light, giving her the potential to destroy the Shadow Fold. 

I loved “Shadow and Bone” so much, I tried to convince everyone I know to watch it. I binged the entire eight-episode series on a Saturday, happily watching our main protagonist struggle with her self-doubt and conflicted feelings. While the story could have played out a lot better if there were a few more episodes to give the characters an opportunity for more substantial character development, this one flaw doesn’t undercut the series. With a beautiful and immensely talented cast that match the characters perfectly, it seems like this series was given to us on a silver platter after the rush of midterm season where we can wind down before a hectic finals week. 

Movie: “Detective Pikachu” dir. by Rob Letterman

When a well-known detective is presumed dead after a car crash, his estranged son and Pokémon partner riddled with amnesia team up to discover what went wrong in the investigation of his car crash. I’ve repeatedly and unabashedly told everyone that the movie “Detective Pikachu” is criminally underrated. It is one of those children’s movies that deserve to be watched by everyone because the jokes walk the line between being entertaining for kids and giving adults a nice laugh. You don’t have to be a fan of Pokémon to enjoy the colorful world and appreciate this movie.

Book: “Lore” by Alexandra Bracken

Every nine years Greek gods are thrown to roam on Earth as mortals for a week and be hunted by their ancient bloodlines who strive to kill them and take their power and immortality in an event called the Agnon. After the brutal murder of her family, Lore Perseous wants out of the Agnon, deciding never to go back to the rituals and ignoring the idea of revenge. Years later, she finds herself at the start of another Agnon with the goddess Athena asking her to bind their fates together, giving Lore her ultimate chance to leave the world behind. But teaming up with one of the last original gods means going back into the world she swore never to return to.

Bracken takes me back into the Greek gods universe that author Rick Riordan once threw me into as a middle schooler falling in love with the Percy Jackson series. “Lore” is one of the more mature books that Bracken has written, but it was a nice addition to her worlds. I read this book before bed, giving me something light to take my mind off of things. It’s a lot easier to read about Greek gods trying to keep their immortality than it is to think about all of the lectures I have yet to watch.

Album: “Hollywood’s Bleeding” by Post Malone

Post Malone’s third studio album was released in 2019 and won two awards: the Billboard Music Award for top rap album and the American Music Award for favorite album rap/Hip-Hop. I blame my roommate’s constant blasting of Post Malone while in the shower for getting me into his music. But I couldn’t help it; the subtle hints of pop in his most recent album made me listen to it on my own and now we both enjoy it. This album has heart wrenching break-up songs mixed in with dance tunes. 

Written By: Itzelth Gamboa — arts@theaggie.org

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