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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, September 26, 2023



Weekender: ‘The Menu,’ ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ and the death of high-concept media

A gaggle of ultra-wealthy customers voyages to their private island restaurant, with courses and courses of whimsical fine dining in store. They’ll see bundles of microgreens, hits of foams and gelées, plus thousands of other incomprehensible words that are worth their weight in gold. The twist? They all must die by the end of the meal. Of course, that’s still unknown to the oblivious consumers as they set sail on their culinary dreamboat. The ensuing bloodshed and theatrics are left as a shocking dramatic irony, fated and yet unforeseen. 


The Book Nook: ‘Just As You Are’ is a witty and hopeful lesbian rom-com

Camille Kellogg’s upcoming debut adult rom-com, “Just As You Are,” is a sapphic “Pride and Prejudice” retelling that will be published next year by Penguin Random House. Liz Baker dreams of being a novelist and telling the kinds of queer stories she never had growing up, but due to her current job as a columnist at queer magazine The Nether Fields, she barely has time to write outside of work. And just as the magazine is about to shut down for good — which would secure Liz the opportunity to work on her novel for the first time — it gets bought by two wealthy women. The two investors are Bailey Cox and Daria Fitzgerald, the latter of whom is an attractive butch lesbian. Only, when Liz meets them, she discovers that Daria is not only determined to cut costs but also hates Liz and her “fluff articles.” But the more Liz and Daria’s paths begin to cross, Liz discovers another side of Daria, one that’s much softer than she expected. And rather than hating Daria, Liz finds herself falling for her.


K-weekly: End-of-year awards season

As fall finally changes into winter and the weather starts to drop (unless you live in New England, unfortunately), the end-of-year Asian award shows start to announce their nominees. One of the biggest shows, the Mnet Asian Music Awards, has been eagerly anticipated by fans around the world. This year’s MAMA theme is “K-POP World Citizenship.” 


Queeries: A brutally honest form of storytelling

As of recently, my daily life has become an endless abyss of job applications, rent payments and checking to see if I can afford to Uber Eats some dumplings to cheer myself up. I reminisce about my golden days of carelessness and boredom: my teen years. So naturally, whenever a new teen drama comes out on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max or any streaming platform of your choice, I binge-watch it.


Winkler's Weekly Symphony Guide: BSO’s fall season in review

The Boston Symphony Orchestra closed their fall season with Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” and Elena Langer’s suite from “Figaro Gets a Divorce” on Nov. 25–26. As their last concert will take place over the holidays, here is a retrospective look over the end of their 2022 season.


'Glass Onion': The bigger, bolder 'Knives Out' sequel is a must-see film

The Tufts Daily had the privilege of attending the U.S. premiere of “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” (2022) last week at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. After walking the red carpet and meeting some of the film’s cast and crew, the audience sat down to watch the film, a sequel to Rian Johnson’s hit murder mystery “Knives Out” (2019). After the success of the first installment, Netflix acquired the rights to two “Knives Out” sequels in a $450 million deal last year. In a rare move from Netflix, the film will have a one-week limited release in theaters nationwide starting Nov. 23 before it drops on the streaming platform on Dec. 23.


What did you miss on ‘Glee’? Two cast members reveal truths, drama behind the hit show

There has been somewhat of a “Glee” (2009–15) resurgence in recent months. With Heather Morris winning “The Masked Dancer” (2020–), Amber Riley predicted to be the Harp on “The Masked Singer” (2019–), Lea Michele receiving rave reviews for her Broadway performance as Fanny Brice and plenty more, it seems like the actors from “Glee” are everywhere. Similarly, social media seems to love talking about “Glee,” whether it is TikTok compiling clips of Will Schuester being creepy or YouTuber Mike’s Mic releasing an almost four-hour series recap. With this recent Glee-surgence comes a hilarious and insightful podcast hosted by Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale, who played Tina and Artie in the series, respectively.


The game has found its feet again in 'Enola Holmes 2'

Two years after Netflix released “Enola Holmes” (2020), an adaptation ofNancy Springer’s “The Enola Holmes Mysteries”series, Millie Bobby Brown returns as Enola, with Louis Partridge as Lord Tewkesbury and Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes in “Enola Holmes 2” (2022). The sequel dives further into Victorian London as Enola tries to build her own business as a private detective while searching for a missing match girl. In a similar vein as the start of the first movie, the sequel starts with a chase where Enola runs through London and narrowly dodges carriages and pedestrians along the way. The series keeps its fourth wall breaks asEnola turns to the audience to backtrack to before she was running from cops and back to where the first movie left off, before she was running from cops. While the sequel includes a recap of the first movie, it is best to watch the first movie before starting the sequel, as it is very entertaining and fun. Enola continues to ignore societal expectations for young ladies as she lives independently while operating her own detective agencyand infiltrating corrupt businesses.


Looking Through the Met: Manus X Machina

Today, we will be discussing the 2016 “Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” gala, which focused on technology and encouraged attendees to explore the differences between handmade fashion and machine-made fashion. And yes, I am skipping the 2017 “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” gala. Why am I skipping 2017? Simply put, I do not like the Met Galas that focus on designers. No further comments on that. 


Weekender: The ethics of true crime television

Have you ever wondered what makes a killer tick? Or what exactly went on behind the yellow caution tape? It's natural; the unthinkable fascinates us. Hollywood knows this, as true crime has become one of the bestselling genres out there. Either created as documentaries or as dramatized representations, true crime lauds its purpose as educational. Whether raising awareness for victims or providing an inside look into the mind of a killer, true crime seems to be relatively harmless. However, when these docudramas gain as much visibility as they do, what happens when the unthinkable becomes thinkable for a certain viewer? Can true crime sensitively deal with real tragedies?


The Book Nook: ‘Sizzle Reel’ is a sapphic, adult rom-com for late-bloomers

Carlyn Greenwald’s debut adult rom-com, “Sizzle Reel,” is a wholly refreshing and heartfelt sapphic fiction novel releasing next year from Penguin Random House. Set in the not-so-glamorous-as-it-seems world of Hollywood, Luna Roth is a Jewish aspiring cinematographer and talent manager’s assistant in her twenties — and she’s just realized she’s bisexual. Fresh out of a relationship and eager to lose her virginity, she decides to pursue a hookup with one of her manager’s A-list clients, Valeria Sullivan. And when Luna learns the actress just happens to be directing her debut film, she decides to try and score a job on set to further her dream of becoming a cinematographer. But the further she gets entangled with Valeria, the more her other relationships suffer, especially her friendship with her roommate and best friend since film school, nonbinary lesbian Romy. Feeling more lost than ever, Luna eventually must decide what — and who — she truly wants if she wants the love story and job of her dreams.


On 'Normal People' and literary blockbusters

Since the turn of the century, like every other entertainment industry, the literary publishing world has experienced drastic shifts towards massification. The appearance of mass publication, overexposure to advertisements and the ever-growing power of social media have redefined public preferences on books. Literary blockbusters — books that are “notably expensive, effective, successful, large, or extravagant,” per Merriam-Webster — have risen to prominence, with negative implications for the future of writing and literature.


K-Weekly: BTS

Okay, everyone, it’s time to get real. When I first applied to be a columnist for The Tufts Daily Arts section way back in the fall of 2021, I had three big ideas: musicals, books and (obviously) K-pop. When asked to choose one of the three, I immediately knew my decision would be K-pop. I love musicals, but I’ve never been to Broadway. I love books, but I was worried about fitting all my love for even a single book into 500 words. 


'Reboot' explores the ins and outs of TV comedies

Remakes of classic movies and TV shows are everywhere these days. “Reboot” (2022–), a meta new comedy series that just wrapped up its first season on Hulu, makes fun of this trend by taking viewers behind the scenes of the revival of a fictional sitcom. On “Reboot,” the original cast of the popular comedy series “Step Right Up” is reunited after nearly two decades when up-and-coming writer Hannah Korman (Rachel Bloom) pitches a reboot to Hulu, hoping to take the show in a new direction.


Weekender: ‘Madly, Deeply’ is an engaging, intimate look into the life of the late Alan Rickman

Known to most as Severus Snape, Alan Rickman was a highly revered British actor, both on screen and on stage. Throughout his career, Rickman starred in many critically acclaimed films including “Die Hard” (1988) and “Sense and Sensibility” (1995). His decades-long career resulted in a British Academy Film Award, Golden Globe, Primetime Emmy, Screen Actors Guild Award, and plenty more wins and nominations for his dozens of projects. 


On separating the art from the problematic ‘Glee’ artist 

The “Funny Girl” casting debacle is likely the biggest headline-grabbing scandal to hit Broadway in the past 10 years. For those living under a rock (or without Twitter), here’s your brief crash course. Back in 2014, at the peak of the public fascination with “Glee” (2009–15), show creator Ryan Murphy purchased the rights to a possible Broadway revival of the Barbra Streisand classic “Funny Girl” (1968). But, perhaps thinking the world had seen enough of Lea Michele singing the show’s hits, Murphy held off from putting up the show. Then, in 2020, Glee co-star Samantha Ware accused Michele of racist bullying on set back in their “Glee” days. This led to a flurry of accusations and public comments, leaving Michele’s reputation undeniably stained. In 2021, it was announced that Beanie Feldstein would headline a Broadway revival of “Funny Girl.” After heart-wrenching reviews and disturbingly shrill promotional footage, the relationship between Feldstein and the show’s producers quickly became tense. With Feldstein taking an early leave from the show, her replacement, none other than Lea Michele herself just two years after her public cancellation, was quick to cause a stir. 


The Book Nook: ‘Always the Almost’ is a beautiful story of queer, trans joy

Edward Underhill’s debut novel, “Always the Almost,” is a heartfelt and emotional young adult contemporary romance releasing next year from Macmillan. Midwestern pianist and high schooler Miles Jacobson has just come out as trans — the result of which is a strain on his relationship with his parents and his boyfriend, Shane, ending things with him. And while his friends are accepting of him, ever since Miles and Shane began dating, he’s felt out of place. It doesn’t help, either, that his new piano teacher keeps telling Miles that he needs to figure out who he is. Desperate for a win, Miles resolves to get back together with his ex and beat his stuck-up rival at an upcoming piano competition. But when Miles meets Eric, a new boy who’s just moved into their small town, everything changes. Asthe two bond over their art — Eric with his cartoons and Miles with his music — and go from friends to more, Miles begins to question who he is, what he truly wants, and why he’s never felt like he’s enough for anyone, especially himself.  


'Life Magazine and the Power of Photography' illustrates history

For much of the 20th century, LifeMagazine conquered mass media as the primary visual source for current events. From 1936 to 1972, the magazine presented the public with carefully crafted images that captured real-world social and political narratives. Henry Luce, the publication’s founder, was able to expose readers to a wide variety of images outside of their immediate community, shaping discussions about contemporary issues in the process. As the Museum of Fine Arts puts it in its new exhibit, “with its visually revolutionary brand of storytelling, Life fundamentally shaped how its readers understood photography and how they experienced and remembered events.”