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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, June 14, 2024



The humanity of ‘The Last of Us’ makes it stand out

Based on the hit Naughty Dogaction-adventure game of the same name, HBO’s “The Last of Us'' (2023–) took the world by storm, with the premiere episode racking up 4.7 million viewers. The critically acclaimed series is set in a post-apocalyptic United States ridden with zombie-esque creatures infected by a mutated fungus, ‘Cordyceps.’ It follows Joel (Pedro Pascal), a world-weary smuggler who lost his daughter Sarah on the day of the outbreak, as he travels across the country escorting Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a young girl immune to the virus. The series focuses on the pair’s growing bond and their father-daughter connection, while also highlighting humanity in a post-apocalyptic world. 


This is Pedro Pascal’s world — we’re just living in it

In 2019, the “Star Wars” franchise entered the world of live-action television with the premiere of “The Mandalorian” (2019–), a space Western series that catapulted its star, Pedro Pascal, to international fame. Pascal, who previously had a one-season arc on “Game of Thrones” (2011–19), has quickly become one of the biggest names in Hollywood over the last several years. His career is currently at a high point as he stars in two of this year’s most-watched television series: season 3 of “The Mandalorian” and season 1 of “The Last of Us” (2023–), a post-apocalyptic drama on HBO. 


Best TV shows of 2022

There was a lot of great TV in 2022. As the number of networks and streaming services continues to grow, it can be a challenge to decide what to watch, so we’re singling out 14 shows that caught our attention this year. With a mix of new and returning series, comedy and drama, cable and streaming, there’s something on the list for everyone.


'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.


'Abbott Elementary': An honest, hilarious love letter to teachers

In the 2000s and 2010s, network sitcoms were some of the biggest shows on television — think “The Office,” (2005–13) “Modern Family” (2009–20) and “The Big Bang Theory” (2007–19). These days, the era of broadcast dominance is in the past as most network comedies have very little to offer compared to their streaming counterparts. That’s why it’s been such a pleasant surprise to see “Abbott Elementary” (2021–), a half-hour sitcom on ABC, emerge as one of the sharpest and funniest comedies of the last few years. 


Netflix's 'Dahmer' sends shivers down viewers' spines

There has been considerable buzz around  “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” (2022) on Netflix, created by Ryan Murphy, who is known for his creepy and stylistic anthologies like “American Horror Story” (2011–) and “American Crime Story” (2016–) as well as the less chilling but equally unconventional hit show “Glee” (2009–2015). Dahmer stars Evan Peters, a usual suspect in Murphy’s shows, appearing frequently as main characters in seasons of “American Horror Story.”


Let’s rehearse 'The Rehearsal' of a rehearsal   

According to the Collins Dictionary,a rehearsal can be defined as a “session of exercise, drill, or practice, usually private, in preparation for a public performance, ceremony, etc.” Although it is a term usually reserved for performance art or public speaking, rehearsingcan also be seen in daily life such as thinking over an argument before a conversation. But, what if we could thoroughly rehearse for some of the most difficult and appalling moments of our lives?  


'Only Murders in the Building' returns for a killer second season

Just under a year after its critically acclaimed first season, “Only Murders in the Building” (2021–) returned with a new murder mystery this summer. With a superbly talented cast led by Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, the Hulu original continues to entertain audiences with an impressive blend of comedy and mystery.


Are theories killing our film and TV experiences?

In the era of social media and creation platforms, it has become significantly easier to discover communities of people with common, loved interests. From niche topics like different types of soups to extremely popular Disney movies like "Encanto" (2021), platforms like TikTok and YouTube make it possible for individuals to broadcast their own thoughts and theories about their favorite media pieces and for others to build on or encourage them. A noticeable section of this shared love is shown through fan theories. 


'Reservation Dogs' is changing the representation game

The name Taika Waititi on any project makes it worth watching – the Māori actor/director/producer extraordinaire seems able to add his certain flair to anything and make it work, whether that be a satirical yet moving look at a brainwashed Hitler Youth in “Jojo Rabbit” (2019) or a vampire mockumentary in “What We Do in the Shadows” (2014). More recently, he has lent his star power as an executive producer and writer for “Reservation Dogs” (2021–), his second team-up with FX on Hulu after the success of his “What We Do in the Shadows” spin-off series. 


Comfort Cartoons: Campy classic 'Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!'

The “Scooby-Doo” franchise is possibly the prime example of an intergenerational cultural touchstone. The Mystery Gang,their iconic outfits and their groovy Mystery Machine have remained something most audiences can connect with in some way. That’s partially thanks to the various installations of “Scooby-Doo,” which have spanned a handful of animated films, video games, television shows, merchandise and live-action movies.


Comfort Cartoons: Neo-noir and gothic 'Batman: The Animated Series'

Following the episodic adventures of Batman, Robin and Batgirl, the series takes on a darker tone that feels inspired by both Tim Burton’s two Batman films and the ‘70s and '80s comic books. Those interpretations are seen in every detail: Gotham City’s skies are dark even during the day, the buildings are tall and gothic and gangsters sneak around in alleys and side streets.


‘Lovecraft Country’ explores reality through horror, fantasy

The ten-episode series debuted August 16 and has since been produced in weekly installments until October 18. As the brainchild of such notable executive producers Misha Green of "Underground" (2016-2017), Jordan Peele of "Get Out" (2017) and "Us" (2019) and J.J. Abrams of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" (2019), among others, the show is a true fusion of genres.


'Avatar' and 'Korra': The 2020 cultural juggernauts

Considering that “Avatar” first debuted over 15 years ago, it hardly seems the candidate to make such a strong comeback as (technically) a children’s show. However, “Avatar’s” newfound popularity –– as well as “Korra,” its sequel/spinoff series –– proves not only their mastery of TV storytelling, but their timelessness and relevance of cultural commentary.