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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, May 25, 2024

Christopher Panella


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Columns

Comfort Cartoons: Quirky and smart 'Phineas and Ferb'

I would consider myself a quirky kid (as pretentious as that sounds). I had a strange sense of humor that came from being the youngest in a big family and often had to find ways to keep myself entertained. “Phineas and Ferb” was my best friend during those years, a show that made me feel less alone. Now, with every re-watch, I’m reminded of just how lucky I was to grow up with the triangle-shaped kid and his quiet British brother.

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Columns

Comfort Cartoons: Futuristic and teenaged 'Batman Beyond'

“Batman Beyond” (1999–2001) is a futuristic take on the Dark Knight and another installment in the DC Animated Universe. It’s mainly set in 2039, with Bruce Wayne now an old man, retired from crime-fighting. His rogues' gallery is all but finished, with most villains retired or deceased. This makes way for a new Batman in Neo-Gotham: Terry McGinnis, a teenager. Mentored by Bruce and wearing a fancy Batsuit, Terry is just what the futuristic megalopolis needs.

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Cartoon

Comfort Cartoons: Secretive and supernatural 'Gravity Falls'

The detailed storytelling and funny characters of “Gravity Falls” are perfect for audience investment, and the show’s been graced with a dedicated fan base whose members have studied the episodes’ countless clues and teasers. My earliest experience as a fan of “Gravity Falls” came when watching the episode “Summerween.”

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Columns

Soundtrack to the end of the world: Bringing the nightclub to my bedroom

There’s something euphoric about dance music’s pounding beats and explosive drops. It’s a sort of catharsis, an exchange of energy — I think that’s especially true when we dance with others. Dancing alone this past year hasn’t felt the same. But post-pandemic, I’m excited for the empathy, love, excitement and power that comes from anyone and everyone’s enjoying dance music. With each song, we’ll be celebrating.

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Columns

Comfort Cartoons: Mature and electrifying 'Static Shock'

This week, we’re looking at “Static Shock” (2000–04), an influential animated series following Virgil Hawkins, a 14-year-old boy who fights crime as “Static,” a superhero with electromagnetic powers. The show is another installment in the DC Animated Universe, premiering before the culminations of the DCAU, “Justice League” (2001–04) and “Justice League Unlimited” (2004–06).

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Music

Weekender: 10 years later, analyzing 'Femme Fatale' as Britney Spears' zenith

“Femme Fatale” came at a significant moment in both American music and Spears’ career. Riding on the early rise of electronic dance music, the singer’s seventh album had one overarching desire: to commemorate Spears’ new era after her rise, fall and comeback in popular culture. Of course, that’s a simplification of what might be her greatest work to date. But at the time, “Femme Fatale” acted as a turning point.

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Columns

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.

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Columns

Comfort Cartoons: Roller coaster ride 'Lilo & Stitch'

“Lilo & Stitch” has always been focused on family, whether it be broken or whole, and how we can find connections and purposes that matter. The franchise’s earnestness has made it both famous and a generational touchstone. For people who grew up with the film (and its subsequent show), Stitch is just about the cutest plush animal you can get at The Walt Disney World Resort.

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TV

How COVID-19 has affected the arts, locally and globally

While larger artists have stayed afloat, beloved venues have felt the impact of the end of live shows. In Boston, multiple local venues have been forced to close doors due to economic losses following the cancellation and postponement of live music. One such venue is Great Scott, which has hosted shows in the greater Boston area for more than 40 years.

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