Britney Spears and to release new single ‘Mind Your Business’

On Monday, Black Eyed Peas member confirmed via social media that he and Britney Spears will reunite on a new single set to be released on Tuesday. The announcement was accompanied by a video teaser posted by, with the caption “Uh Oh!!!” The short clip features the artists’ taglines: “You are now, now rockin’ with and Britney, b****.” In the teaser, Spears can be heard singing what appears to be the song’s chorus, “Mind your business, b****,” over an upbeat tempo. The video ends with the announcement of the single’s arrival and includes the hashtag “MindyourBusiness.”

This collaboration marks a reunion for the duo, as they have previously worked together on the 2011 release “Big Fat Bass” from Spears’ album “Femme Fatale,” as well as the lead single “Scream & Shout” from’s album “Willpower.” The music video for “Scream & Shout” also gave Spears her first entry into YouTube’s Billion Views Club. Furthermore, served as the executive producer for Spears’ 2013 album “Britney Jean.”

The upcoming single will be Spears’ first release since her collaboration with Elton John on the remix of his hit song “Tiny Dancer” titled “Hold Me Closer.” This remix marked her return to the Billboard charts after nearly a decade.

The news about the new single comes shortly after Spears announced the release date and title of her highly anticipated memoir, “The Woman in Me.” Set to be published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, the memoir aims to tell Spears’ story “on her own terms, at last,” according to the publisher’s announcement. The book is scheduled to be released on October 24.

Spears had been living under a court-ordered conservatorship since 2007, which was placed by her father, Jamie Spears. Despite working and continuing her music career, the conservatorship remained in place. Rumors circulated among fans, sparking the “#FreeBritney” movement, with concerns that she was being held against her will. Ultimately, the movement led to her release from the conservatorship.

What Does This Awkward Red Carpet Appearance Say About the Future of Rom-Coms?

Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher will star alongside each other in an upcoming romantic comedy to be released on Netflix this February. However, despite playing love interests in the film, the chemistry between co-stars appears to be lacking in real life.

On February 2nd, Witherspoon and Kutcher were photographed together on the red carpet premiere of their new rom-com, Your Place or Mine? The resulting photographs, featuring the stars’ laughably awkward posture, quickly captured the internet’s attention and spread like wildfire via social media sharing.

Some poked fun at their posing, claiming that the pair looked like “divorced parents at their kid’s graduation” and “siblings forced by their mom to take a photo.” Others went as far as to declare the photos evidence that the stars don’t like each other, speculating that it’s “one of those ‘they actually despised each other’ castings.”

According to Variety, Mila Kunis, fellow actress, and Kutcher’s wife, joined in on the teasing by jokingly telling the stars they “look[ed] so awkward on the red carpet together.”

Regardless of how they actually feel about each other, this awkward red carpet appearance does nothing to inspire confidence that Witherspoon and Kutcher share the physical chemistry expected of two stars playing love interests in a romantic comedy.

This is neither of the actors’ first time appearing in a rom-com. In fact, Witherspoon and Kutcher dominated the romantic comedy genre in the 2000s. Witherspoon is known for her performances in Legally Blonde (2001), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), and Just Like Heaven (2005) in the early 2000s. Kutcher made his best contributions to the genre in the latter half of the decade with What Happens in Vegas (2008), Valentine’s Day (2010), and No Strings Attached (2011).

Despite both possessing considerable experience starring as leads in successful rom-coms, the actors still don’t seem to click with each other.

This lack of chemistry between costars in a rom-com—which has mustered up very little traction outside of the virality of the red carpet photos—attests to the fact that the few rom-coms of today fail to measure up to the rom-coms of the past. Romantic comedies, at the height of their popularity from the ’90s to the early ’10s, promised audiences humor, personality, and sizzling chemistry between costars. The majority of modern rom-coms, which are few and far between these days, are lacking in those departments.

It’s possible the genre has simply been played out. Maybe modern audiences are no longer interested in these types of romantic narratives.

Ideally, though, the romantic comedy genre will experience a revival. This reinvention would have to speak to the modern viewer by understanding contemporary courtship, transcending patriarchal nonsense in favor of feminist values, and achieving authentic relatability. Of course, it would also have to rekindle the charisma and attraction between costars that classic rom-com offered.

If the awkward red carpet appearance taught us anything, it’s that people want to see romantic leads with genuine chemistry more than anything else.

Who knows—Witherspoon and Kutcher may just showcase fantastic on-screen chemistry and help to revive the romantic comedy genre. If you want to find out how their performances stack up, Your Place or Mine? will be released for streaming on February 10th, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Colleen Benison

Colleen Benison


The Last of Us: How Bill and Frank’s story was redeemed

Recapping Episode 3 

The second episode of HBO’s The Last of Us left us reeling after the death of Tess and confirmation of Ellie’s immunity against the Cordyceps fungus. In the moments before she sacrificed herself, Tess tells Joel to get Ellie to Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), who will be able to take care of the young girl. In Episode 3, we’re given a look into Bill and Frank’s backstory as Joel and Ellie begin their new journey to find them. The episode’s title, “One More Good Day”, hints at the sad ending to Bill and Frank’s otherwise heartwarming story. While they may not have gotten a traditional happily ever after, HBO does give the couple justice in light of their relatively underdeveloped story in the original game. We’re able to see the smaller but no less significant, parts of their relationship as well as the subversion of the “Bury Your Gays” trope.

The two first meet in 2007. Bill, prior to meeting Frank, was a paranoid doomsday prepper and the onslaught of an actual apocalypse only amplified his survivalist tendencies. He’s got everything he needs to survive, food, supplies, and even wine; the only thing he lacks is a purpose to continue living. Luckily enough, that purpose comes in the form of Frank having the misfortune (or maybe good luck?) to fall into one of the many booby traps Bill has set up around his house. Frank persuading Bill to let him into his home for a shower and some food marked the beginning of the end. 

We see the two men begin to form a bond over their shared love of food and music, namely Gary White’s Love, Long Time. The conversation turns to Bill’s attraction to men, which he says he never acted on. Frank assures him that they can start slow. It’s worth noting that in the original game, Frank is hinted at being Bill’s romantic partner, but it’s never explicitly confirmed as it is in the show. In the rest of the episode, the couple begins to take part in more domestic behaviors and they slip into a comfortable, almost normal life that is rare in their post-apocalyptic world. 

However, Bill is still fearful that he will somehow lose everything, and this paranoia is only made worse by the fact that he now has someone he cares about: Frank. Now that he has someone who encourages him to enjoy his life despite the catastrophe just outside their home, Bill is torn between reveling in domesticity or fighting to survive. 

His worst fears seem to personify themselves in the form of the unnamed illness that eventually cripples Frank. Now terminally ill, Frank asks his partner to assist in his suicide. Based on the earlier parts of the episode, it was clear to me that Bill would not live his life without Frank, stating that “…You [Frank] were my purpose.” My theory was unfortunately proven right when the couple both enjoy a final glass of wine laced with a lethal dose of painkillers. Their deaths are dignified and they go in peace in the comfort of their own home. By the time Joel and Ellie arrive, all they find is a letter from Bill that says Joel is free to take the rest of his supplies and to please not go into the bedroom and see their corpses. In a world where most people don’t get to die on their own terms, Bill and Frank’s deaths seem like their version of a happy ending.

How the show subverted the “Bury Your Gays” trope

When compared to their story in the video game, Bill and Frank’s mutual suicide was a much more fulfilling ending. In the original game lore, Joel and Ellie are able to get to Bill’s house and find him alive, but later realize that Frank has killed himself. Bill is reluctant to talk about the nature of their relationship and it’s clear the two had some unresolved conflict at the time of Frank’s suicide. As Joel and Ellie take their leave, Bill has left a bitter and broken man. We never see him in the game again.

Compare this to the way Bill and Frank are portrayed in the show; they are openly depicted as a gay couple and they go out on their own terms, having accepted their story is coming to an end. This episode did an amazing job at subverting the “Bury Your Gays” trope aka the view that LGBTQ+ characters are more expendable than their heteronormative counterparts. This usually leads to them being one of the first to die or suffer an otherwise unnecessarily gruesome death. This episode refrains from using any of those stereotypes; Bill and Frank’s story is portrayed in extreme detail and they are given more central roles when compared to their video game counterparts.

The couple is able to enjoy a domestic life and is not put through unnecessary or misplaced trauma. I also applaud this episode for not depicting them as victims. Bill and Frank were not implied to have died for some greater cause, they go out on their own terms rather than acting as a martyr or sacrifices. In fact, their deaths are the exact opposite of the “Bury Your Gays” trope; in Bill’s final letter to Joel, he asks him and Ellie to leave their decaying bodies alone and neither they nor the audience ever see them. The couple’s deaths are not gruesome nor violent; the ending of their story was sad but it fits well within the overarching plot of the show. In other words, they got to live out the full extent of their lives in peace and their deaths were not for nothing.

This episode gave Bill and Frank the redemption they deserved, especially considering their less-than-satisfactory ending in the original video game. Their story was a much-needed reprieve in a time when we’re seeing many queer characters die young or without reason. They may have still died in the end, but as Bill said, “This isn’t the tragic suicide at the end of the play. I’m old. I’m satisfied.”

Natalie Tachikabe

Natalie Tachikabe


Taylor Swift’s Upcoming The Eras Tour: What To Know About the Opening Acts

Taylor Swift’s upcoming “The Eras Tour” begins on March 17 in Arizona, and it is her first tour in 5 years. The last time she toured was for her album Reputation in 2018, but she has since released Lover, Folklore, Evermore, and Midnights, as well as Red and Fearless, which were re-recordings of her former albums. On this tour, she welcomes nine opening acts, spanning from well-known artists like Paramore to up-and-coming singers like OWENN. It appears that two opening acts will be beginning the show on each date. Here’s what you need to know about each artist, whether you are anticipating the upcoming tour, or looking to expand your music taste! 


Paramore was formed in 2014, and is best known for their songs Misery Business, Still Into You, and Ain’t It Fun. The band has an estimated 17,800,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and they just recently released their sixth studio album This Is Why. The lead singer, Hayley Williams, and Taylor Swift met all the way back in 2008, through Swift’s mother. Williams told MTV: “We actually met at this Grammy party … and [Taylor Swift’s] mom came up to us and was like, ‘It’s so nice to meet you guys, you’ve got to meet my daughter,’ … I think we exchanged numbers, and we started hanging out in Nashville not too long after that.” More recently, Williams told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe that Swift’s new album inspired Paramore’s new song Running Out of Time. Below are the dates Paramore will be joining Taylor:

  • 3-17 & 3-18: State Farm Stadium


Beatrice Kristi Laus, aka Beabadoobee, is a Filipino-British singer and songwriter. She is best known for her songs death bed (coffee for your head), Coffee, and Tired. She gained popularity after her first EP Lice (2018) and received critical acclaim for her first album Fake It Flowers (2020). Laus has an estimated 11,900,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and has recently released her album Beatopia. She opened up about meeting Taylor Swift to Hot Press, stating “I met her at the NME Awards and she just came up to me and said she liked my music. I’d listen to anything from folklore. All her new stuff is amazing, songs like ‘Cardigan’ and ‘Betty’ are especially good. It was surreal.” Below are the dates Beabadoobee will be joining Taylor:

  • 3-24 & 3-25: Allegiant Stadium 
  • 4-1 & 4-2: AT&T Stadium
  • 4-13, 4-14 & 4-15: Raymond James Stadium
  • 4-21, 4-22, & 4-23: NRG Stadium 
  • 4-28 & 4-29: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers is an American singer and songwriter, most known for making indie music. She is known for her membership in groups such as Boygenius (2018), Better Oblivion Community Center (2019), and Sloppy Jane (2021). She is also well known for her solo albums Stranger in the Alps, and Punisher, which both received critical acclaim. Bridger’s most well-known songs are Motion Sickness, Kyoto, and Scott Street. Her group Boygenius recently announced their upcoming album The Record, which will be released in March. She has an estimated 8,800,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and is known for her musical collaborations with SZA, 1975, Lorde, and Taylor Swift. Although Bridgers and Swift worked together to create the song Nothing New, they have never actually met. According to Far Out Magazine, Bridgers revealed that texting Swift for the first time was “a total high.” After their song was released, Swift told Seth Meyers on his talk show that Bridgers was one of her favorite artists. Below are the dates Phoebe Bridgers will be joining Taylor:

  • 5-5, 5-6 & 5-7: Nissan Stadium 
  • 5-12, 5-13 & 5-14: Lincoln Financial Field 
  • 5-19, 5-20 & 5-21: Gillette Stadium
  • 5-26, 5-27 & 5-28: MetLife Stadium 

girl in red

Marie Ringheim, aka the girl in red, is a Norwegian singer and songwriter, best known for her indie pop music, and being a “queer icon” according to Paper. Her career began by recording music in her room and posting it to AWAL and SoundCloud, and she received critical acclaim after her first studio album If I Could Make It Go Quiet. Her most popular songs include: we fell in love in October, bad idea! and I wanna be your girlfriend. She has an estimated 13,000,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and she supported artists such as Clairo and Billie Eilish on their tours. Although she and Taylor Swift have never met, Ringheim told KEXP “I really like Taylor Swift and the reason why I like Taylor Swift is that I really love melodies … I think she probably inspired me.” Below are the dates the girl in red will be joining Taylor:

  • 6-2 & 6-3: Soldier Field 
  • 6-9 & 6-10: Ford Field
  • 6-16 & 6-17: Acrisure Stadium 
  • 6-23 & 6-24: U.S. Bank Stadium 


MUNA is an American indie pop band that consists of Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin, and Naomi McPherson. The band was created in 2013 when the trio met in college. Their first EP More Perfect was released on SoundCloud in 2014, and their first studio album About U was released in 2017. Muna has an estimated 2,100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and their most popular songs include Silk Chiffon, Anything But Me, and What I Want. The band also joined Harry Styles on tour in 2017, and Kacey Musgraves in 2022. They received great praise for their covers of Sometimes by Britney Spears, and August by Taylor Swift. In an interview with Variety, McPherson revealed how Swift had been an inspiration to them, stating “Obviously, Taylor’s been around for such a long time and definitely, we all have memories from back in the day of when certain albums came out.  I remember a friend of mine gave me ‘Fearless’ on a flash drive. And I was obsessed with ‘Fifteen’ and in my feelings. Gavin also stated that Swift influenced their most recent album. We all have stories like that with Taylor.” Below are the dates MUNA will be joining Taylor:

  • 3-31: AT&T Stadium
  • 4-30: Mercedes Benz Stadium
  • 6-4: Soldier Field
  • 6-30 & 7-1: Paycor Stadium
  • 7-7 & 7-8: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
  • 7-14 & 7-15: Empower Field at Mile High


HAIM, an American rock band consisting of the sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim began in 2007. Their first EP Forever was released in 2012, and quickly received praise. Shortly after, they were signed to Polydor Records and released their studio album Days Are Gone. Their most popular songs include The Wire, Gasoline (feat. Taylor Swift), and Now I’m In It. They have an estimated 4,900,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and have featured on popular songs such as no body, no crime by Taylor Swift and Pray to God by Calvin Harris. They have also previously toured with Florence and the Machine in 2012 and with Taylor Swift for The 1989 World Tour in  2015. The sisters have been friends with Swift since 2013 after they defended her in response to a misogynist tweet. This resulted in Swift following them back on Instagram and inviting them to dinner in 2014. When People magazine asked what HAIM is looking forward to on the upcoming tour, they said “Backstage pre and post-show dance parties with Taylor,”

adding “everything about it is perfect … that’s why we’re doing it again!” 

Below are the dates HAIM will be joining Taylor:

  • 7-22 & 7-23: Lumen Field 
  • 7-28 & 7-29: Levi’s Stadium
  • 8-3, 8-4, 8-5, 8-8 & 8-9: SoFi Stadium 


Taylor Gayle Rutherfurd, aka GAYLE, is an American singer best known for her pop rock music. She was discovered by Kara DioGuardi, an ex-American Idol judge, and was signed to the major record label Atlantic Records, in 2021. She is best known for her song abcdefu, after it went viral on TikTok and Spotify. Rutherfurd was also nominated for a Grammy in 2021, after the song’s success. She has an estimated 12,100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and her top songs include abcdefu, abcdefu (angrier), and fmk (feat. blackbear). In an interview with Billboard, she revealed how she felt when Swift asked her to join The Eras Tour, stating “Obviously I’ve known about Taylor, for forever, like my whole entire life — I can’t remember a time where I didn’t know Taylor Swift. My best friend and I went to [an] awards show and Taylor Swift happened to be there, and I did a performance and some very cool things happened after that.” Below are the dates GAYLE will be joining Taylor:

  • 3-17 & 3-18: State Farm Stadium
  • 3-24 & 3-25: Allegiant Stadium 
  • 3-31: AT&T Stadium 
  • 4-13: Raymond James Stadium
  • 4-30: Mercedes Benz Stadium 
  • 5-6: Nissan Stadium
  • 5-12 & 5-13: Lincoln Financial Field
  • 5-19 & 5-20: Gillette Stadium
  • 5-26: MetLife Stadium 
  • 8-5 & 8-9: SoFi Stadium 

 Gracie Abrams

Gracie Abrams, an American singer, and songwriter released her first single Mean It in 2019. Her first EP minor was also released in 2019 and sparked her stardom. It included some of her most popular songs I miss you, I’m Sorry, and 21. She has an estimated 9,000,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and recently announced her debut album Good Riddance set to release on February 24. In 2022 she commenced her This Is What It Feels Like Tour, and opened for Olivia Rodrigo on the Sour Tour. Abrams recently did an interview with Teen Vogue and shared her admiration for Swift by saying “she is, for me, one of the blueprints for vulnerability as a young woman. I just respect the s**t out of her with everything that she does. I’ve always been so inspired at every stage of my life as a fan of hers.” Below are the dates Gracie Abrams will be joining Taylor:

  • 4-1 & 4-2: AT&T Stadium
  • 4-14 & 4-15: Raymond James Stadium
  • 4-21, 4-22, & 4-23: NRG Stadium 
  • 4-28 & 4-29: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • 5-5 & 5-7: Nissan Stadium 
  • 5-14: Lincoln Financial Field 
  • 5-21: Gillette Stadium
  • 5-27: MetLife Stadium 
  • 6-4: Soldier Field 
  • 6-9: Ford Field
  • 6-16: Acrisure Stadium 
  • 6-23: U.S. Bank Stadium
  • 6-30 & 7-1: Paycor Stadium
  • 7-7 & 7-8: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
  • 7-14 & 7-15: Empower Field at Mile High
  • 7-22 & 7-23: Lumen Field 
  • 7-28 & 7-29: Levi’s Stadium
  • 8-3 & 8-8: SoFi Stadium 


Christian Owens, aka OWENN, gained his following after being a dancer on Swift’s Reputation Tour and starred in the music video for her song Lover in 2019. In 2021, Taylor helped him sign with the record label Republic Records. He has 12,700 monthly listeners on Spotify and is best known for his songs Baby Girl, released in 2021, and Rest Of My Life, released in 2022. According to The Honey Pop, OWENN takes inspiration from David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac. OWENN shared with his followers on Instagram live “We had a whole bunch of label meetings. Taylor Swift was a huge co-sign and helped…a lot of people don’t know. She actually contacted the head of the Republic herself on my behalf, which was kind of crazy. I get to the meeting. They were like ‘Yo, why is Taylor Swift so adamant about us signing you? We want to see you perform!” Below are the dates OWENN will be joining Taylor:

  • 5-28: MetLife Stadium 
  • 6-2 & 6-3: Soldier Field 
  • 6-10: Ford Field
  • 6-17: Acrisure Stadium 
  • 6-24: U.S. Bank Stadium 
  • 8-4: SoFi Stadium

Katlynn Wheatley

Katlynn Wheatley


48-Year-Old Leonardo DiCaprio Receives Backlash For Allegedly Dating 19-Year-Old Eden Polani

Leonardo DiCaprio, most famous for his roles in Titanic, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Revenant, and more, is also known for the fact he never dates women over the age of 25. Most recently, he has been facing backlash over allegedly dating 19-year-old model Eden Polani after the pair were pictured together at a party in Los Angeles. 

Daily Mail was the first to report the story that the two were dating, but it has since been revealed by a source close to Leo that he is not in a relationship at this time. TMZ also included that “just because Leo might be talking to or sitting with a girl doesn’t mean he’s dating her.”

Social media immediately blew up after the news broke. This includes Twitter posts about other celebrity pairings that have the same age gap. The Independent made a disturbing comparison between The Last of Us stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, who have the same age gap as DiCaprio and Polani. Stranger Things actors David Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown are also 29 years apart. This made the situation more creepy to many people, as Pascal and Harbour’s characters act as father figures to the girls. Another person on Twitter wrote, “Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriend is so young her high school experience was interrupted by COVID-19.” While another added, “Maybe @LeoDiCaprio is a climate advocate bc he wants a better future for his teenage girlfriends.”

Many TikTok videos also went viral, poking fun at the relationship by listing things that are older than DiCaprio’s alleged girlfriend. One video included things like 9/11, Shrek, and DiCaprio’s movie Titanic

While some were making light-hearted jokes about the situation, others were actually concerned about Leo’s preference for young women. According to Daily Mail, one Twitter user wrote “Someone please explain to me what a man nearing 50 has in common with *checks notes* a 19-year-old?” And another added, “What feels illegal but technically isn’t?”

While sources close to Leo have confirmed dating rumors to be untrue, according to The Cut, the actor does have a strange history of only dating women under the age of 26. In August of 2022, Insider posted a chart that detailed all of DiCaprio’s dating history, and it reveals that he will date his significant others beginning in their early 20s, and break up with them just after they turn 25. The chart highlights a specific pattern that occurred from 1999-2022 across 8 different girlfriends. The average age of all of his girlfriends is only 22. 

His most recent relationship with Argentine-American model Camila Morrone began when she was 20 and ended shortly after she turned 25. The same pattern occurred with his ex-girlfriends Bar Refaeli (20-25), and Nina Agdal (24-25). 

Despite the rumors of his recent relationship being denied, there is a strange pattern in which he refuses to date women the same age as him. While it might be legal, it is debatable on whether his behavior is morally right.

Katlynn Wheatley

Katlynn Wheatley


Playing The Hogwarts Legacy Pre-Release

I have only been a fan of Harry Potter since October of 2022, but when I found out about the pre-release of the Hogwarts Legacy video game I immediately pulled out my wallet, logged onto Steam, and purchased the Deluxe PC edition for myself. Since then, I have been counting down the seconds until February 7, 2023, waiting patiently to access my 72 hours of early gameplay. 

So, when the clock hit 11 AM MST Tuesday, February 7th, I launched my Steam client in a rush of double clicks and slammed on that bright green play button. My heart was beating wildly against my chest as the large Warner Brothers logo floated toward me on my screen. “This is it,” I told my friend, who had joined me on Discord to share in the experience, “this is about to be my new obsession.”

First, I had to choose the correct settings for my preferred gameplay experience. The interface was easy enough to understand, but I realized there were many settings I would have to adjust as the game progressed such as spell slots and toggle vs hold. 

After my settings were deemed satisfactory, I moved to the character creation page. My expectations for this game rest in Skyrim’s hands as it is my favorite role-playing game (RPG), so I was ready for some high-detailed, to-the-centimeter type of character customization. I am sad to report that this was not the case instead the character I made was based on a few templates and color scroll bars. My first idea was to create a Malfoy-based witch, but after looking through the four options they gave me for blonde-colored hair, paired with the lightest pale skin they had, I decided to give up my pursuit of creating a Malfoy heir. I then moved on to creating an androgynous character, testing just how far these character creation limits could reach. Sadly, most template options appeared to be either super soft and round or extremely cutting and angular. Also, there were no options for choosing nose, mouth, eye, ear, or jaw shape individually. I could either choose a fully created character and tweak the colors, or I could choose one of about 15 preset faces. The redeeming quality of character creation was the ability to give my character a range of skin detail. There were many options for types of freckles, beauty marks, and complexion types my character could have. I finished creating my witch by adding some dark circles under their eyes to set the tone for the restless journey I knew waited for me on the next screen. 

How right I was!

The game wastes no time at all getting you into their world and the dangers that lie ahead. Don’t expect to relax for too long as the game needs you to be ready and on your feet to solve their starting puzzles and cast your first spells. Luckily you have a guide in Professor Fig who joins you on your first journey. He teaches you your first spells, and the game has made them very intuitive for either a long-time player or a new gamer. Plus, you get lots of practice before taking down your first enemy. What your guide doesn’t tell you is to look EVERYWHERE. I cannot stress this enough, you HAVE TO SEARCH. This world has so much to offer right from the jump, so if you don’t look around you will miss the gifts the Hogwarts Legacy game developers are trying to give you. 

Speaking of looking around, one of the most anticipated aspects of this game for me was the visuals. The trailer alone was not enough, I needed to see for myself the sun’s reflection on the water and the moving paintings along the Hogwarts Castle walls. In this regard, the game did NOT disappoint. I spent the better part of an hour just looking at all of the sights and scenery that were available to me, this included searching every available inch of the Hufflepuff dorms and common room without NPC protest. One thing I did wish for was the ability to transfer from a 3rd person to 1st person’s point of view. While I don’t mind looking at the back of my character’s head while traveling around the castle, I thought it would be a cool way to fully immerse myself in the Hogwarts experience by seeing the world through the eyes of a student rather than the eyes of an observing camera. 

It was now hour three of my early access experience and I was beaten. I had expected to play until the sun went down, but the amount of information that the first few cutscenes and quests provide was putting my brain on overload. I knew that if I continued to play my brain would force me into autopilot, and this is the one game that I want to be fully conscious of as missing even one small detail may alter the course of my gaming experience. 

If you’re on the fence about purchasing Hogwarts Legacy, I would recommend watching videos of first-look playthroughs as they will show you a general idea of what to expect while playing. If you’re just waiting for your chance to play then I wish you good luck, and may your time at Hogwarts be everything you’ve ever hoped for! 

Tiana Penczar

Tiana Penczar


How Scooby-Doo Spinoff ‘Velma’ Became the Worst-Rated Animated Series Ever

Velma, the adult-oriented animated series based on the long-running and much-loved Scooby-Doo franchise, first premiered on HBO Max earlier this month. The spinoff was marketed as “an adult animated comedy series telling the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang.”

A reboot of a classic piece of kid’s entertainment, catered towards its now-adult audience with mature humor and a strong cast of voice actors, sounds like it has the makings for a hit show. 

Unfortunately, Velma did not live up to its potential. 

With only 6 of the 10 scheduled episodes released so far, Velma has already gained notoriety. Since its release, the show has been under fire for infringing upon the legacy of a beloved childhood cartoon with lackluster reimaginations of iconic characters, socio-political dissonance, and bad jokes.

Velma has become the worst-rated animated television series in IMBd history, having received an average score of 1.3 out of 10 stars. According to Rotten Tomatoes, it received a 42% on the Tomatometer and a startlingly low 6% audience score. Viewers and critics alike have come to the consensus that the show is, put simply, not good.

So what went wrong?

The problem is that people view the show through the lens of nostalgia and compare it to every other entry in the Scooby-Doo canon, only to conclude that the show seems to be about Mystery Inc. in name only. According to Forbes, it is “so far removed from Scooby-Doo that viewers have speculated that the show might have been conceived as an original concept that had a popular IP slapped onto it at some point during production.” Velma’s deviation from its source material—demonstrated by poorly-written characterizations of the gang and the absence of the talking dog himself—serves only as an affront to expectant fans.

On top of what audiences perceive as a disrespectful divergence from the source material, the show’s attempts to be contemporary have angered both sides of the political spectrum. Conservative audiences attack the show as “too woke” for changing the races of established characters, but progressive audiences also denounce this diversity as forced and poorly written. Abusive language, nudity, and the sexualization of 15-year-old characters have also drawn criticism.

With adult humor falling flat as it’s forced upon an uninspired reinterpretation of the iconic franchise, Velma just doesn’t seem to understand its own intent let alone its audience.

Surprisingly, though, the potential for a successful reboot isn’t entirely wasted.

In spite of the initial backlash surrounding the reimagining of Velma as South Asian before the show even aired, people still tuned in—Velma was reportedly HBO Max’s biggest premiere of any original animated series. Even now, despite overwhelmingly negative reviews, people are still watching the show. It has more than maintained an audience, experiencing an unexpected, critic-defying increase in viewership that secured the ranking as the second most in-demand new show. This places Velma above even HBO’s The Last of Us, another popular television adaptation that, unlike Velma, has received universal praise from both viewers and critics.

It remains to be seen if and when audiences should prepare for another season of Velma. HBO Max has not yet made any official announcements regarding the future of the show, but with such high viewership, a season renewal wouldn’t be unexpected.

Colleen Benison

Colleen Benison


Teen Wolf: The Movie Reveals the Issue With Money Grab Reboots

The Teen Wolf movie was released on January 26, 2023, on Paramount +.

It left fans of the show either elated to have some of their favorite characters back or regretful for even wasting 2 hours and 20 minutes watching it.

The original show aired on MTV from 2011-2017 and followed Scott Mcall after he was bitten by a werewolf in his sophomore year of high school. For 6 seasons he is finding a balance between love, friendship, and his powers. It is most well known for its terrible CGI (especially in seasons 1 and 2) but also for its beloved character Stiles Stilinski, played by Dylan O’Brien.

According to reviewers, the movie basically rehashes the plot of season 3b. The second half of season 3 was the most loved by fans, “with an impressive audience rating of 9 out of 10. It sees Stiles becoming possessed by the nogitsune, essentially becoming evil” according to Screen Rant. This season also introduced the character Kira (Arden Cho), who’s a detrimental part of this plot as it revolves around her family history. She is also the one who is responsible for saving the day and killing the nogitsune. 

The movie aired almost 8 years after season 3b and 5 years after the last season. It consists of a 15-year time jump, in which the nogitsune comes back and possesses Mcall’s ex-girlfriend who died in season 3b. The main issue is that the plot is being reused without the two main characters of the season, Stiles and Kira.

Arden Cho decided she would not return to the Teen Wolf movie after mistreatment on set, which led her to be written off the show in 2016. When asked to return, it was reported that she would only receive half the salary of her male and female counterparts. She responded by saying “I think I was offered even less,” according to The Cut.

Dylan O’Brien also refused to return out of solidarity. He began liking posts on Twitter calling out the behavior of the producers, to which fans responded “Dylan O’Brien having Arden Cho’s back we love to see it, they deserve the world.”

The movie received terrible reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 39% score from critics. Here are a few notable reviews: 

“Teen Wolf: The Movie lacks the fun, thrill, and high energy of the show that made it so popular in the first place, instead giving us a lifeless paint-by-numbers adventure that overstays its welcome.” – Joey Rambles

“The plot meanders, the exposition-heavy dialogue feels lazy, and no one has any freakin’ chemistry”. – Anna Menta

“It feels too much like an elongated TV episode of the show, never living up to the ‘movie’ label in its title. There’s solid fan service but offers little else.” – Ej Moreno

However, it seems like the fan service is what appealed to longtime fans of the show. Here are a few somewhat positive reviews:

“Perfect, but without Stiles, the film is a little bit poor, it shows that he is missing from the whole plot.” – Mara P.

 “Great movie – very nostalgic for us fans that needed something more from this amazing pack of actors. The only thing missing was the one & only Stiles! Wish we could get a new series out of this with the original cast!” – Ashley B. 

I thought the movie was great! Of course, there were a couple of flaws and a couple of things I would’ve liked to see, maybe even have a couple of characters who we haven’t seen in a while come back…” – Cristian G. 

This is a glaring issue that all reboots seem to have. Producers are stuck between bringing back what the fans love while continuing the plot. The Teen Wolf movie is not alone in this, as many critics believe reboots in general are terrible.

The Wrap even made a list of the 23 worst reboots in television history.

This includes shows like Dynasty which “drew critical pans and weak ratings — that were still lucrative enough to earn the series a fourth season premiering in 2021,” and The Twilight Zone, which “critics complained was too on-the-nose, melodramatic, and, well, a lot meaner things than that.”

However, there are some TV reboots that did make it work, and seemingly found the balance between the old and the new. Collider made a list of the 10 best reboots, which includes Doctor Who, iCarly, The Office, and Beverly Hills 90210. These select shows “are veritable masterpieces that bring fresh perspectives to old memories, serving a perfect blend.”

So, it can be done. Just not by recreating the most loved season without the two most important characters.

Katlynn Wheatley

Katlynn Wheatley


The Controversial Casting for the Movie Adaptation of “It Ends With Us”

One scroll through the book side of TikTok, coined “BookTok,” will leave you with several recommendations of young adult romance novels from the author Colleen Hoover. She is best known for her novel It Ends With Us, and her other popular books Ugly Love, Verity, and November 9. It is estimated that she has sold over 20 million books. 

The casting for the movie adaptation of It Ends With Us was just revealed, which has fans of the books divided. Blake Lively, best known for her role in Gossip Girl, was cast as the main lead Lily, while Justin Baldoni, known for his role in Jane the Virgin, will play Ryle.

The age of the actors seems to be the main reason for backlash, as one fan wrote on Twitter, “Blake Lively being cast as lily blooms in it ends with us is confusing because the character is 23 in the book and Blake is 12 years older ??? like could they not have got someone age appropriate.” 

While another wrote, “All this discourse about the book that Blake Lively is gonna star in the movie for is dumb bc people are saying she’s 40 and the character should be 20 but she’s an actress she’ll play whatever age she needs to??? in what show or movie is the actor the actual age of the character.”

So, what is the book about? 

It Ends With Us, written in 2016, gained traction for its themes of romance and domestic violence. It is also surrounded by a lot of controversies as to how it handles dark themes, as it is geared toward a young audience. It is clear that it is made for young adults, as the main character’s name is literally Lily Blossom Bloom and she owns a flower shop (need I say more?) 

In short, the book begins with the main character as she deals with the death of her abusive father, navigating living in a new city, and falling in love with a rich doctor named Ryle. The readers learn a lot about her past with her family and ex-boyfriend Atlas, as she reads through the old letters that she wrote to Ellen DeGeneres (yes, that Ellen) as a teenager. Lily’s new boyfriend begins to show abusive behavior toward her, like hitting her and pushing her down the stairs, for which she is always making excuses.They even eventually get married and have a daughter. Throughout the book, Lily also reconnects with her first love, Atlas, as he tries to help her escape her abusive relationship. She and Ryle only break up after an explicit sexual assault scene that was pretty unnecessary to the overall story. It ends with Lily and Atlas ending up together, which rubbed many readers the wrong way as she is clearly dealing with enough and doesn’t need to jump into a new relationship. 

Hoover has claimed that It Ends With Us is not a love story between Lily and Atlas, but rather a cautionary tale about ending the cycle of domestic violence. However, many readers have an issue with the way this was done. One reviewer on Good Reads wrote:

“I empathize with the main character Lily and I appreciate the effort that was made to highlight how trauma distorts and lingers, but I don’t believe this captures the severity or nuance that a topic this heavy deserves in fictionalized work. This book is marketed as a romance, and the synopsis makes it seem like a lighthearted love triangle instead of a woman’s experience with spousal abuse.” 

While another wrote: 

“I have a few big issues with this book and one of them is the impressionable message it could possibly leave on young readers. Another huge problem I have is the lack of repercussions Ryle receives after being outed as Lily’s abuser. His only ‘punishment’ was Lily leaving him. He got to keep his family and their support, his fancy little job, and later on he even gets Lily AND his daughter back in his life. so technically he really just got away with a little pat on the hand and that’s all.” 

It seems as though while the message could have been strong, it was executed terribly.

The Coloring Book 

Hoover has also been in hot water after attempting to release a coloring book about the novel, which is extremely tone-deaf given the content. One person on Twitter wrote, “Colleen Hoover creating a coloring book for a novel that’s supposedly about DV and SA is just profiting off of the subjects DV and SA. At this point, it’s about money for her and I feel like we should absolutely 100% boycott her and stop buying from her and supporting her.”

After backlash, production on the coloring was halted and Hoover wrote “I hear you guys and I agree with you. No excuses. No finger pointing,” she continued. “I have contacted the publisher to let them know I would prefer we don’t move forward with it. Thank you for the respectful discourse and accountability. Nothing but love.”

The question remains about how topics such as domestic violence should be handled in the media. What could Hoover have done better? Should the intended audience have been older?

Katlynn Wheatley

Katlynn Wheatley


Recent Celebrity Deaths and Their Impact on Pop Culture

The last week of January was full of unfortunate celebrity deaths. Most notably, actresses Cindy Williams, Lisa Loring, and Annie Wersching all passed away in the span of 4 days.Each of these influential women left behind a legacy and will be remembered for their work in the film and TV industry.

Cindy Williams 

Williams passed away on January 25, 2023, at 75 years old from a “brief illness” according to her family spokesperson. 

She began her acting career after college by starring in several commercials and landing large roles early on. In 1975, Williams got the role of Shirley Feeney alongside Penny Marshall who played Laverne DeFazio on Happy Days. This led to the popular television show Laverne and Shirley, which ran from 1976-1982. It followed Laverne and Shirley, two roommates, who worked in a Milwaukee brewery in the 1950s as bottle cappers.Shirley with her bubbly and optimistic character, and Laverne with her outspokenness and thick skin, served as the antithesis of each other. After the show ended, Williams went on to star in movies such as More American Graffiti, TV shows such as Normal Life, and theater productions such as Grease. 

Williams married Bill Hudson in 1982, and they were divorced in 2000. She is survived by her children Emily and Zak Hudson, who shared this statement via their family spokesperson:

“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed. Knowing and loving her has been our joy and privilege. She was one of a kind, beautiful, generous, and possessed a brilliant sense of humor and a glittering spirit that everyone loved.” 

Lisa Loring

 Loring passed away on January 28, 2023, at 64 due to complications from a stroke, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Lisa Loring Dead: Wednesday Addams Actress Was 64 – The Hollywood Reporter

Loring’s acting career began at the age of 3 when she starred in an episode of Dr. Kildare. She is best known for her role as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family, which aired from 1964-1966. She later went on to star in the soap opera As the World Turns, and horror films like Iced.

Wednesday, the pale, vengeful, and compelling character has always been a fan favorite. It has since been portrayed by Christina Ricci in 1991 and 1993 in The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values. More recently, Jenna Ortega reprised the role in Wednesday which became one of Netflix’s most popular shows of all time. Ortega shared a post of young Loring on Instagram with the caption “Absolutely devastated. Thank you for everything.”

Loring was married four times, being only 15 when she married her first husband Farrell Foumberg and had her daughter Vanessa Loring, and was divorced a year later. She also married Doug Stevenson (m. 1981-83) and had her second daughter Marianne Loring. She went on to marry Jerry Butler (m. 1987-92), and Graham Rich (m. 2003-08). 

Many of Loring’s friends and family released statements about their grief. Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster shared kind words about Loring, stating “The more we worked together, the closer we got and the deeper the friendship bond became.” Her daughter Marianne also stated, “She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands.”

Annie Wersching 

Wersching died January 29, 2023, at 45 due to complications with cancer.She was diagnosed in 2020, according to her publicist. 

Her acting career consists of major roles, including those in Star Trek: Enterprise, Supernatural, General Hospital, CSI, Castle, The Vampire Diaries, and Blue Bloods. She is also well known for her role in the video game The Last of Us, in which she did the voice and motion capture for the character Tess. The Last of Us has been getting buzz again recently, as HBO has adapted it into a show. Neil Druckmann, the creator of the video game shared a post on Twitter saying, “We just lost a beautiful artist and human being. My heart is shattered.”

Her The Vampire Diaries co-stars also shared messages about Wersching. Paul Wesley, who played her son, wrote on Instagram, “I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Annie Wersching. She was a wonderful and talented person I was lucky enough to know.” 

Wersching is survived by her husband Stephen Full (m. 2009), and their three children, Freddie, Ozzie, and Archie Full. Her husband shared a statement saying, “There is a cavernous hole in the soul of this family today. But she left us the tools to fill it. She found wonder in the simplest moment. She didn’t require music to dance. She taught us not to wait for the adventure to find you.”

Katlynn Wheatley

Katlynn Wheatley