Last updateWed, 18 Nov 2020 1pm


All Time Low Goes All Time Virtual

All Time LowI can now officially say that I’ve been to my first virtual concert of 2020. On Friday, Nov. 13, alternative rock band All Time Low streamed the second installment to their “Basement Noise” concert series on their website.

To promote the release of their latest album Wake Up, Sunshine in April, the band decided to stream five virtual shows, one every two weeks from October to December. The first show included a setlist comprised of all the songs on the album, while the next four setlists are curated by each of the band members; lead singer Alex Gaskarth, guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist Zack Merrick, and drummer Rian Dawson.

Each concert is priced at $15, but when the Student Activities Board (SAB) offered a limited number of free tickets, I jumped at the opportunity.

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Remembering a TV ICON: Who is Alex Trebek?

Alex TrebekOn Nov. 8, the TV industry and dedicated Jeopardy! fans incurred a serious loss with the death of Alex Trebek, the program’s omniscient and charming host. Trebek, who hosted the game show from 1984 until his death, succumbed to pancreatic cancer at 80 years old last Sunday.

I first read about Trebek’s passing about eight minutes after the Jeopardy! official Instagram page posted announcing it: “Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex.”

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Weakest Link Is Stronger Than You’d Think

Weakest LinkAs the proliferation of reboots, remakes, revivals, and spinoffs increases with time, it becomes easier and easier to make the case that there’s no longer any sincerity or authenticity on television.

Ever since The Virus™ became the center of our lives, dominating our media cycle, TV watchers have been more hard-pressed than ever for quality entertainment with personality.

One of my favorite formats of TV entertainment—and one I think is often criminally overlooked—is the game show. Game shows, at their core, are fully representative of the reason we watch television in the first place: to be entertained.

Is there a more pure, distilled way to experience entertainment than to watch people playing a game? I’d argue there isn’t. But there’s still an art to making a game show that I think one recent reboot in particular has really nailed.

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A New Generation of Gaming: What to Expect from the PlayStation 5

Playstation 5The PlayStation 5 (PS5), the next generation game console by Sony, launches on Thursday, Nov. 12, almost exactly seven years after the PS4. At the retail price of $499.99 (or $399.99 for the digital edition), it comes just in time for the holiday season, and will provide an abundance of new gaming opportunities when we’re stuck inside during the next few months of the pandemic.

There’s a bunch of new features to look forward to with the PS5. First off, the new DualSense controller will provide a “highly immersive gaming experience,” according to the PlayStation website, with features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Haptic feedback allows for you to feel vibrations related to what you are doing in your game. Meanwhile, adaptive triggers allow for different levels of resistance when pressing down on the L2 and R2 buttons.

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Book Review: Bending the Universe

Book ReviewYou know a good book when it takes you a moment to realize your fingertips are laced around the edges of the page, your mind is gripping on to every word that dances on your lips, and the meaning of those words resonate with your life, whether it is your past, present, or future. 

Beautiful and brutally honest poetry has that effect on readers, and Bending the Universe by Alaskan artist Justin Wetch captured that ideology tremendously. Wetch is an idealist disguised as a pessimist through his writing. He published this book at 19, while he was a freshman at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

This international bestseller is a collection of 100 original pieces, broken up into five different sections; Society, Love, Life, Personal, and Nature. The handful of these uncover the true, raw morality of multiple aspects of life. The common thread running through his writing is thoroughness and perspective. Bending the Universe explores a range of topics, ranging from diversity to body image; from politics to love and heartbreak. 

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The Trial of the Chicago 7: Sorkin's Latest Legal Stunner

ChicagoI spent a lot of my free time this year watching the United States struggle greatly with a push for social justice. As far as civil rights go, our country’s division has reached a level we haven’t seen since the 1960s.

In August 1968, many left-wing activist groups gathered in Chicago to protest the ever-increasingly unpopular Vietnam War, planning to disrupt the Democratic National Convention, which was set to nominate the also unpopular Hubert Humphrey to take on Richard Nixon. For days, members of the Youth International Party (yippies), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (Mobe), and other groups opposing the Vietnam War gathered en masse to peacefully protest. On Aug. 28, a police-incited riot broke out, and, after over 600 protestors and unaffiliated civilians were beaten and gassed by heavily armed members of the Chicago Police Department and Illinois National Guard, eight leaders from these anti-war groups were arrested and tried for inciting a riot.

Released on Netflix in September, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of The Chicago 7 begins with an upbeat and almost funky montage that progresses from clips of draft letters in mailboxes to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to an introduction of the movie’s cast; and a large cast it is. The Chicago Seven themselves are: Tom Hayden and Rennie Davis, members of the SDS; Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, leaders of the yippies; David Dellinger, leader of the Mobe; and John Froines and Lee Weiner, who were called “givebacks” in the film—meaning they were tried so the jury could “give them back” after convicting the others.

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The Sims 4 Hits the Slopes

Sims 4 SlopesIt’s that time again for another Sims 4 expansion pack. The franchise just announced “The Sims 4: Snowy Escape,” which is expected for a Nov. 13 release date.

As the 9th expansion pack, it features snow-based activities for your sims to enjoy like snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and rock climbing. The Japanese-inspired snowy mountain town, called Mt. Komorebi, incorporates many elements of Japanese culture like new food items (sushi and shabu-shabu, a hotpot dish), kimonos, tatami mats, and even the vending machines seen all over Japan.

The expansion pack also introduces hot springs and bath houses, more important aspects of Japanese culture. It’s the perfect getaway for both you and your sims at a time when traveling in real life is at a halt due to COVID-19.

However, the most notable element missing from this pack are hotels and resorts for your sims to either stay in or manage while at Mt. Komorebi, a feature fans loved in The Sims 3: Island Paradise. If the game developers wanted to add this feature in The Sims 4, this pack would have been the perfect opportunity to do so.

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Adele Says “Hello” to SNL

Adele SNL “Hello” from 2015. After five years since Adele’s last album, 25, she has recently announced the release of a new album (finally). She hosted Saturday Night Live on Oct. 24, speaking about her weight loss and hinting at her new music.

NME quotes Adele’s monologue, saying, “[It was] the show that broke my career here in America, 12 very long years ago. See, I was the musical guest back in 2008 when Sarah Palin came on with Miss Tina Fey and so obviously a few million people tuned in to watch it and now the rest is history.”

Here, she indicated how much SNL helped her career. So, it was only right to return to the late-night show when she felt ready to be back in the spotlight.

There is no set release day or title yet for the album (basically we don’t know much), but we do know something is in progress and we could not be more excited. NME also reports the album is being worked on by Raphael Saadiq, a producer, as well as John Legend.

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Book Review: The Couple Next Door

Book ReviewWith Halloween comes spooky ghost stories, and suspenseful, mystery thrillers that will make your stomach churn or teeth grit. This year is a little different. Instead of going out to parties or handing out candy on your front porch, you may find yourself stuck inside, looking for a way to pass some time. Interested in a book that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very last page? Sunday Times Bestseller, The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena, was labeled as, “The most talked-about thriller of the year [2016]”, and it was for her ingenious array of motives stemming from each character within the heart-wrenching reality.

Fundamentally, the novel follows a loving relationship between couple Marco and Anne Conti. They have a wholesome bond, wonderful home, and a beautiful baby, Cora. One night, when the couple is at a dinner party next door, grief-stricken panic sets in when their baby is kidnapped. Detective Rasbach is a key factor in the case; setting suspicion upon every party involved, not leaving even the most innocent out.

The main characters of Lapena’s story grapple with the continuously-revealed secrets among the pair, and the magnitude of one decision. Leaving their baby home alone has now unraveled their family. Lapena’s tale is a one of chilling turns of events, deception, unfaithfulness, and incredibly unexpected moments you need to read to believe.

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Best Halloween Flicks For a Spooky Night In

Halloween FlicksIt’s that time of year again—Thirty-one nights of Halloween. There are many options for TV shows and movies to watch for a spooky night in the weekend of Oct. 31.

First, there are the classic Halloween movies that I consider a must watch. There’s Hocus Pocus, a movie full of surprise, comedy and drama. The audience gets to watch as Max and his sister Dani who just moved to Salem, explore the legend of the town witches with Allison, a local girl, and what happens when they learn that the legend is actually true.

Another classic, the Halloweentown series, is one that we all remember from when we were kids. The four films were released on Disney Channel in the late 90s and early 2000s, so we were able to grow up with the Cromwell siblings we watched through our TV screens.

In the first Halloweentown movie, we are introduced to the main characters and are taken on a journey of discovering their powers. These powers are then used to save Halloweentown, an alternate realm for creatures like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc.

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Alumni Perform at the Center for the Arts’ Virtual Concert Series

AlumuniMonmouth University’s Center for the Arts premiered a special alumni edition of the Virtual Living Room Concert Series on YouTube on Friday, Oct. 23, as a part of Homecoming weekend.

In conjunction with the University’s Office of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, the concert included pre-recorded performances by Taylor Hope ‘16, Carlos Morales ‘10, Gianna Cusanelli ‘17, Zach Gindi ‘19, Sharon Laster ‘81, Kellie Shane ‘09, Zack Sandler ‘20, and Natalie Imani ‘04.

“As soon as we knew we weren’t going to be able to host a traditional in-person Homecoming event, the staff on the Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving team put our heads together to brainstorm ways to engage our alumni and friends from the comfort of their homes,” said Laura MacDonald, Director Of Alumni Engagement. “We put a call out to alumni via social media and email and collected submissions.”

“We were thrilled to partner with eight talented alumni artists to put on this virtual showcase,” added Kristin Waring, Assistant Director of Recent Alumni and Student Programs.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu