Last updateWed, 03 Mar 2021 2pm


Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

Boom Roasted Presents: “The Addams Family”

The Adams FamiliyThis semester, Boom Roasted Productions will be putting on the stage adaptation of the classic dark comedy television show The Addams Family. The story follows the youngest Addams girl, Wednesday, as she falls in love with a “Normal Boy,” and the struggle that ensues between the two families trying to get along with each other. The show has been in rehearsal since the beginning of January, and a diverse range of students who study music, communication, political science, and even science have all been involved with the production of the show.

This is the second full staged musical from Boom Roasted, the first being last year’s production of RENT. The students who run the company took a huge leap of faith by staging their own production of the rock opera. Before the show, Boom Roasted would only run small events, such as stage readings. But hot off the heels of the massive success the company experienced with RENT, they have become involved with the Student Activities Board, and have created other events like “Theater Fest,” which is four straight nights of free theatrical events at Woods Theater.

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Netflix Releases “Fuller House”

“Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there’s a heart, a hand to hold onto.” Also everywhere you look, there is buzz about Netflix’s American sitcom, Fuller House. The 13-episode sequel series premiered on Feb. 26, 2016. The sitcom has reviews of 8.5/10 on and 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Some critics gave the revival very harsh, negative reviews, so Candace Cameron Bure, who plays DJ Fuller, told E!, “The critics never had a good thing to say about Full House and yet it ran for eight years in primetime and then it’s never been off the air in 30 years. So it’s a testament to what the fans want and not what the critics think.” She is absolutely right, and I personally enjoyed Fuller House—in fact, I subscribed to Netflix specifically to watch the revival.

Just before the revival premiered, Netflix released a teaser that acquired more than 10 million views, making it the most-viewed teaser on Netflix’s own YouTube channel. As many were highly anticipating Fuller House, I honestly wasn’t interested at first, but once I saw the unique teaser, I knew I had to watch it. The teaser opens with a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge followed by an inside glimpse of the Full House house with a little golden retriever, Comet Jr. Jr., ready to greet his family.

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Pollak Experiences a “Doo Wop Explosion”

Doo Wop ExplosionPamela and Charlie Horner brought doo wop to Monmouth University on Saturday night, Feb. 20, with their show “A Night of Acappella Harmony: Doo Wop Explosion.”

Doo wop is a style of music that involves singing nonsense syllables. “Doo Wop singing reached its heyday in the 1950s. Inner city kids hung out on the street corners. They often didn’t have access to musical instruments or music lessons,” a spokesperson for Monmouth’s Center for the Arts wrote. “But they could blend their voices together in harmony.”

Not many millennials, let alone college students, have ever been exposed to this style of music, so on opening night, there were more baby boomers in attendance than anything else. And what a shame that was! The Horners began the event with a few words on the background of doo wop and acappella. Charlie Horner explained that “doo wop is, in its purest form, acappella.” 

After the opening words, the night began and ultimately ended with Re-Memberthen, a group that came together in Philadelphia in 2011. About six groups and two solo artists headlined the event. The Horners came in between each act with words of appreciation for the audience, artists, and vocal harmony.

Each act was charming in its own way, whether that be in banter amongst members or flirtatious jokes with the well-dressed women in the front row. Because these groups were based rather locally, many of them came on stage and had fans and friends in the audience.

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“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” is a Late Night Success

Full Frontal Sam BeeWith this past year seeing some of its biggest changes yet, late night television was still missing something.

David Letterman passed The Late Show torch to Stephen Colbert back in September, and while Colbert can still absolutely hold his own, it’s hard not to miss the energetic spark he had during his Colbert Report days. Speaking of Comedy Central, Trevor Noah is doing his absolute best in leading The Daily Show, but is it even the same show without Jon Stewart at the helm? John Oliver is covering excellent stories on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, but not everyone has an HBO subscription (or the nerve to illegally stream it). And, of course, there’s no shortage of mild, yet funny hosts who most people just wait to watch until the next day on YouTube (looking at you, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and James Corden). 

The people needed someone new and fresh. Someone who, in this landscape where everything is starting to look uncannily the same, breaks the established mold. Someone who knows their platform is important and takes every minute of it to make a statement. Someone who isn’t afraid to make people uncomfortable, or make themselves look a little crazy. Or really, someone to finally say, “You know what? I think I’m kinda done with sausages.”

Insert comedienne Samantha Bee.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, which began on Feb. 8 on TBS and airs every Monday at 10:30 p.m., is the weird, startlingly honest, and hilarious late night show that the current television scene has been sorely missing until now. Full Frontal, the only show on late night with a female host, is political satire at it’s most biting and gutsy.

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Michael Malpass Retrospective Opening in Pollak

Michael Malpass PollackWEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the opening of a new gallery exhibit, a retrospective of one of the most respected sculptors of the 20th century, Michael Malpass (1946 – 1991), taking place in the Pollak Gallery from March 8 through June 30. The opening reception will be held on Friday, April 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. and will include a premiere screening of a new documentary Michael Malpass - A Great Circle created by Monmouth University Communication students under the direction of Erin Fleming, director of Production Services.

The exhibit will feature sculptures, prints, collages and jewelry Malpass made during his extraordinary career. His sculptures primarily explore the sphere using found metal objects. He would often say, “The sphere is the most perfect form. It is efficient, for example, with the most volume for the least surface area.” Applying traditional blacksmithing techniques the industrial shapes, composed of iron, steel, brass, bronze and copper, were forged into an arc and welded together to form the sphere. Ultimately they were ground and polished, wire brushed or painted. “In my work there is an element of discovery,” Michael wrote during this time. “For what I do is take what people have discarded, change the objects, rearrange objects, weld objects and grind objects to fit a sphere. I recycle but also elevate. The scrap is given importance because it becomes part of the whole and visually interlocks with the adjoining shape. It is, in a small way, revivalization.”

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Praise Be to “Hail, Caesar!”

Hail CaesarEddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) works at the fictional Capitol Pictures in early 1950s Hollywood as an enforcer of sorts (think Malcolm Tucker from The Thick of It or In the Loop). His job keeps him from his family, forces him to deal with petty press problems and leaves him to fix the scandalous personal lives of the actors and directors working under him. Indirectly, it causes him to smoke a lot too, at the moral expense of lying to his wife.

There’s DeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson), who has a child out of wedlock and must get married to avoid the ensuing scandal. Then there’s Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), an actor of B-movie proportions working in Western movies who must up his game and act in the film of self-styled studio auteur Lawrence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes)—except he can’t actually act. Then there are the Thacker Sisters, Thora and Thessaly (both played by Tilda Swinton). One sister thinks she covers hard news but only writes gossip, and the other is intent on gossip but actually publishes stories of worth.

Mannix is also tasked with fixing the production of “Hail, Caesar!,” Capitol’s big spectacle movie starring Baird Whitlock (George Clooney, playing his fourth idiot for the Coens). It’s a biblical epic that quotes shots directly from Ben-Hur and is destined to win 11 Academy Awards if it ever finishes production, since it is very far off schedule. Things take a turn when Whitlock is kidnapped from the set by a group of radical communist writers known only as “The Future,” and Mannix is then told that if he wants the star back he’d have to pay up.

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A Look Back at the Academy Awards

Chris Rock OscarsFor a ceremony that traditionally glorifies vanity and glamour, this year’s Oscars telecast took a drastic turn toward the political. Hosted by Chris Rock on Sunday, Feb. 28, the 88th Academy Awards covered everything from racism to gender roles with some shocking category upsets in between.

Hollywood’s biggest night garnered controversy earlier in the year when the Academy failed to nominate people of color in any of the major categories. Nods were only granted to white actors and actresses, prompting some to question why Michael B. Jordan or Will Smith had been glossed over for their powerful turns in Creed and Concussion, respectively. The drama led many black industry members to boycott the telecast, deeming this year’s ceremony as #OscarsSoWhite.

The controversy called into question whether Rock would still host the event, but he stuck to his gig and confronted the issue head on, utilizing his specific style of satire to both acknowledge the social issue and mock it for spiraling out of control. Rock proved himself to be a capable host, delivering plenty of laughs in his opening monologue without concern for being politically correct. His writing was solid but bits were often a hit or miss, scoring with pre-recorded segments but falling a little flat with some filler audience interaction. His endeavor to sell his daughter’s Girl Scout Cookies to the crowd was endearing at first, but didn’t have the weight to be maintained throughout the show (though the post-ceremony Instagram pictures of celebrities gorging on Thin Mints might have made it worthwhile).

The night kicked off by awarding Spotlight with Best Original Screenplay, a precursor of the biggest award of the night. The Big Short grabbed the statue for Best Adapted Screenplay directly after.

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Sitting Down with Bill Lawrence, Creator of “Scrubs” and “Cougar Town”

Bill Lawrence InterviewQ. When did you realize you wanted to work in television?

A. I always wanted to be a comedian or a writer, even in high school. I think having a passion—ANY passion—at a young age is the ultimate gift.

Q. What advice do you have for college students who are looking to pursue the television industry?

A. There are two simple pieces of advice. First, if you want to be in the television industry, you must move to Los Angeles. There is no way around it. Secondly, you must make connections with people who are currently working in the industry. Don’t ask for a job, just ask to hear how they broke in. We all like to talk about ourselves. Bonus advice: if you’re a writer, write a lot. If you actually finish a script, you’re immediately ahead of 50 percent of the people who call themselves writers.

Q. What is something you wish someone told you about working in television?

A. I wish someone had told me to be more grateful along the way. When I was a kid, I complained about the hours, and didn’t realize at first how lucky I was to get paid to write comedy. I’m now grateful every day.

Q. What was your first job working in television? What did you learn from it?

A. My very first job was the staff writer on a short lived show called Billy. I learned immediately how temporary every job was.

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Kanye West Releases “The Life of Pablo”

Kanye Album 7The biggest news in the music community the past month has been “Yeezus” himself, and his very anticipated seventh album. The Life of Pablo was released Feb. 14 on Kanye’s own record label “GOOD (Getting Out Our Dreams) Music, Inc.,” which has also released albums by other hip-hop and R&B artists like Common, John Legend, and Pusha T.

Three different singles were dropped in promotion of Kanye’s latest project, although none of them can be found on the final playlist. Fans were excited to see the collaboration between Kanye and Sir Paul McCartney on tracks like “FourFiveSeconds” and “Only One.” Both of these songs had a romantic element to them, and contained subject matters relating to Kanye’s own personal relationships and struggles with fatherhood. Then, the release of the track “All Day” brought back the more visceral and hip hop side to Kanye’s nature, in which he praised his own ego while being both very profane and upbeat.

Before the album’s release, the project title went under three name changes. Originally called “So Help Me God,” it was then changed to “SWISH” and then to “WAVES.” It wasn’t until shortly before the album’s release that it was renamed The Life of Pablo. The album was promised to drop on Feb. 11, but was not officially put out until the 14th; in the days between, fans were kept abreast about what was happening with the album through Kanye’s Twitter feed.

Kanye first updated the album’s track list by adding seven additional tracks, increasing the work’s run time by over half an hour, still promising the fans that the album would be done, mastered and ready to release on the 12th. He then released the cover art, as well as a website that allows you to fill in your own text in the same format as the album cover.

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“Better Call Saul” Returns for Season Two

Better Call SaulIn a parallel manner to the way Season One opened up, Better Call Saul returned Monday night and began again with a flash forward of Saul Goodman as Gene, the manager of a Cinnabon in Omaha. Portrayed in black and white, we follow him through mundane cleaning tasks as “Funny How Time Slips Away” by Billy Walker echoes in the background. Gene closes the shop and heads out with the garbage, but somehow manages to get locked in the dumpster room. Rather than opening the emergency door and setting off the alarm and police, Gene waits in the room for hours until someone lets him out, passing the time by carving a note amidst all the other graffiti smeared on the walls—“S.G was here.”

I’m a huge fan of the way the show moves back and forth in time, and I found the scene of him opting to be trapped rather than refusing to face the police or questions by opening the door to be really powerful. It is one of the rare moments when you get a glimpse of how he is in the future and the impact that his days working with criminals like Walter White has had on him. He doesn’t even want to risk a fleeing encounter with law enforcement and chance being discovered for who he truly is. However, the message left behind on the wall referencing his persona of Saul Goodman shows that he still misses the life he had to leave, and still yearns to go back to that time.

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“Deadpool” Revamps the Superhero Genre

Deadpool RevampWith the superhero realm currently being so powerful and profitable, it would be completely understandable if writers and producers didn’t want to stray from the current safe formula. The only problem with this theory is that comic book enthusiasts like myself might get bored with seeing the typical, run-of-the-mill adaption starring capes, villains and prolonged action.

Fortunately, 20th Century Fox has an answer to this genre overload—a $132.7 million, action-packed, R-rated answer, that is. Deadpool, starring Ryan Reynolds and T.J. Miller, opened Valentine’s Day weekend and broke box office records in the United States including biggest R-rated opening weekend and biggest opening weekend for first time director, Tim Miller.

Although the film received high praise for successfully breaking the fourth wall, meaning that Reynolds’ character talked to the audience rather than pretending it wasn’t there, it sadly didn’t have the deepest of plots.

Originally introduced in the early 90s by Stan Lee’s Marvel Entertainment as a spin off from the stereotypical superhero, Deadpool serves as the mercenary alter ego of Wade Wilson, who develops special powers after undergoing a sketchy, life-threating treatment for his terminal cancer. In fact, Reynolds originally played this character in Fox’s 2009 version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But of course, his character, as well as the film itself, did not leave a memorable mark, and only brought in $55 million opening weekend—a surprisingly low number for the fourth installment to the X-Men series.

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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