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Entertainment

New Horizons: One Year Later

New2 HorizonsFor a great many of us, video games have been a refuge to lean into over the past year, when isolation has become all too normal.

But one game series takes the idea of an imaginary refuge to the next level, and March 20 was the first anniversary of this series’ newest installment.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out almost exactly a year ago. Its release date unknowingly was aligned perfectly with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic; just as it was setting in that isolation could be our new way of life, at least for a time.

To the uninitiated: Animal Crossing is a series of life simulator games renowned for allowing the player great flexibility in what they can accomplish.

But the main draw of Animal Crossing and its newest edition, in my opinion, is the villagers.

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Second Wind: Pokémon Card Collecting in 2021

Second Wind 1The Pokémon franchise has taken over pop culture yet again, with the possibility that it can make you rich. Yes, you read that right: the show and game that you loved so much as a child now has the ability to make you money. The key to this success? The trading cards.

In the last year, Pokémon trading cards have evolved into a money-making machine. The shelves cannot stay stocked for anything longer than 10 minutes. On restock days, stores like Target, Best Buy, Walmart and GameStop have lines out the door before they are even open.

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Sam-I-Am (Not): McCurdy Won't Return for iCarly Reboot

Sam 1Fans of the iconic Nickelodeon sitcom iCarly have reason for disappointment, as co-star Jennette McCurdy revealed she will not be joining Miranda Cosgrove, Nathan Kress, and Jerry Trainor for the show’s long-awaited reboot.

On a recent episode of her podcast Empty Inside, McCurdy, now 28, shared that she quit acting and is “ashamed” of some of her roles.

During the episode in a conversation with actress Anna Faris, McCurdy said, “My family didn’t have a lot of money, and [acting] was the way out.”

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South ParQ: Pandemic and Vaccination Specials

South ParQSouth Park’s creators have hit the mark, yet again, while depicting our current cruel reality into two one-hour long specials on Comedy Central, with the most recent one airing on March 11. Usually, South Park episodes can take our day-to-day life and exaggerate it to satirical extremes, but with how much has been thrown our way in the last year, the jokes hit too close to home. But it might have been the remedy we all needed.

Last year, with the stay-at-home orders in place, the creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, decided to give us an hour long special instead of their yearly episode filled season. Titled “The Pandemic Special,” it tackled all the points we were stacked against, from the mask debates, the presidential election, racial inequality, Zoom calls, and just wanting to smoke some nice “Pandemic Special” weed curated by Tegridy Farms’ owner Randy Marsh.

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THE GRAMMYS: the Good, the Bad, and the Unexpected

Grammys 1This past Sunday, performers of popular music all gathered for a nontraditional version of the world’s biggest annual celebration of music.

The 63rd Grammy Awards took place on March 16, featuring comedian Trevor Noah as the host and emcee of the night.

The ceremony itself was interesting, even though it ultimately received low ratings. According to Variety, viewership for the awards was down over 50 percent from 2020.

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Movie March: What’s on this Spring

Movie 1The past year of restriction and confinement has taken a huge toll on the entertainment industry. Theaters for both stage and cinema are shuttering left and right, Broadway is much too quiet, and awards shows (like last Sunday’s Golden Globes) have gone virtual.

Life without entertainment is bland. It’s a huge bummer that we just can’t go places to be entertained lately. Instead, we’ve had to settle for streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and others which are becoming so ubiquitous.

But this spring, like buds on the tree of entertainment, it seems as though movies are beginning to pop up.

We need movies, and movies definitely need us. In this section, I’ve listed five of the movies coming out this March that seem fit to, at the very least, add a little bit of life to an industry that needs rejuvenation so desperately.

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Victoria Justice Releases New Songs After Hiatus

Victoria 1After a seven-year hiatus, Victoria Justice is finally releasing new music again. The 28-year-old actress and singer is best known for her lead role as Tori Vega on the hit Nickelodeon show Victorious from 2010-2013. As a part of the show, she recorded songs for three albums with the Victorious cast and released chart-topping earworms like “Freak the Freak Out,” “Best Friend’s Brother,” and “Beggin’ on Your Knees.”

Following the show’s conclusion, she released two debut solo singles in 2013, “Gold” and “Shake,” but they both failed to reach the music charts. Shortly after the singles’ release, she left Columbia Records and decided to focus on acting, where she landed roles in the movie Naomi and Eli’s No Kiss List (2015), the TV reboot of Rocky Horror Picture Show (2016), and more.

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POKÉMON FANS REJOICE: Three Upcoming Games Announced

Pokemon 1After a lackluster presentation at their Direct on Feb. 17, Nintendo has shocked a good portion of its fans with the announcement of not one, not two, but three new games in the Pokémon franchise: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Versions, and Legends: Arceus.

To be released for the Switch console in late 2021/early 2022, all three new Pokémon games will expand on the lore of the series’ fourth generation, which took place in the fictional Sinnoh region.

Originally released for the Nintendo DS in 2006, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl focus on (aside from catching creatures in balls and battling with them) themes of temporal and spatial awareness, as well as the peaceful coexistence of tradition and modernity.

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HAIR NIGHTMARE: Gorilla Glue Woman Goes Viral

Hair NightmareTessica Brown, a 40-year-old teacher from Louisiana, was in a rush one day when she realized she was out of her Got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Spray, a staple of her morning routine. In the bathroom, she saw another bottle that looked similar and did not say anything about using it on hair. So she used the adhesive and moved on with her day. Soon, she realized she had actually used Gorilla Glue in her hair. When she realized her mistake, she attempted to wash it out with no luck, thus beginning her hair journey.

Brown lived like this for a month before finally going to TikTok to share her story. In the viral video, she is clearly distressed discussing her hair and her situation. She says, “Y’all look, my hair, it doesn’t move. You hear what I’m tellin’ you? It doesn’t move. I’ve washed my hair 15 times and it doesn’t move.”

The TikTok blew up with  viewers concerned, confused, and some amused. Though it was funny at first, people soon realized that this adhesive needed to come out of her hair, as it could permanently damage her scalp.

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iCarly Gets an iReboot

iCarly 1In 5, 4, 3, 2…

Nickelodeon’s hit show iCarly is officially hitting the airwaves again for a reboot. While specific plot details have not yet been released, we do know that the revival, designed for adult audiences, will follow the iCarly gang grappling with their adult lives ten years after the show’s finale. According to OKMagazine, the show will begin filming soon and is expected to launch in late 2021 or early 2022 on the streaming service Paramount +, a rebrand of CBS All Access.

As one of Nickelodeon’s highest-rated series, the original show ran an impressive six seasons from 2007 to 2012, while typical hit shows on the network such as Drake and Josh, Zoey 101, and Victorious are capped at four seasons. The first three seasons of iCarly are also available on Netflix as of February, a likely attempt to publicize the reboot.

As of now, Miranda Cosgrove, Nathan Kress, and Jerry Trainor are confirmed to reprise their roles of Carly Shay, tech producer Freddie Benson, and Carly’s older brother Spencer Shay, respectively. Those not confirmed to rejoin the show include Jennette McCurdy, who played Carly’s best friend Sam Puckett, and Noah Munck, who played the lovable oddball Gibby and was supposed to get his own spinoff after iCarly ended.

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Daft Punk: Legacy 1993-2021

Daft PunkOn Feb. 23, French EDM duo Daft Punk announced their split on all social media platforms after seven years of no new releases. They revealed an eight-minute long video titled “Epilogue,” which included a clip of their 2006 sci-fi film Electroma. 

In the video, both characters are seen walking together in a desert alone. With no dialogue, the two come face-to-face, as the one with the silver helmet takes off his Daft Punk jacket, revealing a button. Once pressed, he walks away and self-destructs into pieces. The screen fades to black as the song “Touch” begins to play. The lyrics, “If love is the answer, you’re home” are heard as both silver and gold hands touch, with 1993 to 2021 shown on the bottom of the screen.

With the video up to interpretation, thousands of fans flooded to the internet to speculate if they were officially done with music altogether or if they were going their separate ways entirely. According to The New York Times, their publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed their breakup and that there were no further comments at the moment.

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Monmouth University
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