Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
November 28, 2020

Arts & Entertainment



COURTESY OF NICK XITCO 
The Barnstormers presented five short plays over the weekend to welcome freshmen.

Barnstormers introduce new students in Freshman One Acts

This past weekend the Barnstormers hosted their Freshman One Acts, an annual performance featuring performances by members of the new class.The event — which was comprised of five short plays — put freshmen in the metaphorical and literal spotlight both on stage and behind the curtain and was a promising omen of great performances to come.


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Peggy Gou releases break-out new music video

 The first time I was introduced to the world of Peggy Gou was when my sister sent over a humorous Instagram clip of her at the Wilderness Festival at Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, dressed in an iconic, yellow dress, skipping around in a circle while singing along to the 1995 hit “I Wish” by Skee-lo. Known for her quirky love for giraffes and her branded “Just Gou It” Nike t-shirts, Peggy is someone you cannot not love. Her recent music video for her EP’s A-side track, “Starry Night,” had been released this summer on Apple Music (I watched it through my sister’s phone via FaceTime), but this past week, it was finally published on more accessible platforms for the world to see. 


Abominable is cute, but boring and derivative

From Crazy Rich Asians, the first rom-com to feature an all Asian cast in 25 years, to Farewell, a movie about a Chinese American woman’s trip to her mother country that swept nominations and awards, Hollywood is seeing an ever-increasing portrayal of stories and characters that resonate with Asian Americans. 


COURTESY OF RUDY MALCOM

Parekh ran out of sticky notes while marking her favorite parts of Chanel Miller’s book.

What survivor Chanel Miller’s memoir Know My Name means to me

So I’ve been reading this book lately. It’s called Know My Name, and it’s written by Chanel Miller. Some of you might know who she is, might recognize her name from when she revealed it on Sept. 4. But most of you know who Brock Turner is. Chanel Miller is Emily Doe — she’s “the victim,” she’s the “unconscious woman” that Brock Turner sexually assaulted. And she wrote a book. And I haven’t been able to put it down.



DanTD/ CC BY-SA 3.0

Lia Purpura reads selections from her new book of essays

As part of the ongoing “Writers LIVE” reading series, the Enoch Pratt Free Library hosted author Lia Purpura for a reading on Thursday, Sept. 26. Purpura — the writer-in-residence at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) — read excerpts from All the Fierce Tethers, her ninth book and fourth collection of essays.  



gordon correll/CC BY-SA 2.0

Unbelievable is not for the faint of heart

It’s hard to write a review about a show as well-made and powerful as Unbelievable while simultaneously not recommending it. There is no question that Unbelievable is about as intense and emotionally draining as any show I’ve ever seen. It had me fully hooked every second and fully invested in the outcome of all of the characters involved. It also hurt to watch more than anything I’ve ever experienced before in my life.


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Tove Lo’s new album is derivative and boring

Swedish singer and songwriter Tove Lo dropped her fourth album, Sunshine Kitty, on Friday, Sept. 20. In the making of this album, she collaborated with various artists, including English producer Jax Jones for “Jacques,” a lively house-vibe song. Doja Cat, an American rapper and singer, and Australian singer Kylie Minogue are also featured in two of Tove Lo’s songs.


CANADIAN FILIMCENTRE/CC BY-S.A 2.0 
Canadian screenwriter Paul Haggis directed 5B alongside Dan Krauss. 

5B highlights sacrifices of AIDS patients and doctors

The Bloomberg School of Public Health hosted a screening of 5B, a recently released documentary about the AIDS crisis and the creation of the first dedicated AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital on Friday, Sept. 20. The documentary — which received the Grand Prix Award in Entertainment at the Cannes Film Festival — is a gut-wrenching, yet occasionally joyful exploration of the early days of the epidemic and the attempts of the medical staff to provide care to the victims of the disease.


TENASIA/CC by S.A-3.0
BTS fails to honor its UNICEF partnership by performing in Saudi Arabia.

Why it's a mistake for BTS to perform in Saudi Arabia

My senior year of high school, while procrastinating on writing my college application essays, I stumbled upon a Korean-pop (K-pop) music video by a group known as “Bangtan Sonyeondan” (BTS). Fast forward almost four years, they’re easily one of my favorite musical groups. I have their songs on rotation, have been to multiple concerts of theirs and have created amazing friends thanks to our shared love of them. 


Even without a host, the Emmys proved entertaining

The 71st Annual Emmy Awards aired on Fox this Sunday, and I started watching with very few expectations or prior knowledge — except that Game of Thrones earned more nominations than any other TV show this year and that I was rooting for Fleabag to win Best Comedy Series. But the awards show ended up being surprisingly entertaining, with its earnest speeches, diverse wins and, of course, celebrities’ elaborate red carpet outfits (personally, I thought Billy Porter’s hat and Zendaya’s green dress stole the show).


Courtesy of Sam Farrar 
Tyler gave a riveting performance replete with colorful visuals and displays of high fashion.

Tyler, The Creator performs new and old hits

On Saturday, Tyler, The Creator kicked off the second American leg of his tour at Merriweather Post Pavilion alongside Jaden Smith and GoldLink. This tour celebrates the release of his latest album, Igor, which many consider to be his best album yet. 



The Great Believers looks at art’s enduring power

The Great Believers begins, like all great novels, with a funeral — only not a funeral, exactly. Yale, the bookish and gentle main character, arrives with his dashing British boyfriend, Charlie, at the doorstep of a friend’s Chicago row home. It’s a gathering to celebrate the life of their friend, Nico. 


Tuomas Vitikainen/CC BY-SA 4.0

Charli XCX reflects on nightlife and mental health

One of Charli XCX’s most redeeming qualities as a musician is her unflinching artistic sincerity and independence. From the very beginning of her career, Charli has been committed to brave sonic experimentation and exploration, not just in the way that she produces her albums, but also in the manner by which she proactively incorporates features from diverse artists into her music. This very sincerity and independence is at the forefront of what is her most revealing and dynamic album yet, Charli. 


MANDIBERG/CC BY-SA 2.0

New York Fashion Week is hip as ever

Once again creating a huge buzz, this year’s New York Fashion Week (NYFW) ended just last Saturday, Sept. 14, telling us what our closets will look like this coming season. 


JOHN BAULD/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Peanut Butter Falcon is a life-affirming exploration of hope

The Peanut Butter Falcon, which hit theaters early last week, follows the journey of Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome who makes a chaotic run away from the nursing home he’s been placed in, all with hopes of making it to a wrestling school in the Carolinas. Along the way, he meets Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), a down-and-out fisherman who’s been run out of his nearby home-town after enacting some costly — and potentially misplaced — revenge. 


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The Spy is an aesthetically flawed portrait of Eli Cohen

There is no way to review The Spy, Netflix’s new show about Israeli agent Eli Cohen, without talking extensively about the brilliance of Sacha Baron Cohen. It’s true that the history behind the show is fascinating and that there are some incredible side stories as well. There’s no question that there are distinctive and remarkable artistic decisions taken by the director and cinematographer in almost every episode. 


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