Euphoria: Episode 5 Highlights
A look back at Zendaya’s amazing acting and Maddy’s potential to dominate the rest of the series.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
So far this year, my Sundays have looked like this: sleep in until noon, treat myself to a trip to the mall, and be home by 6 PM to catch the newest Euphoria episode. Each week, I join the nationwide event of watching how the wild episodes of the Euphoria universe unfold. After each episode ends, I spend the rest of the night scrolling through Twitter and Tik Tok, unpacking the episode with the internet. The HBO series has united millennials and zoomers alike as the new season has everyone holding their breaths. Spoilers ahead!
If I had to use one word to describe Episode 5, it’d be Zendaya. Her performance in this episode was so impressive and captivating, that it was painful to watch. Her character, Rue, has finally reached her breaking point. She’s at the lowest she has been in the entire series and finds herself in an intervention with her mother and sister. In this fifteen-minute monologue, we see the multiple personalities of Rue. We feel her pain and betrayal from her mother, her constant struggle with the side effects of addiction, and her yearning to just get better. Zendaya seamlessly portrayed all of these different states of being; making it hard to hate Rue for what she had done or said. After her relapse and downward spiral into her hatred for Jules, Rue’s girlfriend, viewers are only filled with sympathy and concern for her well-being.
This episode also brings light to one of the most scandalous plot lines, Cassie and Nate’s secret relationship. In an effort to take the spotlight off of herself, Rue throws Cassie under the bus and admits to everyone that she saw the two kissing and driving off together one night. Cassie’s immediate defense and puzzled reaction instantly gave herself away, igniting anger from Maddy. Cassie all of a sudden runs straight up to her room trying to avoid the situation.
Where was that energy from Episode 2, Cassie? She said she was crazier than Maddy, but couldn’t talk the talk when it came down to it. Seeing how Cassie and Nate face Maddy throughout the rest of the season will be very interesting. Maddy still has the forbidden tape of Nate’s dad and Jules. What will she do with it? And what will she do about Cassie? I can’t wait to see this situation play out and see how Maddy could dominate the series as well.
Sam Levinson does an amazing job with his writing and how he directs episodes in ways that leave viewers wondering, “What happens next?” The show is unpredictable and exciting to watch, and I’m filled with anticipation for this upcoming Euphoria Sunday.
How Instagram went from just a photo-sharing app to a romanticization of our daily lives.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
What was your first Instagram post? Was it a photo of your food? A beautiful sunset with an oversaturated filter? Or a cringe picture of you and your friends hanging out at the mall? The birth of Instagram was the birth of an entire new world. The culture of social media changed instantly, as it’s still changing today. Originally, Instagram was just a photo-sharing app where you could follow your friends and see what they were up to that day. You could post whatever you want when you want. A random photo of a flower? Cool. A candid selfie you randomly took? Awesome. It was a fun time and a new way for people to keep up with one another.
Eventually, Instagram’s unspoken culture started shifting. You weren’t at the party unless you posted it on Instagram. Self-timer photo shoots with friends started becoming a normal hang-out activity. Selfies were once full-body, posed photos because front cameras didn’t exist yet. The portrayal of a fun, eventful life started becoming the Instagram norm. Perfectly posed and directed photos were the only way to post. This norm still exists today, but it looks like we may be entering a new era of Instagram culture.
The other day I was scrolling through my feed and came across someone’s “photo dump.” It started off with a picture of the sky, then a photo of a chair, a funny Twitter meme, a candid (but photogenic) selfie, and a photo of a bagel. I didn’t understand how all of these photos were so different, yet made sense. Things are starting to look a little more casual on the Gram, but not like how they used to. The evolution of Instagram has gone from staged, glamorous photos to casual, laid-back ones.
Romanticizing our daily lives has reached social media culture and our online presence. There’s no reason to wait for a party to post, it’s just as cool to post a photo of your water bottle sitting in the car. The more casual and candid your photos are the better. This is the new Instagram.
TikTok and the Olympics
How the popular app increased interest in the international games.
By Madison Sciba
Back in Summer 2021, TikTok users got to experience something rarely seen before, an inside look at what it is like to be an Olympic athlete. By documenting everything from life in the Olympic village to practicing and competing, Olympians have given average people the chance to experience the Olympics.
For the Summer Games in Tokyo, athletes from all over the globe developed dedicated followings on the app just for showing their Olympic routines. By doing this, they also increased interest in sports that were not typically popular amongst fans. U.S. Rugby Sevens player Ilona Maher drew increased interest in Rugby with her viral TikToks about Olympic daily life. Australian diver Sam Fricker found similar online popularity with insight into the life and training needed to become an Olympic diver.
Throughout these Winter Olympics in Beijing, 3-time gold medalist Shaun White (US) and newcomer Maddie Mastro (US) have used their platforms to show TikTokers what gear they got, how they trade pins (an Olympic tradition), their training, and even an incredible view of the opening ceremonies. Maddie Rooney, 2018 gold medalist, has made just fun videos with her teammates on the US women’s ice hockey team in which she is the goalie. Anna Hoffman (US), a 21-year-old ski jumper, shared her entire journey to the Olympics. From videos of her as a toddler on her first set of skis to videos of the jump that got her a spot on the Olympic team.
Paralympians were also able to use TikTok to bring awareness to their games and how their sports have been modified and/or how they are different from the traditional games. Jack Wallace of the US Men’s Sled Hockey team documented how sled hockey is played and even how his sleds were made.
In a time when Olympic viewership is in decline, TikTok may offer hope for the games and is putting lesser supported events into the spotlight.
“Let Somebody Go” Song Review
By Remy Zerber
“Let Somebody Go” is a collaboration track between Selena Gomez and Coldplay about letting go of a loved onedespite the pain it will cause. They announced they were working together in October when they performed on The Late Late Show With James Corden, but they just released their music video for the song on Monday. The music video is a black and white masterpiece where Gomez and Chris Martin (Coldplay’s frontman) play lovers. The video takes place in New York City, but the city is upside down thanks to CGI.
The video starts out with Martin on the ground and everything is right-side up. Then we see Gomez and the city turns upside down. Selena and Chris soar through the sky with tears streaming down their faces as they are ripped apart. They try to hold on to each other, but can’t. Their soft, silky voices are perfect for this song because it adds to the emotional and painful mood of the music video. Their final long embrace is in front of a movie theater before they both disappear.
One of my favorite lyrics from the song is “They said love is only equal to the pain.” I like this lyric because it is very true. If two people are deeply in love, it will hurt a lot when one person leaves. This could apply to any kind of relationship, not just a romantic relationship. It could apply to a breakup, when a close friend moves away, or even when a loved one dies. This is an emotional line.
Another one of my favorite lyrics is “You gave everything this golden glow/Now turn off all the stars 'cause this I know” because it is talking about how his lover made everything special, but when they left everything got dull. This is true about falling out of romantic love. When people break up, they can get depressed because everything seems less special to them.
Overall “Let Somebody Go” by Coldplay and Selena Gomez is a very emotional song that has very well-written lyrics. The meaning of this song can be applied to many situations. Everyone can relate to it in some way.
The Oscars are coming up in March, so there are many worthy nominations for categories such as “Best Actor,” “Best Actress,” “Best Adapted Screenplay,” “Best Editing,” “Best Costume,” and much more. The Oscars are Thursday, March 27th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. I am most excited to see the winner of “Best Animated Feature” because some of my favorite animated movies that came out recently are nominated like Encanto, Luca, and Raya and the Last Dragon. The other nominations are Flee and The Mitchells vs. the Machines. Interestingly enough, many of these movies have queer themes in them, making this a historic group of nominees.
Disney/Pixar has not specifically confirmed Luca is a movie about queer characters, but there is a lot of queer coding. The movie is about two boys/sea monsters and their adventures with their new friend, Giulia. It uses the sea monsters as a metaphor for queer love because the three main characters are outsiders in their town. The two boys are afraid to go on land because they will get shunned for being sea monsters. This is similar to the experiences of many queer people because some are not as accepting of queerness, especially not when the movie takes place—the Italian Riviera in the town of Portorosso in the 1950s.
Encanto also has some queer representation because “Luisa is ‘a lesbian icon of strength.’ According to Out.com, the song “What Else Can I Do?” sung by Isabella, is a queer anthem because “[a]fter spending her whole life trying to be perfect and do things the way her family wants, she's finally doing things for herself. ‘I wanna feel the shiver of something new/I'm so sick of pretty/I want something true, don't you,’ she sings, adding, “What can you do when you know who you wanna be is imperfect? But I’ll still be okay.” This song hints at the lesbian experience, as it references the societal pressures lesbian women face.
Raya and the Last Dragon is an animated film inspired by East Asian culture. Raya is the main character. Her amazing character development is exemplified when the narrator explains her back story and why she hates Namaari. Namaari is the daughter of a chief from another clan that opposes Raya. At the beginning of the movie, they hate each other, but by the end they become friends. Raya and Namaari have a very interesting character arc. There have been some rumors about Raya’s sexuality because of the tension between her and Namaari. According to Screenrant.com, “While speaking in an interview (via Vanity Fair), Kelly Marie Tran confirmed her belief that Raya is gay, adding she voiced the character as if there were "some romantic feelings going on there.” The actress who played Raya thinks her character is gay, so perhaps she is.
Flee is an animated film about an Afghan refugee who escapes to Denmark. Along the way, he realizes he is gay. The movie is based on an interview the refugee provided.
The Mitchells vs the Machines is an animated movie about a dysfunctional family that has to save the world from the robot apocalypse. Everyone in the family is really weird. For example, they don’t like to make eye contact with each other, so they have to have mandatory eye contact time.
There are some great movies nominated for “Best Animated Feature” like Encanto, Luca, and Raya and the Last Dragon. Flee and The Mitchells vs. the Machines were also nominated. Though I do have my favorites, I think they all be deserving candidates.
Ryan Ford '23,