Despite Taylor Swift once dating Sophie Turner’s husband Joe Jonas, these women appear to have no bad blood, instead being friends.
By Remy Zerber
Relationships can be hard and messy sometimes no matter who you are. Taylor Swift dated Joe Jonas in 2008. Jonas is married to Sophie Turner now. Even though relationships and breakups are never easy, Sophie Turner, Joe Jonas, and Taylor Swift have managed to become good friends years after her split with Jonas. Fans think Taylor Swift’s new song, "Mr. Perfectly Fine," is about her ex Joe Jonas since she is releasing her old songs from her old albums from the vault.
“Mr. Perfectly Fine” is about a guy who broke up with Swift, moved on to another girl, and then acted like nothing happened between them. Swift’s other song, "Forever and Always" is probably about Jonas too because fans think she confirmed it in a 2008 interview. The album that Swift released contains songs that were written in 2008 so it would make sense if it was about Jonas. Swift is rerecording and rereleasing her old songs so she can own her own music again after a fight with her old record label, Big Machine Records. Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta (owner of the company that bought Big Machine Records, Ithaca Holdings) sold Taylor Swift’s masters for almost $300 million.
Jonas and Swift’s relationship only lasted 3 months. Jonas ended it with a 27-second phone call. Swift was heartbroken when Jonas quickly started dating Camilla Belle after he broke up with Swift. The Jonas Brothers’ song “Much Better” is rumored to be about Taylor Swift. Swift and Jonas have since moved on and dated other people. It was made clear that Swift and Jonas are on good terms now when she sent his and Turner’s baby a gift in July when her album, Folklore, came out because it is believed that Taylor was calling out Sophie and Joe in her song invisible string when the lyric stated “For the boys who broke my heart / now I send their babies presents” referring to their baby.
Swift is now dating Joe Alwyn and Jonas is married to Sophie Turner. In July 2019 when Swift released her album, Lover, Alwyn, and Swift liked each other’s Instagram posts. Their relationship is nothing like Joe and Sophie’s relationship. When Jonas broke up with her a day before their wedding, Turner explained in an interview that, "It was the worst day of our lives," she told the outlet. But thankfully, they both quickly realized they wanted to be together. "For a second we both had cold feet, then 24 hours later we were both, like, 'Never mind.'" She also said that she was having a hard time with her mental health because of gaining fame at such a young age and Jonas helped calm her down. Turner said, "[Jonas] was, like, 'I can't be with you until you love yourself, I can't see you love me more than you love yourself.' That was something, him doing that. I think he kind of saved my life, in a way." Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas met in 2016 through friends and got married in 2019.
Turner’s interaction with Swift proved to fans that they are friends. When Turner praised Swift’s song on her Instagram Stories Swift responded by referencing her Game of Thrones character by saying “forever bending the knee for the queen of the north”. Swift even sent Turner’s baby a gift. Jonas and Swift have said that they are friends now. Turner is a Swiftie, which is what Swift’s fans are called. There is no bad blood between Turner, Swift, and Jonas. Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner are good friends now, despite Turner being married to Swift’s ex.
The Wild Goose Chase of Substantive Political Discourse
By Benjamin Noel
In the modern world, it is nearly impossible to go a day without interacting with politics in some way, shape, or form. Whether it’s on television, social media, or in conversation with friends, politics are everywhere. This begs the question: is our culture overly political?
Yes. In regards to politics, we’re talking a lot. But we’re talking in circles. Two drum circles, to be specific, sitting in the same room banging on their goat skins, trying to out-drum the other.
When talking politics, a great divide comes to mind. Granted, the divide is feeding the beast of what is deemed relevant discourse.
With every election cycle, a clear growing polarization of the Democrats and Republicans has become apparent. “The overall share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over the past two decades from 10% to 21%” (Pew Research). The rate of divide has been exacerbated by how tightly connected party and ideology have become, with Democrats becoming uniformly left, and Republicans, right. “Today, 92% of Republicans are to the right of the median Democrat, and 94% of Democrats are to the left of the median Republican” (Pew Research). This gives way to the thinking that one must line up 100% with their party’s entire playbook as if it is some sort of concrete, uniform moral code, effectively stripping away individual thought.
The increasing ideological divide is manifesting itself in two diverging ideas of the American ideal. The one side genuinely believes the other is morally repugnant, and will cause the utter destruction of our country. This makes it near impossible to have a constructive conversation with the average member of the party on the other side of the aisle. And the most dangerous thing to come out of this vicious dichotomy is the single headedness of the people participating. A single disagreement with your party casts you off as somehow incoherent and morally confused, regardless of how qualified your stance is. There are two clear cut sides, and crossing the line isn’t looked fondly upon.
In our hyper connected digital age, political views have social value. It’s clear when seeing civil rights leaders’ quotes being re-posted and traded like baseball cards, and more people wearing red hats than at an Angels home game. American political affiliations have slowly, but surely, created two generally homogeneous groups, in which diversity of thought is steadily declining. The entirety of America’s current political discourse revolves around being surrounded by those that won’t help question one’s beliefs. A lack of diverse thought within discourse groups lowers the level of discourse that may be had. Too often are people being spoon fed rhetoric, via celebrity politicians and political commentators, without questioning why they agree with the claim, opting to agree on the basis of party lines. This strict divide gives rise to a culture of unquestioning agreement, but not steadfast belief in one’s political stance. Be it politics or morals, the level to which one questions their beliefs equals the conviction to which those beliefs can be held.
When we think of politics infiltrating every aspect of our life, it’s final frontier seems to be social media re-posts. Sure at face value, spreading knowledge is the first step in creating change. But taking into account one’s audience is of great importance. One’s social media following is typically a choir of similarly minded people. Thus, the preaching of social justice or Constitutional rights resembles more of a drum circle than a Socratic forum. There is no significant change being influenced in or by these echo chambers of thought, save the sounds of politics in the air.
All that’s to say, there is virtue in political thinking, granted it results in appropriate action, such as petitions to lawmakers and social outreach. The spreading of knowledge via social media re-posts, and talking with like-minded people is a great start, but it cannot be the end of our political involvement. The talking of politics without an end in mind is one of the most disastrous things one could get involved in. We’re talking more politics than ever, but it’s almost as if we forgot why. Facebook arguments won’t create legislation, re-posts won’t end racism, but directing one’s beliefs into the betterment of your community will do worlds more than a digital scuffle.
The hottest TV shows to have hit our screens this past year. There’s something new worth watching in every genre on every streaming platform.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
With vaccinations rolling out, our time in quarantine is almost over. Dates for reopening are slowly being announced and it looks like we might have the summer we have all been longing for. As we await the green light to go outside regularly, here are some TV shows worth the binge.
If you like action and suspense: Outer Banks (Netflix)
Set in North Carolina’s outer banks, a group of four teenagers look to have the best best summer ever. John B and his friends are the outcasts as they are part of the working class, also known as the Pogues. They live in constant battle with the Kooks, the higher class members of town, who run the community and have the shiniest possessions. After a hurricane hits the outer banks and leaves the town in rubble, John B and his friends stumble upon a valuable possession. What seems to be a piece of trash turns out to be hunted down by many. Their summer of partying and surfing turns into an investigation to reveal the truth about John B and the outer banks.
Also check out: The Mandalorian (Disney+), Game of Thrones (Hulu)
For the ones who love intense drama: Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Based on the book, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, this show follows the lives of Mia Warren, played by Kerry Washington and Elena Richardson, played by Reese Witherspoon. Warren’s unconventional life brings her and her daughter to Shaker Heights, Ohio where they fall into the hands of the picture perfect Richardson family. The city’s close knit community and “American Dream” environment struggles to find a place for Warren and her daughter. As Warren shakes up the neighborhood with her defiant manner and disregard of the status quo, Richardson looks to unveil her mysterious path. Her obsession with bringing down Warren somehow bursts her life up into flames.
Also check out: Big Little Lies (Hulu), Queen’s Gambit (Netflix), Behind Her Eyes (Netflix)
If teenage drama is your jam: Ginny & Georgia (Netflix)
Ginny & Georgia highlights the special relationship a mother and daughter have. Georgia, a single mother, decides to move her two kids, Ginny and Austin to a new town. At fifteen years old and full of teen angst, Ginny enters a new school where she becomes known as the girl with a MILF mom. At times, Ginny feels as if she is more mature than her mother. But as they settle into their new town, the truth about Georgia’s life slowly begins to unfold, leaving Ginny to wonder who her mother really is. The hope to have a fresh start begin to fade away as Georgia’s past comes back to jeopardize their future.
Also check out: The Fosters (Hulu), Gossip Girl (HBO Max), Bridgerton (Netflix)
For viewers needing a good laugh with a side of drama: Cobra Kai (Netflix)
As a sequel to an iconic movie, Cobra Kai dives back into the lives of Johnny and Daniel from The Karate Kid. Years after Johnny’s intense defeat to Daniel, he finds himself hitting rock bottom in his adult years. Daniel grew up to live a successful life: getting married, starting a family and establishing his own car dealership. While Johnny continues to figure out who he is, he finds himself in a parking lot using karate to defend a high school kid from his bullies. This night reignited his passion for martial arts where he later reopened the Cobra Kai dojo as its sensei. With Johnny stepping back onto the mat, Daniel learns about his return bringing their childhood rivalry back into their lives.
Also check out: Ted Lasso (Apple TV), The Office (Peacock), Friends (HBO Max)
Honorable Mentions: The Mighty Ducks (Disney +), Babysitters Club (Netflix)
Light hearted TV shows featuring the lives of young middle schoolers. Great for easing up your day as you watch these young characters learn about themselves and their place in the world.
By Maia Pagán
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a new Marvel TV show on Disney+. So far, there have been only four episodes, but within those four episodes, there's a lot to unpack. Fans have been coming up with theories, and the show takes you through many twists and turns, never really knowing who you should trust. Let's start down the paths of characters new and old, soldier serums, societal malaise, and the fight for truth and justice?
This show explores something new which Marvel has not talked about before, racism. Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon, is a Black man who is a superhero and is often treated differently because he is Black. He is an American hero yet is denied a loan to help save his sister's house and family business. This injustice ties to a prior super soldier and his lack of support, recognition, and development, while the white Captain America promoted truth and justice.
The series introduces an old super-soldier that was created at the same time as Captain America. But his presence was erased after he fought for the United States government because the government did not want people to know that a Black super soldier exists (Isaiah Bradley). A new character will emerge from the Black super-soldiers, Isaiah's nephew (Eli Bradley). His character is in the future series about the Young Avengers, also known as Patriot in the Young Avengers series.
This show has viewers constantly guessing who is the bad guy. Is it the new Captain America or the group (The Flag Smashers) trying to help people who have suffered after the blip? Most people who have watched the show are not fans of the new Captain America as he could never replace the beloved character initially portrayed by Chris Evans.
The new Captain America, former U.S. Agent John Walker, played by Wyatt Russel, and his sidekick Battlestar are also introduced, causing tension for Bucky and Sam. So far, according to the main "Flag-Smasher" named Karli Morgenthau and played by Erin Kellyman says that most of the fan's theories on what's going to happen with the show are not correct, so that leaves more fans wondering what's in store for the show.
The series also explores the Winter Soldier, also known as James Buchanan Barnes or Bucky, who attends court-ordered therapy because he is a pardoned war criminal. After being taken over by Hydra and having his mind-controlled, he is on the road to making reparations with everyone he has harmed in his past. His character shows the toll of mental health on superheroes and supervillains alike and how lost Bucky seems to be since his best friend Steve Rogers is no longer around.
Disney+ released a warning that future episodes of the show we're going to be a lot more grotesque and might be hard to watch for some viewers. One thing that surprised fans was that Bucky and Sam, in the most recent episode, helped a villain by the name of Baron Zemo escape prison. Will the Falcon and the Winter Soldier put their differences aside and come together for the greater good, or in the end, will they separate, never to speak again? One thing fans of the show are excited to see the constant sass and chemistry between the Falcon and the Winter Soldier and their adventures.
In episode 4, although the super-soldier serum has many great qualities, it can turn a person into evil very quickly, and that's what happened to John Walker, the new Captain America. John Walker decides to take Super soldier serum and kills Karli's friend, who said he used to be a fan of Captain America growing up earlier in the show. He killed him because Karli accidentally kills Battlestar, the new Captain America's best friend and sidekick. At the beginning of episode four, Zemo mentions that no one could handle the super-soldier serum like the original Captain America Steve Rogers because he never let the serum take over his whole life. But that's precisely what happens to John Walker. Many fans of the series suspected John Walker would become a villain and not live up to what Captain America used to stand for.
Let's discuss Sharon Carter (Peggy Carter's grandniece) as an ex-field agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. She may be the Power Broker who has been threatening the Flag-Smasher leader Karli about the super-soldier serum that was all but destroyed. Sharon is hiding out because she has not been pardoned for war criminal crime by the United States. Her location and technology to track people give her immense power.
In the last fight scene, Zemo disappears after Dora Milaje (the fearsome warrior from Wakanda) fails to take him to prison again. Zemo has a new goal: killing all super-soldiers; since John Walker took the super-soldier serum, will he be the next on the kill list? Is this the beginning of the end for the era of Captain America or redemption? Which side will Bucky and Sam Wilson choose? Also, where did Zemo go?
The second season of Bridgerton will lack the return of Simon the Duke of Hastings, played by Regé-Jean Page, shocking fans.
By Remy Zerber
The hit series on Netflix, Bridgerton, had a very successful first season. Bridgerton is based on the bestselling book series of the same name by Julia Quinn. The series is about eight children who live in Regency-era England. Each book follows a different sibling as they try to find love. Season one and book one of the series are both about Daphne’s relationship with Simon, the Duke of Hastings. Phoebe Dynover and Regé-Jean Page play Daphne and Simon in the first season of the show and are loved by fans. As fans excitedly await the second season, they were informed that Regé-Jean Page will not be returning for season two.
Fans and celebs had two different types of reactions to the news. In reaction to the news, Kim Kardashian tweeted, “Wait WHAT?!!!” Another fan who was outraged said, “There better be a real good reason for Regé-Jean not coming back to Bridgerton! This news really ruined my morning!”A fan reacted to the news and said, “I mean the next season is about the next Bridgerton sibling…” Fans have mixed feelings about this news. Some fans are very disappointed vowing to no longer watch the series, while others are upset but understand the omission.
The character Simon is not a big part of the second book of the Bridgerton series leaving it unnecessary for Regé-Jean Page to return for season two. Book two is about Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a wife focusing mostly on him. In the first book/season Simon is Daphne’s love interest so it makes sense that he had a big part. He does not have a big part in Anthony’s story so it makes sense that he would be written out of the script to save time.
However, he is Daphne’s husband and Anthony’s brother-in-law so fans expected that he would be part of the story. It looks like fans are going to have to get used to a character getting written out of the script because each book in the series is about a different Bridgerton sibling so not all the same characters will be part of the story.
Regé-Jean Page will be missed by fans when season two of Bridgerton airs but he and his character, Simon, will always be a part of the show, whether Page is on stage or not. The story of Page’s departure from the show had a mixed reaction from fans and even celebrities. Some fans and celebrities were disappointed but they understood Netflix’s decision, while others were just angry and shocked. Netflix’s decision to write Simon out of the script for season two is understandable, considering the second book of the Bridgerton series is about Anthony Bridgerton’s love life. Phoebe Dynover and Regé-Jean Page are the male and female leads of Bridgerton in season one but it looks like there will be two new leads in season two because it was announced that Regé-Jean Page will be leaving the show. There will be five new cast members in total. The new members are Charithra Chandran, Shelley Conn from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Calam Lynch From Dunkirk, Derry Girls, Rupert Young from The White Queen, and Simone Ashley from Sex Education. Simone Ashley will play Anthony’s love interest. Season two is going to be a great season with all the new characters. Simone Ashley will play Kate Sharma. Although Regé-Jean Page will be missed, fans are getting excited about the new cast members. They are going to add a lot to the story of the Bridgertons!
Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and H.E.R win big at this year’s music awards.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
The 63rd Grammy award show took place on Sunday March 14 in the heart of Los Angeles. In an effort to bring some normalcy to the world, after what seem to be years of Zoom events and canceled shows, producers allowed an in person event for the annual show. An outdoor stage was set under a large tent in Downtown LA, where the view of the Staples Center acted as the backdrop to the evening. Host Trevor Noah, most known for his show The Daily Show, began the night with a short tour of the space. Artists were seated with one other guest of their choice, at socially distant tables. Everyone wore a mask and were only able to remove it for acceptance speeches. Noah even threw a cheesy joke in the mix, stating “This is going to be the rare award show where the white stuff going up people’s noses is cotton swabs” (Pitchfork. 2021).
Once concerns about COVID related issues were addressed, the night finally began with an opening performance by Harry Styles singing Watermelon Sugar, quickly followed by Billie Eilish and her song Everything I Wanted. Because of the small event space and limitations from COVID, these first performances were quite intimate. Styles and Eilish were limited to bringing on just their band when performing their nominated songs. The larger production performances were saved for artists who went on later in the night like Dua Lipa, who performed her hit songs Levitating with DaBaby and Don’t Start Now. She later received the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album of the Year, which featured these two songs.
New features were added to compensate for the smaller show and less extravagant acts. Producers created a short trailer of artists as a preview to their performances. For instance, Post Malone talked about his childhood and how music played a huge role in his life. He mentioned his parent’s appreciation for music and how he ended up being the only member in his family to carry a tune. These confessional style clips before performances was something not traditionally done at the Grammys.
In light of the impacts COVID had on small businesses, the Grammys showed their appreciation for historical concert venues across the country. It has been a challenging year for the entertainment industry as theatres and indie locations have had to close their doors for over a year. But the Grammys hopes to keep these names alive by allowing the owners of places such as The Troubadour, Apollo Theater and the Station Inn, to reflect on the history they each hold. Along with the short tributes to these places, the owners of these venues were given the opportunity to present the awards for some of the special categories.
In the end, the Grammys were still able to put on a successful show with true in person performances and celebrity appearances. If you missed the show, here’s a recap on some of the artists who emerged victorious this year.
And lastly, two historical moments were made from Beyonce and her daughter Blue Ivy. Beyonce became the most-winning singer, male or female, in all 63 years of the Grammys. She now holds 28 trophies, with one being shared with her daughter. Blue Ivy earned Best Music Video for Brown Skin Girl along with her mother, and becomes the youngest person to have taken home a Grammy.
President Biden has nominated two female generals for the promotion to the rank of Four-star General. These nominations, if confirmed, would add these women to the list of only six other women to achieve this rank continuing the push for equality in the military.
By Benjamin Noel
This month President Biden has nominated two female generals for promotion to Four-star Generals. If confirmed by the Senate, they will join the other four star female general currently commissioned in the entire US military, and will join the ranks of only 6 women in history to achieve this position. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson have had this promotion on their horizon, but due to political reasons, their promotions had not been brought up to the then-President Trump for consideration. According to The Hill, DoD officials, including the Secretary of Defence Mark Esper hesitated bringing their names up for nomination during the Trump administration, to protect their careers, for fears of the President not looking kindly on women in such high ranking positions in the military. These two generals were highly qualified for their promotions, and their merits were overlooked due to the perceived bad optics of having more women in high ranking military positions.
The history of female Four-star Generals is rather new, with the first one being pinned in 2008. This brings to mind the Obama era push for more roles to be open for women in the military, especially combat roles. This was a rather recent push, and fell in line with the gradual acceptance of women in the armed forces. While women were only allowed in the military after the Second World War, into the military service academies in the 70s, and could only work on Navy combat ships starting in the 90s, the history of women in the American military much precedes that (Brookings). As early as the Civil War, women served as nurses, spies and even disguised themselves as men to fight as soldiers. And in both the World Wars, women served again as nurses, spies and even intelligence officers in the second.
The debate of women in combat roles is an entirely different subject, and extremely nuanced, but the core argument of the detractors explains why the military is as it is now, in regards to the gender disparity. One aspect of militaries over time is their inherent “macho” factor which is a result of the fact of entirely male fighting forces since the dawn of conflict. Men were, and are, seen as having the ability to be doers of violence, while the women held the role of a nurturer and caretaker. Any female warrior of old is an exception that proves the rule. This globally held gender norm might be what is killing women’s interest in joining a fighting force, even in auxiliary roles. As Churchill wrote to his secretary of war, “I fear there is a complex against women being connected with lethal work. We must get rid of this.” The fact that fighting and violence is a role relegated for men continues to permeate even our modern, progressive militaries. While minorities make up nearly half of the military despite being 30% of the population, women still only comprise 17% of our armed forces.
While there are different entry level requirements for male and female recruits in boot camp, there is no special treatment afforded to women at advanced schools, such as SFAS, Ranger School, etc. as grading and success is based on proven merit. This enables women to try out for roles traditionally held by men, without compromising the strength of the force. A notable example is a woman becoming an Army Special Forces operator a few years ago, who underwent equal treatment to her peers, proving ticking off diversity boxes is of the least concern in a role where lives are on the line. This proven merit is what has brought Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson into the spotlight this month, while traditionally held norms prevented them from being assessed on their character and merit.
Dylan Farrow bravely tells her story of sexual abuse at the hands of her father Woody Allen when she was seven years old. This series is a must watch for anyone who wants to know about the experiences of survivors, displaying how strong they are and how they must be believed.
By Maia Pagán
Allen V Farrow is a four-episode miniseries on HBO chronicling Mia Farrow and Woody Allen's relationship and life with her 12 children. The show centers around Farrow’s daughter Dylan’s accusations of molestation at the hands of Allen when she was seven years old. This series reviews the constant injustice women face when reporting sexual assaults and the lack of belief and support, especially when the person who committed the crime is famous, has lots of money and is a white man. Add the recognition as a prominent and renowned director in New York, and justice is severely hindered.
At the beginning of their relationship, Farrow shares how Allen had zero interest in her children, and he just wanted to be with her. She followed along, thinking the separation would give her adult time with her boyfriend and kept their homes separate, at least for a while. As the relationship grew, so did Farrow's family, and she planned to adopt another child. Allen asked if this time she could not adopt from another country; instead, he would like a beautiful blonde hair blue-eyed little girl. Dylan Farrow was adopted, and Woody's obsession with her took on an unhealthy, obsessive, and often inappropriate relationship. Dylan thought all daddies were like him until she met her friends' fathers, and she tried to create more space between them. He hovered over Dylan, and friends and family started to warn Farrow that this behavior was disturbing.
While this is all going on, Allen began having a secret affair with one of Farrow's children, Soon Yi Priven who was then 17 and in high school. She was underage, and Allen was a father figure to her. The affair was found out by Farrow when she found naked photos of Soon Yi at Woody Allen's apartment. Unfortunately, the story only becomes worse. Allen hired a team of private investigators to follow Farrow and began taping their conversations. Farrow became aware of his tapings and decides to tape her conversations with him. After Dylan was interviewed nine times by the New Haven Hospital team, the notes were destroyed against all protocols. The smear campaign started against Farrow, saying that she was an abusive mother, and Allen tried to take custody of the three children. Allen's legal team uses "parental alienation," a process through which a child becomes estranged from a parent due to the psychological manipulation of another parent. However, the parental alienation system has no scientific evidence still used in court today.
The miniseries documentary is from award-winning investigative filmmakers Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, and Amy Herdy. Dylan believes that she was able to find her voice in the #Metoo movement. She felt the pain and humiliation suffered by so many women by men like Harvey Weinstein. With Weinstein's arrest, she courageously spoke out to the societal failures of America's rape culture. She wrote an open letter with the support of her brother and mother. She shared her story and the parallels to Harvey Weinstein and other sexual predators in Hollywood. She questioned the Tribute to Woody Allen on television; she wrote that Hollywood figures have turned a "blind eye" to the accusations and specifically asked Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, and Louis C.K. -- who appear in Blue Jasmine -- "What if it had been your child"?
Allen still denies to this day the accusations from Dylan about her molestation. Jeffrey Epstein's best friend Allen has never been formally charged. Watch the HBO series to find out why and so much more. I will never watch a Woody Allen film again. I hear you, Dylan Farrow, and I believe you and thank you for speaking up for millions of women whose voices have been silenced.
The final installment of the beloved trilogy To All The Boys: Always and Forever is a beautiful ending to the newest major romantic comedy that gives viewers the fairytale ending they all want.
By Remy Zerber
The movie To All The Boys: Always and Forever is the third and final installment in the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series, based on the best-selling novels by Jenny Han. This final film is a great ending to the trilogy. In the first movie, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara Jean Song Covey’s sister, Katherine Covey, sends out her sister’s old love letters to her past crushes in an effort to get Lara Jean to go out more and LJ (Lara Jean) has to deal with the situation at school. One of the boys, Peter Kavinsky, convinces LJ to be in a fake relationship with him in order to make his ex jealous. At the end of the movie, LJ and Peter decide to be in a real relationship. The second movie, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: PS I Still Love You is about a love triangle that forms between LJ, Peter Kavinsky, and another boy, John Ambrose. The third movie is about LJ and Peter Kavinsky trying to navigate their senior year while being in a real relationship. The movie To All The Boys: Always and Forever is a satisfying end to the trilogy because of the way they end the story, deal with the characters and make it relatable.
The movie To All The Boys: Always and Forever has a really great full-circle ending. The trilogy starts with a letter and ends with a letter. LJ introduces the audience to her love letters at the beginning of the first movie and Peter ends Always and Forever with a love letter to LJ. Another full-circle moment is when the LJ and PK heart from the second movie appears in Lara Jean’s dream of her future with Peter.
The casting and character development in the movie is great. The actors in the movie are great, especially the actors who play Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo). Lana Condor looks so much like Lara Jean and Noah Centineo looks a lot like Peter. Gen, Lara Jean’s former best friend and school rival, has some great character development over the course of the trilogy. She is mean to LJ in the first movie but by the third movie, she seems to have matured and become friends with LJ again. Their heart-to-heart moment in the second movie helps them through their issues. Kitty, Lara Jean’s little sister, also has some great character development over the course of the trilogy because she matures a lot. She is seen as a little kid at the beginning of the trilogy but she becomes a teenager by the end of the third movie because she meets a boy in Korea and develops a crush on him.
Even though Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship is unrealistic, the movie is still relatable. Lara Jean is a very relatable character because she says she is afraid to fall in love and be in a relationship. Many kids and teenagers have this fear because they are afraid that they will get heartbroken. LJ also says she is afraid of commitment, which is how many young people feel. LJ is also a big introvert and homebody like many people.
The To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy and the To All The Boys: Always and Forever movie are so good. The story completes a full cycle in many ways. It uses iconic moments and images from the trilogy to make it come full circle in the end. The casting director and the screenwriter did a good job with the casting and character development. A final reason why people love this movie and trilogy is that it is extremely relatable. To All The Boys: Always and Forever is a very pleasing end to the trilogy.
By Benjamin Noel
Last week marked a historic event for the Catholic Church, and Chrisitianity as a whole, as Pope Francis made an unprecedented visit to Iraq. This fist papal visit to Iraq was groundbreaking not only for the greater Church, but more so for the Iraqi Christian community. Their persecution by the Islamic State since 2003 had made practicing their faith an impossibility until the recent fall of ISIS. In Iraq, the Pope celebrated mass in the Chaldean rite, the major Church in Iraq, met with Muslim leaders and officials and talked of unity. The importance of this trip is twofold, lying in the land’s Biblical importance, as the land of Abraham, and also the reflection on modern day persecution and conflict that has dwindled the Iraqi Christian population.
While previous papal visits to Iraq had been in the talks before when Pope John Paul II had to pull out due to mounting tensions in 2000, Pope Francis had planned this voyage over one year ago, and was determined to not let anything get between him and his mission. The effects of the trip had manifested even before the March visit, as just last December, the majority Muslim country declared Christmas a national holiday (CruxNow).
The trip is part of the Vatican's efforts to create unity between the Church and the Muslim world (Associated Press). While the noble intentions behind the papal voyage were clear, so were the concerns about the potential for this to turn into a superspreader event. Cases had surged as of late in Iraq, and with their not-so robust healthcare system, the COVID-19 concerns were very real. And just days before the visit, the papal point man in Iraq had come down with a mild case of the virus, and self-quarantined while the rest of the nunciature was cleaned pending the pope’s presence. Even this close call did not stop Pope Francis, who along with his Vatican envoy of 70 had all been vaccinated. Since the event, while it may be too early to tell, there has not been a rise in cases, nor has any member of the Vatican convoy tested positive. So far, the only waves caused by this visit have been the emboldenment of Iraqi Christians, and a vision of a more peaceful and unified future amongst the People of the Book.
As he spoke amongst remains of destroyed churches, the Pope called for Iraqi Muslims and Christians to unite as brothers. Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, and the resulting war with ISIS, the Iraqi Christian population fell from 1.5 million to under 250,000. Consoling the women and girls who had been sold by ISIS as property, Pope Francis prayed that they may heal from their hurts and continue to give life to the country. He reflected on the founding of civilization from this region, then Mesopotamia, and the trade and intellectual center of Baghdad. The Pope's message was a simple one, together, as friends we grow and prosper. During this trip, Pope Francis rode around in an open pope-mobile, without bulletproof glass, bringing his presence that much closer to the people. While speaking in Mosul, a former IS stronghold, the pope made calls for fraternity, “You are all brothers.” He celebrated mass in the Chaldean rite, based in the ancient Assyrian rite, showing that even in their minute differences, all churches are one. In both his actions and his words, the pope sends a message for unity amongst the people who for so long have known nothing but conflict.
Image courtesy of Google Images.
Victoria Vidales '21,