Saturday, April 13Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Film & TV

Bridgerton, Our Flag Means Death, and Diversifying History
Film & TV

Bridgerton, Our Flag Means Death, and Diversifying History

In our digital age, where information about any historical era is more readily available than ever before and any uppity fact-checker can send a Tweet, differing opinions about the extent to which historical drama has a duty to be ‘accurate’ abound. There are video essays a-plenty pointing out the inaccuracies and anachronisms in just about any movie or TV show with a historical setting. But lately, we’ve seen media embrace anachronism. Two recent and ongoing shows in particular, Bridgerton and Our Flag Means Death, use anachronism to increase minority representation and give their histories a diverse and modern twist. The goal, in any fictional narrative, is not to give a history lesson. Though the occasional YouTube video detailing the inauthenticity of a character’s hat in the lates...
The Worst Person In The World: the Nordic highs and lows of human connection
Features, Film & TV

The Worst Person In The World: the Nordic highs and lows of human connection

Joachim Trier’s Oslo trilogy may not follow stories that are directly linked, but there is a connection between them that even Anders Danielsen Lie, who stars in each film, noticed ‘feels just like a continuation’. That continuation may be loss, love, or loneliness, three themes that follow the central characters through each story. But whilst they aren’t always resolved, they haunt audiences with a sense of realism, often hitting close to home. ‘The Worst Person in the World’ or ‘Verdens verste menneske’ is Trier’s final installment, and a cinematic masterpiece in its own right. It captures the fragility of life through the lens of Julie, a 20-something woman who gets stuck in the indecisiveness of her ambition, a cultivated indication of what it means to be young and conflicted. “I f...
9 of the Best Relationships in Television
Features, Film & TV

9 of the Best Relationships in Television

Romantic Relationships Phil and Claire Dunphy – Modern Family Across 11 seasons of iconic television, Phil and Claire continuously proved they have one of the best onscreen relationships. From Phil’s optimistic nature and cheerleader mentality to Claire’s determined and competitive streak, these two balance each other out to form the perfect married couple. Mel and Jack – Virgin River  While the show keeps throwing obstacles at these two, they always find their way back to one another. Their pasts constantly make it difficult for them to focus on creating a future. Despite this,  Jack’s uncanny ability to get himself in harm's way and Mel’s speciality in helping those in need make for a dynamic that leaves viewers wanting more. Friendships Otis and Eric – S...
Streaming Services Saved My Life
Features, Film & TV

Streaming Services Saved My Life

The title might be a tad hyperbolic, but looking back on the months of being confined to the four walls of my home during the beginning of 2020, it makes sense. With the staggering halt to social interaction during the early days of the pandemic, film lovers lost out on the conventional cinema going experience. Transcending its responsibility as a source of our binge watching, streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ satiated our cravings. With concepts such as Netflix Party and other group watching services, virtual film watching experiences allowed us to adapt to our new circumstances while capturing the social cinema feeling that we all missed and loved. With fleeting trends that aimed to keep us occupied during the seemingly endless days of lockdown, Netflix remained tried and t...
Love at first bite
Features, Film & TV

Love at first bite

Warning! Spoilers ahead. What initially starts as a romcom, soon transcends into every woman’s worst dating nightmare in Mimi Cave’s Fresh. Released on Hulu and Disney+, the horror comedy follows Noa (Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones), who, after loads of disastrous flings, decides to take a bite at dating again and falls for Steve (I, Tonya’s Sebastian Stan). Their meet-cute happens in a supermarket where he advises her on trying cotton candy grapes because he apparently needs some help with proving to his sister and niece that they taste exactly like cotton candy. This is one of the many references to food in the film. There are further references to food through up close visuals of characters eating food such as crisps or salad, so much so that it is like an upscale mukbang video....
From Backpacks to One Billion Racks
Features, Film & TV

From Backpacks to One Billion Racks

As one of the most controversial celebrities of our generation, any mention of Kanye West is sure to ignite a passionate debate. Just today making even more questionnable news with his latest music video release, separating the artist from his art becomes more of a struggle each day. But will the memories behind the music be his saving grace? Starting his journey from humble beginnings, Kanye West rode into the music industry on sheer determination, undeniable passion and an unwavering belief that he would be one of the greatest. As a sought after producer in the hip hop scene, West channelled his creativity through the beats, delivering a quality sound for established artists like Jay-Z, Mos Def and Talib Kweli. But he wanted more. Tired of creating and catering to the sound of other...
Percocet and Parkour
Film & TV

Percocet and Parkour

Trigger warning and spoiler alert! Deserving of every trigger warning that is posted, HBO’s critically acclaimed series Euphoria has returned to our screens once again. Entering our universes with mysterious shots of leading lady Zendaya on social media, coated in the iridescent glow of purple darkness that we have come to know as the show’s aesthetic, no one could have foreseen the journey that has ensued. With the traumas of season one forever in our subconscious thoughts and benign drawn in by the chilling Christmas special episodes that satiated our curious cravings, season two has delivered on every promise. Five episodes in and opinions filtering through about the recently released sixth one, we have arrived at the unraveling of the complex and tightly wound storylines of each ch...
The Allure of Aristocracy
Features, Film & TV, News

The Allure of Aristocracy

Dearest Reader,  Bingeing season is upon us. It’s time to devour the highly anticipated second season of Netflix’s Bridgerton, following the plot of Julia Quinn’s novel The Viscount Who Loved Me. This season sees Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton, who takes the lead role in the storyline. With the new season approaching, we’re going to delve into the many reasons why viewers love period dramas like Bridgerton so much. The Ability to Travel back in Time Period dramas allow viewers to experience a time that they will never get to live through, giving people a means of living vicariously through the characters and embracing the world of the 1800s. Do I really want to learn to knit? No. Would I do it to pretend I’m a debutant for a day? Yes.  Fetch my carriage. Am...
Mummy, Daddy, I’m a star!
Features, Film & TV, News

Mummy, Daddy, I’m a star!

It’s undeniable that in any industry, who you know is the ultimate foot in the door. The film industry takes the cake. With opportunities passed through word of mouth, and swanky soirée conversations becoming the new elevator pitch, is it really about working harder or smarter? Looking to break into the film industry is proving to be harder than ever. For those who can’t attend prestigious performance art schools or don’t end up on the list for fancy film parties, dreams are shattered and talent is squandered. Whilst networking is a  helpful tool to put yourself out there, beyond how you’re viewed on paper, it can be dangerous territory, especially as exclusivity gets added to the mix.  When I was younger and an absolute musical theater fanatic, I went to the Sylvia Young ...
Emily in Paris: Praising aristocracy, shaming the proletariat
Features, Film & TV, News

Emily in Paris: Praising aristocracy, shaming the proletariat

By now, everyone’s heard about Emily in Paris. The Netflix show made its debut in 2020, with the promising concept of a young graduate learning to merge American and French cultures.   Instead, it romanticised elitist ideals, from the scenery to the extravagant fashion, as we follow Emily in her time abroad. The screenwriters put the rich on a pedestal, showing how the poor taint Paris’ opulence. In their eyes, of course. Let’s not forget race and homosexuality. Although there is representation, it comes across as tokenship, with no character development. There is no question that the finished production came up short of audience expectations; the online backlash was swift.  However, the high view count overtook the number of critics, and the show was renewed for a...