A&E - Page 5

Remembering our favorites from 2020

A small recap of 2020

After making it through a year that felt like it would never end, it may feel as though there was no good that came from 2020. Yet despite facing the incredible obstacles and challenges we did, there were many ways to kill time while we practiced social distancing. With the help of our favorite artists, streaming services and social media platforms, there were plenty of new and exciting trends or works that exploded this past year. As we enter this new year with hope, optimism and new goals, we can now reflect on a few of the positive things that 2020 gave us.

Fashion Trends

During the earlier part of quarantine, people had already begun finding new ways to fill their time. It is from this moment that many of our favorite 2020 fashion trends were born. On apps such as TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest, people began creating their desired looks in a post-COVID world. From a mixture of online shopping to using what you already have, people began copying looks from their favorite celebrities of all ages, managing to bring back trends from as early as the 90s. 

In 2020, people had endless amounts of time to play with various styles, color combinations and haircuts which inspired others. Social media has served as a creative outlet for people to both gather ideas from or directly imitate a specific style from either an influencer or celebrity. While it may feel like a poor idea to buy new clothes with no date for wearing them in sight, many of these trends can be created using clothes you may already have! 

  1. Monochromatic: outfits made up of one single color 
  2. Tie Dye: crop tops, t-shirts, sweats, sweatshirts; etc
  3. 90s Hair Trends: hair clips, barrettes, curtain bangs, long layers, pigtails, small braids, the outward hair flip and headbands
  4. Preppy Style: tennis skirts, collared shirts under crewnecks, sweater vests, chunky boots, pleated skirts, bucket hat, loafers and white tennis shoes
  5. Oversized Clothing: 80s fitting suits, jeans, flare pants, sweaters, leather coats, blazers, yoga pants, flannels and cardigans

From comfortable looks to being a model off-duty, there’s a multitude of options for everyone!

Albums

With the cancellation of countless tours, many artists were hit hard and left wondering if they were even going to release new music at all. Thankfully, artists continued to release their music and found ways to make 2020 a little easier for us all. During a year filled with chaos and change, artists gave at-home performances or online concerts which served as a means of sharing their new music with their fans in as personal of a way as they could manage.

From bringing back throwback-style music as Miley Cyrus did, to creating heartfelt ballads like Taylor Swift, these albums all helped us to cope in some way, shape or form. Music this year truly showed the impact that listening to a good song can have for you; proving that a good album has the power to make you laugh, cry or heal in a year filled with hardships.

  1. Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
  2. Taylor Swift  – Evermore  
  3. Miley Cyrus – Plastic Hearts 
  4. Chloe X Halle – Ungodly Hour 
  5. Lil Uzi Vert – Eternal Atake 

Although these are only 5 of many albums released last year, you can find more of our favorites listed in our past story, EPs in Quarantine

Movies 

At the beginning of 2020 everything seemed bright for the film industry, as new movies like “A Quiet Place 2” were set to premiere in theaters. In March, the world turned upside down and various films were put on hold. In light of the closure of various movie theaters, many streaming services became popular for people looking for entertainment while staying at home. Popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+ released various movies for the entire family to enjoy. As hard as 2020 has been, some of these movies have helped us get through the lockdowns, while others still managed to shed light on the injustices of the world.

  1. “Soul” – Disney+ 
  2. “Bad Boys for Life” – Sony Pictures
  3. “Becoming: Michelle Obama’s Documentary” – Netflix Original 
  4. “Run” – Hulu Original 
  5. “Bad Hair” – Hulu Original 

From animated films that highlight the significance of life like “Soul” to thriller movies like “Run,” which expose the devious relationship between a mother and daughter, 2020 brought us films which we can look back on and remember with the events that we all persevered. 

TV Series

Evidently, the pandemic has led us to watch more TV than normal. Many binge-worthy TV series made 2020 bearable and allowed us to connect with others via discussions on these shows over social media. Many of these underrated TV shows have done everyone a great favor by providing people a way to escape the reality of the health crisis. 

Shows like “The Circle” where participants used a social media-like platform to communicate introduced us to the way we would all be forced to communicate in 2020. From comedy shows like “Dave” to drama in “A Teacher,” they force us to stay at home watching from our TV’s or smartphones. 

  1. The Circle” – Netflix

2. “Selena: The Series” – Netflix

3. “Self Made” – Netflix

4. “Dave” – Hulu Original 

5. “A Teacher” – Hulu Original 

These are only five shows which came out in 2020; there are many more that helped us get through this difficult year. These are all shows you will be watching on your phone for hours while you sit on the toilet, forgetting why you were there in the first place. 

TikTok Trends

With TikTok becoming seemingly more popular among social media platforms, TikToks from 2020 naturally brought us some interesting trends. Many of these trends have continued on to 2021, given the amount of attention they are receiving. If you don’t have an air fryer in 2021, where even are you? One of the popular TikTok trends is sharing different recipes to make using an air fryer, such as chocolate fudge cupcakes to Cajun homemade fries. 

  1. Air Fryer Recipes
  2. Rating Random Things 
  3. Put a finger down if…
  4. Two Pretty Best Friends 
  5. Snowman Sia Singing Challenge 

Have you tried any of these?

As 2020 comes to end, we continue to reflect on what great trends, movies and TV shows it brought us to make it bearable. We may not be out of this pandemic yet, but we can certainly look forward to the release of new TV shows and movies in the year to come. All of these things have brought our communities closer to each other even as we are being forced to stay apart. May this year bring more trends and binge-worthy shows for us to be entertained by, and please stay home as we get through this pandemic. 

Author: Shyanne Mortimer & Sheyla Castillo | A&E Co-Editors

Reviewing the Riddled and Unique Disney+ Show “WandaVision”

Breaking Down the Easter Eggs and Hidden Sitcom References

Disney+’s new original series “WandaVision” has left many fans confused and beguiled by its inclusion of numerous easter eggs and hidden references. The sitcom-style series depicts Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a Scarlet Witch) and Vision living an idealized suburban life in the aptly named town of Pleasantville; the trauma they experienced in “Avengers: Infinity War” has apparently never occurred. However, they both begin to realize that not all is as pleasant as it seems in Pleasantville: strange occurrences begin to tear at the fringes of reality, and audiences are left to unravel the mystery unfolding before themselves. An examination of the various clues riddled throughout the show may enlighten audiences as to the nature and direction of this seemingly innocuous series. Spoilers ahead!  

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will likely catch some of the more obvious easter eggs, such as those in the fake commercials embedded in each episode: episode one features a toaster made by Stark Industries, a nod to Tony Stark (a.k.a Iron Man). The second episode’s commercial features a watch called Strucker, a reference to Baron von Strucker, a known leader of the terrorist organization HYDRA and major antagonist in the MCU. 

Notably, both commercials hint at past traumas in Wanda’s life, according to IndieWire. In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Wanda and her brother Pietro (a.k.a Quicksilver) blame Tony Stark for the deaths of their parents, who were killed when a bomb detonated on their home. The toaster in the first episode beeps with increasing rapidity, echoing the sound of a bomb before it explodes. Furthermore, in the post-credits scene of “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” we learn that Baron von Strucker experimented on Wanda and Pietro, giving them their respective supernatural abilities of reality warping and super speed.

Some of the easter eggs may be more recognizable to fans of the comics. According to CNET, the two posters hanging in the back of the grocery store during the second episode’s animated opening—which advertise Bova milk and Auntie A’s cat litter—are discreet references to two Marvel Comics characters named Bova (a bovine human who helped deliver Wanda and Pietro at birth) and Agatha Harkness (a witch with a cat familiar who mentored Wanda in the ways of witchcraft). 

By far the most frequent easter egg has been the symbol of an encircled sword. This shows up on both the computer and journal of someone who is watching “WandaVision,” on the red and yellow toy helicopter that Wanda discovers in her rose bushes, and on the back of the ominous beekeeper who emerges from the sewers. An article recently published on Den of Geek explains that the symbol is the logo of the Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division (S.W.O.R.D.), a sister branch to the more widely recognizable Strategic Homeland, Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D). 

While Marvel has inserted an abundance of hints about what is coming next in their Cinematic Universe, the show has also paid homage to a variety of past sitcoms. As it was shot prior to the pandemic, the producers recreated classic TV sitcoms by including a live studio audience. During the course of the season, each of its 9 episodes are meant to focus on one specific decade of programming, with each getting closer to the present. Episode 1 takes place in the 1950s and is shot entirely in black and white. From the shooting technique, clothes, plot and home aesthetic, it was evident to many that the episode was influenced by “I Love Lucy” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” 

Episode 2 jumps ahead another decade, taking place in the 1960s. The producers wove in connections to the extremely popular 1960s sitcom “Bewitched” through recreating the opening credits using Wanda. In this episode, Wanda’s use of magic in order to bail her husband out of trouble follows the same lines that can be seen in “Bewitched.” Although Wanda was also seen using magic in Episode 1 to clean and cook, foreshadowing their homage in Episode 2, her use of it here evokes how it would have been portrayed in the 1960s sitcom. However, producers threw viewers for a loop —the episode ends in color instead of the original black and white. Such a colorful ending left many wondering if this was their way of both setting us up for the 1970s and giving one last ode to “Bewitched,” which itself eventually switched to colored episodes. Perhaps something bigger and more shocking is yet to come. 

While many Marvel fans didn’t find the first two episodes enjoyable thanks to the endless search for easter eggs, there were still many that were happy to watch Wanda and Vision reunited. With only two episodes currently out, “WandaVision” has already left everyone wondering what will come next. Are fans correctly guessing Marvel’s plans for the future, or will we all end up pleasantly surprised if our guesses don’t come true? Whatever Disney+ decides to throw our way next, we will be right there waiting, eager to learn about what world Wanda is living in and who’s trying to get inside it.

Author: Shyanne Mortimer| A&E Co-Editor

Author: Kassandra Klein|Copy Editor

A Movie to Touch the Soul

Disney Plus new release: “Soul”

On December 25, 2020, Disney Plus released “Soul,” which follows a middle school jazz teacher named Joe and an annoying soul named 22. Joe has a near death experience that helps him appreciate the family he would have left behind and the friends he has never really gotten to know. Along the way, Joe befriends 22, a soul who has given up on having a life on Earth and feels that she has no purpose in life. At first  the two only seem to antagonize each other, but in the end they benefit from each other in their respective aspects of life. Joe gains  more appreciation for life in general, and learns  to both communicate his feelings towards loved ones and ask questions of others. Twenty-two, on the other hand, learns that it’s never too late to be excited for new things to come. Rather than being negative all the time, she opens up and starts to become happy for others. 

Critical reception has been overwhelmingly positive. Times of India says “Soul’ is another landmark film from Disney Pixar, likely to sweep next year’s animated film awards.” The New York Times offers even greater praise, saying that “‘Soul” is integral to its argument about how beauty is created, sustained and appreciated — and to its grounding of a specifically Black experience in New York.” 

Not all reviews have been so glowing, however. Rotten Tomatoes criticized the film, stating: “While it deals with grown-up topics such as the meaning of life, it tip-toes around the idea of mortality, choosing instead to put forward a candy-coloured cosmology that often suffocates its deeper questions under layers of whimsy.” 

As many people have faced hardship as they’ve been forced to stay at home the past year, it seems that, at some point, many of us lost focus on our true meaning or purpose. Fortunately, this movie has managed to captivate the hearts of many, allowing them to see that they are not alone in your situation. When you least expect it, someone can come around and make you want to keep on living and fighting for your dreams. “Soul” will have you reflect on yourself and your purpose in life.Get your popcorn and family,and get ready for Joe and 22’s adventure.  

Darling, C. (2020, December 23). Review: Pixar’s sublime ‘Soul’ one of the year’s best films. Retrieved January 16, 2021, from https://preview.houstonchronicle.com/movies-tv/review-sublime-soul-one-of-the-year-s-15817432

Author: Brianna Garcia|Staff Writer

Author: Nikki Campos|Editor in Chief

COVID Christmas


Christmas Trends of 2020

With Christmas less than a month away, and COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the United States, many people still want to make this holiday season a special one. This can be more stressful for those who want to avoid large crowds and social gatherings, but doesn’t need to put a damper on many alternative activities that can keep their spirits merry and bright. 

My family is keeping our Christmas traditions at home this year. We usually spend Christmas Eve with family, but this year we’ll be doing it through virtual meet ups.The Syrinx thought it would be a great idea to check out what the popular Holiday traditions are in this unprecedented year of 2020. A few of the top trends this Christmas are: 

  1. Personalized Christmas Gifts: Ornaments, tumbler cups and photo albums
  2. Holiday Home Baking: Gingerbread cookies, Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies and Sugar Cookies
  3. Virtual Online Gatherings: Using Zoom, Skype and Facetime 
  4. Outside Light Shows: Here in the Valley, we have Christmas Tree Lane and The Fresno Chaffee Zoo Lights 
  5. Christmas Movie Marathon: Home Alone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, Netflix’s original Christmas movies, and Hulu 

Despite the uneasiness that some might feel about this holiday season, I hope everyone stays safe and are able to keep as many holiday traditions as possible while staying at home. I know I’m looking forward to Christmas movie marathons and gingerbread cookies.  

Author: Marisa Kaleva | Staff Writer

The Liberator Delivers

Mini-series on Netflix brings history to life in new way

Netflix’s new series, “The Liberator”, may have been short-lived, but its impact  on viewers has proven longer-lasting. The mini-series centers around a soldier’s 500-day experience in World War II. The series depicts the harsh realities that he  and many other soldiers faced at the time. The show came out just in time for Veterans Day 2020, honoring the men who served during such a brutal war. 

    The mini-series is an adaptation of Alex Kershaw’s book “The Liberator,” which depicts the Thunderbirds in their fight against the Axis powers. The Thunderbirds, according to the Smithsonian Magazine, were “the U.S. Army’s 45th Infantry Division, one of the most racially integrated units of the era, [who] went into battle wearing on their shoulders the image of the Thunderbird.” The Thunderbirds have also been described as “a disparate collection of Native Americans, Mexican Americans and Southwestern cowboys.” They were led by Felix Sparks, the gritty company commander, who was able to ease the tension in his diverse group. After getting everyone on board to fight for, rather than against,  each other, Sparks and his company take to the field amidst the tough conditions of WWII. 

    The main characters of the mini-series are Felix Sparks (Bradley James), Sergeant Samuel Coldfoot (Martin Sensmeier) and Corporal Abel Gomez (Jose Miguel Vasquez). Sparks serves as the show’s lead, as he was the commander for the platoon as well as one of the only American rooted soldiers in this diverse group. He is a fierce leader who  recognizes the heart and pride his company has  in their serving and protecting the U.S., even though they aren’t given the same opportunities as other citizens. Early on in the show, he is put in charge of J Company, which is revealed as the jail of the base. When he meets his men, they are busy fighting each other and giving their superiors a hard time due to the constant racism and slander they endure. Sparks is presented as the perfect leader, because everyone on J Company buys into his message, and the company quickly becomes the leading squad on the base. 

Sergeant Coldfoot is the Native American leader of the group. He has been denied promotion so many times, but is finally given a chance by Sparks. He quickly shows why he should’ve been promoted by using his anger and sheer passion as the second leader of the crew. 

Abel Gomez is the show’s funny guy, the glue that holds the team together, and is truly one of the most selfless fighters ever portrayed on screen. He is easily the fans’ favorite, because everytime he speaks it is either funny, truly relatable or inspiring. Though the show has many other heroes, these three are the ones that make J Company run.

What makes the show different from the rest of Hollywood war media we have seen before is how it is actually portrayed on the screen. The series  is both live-action and computer animated, giving it the look of a comic book.  Trioscope Studios was able to achieve this through a method called rotoscope animation. Trioscope’s CEO, L.C. Crawley,  and its CCO,Brandon Barr, told Deadline they believe  rotoscope animations is a step in the right direction for films and shows:““Trioscope can effectively produce in ways no other platform can . . . So often, dramatic material can’t get made because it’s too creatively ambitious or costly. This technology allows creators to imagine without limits – from contemporary to historic periods, and from fantasy to reality – and all on an achievable budget.” Not only does such animation save money, but it also allows viewers to enjoy a war show without extreme gore. Such a business move gives more flexibility to the budget and brings in more viewers, thanks to how different the animation looks when compared to others Netflix has to offer. 

    “The Liberator” received some love when it became available. It received a 7.5/10 from IMDB, a 6/10 from Rotten Tomatoes as well as 7.1 from Rotten Tomatoes audience, and was amongst the top 10 on Netflix U.S. on opening week. This show is an easy watch and tells the story of how such a diverse and often belittled  platoon put hate aside to fight a common enemy. It was a gorgeous show to watch, and is an excellent nod to our combat heroes and veterans. 

Authors: Danielle Mercado & Julian Alcaraz | A&E Editor & Staff Writer

Clare Crawley Won’t Apologize For Love

Bachelorette Clare Crawley exits the show after finding love and is replaced

This season of “The Bachelorette” was “unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in Bachelor/ette history,” in the words of Chris Harrison. 

Our bachelorette this season was 39 year-old Clare Crawley, previously the runner-up in season 18. Making history in more ways than one, Crawley had one of the most memorable seasons in history. A fan favorite, viewers around the world were excited for the oldest bachelorette to find love; however, by the end, many were in fact anxiously awaiting her exit.

Unlike any other past bachelor/ette, Crawley found love with contestant Dale Moss instantly, stating, “I definitely feel like I just met my husband” moments after meeting him for the first time. Following the process, Crawley proceeded to go on dates with the men and began creating the foundation for an intimate relationship. Eventually, the chemistry between Moss and Crawley became undeniable and every confessional signified that she had found love. 

Throughout her time on the show, Crawley had made it clear that, because of her age, she knew exactly what she wanted in a partner. Despite putting a great effort into getting to know the other men, Crawley confessed her love to Moss in the latest, and fourth, episode. Going on the show with the goal of finding love, Crawley did just that. Although the men were upset with this decision, a few of their reactions indicated their awareness of their lack of connection within their own relationship with Crawley. Despite facing pushback and a few negative comments, Crawley apologized to the men for wasting their time, but made it clear she would never apologize for love. On this note, Moss proposes to Crawley and they exit the show. The end, right? 

Not quite. 

While the couple did indeed receive their happy ending, there are still sixteen very upset, confused and hurt men left behind. In an effort to save a season only on its fourth episode, Harrison brought in a surprise bachelorette, one that the show had been signalling in prior trailers. 

The winner of this unconventional search for love is Tayshia Adams. Adams is a fan favorite, having made several appearances in the “Bachelor” series. Adams was originally a contestant on season 23, Colton Underwood’s season, back in 2019. Adams made it to third place on the season with many wishing her well and hoping love would find her soon. 

Adams didn’t have to wait long in order for the opportunity. She was invited to be a contestant on “Bachelor in Paradise”’s sixth season. Adams seemed to be having a great time, and had even found some companionship with another fan favorite, John Paul Jones from “The Bachelorette” season 16. However, this love wouldn’t last long, as the pair split after filming. 

Fans are eager to see Adams take Crawley’s place after the abrupt “ending” of the current season. Many viewers voiced their dislike for Crawley and thought her attitude of knowing exactly what she wants was distasteful. Adams, on the other hand, has a clean slate and is very well liked to boot. There is a lot of potential in the men left and she seems eager to start her journey anew. 

In the teaser trailer for the upcoming episode, it seems that Adams entirely understands the position these men are in, having been there herself multiple times. Adams voiced to Harrison her concern for the men’s feelings, and acknowledged that some of them may still be emotionally involved with Crawley. It seems that such an understanding will be necessary for Adams, as multiple men approached her on night one to voice concern about their feelings for another, no longer eligible, woman. Plenty of other contestants also shared their desire for someone new:they couldn’t really build any type of relationship with Clare due to her only having sights for Dale. 

Overall, fans are excited that the season is continuing and are very hopeful that Adams’ soon to be fiance is in that room of bachelors… Hopefully, he won’t be found as fast as Crawley’s. 

Author: Dani Mercado| A&E Editor

Author: Shyanne Mortimer| Social Media Co-Editors

Ariana Grande Releases New Album

Some fans love it and others say “thank u, next”

Ariana Grande released a new album on October 30, 2020. This came as a surprise to many people, since there was little build-up towards its release. While Grande did tease a new release, she had made no explicit statement regarding the timing. Now that it has been out for a few days, fans and critics alike are sharing their opinions. 

Grande’s last studio album release was back in February of 2019: “thank u, next.” The album had quickly followed her already-successful “Sweetener”. Since Grande released two successful albums so quickly in succession, she has instead taken the time to work on her most recent release, called “Positions.” 

“Positions” is a different kind of music than her fans are typically used to: She has gone for a much more R&B sound instead of her typical pop. Grande’s content in this album is also a little more risque than usual, with the subject matter of many songs being about her activities with men. Grande also sings about self-promotion and worth, a more regular occurrence for her music.

One of the biggest trends in the new album was her use of self-harmony. Almost all fourteen tracks had the artist harmonizing with herself at some point. There is also a lot of echo and electronic sound to be heard. This sound is appealing to some, as it bleeds from pop to R&B and hip hop, but others criticize it for sounding autotuned. Toward the end of many of the tracks, she combines her talents with whistle tones. 

The theme of this album is the unapologetic embracing of one’s femininity and sexuality. Grande sings about the various ways in which she desires to be loved, and embraces that part of her. She also promotes self-love and mental well-being in other songs. 

Fans have taken to TikTok, sharing both their support and disappointment for the album. A new challenge has even been introduced to the TikTok community, in the form of #positions. People have been taking on this challenge in order to mimic the music video. Users are typically shown sitting on a bed, in plain clothes, before transitioning into a more glamorous look. It is meant as something fun and empowering for all women and men who use the app. Such users seem eager and supportive of Grande’s new album. According to Billboard, fans also voted Grande’s album as favorite new music of the week. 

Other fans, and specifically TikTok users, have expressed distaste for the album. Some fans have voiced their lack of appreciation for the new genre and sound that Grande tried producing. It is a new branch of music that her fans are unaccustomed to. Instead, they desire a bit more of her familiar pop sound. Though there are some examples of her trademark sounds and vocal tendencies, the degree of change has proven to be a bit much for some. 

Grande’s album is currently streaming at number one on Billboard. Though some fans are happy to hear new music from the pop star, others are left disappointed by the lack of pop and say, “Thank u, next.” 

Author: Dani Mercado | A&E Editor

Theme Parks’ Response to COVID-19

A case by case basis for reopening parks

Theme parks are a place of liveliness, entertainment and attractions. This has been missed throughout the months of the COVID-19 lockdown. However, some states have begun reopening their parks to the public. Per state regulations, however, some theme parks are more open than others.  In our home state of California, no parks are open, save the downtown shopping areas. Among the many reasons for this is the concern that our theme parks draw tourists from outside the United States and thus increase the risk of COVID infection. Some individuals claim that the statistics, however, do not support this argument.  

At first glance, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaley confirms that the state is dividing the theme parks into two categories: parks that can accommodate less than 15,000 people will be allowed to reopen with 25% capacity when the counties these theme parks reside in enter the third (moderate risk) tier. The theme parks that can accommodate over 15,000 and above will need to wait until their counties reach tier 4 (minimal risk). The theme park representatives are pushing back against state officials, claiming that the statistics used to create the tier system are biased or based on unfounded science.  

Other representatives, such as Karen Irwin, the president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios Hollywood, have advanced a different claim. While the state is tentatively making a form of compromise by allowing some parks to open to local residents only, she argues that this is not a concession at all: it is  primarily where the income is generated for each park. She went on to state that a review of parks already reopened will show that the current attendance is primarily local, and we will not see a return to the cross-country/international travel for at least a year or more. 

If the state would look at what is working across the country, it should see what is possible in California. Florida has opened their theme parks at a limited capacity. Walt Disney World, for example, is operating at 25% capacity and  is met with visitors on a daily, consistent basis. The park is being cautious, with guests required to wear masks, social distance and use complimentary hand sanitizer. People are happily taking videos and sharing their photos on social media. Slowly but surely, executives are planning to bring more people into the park. Their official Twitter account recently announced that they will indeed be offering Christmas merchandise like themed face masks available for purchase in the near future.  

Universal Studios Florida has also reopened. The park is operating at a smaller capacity, yes, and with limited attractions open, but guests are attending in waves. The park has implemented standard COVID preventative measures to ensure public safety, distributing items such as social distancing circle guides. During the Halloween season, the park had its normal haunted house attractions up until November 1. 

Governor Newsom has already given the California Theme Parks Representatives what guidelines should be followed for them to reopen, and they are all doing everything possible to continue moving forward. Since the process is on a county-by-county, statistical basis, it might be a slower process than they have anticipated. We can all hope, however, to enjoy some of our missing pastimes soon

Authors: Dani Mercado|A & E Editor and Janelle Fontaine| Opinions Editor

“The Mandalorian” Season Two

The Return of “Baby Yoda”

Exciting news for all you “Star Wars” fans: the first episode of “The Mandalorian” season two is going to be released this Friday, October 30. If you are unfamiliar with the show, “The Mandalorian” is a series based on the popular “Star Wars” movies. The show takes place after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. The series follows a bounty hunter referred to as The Mandolorian and his travels in the outer reaches of the galaxy, away from the New Republic. The character that seems to have stolen everyone’s hearts, however, is The Child, referred to colloquially by fans as “Baby Yoda”’. 

Disney has been able to keep a tight grip on the details of this newest season. At the very least, fans can expect the return of some of their favorite characters from the first season, along with some new characters. TechRadar Online stated that “a key character” from “The Clone Wars” animated series and a long-term favorite from the movies will be in season two.  Rumors abound that Rosario Dawson will play Ahsoka Tano. The most exciting rumor is that fans will learn a little bit more about The Child and his origins. 

One of the biggest rumors about the second season of “The Mandalorian” is that Pedro Pascal, who portrays the title character, quit midway through filming,because his role required him to wear a mask for most screen time. Lucasfilm has stayed silent on the rumor, which has caused some fans to worry that it might in fact be true.  However, Pascal’s character will still play an important part in the show’s future. We Got This Covered states that: “After all, Pascal would have known full well that Mando keeps his helmet on whatever the circumstances, and it isn’t like the respected actor would suddenly throw his toys out of the pram because his handsome face wasn’t getting enough screen time.” LRM Online said that, even though there were a few issues, everything is going just fine behind scenes. 

  Earlier this month, series creator Jon Favreau confirmed that the show has been renewed for a third season. The filming is expected to start by the end of this year. Here’s to hoping all Mandalorian fans will get to see  season three in 2021!

Watch the season two trailer at https://youtu.be/GH77rcS-X-c

Author: Marisa Kaleva|Staff Writer

Broadway Coming Our Way


Musicals arriving in the Valley

Broadway may be the pinnacle of musical theatre, but not everyone can make it to the Big Apple. Fortunately, it does do traveling shows. Broadway is planning on returning to Fresno with several major shows, starting in January 2021. 

The first show to grace the stage is the classic musical Cats, recently adapted into a film released in late 2019. Many fans of Broadway, such as myself, will beg viewers to forget that the film exists and instead allow the show to speak for itself. The story is about a group of cats competing to determine which is best. The best then gets to go to Heaviside Layer, a heaven-like place where cats are reborn. It is regarded as one of the greatest shows of all time and will be in town January 5-6. It’s the purrfect way to spend an evening. 

One man’s story will be the main event in March, and his name is Hamilton. This show took the world by storm when it first premiered in January 2015. The story follows the life of Alexander Hamilton and the many people who come across his path. Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, wrote much of the music in the style of rap. Broadway fans adore both this show and the fact that they learn more about the founding father. Due to its popularity, it will be the longest running show of the year, running from March 2-14. 

The third musical is Hairspray. This show follows the plucky and voluptuous Tracy Turnblad on her journey to participate in a local dance show. This show takes place in the 1960s, in the midst of the civil rights movement. Tracy befriends some African American teens through their shared passion for dance and realizes that discrimination is both terrible and close to home. Tracy decides to bring her friends with her to the show and turn the tide with peaceful protests. It features upbeat songs with powerful solos. Hairspray runs April 5-6.  

The final musical set to run is Anastasia. This is a relatively recent musical that first premiered in 2016, and is adapted from the 1997 animated film, regarded as a staple children’s musical. The show is about a long-lost Russian princess captured during the Bolshevik Revolution. Due to her amnesia, Anastasia spends her life wondering about her origins, until she meets two men who believe that she could pass for the lost princess and want to reap the rewards. However, all three are ignorant of the fact that she truly is  the missing princess. This show is great for people who love its grandeur of costumes and strong ballads. Anastasia runs June 22-23.

Broadway has been a constant source of musical entertainment for ages. The shows coming next year will be a mix of classic and new age productions. Each brings an air of splendor and awe. The shows’ content range from serious issues to more lighthearted fun. All of these musicals’ albums are available on audio streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music and many have their own websites. If you’re feeling particularly eager to show your support, some sites currently have merchandise available for purchase. If you’re not sure what to wear to a Broadway performance, merchandise can provide the perfect outfit. With these shows arriving, there is something exciting on the horizon. It’s Broadway or the highway!

Author: Danielle Mercado | A&E Editor

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