It Is Coming
Students gear up for fall’s biggest distraction
Nevin P. Jones | reporter
eople to dive back into the shows that they love.
Possibly the most hotly anticipated returning show is AMC’s “The Walking Dead”.
After the season three finale’s record-breaking 12.4 million viewers, the show became the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history.
The previous season left viewers with many questions and an appetite for answers.
“ ‘The Walking Dead’ starts back up soon, and I’m pretty excited about that,” said Seamus Hamilton, junior in psychology.
A sentiment that fellow PSU student Abby Spillane, senior in graphic communications, shares.
“I can’t wait for ‘The Walking Dead’ to return,” Spillane said. “I love zombies and it’s the only TV show with them.”
Spillane said she and her friends like to watch the show together with big zombie parties, which is a common way to enjoy the show. Prepare for more zombie carnage on Oct. 13.
Fox’s “New Girl” is also returning for a third season featuring the indie heart-throb Zooey Deschanel and her three roommates.
“I like ‘New Girl’ because of Zooey Deschanel,” said Erin Brisbin, senior in commercial graphics. “She’s really funny.”
The new season of “New Girl” promises to expand on the relationship between Jess and Nick while bringing back some old characters like Damon Wayans Jr.’s Coach. Look for it on Sept. 16.
ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” brings the fairy tales of old to life. Its series tells the tale of fictional characters like Rumplestiltskin and Pinocchio living in the real world due to a curse by the Evil Queen.
“I’m not fully caught up on ‘Once Upon a Time,’ but I’m trying to get there before the new season starts,” said Cynthia Bardelli, sophomore in English literature.
The third season will feature characters travelling to Neverland and have crossover episodes connecting with the spin-off “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”. Season three will begin on Sept. 29.
“Once Upon a Time” isn’t ABC’s only showing looking to bring in viewers this fall. Coming in the wake of the box office smash hit ‘The Avengers’ is Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”, which hopes to bring the allure of Marvel’s superheroes to TV.
“I want to see ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” said Erin Rivero, senior in English. “It’s something new, and I’m all about ‘The Avengers’”.
‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ will tell the story of Agent Coulson and his small team as they deal with strange new cases due to superhumans. The pilot episode directed by Joss Whedon will premiere on September 24.
Other popular shows returning throughout Sept. and October are “How I Met Your Mother”, “The Mindy Project”, “Parks and Recreation”, “Glee”, “Scandal” and “Arrow”.
Some students such as Elizabeth Banks, junior in history, seem more content with what they can find on Netflix.
“I watch most of my shows on Netflix,” Banks said. “It lets me watch all of them at once.”
Bardelli also says she prefers using Netflix to watch shows on the internet rather than paying for cable.
KC native delivers one of the years best albums
Ceejay Bachus | culture editor
Kansas City native Janelle Monáe has a very distinct style.
Differentiating herself from her modern contemporaries, her style wouldn”t feel out of place in an issue of Vogue or GQ and her musical persona is just as versatile. In her latest effort, “The Electric Lady” Monáe marches on with the same high-concept in a noticeably different fashion.
This time, she”s got some respectable help to guide her along the way.
“Lady” is the third and fourth parts of Monáe”s seven-part “Android saga” which began in her 2007 EP “Metropolis” and was continued in her debut studio ablum “The ArchAndroid”.
Her songs tell the tale of Cindi Mayweather, a rogue prototype android who fell in love with a human, an offense punishable by deactivation in Monáe”s dystopian future where androids represent the woes of our world”s disenfranchised populations (women, people of color, the LGBT community, etc).
The androids see Mayweather as a beloved outlaw and some even see her as a messiah but her sole purpose is to live in peace and romantic bliss with her human lover.
The album”s far-out concept should dissuade listeners; Monáe has strung together a two-toned album full of – not just interesting songs – but intriguing ideas on strength, love and even sexual identity.
The album”s first half is some of the most entertaining musical eclecticism to hit the mainstream in what feels like forever.
One minute you”re grooving with the bombastic title track or debating belief and sexuality in the jazzy, Erykah Badu-assisted “Q.U.E.E.N.” and the next you”re jumping around to the end-times anthem “Dance Apocalyptic”.
“The Electric Lady” puts Hyde first and saves Jekyll for the second half, loading the back with the likes of “Ghetto Woman” an ode to Monáe”s mother and the hypnotizing Spanish lullaby “Look Into My Eyes”.
While “ArchAndroid” was fairly modest with its featuring artists (Deep Cotton, of Montreal), Monáe has enlisted an impressive set of contemporaries like Solange and Esparanza Spalding and legends like Prince and Badu.
With production from Sean “Diddy” Combs and Big Boi, the album constantly jumps from genre to genre without losing its originality or purpose.
Monáe”s icy vocals lend themselves to each individual sound. This is especially evident on one of the album”s standout tracks “Givin” Em What They Love”, featuring Prince.
The trouble with working with Prince is that the other artist usually tries to out-Prince Prince to no avail. However, “Love” actually accentuates Monáe”s versatility while letting Prince get his Memphis on.
Other standouts are the silky duet “Primetime” with Miguel and the album”s closing track “What An Experience”, a mid-90s neo-soul throwback. The production is crisp, but the songs could have a better flow and I felt that “Ghetto Woman” and “Primetime” would”ve benefitted from switch places on the track list.
Monáe is showcasing an almost frightening maturation with each new LP she releases. Hers is an artistry that only comes along every so often.
With a strong, acrobatic vocal performance, effective features and a tried and true high-concept them “The Electric Lady” is not only Monáe”s best effort to date, but one of the year”s best albums.
‘Riddick’s’ latest outing a ‘stunning distraction’
Logan Qualls | reporter
Riddick, the laconic antihero, returns to the fray once more with thrilling kills befitting his vicious inclinations.
“Riddick” can be seen as a revitalization of the series, returning to the striking savagery of the series’ first entry, “Pitch Black.”
Emerging battered and bloodied from a pile of rubble, Riddick fends off the attack of wild dog-like creatures and manages to reset and splint his broken leg.
Finding refuge in a makeshift cave, he goes into a state of hibernation experiencing a series of flashbacks that relate how and why Riddick came to be on the barren planet.
Sufficiently recuperated from his injuries, Riddick then sets out to find a way off the planet.
He discovers grasslands off in the distance with an abundance of life and water. However, deadly scorpion-like creatures guard the only path forward. Not one to sit idle, Riddick quickly develops a plan of action.
He begins by methodically subjecting himself, as well as a wild dog pup he rescued, to the scorpion’s poison, building up a tolerance.
With Riddick’s help, the pup soon grows into a well-trained companion. Using hand-made weapons, Riddick succeeds in killing several of the scorpion beasts, gaining access to the bountiful grasslands.
He then comes across an abandoned mercenary station where he notices a massive system of storms approaching.
Realizing that the rain will bring more of the scorpion beasts, Riddick uses the station’s emergency beacon to signal his presence on the planet. Sure enough, two ships enter the planet’s atmosphere soon after.
The mercenary teams that arrive could not be more different and a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues with Riddick clearly having the upper hand.
His efforts to secure one of the ships results in the teams working together, hoping and praying that their combined might will be enough to subdue Riddick.
The plot, though simple and utterly predictable, serves its purpose by moving the story along from one tense fight to the next.
The music, by Graeme Revell, provides an engaging ambiance that fits perfectly with the forsaken landscape.
While the dialogue throughout the film was uninspiring, the visual aspect of the film provided a stunning distraction.
The scene design and overall feel of the planet is overwhelming. The art production team did an amazing job, highlighting the breathtaking beauty found amid the desolation.
It is almost a pity a majority of the cast dies as the members of the mercenary teams are unapologetically unique, their interactions providing unexpected humor before most of them are brutally killed through various means.
“Riddick” misses the mark at a truly stunning movie yet is definitely a step in the right direction for the series.
Suffering from clichéd dialogue and unimaginative plot progression, the film finds redemption with the gorgeous set design and carefully constructed cinematic experience.
Whether you are a diehard fan of the series or a newcomer, “Riddick” promises a bloody good time.