Last week, “Parks and Recreation” capped off a glorious seven-season run with about as much pure joy and happiness as you can fit into an hour of network television. Storylines wrapped, Pawnee changed (once again) for the better and Mark Brendanawicz was once again nowhere to be found. In an era where TV comedies increasingly focus on the consequences of our screwups, “Parks and Recreation” coupled this with a love of the consequences of our good decisions, too. And in a world where many comedies center around the little engine that couldn’t, Leslie Knope and company were the little engine that did three times and had waffles after. From its inception as a sort of spin-off of “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation” immediately became one of the best sitcoms on TV (I even liked season one). It will be sorely missed.
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The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a group representing the interests of 1,300 record companies around the globe, announced Feb. 26 that Friday is now the universal release date for all songs and albums. According to IFPI chief executive officer Frances Moore, the move has two purposes: to allow consumers easier access to music across national borders and to reignite the excitement of new music being released.
Let me start off by saying I am and always will be a Big Ten fan. It is home to my future alma mater (unless I pull a Bill Gates and transfer to Harvard, fingers crossed) and represents my hometown region of the Midwest.
In the midst of new voices joining the video game space, the underperformers of the past have been forced to make room in the market. After years of commercial underperformance and failed expectations, some of the game industry’s most visible creators are forced to cede their roles to fresh faces.
A road trip is more than traveling from point A to B. Like everything around us it can be just that, simply a route to travel to reach somewhere, but sometimes, it can encompass the entirety of American mythology regarding road trips within it and be so much more. It ceases to be a route to get somewhere and takes the form of an adventure, one that takes you on uncharted water and exposes you to unexpected things. There is nothing quite like having the late afternoon sun kissing your face, the wind dancing through your hair and the great expanse of a road in front of you, waiting for you to envelope it. It is the epitome of ways to find yourself at this time in your life, to drive away in your car, alone or with a few friends, and let your mind think and dream in ways you didn’t know were possible. Regardless of the reasons, it will bring you the clarity you so desperately need. Better yet, it will bring you much more.
Unless you are completely obsessive like me, you probably didn’t wake up at 6 a.m. Sunday to catch the soccer game between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur. By missing this game, you missed the latest installment of the Harry Kane saga, Tottenham’s cult hero who can’t be stopped.
In a world where a “like” almost means more than a verbal compliment, I think it is safe to wonder how much social media is too much? Don’t get me wrong, I am all about social media. I love posting photos on Instagram and tweeting my daily awkward moments more than anyone probably. However, a recent article I read really got me thinking: Is it possible to be addicted to social media? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that social media is literally made to be addicting. I’m no expert on the subject, but this week I intend to shed some light on why everyone loves social media.
A butterfly flaps its wings somewhere and a hurricane ravages an entire area elsewhere. There might be days where everything about us feels small, insignificant and unnecessary. It is difficult to fathom what our being here really means or contributes in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes can all feel like the hypnotic chug-chug of a train rolling down old wooden tracks; the courses, clubs, weekends, games. Rolling down the same path it always has, making the same sounds and traveling the same route. It isn’t morbid but human curiosity to wonder what the world would be like if we hadn’t been pushed out, squalling and terrified from the first moment, into it.
“The Walking Dead” is back, baby! Finally, after months of waiting, one of my favorite television shows is back in its familiar Sunday night slot(s). The first half of the fifth season represented one of the biggest television 180s that I’ve ever seen; last year, the show had the pacing and stumbling of Rick Grimes walking down railroad tracks, and now it's as exciting and suspenseful as it’s ever been. Naturally, between this most welcome surprise and the tension that was the midseason finale, I’ve been ready to get back on the road with our heroes for a while now.
The mics weren’t turning on. Our guitarist called out for the help of one of the owners of the house, who first had to wade through several dozen sweaty bodies before he could assess the situation. I grew more anxious with every unsuccessful utterance of “check” into the microphones. It was our first DIY show in Madison, and a basement filled to the brim with anticipating eyes was watching us struggle to get our equipment working.
Sportswriters are, admittedly, not the pinnacles of journalism. We aren’t overseas covering wars, reporting on the latest medical discoveries or having our helicopter shot down by an RPG in Iraq.
Ah, Oscars eve-eve-eve-eve-eve. A time for reflection. A time for predictions. The Academy Awards will be handed out soon, as they are every year, but before they are I think it’s important to remember; they don’t really matter.
Walking into Madison Fresh Market the other day, I noticed they had a 2/$5 deal on gallons of milk. Naturally, I got both gallons, because deals where I can get two amazing and equal products at the same price don’t arise often. The Green Bay Packers are faced with the same situation here, but instead of dairy, they are looking at wide receivers. With Jordy Nelson already inking his bargain payday of just over $39 million over four years, his wideout partner Randall Cobb is up next. Many outside and inside of the organization feared Cobb would cost too much to retain after his breakout season, but sources on Monday indicate that Cobb only desires a deal similar to Nelson’s. If that’s the case, Ted Thompson is walking out of the negotiation room with two under-30, No. 1 receivers at just over $18 million per year combined.
Society deemed it necessary we have a day for love—showing, in my opinion, how little the very same society actually knows about love, thinking it can be squeezed into a day, that it can actually encompass it—and thus began an almost rabid furor for Valentine’s Day. The commercial build up is quite epic to witness, with pink and red slowly appearing everywhere you look weeks before the actual day. The day itself is supposed to be one of great business for bakeries and flower shops. But what comes after?
“Breaking Bad” is widely considered to be one of the greatest television programs of the last decade, if not of all time. I agree with this assessment; it’s entertaining, well written, addictive and engaging. So, when I rushed home from work on Sunday night to watch the premiere of “Better Call Saul,” I was expecting something very similar to “Breaking Bad.” Generally, that wouldn’t be too far-fetched; if you’re making a spinoff, you only change it enough to let watchers know the material is just new enough to be interesting. Sometimes this works… and sometimes you get “Joey.” I spent months hoping “Better Call Saul” would not be the next “Joey,” and that the writers would see the potential of Saul alone and not ruin him forever.