What if, every Monday morning, whether you were spending the weekend living it up or partying down, you could have all of your pop culture news in one place? What if there was more to your weekend than bright nights and hazy mornings? What if you could be caught up on your television, film, and music news all at once, with a little Northwestern thrown in for good measure? This is the Monday Morning Hangover.
This looks to be the week that we talk about a cappella. I went and saw the X-Factors’ final performance on Saturday night, and this culminated in their senior send-off, so to speak. There were a lot of tears and hugs, to be sure, and about halfway through the final speeches and thank-yous, I realized something: this is happening in every other a cappella group on campus. Many seniors in campus entertainment are having the last performances of their lives this quarter. Careers are ending before our eyes in almost everything we see in the spring, and that, in a weird way, is pretty cool to see. You don’t really understand it until you experience it for yourself, but when you see an a cappella group say goodbye to one of their four-year veterans, the communities that arise from Northwestern student productions become readily apparent. It gives you a broader sense of all the great groups we have here, and how close all of those groups become. It validates this whole thing – pretty special.
We take an abrupt turn from the leaders on campus to Kimye’s wedding. Look, we are not going to dwell on this. It happened, and now two of the most exasperating people on the planet have combined to create one supermonster of narcissism and selfishness. The world is just awesome (and wow, did we descend quickly from that fluffy senior cloud).
More enjoyable this week was the long-awaited drum-off between Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and his lookalike, comedian Will Ferrell. The two went at it on the set of Jimmy Fallon this week, and yeah, it lived up to the hype. Ferrell was reliably funny and self-aware, and Smith brought all of the musical talent. It all culminated in a brilliant Saturday Night Live reference, and a terrific ode to Blue Oyster Cult. You could not have asked for much more.
Trailer of the Week saw a close race, with homegrown hero Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here brushing up against the absolute arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy. Now, I’m all for being a homer. Zach’s trailer (We can call him Zach, right?) is really welcome. When you watch it, you just feel glad that Zach Braff is back, but it also feels a little too similar to being surprised by a friend at college. You love that they’re there, and for a second, you’re really pumped, but then you have no idea what to do with them. It is great to see Zach back in the saddle, but are we really going to line up for this movie? It will be interesting to see what sets it apart from other mid-life-discovery flicks like Lost in Translation or Little Miss Sunshine.
So, with apologies to our former Wildcat, Trailer of the Week goes to the fan-freaking-tastic Guardians of the Galaxy spot. It might be the best trailer we have had this quarter. It brings the humor, the action, the character highlights, and the plot details we have all been waiting for. You want to hear B-Coop as Rocket Raccoon? Check. Want to see aforementioned Raccoon team up with his giant tree partner and kick some ass? Check. Want to see Chris Pratt’s new abs? Check. This one marks off all the boxes, and it has some damn good music to boot. This could be the film to save us from Cookie Cutter Comic Movie Syndrome – let’s all hop onboard the Hype Train!
As a quick aside, X-Men: Days of Future Past premiered this weekend, and it is nothing short of excellent. It delivers as a character drama (Michael Fassbender’s Magneto is sneakily evolving into one of the best comic characters we have witnessed onscreen), it delivers as an actioner and it expertly steers a wild plot that could have easily gone out of control. I liked it more than The Avengers. No joke – it has a more threatening villain, more complex characters and some truly awesome set pieces. I will kindly assume the duties as Captain of the Unpopular Opinion Ship now, and yeah, I was feeling the vehicle metaphors today.
We are ending on this section for one particular reason, but first, some news from the Netflix department demands your attention. There is talk of a possible ten-episode Wet Hot American Summer prequel heading to the streaming service (cut to the dudes in the frat quad cheering) and the newly-ordered Daredevil series has a new showrunner. Not sure how I feel about the ill-received-movies-revived-as-Netflix-shows precedent, but a more robust Netflix is something we have been waiting on forever, so at first glance, this looks promising.
But here is the kicker I want to leave you with. One of my favorite personalities delivered a knockout speech this week. His name is Charlie Day, and he gave the commencement address at Merrimack College this week. It was funny and thought-provoking, and it stayed personal while still being relatable. I watched the whole thing, and you should too.
I normally tell you guys to stay classy, but next weekend is Dillo, so you know what? Just have a kickass time. We are all one Hangover away from the end of another year anyway. See you guys next week for one last time around the block.