How you ‘Cats feeling? Tired and sore and all-around gross? Probably all of the above. Seems about right. I think what people do not understand about Dance Marathon, though, is that once you are in that tent giving it your all for the charity of the year, you become totally isolated from the world. Once you pass Block 2 and enter the world of aches and pains and overall fatigue, that tent might as well be the glass cover from that crappy Stephen King book-turned-show Under the Dome. The outside world is just gone.
Luckily, this column exists for that exact reason. Welcome back to the real world, dancers. Here is what the rest of us are reeling from this past weekend.
Kesha (what, no dollar sign?!) is out of her time in rehab for an eating disorder with a new name and a new outlook. Her Twitter was quoted late Thursday to say that the 27-year-old is “feeling healthy & working on tons of new music” – a great sign for fans of the pop star. Personally, I think this is a clever and genuine rebranding. I bet we still hear the same cheap-drink, sweat-fueled songs from Kesha, but I think she is working to open herself up to a more mature perspective. Plus, you have to support anything that makes a pop artist feel better about him or herself. It can only mean good things.
On a more hilarious note, Aaron Carter has publicly voiced that he still wants Hilary Duff. The logical follow-up joke says that Aaron Carter is now the only person in the world who still wants Hilary Duff in any sense of the word. However, seeing as Mr. Carter’s classic tune “Come Get It” has had a recent burst of popularity in my fraternity house (never thought I’d see that in writing), I would not mind if a divorce from Duff (she’s been married since 2010, but separated as of this year) led to this becoming a thing again. It would absolutely be an early frontrunner for Pop Culture Scandal of the Year That No One Cares About. Seems like it would be right up there with the N*SYNC reunion and anything that has happened in the world of the WWE.
Easily the marquee event of the weekend was the True Detective finale on Sunday night. In case you are uninitiated, this show is one of the most intelligently-executed pieces of programming that HBO has had since The Sopranos. The acting is a revelation (five years ago, no way McConaughey and Harrelson sign on for this—another sign of the golden age of television), the directing is crisp and the writing has been tense, thought-provoking and moving. This statement might sound like hyperbole with some time and reflection, but right now, I am confident saying that if you want one show aside from Breaking Bad that indicates what this period was like for TV, look no further than True Detective. Thematically, it is unique and fascinating. Technically, it is nothing short of brilliant. Catch up right now.
As one great show ends, a new potentially great program begins. Sunday was the premiere of Fox’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. It looks to be a Planet Earth-esque exploration of space and stars and black holes and all kinds of cool things in the sky. If you are down for a new science-based miniseries, it looks to be just for you.
Right off the bat, trailer of the week goes to Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For. Slick, stylish, shows off a killer cast that has me excited for things from the Frank Miller camp.
You know what else has me excited? Movies are becoming good again! This weekend, we had not one, but two quality thrillers in limited release. In Fear (on DVD 3/11, by the way) follows a young couple as they try to sweat out a night alone in their car. It's supposed to be a very throwback and classically scary movie, and I dig the unique car setting. Too often, cars in movies are just ways to go from place to place – filmmakers forget that they can also keep people out and lock people in. The other, slightly more ridiculous flick is Grand Piano with Elijah Wood. Basically, a concert pianist with stage fright is giving a show when a voice through his ear piece tells him that if he plays one wrong note, he will be shot through the head with a rifle. It is totally absurd, but it sincerely has me intrigued. How does he make it out?! Cheap movie plots were made for people like me, I swear.
We were also teased with Wes Anderson’s new flick Grand Budapest Hotel, also in limited release (seriously?), in another quality outing for the director. It features one of the best casts in recent memory—look out for this one when it hits Evanston. It will be the one all your RTVF friends talk about.
And hey, nothing wrong with a new Transformers trailer. Let’s all watch Optimus Prime throw a robot-Tyrannosaurus Rex into the ground, shall we? Awesome.
Dance Marathon, huh? There was more money raised than ever before – nearly $1.4 million! – a ton of satisfied dancers and a lot of changed lives. What else can be said about it? My work with NBN this weekend showed me like never before that this event is one of the most important things we do on campus. This stuff matters. We made a real difference to boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and their f families this weekend, and whether you think the 30 hours of dancing really matters or not is ultimately irrelevant. Can DM be annoyingly persistent at times? Sure it can, but we cannot let that take away from the cause. At the end of the day, dancing like that shows sacrifice, responsibility and personal ownership of a cause greater than each of us here at Northwestern. That is why people like President Obama and Seth Meyers and all those other famous faces take notice – they see a bunch of young people who, when they can be watching movies and going to concerts and catching up on True Detective, are instead dancing the very shoes off of their feet in order to bring awareness and resources to a charity. That is special. That reminds me what being a Wildcat is all about.
As always, hang tough, 'Cats. Whether you were under the tent or not this weekend, it was certainly one to remember. See you in the spring.