5 Song Lyrics That Speak to My Soul: Theatre Edition

A few months ago, I wrote about song lyrics that spoke to my soul. That entire post could have been theatre lyrics but I restrained myself and decided to do a separate post of theatre lyrics that speak to my soul Theatre lyrics have a way of saying exactly what needs to be said in exactly the right way. So much can be said in a single line of a single song so I thought I’d share some of my favourites.

“I’ve learned to slam on the brake before I even turn the key” – Waving Through a Window, Dear Evan Hansen

Honestly, this whole post could be Dear Evan Hansen lyrics but I’m not going to do that. I feel like Benj Pasek and Justin Paul basically summed up my entire existence in one lyric. Putting your foot on the gas before you drive stops the car from going anywhere. The car doesn’t move fast but it still rolls. For so much of my life, there have been things I have wanted to do – like say auditioning for theatre – but I’ve been so afraid of rejection or being made fun of or whatever that I stop myself before I even try it. I have missed out on so many opportunities because I’ve learned to stop before I have a chance to try something and mess it up.

Forget regret or life is yours to miss” – Another Day, Rent

This entire song kind of speaks to me but I love this lyric. This lyric reminds me that while there may be things in your life that you regret doing or even regret not doing, you can’t dwell on them. You can’t change the past but you can change the future and experience the present. Regret and dwelling on mistakes has dragged me down in the past and haunted my dreams with “what ifs.” Once the moment or the opportunity has passed, there’s no getting it back. But there’s nothing stopping you from seizing the next amazing opportunity that comes your way.

“He could be that boy, but I’m not that girl” – I’m Not That Girl, Wicked

I feel like this song just really sums up my romantic life. Every guy I’ve ever had a real romantic interest in is either a) taken or b) not interested in me. Even if he is interested in me like Fiyero is interested in Elphaba, nothing EVER comes of it. We’ll start talking and I’ll *try* and flirt or something but they never catch on or don’t care and then something happens like the end of a job or the end of school and I don’t see them again. For some reason I can’t make the words “I like you” come out of my mouth to boys I like. But that’s likely just because of me my stupid social anxiety or me not knowing how to say the right thing at the right time. Either way, every guy who has come into my life that I’m interested in as “more than friends” has never amounted to anything more than just friends. Maybe someday, I’ll pluck up the courage and tell one of them. Maybe someday.

“Suddenly there’s nothing in between me and the sky” – Me and the Sky, Come From Away

We’re often told “the sky’s the limit” – there should be nothing holding you back from chasing your dreams. Chasing your dreams is hard. And it’s even harder when there’s so many obstacles – whether it’s your gender, race, experience (or lack thereof), etc. –  in the way. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Limitations and obstacles can be over come and when we do overcome those obstacles there really is nothing in between you and the sky.

“Try to walk all over us, we’ll stomp all over you” – The World Will Know, Newsies

I have been walked all over and taken advantage of for pretty much my entire 19 years of existing on this planet. People take advantage of my kind heart, forgiving personality, my (parents’s) money and every single time I end up getting really hurt. This lyric taught me to fight back. I don’t have to let people take advantage of me. I deserve to be respected, I deserve to feel good about myself and I sure as hell do not need to waste my time, effort, and money to solve other people’s problems. I realize that I don’t say “no” nearly as much as I should and I agree to do things because I don’t want to hurt anyone but me being nice and people not being nice to me in return isn’t cool. And if I have to get a little bit assertive and stand my ground so be it. But understand that standing up for yourself is not being rude.


What theatre lyrics speak to your soul? Let me know in the comments!

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On Living Your Best Life

For the past few weeks, I removed myself from social media. I needed a break from everyone posting about how great their lives are and seeing posts of my friends doing things without me. I needed some time to think about me and my life and to stop comparing myself to others for what becomes hours every day.

Over this time, I found myself listening to Dear Evan Hansen a bit more than usual and one lyric in You Will Be Found stuck out to me:

“There’s a place where we don’t have to feel unknown and every time that you call out, you’re a little less alone.”

Here, Alana is clearly referring to the Internet. Evan is a bit of a loner but he always has his social media feeds open. I disagree with this lyric. I find that having hundreds of friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. only makes me feel more alone when I don’t get the likes/retweets/responses on posts that I think I should get. It makes me feel like I don’t have anything interesting, or important, or funny enough to say and that no one cares. I have used Twitter and Facebook for things like posting when I’m back in town from school hoping that someone will message me but when no one DMs me or texts me, I feel like no one cares and no one likes me. I deleted my social media apps because chasing validation from likes and messages is toxic. I needed to remind myself that I am more than my social media accounts. Social media is only a fraction of people’s real lives, and they tend to only post the best of their lives. No one posts the crappy parts of their lives (unless they need to rant or vent about something); in other words

“I never let them see the worst of me.” 

I get it. People want to feel liked and included, that’s just human nature. But social media life is not real life.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard constantly seeing other people living their “best” life on social media and feeling jealous and frustrated that it’s not you on that picturesque beach in Cuba or that your best friend is in a cute relationship and you’re not. It’s hard seeing other people where you want to be. But again, remember that you are only seeing the good parts of their life. And keep this in mind, other people’s success is not your failure.

I worked full time at a hardware/home improvement store this summer while other people I know worked at big corporations or travelled or had a cool internship. And you know what, it really wasn’t an all bad summer job. I liked the people I worked with, I filled my quota of social time for the summer (with me being an introvert and all), I enjoyed the work I was doing for the most part, and I made a decent amount of money. I felt happy and fulfilled and like I mattered in the workplace. I felt like I was living my best life. And it never made it on to social media. Sure, there were times when I wished I was working somewhere related to what I might want to do with my life in the future, but sometimes life just happens and you just have to roll with what the universe gives you. My best life is not someone else’s best life.

After reading this thread on Twitter, I realized no one’s life, including my own, is Instagram perfect. As long as I’m happy and feel like I’m doing something meaningful, then I must be doing something right. Even if I’m not exactly where I want to be and I see other people where I want to be, I can’t let that bother me. My time will come. So if you’re like me and get a little jealous and a little frustrated because you feel like you should be in a “better” place in your life, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you live your best life, even if it never sees social media.

1. There’s no need to document everything – live in the moment, not through the camera on your phone. Put your phone away when you’re hanging out with family or friends. No one wants to see the 40th Instagram story of a Boomerang of you and your friends cheersing at dinner.

2. Be grateful for what you have – if you’re grateful for what you have (like I was always so grateful for having a full time job this summer, even though it wasn’t my ideal job) it makes your current situation more bearable and plus if you put out positive vibes into the universe will give you more positive things in your life.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others – just because other people may be very public about their success and achievements and posting it on social media, doesn’t mean that you are not successful in what you are doing. Everyone is unique and has different experiences so it’s really an apples to oranges comparison anyways.

4. Don’t be afraid to love and get excited about things – and share what you love with the world! The things you love, your hobbies and interests are what makes you you! If you like video games, don’t be afraid to talk about it, if you like theatre, don’t be afraid that being a theatre kid makes you weird, if you love hockey, don’t be afraid to talk about last night’s game. (Just be careful of who you’re talking to and gauge their level of interest. If they’re not interested, find a friend who is!)

5. Self-love and self-care – not gonna lie, self love is hard but things like daily affirmations can really help and know that you do deserve the best in life. Self care is a little bit easier. Skip class if you’re not feeling well, have a bubble bath when you get home, spend the day doing something you love and that doesn’t stress you out.

6. Approach everything you do with kindness, care, integrity, honesty, and an open mind – I feel like this is pretty self explanatory. Put more time and energy into things that matter and maybe a little less time and energy into things that don’t matter so much (but still do a good job if it’s something that you have to do).

Living your best life means not worrying about other people so much. You do you as long as your not hurting yourself or other people. Make yourself a priority and know that you are loved and you are valued, even if you don’t get the likes or notifications or messages you think you should get on social media. You are so much more than your social media profiles. Be brave, be confident, and be courageous and soon enough you will be living YOUR best life offline. Offline life is WAY more important and valuable than online social media life. After saying all of that, it’s still okay to post about it online too (I mean, sometimes there’s that picture perfect sunset that just has to be shared) but it’s not a competition with all of your acquaintances and followers to see who is living THE BEST life.


What are you doing to live your best life? Let me know in the comments!

Make sure you’re following @peacelovearts on Facebook and Twitter and follow my blog to stay up to date with all my latest content!

5 Goals for a New School Year

It’s that time of year when everything changes – the leaves on the trees, class and school schedules, the fashion (SWEATER WEATHER!),  and TV gets good again. This year, I decided I need to make some personal changes in my life. I just started my third year of university and this year is going to be a crazy one. I’m at my home campus at U of T for the fall semester then I’m doing an international exchange at the University of Sydney Australia for the winter semester (well, their fall semester). But if I’m being honest, the university experience has not been what I thought it was going to be – in some good ways and in some bad ways – so this year, I’m going to take matters into my own hands and make some goals in order to make the four months at U of T the best it can be.

WRITE, WRITE, WRITE

One of the things on my bucket list is to get my writing published. I also just changed my minor in professional writing to a major (welp). I’m lucky because my campus has several ways to get your writing published. The writing club does their own publication, the professional writing program does a publication, and there’s the school newspaper. I’ve done photography for the school paper since my first year, but this year I want to try and write for it.

MAKE FRIENDS WITH MY NEW ROOMMATE

I have a new roommate for the fall. I have yet to have a good roommate experience in university. In first year, I lived on campus and roommates were randomly assigned based on program and other than our program, we didn’t really have anything in common. In second year, I lived in an apartment off campus with someone I thought was my friend but things just didn’t work out and we had a major falling out. So I’m really hoping that for the next four months me and my new roommate get along and maybe even become close friends.

GET MORE EXERCISE AND EAT HEALTHIER

I spent the summer doing very little exercise and as a result, I felt kind of crappy. I’m excited to be back at school and back doing my regular yoga classes. I also live close to the lakeshore so as long as the weather is good I will definitely be biking down to the lake as much as possible. And who knows, maybe this will finally be the semester when I set foot in the gym on campus? Along with exercise comes eating healthier. I need to stop spending my budget for food on chips and candy and fast food on campus and start eating more fruits and veggies.

MORE BOOKS, MORE MOVIES, LESS SOCIAL MEDIA

Way back in January, I made a list of all the books I wanted to read this year and set a number of movies I want to watch this year and I am so far behind on both lists considering it’s already September?! Social media is kind of toxic and time consuming. I spend entirely too much time scrolling though what other people are doing instead of doing the things I want to do. It’s actually incredible how much you can accomplish for yourself (like reading those books and watching those movies) if you turn off social media and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. However, I do realize that this might be a challenge as my classes and workloads start to increase, but hey, all the more reason to stay off social media right?

JOIN MORE CLUBS AND BE MORE SOCIAL

This one may be harder since I’m only doing one semester at U of T but there’s no rule that says I can’t join a club for one semester. I’ve always struggled with the whole making friends thing because I’m such an introvert and struggle with severe social anxiety. This has been especially in university (but I recently found out the friends I do have are in my corner and that’s really nice), so I want to try and get out of my shell and meet new people and I think joining clubs and meeting people with similar interests will be a good way to do that.


What are your goals for this school year? Let me know in the comments!

Make sure you’re following @peacelovearts on Facebook and Twitter and follow my blog to stay up to date with all my latest content!

 

 

 

Movie of The Month: Pulp Fiction

Now that I’m writing about Pulp Fiction, does that make me pretentious film trash? Probably.

Welcome to the world of sex, drugs, and mob violence. Pulp Fiction, directed by Quentin Tarantino, is widely regarded as a piece of postmodern art that you simply must see. This film incorporates drama, violence, and humour into three intertwined stories. The first story follows Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta), two hit men, who are sent to secure a briefcase for their boss, Marcellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). We also find out what happens when Vincent is supposed to be entertaining the boss’s wife, Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman), while her husband is out of town. The second story follows a former boxer, Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) who is on the run from Marcellus but he must come out of hiding in order to retrieve a valuable personal possession. The third story focuses on Jules and what happens when he makes a mess while trying to clean up another. By breaking the film into chapters and telling these three stories chronologically out of order, Tarantino keeps the audience engaged and on the edge of their seats, wondering what will happen next, which makes this a fun movie to watch.

The majority of this film consists of close-up shots or medium close shots with closed frame composition. Since we don’t get many long shots to view the wider space, we get the sense that the story world is largely self-contained. The idea of a small world is reinforced by the fact that most of the scenes occur in relatively small interior spaces like the diner and Mia’s apartment, which effectively cut off the outside world. This was an interesting choice by Tarantino because most people consider Los Angeles to be a fairly large city but by focusing on just a few characters and on just one part of life in L.A., the world becomes much smaller. By doing this, Tarantino gives the audience some insight into what the characters are like. In this movie, the characters are also playing characters. This is referenced more than once in the film. The first time is when Jules and Vincent are at the apartment going to retrieve the briefcase and Jules says, “Come on, let’s get into character.” While the audience sees Vincent, Jules, and Butch on their own as characters, they are also playing their own role within the larger mob. This theme of duality of character comes up multiple other times throughout the film.

This film also uses music very well. This film incorporates a fun mix of pop, rock and roll, and surf music, which Tarantino uses perfectly in exactly the right scenes throughout the film. For example, the music in the scene at Jack Rabbit Slim’s adds to the atmosphere of the 50s-themed diner and makes it feel like you have gone back in time to an actual diner from the 1950s. The music also adds to the overall feel of the film. Throughout the film there is a feeling of that this is just how things are in this world and that gang violence is completely normal. There’s no implied deeper meaning to this film. It is simply about three guys living a day-to-day life of crime and what that entails. This makes it an enjoyable movie to watch because the audience can take what happens on screen as a given and do not have to assume that the characters’ actions or words are part of something bigger and more meaningful. Another thing that makes this movie seem like it takes place in a relatively normal world is the use of dialogue. Throughout the film, there are places with extensive dialogue that do not seem to advance the plot. The opening scene, for example, when Jules and Vincent are driving to the apartment to get the briefcase, they are talking about McDonald’s hamburgers rather than the job they are about to do. By doing this, we get to know the characters a little bit better and it also reveals that there is no apparent deeper meaning to retrieving the briefcase other than it’s what they were instructed to do. In fact, throughout the film, the audience never learns what is inside the briefcase.

Pulp Fiction is arguably one of the most well-crafted, original movies of its time. Tarantino creates an immersive world infused with pop-culture, humour, crime, and drama. These elements combined in exactly the right way along with the fragmented chronology of the film make it highly entertaining. This movie gives a new perspective to the complicated yet connected relationship between mobs, drugs, and crime as depicted by the interconnected three stories. If you have two hours and thirty-four minutes with nothing to do and you like crime movies and like to laugh, this movie will keep you entertained and captivated from beginning to the end.


Have you seen Pulp Fiction? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments!

Make sure you’re following @peacelovearts on Facebook and Twitter and follow my blog to stay up to date with all my latest content!

**DISCLAIMER** I wrote this piece for a class in the spring but I recently watched Pulp Fiction again so I edited it and thought I’d share because I really do enjoy this movie but that’s why it reads a little differently than normal

Newsies Forever, Second to None

“I’ve heard it said that [shows] come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn and we are led to those, which help us most to grow if we let them.” – For Good, Wicked 

Oops, I started this with a quote from the wrong musical, but still relevant nonetheless.

Not many people can pinpoint a day when their life changed forever. I can. That day was August 21, 2015 (two years ago today), the day when I saw Newsies in Toronto, the day when I fell back in love with theatre.

I had been wanting to see Newsies since it was announced that it was coming to Toronto. I knew a little bit about the show and the cast and I’d watched the 1992 movie that the musical is based on. I knew the choreography was amazing, which really appealed to me as a dancer. I even choreographed my own dance for some of the younger dancers at my dance studio to Seize the Day because I’d stumbled upon the Newsies performance at the 2012 Tony Awards and it was so beautiful. I also knew that the show closed on Broadway a year ago in August 2014. So about a week before my sister got home from camp and a week before I moved into residence at university, my mom and I went to see it because my sister doesn’t really like musicals. We drove to the train station and took the train to downtown Toronto since driving downtown is a nightmare. On the 30 minute train ride into the city, I plugged in my headphones and listened to the Original Broadway Cast Newsies soundtrack to prepare myself for what I was about to see on stage. I was wrong. NOTHING could have prepared me for what I saw on stage that night and all the feelings I felt about it afterwards.

When you walk into the theatre, the opening set appears to be a simple screen with the Newsies logo projected onto it. Then the theatre lights dim, the house manager makes the announcement to turn off your cell phones and that recording the show is illegal, and then Alan Menken’s overture starts to play. As the overture plays, the screen comes up revealing the set of three towers, a sunset background, and a clothesline – we are in Jack Kelly’s “penthouse in the sky, high above the stinkin’ streets of New York.” In the first scene between Jack Kelly (played by Dan DeLuca), ringleader of the Manhattan Newsies, and Crutchie (played by Zachary Sayle), we learn that Jack is a dreamer and that he’ll do anything for his friends. And then Dan DeLuca opens his mouth and sings a beautiful prologue of Santa Fe, which captures Jack’s character in 3 and a half minutes. After that, the rest of the ensemble of Newsies is introduced in the song Carrying the Banner. Before Carrying the Banner was even over, I was hooked. The singing was amazing, the choreography and dance talent of these boys was jaw dropping (and this wasn’t even the big number yet) and I felt like I already knew the characters. But the best was yet to come, Seize the Day, which inspired my personal choreography, closed out act 1 with a bang (Christopher Gattelli totally deserved the Tony for Best Choreography) followed by a heart-wrenching reprise of Santa Fe. Then King of New York opened act 2 with some awesome fun loving tap dance, which was incredible. I am now a big fan of tap. I couldn’t stop smiling for the entire 2.5 hours.

During the show there was four actors that I couldn’t take my eyes off of – Ben Cook, Joshua Burrage, DeMarius Copes, and Chaz Wolcott. The four of them had such an amazing stage presence and just looked like they were having the time of their lives. After the show and reading the program and some stalking on social media, I learned that they were pretty close in age to me and I just found that so inspirational that they were living their dreams, which seemed to me that having your dreams come true at my age was almost impossible. It was these boys who truly did inspire me to keep dancing.

I found this show when I was at a real crossroads in my life. I had just graduated high school, I had just done my last performance with my dance studio of 14 years, and I was about to start university. High school was definitely not the best four years of my life and I didn’t want to repeat that in university. I was struggling to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be and what I genuinely wanted out of the university experience. The story and the characters and the music all resonated so deeply with me. It’s a story about standing up to bullies and fighting for what’s right and how art and writing can change the world. After seeing Newsies, I knew I had to find a way to keep dancing and get involved in theatre related things.

About a month after seeing Newsies, I was still suffering from post-musical withdrawal and the soundtrack was still playing 24/7. It was then that I knew that my love of this show and my re-found love of theatre was not going to fizzle out (and I was right). It was going to be a part of me forever. Over last two years, I have tried to indulge myself in as much theatre as possible. I see shows on campus, I see shows in Toronto, and I downloaded so many new Broadway cast albums of different shows.

I owe so much to Newsies and the entire tour cast. It inspired me to keep dancing, it inspired me to use art and writing to change the world, and it inspired me to be involved in theatre in whatever capacity I can, whether as a patron or working behind the scenes. I am forever grateful for this show and that it has been preserved in movie form so I can watch it over and over again whenever I feel lost or need inspiration to follow my dreams and do what I love.

The West Wing: A Really Good Show

Over the last 2 months, I have been watching The West Wing. This is easily one of the best shows I’ve ever watched (yes, I know it’s “old” since it ran from 1999 – 2006). It’s an American political drama about the President and the Senior Staff in the White House and the kinds of things they have to deal with while running the country. Everything about this show is so well done. It’s a beautifully written show (written by Aaron Sorkin), the characters are so likeable, and the cinematography for an early 2000s TV show is really well done.

The first character I fell in love with was Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe), Deputy Communications Director. Sam is optimistic, idealistic, smart, honest, always up for challenge, and my god can he write. He is a speech writer for the President and he has written some damn good speeches. My life goal is to be able to write as eloquently as Sam Seaborn. While Sam may seem disconnected with the other Senior Staff, his heart and his unwavering loyalty to the government and his friends are what make him work so well with the others. It took me a little while to warm up to Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford), Deputy Chief of Staff, but by the end of season 1 he was one of my faves. Josh is arguably the most brilliant political mind on the show. But he’s so much more than politics. Josh is also charming, witty, extremely loyal to his friends, and a little bit arrogant. He does some crazy things and some stupid things but at the end of the day, he smiles and you can’t help but love him. Admittedly, this show is mainly focused on CIS, white men in politics (which is exactly what real life USA politics tends to be…) but then you have CJ Cregg (Allison Janney). CJ is the White House Press Secretary and she is very aware that she is “a woman in a man’s job.” CJ is such a strong female character, which is one of the reasons I love her so much. She is confident and poised, she can hold her own, she’s not afraid to tell others how she feels, and she is damn good at her job. I mean, who else could feed a room of hungry reporters? She’s also not afraid to be a little bit feminine now and again. She also has some of the best one-liners in the show that just make you go “ooh damn.” There are so many other characters on the show that I adore, actually there’s not many I don’t like, but Sam, Josh, and CJ are by far my favourites.

This show also deals with real government issues. During President Jed Bartlet’s (Martin Sheen) administration, they constantly brought up how education was a top priority. This really made me see how messed up the USA education system is. The public school system is not like the public school system in the USA. In the USA, I think around 20% of students go to public school and 80% go to private school. This may not seem like a big deal but the sad thing about this is that the students who go to public school are typically lower income and the schools aren’t as good, which puts the students at a disadvantage. And not all public schools are equal in the USA, which is why parents spend so much time trying to get their kids into a “good” school. It’s easy to see and understand why President Bartlet cares so much about education and why it’s something that all the characters on the show are so invested in. One of the things that Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff) works on and fights for a lot, especially in the early seasons, is the National Endowment for the Arts (the NEA). The NEA essentially provides funding for the arts and arts education. I for one, cannot understand why when money is short, cutting funding for the arts is always the first answer, even in the real world. The arts are important. Art can teach you so much about creativity, it breaks barriers between groups of people, and it is a means of self expression. Unfortunately, art doesn’t really pay so yes, it requires some government funding. While all the conservatives and Republicans in the White House (both in the show and in real life) seem intent on cutting funding for the arts, I really appreciate the fact that The West Wing shows how important the NEA is and by extension how important art is, as there were multiple episodes with NEA plot points and President Bartlet and the Senior Staff don’t want to cut funding for the NEA. Military issues and intervention in conflicts in other countries are also explored and are often major plots that run through several episodes. President Bartlet always carefully deliberates and consults with his national security and military advisors BEFORE using military force to solve conflicts. In later seasons, we see that the President is committed to using a peace process rather than using force to solve problems. However, much like the USA does today, sometimes the President likes to send troops in to solve other countries’ problems that aren’t theirs to solve. Of course, there are several other issues that are addressed throughout the series, especially during campaign and election years/seasons but it’s still interesting to see how the US government maybe should be handling some of the issues.

The West Wing is also just damn good television. Aaron Sorkin was the head writer and producer for the show for the first 6 seasons. The writing of this show was something else. Everything was so eloquently written, the sarcastic one-liners were amazing, and the plots kept you interested in the politics (unlike real life government). Sorkin made me care so deeply about all of the characters and the actual goings on in the White House it was really good. When I watched this show, I actually didn’t want to turn on my phone (other than to Google other info about the show/episode). I was enthralled. The cinematography of the show was also so pretty considering it was a late 90s-early 2000s show. Everything was so clean and crisp. This show is known for its “walk and talk” scenes where it’s just characters walking though the halls of the White House talking pretty fast to each other. I think these shots are super effective because it shows just how busy the White House is on a daily basis. This show also does a great job with keeping the cast fresh and interesting. This show is 7 seasons (which I think is the ideal length of a TV series) but not all the characters stick around for all 7 seasons. Old cast members go and new cast members come in but the transitions in and out are seamless and it becomes like they were always there or they had a good reason (in the story) to leave. The only problem with this is that it causes me to get emotionally invested in a whole new bunch of characters on top of the ones I’m already emotionally invested in!

I think the main takeaways from watching this show are: a) if the actual United States government functioned like it does in The West Wing, the world would be a better place and b) I appreciate the 6 week election campaign limits in Canada. I hope I’ve adequately convinced you to watch this show because I really need someone other than my family to discuss this show with!


Have you seen The West Wing? What’s your favourite part about it? Let me know in the comments!

Make sure you’re following @peacelovearts on Facebook and Twitter and follow my blog to stay up to date with all my latest content!

 

Movie of the Month: Spiderman Homecoming

Admittedly, I didn’t watch enough movies in July so here I am again writing about a Marvel superhero movie (it’ll be the last one for a while, I promise). First, I just have to say I can’t believe I’m only 19 and I’ve lived through three Spidermans. Since I’ve lived through three Spidermans, I thought I’d do a little compare and contrast of the three different series. Spiderman Homecoming was rebooted a little differently than The Amazing Spiderman with Andrew Garfield. The Amazing Spiderman and the original Spider-Man was definitely more of an origin story whereas we got a brief introduction to Tom Holland’s Spiderman in Captain America: Civil War. Homecoming focuses on Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as he tries to figure out his new powers mostly on his own. He’s ambitious and wants to help people, even though sometimes he gets ahead of himself. When he tries to reach out for help, no one listens because he’s just a kid so he’s on his own for the most part.

As I mentioned before, Homecoming is not an origin story like the other two were. In the first two, we start right at the very beginning with Peter Parker being bitten by a spider. Civil War was our first introduction to Tom Holland’s Spiderman but Tony Stark already knew he had powers when he “discovered” him and decided that he could potentially be an asset to The Avengers. I thought this was good because I really didn’t want to sit through the Spiderman origin story again and I’m glad I didn’t have to. I’m glad they picked up the story what was probably a few months after the getting bit by a spider at Oscorp plot. I liked that the focus was on Peter figuring out his powers, there was a little bit of this in The Amazing Spiderman, and helping the little guy and just “staying on the ground.” I also liked that the villain was not one of Spiderman’s traditional villains like Green Goblin. Because the bad guys in this movie were selling weapons with alien tech, it integrated better into the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what may coming in Infinity War.

In terms of Spiderman’s character and personality, Maguire, Garfield, and Holland all brought something new and fresh to the role and of course some of their actual personality seeped through into Peter Parker’s personality. Peter Parker is a nerdy high school kid who goes to Midtown Science and Tech aka nerd school. I know one of the reasons they rebooted Spiderman for the third time with Tom Holland was because the producers and the fans were hellbent on having Peter Parker look like a 15 year old. However, I thought Andrew Garfield was pretty good at playing the role of a high schooler – maybe not 15 but he could’ve been a senior. Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker/Spiderman was by far the dorkiest of them all. Right down to the haircut and the glasses. He was also the most cautious and awkward when it came to using his powers. It was almost like he didn’t want to have them in the first place. I personally really liked Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker/Spiderman. He was a cooler dork with better hair and he approached his powers more scientifically, creating his own webs and gadgets. While he was cautious at first about his powers, once he understood them scientifically, he embraced them and really came into his own. He also clearly had the best control of his powers right from the start. Garfield was less awkward than Maguire in almost every aspect of the movie. Because Holland is so much younger than Garfield, he brings what I think is the truest interpretation of a 15 year old science nerd – blowing things up in science class, being on the academic decathlon team, and the dorky t-shirts that say “I lost an electron” “Are you positive?” Hahaha! He was also way more ambitious and eager to use his powers than Maguire or Garfield. You could kind of tell that he’d been mentored by Tony Stark because of his attitude and sass and wanting to show off a bit. Tony’s personality comes through, which I like because it shows that Peter really looks up to the guy and wants to be just like him, even though Tony wants Peter to be better than him. While I like that Stark is mentoring and helping out Peter, I’m really not sure how I feel about the tech-ed out Spiderman suit. I always thought the suit was just about protecting Peter’s identity, not about providing additional powers and support like the Iron Man suit.

Another thing I really liked about Homecoming is that it was way less focused on Peter’s love interest than Spider-Man with Tobey Maguire and his Peter’s relationship with Mary Jane and The Amazing Spiderman with Andrew Garfield and his Peter’s relationship with Gwen Stacy. In Homecoming, Peter obviously had a crush on Liz but getting her to like him was always less important. Multiple times, Peter chose to do Spiderman things over spending time with Liz. Peter was more interested in helping others and using his powers and finding himself rather than finding a girlfriend (which seems kind of backwards for a 15 year old boy). In all three series, there was always the question of whether or not to tell the girl that he’s Spiderman in order to win her heart but also in all three series, the girl finds out accidentally or not at all because Peter decides that keeping his identity a secret is the best way to protect the girls and keep them safe.

Overall, I liked Homecoming. Although I hope this is the last Spiderman reboot for many years (don’t get me wrong, I love Spiderman, but I’m done with origin stories and reboots). I thought this movie (and even the small bit in Civil War) was a great way to bring Spiderman into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (since Marvel now has the rights to Spiderman). I think it will be interesting to see how Spiderman fits in with the rest of The Avengers in Infinity War given that he clearly doesn’t have the experience that the others do.


Who is your favourite Spiderman? Let me know in the comments below!

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Also, on another note, this will be my last #NewBlogPostMonday. Starting next week I will be posting on Thursdays instead of Mondays so I will see you guys on August 10th!