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Halloween Show at the Drunken Donut, a Local Sweet Spot

Brandon Vlach, Reporter

Nov. 11, 2019


The Joliet Bakery Deli & Liquors, more commonly known as the Drunken Donut (or the Donut for short), hosted its annual Halloween show on Saturday, Oct. 26. The Drunken Donut is a deli and bakery by day but by night, like kids and adults on Halloween, it transforms into something entirely different: a bar and performance space. 

 

The Donut is known in the Joliet area for its Electric Wednesday open mic nights and weekend band shows; however, the Halloween show is the pinnacle of their annual events.  


Arriving at the venue at 7 p.m., an hour early, there was plenty of candy and snacks. The bands loaded their equipment to the backroom and soon after, Stan, the owner and bartender of the Donut, started bringing out the only thing that was more enticing than the bands, the food!  

 

Stan is a man of few words, but he does not have to say much because his cooking, baking and bartending speak for him. Anything Stan whips up is sent with sincerity and received with approval. At the Halloween show, he provided two massive tin trays of over 100 delicious chicken legs.  

 

As 8 p.m. approached, the audience started to arrive. The performance space is surprisingly small. However, the intimacy of it all makes the shows extremely engaging and personal. Audience members at the front of the crowd are merely a few feet away from the band. If they would rather not stand or dance, there is plenty of seating surrounding the dance floor. 

 

The Drunken Donut always has a fun, welcoming, accepting (and perhaps slightly intoxicated) crowd. The stationary lighting above the performance space phases through vibrant neon pink, blue and green lighting that aligns with the bright, positive and playful energy of the Donut. However, do not be fooled by the fun and eccentric atmosphere. Serious, dark and even macabre performances are not uncommon at the Donut. Everything from Reggae to heavy metal, rap and even an occasional stand-up act is commonplace at the Donut. 

 

More than half of the audience about fifty to sixty people were dressed up in costume. In addition to the standard lighting, a strobe light, spider webs, skeletons, vampires and every ghoul and ghost in between you can imagine decorated space. With so many decorations, the Drunken Donut itself, debatably, flaunted the best costume.
 

Alex the host and sound engineer of the Donut provided a contagious positivity. His charismatic attitude, spontaneous and genuine words of affirmation and witty humor made for an engaging and entertaining transition between each set. 

 

In total five bands; however, due to their sound and costumes the headlining band stood out the most. 

 

The headlining band, Lo-Friendo, opened up with a cover of “In Hall of the Mountain King” (a song you have certainly heard before but likely do not know by name). Each band member rocked individualized black and white corpse face paint, reminiscent of the members of the band Kiss or the WWE wrestler Sting. One of the most memorable moments of the show was when a man dressed in a green morph suit imitating an alien emerged on stage. Wielding a water gun, he ran throughout the audience as a part of a pre-planned skit during Lo-Friends set. 

 

The annual Halloween show is certainly a close, fun and convenient event to attend within only 15 minutes of campus. Be sure to check out the show next year! Until then, if you’re looking for a fun, diverse and welcoming crowd, the Donut is the place for you. Electric Wednesday open mic nights are the perfect way to sit back, relax, head bop or maybe even dance while being exposed to and local talent. 

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“The Oval” Twists the Picturesque First Family

Efua Richardson, Tempo Editor 

Nov. 4, 2019


Tyler Perry’s “The Oval” premiered its first episode, and the show is anything but politics as is usual for Perry. Filled with drama, deceit, affairs and family turmoil, this production follows the rollercoaster relationship between the country’s first interracial president and first lady, as well as their children as the family attempt to navigate their new lives in the White House.  


Though President Hunter Franklin (Ed Quinn) presents his family as a strong, virtuous and moral unit, things are far from what they appear. Just minutes into the pilot, following a failed attempt at a romantic gesture, Franklin engages in a tussle of slaps, punches and throw-downs with his wife Victoria (Kron Moore) as the two attempt to beat the living daylights out of each other. The couple’s physical altercation halts as a secret service agent announces that they have to begin preparing for the inauguration.  

 

Victoria, a black woman who comes from a prestigious and wealthy background, selected her white husband Hunter in their college days as a means of accessing the height of social class. Later in the episode, it becomes obvious that the president is less interested in pleasing his wife as he is in pleasuring other women.  

 

What’s almost worse than the first couple (as if anything could beat — no pun intended — domestic violence among a couple who are supposed to be the finest representation of American parents) is their children.  


The couple’s son Jason (Daniel Croix Henderson) and his sister Gayle (Paige Hurd) are the face of disobedience, with Jason’s sly, conniving defiance, and Gayle’s blatant rebellion against their parents.  


The episode also introduces lead butler Richard Hallsen (Javon Johnson), a long-standing and highly trusted member of the White House crew, his wife Nancy (Ptosha Storey) and their son Barry (Vaughn Hebron), a young man dealing with the complications of co-parenting with his formerly drug-addicted ex-wife Ruth. It is obvious the Hallsens will play a pivotal part in the show’s progression, especially after Barry — who presently has a loving girlfriend — is faced with a rape allegation from Gayle, who he accidentally injured following her attempted sexual advancement.  

 

One can only imagine what is in store for this family, and what will come of the Franklin presidency. What can be expected, if anything, is that this First Family is anything but ordinary.  

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Jonathon Van Ness is advocate for HIV positive acceptance

Stephanie Lingenfelter, Tempo Asst. Editor

Oct. 28, 2019


Netflix original, “Queer Eye,” features five gay men known as the Fab 5. The men give a complete makeover to a different person each episode, with each season based in a different city. The hairstylist of the group, Jonathon Van Ness, has used his fame from the show to advocate for equality. He recently published a book titled, “Over the Top,” in which he reveals his status as HIV positive.  


Van Ness has become an advocate for the HIV positive community with the hope to destigmatize the status. He also opened up in the book about being sexually abused as a child, and how that trauma led to a sex and drug addiction. In an interview with the New York Times, Van Ness shared he spent his $200 allowance on cocaine in college, and instead of asking his mother for more money, he reverted to selling himself for sex.  


He flunked out of college and his reliance on drugs increased. People Van Ness met on Grindr introduced him to methamphetamines, furthering his addiction. At 25, he fainted while working in a salon. Soon after the fainting spell, he visited Planned Parenthood and took a free test, which came back positive for HIV. “That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be,” he wrote in his book.  


Van Ness was then given a prescription, and has since said he’s lived a happy, healthy life. Before he revealed his condition in his book, he was worried about coming out. “I’ve had nightmares every night for the past three months because I’m scared to be this vulnerable with people,” Van Ness said. “But I want people to realize you’re never too broken to be fixed.”  


Fans and friends of Van Ness have sent support and love his way since the announcement.  


The “Queer Eye” star has turned his HIV positive status into a political tool. He publicly announced his endorsement for Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Sept. 25 by tweeting, “The moment I knew I was endorsing @ewarren was last month when I misplaced my HIV meds. It cost $3500 to replace them out of pocket with ‘amazing’ platinum level insurance. Healthcare shouldn’t be for profit ever, it’s a human right.” 


Van Ness also hopes to bring Warren onto his podcast in the future to help explain her platform.  


Van Ness will use his platform to advocate for affordable healthcare and break the stigmas related to the HIV positive community, along with sex and drug addiction.  

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Sesame Street Never Shies Away From Social Issues

Bekka Dvorak, Reporter

Oct. 28, 2019


“Sesame Street” has yet to find a topic they are fearful of covering. With the show’s supporting cast, each new character has faced situations to overcome and consider, finishing with wonderful words of wisdom to help anyone overcome their problems. That is exactly what “Sesame Street’s” latest character, Karli, has to offer. 


Karli is the first ever character on the show to bring attention to drug addiction, and considering “Sesame Street” is labeled a children’s show, this character has brought a lot of controversy.  


The little yellowed-haired, green Muppet explains how she was sent away from her mother in foster care because her mother had “grown up problems.”  


The show has ventured down this path to help bring awareness as to how kids are often outside of the spotlight and how the child’s perspective on addiction can be overlooked. Karli has helped bring to light not only how a child can struggle in situations like this but how a child’s feelings can play into the situation as well. 


“The ‘Sesame Street in Communities’ project offers supplemental content free to providers, parents and caregivers, designed for kids who are often the unseen victims of addiction,” wrote Kristen Dahlgren and Jay Blackman of NBC News. 


The story itself is connected to that of Salia Woodbury, a10-year-old from California whose parents each battled an opioid addiction. Though they are now in recovery, the mental trauma inflicted on the young girl’s brain has already taken effect. 


Salia has even graced “Sesame Street” by appearing alongside Karli to help assure the children that they are not alone when dealing with drug-addicted parents or family members. Even Salia’s mother, Jaana Woodbury, brought attention to how big opioid addiction is and how the show is now acknowledging the crisis while encouraging people to be more open minded.  


"Sesame Street” has always addressed new characters with situations to overcome difficult problems.  Lily, a Muppet who has lived in poverty, appeared in a special episode to tackle childhood poverty along with food shortage. Late last year, she appeared again on the show as a homeless Muppet.  


“Sesame Street” formerly introduced Alex, the first Muppet whose dad is jailed while also introducing Julia, the 4-year-old Muppet with autism.  


This show has covered many topics that other shows have strayed away from. Considering this is a show for young adolescent development, it is important that global issues be addressed at a young age. This way, children can properly adapt and understand the situations happening around them. 


According to drugabuse.gov, “Roughly 21% to 29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. Between 8% to 12% develop an opioid use disorder.”  


As the years progress, only time can tell what new addictions and problems humanity must overcome. “Sesame Street” has proven over their historic run that they will be ready to introduce another beloved character to help adolescents understand and overcome whatever challenges they face. 

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The Spin: Danny Brown Join Hip-Hop Greats

Derek Swanson, Contributor

Oct. 28, 2019


Detroit rapper Danny Brown has never been a performer that can be tied down by the status quo. Formerly catching attention from casual fans for his ragged looks and neo-bombastic yet introspective lyrics, Brown has shifted his execution in his latest release, “uknowhatimsayin¿” to amplify his abilities on the mic over a set of tracks executive produced by rap legend Q-Tip. 


If there was a Mount Rushmore of New York ‘90s jazz rap (the movement that established the hip-hop staples of the Native Tongues), then Q-Tip would inherit the spot of George Washington. The pairing of these two artists from different decades and cities demonstrates Brown’s dedication to switching up his sound, even as he approaches the ripe old age of 40. “uknowhatimsayin¿” is complete with the usual Brown quotable lines and obscure lyrical connections, while the inclusion of Q-Tip’s patented “Abstract” style leads to one of Brown’s most exciting releases to date. 


“uknowhatimsayin¿” kicks off with the aptly titled “Change Up,” which quickly sets the pace for the rest of the album. This is one of the most introspective tracks on the album; the rest feature Brown getting admirably silly with the wordplay of otherwise gritty topics. 


Always ready to call back to his hometown of Detroit, Brown brings his real-life experiences to the forefront in many of his tracks, including “Best Life” where he opens the song with, “Came from the sewer where hot dogs got boiled right up in the same pot unc' cooked the rock.” His forever playful attitude toward his rap style has never held back his ability to paint a picture of his harsh upbringing, on which tracks like “Best Life” showcase better than the majority of rappers in the game today. Brown brings his true motivations for needing to succeed front and center in the chorus of the track, where he confidently spits, “'Cause ain't no next life, so now I'm tryna live my best life.” 


Aside from Brown’s many compelling performances, some of the best moments on “uknowhatimsayin¿” come when his co-stars take the reins. The track, “3 Tearz,” featuring Run The Jewels stands as one of the hardest-hitting on the album. Brown blends in seamlessly with the in-your-face style of delivery that Run The Jewels have made a name for themselves with. Other notable performances come from JPEGMAFIA, Blood Orange and industry newcomer Obongjayar. 


At just shy of 35 minutes in length, “uknowhatimsayin¿” is Browns shortest release aside from a few of his unsigned mixtapes. While Brown is able to quickly deliver his messages in a dose of rap bliss, some of the ideas presented can feel a little half-baked. In an album with such a time constraint, there is no room for anything less than a complete thought. 


While the highs on this album are way up there relative to Brown’s stellar discography, the lows set this album back from being considered his best. The whooshy instrumental of “Belly of The Beast” really distracts from the clever wordplay of Brown and Obongjayar and makes the track essentially unlistenable. “Theme Song” is really anything but; the track acts as a diss to others in his field who do not measure up to Brown’s skill and dedication. However, in the past and to greater effect, he has been able to let his music speak for itself in regard to skill and dedication. 


Overall, “uknowhatimsayin¿” has just a few negatives that are easy enough to overlook given the immense highs the album is able to achieve. Any fan of Danny Brown will surely find something of enjoyment to take out of his latest project, while fans new to his work should warm up quickly to the remarkable lyricism and superb production brought on by one of hip-hop’s gatekeepers. 

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Apple Team Goes Dark… Mode

Andrew Munoz, Contributor

Oct. 28, 2019


Apple's latest wave of iPhones are already dominating the market with their ultra-thin, lightweight designs, high quality cameras and the latest user interface, iOS 13. Many long awaited changes have finally been added to the operating system but at a rather noticeable cost. 


A full list of changes brought to consumers in iOS 13 can be viewed on Apple’s website, but here are some of the biggest, most highlight-worthy improvements made to the software. 


Dark Mode is a new option allowing users to enjoy a beautiful, lowlight, inverse color scheme without compromising image, video or game quality. Dark Mode can be left on continuously or scheduled to change at different times of the day. This is so users can reduce the impact of blue light on their eyes throughout the day, a known factor in causing migraines, sleep cycle disturbance and even macular degeneration. 


The pre-installed Photos application was given a facelift as well, allowing users to more easily navigate their beloved memories. Users can now sort and curate their library to their personal preferences. Those who opted to purchase the latest generation of phones will have even more options to play with, including the ability to tweak and change, sharpen, balance, define, zoom and even augment photos and videos. 


The keyboard has also changed, now allowing quick fingers to move even faster. Tap-typing is the most commonly used method when it comes to texting or composing an email. QuickPath now allows users to slide their finger from letter to letter for more convenient and efficient word processing. The predictive tab has also changed, now giving users alternative word choice options to sound more articulate and avoid word repetition. 


Finally, iOS 13 has updated the way iPhone performs and executes commands like unlocking, downloading and opening applications. Apple claims this less bulky software can open applications two-times faster and unlock phones up to 30% faster. 


So what is the “noticeable cost?” These updates are free of charge, of course. However, it is no secret that each time Apple releases its newest software updates, previous generations of its products start to degenerate internally. Older processors start to lag and glitch, causing applications to close suddenly and unexpectedly. Battery life is greatly shortened, as these older models were not designed to keep up with the many changes and new functions made possible with current updates. Designing software that is meant to perform faster will obviously take a toll on battery more than any other onboard hardware; faster command execution utilizes more battery quicker. 


While some may be too quick to jump to the conclusion they are in need of a new phone, the sad truth is their jumpiness may be correct. Consumers carrying sixth generation iPhones are most likely to experience the harshest reactions or will not be able to update their phone all together. Seventh and eighth generation iPhones were still able to update but might still experience some of the aforementioned issues.  


Long time Apple users have come to the collective conclusion that this is a deliberate tactic used by Apple to force consumers into dropping thousands of dollars on a new phone. If this is not a strong enough catalyst to buy a new phone, worry not: social pressure will set in soon enough. 

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Blue Man Group Brings Art, Heart and Curiosity to Chicago

Tori Foster, Contributor

Oct. 28, 2019


In the middle of bustling Lincoln Park sits the small, unassuming Briar Street Theatre that blends with the surrounding streets and signature Chicago architecture. But inside, viewers experience a show that is anything but ordinary. Interactive teleprompters, flashing lights and a rhythm of unique sounds and colors open up the bizarre, comedic show that is Blue Man Group Chicago.  


The performance stars three men covered in blue greasepaint whose musical prowess, entertainment skills and deadpan expressions drive 90 minutes of audience laughs and interaction. The show, which is continually updated with skits that reflect the latest in entertainment technology, features three band members, wreathed in black light and lofted above the stage, a multitude of props and unusual instruments. The skits jump between acts of comedy, commentary on the overuse of today’s technology and mesmerizing musical acts.  


The blue men have mastered the art of portraying truly neutral beings; they’re alien yet human, relatable but recognizably distinct, emotional but nevertheless austere. Associate Music Director Jeff Quay describes their being and their presence as quizzical and somewhat ironic to the audience. He said their purpose is not necessarily to make fun of anything, but to provoke the audience to ask, “What is this really?”  


“You be creative in your interpretation of it, and I think that’s one of the cool things about this gig that keeps us all interested in doing it for 25 years,” said Quay. “It’s really open for interpretation, so it’s not, ‘We have all the answers and we’re going to tell you the way it is;’ it’s like, ‘You check it out.’” 


According to Quay, a lot of the show’s early influences came from New York’s art scene, which sought to challenge the definition and validity of art. However, as time progressed and the show gained traction, their acts started addressing a more ubiquitous audience. “It wasn’t just the New York cool scene we were playing for,” said Quay, “it was the world now.” That’s when acts started picking up more common themes in society such as technology’s role and our relationship with it. 


While aspects of the show have evolved to bring thought provoking questions to members of the audience, other parts have remained largely the same to honor some of the show’s earlier influences that have given the act so much individuality. “I think now that Blue Man has been around for 27 years… there’s really a Blue Man sound,” said Quay. “When we make changes and we evolve, we try to stay true to whatever we feel the core sound is without watering it down.” Some of the original performances such as the Paint Drumming routine remain staples of the act.  


And while the performers put on a spotless, engaging and unique show, they came to greet the audience no less than 30 minutes after the final act as lively, personable and once again unassuming people with no traces of the blue greasepaint that seemed to define their identity moments earlier. This is just one of the many aspects Blue Man Captain Tom Galassi enjoys about his role on the show; when he walks into the theater, he performs an act that can really make people feel great, and when he walks out, he is just like you and me.  


Yet, when he’s in makeup, his role is intense and really important to the audience’s experience. “You start to find that in some ways there is a seriousness to what we’re doing,” Galassi said. “If we were to laugh, everything we worked for is just gone. Then we lose the really important thing about the show which is the thing I can’t explain.” 


The true magic in Blue Man Group is the novelty of the performance and the joyful celebration of human interaction throughout. It’s a must-see performance for people of all ages that will leave viewers speechless, with full hearts and minds reeling with curiosity. 

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‘Charlie’s Angels’ Asks If Remakes Are Necessary or Wanted

Bekka Dvorak, Reporter

Oct. 21, 2019


As the movie industry continues down the prominent road of the future, the thought of original ideas only seems to fall in the past. Just this year alone, society has witnessed multiple remakes of older or less successful films with almost the same amount of unsatisfied reviews. Soon, audiences may witness the fall of another questionable re-creation. 


The remake of the ‘70s “Charlie’s Angels” series hits theaters November 15 and the question of whether it will succeed is very prominent. 


Though there is a different cast than previous, the newer film still seems to have all the components of the last remake of the film. With Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Lu as the beautiful leads in 2004 remake, the movie itself was well received by audiences across the nation. The film also received its own theme song performed by Destiny’s Child as a promotion. 


Even then, the 2004 movie was unnecessary despite receiving a standard applause by all viewers.  


In 2019, we have Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska re-vamping the roles with the same notions and actions as the last, with updated influential styles and phrases. 


Just like the last remake, the film’s production team requested another theme song by today’s popular artists.  


Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey feel into the contract of recording the new song with what seems as hope that their successful careers and fame are enough to influence today’s society to purchase tickets for this questionable remade film.  


Other than hiring a few household name celebrities, basking in the advancements of CGI, green screens and action sequences, the film itself does not seem to have much more to offer. The plot line seems updated to fit today’s modern flow while the fashion has as well, but the question of whether “this be enough” still lays on the table.  

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Spidey’s Back With a New Film for 2021

Efua Richardson, Tempo Editor 

Oct. 9, 2019


Spider-Man fans, rest assured, your friendly neighborhood web slinger is here to stay.  


To the surprise of many, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios (which owns Marvel) have announced that they will continue working together to collaborate on a third live-action “Spider-Man” movie. 


To those unaware, the announcement followed a brief split after the two companies failed to reach a financial agreement determining who shared how much of the box office revenue and the production costs of the films Spider-Man appears in. The rift left fans stressed and befuddled with the future of “Spider-Man” looking bleak.  


In an interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that Tom Holland, star of the “Spider-Man Homecoming” series, actually persuaded him to not quit on a deal with Sony. 


“He cried on the phone,” Iger joked. “No, not really … but it was clear that he cared so much.” 


"I felt for him and it was clear that the fans wanted all this to happen. So, after I got off the phone with him, I made a couple of phone calls to our team at Disney studios,” said Iger. “And then, I decided to call the head of Sony. And I said, 'We've got to figure out a way to get this done. For Tom and for the fans.'" 


"Sometimes companies, when they're negotiating or people when they're negotiating with one another, they kind of forget that there are other folks out there who actually matter."  


Thankfully, the third movie in the “Spider-Man Homecoming” series will star current actor Tom Holland and is set to release in theatres on July 16, 2021. Marvel Studios and its President Kevin Feige will produce the film. Spider-Man will also star in another Marvel film to come.  

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NBC Struts Its Colors With ‘Peacock’

Stephanie Lingenfelter, Tempo Asst. Editor 

Oct. 7, 2019


On Sept. 17, NBCUniversal announced their upcoming streaming service, Peacock, is to be released in 2020. The streaming service will feature classics, such as “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” along with original content.   


According to NBCUniversal, Peacock will feature movies from Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and more. So far, 15,000 hours of content are ready for release in April 2020. It’s unclear yet if the streaming service will include commercials, like Hulu, or if it’ll be commercial free, like Netflix. Subscription prices have yet to be announced.  


Many of the details for Peacock are still upcoming. However, it seems like it’ll be something a little different from current popular subscription services. NBC hopes to have a place for subscribers to enjoy movies and TV and to view important news events.  


The name itself is a homage to the diverse media NBC plans to provide to viewers. “Peacock will be the go-to place for both the timely and timeless – from can’t-miss Olympic moments and the 2020 election, to classic fan favorites like ‘The Office’,” said Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises Bonnie Hammer in an NBC statement. 


Number one Spanish-language network, Telemundo, will also be featured with over 3,000 hours of content. The service will incorporate a wide variety of genres from comedy to drama to classics. Some popular classics that will be made available include “The Breakfast Club,” “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial” and “Jaws.” Subscribers will even be able to watch “Shrek” whenever their hearts desire.  


Many of the movies and shows viewers can expect to see on Peacock are currently featured on other subscription providers. Viewers will no longer be able to get their Michael Scott fix on Netflix and, instead, will have to turn to Peacock. Other shows include “Psych,” “Downton Abbey,” “Brooklynn Nine-Nine,” “Everyone Loves Raymond” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”  


Popular unscripted programs like “Saturday Night Live (SNL)” and Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” will be available on Peacock for subscribers too. A new SNL docuseries called “Who Wrote That” and a spinoff of “The Real Housewives” franchise will also be available.  


Similar to Netflix, Peacock will have its own originals. “Psych: The Movie 2” was supposed to debut late this year; the other originals include a reboot of “Saved by the Bell,” “Battlestar Galactica” and a new season of “A.P.Bio.” All new comedy shows “Rutherford Falls” and “Straight Talk” and drama show “Dr. Death” will be available exclusively to Peacock subscribers.  


NBCUniversal is starting production for two book-based shows that will be released on Peacock. Dystopian novel, “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley and young adult mystery “One of Us is Lying” by Karen M. McManus will be getting their own T.V. adaptations.   


Some streamers may be skeptical of yet another subscription service, but Peacock has grand plans and has already taken many shows from Netflix and Hulu. The new platform may rise to the top. More details will be coming as the 2020 release date draws closer.  

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Nintendo Switches Up Its Handheld Game

Andrew Munoz, Contributor

Oct. 7, 2019


Consistency is not a word video game juggernaut Nintendo references in its dictionary, which is good. Through their years of designing and developing video games, consoles and handheld devices, Nintendo — unlike its competitors Microsoft  and Sony — has never been afraid to step drastically outside of its comfort zone when it comes to design, interface and functionality.  


Hand-held devices have always been somewhat of a focal point for the company that brought us the Gameboy Color, DS, 2DS and 3DS, and with its latest release, Nintendo steals the spotlight yet again with the Nintendo Switch Lite. It cannot do everything its older brother, the Switch, can do, but that does not make it an inferior console.  


Making its debut on Sept. 20, the Lite was highly anticipated. According to Christopher Dring, a writer for gamesindustry.biz, racked up an impressive 13,500 units sold in its first week in the United Kingdom. Although it is too early to tell how the overall performance will be, the beginning numbers look promising. Being so close to the holiday season, and with retailers already preparing for Black Friday, it will become clear in the near future just how well the Lite will perform on the market. 


In the meantime, there are readily apparent contrasts that can be drawn between the Switch and the Switch Lite. For starters, and most obviously, the Lite is not a hybrid console, meaning it cannot be used by more than one person and cannot be played on a television. The joysticks are not removable either, meaning the user must keep the device in their hands at all times while playing. Although the Switch can also be used as on on-the-go device just as the Switch Lite can, this is where the Lite stands out as superior. 


The Lite can hold up to a 12 hour standby battery life after a full charge, where the Switch only has about eight hours standby. The Lite can withstand up to a maximum of eight hours of gameplay (depending on the size and complexity of the game being played), while the Switch can only withstand a maximum of five hours of playtime. Although the Lite is not as big as the Switch, yielding a 5.5 inch display versus the Switch’s 6.2 inches, the Lite is, well... lighter, weighing in at a lean .61 pounds, versus the Switch’s hefty .88 pounds. Both will have the same processing power, the same 32GB of internal storage with optional expandable Micro SD memory. Many of the same games playable on the Switch can be played on the Lite as well, so long as single player is an option for that game. However, like the Switch, multiple devices can be connected together via wireless connection so friends can play together. 


Finally, when it comes to functionality, the Lite actually outperforms the Switch. Recently, Nintendo was facing an issue where Joy Con controllers were experiencing so-called “ghost movements,” which is an issue where the console falsely registers movements or inputs from the joysticks and buttons, despite no user input. The Lite seems to have resolved this issue, with a reinforced design to compensate for its smaller stature and more mobile use.  


Only time will tell of the Lites overall popularity and performance, but early signs point to promising outcomes. Games feel good when played on the Lite, even though the video quality is lower than the Switch.  


The device’s lightweight design makes for incredibly easy transportation during morning commutes. Longer battery life means users can play longer. Nintendo certainly listened to the community with this latest release, a hallmark trait of a great company with many more great things to come. 

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Smart Set by Meghan Markle Works to Help Women in Need

Stephanie Lingenfelter, Tempo Asst. Editor

Oct. 7, 2019


Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle is kickstarting her first individual philanthropic project. Her new clothing line of original products correlates with her sense of fashion that she has often been recognized for. 


The announcement of Markle’s new fashion line came in the September edition of British Vogue with an official launch date of Sept. 12. The collection will start in London with the hopes of eventually branching out globally. All proceeds from her clothing line will go to Smart Works, a charity that provides women with necessary professional apparel. “The mission of Smart Works is to provide interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to out-of-work women on low incomes,” as written on the Smart Works website.  


The first collection, titled the Smart Set, features five workwear pieces for women. The collection includes a $32 Marks and Spencer shift dress, a $125 white button down designed by Misha Nonoo, a $138 John Lewis tote bag and $148 trousers and $245 blazer from Jigsaw. The pieces are designed to be simple and easy to style; a beginner set of workplace fashion, if you will. 


Markle decided to focus her work on helping women in many areas. She visited Smart Works and was inspired by their mission, but noticed a lack in variety and matching outfits, so she teamed up with many designers to start the workplace fashion line. “To help with this, I asked Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, Jigsaw and my friends, the designer Mischa Nonoo, if they were willing to design a capsule collection of more classic options for a workwear wardrobe," said Markle in a statement on the project. "Taking the idea further, many of the brands agreed to use the one-for-one model: for each item purchased by a customer, one is donated to the charity. Not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story, it reminds us we are in it together." 


Inspired by a desire to change from a young age, Markle’s dad encouraged her to write to powerful women leaders of the time, one of which was Hillary Clinton. Her writing helped make a difference and Procter and Gamble switched the slogan to “People all over America.” It’s clear Markle has always been passionate about women’s rights and her fashion line is another way for her to help. 


Even before marriage, she attended the Royal Foundation Forum and spoke about women’s rights and mental health. As soon as she married Prince Harry, she became an official member of the Royal Foundation. 


“Driven by a desire to make a difference together, The Royal Foundation is the primary philanthropic and charitable vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” according to The Royal Foundation website. “Our programs currently revolve around four main themes of work: mental health, wildlife and conservation, young people and the armed forces community.”   


Markle has been heavily involved with charity work, joining her husband as a Common Youth Ambassador soon after marriage as her first official role. "The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 53 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace," according to their website. 


This isn’t the first time she’s helped charity or worked in fashion. Before she became Duchess of Sussex, Markle released a collection with Canadian clothing store Reitmans in late 2016. She also authored a lifestyle blog called “The Tig.” The blog covered food, travel, beauty and fashion during its three-year lifespan.  

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Billy Porter Steals the Show at the 71st Annual Emmys

Bekka Dvorak, Reporter

Oct. 7, 2019


Along with bringing accomplishments and awards to members of the acting field, The Emmys have brought hope and idealisms to fans as well.  


With actor Billy Porter adding a new accolade to his resume by winning an Emmy, society seems to be moving forward and more excited for the future and acceptance of people’s individuality.  


During the 71st Emmy Awards, Billy Porter earned the award for the best lead actor in a drama for his role on the FX show “Pose,” making him the first openly gay black man to win in the category.  


“It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this Earth like I had a right to be here,” said Porter opening his speech, referencing a James Baldwin quote. 


Following this heart-wrenching opening, the bedazzled man stated that he has a right to stand on the stage and be accepted and so does everyone else in the world. 


“Pose,” is centered in New York City’s ballroom scene during the late ‘80s; the show shines light on the HIV/AIDS epidemic from its roots. The series is the first to offer the largest cast of transgender actors portraying reoccurring characters in television history. 


“Pose” has also been recognized as the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ actors for a critically acclaimed series.  

For the show, Porter joins forces with a diverse list of directors. One such director is Janet Mock, an openly transgender women who has a creative deal with a major company. 


Though Porter is mostly receiving attention for his Emmy winning speech, the actor has been building quite the extraordinary resume over the last few decades. 


Over the past 30 years, Porter has been raking up role after role as he escalates himself to the top of Hollywood’s social limelight. With outstanding character leads in “American Horror Story,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Anastasia,” Porter can be recognized by any group of individuals throughout genres. 


The Emmy, however, was not the first award Porter has received for his talents.  


Porter has also received a Tony for his role in the Broadway productionKinky Boots” in 2013. Porter’s contributions to the play’s soundtrack also garnered a 2014 Grammy for best musical theater album.  


Porter will be directing an episode in the upcoming season of “Pose.” 


“I’ve been directing for 20 years in theater, and I’m directing an episode of season three myself,” Porter said in an interview with Variety about the upcoming season. 


The humble actor has showed the world how acceptance and love can form the world into a better place and how far hard work can prevail in the end. 

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Clairo’s Immunity Tour Begins in Chicago

Brandon Vlach, Reporter
Sept. 30, 2019

Claire Cottrill, known by her stage name Clairo, kicked off the first performance of her Immunity tour with a sold-out show of 1,100 at the Metro in Chicago on Sunday, Oct. 29.  


Clairo’s calm and reserved demeanor was apparent throughout the show as she stood primarily center stage. However, she could be seen dancing, rolling her body like waves, strutting across the stage with confidence, smiling and even giggling a couple of times throughout her set. The audience frequently sang the words along with her.  


Clairo played a total of 19 songs including three encore songs. The majority of the songs were off her latest album, “Immunity,” though she played older songs as well. Her opening song was the slow and sentimental “Alewife,” and she ended on her latest release, an upbeat song featuring the instrumental work of electronic music producer Mura Masa called, “I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again.” 


The transitions between each song had little to no conversation or banter between band members. In fact, most often, a sustained note was held at the end of each song as a transition into the next song. While this allowed for the music to continuously flow, it also gave the show a bit of a rushed feeling.  


The most notable technological integration was the half-circle arc display projector screen behind Clairo, center stage. Projections of nature — clouds, water, rain and mountains — cycled through for the entirety of the show. 


A simple stationary lighting system provided changes in primarily light pastel colors to evoke certain moods based on the song. An excessive amount of fog was used to increase the intensity of colors produced by the lights. 


Throughout the show, Clairo frequently placed her hand on her chest as if she was pulling the emotions out from her heart. Holding the microphone in her right hand, she often pushed her other hand out to emphasize feeling as if she could not contain the emotion within herself, and was sending the emotion out towards the audience that stood below her. 


This was not the type of show to go to if you’re interested in moshing and headbanging, the closest alternative is some head bopping to a slightly more up-tempo soft rock sound. However, if you’re looking for an audience that sways to the beat of mid-to-low tempo songs and hazy daydreamer organic low-fi instrumentals, then Clairo is the live musician for you.  Her soft, mesmerizing vocals have the ability to calm audience members with a wave of sincerity, reflection and nostalgia.  


The subject matter of her new album reveals a more vulnerable transparency than ever heard before in her music, including personal topics such as relationships and sexuality in “Sofia” and “Bags,” her experience with arthritis in “I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again” and mental health in “Alewife.” With her newfound style, openness and well-polished confidence, Clairo’s live performance made for an inevitably memorable and emotional experience. 

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The Bennett’s Return Shocks Audiences

Bekka Dvorak, Reporter

Sept 23, 2019

 

Part seven of Netflix’s original series “The Ranch” has finally hit screens, and audiences couldn’t be more flabbergasted with how everything has unfolded. 


The season kicks off exactly where viewers left off last season, with Abby and Colt trying to work on their relationship due to minor bumps (and Coors Lights) in their rocky road of marriage. 


Seeming like an easy enough topic to follow, this appears to be the only stable situation throughout the whole entire season.  


With Luke and Mary getting hitched in Vegas, Colt yet again having trouble with his ranch, Beau and Joanne getting married despite her recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and Mary developing a drug problem, fans have had a lot to digest over the past few weeks. 


Of course, the fight between the Bennett's and Neumann’s Hill is the major battle over part seven’s run.  

Lisa Neumann starts a rift between the Bennett's and other ranchers when a dam is built to block off the flowing creek that runs throughout the town. Taking matters into his own hands to save his farm, Colt and Luke go against the odds and destroy the dam. 


Now with the law on his feet, a marriage in crisis, a ranch in despair and Nick — the druggy ex of Mary, who “killed Rooster,”— back in town, the season can only end one way. 


But just because there is chaos every turn for our favorite rednecks, doesn’t mean there were any less laughs or chuckles from each scene along with (some) family growth and appreciation. 


The season has been such a whirlwind of chaotic confusion that fans are still trying to understand how Beau showed any actual emotion besides anger or sarcasm, along with finally showing a moment of physical affection. 


There are still no updates with when the next and final season of “The Ranch” will air in 2020 but the viewers can all pray for a few things with the conclusion of Netflix’s hit series. 


One hope being for the safety of the Bennett’s ranch; another for the hope that Abby and Colt rekindle their marriage; and lastly that the mysterious shooter is none other than Rooster himself making his return to the show.  


“At the moment, there’s no update on Danny Masterson and his inclusion in ‘The Ranch’ part 8,” Jay Patel stated in an article for Otakukart.com. Plans can always change though. 


All will hopefully be revealed in the final instalment of the fan favorite farming adventure “The Ranch.” 

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Apple Launches 2019 Products With No Trajectory

Andrew Munoz, Contributor  

Sept. 16, 2019


It would seem, for the time being, technology companies have started focusing less and less on foundational or pivotal products; they now utilize and focus time and energy on accessories, attachments and software updates. This somewhat new ideology, however, never stops Apple from releasing a new iPhone every year. This time, consumers are wondering if it is really worth the investment or not.


The latest iPhone models have not seen any jaw-dropping, head-turning or heart-stopping improvements to performance or battery life, let alone its physical design. Technology is an evergreen; here to stay, always renewing itself and yet always the same. As of now, there have not been any major breakthroughs in the field of technology.  


For example, some of last year's greatest cell phone and smart gear alterations included software updates, waterproof designs, improved cellular capabilities, enhanced camera lenses and infinite displays (touchscreen displays that are only limited by the dimensions of a device.) These improvements are something consumers inherently come to expect now. On the other hand, more and more are left feeling empty handed, and truthfully, it is because technology simply has nowhere to grow at the moment. 


This is exactly the reason consumers start to see recycled ideas with new twists and simple concepts reimagined. Now being dubbed the “influencer iPhone,” the new iPhone 11, which will be made available for purchase on Sept. 20, will feature - you guessed it - improved performance, a water-resistant design, a new camera system, and an improved edgeless display. The newly dubbed name comes from Apple’s heavy focus and investment in improving the phones camera technology to help take and edit higher quality pictures for social media, sharing and memories. Multiple color options like red, yellow and purple will be available for both the standard and Pro models. 


How clear do the pores on someone's face have to be in an Instagram post? How long does my battery have to last so I can count them all? Right now, it has nowhere to turn, and technology in today's world only last for a few years before words like “vintage” start to enter the conversation. This phone will not cost you an arm and a leg much like the X models did with starting prices of over $1000. Instead, there will be trade-in programs available through Apple where, depending on the model and condition of your old phone, you can earn anywhere from $45 to $600 off the new iPhone 11, which has a starting price of $799. An attractive deal, yes, but only time will speak to its effectiveness. 

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"AHS" Over The Years and Now

Bekka Dvorak, Reporter   

Sept. 16, 2019


Over the past decade, FX has entertained audiences with its gruesomely twisted tales of murder and mayhem. From asylums to freak shows, we have witnessed it all through the beautifully chaotic tv show known only as “American Horror Story.” 


Now with fall approaching, we yet again get to adventure through another wild ride of chilling tales with AHS’s newest season. 


Before tabling the debate of what the ninth season will look like, let's do a recap on everything already shown in this ghastly show. 


Season one of AHS solely focused on the Harmon’s relocation in an effort to rebuild their family. Unknown to them, their new house consisted of nothing but a brutal history and death. As they try to move on and pick up the pieces of their lives, sickened, supernatural entities plot against them in the shadows of their own home. 


The second season offered a little more of a darker twist to the plot. “Asylum” revolved around a journalist trying to uncover a story of suspicious experiments being performed on patients. Later becoming a patient herself, she meets a boy desperate to find out what happened to his wife. The two team up to try and uncover the darkened set up of the asylum along with its secrets lurking onto the grounds at night.  


“Coven,” the third season, appeared as a more down to earth season compared to the rest. Concentrating on a school of young female witches, chaos quickly unfolds as viewers get a further glance at each of their personalities. With voodoo surrounding them, a “zombie” boyfriend and an enemy literally raised up from the ground, “Coven” brought different theories of witchcraft to a beautifully horrific set table. 


Season four and five were definitely deemed as the most watched seasons of the show with their eerie stories and characters. Season four, Freak Show, was set in a small town in Florida during the forties. Giving a full look at the life of freaks in a ‘freak show,’ the season seemed to set all the stereotypes in their place while adding other sinister ideas to the mix. Season five, “Hotel,” offered the same uncanny vibe, just in a hotel. Bringing vampires, ghosts, cocaine users and psychotic killers to the spotlight, “Hotel” offered a horrifying vacation that you could never escape. 


“Roanoke,” season six, focused on the haunted lands where the first settlement disappeared. “Cult,” season seven, revolved around the election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the extreme lengths individuals where willing to go to see their party elected. And season eight, “Apocalypse,” brought “Murder House” and “Coven” together in a horrendous cross-over with witches and warlocks fighting during the end time against the antichrist.  


Now, let’s jump into what is known about season nine, “1984.” First, the season takes place in the ‘80, which is evident in the clothing, music and the ‘80 slasher summer camp vibe provided to us from the teaser trailer.  


It's safe to assume that fans will be getting a “Friday the 13th" meets “Nightmare on Elm Street” story from what has been shown. Since it is AHS, it's safe to say there will be some other frightening ideas popping up in each episode.  


It can also be deduced that fan favorites Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will not be returning for this season. There is talk, however, of the stars possibly making a cameo in the ninth season. 


“The Coven witches will return, but not for season nine,” said TV Guide’s Sadie Gennis in her preview of “1984.” “It won’t be the final season.”  


This brings relief along with hopes that viewers may get to see the beloved witches in the battle again, since “Apocalypse” was left with a dark open ending.  


Though little information is available on the new season of “American Horror Story,” by looking back at previous seasons, fans can rest assured that it will only bring more nostalgic murder and mayhem much like.  

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Swiftly Selling Album Top Billboard 200 for 2nd Consecutive

Andrew Munoz, Contributor  

Sept. 16, 2019


Taylor Swift’s latest album, “Lover,” was released Aug. 23 and, as of right now, is still topping the Billboard 200 and has remained number one since its release. Like her or not, there is no denying Swift’s success over the years as a music artist. This latest accolade serves as more than just another milestone in the 29-year-old pop stars successful career. 


In the week of its debut, “Lover” sold over 678,000 physical copies and accumulated over 226 million streams across all music streaming platforms. Combined, these numbers would equate to 867,000 physical unit sales; enough to secure number one on the Billboard 200 list for quite a while.  


Swift shook up her strategy when she released her album across all music streaming platforms, instead of prioritizing one over all others. This simple, yet astonishingly effective change in her marketing scheme fueled Swift to the top. 


This was not the only change in strategy Swift made. Along with cross-platform stream releases, she had also released not one, but four unique versions of her album via a Target store exclusive launch. Each of the four albums contained a copy of the album on CD with each version containing a unique pair of audio memos by the artist, an original copy of an excerpt from her journal and distinctive artifacts such as pictures and a poster.  


Each version costs $19.99. Add all four versions to your cart and you have quickly brought your subtotal to four cents shy of $80. The math is simple; 678,000 physical copies costing $19.99 a piece comes to a wild sum of over $13.5 million in revenue, not including streaming revenue. This is especially impressive in an industry rapidly evading vintage technology like CDs. 


Currently, “Lover” is the highest selling album of 2019, which begs the question: what is next? Rumors and hearsay have begun surfacing regarding Swift’s past dealings with her record label, Big Machine, by Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. The label denied Swift the rights to the master recordings of all six of her albums in the past; now many are wondering is Swift will attempt to take full control over her works by completely starting over and re-recording her music to self-release. This would be a genius financial maneuver, which has the potential to earn the pop-singer an enormous fortune. It goes without saying there would stand copious amounts of personal and legal conflicts of interest between Swift and her current record label. 


Swift currently has over 43.1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and her numbers will only continue to grow as the artist adds to her expansive music cat.

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"The Handmaid's Tale:" Looking Under the Writers' Eyes - WAR

Brandon Vlach, Reporter  

Sept. 16, 2019


The Handmaid’s Tale” is an exclusive Hulu series based on the dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood published in 1985. It brings to life the imagined extreme patriarchal and totalitarian government of Gilead, that forcibly subjugates women.  


The series has gained quite the following since it first aired in 2017. With the popularity of the show comes a new book; on Tuesday, Sept. 10, Margaret Atwood published a sequel called “The Testaments.”  

In addition to the new book, season four of “The Handmaid’s Tale” was announced on July 26 via @HandmaidsOnHulu, the official Twitter account for the show. According to Lucy Feldman’s article in Time Magazine, Hulu and MGM will be developing “The Testaments” into a new series. However, it is unclear if the content of the sequel will be incorporated into the existing show or made into a separate spin-off series of its own. 


Analyzing Episode 13, the last episode of season three, "Mayday,” many inferences can be made about how the writers of the show will approach season four. Episode 13 begins with a horrid flashback to women being forcibly herded like animals into a cargo truck leaving for Gilead. The closing scene of the episode creates harsh contrast with more than 50 Martha’s and children escaping Gilead and arriving to Canada in a plane.  


Crossing into the border of Canada to achieve freedom from Gilead is not a new concept. Various characters have made it to Canada throughout the series; however, there has never been as many as fifty people arriving at once. 


The reoccurring dichotomy of freedom and imprisonment could be preparing viewers for a deeper exploration of these themes in season four. With so many new characters entering Canada, and June left to face the consequences in Gilead, a narrator other than June may lead the narrative in season four. In fact, this concept would align with the approach of the new book “The Testaments” because the novel is told from the perspective of three female narrators. Moreover, the writers experimented with varying narrators in episode eight when Aunt Lydia’s backstory is provided. 


Over the course of seasons two and three, June has already missed two opportunities to escape Gilead. She has even survived a myriad of death-defying instances like being shot at by machine guns. Maybe season three will finally provide an opportunity for Hannah’s voice to be heard. As an adolescent at this point in the show, she could very well articulate the perspective of a child trapped in Gilead.  


Hopefully more updates, trailers, and information will be released about season four sometime soon. Until then, we’ll have to see what ideas the writers have in the works ‘under his eye.