S+E Media Club: “Meta-Musicals, Teenage Heartbreak Nostalgia, and Feeling Things”

A&E Staff Writers Sarah and Elias’s favorite media-related recommendations, new and old, for the month of May.

Welcome to the very first S+E Media Club, a column about our top content picks for the month. Inspired by GQ’s Articles Editor Chris Gayomali and his now-discontinued (RIP) column “Feeling This,” S+E Media Club will be a place for us to talk about the movies, shows, albums, and articles that have been stuck in our collective mind each month.

S+E TV GUIDE

Our TV recommendations for the month.

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”

Apologies to all the Marvel and Star Wars fans out there, but the return of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” is THE best thing to come to Disney+ this summer. In season two, the Wildcats have returned to the small screen and they are as obnoxiously sing-songy and animated as ever — we love it though. The series is fit with all the trappings of a corny Disney original — one-liners that don’t always hit, constant references to girl-bossery, and an equally messy and enthralling love triangle (#TeamRina). On paper, “HSMTMTS” seems like a show that caters to preteen girls, but it is really for those of us stuck in the limbo between Millennials and Gen Z who have followed the original trilogy with utmost dedication. The show, for all of its references to and covers of the original movie franchise, is the perfect source of nostalgic fluff. 

Writer’s note: #TeamRini is the superior couple, and its erasure should be considered a crime. – E

“Supernatural”

If you were on the internet at any time in the early 2010s you probably had a run-in with Supernatural, a horror drama show that first aired in 2005 on Warner Brothers’ The CW. The show garnered a cult following online, and looking back, it’s easy to see why. The high-contrast, somber color grading combined with low-budget effects and charismatic performances from Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki make this the perfect campy horror show to watch with friends or your scaredy-cat significant other.

S+E MOVIE CLOSET

The movies we loved this month —think Criterion closet.

“Demon Slayer”

Demons, swords, and sick fight scenes, what more could you ask for? “Mugen Train” premiered theatrically in April, but with its home release on most digital streaming services coming up in June, we recommend taking the time to check it out. We were able to catch it in theaters, and derived painful pleasure watching our favorite group of teenage demon hunters narrowly evade death. 

“500 Days of Summer”

As fans of both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, we were more than excited to revisit this controversial anti-rom-com. Twelve years later and Tom is still to blame.

S+E RADIO

The music that soundtracked our lives this month.

“SOUR” – Olivia Rodrigo

You know that world-shattering break up that had your teenage self convinced that love was dead? The one you worked so hard to overcome? Well get ready, because Olivia Rodrigo has taken it upon herself to rip you down from your newfound place of contentment and back into the wallowing pits of teenage heartbreak. Despite being in a healthy and stable relationship, we found ourselves indulging in a healthy dose of post-break-up self-pity while listening to this record. The 18-year-old’s debut album wears its influences on its sleeve proudly, with Paramore-esque guitars and Swift-y lyricism that had us headbanging one moment and on the verge of tears the next. The delivery, the lyrics, the instrumentals; Rodrigo has found a way to distill everything that makes pop music so good into a concise 35 minutes. Tracks like “1 step forward, 3 steps back” and “enough for you” will have even the most jaded listeners clutching their favorite stuffed animal as they sit on the floor of their bedroom sobbing over an imaginary (or maybe not-so-imaginary) ex. So, grab your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s and give this record a spin.

“Tamia” (1998) – Tamia

After you’re done checking out Sour, mend your newly broken heart with  this collection of sweet ‘90s R&B from Tamia. We recommend listening to the whole album, but our personal favorites are the classic “So Into You,” the cautiously hopeful “This Time It’s Love,” and the heartfelt “You Put a Move On My Heart.”

“Always Be My Baby” – Mariah Carey

From the pop princess herself, a gushy love song to get you through finals season.

“Modern Love Podcast: Why Do People Get Married?”

This episode of the New York Times’ Modern Love podcast ruminates on the purpose and social function of marriage. We recommend tissues while listening. 

S+E MAGAZINE STAND

Articles, books, and any other print media we couldn’t stop talking about.

“Feeling This” – Chris Gayomali

Given that Feeling This served as the inspiration for this column, it’s only right for us to mention it here. Feeling This is a laid-back weekly column about the stuff GQ’s Chris Gayomali (whose articles you’ll probably see pop up on this column occasionally) was feeling between the weeks of Jan. 18, 2019 and May 4, 2019 full of great music, home goods, and of course, fashion recommendations. We encourage you to check it out if you’re on the hunt for a pair of reusable chopsticks or looking for some throwback Filipino pop tunes.

“Banning My Book Won’t Protect Your Child” – Carmen Maria Machado

Author Carmen Maria Machado’s essay on book censorship is both necessary and long-overdue. Peep these bars: “Those who seek to ban my book and others like it are trying to exploit fear — fear about the realities that books like mine expose, fear about desire and sex and love — and distort it into something ugly, in an attempt to wish away queer experiences.”

“Gen Yeet” – Terry Nguyen

gen yeet is a monthly newsletter/blog about anything and everything Gen Z. With incredible writing from Vox reporter and fellow Gen Z-er Terry Nguyen, it explores everything from the student debt crisis to the possible threat of Dispo boys. As extremely active citizens of cyberspace, we had tons of thought-provoking fun blazing through the gen yeet archive, and we hope you will too.

“The Anxiety of Influencers” – Barrett Swanson

An insightful look into the “plight [of influencers] as walking, breathing advertisements,” as Sarah so eloquently described, this piece for Harper’s Magazine delves into the lucrative influencer lifestyle, while also exploring its effects on the individuals and its long-term sustainability.

Images courtesy of Teen Vogue, People.com, Japan Web Magazine, Microsoft, Billboard, Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias, Amazon.com, and Podtail.

Artwork courtesy of Andrew Diep for The UCSD Guardian.

One thought on “S+E Media Club: “Meta-Musicals, Teenage Heartbreak Nostalgia, and Feeling Things”

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