Book Review: Fresh Complaint

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

Fresh Complaint: Stories by Jeffrey Eugenides (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017. 304 pp) Born in Detroit, Michigan on March 8, 1960, Jeffrey Eugenides is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer. As an undergraduate, he attended Brown University and later earned an M.A. in Creative Writing from Stanford University. Eugenides received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Fellowship for a short story he wrote in 1986. In 2002, his novel, Middlesex, won the Pulitzer Prize and the Ambassador Book Award. Eugenides works on faculty at Princeton University’s Program in Creative writing and lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter. The Knot in Your Stomach A signal of life, outside of biological factors such… Read More →

Television Show Review: Girls: Season 6

Girls Season 6

Girls: Season 6 created by Lena Dunham (HBO, Apatow Productions) Starring Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Adam Driver, Zosia Mamet, Alex Karpovsky, Andrew Rannells, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach. A Voice of a Generation It’s probably Girls’ own fault, but it sure has received backlash over the years. Search the series on Twitter and you’ll likely find numerous opinions on the subject. Perhaps people feel threatened by the confident form of feminism from its creator, Lena Dunham. Maybe people find the lack of diversity concerning. Some may argue about the backdrop, New York City, and the relative affluence of the cast push people away. And for some, the perception of Millennials, entitlement, and the overarching assumption behind the title to suggest… Read More →

Film Review: Inside Out

Inside Out

Inside Out written and directed by Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen (Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios, PG, 95 min) Starring Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan. Trying Something Different How often do you have a million-dollar idea? I don’t know about you, but it seems like I’ve got something that could generate revenue every month. Granted, I’m pretty sure these ideas are worse than Tom Haverford’s ideas in Parks and Recreation, but it’s still fun to imagine how these concepts could become reality. Honestly, ideas represent the easy portion of any project. The sweat emerges in the details. How can this idea breathe new life?… Read More →

Book Review: The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. 256 pp) Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in 1933. One of six children, Cormac’s family moved multiple times in his childhood as his father accepted different occupations. In 1951, McCarthy attended the University of Tennessee majoring in Liberal Arts. Midway through his studies, McCarthy served in the Air Force for four years. After his service, McCarthy returned to college, writing his first short stories. In 1959 and 1960, he won the Ingram-Merrill Award for Creative Writing. Mccarthy’s first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965. Several years, grants, and fellowships later, McCarthy published Suttree, Blood Meridian, and All the Pretty Horses marking his rise in literary acclaim…. Read More →

Television Show Review: Broad City: Season 1

Broad CIty: Season 1

Broad City: Season 1 created by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (3 Arts Entertainment, Jax Media, Paper Kite Productions) Starring Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, John Gemberling, Hannibal Buress, and Arturo Castro. Quasi-Adolescence Growing up isn’t easy. Post-collegiate life, for many, represents a turbulent period. People have difficulty finding work; the support of parents—financially, mostly—dries up; friends get married, move away, and start families, which raises its own stressfulness. While some young adults seize their opportunities and become the movers and shakers becoming media darlings as the future of our country, most young adults try their very best to remain in a quasi-adolescence. They’ve exited the nest, but that doesn’t mean they want to fly long and far in search of… Read More →

Book Review: Unceasing Worship

Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts by Harold M. Best (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003. 226 pp) With a D.S.M. from Union Theological Seminary, Harold M. Best was the dean of the Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College for more than twenty-five years. As an organist and composer, Best has mentored musicians, artists, and church leaders alike. He has served as president of the National Association of Schools of Music and has written extensively on matters of curriculum, culture, and educational policy issues. Do You Hear What I Hear? It all comes down to the music, seemingly. A bad voice, inexperience on the drums, a bloated worship team—they all influence attendance greatly. You’ve probably heard the complaints…. Read More →

Television Show Review: The Walking Dead: Season 3

The Walking Dead: Season 3 created by Frank Darabont (American Movie Classics, Circle of Confusion, Valhalla Motion Pictures) Starring Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Scott Wilson. Setting Standards Since its initial airing in 2010, I’ve held The Walking Dead to a higher standard than most television shows.  For starters, the series airs on AMC, a network branded as a place for high quality acting and writing. With such sterling dramas such as Mad Men and Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead airs among the best shows on television. Second, the genre is groundbreaking. We’ve all seen our fair share of post-apocalyptic zombie films. But the nature of a… Read More →