If you’re bored staying inside all day, The Triton has you covered. Here are a few sources of entertainment we’ve been enjoying during this shelter-in-place period.
Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa
Released on March 27, 2020
For fans of: Lady Gaga, Zara Larsson, Kylie Minogue
The “sophomore slump” is dreaded by many, but any thoughts of regression were instantly wiped from my mind when Dua Lipa released the lead single “Don’t Start Now,” a throwback to ‘80s disco, in October of 2019. Five months later, Future Nostalgia was delivered and I have had it on repeat ever since. Lipa has truly found her unique brand of artistry in this melding of old-school and current genres, a fresh sound in today’s pop music.
“Physical” is a highlight of the album, with its interpolation of Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit and a modern, frenetic beat, making the track irresistible. The sharp bass rhythm in “Break My Heart” and the pulsating strings of “Love Again” are highlights, showcasing the immaculate production on this album.
Lipa’s catchy lyrics belie a surprising maturity, from openly discussing sex in “Good in Bed” to discussing gender-focused double standards in “Boys Will Be Boys.” Future Nostalgia showcases some of the best Dua Lipa has to offer—perfect for picking up during this quarantine.
–Arun Dhingra, Arts and Culture Editor
Miss Anthropocene by Grimes
Released on February 21, 2020
For fans of: Purity Ring, Yves Tumor, Rina Sawayama
Ever since the 2015 release of her widely acclaimed fourth studio album, Art Angels, I have been eagerly waiting for the drop of Miss Anthropocene. Based on the released singles “Violence” and “My Name is Dark,” the album has a gritty, but ethereal tone which was something I had high hopes for.
According to Grimes, the concept behind the album is to create new mythology for the modern world; it draws inspiration from Jack Kirby’s New Gods comic run, intending to “make climate change fun.” The album plays with a polytheistic motif, and each song represents a god or demon of the future; for example, the 90’s punk reminiscent track about the opioid epidemic, “Delete Forever,” supposedly represents the Demon of Addiction.
On Miss Anthropocene, Grimes combines the sounds from her 2012 experimental breakout Visions and her 2015 foray into pop through Art Angels. This fusion sonically pushes her into a cyberpunk, dystopian future. Tracks like “We Appreciate Power,” a nu-metal inspired treatise on AI overlords, drive the album’s thesis home, supported by more atmospheric titles like “Before the fever” and “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth,” which underscore the album with a sense of dreamy fatalism.
Compared to the rest of her catalogue, this album is darker and grittier than Grime’s previous work: a self-destructive edge lurks behind even the hyperpop beats and airy vocal tracks (see: “Darkseid” and “You’ll miss me when I’m not around”).
The standout track for me is “4ÆM”, which includes a sample from the Bollywood musical Bajirao Mastani. This song is actually included in the new “Cyberpunk 2077” game slated for release later this year, with Grimes herself voicing a character.
If you want something that makes you feel as if you are the protagonist in a dystopian novel instead of a side character quarantining at home, I recommend Miss Anthropocene.
–Orianna Borrelli, Administrative Director
Little Fires Everywhere
Released on March 18, 2020 on Hulu
For fans of: Big Little Lies and American Son
I have to confess something—though I didn’t read the book before watching the Hulu adaption, I did read the entire plot of the novel on Wikipedia while watching the first episode. I’d like to say it was because I wanted to properly research the origins of the story, but quite frankly, it was me succumbing to the never-ending urge to spoil something for myself. Miraculously, this eight-episode miniseries surprised me nonetheless.
We open on Shaker Heights, Ohio, surrounded by rubble, sirens, and firefighters. An ashen-faced Elena Richardson, played by Reese Witherspoon, sits at the back of an ambulance with a blanket around her shoulders and a burnt home behind her. Only later is it revealed that the fire was no accident. Transported back four months to a sunny day in August 1996, we see Richardson befriending Mia Warren, played by Kerry Washington. Witherspoon plays the role of a white suburban mom to a T, having four children of various personalities, pearls, and an attitude to boot, with Washington’s role serving as her perfect foil.
Motherhood meets race meets class set after a mysterious act of arson sets the story in motion. Both mothers have secrets and as the series escalates, the show nicely crescendos to an explosive finale in which little fires are set everywhere, literally and figuratively.
The show raises issues of race and class by contrasting two imperfect mothers with faults that are both hard to judge and justify. I spent the entire series torn between the characters, but regardless of who you choose to root for, be prepared for tension and suspense. Give it a shot, and please, do not spoil it for yourself if you can help it—the ending is best left a surprise.
–Sahana Narayan, Assistant News Editor
Released on March 20, 2020 on Netflix
For fans of: Making A Murderer, Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
Tiger King has been practically inescapable on social media since it’s release. Describing himself as a “gay, gun-toting cowboy with a mullet,” de facto protagonist Joe Exotic has joined the ranks of morally ambiguous celebrities courting the public eye.
This seven-episode documentary series follows the lives of several private zoo owners and big cat breeders in the American South. Focusing on Exotic’s rivalry with Carole Baskin, the documentary uncovers a series of debaucherous activities including an arson fire, animal abuse, and murder-for-hire.
In addition to showcasing this eccentric and brutal rivalry, Tiger King facilitates a discussion regarding the ethics and legality of tiger breeding. Perhaps what I enjoyed most about the show was its insight and overall ability to editorialize its story line. If you want to join in on the Carole Baskin memes, Tiger King is well worth the watch.
–Amanda Gonzalez, Staff Writer
Too Hot to Handle
Released on April 17, 2020 on Netflix
For fans of: The Bachelor, Love is Blind, Love Island
This reality, dating, game show is perfect for when you’re really bored and you finally have the urge to succumb to one of the most talked about TV shows during quarantine. Once you start, it’s difficult to not watch the whole season in one night.
Too Hot to Handle keeps you on the edge of your seat as you watch ten single people go about their lives on an island tasked with forging genuine, emotional relationships with one another. The catch is that they can’t kiss or have sex. To help enforce this rule is Lana, an Alexa-like cone that keeps the contestants on their toes. What happens if they break their number one rule you might ask? Money is deducted from their collective prize of $100,000.
To help them make meaningful connections, the retreat sets up helpful workshops which teaches the contestants more about themselves, better communication skills, and more about others as well. I think what I liked most about this show was that it’s almost like Love Island (another great reality show based in the UK), but shorter and a little more meaningful. I think it’s a pretty good show that anyone could really get into!
–Kiyahna Brown, Assistant Arts and Culture Editor
Released on September 13, 2019 on Netflix
For fans of: Narcos, Snowfall, The Wire
Are you “bored in the house and in the house bored” and wanting to get your binge-venture on? Gritty and suspenseful, yet fun and thrilling, Top Boy is the show for you. It first aired on British television network Channel 4 in 2011, but sadly was cancelled in 2013 after two seasons. After a long seven-year hiatus, Drake, a fan of the show himself, made a deal with Netflix to revive it as an executive producer. The original two seasons can be found on Netflix as well, under Top Boy: Summerhouse.
The series is based in Hackney, East London, where it follows a constant struggle for survival among rival drug gangs and the residents trying to get by in a crime-ridden district. The storyline is gripping and it reels you into the lives of each individual character and their experiences.
What I love most about this series is that it gives you an inside look into the intense and gruesome world of drug-related violence while also following each character’s hardships and successes. Inspired by real events, this method of storytelling gives an accurate depiction of what life living in Hackney is actually like and how everyone is just doing their best to make ends meet, despite being a fictional story.
Filled with drama, suspense, and humor, this show explores mob ties, drug trades, gang violence as well as family values and self-development, Top Boy has something to offer for everyone. Give yourself a well-deserved break from all that stay-at-home TikTok-making, and add this show to your quarantine cue.
–Ivana Cuk, Assistant Arts and Culture Editor
Released on August 22, 2016
For fans of: Broken Record, Switched on Pop, Song Exploder
Dissect isn’t your average music podcast—it takes analysis to the extreme. The podcast has six seasons and each season is dedicated to uncovering the meaning and truth behind a singular album. Each episode goes track-by-track through the album, and creator Cole Cuchna takes a deep dive into the musicality and lyrics of every song. The series has covered works from Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and Lauryn Hill. The current season, which releases episodes every Tuesday, is studying Lemonade by Beyoncé.
I only discovered this podcast recently, but I am obsessed with it already. Cuchna provides great insight into these amazing albums, and I come away from each episode with an enriched view. Dissect is a great listen, with a website that comes with accompanying visuals, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a deeper look at some of the most influential R&B and hip-hop albums this century.
–Arun Dhingra, Arts and Culture Editor