Red Dead Redemption 2 Review

By Ethan Johnson

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is a testament to the love of Westerns. This prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption places you in the year 1899 as outlaw Arthur Morgan as he and his fellow gang members attempt to escape the ever gaining lawmen on their trail. The following story that takes place across the American West makes Red Dead Redemption 2 one of the best games to come out for this generation of consoles.

When first opening the box, one would be surprised to see that the game comes on two discs. This is because the file size is 105 Gigabytes. While this is at first daunting, after the installation has completed it’s easy to see that the file size was worth it. Red Dead Redemption 2 has some of the best graphics to come to consoles. There are times throughout the game that look almost photorealistic. From the trees to the people to the mud, everything looks and acts in a realistic manner.

The gameplay offers a wide variety of activities to take part in. Robbing Stagecoaches and fighting lawmen and rival gangs is not all that the game has to offer. If the gunplay gets tiring, mini games are offered throughout the towns including poker and blackjack. Hunting for rare animal pelts is also a possible activity. With this variety of things to do and more, it’s always easy to find something to do in the Wild West.

It is in the story where Red Dead Redemption 2 particularly shines. The Story stars a colorful cast of characters that all bring their own unique personalities to supplement the story. There’s Dutch Van Der Linde, the charismatic leader of the gang, Hosea, Dutch’s trusted right hand, and original Red Dead Redemption’s protagonist John Marston. These characters among with many others are all given their own unique moments that personify them and allow the player to truly become attached to them. The story itself is separated into six chapters with more of the world unlocking with each chapter.

Every chapter serves its purpose with the earlier ones slowly introducing the player to the core mechanics of the game and the later chapters acting as the climax to the story.  While has good pacing for its place within the story, chapter one, which acts almost entirely as a tutorial, takes multiple hours to complete. This prolonged tutorial along with a lack of open world features during the chapter make the first chapter fairly tedious at times to play through.

The game also allows the player to create a strong bond with their horse. Almost every single horse in the game can be taken and owned by the player. The horse can be named, customized, and acts as storage as well as transportation. However, the horse can die if it takes enough damage and if the player finds themselves without a means to revive it, then it becomes time to replace a horse that the player may have had for dozens of hours. It is through these mechanics that the horses in the game become characters of their own and not just a vehicle for travelling across the map.

Speaking of the map, huge hardly even begins to describe it. Even on a horse, the map can take a long time to traverse which can be frustrating especially if playing on a time constraint. A fast travel system consisting of the use of stagecoaches and train stations can help cut down on travel sometimes. It is not just the size of the map that is impressive, it is also the diversity. From the frozen mountains to the north, to the sunscorched deserts of New Austin, or to the gator filled swamps in the east, the game boasts a variety in environments to rival many games. The large and varied map allows for a lot of exploring with enough changes in environments to make it interesting.

For those seeking a less lonely experience, the game also has a multiplayer mode. It allows players to customize a character before dropping them in a world with other players. Players are free to complete missions while working with or against others throughout the map. The mode has come under criticism for overpricing goods while not providing enough rewards in missions to allow player to buy goods.

With a large map, varied gameplay, and an engaging story with memorable characters, Red Dead Redemption 2 offers a lot of fun for many hours. However, some issues including long travel times, a slow start, and an unbalanced multiplayer provide some annoyances for players. Overall Red Dead Redemption 2 earns a 9/10 and is highly recommended.

WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

By Sarah Lam & Brooke Moran

Billie Eilish just dropped her debut album and fans all around the world are losing their mind. Billie, who is only 17 years old, has topped the charts and is expected to be the second biggest album drop of 2019. This has everyone talking about the fourteen hit songs on the album. Here’s our review on Billie Eilish debut album,  “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO”.

!!!!!!!

This track is basically just the intro to the whole album. It is a total of thirteen seconds long, and you can hear Billie saying “I have taken out my invisalign and this is the album. It is then followed by her laughing which basically sums up her goofy personality.

bad guy

“bad Guy” seems to be a fan favorite off of the album. It is currently #1 on the Top 100 Global on Apple Music. Unlike a few other songs on the album, “Bad Guy” has a fast, upbeat beat. Filled with many different beats and musical effects, this track has an electric vibe to it that will leave you wanting to party it up with your friends. The end of the song includes an interlude that changes beats and leaves you thinking it’s a whole new song. “Bad Guy” is probably one of my favorites on the album.

xanny

“xanny” is the next track on the album, and it takes a slower turn. It starts off with more of a jazz vibe, and what sounds like the background of a fancy restaurant. The chorus breaks out with a vibration effect on Billies voice. The rest of the song is filled with soft, peaceful choruses. The use of piano and drums, along with some jazz instruments, is present in this catchy tune. The end of the song has no instruments present with just Billie’s vocals and humming.

you should see me in a crown

The title says it all. This song will want to make you put on a crown and rock your stuff down a runway. Starting off slow and low, it quickly breaks into a loud and upbeat chorus that you can’t help but dance to. The balance of slow and fast verses in this song balance each other out perfectly. This is a song of empowerment, and it should definitely be on your next playlist. Eilish wasn’t lying when she said she was  wearing a “warning sign” on this track. The use of vocals and beats flow together perfectly, making for a nice alternative sound.

all the good girls go to hell

In the beginning you will hear what sounds like church bells, which turns into a nice groovy beat. With the church bells, this song bounces back and forth between the ideas of heaven and hell. Billie talks in this song about how her “Lucifer is lonely” and how “all good girls go to hell ‘cause even God herself has enemies”. This song (along with all of her other music) is very dark. A person who has an entire song dedicated to God’s enemies is a girl who has something to say.

wish you were gay

“How am I supposed to make you feel okay when all you do is walk away?” This one line can be relatable to mostly any person because we all have the one relationship where people would walk away. “wish you were gay” stands at #5 on the Global Top 100. The beat in this song is more upbeat than her other songs on the album, but the lyrics are everything but upbeat. This song is more of a depressing break up song base on the lyrics “All you do is look the other way” and “don’t say I’m not your type.” Will all of these feelings, she just wishes this love of her was gay so it could spare her the heartbreak she is feeling.

when the party’s over

I’ll call you when the party’s over. Starting off with soothing vocals, this song will instantly give you chills. “when the party's over”  was released as a single before the album. It’s known for its interesting music video where black liquid starts to pour out of Billie’s eyes as she’s singing into the camera. . The chorus soars with strong vocals and a piano playing in the background. The rest of the song is filled with sweet, soft vocals that make you wish you could sing as good as this. This song is definitely a fan favorite.

8

Who am I to be in love, when your love is never for me? “8” starts off strong with a ukulele vibe that will make you feel happiness flow throughout you. High pitched vocals start to be played and the drums soon join in after along with a background noise of trumpets. This is a song to listen to when you’re feeling good and just chilling enjoying life. The vocals return to a normal pitch after the first few voices, and Billie sings saying “what do you feel, do you even feel anything?” which is something that lots of people can totally relate to. This shows you how real of an artist Billie Eilish is and how most of her songs are geared towards problems everyone faces. This is was makes her such a huge hit among this generation.

my strange addiction

No billie, I haven’t done that dance since my wife died. “My strange addiction” stands at #6 on the Global Top 100. This song is popular among fans of the TV show “The Office” because of its reference at the beginning. This song is a song that can be danced to easily. The beat is a favorite by anyone who listens to it and comes with a chill vibe. It has the same beat throughout the entire duration of the song. This is one of the few songs on the album that can be played at you’re next party. Everyone will enjoy getting down to this catchy song.

bury a friend

When we all fall asleep, where do we go? The iconic album title came from a line in this song. In the background of the song, you can hear the sounds of the weird music that plays during horror movies before something bad happens. “Bury a friend” holds it spot on the Global Top 100 at #3 on the chart. This song is one that you can seriously get down to just because of the beat. The beat is very catchy while the words are more of a whisper. Then, right when you think the song is going to stay quiet, there is a huge beat rise to top the song off.

ilomilo

Where did you go? This two minute and thirty seven second song tends to be one of the songs on her album that is more on the pop side rather than alternative. There is what sounds like a triangle being played in the background that give a fairy tale beat to the song. According to the lyrics though, this song is everything but fairy tale. With “I don’t wanna be lonely, was hoping you’d come home” being one of the ending lyrics, it shows how her music does have a darker meaning.

listen before i go

“Take me to the rooftop, I wanna see the world when I stop breathing, turning blue.” “listen before i go” takes a darker turn on the album with a slow sorrowful beat. There are ambulance sirens in the background towards the end of the song, which makes you think someone is dying during the song. With the lyrics “sorry can’t save me now” Billie thrived in putting a deeper meaning into this hit song. This song will definitely make you feel a sense of sadness when you first listen to it. She makes sure to let her friends know she loves them in the end of the song and that she is sorry.  Listen to this song on a sad, cloudy, rainy day for the best effect.

i love you

I love you, but I don’t want to. “i love you” instantly hits you with a slow flowing guitar sound that leaves you feeling like you are flying through heaven. This slow vibe lasts throughout the whole song. “i love you” will definitely have you in your feels throughout the whole song. The mix of the soothing music and the soft vocals put off by Eilish will have you hooked from the start. Her voice gets louder leading up to the chorus and explodes into a soft but powerful verse. If you’re going to listen of any of Billie’s song’s, let it be this one.

goodbye

“goodbye” is the last track on Billie’s debut album. It’s different from all the other songs on her album. It’s a song filled with mostly vocals and a few subtle instruments in the background. This song takes some lyrics from all of the tracks, and combines then to make a final send off to her album. This track is a nice cool down from all the emotions you will feel while listening to the album.

The Rise of Battle Royale Video Games

By Randall McGee

These days, video games are widely played, by a large portion of the population. Video games vary greatly, and there are many kinds of games that are made and played. In the last few years there have been certain trends that stuck out above the others. One such trend is the large rise in the number of battle royale games, and people that play these games. The question remains, however, how these games rose to such popularity.

The point of origin for this genre lies in multiple spots, and isn’t a simple thing to pinpoint. However, as in most cases the genre originates in books and movies. There have been various popular books about this, and movies made based off of those books. The first of which is likely the one that gave the name to the genre, the book (and later movie) Battle Royale. The book was extremely popular, and was made into a movie which came out in 2000.

While this book put a name and a good bit of popularity to it, the thing that really sparked the fire was the book series The Hunger Games. The three part book series was extremely popular, with millions of copies of each sold. The four part movie series was even more popular, with even more people watching.

From the Hunger Games series sprung the development of multiple games surrounding the same kind of battle survival type of ideal. There were multiple, but the big ones were really Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and H1Z1, both highly popular and played by millions. These games gave rise to dozens of others similar to them, with interesting gameplay.

There were a few major differences between these games and the Hunger Games series, however. These differences were mainly the modes of how the players arrived to the battle royale and how the players acquired weapons and other tools. In the Hunger Games the participants all started in a circle, with the weapons and tools in the middle all bunched together. In the video games, players started off parachuting in, with weapons and tools scattered throughout the map, often concentrated in cities or urban areas. Another big change was that with almost all of these games, the map would have some sort of shrinking mechanism to force players closer to one another. These changes were likely made for a couple of reasons, being that it made it not so similar to the Hunger Games that people would take offense and that these changes made it feel more militaristic and like a video game. These changes also made the game less about outlasting the other participants and more about killing them as fast as possible to win the game.

With all this, PubG and H1Z1 still weren’t the height of the battle royale craze. These games were good, with a large following of millions, but they were mostly centered in the military shooting game kind of genre. They were limited to an older crowd that liked violent and competitive games. While this crowd was large, there was more potential to this game genre than just that crowd.

The height of the battle royale video games was when Fortnite came out and gained a large following. This game was a battle royale, but it was a much more cartoonish and animated game, which appealed to a much larger crowd of younger teens and less competitive and serious gamers. The game also had a wider array of mechanics, or possibilities of actions within the game. This included building, events, pve, and different game modes. This game appealed to a vast array of genres, and had a much higher following than PubG or H1Z1.

With Fortnite being one of the most popular games, and other battle royale games also being very popular as well, more and more games were made around this popular game type. Even the popular video game series Call of Duty Black Ops made a battle royale game, with much of the same mechanics as PubG and H1Z1. Spinoffs of Fortnite also occurred, but with how unique Fortnite was in the battle royale genre, nothing came close to competing with it if it wasn’t shot down by copyright lawsuits.

The genre of battle royale isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As with all things, it’s a matter of perspective; whether or not you’re a fan of the battle royale game type. If not, there are still plenty of other games being made and played by people all over, but not as many with so many being focused on battle royale games.

Netflix’s What Happened to Monday

By Brianna Baldwin and Katie Keith

Warning: spoilers!

What Happened to Monday, Netflix’s most recently released film, is captivating as it presents an idea that is possible in the next few hundred years: a high population and no food. The first solution was to genetically engineer our crops in order to produce food faster, but these modifications caused women to have higher likelihoods of having more than one child per pregnancy. This causes a new policy to be implemented, only allowing the first born of every family to live in this day, the rest are put into a cryogenic sleep. This is meant to allow the children to be free of hunger and pain until the population size is reduced and food is plentiful.

However, some families are not willing to give up any of their children, even if there are multiple. This description fits the mother of the main characters, Karen Settman, as well as her father, Tarrence Settman. When the main characters were born, the mother of the 7 identical siblings (septuplets) died due to the lack of medical equipment as she did not want to be reported for having more than one child. Tarrence, her father as well as the septuplets’ grandfather, decided to take the children in under his care and name them, by order of birth, after each day of the week. This was meant to allow them each out of the house, each day corresponding with their names, and not allow anyone to know they were more than one person, Karen Settman, named after their mother. Although the siblings are identical in physical features, each of them are very different from the others in their personalities and the way they express themselves at home. Monday is very professional and acts as the leader of the group as she was the first born, her personality was chosen, by Terrence, to be the public personality. Tuesday is very anxious and is always eating or finding ways to help her relax. Wednesday is physically fit and can be found working out often while at home. Thursday is a tom-boy and has felt guilt since sneaking out in her childhood and hurting her hand while skateboarding, resulting in the amputation of the tip of her left pointer-finger; this meant the rest of the children had to sustain the same injury in order for them all to remain the same. Friday is very intelligent and tech savvy, but also very anxious and shy. Saturday can be described as a party-girl and regularly brags about parties she has been to and how much fun she had at them. Sunday is called “the believer” and helps maintain the peace between sisters as problems arise.

As the movie continues, Monday is threatened by a coworker, Jerry, and doesn’t return home after her day at work and the rest of the sisters begin to worry about her. The next day, the sisters decide to send Tuesday to work anyway, as the C.A.B. had not already knocked the door down, as they would if they knew siblings were being hidden. Tuesday finds information and makes a deal with Jerry to keep their secret, but that she had to think about it. After work, C.A.B. agents put her into a black van and take her to the Bureau headquarters. Agents then attack the remaining 5 sisters in the apartment but loose to the sisters, but only after killing Sunday. Wednesday then goes out and talks to Jerry to find out what information he knows. More agents found her and proceeded to kill her, along with Jerry. Saturday goes out with a man that Monday had a relationship with, named Adrian, where she was found by C.A.B. agents found and killed her. Thursday and Friday begin to run, but Friday returns to the apartment to sacrifice herself in order to save Thursday, and possibly Monday as they are still clueless as to what happened to her. Thursday then devises a plan to find Monday with Adrian.

They head to the hall where Cayman was giving her election speech to try find Tuesday and stop Cayman. Thursday and Adrian find the sister, Tuesday and break her out of the prison cell. Thursday, Adrian, and Tuesday go into the feed room, so Tuesday can play the video of the “cryogenic freezing process”, which is actually having the given siblings exploded. Thursday, now dressed like Monday, takes the place of Monday until they have a confrontation in the bathroom. Monday and Thursday have a full-on fist fight until Thursday shoots Monday, assuming it is fatal. This shot is unclear if it is Thursday or Monday that is starting to bleed out. Cayman gave her address of running for office when the video of the cryogenic freezing goes up onto the screen, exposing the true process. The lady comes over to Monday or Thursday, and she removed the wig, revealing it to be Thursday. Monday, severally hurt but alive, comes back into the room to shoot Thursday but gets shot again. This shot sends her into the process of dying on the floor. Thursday goes over to her and looks Monday in the eye. Monday holds her lower stomach and whispers “protect them” as she finally dies. Monday was pregnant and knew her sisters could not all get pregnant and sold them out. The movie ends with Thursday, Tuesday, and Adrian looking at Monday’s two twin babies in a lab as they continue to grow. Adrian said what he could call Tuesday, who responded with Terrie. Thursday looks at Adrian and says “Karen. Karen Settman.”

Futurama: A Review

By Brianna Baldwin

Futurama may not be a new show, airing between the years of 1999 and 2013, with multiple cancellations and changing of networks. Starting on Fox Broadcasting Company and ending on Comedy Central, Futurama outlived its multiple cancellations and is even now remembered and loved by its many fans. Fans of Futurama love the quirky characters, strange plot twists, and its satirical style humor. The show follows a lazy pizza delivery boy, named Philip J. Fry who is accidentally frozen for over 1000 years on January 1, 2000, and wakes up to a strange new world filled with aliens, flying cars, mad scientists, and mutants.

After being thawed and waking up in the year 3000, Fry meets a cyclops (as far as the audience knows at the time) named Leela as well as a robot named Bender. This group of three go on a search for Fry’s one living relative, Hubert Farnsworth (most commonly going by the nickname Professor), and find him to be a very intelligent scientist but a very strange man. Fry, Leela, and Bender join the Professor’s delivery service crew, named. This is where the three had met the intern Amy, Scruffy, the janitor, Hermes, the Jamaican accountant, and Dr. Zoidberg, the lobster-like alien who acts as the staff doctor. Typically it is Fry, Leela, Bender, and Amy who go on deliveries but the Professor, Hermes, and Scruffy have each taken part in deliveries throughout the various episodes.

Each of these characters have very distinct personalities that interact and clash with one another in the most hilarious ways. Fry isn’t very intelligent and regularly causes problems for the Delivery Express crew through this fault, but he is deeply in love with Leela - which is one of the main storylines (or subplots, if you will) that Futurama follows. Futurama does not have a specific plot throughout the entire series, but has multiple subplots, including the love-hate relationships between Fry and Leela, in a romantic way, and Hermes and Dr. Zoidberg, in a friendship/co-worker way. Leela never knew her parents and was dropped off on the steps of an orphanage as a baby. She was believed to be a cyclops from a planet not previously contacted before. Bender’s backstory is never really uncovered but he has a subplot all on his own. He is a robot built for bending steel and other metals to build suicide booths - which have replaced telephone booths by the year 3000. Bender has decided that the true mission of all robots is to “kill all humans,” but must drink alcohol as a fuel source. Amy was born and raised on Mars, a planet now colonized and farmed. Her family, the Wongs, owns roughly half of Mars and use it for farming, making them extremely wealthy and Amy very spoiled. Scruffy is more of a side character as no backstory is ever given, not to mention the lack of screentime the character has. He serves more as a comedic relief in episodes with more serious/stressful storylines. Hermes has a beautiful wife along with a son. His wife has the belief that her son needs a father figure in his life at all times, meaning every time Hermes has gotten into strange circumstances, leaving him unable to perform all of his fatherly duties, she leaves him for an athletic man named Barbados Slim - which has turned into a running joke. Dr. John Zoidberg is portrayed as the annoying coworker but is said to be an old friend of Professor Farnsworth. He is thought of as annoying by the rest of the Delivery Express crew because of his childish antics and social skill issues.

With all of these strange, colorful, wild, and conflicting character personalities, every episode is packed full of hilarious jokes and moments. One of my favorite parts of Futurama was the humor. Each character has different tastes in humor but they are all similar. Most of the jokes are thought of as “dark humor,” including self-depreciating, but other jokes rely on satire, comparisons to the present, surreal humor, and slapstick humor. A sizable amount of jokes are also scientific. One example of this is an episode in which Professor Farnsworth attends a race. At the racetrack, the Professor complained about how the judges decide on the winner of the race through the use of a quantum finish by saying “No fair! You changed the outcome by measuring it,” which is a reference to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

Futurama is a show that I would recommend to anyone asking. Between the characters, the humor, and the wide variety of events throughout the entire series, Futurama is a wonderful show that can keep the audience entertained and laughing for hours.

Is Tyler, the Creator the Most Influential Artist Right Now?

By Zachary Whitcomb

Tyler Okonma is an American rapper, designer, singer, TV show host, director, and a producer at the age of 26 years old. He has released 8 seasons of clothing, collaborating with multiple companies and designers along the way. Tyler has also released 5 studio albums that release about every two years. While pursuing his creative career, he has always stayed as himself and has encouraged others to be themselves too.

Tyler has always been the person to go out and do something with his life. At age 6, he was drawing fake album covers complete with tracklists and song lengths. When he was 14, he decided he would learn the piano by teaching himself and was successful. He released his first solo album, Bastard, for free which is why most consider to be a mixtape contrary to what Tyler says. The album was produced by himself and it features members of the Odd Future collective that they all formed in 2009 when Tyler was just 16. Since his first album he’s been telling people to be themselves and has kept that message with him throughout all of his music no matter how offensive or crude his sound might have been.

Following his debut album, Tyler released Goblin on May 10, 2011. The album featured the song that caught Kanye West’s attention and he liked it so much he tweeted about it saying it was “The video of 2011”. He addresses critics and how people judge him and blame him for events portrayed in his fictitious songs. He says he isn’t to blame for kids acting up that listen to his music and says it’s bad parenting if they’re misbehaving. In his song “Radical”, he adds a disclaimer saying not to do anything said in the following song. He tells people to do what they want but not go out and commit crimes to be rebellious. Being happy and doing what you want is more important than anything.

Cherry Bomb continues to enforce this idea with mostly positive reception from critics. Tyler says the album was inspired by 1978 and 1979 R&B music. The album starts with a rock song and blends genres throughout the rest of the album. “Find Your Wings” is soulful song about being yourself and go out and do what you want to do yourself saying “The world is yours”.

Two years passed and his album was highly anticipated after the singles “Who Dat Boy” and “911/Mr. Lonely” were released. The album Flower Boy was entirely different than everything else Tyler has ever created. This album was the most fresh from anything else he has created and was also his most polished. Tyler still stuck to his guns on some songs like “Who Dat Boy” with hard drums and aggressive rapping. This album is seen as a step forward for Tyler as he opens up about how he feels lonely at the top where so many people crave to be. He also talks about how he’s done it all by himself.

Tyler, the Creator has overcome everything to be where he is now from never having a song on the radio, blogs deleting his music, and being told that he would never be anything. Seeing how far he has come, it's no surprise that he inspires teens and young adults across the world to be themselves and find their wings.

Captain Marvel Review

By Ethan Johnson

*Mild Spoilers ahead*

For more than ten years now, Marvel has been releasing movies every year adding on to their expansive cinematic universe. From Iron Man to Black Panther, a diverse cast of characters have been introduced to the big screen however until this year there had not been a single female led Marvel Superhero Movie. This changed with the release of Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson. Does Captain Marvel bring another entertaining installment to big screen or have superhero movies worn out their welcome.

The movie starts out with Brie Larson’s character, known as Vers, serving as soldier of the Kree civilization. However, she does not remember any part of her life from more than a few years ago nor does she know how she gained the ability to blast fiery energy from her arms. Vers and her allies are fighting an invasive race of shapeshifters known as skrulls that are seeking to take over the universe. When one of her missions goes wrong Larson’s character is separated from her team but also begins to find clues to her former life. Alongside a host of new characters, Captain Marvel also brings the return of fan favorites Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson, and Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg.

Captain Marvel is filled with CGI actions shots, taking place in locations from strange alien worlds, space, and even 90s America. True to Marvel’s history, every shot looks beautiful with vibrant colors and unique environments. The action scenes are fast paced and yet still easy to follow, something that many movies struggle with. There were no CGI moments that felt out of place or sloppy. There were also no fights that seemed to drag on. The design of the movie was also very appealing. The costumes of many characters, especially Captain Marvel herself, were nice to look at while also having a clean and reasonable appearance to them.

The story itself mostly felt like other marvel movies. You had the hero with powers who would be dragged into some form of conflict. They would then go through some sort of personal growth before a final confrontation where they would defeat a villain who will most likely never be seen in another movie. This is the standard formula for many of Marvel’s releases and it has been entertaining for years if a good degree predictable. Captain Marvel’s storytelling also falls on the old trope of flashbacks to the past that give you the vague idea that you’ve seen this film before just under a different filter. However, there are multiple points in the story that are still surprising and make it entertaining.

Despite the fairly standard story, the characters throughout the movie shine. Samuel L Jackson does well reprising his role as Nick Fury only this time instead of being the head of S.H.I.E.L.D, he is a normal agent. Clark Gregg also reprises his role as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent only as this time he’s a rookie. Jackson shares an amazing on screen relationship with Larson. Their characters make a great team that is enjoyable in every minute they share on screen. Larson herself is not bad by any means either although she shares many qualities with the other Marvel heroes. The side characters also provide some of the best moments but it is difficult to relay their effect without spoiling the movie.

The humor throughout the movie is also very standard Marvel. It consists of snarky lines from the hero, awkward moments with the villian, and some basic slapstick style comedy. While many of the jokes do hit well and come at appropriate times, anyone tired of Marvel’s style of humor will find nothing different within this film. The charm is still there however and the movie never over does its humor keeping it place as an action film above a comedy.

With stunning settings, amazing CGI, fun characters with good relationships, and enjoyable action, Captain Marvel is a fun movie to watch. Even with a relatively standard Marvel story stuck releasing between Avenger 3 and 4, it manages to overcome and set its place among the other Marvel movies in recent years despite the ever growing sense that superhero movies seem to be everywhere. Though not a must watch Captain Marvel is great if looking for a movie that will help pass the time and have fun while doing it. I would give Captain Marvel a 7 out of 10.

Biggest Lottery Jackpots

By Tyler St.Clair

The lottery began to make its way into the United States in the early 1960’s when New Hampshire started the first lottery system in the US. With an estimated 183 million people currently playing the lottery every year, the lottery is close to an $80 billion a year industry in the United States alone, the average American spending $223 a year on lottery tickets. With everything from scratcher tickets to the big jackpot drawings, there is something for everyone if you are willing to risk a small amount of money in hopes of winning millions.

There are many large jackpot games that offer a variety of prizes. The two most popular, and largest jackpot, nationwide games in the United States are the Powerball and the Mega Millions. Other draw games offered include Pick 3, Pick 4, Cash 5, Bank a Million, and Cash 4 Life, each offering their own unique way to win big.

Over the years, the biggest nationwide games, the Powerball and the Mega Millions, have reached astronomical jackpots well into the hundreds of millions of dollars and even some over one billion dollars. These 10 jackpots, if won by a single person, would allow anyone at any age to never work a day in their life.

10. $559.7 million Powerball jackpot

This Powerball jackpot was won on January 6th, 2018 by a single ticket holder in New Hampshire.

9. $564 million Powerball jackpot

This Powerball jackpot was won by three separate people from three very different places; one winner was in North Carolina, one in Texas, and the final winner was in Puerto Rico. These three winners split the jackpot in February of 2015.

8. $587.5 million Powerball jackpot

Two lucky people split this jackpot back in November of 2012. The winners were from Missouri and the other was from Arizona.

7. $590.5 million Powerball jackpot

This huge jackpot was won by a single ticket holder from Florida. This drawing took place in May of 2013.

6. $648 million Mega Millions jackpot

The first of the Mega Millions jackpots on this list was won by two ticket holders; one from Georgia and the other from California. This jackpot was won in December of 2013.

5. $656 million Mega Millions jackpot

This March of 2012 jackpot was won by five separate ticket holders. One was from Illinois, one from Kansas, and the last three were all from Maryland, referring to themselves as “The Three Amigos.”

4. Estimated $750 million Powerball jackpot (current jackpot)

As of March 26th, 2019 no one has won this Powerball jackpot, and if no one wins at the next drawing on March 27th, this jackpot will continue to grow, possibly hitting the one billion dollar mark and moving its way up the largest jackpot list.

Update: After the drawing happened the night of the 27th, there was one ticket holder that won the jackpot from Wisconsin. After the night full of last minute ticket sales, the jackpot was bumped up to $768.4 million, making it the third largest jackpot ever won.

3. $758.7 million Powerball jackpot

Back in August of 2017, a single winner in Massachusetts cashed in on this Powerball jackpot.

2. $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot

This Mega Millions jackpot is one of only two jackpots that have ever reached the one billion dollar mark. In October of 2018 a single ticket holder from South Carolina won the entire jackpot. Making this the highest jackpot to ever be won by a single person.

1. $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot

The second of the two jackpots over one billion dollars is this Powerball jackpot won in January of 2016. Three separate ticket holders from all over the country split this astronomical jackpot; one in Tennessee, one in California, and one in Florida.

When huge jackpots begin to build up and get higher and higher, they have everyone daydreaming about what they would do with all of that money if they won it, how they would go about quitting their job and what they would splurge on right away. People create pots at work, in friend groups, or with family members to put massive amounts of money into more chances to win and make a pact to split it evenly amongst everyone in the pot.

Whether you play the lottery religiously, buy scratchers for gifts, or just decide to test your luck every once in a while, there is no doubt that when jackpots like these come around everyone will be spending their two dollars to get a small chance at winning the jackpot of a lifetime.

Top Grossing Movies Over the Decades: Part Two

By Brianna Baldwin and Katie Keith

1990’s Top Grossing Movies

Number 3: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace ($1.027 billion)

Another classic movie in the Star Wars saga, directed by George Lucas, there is a full-scale invasion and Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi are to negotiate with Nute Gunray. There is a colossal fight and Obi-Wan Kenobi meets a lot of people to help them along the way. There is a long journey of adventurous battles and escapades. This Star Wars movie had a budget of $115 million and made $1.02 billion in box office. This left them with a $905 million profit.

Number 2: Jurassic Park ($1.029 billion)

Made in 1993, Jurassic Park is based on a novel by Michael Crichton. This movie is about the story of a group of experts in various fields who visit an island filled with live dinosaurs. The bioengineering company InGen has been able to extract enough dinosaur DNA to create live clones (with variation) of the previously extinct species and plan to show the world these ancient animal clones through a zoo-like setup. When the lead programer is paid by a rival company to retrieve a fertilized dinosaur egg for them, he shuts down the security system in order to get to the egg. Because of this security shutdown, the experts along with the grandchildren of the park’s owner end up face to face with multiple live dinosaurs that have been freed of their cages. The group then has to find a way to make it out of the park alive. With a budget of $63 million, they made $1.029 billion. This left them with a $966 million profit.

Number 1: Titanic ($2.187 billion)

In this 1996 film, written by James Cameron, a young woman named Rose was a first-class passenger on the new boat Titanic. She boarded the boat with her fiancé Cal and her mother Ruth. Distraught over the engagement, Rose was considering jumping overboard. Jack Dawson, a struggling artists, stops her. Cal finds the two together, and Rose says Jack saved her from falling. Rose and Jack become quick friends when Rose decides to sneak into a third-class party. Rose starts falling for Jack, and the feelings are shared. The boat hits an iceberg and the boat starts to go down. Rose and Jack face a great decision to be made with love. This movie had a $200 million budget. The movie made $2.187 billion, leaving them with a $1.987 billion profit.

2000’s Top Grossing Movies

Number 3: Shrek 2 ($919.8 million)

After the first Shrek movie, the second one was quite successful. Directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and Conrad Vernon, the Shrek 2 movie is about the newly weds, Shrek and Fiona, returning from their honeymoon to see invitations to the royal palace. Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona all travel to the kingdom and everything goes crazy from there. From crazy in-laws to an evil fairy godmother, this movie was able to capture quite the audience. The budget for this movie was $150 million and $919.8 million was made in box office. This left a $769.8 million profit.

Number 2: The Dark Knight ($1.005 billion)

Written by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight is a superhero film about the DC character, Batman. Batman is a crime fighter in the city of Gotham. The Joker is a notorious villain that Batman faces. This long-going battle leads to vicious mob fights and supratic events of thrillings. Batman has to face revealing his identity to save hundreds of thousands or to keep his dark secret and risk it all. This movie had a budget of $185 million, and they made $1.005 billion in box office. This left a profit of $820 million.

Number 1: Avatar ($2.788 billion)

The movie Avatar, written by James Cameron, is set in the year 2154. There is mining on Pandora, but the air is poisonous to humans so they have to use things called “Avatars”. Avatars are operated by genetically matched humans. Jake Sully is a paraplegic former Marine replaces his deceased identical brother. The leader of this program denies but allows him to be a bodyguard. After going into the world as an Avatar, Jake goes on crazy adventures and learns a whole new meaning of love, the ability to move, and joy. This movie had a $237 million budget with 9 million added on after the re-release, but they made $2.788 billion in box office. This left a $2.542 billion profit.

2018 Top Grossing Movies

Number 3: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($1.31 billion)

Directed by JA Bayona, this movie gained popular after the first Jurassic World movie, based on the Jurassic Park movies. After the Indominus rex disaster, a group of mercenaries travel to the Isla Nublar in order to receive samples of DNA for reasons never explained. With the “normalcy” of live dinosaurs, came dinosaur protective services, much like PETA, or at least the original intentions of PETA, named “The Dinosaur Protection Group.” With this group, several characters from the first movie come back to save the dinosaurs from the old, fallen island. Gunner Eversol captured the dinosaurs, but not for the reason her promised. This leads to new dinosaurs and epic man versus dino fights. This movie had a budget of $170 million, and they received $1.31 billion in box office. This left a $1.14 billion profit.

Number 2: Incredibles 2 ($1.24 billion)

After the first Incredibles movie was so successful, the second one was well intispatied. Written and directed by Brad Bird, this movie is about the Incredibles family fighting between their normal lives and being a superhero. Being a superhero is illegal, but people are avadilly trying to change that. Elastic Girl is invited onto a new mission, while leaving Mr. Incredible home with the kids. The family has to get used to the new family dynamic while facing new villains. This movie had a budget of $200 million and made $1.243 billion in box office. This left them with a $1.109 billion profit.

Number 1: Avengers: Infinity War ($2.04 billion)

Another smashing movie from the Avengers franchise, Infinity War became very popular. Based on Marvel Comics, this movie is about an alien named Thanos gathering one of the six infinity stones, he goes mad with power to gather the infinity stones. Hulk was sent to the Earth to warn the other heros about Thanos’ plans to kill half -if not all- the planet. This movie has almost all of the Marvel Universe in its movie, boasting its popularity. This movie had a $400 million budget and made $2.04 billion in box office. This left a profit of $1.64 billion profit.

Victoria: Season 3 Synopsis

By Summer Williamson and Adaline Bisese

On Sunday, March 3 at 9:00 p.m., the season finale of Masterpiece’s period drama, Victoria, aired in the United States. The British show stars Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria and Tom Hughes as Prince Albert. Created by Daisy Goodwin, the show details the early life of Queen Victoria who inherited the British throne at the age of eighteen after the death of her Uncle. The show is based on detailed diary entries the queen kept throughout her life and letters she exchanged with her husband.

Episode 1: Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown

Within the end of season 2 and beginning of season 3, Victoria managed to have 2 more children and with one still on the way. Revolutions were threatening Europe and caused the aristocracy of certain countries be displaced. Due to the threat of these revolutions, King Louis Philippe and Tori’s sister, Princess Feodora of Leiningen, requested to stay at Westminster Castle. Victoria acquiesced their request despite the prime minister and swoon-worthy foreign minister, Lord Palmerston’s warnings. The presence of the foreigners in the castle stirred unrest among Victoria’s subjects and caused Albert to demand that the family retreat to their house in Isle of Wight. Upon the news that the royal family would be traveling, Chartists started to protest outside of Westminster castle. The shock and pressure of this display provoked Victoria into labor. The episode ended with an endearing scene of Albert carrying Victoria during her time of need, however, the status of their relationship rapidly declined after this moment.

Episode 2: London Bridge is Falling Down

Once the Chartists’ protest died down, Victoria safely delivered her newborn daughter. Victoria’s previous disapproval and fear of the Chartists was quelled by the words of Abigail, a lowly embroideress of the crown. The Prime Minister and Lord Palmerston requested the Queen to sign an order for the troops to block the Chartists during their delivery march to Westminster. Victoria, now persuaded that they are a movement promoting peace, refused to sign. However, she later learned that a surplus of rifles were found in the Chartists’ base and believed that their intents were to assassinate her. She then signs the order and makes the final decision to flee to the Isle of Wight. On her way, she decided to allow the Chartists finish their march, which signified the main end to that conflict.

Episode 3: Et in Arcadia

This episode got about as heated as any masterpiece historical drama can get. In the Queen’s absence, Palmerston began to act out of hand. Victoria saw his actions in London as a threat to her power, so she did what any other woman of our generation would do, and invited him to tea at the Isle of Wight. Their time together in the Osborne House helped Tori and Palmerston begin to see eye to eye for once during the season.

While her relationship grew with her foreign secretary, the status of her marital bliss plummeted. Victoria and Albert argued over matters such as how to raise their headstrong child, Bertie, and whether or not they should return to London. Albert vehemently argued and disobeyed Tori in a strong manner not previously displayed in the series. In addition to the issues created by her rebellious husband, Victoria lost her beloved handmaid, Nancy Skerrett, to the manipulative chef, Francatelli. Nancy and Francatelli left the Queen’s royal service to get married, which was the greatest and last mistake Skerrett ever made. Upon this news, Victoria demanded that the family returned to London. After their return, Victoria attempted to console Albert, but he locked her out of his study in a brash act of defiance.

Episode 4: Foreign Bodies

The set up of this episode was better than many of the others from this season. Throughout the first and second season, Skerrett dealt with an internal struggle in regards to whether or not she should leave the palace to live with Francatelli. After two and a half seasons of buildup, she chose him over her position as the queen’s dresser.

The unrest in Albert and Victoria’s marriage was another highlight of the episode. Albert won the vote to become Chancellor position at the University of Cambridge. For the majority of the episode, much like the entire season, Victoria and Albert fought. Until the death of Nancy Skerrett brought them together.

Episode 5: A Show of Unity

During a carriage ride, an assassination was attempted on Victoria, Vicky, Bertie, and Sophie. The event frightened the queen. She believed that her citizens disliked her, so she asked the new dresser, Abigail, about the citizen’s opinion towards her. Victoria learned that the people were pushing for representation in parliament after observing the system in the United States. She decided to visit Ireland, but during her carriage ride, the citizens were carrying a charter to parliament. Soldiers were posted to keep them away, but Victoria ordered them to move after seeing a child struggling on the street. Once in Ireland, she received word that no revolution had begun and her people were complacent.

Episode 6: A Coburg Quartet

Once again, King Leopold of Belgium joined the royal family at the palace. This time, it was for the christening of Prince Arthur, the seventh child of Albert and Victoria. Leopold later told Victoria that her uncle’s control over Feodora is the reason she was sent to marry so quickly. Shortly afterwards, Albert hired a phrenologist for Bertie. The professional used measurements of Bertie’s head to determine his intelligence and personality. Him doing this angered Victoria because of her closeness to Bertie, but this anger led Albert to suspect Victoria might have inherited King George’s insanity.

Feodora began plotting her path to power. She started accepting bribes from wealthy families in exchange for invitations to royal parties that would be hosted at the Palace. During the party, Victoria became increasingly cross with Feodora due to her control of Prince Albert. She believed Albert no longer loved her, whish caused another fight by the end of the episode.

Episode 7: A Public Inconvenience

This week’s episode began with the murder of a British citizen in Greece. Lord Palmerston responded in a way that angered the public. At the same time, Albert began to contemplate the idea of a Great International Exhibition. Unfortunately, Albert was faced with the same public backlash as Palmerston. Victoria attempted to distract Albert from his project by offering him the position of Commander-in-Chief after the resignation of the Duke of Wellington. He ignored her, and continued to focus his attention on a structure large enough to house the Great Exhibition. Victoria decided to support Albert’s plan for the Great Exhibition.

The faceff between Victoria and Feodora escalated. Victoria sought the help of Lord Palmerston, who told her to treat Feodora like an ally so she could control her. Moments later, Victoria sends for Feodora’s daughter in Germany, Adelheid.

Episode 8: The White Elephant

Much to the relief of the royal family, the Great Exhibition was a massive success. Albert’s desire to be appreciated by his wife’s subjects was finally satiated. Many revelations were made during the Great Exhibition. The largest was, perhaps, Lord Palmerston’s support of the growing conqueror, Napoleon III, which lead to his demise in the opinion of the Parliament and a forced resignation. However, it is made known that he has plans of becoming Prime Minister.

Feodora’s intentions of marrying Adelheid to Napoleon III  were exposed to Prince Albert, which upset him as he intended marrying her to the prince of Germany. This brought the relationship between Feodora, Victoria, and Albert to a timely end. Victoria made a last ditch attempt of reconciliation with her sister, but she stormed away in a fury. The season ended with Victoria and Albert making up, but as soon as they were on the amends, Albert fell unconscious.

Top Grossing Movies Over the Decades: Part One

By Brianna Baldwin and Katie Keith

Movies are iconic pieces of entertainment that has been enjoyed for decades. The first movie was created in 1888 by Louis Le Prince. Now the film - is very progressive in technology and makes from 35.9 to 70.4 billion dollars. Decades of hard work have left us with incredible movies and quality entertainment.

1960’s Top Grossing Movies

Number 3: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (102.3 million dollars)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was made in 1969, written by William Goldman and directed by George Hill. This movie is about a man named Butch Cassidy and his deadshot sidekick Sundance Kid leading a gang called Hole in the Wall. They plan to rob a series of banks. The first robbery was successful. The second robbery, Butch used too much dynamite to blow up the safe, blowing a baggage car. Their quest with the gang leads to many issues and fights between them, the cops, and other gangs. This movie made 102.3 million dollar, leaving them with 96.3 million dollar profit after having a 6 million budget.

Number 2: The Graduate (104.9 million dollars)

The Graduate was made in 1967, written by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham and directed by Mike Nichols. This movie is about a man named Benjamin Braddock, a 21 year old newly graduate. He gets seduced by his father’s law partner and starts having feelings for her. Mrs. Robinson is married with a daughter his age. Ben feels awkward as his parents and Mr. Robinson sets him up with their daughter, Elaine. He tries to set up the dates where he ignores her and takes her to a strip club. Ben and Elaine start getting closer when both families start to fall apart leading to crazy adventures and problems. The budget for The Graduate was 3 million, and the movie earned 85 million dollars, making a 82 million dollar profit.

Number 1: The Sound of Music (286.2 million dollars)

The Sound of Music directed by Robert Wise is the highest grossing movie of the 1960s. This movie is about a woman named Maria who is studying to become a nun. Her love of music, the outdoors, and boastful personality raises flags to the other nuns. She teaches the local children music and how to sing. This creates good and negatives within the film’s plot. The characters go through many struggles, but always advance. This movie had a 8.2 million dollar budget and made 286.2 million dollars in the box office. This is a 278 million dollar profit.

1970’s Top Grossing Movies

Number 3: Grease (395 million dollars)

Grease was written by Bronte Woodard. This movie is about a man and a woman named Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson who met at a beach and fall in love. They had to part ways and Danny went from being a lover to being a greaser with his gang.  Things take a twist when Sandy arrives at the same school, seeing that Danny is a completely different person. Things spiral out of control leading to many issues and musical numbers. Grease had a budget of 6 million. The movie made 395 million in the box office, leaving a 389 million dollar profit.

Number 2: Jaws (470.7 million dollars)

Jaws is a classic American thriller based on the novel written by Peter Benchley and directed by Steven Spielberg. At a beach party, a young woman named Chrissie Watkins goes skinny dipping and she gets violently pulled under. The town spirals into panic about the shark, and the cops cover up the shark attacks. People discover the truth about the beast lurking below. This movie had a 9 million dollar budget, but made 470.7 million in box office. This left them with a 461.7 million dollar profit.

Number 1: Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (775.4 million dollars)

This Star Wars movie is about a galaxy in a civil war. Rebel spies stole plans to the Death Star, a large emperatic space station. The droids capture Jawa traders, including Luke Skywalker. This team of underdogs go on an adventure through space and war. The budget of this movie in the Star Wars saga was 11 million, and they made 775.4 million dollars. That leaves them with a 764.4 million dollar profit.

1980’s Top Grossing Movies

Number 3: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (538.4 million dollars)

This Star Wars movie is three years after the Death Star was destroyed. The Rebel alliance led by Princess Leia were currently staying on Planet Hoth, while Darth Vader hunts them down with an Imperial fleet. There is many battles and unprompted shanagines that the Rebels go through to escape and defeat Darth Vader. This movie in the Star Wars saga was 18 million dollars, and in box office, they made 538.4 million dollars. This left a profit of 520.4 million dollars.

Number 2: Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (572.7 million dollars)

Another movie in the Star Wars saga that reached the top three top grossing movies in the 1980’s. Han Solo was captured by Jabba the Hutt, and C-3PO and R2-D2 was sent there in a trade by Luke Skywalker. Princess Leia was impersonating a bounty hunter to collect him when she was captured. This lead to escaping and battles and many ups and downs. This movie had a 42.7 million dollar budget and made 572.7 million in the box office. This left a 530 million dollar profit.

Number 1: E.T. (619 million dollars)

The Movie E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial was written by Melissa Mathison and produced as well as directed by Steven Spielberg. When aliens come to earth in order take samples for scientific examination, they have to hastily leave and end up leaving one of their own behind. This alien was found by a young boy named Elliot, who forms a connection with the alien and goes on to protect him until he is able to go home. The alien begins learning English and calls himself E.T. After a successful call by E.T. to his home, the government learns of E.T.’s existence on Earth and begin chasing him and Elliot as they try to find a way for E.T. to go home. The budget for E.T. was 10.5 million dollars and with 619 million dollars made worldwide, the movie had an overall profit of 609 million dollars.

Stay tuned for the next article: 1990s to 2018!

The Jo-Bros are Back!

By Sarah Lam and Brooke Moran

October 26th, 2013. This is the day Jonas Brothers fans were crushed. On this day, the Jonas Brothers decided to split and live separate lives. Nick went solo and became an actor, Joe went and joined another band (wow talk about betrayal), and Kevin went along to get married and start a family. The fan base realized they might see the year 3000 before the boys get back together. Who would have ever thought that the Jonas Brothers would get back together before the boys of One Direction!

Fast forward to February 28th, 2019. The boys released the remake of the famous video “Oh how the tables have turned.” At the end of the video, confetti bursts and says “Hello Again.” If that is not a perfect way of coming back then i don’t know what is. They also announced a new single. If this all isn’t enough to help bring it back, they are currently hosting The Late Late Show With James Corden the entire first week of March. On March 1st, 2019, Sucker was released. This new single was immediately one of the most talked about topics of the entire week.

Before we talk about this new release, let’s throw it back to the days of “Burning Up” and “Year 3000”. Year 3000 hits you with those futuristic vibes. With a rock type of vibe to it, the brothers talk about how they think the year 3000 will be. It includes the line “not much has changed but we live underwater.” Will their prediction be right? Is your great great great granddaughter pretty fine? Burning Up has been (before the release of Sucker) the most downloaded and popular Jonas Brothers song. Seven year old me was rocking to Burning Up because of the crazy upbeat vibe it has. The song has a complete bass change at the beginning of the song that draws the listener in. Are you “burnin’ up, burnin’ up” for these brothers.

Let’s not forget about their iconic appearances on Camp Rock and Hannah Montana. The bros appeared in both Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.  Get you boys that can do both am I right? Camp Rock was about a girl who wanted to be a part of a rock camp, but the only way she can do that is to work in the kitchen. A local pop star overhears her singing voice and set out to find out who she is. Camp Rock was every teen girls favorite movie back in the day. Three smoking hot brothers singing and acting, who wouldn’t love that! The Hannah Montana episode title that the Jo-Bros were in is titled “Me and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas.” These bros see Miley as Hannah and are automatically starstruck, that is until they see her dad Robbie Ray. By the end of the episode, the Bros, Hannah, and Robbie Ray are in a marshmallow gun fight while singing the new song Robbie Ray wrote for the boys, “We Got the Party.”

If a boy band comes back, and they are older and more mature, you figure their music would be right? Wrong. When listening to the new song, the nostalgia feeling floods into the soul. The love you had for the Jonas Brothers at age 13 all comes back and you find yourself dancing around the room. The video spins you into a world of suckers and the “J-Girls.” Who are the J-Girls? It refers to Sophie Turner (Joe’s fiance), Danielle Jonas (Kevin's Wife), and Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Nick’s Wife). This power trio all gets along very well together and are the main stars in the music video. Power is what these girls have. In the song, one of the lyrics is, “I’m a sucker for you” and “you’re the medicine and the pain, the tattoo inside my brain, and baby you know it’s obvious.” This song seems like a small dedication to all three lovely partners of the Jonas Brothers.

This new song has everyone talking, Will the Jonas Brothers make a comeback? Can we expect a new album and maybe even a tour from them? According to many different people, if the Jonas Brothers do go on a reunion tour, they will do everything to get tickets. People want the brothers back at it again. No matter what, we know that Sucker will be one of the top songs of the summer and it will go down in history.

The iSwift Radio and the TS7 album

By Karah Tyree

As most people know, Taylor Swift is a talented singer from her country stage, all the way to pop. Many people rave over this artist with her albums, the singles, and glamour. This amazing artist will be honored at the iHeartRadio Awards of 2019.

The show will be taking place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The two-hour awards airs March 14th at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. As the iHeartRadio Music Awards are right around the corner Taylor Swift is slated to receive the “Tour of the Year” prize for her Reputation tour. Along with Swift, the sixth annual awards show will feature some of the biggest names in music, with performances in the works from amazing stars like Alicia Keys, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Garth Brooks, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, and more artists still to be announced. Taylor will be in attendance to accept her honor, recognizing her achievements on the breath taking Reputation Stadium Tour, which broke her own record for highest grossing tour by a female artist, selling over 2 million tickets in the U.S. and grossing $266 million. Taylor has been staying out of the spotlight lately, so we can't help but wonder if her appearance at the show will come with a special announcement about her seventh album.

Perhaps Taylor is planning on announcing a new single sometime this week and is planning to unveil the music video at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. Recently, the artist has raised a few eyebrows with her social media posts. Before the Oscars ceremony, the 29-year-old Grammy winner posted a cryptic photo of trees, seven palm trees, to be precise.  After posting a cryptic picture of seven palm trees, Taylor began theorizing that a new album could be in the works. If that wasn’t enough, Taylor posted a new photo just after the Academy Awards ended. This time, it was a photo of the songstress in a shiny fringe dress, sitting, you guessed it, seven steps down a staircase. Fans are now convinced the singer is actually counting down to something. The next day, she posted a photo of her looking through a fence with five holes. Not to mention all the photos have a similar dreamy filter on them. Early Monday evening, February 25th, Taylor dropped another photo on her Instagram, but this time, a strategically placed portrait of her through a white picket fence. Perhaps a nod to her future with boyfriend Joe Alwyn?

With the excitement about the album, could Katy Perry the a part of it? Katy and Taylor have never been the best of friends, in fact they've been more or less enemies ever since 2014 after Taylor wrote "Bad Blood" about Katy, due to how Taylor claims that Katy tried to hire a bunch of people off Taylor's tour. Katy later responded with "Swish Swish" and then of course, came "Look What You Made Me Do," where Taylor even dressed up like a Katy lookalike for the video. As of May 2018, Katy extended a literal olive branch to Taylor, literally sending her an olive branch. Since then, we haven't heard much about their relationship, but some signs show that the two singers may be on such good terms now that they are actually collaborating on Taylor's new album.  

As well as another hint on the seventh album, she is excited about it. Ok, let's go back to October 2018 when Taylor won an American Music Award for Best Pop/Rock album. At the end of the speech she said, "Guys, I always look at albums as chapters in my life and, to the fans, I am so happy that you like this one. I'm so happy that this means that you liked this one. But I have to be really honest with you about something. I'm even more excited about the next chapter."  Obviously, that sent fans into a tailspin. It also means that Taylor has been working on TS7 since at least October, so an April release would be totally feasible. I mean, Ariana made an album that took six months to release. As well as according to the infamous blogger, Perez Hilton, we will be getting TS7 before the end of 2019. Back in May, Perez posted a video saying that backstage at the Rose Bowl, Taylor told him she is releasing her seventh album before her 30th birthday, which is on December 13th, 2019. Now the 29-year-old singer has given us a lot of hits to her new album release, but we still don’t know if Taylor will release it Friday, March 1st or March 14th, 2019.

The Effect of TV Series 'You' on American Psyche

By Rachel Epperly and Bailey Marshall

On September 9th, 2018 the series You first aired on Lifetime TV and quickly found its way onto the Netflix scene on December 26th, 2018. The dramatic thriller soon became one of Netflix's most talked about shows. After being inspired by the plot from a book by Caroline Kepnes, Greg Berlanti and Sara Gamble paired with Warner Horizons, Alloy Entertainment, and A&E Studios to launch this psychological mind twister.  

Formally known as Dan Humphrey in Gossip Girl, Penn Badgley took on the role as the main character, Joe Goldberg. Elizabeth Lail also co-starred alongside Badgley to complete this casting dynamic duo.

This show, like many other Netflix hits, became very popular among teenagers upon its launch. Besides the hooking drama and romantic theme there is also an underlying level of terror that the show portrays to viewers. Statistics claim that “one in six women will be stalked in their lifetime” and this series brings that reality to life.

Elizabeth Lail first got her start as an actress in the ABC show Once Upon a Time playing the role of Anna. Following that, this American actress from Texas played in the movie Dead of Summer. Starting out, Guinevere Beck, an aspiring author living on her own, makes her first contact with Penn Badgley, or Joe Goldberg, at a run down bookstore managed by Joe. Automatically, Guinevere shows how she sees a glimmer of light upon meeting Joe by telling her friends about a guy she met at a bookstore.

Penn Badgley was no stranger to the screen either. First starring in the 2006 film, John Tucker Must Die, Badgley continued to establish himself as an American actor and musician as his career took off. However, Badgley is most recognized by his fans from Gossip Girl that aired from 2007 through 2012. Badgley’s undeniable attractiveness paired with his experiences playing a boyish lover made him the best actor for the role.

After coming off of a serious relationship, Joe, sees, whom her friends call “Beck,” walk into his life as a savior. He begins practically worshipping her presence while he tries to pursue a romantic relationship with her.

Moving away from home and taking the step to live on your own can be scary enough, but You brings into the spotlight other factors that young girls may not be aware of. After meeting her once, Joe turns their flirtatious interaction into something more. He cultivated an obsession with the charming blonde and invades Beck’s privacy automatically by...finding out where she lives, watching her through her windows, and even following her wherever she goes in disguise.

The reason that You has gained so much attention from watchers is because humans have an innate part of their brain that craves entertainment that can be achieved through fear. Nothing scares people more than the looming possibility of death that is undetected. According to Margee Kerr, Ph.D., sociologist, and author of Scream, “Our body is a refined, well-oiled machine getting ready to fight or flee. So if we're in a situation where we know we're safe like a haunted house, scary movie, or roller coaster, think of it as hijacking the flight response and enjoying it,” states Kerr. “This is similar to a high arousal state, not sexual, but like when we're happy, laughing, excited, or surprised. Those chemical signatures look similar to when we're scared; it's just a different context.”

Fear is not always a bad thing, especially when it is derived from a fictional story, but it is argued that there is a line to be crossed. Some critics believe that You carries a negative message that glorifies the criminal offense of stalking and sexual assault. Because the story is told by Joe, a collective narrator in this case, it makes the viewers deem what he is doing as acceptable and even romantic.

For years, the media has been glorifying love and the “do anything for love” concept, but with American culture becoming more violent and reflective of the media, is this romanticism okay? After creators received backlash for dismissing the psychological issues of Joe’s character and using them to construct a riveting plot, a fan fought back proving just how blind this series can make viewers to reality. “He’s not creepy, he’s in love with her and it’s ok. So I’m obsessed with it, I’m binge-watching it, absolute banger Netflix,” Brown said in an Instagram story, which was later deleted. This was not the only misinterpretation of Joe’s dangerous obsession with Beck; Brown was merely one of the few viewers that expressed their opinion that You was a true romantic love story.

Will shows like You serve as a bridge that allows society to cross into an era of criminal glorification and acceptance of immoral behavior, or will it act as a wake up call that sheds light on mental health issues that aid in creating unhealthy relationships like Joe and Beck’s? This is solely up to the viewers discretion. Indeed, this is the beauty of entertainment.

Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy

By Katie Keith

*warning: spoilers / sneak peek*

Netflix is known for its iconic original TV shows and films, but with The Umbrella Academy, they really went above and beyond. The Umbrella Academy is based on a comic book written by My Chemical Romance vocalist, Gerard Way. This comic book is about 43 women across the world giving birth without being pregnant in 1989. These children being born only within minutes of becoming pregnant is very unusual, leaving the children to be unusual as well. Each child has a specific power. These powers caught the eye of Reginald Hargreeves, an erratic, rich inventor. Reginald adopted seven of the children and training them to save the world. Number One, who is known as Luther, is played by Tom Hopper. Luther has incredible strength and resilience. Number Two, Diego, is played by David Castañeda. Diego is a helpful troublemaker who can throw knives exactly where and how he wants. Number Three, Allison, is played by Emmy Raver-Lampman. Allison is a talkative young girl who can control people’s actions by saying “I heard a rumor”. Number Four, Klaus, is played by Robert Sheehan. Klaus is a troubled junkie who suppresses his powers of seeing the dead by getting thrashed. Number Five, Five, is played by Aidan Gallagher. Five is a badass who can leap through time and space at will. Number Six, Ben, is played by Justin H. Min. Ben had a very unusual power, even more so than his siblings. Ben can summon large tentacles through a dimensional portal underneath his skin, which makes him the ultimate weapon. Sadly, Ben died a graphic, violent death which has yet to be said how, but with Klaus’s powers, Ben is still a repetitive character.  The last member of the Umbrella Academy is Vanya, played by Ellen Page. Vanya is just an ordinary girl. Her whole life she was told she was not special and that she is not a true member of the Academy. Vanya had always been jealous of her siblings, so she wrote a book and exposed every bad thing about them. The Academy parted ways, but what brought them back together?

After years of being separated, the children, now adults, came home to the Academy when Reginald was found dead in his bedroom from heart failure. Allison had become a world famous actress from using her powers, Luther was sent to the moon for four years and studied it, Diego was a crime fighter, Klaus was in rehab although failing to stay sober, Vanya was third chair on the orchestra with the violin, and Five had been lost for years. The family is dysfunctional and out of order, the funeral does not go as planned. After years of being missing, Five reappears, the same as he left. When Five jumped through time, he ended up getting stuck in the apocalypse and having to survive on his own for 58 years.  Five had been rescued by Commissions, which controls time to make sure everything that needs to happen happens. After surviving 58 years, killing countless people through time with working for the Commissions, and coming back into a 13 year old body, Five is very angry and has no problem with taking out his anger. He gathers all of his siblings to try to stop the world from ending. While trying to stop the world from ending, two time assassins, former co-workers of Five, try to kill Five and his family since they are trying to stop the apocalypse. Within all this mess, the Academy starts to put the pieces together to stop the end of the world. Vanya meets a man named Leonard and fell in love with him, since he was the first person to treat her like her actually worth. Vanya’s live takes a massive turn for the best, she stops taking nerve medication and got first chair in the orchestra. Leonard helps Vanya discover she does, in fact, have powers. She is able to convert sound waves to create mass destruction. Although Leonard was helping Vanya, Allison was quite weary of him. She does some research on him and finds out that Leonard Peabody is actually Harold Jenkins, a man who brutally murdered his father and obsesses over the Umbrella Academy. Vanya becomes so out of control, her sound waves amplify and start the dominos of the apocalypse. Her siblings trap her in a soundproof basement, but that does not hold Vanya. She escapes and heads to her concert where she is the star for once.  Almost all of the siblings wanted to kill her, but Allison wanted to save her. Allison ends up stopping Vanya by firing a gun next to her ear. This stops her focusing on the sound waves and shooting all her energy into the moon. This causes the moon to explode, traveling quickly towards Earth. Five had the idea to use his powers to travel back in time to when they were children. They all start to travel back in time and shows them as children. They all disappear and season one ends there.

With such an intense cliffhanger ending, Netflix, hopefully, is setting up for a second season. The show has become very popular, and the fans are begging for a second season. The first season just started streaming, so a confirmation of a second season has yet to been said. Everyone is on the edge of their seats, waiting to see how the future of the show will turn out.

The Bachelor - Recap Up To Hometowns

By Cameron Hildebrand

The Bachelor of season 23 is Colton Underwood, who is a former professional football player. He is 27 years old, and is from Indianapolis, IL. While being on a show where you date up to 30 women at one time, he has had his hands full. He has previously appeared on season 22 The Bachelorette and season 5 of The Bachelor in Paradise, where he failed to find love.

Photo courtesy of: ABC.com

Photo courtesy of: ABC.com

The women he has dated so far this season are listed below:

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Week 1:

  • Best Intro - Bri, who used a fake Australian accent to catch Colton’s attention.

  • Best Outfit - Sydney, who is an NBA dancer, who caught everyone's attention in her black dress when she stepped out of the limo.

  • First Impression Rose - Hannah G, who is a total sweetheart, and also keeps to herself.

  • Villain - Demi, who is super goofy and likes to joke around and insult the other girls.

  • The girls that did not receive a rose the first night - Tahzjuan, Erin, Devin, Revian, Alex D, Laura, and Jane.

Week 2:

  • Hannah B, gets the first one-on-one of the season, which also happens to be the same day as her birthday. While she was really nervous and awkward in the beginning of the date, she makes up for it at dinner and receives a rose.

  • Colton takes the first Group Date to a theater, where superstars and Bachelor fans Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman are there to help coach the ladies in revealing some personal stories of notable "firsts" in their lives on stage in front of an audience.

  • Group Date #2 - Camp Bachelor. Billy Eichner showed up to give Colton some advice and this group of ladies had a cookout, played a few games, and then it was time to get serious: The women were split into two teams to compete in a three-legged race, a tug of war, and other camp-themed challenges. The winning team stays overnight with Colton; the losing team goes home.

  • The girls who did not receive a rose the second week - Alex B, Angelique, Annie, and Erika.

Week 3:

  • Colton's first group date found the ladies donning pirate gear and literally learning the ropes so they could perform in a pirate-themed dinner show. This is where it is figured out that Hannah B. and Caelynn have a negative past together when they were roommates at the Miss USA Competition.

  • Next up was Colton's 1-on-1 Date with Elyse, who received a group date rose last week. After a helicopter ride to San Diego, Colton tells Elyse that despite all appearances, this is actually a group date.

  • On the next group date, Terry and Rebecca Crews hosted the "Bachelor's Strongest Woman" competition on a group date. Chris Harrison and guest star Fred Willard provide commentary.

  • The girls who did not receive a rose following the pool party - Caitlin, Bri, Catherine, and Nina.

Week 4:

  • On the group date, Colton took the ladies out on the town to experience some of Singapore's culture.

  • Caelynn then gets the next date, which is a one-on-one. After a day of being pampered b Colton, she takes time at dinner to uncover an experience that had changed her life. When she was in college, her and a few of her friends were sexually assaulted and all of the perpetrators escaped punishment.

  • Girls who went home in Singapore - Courtney and Tracy.

Week 5:

  • The first one-on-one date in Thailand goes to Heather and gets the rose from Colton while at dinner.

  • This group date was no different than the others when it came to challenging the women, as Colton took the ladies to the jungles of Thailand to learn how to survive if they're lost in the jungle.

  • Cassie then has the other one-on-one with Colton for the week in Thailand.

  • This is a to-be-continued episode and nobody actually goes home until next week due to an abundance of drama.

Week 6:

  • The girls that end up going home from the previous episode are - Onyeka and Nicole.

  • The rest of the ladies then flew to Vietnam the next morning where they started off the week with a violent boxing group date.

  • Kirpa had the next 1-on-1 date, and she and Colton spent their time out on the water, swimming, snorkeling, and hunting for sea urchin, which they later ate right there on the boat.

  • The girls who will not be going to hometowns - Demi, Katie, and Sydney.

And now, the four remaining women will move onto hometown dates, nearing the end of Colton’s journey as the bachelor.

Bioware's Anthem Early Access Review

By Randall McGee

On February 15th, 2019, a video game made by Bioware named Anthem released to early access members. The demo was available a couple weeks prior to this, and the game was released to everyone to buy on February 22nd. There were two demo fazes, and while the vip demo was plagued with bugs, the open demo went much better. I wrote an article after the open demo was released, but now that the game is available to everyone, I feel the need to write a second review.

I would like to start by saying that there are many bad review articles of Anthem. It is clear that in the world of game reviews and gamers who speak publicly about games, Anthem is not highly thought of. There are at least a dozen reviews that tear the game apart and name every bad quality and how it outways the good qualities of the game.

I can’t say that I agree entirely that Anthem is a bad game. When the vip demo came out, the bugs made it unplayable and slightly infuriating. The open demo, which was available to anyone who wanted to play it, was much better. My first review was mostly based on these, and I talked about bugs and the development of the game itself.

However now the game is out, and I have had much more time to work on it since then. Anthem is  a first person loot shooter, which means lots of shooting and upgrading, along with playing missions and activities to earn more and better loot to improve your character. This genre of game is very popular these days, rising with games such as mass effect and destiny. Bioware was the developer of the highly popular game series mass effect, and so when they made a new game series with flying mech suits, it was very popular.With the release of Anthem, however, it was clear that it had many things to improve on and overhaul within the game. During the demo, loading screens would freeze, causing the game to be unplayable. While this bug was fixed, the sheer number of loading screens and the time it took to pass through them was not. To change equipment, one must acquire the equipment, get out of the mission, wait through the mission results, and choose to go into the forge(where equipment is changed). Then you would have to return to the fort, which is another loading screen, and load into another mission(another loading screen) to be able to use said equipment. Needless to say, for a game based around acquiring and using loot, this process is much too time consuming and clunky.

The broken system of equipping loot is made worse by the slow progression of your characters damage and equipment quality, as the loot you do get is often useless. The loot is about 90% items that are worse than your loadout, or identical to previously acquired items. This makes it take an extremely long time to actually get items that you will want to equipt. With the amount of grinding required for progression, you would hope that the missions would be unique and fun. This is not quite true.

While there are several side quest story lines, many of the side quests and even main quests feel extremely repetitive. The same way to complete an objective, or the same enemies or path through a level. With this repetitive grind of boring missions to acquire mediocre loot, you could see how this game is getting less than pleasant reviews.

As many less than savory qualities this game has, there are also many great qualities that define this game. The system of flying that is created in Anthem is very unique among games today. The movement flows well, and there is a system to limit how long someone can fly called overheating which causes the player to crash to the ground after flying for too long without landing or cooling off. This system creates a unique combat style that is both fun and challenging. This system of flying around and fast movement is matched by a beautiful world that accommodates the system of flying.

This game can be extremely fun at times, but many things are needed to improve it. For one thing, loot should be viewable and equitable the moment it is acquired. This doesn’t necessarily have to be true about the higher qualities of loot, but it is necessary for the game to feel less clunky. For another thing, the loot could vary a lot more in type, and advance quicker in level or quality. While this is not the most urgent issue, it is an issue nonetheless.

I feel that Anthem can be a great game, but it is shrouded in a lack of thought or mechanics put in by Bioware. I think once these mechanics are inserted, and more content is added, this will be a good game.

10 Romantic Movies Every High Schooler Should See

By Evie Melvin

Movies are what carry students through weekends and late nights. Without movies, we would have nothing to procrastinate with, and what fun is that. Movies have come a long way and they will always evolve. Being a highschooler, you’ll tend to want to watch something that reminds you of yourself. So here are 10 movies you should watch.

  • “10 Things I Hate About You” (1999)

This movie is a classic. It is centered on a girl and a boy. Kat Stratford, played by Julia Stiles, is known as the shrewd. No one can tame her, but the boys want to. The boys want her little sister, Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik). Kat is the key to setting her sister free into the world of dating. So the boys of her high school devise a plan, that includes Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to tame Kat.

  • “Clueless” (1995)

This is a movie about love and high school. Cher Horowitz, or Alicia Silverstone, is a high school teen that basically gets what she wants. She has the hottest guy in her school wanting her, but she doesn’t date high school boys. In this movie, you go on a journey with her to find her love and appreciation for everything she already has.

  • “A Cinderella Story” (2004)

As you can tell by the title, this movie is basically an updated cinderella tale. The main character, Samantha (Hilary Duff), is torchered by her step mother and sisters. All she wants is a normal life and the boy of her dreams. The one she has been talking to daily. But when she finds out that Austin Ames, aka Chad Michael Murray, is the one that she has been chatting, her perspective changes. She has to dig deep to really truly understand the jock.

  • “The Princess Diaries” (2001)

Focused on a young teenage girl named Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway), she is seen as nothing special in her private school. She lives with her art crazy mother and thinks she is doomed to ever be popular. Everything changes when her grandmother, Queen Clarisse (Julie Andrews), tells her she is the Princess of Genovia. Then suddenly, everything begins to change in her boring life.

  • “Grease” (1978)

Grease is a classic old high school film. It starts off with Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny Zuko (John Travolta) having an amazing summer together, only to be cut short by Sandy moving back to Australia. Things change when Sandy’s parents decided to stay in America, but Danny is different now. With Sandy going back to school with Danny, he acts more and more different and bad. She wonders if a good girl like her can ever survive with a bad boy like him.

  • “The Kissing Booth” (2018)

In this movie you will meet Elle Evans (Joey King) and Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney). These two have been best friends since the beginning of time. There is only one problem, Elle has a major crush on Lee’s older brother. These two have set rules, and one of them is no dating the others siblings. Can Elle keep a friendship while trying for her crush?

  • “The Breakfast Club” (1985)

This movie is about five completely different high school students, that just so happen to have detention on the same day. Coming from different lifestyles they learn more and more about each other on that Saturday.

  • “Pretty in Pink” (1986)

Coming from almost nothing, Andie (Molly Ringwald) is an outsider at her high school. She never goes out and never sees anyone. Her friend Duckie (Jon Cryer), one of the few, has a major crush on her, but she doesn’t want anything to do with him. When Blane (Andrew McCarthy), the rich kid, asks her out, she has no idea what to do. Will she keep him around, or will she think she is not good enough for him.

  • “Sixteen Candles” (1984)

Samantha (Molly Ringwald) is a young teenage girl about to hit her peak age of 16. She expects nothing less than extraordinary for her birthday, but come to find out her whole family forgets. Throughout this movie she pines over an upperclassmen named, Jake (Michael Schoeffling). She is wants him, but what concerns her is that her youth and inexperience will ruin it for her.

  • “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987)

Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey) is in love with a popular girl named Cindy Mancini (Amanda Peterson). Ronald just wants to be seen as someone popular. When Cindy ruins her mother’s designer dress, Ronald sees the perfect opportunity. He agrees to pay for a new undestroyed dress, if Cindy will act as if they are dating. Will this gain his popularity, or will it destroy any friendships he already had?

History of Battle Royale: The Road to Legends

By Ethan Johnson

Drop in, grab a gun, keep inside the circle, and fight to be the last one standing. It is a cycle that seems so familiar with the market sometimes seeming to be oversaturated with games offering “battle royale” at times, but a little over a decade ago one would be hard put to find any game with such a mode. There were such modes of course but what happened that led just one game in the genre having over 25 million players? The answer is a lot less obscure than expected and odds are that most people were a part of this genre before the recent phenomena.

One of the earliest sources of the genre is a book published in Japan in 1999 aptly named “Battle Royale”. The story of the novel follows highschool students who are dropped onto an island by an authoritative Japanese government and told to kill each other until there is only one left standing. Another popular novel that helped develop the genre is the Hunger Games (2008) and its sequels by Suzanne Collins. The popular novels along with their movie adaptations (2012-2015) depict children being sent to fight to the death in a yearly tournament.

It was not long after the release of the first Hunger Games movie that the battle royale hype came to the video game industry. Minecraft servers were soon opened under the name of “Hunger Games servers” where player would be spawned in a central circle and then had to fight the other players until only one was left. The servers were later renamed to Survival Games. All players started with nothing and could then pick up items from chests scattered throughout the map.

In 2015 a game called H1Z1 was released on for Steam early access. The game was eventually divided into two one being called H1Z1: King of the Hill which consisted of a game mode that acted in a battle royale fashion. The game suffered many bugs and a rocky launch but did still sell over a million copies.

It was in 2017 that Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds was released and sold over 20 million copies by the end of the year. Though not the first, Battlegrounds is the game that turned battle royale into the genre it is now. However, despite its success and popularity, Battlegrounds did not hold its seat as the most popular battle royale for long.

Fortnite Battle Royale eventually took the epic victory royale and took Battlegrounds place as the most popular battle royale. Originally, Fortnite was a zombie survival game developed by unreal engine creator Epic Games. However, after the success of Battlegrounds, Epic took the original game and created the free to play battle royale mode. Fortnite quickly gained popularity, reaching over 45 million players by January of 2018. Many attribute Fortnite’s success to its free to play status. Fortnite also developed an intense popularity over Twitch with hundreds of streamers most notably the one known as “Ninja” playing the game.

It wasn’t long before larger companies started to release their own battle royale games. Activision included a battle royale mode called “Blackout” in their most recent installment in the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops 4.

Nintendo released a unique twist on the Tetris franchise by releasing Tetris 99. This game takes a different take on the battle royale genre by pitting 99 players against each other by having them all play simultaneous games of Tetris.

Most recently, a new game came into the spotlight. Apex Legends, a spinoff of the titanfall franchise was released on February 4, 2019 the same day it was announced. Despite the lack of advertising and the sudden release, the new free to play hero-based battle royale gained over a million players just eight hours after its release. After a week it had achieved over 25 million players. It is possible that Apex Legends will become the most popular battle royale to date.

In an odd turn of events, the Chinese government adopted a policy of discouraging their people from playing battle royale games. They have stated that the reasoning is that they are too violent. Fortnite and Battlegrounds have already been banned in the nation.

From books to movies to video games the battle royale genre has taken many years to grow into what it is now. It would also appear that even though each new battle royale gets abandoned whenever something new comes along, it seems that the genre is only getting more popular.

Thank U, Next

By Karah Tyree

We all know Ariana Grande from her acting on Nickelodeon and music career, but her acting can wait, because Ariana’s music career has made a huge shot up to the top hits with the song “Thank U, Next.” The popular song has people questioning, ”what’s the story behind the song?”

The song “Thank U, Next” was produced November 3rd, 2018. The hit song has served as her fifth album name and is at #4 on Billboard Hot 100. The story is not only about heartbreak but about moving on. In the first section of the song she sings, “Thought I'd end up with Sean but he wasn't a match, wrote some songs about Ricky, now I listen and laugh, even almost got married and for Pete, I'm so thankful, wish I could say, "thank you" to Malcolm 'cause he was an angel...”. Ariana explains the type of relationship between her and her exes in this first verse. The young artist was coping with the unexpected death of her ex Mac Miller at the time she wrote this song, which happened a few weeks before she and Davidson broke up. This song is a big step for her to process of moving on and continuing forward. In the song, she names each of her exes, including Davidson, but nothing about it is scathing. Rather than dragging out the whole story about what happened, she just calls them out by naming what she's thankful for from each of their relationships and how it helped her grow as a person.

The exes mentioned were Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez, Mac Miller, and Pete Davidson. As she says “Thought I'd end up with Sean But he wasn't a match...,” the singer confirmed she was dating Big Sean in October 2014, calling him “one of the most amazing men in the whole word.” “It's gotten serious very fast," a source said at the time. "They are much happier than in their previous relationships." They split eight months later in April 2015 because Sean seemed to be cheating with Glee star Naya Rivera. Naya later alleged in her book, Sorry Not Sorry, that she found Grande at his home while they were still dating.

For Ricky she says “Wrote some songs about Ricky Now I listen and laugh.” A backup dancer of Grande, they were first linked in the summer of 2015 following her split from Big Sean. The pair were also together when the “Love Me Harder” songstress made headlines in July of that year after she was caught on surveillance footage licking a donut in a store and saying she “hates Americans” and “hates America.” Then in May 2016, the pair split, just two months later. However, they seem to remain on good terms.

Now for Mac Miller she says, “wish I could say, "Thank you" to Malcolm 'cause he was an angel.” Ariana and Mac met after they collaborated on “The Way” and dated from 2016 to 2018. US Weekly confirmed in May 2018 that the pair had broken up. A few days later, Grande opened up about their break up on Instagram alongside a photo of the former couple cuddling, which she captioned, “I respect and adore him endlessly and am grateful to have him in my life in any form, at all times regardless of how our relationship changes or what the universe holds for each of us!” Miller soon after that shared his perspective on the break up in July. "I was in love with somebody. We were together for two years. We worked through good times, bad times, stress and everything else. And then it came to an end and we both moved on,” he told Beats 1 host Zane Lowe. Following the September 2018 death of the rapper, Grande wrote a touching tribute to him on Instagram: “I adored you from the day i met you when i was nineteen and i always will.”

The final ex mentioned in the song is Pete Davidson, and she doesn't try to do a back fire on Pete. The Saturday Night Live star and Grande embarked on a whirlwind romance in 2018 following their respective splits from Pete's ex Cazzie David and her ex Mac Miller. Davidson announced on Instagram in May 2018 that they were in fact dating, sharing a photo of the couple posing in Harry Potter outfits, which he captioned, “The chamber of secrets has been opened.” Us Weekly surprisingly revealed that the comedian and Grande had gotten engaged a month later, Pete Davidson proposing with a $93,000 diamond ring. Sadly in October 2018 they broke up. During Saturday Night Live’s "Weekend Update" segment on November 3rd, Pete said, “I know some of you are curious about the breakup, but the truth is, it’s nobody’s business, and sometimes things just don’t work out, and that’s ok. She’s a wonderful, strong person, and I genuinely wish her all the happiness in the world.”

As for the lyrics in the song, she calls them out in her own creative way. One of her lines says, “One taught me love One taught me patience And one taught me pain Now, I'm so amazing I've loved and I've lost…” and explains how her exs taught her in ways that she’s thankful for. Grande praises her exes for the “love”, “patience” and “pain” that helped make her the “amazing” person she is today. In the middle, she teases “I met someone else,” then reveals that someone is herself.

She finishes the main verses by looking at her parents' own relationship by saying “One day I'll walk down the aisle holding hands with my mama, I'll be thanking my dad 'cause she grew from the drama.” She continues saying that if she gets married, she's only going to do it once and she’s going to make it last and finishes the song with one last “Thank U, Next” before cutting it off. In my interpretation, she is letting the world know she “thankful” for the lessons her exes have taught her and she’s ready for what’s “next”.