“Atypical” on Netflix and Spectrum Awareness

Awareness to people on the spectrum

In 2017, Netflix put out the show Atypical. A show that hit in a way that most people wouldn’t expect. Atypical follows 18-year-old Sam Gardner. Sam is on the autism spectrum and is trying to figure out how to live in the 21st century.

He goes to therapy, tries to understand love, and deals with the hard times of being a teenager.  Sam has a younger sister Casey, who really tries to guide him as an older sister would.

Younger-Bigger sister

Casey, who is 16 when the show starts, acts as a bigger sister to Sam, who is 18. She looks out for him and is one of the people he calms down too. She loves to tease him, and prank him, even if he is on the spectrum.

Sam is much more sensitive to little things and communicating with him can be a little harder; Casey has been his rock. Even his parents want him and Casey together at all times so Sam is constantly taken care of.

All is fair in love and war…right?

Love is a big topic in the show and how people with autism deal with it. People who are on the spectrum understand things differently than someone who is not on the spectrum.  You have to communicate more clearly and be specific for them to understand.

Certain things will really freak a person out with autism such as really loud music; it could really get them to have a panic attack.

Sam becomes “smitten” for Paige Hardaway, well he doesn’t know he is smitten for her at first.  Paige is merely helping Sam and looking out for him. She is the one to make the first move on him and basically ask him out.

Sam goes to therapy for help on love and the therapists gives him advice such as to buy gifts, write notes, etc

Sam and Paige are very real and the display of love and dating in this show for someone on the spectrum is accurate.

http://discovermagazine.com/2017/jul-aug/autism-spectrum-disorder

The spectrum has many different levels

To be a civil human being to a person on the spectrum you should know there are three levels to Autism.

High-functioning autism: needs support, patients social and communicative skills and repetitive behaviors are only noticeable without support.

Autism: needs substantial support, patients social and communication skills and repetitive behaviors are still obvious to the casual observers even with support.

Severe autism: needs a lot of substantial support, patience, social, and communication skills and repetitive behaviors that severely impair daily life.

Poster-child for autism

The actor who plays Sam, does not have autism and he portrayed the role of Sam very well, and it seems as if the show Atypical itself is the poster version of autism. I would highly recommend this show.

https://weheartit.com/entry/296121291

Sportsmanlike Conduct December 10th – Is Something Wrong With The Jazz?

The Utah Jazz sit at just 13-13 a quarter of the way into the season-should we be worried? Join hosts Damon Ngo and Bennett Johnson as they discuss why the feel the Jazz will still end up one of the best teams in the western conference.

Intro Music By: B.L.B.P
Outro Music Reprod. By: Bennett JohnsonK-UTESportsmanlike ConductUtah Jazz

Grief on Campus

This week, The Rostrum spoke with the Counseling Center’s Christina Kelly LeCluyse and Jake Van Epps, to better understand the university’s response in the hours, days, and weeks after two consecutive years of campus shootings and how the actions helped with students’ stress, fear, and grief. We also discuss how the university has improved their response and how they might be better prepare for the potential of another university tragedy.

Counseling Center: counselingcenter.utah.edu/

Music: bensounds.com 

Mood Music for Today

If you’re like me, today’s political and social climates may have made you feel angry, resigned, or wishing to rise above and become better. You’ve gone to protests. You tried to find truth and reason in the news as to why U.S. citizens have done what they have, and instead come back with more questions. You’ve looked inside and found that because these feelings are so new, you need to develop new ways to cope. Music can be a great help here. In discovering new music, we can find new perspectives on old thoughts or find inspiration and encouragement when we need it most. Through my friends and my own curiosity I’ve found these bands whose music does for me all of these things. I present to you Stay Wild, Wicked Bears, and Uvluv.

Stay Wild

Art by Stay Wild

Stay Wild is a hardcore/punk band with a strong, progressive message. Their most recent single, “Stay Pissed“, embodies the need to continue to fight for change in our world. The song reminds us why we fight, what makes us mad and why we are justified in this feeling. Stay Wild also actively promotes social causes, including advocating for a feminist viewpoint through their lyrics on other E.P.s, and offering charitable merchandise to give profits to the Rainbow Railroad to grant relief to LGBTQ+ people persecuted in Chechnya.

Wicked Bears

Photo by John Barkiple

Wicked Bears is maybe the most existential music I’ve heard. Lyrics from their songs present a sort of optimistic nihilism. Their song “2049” offers the view that, while in the large scale of things our problems are insignificant, they matter to us. It offers a nice solution to the chaos and seeming lack of reason or morality we see so blatantly today: nothing actually means anything, so we just have ourselves and what entertains us (like death metal).

Uvluv

Photo by Uvluv

Uvluv, a local progressive rock band with soulful elements, presents instrumentals that keep your attention in their variance while the lyrics offer encouragement and paths of thought for reflection and self-improvement. “Rise In Love“, for example, tells you that pain from heartbreak can be turned into ultimately finding yourself. The vocals are wonderful purely in how they sound and the comforting lyrics are a bonus. They recently released a new album, Afterglow, which capitalizes on their progressive sound, and focuses on the difficult emotions that come from the passing of a loved one. It’s a fantastic representation of emotional intelligence, shattering the notion that we should ever repress emotion.

 

Music can provide outlets for a wide range of emotions, and it’s good to keep a variety stocked in your listening libraries. Hopefully you find this new music as cathartic as I have. Enjoy!

Is “Bohemian Rhapsody” Actually Bad or Just Gay?

Reactions to Bohemian Rhapsody

In early October, first reactions from critics to Bohemian Rhapsody began to surface on social media. Rami Malek’s performance as iconic Queen frontman Freddie Mercury received nearly universal praise, while the film itself was described by one such early viewer as a “glorified Wikipedia entry“.

Upon wide release and a strong box office performance, Rhapsody straddled the line between a 59% “rotten” and 60% “fresh” score (which it currently holds) on Rotten Tomatoes.  It also holds a mixed-to-negative score of 49 out of 100 on Metacritic, another popular review aggregator. Meanwhile, the film has a 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, an 8.2/10 user score on Metacritic, an average 5/5 star fan review on Fandango, an 8.4/10 on IMDb, and a 3.7/5 average from the notoriously discerning Letterboxd community.

The main issue that many seem to take is that Rhapsody fits into many common tropes associated with musical biopics. However, the same can be said for more well-regarded films, such as 2015’s Love & Mercy (90% on Rotten Tomatoes, 80/100 on Metacritic). This is also to suggest that tropes are not present in all consumed media, as they serve as nothing more than tools within the plot and visuals to more easily convey the story or message to an audience. And it’s not like we didn’t just see a fourth iteration of A Star is Born either.

AIDS on the Silver Screen

Another review from The Economist criticizes Rhapsody’s portrayal of Mercury’s struggle and inevitable death due to AIDS-related complications. “[The film] robs Mr. Malek of the chance to portray his subject’s most poignant years,”  writes ‘J.T.’, “it might prevent an excellent performance from being a prize-winning one, of the sort that earned Oscars for Tom Hanks in Philadelphia (1993) and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club (2013).”

Tom Hanks in “Philadelphia”, 1993

While Mercury’s experiences living with the AIDS virus are addressed, shown, and portrayed as “no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise” as he croons in “We Are The Champions”, the film ends on a celebratory note with Queen’s legendary Live Aid performance. Some pre-credit onscreen text addresses Mercury’s cause of death and the efforts of the Mercury Phoenix Trust, a charity organized by the remaining members of Queen to assist in the worldwide fight against HIV and AIDS. Philadelphia famously ends with Hanks’ Beckett lying in his hospital bed, telling his partner that he is ready to greet death. In Dallas Buyer’s Club, Leto’s Rayon–a trans woman portrayed by a cis male actor, no less–dies tragically in the hospital as well.

LGBTQ Cinema

This is not the first time that we have seen critics respond negatively to more upbeat fair with a queer voice. In fact, beloved pieces of LGBTQ cinema have often been disregarded or torn apart by the film community.

Take the films of John Waters, for instance. Waters is one of the most prominent figures in the world of gay filmmakers, known for his creative partnership with beloved drag queen Divine. One of the most iconic Waters-Divine collaborations is Pink Flamingos, a gleefully offensive black comedy about the filthiest woman alive, and an essential cult classic in its own right. Roger Ebert famously refused to give Flamingos a star rating, and wrote of its 25th anniversary restoration that “with any luck at all […] I won’t have to see it again for another 25 years.” The original trailer for the film itself is a compilation of audience and critical reactions, several of which are negative.

Indie darlings featuring queer voices have also met initial critical resistance. But I’m a Cheerleader, a teen romantic comedy set inside of a conversion therapy camp, screened at Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival during the 1999-2000 festival season. It was also panned before finding a cult following.

Support for Marginalized Communities

Even acclaimed films following characters with queer identities are often overlooked for recognition during awards season unless they are tinged with sorrow. Todd Haynes’ 2015 film Carol was famously passed over for a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. Despite six nominations in other major categories including Best Actress for Cate Blanchett, Best Supporting Actress for Rooney Mara, Best Cinematography, and Best Adapted Screenplay, many were left to speculate if the Academy (whose panel was 77% men at the time) was not willing to embrace a lesbian love story with a predominantly-women cast to match. 2017’s ceremony saw a historic win for Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight. Compared to the preceding and following award seasons, this seems to be an exception to the rule.

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in “Carol”, 2015

Now more than ever, it is important to support films that give voices to marginalized communities that have been underrepresented on the big screen. While films with negative reviews can and do bring in audiences (I’m looking at you, Suicide Squad), critical reviews can make or break pretty much anything that isn’t backed by a major comic book franchise. I felt a deep connection to Mercury’s story, and was refreshed by the film’s portrayal of both his bisexuality and his Parsi heritage. If we aren’t seeing the same reception from critics, the least we can do is give these important films word of mouth.

Rapaversary: Take Care by Drake

Picture this; it’s November 2011, another chilly fall day and you just got out of class.  Plugged in your earbuds into your iPod Touch and press play on Drake’s new album Take Care. You haven’t listened to much of his music. You thought you’d give this new album a chance because everyone has been talking about it and want to see why.

On your first listen through the album you are surprised at how good it is, and the songs that you’ve been hearing everywhere but haven’t really cared for (“Headlines”, “Take Care”, “Make Me Proud”) are suddenly the ones that you keep going back to and can’t get enough of. You realize that Drake isn’t just the guy from Degrassi anymore, he’s becoming a hip hop superstar.

When I first listened to Take Care, this was exactly how I felt. I didn’t take Drake seriously at first until I listened to this project. I didn’t care much for Thank Me Later because I thought it was pretty one dimensional with only a few standout songs. But Take Care opened my eyes to the relatively new-at-the-time blend of hip hop and R&B that Drake would help put on the map and become known for.

Artistic direction

One of the things that makes Take Care so special is that Drake has said that he was unsatisfied with the cohesion and musical content on Thank Me Later. He became determined to make his next project something that he could be forever proud of. Some of the differences between Take Care and Thank Me Later are the inclusion of some full R&B tracks, more fleshed out subject matter, and a general sense of direction.

Influence and career furthering

In addition to Drake’s vocals being spectacular on every track (especially his singing), the featured artists on the album added so much to it as a complete project. Despite him releasing a few songs and projects in 2010 and 2011, Take Care was mainstream listeners first real introduction to The Weeknd. He played a huge part in the creation of Take Care, contributing to five tracks as a writer and featured artist.

This helps showcase some of the influence that Take Care had in both Drake and The Weeknd’s careers. Because without working on this project together, it is possible that neither would have become as huge and well-known as they are now.

Another artist that benefited greatly from his work on Take Care is Kendrick Lamar. Before working with Drake on this project K Dot had industry connections, but his inclusion on Take Care allowed him to reach new audiences that he hadn’t before. Lamar was featured on “Buried Alive Interlude” on which he details his rise to fame and meeting Drake and 40 for the first time in Toronto. “Buried Alive Interlude” is a hidden track at the end of “Marvin’s Room”, which only makes it that much more powerful.   

      

Lasting impact

Looking back on this album seven years after its release, Take Care really helped pave the way for rappers to include R&B-esque tracks on their albums without catching a huge amount of flack for it. At this point in time, it is almost frowned upon if rappers don’t at least attempt to create  a few slower tracks such as those included on Take Care.

The project also helped Drake further his career as a multi-talented artist and show that he can rap and create beautiful R&B tracks that touch all sorts of emotions. The creation of the album helped develop a new sound for a region that would become huge in hip hop. The careers of future stars went skyrocketing towards mainstream and the influence and lasting effects exist to this day.

Conclusion

If Drake had never went in the direction he did for Take Care, I believe that a lot of the modern Toronto sound would not be what it is right now. Take Care is Drake’s best album at this point in his career and one of the best of 2011 if not the 2010s decade as a whole. The album’s influence still exists in the present. Take Care is sure going to be listened to for more years to come.  

K-UTE Radio or the University of Utah does not own the pictures.