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Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024
The Observer

Scene Selections: Scene says ‘Sorry!’

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This is the final week of Lent, and — knowing that this is a time for repentance — Scene wants to ask forgiveness for our grave errors. Whether we reviewed something too harshly (or not harshly enough), we want to correct our mistakes and show that we’ve changed our ways. 

“An Evening with Silk Sonic”

Anna Falk, Scene Editor

At the time that “An Evening with Silk Sonic” was released, I was thrilled. Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars were making a disco-inspired album under the ever-so-fitting name of Silk Sonic? My excitement knew no bounds. Yet, once the LP dropped, I was heart-broken — it had a 31-minute run time. I enjoyed basically every song (though I think “777” was nowhere near up-to-par with the rest of the album), but I couldn’t get past its length. Now I know my views were clouded, as their supergroup debut album was quite phenomenal. Not many artists emulate that style anymore, especially those in the mainstream. It truly is a great piece of work and it bodes well for their future work.

Old rating: 3.5 out of 5

New rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

“Dear Evan Hansen” 

Rose Androwich, Scene Writer 

From the moment I saw “Dear Evan Hansen” in New York last summer and heard “Waving through a Window” for the first time, I knew I loved the music from the show. After watching the live performance, I wanted to watch the “Dear Evan Hanson” movie. My love for the musical transferred to the film as I developed an appreciation for being able to hear the music and see the emotions within the actor while they were performing the song. The film created a compelling visual picture which, accompanying the music, created a quality production. While there were some changes that would have enhanced the overall production — such as the actors featured — it still has value, especially for those who want to watch the production from their own home. 

Old rating: 1 out of 5

New rating: 3 out of 5

 

"Do Revenge"

Andy Ottone, Scene Writer

When I first reviewed Netflix’s “Do Revenge,” I said it felt unoriginal and coasted on aesthetics alone, featuring surface level references to better films from the past. What I failed to take into consideration is the fact that it is a soft remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train.” I hadn’t seen the Hitchcock classic at the time, but I have now and I’m even more confused by the inspiration that “Do Revenge” claims to have. My honest thoughts on the film haven’t changed and I find it funnier that somebody decided to fuse Hitchcock suspense with Clueless-influenced writing if anything. All of my complaints regarding the film’s reliance on borrowing tropes from classic teen comedies now apply to elements that were stolen from Hitchcock as well. Did watching the original make me appreciate the film more? In the words of a better teen comedy, “As if!”

Old rating: 3.5 out of 5

New rating: 2.5 out of 5

 

“Falcon and the Winter Soldier”

Christine Hilario, Scene Writer

I was way too optimistic about Marvel two years ago. I wanted so badly to like this show, but with hindsight, it doesn’t hold up. In my original review, I praised the show’s “poignant political commentary” — a laughable sentiment. Marvel’s only goal is to make as much money as possible, so their show was never going to be anything close to “politically poignant.” Sure, there’s a scene where Sam Wilson gets racially profiled by racist cops, but by the final episode, he’s working with the NYPD. The show puts forward an idea that it isn’t the police system that’s flawed but just some racist individuals. Also, there’s straight-up military propaganda (like every other Marvel entity). On top of the milquetoast politics, the show’s kind of boring. The pacing is slow and the buddy cop dynamic between Sam and Bucky falls flat. This series’ saving grace is Daniel Bruhl bopping in the club.

Old rating: 4 out of 5

New rating: 2 out of 5

 

“Homeland Elegies”

Peter Breen, Associate News Editor

For Lent, I’m not going to repent for how I wrote my “Homeland Elegies” review last September. I remember stressing about my inability to synthesize the incredible beauty of Ayad Akhtar’s novel. But six months later, I’m proud of how the piece came out, especially since it was my first-ever newspaper book review. What I regret, however, is when and why I wrote the story. I lost the entire Saturday of the first home football game this year rereading “Homeland Elegies” on Google Books in Baumer Hall’s fourth-floor lounge. As Akhtar says, “A life spent reading is a wonderful life.” But what about the life of the Notre Dame student who doesn’t go to home football games? At best, it’s sacrilegious.

Old rating: N/A

New rating: 5 out of 5

 

“Inventing Anna”

Rose Androwich, Scene Writer 

From the moment the screen flashed a statement disclaiming that the aspects of “Inventing Anna” were made up, I was entranced. My mom and I watched the show together and we were shocked by how the world Anna lived in was based on a lie. When the show is watched with the knowledge that it is not factual, it is highly enjoyable. I found myself lost in the elite world Anna conned her way into. Although the show arguably portrayed the victims in a negative light and made Anna out to be an aspirational character in some ways, this perspective is fascinating from a satirical lens.    

Old rating: 2 out of 5

New rating: 3.5 out of 5 

 

“Our Flag Means Death”

Anna Falk, Scene Editor

Who knew that a show featuring the likes of Taika Waititi, Will Arnett and Leslie Jones as Golden Age pirates could be so funny, romantic, treacherous and heart-breaking? “Our Flag Means Death” follows the story of real-life pirate Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) learning how to transform himself from a rich boy into a swashbuckling pirate. He and his crew encounter Blackbeard (Waititi) and his men and chaos ensues. This show is a beautiful depiction of finding love in your middle-age, queerness and staying true to oneself among other things. It’s full of anachronisms and witty remarks and it’s sure to make you experience every emotion possible.

Old rating: 3.5 out of 5

New rating: 5 out of 5

 

“Tell Me Lies”

Rose Androwich, Scene Writer 

When “Tell Me Lies” was released, I instantly knew that I wanted to review the series. When I first watched it, I called it a train wreck. This statement is true, but there was something I learned as I continued watching. The drama roped me in every week when a new episode was released. I would watch as soon as it came out. Eventually, my roommate and I read the “Tell Me Lies” novel and I insisted we watch the show together. This made me realize that I loved it. As the series continued, it evolved into one of my favorite shows. I'm really excited for season two. 

Old Rating: 3 out of 5

New Rating: 5 out of 5

 

“Velma”

Natalie Allton, Scene Writer

As a self-proclaimed “scoobhead,” I am voracious for “Scooby-Doo” media, accepting in stride all of the high highs and low lows that come with the franchise. I’m sorry to say that “Velma” isn’t just bad Scooby — it’s hardly Scooby at all. Our beloved mutt isn’t even present and, frankly, neither is any of the rest of the gang except in name. The show can’t hold itself up on its own cringey lampshaded meta jokes and overbearing teen edginess, relying on the Scooby name to draw in viewers in lieu of decent writing. A Scooby show with expanded representation (and a Glenn Howerton-voiced Fred) could have been great. Instead, it refuses to give itself a chance. If you want a good, dark, teen-oriented Scooby show, watch “Mystery Incorporated” instead.

The half-shamrock comes from the show’s production value. It isn’t the fault of the animators or voice actors that they were given trash to work with.

Old rating: 3 out of 5

New rating: .5 out of 5