Pop culture summer roundup

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The summer has been filled with many new movies, TV shows and fashion trends. Here are a couple highlights from the summer:

Eighth Grade

Amidst the lineup of action-packed summer blockbusters, a surprise standout came in the form of the film Eighth Grade, directed by stand-up comedian Bo Burnham. The film follows a socially awkward and friendless 13-year-old named Kayla as she fumbles through her final week of middle school. Burnham’s honest take on growing up in a post-social media world may sound simplistic, but it manages to toe a line between endearing and terrifying. Kayla’s interactions are refreshingly awkward, with even the smallest details hitting too close to home for anyone who has endured the horrors of middle school. While Eighth Grade can be more anxiety-inducing than one would think for a simple film about middle school, even Kayla’s smallest triumphs leave the audience with a sense of hope, rendering it a must watch.

Norvina Palette

For makeup enthusiasts, summer 2018 offered a much anticipated release — Anastasia Beverly Hills’ brand new Norvina palette. The cool-toned palette is a big change from the regular warm-toned palettes that Anastasia Beverly Hills popularized years back with their cult favourite Modern Renaissance palette, seeing them exchange their famous reds and oranges for purples and baby pinks. Even with only fourteen colours to choose from, the Norvina palette offers a mixture of deep matte neutrals for everyday looks and bright, glittery pops of colour. The Norvina palette is currently available in Sephora stores and online, as well as the Anastasia Beverly Hills website, retailing for $55.

Who Is America? / Castle Rock

The summer offered returning seasons of many beloved shows, but two brand new shows managed to stand out amongst the rest. Sacha Baron Cohen made an unexpected return and brought six brand new characters along for the ride with political satire “Who Is America?”. A show exploring the lengths to which celebrities and politicians can be pushed to in front of a camera. The controversial series has public figures coming out left and right to denounce Baron Cohen and explain the embarrassing situations he’d put them in, with a state representative even stepping down from his position following his appearance on the show. Whether Baron Cohen is crossing a line is up for the audience to decide, but Who Is America? Is worth a watch for pure shock factor.

On the opposite end of the television spectrum, the Stephen King-inspired world of Castle Rock has audiences both intrigued and horrified. Boasting a cast of tons of familiar faces — notably some prior leads of Stephen King’s universes, such as It’s Bill Skarsgard and Carrie’s Sissy Spacek — the show was quickly predicted to be a success, and the nightmarish universe that “Castle Rock” brings to life leaves viewers eager for new episodes. Though more questions have been given than answered thus far in the series, the series proved to be popular enough to earn a second season.

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