Riverdale is back with a vengeance! Picking right up from the shocking ending of season one where Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) was shot at Pop’s diner right in front of his son Archie (KJ Apa), the rest of the teen soap crew converges to support their friend. Archie deals with PTSD and a nagging feeling that the masked shooter will return. Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) step up as crusaders, trying to save Jug’s father FP from jail while also lending a hand to other community pursuits. And Veronica (Camila Mendes) learns how to be a supportive girlfriend while standing up to the nefarious scheming of her criminal parents, Hermione (Marisol Nichols) and Hiram (Mark Consuelos, making his first series appearance). In her own little miniverse, unhinged redhead Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) becomes the head of her disgraced, but still very rich, family. This bonkers but highly addictive show is still as over-the-top, cartoonish, and glossy as ever, a neon-nightmare with abs and milkshakes.
Having formed a book club with a few friends, I’ve been obliged to slowly reading Have A Little Faith by a popular writer named Mitch Albom whose non-fiction works have often dealt with questions of faith. In Have A Little Faith, Albom recounts his conversations and interactions with his childhood rabbi in the years before the older man’s death. Interspersed in this easy, episodic read is also the life of an African-American, convict-turned-pastor. With his journalist’s background, Albom interviews his subjects and receives wisdom and revelations from men who have both devoted their lives to serving God and their communities. Although I have not yet finished the book, it has become very relevant to parts of my life currently and certainly has a universal resonance as Albom seeks answers about happiness, faith, and God.
As it turns out, Grey Worm, the leader of the Unsullied from HBO’s Game of Thrones, is full of musical (as well as acting) talent. Jacob Anderson, stage name Raleigh Ritchie, released his debut album titled You’re A Man Now, Boy last year. It is an underrated gem full of catchy pop, R&B, and electronic tunes with deep, soulful, and honest lyrics, crooned or proclaimed in Anderson’s charming English accent. My three favourite songs among the many hits are “The Greatest”, an exuberant, anthemic celebration about being young and feeling infinite; “Bloodsport ‘15”, a melancholy ballad about love and war; and “Cowards”, a super cute song about shyly falling in love that became the inspiration for a short film called “[Hi Maintenance]” also by Andersen. You’re A Man Now, Boy‘s title song best encapsulates the themes of childhood nostalgia and adult burdens (a through-line of the album) as well as showcasing Andersen’s wonderfully expressive and vulnerable baritone through unexpected, touching, and sensitive lyrics.
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