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  • Temi Sobande

“Ins" (for the lovers) and “Outs” (for the haters)

Happy February! I know that Valentine’s Day is arguably one of the most controversial holidays celebrated in the U.S. Is it all a giant cash grab? Should singles be allowed to be haters on that day? Is it unfair to the happy couples? I’ve heard arguments on both sides. To fix this argument, I’ve decided to give something to everyone. I present to you: my “Ins” (for the lovers) and my “Outs” (for the haters) of the 2024 season. 


IN: VICTORIA MONET

 You may have heard the name Victoria Monet. She’s a multi-talented singer, songwriter, and dancer. She’s written songs for multiple artists, namely Ariana Grande. Monet’s been making music for herself since 2014 and released her first album in 2018. She started gaining popularity with her song “We Might Even Be Falling In Love” from the album “Jaguar” in 2020, and she skyrocketed after the music video for her song “On My Mama” released in August. Fans greatly enjoyed the choreography from Sean Bankhead in the video, and it became a popular TikTok challenge. After that, Monet released her album, “Jaguar II”, received seven Grammy nominations, and even won the Grammy for Best New Artist. I greatly enjoy her music because of the wonderful production and extremely clever lyrics, and I’m happy she’s finally getting the recognition she deserves.


OUT: LIVE-ACTION REMAKES

For the past few years, it seems that Disney’s only ideas have been live-action remakes such as  “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “Cruella”. The problem that I have with these remakes is that live-action is unable to do what animation can do. Animation brings a different, whimsical side that makes it 10 times more fun. Not to mention animation is gorgeous. Another problem with live-action Disney movies is that Disney movies are very talking animal-heavy. Name five Disney movies without a talking animal…exactly my point. Full respect for VFX and SFX artists but no. With the “Princess and the Frog” live-action and “How to Train Your Dragon” live-action coming up, I’m a little scared. Lastly, it’s lazy. Writers at Disney probably have miles and miles of ideas that they ignore. I would rather see something new, like “Encanto” or “Turning Red”, than live-actions of movies that are barely 10 years old.


IN: COCO JONES

I am yet again taking this article as an opportunity to promote my favorite artists. I have loved Courtney “Coco” Jones since I was a little girl and saw her play Roxanne “Roxie” Andrews in the 2012 Disney Channel Original Movie “Let It Shine”. She wowed me with her vocals, acting, and dancing. She was (and still is) a true triple threat. I am aware that the number of people who have actually watched “Let It Shine” is a tragically low number, but that fact hasn’t stopped Coco Jones from rising to fame anyway. She first went viral on TikTok with the video “I was an employee, and I was going to get employee of the month,” and quickly people realized just how funny and talented Jones is. She joined the cast of “Bel-Air”, the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reboot, in 2022 as a lead, Hilary Banks (the show is available on Peacock), and released her sophomore album “What I Didn’t Tell You (Deluxe)” in 2023. She also was on Reneé Rapp’s remix of “Tummy Hurts” and sang with her on New Year's Eve. Her fame has continued to grow from there as many– including me– would like to see her as Tiana in the upcoming live-action “Princess and the Frog”. She was also nominated for five Grammys and won Best R&B Performance for her song “ICU”.


OUT: SIBLING LOVE TRIANGLES

This is indeed a direct call-out to “The Summer I Turned Pretty” and “My Life With the Walter Boys”. I need the brother-love triangle craze to die out and die for good. I’ve never understood the hype. I will admit that I haven’t watched either show, but I have heard from trusted sources (my sisters) that both are not good. The first introduction I had to a love triangle with brothers was the book series “The Inheritance Games” (I also don’t like that series, so I think we see where this is going). Frankly, I didn’t like either option presented to the main character Avery, but I mainly didn’t like how childish and immature the whole thing seemed. These brothers are completely decimating their familial relationship… over a girl. Not to say Lola Tung and Nikki Rodriguez aren’t gorgeous and wonderful people, but there are plenty of fish in the sea. Is it worth ruining your relationship with your brother? No. No, it’s not. It’s also just weird, respectfully. I don’t really understand how these girls don’t feel weird keeping it in the family because I definitely feel weird watching/reading them.


IN: ROMCOMS

The world needs more romcoms!! I can’t keep watching the same five over and over. I absolutely adore romcoms. I love love and everyone needs some comedy in their lives. I unfortunately have not been able to watch “Anyone But You,” but I love the hype around it, and people have said that it was very fun and that Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney’s chemistry is wonderful to watch. It’s not just me that wants more romcoms. Actors have said in interviews that they want to do romcoms as well. Paul Mescal said he wants to do one with Ayo Edebiri, and Daniel Radcliffe said he wants to do one with Quinta Brunson. I am all for those duos, and I hope studios take note. I enjoy deep, incredibly cinematic movies, but sometimes, I just want to laugh and fall in love. And who says romcoms can’t be deep?


OUT: COUNTRY MUSIC

My first, maybe second, hot take of the day. I have to say it. I do not like country music. I cannot say that there has ever been a country song that I have listened to in full that I have enjoyed – unless Beyonce counts, and I don’t think she does. I know quite a few people who do enjoy country music and would probably hate me for saying this, but country music is boring. Every song is either about drinking, getting the new Ford F150, breaking up, or objectifying women. None of those topics make a compelling song. I don’t need or particularly want to hear about any of these things, especially not multiple times. I’ve never understood why those seem to be the only options when it comes to country music. Maybe country record labels are requiring these topics, who knows? Whatever the reason is, it’s vile. Respectfully. Therefore, I vote to put an end to country music or let country musicians know that those three things aren’t the only things that happen in life.


IN: PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS

I want to end this article on a good note, so this will be my last In/Out. What better way to go out than to talk about my favorite book series turned show? I have read all five Percy Jackson books (along with almost every book Rick Riordan has ever written about any mythology), read an absurd amount of Percy Jackson-related fanfics, and even watched those god-awful movies, so I feel like I’m expert enough to let you know that the Percy Jackson series is wonderful. Wonderful doesn’t even begin to describe it. I don’t think there’s a word in the English dialect that could describe my love for this show. The cast is incredibly talented, especially considering that the main trio is younger or the same age as most of us, the visual effects are stunning, the writing is tear-jerking, and it may just be the best TV show I’ve ever seen. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve screamed. I’ve even closed my computer and taken laps around my room because of this show. I will say that it’s not a complete one-to-one adaptation, and the writers did change things, but every change was intentional, and dare I say, better than the original. Overall, I’m ecstatic about this show and can’t wait to see it thrive.


With that cheerful note, I wish you all a wonderful Valentine’s Day, whether you’re a hater or a lover, and I hope you enjoyed all of my in-depth thoughts on the world of film and music.


[Image via Bossip]

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