The things we watched, listened to and streamed this week in between planning our Spring Break trips.
“FULLER HOUSE” SEASON ONE, NETFLIX
The “Full House” spin-off brings back almost all of the original cast members, 20 years later, to show viewers that, even though they’re all grown up, some things never change. The series gets many of its laughs through not-so-subtle references to the original — think cheesy catchphrases like “You got it dude!” and “Have mercy.” The characters’ over-exaggerated attempts to be hip are painful at times, like when Stephanie and Kimmy Gibbler pose to take a “selfie,” and declare their looks are “on fleek.” However, the characters are still the same ones we know and love, and that’s what really matters. There are only 13 epiosdes, so I flew through them in a few days. It’s a great watch for when you want something mindlessly entertaining. Luckily, rumor has it the show has been renewed for a second season. (Marissa Stipek, opinion editor)
KEVIN SPACEY’S “ACTING MASTERCLASS”
If you’ve already burned through “House of Cards” season four, I say kudos, and you might be interested in dropping some change on Kevin Spacey’s “Acting Masterclass.” Having never taken a formal theater course before and simply just having an interest in movies, this online video class is shaping up to be the best $90 I’ve ever spent. Mr. Spacey works with a group of graduate students on their monologues with exercises that challenge their motivations and noticeably move them from their comfort zones. Fans of his films will appreciate his canor and often cold manner he keeps with his students and come away with a unique take on the methods of 2016’s Emmy lock. (AJ Newberry, cartoonist)
“62ND COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS” BY ALAN ALDA
This is a quick read, but it’s packed with all the nostalgia, sentimental optimism and sincerity that I hope to hear from my graduating class’ commencement speaker. Alda, an actor and writer, gave this speech to Connecticut College’s class of 1980 and addressed it to his daughter, who was in the crowd, clad in cap and gown. The structure works well, allowing Alda to be personal and genuine without coming across cheesy and cliche. The speech’s most affecting quality, though, is Alda’s honesty. At times getting dark and brooding, Alda paints a picture of a deeply imperfect world, but says that ugliness shouldn’t stop his daughter from taking it on. “There are, of course, hundreds of things you can work on, and they’re all fairly impossible to achieve, so there’s plenty to keep you busy for the rest of your life,” he says. This is for all the seniors who don’t know what they’re doing post-grad, but who want to do something meaningful. Don’t wait until May 14 to be inspired. (Reis Thebault, outgoing editor-in-chief/incoming lost college graduate)
In this podcast from Hrishikesh Hirway, musicians dissect one of their most popular tunes. They explain everything from their creative process behind chord progressions to the unknown anecdotes surrounding song titles. Hirway has released 66 episodes since he launched the podcast in 2014 with guests ranging from indie pop duo Sylvan Esso to Irish rock band U2. My favorite listen is Ep. 64 on band The New Pornographer’s anthem, “Brill Bruisers” in which songwriter and vocalist Carl Newman discusses how the song was inspired by Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and the art of writing nonsense syllables. (Emily Williams, assistant news editor)