Culture Trip Week Two: Throwback
A few throwback-themed, time-before-exams, good vibe recommendations.
With term well underway, I thought it would be a good time to bring some positivity into your lives. Exams are inevitable, so I’ve decided to fondly revisit some past obsessions that have shaped my identity.
On a tangent, a current trend that is taking my college’s confession Facebook page by storm is to name certain students as characters from different film franchises. These characters range from Donkey in Shrek, to Star Wars’ Yoda, or even Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf. Not only are student’s personalities being compared to things like Gollum in Lord of the Rings, but also to assorted supermarkets, drinks and my favourite: CBBC children’s TV Shows. Being assigned ‘Prank Patrol’ is the current highlight of my career. Just mentioning ‘Tracy Beaker’ makes the entire theme song play in my head.
Apologies for that slight detour – now, I shall pass on my own personal throwback favourites onto whoever might have the time to read this article in another jam-packed week.
Film – Walking on Sunshine
Now, hear me out: this is one of the greatest bad movies that I have ever watched, and it holds a special place in my heart. Expect a ‘Mamma Mia’-style movie but with classic 80s tracks. If you embrace the chaos of this entire film, you will soon grow to love it. Having huge dance numbers to songs like ‘Holiday’ or ‘How Will I Know?’, the soundtrack will have you knowing all the lyrics for the next Vinyl Disco Throwback night. Though the acting is extremely corny, and Leona Lewis singularly carries the film’s vocals (despite being a side character), this is the most feel-good movie I can think of to cure your studying blues.
Including some highlights such as the main actress accidentally tripping into the ocean, running on the spot as a dance move and most notably igniting a need you never knew you had to go to the festival of tomatoes: ‘La Tomatina’. Not only does this movie have great vibes, but Walking on Sunshine doesn’t miss an opportunity to include classic rom-com scenes: dream sequence scenes, woeful troubled solos and of course — the staple scene where a character stops a wedding with a song.
TV Special – John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch
Modelled after classic children’s TV Shows such as Sesame Street, this one-hour comedy special starring a large cast of children is not just for kids. John Mulaney is integral to the show — his timing and incredible writing elevates the entire special. The show switches between comedy sketches, interviews with the kids on their existential fears, and songs. Leading to some classic moments still quoted regularly or even sung in full by my friends today, the number of lovable moments in this special are endless.
Some moments are very relatable especially in this exam term. For example, the story about a ‘white lady standing on the street just sobbing’ or the question I still ask myself: ‘Do flowers exist at night?’. The top songs teach important lessons about how a tutor ‘lost his eye because he didn’t know maths’ with a huge end cameo of Jake Gyllenhaal as ‘Mr Music’. His aim is to teach kids ‘music is everywhere’ yet without having prepped anything in his song to make any proper sound. The charm of this show is a must watch and an easy revision break.
Album – Monkey Business: The Black Eyed Peas
With their greatest hits still being played today, Monkey Business is where Black Eyed Peas peaked with their R&B style. With known hits like ‘Pump It’ (the best Just Dance song hands down), the rest of the album has genre-crossing, high-energy songs, like ‘Like That’ and ‘Don’t Phunk with my Heart’. Being my favourite band for years (I thought it made me edgy when I was younger), I believe that Monkey Business is the prime example of 2000s music. Including collaborations with Justin Timberlake and legend James Brown, I have kept this album playing on a loop during late nights.
Book – Beyond the Deepwoods
The first of the character Twig’s trilogy in the vast ‘Edge Chronicles’, this childhood book is packed with escapism, fantasy and nostalgia for anyone who grew up with the illustrations of Chris Riddell. A tragic journey from one messy interaction to the next, the book draws an uncanny parallel to bumping into every supervisor you know in the centre of town after a night out. The expansive creativity behind the assorted creatures and world-building is magnificent, and its middle-grade reading level will give you a nice break from wrapping your head around complex theorems on a daily basis.