Five or so things to look forward to in pop culture this week:
Beach House Depression Cherry
The dreamy pop band releases their fifth album this week. Beach House is known for their dreamy pop sounds, ambient and spacey with enough of a pop through line to get stuck in your head. It’s the band’s fifth release and already quite acclaimed by a few major critical sites. As the summer fades and you begin to look toward lighter sounds to accompany that gentle fall breeze, this could be the record for you.
Queen of Earth
The latest film by Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip) stars Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) and Katherine Waterson (Inherent Vice) as childhood friends who rent a beach house together but figure out their companionship is not what it once was. It is being labeled as a psychological thriller and early artwork for the film show a more frightening and abstract bent than the plot description might indicate.
The latest Netflix original series tells the story of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and Drug Enforcement Agencies trying to bring him down. At this point nearly every new Netflix show is an event, and there is some buzz surrounding it so it’s at least worth a shot if the subject matter sounds interesting.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II – The Green Belt
Netflix is all about the movie business nowadays and one of their first projects is strangely a sequel to the popular Chinese-language 2000 martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Some of the cast is back, but auteur director Ang Lee is not–someone had to be asking for this right?
A throwback to the action films of the 80s, Turbo Kid is an independent film about a teenage boy who goes on an adventure to save his robot girlfriend. He becomes the sort of futuristic warrior that he could only become in the movies, defeating bad guys and bosses all over the place. This thing appears to be pure fun, making no bones about its influences, and celebrating the excessive gore and violence that comes with this comic genre.
Others: Z For Zachariah; Yo La Tenga Stuff Like That Here, The Weeknd Beauty Behind the Masses, Destroyer Poison Season, k-os Can’t Fly Without Gravity
Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” tells the story of a girl looking for love, wishing for things she can only dream of. She’s reached a point of melancholic content. But from there it develops into a highly vast world–one filled with heart and hope–malaise and dread. Jepsen has delivered a second single, “I Really Like You”, that continues the story of our couple, following their story beyond those early days of phone digits and hot nights into something we could have never imagined–it’s a serialized set of singles telling a story of Biblical proportions.
Call Me Maybe
It opens with Jepsen sitting at the wishing well; she throws coins into the water, wondering like The Goonies‘ Mikey if dreams do come true and if there really is any treasure out there? Can she save her parents house from becoming a country club? Will she be captured by the Fratellis and just what happened to One Eyed Willy? (All of this is metaphorical of course.)
From there, Jepsen, our protagonist is met by a sudden image. Is it a mirage? An angel? It is hard to look right at him, after all. Are those ripped jeans? Are those eyes locking or is it just the wind breaking through on this hot night?
Now normally when a man meets a woman there are cultural protocols that must be followed. Man pursues woman, asks her out, for her number, uses pick up line, etc… But in the world, in this–the 21st CENTURY, things have begun to shift. Shock upon shock, a twist that can only be compared to the greats, Jepsen approaches this man to give him her number. It’s a traditionalist’s nightmare, but this is Canada after all, the rules are different here.
Unfortunately for Jepsen this man takes quite a while to give her a call. This guy, living in the upside down dating world he does probably got together with all his boy friends and they made sure he didn’t put himself out there too quickly. ‘Ain’t no girl gonna take advantage of my boy’ is probably what they might have said.
Alas, Jepsen gets the call, her soul falls for him and she can only express herself in illogical poetry, talking about missing him before they even met. And there the story ends, girl and boy’s hearts twirling together as they fall in…
Isn’t this story over? Can’t we imagine the happily ever after?
Call Me Maybe II: I Really Like You
It’s easy to tell this is the same boy as in the original, because of just how coy he is. He made her approach him, he waited to call her, and now he makes her wait to hold his hand. He’s quite the tease, but that doesn’t stop the couple from spending every waking hour together.
Jepsen again bursts out with joy in the presence of this guy, exclaiming her feelings with extreme repetition (really, really, really, really, really, really). But here she too expresses caution (this may be because of her always being in her own head), not willing to commit to that four letter word.
Despite her youthful vigor, Jepsen expresses quite a bit of maturity here. The first song (in what I assume will be a trilogy) showcased the progressivism present in our hero, but here we see growth. Jepsen knows and believes that l*** is a powerful word and she’s not willing to throw it around even if the guy has the most fantastic pair of ripped jeans or eyes that should be illegal because of just how cute they are. It’s too soon for that and wisely she sticks to milder forms of linguistic affection.
And yet, in a classic sequel moving onto a trilogy move, the song ends with an unanswered question. The Empire Strikes Back left us with a frozen Han Solo, Back to the Future II with a question of how to rescue Doc Brown from the wild west, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest with a dead Jack Sparrow, and now I Really Like You ends with a repeated question: I want you, do you want me, do you want me too?
Having bared her soul (again, in a very wise and mature manner) Jepsen is awaiting her answer. As we know, this boy takes it slow, he is not to be played for a fool here. And all we’re left with is speculation–a classic cliffhanger Jepsen, you really got us here.
What do you think will happen in part III?
Will it begin with him telling her his feelings? Will she be rejected or will the third push the trilogy beyond like and into l***? Will we see a marriage or perhaps a tragic ending with one of the lovers passing on and the other stuck in a forever unrequited love?
Maybe she will go the George Lucas route, giving us a grand finale in part III before coming back years later to provide unnecessary explanations for our characters (she likes wishing wells because her dad was a wishing well designer; he has ripped jeans because he was skateboarding!) only to sell the property to Disney a decade after that where they will take it back to the levels that it once was at (oh please please please please please please be true).
Whatever happens, it’s sure to get fans excited. Jepsen-ites everywhere are waiting for part III and until then we can only speculate.
Be sure to throw out your fan theories in the comments below, for now that’s all we’ve got.