Your entertainment list for the summer

Game of Thrones season 2 a lot to live up to

By Katya Slepian
[contributor]

The second season of  Game of Thrones, based on George R. R. Martin’s series, premiered on April 1. The premiere episode was titled “A Song of Ice and Fire.”

For those who didn’t raptly watch the first season, the series takes place in a world that is divided into two continents; Westeros and Essos.

Westeros, also called the Seven Kingdoms, is divided into north and south, and further divided by “the Wall” at the upper reaches of the North, above which civilization ends.

The Wall is manned by the Night’s Watch, who bear allegiance to no House but are sworn to protect the Seven Kingdoms.

These Seven Kingdoms of Westeros are ruled by a king in the south who sits on the Iron Throne. In the first season, this was Robert Baratheon.

The north is ruled by Eddard Stark, Lord of House Stark. Essos, the eastern continent, is where the children of the murdered Mad King live in exile.

These are Viserys III, with an all-consuming obsession for getting the Iron Throne back and his sister Daenerys, whom he marries off to Khal Drogo of the Dothraki to secure an army, but all he secures is a “crown” of molten gold.

Clearly, season two has a lot to live up to. However, if the first episode is any sign, there is nothing to worry about. Robb Stark, Eddard’s son, is continuing his campaign and has declared himself king.

Stannis Baratheon, the late king’s brother, has also declared himself king. Meanwhile, the current king, Joffrey, who is not really Robert Baratheon’s son but is instead the product of incest between Jaime Lannister and his sister, Robert Baratheon’s wife, Cercei, is swiftly establishing himself as a cruel ruler with a potent sadistic streak.

And in Essos, Daenerys may have lost her husband and her son, but she has not lost the will to fight and she has gained her dragons.

Life grows ever more perilous across the lands. And all the while, winter is coming.

Mad Men is back

By Connor Doyle
[contributor]

Recently, AMC’s Flagship program Mad Men returned to it’s Sunday night time-slot. The show, famous for it’s dissection of the world of advertisement in the’60s, has been hyping its return with (what else) a series of seductive ads announcing that style, debauchery, deception, adultery and jealousy are all finally back.

The show distinguishes itself from most for its novel-like storytelling, its attention to wardrobe and design, and its engaging, meticulous development of its characters.

The creators have done a phenomenal job thus far of making every character seem human; unlikable characters are not necessarily bad character, and vice versa. Unlike one of AMC’s other popular shows, The Walking Dead, which follows a group of supposedly relatable people that won’t stop making the audience hate them, Mad Men’s cast is mostly comprised of bad people that the viewer gradually begins to feel more and more sympathy for.

Even characters like Pete, whose squashed-bug expression is so punchable it inspired a website, petecampbellsbitchface.com, has become so endearing to viewers, despite his underhandedness, they’ve deemed him “everybody’s favorite little shit.”

Recently, my brother, who only knew the show through the highly stylized commercials that have been running nonstop, every few minutes on AMC, told me that all he wanted in life was to “be Don Draper.” For a second I was confused by this concept. Why would anyone want to be the petty, two-faced, sexist, ass that is Draper? Sure, there’s tons to like there, but Don Draper is in no way the ideal person to model yourself after. Then, of course, I realized that all my brother saw was the devilishly handsome, mysterious, capable Draper you see in the commercials.

It turns out Mad Men’s advertising is as effective as the fake ads on the show.

Draper really is good, isn’t he?

Quiet is an essential read for introverts

By Sana Sohel
[contributor]

Susan Cain stole the hearts of many introverts out there with her inspiring TED talk on the power of introverts in a world that is filled with extroverts, while on tour for her book, Quiet.

Her book maintains that “at least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favour working on their own over brainstorming in teams.

Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society – from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

The book is an essential read for all introverts. Our world, as it is, is mostly dominated by the extrovert culture, and Susan Cain brings to light the amazing ideas and inventions introverts have brought to the world, such as: the theory of gravity, Chopin’s nocturnes, Peter Pan, Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, The Cat in the Hat, Charlie Brown, Schindler’s List, E.T., and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Google and Harry Potter, to list a few. An inspiring read, and definitely an answer to many questions, Susan Cain grips the readers attention from the very beginning.

The House I Loved a heartwarming, emotional journey

By Sana Sohel
[contributor]

New York Times best-selling author, Tatiana de Rosnay hit the shelves this March with her new book, The House I Loved.

It is “an absorbing new novel about one woman’s resistance during an époque that shook Paris to its very core.” The protagonist, “Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end; as others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day.”

Beautifully written, the book holds the readers attention until the very end. The book is heartwarmingly emotional and as one reads, the characters come alive allowing the reader to glimpse at old Paris and enjoy its charm. The novel is a wonderful account of love, compassion, and strength. Quite simply, if you are going to read a book, then let this be it.

 

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