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Freelance Writer. The Weakest Superhero. Saving the world through pop culture, mental health, and true crime. Be my ally: rb.gy/3shdg5

How to recognize and move past addictions without losing the core of our personality.

Photo Source: Piqsels

Five years ago, a then-colleague of mine told me that he wouldn’t be able to recognize himself if he were to quit smoking and drinking. At the time, I thought his statement was a devastatingly sad comment to have come from a thirty-four-year-old.

Fast forward a few years, and I found myself quitting smoking and dialing back on my own drinking. At some point, it dawned on me: his sentiment had become mine. It was a shocking realization for me. …


Musicians like her — humble, distinctive, and openly vulnerable — deserve more recognition.

Jessie Reyez is giving an interview.
Jessie Reyez is giving an interview.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“People are sleeping on Jessie Reyez” is one of the most common comments I read on Youtube under her music videos. It’s an odd thing considering she’s been nominated for numerous awards — and ended up winning a bunch of them — including Breakthrough Artist in 2018 and artist of the year in 2020. She wrote songs for Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, and Kehlani, opened for Billie Eilish on her tour, and made two bangers with Eminem. It doesn’t really get any better than that in mainstream music these days.

But, despite all of these accolades, most of the world…


TV I DRAMA

Kate Winslet is a ragged, wounded, and obsessive spectacle of a woman in HBO’s latest whodunit.

Photo: HBO

Let’s set one thing straight: If HBO’s new small-town-murder drama, Mare of Easttown, wants to set the bar high, it will have a tough time doing so. This subgenre of crime shows got extremely competitive and populated in the last decade or so. Not too long ago, the channel delivered Sharp Objects, the Brits gave us Broadchurch, and no series ever reached the level of The Killing’s first two exceptional seasons in over ten years.

Regardless, Kate Winslet has my trust and undivided attention after two episodes. And if you’re a fan of slowly unfolding murder investigations — or more…


How Kurt Sutter’s epic show became an extension of my childhood and the friendships I couldn’t save.

Charlie Hunnam in the first season of Sons of Anarchy.
Charlie Hunnam in the first season of Sons of Anarchy.
Goodbye, childhood. Photo: SutterInk/FX

I was eighteen years old when I started watching Sons of Anarchy — that was the time in my life when all my friendships began to crumble.

My childhood friends and I have finished high school and went in different directions. We left our hometown. I moved away with my then-girlfriend to a city where none of them followed. Slowly, I started feeling more and more disconnected from all the people who initially made my world for what it was. Looking back, that was the point in my life when my childhood ended and adulthood began. …


FILM I REVIEW

The 2021 reboot isn’t a flawless victory but a fairly pleasing gorefest nevertheless.

Kano — Mortal Kombat 2021
Kano — Mortal Kombat 2021
Photo: New Line Cinema/HBO Max

I was about eight years old when I got my first Mortal Kombat game. It was MK II, and my then-classmate copied it onto fourteen floppy disks. If you’re under twenty-five, you can’t comprehend the agony of what that meant. I played the game religiously until my eyes hurt. I memorized most of the combinations of the fatalities, and I practiced them obsessively while I was waiting for the next opponent to pop up on the screen.

Midway’s game was groundbreaking: it was challenging, violent, funny, simple, yet complex, and it has required relentless concentration.

You can only imagine how…


TV I VULNERABILITY

The actor shows that vulnerability and tenderness are possible — even if you play an ultraviolent, white-trash criminal.

Photo: FX Network

Currently, I’m rewatching Kurt Sutter’s Shakespearean epic motorcycle-gang TV show, which came to a tragic end in 2014. Years later, some aspects don’t work as well as they did back then, but the main character arcs are still captivating. This isn’t going to be a review — I plan on writing one, though — but something that I discovered as I was doing some research on the series.

I stumbled upon many interviews with the showrunner and the cast members, but a brief yet deeply emotional one — which apparently was a DVD extra — with Charlie Hunnam really stood…


Bob Odenkirk isn’t just a savvy, dirty lawyer anymore — but he isn’t quite the action hero either.

Photo: Universal Pictures

A functioning brain, a pair of hands, and Final Draft software — these are the tools you need to write a basic screenplay. Derek Kolstad, the man responsible for Nobody’s script, definitely has them without a doubt. I, and maybe you too, also have those, but we haven’t got the right connections in Hollywood to sell a screenplay.

What I’m trying to say is that the plot of Nobody is as dumb as it gets in mainstream cinema.

But Kolstad also wrote John Wickwhich grants him a pass, I guess — and made a career out of putting…


Sometimes we don’t see things as they are — we see them as we are.

Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) in This is Us: Brotherly love.
Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) in This is Us: Brotherly love.
Photo: 20th Century Fox Television

Sneaky — that’s what the latest episode of This is Us was. But many of the show’s episodes are like that. They pretend their sole purpose isn’t to make us bawl our goddamn eyes out — as if they weren’t designed to tap into our individual, sacred, beautiful yet hurtful family history.

And the writers succeed more often than not — after four and a half seasons, even if not as intensely and tragically as before, This is Us still works.

Brotherly Love focuses on a conversation between Randall and Kevin that was long overdue: addressing their vastly different point…


TRIBUTE

Rapper, poet, preacher, human.

Rapper DMX.
Rapper DMX.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

We could say that the death of DMX last Friday wasn’t all that surprising. Given what he’s been through in life — abuse, addiction, crime, imprisonment, and violence — it’s a miracle that X lasted this long. He came close to leaving Earth five years ago when he was found unconscious in a car park and had to be resuscitated.

But that was a different, deeply troubled DMX with a head full of screaming demons he fought for decades.

The X, who’s been released from prison after a year in 2019, was a changed man: Transformed, calm, more attached to…


FILM I DRAMA

A small group of weirdos teams up to destroy a vicious gang.

Mads Mikkelsen as a human torpedo in Riders of Justice.
Mads Mikkelsen as a human torpedo in Riders of Justice.
Photo: Zentropa Entertainments

Most revenge movies have one thing in common: the justification of anger. Whether it’s Liam Neeson eradicating the whole Albanian Mafia in Paris or John Wick feeding bullets to Russian gangsters in order to avenge his puppy’s murder, their anger is valid, righteous. And so is ours. Revenge comes from grief and rage, and it demands violence and justice — it’s a basic human instinct.

So what if there’s no one to take out that anger and frustration on? What if the loss happens by coincidence, and there’s no one to point a finger at? …

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