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Season three of ‘The Crown’ strikes a perfect blend of old and new

(12/08/19 5:00am)

I avoided watching Netflix’s latest season of “The Crown,” released Nov. 17  — not only so I could binge it over Thanksgiving break, but also because I was apprehensive about the major changes made to the cast of the Queen Elizabeth biopic series as it moved into a new era. I saw enough Twitter headlines either praising or denouncing the cast replacement to incite a wary hesitation, but I pushed through the influence of those reviews because I enjoyed the first two seasons so much.

Hulu’s ‘Looking for Alaska’ is a dutiful and thoughtful adaptation

(11/13/19 7:47pm)

John Green’s 2005 teen novel “Looking for Alaska” is one of the few books I actively remember reading outside of the classroom in middle school, and for good reason. It tells the story of shy high school boy Miles “Pudge” Halter as he begins his junior year at a new boarding school in Alabama. Through Miles’s perspective, Green explores a wide variety of subjects many teenagers grapple with, including romance, academic stressors, bullying and booze, while in a mildly unique setting away from direct parental influence and with characters that, to my 13-year-old mind, seemed to avoid easy archetypical classification. 

‘Downton Abbey’ film revival is more of the same

(10/20/19 4:00am)

The recent feature-length revival of hit series “Downton Abbey” checks all the boxes one would expect from a highly anticipated spin-off: the characters’ stories are picked back up at some time after the show’s finale, a new event or circumstance drives the plot and there is little deviation from the fixtures that made the show so popular. I wouldn’t exactly say that the film is predictable — if anything, it capitalizes upon what audiences know and love about the show while taking minimal risks to bring something moderately new to the table.