New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Staff Recs: HEAR ME OUT!

This is a judgment-free zone.
(Illustration by Mikaylah Du)

While we love to revel in the world of pretentious high-brow art, there is no better feeling than drowning yourself in a sea of pop-culture trash. Sometimes we find the most comfort in media deemed too outdated, tasteless or basic by social standards — and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

As the great philosophers of our time say: “To be cringe is to be free.” There is, usually, merit in all art, and we can’t let something as silly as perceived shame prevent us from enjoying it. We at the WSN Arts Desk ask you to hear us out as we delve into a gaudy menagerie of our favorite guilty-pleasure media. 

“Jungle” by Drake

All Drake songs lie somewhere between a bad breakup and an intense ego trip. The Toronto-born rapper and online gambling mogul is a master of feigning a vulnerable pop sensibility that barely conceals his overwhelming hubris. Yet, it is undeniable that the former “Degrassi: The Next Generation” star is one of the most influential musicians of our generation. In a massive catalog full of derivative radio hits, cringeworthy lines and the occasional fake Jamaican patois, songs like “Jungle” always hit the spot.

From his 2015 album “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” “Jungle” laments a bygone romance with a girl from Toronto’s Lawrence Heights neighborhood. Drake reminisces the days he would “take somebody else’s car, drive there undercover” to take part in a moonlight tryst. While his middle-class background as a child actor makes me doubt the authenticity of this narrative, the song is proof that the Canadian artist is at his best when he leans into the melancholic. With its slow, coital rhythms and moody vocals from Gabriel Garzón-Montano, this R&B lullaby is oozing with lip-biting sentimentality. When he isn’t fronting as a hardened UK drill rapper, Drake is actually capable of tapping into a sensitive — albeit corny — emotional register, crafting a modern heartbreak classic. 

— Mick Gaw, Film & TV Editor

“Pirates of the Caribbean”

I love pirates. I don’t know why. I love Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom and their love that transcends dimensions. I watch this trilogy — I refuse to acknowledge the last two — a concerning amount. I could talk about these movies for ages and I don’t know why. If I could be a pirate I probably would. Maybe just for the outfits. Or maybe for Orlando Bloom. 

— Julia Diorio, Music Editor

“The Real Housewives” 

I watch TV once a week, and it is to solely indulge in the drama of “The Real Housewives.” I particularly enjoy the New York City and Beverly Hills franchises, as I get to indulge in the ridiculousness of the wildly unrelatable women in these incredibly expensive cities. From screaming matches to physical fights and ginormous shopping sprees, the deranged women of “The Real Housewives” bring me immense joy and provide an escape from the actual realities of New York City.

— Alexa Donovan, Deputy Arts Editor

“Phineas and Ferb”

“Phineas and Ferb,” a childhood classic, has remained an absolute masterpiece through the years. I indulge in the show solely for Phineas and Ferb’s pet — a small, teal platypus named Perry. Don’t be deceived by his quiet, unassuming look; he’s the sneakiest character of all. Not only is he a loyal companion of their family, but he also works as a secret agent for the OWCA  — Organization Without a Cool Acronym — a spy agency that protects the tri-state area against the series’ antagonist Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz. 

Phineas and Ferb only see Perry’s domestic role as a loving pet. They are totally unaware of his double life and important role in the safety of their community. Perry does it all — he preserves his cover despite the danger of his job, saves the city and seamlessly continues his role as a loyal pet.

— Clara Scholl, Arts Editor

“Legally Blonde: The Musical”

This may be, no exaggeration, one of my favorite works of media of all time. With its impeccable rewatch factor and dazzling stage numbers, MTV’s recording of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” is a must-watch for any fans of the original 2001 romantic comedy. I’ve had the musical soundtrack saved on my Spotify for god knows how long, and it works beautifully as an instant mood lifter. My go-to fun fact is that I know every word to the opening number, “Omigod You Guys.” Another favorite is “Chip on My Shoulder,” which I unironically listened to in the fall semester of my first year as motivation to study for my classes. God. It’s just all so good. 

— Stephanie Wong, Arts Editor

Contact the Arts Desk at [email protected].

Leave a comment
About the Contributors
Julia Diorio
Julia Diorio, Music Editor
Julia Diorio is a sophomore studying journalism at CAS. When not reminiscing about 2000s pop-punk music, she can normally be found drinking copious amounts of Dunkin' iced coffee, curating hyper-specific Spotify playlists or struggling with the NYT crossword. Find her variations of all-black outfits and dog pictures on Instagram @juliadiorio_. Send song suggestions to [email protected].
Alexa Donovan
Alexa Donovan, Deputy Arts Editor
Alexa Donovan is a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Art History and minoring in Creative Writing. Her favorite drink is lemonade and her party trick is listing the U.S. presidents in chronological order. You can find her in Bobst Library most hours of the day, on instagram @alexadonovan/@lemonadequeen5678 and on Goodreads @alexafdonovan.
Mick Gaw
Mick Gaw, Film & TV Editor
Mick Gaw is a junior double-majoring in History and Public Policy. When he’s not holed up in a cinema, he's probably perusing the aisles of an Asian grocery store, wandering around museums or taking ugly pictures of his meals. You can find him on Instagram as @gawmick and occasionally on Letterboxd as @micks_canon.
Clara Scholl
Clara Scholl, Arts Editor
Clara Scholl is a Gallatin junior studying philosophy, politics and economics. She’s from New York City and hosts a radio show on the Riot Grrrl movement. You can find her on X, formerly Twitter, @scholl_clara or on Instagram @cllscholl.
Stephanie Wong
Stephanie Wong, Arts Editor
Stephanie Wong is a junior double-majoring in Media, Culture and Communication and Journalism, with a minor in English Literature. In her spare time, she loves watching bad movies and curating esoteric Spotify playlists. You can find her at @_stephaniewong_ on Instagram, @normalstephanie on Spotify, and unfortunately, on Letterboxd as @emima.

Comments (0)

Comments that are deemed spam or hate speech by the moderators will be deleted.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *