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Made up of: Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus; Boygenius continues their summer tour for their most recent release: “The Record” at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, Ore., on July 30, 2023.

2023 comes to a close with best entertainment

With the new year beginning, it is time to review all of the different pop-culture, music and movies that were released throughout the year. 2023 was filled with hundreds of new music and movies, some of which stood out more than others.

Song of the Year

Taylor Swift’s “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” album cover, left, and Swift at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ in May 2023. (Republic Records and Matt Smith | For NJ Advance Media) (Tribune News Service)

In a music industry increasingly fragmented into niches, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift dominated the charts, news and social media feeds in 2023. Her 2023 fame following 2022’s “Midnights” album and infamous “The Eras Tour” was only added to by the re-recording of her fifth and arguably most popular album, “1989.”

As with all her other re-recordings, Swift re-recorded the original tracks of “1989” and introduced five new “From the Vault” tracks on “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” The five were “Slut!”, “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends” and “Is It Over Now?”

“Is It Over Now?” instantly stood out to Swift fans, called Swifties. The song went viral on TikTok with over 83k users using the song. The production of “Is It Over Now?” makes it stand out from the other vault tracks in that it truly sounds like it belongs on the original “1989,” released in 2014, rather than favoring a “Midnights”-esque production.

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The lyrics, however, are what makes “Is It Over Now?” the best song to come out of 2023. A witty reflection on an on-and-off relationship, Swift touches on rarely-mentioned events during her highly-covered relationship with Harry Styles. Swift reflects on the two’s snowmobile accident with the lyric “When you lost control / Red blood, white snow,” which she had previously only mentioned once.

“Blue dress on a boat” follows that lyric and references, for the first time, the infamous picture of Swift by herself on a boat directly following her breakup with Styles. “Is It Over Now?” also takes aim at how Styles moved on from her so quickly and publicly.

Album of the Year

Made up of: Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus; Boygenius continues their summer tour for their most recent release: “The Record” at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, Ore., on July 30, 2023. (Tribune News Service)

Boygenius, consisting of singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, is an alternative-rock band that collaborates every few years to release an album or EP, an extended-play single usually containing four or five songs. The band released their debut album, “the record,” on March 31 and it exceeded all fan expectations as it combined rock, pop, folk and indie to create a wholly unique album.

The album includes nine songs at a length of 42 minutes. “The Boys,” as they are referred to, discuss personal topics and argue about issues within society. Bridgers, Dacus and Baker all release their own solo music and while there are certainly similarities among the three, most of their solo music is incredibly different. “The record” brilliantly entwines their individual music styles to create a unique sound that sets the album, and even the individual tracks, apart from others.

Movie of the year

The revival of “The Hunger Games” is solely due to the adaptation of the prequel book, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” Movie adaptations are known for diverging from their book by creating new plotlines, love interests or character backstories, however, the new movie followed the storyline to a tee.

The book takes readers through the life of President Snow, played by Tom Blyth, as a student, turned mentor, and his life during the tenth hunger games with his tribute, Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler. The movie takes the audience through emotional duress, thrilling action and beautiful musical ballads. The movie left viewers on the edge of their seats with a mystery that might never be solved.

TV show of the year

The show streaming on teenagers’ screens during the summer of 2023 was “The Summer I Turned Pretty” on Amazon Prime. With its season debut in 2022, the show quickly grew in popularity and became the show that took over the summer. After its success in 2022, the show continued with the second season, which, according to Television Stats, helped it gain millions of watchers.

The show was based on the trilogy book series by Jenny Han. The show features actors and actresses Gavin Casalegno as Jeremiah Fisher, Lola Tung as Belly Conklin and Christopher Briney as Conrad Fisher and their relationship changes throughout high school. The show even gained promotions from American Eagle, allowing for fans to support their favorite characters.

Season 2 of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” ramped up the drama even more, for an entertaining and seemingly never-ending love triangle. This season also triumphed in redeeming previously-disliked characters in the first season, such as main character Belly Conklin’s best friend Taylor Jewel.

Best actress of the year

Margot Robbie stars in “Barbie.” Photo permission from Warner Bros. Pictures/TNS. (TNS)

Icon Margot Robbie took the stage once again in 2023 in Greta Gerwig’s famous “Barbie,” reaching the top of the box office in just one weekend. The film was one of the most anticipated of the year, outshining in hype Robbie’s other popular films like “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Bird of Prey,” “Asteroid City” and “Suicide Squad.” “Barbie” earned her about 50 million, and it was clearly the movie of the summer.

Although there are no announcements about what films she will be featured in for the future, she took 2023 by storm as the first live-action Barbie.

Best actor of the year

Timothée Chalamet in the movie “Wonka.” Photo permission from TNS/Jaap Buittendijk. (TNS)

Timothee Chalamet has been taking over the film industry since 2014, but made a name for himself in 2017 when he starred in “Call Me by Your Name.” The star has been booked after the role and has starred in many versatile roles which include “Dune,” “Beautiful Boy,” “Little Women” and more.

In 2023 specifically, Chalamet is featured in “Wonka,” a prequel for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Dune: Part Two.” Chalamet has been nominated for different awards including Critics Choice and Academy awards. He has taken multiple genres by storm, showing his versatility, as he films for a musical and a science fiction movie.

Chalamet, while making his mark on television, is also becoming a big figure on TikTok with different edits of his acting in his many different films.

Top two best trends of 2023

Uggs, once a staple in the early 2000s, are now back for their grand return and are becoming more popular than before. While the old staples like normal sized Ugg boots and slides continue to be popular, now, Ugg has released their Tasman and Ugg Ultra Minis, growing in popularity all over social media.

Although Florida is not the place for Uggs, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students can be seen wearing Uggs and making them more prominent than ever.

On TikTok, trends are continuously coming and going each year, however, this year one that remained popular was the mention of the Roman Empire. The joke started with the idea that some men always think of the Roman Empire and find ways to relate it back to the world around them. Other users on TikTok then began to share their “Roman Empires” and talk about different things in their lives that stay in their mind.

This reference will hopefully stick around on TikTok and in pop culture for years to come, as it was truly customizable and had a hilarious root.

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About the Contributors
Brynn Schwartz
Brynn Schwartz, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Brynn Schwartz is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Associate Editor-in-Chief for news, sports and politics. She is the Newspaper Representative for Quill and Scroll and a member of National Honor Society. She enjoys discussing politics, listening to music and hanging out with her friends.
Lyla Sachs
Lyla Sachs, Arts & Leisure editor
Lyla Sachs is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is the arts & leisure editor. Lyla enjoys listening to music and reading in her spare time.
Alison LaTorre
Alison LaTorre, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Alison LaTorre is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This year, she is one of the Associate Editors-in-Chief. She enjoys reading, going to the beach and listening to music.
Glory Lee
Glory Lee, Photo Editor
Glory Lee is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is and has been a photo editor for the past three years. She enjoys boxing, skydiving and jet skiing.
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