Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Pretty Little Liars: The Big "A" Reveal


We all knew that the reaction to the Pretty Little Liars season 6 finale would have three possible outcomes.

Unfortunately, it was none of the above. In fact, it was more like this.

As much as I am a die-hard PLL fan, the answer to who A is was, well, disappointing.
I feel like I’ve come to the end of a relationship that I put so much into, yet didn’t get anything back from. I put five years of my life into this TV programme, endless gasps, endless “no ways,” and endless “what the F is Aria wearing?” all for a mediocre finale. So congratulations Marlene King, you’ve made me feel like a scorned lover.

If you’re reading this and haven’t watched the finale yet, and didn’t take heed of the massive spoiler warning at the top of this post, look away now.

So, CeCe is A. Why? Who the hell knows, but she gave us an impressive back story full of so much bullshit; we would have believed anything she told us at that point.

It wasn’t that the back story was necessarily bad, it was just kind of pulled out of nowhere. This is a backstory that has only really been pieced together in the last season, so it makes the other 5 seem like a complete waste of time.

So let’s get this straight. Alison’s Mum and Dad had a first son called Charles, who apparently was a problem child who tried to drown Ali in a bath when she was a baby, even though we later find out that this was an accident. So what do the parents do, have the poor kid sectioned, of course. I mean come on, my brother knocked my front teeth out once but my parents didn’t put him in a straightjacket.

His hapless Mother is the only one who visits him, and tells her husband and Alison and Jason that he’s dead. To complicate matters further, Charles decides he wants to become a Charlotte.

To cut a long story short, Charles’s friend Bethany pushes Toby’s Mum off the roof, blames Charles, he seeks revenge but ends up mistaking Bethany for Alison and hits her over the head with a rock instead.

Back in Radley, she manipulates Mona to be her puppet, and is pissed at Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna for being pleased that Ali is dead, hence the years of torment.

Fans took to Twitter to express their bitter disappointment:

As I said, the backstory wasn’t bad, if not blown way way out of proportion. As twisted as it sounds, I just wish A had been someone I had more of an emotional attachment to. No one even liked CeCe, and she wasn’t exactly a major character, she was actually pretty irrelevant. And her accomplice is little girl lost Sara, who we’ve known for all of what, five minutes? THANKS A BUNCH FOR NOT PULLING OUT MY HEARTSTRINGS, MARLENE.

There would have been so many other characters that would have made a better A. Look, I’ve even made a list.

Spencer Hastings 

Man, I wish I was Spencer. Photograph: Tv Live

We all know she never liked Alison, has a drug habit and is also a teeny bit mentally unstable.
She’s also brilliant, so would have made a great criminal mastermind. She’s one of the liars, so there’s that whole issue of self sabotage, but you know what they say; keep your friends close…

Mumma Hastings 

Veronica is one bad ass mother. Photograph: Pretty Little Liars Wiki 

She’s had a rough time of it. Her husband had a child with Alison’s Mother, who’s also kind of a bitch. I’m also not convinced she likes anyone that much, so would have no problem throwing some serious shade.

Caleb Rivers 

Getting Caleb to cut his hair- the ONLY good decision the
producers made. Photograph: 

He’s a mastermind with computers, and Hanna’s a total bitch to him most of the time.

Emily Fields 

This face. Every. Single. Episode.

Well, at least it would give her a job to do. All she’s done is stand there all wide eyed and got with every girl on the swim team.

Toby Canvanaugh
That Toby smolder though. *swoons*
Photograph: Pinterest

He’s been accused of leading the A game twice now, so he seems the most obvious suspect. Just know it would have broken my heart if this had been the case. Spoby forever.

Jenna Marshall 

Has anyone seen this girl? Photograph: abc family 

Whatever happened to her? Is she still blind or?

Ezra Fitz 

How could you not get lost in those eyes?
Photograph: Alloy Entertainment

It’s a possibility, but let’s not even go there. With his puppy dog eyes, he can teach me English Lit any day.

Mona's Mum 

Ah yes, that moment when she slapped Alison DOWN.
Gif: Speakeasy 

Does she even exist? Because she takes Mona “out of town” an awful lot.

The Guy that Dated Hanna in Season 1 

Who are you again?
Photograph: pseudomerism


The Guy that Dated Emily in Season 1 

She's just not that into you, Ben.
Photograph: Sentimental Movie Marathon 

Bet he’s still pretty pissed that she dumped him to go bat for the other team.

See? Literally anyone. Luckily, the series didn’t just end like Gossip Girl (which I’m still mourning the loss of,) series 7 is set five years into the future and the executive producer Marlene King hasn’t ruled out an eighth. So I’ve supposed we’ve got something to be hAppy about.

Photograph: E! Online

What did you think of the finale? AmAzing or AmAteur?

Don't forget to hit me up on social media. Just please don't start stalking me and signing off with "A." Thank you. 

As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Album Review: PVRIS- 'White Noise.'

PVRIS is not your average alternative rock band. Made up of front woman and lead singer Lynn Gunn, along with bassist Brian McDonald and guitarist Alex Babinski, it’s easy to excuse them as ‘The New Paramore,’ of the post pop punk generation.

PVRIS is different for a number of reasons, from their quirky name (pronounced Paris) to their unique fusion of electronic rhythms and emo punk. But notably, after their signing to Rise records in 2012, they became the first female led signing of the label. This is revolutionary in a genre that is almost exclusively fronted by men, with Paramore being the only major band of note to reach superstardom in the alternative sphere with strong female lead Hayley Williams.

Gunn is actually a huge fan of Williams, although is quick to dismiss their similarities music wise. Talking of issues she’s faced in the music industry as a woman, Gunn is very vocal about it. Talking to Fuse, she says she deals with “pretty much the same shit,” accounting a time between songs where a male audience member said he wanted to ejaculate over her face. “I was like, ‘Excuse me sir, please fuck off,’” she recounts, “You’re disgusting. Have some manners. That’s not how you talk to anyone.”

Lynn Gunn performing live. Photograph: fuse. 

Evident through her loud and excitable vocals, Gunn is not afraid to speak her mind, either publically or creatively through her music, which hasn’t gone unrewarded in the music industry. Earlier this year on June 11th, the band won the Relentless Kerrang! Award for Best International Newcomer, which they modestly “didn’t even think [they’d] get nominated for.”

The band, from Lowell, Massachusetts, released their debut album White Noise in 2014, but their success was yet to cross the Atlantic until earlier this year, when BBC Radio 1 gave their first play to “St. Patrick,” ironically around St. Patricks Day on March 17th. Interest in their music grew, and Radio 1 gave their follow up single “Fire” their renowned “Track of the Day” title last month.
The sound of the album is a kind of refreshing balance between mainstream pop and hardcore rock that no other alternative band has been able to achieve as successfully before.

‘Smoke’ is the opening track of the album, and really acts as an introduction telling you what the PVRIS sound is all about. Combining repetitive guitar rhythms and whispy Paramore ‘Decode’ like background noise, it makes for an inspiring first track. ‘St Patrick’ is their first single taken from the album and you can see why, it’s the most ‘poppy’ of their pop punk sound, and its hum worthy electronic sound wouldn’t go amiss in a Calvin Harris set. I watched the video for ‘My House’ on YouTube, and I was surprised by what I saw with shots of the trio lying on a sofa and playing video games, its passiveness the complete opposite of the anger in this song. Gunn’s silky sweet yet bitter vocals give way to this temper balance, which stops the song from being too teenage angst. ‘Holy,’ is my favourite song on the album, and I still can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I can try. The heavenly rhythm accompanied by Gunn’s girly background vocals are swayable, and it’s the first time PVRIS reveal how expansive they can be lyrically, repeating “poor unfortunate soul,” so much that I felt like I was watching the Little Mermaid all over again. Here, the lyrics aren’t directed at a particular person or idea, but rather a general concept of faith, controversially singing “I think your chest must be heavy from the cross on your neck.”

PVRIS's debut album 'White Noise.' Photograph: Rap Genius 

The band performing in BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. Photograph: BBC. 

'White Noise,’ is the track which name is given to the album, about wanting something so badly that you can no longer know how to express yourself in a way that anyone understands. The chorus can get repetitive, but it’s the guitar rifts which keep this song afloat. ‘Fire’ is their second UK single, and is my new ‘getting over an ex’ anthem, with lyrics like “just drop dead,” and “you can’t cheat death when you’re digging your own grave.” Sounds extreme, but it’s more feisty than psychotic. ‘Eyelids,’ is quite droopy in terms of the instrumentals, but it’s definitely one of PVRIS more exposed lyric and far more personal, with a Taylor Swift ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ style spoken word at the end of the song. ‘Mirrors’ continues the album’s theme of obsession with the otherworldly, but unfortunately is the only song on the album eligible for the filler category. ‘Ghosts’ is similar to ‘Mirrors’ in terms its theme, but with that addictive drum beat that was missing from its predecessor. Finally, in ‘Let Them In,’ Gunn gives a stellar vocal performance, jumping from her shoutier verses to her operatic highs.

With such vocals, it’s easy to forget that the other two band members exist, but the music behind the vocals is really what makes this entire album. An impressive first effort from the band, who I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of. And when they get their own headline tour, I’ll be the first to buy tickets.

Rating: 4/5
Killer Track: Holy
Filler Track: Mirrors (just!)
White Noise is out now. PVRIS will be playing Reading and Leeds this year.

This review is also available on #SpiceUK online, with tons of other cool stuff, so go check them out -->

On Wednesday, I review the Pretty Little Liars Season 6 finale- I'M SO FRICKIN HYPE!

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As always, thanks for reading.  

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

R.I.P The Hipster

Stop everything. Take off your bowler hat and put down your non-fat chai latte, you might want to sit down with this one. The hipster has been pronounced dead, as of the day when everyone became one.

The amateur sociologists and cynics have seen this one coming for a long time, but it was only today that I reluctantly accepted it. Interested in the rise (and rise and rise) of hipster fashion trends, I googled the “New Hipster,” to find out what the 2015 hipster looks like.

The answer? Look out of your goddamn window, or in a fashion magazine or turn on MTV. If you’re greeted with at least one plaid shirt, unkempt facial hair, or someone sprouting off about austerity despite not knowing shit about politics, you’ve come face to face with one.

My favourite celebrity try-hard hipsters

I’m not hating on hipsters for a minute- I’m a self-confessed hipster, and proud of it too. I’m a 19 year old studying the arts, and think I’m better than everyone else because I can tell you about Marxism and New Historicism.

Yet the essence of being a hipster is pretending you aren’t one, which kind of defeats the purpose of defining yourself as part of a subculture.

So why has the hipster met a tragic end? Simply put, it’s a trend that everyone is now over, like chinos or harem pants (although I hear they’re making a comeback thanks to the hipsters, obviously.) Because everyone is now a hipster, the word, its origins and its whole ideology has lost its meaning. A subculture can’t carry on being one when everyone is part of it.

If you are fervently anti-hipster (which if you are, are you either a. wearing an anklet or b. writing in your blog about how anti-hipster you are,) you may be wondering how it became popular in the first place. The hipster represents the free thinker, the creative whose imagination expands beyond that of their wide rimmed glasses, who appeals to the Peter Pan generation. These are the twenty-somethings who never want to grow up who, despite having several degrees, are disillusioned with the corporate and cold outside world and what it has to offer them. The hipster, with their carefree #longhairdontcare style and liberal social and political attitudes, is their route of escapism and self-expression.

Glastonbury 1970

Glastonbury 2015

Ever wondered why all hipsters look the same? According to an actual study conducted by an actual mathematical neuroscientist named Jonathan Touboul, “trying hard to be different often ends up in hipsters consistently taking the same decisions, in other words all looking alike,” he concludes in The hipster effect: When anticonformists all look the same. He also goes on to state that hipsters are too slow to respond to trends, so maintain the same one.

If the embodiment of a hipster actually went hand in hand with its meaning, hipsters would have to change their style and their attitude constantly, in order to continue being anticonformist. This is not only impossible, says Touboul, but also insanely difficult to maintain.

As a practicing hipster, I concur. Being a hipster, or at least trying to be one, is exhausting. I’ve lost count of how many times I haven’t bought something because it was too brightly coloured or girly, and therefore in my mind deemed “not hipster enough.”

I ordered a Hype backpack over the internet today, and almost had a meltdown because it was branded, and thus not hipster in the slightest. If anything, it’s wannabe hipster, which is even worse than being an actual hipster. But it was a really nice backpack and a total bargain at £28, PLEASE DON’T SKIN ME ALIVE.

My instagram is a hipster haven

Complete with a really angsty passage from 'The Catcher in the Rye'

It was afterwards, whilst crying into my chai tea that I realised how ridiculous I was being. I wanted to become part of a so called “sub culture” that rejected you if you didn’t conform to what they stood for. Wasn’t I being a conformist for making my hair pink and wearing clothes with elephants on, all because they were things I saw on Pinterest when I searched “hipster?”

Hipsters are kind of arrogant born on the principle that if everyone has it, they don’t want it. But guess what, everyone now owns a beanie and has an opinion on avocados, okay? And guess what, consumer culture has caught wind of this. I mean, apart from Tesco now selling more avocados than ever (probably,) apparel stores have now tapped into the habits of the hipster.

Contrary to the belief that hipsters get all their clothes for bog cheap down at the local charity shop, hipsters actually buy a lot. Following my dedication to the hipsterhood, I practically had to throw out half of my wardrobe to make way for oversized shirts and jeans with holes in. Cue having to go on a massive shopping spree to Urban Outfitters (which isn’t actually that hipster at all now, by the way.)

According to a 2010 by the Journal of Consumer Research, “normal” people purchase things because of the emotional value behind it. However hipsters are a mind-boggle to marketers because they buy things that are counter to their emotional interests. They are more likely to buy things that they subconsciously hate and then convince themselves that they are not following “the trend.”  

I was this close to spending £80 on this oriental looking cape from H&M, before my Mother pointed out that I would end up looking like the magic carpet from Aladdin.

These “mainstream” stores reinvent themselves as their target market does, not the other way around. Take a certain store that I work for with a certain seagull emblem, selling clothes you used to beg you Mum for in Year Eight (although lil’ hipster me declined to participate in such mainstream activity.) Now, everything they sell is either boho chic or tragically hipster, meaning I want to buy everything so it’s a good thing I get a 50% discount.

With this in mind, I don’t personally think that the hipster is dead. I think its original meaning is, but I think the practice of being a hipster is evolving rather than disintegrating. In a very popular article by writer David Infante, he defines what he calls the “Yuccie-“ Young Urban Creatives, who are ingrained with the belief that they do not only deserve to pursue their dreams, but that they should profit from them too.  The conspicuous consumption that once set hipsters apart, Infante discusses, “American Spirits instead of Marlboros, iPhones instead of flip phones, pork belly instead of bacon- has gone mainstream.”

The hipster-turned-Yuccie owners of the Cereal Killer Cafe

Your average Yuccie

The hipster hasn’t died, they’ve just grown up. They’ve realised that they want to be creative, but have to get a job that will pay the bills. They’ve realised that if they are to get ahead creatively, they need to accept the internet and consumer culture as inevitabilities, and even a helpful marketing tool. They’ve realised that although their Masters in Anthropology makes them educated, it doesn’t actually mean shit in the big wide world.

Hipster has gone mainstream; but you were over it anyway, right?

Also published in 

A note from me... I know it's been a while since I've posted anything, so feel free to throw tomatoes at me. I've been super busy travelling the world and conserving the planet. Jk, I've had some serious Netflix catch up to do. 

No, but honestly, I've been busy *on holiday* and writing for #SpiceUKOnline, they're a really fantastic website so be sure to support them by clicking on the link above! 

More posts to come. As soon as I've finished Game Of Thrones. I promise. 

But as always, thank you for reading and continuing to read this blog.

Love Georgia