Was Your Show Cancelled or Renewed?

By: Carter Caldwell

Just as all things have life cycles, so do our favorite TV shows.  When the end of a season rolls around, fans (and sometimes, those who work on the show) are constantly wondering if their show made it.  Generally, networks keep the shows that have large fanbases, but loyal fans are always a big plus.  Shaky ratings, on the other hand, are typically a sign of cancellation, as are consistently low ratings.  

Fortunately, cancelled shows can only lead to newer (and, logically, better) shows, and renewals promise a return of familiar characters.  Due to the volume of networks, this article will cover only renewals and cancellations made on CBS, NBC, and ABC, the “Big Three” networks of American television.

CBS

In a relatively unsurprising move, CBS opted to renew popular shows such as The Big Bang TheoryMadam Secretary, Blue Bloods, the NCIS shows, MacGyver, and Hawaii Five-0.  Surprising on the list is Criminal Minds, which suffered low ratings following the suspension and removal of Thomas Gibson, who played FBI Special Agent Aaron Hotchner. Other CBS renewals include Kevin Can Wait, Bull, Scorpion, Zoo, Mom, Superior Donuts, The Good Fight, Life in Pieces, and Man With a Plan.  Next season, CBS will be saying good bye to American Gothic, BrainDead, The Odd Couple, Doubt, Pure Genius, Rush Hour, and Training Day.

NBC

Despite fan backlash, NBC risked becoming a little more fanless with the cancellations of Powerless and Timeless, but fans of the latter can rest a little easier knowing that the showrunners are trying to find a new home.  Other NBC casualties are Aquarius, Grimm, Emerald City, and Heartbeat, while The Blacklist, Blindspot, Shades of Blue, Taken, The Carmichael Show, and The Good Place all return.  Noteworthy This Is Us acquired a special two season renewal, and all Chicago shows survived except Justice.

ABC

Disney’s ABC decided to wait until many of its shows came off the air to decided their fates, and as a result many producers finished filming without knowing what to do.  American Crime, The Real O’Neals, Last Man Standing, Mistresses, Secrets & Lies, Conviction, Notorious, Dr. Ken, The Catch, and Imaginary Mary are all goners, leaving plenty of room for new shows to accompany the renewals.   Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, and Scandal all return unsurprisingly, as do Modern Family and Black-ish.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Once Upon a Time will be coming back also, but in the dangerous Friday night slot, with the latter also losing many cast members.  The Goldbergs, American Housewife, and Designated Survivor also live on, ensuring ABC a very diverse schedule.

Summer 2017 Movie Lineup

By: Carter Caldwell

The summer movie season is always one that guarantees fun, and this summer is no exception.  This summer will see the release of upwards of 40 films, including horror, drama, superhero, and comedy films.  On June 2, right after school lets out, Wonder Woman will be the first modern day superhero movie centered on a female superhero.  Also released on that day will be Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (based on Dav Pikley’s best-selling series) and Dean.  Released independently in August of 2016, Dean is the story of a stylistically simple cartoon artist and the chaos that develops in his life.

June 9 will see the release of The Mummy, the first film in Universal’s “Dark Universe,” which will center on monsters such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Invisible Man.  It Comes at Night, a psychological horror film starring Joel Edgerton, will also premiere, as will My Cousin Rachel, Megan Leavey, and Beatriz at Dinner.  My Cousin Rachel is based on the 1951 novel of the same name, while Megan Leavey is based on the true story of a Marine and her combat dog who saved many lives in Iraq.  Beatriz at Dinner has been called “the first great film of the Trump era,” and focuses on an immigrant health practitioner who “collides” with an opinionated billionaire at a dinner party.  A week later, on June 16, Cars 3, Rough Night, All Eyez on Me, and The Book of Henry will premiere.  The third installment in Pixar’s Cars franchise, Cars 3 will focus on an aged Lightning McQueen, whose sponsors attempt to save his image by asking him to retire.  All Eyez on Me is the story of hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur and is named after his 1996 album, while The Book of Henry centers around a waitress and her sons who try to “save” a neighbor from her police commissioner stepfather.  On June 21, Transformers: The Last Knight will be the only film released, and the fifth film in Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise.  It will pick up relatively soon after Age of Extinction, which was released in 2014.

On June 23 audiences will be treated to the Jaws-esque 47 Meters Down, which follows two sisters who get stuck at the bottom of the ocean in a cage surrounded by sharks.  47 Meters will compete with The Bad Batch, a horror-comedy about a couple who find themselves vacationing among a community of cannibals.  Additionally, Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled and Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick will be released.  Baby Driver, the story of a reluctant getaway driver who falls in love, will be released on June 28.  Closing June will be Despicable Me 3, The House, Amityville: The Awakening, and 2:22 on June 30.  Despicable Me 3 is actually the fourth film of its franchise, and it will explore Gru’s relationship with his long-lost brother.  For those looking for something more adult-oriented, Amityville and 2:22 promise edge-of your seat suspense, while The House (starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler) will keep the laughs rolling.
  
July also looks promising for cinemas, and it will start with the newest Marvel film, Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7.  A week later, Andy Serkis’s War for the Planet of the Apes and Wish Upon.  Apes is the third film in its franchise, while Wish Upon is a horror film about a girl whose wishes come true, but only at a price. On July 21, Christopher Nolan’s new war drama based on World War II, Dunkirk will premiere in cinemas, as will sci-fi adventure Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and rom-com Girls Trip.  The following week will close July with Atomic Blonde, a spy film starring Charlize Theron, adult comedy Brigsby Bear, pop culture comedy The Emoji Movie, and Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.  

As summer closes, August 4 will bring a more serious lineup of movies, with the sole comedy being Ingrid Goes West, in which Aubrey Plaza’s Ingrid moves West to become friends with social media star Taylor Sloane.  Detroit, a period crime film detailing the events of Detroit’s 1967 12th Street Riot, will also come out that day, as will the film adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series starring future James Bond Idris Elba.  Accompanying them on August 4 will be Wind River, in which a US Fish and Wildlife Service agent works as a tracker against the elements.

August 11 will bring the fourth installment to the Conjuring franchise with Annabelle: Creation.  Another franchise film to be released that day will be The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature.  The third film to be released on August 11 is The Glass Castle, based on Jeanette Walls’ 2005 memoir.  Brie Larson will headline, along with Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.  In contrast, August 18 will bring three original films, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Logan Lucky, and Patti Cake$.  The first two will sport star-studded casts including Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum, and Academy Award winner Hilary Swank.  Patti Cake$ does not have the big name draw of its competitors, but it’s comedic synopsis (a New Jersey girl seeks fame as a gangster rapper) promises to draw interest.  Closing the summer is Leap!, an animated story about a poor girl who aims to become a ballerina and her inventor friend.

DPYO Ends 79th Season With A Bang

By Rachel Giffin

The Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra ended its 79th season on May 7, 2017, with the last exciting notes of Arturo Marquez’ “Danzon.” It also featured other well known pieces such as “On The Beautiful Blue Danube” by Strauss and “Night on Bald Mountain” by Mussorgsky.

DPYO is open to elite musicians who are high school students in the Dayton area. These students attend vigorous rehearsals every Sunday and participate in a campout event every year. Katie Giffin, a junior from Bellbrook High School, reflects in her last two years as a part of this orchestra. “In DPYO,” she says, you have the opportunity to be surrounded by incredibly talented musicians every week, learning beautiful music. Being part of an ensemble like that is an honor.”

Similarly, Maris Haugrud, a senior from Bellbrook High School, said: “DPYO was, for me, the place where I actually felt, for one of the only moments of my life, like my one and only duty was the music. Outside of that and in the rest of my life, I have millions and obligations and weighing thoughts constantly shoving their way to the front of my mind and worrying me to get them done. But in DPYO I was hyper focused on one task, and I put all of my mind and soul into it. It as tremendously rewarding, and filled me with a joy and purpose that was incomparable to any other.”

Haugrud went on to say, “My life was absolutely and completely changed by DPYO. Being a part of it for three years, I learned almost all of what I know about classical music and certain composers now. It continuously renewed my passion for music and solidified my goals for continuing to study it in college. Having been fortunate enough, but also absolutely terrified to have been thrust into principal chair my first year as a weakling sophomore, I was nearly traumatized, but forced to rise to the occasion. I grew lightyears as a player and also as a person. I was forced to have more confidence in myself for the sake of the music, and I can say with certainty that the confidence translated into the rest of my life and my general self-perception. My sections over the years, particularly in 2014 (my first year) when I was most vulnerable, helped me along this journey significantly. They supported me, motivated me, and were just amazing people that I am proud to say were some of my closest friends as I progressed through high school.”

DPYO holds auditions soon for its 80th season, which is certain to be full of exciting music and entertaining for audiences of all ages. Congratulations to all the performers of the 79th season, and good luck in the performances to come.

Miamisburg Theater Presents A Tale As Old As Time

by Bergen Eppers

Bellbrook senior Emi Ford (Belle) and David Shockey (Beast) rehearse a touching moment in Beauty and the Beast.

Children’s Performing Arts of Miamisburg is taking its own turn on the tale as old as time. On May 13, this children’s theater will be having their last performance of the 1994 Tony Award winning musical Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at the Memorial Auditorium.

Based on the 1991 Academy Award winning movie, “Beauty and the Beast” still adds humor, romance, and action into a classic fairy-tale. The show tells the story of a cursed prince, turned into a hideous beast, who finally has hope of being human when Belle, a beautiful girl from a small village, wanders into his enchanted castle. As Belle and the Beast grow closer, hope of a change arises and excitement spreads, including among the Beast’s servant-turned-objects. But, conflict arrives with the self-centered Gaston, determined to have Belle as his wife, convinces the town her host is an evil creature. Don’t judge a book by its cover, Gaston. Both suspenseful and sentimental, this musical is great for the family with the classic songs “Be Our Guest,” “Home,” “Something There,” and of course, “Beauty and the Beast.”

According to Dayton.com, David Shockey, who plays the role of Beast says, “I believe most people find ‘Beauty and the Beast’ appealing because the story revolves around breaking social norms. It’s all about staying true to who you are even when society tells you to be someone else.”  Emi Ford, a Bellbrook senior who plays the role of Belle, says, “I’ve always admired [Belle] …I love how she’s actually intelligent unlike princesses who kind of are a little clueless.”

This is Ford’s first production with CPAM. “I honestly did not think I was going to get cast when I went into auditions…It was my first show there…but what’s the worst that can happen right?” says Ford, “When they posted the list, I was speechless, I was beyond excited…I was literally jumping off the walls.” After weeks of rehearsing, plus with her commitment to the school musical, “Annie,” it has finally come down to the performance days. “[The cast] spends a significant amount of time on character building for each character to build the depth of the production,” explains Ford, “Memorizing lines and blocking, that’s all important, but the background behind the words, the emotions, and the expressions, that’s what draws the audience to the production.”

“Beauty and the Beast” is perfect for the whole family and friends. http://www.cpamburg.com/buy-tickets

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” Premieres in Hollywood, Challenges High Expectations

By: Carter Caldwell

On April 19, Marvel’s long awaited Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 premiered at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood leaving the audience more than satisfied.  The film, which takes place in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which was praised for its comedy, soundtrack, and visual effects.  For the sequel, Marvel writer/director James Gunn returns.  Gunn also acted as an (uncredited) director and writer for a scene in Doctor Strange, and will be an executive producer for Avengers: Infinity War, as well as returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.

The Guardians debuted in the comics in 2008, as a revamp of the late-sixties team of the same name.  Originally an obscure property, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige singled out the team for a film in 2010, and then again in 2011, culminating in the announcement in 2012.  Although it featured relatively unheard of characters, the film’s trailer was viewed upwards of 22 million times within 24 hours, and the song “Hooked on a Feeling” (sung by Blue Swede in the trailer) saw a 700% increase in sales.  

“Hooked on a Feeling” was part of a widely acclaimed soundtrack of songs from the seventies and eighties that topped several charts.  This set the bar very high for Vol. 2, but Gunn claims that the new soundtrack surpasses it’s predecessor in diversity and features former chart-toppers “My Sweet Lord” and “Southern Nights.”  All songs were worked into the script by June 2015, and Gunn announced them via Twitter on April 19, in tandem with the film’s premiere.  Also in a similar fashion to Vol. 1, Vol. 2’s trailer had 81 million views in its first 24 hours, which set the record for Marvel Studios films, and also pushed Sweet’s “Fox on the Run” to the top of the iTunes Rock Chart.

The premiere was essentially a who’s-who of the MCU, attended by actors such as Clark Gregg and David Hasselhoff, as well as prominent filmmakers such as Joss Whedon and Taika Waititi and mainstay Stan Lee, who cameos in the film.  With a run time of 2 hours and 16 minutes, the film has been praised for its visuals and humor (much like its predecessor), but has been criticized for overusing the once-new ideas used in the original.  However, it is unlikely that any criticisms would impede the film’s box office potential, as the MCU is the highest grossing film franchise of all time, with each film averaging a worldwide gross of $779,557,590.  If Vol. 2 could reach this total (and thus out-gross Vol. 1), it would be an almost surefire bet that Marvel will put out a Vol. 3 someday, especially with Gunn recently announcing that he would return to write and direct such a film.  Until then, audiences will have to wait until May 5, and then again when Avengers: Infinity War is released on May 4, 2018 to see the team again.

BHS Jazz Band Performs at Sugar Maple Festival

By Rachel Giffin

The Bellbrook High School Jazz Band performed several spectacular numbers on Saturday, April 22, at Bellbrock Park for listeners attending the Sugar Maple Festival in Bellbrook.

The BHS Jazz Band’s program featured many soloists, and songs from a wide variety of jazz forms. As the performance continued, spectators gathered in higher numbers, some dancing to the lively music.

The BHS Jazz Band has performed at many locations in the past, from A Spirited Affair at Bellbrook Middle School which is held every October, to the Jazz Festival held at Beavercreek High School every March. They have one more public performance this season, coming later in May.

Sugar Maple Festival: Roller Coaster of Flavor

by Bergen Eppers

You’re walking downtown with bunch of people busy around you and you smell the sweet savory scent of barbecue sauces, the arrangement of spices, burning oil, and of course the light touch of sugar. Feeling hungry yet? The Sugar Maple Festival was filled with people all cramming to have the taste of the festival assortments on April 21-23.

Ranging from grilled chicken in gyros, Cajun dishes, or even ribbon fries, Main Street had the vendors you needed to satisfy your taste buds. For those meat lovers there was Bourbon St. Grille, Chuck Wagon, Bellbrook Fire Department Hot Dogs, Dublin Pub, and much more with the bacon on a stick or the classic pulled pork. According to junior Lauren Redfern, “I really enjoyed the Dublin Pub tent and their food is so good. Whether it’s at their Oregon District restaurant or in the middle of the street, they still impress. Their Irish Whiskey Chops are the best and the pub fries are so good.”

Bessie’s Noodles became a popular hit this year with chicken or beef and noodles. Freshman Neve Barker says, “They were pretty salty, but they were great. I had them both days I went.” They also had many sides or snacks you could try such as fried pickles served at Cork n Bottle or the one and only french fries served at Chester Foods. Even beverage vendors varied from smoothies to different types of soda. New this year was the Great Lakes Soda Co. aka the Southwest Soda Saloon. Purchasers had to buy a cup and could get refills from their 9 different flavors of soda for the day.

Now for those dessert fans who only come to festivals for the original and classic treats, vendors varied from deep-fried oreos, waffle ice cream sandwiches from the waffle man, or, everyone’s favorite, the funnel cake. “There’s always the fun of getting the powdered sugar all over you…or over a friend,” says sophomore Bergen Eppers. They even offered frozen cheesecake on a stick and chocolate dipped bananas. And for those locked on summer, they still offered ice cream at Ritters.