Top 3 Daughtry Songs

Chris Daughtry, the former American Idol finalist, has been a constant success in the music industry ever since his departure from the show in 2006. He has been a smash-hit machine with two albums debuting at number one on the Billboard Top 100 chart while selling over 8 million albums and 30 million digital tracks in total – and that is just in the U.S. alone. There are so many great songs to pick from, which, in turn, should make this list tough, yet hard to mess up. That also means that quite a few amazing Daughtry songs will fail to make this list, sadly.

Note: Instead of me describing why these three songs are the ones I chose, I will post YouTube links to the songs below so you can listen to them and hear, critique, and enjoy their quality.

Honorable Mention) “Louder Than Ever”

3) “Feels Like Tonight”

2) “Over You”

1) “Start of Something Good”

What do you think of my list? Are you disappointed by the lack of hits tracks like “What About Now” or “Home,” or are you satisfied with the results? Make sure to let me know. Thanks for reading and/or listening!

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Pro Athlete Retrospective: Tarvaris Jackson

Every great young athlete’s dream is to play a professional sport. The ability to play such a fun game and make millions of dollars doing so is a privilege few get to experience. While most sports fans remember the stars and legends that live on for decades to come, a lot of them forget some of the other players lost in the mix. Some athletes make it to the professional level, but don’t enjoy the same kind of success that the legends do. Some experience a short lived career, while some show flashes of excellence and cannot sustain consistency doing so. Others are simply good, but not necessarily great. One of those athletes lost in the mix of time for his 10 seasons in the NFL (and is either underappreciated or hated by most depending upon whom you ask) is a quarterback named Tarvaris Jackson.

Jackson, nicknamed either “Action Jackson” or “T-Jack,” grew up in Montgomery, Alabama and entered the collegiate football scene in the fall of 2001. The dual-threat quarterback spent his freshman and sophomore years at the University of Arkansas before suffering a season-ending injury and coming back to find out he had been demoted on the depth chart for Matt Jones, whom became a future 1st round pick in the NFL Draft. Jackson then transferred to Alabama State, a Division I-AA school, and led them to an 8-5 record, which garnered them a berth in the SWAC championship game. The following year he would become the MVP of the SWAC championship game after finishing the season throwing for 20 TDs, only 9 INTs, and rushing for 3 TDs. His senior year saw slightly improved passing statistics (25 TDs and 5 INTs) while being named 2nd-team all-SWAC.

T-Jack college

Before the 2006 NFL Draft, Tarvaris Jackson was not on most people’s radar. Some talent evaluators did not even have him in their top 10 quarterbacks of that draft class. Jackson did also admit he didn’t envision himself going any higher than the back half of the 3rd round. As fate would have it, he was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the final pick of the 2nd round (64th overall) – a shocker to most. That made him the 5th quarterback taken in the draft as he gained higher expectations than he probably expected (or deserved). The Vikings’ then new head coach coach, Brad Childress, expressed his desire to draft someone to mold into a solid starter in his west coast offense and claimed Jackson to be a “diamond in the rough” with immense physical talent. Childress had recent success at the time grooming quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb and A.J. Feeley in Philadelphia under the Andy Reid regime and wanted to bring that coaching ability to Minnesota.

Jackson did not play much his rookie season in the NFL for the Vikings, but that was by design. The goal was for him to spend time working on his mechanics and footwork while learning and developing under the Vikings’ veteran starter, Brad Johnson. In the preseason, Jackson had the 15th highest quarterback rating in the NFL and 2nd in his rookie class only to the Broncos’ Jay Cutler, completing 22 of 34 passes for 249 yards and 2 TDs (while also rushing for 45 yards on 4 attempts). His impressive performance led to him easily beating out J.T. O’Sullivan and Mike McMahon to claim the 3rd string role on the depth chart behind backup Brooks Bollinger.

T-Jack Vikings 13.jpg

It was a rough season for the team – especially for starting quarterback Brad Johnson. Due to having arthroscopic knee surgery early in the regular season, Jackson failed to get into game action until week 13 vs. the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. After Johnson’s horrible performance (including 4 INTs on a day when the Bears’ Rex Grossman threw for only 34 yards and 3 INTs) and an injury to Bollinger, Jackson was inserted into the game late in the 4th quarter. He completed 3 of 4 passes on one drive to close out the 23-13 loss. His next appearance came two weeks later after Johnson was booed out of a home game vs. the New York Jets. Losing 28-7, Tarvaris Jackson entered the game at the start of the 4th quarter and put together a very solid performance that energized the Vikings’ crowd. He finished throwing for 177 yards, his first career TD to halfback Mewelde Moore (while being taken to the ground for a potential sack), an interception, and 20 yards rushing. He was named the starting quarterback for the following week’s night game at Lambeau Field vs. the Green Bay Packers. In miserable field conditions that consisted of endless rain and temperatures hovering around freezing (32-degrees Fahrenheit), Jackson had a night to forget. The Vikings only gained 3 first downs on offense and he finished the game completing 10 of 20 passes for 50 yards. To his credit, the offense around him provided zero help for the young, inexperienced quarterback. Jackson also started the final regular season game for a lowly Vikings team at home vs. the St. Louis Rams, which saw him run for his first career TD on the ground and complete 20 of 34 passes for 213 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INTs.

Labeled as the “quarterback-of-the-future” within the Vikings’ organization (nowadays called the “franchise quarterback”) after the season, he had to try and live up to the hype and pressure that came along with that title. Sometimes a young player in his position (2nd-round pick and future of the franchise) gets the short end of the stick because they have almost the same amount of pressure as a 1st-round pick, but can get benched, traded, or released much quicker than a 1st round pick if they don’t perform well on the field. Although not a fan favorite by any stretch of the imagination, he was the named the incumbent starter in the offseason. With a now re-tooled and revamped roster filled with much more talent than the year before, Jackson had some better pieces around him to work with – such as electric halfback Adrian Peterson, deep-threat wideout Sidney Rice, slot receiver Bobby Wade, and reliable tight end Visanthe Shiancoe while retaining solid starters in shifty halfback Chester Taylor and a dominant interior offensive lineman in Steve Hutchinson.

T-Jack Vikings 2

Overall, the 2007 campaign for Tarvaris Jackson was a rocky one at best. On opening day, he gave a solid performance in a 24-3 win at home vs. the Atlanta Falcons – throwing for 163 yards and both a touchdown and interception. However, the following week at the Detroit Lions, Jackson threw zero TDs and 4 INTs in a 20-17 loss in OT while managing to injure his groin late in the game. He wouldn’t appear again until week 9 at the Chicago Bears in a game best remembered as the day Adrian Peterson rushed for over 200 yards in a 34-31 victory. Jackson’s inconsistency – particularly with his accuracy – led to some mighty poor performances over a stretch of games while battling injuries, most notably a 72-yard passing game at the Dallas Cowboys in which he was getting into arguments with players and coaches on the sidelines (plus an awesome spin-move on DeMarcus Ware) and getting knocked unconscious early in a game at home vs. the San Diego Chargers in which Adrian Peterson broke the record for most rushing yards in a game with 296.

Jackson did eventually get back on track with a string of good games, featuring a 29-22 win at home vs. the Oakland Raiders (and former Vikings’ quarterback, Daunte Culpepper) in which he threw for 171 yards and completed 77% of his passes, a big-time win (41-17) over the eventual Super Bowl champs, New York Giants, which saw him complete 10 of 12 passes, 1 TD, and rush for 38 yards, and another big win at home vs. the Detroit Lions in which he threw for 204 yards and 2 TDs (while having another solid outing vs. the San Francisco 49ers). He did struggle in the Monday Night Football game at home vs. the Chicago Bears, but did help the team win five straight games. They needed to win their final game of the season at the Denver Broncos to make the playoffs. Although Jackson did play a tremendous game leading a late comeback – throwing two late TDs, converting both 2-point conversions, and overcoming two benched starters in wideout Troy Williamson and halfback Adrian Peterson to tie the game – he fumbled in overtime as the Broncos kicked a game-winning field goal. Jackson would finish the season completing 58% of his passes for 9 TDs, 12 INTs, and 3 rushing TDs.

T-Jack Vikings 7

The 2008 season, his third in the league, was another challenging season for Tarvaris Jackson. He had to compete against veteran journeyman Gus Frerotte to become the starter – a challenge he won during a great preseason and training camp. Having said that, he sprained his MCL halfway through the preseason and did not return until opening day at the Packers on Monday Night Football – the first career start for Aaron Rodgers. Jackson gave a mediocre performance and was upstaged by Rodgers in a 24-19 loss. Feeling the pressure of a tight leash from the Vikings’ organization and fans, he couldn’t overcome the adversity in a losing effort, 18-15, at home vs. Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. The confidence he gained and exuded in the preseason was nowhere to be found in those first two games – although he was not afforded much help from his receivers around him at the time. He was benched following the Colts game and demoted to backup under Gus Frerotte, whom had the opposite skill-set to Jackson – immobile, less arm strength, more consistently accurate as a pocket-passer, and made better decisions with the football.

Jackson made a brief cameo at the Tennessee Titans a few weeks later (completing his only pass for 8 yards), but didn’t appear again until week 14 at the Lions. He entered the game for an injured Frerotte and completed 8 of 10 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. With Frerotte still unable to play the following week, Jackson got the start at the Arizona Cardinals. He sure made the most of his opportunity. Jackson finished the game with only 163 yards, but threw 4 TDs (three coming in the first half) in a 35-14 blowout – earning him NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Despite Frerotte fully recovering from his injury and able to play the next game vs. the Atlanta Falcons, Jackson got the nod from Childress. Although the Vikings lost 24-17, Jackson threw for 233 yards, 2 TDs, and rushed for 82 yards. His confidence level was soaring through the roof at this point. The final game of the season saw him complete 16 of 26 passes for 239 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and capping off a tight 20-19 victory over the Giants to win the NFC North title. Jackson would finish the season throwing 9 TDs and only 2 INTs. Unfortunately, the fairytale comeback story ended there as he struggled in a 26-14 loss facing the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Wildcard Round of the playoffs – completing only 42% of his passes and forever remembered for getting body slammed by the Eagles’ Chris Clemons while unsuccessfully trying to prevent an interception from getting returned for a touchdown.

T-Jack Vikings 10

At the start of the 2009 season, the Vikings, feeling the need to address their starting quarterback position with the best player possible in order to give their talented roster a real chance for a Super Bowl run, body slammed Jackson down the depth chart to make room for one of the most legendary quarterbacks of all-time: Brett Favre. It was rumored that Jackson would not have been the starter even if Favre had not signed with the Vikings; they also signed veteran journeyman Sage Rosenfels during the offseason, whom had a similar skill-set to then former Vikings’ quarterback Gus Frerotte. Jackson responded by putting together a tremendous preseason performance after the Favre signing at home vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, throwing for 202 yards, 2 TDs, and completing 12 of his 15 passes – cementing his status as the backup over Rosenfels.

As you might imagine, 2009 was a magical season for Brett Favre and the Vikings. With miracle victories and blowouts in abundance, it was Favre’s year to shine – not Jackson’s. Favre had one of his best seasons as a pro at age 39, throwing for over 4,200 yards, 33 TDs, and only 7 INTs. Meanwhile, Jackson only got to come in during mop-up duty late in games that were already decided. He finished the season completing 14 of 21 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings finished the season with a 13-3 record and the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs.

After the Vikings dominated the Cowboys in the divisional round 34-3, they advanced to the NFC Championship game at the New Orleans Saints, the #1 seed in the NFC. In a crazy game that saw the Vikings gain almost twice as many yards as the Saints, nearly 10 more minutes in time-of-possession, and four less penalties for 50 less yards, they also committed five turnovers (while narrowly avoiding more) – including the infamous Favre interception late in regulation – that led to the overtime loss that ended their magical season. However, as I was watching the game and seeing the beating that Favre took (which clearly had an impact not only during that particular game, but the following season), part of me was hoping Jackson would get to enter the game and help them pull off the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl. Look back to the second half in that game; Favre took a nasty cheap shot from two Saints’ defenders (McCrary and Ayodele) that left Favre on the ground in pain and limping over to the trainer’s table on the sideline. On that infamous interception to the Saints’ Tracy Porter, Favre could have limped forward for potentially five yards or so to set up a better field goal opportunity for reliable kicker Ryan Longwell. Instead, he threw across his body into double coverage. Would Tarvaris Jackson have made that passing attempt? My gut tells me no. He would have followed direct orders by likely utilizing his mobility on that play out of the pocket and run for maybe 10 yards just knowing his athletic ability. It clearly does not matter now, since nothing can change the outcome, but it is still fascinating to think about.

T-Jack and Favre

After the will he / won’t he come back coverage of Brett Favre, he was convinced to return for the 2010 season at age 40. However, things never happen the same way twice. The Vikings were without a few key players that season, such as Favre’s favorite deep-threat receiver Sidney Rice and the often injured speed demon named Percy Harvin. Things fell apart quickly. Favre was simply not the same player he was the year prior and the team chemistry was obliterated – likely from the previous year’s playoff loss (not to mention the Randy Moss fiasco). Childress was fired after suffering an embarrassing 31-3 loss at home vs. the Packers in week 11 and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was promoted to the interim head coaching position. A few weeks earlier, Jackson came in during the 4th quarter for an injured Favre and completed 4 of 6 passes for a touchdown and a 2-point conversion in a loss to the New England Patriots. As fate would have it, Favre sustained a concussion a few weeks later at home vs. the Bills on his first pass attempt and Jackson entered the game. This was his opportunity to steal the spotlight like he had done a few years earlier for an injured Gus Frerotte. For a while, it seemed that way. Jackson lit up the Bills secondary in the first half by throwing for 2 TDs. He fell back down to Earth in the 2nd half as he threw 3 INTs, but did manage to finish the game completing 68% of his passes and throwing for 187 yards in a 38-14 win. The following week he got to start for the still-concussed Favre in a strange home game played in Ford Field (the home stadium of the Detroit Lions) due to the Metrodome roof collapsing late in the week. It was another game to forget for Jackson and the Vikings. They lost 21-3 to the Giants and Jackson did not put together a good game whatsoever. He completed 15 of 30 passes for a measly 118 yards and an interception. To add injury to insult, in this scenario, Jackson also managed to run into halfback Adrian Peterson on a hand-off and sustained a turf toe injury, which effectively ended his season. The Vikings would end their season 3-13, which was last in the division and the opposite of their record the previous year.

T-Jack Seahawks 6

After a tumultuous five seasons in Minnesota, Jackson became a free agent and both parties decided a change was for the best. Both Tarvaris Jackson and Sidney Rice decided to follow offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to the Seattle Seahawks under head coach Pete Carroll for the 2011 season. People in Seattle and Minnesota were shocked to learn that Jackson was immediately named the starter. Carroll explained the decision was due to Jackson’s background in the offense while others on the roster, presumably Charlie Whitehurst, needed time to catch up.

Jackson never relinquished his starting duties that season. He played solid enough to win the job outright during the preseason, including facing his former team, the Vikings. Although the Seahawks only went 7-9 that season and missed out on the playoffs, Jackson performed better than most expected. He began the season with a few good performances, but the team could not find a way to win, dropping three of their first four games as well as Jackson getting sacked 14 times in the first three games. Jackson’s season statistically was up and down, but not nearly as dramatic as his tenure with the Vikings. His only bad game was in a 23-13 loss at the Cowboys as he completed 56% of his passes and threw 3 INTs. A few of his best performances consisted of a close loss to the Falcons in which he threw for 319 yards and 3 TDs as well as a string of four consecutive games in which he threw for at least one touchdown, zero interceptions, averaged a completion percentage of 65% and just over 200 yards per game. He won three of those four games. Jackson finished the season throwing for 3,091 yards, 14 TDs, 13 INTs, and completing 60% of his passes while playing through a pectoral injury for a good portion of the season and becoming a locker room favorite during the process.

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The 2012 season was one of misfortune for Jackson. After the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn to a big contract and drafted Russell Wilson in the offseason, Jackson became the odd man out in Seattle. He was traded before the start of the regular season to the Buffalo Bills for a 7th-round pick as they were releasing an inconsistent Vince Young. The plan was for Jackson to learn the playbook as quickly as possible to see if he could compete for the backup job to Ryan Fitzpatrick with former Vikings’ draftee, Tyler Thigpen. It turned out that Jackson never truly had the opportunity. He spent the duration of the 2012 season unable to crack the active roster and then venturing into free agency once again after the season.

Jackson opted to go back to the Seahawks for the 2013 season since they had an opening for their backup quarterback spot behind a surprise breakout rookie sensation in Russell Wilson since Matt Flynn was no longer a member of the club. He was also reunited with former Viking teammates Percy Harvin and Antoine Winfield (although Winfield never lasted with the team). Jackson put together a remarkable preseason. In fact, it was his best as a pro. He finished the preseason completing 72% of his passes for 357 yards and 3 TDs. In limited regular season action, he completed 10 of 13 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. The Seahawks rode their young star quarterback, Wilson, and “legion of boom” defense all the way to the Super Bowl against the historically great Denver Broncos. In the midst of destroying the Broncos 43-8, Jackson got his opportunity to play on the final offensive drive for the Seahawks. After a couple run plays, Jackson was awarded the opportunity to throw a rollout pass to his right. No receiver was open on the play, so he made the correct read and simply threw the ball away. He also earned a nice compliment from FOX color commentator Troy Aikman after the play, stating how happy the Seahawks had been with Jackson for his effort and improvement.

T-Jack Seahawks 2

Jackson’s final two seasons in the NFL, 2014 and 2015, were spent in a similar role as Russell Wilson’s backup for the Seahawks. Much like 2013, he only made brief cameo appearances in one or two regular season games. He attempted free agency in 2014 to see if a team was willing to offer him a chance to compete for a starting job, but found no luck. The only team that expressed interest in a workout was the Miami Dolphins, but no deal was ever discussed.

Before the 2016 season, the Seahawks opted to draft Trevone Boykin from TCU and move on from Jackson. He failed to find a suitor and spent the entire season without a team. A big reason why teams likely avoided him was due to the his June 2016 arrest in Florida in which he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. It was reported that he allegedly pulled a gun on his wife, but was then taunted by his wife, stating: “You better be accurate, because you ain’t accurate on the field.” He refuted the majority of the information in the police report and a few months later the Florida Assistant State Attorney decided against prosecuting him in the case (and he remains married with three kids). At that point, however, his NFL career was still in serious jeopardy. Although no team would ever sign him again, the Seahawks did contemplate bringing him back when at one point they felt unsure of Boykin as the backup since Wilson had recently sustained an ankle injury. However, they decided not to bring back Jackson and keep Boykin holding the clipboard on the sideline while Wilson played through the injury.

Buffalo Bills v Minnesota Vikings

So what is Tarvaris Jackson doing now that his playing career is over? In a recent Twin Cities Pioneer Press article, it was revealed that he has moved on from playing the game and instead throwing his hat into the coaching ring. Jackson, 34, has spent the past two seasons working as an assistant at his high school alma mater, Sidney Lanier High School, and has recently accepted a job as a graduate assistant at his collegiate alma mater, Alabama State, with an emphasis on quarterbacks. His aspirations for coaching, however, go much further than a graduate assistant. Jackson stated: “I do want to coach on a professional level . . . In the back of my head, I do want to be a head coach one day, but right now I want to be the best quarterback, grad assistant coach that I can be . . . I want to just focus as much as I can on learning the coaching side.” Jackson has 10 years of NFL experience to bring to coaching and continues by adding: “From my playing experience and my knowledge added over the years, just everything, I think I’ve got so much to give on the coaching end.’’ He did also admit that he was cheering for Case Keenum and the Vikings last season during their magical run that fell just short of the Super Bowl and still praises and advocates for Darrell Bevell, his former offensive coordinator in Minnesota and Seattle.

So what can we make of Tarvaris Jackson’s career? He endured a massive storm of hate as a starting quarterback in Minnesota and stumbled at times when his team needed him the most. He might not have had a glamorous career with records and championships, but he was the backup quarterback for a team that made two Super Bowl appearances in three years and even got to throw a pass in one. He managed to play 10 seasons in the league and threw more career touchdowns than interceptions (39:35). It is fair to say that he did not live up to the hype and excitement that was bestowed upon him early in his professional playing career, but it is also fair to say that he hung in there and made the most out of a wild ride of a career. He got to play with some incredible players that he has likely learned an abundance of information from, such as Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre, Russell Wilson, and Marshawn Lynch. Not only that, but he and his family have endured the situation from the summer of 2016 and are still together today. The sun may have set on Tarvaris Jackson’s playing career, but his coaching career may just be on the brink of rising up above the horizon.

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Life

Humankind is quite a unique species. We as people change over time, yet we do not truly change who we are at our core. We are somewhat, in essence, oxymoronic. This paradoxical nature about us is puzzling to think about – especially in regards to how we live our daily lives. However, that is not the point. We as people have the amazing ability to exist. We represent real, intelligent life. Putting religious or non-religious beliefs aside for a second, we all exist no matter which way our race has debated about it. We are lucky to be here.

To say my hometown community has been through a lot recently would be a dramatic understatement. In the span of a month and a half, my community has lost two great young men. I knew both of them personally. Both were teammates of mine in high school and I also graduated with one of them. Everybody deals with their emotions and issues in different ways. I am usually a reserved person, so when I’m not with my fiance, Katelyn (whom also lost a high school friend at a young age), I usually deal with my issues and emotions best through an internal avenue, which would be writing in this case.

As of right now, I am 24 and a half years old. I have been out of high school for six years. Even though I had not seen either person for years, hearing of their passing was a bit of a gut punch. Just being in attendance for both of their funerals to pay my respect and seeing the many people that have been impacted by both of their lives was bittersweet. Both families did an incredible job at both funerals with the handling of them in an incredibly rough time in their lives.

A few years ago I was dealing with a small issue in my personal life and decided that I could no longer withhold it from people. I wrote an article on my blog regarding my thoughts on that issue that was met with mixed response. My slightly misleading title was: “Why I Don’t Like Most People.” Yikes. I followed up on that article last year in another article (this time for Odyssey), titled “Change,” which dealt with the problems I have always had with change in general.

As I write this now, I realize the error of my ways. I have been reflecting a lot recently about my life in the past, present, and future. I have looked back on certain events and moments in my past with both guys, such as playing sports together, that I have quite enjoyed. When you spend so much time growing up with a group of people, a certain kind of bond develops and is sustained even years after the fact. In addition, I have also looked back on other moments in my past and regretted how I handled them. The original article is only a small part of that. There have been plenty of moments with multiple people from my past that I can confidently look back on and call myself a name with a bad connotation (I’ll let you fill in the blank). More often than not my previous experiences that I regret have turned people away from me and only made my “issue” worse than it was initially. Way to go, Daryn.

The past few months have almost entirely changed my perspective on how I view life. One of my unofficial New Year’s resolutions is to not get so upset and irate about things I cannot control. Losing two high school friends so young in their life has helped and hurt that resolution. In some ways, it makes me care less about whether a particular sports team won or whether or not a movie is any good. People are so much more important. In other ways, it seriously brings into question the ultimate one word question: why? When I think about losing people I would call friends at such a young age, it kind of leaves an empty feeling inside. I believe we all have that feeling regardless, but events like this make that empty feeling feel a little bigger and linger a little longer. It also makes me realize that this can happen to anyone and how lucky we really are to be here.

Things happen. Life moves on. Sometimes it is awesome, like that Stefon Diggs touchdown to beat the Saints. Other times, it kind of sucks – or really sucks. If there is any consolation or positive to come out of these tragedies, it is that it has brought many of us back together again to celebrate the lives of those lost and to get up to speed with those of us still here. I wish we could all come to terms with this notion, or at least myself, in a better way that does not involve tragedy, but as my dad always says: “it is what it is.”

Everyone deals with their own issues in their personal lives, no matter what walk of life we come from. I do not care how tough of a person you think you are; if you need help, get yourself the help you need. There is no shame in seeking assistance from an outside source. I have done so for many years. Even if we do not talk or communicate very often, I still want you around and to be happy – even if we are not in each other’s lives like we once used to. Running into the people I have recently truly makes me want to re-connect more with people I have not done so with in years, but like I said, all I really want is for everyone to be alive and happy. And if you do want to reach out and communicate with me – even if we have never really met or talked much before – I am not too difficult to contact (and I’ll try really hard not to be a potential expletive this time).

Be supportive and thankful for those around you, don’t be afraid to reach out to and help someone (even if nothing appears wrong), and do not take for granted the moments you spend with them. As the recent events in my community have indicated, we never really know when the end is near.

I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to read this long post and, as always, have yourself a wonderful day. As Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) once said in the movie, Bruce Almighty: “be the miracle.”

Changes To My Blog

Lately I’ve been thinking of ways to maintain more consistency with my personal blog site. Some ideas have come and gone, but there are a few ideas that I would like to implement in addition to what is currently being written and published. Writing articles about topics I care about is something that I enjoy doing in my spare time and I am going to continue to do so, but now in a little more organized fashion.

I did change the title of my blog site, but as this article title indicates, I will be starting some new blog writing series. The first will be titled ‘The Top 3 Series,’ which can range from any topic on the planet. My second new series, ‘In Defense Series,’ can also be about any subject and will be defense pieces – typically about something controversial. The final series will be a retrospective series on professional athletes, titled: ‘Pro Athlete Retrospective.’ All of my titles are temporary and could slightly change.

To add to the list of new series, I will also be adding articles with some insights into my mind and life more consistently. I have a feeling this category is what most people will tend to gravitate towards, so I will make sure to hopefully reveal some of my inner workings at least once per month.

The first new article to be published will be “Top 3 Jim Carrey Films” and the goal is to publish one article from one of the new series once every few weeks. I have already gotten started for a different website that I write for on WordPress called Cinema Cure (that you can also find on this blog here), titled “In Defense of DCEU Fans: The Misguided Notion and View of DC Fandom.”

I hope you venture on this journey with me. It will be a lot of fun and I’ll also take requests into strong consideration. In addition, I will still write occasional reviews of TV-shows and movies as well as random opinion pieces.

Thanks for reading as always and have yourself a wonderful day!

Why The Vikings Should NOT Start Keenum Going Forward

Allow me to preface my statement by saying this: I like Case Keenum. I’ve been a fan of his since he was slinging touchdowns left and right at the University of Houston. He came from an era in which quarterbacks like Colt Brennan, Graham Harrell, Dan LeFevour, and Kellen Moore were putting up, as the phrase goes, “video game” type of stats on a regular basis. All of them are among the all-time leaders in career touchdowns in college football history, but Keenum is still the NCAA all-time leader for most career touchdowns, passing yards, and completions.

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As he transitioned into the NFL, he surpassed the long odds and achieved some success despite going undrafted and now playing for his 3rd NFL team. He stepped in for a Houston Texans team that was near the end of the Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub era and provided a spark for a team that was once thought of being a good quarterback away from becoming a championship contending team – including throwing for 3 TDs in the first half of a game vs. the Colts and finishing with 350 passing yards.

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However, the Texans didn’t view him as their future signal-caller (since his record as a starter was 0-8) and long story short, let him walk to the St. Louis Rams (while swapping him back and forth for a season). In limited action after replacing an underperforming Nick Foles, he finished his first season with the Rams totaling 4 TDs and 1 INT, but the only thing most people remember about this season in regards to Keenum is the concussion he sustained during a game at the Ravens and was questionably allowed to stay in the game (fumbling the game away shortly thereafter). After a rough start to the following season with 9 TDs and 11 INTs (the first as the L.A. Rams), he was benched for rookie QB Jared Goff, who was the first overall pick of the previous NFL Draft.

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Since he became expendable to the Rams, he left Los Angeles and decided to compete with Taylor Heinicke for the backup job in Minnesota behind starter Sam Bradford. After playing spectacularly in the preseason and winning the backup job until Teddy Bridgewater’s return (more on that later), he was forced to step into action week 2 with Bradford experiencing knee pain and soreness. For the most part, he has played better than most have expected. As of right now, he has 5 TDs and 1 INT while leading the Vikings to a 3-2 record if you count the game he played at the Chicago Bears.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers

Having said that, I’m not ready to jump on the Keenum bandwagon that most in the sports media world seem to be doing. Most point out how the team is rallying behind him right now and that his mobility helps out the Vikings’ offense in a way that Bradford obviously cannot do. It isn’t that their viewpoint is wrong, because it is true to an extent, but please do not fall for what the situation appears to be.

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When looking at the teams he has played against, only two of them have a competent defense (Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions) and did not perform well in either game – both of the Vikings’ losses. In those losses, the Vikings have averaged 8 points-per-game. If you take a look at his skill-set, he is essentially a rich man’s version of what the Vikings were hoping to get when they drafted Christian Ponder with the 12th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. I like to call Keenum the definition of an NFL QB “tweener.” By that, I mean that he is a great, quality backup QB for an NFL team, but is not the type of guy a team would like to start over a long stretch of games. The media keeps making a big deal about his lack of turnovers, but they must not be watching all of the games since he has gone multiple games, including the most recent game vs. the Green Bay Packers, having thrown numerous dropped interceptions. This is where the lack of tough competition comes into play. He also couldn’t make a play almost the entire 2nd half at home against the Lions when the team needed a play – especially in the 4th quarter.

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Think about it: Keenum is the 3rd best QB on the Vikings’ roster. Obviously Sam Bradford’s injury is worse than the Vikings have been leading the public to believe. I’m not accusing anyone of lying or not doing their job, but the reality is that Bradford might not be back this season. Conversely, Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings’ 1st round pick from 2014, is finally practicing for the first time since August 2016. As a close friend and fellow Vikings’ fan recently told me, the best plan of action for the Vikings (if Bradford cannot return from injury) is having Bridgewater continue to get first team reps in practice and be inactive this upcoming weekend against the Baltimore Ravens, then serving as the #2 QB the following game against the Cleveland Browns (since both teams are not exactly the toughest opponents on our schedule), and finally having him take over the starting job after the bye week at the Washington Redskins.

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Things could obviously go much different as it usually does in the NFL on a week-to-week basis. The best thing that could happen for the Vikings is having Sam Bradford fully recovered from his injury since he is the most talented passer of the three (although Bridgewater has the most potential), but it should be interesting to see how it all unfolds. If the Vikings do decide to stick with Keenum for the remainder of the season as the starter, no amount of mobility (which has also been talked about and praised way too much) or team spirit will turn him into a savior and, ultimately, save him from facing the tougher teams remaining on our schedule, such as the Lions, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers. Like I said at the beginning, I like Keenum’s ability, so I hope that he continues to find success and does whatever is necessary for the Vikings to continue to win games. I’m just not sure that continuing to start him will be the solution. 

Reflecting on my Collegiate Career

It seems like only yesterday when I walked on stage in my black gown and shook hands with my school’s chancellor. I finally did it. I accomplished the one thing that I never thought I would be able to complete: gaining my bachelor’s degree. There were plenty of times, even right up towards the end, when I was close to falling off track and dimming that light at the end of the tunnel. To this day, I’m still not sure how I made it. Maybe I’m underestimating myself. I’m sure some luck was probably involved as well – perhaps from that certain someone upstairs. Either way, I came out on the other side in one piece and with a new, important piece of paper. The classic Hollywood ending . . . sounds like a great story, right? Well, that wasn’t the beginning and, in fact, this isn’t the end.

I began my college career in a bit of confusion. I spent my first collegiate semester at a small community and technical college near my hometown (I was supposed to go to a different community college, but that’s a long story meant for another day). I thought that things wouldn’t change much since I would be still near home and actually still living at home. Well, no matter how much I wanted to believe that, I knew deep down that nothing was still the same. Life around me at home was moving on with or without me, so after a long and isolated semester in a school that had very few students actually attending there for their generals, I decided to jump ship and go to the place I probably should have gone to from the start: a different, bigger community college that my best friend was attending.

This time was different, and by different, I mean the good kind. It was and always is good to be home with my family, but I needed a change and they would be the first to tell you that. This time I was going to school an hour away from home and living with my best friend and a few other friends from high school and previous sports teams. Hanging out with them are some of my favorite memories even up to this day. The combination of friendly, familiar faces in a new environment with new friendly faces was perfect for me. I not only got to see some friends from high school, but I also got to befriend some new people that, to this day, I’m still glad I was able to meet – and in some cases, still communicate with.

After a fun, yet successful spring semester, I returned to that same community college the following school year, but unfortunately, my roommates were all a year ahead of me and were either no longer attending the school or living near campus. That meant that I lived at home and drove to class from there. It made traveling to work (workstudy at the computer commons) a little more challenging – particularly on days with bad weather – and I added onto it even more when I was cast in a community theatre production, Jack the Ripper: Monster of Whitechapel. That was also a great experience with incredibly talented individuals surrounding me.

Once my first two years were expired, I had to make a big decision regarding my future. The first decision was choosing a university to attend and the second was deciding on a major. Up to that point, I had been so focused on my generals that I hadn’t really thought much about picking one specific major. In my last few months at that community college, a few of my English teachers saw how well I was doing in those classes and talked me into being an English major, so I was aided in that decision, but deciding on a new school was not as simple.

I looked at a few schools that interested me and, more specifically, the English programs they offered. I concluded that a private school in the twin cities was the best fit for me and my academic strengths. That was the plan all the way up until a week or two before moving in when it was ultimately decided that, financially speaking, it would not work out.

That left me in a frenzy about what to do. My backup plan, UMM, was one of my next options and the school my sister was attending was another option. It didn’t take me long to discover that my backup school from the beginning – the school I was close to picking in the first place – was the right option and I have never been more right about anything in my life. Sure, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but it was a great environment for me and I made some amazing new friends (one I lived with and still talk to almost daily).

The environment was friendly and once again, I was surrounded by a few familiar faces and some wonderful new faces. Plus, it wasn’t too far of a drive for me to go home for a weekend. Of course, I can’t leave out the fact that I met the most amazing and important person in my life only a few weeks into fall semester. If you, the amazing and important person previously mentioned, are reading this, you definitely know who you are – although most people that know me probably already know who that person is, so I’m not sure why I’m wording it like it is some big revelation. Anyways, yes, I met some great colleagues, classmates, professors, and co-workers – particularly the librarians that I worked for. They are fantastic people that are incredibly good at their job. It was and is always a joy to see them.

In regards to my major, if I am being completely honest, it was a little bit of a mixed bag. The reason why I didn’t initially attend UMM was that I felt like my skills within the discipline of humanities and, more specifically, English, didn’t quite align with what their program offered. My strengths were and still are with creative writing. The program was more literature-based and exposed me to completely new territory. I had to learn a lot of information on the fly because, quite honestly, I was not ready or prepared for it.

In hindsight, it was probably the best thing for me to grow, academically speaking. It made me learn the fundamentals and basics of English and gave me a more well-rounded approach and mindset towards it that I could apply to other subjects and facets of life. I will also admit that I struggled with symptoms of depression and anxiety as my time there went on (I’m not the most outgoing person anyways) – thank goodness that amazing person was there with me! If I am also being honest, if the opportunity came before me to go back and redo it all over again, I think I might pick a different major. It isn’t because of any deficiencies I have with English, but rather because I had a good experience with an upper-level CMR (communication, media, and rhetoric) class. I found that class to be very intriguing and engaging while also earning a better grade in that class than I did in my English class at that time. In the end, I would probably pick that major just because I already experienced the English program and would want to try something different.

My last semester at UMM was bonkers. I took all English classes (something I never did before) that included my senior seminar course. I’m pretty sure I ended up with over 25 books in total to read for the semester. On top of that, I was still trying to hang out with friends and family back home here and there while also dealing with some personal stuff. I was forced to sacrifice some things in order to achieve success with my insane schedule – which included stepping down from writing for Odyssey. This was all happening while I was supposed to be figuring out what I was going to do with my life after college and also find a way to make monthly payments on the car I had bought in the winter. It got to a point where I actually spent some time with a guidance counselor that I basically became friends with more than anything, but it was still helpful nonetheless. It actually reminded me of the guidance counselor I used to see in high school and both scenarios were beneficial to me.

Finally, finals were over and it was basically a waiting game. My grades turned out to be not-so-horrible and I made it to commencement. That was a strange day for me. I know it is almost cliché to say it was surreal, but it really felt like that. It felt like it was a culmination of my college career and that it was meant to be. It also felt like it wasn’t quite the end of my college career (more on that a little later). All in all, it was a great day, but also a bittersweet one. For the ceremony, I sat next to two of my roommates that were also graduating with me. That is the last day I have seen both of them as of the moment this is being written. They are both really good friends of mine and I was lucky enough to have roomed with them for my senior year.

What also made it bittersweet was that it was the end of that chapter in my life. I would never live there again on campus and stay up late working on homework with my girlfriend. It might have been the last time I might ever see some of the people I was graduating with. Everything did work out great in how it all concluded, but that didn’t make it any easier. I remember being in my on-campus apartment with my younger brother and he told me he was going to wait in the car while we both waited for me to be officially checked out of the on-campus apartment. The lady came, checked me out, and after I took a moment to sit on the couch and let it all sink in, I walked to the door, turned back and saw all of the memories one last time, and then left for home with my younger brother no longer a college student.

Well, that isn’t entirely true. See, shortly after my last semester began, I was informed that I would be one course short of getting my degree due to an error with the website that showed me my graduation progress. Thankfully, it was in my major and after discussing it with the professor I had the most success with, I took not one, but two summer courses via email. I chose to do that because it would delay the grace period for loan repayment and bought me some time to figure out my next move. This is the first time I have mentioned it to just about everyone because at first I felt embarrassed about it. I bet my manager at the hotel I currently work for would be shocked to hear that I worked full-time while taking two heavily reading-intensive courses at the same time (he truly is an incredible boss, by the way). After that was completed, it was truly the end of my college career and yet time for another big change in my life.

So you are probably wondering by now what I am doing with my life. Well, a few weeks before commencement I made contact with one of my former editors at Odyssey. He invited me to join the entertainment website he is a staff member of called The Pop-Break. I instantly hopped on that opportunity and it has been a blast writing for them as a contributing writer. I’m still working at home for the hotel I’ve been working part-time / seasonal at while attending UMM (now it’s been more like full-time). I have also been spending some of my free time working on projects that I have wanted to work on for a long time, but hadn’t been able to due to time and / or resources, like tribute videos for my YouTube channel and, of course, writing. Am I still getting constantly asked if I have applied for a “better” job yet? I would be lying if I said no, but I understand and agree with their point-of-view. It is time to be a full-fledged adult, I suppose. It is just a matter of finding the right opportunity and putting myself in the best position for what I would like to do.

I actually still visit my former campus sometimes to see my girlfriend and connect with a few friends that still attend there. I think the weirdest part about graduating wasn’t the actual ceremony, but instead moving my girlfriend back into college for fall semester and then driving home afterwards. She is in her senior year (which is so weird to think about) and, while it has been tough being apart, we are adjusting and making it work. We’re regulars at this dating stuff since we’ve been together for three years now (with many, many more to come).

I guess that brings this collegiate-inspired narrative arc full circle. Wow, that was a slippery sentence. In a way, that kind of defines my college experience. There were a lot of changes and difficult times – some of which I purposely chose not to mention for personal reasons – but in the end, I pulled it all together and made it up the mountain. Some of the most important information that I learned actually wasn’t in the classroom, but rather how that material can help me improve my skills for a future career, how to be an adult, and how to live life in the real world. I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by great people everywhere I have been and it makes me ponder what lies ahead for me in the future.

If I have one message to leave here for current or upcoming college students, it would be this: have fun and enjoy college for what it is worth, but do not forget why you are there and make the most of it; make it count and become the person you wish to be. If you do finish and are still working on the next step, that’s okay. I’m still trying to figure this thing out as well.

Thanks for reading! If you’re interested, check out my other recent content here on my WordPress site.

13 Reasons Why: Season 1 Review

Some television shows exist to provide comedy, while some others exist to provide action and entertainment. Left hiding in the shadows are a select few that have a strong message and purpose, such as 13 Reasons Why. This wildly popular Netflix-original show (produced by Selena Gomez) is one that leaves its mark on viewers and is created with such fervor that it rivals other top shows.

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The premise of the show revolves around high school sophomore / junior Clay Jensen discovering a set of tapes on his doorstep addressed to him. He is in for a surprise when he finds out that they were made by his classmate, co-worker, and friend, Hannah Baker, just before committing suicide. Each tape is about a specific person that is, in a way, responsible for Baker’s death and is filled with instructions and information related to that event. As Jensen starts listening to the tapes, he recognizes that others have listened to them before he had (each person passes the tapes along to the next person in the order of who is featured on which tape). Unfortunately for Jensen, the others do not want this information getting out and will do whatever is necessary to keep Jensen quiet.

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My favorite part of this 13-episode arc is the way in which it is written and directed. Every episode is sharp with transitions, misdirections, and misdirections of misdirections. The depth within the dialogue and what / who is in the shot reveals not just what is being spoken, but also conveys that information to what or who is being shown. Plus, the interweaving narrative of Baker’s retelling on the tapes combined with Jensen hearing the tapes in the present day is handled extremely well. The lighting in the past utilizes warmer colors while the present features darker illumination to further demonstrate the different feelings of before and after the death of Baker. It is not something new, but works well in the context of how it is used.

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The characters in 13 Reasons Why are, thankfully, not clichéd or stereotyped. They are unique in their own ways and are all well-developed. You know the writing is tremendous when we feel for a character that most probably could not stand in previous episodes. The entire purpose of the show is to demonstrate that every person is going through or dealing with something in their lives. The writers take the time in every episode to explore the different characters associated with Baker’s life. One might state that it might be a little too convenient for the plot to explore characterization through the tapes, but it is done in a way that ups the suspense and mystery – which makes the viewer want to know more, so in my mind it furthers the plot in an engaging way.

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There is no way to avoid the potential danger that accompanies this show. I realize that every episode begins with the warning and encourages troubled individuals to reach out, but with a television show that is centered on a likable female protagonist that puts so much thought into committing suicide and making tapes for those responsible to listen to afterwards, it could encourage those watching that are troubled to make a bad decision. I hope the show helps those in need to discover that suicide is never the right option and there is always a way through the dark times.

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There are also some dark, graphic, and violent moments peppered throughout the show that might not be best suited for the faint-of-heart. It is powerful, but could be too much for some to handle. As they say: viewer discretion is advised.

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At the end of the day, 13 Reasons Why is not only top-notch, but incredibly important due to the subject matter. While at first I was not sure how a TV-MA rating would coincide with a show based on a novel targeted for high school kids, it is clear that it is handled in the best way it possibly could. The acting is almost always on-point and combination of direction and writing is nearly masterful. I cannot wait for what the next season will unveil.

Grade: A

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13 Reasons Why features creator Brian Yorkey based on the novel by Jay Asher. The series entails directors Gregg Arraki, Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Carl Franklin, Tom McCarthy, Helen Shaver, and Jessica Yu and writers Nic Sheff, Thomas Higgins, Elizabeth Benjamin, Diana Son, Nathan Jackson, Nathan Louis Jackson, Kirk A. Moore, and Hayley Tyler. The show stars Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, and Miles Heizer. 13 Reasons Why is produced by July Moon Productions, Kicked to the Curb Productions, Anonymous Content, and Paramount Television. Season 2 is expected to arrive on Netflix in 2018.

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Did Tom Welling Just Tease His Next Film Project?

Some might remember Tom Welling as Charlie Baker from the Steve Martin-led film, Cheaper By the Dozen, but most probably remember Welling’s portrayal of Clark Kent / Superman from the hit WB and CW series, Smallville. After the show’s 10-season run ended in 2011, he has only appeared in a handful of projects, including Parkland, Draft Day, and The Choice.
After The Choice debuted in February 2016, things have been mostly silent for Welling minus his St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital t-shirt campaign. He hasn’t been announced to be involved with any other projects for the past 17 months, but now we may have an indication of a new project he may appear in – with Welling’s Instagram as the direct source.
On July 7th, Welling posted the following picture onto Instagram (which has been screenshotted from an iPhone).

TW
As you can see, he wrote “Back on set,” which is obviously a strong indication that he is filming something, but there is always a chance he might not be. As for what that project could be, your guess is as good as mine. I’m just happy that he might be involved with a new project. Let’s hope this is the beginning of his true comeback; he’s too talented of an actor not to.
Update: It has been brought to my attention that this picture is actually about Welling promoting Saddle Club with his girlfriend, Jessica Rose Lee. Sorry for the misinterpretation. It looks like we will have to wait longer to hear about any other potential projects. 

“Riverdale” Season 1 Review

This critically-acclaimed CW series, based upon characters from Archie Comics and currently available for streaming on Netflix, has some awesome, multi-dimensional, and relatable characters (and actors portraying those characters), intriguing murder-mystery moments, fun Easter eggs and references (hint, hint, DC Rebirth), and a refreshing tone and take on this type of source material. This will be a non-spoiler review, but a few very minor spoilers may appear. The basic, end-all, be-all question I set out to answer by the end of this review is the following: is “Riverdale” a good show that I can recommend to others?

When I first saw promotional material for the pilot, I was immediately intrigued by the plot and tone that the show was going for. “Riverdale” turns the opportunity for a stereotypical high school drama into a fun, dark, and wacky murder-mystery with a high school template. The plot of the pilot, which sets up the entire season, begins with high school reject, Jugghead Jones (Cole Sprouse), narrating the story he is writing about all the events happening in the small town of Riverdale, which happens to be the content of each episode. The opening finds a high school girl named Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) located on a rock next to Sweetwater River with a distraught look on her face. It is revealed that her brother, high school football star, Jason Blossom, has been found murdered and the investigation begins.

One thing this show nails is characterization. The show revolves around a small group of attractive, yet real and believable high school kids. Football star and up-and-coming musician, Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa), appears to be the focal character of the show. He might appear to be the perfect “boy next door” type of character, but he is written in a way that makes him much more flawed and relatable. His best friend, Jugghead, might be the best character on the show. The constant turmoil that his character deals with and continues to rise above is something admirable and inspirational in a sense. The “girl next door” to Archie is Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart). She is another character that masterfully avoids being a stereotype. She has her own issues to deal with at home that complicate her life. Her best friend and new girl in town, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), is probably a fan favorite. She has charisma and charm, but despite her rich family and endless talents, she gets caught up in the heart of the story.

One aspect of the show that has surprised me is the critique of parenting. All of the parent/guardian figures have decent intentions at heart, but don’t always live up to expectations. Veronica lives with her mother, Hermione Lodge (Marisol Nichols), in which it is revealed that Hermione is not a completely innocent parent (Veronica’s father is in jail, so I suppose he isn’t innocent, either). Betty’s parents, Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick) and Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro), are control freaks and believe in discipline and perfection, which obviously leads to conflict with Betty and others. Cheryl’s parents, Penelope Blossom (Nathalie Boltt) and Clifford Blossom (Barclay Hope), run a $1 million syrup company and are probably the most problematic of the parents on the show. For two people that recently lost a son, they still seem quite cold and suspicious to viewers. The most unsuspicious and well-hearted parent is actually Archie’s father, Fred Andrews (Luke Perry). We do get to meet his mother, Mary Andrews (Molly Ringwald), but Fred is the parent that everyone wishes they had. He is the heart of all that is good in Riverdale, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be human, either. The plot seems to hammer home the idea that too much power and control can lead to chaos (like strict parenting, for example), but chaos has already become a staple for the town of Riverdale – which is fascinating as a viewer.

When the plot takes a break from the murder investigation and slows down, there are some great musical moments. Following not just Archie’s storyline involving music, but also a band named The Pussycats are excellent and fit the show perfectly. Obviously the song lyrics are meant to subtly reflect and reveal the feelings of the character singing, but the music itself has great replay value – even outside the show. It’s not only that the musical scenes have good music, but it furthers the plot of the episode and adds to it tremendously. This is one area of the show that I cannot wait to see expand with the characters and the plot.

Riverdale main cast

Every television show or movie has pros and cons to them, and “Riverdale” is no different. Don’t get me wrong, I like high school shows (including this one), but there is one particular aspect of the show that bugs me a little bit. I cannot understand why the show has an elaborate kissing scene in almost every single episode. Most of them actually work well, but it can feel overdone at times to a point where it takes me out of it and it loses its impact. In addition, certain characters hate each other during one episode, then get along really well the next episode, and then hate each other the episode after that. I find it to be a little odd and somewhat unbelievable. Plus, some of the dialogue doesn’t feel authentic at times, but it never took me out of any particular episode.

I think it’s obvious that there will be some kind of reveal at some point during the season. For me, I didn’t find that specific reveal to be very rewarding or impactful, which negatively impacts the entire murder-mystery subplot throughout the season. All of the build-up, twists, and turns in regards to the murder is actually fascinating and digs up new questions, but how it all concluded feels like somewhat of a letdown – although it is actually filmed really well. In fact, after I initially watched the finale episode, I thought it was a weak ending to such a good show. After taking some time to process it, I’ve actually come to like it quite a bit more, but not entirely. I’ll let you watch and decide for yourself. What I can say is this: the best scene of the entire season is in the season finale.

My only other minor gripe about “Riverdale” is based on the season finale. To me, I feel like I already know exactly what is going to happen in the next season. I like the idea of how they were setting up the next season, but I think they set it up a little too well – although, I have to admit, a particular scene with Archie and Veronica is pure gold.

With everything considered, I think this is a show that I can definitely recommend to potential viewers. The good easily outweighs the bad. The show’s producers, writers, directors, and tech crew (most notably: executive producer, Greg Berlanti, and composer, Blake Neely) have a hit-show on their hands. I think the part I like most about “Riverdale” is that while the first season is a success, the future seasons have so much potential and ability to elevate the show’s quality even more.

 

Grade: B

 

Potential Justice League Storylines

WARNING: There will be spoilers below for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If you haven’t seen the film yet and don’t want to have it ruined, come back after you’ve seen it. If you haven’t seen it and don’t care about seeing major plot points, then that’s fine, too, I suppose!

Aquaman

 

Ever since the ballsy ending to BvS, there has been much controversy. It isn’t just about the ending, but that the ending was so unexpected and somber. Well, I guess it shouldn’t be shocking for comic-book fans. One of the highest-selling graphic novels of all-time was called The Death of Superman, in which Doomsday and Superman both die, but then some other events happen (discussed below).

 

Anyway, here are my theories for possible Justice League storylines.

 

Superman's soldiers

#1: Injustice: Gods Among Us

This is most likely going to be a part of the film. It all depends on how much. Essentially, the Injustice storyline is based off of the Joker killing a pregnant Lois Lane, and Superman decides to exercise power in order to end all crime. Batman initially disapproves with Superman, but tensions skyrocket when Superman kills the Joker.

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Also, in the comics, there has been war-like tension between Aquaman’s home down in Atlantis, and Wonder Woman’s humble abode in the Amazon. Batman v Superman writer Chris Terrio was also quoted saying he has done a lot of research for both of these heroes’ homes.

 

 

 

Gal Gadot as WW

#2: Batman and Wonder Woman – Action/Adventure

We learned that Batman and Wonder Woman are going to find the other metahumans discovered in the e-mail file and form a group to serve up some justice. My theory is that they go around to each hero’s city and find them in an effort to help combat the threat Lex warned Bruce of (and the Flash cameo earlier). Maybe things are put into motion a little quicker by a new threat? Is it Superman? Is it the Amazon/Atlantis war? Brainiac? Darkseid?

Batman seeing Darkseid omega symbol

 

 

 

Darkseid holding Superman's head concept art

#3: JL War

This animated movie from 2014 shows a plethora of superheroes eventually coming together to stop the evil force of Darkseid. To make this clear, Darkseid is very similar to Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Darkseid was created FIRST in the comics. This movie shows the origin of Cyborg and Shazam, as well as seeing great banter between Green Lantern, Flash, Batman, and Superman before taking on Darkseid.

Communion

There were many hints to this storyline in BvS. The box that helped create Cyborg (also seen in the deleted scene on YouTube titled “Communion”) is called a motherbox, or the “iPhones” of Darkseid’s home planet named Apocalypse. Also, Darkseid turns Superman evil for a small period of time, which was hinted at in a couple scenes of BvS. Could we see the Justice League teaming up to stop Steppenwolf (Darkseid’s army general in the picture above) from gathering all three motherboxes?

 

 

 

The Death of Superman.jpg

#4: The Death of Superman continuation

Obviously this was a part of the final act of BvS. This comic book (and eventually animated movie) is one of the most iconic of all-time.

Superman black and chrome

In the story, Superman and Doomsday kill each other after a long, hard-fought battle in Metropolis, but Lex takes advantage of this. He made an evil clone of Superman, which the real Superman had to fight against when he came back from the dead by way of his Kryptonian technology. The best part: he came back with an awesome black and chrome suit.

 

 

 

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#5: Crisis on Infinite Earths

This might be a stretch, but it’s possible. There was a part of the storyline that snuck into BvS. In the storyline, Flash goes back in time (or onto a different Earth for sweaties out there) to warn Batman of the future and that the world is dying.

Crisis on Infinite Earths Flash.jpg

In BvS, Flash arrives through a time portal to tell Bruce: “You were right about him,” and “It’s Lois, Lane Lane! She’s the key!” Although this is more likely to be be a part of either the Flash solo movie in 2018 to bring together the movie and television universe, I think DC wants to keep their TV-shows separate from their movies – especially after that Season 2 finale of The Flash television show.

 

 

Trinity plus Aquaman

The Verdict

Which one of these options is most likely? Well, probably a little bit of every option, but no one really knows. That’s a lie – Zack Snyder, Warner Bros, and the cast of Justice League already know. I’m just extremely enthralled and pumped for a live-action Justice League movie! What do you think will happen in the upcoming DC movies? Let me know!

Superman laughing