Leave it all to Sam & Cat to Make it Shine!

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Fans of Nickelodeon’s Victorious and iCarly rejoice! “Sam and Cat” is the network’s newest half-hour comedy series that celebrates the best of both beloved shows, which are now no longer in production (I cry a little every time I think about this fact,).  The show features Jennette McCurdy, and the lovely Ariana Grande.  As Ariana’s #1 fans, we here at The Pop Project can’t get enough of Grande, so we made it our mission to review this spunky new sitcom for you.

Grande portrayed the role of Cat on Victorious from 2010 until the show’s abrupt end in early 2013.  Fans of the show were devastated and downright outraged by the show’s conclusion, or lack thereof.  It has been said in the interwebs that the show’s end could be attributed to a certain lead actress’s decision to do a solo concert tour, abandoning her cast for her own personal glory…but that’s an irrelevant story. I mean…Victoria who?…

As Victorious came to a close, avid Nickelodeon viewers held on to their adoration for the loveable character Cat, as well as the badass, brash, and unapologetically hilarious character of Sam Puckett (Jennette McCurdy) from iCarly, which had also come to an end three months prior to Victorious. So what happened next? Dan Schneider, creator of basically every single hit sitcom Nickelodeon has ever had cooking in his “bakery”, whipped up a fresh concept to satisfy the hunger of the crazed Victorious and iCarly fans. Behold, Sam and Cat was born.

The show premiered on June 8th, 2013, and let’s just say it did more than live up to my expectations.  The show features Sam Puckett and Cat Valentine, who are roommates who start up their own babysitting service.  Enter in a slew of colorful characters such as Cat’s eccentric Nonna, and neighbor kid “Dice”, as well as the babysitting clientele, and it makes for a hilarious and quintessential “Dan Schneider” masterpiece that is sure to satisfy fans of the previous shows, as well as new audiences.  The premiere episode begins with Sam rescuing Cat from a garbage truck,as bizarre as that sounds. It actually makes for a whimsical and logical opening when you consider the characters involved here.  Other notable moments from the episode include “Elderly Acres”, where we find Cat’s Nonna playing Twister and old people getting chicken wing tattoo (Yep. Totally normal in Dan Schneider’s world). The best part of the episode for me has to be the onscreen dynamic between Ariana and Jennette.  Their comedic timing is impeccable, and their offbeat chemistry somehow works perfectly despite the vast differences in their characters.  Cat herself said it best in the episode:

“We sort of have this whole, fun odd couple dynamic, with built-in conflict, and lots of potential for more adventures…”

As a self-proclaimed Victorious fanatic, and wannabe Cat Valentine, I for one cannot wait to see what adventures are in store for Sam and Cat this summer in what is sure to be yet another hit sitcom for the network.

Be sure to check out Sam and Cat every Saturday at 8pm on Nickelodeon.

 

Rating: 5 Mr. Purple Giraffes out of 5

Want even more fun? Check out Dan Schneider’s blog for exclusive “Fun Facts” about the debut episode of Sam and Cat!

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Demi Lovato new CD send fans into a glitter attack

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The clock is still ticking for Lovatics everywhere.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 3 months, you know that Demi Lovato’s fourth studio album, self titled as “DEMI” drops on May 14th.  Eager and ruthless Lovatics however have recently tweeted their little hearts out, myself included, to unlock each song on the upcoming album a WEEK EARLY.  Yes, each song from DEMI is now able to be streamed via her official Vevo page, DemiLovatoVevo.  So as a self proclaimed and quite extreme Lovatic (I have a tattoo dedicated to the girl for God’s sake), who was recently blessed with this opportunity to listen to each song from the album IN THEIR ENTIRETY a week early…I feel it is my duty to present you with a track by track review of each song on DEMI, and give my overall thoughts on the album. So, here goes nothing…

 

Heart Attack:

The first single that was released in March starts the album off with a familiar bang.  You know the song, you love the song and it sets the tone for the rest of the album.

Favorite parts: That crazy run of high notes in the bridge…Damn girl.

Made in the USA:

This track was recently announced as the next single and music video from the album, which Demi directed herself.  The track is lighthearted and poppy, and sounds like a radio station’s dream.  Perfectly mainstream with just the right amount of uniqueness that is quintessentially Demi.

Favorite parts: The banjo picking near the end of the song, and the catchy chorus.  “Our love was made in the USA…”

Without the Love:

Upbeat track with a slightly depressing theme, once again perfectly and totally Demi.  The melody to this is hella catchy and seriously makes me wonder who this song is exactly about, as do the majority of the songs on the album…where are the T-Swift type hidden games in the liner notes when you need them?

Favorite parts: The bridge, and the chorus are so powerful. “What good is a love song without the love?…”

 

Neon Lights:

THIS SONG! Oh my god…SO different from anything Demi has ever done on an album.  Mainstream sounding? Yes. But in this case it works perfectly. The chorus is crazy catchy and was stuck in my head long after I first heard it.  The little breakdown after the chorus makes me want to fist pump…and I don’t fist pump. Ever. It’s safe to say you actually see neon lights in your head as you listen to this song, and long after it ends.

Favorite parts: That frickin’ chorus is LIFE. “Baby when they look up at the sky. We’ll be shooting stars just passing by. You’ll be comin’ home with me tonight. And we’ll be burning up like neon lights…” And not to mention those notes are CRAZY.

Two Pieces

Demi tweeted lyrics to this song last week, sending myself and all Lovatics into a tizzy.  This song is beautiful.  The melody is so unique and different in the pre-chorus, then that drum that comes in when the chorus hits is perfect.  Simply put, it is too good. Perfect, and very reminiscent of something that could have been on “Here We Go Again”.

Favorite parts: The lyrics. “There’s a boy lost his way looking for someone to play.  There’s a girl in the window, tears rolling down her face…” So youthful and just plain pretty. Loving it.

Nightingale

Probably the most hyped up song on the album.  Demi had tweeted about this song in early 2013 when work first began on the album, and Lovatics have been awaiting this song in particular the most.  The melody is beautiful, and her voice is spot on. Not a speck of autotune here. Crossing my fingers I will get to hear this song live because I feel like she will just kill it. So good.

Favorite parts: “Can you be my nightingale? Sing to me, I know you’re there…”…and those notes she hits. Woah.

In Case

Not gonna lie. I heard the demo version of this a week before it was released, and I wasn’t thrilled. However after hearing Demi’s version of the track, the song has grown on me. A depressing song? Yes. But beautiful nonetheless.  Not my favorite track on the album, but still very good.

Favorite parts: Some pretty damn powerful lyrics here…”Strong enough to leave you, but weak enough to need you. Cared enough to let you walk away…”

 

Really Don’t Care” (feat. Cher Lloyd)

LOVE this song. So catchy. Definitely one of those taunting kind of songs to say “Guess what…I hate you.” Also one of those that makes me die wanting to know who it’s about. “I can’t believe I ever stayed up writing songs about you…” WHAT?! Who is this about Demi?! I need to know. The only confusing part of this track is the Cher Lloyd collaboration.  The girl is in the song for a total of 15 seconds, if that, and is rapping a little diddy that Demi herself could have done way better. I mean it’s a cute little rap but…still…

Favorite parts: Has to be this line, “Now if we meet out on the street I won’t be runnin’ scared. I’ll walk right up to you and put one finger in the air…” Hmm…I wonder what finger that would be? 😉

Fire Starter

MY JAM RIGHT NOW. Seriously this song is amazing. I could also see this being a single, and doing very well on radio if given the chance. So catchy and very upbeat. Also one of many songs that have a “fire” theme to them. This album is the epitome of Demi Lovato being represented as a phoenix. Rising from the ashes stronger than ever before…

Favorite parts: “I’m a badass jumping off a moving train. I’m a Jane Bond puttin’ all them guys to shame…I’m a firestarter. I’m a sweet disaster. I melt hearts like water.” LOVE…

Something That We’re Not

Very much like “Really Don’t Care” in that it’s one of those “eff you” kind of songs. Demi apparently has some dude that just needs to get a damn clue and leave her alone. Very catchy song. Love the beginning too.

Favorite part: The point in the song when everything stops, and Demi just says straight up: “Not gonna happen dude.”…OOOOH! Do you need some ice for that BURN?

Never Been Hurt

Pretty good song. But very similar to the track “Unbroken” from her last album. The lyrics are also quite similar. “I will love you, like I’ve never been hurt…” Still very catchy and good beat though.  It has one of those breakdown moments at the end of the chorus that seems very T-Swift in “I Knew You Were Trouble”.  One of those songs that probably should have been a bonus track, but still sits contently on the album anyways…

Favorite part: The little breakdown post-chorus, and the bridge.

Shouldn’t Come Back

Slower song. Bit of a sad song…But the vocals on this are unbelievable. The falsetto on the chorus is a refreshing change of pace, since the majority of the tracks on the album are Demi full on belting. For some reason I feel like this song could be about her estranged biological father…but that’s just my opinion. These lyrics are also some of the most powerful and deep on the entire album. You can just tell that Demi was in tears as she recorded the track. Powerful and perfect. Rounds out the second half of the album nicely.

Favorite part: The lyrics are crazy deep and too long to list…and the hauntingly heartbroken melody is beautiful.

 

Warrior

If ever there were a Demi song to describe my life, this is it. This is basically the “Skyscraper” of this album. This is without a doubt the most powerful song on the album. Not gonna lie…I cried when I first heard it. Demi lays everything out on the line in this song. Basically saying she’s been through hell, and has made it through stronger than ever. Once again the fire and ashes references run all through this track for an even more present phoenix theme. Although this song will most likely never be a single, I feel like it would have the same radio appeal as Christina Aguliera’s “Beautiful” once did. Beautifully composed and arranged, with deep and powerful lyrics. If you don’t feel Demi’s struggle and triumph, or your own for that matter in this song, then you obviously have no soul. Sorry about that….

Favorite parts: The entire thing. Listen to these lyrics. They represent not only my life and most likely many other girls, but more importantly Demi’s life, struggles, and rebirth as a stronger person…”I am a warrior.”

 

***BONUS TRACK***

I Hate You Don’t Leave Me

This track is the bonus track included with the Target edition of DEMI. The ONLY bonus track at that…I mean…Why can Taylor Swift have an entire special “Red” edition of her album sold at Target with TONS of bonus goodies, and DEMI get’s one song….Anyways, I digress. This track is perfect. A bit of a mellow, more downer of a song, so I can see why they left it off the album to balance out the feel, but in my opinion it should have taken the place of “Never Been Hurt”. This is another one of those way personal songs. The lyrics are almost whispered in places, and you really hear the desperation in Demi’s voice, pleading her love to stay. The song also addresses abandonment issues and lyrics allude to the root of the problem being once again her jerk of a biological father. The song is beautiful though regardless of the subject matter. Do I think it is work going to Target just to buy this edition? No….But do I think you should download it online like I did? Hell yeah.

 

So there you have it….A track by track review of DEMI.  Don’t forget (hey look, a first album pun right there!) to pick up your copy of the album May 14th, or to preorder on iTunes right now….Thanks Hollywood Records for giving this Lovatic something to keep me satisfied until I can get my hands on a physical copy of DEMI. You’re a peach. 😉

 

Rating: 4.5 Bows out of 5

Spring break trailer review, bitches

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Fans of Selena Gomez lost their minds last Thursday after the long-awaited trailer for her new movie Spring Breakers was finally released online.  But don’t be fooled by the film’s cutes-y sounding chick-flick of a title.  This movie is anything but the G-rated Disney fare Selena fans are accustomed to, as Selena herself has stated that “People will be shocked,” by her character and the film itself.

According to imdb, the film basically revolves around four college girls who just want to leave their boring college campus, and have the quintessential spring break trip.  Oh, not to mention rob a bank to fund said trip, party it up, get thrown in jail, bailed out by a sketchy rapper (played by James Franco…seriously?), shoot some guns, do some dirty work, and god only knows what else.  The film is directed by Harmony Korine.  Haven’t heard of him?  He is the director of many equally twisted and obscure films such as Kids, Gummo, and something called Trash Humpers, (which is about exactly what you think it is…let that image just sink in).  Sound like a Disney Channel Original Movie to you? Didn’t think so. Allow us to break down the Spring Breakers trailer for you:

The trailer opens with a giant R rating from the MPAA for “strong sexual content, language, nudity, drug use and violence throughout”, meaning that unless you are 17, or have some pretty ingenious (and illegal) pirating skills, you kiddies will not be seeing this movie.  We then see the innocent, baby-faced Selena Gomez being awoken by a few of her familiar Disney-worthy friends Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson…oh and this Rachel Korine person who obviously just got thrown into the film because she is the director’s wife, (for now she is known as “pink hair girl”).  Immediately the girls’ desires are known from a constant, almost tribal chanting of “money” and “spring break” in the background of a montage of classrooms, dorm rooms, and standing in the rain…for some weird reason.  As the broke college girls cook up a plan to fund their escape, gangster rap replaces the chanting, and flashes of their robbery of what appears to be a restaurant are shown.  A split second later, the girls are then whisked away to “Spring Break”, in all it’s booze-y, day-glow bikini, Vespa-riding glory.  Next, it’s hello to Mr. James Franco, looking almost unrecognizable as rapper “Alien”, preaching to a crowd of spring breakers that “THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT!” and adding “Y’all” to the end of every sentence, (is that supposed to be a white rapper thing?).  Then just as the party seems to be getting started, we see the girls arrested, in a courtroom, and finally in a holding cell, all the while STILL in those bikinis (you would think they would have packed some clothes).  Busted out of jail by good old Alien, now we see that things are REALLY about to heat up, as Skrillex music blares in the background.  Cue the montage of guns shooting, James Franco’s corn row and grill shots, cases of money, solo cups, day-glow bikinis and blacklights, all the while set to constant base drops courtesy of Skrillex and another round of chanting declaring “spring break forever”.  There you have the glorious, twisted, terrifying, amazing Spring Breakers trailer, and what is sure to kick all that is remaining of Selena’s Disney image to the curb.

Watch the trailer here for yourself…We know we will about a million more times. “Spring break forever, bitches…”

Have an opinion on this movie? Leave in a comments below