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The Raider Review

The Raider Review

The Raider Review

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Scoops and Hoops
May 13, 2024

Moments in Pop Culture that Defined the Summer of 2023
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When you close your eyes and think of this summer, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the Barbie vs Oppenheimer debate? The Summer I Turned Pretty watch parties? Doja Cat going absolutely ballistic and losing half of her fanbase? The multiple hit albums and singles released from June to August? Spiderman: Across The Spider-verse dominating cinemas for weeks on end?

It’s safe to say, no matter what you think of, this summer was very memorable, especially in terms of Pop Culture.

Despite summer just barely ending, I know the CCHS student body (and maybe even some CCHS faculty) are already counting down the days till June 12th.

So, let’s recap the most memorable moments of the summer!

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5. Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse

After years of pure anticipation and excitement, the sequel to “Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse” was released in theaters on June 2 to remarkable critics and audience reviews, averaging a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film had fans of the franchise and even newcomers clutching onto their popcorn and screaming when a “To Be Continued” flashed across the screen right before the credits rolled (speaking from experience, I spilled my candy and wouldn’t stop talking about the ending for two weeks). Despite my love for the film, it still is only number 5 on my list.

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4. Beyoncé: “The Renaissance Tour”

This ranking is self-explanatory.Beyoncé has been dominating the music industry since the late 90s and she is nowhere close to being de-crowned, even though she’s been active for 26 years.Her most recent album “Renaissance” proves it.

With 190,000 albums being sold in the first week and 43 million streams within 24 hours of the release date, it is no surprise that the “Renaissance Tour” has the entire internet battling over concert tickets and garners itself a comfortable spot at number four.

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3. “The Idol”

When world-renowned pop star, Abel Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weekend and creator of the 21st century’s most successful teen drama “Euphoria” Sam Levinson announced that they would be collaborating for a show about the dark side of Hollywood, I can’t lie and say I wasn’t intrigued.

Having been an avid listener of The Weeknd since the release of “After Hours” & having tuned into almost every “Euphoria Sunday”, I was actually pretty excited to see what they came up with.

Starring Lily Rose Depp and featuring multiple other notable names (Troye Sivan, Jennie Kim, Rachel Sennott etc.), the show was, to put it in the lightest way possible, a trainwreck.
After being poorly written and romanticizing triggering topics, the allegations of a hostile work environment and misogynistic comments from Tesfaye & Levinson started to come to light.
Not to mention the back-and-forth fights between Tesfaye and fans on “X” and the infinite Tiktok memes that sprouted from this show, “The Idol ” definitely deserves a proud spot at number 3.

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2. Taylor Swift

Whether you love her or you hate her, Taylor Swift is an absolute icon and her hundreds of sold out shows prove that.

From releasing “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)”, announcing a feature film, ending up in a dating scandal with Matty Healy of the 1975 and adding more European & US Tour dates to her roster, Taylor Swift definitely earns her spot as a runner up on my list.

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1. Barbie”

If you didn’t go to AMC adorned in an all pink outfit just to watch this movie, you missed out!
“Barbie” directed by Greta Gerwig, starring Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie has not only made its mark on the summer, but also on the cinematic industry and pop culture as a whole.
A movie about how an egalitarian society is the only way for peace and harmony in the world won over the heart of adults and children alike. It became a common theme to see Tiktoks about people running to the theatre to see the film for the umpteenth time or getting tattoos inspired by quotes from the movie.

Youtuber Film Cooper posted a Tiktok of himself, immediately after seeing “Barbie”, running to the tattoo parlor to get a tattoo that says “Kenergy”, inspired by the most notable song in the film.

Breaking numerous box office records, inspiring countless internet memes, and garnering Gerwig multiple awards, it definitely has the number one spot on my list!

Honorable Mentions

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Doja Cat losing 250 thousand fans in 24 hours, Colleen Ballinger’s “Apology” Video, Drake “It’s All A Blur” Tour, “The Summer I Turned Pretty”, “Twitter” rebrands to “X”, Lizzo gets sued by former employees.

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About the Contributor
Cihara Mathieu ‘26
Cihara Mathieu ‘26, Staff Writer
This is Cihara Mathieu. She is a sophomore and a writer for the Raider Review.

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