Special Screening of HBO original PAUSE with Sam Jay

As told by JIMMYSODOPE

Keenan Ivory Wayans’ “In Living Color” set the bar for sketch comedy
shows. Today we are seeing shows like “A Black Lady Sketch Show”
innovate their approach to the genre, building a scripted story around
the skits. Last night Fader presented a virtual screening of the HBO
original “PAUSE with Sam Jay”. Sam, a former writer for SNL, pushed
the boundaries of how a sketch comedy can be structured and delivered
a message to viewers that could empower them and alter the way they
see the world. Dare I say… It was genius.

PAUSE displayed a level of authenticity and honesty not seen on
television these days. The skits laid in a bed surrounded by a party
scene where Sam and her crew of friends/writers had casual
conversations that served as precursors for each skit. For instance,
in the “Go Judge Me” bit, and the conversation that preceded it, Jay
challenged the way we see Go Fund Me campaigns.

“It would be nice to shed light on these conditions of poverty that
force these circumstances”, Sam Jay expressed in a pre-recorded
interview that aired after the premier.

The writer/comedian spoke of the lessons learned since spending time
amongst wealthier friends and acquaintances. She mentioned how the
approach to wealth is different in affluent environments as opposed to
the hood. Whether it’s access to loans or candid investment group
chats, Sam simply stated, “Access creates opportunity.”

One of the last questions posed to Sam during the exclusive conversation with comedian and show writer Zack Fox was about how views on cancel culture. She explained “The only thing that frightens me is the mob needing blood. Needing a particular version of retribution.”

Sam Jay is here to make you laugh hysterically, question what you
think you know and push the limits of comedy!

“PAUSE with Sam Jay” airs Fridays on HBO and is also streaming on HBO Max.

A Photographic Love Affair with digital graphics, Arts and Fashion

Written by: The Vision Room

VIARAP Gallery, a limited time pop up, is now open this June for an artistic exploration that showcases how arts and fashion intertwine. A viewing of hip hop’s most influential visual moments through the lens of pop culture and social justice.

But there is more to this grand opening.

Super talented celebrity photographer Shareif Zidayat will also be there,2 not just to take pictures as VIARAP Gallery will be showcasing his marvelous works to the public.

Shareif Zidayat and graphic artist Flashgrfx are joining skills to deliver an exhibition like no other. You are invited to the 4-day event, and the stars are showing up.

The opening is sponsored by some of the best premium liquor brands. Ciroc Vodka and Deleon Tequila are getting guests started with the perfect glass.

One of their works worth seeing is the beautiful art piece of the late artist, DMX, whose picture was shot by Shareif Zidayat and surrounding mural and enhancement finished by Flashgrfx himself. Besides the elegant mural/photography of the rapper, Shareif has worked with countless celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Black Eyes Peas and Wyclef Jean to name a few.

This is one fashion & art show not to miss. It is the best collaboration between the graphic artist and photographer. This high-profile gathering will feature VIPs and celebrities from all walks of life. They will celebrate with these two talents and also gain valuable insight during the event.

Where is the event taking place?

The VIARAP Gallery photography exhibition promises to be exciting and fun-packed in a 6-day event holding at 2 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002.

The event begins June 8th with the grand opening of the exhibition to VIP guests from the red carpet welcome starting at 6pm and ending by 9pm.

June 9th presents the Panel – An art and activism program hosted by two young and fashion-forward ladies taking female independence to the next level. They are Nialah Edari and Savannah Britt.

June 10th is a special program tagged The Black and Brown Experience

June 11th is the last day for VIPs and hosts the Masters of Ceremonies for VIP and VVIP.

The VIARAP Gallery will also be opened to the public from 9th to the 13th from 11am to 4pm to appreciate our fans.

The VIARAP gallery grand opening will not be complete without the master strategist, award-winning marketer, brand consultant, and motivational speaker, Nick Storm.

If you love fashion, digital arts, and photography, this is one place to see all three in the spectacular works of Shareif Zidayat and Kedar Flash grfx Griffith.

Vote of thanks from The Vision Room

We are living the American dream and are determined to give back to our society and other African American people as well. We appreciate the support from all the artists, designers, celebrities, and especially celebrity photographer Shareif Zidayat and VIARAP Gallery.

Thanks to Ciroc Vodka and Deleon tequila for your sponsorship as they push to be a major brand in the industry.

 

Page Turners: “Later”

By Neha Seenarine

 

Stephen King released his latest novel, “Later,” earlier this year.

(Photo from Stephen King’s website)

“Later” follows a teenage boy, Jamie Conklin and his unordinary power to see the dead. His abilities are taken advantage of when he is forced to talk to dead to receive unanswered questions.

King has a specialty for coming-of-age stories. He writes young characters and develops them in a way you would think he was writing about his childhood best friend. We see numerous young characters in King’s popular work like: “The Shining,” “It,” and “The Body.” 

Young characters tend to have a supernatural ability to see the dead. A part of the skill is that children have not been exposed to the “real world.” They do not know their parents go Black Friday shopping for their Christmas presents, they think Santa Claus took a year to build it at his workshop. Adults are used to not having magic in their lives anymore. The adults in Conklin’s life struggle to believe him but they take his word. It is an interesting dynamic to see how he interacts with adults when they want to use his ability.

The theme of this story is manipulation. It seems people will take advantage of others regardless of consequences. Conklin interacted with a ghost to help his mother’s ex-lover out. Conklin was held accountable with his interaction with the dead. It seems like the adult never thought about how this might disturb someone’s childhood. People can become selfish when they see an opportunity and not recognize the aftermath because it does not affect them personally. 

Personally, I am not into the horror genre. “The Shining” is the only horror movie I have seen and will be the only horror movie I will ever see. It was great, it just successfully gave me the heebie jeebies. “Later” did not make me feel uneasy, but it did make me want more. I read this book in under a week because I wanted to know where Conklin was headed next. I am familiar with some of King’s previous work, but this book is perfect for anyone who may have not read “Rita Hayworth” or “Shawshank Redemption” and wants to be exposed to a new genre. 

You can learn more about “Later,” and Stephen King’s work here

 

April Kae – RIDE ON

The tricky thing about being young is that you’re expected to have an infinite supply of energy and ambition. Our culture acts as if young adults are immune to generational trauma, endless loops of police brutality on the news, paying rent, depression and heavens knows what else. What intrigues me most about April Kae is that the musician, influencer, activist and  podcaster embodies relentlessness. Seeking until she find what she’s looking for, April continues to ride on… 

“I’m originally from Austin, Texas. I was born in a small town called Denton, Texas where my parents met because the university of Texas is there. Which is a really great jazz school. I actually went college in Oregon. I went back home to get my life together then I realized I wanted to be in Philly. I visited a friend there and I fell in love with the city. I was also able to start a music club. A HipHop writing club after school. I’m not pretending like I went to the school to save these kids. Hopefully I helped a couple people but if anyone saved anyone it was the vibe of blackness. The black community saved me. I felt more empowered and decided to go back to college to study finance.”

The decision to study economics led April to New York, but even the big city wasn’t loud enough to quench her thirst for creative freedom. After more schooling and travel, April was committed to starting a band. Teaming up with her sister Nikki, Imani Gold was birthed in Portland. 

“Growing up in a musical household, singing together and playing music together was always a given. My mom is also music teacher and was the whole time I was growing up. During the holidays she would take my sister and I and her students around caroling to nursing homes. Then she would have twice a year concerts where I would play bass and my sister would help with organizing. Before the band was a thing, that’s what we were doing. That’s who we are.” 

The name of the band “Imani Gold” stays true to the sisters bond. Imani not only means faith in Swahili, it’s also Nikki’s middle name. Gold is a representation of the sense malleability and strength of marginalized people. Listening to their single “Ride On” you get a sense of April’s story and inspiration. Ride on has an island vibe but was written with the intention of writing a GREAT country song. 

“I actually wrote “Ride On” as an exercise for myself. I wanted to write the most straight forward country song possible. I think it was Miles Davis that said that he liked country music because of the stories. It starts ‘I was born in a small Texas town’. Like how much more classic country can you get than that?”

So whether you’re experiencing April Kae as the lead vocalist of Imani Gold, the influencer showing how beautiful natural body can be or the host of the “I See What You Mean” podcast, brace yourself for a big dose of authenticity and passion. 

Follow April Kae on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/aprilkae.nyc/

See official visual for Ride On by Imani Gold

MUSIC

Hear the latest episode of I See What You Mean

https://www.april-kae.com/what’s-your-legacy-kimmortal-musician-and-artist

 

Bingeables: Love Life

Written by Samantha Stemmer

 

As June approaches, the blazing heat of summer is in full swing and the joys of beach trips, pool days, and “dog days” are among us. However, along with the summer heat comes summer storms that usually only last thirty minutes to an hour, and what better way to spend those thirty minutes than curling up on the couch to watch a romcom? 

(HBO Max)

 

Debuting on HBO Max over a year ago on May 27, 2020, the show “Love Life,” created by Sam Boyd and starring actress Anna Kendrick alongside Zoë Chao and Peter Vack, has been criminally underrated. “Love Life” currently has one season that consists of ten episodes running around thirty minutes a piece and in June of 2020 was renewed for a second season, yet no release date has been announced. No, “Love Life” will not change your life and does not delve into deeper conversations or messages; however this show will put a smile on your face and make thirty minutes fly by. “Love Life” can be described as an anthology that follows one person per season through their journey into finding their soulmate, and the first season followed Anna Kendrick’s character, Darby Carter. 

 

The first season of “Love Life” spanned from 2012 to 2019 and over the course of the seven years features all the different relationships Darby Carter has had. Darby began the season as either a senior in college or a recent graduate living with two roommates in New York City. The episodes, typically titled after Darby’s boyfriends, for example the first episode is titled “Augie Jeong” and the second titled “Bradley Field,” play through the relationships Darby had with those particular partners, until in the last episode, Darby meets “the one.” There are a few episodes that vary from the pattern of being about Darby’s boyfriend, including one about her roommate and best friend, an episode about her mother, and one about her childhood, however that episode did include her high school relationship. So while the show is primarily about Darby’s relationship with men there is also an aspect about “Love Life” that is about Darby’s relationship with the women around her and her relationship with herself. The episodes are both comedic, romantic, and relatable enough to keep you watching.

       (Sarah Shatz / WarnerMedia / HBO Max)

 

The biggest flaw with “Love Life” is the lack of attention to the surrounding characters. For example Zoë Chao’s character, Sara Yang, who is Darby’s roommate and best friend is incredibly interesting but only receives one episode dedicated to her with a ton of character to unpack. It would have been more satisfying for viewers if this episode was instead a part of an entire season which focused on Sara and her finding her own soulmate. Along with Chao’s character being glossed over, so was Peter Vack’s character, Jim, who is revealed as Sara’s boyfriend in the first episode.

 

While “Love Life” is a wonderful series to binge that is light-hearted and enjoyable, I do not know if a second season is necessary. The show’s ending did a great job of balancing tying up any loose ends yet keeping some elements up to the viewers imagination. I think another season following Darby Carter would be redundant, however a season following Sara, Jim, or Mallory, Darby’s other roommate and friend played by Sasha Compère, would be worth watching. Overall if you want an easy show to binge during the summer give “Love Life” a shot and let us at The Vision Room know what you think. 

 

Complexity of Cartoon Characters

By Neha Seenarine

 

‘Space Jam’ is coming back to theaters, but with all sequels, the characters are never the same.

Photo from Collider

The sequel, ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ will not feature Pepé Le Pew and Lola Bunny will have a new look.

Pepé Le Pew has been removed from the film. His character promotes rape culture relentlessly with the same storyline. 

“Each begins with a cat, usually but (interestingly) not always female, getting a stripe of white paint on its back, usually (but not always) by accident,” said Jennifer Finney Boylan, journalist for The New York Times. “This makes our hero, Pepé, mistake the cat for one of his own kind — and his response to those of his own kind is always deep and passionate love. He has a curious way of expressing it, though. Even though he is French (which in the Looney Tunes world is shorthand for relentless amour), his terrible smell repulses the objects of his affection, who struggle valiantly to get away, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. “Odor-able Kitty” ends with Pepé with a chain around his ankle. “Now we are inseparable, are we not, darling?” he says. The shot follows the chain across the room to the cat, whose leg is also bound. The last we see of the pussy, she is desperately hacking away at the chain, trying to get free.”

In today’s world, Pepé Le Pew’s image of being a cartoon bachelor is not acceptable. Some may argue that audiences are too sensitive about animation. However, cartoons are created by people with a purpose. There are writers that sit down to create a character and their motives. An animated French skunk can easily be portrayed as a womanizer by simply flirting.

There is a line that should not be crossed. Critics act like sensitivity is a problem. However, the media industry should be mindful of its viewers. In a world with the ‘Me Too’ movement and the constant fight for people to be heard; there are victims who have been taken advantage of. It would be traumatic to sit down and watch a family-friendly movie that depicts rape. When the movie is over, it can leave a good or bad impact on someone.

It would be a step backward if Warner Brothers chose to leave Pepé Le Pew in the ‘Space Jam’ sequel. At the end of the day, companies have a reputation to protect. ‘Cancel culture’ is real. The internet will not hesitate to black-list industries. It is either lose the skunk or lose the company’s revenue.

The ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ controversy did not stop there. Lola Bunny is dressed appropriately for a children’s movie. However, ‘Space Jam’ fans are appalled with the lack of cleavage. 

Cartoon characters do not have to be sexy. Animated female characters like Lola Bunny are portrayed to have a fit body and be seductive to the protagonist (in this case, Bugs Bunny). She is a bunny that plays basketball, it is okay if Lola has a flat chest. 

Sex appeal does not add value to a character. For example, the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) from Marvel Comics wears a revealing costume. When the comics were adapted to live-action movies and shows, actress Elizabeth Olsen, wanted to wear clothes that covered her body when playing Wanda Maximoff.

“It’s funny because sometimes I look around and I’m just like — wow, I’m the only one who has cleavage, and that’s a constant joke because they haven’t really evolved my superhero costume that much,” Olsen told ELLE Magazine in 2018.

The Disney+ show, ‘WandaVision’, debuted a new look for the Scarlett Witch. Olsen gave input on how she wanted her costume to function. 

“She is so practical that she immediately put it on and she was like, ‘OK, I can do this move and I can’t do this move. And I need to be able to do this move,’” ‘WandaVision’ director, Matt Shakman said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight this week. “We were like, ‘Great!’ So then we have to re-engineer it because those suits are tough. I mean, it’s one thing to look amazing. It’s another thing to actually function.”

Photo from Disney+

There are more to characters besides how they look. Characters are impressionable to audiences based on their behavior. It is important for young audiences to get a glimpse of heroes projected for who they are, not how pretty they look. Young audiences should be kept away from bad influences that will taint the way they think. They are young, let them imagine the world as good and inspiring.

We are seeing a shift in the entertainment industry. Our characters representing our culture as society develops with new standards. Would you be satisfied with your favorite cartoon being rebooted to represent today’s ideals?

 

 

 

Top Five: Franchise French Fries

By Neha Seenarine

There are plenty of listicles on the internet about the best fast-food, French fries. This simple side dish has sparked controversy on which restaurant serves the best. What makes my list more trustworthy than others? Nothing, it is all about preference. 

(Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash)

What makes the perfect French fry?

French fries is the only acceptable food that your friend can stick their hand in your plate for. The perfect fry to me is seasoned shoestring cut. I am not big fan of potato wedges or steak-cut fries because I think there is too much potato inside. I prefer a good crunch. 

Most fast-food restaurants stick to the straight cut for its simplicity. We usually see crinkle-cut in Chinese takeout and Curly cut and waffle cut varieties can be find found at local diners. However, Arby’s and Chick-Fil-A serve different cut fries and that is one of the things that makes their menu diverse from other fast-food restaurants. 

A major flaw about French fries is that they get soggy quickly because, they are not meant for a catering event, just something quick like your lunch break. 

This is where my spiel on French fries ends, here are my top five choices:

(Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash)

  1. Five Guys – Cajun Fries

Five Guys is not stingy with their servings. You order a small, they will give you twice the amount. The fries are seasoned perfectly, and it is served in a cup. It is easy to be on-the-go with your Five Guys fries. I am not sure who the five guys are, but they are doing a great job. The only downside is not everyone can enjoy Five Guys’ fries, they are made in peanut oil and the probability of allergies would be an issue. 

 

  1. Popeyes – Cajun Fries

Again, the Cajun fries. I guess we can see a pattern on my preference. The fries are thinly cut with some flakiness to it. Popeyes’ fries keep me going back to their orange box for more. A big flaw is the portion. Maybe it’s me, but a large order of Popeyes’ fries is barely sharable for more than two people.

 

  1. Wendy’s 

Wendy’s fries lack seasoning, but there is a nice thin cut to them. They are a bit bland, but nothing that ketchup can’t fix. There is a great dipping sauce that can stir some controversy – it is the Wendy’s Frosty – personally, I would dip in the chocolate Frosty.

 

  1. Chick-Fil-A – Waffle Fries

Enough with the straight-cut fries! Chick-Fil-A’s waffle fries hold a nice flat shape. Also, it seems to hold sauces much better when dipping. Although I am not a fan of Chick-Fil-A’s mission statement, their fries are worth the try.

 

  1. McDonald’s

The Classic. You cannot go wrong with McDonald’s fries because it is a perfect cheap buy when you need a snack or you need to satisfy a child and there is location in every 15-minute. The fries overall are a bit salty for me. It is not my first choice, but it is not unbearable to eat.

 

I am from the East Coast. I have not had the opportunity to travel and try regional fast-food restaurants like In-N-Out, Jack in the Box, or Raising Canes. When I do, I will be sure to update this list. 

 

From TV to Radio, The O.C. is Back B*tches

Written by Samantha Stemmer

(Kast Media)

After 14 long years without the comedy and drama that Fox’s The O.C. provided, Rachel Bilson, who played Summer Roberts, and Melinda Clarke, who played Julie Cooper, have partnered with Kast Media to produce the podcast “Welcome to the OC, Bitches!” The podcast features both Bilson and Clarke re-watching the entire series as both cast members and fans, revealing the behind-the-scenes scoop with each episode featuring different guest stars.

 

The podcast, which is scheduled to produce over 100 episodes, premiered on April 27 and will release episodes weekly on Tuesdays. The first episode featured series creator Josh Schwartz, who is also responsible for creating teen drama Gossip Girl. Bilson, Clarke, and Schwartz discuss the casting process, creation of the show and development, and all their favorite moments of the pilot episode.

 

The second episode, which was released on May 4, “The Model Home with Patrick Rush,” features Bilson and Clarke sitting down to watch the second episode of The O.C. with the main casting director of the series, Patrick Rush. Rush tells Bilson and Clarke the hardest roles to cast and his favorite lines from the second episode of the series. Rush also starts to get some of the “tea,” asking Bilson about her relationship with Adam Brody.

(Kast Media)

 

On May 11, the third and most recent episode of “Welcome to the OC, Bitches!” centers around the third episode of the T.V. series “The Gamble,” and welcomes guest star Peter Gallagher. Peter Gallagher, who plays the character Sandy Cohen, was the first member to be cast on the series and brings a lot of enthusiasm to the podcast as he shares his audition experience. 

 

While fans might not have gotten The O.C. revival or reboot they dreamt of, this podcast is the perfect solution. Fans can dive back into their favorite 2000s teen soap for around an hour and a half every Tuesday to relive the series and find out all the actor’s gossip and inside scoop. Bilson remarked that they will welcome many other guest stars to the podcast and even added that they hope Mischa Barton, who played Melissa Cooper, will join for an episode too.  

 

The next episode of “Welcome to the OC, Bitches!” comes out on May 18 and can be found on a multitude of streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music, additionally each episode can be found on YouTube. We at The Vision Room cannot wait to see who next week’s guest star will be. 

 

When the Lights Go Out

By Neha Seenarine

pastedGraphic.png

(Photo by Dalelan Anderson on Unsplash)

Our world is reliant on technology, but what if it was taken away from us?

We are dependent on our phones, television, and laptops to navigate our life for us. We would not know how to drive to a new restaurant without a GPS app or what to wear without checking the Weather app before we hit the shower. Luckily, I can explain what happened to me in a day without technology in 2021. A storm hit my town and took out my electricity. I imagined the power would be restored after an hour or two because that is usually the case with bad weather. However, I was in for the longest day of my life. 

Seventy seven percent of people responded that they believe society as a whole relied too much on technology to succeed according to a study by Penn State. When people say all their work is on their laptop, it is true. I had my phone running on cellular data until the battery died. I sat there thinking about all the work I could have gotten done. I could have finished school assignments, written an article, or update my Pinterest boards if I really wanted to. 

“The type of entertainment we get from technology today is known as ‘passive’ entertainment,” according to the University of People, which is like being on autopilot.  This could be anything from binge-watching a show on Netflix to listening to a podcast. It does not require much effort. Passive entertainment, or passive leisure, is different from active entertainment or active leisure, which involves the exertion of physical or mental energy.

Communication Technology has soared, and we have taken technology for granted. We use social media to pass time and abuse search engines to answer all our questions. I was not able to see my emails or follow up with a friend on how they are doing today and the funky memes they saw. I am so used to my mother texting me if I am ready for dinner. Texting lacks facial interaction and the steps we could have made across the house.

It seems that I was out of the loop for a day. However, it was nice to be away from all the blue light seeping into me. I would recommend taking a break from technology whether it is a few hours or a weekend. It allows you to reflect and be exposed to the things around you. Your phone can break, but the external resources around 

The United States is making Champions League History

Written By: William Morales

Captain America has done it again, and no, this isn’t referring to superhero Steve Rodgers. This is referring to the 22-year-old soccer sensation named Christian Pulisic. The young man known for captaining the stars and stripes. The talented youngster that plays for Chelsea Football Club in West London. Day-by-day Pulisic is making history all over Europe as an American soccer player. 

  Two seasons ago after joining Chelsea, Christian Pulisic took England’s domestic league, the premier league, by storm. Tallying a total of 13 goal contributions in 25 games is a fine first season in a difficult league to adapt to. Although his second season hasn’t been as productive, he has come up with two of Chelsea’s most important moments in the past 9 years. Last week he had a thrilling finish against a tough Real Madrid side to force a 1-1 draw, and this week a brilliant tie-settling assist to send Chelsea through to the finals of the Union European Football Association (UEFA) Champions League. A feat that Chelsea hasn’t reached since 2012, the last time the Blues defied all odds. 

If Christian Pulisic features in the final on May 29th (which he should), he will become the first American in history to play at this stage of the competition. Now if you didn’t know, the Champions League final is the Superbowl of European football, except all of Europe is literally watching. The stage is set and Pulisic has a chance to represent the United States on debatably, the biggest football platform in the world.

The Hershey, Pennsylvania native will be making history, and he has been setting soccer on fire for about 6 seasons now. Having signed his first professional contract at age 17 with top German club Borussia Dortmund, he has contributed heavily, and has also paved the way for more young Americans to start careers in Europe. An all-time high 51 American players are currently playing away from the United States, with all but two of these playing in Europe. As the 2026 world cup in the United States approaches, Pulisic has done a great job at being a role model for his national team teammates.

In recent weeks, Pulisic has reassured fans that he is growing in confidence: “It’s amazing at the moment, I’m feeling confident and the team is feeling this way as well.” (GOAL)

His charisma and belief in his own abilities is great to see, and for younger fans at home it’s nice to see an American being interviewed after big games. It’s a name fans will hold dear for years to come. 

It’s great to hear a player speak so confidently, but also reassuring when the coach echoes that confidence. Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel was also Pulisic’s head coach at his previous club Dortmund. He can also sense the talent in his play: ““I feel him stronger and stronger, more self-confident and he can be a decisive factor in the next game with his speed and ability to dribble, and his ability to arrive in the box in dangerous situations, and balls from the side, and crosses he has the feeling to arrive and score.” (NBCSports) 

After a lifetime of Americans sticking close to home and playing in the Major League Soccer (MLS), some of the country’s younger stars are making a name for themselves in Europe. Participation in the Champions League alone is impressive but helping a team travel to the finals is unbelievable. Pulisic brings his own flair to the game and as he continues to make headlines, people begin to realize that the beautiful game is making its way over to the states. The new generation is going to make a name for themselves at home and around the world.