'American Gods' Will Make You Believe

'American Gods' Will Make You Believe

The new Starz series that's about to redefine television.
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Based on the 2001 Neil Gaiman novel, "American Gods" premiered April 30th on Starz and immediately proved that the series is one to watch out for.

The story follows Shadow Moon, an ex-convict whose world is turned on its head after crossing paths with the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. Shadow is introduced to a world beyond his own that's caught in a war between old and new belief systems.

The highly anticipated series produced by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green has already surpassed expectations. With Gaiman's fantastic wielding of language in a novel based in magical realism, I had my doubts that anyone would be able to bring Gaiman's images to life the way he does. But with Fuller and Green's recreation of *that* Bilquis scene (fans of the book...you know the one I'm talking about), they have proven that if anyone is right for taking on this book-to-screen adaptation, it's them.

The premiere exquisitely sets up the stakes of what's to come for Shadow. From the pulsing and cinematic energy of the music to the intricate specificity of camera movements, this season is setting up to read more as an eight-part movie than an episodic television show. Already, "American Gods" is employing masterful creativity that transcends traditional film, and it is incredibly satisfying and exciting to witness.

Along with the stellar direction and production, the cast is nothing short of exceptional. It's such a joy to have Ricky Whittle ("Shadow Moon") back on my screen for the first time since his heartbreaking departure from The CW's "The 100" as the beloved character Lincoln. Fans of both shows will see the similarities between Shadow and Lincoln: their quiet ferocity, their instinctive gentleness matched with equally as much power to pin someone down. Whittle brings back his most notable and admired qualities while giving fresh nuance and depth to his role as Shadow. The emotional layers Whittle brings to his performance are impeccable; he will grab you and place you in the story next to him, making you feel everything Shadow feels as you join him on this journey.

Equally as commanding are Whittle's costars: the legendary Ian McShane ("Mr. Wednesday"), Emily Browning ("Laura Moon"), Pablo Schreiber ("Mad Sweeney"), Yetide Badaki ("Bilquis"), and Bruce Langley ("Technical Boy"). This all-star cast is not messing around. Each actor delves so fully and complexly into their characters and brings them to life with powerful, show-stopping performances.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the premiere, aside from every moment Ricky Whittle was on screen, was the introduction of the character known as Technical Boy. His entrance has to be the most perplexing, innovative, and captivating way a character has ever been introduced on television.

Technical Boy is the first "new" god we're introduced to: god of computers and the Internet. Joining him in future episodes is Media (played by the incomparable Gillian Anderson). Gods exist because of the people who believe in them, and ancient mystical figures like Mr. Wednesday are losing their power to modern gods like Technical Boy and Media as the things that are important to society change.

This series is definitely one to keep your eyes on. If the premiere is any indication, "American Gods" is about to be one of the most important, nuanced, and game-changing series in television history. A story about immigrants coming to America and bringing with them their unique beliefs and culture could not be more relevant, and Fuller and Green seem well-suited for the challenge of bringing this complex tale to life.

"American Gods" is available for streaming on Starz and Amazon Prime.

Cover Image Credit: EW

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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'Roswell: New Mexico' is a Reboot That Works

'Roswell: New Mexico' brings a new life of diversity and inclusion to a show that explores alienation.

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Being unemployed for the summer means that I have a lot of free time on my hands. I started CW's new show "Roswell: New Mexico" because I'm a huge fan of "The Vampire Diaries". The showrunner for TVD is also spearheading this show as well and though both shows are cheesy and a bit overdramatic, they really tap into something I love very dearly. They remind me of the melodramatic teen shows that I grew up watching, and frankly continue to devour with no remorse.

"Roswell: New Mexico" follows Liz Ortecho, a microbiologist back in her hometown to visit her father. Liz left the town after high school, her sister Rosa died in a drunk driving accident, taking two other girls' lives. Liz quickly rekindles an old flame from high school: Max Evans who also happens to be an alien. When Max heals her from a bullet wound after being shot, Liz learns about the underground Alien life that has always been in Roswell.



Being a reboot of an early 2000's teen show, I did not expect this show to handle such delicate topics. You know, it's a cheesy CW show, I knew what I was in for when I started it. But the show takes time to weave social issues into its narrative. Liz's father is an illegal immigrant, and there are so many consequences they both must deal with because of it. There are certain things she cannot do in fear of her father getting taken by ICE, including bringing him to the hospital when he's ill. The show gives us racist characters as well, which the main characters are unfazed by since this is normal to them. There are gay and bisexual characters, who get to fall in love and are given the chance to openly love who they love.

"Roswell: New Mexico" could've easily followed the original show and have an all-white cast. And I absolutely commend them for casting non-white actors to play non-white characters. They build a Roswell that would conceivably be real, just with an alien twist.

The show is a fun, enjoyable binge watch. I can't wait to watch season two when it airs, and I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a guilty pleasure watch.

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