Culture writing

Natalie Morales

It’s fair to say Natalie Morales has an enviable resume: in addition to the two feature films under her directorial belt, she’s been a near-constant presence on TV for over a decade – think of any hit comedy show of late and there’s a high likelihood she acted in it, from Parks and Rec to Netflix’s Dead To Me to HBO’s Girls. Now, with credits in the upcoming, Jennifer-Lawrence-starring No Hard Feelings and season 3 of Apple TV’s The Morning Show, it is clear that Morales is just constantly level

Mahalia album review: IRL - The Skinny

Ideating about the ups and downs of a relationship, Mahalia’s sophomore album IRL saunters across fault lines. Through honeyed vocals across its 13 neat entries, she admits devotion, exposes gamified communication, and asserts her worth. In My Bag delightfully sways and somersaults with self-assurance, while Terms and Conditions – entertainingly unyielding with its prerequisites (‘If you look at her, consider bridges burned’) – taps 90s R’n’B intonation. Co-written with and produced by Raye, it

La Syndicaliste: compelling whistleblower drama - The Skinny

Jean-Paul Salomé’s La Syndicaliste charts the true story of Maureen Kearney’s pursuit of justice as she doggedly works to expose a corrupt alliance between the nuclear industry and the French and Chinese governments. As a union representative fighting to protect 50,000 jobs lost in the fallout of their new plans, she is branded a conspiracist and delusional liar. The film certainly shares the critical aesthetic of recent whistleblower dramas (see Official Secrets and Dark Waters) and Isabelle H

Christine and The Queens review: ​​PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE - The Skinny

Christine and The Queens’ immersive fourth studio album balances sinister and sweet sensibilities, building resplendent soundscapes that feel both distant and intimate. With many evocations of angels throughout, we get the sense this is Chris’s conversation with a celestial force. There is a lot going on in PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE and yet it remains remarkably cohesive. It skilfully borrows and elevates: Tears can be so soft channels Sade and Moby, with a stalking beat that seductively torq

John Owen Lowe

With his new Netflix series Unstable, John Owen Lowe is establishing himself as an exciting force in the comedy landscape. John Owen Lowe is a true multi-hyphenate: a writer, producer, and actor. Since pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Stanford University, he has stepped into Hollywood with grace, fortifying an impressive CV with parts in The Grinder, Holiday in the Wild and Grace Point. Now Lowe takes what he’s learned as a student and rising actor and applying his smarts and talent to the Netfl

Anticipating the Oscars: On Triangle of Sadness

Ruben Östlund’s final instalment in what he has called an “informal trilogy of male absurdities” is sharply rendered chaos. Triangle of Sadness is a fearless dance, spinning broad sociological questions around bonkers staging. Marking his first full length English language feature and second Palme d’Or victory, this class satire is unafraid to commit to wicked extremes. We watch affluent guests and low-earning crew negotiate dominance and survival as their luxury cruise goes under. Östlund maps

The White Lotus: (post-finale) character studies

Can the real Ned Schneebly please stand up. School Of Rock legend Mike White checks another roster of obnoxious Americans into a luxury White Lotus. In this second season of his anthology triumph, he swaps Hawaii for Sicily, and positions gender dynamics as the new source of friction. There is thematic continuity from where we left off in 2021, in that a striking class divide between the hotel’s staff and guests still endures, but this time round it is sex, rather than money, that commands the p

Top pop of 2022

When Kesha said “I just accepted that I’m kind of a cheesy bitch that loves pop music, and I’m not going to hide!”, I felt that. I cannot enlighten you about niche underground sounds; I am a pop girlie through and through. (My Spotify Wrapped will attest I beat the eclectic-taste allegations every year.) But Pop is productive. Pop is the number one numbing agent to life’s pain: its sunny melodies urge you to be more carefree and playful, and when it presents more depressive undertones, it gives

Gen Z's cultural education in Stranger Things - The Skinny

“One of the great things about art is, no matter what the circumstances are … the art is always going to be there essentially unchanged, ready for you, waiting for you, to be ready to receive it” – Wesley Morris In the week since season four of Netflix’s Stranger Things dropped, Kate Bush’s haunting 1985 masterpiece Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) has climbed the transatlantic charts. Topping iTunes and Spotify and now being reserviced for radio play, its triumphant mainstream renaissanc

Opinion: Cheap, drunk and vulgar: I’m fed up with anti-Scottish bigotry

Since childhood, I have been aware of hostile jabs mocking Scottish people, on TV and in print, with the source typically being English. Ranging from inane jokes to rather extreme scorn, there is a proclivity in the English media to denigrate Scots arbitrarily. It is an irksome inclination that permeates panel conversations and columns; one that labels Scots as perpetually cheap, drunk and unintelligible. These existing attitudes are obviously leftovers from a tense historical relationship, but

The essential rom com guide for Valentine’s viewing

The romantic comedy is an institution in film that works primarily to elicit joy, and yet it is often plagued by senseless calumny. I routinely wonder: do people not want to be happy? Why deny yourself life’s sweetest nectar, that is, watching beautiful people fall in love? I believe it is necessary to make room for such bliss and luxuriate in it. In the taxonomy of film genres, those with distinct feminine overtones have always been undermined and sidelined by the pessimistic and emotionally st

Albums of the Year 2021: An Evening with Silk Sonic by Silk Sonic

If you weren’t looking to wallow in Sad Girl Autumn, An Evening With Silk Sonic - which graced Spotify album charts the same day as Red (Taylor’s Version) - presented a short and sweeter than sweet, cohesive nine track album that offered good vibes only. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, both seasoned musicians respectively, united to form a new, aptly named soul/funk duo and release the most sonically vibrant record of 2021. The versatile-in-vibe AEWSS can be enjoyed when a party reaches peak verve or, equally, when in repose, alone in your room.

Nothing but respect for my DC universe: an ode to Disney Channel

The revolution will not be televised. Well, at least not on The Disney Channel (TDC). In October 2020 it was announced the Burbank behemoth that is Disney had discontinued one of its most beloved products: The Disney Channel (UK). And in early October 2021 it was confirmed that the channel is no longer available in European territories and Southeast Asia as well. For any kid with a pulse for pop culture in the UK in the mid to late 2000s, if you had access to a Virgin or Sky box you were living

Does Hairspray (2007) still ‘hold’ up?

The musical film Hairspray (2007), directed by Adam Shankman, is a reimagining of John Waters’ much more risqué 1988 original. Set in 1960s Baltimore, the story follows the naively idealistic Tracy Turnblad, a larger-than-life high schooler brimming with optimism and big dreams. She navigates the difficult dynamics of fame and family but along the way to self-actualisation she must confront discrimination. On her journey to stardom, her dewy-eyed outlook of the world is challenged as she learns

Portrait of a lady online

Overgrown e-boy Elon Musk says: "We’re already a cyborg… You have a digital version of yourself, a partial version of yourself online in the form of your emails, your social media, and all the things that you do." This horcrux-ing of our souls has created digital distillations of our identities and I believe they are more fully formed than we may think. Moreover, in my totally cosmological-inept view, I see the internet as the fourth plane of existence. University of Glasgow Neuroscience student

An album that soundtracks my life: Life in Cartoon Motion by MIKA

Life in Cartoon Motion was the 2007 debut album from Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr. aka MIKA. It was the ultimate soundtrack to my family road trips at age seven. The riotous jollity of the 10-track project united us all: my mum who favoured blue-eyed soul singer Robert Palmer, my dad who vibed solely with folk legend John Prine, my eldest brother who was deep in his Linkin Park phase and my other brother who was content supporting the shameful late 00s period which grime veterans wish they could

Family Canon: The (proletari)cat in the hat

The Cat in the Hat, the live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s book, reigns supreme in my family canon. Mike Myers’ chef-d’oeuvres operates on its own plane of existence – one of simultaneous intellect and insanity. Disclaimer: this article may offend the haughty, Tarantino-bitched bros of film Twitter. I can understand why people may hate this film but I will defend its auteurist merit until my dying breath and yes, I am calling it a FILM! I attest that Seuss could Sorkin, but

Picking a bone with: The quadruple threat: White, male, posh and English!

An unpalatable truth of the current UK acting industry is that it almost exclusively reserves its most glittering job prospects and abundance of praise for White, male, upper class actors from England. Unbiased sample of British talent should show more than just Anglo gentlemen who were Made in Chelsea - we need to talk about Kensington… You know when you have a loose thought swimming about in your mind, and then you see someone articulate your intended sentiment perfectly, providing a coherent

Best of both worlds: Miley Cyrus, popstar or rockstar?

Miley Cyrus’ recent array of performances, including a body of Metallica covers and swift announcement of a forthcoming rock album entitled Plastic Hearts, left some excited and others sceptical at her alteration of style. I attest that this duality is not shocking or new. After all, she’s been living a double life since her teenage years… As Disney demigoddess Hannah Montana, Cyrus achieved great triumphs: a five-year TV show run, a world tour and an eponymous feature-length movie. But with th
Load More Articles

Subscribe to get sent a digest of new articles by Lucy Fitzgerald

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.