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TPN’s 2015 pop culture resolutions

By The A&E Staff

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Almost everybody wants to hit the gym, shave off the beer belly or eat healthier in the new year — but some of us realize those goals are too well-worn and cliched to pan out. So instead, why not pledge for more sedentary goals, like tearing through an acclaimed TV series, tackling a new genre of music or finishing more books?

Here are our some of the staff’s pop culture resolutions to sketch a roadmap for our media (and food) consumption in 2015.

Dan Willis

I want to listen to and read more about Cuban, Cuban-American and Afro-Cuban musical traditions. Most of the Latin influences in our collective American musical vocabulary orginate from Cuba. This makes Cuban music a good entry point to learn more about the Spanish-speaking world and to discover new artists from South and Central America, Africa and the Caribbean.

Basically, I want to expand my knowledge beyond Miami, Sound Machine and Pitbull.

Stephanie Roman

I started a project in October where I vowed to watch every Tim Burton film over the course of a month. This didn’t really happen, and I only managed to view about half of the movies I set out to see. Then, I extended the deadline to Dec. 25, when Burton’s “Big Eyes” hit the screen, and I didn’t make that deadline either. I’ll give myself until October 2015 to watch the last 10 movies plus “Big Eyes,” and then I’ll consider this resolution successful — finally.

Shawn Cooke

I have several quantifiable resolutions for the new year — watching every Tom Cruise movie, finishing up Joni Mitchell’s huge discography and finally getting past the first season of “The Sopranos” — but my main goal requires a bit more self-discipline. In 2015, I pledge to scrap the phrase “supposed to be good” and any of its sister phrases from my critical conversations (used in a sentence: “’The Godfather Part III’ is supposed to be bad.”). It’s lazy language that indicates two things: 1. I haven’t seen, heard or read a work. 2. I generally trust the critical consensus. First of all, nobody has the authority to assess the quality of something they haven’t seen. And last year, I strayed from the consensus on many of the most acclaimed movies and albums. So, in short, my resolution is to actually watch movies like “The Godfather Part III” and “Battlefield Earth” before shredding them.

Jack Trainor

I don’t watch a lot of television these days outside of acclaimed fare like “The Walking Dead,” “Game of Thrones,” “Louie” and “True Detective.” I pretty much have a show to watch every season, but none, except for maybe “True Detective,” has me counting down the days until the next episode. I haven’t tackled other prestigious shows like “Mad Men” or “Orange Is The New Black,” and I don’t plan on doing so. It’s exhausting to keep up with a show during your college days, especially when you have to dodge spoilers from all angles — my brother unknowingly spoiled the latest “Walking Dead” midseason finale just by texting me a character’s name. 

No, my 2015 will be spoiler and stress-free by revisiting old faithfuls like “Lost” and probably “Breaking Bad” — two shows whose finales, if spoiled, potentially caused catastrophic freak-outs when they were airing. It’ll be so nice to return to shows whose twists and turns are dated enough to be common knowledge yet, after some time after their conclusions, still come as surprising.

Ian Flanagan

As I brave into the second half of the second decade of the second millenium, I hope to fulfill the following pop culture resolutions: start and finish “The Wire,” continue to chip away at Woody Allen’s extensive filmography (hopefully reaching halfway by the end of 2015), get into Björk, Aphex Twin and ol’ David Bowie and, lastly, to finish any novel I begin — the first candidate being Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises.”

Evan Malachosky

My pop culture resolution is to see more concerts in Pittsburgh. Although The Altar Bar, The Smiling Moose, Stage AE and Heinz Field are minutes away from campus, I didn’t see any shows this first semester. Tickets can be expensive. It’s tough to fork out $25 or more every time an artist I like comes to town, but with artists like Misterwives, Badboxes, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Milky Chance coming to town, I need to empty my wallet for a few.

Britnee Meiser

To make myself a more well-rounded pop culture junkie and a better writer, I vow to watch more comedy/dramedy shows this year. I’m an avid “Girls” viewer, and I dabble in episodes of “Modern Family” and “Saturday Night Live,” but I know there’s so much comedic gold I’m missing out on. I’ve previously pushed it aside for dramas that I’ve dubbed as more deserving of my time. Now, “Veep,” “Louie” and “Parks and Recreation,” look out — I’m coming for you. I also want to be more open-minded when it comes to the films I watch. I no longer want to shy away from something just because it involves a lot of guns or Taylor Swift.

Giulia Schaub

As a Pittsburgh native, I’m no stranger to its classic cuisine — in fact, my upbringing takes the blame for my bias towards Primanti’s over any other sandwich place and my intolerance for ketchup without a Heinz label. However, as much as I love dining in the famous Pittsburgh places, I was born a picky eater and can’t bring myself to order anything other than my usual or something very similar to eat. So, this year, my resolution is order something I’ve never had before every time I attend my favorite places, in hopes of diminishing my selective eating habits.

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TPN’s 2015 pop culture resolutions