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Crimson staff writer

Caroline A. Tsai

Latest Content

The Astonishing Color of After Cover
Books

‘The Astonishing Color of After’ Paints Sincere Picture of Nostalgia and Grief

“The Astonishing Color of After” is a thoughtful exploration of defining and discovering identity—cultural, artistic, familial, and personal.

Love, Simon Still
Film

‘Love, Simon’ Is Nothing New—And Maybe That’s the Point

“Love Simon” subverts the tropes of both gay movies and teen movies by synthesizing genres, borrowing the best parts of each.

Indecent Cover
Books

‘Indecent’ Botches its Feminist Love Story

“Indecent” falsely advertises itself as a book that examines the sexual politics of teacher-student relationships in a critical and innovative way.

Fleetwood Mac, "Rumours," Warner Bros, 1977.
Arts

Career Overview: Fleetwood Mac

Despite its release dating back 40-ish years, “Rumours” manages to sound new with every listen, its lyricism idiosyncratic enough to eschew cliché, yet general and humanly true enough to be universal. It’s a voyeuristic look at the heart of Fleetwood Mac, the story of their numerous entanglements: a fortuitous and complicated meeting of musical styles and love stories.

Gal Gadot at the 2016 Comic Con.
Arts

This Year in Pop Culture: 1985

As Passion Pit would say, 1985 was a good year—for pop culture, that is.

Red Sparrow Still
Film

‘Red Sparrow’ Complicates the Politics of Sex and Consent

“Red Sparrow” boasts a dynamic female lead with acting prowess, but it’s not enough to keep it aloft. A convoluted plot and botched love story force the film to crash-land.

Fifty Shades Freed Soundtrack
Music

Single review: Julia Michaels’ ‘Heaven’ is ‘Fifty Shades’ of Unconventional Catchiness

The love in “Heaven” is not the holy grail, as in Ellie Goulding’s version. Nor is love equated to immortality, in ZAYN and Taylor’s version. As Michaels herself sings in the second verse, “There’s no regrets. I just thought it was fun.” “Heaven” renders love, or at least the “Fifty Shades” version of it, in simple terms. The boy is bad for her, and yet, so good.

BORNS at the House of Blues
Music

BØRNS Brings Sugary Synth-Pop Magic to House of Blues

“Is it us? Or is it just supernatural?” BØRNS croons in “Supernatural.” Neon pink lights illuminate a leafy green backdrop behind him. White strobe flickers in the back. The song is about a relationship, rather than a person, but one can’t help wonder whether the singer himself exudes a certain supernatural, alien energy.

What Are We Doing Here? Cover
Books

Marilynne Robinson’s ‘What Are We Doing Here?’ Sheds Light on Post-Truth Era

In her latest book of essays, Marilynne Robinson is of two minds about the present moment.

Parisian Dingos
Introspection

Wrestling with Dingos

"I found it ironic when people wistfully sighed that French was 'the most beautiful language.' To me, listening to a French sentence was like trying to wrestle a wild animal: an act of pure struggle."

"Hang the DJ"
Arts

'Black Mirror': 'Hang the DJ' Takes On Modern Romance

The course of true love never did run smooth, but it sure packed a punch.​

"Metalhead"
Arts

'Black Mirror': In 'Metalhead,' Bleak Survival is No Fun

The final image is meant to a kind of symbolic Turing test, but it’s a tough sell after forty minutes of bloodlust.​​

"Black Museum"
Arts

'Black Mirror': 'Black Museum' Rehashes Old Tropes, But Nothing New

“Black Museum” seems to be “White Christmas” Part II, an unwanted sequel.

"Melodrama" by Lorde
Arts

Top Five Lorde Songs

In 2017, the release of Lorde’s sophomore album “Melodrama” after a three-year hiatus revived the relevance of the pop prodigy in the national spotlight—and on a personal level.

Cristin Milloti in "USS Callister"
Arts

A Comprehensive Guide to 'Black Mirror,' Season Four

Just in case 2017 was too light on existential fear, “Black Mirror” handed us one last dose of technology paranoia before the year was over.

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