Breaking: Zayn Malik is now just “Zayn”

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Unlike Niall Horan in One Direction’s “Perfect” music video, Zayn Malik is probably not interested in playing golf in his “PILLOWTALK” video.

Like Madonna and Cher before him, former One Direction member Zayn Malik has dropped his last name and is now simply “Zayn.” Along with his last name, Zayn has also dropped his first new song as a solo artist, “PILLOWTALK.”

In the back of my mind, I expected Zayn’s solo career to sort of drift into oblivion. I was one of those girls who felt sort of betrayed by Zayn’s departure from the band, mainly because I already purchased a $120 ticket to One Direction’s 2015 “On the Road Again” tour expecting to see ALL FIVE OF THEM when he made his announcement.  So I really think that both Simon Cowell and Zayn owe me one-fifth of my ticket price, meaning that they owe me $24 (I’m sure both Simon and Zayn have $12 to spare) because they robbed me of my chance to see Zayn’s gorgeousness AND hear his “Steal My Girl” high note live.

Sure, there were all those interviews where Zayn had to give the same spiel about how he left One Direction because it wasn’t really him anymore and he didn’t care for the music he was making. Interview after interview, I never really had a sense that there was a true artist behind all that mystery–just sort of an arrogant young man with a lovely falsetto without any depth to burn it with.

To my surprise, Zayn’s new song, “PILLOWTALK” is all over the Internet and all over Top 40 Radio. It’s a song that I know won’t grow on me, and I never want to go out of my way to listen to. Yet, I rarely switch the station when I hear it on the radio. Deep down, there’s a part of me who wants to like Zayn’s foray into tryhard sex god shit, but I just can’t.

There’s an Ariana Grande problem here, in the sense that I can’t understand what Zayn is singing most of the time. Unlike Ariana Grande’s catchier songs, though, “PILLOWTALK” sounds like that song that plays when two lame nerds in a movie walk into a club populated by a bunch of annoying bros. This song is for the AMBIANCE, man.

I don’t necessarily dislike the song, though I must agree with Harry Styles on this one–One Direction has done much better stuff, musically, and if the rest of Zayn’s album is anything like his first single, then it may not have been a good enough reason to abruptly leave the band. But I suppose this may all come down to a matter of taste.

Of course, I think like the music video is ridiculous, which I would kind of argue isn’t really up for debate. The “PILLOWTALK” music video features Zayn’s girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, as a sexed up love interest to a sexed up Zayn (dubbed by Medha, and Medha only, as “Gayn”).

To Hadid’s credit, she actually directed a much better music video for DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean” (Joe Jonas, Hadid’s ex-boyfriend and ex-member of another boy band, is the lead singer of DNCE), so it kind of sucks (yeah, this is the first time you’ll hear me feign any sympathy for a rich, pretty Victoria’s Secret model) that she needed to star in this stupid music video to support her boyfriend, when we all know she could have probably directed a better one herself.

That being said, I wish Zayn the best of luck, and I really do hope that Zayn and former bandmate (and former smoking buddy) Louis Tomlinson patch things up soon. Zayn reportedly liked Louis’ Instagram of his newborn son, Freddie, because double-tapping a photo is definitely millennial code for détente.

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Nobody’s Perfect, We Gotta Work It (Out)

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Well, it appears Miley Cyrus, Disney-Channel star turned Bangerz twerker is back together with ex-fiancee Liam Hemsworth, the hotter of the Hemsworth brothers and the dude who plays Gale in the Hunger Games.

Side note to People Magazine: It is a travesty that you chose Chris Hemsworth as the Sexiest Man Alive when he’s not even the Sexiest Hemsworth Alive

Anyway, back to Miley & Liam. Yes, the prodigal daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus,  who played Disney Channel’s beloved pop queen Hannah Montana on the hit show of the same name  appears to be hanging out with the hotter Hemsworth again.

Miley and Liam met on the set of one of those terrible Nicholas Sparks movies . While I did not see this movie, I can only assume it was terrible because Nicholas Sparks. Actually, I might choose Nicholas Sparks over John Green, whose first few pages of “The Fault in Our Stars” or “TFIOS” (as the young people call it) made me nauseous.

Miam’s (Miley/Liam, obvs) movie did also star Greg Kinnear. We here at Initial Hype love Greg Kinnear and we can’t wait for the movie that finally casts him as Chief Justice John G. Roberts. Perhaps the film could portray the epic tale of the Affordable Care Act? JK, nobody would watch that.

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What was this post about? Oh right, Miley and Liam. Sorry, got lost in Greg’s and John’s eyes for a moment there. Such mesmerizing. So wow.

K, snap out of it.

Miley spent the holidays with the Hemsworths down undah and she was spotted wearing the old Neil Lane engagement ring that Liam proposed with back in 2012. This sparkler not only indicates that the two are back together but they actually might get married!

What an exciting time for Miam fans everywhere, who thought it was all over after Miley did this with Robin Thicke.

Shortly after, Paula Patton dumped Robin Thicke’s sorry ass (yaaaas, queen) and it was only a matter of time before Miley and Liam followed suit. We’re glad that of the two, this couple got back together. We just hope Patrick Schwarzenegger and his pizzas will be fine.

I Watched Mozart in the Jungle Because Amazon Told Me To

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When Gael García Bernal won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series-Comedy, I was pleased. After his unforgettable turn in Alfonso Cuaron’s “Y Tu Mamá También” in 2001 and his role in Jon Stewart’s debut film, “Rosewater” in 2014, it’s nice to see Gael on American television or at least American Internet-streaming television. His genuine shock at winning  only added to his charm, as he beat out perceived HFPA favorite, Jeffrey Tambor. Like Marcy, maybe the HFPA just wasn’t feeling Transparent Season 2.

But when Mozart in the Jungle won for Best TV Series- Comedy, I groaned. Already predicting Amazon’s gloating email the next morning about its original show winning 2 Golden Globes , I decided to be proactive and start the series right after the ceremony. Well here I am, less than 24 hours later, just having finished Season 1.

Before you think I don’t have a job and I just binge-watched all day, let me clarify: I watched on the train, which conveniently struck a car today (no fatalities or injuries, thank goodness), as if to support my binging habit. Shoutout to the Amazon Instant Video app. Also shoutout to T-Mobile’s Binge On for facilitating this incredible feat.

Spoilers ahead…obviously

Mozart in the Jungle is the Coppola-Schwartzman (who is a Coppola) produced Amazon original inspired by a book of the same name. It’s the show that nobody bothered to watch, instead clicking on “The Man in the High Castle” when logging into their Amazon Prime accounts. No one but Marcy, who watched the first episode like over a year ago. Seriously. I can confirm this and can probably even dig up the first FB chat message exchanged over this show.

Anyway, the show centers around the new conductor Rodrigo( Mozart!) -played by Gael- of the New York (the Jungle!) Symphony Orchestra. The exiting conductor Thomas Pembridge, played by a fantastically grumpy Malcolm McDowell, is pissed that this young, cool-haired foreigner is taking over his baby and flees to an initially undisclosed location. Turns out it’s Cuba, which we figure out when his on-off again mistress Cynthia the bassist (played by an unbelievably cool Saffron Burrows…awesome name btw) casually flies there to check on him.

Anyway, back to Mozart in the Jungle. Cynthia befriends a twenty-six year old oboist, Hailey Rutledge. Side note: Ok, when I first saw Hailey, I thought “Is that Jemima Kirke?!” I was too lazy to do my Googles so I watched a couple more episodes before giving in and Googling. I found out that Hailey is played by Lola Kirke, Jemima’s sister! Cool story, huh? Ok, no, not the point.

Hailey really wants to play in the orchestra and eventually becomes Rodrigo’s assistant, making him mates and cutting his luscious locks but leaving a disgusting few rattails. C’mon Hailey, you should know better than to leave these  hanging smh . She also replaces Sharon, the Asian assistant who Rodrigo once made out with. (Actually, wait what happened to Sharon?! Coppolas: I demand an explanation)

Honestly, the best part of this show is the way that Gael says Hailey’s name. It’s very phonetically accurate, if that makes sense. Like it starts off sounding like the first part of “highlighter” (before the “ter” part).

Anyway Highligh -uh- sorry, Hailey lives with an artsy girl Lizzie who is a recovering prep-school rich kid and is now a tattoo artist or something (We discover this at a rich person party which I originally mistook for a Playboy party but was actually just hosted by some old woman named Bunny). Hailey is also dating a Juilliard dancer turned butt-model named Alex who is eerily similar to that one bisexual guy on Broad City but not as much of an idiot.

She ditches her roomie and Alex whenever Rodrigo needs her, which is quite often, especially when he has the urge to see his crazy ex (or maybe current) wife Anna Maria, played by Nora Arnezeder. I’m still not really sure what kind of accent Anna Maria is supposed to have because it fluctuates from French to Spanish to American. Anyway she is insane and breaks violins and screams wherever she plays, whether in Greenland or in a graveyard.

As far as the story is concerned,the season progresses slowly (the final episode is Rodrigo’s conductorial debut…sort of). I found myself flying through the season only because each episode is about 25 minutes and the “Next Episode” button is so conveniently located on the Amazon app. There are some noteworthy cameos: Jason Schwartzman has a role as Bradford Sharpe (B Sharp…GET IT?!), a nerdy podcaster who’s got a thing for Hailey’s roommate and Wallace Shawn guest-stars as a pianist with mommy issues and a thing for hypnotism.

Obviously, there are a lot of classical music references that fly over my head. I may not be well-versed in this scene, but I can’t be the only one who thought it was bizarre when Rodrigo imagined Mozart talking to him in the library. It’s probably better if we don’t have random Mozart flashbacks. Just a thought.

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Mozart, pictured here in the library and not the Jungle

Overall, I did enjoy Gael’s performance and I can see how the HFPA could say that he deserved the Globe over say, Aziz, who really just played an exaggerated version of himself (or his standup character) in “Master of None.” Still, a little shocked that Mozart won the comedy show category but I’m willing to give it a shot for Season 2. After all, when Amazon makes it so easy to watch, why not? Oh also, I need to know if Highligh and Rodrigo get together in the next season or if she stays with butt model Alex.

See you tomorrow, Season 2.

Top 10 Pop Singles on the Radio in 2015: Part II

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I think I’ve had enough of only having ten things on my top 10 lists.

As promised, here is Part II of my top 10 pop singles on the radio in 2015. Please note that Part II is way too long and I was including way more than just the last five pop songs, so nothing makes any arithmetic sense.

You can view Part I here.

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Top 10 Singles on Pop Radio in 2015: Part I

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I fall in love just a little ol’ little bit everyday with a brand new pop song that I’m forced to listen to on the radio.

For the past year, I’ve spent two hours, five days a week, in my 2000 Toyota Camry commuting to and from work with six preset pop radio stations. I suppose that makes me an expert on pop radio, obviously. So I’m here to share my top 10 singles on pop radio in the glorious year of 2015. Consider me a drop in the bucket of top 10 pop singles lists on the Internet.

But if I shared everything at once, this post will feel too long. Songs ranked six to ten on my top 10 list are under the cut; the rest will be posted tomorrow.

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Transparent season 2 is sort of silly

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The cast of Amazon Prime’s Transparent returns for an underwhelming season two.

Once upon a time last season, Amazon Prime’s revolutionary Transparent was on track to becoming one of the greatest shows of its era. Heartache has never felt so funny, refreshing, and warm, until showrunner Jill Soloway came along with a show that was progressive, but not preachy or self-important. In fact, it felt real. Real, in the sense, that her characters felt like real people, and did not just embody whatever agenda the show wanted to push forward into the real world.

Years from now, we’re going to talk about how Transparent was one of the forerunners of transgender storytelling, but that was not really the heart and soul of the show. Like all great shows about important things, it didn’t care about connecting the sociopolitical dots for its audience; instead, it wanted to tell a story about family.

Then, season two came along, right near the end of 2015, the year of Caitlyn Jenner and The Danish Girl. And lo and behold, we have, in season two, perhaps the most try-hard, self-important show to ever exist. And maybe–just maybe–it’s on its way to becoming the most intolerable show of its era. But what a shame, it was once so truly great.

What’s so frustrating about season two is not that most of the characters become full-blown narcissists–we always sort of knew they were–but it’s really the season-long narrative itself, which is sort of coalesced with flashbacks to 1933 Berlin.

The problem is two-fold, meaning that Soloway & Co. wanted us to accept two very specific premises, just because. And they had so much faith that we would accept their premises and be moved by it, that they had the audacity to write it and film it.

Please don’t read beyond this point if you don’t want any Transparent season two spoilers.

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Gayn D’Oh!

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Well, it appears that this new romance is official. Gizi? GiZay? ZayGi? Gayn? Ok, let’s stick with Gayn.

Who, you may ask? Let’s break it down:

Zayn “High Notes” Malik is the 22 year old heartthrob and most beautiful member of One Direction (1D). In 2015, Mr. Malik left both 1D and his fiancee Perrie Edwards  to pursue a solo career and an American girl, respectively, under false pretenses of wanting to be “a normal 22 year old.”

Yes, because normal 22 year olds give very long interviews to Fader magazine at the bar that’s conveniently situated in their backyards.

Gigi Hadid, at 20 years old, is the eldest daughter of Yolanda Foster (of RHOBH fame and apparently Kris Jenner’s BFF too…side note: how do I become Kris Jenner’s BFF?) and a new Victoria’s Secret Angel. She’s also the reigning BFF of Kendall Jenner and a key member of her #squad. Gigi was most recently in a relationship with Joe Jonas, which ended in November (presumably after Joe and his weirdass band did this).

Meanwhile, Zayn’s former bandmate, Harry “Yung Mick Jagger” Styles was spotted vacationing in St. Bart’s with Kendall Jenner, even though he finds her rather boring .

Well, whatever happens with these two apparent couples, we can only hope that eventually the foursome will go on double dates, which will eventually lead to a One Direction reunion. Oh wait, but Louis has to be a dad now.

Goddammit, Louis.

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