Tag Archives: Andrea Alfaro

What is the History of Easter? 

By Andrea Alfaro

Easter’s coming this April 9th, so get your baskets ready. 

I’m sure a lot of us have been participants in an Easter egg hunt. Running, pushing, tripping, perhaps even biting to get some precious little eggs a big bunny hid for us to brawl over. Have you ever wondered why? It seems like a pretty weird way to celebrate the holiday, so how’d it even become a thing? Why is a big bunny hiding a bunch of eggs? Well, don’t worry because I’ve done the research you’re too lazy to do yourself. So let us answer the question, what is the history of Easter?

For some context, Easter is the first Sunday after every full moon on or after the beginning of the spring season. It’s known for its Easter Bunny and eggs full of candy. It can also go by the names Pascha and Resurrection Sunday.

Mostly, it’s a Christian festival and a cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus. But it originated from an ancient pagan celebration of the start of spring. What does a bunny have to do with a biblical holiday? Absolutely nothing. But it may have actually come from the pagan origins. There is a pagan festival of Eostre. Eostre is a goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare, which symbolizes fertility and new life (painting pictured: “The Spring” by Franz Xaver Winterhalter). The true origins of the Easter Bunny are still unsure as of now, but this is a popular possibility.

What is for sure is that the idea of the bunny did come to America along with German immigrants in the 1700s who settled in Pennsylvania. They had a tradition about an egg-laying hare referred to as “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” A part of this tradition was the creation of nests made by children for this hare to lay colored eggs in. 

This explains how we in America began incorporating these different aspects of festivals and traditions into the Christian holiday of Easter since both traditions take place towards the beginning of spring to celebrate some sort of life or rebirth. 

To summarize, Easter originated from a pagan festival and was appropriated by Christianity, which also stole the idea of the Easter bunny from a German tradition about a bunny who could lay colorful eggs. That is what you need to know about the history of Easter.

TV Review: The Last of Us

By Andrea Alfaro

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.

Now streaming only on HBO Max, a live action show based on the hit video game The Last of Us has released its first season starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey.

The Last of Us was an award winning video game with thousands of fans. Both the show and game follow the journey of a man named Joel and a teenage girl named Ellie in the midst of an apocalypse that has ravaged the world.

In my opinion, this show was great. It was perfectly cast, impeccably shot, and very well written. However, although every episode was good, some were better than others and with the bar set so high it wasn’t as satisfying when I was greeted with just a good episode rather than a great one.

No spoilers here, but I will say the final episode (and probably the most important) was a total of 43 minutes long. Comparing that to some of the earlier ones, it’s a whole 20 minutes short. For a season finale it was a bit rushed and sort of underwhelming. As I said before, it was a good episode but not great.

The show did offer a more in-depth look on characters found in the game and even incorporated more into their stories, which I loved. There were some great practical effects when it came to the creation of the monsters and the scenery which formed a great immersion into the world of The Last of Us. Basically anybody could tell that the budget for this show was used to its fullest potential.

Pedro Pascal as Joel in HBO’s The Last of Us

Overall, the show was a 9.5 out of 10. It would be perfect if it was more consistent with the quality and prioritized the end of the season. Despite that, it was a pretty solid adaptation and I would recommend it to anybody interested in apocalyptic dramas where the relationships between characters is the focal point.

Romantic Movies for Valentine’s Day

By Andrea Alfaro and Laura Gomez

We’ve created a collection of romance movies for all those singles, couples and inbetweeners who just want to sit down and watch people fall in love. From the fantastical to the everyday, this list has it all, so we hope you enjoy and have a Happy Valentines Day!

The Princess Bride (1987)

PG | Romance/Adventure

A grandfather tells his grandson about the story of the Princess Bride. Full of action and adventure where once upon a time a man in a mask embarks on a mission to save the young maiden, Buttercup. He faces a variety of foes all while giving one-liner after one-liner and looking good doing it. It’s a RomCom adventure poking fun at the fairy-tale genre. It’s a perfect watch for everyone, even the singles.

Before Sunrise (1995)

R | Romance/Drama

An American, Jesse, meets a woman, Celine, who is returning to her school in Paris on the train. He has a flight to catch in the morning, but he convinces her to get off at his stop in Vienna and they explore the streets, forming a bond all before sunrise. This is a peaceful movie that is actually the beginning of a trilogy. It’s a simple romance of two strangers talking about everything yet nothing that all takes place one summer day.

Me Before You (2016)

PG-13 | Romance/Drama

A classic instance of the right person at the wrong time. Louisa becomes the caregiver of the wealthy Will Traynor, who was paralyzed by an accident two years ago. He’s a pessimist who challenges Louisa’s optimistic outlook on the world, but soon these complete opposites end up forming a friendship as both their lives and hearts change. Warning: tissues are needed, and ugly crying will happen. We are not liable for any heartache you may face after your viewing.

Juliet Naked (2018)

R | Romance/Comedy

Criminally underrated film where a British woman, Annie, is cursed with having a boyfriend, Duncan, obsessed with former rock musician, Tucker Crowe. One day a demo appears in the mail after she breaks up with Duncan, leading her to forming a friendship with her boyfriend’s idol.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

PG-13 | Horror/Action/Romance

This is the classic tale of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet on the big screen, but with a twist. This enemies-to-lovers story takes place during a zombie apocalypse and Ms. Bennet along with her sisters are trained in martial arts and weaponry. This is an interesting addition to the iconic story of Pride and Prejudice. Something about classic literature and zombies just creates something so delightful.

Warm Bodies (2013)

PG-13 | Romance/Horror

Speaking of classic literature and zombies, this film is an undead take on the classic Romeo and Juliet story. A zombie apocalypse has left the population divided into humans and zombies, but one zombie named R is unlike his other walking dead brethren. His quirks lead him to saving a girl named Julie and they embark on a journey that leads to a chain of events and a love story that can change the world as they have grown to know it.

Stardust (2007)

PG-13 | Fantasy/Romance/Adventure

A fairytale full of adventure and a star studded cast of characters. Tristan is determined to win the heart of the materialistic Victoria. So he decides, like any other normal person, to go on a conquest to bring her a fallen star. Instead of the usual five spiked star we’re all used to, he finds the shining Yvaine. But others are also after the star and he goes through a change of not only courage but love.

I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

R | Romance/Drama

A surprisingly true story of a family man cop turned gay con man starring Jim Carrey and Obi Wan Kenobi. Steve Russell was always trying to be someone else, but one day he decided enough was enough. His decision to go off and live his gay luxury dream ended up with him behind bars where he met the one and only Philip Morris. They fall in love, but Russell’s identity issues lead to many bumps in the road for this couple.

Pretty Woman (1990)

R | Romance/Comedy

An oldie but a goodie tale that will make you laugh and angry at the same time. Edwards is a businessman, who takes his job seriously and never has time for love. Vivian works as a prostitute, and she enjoys her life as she goes and always gets what she wants. Edward needs an escort for social events, he hires Vivian from the streets and makes her a deal. They both accept, on the condition that they always keep their space between each other only to realize they need more than each other’s company to survive.

Tangled (2010)

PG | Family/Musical

The childhood princess with the golden long hair that every girl wanted to have. Rapunzel spent her life locked away in a tower since she was captured as a baby by the evil Mother Gothel. Her magical golden hair has the power to provide eternal youth that Gothel takes advantage of. Her life changes once a runaway thief, Flynn Rider, stumbles into her life and changes her world. She discovers that she is the long lost princess of the kingdom Corona.

Film Review: Violent Night

By Andrea Alfaro

New R-rated action-comedy, Violent Night, was recently released in theaters this December 2nd.

David Harbour, known for his role as Jim Hopper on Stranger Things, portrays a beatdown Santa Claus ready to throw in the towel and give up on Christmas, but an unexpected hostage situation leads him to becoming a family’s only hope of survival.


Violent Night was recently released in theaters, and I can tell you now it caught me by surprise. I stepped into that theater expecting to watch the usual action film full of cringy one-liners and the same old boring action sequences. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to be met with an action-comedy that featured some genuinely funny moments and action full of creative kills, perfect for this holiday season.

Not only did it have Christmas themed mayhem, but it had a wholesome message of understanding one’s self worth and forgiving ourselves for our past mistakes, because the steps we take to repent is what really defines us. 

This movie is worth a rating of four and a half stars. Besides the occasional one-liner, this movie was a refreshing take on the usual oversaturated action-comedies we see in the cinema nowadays. I recommend catching this in theaters this holiday season, because nothing says happy holidays like watching Santa Claus smash in the heads of those on his naught list

TV Review: Wednesday (on Netflix)

By Andrea Alfaro

Now streaming only on Netflix, the much anticipated horror-comedy, Wednesday, has made its debut on the 23rd of November with well known director, Tim Burton, directing the entirety of this series’ first season. 

This 8-episode show is based on the iconic Addams Family, created by Charles Addams. It follows the only daughter of the Addams, Wednesday, played by Jenna Ortega throughout her investigation into the secrets of her new school for outcasts, Nevermore Academy.

It features all the elements someone can ask for from a horror comedy targeted towards teens. Satirical humor, a gloomy but beautiful atmosphere, and a story full of entertaining, but predictable, twists. Unfortunately, what this series lacked was a full cast who had both the chemistry and equal acting ability to share a screen. Along with a monster who looked strangely like an ugly snapchat filter.

What really makes a show great is the cast. They have the important job of bringing fictional characters to life and immersing an audience into the narrative. Without a good cast a movie could completely fall apart and become a laughing stock rather than a respected form of media. A great example of this is The Room, which is probably the only drama/romance everyone can agree deserves to be labeled as a comedy with how terrible the whole production was, especially with its horrendous acting.

Wednesday is definitely not as bad as The Room. It includes a line up of very talented actors, like Jenna Ortega and Gwendoline Christie, who plays Nevermore’s principal. Actors like them are what made the show so interesting to watch. 

Some of the cast sadly did miss the mark, such as Luis Guzmán, who plays Gomez Addams. He looked great, physically, for the role, but as I saw his portrayal of Gomez, I realized that it felt as if he was cosplaying as Gomez rather than being Gomez. His performance lacked energy and enthusiasm which made him seem out of place and his lines forced. The absence of chemistry between Guzman and his co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones, who played Morticia Addams, didn’t help his already poor execution either.

Along with the acting comes the issue of the CGI. The show featured a beautiful setting and nice wardrobe that really displayed each character’s personality. Filming in such a place that creates such a dark ambience and acquiring clothes that match each character exactly must have cost a pretty penny, which is why I’m assuming the CGI took a hit. The supposedly terrifying monster in the show had a big part in breaking my immersion. Whenever it made an appearance instead of feeling scared I found myself being more puzzled as to why it looked like a zombie from the Plants vs Zombies games. When I was supposed to be gasping because of shock I was instead gasping for air when I couldn’t stop laughing at how strange and unreal it looked. 

With the Addams Family being such well known figures in pop culture, I would think the casting would be spot on and the CGI would be great. The lack of chemistry, passable CGI, and good acting from certain people was disappointing.

However, overall the negatives didn’t outweigh the positives. It was honestly a great show with a storyline that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Practically everyone and their pets know or have at least heard of the Addams Family, so I viewed this season with some high expectations. I’m happy to say that they didn’t entirely disappoint me.

In my opinion it was a show worthy of 4 stars. Was it perfect? No. Was it an amazing show? Absolutely. Hopefully if there’s a 2nd season it will be worthy of a full five star review. Until then 4 stars seems like the perfect score for Netflix’s new show Wednesday.

TV Review: She-Hulk on Disney+

By Andrea Alfaro

Now streaming only on Disney+, She-Hulk, becomes the next installment in the ever growing MCU franchise. 

Featuring cameos from fan favorite Marvel characters and a certain well known rapper, Meghan thee Stallion, this nine-episode series will be sure to keep you thoroughly entertained, despite its flaws.

We are first introduced to our protagonist, Jennifer Walters AKA She-Hulk, who is played by Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany. She is an LA based lawyer who just so happens to be the cousin of Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), everyone’s favorite green Avenger, Hulk. Due to a near collision with a spaceship Banner’s blood mixes with hers, prompting her transformation into a Hulk. 

After her transformation she is fired from her job due to an incident involving Titania (Priyanka Chopra), She-Hulk’s glamorous rival throughout the series. Lucky for her though she is employed to be the face of the Superhuman Law Division at GL and KH law firm. 

This new job leads to her representing past MCU villain Abomination, Emil Blonksy, (Tim Roth) in his parole hearing. He is a well known character to anyone who’s watched the Incredible Hulk movie, as he is Hulk’s past nemesis.

MCU fan favorite, Wong (Benedict Wong), also makes a cameo as both witness and client of She-Hulk. Wong is a character most recognized from the Doctor Strange movies. 

One of the most anticipated cameos however was of fellow lawyer and hero, Daredevil, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox). Murdock is most known for his own series, suitably called Daredevil.

This show makes She-Hulk her very own character despite her association with the Hulk. She isn’t a rip-off of him, but instead her very own stand alone character with her own story and personality. 

However, she seems to have not been treated with the same amount of care as every other Marvel character. Many complained before the release of She-Hulk about the character herself looking horribly made and obviously CGI’d. With all the criticism one may think they would improve her character design before the release, especially with the amount of money at their disposal. Spoiler alert, they didn’t. 

This makes it obvious that this show was rushed to be released before the CGI could be properly made to be up to the standard of other Marvel shows and movies. 

To sum it all up, despite its questionable CGI, She-Hulk is a fun show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s perfect for an audience looking for a decent comedy to binge. Some episodes can seem a bit unnecessary, but as a whole She-Hulk is a good show worthy of a chance.

Andrea Alfaro

Andrea Alfaro is currently a junior at John Glenn High School and the Entertainment and Food editor of The Shoemaker Bugle. She resides in Norwalk with her parents and brothers. In her free time she participates in boxing matches against her brothers, draws, and listens to true crime podcasts. One of her favorite things to do is to watch shows and movies, from trashy reality television to 1950’s rom coms–she is willing to watch it all, no matter how much her eyes bleed. Andrea’s favorite news sources include Los Angeles Times and Twitter, because everyone knows everything on Twitter is 100% true.