The aesthetic as the message

When Zayn Malik left One Direction, he confessed to interviewers that the main reason he went solo was the lack of opportunities to make an input in the songwriting process. It’s easy to assume at first that what he meant related to the content of the songs that the boy band were singing. Were they…

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: When positive thinking is not enough

Ah, the genius that is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. A dark comedy, the Netflix show centers on Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) — a survivor of kidnapping, cult mind-conditioning, and (implied) sexual assault who tries to shrug away her trauma by choosing to embody a Disney-like optimism. Cue in the bright clothes, the Disney princess musical numbers; the cartoon…