Summer 2021’s top media hits

Summer 2021 showed a boom in the release of film, music, concerts and shows, despite many postponement issues that arrived due to the pandemic. This variety of releases allowed audiences to explore new genres and discover more popular entertainment. 

Many new series and seasons of shows have come into the public eye this summer on a variety of streaming platforms, including Netflix, Paramount+ and Disney+. Entertainment news site Vulture listed the release dates and highlighted some of the shows fans were most vocal about: “Outer Banks” season two, “Rick and Morty” season five, “The Bachelorette” season 17, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’’ season eight and “Riverdale” season five, part two. These season premieres allowed actors and showrunners to continue sharing the stories of many recognizable characters. 

Sophomore Alyssa Swiss said she enjoyed binging the new "Outer Banks" season on Netflix when it premiered July 30.

“I feel I liked it more because I got to watch it with my best friend,” Swiss said.

Fans were able to stay cool inside with the arrivals of many new shows including “Loki,” “The Celebrity Dating Game,” “Monsters at Work,” “Sophie: A Murder in West Cork,” “Physical,” “Kevin Can F**K Himself,” the reboot of “Gossip Girl,” “Heels” and, of course, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Vulture also described how many of these shows are being offered on varying platforms, with some even previewed through social media. 

“It’s in many ways a familiar mix of summer-viewing options, but what’s striking about this year’s summer lineup is how diffuse it is, scattered across nearly a dozen distinct streaming services (or networks’ streaming offshoots) in addition to the existent galaxy of broadcast and cable channels,” Vulture writers remarked. 

Popular and upcoming artists also released new music, with many dropping extended plays and full albums over the summer. Some eagerly awaited albums were released, such as Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR,” Billie Eilish’s “Happier than Ever,” Leon Bridges’ “Gold-Diggers Sound” and Prince’s “Welcome 2 America.” 

NPR explained how these songs, albums and musical displays were highly anticipated by fans as they rose through the charts and captured audiences. Writers discussed how “songs of the summer” are ones that stick with audiences most, and they created a playlist of summer highlights. 

Senior Clare Houilston said her favorite song over the summer was  “Greek Tragedy (Oliver Nelson Remix)” by the Wombats.

“It is groovy, and that is really hard to find in music recently, ” Houilston said.

Other artists dropped songs that captured summer vibes. Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart showed that the summer tunes most listened to included “Kiss me More” by Doja Cat featuring SZA, “Solar Power” by Lorde, “Peaches” by Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar, “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X, “Astronaut In The Ocean” by Masked Wolf, “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals, “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd featuring Ariana Grande, “Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran and the recently released “Take My Breath” by The Weeknd. 

Summer also made way for many concerts and other performances opened to the public once more. Festivals such as Goldrush Music Festival, HARD Summer and Lollapalooza showed the future of these events in their revival and success. Some festivals decided to take the virtual route, such as the Essence Festival of Culture that used interactive visuals for its concerts. Other concerts and tours including Louis The Child’s Euphoria Tour and the Hella Mega Tour with Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer hit the road and will continue through the summer season. 

Movies were also on the rise as they premiered in theaters and on streaming platforms this summer. Film site First Showing posted its schedule of highly-rated movies this summer, which included “Cruella,” “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” “In The Heights,” “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” “Luca,” “F9,” “The Forever Purge,” “Black Widow,” “Jungle Cruise” and “The Suicide Squad.” 

Rotten Tomatoes critics also rated and reviewed the best films of the summer. Movies receiving a ‘fresh’ rating included “Jungle Cruise” with a score of 63, “Free Guy” with a score of 83, “Luca” with a score of 91, “Bo Burnham Inside” with a score of 93 and “In the Heights” with a score of 95. 

There are many more films, shows, concerts and album releases that are anticipated in the following months. Shows premiering soon include “Bachelor in Paradise” season seven and “The Walking Dead” season 11. Billboard’s Album Release Calendar shows some upcoming releases: Imagine Dragons’ “Mercury- Act 1” on Sept. 3, Coldplay’s “Music of the Spheres” on Oct. 15 and Taylor Swift’s “Red (Taylor’s Version)” coming Nov. 19. 

The Firefly Festival is set to be held over late September and will include headliners such as Billie Eilish and Lizzo. Meanwhile, the First Showing film schedule displays movies scheduled to premier in coming months, including “Dear Evan Hansen” on Sept. 24, “Top Gun: Maverick” on Nov. 11 and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” on Dec. 17. 

The summer proved to offer entertaining pieces of film, music, concerts and shows. This excitement can continue into the fall season, with many more long-awaited entertainment mediums being on the brim of release.

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