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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Exiting our summer era: a pop culture recap

Brooklyn Leighton
Set of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour at Gillette Stadium.

The 2023 summer brought us many pop culture moments for the books. As the cold weather rolls into the city, let’s look at making this summer one of the most memorable of the decade.


This summer was the era of  “The Eras Tour” which made its way across the United States from March until August. This tour was one of the most controversial and lucrative of the music circuit. With over 146 shows scheduled and a three hour long setlist, the performance was one of a lifetime. The tour took place over one album release, an album announcement and had nine openers over the four months Swift toured the U.S. 

The excitement of the tour for some was to the dismay of other Swifties who were unable to obtain tickets due to their resale price. Despite controversies, Swift is still going strong, touring all over the globe after her groundbreaking summer of shows, now touring with former Disney Channel star Sabrina Carpenter.

Swift wasn’t the only artist who had an exciting year, as Beyonce returned to the stage for the first time since 2016, touring her latest release “Renaissance.” The tour marked the highest grossing tour of Beyonce’s career, making almost double “The Formation World Tour.” 

Rising pop star Olivia Rodrigo also returned to music with her single “vampire,” which hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was released June 30 and pushed Rodrigo back into the pop scene. The second single “bad idea, right?” has been climbing up the charts since its Aug. 11 release. 

The star’s first album “Sour” won her three Grammys including Best New Artist and her sophomore album is sure to get her more recognition in the upcoming awards season.


Music wasn’t the only entertainment medium making big changes. July 14 was the beginning of the Screen Actors Guild- American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Writers Guild of America. The strike has resulted in the hiatus of late night TV and other major projects across the film industry, including “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.” 

The anticipated and critically acclaimed film franchise from Sony was slated to release its finale in early 2024 according to Entertainment Weekly, but has been postponed indefinitely due to the strike. The animated franchise released its second film, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” to a great response from audiences this summer and is leaving audiences itching for a conclusion.

Other box office hits like “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” were a treat for audiences. Both films released on the same day, igniting the conflict between moviegoers deciding whether to see the intense biopic or the bubbly comedy. The shocking result of this conflict was that audiences simply went to see both films, back-to-back, on opening day. 

Not only did it become a trend for people to make a day at the movies with the films, but also an outfit. Across social media people donned all pink attire on their way into the theaters.

The films both still have world-wide revenue being raked in, with Barbie reaching $1.4 billion at the box office Sept. 18. Oppenheimer is climbing its way to $1 billion in box office sales, hovering around $928 million as of Sept. 30. 


Streaming services were also making headlines this summer. May 23 marked HBO Max’s name change to Max. The streaming services name change wasn’t the only thing putting Max on the map. Euphoria director Sam Levinson released another controversial television show, “The Idol,” starring Lily Rose Depp and Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd.

Despite the star studded cast and a successful show, “The Idol” managed to be a major flop in audiences eyes. With lackluster acting and uncomfortable encounters between characters, the show made many audience members stop mid-season. The show’s poor reviews resulted in the official cancellation of the second season in late august according to Max.

“The Idol” was a passion-project for Tesfaye, who was very active on Twitter whenever an episode was released. He was critical of the audience’s reception, claiming that “People who hate it decided a long time ago… It’s fine.” His hostility left a sour taste that spoiled the season for many of Max’s loyal viewers.

Other streaming platforms managed to strike gold, like Netflix, with its new season of their science-fiction series “Black Mirror.” The television series hasn’t released a new season since 2019, but the show lost none of its flair over the hiatus. The witty and thought provoking series brought on television stars like Aaron Paul and Annie Murphy, who did an excellent job making each and every story beat in their respective episodes.

With a media drought soon at hand, enjoy looking back on the thrilling summer of music, film and television.


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About the Contributors
Julia Capraro, Editor-at-Large | she/her
Julia is a sophomore broadcast journalism and psychology major from Canton, Massachusetts. In addition to writing for the journal, she is President of Suffolk Visual Arts Club. She loves cooking, crochet and reading in her free time.
Brooklyn Leighton, Opinion Editor | she/her
Brooklyn is a junior English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in journalism from Falmouth, MA. When she isn’t working on writing a book, she is listening to Taylor Swift, watching Marvel movies, or obsessing over “The Hunger Games”. She loves cats, baking, and spending time with her friends. After graduation, she plans on becoming an author.

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