Christopher Panella
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Christopher Panella is an Arts editor at the Tufts Daily. He is a senior studying Film and Media Studies. Chris can be reached at [email protected]


Soundtrack to the end of the world: A world post-pandemic, Part 2

For this last column, I asked my friends to share a bit of what they’re looking forward to as a post-pandemic world starts to come into focus. They sent me songs of rumination, rest and, most of all, celebration. This is part 2; part 1 is available at tuftsdaily.com. As for me, I just celebrated […]


Comfort Cartoons: Quirky and smart ‘Phineas and Ferb’

I would consider myself a quirky kid (as pretentious as that sounds). I had a strange sense of humor that came from being the youngest in a big family and often had to find ways to keep myself entertained. “Phineas and Ferb” was my best friend during those years, a show that made me feel less alone. Now, with every re-watch, I’m reminded of just how lucky I was to grow up with the triangle-shaped kid and his quiet British brother.


Comfort Cartoons: Futuristic and teenaged ‘Batman Beyond’

“Batman Beyond” (1999–2001) is a futuristic take on the Dark Knight and another installment in the DC Animated Universe. It’s mainly set in 2039, with Bruce Wayne now an old man, retired from crime-fighting. His rogues' gallery is all but finished, with most villains retired or deceased. This makes way for a new Batman in Neo-Gotham: Terry McGinnis, a teenager. Mentored by Bruce and wearing a fancy Batsuit, Terry is just what the futuristic megalopolis needs.


Comfort Cartoons: Secretive and supernatural ‘Gravity Falls’

The detailed storytelling and funny characters of “Gravity Falls” are perfect for audience investment, and the show’s been graced with a dedicated fan base whose members have studied the episodes’ countless clues and teasers. My earliest experience as a fan of “Gravity Falls” came when watching the episode “Summerween.”


Soundtrack to the end of the world: Bringing the nightclub to my bedroom

There’s something euphoric about dance music’s pounding beats and explosive drops. It’s a sort of catharsis, an exchange of energy — I think that’s especially true when we dance with others. Dancing alone this past year hasn’t felt the same. But post-pandemic, I’m excited for the empathy, love, excitement and power that comes from anyone and everyone’s enjoying dance music. With each song, we’ll be celebrating.


Comfort Cartoons: Mature and electrifying ‘Static Shock’

This week, we’re looking at “Static Shock” (2000–04), an influential animated series following Virgil Hawkins, a 14-year-old boy who fights crime as “Static,” a superhero with electromagnetic powers. The show is another installment in the DC Animated Universe, premiering before the culminations of the DCAU, “Justice League” (2001–04) and “Justice League Unlimited” (2004–06).


Weekender: 10 years later, analyzing ‘Femme Fatale’ as Britney Spears’ zenith

“Femme Fatale” came at a significant moment in both American music and Spears’ career. Riding on the early rise of electronic dance music, the singer’s seventh album had one overarching desire: to commemorate Spears’ new era after her rise, fall and comeback in popular culture. Of course, that’s a simplification of what might be her greatest work to date. But at the time, “Femme Fatale” acted as a turning point.


Comfort Cartoons: Campy classic ‘Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!’

The “Scooby-Doo” franchise is possibly the prime example of an intergenerational cultural touchstone. The Mystery Gang, their iconic outfits and their groovy Mystery Machine have remained something most audiences can connect with in some way. That’s partially thanks to the various installations of “Scooby-Doo,” which have spanned a handful of animated films, video games, television […]


Comfort Cartoons: Roller coaster ride ‘Lilo & Stitch’

“Lilo & Stitch” has always been focused on family, whether it be broken or whole, and how we can find connections and purposes that matter. The franchise’s earnestness has made it both famous and a generational touchstone. For people who grew up with the film (and its subsequent show), Stitch is just about the cutest plush animal you can get at The Walt Disney World Resort.


‘Framing Britney Spears’ and the movement to free America’s biggest pop star

It seems like an understatement to call the media and music industry’s misogyny, harassment and deliberate destruction of Spears as “struggles.” But “Framing Britney Spears” comes at a moment when American culture is finally deconstructing this euphemism. We’re now grappling with just how terribly Spears was treated.


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