We can all use a good laugh every now and then. But now that our society and culture has become more progressive, popular comedies that people used to love — mostly from the 90s — aren’t really that funny anymore.
As the world gets more connected, our awareness of global, socio-political issues increases. Nowadays, the comedies worth watching are the shows with subtle messages that raise issues reflecting our reality.
Here, we listed down three comedies that are worth checking out, especially if you want a good laugh while staying woke.
I was late to Community party but was very glad I made it. When Netflix dropped its six seasons last April 2020, I found myself sneaking in an episode or two in my daily quarantine life. Having spent three months on lockdown, we can all use a comedy to lift our spirits (other than a psychological evaluation right after the crisis).
Community is a popular sitcom that’s (forgive me for saying this) streets ahead. First aired in 2009, it had a pretty diverse cast. There’s a classic white alpha guy and two white women; one atheist who’s also an activist and a Jewish obsessed with competing.
There are African-Americans, too! One of them is a highly-religious Christian mom, the other is played by Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. There’s also a half-Arab, half-Polish Muslim, a senior citizen who practices a Buddhist-like cult, and a Chinese-American teacher turned student.
Together, they formed a storyline of misfits turned friends, turned families.
Watching Community heightened my awareness of issues regarding race, gender, nationalities, ages, and cultures. While most of these issues are brought out for comic relief, the characters worked together to find a solution and come into realizations.
Personally, I found it interesting how I can learn life lessons after watching a show that’s supposed to just make me laugh. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone: getting entertained and educated!
The Good Place
I first heard about The Good Place through my best friend who loved watching tellies and was instantly hooked. I honestly believe when pilot episodes make you laugh so hard, the series is going to be extremely good. And that’s what happened when I watched The Good Place.
It’s a story about four deceased individuals who end up in a heavenly utopia called The Good Place. The cast comprise of a white, selfish saleswoman from Arizona, an indecisive black Ethics professor, a hot rich fraud British philanthropist with legs for days, and a Filipino DJ and drug dealer from Florida.
What I love about The Good Place is how it tackled ethics and philosophy creatively, bringing up morals through the concept of heaven and hell. Moreover, diversity and representation are on point in this show, with ethnically appropriate actors and actresses. (And they don’t even make a big deal out of it!)
Last but not the least, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a must-watch comedy for everyone. As usual, I was late to the party but I’ve fallen in love with it.
The show didn’t tackle pressing topics such as racism, sexism, and homophobia through specific episodes. Rather, it’s intertwined in the storyline along with a racially mixed group of cops.
The precinct’s captain is a happily married, openly gay cop. Being in the police force since the 80s, he shared his many disadvantages and struggles due to his sexuality.
There are topics mirroring our reality in each and every episode: a bisexual cop’s coming out and her parent’s refusal to accept it, the horrors and fear that black people endure in their daily lives (even if they’re in a position of power), struggles of motherhood, pursuing your passion, and a lot more.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the most inclusive, diverse, and progressive comedy we all need to watch. It’s open-minded, lighthearted, and ridiculously funny. I still re-watch it to this day when I need a good laugh. It’s guaranteed to have me in tears while laughing out loud.
March on, progressive and inclusive comedies!
I still find myself at odds with my friends, especially with the types of comedies they enjoy. However, I believe that we just need to help our friends explore comedies that don’t use transphobia, homophobia, sexism, fat-shaming, white supremacy, and plain racism as a way to deliver ‘funny’ lines.
How about you? Do you have a go-to comedy you enjoy? Share it with us!
Smart brings 25 K-Pop acts closer to the Philippines with KCON:TACT 4U
+1 J-Pop group to complete the lineup
Some people behind the GadgetMatch team (including me) are total fans of K-Pop. With this in mind, we’re here to give you the best news for any K-Pop fan out there!
Smart Communications Inc. is bringing back the most-awaited K-Event of the year. Lo and behold, the KCON:TACT 4U virtual festival that will be held from June 19 (Saturday) to June 27 (Sunday). All you have to do is to access gigafest.smart every 8PM (Philippine time) to access the online concert. For the best streaming experience, just register to Double GIGA Video on the GigaLife App.
There aren’t just one, two, not even just ten K-Pop acts. There are a total of 25 K-Pop acts ranging from female and male groups, plus one J-Pop boy group to make it a whole lot fun, sizzling, and entertaining. Here are all the acts you should watch out! (in no particular order).
LOONA is gearing up for their latest comeback with the album ‘[&]‘. Orbits shouldn’t feel too excited about “Paint The Town” as the song wouldn’t be released within the whole duration of the virtual festival. Instead, expect them to perform their latest hits ‘“Why Not” and ‘“Star” (or “Voice”, its Korean track counterpart).
You’ll go head over heels with fromis_9‘s visuals and vocals — especially with their latest summer bop “WE GO”. This is one of (if not) the best 2021 summer releases out there.
OH MY GIRL
Another summer hit pop track in the list is OH MY GIRL’s “Dun Dun Dance” that will surely make you dance all day and all night long with its catchy tune and soothing vocals of each member.
EVERGLOW is also one of the latest girl groups to release a fresh new track last month. While it’s not as refreshing as other tracks, “FIRST” will totally make your heads and ears flip because of how powerful it is.
Speaking of powerful, ITZY’s “M.A.F.I.A. In the morning” is one of the most streamed K-Pop tracks around. With thousands of MIDZYs in the Philippines, expect them to populate the viewer count once the virtual festival starts.
Weeekly is currently one of the most popular new generation of female idols. With the ever increasing attention among the girls and their 2021 hit track “After School” plus the release of their latest collaborative track “7 Days Tension”, these cute yet refreshing bops would definitely make a lot of fans sing along and giggle with their cuteness!
Weki Meki is one of the most underrated girl groups out there that you should definitely check out. “COOL” may not be their latest track this 2021 but it’s totally catchy alongside their other releases such as “OOPSY” and “DAZZLE DAZZLE”.
Just like LOONA, SEVENTEEN is one among the K-Pop acts in the lineup that’s also gearing up for their comeback. While “Ready To Love” isn’t confirmed to be in the performance list, “HOME;RUN” should definitely be performed by these 13 amazing boys.
Stray Kids (SKZ)
Stray Kids (also known as “SKZ”) are TWICE and ITZY’s brothers! Not to confuse you with the K-Drama, but they recently won the survival show Kingdom. Expect them to perform hit tracks such as “Back Door” and more.
THE BOYZ (TBZ)
Another group in the list that participated in the survival show Kingdom was THE BOYZ (or TBZ). Recently, their song “The Stealer” is gaining rounds online — and that song should definitely be performed in this virtual festival.
Dubbed as FNC Entertainment’s “First Boy Dance Group”, SF9 will surely make a lot of FANTASYs swoon. Even non-fans would surely drool over them.
After so many years of dispute between Mnet and YG Entertainment, iKON is ready to amaze iKONICs with their amazing performances. They’re also one among the competitors in Kingdom. And yes, they’re BLACKPINK’s older brother group — and Lisa performed with them during their “Classy Savage” sing and dance craze. “Love Scenario” in 2021, anyone?
Another Kingdom competitor is none other than BTOB. Known for their angelic voices, they surely threw a punch in the survival show — even if they’re the oldest competing group out of the bunch. After years of hiatus, they’re finally back on track. Coincidence or not, they’re sub-unit BTOB 4U will make your eyes bawl with “Show Your Love”.
BTOB’s younger group, PENTAGON is also set to perform in this year’s KCON:TACT. Other than their latest track “DO or NOT”, they’re also popular for their hit song “Shine”.
If you’re one among the veteran K-Pop fans like I am, you’d know that CNBLUE is one among the classic boy bands out there. Known for their great vocals and musical instrument skills, you’d be delighted to see them again after years of hiatus. Who knows, they might perform their classic hits this 2021?
Other than CNBLUE, HIGHLIGHT is also one of the classic K-Pop groups in this list. TL:DR, they originally came from Cube Entertainment (yes, the sole agency of BTOB and PENTAGON) under the name BEAST. If it rings any bell, they’re that boy group who made a lot of fans cheer and roar for years. Their latest track surely proves it’s “Not The End” of their journey together.
From the same company as Weki Meki and other prominent actors in South Korea, ASTRO surely knows how to act hot and cool while singing and dancing in their latest track “One”. And for all Cha Eunwoo supremacists out there, you should know by now that he belongs to this group.
If you weren’t aware, this group comes from the same label as MAMAMOO and their latest group PURPLE KISS. While both weren’t included in this year’s KCON:TACT lineup, ONEUS will make viewers dance such to a groovy and psychedelic track.
ONF (pronounced as On and Off) is OH MY GIRL’s younger brother group! Not sure if “Dun Dun Dance” and “Ugly Dance” were both coincidental with their “dance” naming scheme, but this crazy awesome Cyberpunk-ish concept has continued from their last release “Beautiful Beautiful”.
Home of INFINITE, Lovelyz, ROCKET PUNCH, and DRIPPIN, Golden Child is one of the underrated groups that need to be recognized for their talent. While completely going with their concept, they still try other concepts that surely suit their group image — and “Breathe” is one of those tracks that deserve more recognition.
This 4-year-old group is also set to step their foot on KCON:TACT 4U. Among other acts in the list, A.C.E is also preparing for their upcoming comeback with the title track “Higher”. But don’t expect too much and just enjoy their latest released track, “Down” for now.
The third group from FNC Entertainment in this list alongside CNBLUE and SF9 is none other than P1Harmony. Their ultra-catchy hip-popping track “Scared” makes them look and sound distinct from their brother groups.
“Get Away” is just three months old, but Filipino VERRERs would actually want to hear this charismatic and sexy track live — even if it means of just watching it virtually this pandemic.
‘TO1’ was rebranded from ‘TOO’ and their latest comeback song surely proves how powerful they are as a group. TL:DR, they were also formed in a survival show called ‘To Be World Klass”.
A group composed of popular members from the survival shows “MIXNINE” and “PRODUCE X 101”, GHOST9’s set to have a “cinematic live” segment instead of a live performance during this year’s festival. It might be their latest track “Up All Night” that will surely make you up all night.
Ha Sung Woon
Haneuls would definitely stay online to watch Ha Sungwoon’s latest track ‘Sneakers’ especially with its refreshing summer song. If you’re still unaware, he’s one of the original members of WANNA ONE, a project group formed from the PRODUCE survival show series.
The only J-Pop act in the roster
They’re the only J-Pop act in the lineup. Also, they’re the only active group from the PRODUCE series franchise.
Not to be confused with the group ‘TO1’, JO1 hopes to be one of the most sought after J-Pop acts with amazing vocals and visuals on the line. Watching and listening to “Born To Be Wild” further proves that.
Here’s the full schedule lineup if you want to catch your faves!
Rocksmith+: Learn how to play guitar easily
With a massive song library, progress checks, and real-time feedback
I have an acoustic guitar at home, yet I’ve never really taken the time to learn it. In my younger years, I watched YouTube videos and still couldn’t place my fingers properly to strum a chord. Now, I’m pretty sure a lot of other people feel the same way, and you’re looking for easier ways to learn. Fear not, Ubisoft is here with its new music-learning service, Rocksmith+.
Announced during the company’s E3 2021 presentation, Rocksmith+ takes its roots from the 2011 music video game, Rocksmith. Essentially, this subscription service allows you to learn and play chord charts and arrangements of a wide variety of songs. Unlike the 2011 video game, Rocksmith+ has a music library that isn’t limited to just rock music.
Another great feature this service will bring is real-time feedback and progress tracking, especially for beginners. If you download the service’s companion mobile app, it will pick up any guitar you’re playing on through your phone’s microphone. This way, Rocksmith+ will keep track of the chords you know and even show you where to place your fingers for other chords.
Rocksmith+ will be available through Ubisoft Connect for the PC, Android, and iOS, and you can sign up for a closed PC beta starting today until July 22. It will also be available for both the current and next-gen consoles.
Trese: Three things to expect on the Netflix Original Anime
Quick thoughts on the highly anticipated series
Hype for the Netflix Original Animé Trese will hit a fever pitch as the episodes officially drop. The show carries a lot of hopes and expectations since it’s the first Philippine graphic novel to receive this treatment.
Created by Budjette Tan and KaJO Baldisimo, Trese is set in Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans. Series protagonist detective Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld composed of malevolent supernatural beings.
Netflix was kind enough to give GadgetMatch early access so, here’s what I think you should look out for before you watch the Netflix Original Animé. And don’t worry, no spoilers here.
1. Don’t think of it as an “Animé”
While it technically is an animé since by definition animé is really just any animated work whether hand drawn or computer generated, outside of Japan it’s more popularly known as animation that originated in Japan.
The term also comes with certain aesthetic ✨expectations✨ and that’s not really what you’ll get here. That isn’t a bad thing though.
The art style and overall animation more closely resembles the previous work of series Showrunner Jay Oliva. He’s worked on outstanding DC Animated films — Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Justice League: War, Batman vs. Robin — to name a few.
Die hard animé fans will likely have a more open mind watching this with the expectation that the visuals of Trese are more Justice League or Batman The Animated Series than Tokyo Ghoul or Bleach.
I think with this in mind, you’ll enjoy the series more and appreciate better what it’s trying to do visually.
2. The Filipino/Tagalog dub sounds like your regular animé dub
Yes, as a person of the Internet I have seen the comments and the conversations online about how the Filipino dub was executed. But I wanna say about 70 to 80 percent of the series will sound natural as you get deeper into the episodes.
If you grew up watching Slam Dunk’s Hanamichi Sakuragi calling Kaede Rukawa “Gunggong” (idiot) or are a fan of the “Tapusin, tapusin, tapusin” (Kill him, Finish him) chants of the monsters in Ghost Fighter (Yu Yu Hakusho), you should feel right at him with the dubbing work.
It isn’t perfectly natural and it does have awkward sounding dialogue. However, that’s par for the course at least from what I remember from watching Philippine TV in my childhood. Could it have been done better? Perhaps.
I watched the first two episodes repeating scenes while switching between the English and Filipino dub. My impression is that this was written first in English and then translated later on to Filipino. I should be able to confirm whether this was the case or not soon but for now, I think the series was certainly written in English first, then other languages later.
That said, the English dub does put on some accents that I don’t know how most people will feel about. Some of it does sound Filipino and they also mix in some Filipino words here and there. Personally, I wasn’t too bothered but I’m interested to see what the reaction of the general audience will be.
3. The music is fantastic
The intro starts with tribal chants that’s then super charged with some electronica. It perfectly mirrors the theme of the show — mystic creatures terrorizing humans in the modern world.
The show’s score also perfectly evokes the feeling of dread of living among aggressive ghouls claiming the lives of humans. Scenes of dialogue that further the detective side of the story also have this air of mystery to it.
When the action cranks up to eleven, we get a modern twist to traditional Filipino musical instruments played during festivities.
All these come together to bring the world of Trese to life and helps with the show’s overall identity.
Around the time that this animated series was announced, I recall watching (or reading, my memory’s hazy) an interview by the original creators of the title about how they patiently waited for the right people to work with. I think the wait paid off.
The series as a whole is well done. The animation is fantastic if you look at it the way I did. It has a certain look that feels familiar and distinct at the same time. The pace never slows to a crawl. Instead, it slowly builds up to an emotional crescendo.
It’s such a treat to see Philippine folklore in this treatment. Personally, I’ve long wished for something like this. I believe our folklore is rich and deserves to be seen by the world. I pray Trese is just the beginning.
Watch Trese on Netflix.
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