The official student news site of Westview High School

The Nexus

The official student news site of Westview High School

The Nexus

The official student news site of Westview High School

The Nexus

Battikha constructs, programs drone for pollution detection
Battikha constructs, programs drone for pollution detection
Leanne Fan, Staff Writer • June 5, 2024

When Alex Battikha (11) walked along the San Diego shores with his dad last June, he noticed trash everywhere. What further concerned him was...

Review: I Saw the TV Glow

Glowing with brilliance

As the credits rolled to Jane Schoenbrun’s sophomore horror-drama film I Saw the TV Glow, I was reminded why I still go to movie theaters. For an hour and 40 minutes, I was trapped in a liminal space with a world beyond the screen swallowing me whole. There was no pause button, no forward skips, no rewind; I was given a one-way ticket with no knowledge of the travel conditions or destination, seated until the bitter end.

Glow was the kind of experience so overwhelming it left me with a feeling I lacked the words to properly describe — perhaps a word I was just discovering the meaning of — and that was the kind of rarity that made theatergoing worthwhile.

Set in the late 1990s to 2000s, the film follows Owen and Maddy, two troubled teenagers who bond over their love for “The Pink Opaque,” a kids horror show akin to Goosebumps or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That is, until Maddy disappears, leaving only a burning TV in her backyard, and “The Pink Opaque” is mysteriously canceled soon after. As years slip by and Owen looks back on his and Maddy’s beloved show, becoming more disillusioned with the everyday motions of his unstimulating life, reality begins blending with his favorite childhood series.

Framed in evocative shots that linger for seconds too long, flaring neon colors, fantastical-yet-unsettling imagery, and hair-splintering sound design, Glow is a film with a voice so distinctly its own, it’s incomparable to anything else in its genre.

Its nostalgia-sick music score taints its moments of horror, marrying melancholy with trepidation. The soundtrack reaches its pinnacle in Yeule’s glitch pop cover of Broken Social Scene’s “Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl,” with a resonant synth-static climax that grips me tighter with every listen.

At its crux, Glow is a transgender allegory that deals with the fear of living your truth, but articulates the truer terror of trapping yourself in what is not. The scariest parts aren’t the bone-chilling scenes of Owen being violently sucked into explosive sparks of a TV screen, but the frantic realizations Owen has as he loses time to a life that dissatisfies him.

The film transcends its innately queer themes, and more than anything, plants seeds of hope. Embedded in juvenile aspirations of living like our favorite character in a show or being the hero of the story, Glow challenges that what binds us to our realities are choices we actively make. That choosing to take shelter in the realities you desire but don’t quite have is neither a futile nor fantastical choice. That a dream’s glow cannot fade when it lives inside you. That there is, if you trust there to be, still time.


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Ella Jiang
Ella Jiang, News Editor

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