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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

Growing Up Muggle: The ‘Harry Potter’ Years (Part Two)

August 22, 2011

Sometime last month we dusted off the root causes of Pottermania; today we take our archaeological dig further and discover why it meant as much as it did…and what future generations will miss on their own Potter voyage. HARD-HITTING EDITORIAL, bitches witches!

2. What’s My Age Again?

Because we never mention this sort of thing here ever, I should state clearly that Steve and I are 25 years old. Most of our friends are between the ages of 23 and 26. So when the first (stateside) Harry Potter book was released, we were all between the ages of 10 and 13 — or to put it more clearly, pretty much the same age as Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Although we’d begin to speed past them in age when they’d take their extended summer breaks, the characters were often struggling with the same TEENAGE ANGST we were facing outside the book. Harry and Ron can’t find dates to the Yule Ball? Hermione freaks out over O.W.L.s? Sounds familiar! (They also battled dragons and snake-whispering mass-murderers but, you know, analogous experiences.)

Keep reading!

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Growing up Muggle: The ‘Harry Potter’ Years (Part One)

July 28, 2011

For lots of 20-somethings who speak different dialects of English, this summer marks something like the final death blow to our childhood: the official, no-effing-around end of the Harry Potter book and film series. Those unhinged among us will always have their Quidditch matches to attend and Dobby/Aragog slash fiction to write, but for the purposes of CANON — of JK Rowling’s pure, un-besmirched vision — well, we’re done.

(Moment of silence)

The last written page was published four years ago, so it’s really just the movies now — pushed past the financial collapse and Betty White reanimation — whose ending we come to mourn. But considering how closely the movies have mirrored both the literary evolution of the book series (improving with each new entry) and the none-too-significant “waiting game” that played out between releases, the cut feels somehow deeper. More significant. It’s not just the story that’s come to an end, but the enveloping Harry Potter experience: ten years of reading, waiting, predicting, discussing, watching, and analyzing that occupied a unique time in a lot of our lives…a time that, let’s be real, can’t and won’t happen again.

If you’re up for it, please…keep reading.

Haiku Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1’

March 31, 2011

Four months. Sue me.

Running, tears, Nick Drake.
Magical teens meet Zach Braff?
I mean, it’s still good.

With very nearly the same beat-for-beat literary evolution of the books, the Harry Potter film series has grown from mildly diverting popular entertainment in its earlier entries to thoughtful, sometimes challenging CINEMA as we near the end. The acting improvements alone are worth a full navel-gazing essay, but the changing color palettes, source material revisions, butterbeer references — it’s a series that’s come into its own in all the right ways, and ten years from the starting line is no longer that far from Lord of the Rings in quality. #5, Order of the Phoenix, remains unquestionably (unquestionably means “this is the right answer,” Alfonso Cuaron fans) the best of the bunch but with the release of Deathly Hallows, Part 1…it may have found some competition.

Accio Review or whatever!

Thank God The Harry Potter World Doesn’t Take Place In America

August 15, 2010

There’s nothing that wasted college kids, retired school teachers, and seven-year-olds love to talk about more than Harry Potter. The endless debates about the death of Dumbledore (sorry, that happens in book five), how hot Emma Watson is, and what house you would be sorted into if you attended Hogwarts will never end. And for good reason. J.K. Rowling has done more than write a handful of children’s novels about magic; she’s created a living, breathing world that exists in movies, merchandising, and now a theme park. The other day, as my mind wandered to the world of muggles, potions, and Butterbeer, I started thinking about what it would be like if the world of Harry Potter was set in the United States. It’s an important distinction that the Potter-verse resides on the other side of the Atlantic, where people have a long history of getting wasted at footy matches civilized behavior and unbridled, worldwide imperialism royal traditions.

People in the United States are lazy. Sure, people in the UK are lazy too, but not on the scale and depth Americans have achieved. As an avid reader of the Harry Potter series several years ago, I would always wonder what my life would be like if I had the ability to practice magic in the confines of my own home. Countless times I imagined saying “Accio Remote!” lying in a state of atrophy, surrounded by Cheetos to no avail. Or shouted “Expecto Patronum!” at a party in hopes of impressing the hot girl in the room with your Elk/Bear/manly animal patronus. This is when I realized that as Americans, we would inevitably use spells and magic solely to make our lives easier than they already are.

Examples of which will be explored with Granger-esque thoroughness after the jump.