Pop Culture’s Summer Heatwave

Audrey Vieira and Morgan Pryor

Unlike schools across the country, pop culture takes no breaks when summer arrives. This summer was no exception, with some of the most memorable moments in film, music and social media to date, but in case you’ve forgotten, we’ve listed five key moments that defined summer 2018.

• Summer of Sequels: Sequels dominated the box office throughout the summer blockbuster season, beginning with “The Incredibles 2” becoming the highest domestically grossing animated film of all time and continuing with the successes of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.” With eight of summer 2018’s ten highest grossing films being sequels or spinoffs and more studios following through on follow-ups, the sequel craze could potentially continue for years to come.

• Drake and the #InMyFeelings Challenge: When Canadian-American rapper Drake asked, “Kiki, do you love me?” on the chorus of “In My Feelings,” the fifth single from his most recent album “Scorpion,” social media answered with the #InMyFeelings challenge. The viral trend prompted Twitter and Instagram users to film themselves dancing along to the track, but some took their videos too far by recording in traffic and jumping out of moving cars. As a result, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chief of safety advocacy issued a statement warning drivers, “There’s a time and place for everything, but our nation’s highways and roadways are no place for the #InMyFeelings challenge.”

• Ariana Grande releases ”Sweetener”: On her new album, “Sweetener,” singer Ariana Grande delivers bright, empowering and deeply personal pop to the masses in one of 2018’s finest moments in music so far. She returns light to the world against a spoken-word beat on “The Light Is Coming,” which features frequent collaborator Nicki Minaj, and professes her love for fiancé, Pete Davidson, on a track sharing his name. Considering the critical acclaim “Sweetener” has already received, Grande could — and should — emerge as a strong contender for next year’s Grammy awards.

• “Crazy Rich Asians”: As summer came to a close, “Crazy Rich Asians” swept the nation with its stunning Singaporean setting and the first entirely Asian cast since 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club.” The swoon-worthy romance, paired with lead actress Constance Wu’s strong performance, charmed audiences and critics all over the world. Garnering close to $160 million since its Aug. 15 release, “Crazy Rich Asians” has contributed to the growing number of Asian-led films this year.

• “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”: Another highly successful summer film featuring Asian-American leads, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” took the internet by storm. Based on Jenny Han’s novel of the same name, the Netflix flick sparked an abundance of title-related memes and a viral obsession with breakout star Noah Centineo and lead actress Lana Condor. Even as a typical addition to the teen rom-com genre, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is a refreshing example of the growing representation in Hollywood.