April recommends that will make you transcend


In the April 2021 edition of The Echo Recommends, The Echo staff could not come up with a theme. We hope you will transcend regardless, even if it’s just because you enjoy the rhyme we created.


Quite unfortunately, April seems to be an incredibly busy and boring month for people everywhere. We, at The Echo have felt this too, but we’re trying our best to make it better for you. Here are some of our highlights of stuff we’ve done, watched, read and listened to to get us through this month. We hope they help you too!


Alisa Christensen – “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is a brand new series that made its debut on Disney+ on March 19, 2021, with its final episode being released April 23. This series focuses on the dynamics between The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, following Steve Rogers’ departure from the mantle of Captain America. I especially appreciate this series because I believe it does a wonderful job of incorporating realistic themes and challenges for its characters. Something that I felt Marvel had been lacking was a grounding in human struggles. But with “WandaVision’s” recent focus on mental health and grief and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s” integration of racial and class tension, it has been powerful to see Marvel make the move towards more realistic and relevant struggles. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan also have incredible comedic and dramatic chemistry, which elevates the series even higher. If you’re looking for an action-packed series that remains grounded in reality, this is a must-watch. 


Jason Verdin – “Last Chance U: Basketball”

“Last Chance U” is a Netflix docuseries which highlights student athletes that have reached the point of their last chance to pursue their dreams of playing Division I or pro ball. The first two seasons focused on East Mississippi Community College’s student athletes as they make the transition to D1 football; however, season three is all about the East LA Huskies basketball team as they pursue their goal of winning the state trophy at the community college level. It provides an interesting point of view considering the lack of support that many athletics programs at the community/junior college level receive, even though the purpose of these programs is to get the student athletes to the next level. The 8 episode season follows the team through the hills and valleys of their basketball season, as well as their personal lives, and the reasons why many of these stellar basketball players ended up at the community college level. 



Avocado Smash is a VERY entertaining card game to play with family and friends. The game is played with numbered cards, and the container is in the shape, texture and color of an avocado. If you have ever played Slapjack or Spoons, this game is similar to that. It asks the players to deal all the cards out to everyone face down, so nobody can see the number on the other side. Then one-by-one, each person will say a number (starting with one) and flip a card over to the middle. The next person will say the following number (two), and flip that card over to the middle to display the number. If the card that is flipped over matches the number that the person says, everyone has to smash the pile with their hand. The last person whose hand is placed down has to take the whole pile. Also, if the same number is put down twice, everyone has to smash the pile again with their hand. Like the previous round, the last person to do it must take the pile. To spice it up, there is a card that says “GUACAMOLE,” which calls for all the players in the game to yell “GUACAMOLE” and the last one to say it must take the pile. In the end, this is a GREAT way to pass time with your loved ones, and it can be purchased at many retail stores or online on Amazon. 


Hazel Booth – “American Vandal”

“American Vandal” is a two season show on Netflix that is a parody of the increasingly popular true crime genre. The show takes the form of a mockumentary, with two high school students, Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluk), making a documentary examining an absurd, obscene vandalism that occurred at their high school and attempting to find out who commited the vandalism. This show depicts high school students more accurately than any other media I’ve ever encountered, is hilarious and sincerely emotionally moving.


Abby Apeland – Codenames

Codenames is a fun board game to pass time at home and bond with your family and friends. It is a word association game with fun and unique words that the clue giver must use to assimilate with only one word. It can get quite intense and, at times, frustrating, but that’s all part of the fun. You can buy this game at your local supermarket and get ready for fun times with friends and family. 


Jaclyn Bobbe – “Big Sky” 

“Big Sky” is an American crime drama  that was created by David E. Kelley. The show is based off of the 2013 novel “The Highway” by C.J Box. The show is about private detectives searching for two sisters who were kidnapped by a truck driver on a secluded highway in Montana. When they discover that these aren’t the only girls who have gone missing in the area, they must race against the clock to stop the kidnapper before more girls are taken. This show is great if you like watching shows with lots of unexpected twists. 


Olivia Durcan – “Map of the Soul: Persona”

“Map of the Soul: Persona” is the 6th EP from the South Korean boy band, BTS. The second track on the project features a collaboration with Halsey, an American singer and songwriter. BTS sends messages of finding love and happiness for ourselves through self-discovery. On first listen, each song is unpredictable because of how open and creative BTS is with exploring different music styles. My favorite track on the album is “HOME,” simply because it reminds me of being around my loved ones, friends and pets. 


Sachin Fong – The Pharcyde

If you’re into 90’s hip hop, you have probably heard of The Pharcyde (pronounced far-side). The Pharcyde is a hip hop group from South Central Los Angeles, created in 1989. The original four members of the group are Imani, Slimkid3, Bootie Brown and Fatlip. They are best known for their song “Passin Me By,” but in my opinion, their song “Runnin” from the album “Labcabincalifornia” is their best song. I definitely recommend queuing up some Pharcyde on your next ride home.


Augustine Gallespen – Jackbox Party Packs

Throughout quarantine, the Jackbox Party Packs have helped me stay in contact with my friends through virtual game nights. Jackbox is a collection of wordplay, drawing and other types of games that all center around making jokes and roasting friends. There are seven party packs with five games each, and I personally recommend Jackbox Party Pack 4. In this pack, there is  “Fibbage: Enough About You,” which is similar to two truths and a lie but each person gets to make a lie about the person telling the truth, “Survive the Internet,” a game about cancelling your friends, “Monster Seeking Monster,” a speed-date your friends simulator, “Bracketeering,” a debate game and “Civic Doodle,” a “finish the drawing” game.


Isabela Graham – Wattpad

Wattpad is a website and app for writers to publish their new stories. It creates social communities for amateur and older writers. Wattpad is great for all generations to share and get feedback on the stories they publish. I use Wattpad because it helps me pass time in a new, creative way.


Aarti Gupta – “Big Time Rush”

Nickelodeon’s “Big Time Rush” has finally arrived on Netflix, and if you couldn’t tell by my staff profile biography, I am a huge fan of the band. Their music was created in conjunction with a fictional TV series that follows the lives of four hockey-loving best friends who make their big break in Los Angeles by becoming the next greatest boy band. Unfortunately for them, Hollywood isn’t just about fame and fun; the boys are forced to learn how to be mature and hard-working while they’re still silly high school students at heart. Follow along as they try to make it big time, and you might finally fill the void One Direction’s hiatus left in your heart.


Salman Khan – “My Hero Academia”

With season five of the massively popular anime kicking off just about a month ago, now is a great time to start watching “My Hero Academia” (Boku no Hīrō Academia). A series following a plucky hero-in-training, Izuku Midoriya, “My Hero Academia” is lore-packed with a colorful supporting cast to boot. Set in a high school for heroes, the series finds a perfect balance between high stakes conflict and an endearing connection between the blossoming heroes. Whether you’re looking for a new/starter-friendly anime, a fix between Marvel Cinematic Universe content, or still grieving over the cancellation of the Sky High series, My Hero might be the show for you!


Enoch Kim – “Attack on Titan” 

For those who haven’t watched anime, this psychological mystery is a great starting point. A show about how heroes can be seen as villains, “Attack on Titan” (AoT)  features excellent character development, great world building and a thrilling mystery. Set in an alternate Earth, AoT’s humans have to deal with the constant threat of Titans: monstrous, cannibalistic predators of humans that eat to slaughter, not to be satiated. The show looks at the darkness of humans and what lengths people are willing to go to in order to ensure humanity’s survival.


Ben LeGrand – MLB The Show

MLB’s iconic video game is now available on every video game platform, ending its time as a Playstation exclusive. Widely regarded as one of the best sports game franchises and the only licensed Major League Baseball game, fans have been hoping for a release on all platforms for some time, and the day has finally come. Another bonus: Xbox users will be allowed to download the game from the Xbox game pass. Fans like me have waited a long time for this, and I’m certainly excited to play.


Ollie Mallett – “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power”

The Netflix original animated series “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” re-imagines the 80’s cartoon in a modern and exciting way. The show started in 2018 and ended in 2020 with five seasons of 30 minute episodes. The show explores dark plot points and important lessons while staying bright and youthful, making it a great watch for everyone, no matter their age. The show has LGBTQ+ main characters and does not hide it, giving queer kids representation that older generations didn’t have. The protagonist, Adora, is a canon lesbian and has an enemies to lovers relationship with her rival, Catra. The show has transgender characters as well, such as Perfuma, a trans woman, and Double Trouble, who’s nonbianary and uses they/them pronouns. I enjoy the show and its storylines as well as its characters, and it makes me glad to know that kids like me will be able to see and understand themselves in the LGBTQ+ characters.


Nwanne Nwosisi – “Dancing with the Devil”

Demi Lovato’s newest album “Dancing with the Devil” is about her excruciating and on-going battle with her drug addiction. One of her songs, “Met Him Last Night,” which recounts her battling her inner-demons, features Ariana Grande. She also has a docu-series made by Youtube Originals, where she and her loved ones talk about their experience with Lovato the last time she was sober and her near-death experience. Lovato’s album and documentary are both very eye-opening, so you should definitely give them a chance.


Jena Patel – “The Blind Side”

“The Blind Side” is an amazing movie based on a true story. It is about a homeless highschool boy who becomes an All-American football player with the help of a woman and her family. The movie stars actress Sandra Bullock as Leigh Ann Tuohy. It is a touching movie with twists and turns. It is one of the best movies I have ever seen, and I highly recommend it, especially if you love movies that are based on real events. 


Jailen Poole – “Kim’s Convenience”

“Kim’s Convenience” is a show based in downtown Toronto, centered around a Korean family and their everyday lives. Over the course of the show’s three seasons, Mr. and Mrs. Kim manage a convenience store, while their children attempt to reach success in their own right. The show is widely acclaimed in Canada, winning four Canadian screen awards and two Bell Media Awards. Producer Ivan Fecan delivers an eclectic mix of diverse experiences that will captivate the heart.


Maddie Pope – “Wilder Girls”

The book “Wilder Girls” by Rory Power shows an all girls boarding school that has been hit by some sort of sickness. Many have died and when the main character, Hetty, can’t find her best friend, she risks leaving the quarantined area and discovers so much more is going on. The book is an easy read and will keep you entertained.


Skylar Serrano – “New Girl”

 “New Girl” is a TV show that will take you along the wild ride between roommates Jess, Nick, Schmidt and Winston. Between Schmidt’s obnoxious but charming personality, Jess’s sheer lack of a filter, and Winston’s unreasonably close bond with his cat, you are guaranteed a new comfort show to watch with “New Girl.” 


Bhoomi Sharma – “Shadow and Bone”

“Shadow and Bone” is a TV show based on a book series of the same name written by Leigh Bardugo. It’s a fantasy story, released on April 23rd by Netflix. The story follows Alina Starkiv, a cartographer who finds she is more than what she has been led to believe her whole life. The two leading women are played by Asian women, and the rest of the cast is incredibly diverse as well. 


Maya Stone – “Lie to Me” 

“Lie to Me” is a fictional show based on the life of Paul Ekman, an American psychologist and expert in deception. Even though this show came out a while ago, it is still super interesting, and Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Monica Raymund and Brendan Hines all do an amazing job at sticking to their roles, while adding a comedic touch. Within each episode, the Lightman Group works on various cases, trying to figure out who is lying through microexpressions on their faces in hopes of solving whatever is going on. Not to mention, special guest star appearances occur in almost every episode; it is very cool to see a beloved celebrity playing a corrupt politician or murderer!  


Amerie Zaininger – Rezz

Rezz is a Canadian DJ and Record Producer whose music I really enjoy. I can’t recommend only one song, as all of them are good. With some songs having few lyrics to others full of them, I’m sure you could find a song that you’d enjoy. I’ve found that most of her songs are good to listen to while doing homework or studying, so if you need something new to listen to, I’d definitely recommend her music.