Flop Girl summer is here: the biggest movie is about a cartoon cat, Jennifer Lopez has canceled her tour, and Billie Eilish collaborated with American Express.
“The biggest movie blockbusters so far are about a cartoon cat, Pop-Tarts, and an attempt to make tennis sexy.” (Illustration by The Free Press, photo via Getty Images)

Flop Girl Summer Is Here

This time last year, pop culture treated us every day: Barbie, Taylor Swift’s tour, Gwyneth in court. Now, it has nothing left to give.

Cast your mind back to last summer. You might remember how Barbie—and its soundtrackset things off, “pink-pilling” the nation. Or you may recall Taylor Swift’s Eras tour reviving local economies and sending seismic waves rumbling through the ground and making Beyoncé’s own stadium tour only the second most sought-after ticket in town. Country music ruled; Gwyneth Paltrow turned the courtroom into a runway. Every day, if you’re a pop culture vulture like me, was a showstopper. 

This summer things look different, and even a little dismal. The biggest movie blockbusters so far are about a cartoon cat, Pop-Tarts, and an attempt to make tennis sexy. Jennifer Lopez just canceled her summer tour after an attempt at rebranding it fell flat. Olivia Rodrigo, once-beloved Gen Z Avril Lavigne, is now better known as a throwback for Gen X dads. And Billie Eilish recently hosted a live listening party, brought to you by American Express. Meanwhile, The New York Times declared the hottest act touring right now to be the 80-year-old Mick Jagger. 

That’s right, it’s officially a flop girl summer. Last year we went a little too hard on the glitz, glitter, and confetti, and now we have nothing left to give.

Since last summer, we’ve had 31 new songs from Taylor Swift, 27 from Beyoncé, and an entire media company from Dua Lipa to promote her album Radical Optimism, which debuted at number one before sales fell by nearly 90 percent the following week. Sure, Drake and Kendrick Lamar gave us a rap beef that made it all the way to the Oval Office, but even that fizzled out two months too soon. 

But let’s be honest: we’re tired. And a flop girl summer gives us exactly what we need—a long-awaited break. 

One exception is Sabrina Carpenter, whose steamy and energetic song “Espresso” has been owning the season so far. I’m looking forward to lazily playing it on the beach along with her upcoming album, Short n’ Sweet. It’s set to come out August 23. I hope it delivers on its title.

Evan Gardner is an intern at The Free Press. Follow him on X @EvanGardne9, and read his piece, “Country Music and Me: My Great Migration in the Wrong Direction.”

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