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This summer has been all about recapturing our youth


Analysis by Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) — What does summer mean to you?

To me, it’s longing for the days when I used to pack a lunch and throw it into the back of my Big Wheel to travel all the way to the end of the block to play with my neighborhood friends.

There were popsicles to devour, lightening bugs to catch and jacks to play.

That’s right, I take it way back to the days when “summer vacation” didn’t mean me looking for reasonable airfare and accommodations to book. The days before I moved to adulthood, arguably not the favorite hood in which I have resided.

Based on what I see around me in pop culture these days, I am not the only one longing for “the good old days.”

Let’s discuss.

Something to sip on…

Nothing says “youth” like an animated superhero action film.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” is out this week and if ever there was a franchise that is both for the young and young at heart, it’s this one.

Like “Barbie,” anything “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” sparks nostalgia, and for many of us, the wonder years were a great space to inhabit, if for no other reason than childhood was without bills and the other pressures that come along with being “grown.”

According to Paramount Pictures, the new TMNT film picks up with the shelled foursome “after years of being sheltered from the human world,” when they “set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O’Neil helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.”

Turtles, mutants and a cast that includes Seth Rogen (who is also one of the producers), Maya Rudolph, John Cena, Ice Cube and Paul Rudd?

Sign me up!

…And before you email me or @ me about all of the “fun” that comes along with being an adult, just know that the term is relative. And as much as I enjoy not having an enforced bedtime, some days I probably need one.

One thing to talk about…

Speaking of enjoyment, nothing says summer like live music.

Just ask Oprah Winfrey and her bestie Gayle King, who recently danced the night away and fueled their souls at a Beyoncé concert in New Jersey. (Oprah said afterward, “I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t scream, I was in awe.”)

While I can’t hook you up with “Renaissance” tickets, Hulu has a treat for you if music is your thing.

This year Lollapalooza will stream on Hulu. That’s right, you can enjoy the long-standing, Chicago-set music festival from the comfort of your own home – and no need for porta-potties!

The lineup is fire with Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey and Red Hot Chili Peppers among the performers.

Lollapalooza runs from Thursday to Sunday.

You should listen to…

Trippie Redd is sharing the love.

The rapper’s latest mixtape, “A Love Letter to You 5,” is out Friday.

There’s not a ton of information about it, but, yes, it follows his first four love letters. That appears to be good enough for Trippie Redd aficionados, rocking with him since he came on the scene as a Soundcloud rapper.

Can’t wait to watch…

Utterly charming.

That’s the phrase that comes to mind about the British Netflix series “Heartstopper,” a coming-of-age story about a teen who falls in love with another teen in his class.

Season 1 was all about watching things unfold between Charlie Spring (played by Joe Locke) and his classmate Nick Nelson (Kit Connor). The series won acclaim from critics and viewers alike for its affectionate portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as stellar writing.

The new season features other burgeoning relationships and the topic of coming out. Grab your handkerchiefs, because “Heartstopper” Season 2 looks like it will continue to pull at our heartstrings.

Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.

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