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March 20, 1997 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-20

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12A - The Michigan Daily -Thursday, March 20, 1997

'Sunset Beach'
brngs night
drama to
daytime TV
By Julia Shih
Daily Arts NWriter
In a time of strife and hardship, what the world
doesn't need is another soap opera. And what the
world definitely doesn't need is a soap opera from
Aaron Spelling.
Spefing's newest creation, "Sunset Beach," is a
soap opera set around the lives of a group of Sunset
Beach residents. With every other scene containing
the beautiful beaches of California in the background,
"Sunset Beach" is basically just "Baywatch: The Soap
Opera." Filled with beautiful people, glamorous lives,
and themes of infidelity and scandal, this show is not
unlike most of the other programs in the daytime tele-
vision line-up.
The only difference is that it is geared more towards
the younger generation. "Sunset Beach" has a young
cast, including Ashley Hamilton (George's son) and
Randy Spelling (Aaron's son and Tori's brother), both
of whom have been, in one way or another, affiliated
with "Beverly Hills 90210."
The show first aired on UPN on Jan. 6. Since its
premiere, a great deal has happened to the lives of the
characters. Annie (Sarah Buxton), a law school drop-
out, has been secretly spending all of her tuition
money to party lavishly. When her father, Del, arrives
from Texas announcing that he knows what she has
been, up to, all hell breaks loose. When Del is mur-
dered after threatening to cut off her money supply,
Annie becomes a prime suspect.
Atthe same time, it is discovered that Del was
having an affair with Olivia Richards (Lesley-Anne
Down), the wealthy wife of Gregory Richards (Sam
Behrens). It is revealed that Gregory knew of
Olivia's affair and was extremely jealous. It is also
revealed that their son, Sean (Randy Spelling) saw
a person leave Del's room on the night of the mur-
der and believes that it may have been his mother.
Meanwhile, everyone dates everyone else and
bizarre love triangles run amuck.
The characters we're supposed
to hate appear to be Del, the cold-
hearted father vho was murdered, R
and Gregory, to whom the evi- $
dence is slowly pointing. Some
characters that people may find
annoying include Annie's Aunt
Bette (Kathleen Noone), whose
sexual appetite ends up killing the superstar lawyer
hired to get Annie off the hook, and Cole St. John
(Ashley Hamilton) who doesn't seem to have a clue.
"Sunset Beach" has gotten off to a quick and excit-

Clockwise from top left: Some of "Sunset"'s main characters are Olivia Richards (Lesley-Anne Down), Cole St.
John (Ashley Hamilton), Sean Richards (Randy Spelling) and Tiffany Thorne (Adrienne Frantz).

,E

ing start, with the murder mystery generating most of
the momentum. Its various story lines intertwine nice-
ly, and it has a cinematic aesthetic from being shot on
film.
But one problem the show will have to overcome
is its lack of quality acting. The
EWactors often deliver their lines in
V I E Wa flat or indifferent manner,
inset Beach while occasionally dawdling in
overdramatization. This seems
UPN to afflict quite a few of the per-
Weekdays,11a.m. formers on the show. But it isn't
completely their fault, as many
times the lines are so poorly written that they can't
help but sound terrible.
Credit should go to Lesley-Anne Down whose
portrayal of a woman torn by her emotions is excel-

lent. Also, Randy Spelling proves that there is at
least one member of the Spelling family who has
acting skills.
Another problem that "Sunset Beach" faces is its
tendency to slow down to a sleep-inducing state. For
example, Annie's arrest took up most of one episode
when it could have easily been wrapped up within a
few minutes. Also, the interaction between Gregory
and Sean is supposed to convey a daunting feeling of
tension. Unfortunately, those scenes are so drawn out
that the only feeling viewers will intercept is that of
drowsiness.
Nevertheless, if "Sunset Beach" can manage to hold
people's attention with a regular stream of good story
lines and plot twists, it should receive a good-sized fan
base - though most of it will be made up of adoles-
cents who just can't get enough of'"9021 0."

Hunt or be'
hunted ns
Game offers-intense combat
By Mark St. John nent at a distance, where he can bse
For the Daily his intelligence to fire complicatedifl
Sierra's new game, projectiles.
"hunter/Hunted" for Windows 95, Both characters have weapons tat
offers a refreshing change from the only they can exclusively use. Jak-
usual shoot-'em-up games written can use a pistol, a shotgun and a
for the personal computer. Unlike rocket launcher. The rocket launchej
most of these is especially
games that have a deadly, as it kills
three-dimensional the toughest
Doom-type inter- The - opponents wi
f a e e only a few hits.
"Hunter/Hunted" unique However, only
uses a multiple- nGarathe Den can
level two-dimen- use a club, a
sional interface. knife and a whip,.
"Hunter/Hunted" Garathe Den's
is set in the year opponents are
2015, which alien sr hi and helplss if he can
have taken over the re A S ound trap and punish
Earth. Instead of them with h
c o m p l e t e l y add up to an whip. Both char
destroying human acters can use
civilization, the enjoyable action ninja stars and
aliens have chosen grenades, which,
to keep a few game. are throwing
humans around for _ w e a p o n s..
entertainment to Grenades are
participate in a hunting game. extremely powerful.
Humans are matched against a group One of the best features of the
of beasts, whose former planet game is its split-screen multi-player
Kullrathe was also conquered by the option. Players maneuver a selecte
aliens. board, collecting weapons and ba
The object of the game is to escape tling each other until one player kills
from a variety of different boards, the other a predetermined number of
where players times.
will encounter However, multi-
several enemies REVIEW player CD-ROM
and 'obstacles. games have on
The player can Hunter/Hunted major flaw: A
choose to either . questionable scor-
be Garathe Den, a Sierra ing system is used
strong and quick **** in which playe
beast, or Jake, a do not alway
human, who uses his intelligence to receive points for killing their oppo-
master weapons. nent when they should.
Garathe Den is most effective "Hunter/Hunted"'s unique inter-
when he is close to his enemies, face, detailed graphics and realistic
where he can use his strength and sound add up to an enjoyable action
speed to trap his enemy. Jake per- game that is better than most on the
forms best when lie keeps his oppo- market today.
ean summer vacation
those who dare say he deserved his fate: ence, and lackluster, overall. Cornwell
"If those who lived by the sword died first runs into trouble when she tries
by the sword there would be no white establishing her main characters. Some
men on earth / if those who lived on characters seem too clichdd, such as
hatred died on hatred there would be no Virginia West, a female cop who is tough
KKK / if those who lived by lies died by on the outside but sensitive on the inside.
lies there would be nobody on wall Other characters are hard to picture o,
street in executive suites in academic relate to because their descriptions de.
offices instructing the young / don't tell normal reasoning. Cornwell is constantly
me he got what he deserved / he implying that Andy-Brazil is so good-
deserved a chariot and the accolades of looking, that not only do his looks cause
a grateful people / he deserved life." him to be heavily pursued by gay men
You go girl. and perverts, but his looks also cause
- Eugene Bowen other people to think he's gay. It's hard to
understand how being good-looking
automatically implies that a person is

homosexual.
Also, Cornwell is quite ambitious ir
telling the story from different points
views. This is quite an interesting metho .
Hornet's Nest of storytelling, but when she starts telling
Patricia Cornwell the story from West's cat's point of view,
Putnam she is going a bit too far.
** Nevertheless, "Hornet's Nest" is quick-
paced and intriguing in parts. When, the
city is plagued by a psychotic serial killer
With all the expectations and excite- who spray-paints his victims' genitals.
ment surrounding the release of Patricia with an orange figure eight, the search for
Cornwell's latest novel, "Hornet's the killer is suspenseful and thrilling.
Nest, the work is nothing short of a dis- The book is inscribed, "To Cops,' a9'
appointment. much of the narrative exhibits respect for
Cornwell, an award-winning author the courage and resilience which memi-F
who also wrote "Cause of Death" and bers of the police force must possess.
"Body of Evidence," is no stranger to Cornwell is extremely adroit at creat-
crime thrillers. She has proven in the ing an emotional setting for many
past that she is exceptional in this genre, scenes in the book. She allows the read-
as she continuously churns out interna- er to relate to the feelings and motiva-
tional bestsellers. tions of certain characters. Readers are
"Hornet's Nest" presents itself as a drawn in and can feel the inner struggle
suspenseful and gripping book detailing that this particular character is experi-
the lives of several people living in the encing.
busy city of Charlotte, N.C. From fol- But even with sparks of Cornwelt
lowing a young and ambitious reporter expected high-quality story-weavipg
named Andy Brazil uncovering the abilities, and some very good plot devel-
workings of the city's police force, to opments and descriptions, "Hornet's
revealing what lies beneath the badges Nest" is still not up to par with Cornwell's
of the admirable police chief Judy other works. This novel rambles tpo
Hammer and her street-smart deputy much and is too ovedy ambitious, for
chief Virginia West, Cornwell attempts readers to be able to fully enjoy the story.
to make this novel a deep and thought- Hopefully, Cornwell's next book will
provoking thriller. show that the author has not lost her
Unfortunately, the result is a story that magic.
is rambling to the point of near-incoher- - Julia .Sh

Use this guide to plan your first-time Europt

First-Time Europe
Louis CasaBianca
Rough Guides
At tbis time of year, as winter drags,
who49oesn't harbor fantasies of escape?
As summer vacation approaches, taking
off for some exotic destination begins to
look like an oddly sensible decision.
And in this edgy atmosphere, Louis
CasA>ianca's "First-Time Europe" has
appeaied to lure readers further down
the empting path of travel.
Here, CasaBianca has updated the first
editio nof his book, but hasn't changed
the -vealth of information it offers. While
it's geared toward inexperienced travel-
ers, "students and other people on a bud-
get, it provides many practical details that
would be helpful to anyone.
CasaBianca begins the book sensibly
and helpfully by outlining several trip
budgets, promising that $2,000 can
finance a month of European travel. He
then explains ways to save money on
travel, like by finding inexpensive plane
tickets and staying in hostels.
The book also goes over nearly every
subsequent aspect of travel. Its advice
ranges from the well-known (call to
confinii your flight) to the obscure but
highly important (the intricacies of the
Eurail system). One chapter that
seemed particularly helpful detailed
exactly what to pack - and, more
important, what unnecessary things
should be left at home.
"First-Time Europe" ends with the
section that has been most heavily updat-

ed. This comprises lists of airlines' phone
numbers, Internet travel sites and useful
foreign phrases. It also includes the
names of travel agencies that would be
further resources for information.
On the whole, "First-Time Europe" is
a good starting point. It doesn't give
much information on individual coun-
tries, so the person with a set destination
should choose a more place-specific
guidebook. However, the book does pro-
vide much basic information that would
be useful in planning any trip.
The book's appeal is summed up in its
first piece of advice: "If you have the
time, and can find the money somewhere,
anywhere,just GO!" Readers of this book
will no doubt be inspired to do so.
- Elizabeth Lucas
Love Poems
Nikki Giovanni
William Morrow
Don't let her small frame and grand-
motherly smile fool you. When she puts
her mind to paper, her words can spit
venom, singe fingertips with their
meanings and then reassure her readers
with the kiss of heavenly lips. Nikki
Giovanni's poetic works are powerful in
their own right - which explains why,
next to Maya Angelou, she's probably

the most widely recognized African
American female poet in the nation.
With well over a dozen volumes of
poetry already released, Giovanni, an
English professor at Virginia Tech, has
recently published "Love Poems."
This book includes
poems of love, lust
and every emo-
tion that8
comes from
the two.
"1 Wrote a-
Good Omelet"
gives life to the=
type of mental flip-
flops through which love can
take one's mind. "A Happy Reason"
gives reasons (or a lack of reasons) why
the love between two people just hap-
pened to come about. -
From the short and sweet ("Rain,"

_

'ILove Is") to the lone and involved
("And Yeah ... This Is a Love Poem;"
"When Gamble and Huff Ruled"), the
poems of "love Poems" are testaments
to Giovanni's ability to direct and con-
trol the emotions of her writings
while simultaneously
remaining vulnera-
ble to the spiri-
tual power
they wield.
" L o v e
Poems" is
(ironically, the
s h ort - s ig h ted
would mindlessly say)
dedicated to the late Tupac
Shakur, whom Giovanni describes as "a
lover whose love was often deliberately
misunderstood." She writes a poem in
his honor, "All Eyez on U," in which she
mourns his passing and challenges all

r

African American poet Nikki Giovanni's latest work is simply titled "Love Poems."

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