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February 12, 1998 - Image 21

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-12

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1"2B - The Michigan Daily WeekendMagazine - Thursday, February 12, 1998


The Michigan Daily WeekeitM M

I Television Feature
WBs s'Three' crowds airwaves

R Books Feature

Beyond dinner and flowers,
creative Valentine's gits abound

By Michael Galloway
Daily Arts Writer
When you take a dashing jewel thief,
a streetwise and street-tough femme
fatale and a super computer hacker, you
have cliche cubed. If they're working for
a secret government agency in order to
repay their debt to society, you may just
have reached a whole new level of uno-
riginal television programming.
"Three," the new action series on the
WB network, makes up for its lack of
originality with a lot of enthusiasm and
a cool soundtrack. Each week, this trio
commits crimes in order to stop crime,
and they use the most advanced techno-
logical doodads and trendiest fashions
in their missions.
The enigmatic organizationsemploy-
ing these three wishes to preserve the
economic and political "status quo,'

which could be viewed as a good thing.
These three criminals were chosen
according to computer simulations that
predicted they
would be an
.eu n s t opp abl1e-
force as a team.
Three The mysterious
organization has
no interest in just
one or two of
The WB Network them. If any one
Mondays at 9 p.m. of them refuses
an assignment,
the Feds will be
provided with
enough evidence
to convict all
three of them.
Don't Congressmen work under a
similar contract?

A shrewd older gentleman known
only as "The Man" gives them their
assignments and provides what informa-
tion and resources they need. All you lit-
tle Leonardo DiCaprio junkies will rec-
ognize this actor, David Warner, from his
role in "Titanic" as Cal Hockley's (Billy
Zane) valet. In "Three," Warner is the
one who contacts each of the three main
characters in turn, giving them an invita-
tion that says their "presence is cordially
required" at a certain address and time in
New York City.
Art and jewel thief extraordinaire
Jonathan Vance (Edward Atterton)
turned to thrill-seeking after his wife
died. He is highly educated, highly cul-
tured and highly English. Amanda Webb
(Julie Bowen), who viewers might rec-
ognize from "Happy Gilmore" and "An
American Werewolf in Paris' is a grifter
who ruins men, "both financially and
emotionally," due to the abuse she suf-
fered as a child.
Finally, there's Marcus Ezekiel
Miller (Bumper Robinson), the illicit
philanthropist. This African American
computer hacker reroutes shipments of
food, appliances and clothing being
delivered to rich people, sending them
to the poor. You've got to love this guy
just for being named Bumper.
But neither Bumper, Atterton, Bowen
nor Warner provide stellar perfor-
mances. Bowen's acting, especially,
often falls below mediocre. To be fair,
the scripts aren't great either, so the cast
has that to overcome. A talented actor
would make it work.
Is the show believable? Not even
remotely. Is it provocative? Quite the
opposite, actually. Is there any reason to
go out of your way to watch it? No.
Since this show is competing with "Ally
McBeal" and, eventually, "Monday
Night Football:' "Three" doesn't have a
bright future.
The show's plot holes and cliches
work together in a way that make it per-
versely entertaining. "Three" is a televi-
sion comic book. As long as it keeps the
action and suspense at a fast pace, it
could be around for a while, especially
on the WB Network. Besides, it's
always fun to watch someone break
through a seemingly impenetrable secu-
rity system and commit the perfect
Apphcants for 1998
Mi i3 11
Age; 7~2~yers old
Prizes :
$500 and a free trip to
Nashvlle, TN.
For applications call
Judy Schmaltz
(248) 627-4556

Courtesy of New Une Cinema
Dustin Hoffman cooks up a Hollywood-style war in "Wag the Dog."
D.C. novels parallel
recent sex scandals

By Renatt Brodsky
For the Daily
"Will you be my Valentine?" It's a
generic question and it may sound a
bit cheesy, but on Feb. 14 this
Hallmark clich6 is the most popular
question asked.
Let's face it - who doesn't want a
Valentine on Valentine's Day? It's the
one day of the year when Cupid's not
sleeping because he's too busy shoot-
ing his arrow at people who need a
bit of romance in their lives. If you
are lucky enough to become
lovestruck, get ready to make some
sizzling moments with the one who
makes you feel extra groovy.
A bottle of wine, a'single red rose
and a card that says, "I love you," are
the simple gestures that can make a
couple's Valentine's Day a bit more
romantic. But those who want to be
extra romantic could ask their honey
to marry them on this special day for
Lauri Young, an employee at the
campus University Flower Shop, said
that Valentine's Day is a popular time
for a guy to pop the question. It's not
rare, she said, for her to attach a dia-
mond ring to a bouquet of red roses,
with a little card that says, "So, will
Why red roses on Valentine's Day?
"A rose stands for romance," Young
said. Since red is the symbolic color
for love, giving your loved one a red
rose is one way of expressing your
But even though red is the tradi-
tional hue for roses, other colors are
becoming quite popular this year,
Young said. Some customers have
decided to take a different approach
by sending bouquets of carnival roses
with pink and white flowers, or candy
roses, which are yellow with a bright
orange edge. Either way, Young said
that flowers are the way to a woman's
Another idea: Give your honey a
mouth-watering experience of a life-
time. Rather than ignite his or her
sense of smell with flowers, why not
work on your partner's taste buds?
Presenting a box of chocolate could
be the golden ticket to a very intense

Jo-Anne Malbut, an employee at
the Crown House of Gifts on South
State Street, said that something
about chocolate triggers one's sensa-
tions. Biting into a piece of dark,
white or milk chocolate covered with
caramel or any gooey topping can
make the taste buds go crazy.
But if your date's not a chocolate
lover, why not have a box of Mrs.
Peabody's cookies delivered to his or
her house? The store carries a variety
of delicious cookies, and Mrs.
Peabody's even has a special
Valentine cookie filled with
maraschino chocolate and a cherry
chocolate kiss.
Mrs. Peabody's shipping boxes hold
up to six cookies. Customers can also
send the store's highlight: a giant, 12-
inch, heart-shaped cookie with a spe-
cial message written on top.
Aside from tasting something sen-
sational, why not buy your partner
something sexy that you as a couple
can enjoy, like lingerie. Anything soft
to the touch, such as silk, fur or vel-
vet, would be appropriate, but make
sure to buy your choice in either
black, red or pink, the traditional
Valentine colors.
Also, once people have selected
their gifts, Victoria's Secret at
Briarwood will wrap the lingerie in
Victoria-scented tissue paper and
place it in a heart-shaped box.
Other cute Valentine's gifts
include chocolate-covered roses,
bulk candy such as gummy lips or
hearts, any kind of jewelry, a picture
frame with a photo of you and your
partner, or a stuffed animal such as
Winnie the Pooh, the Lion King or a
Dalmatian that says "I'm your lov-
able pup." Anything that your sweet-
ie can cuddle up with - besides you
- is a gift that will make him or her
The Crown House of Gifts, for
example, has a variety of Valentine's
Day offerings, including mugs that
say, "Hug Me," "Be Mine" and
"Love Ya." The store also has toast-
ing champagne flutes, T-shirts that
say "Tickle me," his her pillow cases
that say "Wanna" and "I'd love to,"

tons of candles and, of course,
Valentine's cards.
So now that the gift is out of the
way, what is there to do in Ann Arbor
for Valentine's Day? The answer is
simple - Main Street, Main Street,
Main Street! Ann Arbor can be a fun
place for a couple to celebrate the
Restaurants such as The Earle,
Sweet L orraine's, Moveable Feast,
Gratzi and the West End Grill are
good places to wine and dine your
date. One of the most romantic
places around the Main Street area is
The Earle. The restaurant is located
in the basement of a 100-year-old
brick and stone building, and has a
very dark and cozy underground
Both French and Italian food is
served, but in honor of Valentine's
Day, The Earle will offer special
desserts such as truffles and straw-
berries dipped in chocolate. This
kind of dining can be a bit expen-
sive, but the Moveable Feast is tout-
ing an eight-course meal for a flat-
rate fee on Feb. 14. This could prove
the perfect, affordable solution.
But if a couple would rather spend
the night inside together, why not
cook a gourmet meal and serve it pic-
nic style? That way, lovers can eat
whatever they want, avoid the cold
Michigan air, listen to favorite tunes
and enjoy one another's company in
The most romantic and erotic place
to go on Valentine's Day is The Oasis.
What could be more spine-tingling
than sitting in a warm Jacuzzi, sur-
rounded by tropical gardens and a
fireplace to keep a couple extra
Couples come to Oasis, on South
State Street about a five-minute car
ride from campus, in search of a
mini-vacation. Once inside the hot
tub, they feel like they are on a pri-
vate island in the Bahamas.
After that romantic swim, the two
can venture out to a bar such as the
Bird of Paradise and have a drink
while listening to classical jazz. Or
they could head home and cuddle up
to cherries and champagne, while

Courtesy of the WB Network
Edward Atterton (left), Julie Bowen and Bumper Robinson star In "Three."

The Los Angeles Times
Pity the poor Washington novelist,
hunched over his word processor trying
to make imagination outfly reality. What
invented scenario, what mere con-
trivance of plot and character, could rival
the unlikely characters and improbable
events that have saturated the newspa-
pers and airwaves during the last two
Christopher Buckley was coming
home on Amtrak, working on a chapter
in his new novel that involved a black
friend of the president, a smooth fixer-
type named Burton Galilee.
Buckley happened to glance at the
newspaper next to him. There was a
story about his character's real-life
model, Vernon Jordan, and his involve-
ment in the scandal surrounding
President Clinton and former White
House intern Monica Lewinsky.
David Baldacci, author of the popular
presidential thriller "Absolute
Power,'seconds the notion that "the
imagination of even the best fiction writ-
ers is constantly usurped by real events.
The temptation for the writer is to keep
going to such extremes that eventually
he loses plausibility completely."
Novelists like Buckley and Baldacci
know that fiction, more than anything,
has to have that plausibility. Events must
happen in logical sequence; characters
need to be consistent; wild coincidences
should be skipped. Even the surprises
and sudden twists must be coherent.
"I think fiction can compete - bare-
ly - with the American political reali-
ty,"says Gore Vidal, who's written a half-
dozen novels, including "Empire"and
"Washington, D.C.,"set in the corridors
of power. "But fiction to be good must
seem true while reality in our lawyerly
media-ized land creates untruth to such
an extent that nothing is ever really plau-
"It started like most of my life does, as
a joke, a one-liner,"says Larry Beinhgrt,

the novelist whose work, thanks to
Hollywood, neatly anticipated the cur-
rent scandal. "I was watching the Gulf
War on CNN, and I said, 'Hey, this is a
made-for-TV movie.'
He can't remember whom he said it
to, but he remembers this: She didn't
laugh. So he said it to other people. They
didn't laugh, either. They seemed to
think he was saying, "This is just like a
TV movie." But Beinhart meant: "There
is a guy somewhere who directed and
scripted this."
No one understood, so he expanded
his joke by a couple of hundred pages
into a novel, "American Hero."It was a
heavily researched, insanely complicated
political satire about how dying
Republican strategist Lee Atwater con-
cocts the Persian Gulf War with the help
of some Hollywood filmmakers, all part
of a plot to reelect President Bush.
Life is currently imitating art, right
down to the possibility that if the United
States attacks Iraq, the media will have
been primed by the film to suggest that
Clinton did so in part to switch the topic
from Lewinsky.
In a novel, such downer endings are
allowed. But if this novel is going to be
bought by the movies, a last-minute
piece of evidence is necessary to save
the day and provide a happy ending.
"If it's a made-for-TV movie, I'd have
the president go into therapy and come
to grips with his inner demons. The last
shot would be the president and first
lady facing the sunset, chastened but
These three scenarios don't account
for something that was often talked
about in the first days of the scandal -
a Clinton resignation.
"That's not fiction,"Beinhart says.
"But that may be reality"
Just days ago, some pundits
thought this a near-certainty. Now
that possibility is being discount-
ed. Reality has once again sped on.

LSA senior Amy Grohowski am
University Avenue.
watching a classic Valentine f
"When Harry Met Sally."
If you feel the need to ge
get out of Ann Arbor for Va
Day, why not drive to the out
Cleveland, Ohio and stay i
cabin for the weekend? LSA
Dave Alpern and Deanna Si
spending their Valentine's
Punderson National Resort.I
ins at the resort seem pract
the middle of nowhere, yet
fully furnished, complete wit
"My ideal reason for leavi
is so that Deanna and I c
complete solitude with time
on only on one another,"
If Ohio is too far but a v
excursion is tempting, Detroi
40 minutes away. A couple m
to stay at The Renaissance Ce
dinner in Greektown and see
at the Masonic Temple.
Doing something creative
but remember to keep the h
importance intact. As
Chodos, a Business senic
"Valentine's Day is not about
buying things for your sit
other. It's about spending qua
with the person that you love

I - " t

Check out some of your options at one of
Volunteering and Service Abroad
Thursday, February 12
Sponsored with International Center and Ecurneni
Gaining Experience in Psychology and Soc
Monday, February 16
Sponsored with Undergraduate Psychology Societ
Want to investigate more options? Check into othe
resources and the CP&P hornepage: w'ww.cpp.umic

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