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March 18, 1998 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-18

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 18, 1998

Fox's 'Others'


significant replacement

By Erin Podolsky
For the Daily
Ever wonder what your life is going to be like
five years from now? Are you afraid of drifting
aimlessly through life after graduation? Of being
stuck in a corporate job that goes against your
principles? Of walking in on your two best friends
doing the horizontal mambo on your futon? You
can stop worrying now, because Fox, the network
that cares, has a show that worries for you.
"Significant Others" is the new series from the
creators of "Party of Five." Judging from the first
episode, it is painfully clear why "Party" has been
so wretchedly boring and maudlin for the past year
and a half. The very same elements that used to
make "Party of Crap" worth watching have been
ferried over to "Significant Others," right down to
a Jennifer Love Hewitt look-alike, and the results
are promising.
The show centers around three lifelong friends,
Campbell (Eion .Bailey), Nell (Jennifer Garner)
and Henry (Scott Bairstow), who face their first
mid-life crises at the ripe old age of 25. Campbell

Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

(or Cam, as they call him) is
an erstwhile music band pro-
moter whose members are
spending the next few years
in jail and rehab and are, as
he says, "totally kaput." He
is trying to figure out what
to do with his life (read: a
new money scheme, prefer-
ably with Henry as a part-
ner) and still escape the
unappetizing fate of working
in the family business with
his father and brother.
If all of that wasn't
enough, the show opens
with Cam discovering that

things - he just hasn't found them quite yet.
Garner's Nell is a little weaker and irritatingly
wishy-washy, but hopefully she'll be doing some
serious self-examination in the coming weeks.
One of the pilot's highlights is a nighttime, mid-
street confrontation between Nell and Cam about
Nell's inability to commit to anything: Jobs,
boyfriends, pets, TV channels. Nell wonders why
Campbell never comes to her for help, and shock-
ingly, he actually tells her. The truth hurts, but Cam
gets a dose of his own medicine later in the
evening at his brother's wedding, a brother who
just happens to be marrying Cam's ex-girlfriend.
And then there is Henry. Bairstow's portrayal is
a little awkward but has room to grow, and Henry
is by far the most interesting of the three friends.
He's got the girl, he's got the digs (her place), and
he's got the job. As an aspiring novelist who still
needs to earn a living, Henry spends his days writ-
ing Internet porn. His seemingly oddball choice of
profession lends an air of quirky realism to his
character and to the show.
The cast is serviceably rounded out by
Campbell's immediate family- the best of whom
is Richard Masur as Cam's father. The scene tran-
sitions are rather annoying, fading to black and
then back in, which makes the show a collection of
little vignettes instead of a cohesive whole, but
hopefully that little tech trick will disappear in the
next episode. The show's writing is decent
although the characters, given enough time, could
easily approach the dangerous, deadly whiny zone
Several meaty conflicts have been set up in the
pilot, and their ramifications should last a good
long time.
Cam, paranoid that he's going to end up alone
for all eternity, tells his ex-girlfriend and now-sis-
ter-in-law that they should get back together
because his brother doesn't really love her.
Nell quits her job right after being offered a
huge promotion, afraid that she'll be stuck selling
mouthwash to focus groups for the rest of her life
(hey. I'd quit too); and at the wedding, both lenry
and Cam successively make a,"My Best fUriend's
Wedding"-esque proposition to Nell, suggesting
that they should get married if they still haven't
found anybody by age 30. Nell, in what looks to be
a typical response, agrees to both of their offers.

Henry and Nell have been carrying on a secret
affair for the past several months right under his
nose. This discovery, as the stricken look on his
ace says, "changes everything." Bailey's portray-
al of Cam as a self-confessed, non-cynical,
,"intensely bitter romantic" is honest and engaging.
'Cam knows what he is looking for in the long run,
and he believes that one day he will find those

Courtesy of Fox
Who are these alleged "Others?" Clockwise from top left: Elizabeth Mitchell, Michael Weatherly, Elon
Bailey, Jennifer Garner and Scott Bairstow act "Significant."

The scene looming in the future where Cam and
lenry realize that they're both vying for Nell's
spinster affections should be fun to watch.
The rest of the show is, too. So enjoy its six-
week test run in the "Party of Five" time slot while
you can. Then it's back to the nauseating Salinger

clan, which will have viewers wishing for some-
thing a bit more significant in no time at all.
Somebody should really teach those "creative"
masterminds how to multitask and run two decent
shows at once - until then, "Significant Others"
will have to do.


' A ''tf 'T
1 'R
i ' ..k
7.. 7r
'& 41

sails into
new record
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It imiglit
have been his first time -- or her fifth
- but on Saturday, a moviegoer son*
where in the United States or Canaa
bought a ticket that pushed "Titanic"
past "Star Wars" to become the top
domestic money-earner of all time.
Yet frankly, my dear, the record is
"Gone With the Wind" if you count the
1939 classic's admissions and multiply
by current ticket prices. With that
adjustment, "GWTW" would have
sold $1.29 billion in 1998 tickets.
But "Titanic's achievements are
nonetheless awesome.
Going into Saturday, the hwrec
saga claimed receipts of S458.2 million
and was projected by industry esti-
mates to have grossed at least S7 mil-
lion more by evening. This gave it a
total of more than S465 million, thus
breaking the all-time domestic mark of
$461 million set by "Star Wars."
"Without a doubt, we passed the
record today'," Paramount spokesperson
Blaise Noto said Saturday evening.
Actually, the 1977 George Lucas
blockbuster would have made 1812
million in sales in today's dollars,
according to the Hollywood trade paper
But it took five re-releases for "Star
Wars"'to. make that kind of money,
while "Titanic" is steaming in the same
direction on its first time out.
"The question now is how high is
high? Will it get to $600 million? Y
have to believe it will get to S500i-
lion," said Tom Sherak, chair of the
20th Century Fox domestic film divi-
sion, which co-produced the $200 mil-
lion film with Paramount.
"Titanic" already holds the record
for worldwide returns with receipts in
excess of S1.1 billion.
"Titanic" was expected to claim the
top domestic spot of all-time on the
same weekend it was projected to
out of first place on the charts. T
movie had been the nation's No. 1 film
for 12 straight weeks, one weknd
short of the record shared by 1984's
"Beverly flills Cop" and 1982's
Meanwhile, the weekend's top film,
early projections showed, was "The
Man in the Iron Mask," a Three
Musketeers drama starring "Titani's"
Leonardo DiCaprio in dual roles
twin brothers. But the "Titanic" L.
edged out the "Man" Leo.
"In no way does it signify any weak-
ness for that film. It's extraordinary
what it has achieved," said Gerry [rich.
the presideit of worldwide narkeiiig
for "The Man in the Iron Mask"pro-
ducer MGM.
Some box-office watchers say 'that
DiCapio's sudden fame otd.ush
"The Matn in the Iron Mask" toiro
opening numbers. "Leo's the hottes
star worldwide right now," Rich .said.
"The Man in the Iron Mak" is
opening wider than any other fili in
MGM history - about 3,700 prints in
some 3,100 theater locations. Despite
some mixed reviews, the film, could
challenge MGM's till-time best week-
end, set by 1995's "GoldenEy" with
$26.2 million. The strongest March
opening ever was recorded by last
year's "Liar, Liar" with $31.4 milli
"Titanic" is likely to be out of first
place for at least the next two weekends
- the highly publicized "Primary

Colors" opens Friday. But if "Titanic"
wins the best picture Oscar at the
March 23 Acadermy Awards ceremony.
the epic could cruise back into first.
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at http://pub.*
IM No% oi, I
wo5( ~rk 's

Fred Drasner
Ch ief Executive O1 heer
An Open Letter to Students
Planning to Attend Law School

U.5.Ncws & World Report
Dear Student:
DON'T YOU JUST HATE TO BE GRADED? Well, by their shrill protests about U.S.Ncws & Wrl Rcport law school
rankings, so do most of the deans of the law schools you are considerin. However, as a law school graduate with both a
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to endure lectures from tenured professors who have not changed their class notes since the Battle of Hastings. Then,
after attending class for a lull semester, you will be given one exam to determine your grade. One exam, one semester,
one grade. One roll of the dice to measure your performance.
At U.S.Ncws & rld Rcport we are far more equitable (to use a legal term). W e have a multi-faceted, multi-
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Get your copy of U.S.Newis & \orlcl Rcport's Bcst Graduatc Schools guide on newsstands now. Or, to make it easier for
you to see the book that 164 law school deans would prefer you not see (notwithstanding their commitment to the First
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