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December 04, 2002 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-12-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Wednesday
December 4,2002
michigandaily.com/arts
mae@michigandaily.com

RTTS

5

ABC gets lost
in faux-paradise
with 'Dinotopia'
By Douglas Wernert
Daily Arts Writer

Attell's liver braces itself for
new season of 'Insomniac'

The idea isn't actually that bad: A hidden land where
dinosaurs and humans speak English and live in total
harmony. If you go in a restaurant, a dinosaur will wait
on you. If the time comes to fight, the humans will ride
on the flying prehistoric mammals and save the city.
ABC calls it "Dinotopia." After watching it, you might
call it "A huge waste of money and time."
This show is a strange cross between "Swiss Family
Robinson" and "Jurassic Park" featuring a father, Frank,
(Michael Brandon) who has stumbled upon Dinotopia
with his two sons, the honorable David (Shiloh Strong)
and the dashing Karl (Erik Von Detten). Dinotopia is
protected by sunstones that scare off foreign dinosaurs,
and a group of outsiders are hunting them when they
find a jewel that disables the sunstones. With dangerous
T-Rexes (of course the bad guy dinosaurs would be T-
Rexes) on the loose, Frank immediately wants to leave
this island, and spends his time trying to conjure up an
escape route. Karl decides to go with him,
despite his attachment to Marion (Georgina "
Rylance), who is the daughter of the mayor
(Jonathan Hyde). Marion eventually decides
to accompany them on their tumultuous
voyage across the sea. David, meanwhile, is DIN
trying to defend the country from the evil
outsiders who decide to align with the T- Thursd
Rexes. The excitement is waiting to shine
forth, but it is presented with all the drama
of watching a tree grow.
Many elements of the show are inconceivable. In addi-

Courtesy of ABC
Would you like to touch my monkey, I mean, stegosaurus?
bursts out with a "Titanic"-esque "I'm not leaving here
without you." In addition, when David'meets up with Karl
and Frank after their failed escape attempt, Karl, who
thought he would never see him again, welcomed David
with a measly "I can't believe you're here."
Despite the huge investment ABC made in the earlier
mini-series and current series, there are still countless
production flaws that plague the show. The dinosaurs
and humans seem like they are in two completely differ-
ent shows and are not integrated smoothly. The voyage
at sea looks like something copied from
"The Perfect Storm." Also, the breaks for
commercials are not clearly defined, and
** it's almost as if they forgot there had to
be commercials in this show, as scenes
4OTOPIA end abruptly with no warning.
"Dinotopia" is a weak attempt by ABC
ays at 8 p.m. to counter the other strong Thursday
ABC night lineups of other networks. The set-
ting will result in some very similar
episodes (how many times can dinosaurs
attack one town?) and the actors are difficult to get
behind and root for. When all angles are considered,
look for "Dinotopia" to be extinct in the very near'
future. And unlike our friend from the Mesozoic Era,
there will be no doubt why this one disappeared from
our midst.

By Scott Serilla
Daily Arts Writer
I worry about Dave Attell; I think
I'm supposed to.
The host of Comedy Central's
twisted late night travelogue
"Insomniac" has become a basic
cable superhero for his after-hours
escapades, a role model for drunken
frat boys and sleepless freaks on
campuses around the country. But
now with the third season's premier
episode debuting Thursday night, the
show's cult of fans have to be won-
dering how much more Attell and
his liver can take?
Described by its host as either "a
cross between 'Girls Gone Wild' and
'COPS"' or "'E!'s Wild On' for ugly
people," "Insomniac" is a vicarious
dash through the
underbelly of Ameri-
can nightlife with the
always sardonic Attell INSOI
as our bald, tubby,
deathly pale tour Thurs
guide. 10:3
On top of the usual Comedy
barhopping madness,
Thursday night's
episode takes us to Myrtle Beach
where Attell finds himself firework
shopping, hanging out with the local
airport's ground crew, as well as vis-
iting the world's largest reptile park
and checking in at the middle of an
annual biker convention. The show
will also be proceeded by an hour
long "best of" special.
Attell says the original idea for
the show came from his years travel-
ing the country as a standup. "It's
just you do a set somewhere and
then you go out and drink your way
around town. That's the comic
lifestyle. You don't get that in the
Seinfield movie. He doesn't end up
drunk at a Denny's, talking to a
toothless waitress."
Attell remains surprised at the
popularity of "Insomniac," admitting
that he never expected to make it
past the pilot. "When we first started
we could go into any bar and nobody
would know what we were doing,"

said Attell. "They thought we were a
news crew or at.-the very least
"Inside Edition." And now its to the
point where we're like, 'Should we
even go on a Friday?' cause it will
be too crowded."
Throughout the new season, view-
ers will notice Attell and his crew
being recognized more frequently
during filming, something both grat-
ifying and frustrating to Dave.
"We're kind of a victim of our own
success," he claims.
"It slows down the whole process
when people come up and say "I
love you on MTV, or VHl or E!" He
said. "I know they don't really watch
the show. It's like do your "wooo!"-
thing and get out of here."
While Attell worries that people
will think he's "gunning for them"

free drink what are you going to do?"
After this season is completed,
"Insomniac" is planning to pack up
and head to Dublin, London and
Amsterdam, "the 3 hot cities where
they speak English," says Attell.
"And hopefully we'll track down the
some of the al-Qaida members."
Comedy Central is also planning
the release of "The Best Of 'Insom-
niac With Dave Attell' Uncensored:
Vol. 1" and a CD of Dave's stand-up
routine recorded live in Denver.
Both should be out in January, when
Comedy Central will launch a con-
test to have Attell come film an
upcoming episode of the show in
your town with you and your
friends. "I wanted to do a scratch
off," said Attell. "Writing an essay
is hard, but reading them is even
harder."
Dave worries the show may have
already "jumped the shark." So what
does Attell have planned for after
Comedy Central stops buying new
episodes?
"Probably Rehab."

MI IAC
days at
0 pm
y Central

out on the street, he
says there is plenty of
"drunken mayhem"
that ends up getting
cut. "I don't think any-
body would want to see
themselves like that so
we don't put any of that
on there."
But that doesn't

tion to everyone speaking with snobbish European accents,
the show only features one speaking dinosaur (named
Zipeau), while the otherdinosaurs respond with stereotypi-
cal growls. Also, the acting isn't that good. When Marion
is trying to stop Karl from leaving with his father, she

'One World' a medicore work
from controversial ex-professor

mean everybody is always friendly
to the "Insomniac" crew. "We've
seen a couple of fights, some push-
ing of the camera, but the closest we
ever came was in Montreal with this
French-Canadian guy," Attell said.
"There is a moment when you go
from friendly tipsy drunk to crazy
Frenchman. And we caught that
moment. He was laughing and talk-
ing. The next night he was like
'What are you doing here? Why do
you control NATO?' That had never
really happened to us before. I was
afraid for the crew and for myself
and my beautiful face."
Atiell is modest about his herioc
intake of alcohol. "Mmm I have a
few shots, yeah I pretty much drink
throughout the whole night, a lot of
jager. Yeah its way too much and I
think even Comedy Central wants us
to cut back," said Attell. "But a lot of
its not my fault. Its really like a
catch-22 if somebody hands you a

By Ricky Lax
Daily Arts Writer

Peter Singer's new book, "One
World: The Ethics of Globalization"
-is decidedly less controversial than
his previous works. Then again, it's
hard to get more controversial than

pendent world requires a system of
international law.
Peter Singer is a utilitarian
philosopher, meaning he seeks to
justify action based on what brings
the greatest amount of happiness to
the greatest number of people. A
summary of one of Singer's utilitari-

"Justifying Infanti-
cide," a chapter from
Singer's "Practical
Ethics." The afore-
mentioned treatise
spurred former presi-
dential candidate
Steve Forbes to threat-
en a freeze on his
donations to Princeton
University (his alma
mater), until it fired

ONE WORLD:
THE ETHICS OF
GLOBALIZATION
By Peter Singer
Yale University Press

an observations from
"One World" shows
Americans are primarily
concerned with them-
selves.
Three months after
Sept. 11, Americans
raised $335 million
exclusively for the fami-
lies of about 400 police
officers and firefighters.
This comes to $880,000

30,000 children under the age of
five died on Sept. 11, about 10
times the number of victims of the
terrorist attacks, yet no avalanche of
money came to their aid.
Singer says, "The distance
between these amounts symbolizes
the way in which, for many people,
the circle of concern for others
stops at the boundaries of their own
nation."
If you accept his utilitarian prem-
ise, Singer's arguments are solid.
While some of the analogies, specif-
ic examples and justifications in
"One World," are unique, the main
message, that Americans are greedy
and should give more to poor coun-
tries, is old news to utilitarian
philosophers and liberals alike.

**

'.*

7F

...well basically Ilike a lot of taffy.

More powerful than Uncle
Fred's spicy eggnog.'

Singer, who was also the cause of
I protest rallies at the university's
gates.
In "One World," Singer states the
manner in which we come through
the era of globalization will depend
upon how we respond to the idea
that we live in one world. Singer
explains why and how countries
should pay for polluting the rapidly
deteriorating atmosphere, shows
that the World Trade Organization is
1 not as democratic as it could be and
argues that an increasingly interde-

per family. The victim's spouses
received New York state pensions
equal to the victim's lost salaries
and their children will be entitled to
full scholarships to state universi-
ties. The federal government gave
an additional quarter million to fam-
ilies of the officers and firefighters.
Next, Singer points out, according
to a UNICEF report put out in 2001,
more than 10 million children under
the age of five are dying each year
from preventable causes such as
malnutrition. It follows that about

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