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September 30, 2003 - Image 8

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 30, 2003

4

ARTS

~ Tuesdays
:r k
.4. -'Tuesdays t
8:3a p~.. n
9 ANBC
y -{
51' With
Ca o u t s o f A B a n B
S IT COM BLUES
N ETWORKS PUT CRUMMY COMEDIES HEAD--TO-HEAD

The laughs may be frequent at first, but as the
first three episodes prove, the stories get a little too
far fetched for the average viewer to appreciate.
While Larroquette is a great father figure, and the
show is well cast, it may not have the necessary
quality writing to be considered among the feature
programs on the NBC lineup.
Brooke Shield's real-life marriage is the back-
drop for "I'm With Her," which features Patrick
Owen (David Sutcliffe) a typical, everyday grade-
school teacher who meets and later dates famous
movie star Alex Young (Teri Polo, "Meet the Par-
ents"). They meet via the oh-so-romantic dog bite,
which is a bizarre way to introduce your main sto-
ryline. Young then spends days wondering if he'll
call her. As the first episode concludes, Owen
quotes contemporary literature, as any good teacher
should, and overcomes his initial awe-struck feeling
to pursue his celebrity crush.
Owen's crazy, eccentric sidekick (Danny Comp-
ton) is a fine compliment to the straight-shooting
teacher, but Young's little sister (Rhea Seahorn)
does nothing to add to the show's flavor. This series
doesn't have much to go on plot-wise other than the
Owen-Young relationship, and that can't possibly
last the whole year.
Polo's presence and Sutcliffe's likeable personali-
ty, coupled with some genuine, albeit forced, emo-
tion and sensibility gives "I'm With Her" an
advantage over "Happy Family," which has plenty
of stories to play off of, but no clear direction with
any of them. The show is also hindered due to the
fact the show's focus is on the parents, not the kids,
leading to many instances of Larroquette and
Baranski wondering aloud: "Where did we go
wrong?" That's what the viewers want to know, too.
Considering both shows will soon be going
against "Joe Millionaire 2" (who would actually
fall for that one again?) they may get swept aside in
the ratings. Both shows will probably just end up
being "there" on television and not make much of
an impact one way or another. Faced with only
these two shows, however, be with the smart view-
ers and choose "I'm With Her."

. h" -
a .
h x. 3
Courtesy of MGM/UA
Sure right now! You're darned tootin'!
roZen noir of 'Fargo'
gets appropriateDV

By Joel Hoard
Daily Arts Writer

By Douglas Wernert
Daily Arts Writer
As the fall season begins to take shape, there will
certainly be some interesting ratings battles
between competing shows. For proof of this, look
no further than Tuesday nights at 8:30, where two
new sitcoms debut on rival networks NBC and
ABC. "Happy Family," the latest from the peacock
network goes head-to-head with ABC's most recent
offering, "I'm With Her." A ratings win and a spot
as a network mainstay is at stake for both, but only
one can truly be deemed quality programming.

"Happy Family," chronicling a set of empty-nest
parents dealing with their grown kids' problems,
has likable characters but is hurt by some com-
pletely ridiculous storylines. John Larroquette
("Night Court") and Christine Baranski ("Cybill)
are the old married couple dealing with a success-
ful but over-emotional daughter (Melanie Paxson),
an all-American son (Jeff Davis) who's engaged
but having an affair and a young foolish collegiate
(Tyler Francavilla) who has moved in with the
older next-door neighbor (Susan Gibney). It
sounds like a bad soap opera, but it's written as a
bad sitcom instead.

"Fargo," Ethan and Joel Coen's mag-
num opus, stands as one of the most
important and stylish films of the past
decade. Combining high drama, dark
comedy and stunning visuals, the Coen
Brothers crafted a twisted and unique
ode to the upper Midwest.
The Coens tell the story of car
salesman-turned-criminal Jerry Lun-

Fox is alive with 'Sound of Music'

degaard (William
arranges for his
wife to be kid-
napped by two
small-time crimi-
nals, Carl Showal-
ter and Gaear
Grimsrud (Steve
Buscemi and Peter

H. Macy), who
Fargo:
Special
Edition DVD
MGM/UA
Stormare). Jerry

By Rachel Barry
For the Daily

Detroit's fabulous Fox Theatre will
come alive in its inaugural season of
"Broadway at the Fox" with Rodgers

and Hammer-
stein's classic
musical "The
Sound of Music"
starting this
evening.
Highly remi-
niscent of the
original Broad-
way production

The Sound
of Music
Preview Sept.30-
Oct. 5
Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets $28 - $70.50
At the Fox Theatre

a retired naval officer and widowed
father of seven in 1930s Austria.
Seeing the captain as a bit of a
"stiff," who has a tendency to be
somewhat difficult, Moses says he
aims to make his performance as
"believable as possible. If you play it
straight and play it true, you have a
wonderful show." His experience cre-
ating Gaston in Disney's Broadway
production of "Beauty and the
Beast," and both revivals on Broad-
way of "Guys and Dolls" and "Kiss
Me Kate," have translated into an
ability to achieve a believably stern
yet compassionate Von Trapp. In this
role he performs a touching "Edel-
wiess" with palpable emotion, show-
casing his Broadway-esque range
and tonal quality.
Moses, who has not previously
worked with children, noted the

influence on his performance of the
talented young actors who play the
Von Trapp children. He said the chil-
dren added another dimension of fun
to the show, and their incredible tal-
ents did more than simply move the
plotline along.
For a refresher, the captain's life
changes when when nun novitiate
Maria serves as governess to his
seven children. She brings the house-
hold back to life with music, and
falls in love with the captain in the
process. The two return from a bliss-
ful honeymoon to discover Hitler's
influence strengthening. Realizing
they have returned to an unrecogniz-
ably different Austria, the family
escapes through the mountains to
freedom in Switzerland. After their
resettlement, they once again find
strength in the sound of music, of

Flying nuns.

Courtesy of Olympia Entertainment

course, by forming the Von Trapp
family singers and becoming interna-
tionally acclaimed in the process.
This star-studded cast also boasts
the likes of Marla Schaffel as the
lovable Maria, Jeanne Lehman as the
wise Mother Abbess, Ed Dixon as
the irrepressible Max Detweiler and
Colleen Fitzpatrick as the Baroness
Elsa Schraeder. In the words of
Moses, "Audiences can expect a
quality production."

hopes to steal a portion of the ransom
money to be paid by his father-in-law.
After Showalter and Grimsrud murder
two people outside Brainerd, Minn.,
Sheriff Marge Gunderson (Frances
McDormand) investigates, slowly
unraveling the foolish and perverse
plot in the process.
The film features brilliant dialogue
peppered with Minnesotan idiosyn-
crasies and exceptional performances
by Macy and Buscemi. But McDor-
mand eclipses them all as Marge, the
film's emotional center and one of the
most lovable and memorable charac-
ters in the American cinema.
Seven years after "Fargo"'s original
release, a proper DVD version is final-
ly available. The sound and picture are
flawless, showcasing Roger Deakins'
beautiful cinematography. The snowy,
desolate landscapes capture the unmis-

C"u " fIMGMUA
Ah, hon, ya got Arby's all over me.
takable, stifling atmosphere of Mid-
western winters perfectly and provide
the proper backdrop for the Coens'
unique story.
The DVD provides a number of spe-
cial features, though most are expend-
able. Deakins offers an insightful if
occasionally dull audio commentary
track, but noticeably missing is com-
mentary from the Coen brothers them-
selves. A trivia track, which flashes
tidbits of information on the screen
throughout the film, offers inane
details such as Webster's dictionary
definitions of "ransom" and "kidnap-
ping." The all-new "Minnesota Nice"
documentary provides an interesting
look at the making of the film with
cast and crew interviews.
But as with any DVD, a great film
can make up for lackluster bonus
materials; "Fargo" certainly delivers.
Film: *****
Picture/Sound: *****
Features: ***

that won eight Tony Awards, this 14-
city tour has proven noteworthy for
the vocal abilities of Burke Moses as
Capt. Georg Von Trapp. Von Trapp is

Ozzy and fam overstay welcome

By Adam Rottenberg
Daily Arts Writer

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College of Engineering

After a critically lauded and incred-
ibly popular freshman season, the
Osbourne family
returns on DVD. The
While the first O
season provided
hilarity and water Season 2
cooler conversa- DVD
tion, Season 2 MTv
suffers from over-
exposure resulting from the family's

cancer and Kelly's fledgling "music"
career. Ozzy, once the lord of dark-
ness, is now relegated to shouting at
his wife for burritos on national tele-
vision, but the humor doesn't resonate
as strongly the second time around.
The DVD release has acceptable
audio and video, but only offers an
uncensored dialogue track and "Ozzy
Translator" as extras. For fans of the
series the release is solid, but the sec-
ond season lacks the heart and reality
of the first.

Osbournes spend less time together
and more time confronting their own
ordeals, including Sharon's bout with

Show: ***
Picture/Sound: ***
Extras: *

ascent to superstardom.

The

T.eehouse' collection horrifyingly bad

4

By Jason Roberts
Daily Arts Editor

In an effort to stretch "The Simp-
son's" name even thinner, FOX chose
to release the clearly premature and
underdeveloped "Treehouse of Hor-
ror" compilation, a noticeably lacklus-
ter collection of random Halloween
episodes, specifically episodes five,
six, seven and 12. There is no underly-

ing logic as to why FOX decided to
include only these four episodes on
the DVD; they are
by far not some of
the best. Bits like The
"The Shinning" Simpsons
and "Nightmare Treehouse of
on Evergreen Ter- Horror DVD
race" are this FOX
disc's only real
highlights.
No care was taken in developing any
sort of special features either. The main

menus are incredibly slow and aesthet-
ically confusing. The one extra that is
featured is a lame and messy assem-
blage of clips starring the two aliens,
Kang and Kodos. In the end, "Tree-
house of Horror" is a pathetic attempt
by FOX to squeeze every ounce of
green out of "The Simpsons" before
they ride off into the sunset.

Show: *
Picture/Sound: ***
Features: No Stars

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What do Howard Dean,
Democratic Presidential
hopeful, and embattled
California Governor Gray
Davis have in common?
Visit
www.xialumns.org/deandavis.htm
to find out!

I R,.,..Z4 C'9. at oin.f:d -

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