The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 16, 2005 - 9
Fox's 'Head Cases' not worth the headache
By Nick Kochmanski
Daily Arts Writer
Courtroom hits like "L.A. Law," "Ally McBeal"
and "The Practice" defined the network television
landscape of the '90s. But with the recent advent
of reality TV and a slew of
over-the-top crime dramas, Head Cases
such programming seems
somewhat passe. Now bigwigs Wednesdays
at Fox, tired of continually at 9
stealing other networks' reality Fox
ideas, decided to take audienc-
es on a trip back in time with "Head Cases," a new
"dramedy" featuring Chris O'Donnell ("Batman
and Robin") and Adam Goldberg ("The Hebrew
Hammer"). To the extreme distress of Calista
Flockhart devotees the world over, the results are
none too pretty.
''Head Cases" opens with Jason Payne
(O'Donnell) struggling to balance work and family
life. Like many other workaholics, Payne is kicked
out of the house by his caring but angry wife, who
leaves him alone and abandoned in a hotel room.
Naturally, after calling his wife and screaming
into the answering machine, Payne collapses to the
ground, suffering a stress-related nervous break-
down. The story picks up months later, on the day
of Payne's release from a mental institution. Not
everything goes smoothly, though, as Payne must
participate in a sort of "buddy system" (apparently
just as common with mental patients as with Boy
Courtesy of Equal Vision
If these guys are the shark, the bear is totally going to win.
Bear vs. Shark come
home to Blind Pig
"We'll be cancelled before you learn all of our names."
Scouts) and finds himself paired with Schulz, a
quirky, quick-to-anger lawyer (Goldberg) who spe-
cializes in cases involving disreputable women.
As the show stretches on, Schulz and Payne are
forced to work together, eventually leading both
lawyers to realize the strength of their blossom-
ing friendship. At episode's end, the two men
enter into practice together, guaranteeing view-
ers months of painfully contrived jokes and blase
There's really nothing to appreciate about "Head
Cases." The "heartwarming" family moments, in
which Payne attempts to reconnect with his son,
appear forced, while the drama of the courtroom
comes across as anything but believable. Even
Goldberg's comedic talents are wasted. To make
matters worse, audiences will question whether
the show is a comedy or a drama. Most scenes
involve a painful interaction between Payne and
Schulz, highlighted by Goldberg's feeble attempts
at slapstick comedy and O'Donnell's failure to
come across as anything more than a Ken doll.
Neither funny nor truly engaging, "Head Cases"
fails on pretty much every level. Audiences look-
ing for entertainment on Wednesday nights should
avoid Fox's latest clunker.
By Jake Montie
For the Daily
CONCERT PEVIEW .
Greenwood Avenue has a place in the
memory of many students who attend
Every year during
hordes of people
make the trip from
their dorms, apart-
ments or houses
to the Greenwood
block party, hoping
At The Blind Pig
shows promise on WB
By Nick Kochmanski chester family suffers some strange
Daily Arts Writer curse, which appears to afflict only
female loved ones. It is this curse that
drives the brothers' father to find, and
hopefully destroy, the entity responsi-
Much like a campus Halloween ble for his wife's death. Dean and Sam
party, The WB's "Supernatural" fea- refuse to be left behind and set out in
tures a slew of scantily clad women, search of their father.
ghosts, demons The first episode features a stop in
and notably small-town America, the traditional
absent parents; Supernatural setting for ghost tales. Here, the broth-
there are even Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ers run up against the ghost of a seduc-
a few arrests The WB tive female materializing as a "White
made for good Lady," a common spook that involves
measure. And a seductive, hitchhiking woman. After
fortunately, like any good holiday shin- a series of encounters with the local
dig, this show gets better as the evening police, Dean and Sam finally confront
wears on, revealing multiple layers and the specter, which results in a surpris-
introducing characters that encourage ingly exciting clash between man and
viewers to tune in again next week. evil spirit. The ghosts are well crafted
"Supernatural" stars Jenson Ack- using digital effects, and the climactic
les ("Smallville") and Jared Padalicki death scene is enough to bring back
("Gilmore Girls") as Dean and Sam fond memories of "Ghostbusters."
Winchester, two brothers who set Even the obvious scare shots, accom-
out in search of their eccentric father panied by the all-too-familiar rush of
while battling evil demons and grim- sound, are delightful enough to set
grinning ghosts along the way. In viewers' pulses pounding.
the opening scene, an evil, unknown The strong chemistry between
force attacks the two brothers' mother, Dean and Sam also supports the
which results in a deadly blaze. View- show. While certainly not on par with
ers eventually learn that the Win- "The Sopranos" or "Six Feet Under,"
they'll arrive before the police inevitably
break up the festivities. But Greenwood
Avenue has another claim to fame: It's
the rightful birthplace of Bear vs. Shark,
who are playing tonight at one of their
favorite venues, The Blind Pig.
Highly combustible indie-punkensem-
ble Bear vs. Shark held their initial prac-
tices at the Greenwood Avenue house of
former University student John Gaviglio
(guitar/bass). Childhood friends Mark
Paffi (vocals), Derek Kiesgen (guitar/
bass) and Mike Muldoon (guitar/bass/
keyboards) were also in the band's first
incarnation. After adding Ashley Horak
on drums, the group got its start playing
house parties throughout Ann Arbor.
From the beginning, Gaviglio knew they
were on to something. "I've had that feel-
ing since day one," he said. "I think what
brought it all together was when Mark
finally came to practice ... hearing him
and what he could do to the music we
were writing really gave me chills."
Their sophomore release, Terrorhawk,
combines Paffi's furious vocal assault
with a well-developed "We'll punch you
in the mouth but we're courteous enough
to drive you to the ER" wall of sound
that glues listeners to their speakers.
Essentially, Terrorhawk is 44 minutes of
the pulse of these men, music that's cal-
culated to bring listeners to their knees.
Songs like, the introductory "Cata-
maran" and the malicious "5, 6 Kids"
deliver an energy that's enough to make
listeners tear a hole through their walls
with a barrage of punches. However, by
the end of the album's emotional jour-
ney, they'll be contemplating the bruises
on their fists with an introspective man-
ner. This thought process comes straight
from the music of songs like "Song
About Old Roller Coaster": The power
behind these tracks are why Gaviglio
says of Terrorhawk that he's "the most
proud I've ever been of anything I've
When asked about the meaning
behind Terrorhawk, Gaviglio explained,
"(With) most of the stuff we, do we don't
really try to explain too much. We just
kind of leave it open to interpretation."
Essentially, Terrorhawk can become
whatever a listener wants it to become;
it's best to let the music take you wher-
ever it may wander. Gaviglio also stated
that the goal when making Terrorhawk
was to create "a full album that was
one cohesive unit ... (and) to be more
thoughtful with the songs." That is just
what Terrorhawk is: reticular in the
effect that its varied points are all con-
nected and mesh brilliantly.
Bear vs. Shark bring an incendiary
and energetic live show to Ann Arbor.
For a few dollars, music fans can see a
blistering set from one of the more excit-
ing bands to come out of the area in
years. It's also a chance to take part in a
reunion of sorts - the reunion of a band
with the city of its birth.
Courtesy of The WB
"Who the hell are we?"
"Supernatural" features believable
performances, especially from its lead
roles. Ackles and Padalicki work well
together, resulting in good-natured
chuckles and the general feeling that
as time goes on, the two brothers will
grow even closer.
If there's one complaint against
"Supernatural," it's that the show
doesn't explore anything new. Instead
of offering fresh and exciting scares,
it appears the writers drew heavily
from already-popular horror films.
Whether or not this is an intentional
move is unclear , but the current stable
of spooks does nothing to improve
the experience. As the story of Dean
and Sam Winchester unfolds, more
original creatures will hopefully cross
their paths, nudging "Supernatural" a
little closer toward greatness.
"Supernatural" is an enticing new
show that will leave viewers of The
WB's other teen series anticipating
next week's episode.
THE BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP
MISSED OUR THREE MASS MEETINGS, BUT YOU STLLL WANT TO WR1TE?
CoME, To 420 MAYNARD ST. ON SUNDAY AT 12:30.
THE BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP
invites you to our
Monday, September 19th, 2005
4:30pm to 6:30pm
Michigan Union, Pendleton Room