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September 20, 2006 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-20

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Fox gets a lii' tipsy
with'HappyHour' U ,,-

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By Imran Syed
Daily Arts Writer
"Happy Hour" is a show with no real
expectations. Its premise is a one-trick
pony to say the least,
looking simply to pig: Hap Hour
gyback off of the pop-
ularity of other shows Thursdays at
about a group of yup- 8:30 p.m.
pie friends. Most of its Fox
jokes never even aim
above about level two of the comedic hierar-
chy (there's got to be at least five levels).
It cores as a surprise then that the show
has actually revamped those trite jokes to
make them appear somehow fresh and yes,
even funny. As opposed to a show that aims
too high and gets nowhere, it aims low goes
further than the creators could have ever
hoped.
Set in Chicago, "Happy Hour" follows

of Henry (John Sloan, "Commander in
Chief'), a moping dreamer who just got
kicked out by his girlfriend. He opts to room
with someone else in that same building -
Larry (Lex Medlin, "Still Standing"), the
clueless, eccentric, Sinatra wannabe. Bring
in Larry's endearingly lewd friend Amanda
and you've got your comic trio - nothing
spectacular to be sure, but they work togeth-
er and complement each other well enough
in their roles.
As boring and annoyingly glum as Henry
is (he definitely has a little Paul Rudd going
on), Larry is the rambunctious, spirited
opposite. This brings about an interesting
juxtaposition: Neither character would be
worth watching alone, but together make
for an entertaining duo. They couldn't
survive on their own, but the combination
of characters is just what keeps the show
watchable.
Larry appears to be the oddball bor-
rowed from any number of shows, but
Medlin has a slightly inexplicable charm

"Oddly enough, you were cuter before my third martini."
about him that makes his delivery brazen although surviving its first season won't be ings will fall and Fox has pulled them out
and novel. If there were a bit more content an easy going for "Happy Hour" It stands of unexpected places before (could millions
to this show, his character would help carry to face off against "The Office;' which of people really be watching "The War at
it into prominence. What's interesting here recently won the Emmy for outstanding Home"?). If the show builds steam before
is that the show may just have enough per- comedy series. the other big Thursday shows' premieres, it
sonality and genuine sass to stick around, Still, no one can predict where the rat- could be here to stay.

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The retirement of Detroit's
prodigal son, Marshall
Mathers, n6 Eminem, has lasted
about as long as a blunt in D12's
green room. That is to say, not
very long at all. This winter will
see the release of Eminen Pres-
ents: The Re-Up, an elegantly
titled mixtape that will debut
artists from the Shady Records
Camp. That's not in and of itself
news, except that Eminem pro-
duced most of the tracks (with
assistance from the Alchemist),
and he even contributes a few
rhymes. Contrary to what many
expected, it will not be a trib-
ute to fallen comrade Proof, but
rather another mixtape that is
essentially between-album filler
- self-promotion to the max.
While Shady is busy making
his mixtape, another artist has
steppedupto theplate to pay hom-
age to recently deceased Detroit
rapper Proof: Jeff Mangum. Just
kidding. But really, Mangum is
coming out of a hiatus that began
with the release of the classic In
The Aeroplane Over The Sea in
1998 to guest on the forthcoming
Apples in Stereo album, New
Magnetic Wonder. It'll be the first
release on Elijah Wood's Simian
Records. Not idly do the leaves of
Lorien fall.
Speaking of fearless leaders
such as Aragorn, U.S. Senator
Barack Obama of Illinos pulled
some heavy strings to ensure the
unexpected reunion of Thrill
Jockey's Extra Golden. Obama,
who is of Kenyan descent, along
with the help of Chicago's Depart-
ment of Cultural Affairs, helped
bring the Kenyan members of
the band back to the states for an
upcoming tour.
As surprising as Obama's taste
in indie rock may be, what's even
more shocking is Jay-Z's appar-
ent admiration for wussy piano
bitches. But fuck, at least he's
coming out of retirement, so we
can ignore the fact that Cold-
play's frontman Chris Martin
is producing a track on Hova's
much-anticipated Kingdom
Come. How one man can rep both
Coldplay and gestural, Warholian
painter Jean-Miche Basquiat is
beyond us, but fuck, at least he's
coming out of retirement.
If modernism taught us any-
thing, it's that there are no rules
to art - anything goes. The most
discomforting of topics deserve the
spotlight, and they do so en masse
in filmmaker Carol Jacobsen's
documentary"Censorius"debuting
at 5 p.m. in the Michigan Theater's
Screening Room. The film looks
at female artists and the prejudice
they face in a man's world - and
that's alongside of issues of identity,
sexuality and violence. Throughout
the documentary are excerpts from
raw, sexually explicit performances
by Carolee Schneemann, Annie
Sprinkle, Hardena Pindell and
Karen Finley.
And of course, if modernism
taught us anything other than the
infallibility of art, it's that cor-
porations are always willing to
make extra dollars. And if that
entails marketing to the Christian
televangelist crowd, then so be
it - anything goes. In a not-so-
surprising move, 20th Century
Fox announced plans to launch a
Christian film division, FoxFaith

- remember "The Passion of the
Christ?" Yeah, it made a bit of
money. There are 12 films already
on the drawing board, with the
first, "Love's Abiding Joy" set to
debut Oct. 6.
- Lloyd H. Cargo and
Andrew Sargus Klein

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