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January 30, 2008 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-30

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8A - Wednesday, January 30, 2008
From page 5A
While the humor is often easy
for the average viewer to pick up
on, "Reno 911!" has also mastered
the art of awkward silence a la
"The Office." The policemen are so
dim-witted and unaware of their
racism and ignorance that the hor-
rified glances they elicit are magic.
It's this in-your-face lewdness dot-
ted with understated looks that
makes "Reno 911!" so clever. Well,
that and the shorts.
During their carousing around
the city, the officers come upon
some unique characters, a few
of whom stay around for future
sketches. It was a thrill to see the
effeminate, roller-skating Terry
(Nick Swardson, "Blades of Glory")
again inthe season premiere, being
reprimanded for "playing his flute"
in public - he later admitted the
flute might have had balls.
After all of the cliffhangers of
the previous season were resolved
- who's the father of Trudy's baby?
Deputy Travis Junior. What will
she do with it? Sell it for $10,000
- "Reno 911!" is back to normal.
If the premiere was a preview of
things to come, there won't be
complaints from viewers any time

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Blowing up
urban myths
By DAVE REAP Recently, the Discovery
DailyArts Writer Channel has run countless
commercials for"Smash Lab"
The Discovery Channel's depicting one huge explosion
decision to run two intelli- after another - framing the
gent, edgy and often humor- show as "MythBusters" on
ous shows - "MythBusters" steroids. But "Smash Lab"
and isn't that simple; it has its
"Smash own original concept, which
Lab" - is summed upby the network
one after as "dangerous experiments
another on for a safer world." Each week
Wednes- Smash Lab the "Smash Lab" team uses
day nights Wednesdays, cutting-edge technology in
makes it an attempt to make our lives
an attrac- Mythbusters: a little safer. For example, in
tive alter- 9-10;Smash the recent "Crash Absorbing
native to Concrete," aerated concrete
traditional Discovery was used to make roadbarri-
sitcoms ers that decrease the impact
and dra- felt by passengers in a carthat
mas. While "MythBusters" crashes into a blockade. The
is in its sixth season and DiscoveryChannel is looking
continues to be extremely to draw younger viewers to
successful, "Smash Lab" is a "Smash Lab" with a hipper,
new series that will benefit moreyouthfulcastcomposed
from its time slot behind one of Deanne "The Scientist,"
of Discovery's most popular Nick "The Designer," Kevin
shows. "The Ideas Guy" and Chuck
The concept of "Myth- "The Engineer." Compared
Busters" is creative and to "MythBusters," the show
unique: Each week the has a sleeker and more tech-
MythBusters pick three nologically savvy feel - the
urban legends and use sci- team's lab houses the latest


"How She Move 2: How She Jump."



ence to determine whether
they are fact or fiction.
They've explored everything
from the questionably dan-
gerous effect of using a cell
phone at a gas pump to the
likelihood of failing a drug
test after eating a poppy
seed muffin. Hosts Adam
Savage and Jamie Hyneman
also concisely explain com-
plex scientific theories and
make their audience laugh
- mostly by making fun of
each other. Their enthusiasm
for their work is contagious
and viewers soon become
anxious to learn the results
of the experiments through-
out each episode. Adam
and Jamie are also joined
by three younger assistants
- Kari, Tory and Grant -who
give the show an additional
shot of personality and vigor.

Your chem
professor 's
formative years
computers and tools.
If you're accustomed to
watching the same genre
of TV shows over and over
again, it might be best to
switch to the Discovery
Channel on Wednesday
nights. The duo of "Myth-
Busters" and "Smash Lab"
promises not only to enter-
tain you, but also to teach
you something without the
brain-numbing feeling of sit-
ting in Physics or Chemistry
class for two hours.

Daily Arts Writer
In the same vein of "Step Up,"
"Stomp the Yard" and "Save the Last
Dance" comes the
new dance-driven
film, "How She
Move." It's the same How She
cliches, twists and
turns of plot - same MoVe
everything, really, At Showcase
right down to the and Quality 16
epic dance finale. MT
This new genre of MTV
to-shine has begun to take over the
classic high school angst films that
were so popular in the '80s and '90s.
Its too bad "How She Move" has noth-
ing really new to add to this formula.
When Raya (newcomer Rutina
Wesley) loses her sister Pam and the
money to pay for private school runs
out, she comes back to her crime and
drug-ridden neighborhood. Pam's
death just hangs like a cloud over the
film, giving dimension to the famil-
ial strain as well as the catalyst for
Raya's actions. Raya's family spent all

her private school tuition money to
fight Pam's addiction. In an attempt
to make money for school, Raya falls
into a stepping crew in the hopes of
winning prize money.
is a much more important message
than what propels some similar films.
"How She Move" is not just about
staying true to oneself, it's a com-
bination of various messages. Raya
explains to her disapproving mother
that it's possible to be about school-
work and stepping. Name-dropping
Tolstoy and while having a step-off
to prove which of the characters has
more skills, oddly gives the movie a
If you like dancing
and stereotypical
story lines---
more realistic backbone. "How She
Move" is grounded in Raya's need
to better herself, not just her need to
prove that she can actually move.

Which, of course, she can. Her tal-
ents quickly land her on her friend
Bishop's (newcomer Dwain Murphy)
step team. The team is hesitant about
allowing a girl onboard, but after she
proves herself in the auto shop where
they rehearse, they begrudgingly let
her join. After a betrayal, joining a
rival team and familial resolution, the
movie culminates in Detroit for the
"Step Monster" competition, where
the customary montage of step teams
show their skills.
Yet the choreography, the real star
of the movie, is surprising lacking in
energy or excitement. The film makes
great use of the dancer-actors, show-
ing them for all their rhythmic abili-
ties, and the cast certainly has skills.
Withthe MTV-generatedsoundtrack,
there should be some more exhilara-
tion with the dance-off at the finale
of the film. There isn't. Maybe it's
because the audience has seen this
all before. Maybe it's because we
know exactly what is going to happen.
Maybe it's the holes in the plot, the
usual characters, the usual conflicts,
or the usual steps. Either way, while
Raya can move, the film just can't do
the same for audience.


Humiliation is
rarely this fun

Cosedresdaoys, Wednesdays ,and
Sns . r, retosLfundraisin ifo mi
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DailyArts Writer
Having your secrets broadcast-
ed would be a nightmare to many.
To the contestants of FOX's "The
Moment of Truth," it's a chance to
win $500,000.
"The Moment of Truth" doesn't
require any
except your
own private The
thoughts. The Moment
are given a lie- of Truth
detector test
(before the Wednesdays
taping) with at 9 p.m.
50 personal FOX
questions like,
"Have you ever
thought your boyfriend might be
gay?" or "Do fat people repulse
you?" Already, it sounds like a win-
ner. After their off-screen poly-
graph, the contestant is brought
to the set and forced to re-answer
some of the questions in front of
three people of their choosing. The
only way to win the game is to tell
the truth - not caring about your
spouses, bosses or friends couldn't
hurt, either. Winning sounds easy
enough, just bring in someone who
doesn't give a shit (angsty teenag-
ers, perhaps?) and rob Rupert
Murdoch blind. But there might
be some unexpected obstacles in
that path.
One obvious problem is that
contestants have no idea who will
tune into see their very public con-
fessional. You wouldn't want your
mother to learn you've been paid
for sex, would you? The humili-
ation of having your innermost
thoughts being spread across the
country is a bit daunting. At times,
the host seems to exacerbate this
by asking questions made to burn
bridges. It's vaguely like "The
Newlywed Game" - not so much
about the money as the fighting
between the couples. However, if
feeling shameful is a huge thing
for contestants, why go on the
show? The "Truth" contestant is
a certain kind of apathetic Ameri-
can. If you blush easily, it's best to

stay away.
The show contains a few ambi-
guities that limit its credibil-
ity. For example, polygraph tests
have questionable validity. They
aren't admitted in the courts of 31
states, and in 1997, 421 psycholo-
gists had approximated polygraph
test accuracy to be roughly 61%
- though new computerized poly-
graphs are close to 100% accurate.
A few techniques such as being
rested and relaxed will help them
fool the polygraph. Conversely,
because the contestants are likely
to be nervous, the test will pick
up any quickened heartbeats and
report anything as a lie, regardless
of whether the answer was truth-
The questions posed to the con-
testants are also up for debate, as
some tend to cover a lot of gray
area. It could be difficult to cor-
rectly answer the question, "Did
you ever receive special treatment
in college while on the football
Telling your wife
you slept with
a hooker... on
national TV
team?," because it's possible he
wasn't aware of any special treat-
Even though overcoming the
judgment of others to win money
is the purpose of the game, secrets
are a part of everyone's life. It
wouldn't be surprisingto hear that
most Americans have done some
of the scandalous acts the contes-
tants are chastised for - most of
them at the point in their life that
you're at right now.
While watching "Truth," view-
ers should remember the old
proverb, "Those who live in dirty
houses should not throw cleaning
solution," and enjoy the not-so-
classy "Moment of Truth" and all
of the red-faced confessions that
go along with it.


wd-time-chareys.com i,

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