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October 09, 2008 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-09

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2B - Thursday, October 9, 2008 1he b -side The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

D

The Daily Arts guide to
upcoming events in Ann Arbor
and the surrounding area.
Today 10.9.08
Designing the Voting Expe-
rience and Information
in Everyday Life: Penny
Stamps Lecture by Chey-
enne Medina and Gretchen
Schulfer
5 p.m.
At the Michigan Theater
Free
The Last Days of Judas
Iscariot Presented by UM
Basement Arts
7 p.m.
At the Walgreen Drama Center Studio
Free
Ann Packer Novelist Signing
7 p.m.
At the Ann Arbor District Library Multi-
purpose Room
Free
Tomorrow 10.10.08
Honolulu- and Manila-based
poet and novelist Zamora
Linmarck: HowI Went to the
Philippines to Research for a
Novel and Ended Up Swim-
ming in My Sardine Can of
Worms
Noon
At the International Institute (1080
South University)
Free
The Disgruntled Clown at
the Ann Arbor Comedy
Showcase
8 p.m.
At the old VFW Hall (Below Seva)
$10
Saturday 10.11.08
Polenta Demonstration
Tasting
3 p.m
At Morgan & York
Free
How the Other Half Loves
Performance
8 p.m.
At the Blackbird Theatre (1600 Pauline)
$20 / $10 with student ID
Madmen and Specialists
Presented by the UM The-
ater Department
8 p.m.
At Walgreen Drama Center's Arthur
Miller Theatre
$9 with student ID
Sunday 10.12.08
The Ann Arbor Record and
CD Show (A music fair fea-
turing more than 50 dealers
from half a dozen states
selling rare and collectible
used records and CDs)
to a.m.
At Weber's Inn (3050 Jackson Rd)
$3
Fall Harvest: An 1850s Liv-
ing History Celebration
Noon
At Cobblestone Farm (2781 Packard)
Suggested $5 Donation
Dendrobiums: Talk by
Californian Orchid Expert
Gerardus Stall
At UM Matthaei Botanical Gardens
Auditorium (1800 N. Dixboro)

Free
Please send all press releases
and event information to
arts@michigandaily.com.

. E VALT .'ZOMBIES ATE MY NEIGHBORS' SNES AND
SEGA GENESIS (1994)
Honoring the
(un) dead

6

By BRANDON CONRADIS
Senior Arts Editor
Who doesn'tlove zombies? It's strange
to think that 15 years ago, when LucasA-
rts unleashed "Zombies Ate My Neigh-
bors" on an unsuspecting public, the
novelty of a zombie-themed video game
had not yet been fully tapped into. Maybe
the game was simply ahead of its time; it
soon faded into obscurity, held in high
esteem only by those fortunate few who
managed to happen upon it. Since then,
it's become a cult classic, much like the
B-horror movies it so fondly recalls. All
acrossthecountry,therearepeoplewhose
jaws willdrop, whose eyes will glaze over
and whose thumbs will instinctually lock
into position at the mere mention of its
name. "Zombies" may be obscure, but it
left its mark on those who played it.
Zeke and Julie are two hip teenagers
trapped in suburbia - literally. The evil
Dr. Tongue has let a bevy of monsters
loose on the neighborhood, and it's up to
this kick-assduo to save the day. Zeke has
spiky blonde hair and wears 3-D glasses;
Julie is a tomboy with a baseball cap.
Both are well equipped with an arsenal
of household objects - squirt guns, pop
cans, tomatoes, dishes, weed whackers
and, er, bazookas - that prove to be sur-
prisingly effective against the armies of
the undead. The goal: Save the neighborst
Babies, cheerleaders, dogs, soldiers and
girls ontrampolines are all entrees on the
night's menu, and as they navigate over
50 levels, players must rescue the oblivi-
ous townspeople before they're eaten.
The gameplay is simple and addictive.
From a bird's eye view, players lead Zeke
or Julie across terrain ranging from such
mundane places as suburban backyards
and shopping malls to more exotic locales
like pyramids and castles (it's never
explained how Zeke and Julie actually

get there). The graphics are colorful and
amusingly cartoonish. The music is per-
fectly suited to the game's campy nature.
Everything, in fact, is perfectly attuned
to ensure an absolutely surreal, invigo-
rating experience.
Every level is given its own title and
feels like its own little horror movie.
From the "Body Snatchers"-inspired
level "Weird Kids on the Block," in which
poisonous pod plants spawn deadly
doppelgangers of Zeke' and Julie, to the
insane "Mars Needs Cheerleaders," in
which players must rescue all of the high
school's cheerleaders while dodging foot-
ball players and Martians - "Zombies"
is like a kaleidoscope of drive-in-style
attractions. The fun of the game is not so
much in the gameplay itself as the sheer
spectacle of the whole thing.
Playing spot-the-monster is espe-
cially fun. Besides zombies, players must
also dodge werewolves, killer dolls,
The greatest
zombie video game
ever - seriously.
chainsaw-wielding maniacs, mummies,
sandworms and giant babies. Yes, giant
babies. And just when you think you've
seen it all, something else pops up to take
you by surprise.
So I may be going out on a limb here,
but "Zombies Ate My Neighbors" could
very well be the greatest B-movie-in-
spired zombie-shooter game ever. I know
that's an audacious statement. But, hon-
estly, these zombies devour the competi-
tion.

Lifestyles o f the
rich and bratty

By TRINA MANNINO
DailyArts Writer
In the second season of "Gossip Girl,"
Serena van der Woodsen tried to put an
end to her queen bee persona. But after
beingthevictimofamean-spiritedprank,
the old Serena is back with a vengeance.
The producers of "Privileged," "The
Hills," "90210" and "Gossip Girl" seem
to think catty rich girls are the kind of
people you might want to idolize. These
shows follow the turbulent lives of
wealthy young people. Teen shows aren't
original, but they continue to be popular
because they sensationalize issues that
are important to the demographic. But
despite their success, the shows send the
wrong messages to young people, touting
the idea that they need to be beautiful
and rich to be valued in our society.
The success of these shows depends on
a simple formula: An attractive cast with
mediocre acting abilities - containing
actors who are, in reality, too old to play
high-schoolers - combined with a pop
soundtrack and ridiculous storylines. All
of the shows have a similar premise with
a few minor differences. "Gossip Girl"
takes place in Manhattan while "90210"
takes place in Beverly Hills. "The Hills"
is a scripted reality show instead of an
hour-long drama. Even with their logisti-
cal differences, the shows have the same
basic premise.

Despite the lack of originality, kids
gobble this shit up. The premiere of
"Gossip Girl" this season brought in 3.4
million viewers, the highest ratings the
CW has had in its short-lived history.
Since its debut season in 2007, the cast
has soared to the level of tabloid fame.
Fans and paparazzi alike are obsessed
with van der Woodsen's (Blake Lively,
"Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants") and
Dan Humphrey's (Penn Bagdley, "John
Tucker Must Die") on and off-screen
romances.
Even though these shows are basically
carbon copies ofeach another,young peo-
ple are fascinated by their subject mat-
ter. Jetting to San Francisco on private
planes and attending parties that could
rival the bashes on "My Super Sweet 16"
is way more exciting than the average
teen's Friday night of hanging out in a
friend's basement, sipping Boones Farm
out of plastic cups. The current crop of
teen TV shows has effectively exploited
this contrast between reality and fiction.
Some may argue these teen-orientated
shows are just a means of escapism that
allow girls - the main demographic tar-
get - to get up close and personal with
exclusive social circles and their posh
lifestyles. The female characters are
depicted as materialistic and catty, not
to mention dumbed down to attract the
opposite sex. Let's face it: Watching girls
backstab one another and use people to
get what they want is not cute or
funny. Blair on "Gossip Girl" and
Lauren on "The Hills" aren't role
models; they're painful remind-
ers of stereotypes girls shouldn't
strive to emulate.
"The Hills" has managed to
continue for four years with a
loyal following while its charac-
ters haven't evolved and its plots
haven't changed. The show's main
character, 23-year-old Lauren
Conrad, continues to act like an
immature girl by picking fights,
making up with her "frenemies"
and dating douchebags. The
show's "realistic depiction" of a
young woman's shift from girl to
adulthood issupposed to reflect
the lives of girls in Conrad's peer
group, or at least in part. How
many girls do you know who have
their own clothing line and party
with young Hollywood types?
Sure, there are girls who live like
that, but the majority of people
don't. The content in these shows
lead young people to believe that
superficiality and deceitfulness is
a normal part of what it means to
be a teenager.
Thankfully, TV has some
redeeming characters, but strong
and intelligent females are few
and far between. Characters like
See TELEVISION, Page 4B

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1301 South University at South Forest. Photography. Film. Video. A temporary gallery space open during the
expansion and restoration of the University of Michigan Museum of Art. www.umma.umich.edu. 734.763.UMMA
This exhibition is made possible in part by Ernestine and Herbert Ruben and the University of Michigan Credit Union.
Brett Weston, Landscape, Germany, from the portfolio Brett Weston Europe, 196, gelatin silver print, Museum Purchase, 1978/2.34.

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