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March 20, 2009 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-20

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, March 20, 2009 - 5

lTevision under siege

'Castle' suffers
from crime drama
conventions
By CAROLYN KLARECKI
Daily Arts Writer
It's hard not to cringe when
hearing the phrase "crime
drama." The
words con- **
jure images of
urban settings, Castle
choppy editing,
cheesy one-lin- Mondays at
ers, melodra- 10p.m.
matic music, ABC
poor acting
and plots no one cares about or
understands.
ABC's "Castle" is a crime
drama with all the fixings, but its
unique premise may just be pow-
erful enough to set it apart from
the tired genre.
Crime fiction novelist Richard
Castle (Nathan Fillion, "Wait-
ress") is a successful, arrogant
womanizer suffering from writ-

er's block. When a series of mur-
ders pop up that are imitations
of the murders in his novels, he
is enlisted by the smart, no-non-
sense NYPD detective Kate Beck-
ett (Stana Katic, "Feast of Love")
for help in the investigation.
Though Beckett prefers to
work without interference or
distractions, Castle can't help
but give his input - whether or
not it's desired. When Castle's
sense of narrative helps him dis-
cover the police have arrested
the wrong guy, Beckett is con-
vinced to put aside her differenc-
es with him. Once she does, the
duo works wonderfully together
and manages to bring down the
real imitator. In the process,
Castle gets inspiration for a new
character based on Beckett, and
he'll spend the rest of the season
working with her as "research"
for his book.
The show's most nauseat-
ingly conventional element is
Beckett and Castle's relation-
ship. He flirts shamelessly and
makes blatant advances while
she turns him down with snide

and witty retorts. Yet she's a fan
of his books, and it's obvious she
has a soft spot for him when the
camera catches her staring at
him all the time. Some subtlety
and originality would've been
useful.
Fortunately, Castle's relation-
ship with the rest of the cast is
refreshingly unique. His mother,
Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan,
"The Nine"), is a lively retiree
who chases men as though she
were 40 years younger. Serving
as a foil to Castle and his mother's
carefree attitude, Castle's teen-
age daughter Alexis (newcomer
Molly C. Quinn) is grounded and
sensible even with her less-than-
ideal role models.
Despite disapproving of their
ways, Alexis still maintains a
loving relationship with her
guardians. Because of these
mixed-up roles, there's virtually
no hierarchy in the Castle family.
With three different generations
of Castle treating one another
as peers, the interactions are
refreshingly colorful,
with that in mind, there

should've been more screen time
devoted to these unique support-
ing characters. Instead, "Cas-
tle" focuses on the police force,
where it rehashes the stereo-
typical detective roles complete
with obnoxiously cheesy writ-
ing - bad one-liners are the most
common form of dialogue in the
hour-long program. The NYPD
detectives make unnecessary
jokes at every occasion, especial-
ly crime scenes. But thankfully,
while this type of conventional
crime drama humor dominates
the show, there are still a few
genuinely funny and original
moments. Just not enough.
"Castle" is a crime drama, and
it embraces all the conventions
the genre has become infamous
for - but it still has a chance to
succeed. Though its romantic
sub-plot is too prominent and
the writing is often contrived,
the show still has potential. The
upcoming episodes need to focus
more on Castle's writing career
and the refreshing supporting
cast if "Castle" is to be saved
from the worn-out genre.

ARTS IN BRIEF

f Film Review
'Miss March' misses
the humor mark
. "Miss March"
20th Century Fox/Jacobson
At Quality 16 and Showcase
Even when considering how
regrettably lowthe standards ofcom-
edy have fallen in recent years, it is
rare to find a comedy in which all (or
nearly all) of the humor is the unin-
tentional result of bad acting. But
"Miss March" is just such a disaster,
as it unsuccessfully attempts to elicit
laughter by the most horrifically
offensive means possible.
The film was written and directed
by Trevor Moore and Zach Creg-
ger ("The Whitest Kids U' Know").
The plot follows a teenager named

Eugene (Cregger) who, by a wacky
turn of events, slips into a coma for
four years. When he wakes up, he
discovers his former girlfriend Cindi
(Raquel Alessi, "Summerhood") has
left him and ascended the ranks of
Playboy fame. He then proceeds to
go on a cross country trip with his
lifelong friend Tucker (Moore) to
win her affections a second time.
Perhaps the most painful aspect
of the film is Moore's wholly
unfunny portrayal of the typical
"best bud" character. His method
of comic delivery involves nothing
more than a bug-eyed reaction to all
of his surroundings, coupled with
a faux-effeminate vocal inflection
that's far more annoying than it is
humorous.
A $10 share in General Motor's
failing stock is a more viably profit-
able investment than the $10 it would
cost to see this movie in theaters.
TIMOTHYRABB

Getting at the core of sound

By KATIE CAREY position itse
DailyArts Writer "You bet
when they'i
I walked into a small, crowded "gallery become awa
space" in a back alley in Detroit after weaving apart. You b
through a maze of abandoned warehouses and and each pie
driving through all of the places my parents the type of t
warned me never to go. to noise."
Across the room, a man scraped a Styrofoam If I had to
cup across the head of a snare drum as a cel- say noise m
list intermittently slapped the back of a cello abstract exp
with no particular rhythm. In the far corner, the work of
a third man blared a rusty, keyless horn. The itself. Painti
audience sat, stood, lied down and discovered components
a type of twitchy dance move I had never seen the paint its
any human execute in my life. I was at a noise Emerging
show. movementa
I went to the show with- the idea that it galleries tha
was going to be pretty typical. I'd have a few
drinks, dance with some friends and then
leave. Yet I found myself seeing instruments in
a completely new way. I began thinking about 1
music in a manner I never hadbefore. But I still
grapple with the concept of what exactly noise brea
music is.
School of Art & Design senior Ronen Gold- to
stein and Performing Arts and Technology
senior Brendan Coates are working on a docu-
mentary exploring noise music. In a Facebook
group they started for the documentary, peo- blue or red
ple have posted responses giving their opinion paintings pe
about what they think defines the genre. done that m
Responses range from: "Noise Mdsic: But that's
Fucking around with guitar pedals," to more breaking do
heart-felt responses like, "I'm a firm believer stitutes apai
in finding new sounds - music is that which er initially t
our ears know from experience to be pleasing, painting in1
noise is that which our ears have not yet assim- them the ve:
ilated into our vocabulary." while comm
"(Noise music) is about becoming familiar nection peol
with the unknown, essentially," explained Goldstein
Goldstein, who is a noise musician himself of the docu
The unknown is often found by breaking falls apart i
down the familiar. Noise music takes apart viewers mor
what has previously been deemed as music and mentary. Th
exposes its fundamental elements, simultane- listeners mo
ously shifting the boundaries of musical com- ing in a form
APPRECIATE LIFE'S
FINER THINGS?
Write for our Fine Arts staff.
E-mail battlebots@umich.edu for an application.

lf.
come more conscious of things
re broken," Goldstein said. "You
re of say, the hammer, when it falls
ecome very aware of the structure
ce thatassembled it. This becomes
exture that you get when youlisten
o compare it to something, I would
usic runs parallel to the idea of
pressionism. In abstract painting,
ften becomes about the medium
ngs are stripped down to the basic
of what makes them a painting:
elf.
g from the abstract expressionist
are canvases in contemporary art
it are painted a single color - just
Noise music
ks sound down
its elements.
or orange. They are the types of
eople scoff at, saying, "I could have
yself."
not the point. The point is about
wn the very construct of what con-
inting.Ittakes apart what theview-
hought should make up a "good"
the classical sense and reveals to
ry foundation of the art form - all
unicating the often powerful con-
ple have with color and form.
elaborated that there is a portion
mentary where the film literally
into static and graininess, making
e aware they are watching a docu-
his is much like how noise makes
ore aware that they are participat-
of auditory expression.

Noise music is. about breaking music and
sound down into their smallest components
and using components not considered to be a
part of the normal catalog.
But Coates explained that, apart from the
theoretical back-and-forth about what defines
noise music, the genre also has a very practical
application. In particular, Coates is interested
in bringing noise music to elementary and pre-
schools as a way to widen the scope of music
education.
"An important part of playing music is
improvisation," Coates said. "One of the major
barriers to improvising classically is that you
need to be really proficient. Having a teacher
yell at you to keep your elbow under the instru-
ment just doesn't happen in noise. Noise can
teach kids to improvise fairly easier."
He added, "I think that part of the play-
ful process is really important to the creative
process and when compared with traditional
music education, that is lacking."
Another important aspect of noise music is
how the listener is affected. On the Facebook
group, some listeners have said that they feel
like "vomit." Others have described a "distur-
bance, and (an) instinct to protect one's ears."
But those only are referring to the loud type of
ear-grating noise.
I have had the experience of near-medita-
tion to noise, and since noise is not defined by
one end product, but rather a series of different
production methods, it is hard to define any
one listener's experience as typical.
"Sometimes the best part of noise is right
when it stops," Goldstein said. "You suddenly
hear the pipes in the room, the water rush
through them, or you are hearing your own
heartbeat again which you ignored before or
you hear all the cloth in your clothes just sort
of chaffing,"
Coates, on the other hand, has a different
listener experience.
"The most common feelingI have when lis-
tening to noise is 'FUCK YEAH."'
I would have to agree - both are extremely
accurate descriptions.

When even the preteen Flavor Flav is shocked, you know some shit has gone down.
- UARTS 250 -
"CREATIVE PROC S"
AN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIO-LECTURE COURSE
In residency at the Abbey of Pontlevoy,
May 18 - June 12, 2009
Four Weeks/Four Credits
Satisfies the LSA Creative Expression Requirement
you are in rested, please contact Mary Schmidt, maryanna@umich.edu, for more information
aking creativity an integral part of students' lives and work.
AwNEARTH
Learn more now: www.artsonearth.orestudents s i
This course is supported by the University of Michigan's
Multidisciplinary Learning and Team Teaching Initiative

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