The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Wednesday, March 31 2010 - 5a
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.comWednesday, March 31, 2010 - 5A
Examining the splash
made by Hokusai's Wave
" a .Allow
s COURTESY OF THE CW
Don t call us Shirley.
Turbulence on The CW
e 'Fly Girls' takes a terrible
concept and fills it out
with reality tropes
By LINDSAY HURD
Daily Arts Writer
When a show uses the tagline "Only on the
ground long enough to take off again," one
would assume it would be full
of characters who live like
rock stars with fast-paced life-
styles. But instead we get "Fly
Girls," a sad mix of "The Bad Fly Gils
Girls Club" and "The Hills" Wednesdays
with random flight attendants at 10 p.m.
thrown in. And yes, it's as The CW
annoying as it sounds.
The CW's latest "reality"
show follows five flight attendants who work
for Virgin AirlinLs, party and live together
in the same house, conveniently called "The
Crash Pad" (just one of the many genius air-
line puns made through the program). "Fly
Girls" follows Mandalay, Louise, Tahsa, Far-
rah and Nikole, who all live the "exciting
lives" of being able to assist people on their
flights. Clearly, the producers at The CW are
running low on ideas.
These women try and make their lives sound
exciting by exclaiming that the life of a flight
attendant is full of world travel, invites to the
best parties and swooning hot men. Apparent-
ly, these five women's jobs don't require hand-
ing out peanuts and telling people to buckle
their seatbelts. Rather, the ladies party it up on
planes that don't even look like they ever took
off the ground. One of the girls claims, "No one
ever believes us when we say that we live such
exciting lives!" But the excitement is never wit-
Besides the fact that picking flight attendants
as the focus of a show is probably the dumbest
thing ever to actually become television, the
cast is just a rehashing of the most annoying
token reality-star trademarks - and everyone
has issues. Tahsa has a son at home whom she
misses, Louise always'has boy troubles and can
never find Mr. Right, Farrah always tries to act
like a mom and Mandalay and Nikole used to
be BFFs before they had a fight over a boy and
now hate each other's guts. In fact, at the end of
the 30 minutes of torture, Mandalay and Nikole
have anall-out bitch fit, talking in circles about
how the other is just "so annoying" and "can't
get over" herself.
The nonsensical idea of following flight
attendants could be overlooked if there were
some ridiculously entertaining characters and
actual reality to the show. But it's a poor and
sad knock-off of all "Laguna Beach"-esque
shows in which the ladies try and make their
lives seem way cooler than they actually are.
Instead of worrying about real problems, they
worry about Nikole being a bitch, the fact that
morning flights suck and whether they'll find
an "IFB," or "In-Flight Boyfriend," while on
Overall, the ignorance of the girls, the fake-
ness of the reality, the idiotic theme of flight
attendants and the desperate marketing to make
Virgin Airlines appear to be young and hip make
you want to gouge your eyes out. "Fly Girls," in
its stupidity, could give Heidi Montag, Paris Hil-
ton and "New York" a run for their money - if it
can stay on air long enough to "take off."
Hokusai's world-famous print The
Great Wave is perhaps one of the most
from Japan. Hokusai'sGreat
The printfea- Wavesandthe
tures a wave
that dominates Maritime Turn
the frame as it in Japanese
people strug- Visual Culture
gling to stay Tmroal ~.~
An upcoming School oflSocial Work Bldg.
address the proliferation of this print
and why The Great Wave has served as
an inspiration to Western artists like
Vincent van Gogh. Hokusai's The Great Wave was originally publi
The Great Wave is part of the series
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by debut in 1831.
Hokusai. At the time of its first creation "I think its ongoing iteration in so
and subsequent publication in 1831, The many forms and places has to do with
Great Wave reflected the rise of print the dramatic way in which it gives
culture in Japan. expression to an ongoing, and ever
As part of the Noon Lecture Series more important, dialogue between the
through the Center for Japanese Stud- local and the global," she wrote.
ies, Christine Guth, director of the post- Since college, Guth has explored
graduate Asia designhistory specialism many aspects of Japanese culture,
at the Royal College of Art and Victoria including Buddhism, tourism and,
and Albert Museum, will discuss this more recently, the globalization of The
well known image in a broader histori- Great Wave.
cal and cultural context.
Commenting that the image has
broken through the world of artistic g, , bu
fame and into the realm of commercial its simple, u it
popularity - the print can be found on
notebook covers, umbrellas and t-shirts ... stays with you."
- Guth mentions her interest in the
"production and consumption" of the
image. "My interests have moved into many
Guth is also intrigued by the print's other areas - from the tea ceremony to
contribution to the 19th-Century fasci- tattoos,"' Guth wrote.
nation with maritime culture. Maki Fukuoka, an assistant profes-
"Rather than looking at it in relation sor of Asian languages and cultures at
to Mount Fuji and the series of which the University, has attended several
it is a part, I propose that it be seen as of Guth's lectures in London and was
one of many great waves, products and so impressed with her analysis of The
symptoms of a new preoccupation with Great Wave that she invited Guth to the
the sea," she wrote in an e-mail inter- University to speak.
view with The Michigan Daily. Also interested in the influence of
Guth will focus on the print's enor- this print, Fukuoka stressed the enthu-
mous popularity and the evolution of siasm and inspiration The Great Wave
its place in society since the time of its motivated when it first appeared to
shed in 1831.
"(The Great Wave) was received with
such excitement by European audienc-
es, including the artists who have never
seen anything like this, both in terms of
material - the paper and ink - but also
in terms of technique with the wood-
block print," Fukuoka said.
Fukuoka also addressed the emphasis
on the boundless adaptations and repro-
ductions of this iconic Japanese print.
"The topic itself allows us to think
about the image in so many different
contexts in terms of its influence over
artists in Europe and ... its influence of
the reception as Japanese art in Ameri-
ca (and) Europe, also in terms of a com-
mercialized art market," she said.
Fukuoka attributes the vast popular-
ity of the printto its visual accessibility.
"There's this kind of immediate
understanding of what the picture is
about. And it's simple enough, but it
kind of stays with you," she added.
Despite the specificity of the lec-
ture, Fukuoka emphasized how The
Great Wave can address geographical,
historical, graphic and visual symbolic
"Even if you had no interest in Hoku-
sai, if you ever wondered about this
image, Hokusai's The Great Wave, and
why isthis such aglobal icon, then I think
you would get so much out ofthis talk."
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