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April 20, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-04-20

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 5A

Behind the music: TV

You know that show "Everybody Hates Chris." The feeling's mutual.
Kg the jokes


like a b
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has just

intless 'Funeral' dened with shouldering the cost of
the funeral himself until his brother
emake fails to (Martin Lawrence, "Wild Hogs"),
a famous writer, can pay him back.
late the charm of Between the escalating costs of the
funeral, the down payment for a new
the original home Aaron is interested in purchas-
ing and his wife's steady persistence
By HANS YADAV on having a baby, Aaron barely has
Daily Arts Writer time to grieve for his father. Com-
pounding Aaron's problems are the
y crappy movie remake is arrival of his dysfunctional family
low to the gut. There's always members and the sudden appearance
pe that the remake will right of a stranger. The stranger black-
ongs of the mails Aaron, and soon chaos breaks
L. After ** loose as Aaron desperately tries to
at's what keep the man's secrets from reaching
s are for: Deatata the family.
n the allur- The "Funeral" remake is a mir-
mise while Funr ror copy of the first. Many of the
ng the At Quality16 jokes are the same, including some
ery around and Showcase of the lines verbatim. But this is
ideally, the Screen Gems really odd considering the original
Death at a is a classically British comedy, and
1" should the remake is just ... not. Whether it's
'vamped the original's flaws the terrible acting or the inability to
sented the material in a pol- emulate British eloquence, the jokes
charming manner. The only just aren't delivered properly. The
is that there was never any- whole attempt comes off as trite and
rong with the first. pathetic.
th at a Funeral" follows The lack of comedic timing casts
re story as the 2007 British a shadow on what otherwise would
I. Aaron (Chris Rock, "Head have been a dynamic cast. It's almost
") is stressed out. His father certain that these big names were
t passed away, and he is bur- brought together only to attract audi-

ence members and nothing more.
The wasted talent is a particularly
huge letdown considering there are
few moments when the actors really
embody their distinct personalities.
For instance, there are times when
Tracy Morgan ("30 Rock") breaks
character and reverts to his loud,
unabashed man-child roots. These
moments, while absolutely hilari-
ous, are too few to hit home.
For those who are unfamil-
iar with the original movie, the
"Funeral" remake would probably
be a better experience, but not by
much. Plot twists aside, the movie
lacks a potential feature that only
a nearly all-black cast can bring -
black humor. Not dark humor, but
black humor. If more of an effort
were made to focus on the film's
uniquely black cultural context, it
would've prevented the stellar cast
from being simply stand-ins for
their British counterparts.
There was never any reason to
remake "Funeral" in the first place.
Without any enhancement whatso-
ever, the remake is the less talented
twin of the original. It unnecessar-
ily sacrifices its cast and relinquish-
es any uniqueness it may have had.
The film ultimately serves as its own
grim reaper and ends up digging its
own grave.

S o as all big-time TV view-
ers know, "Glee" returned
last week. It ended its
hiatus with a special welcome
back episode
(cutely titled
in which all
the students
and teachers
at McKin-
ley High
sang songs
of greeting CAROLYN
including KLARECKI1
"Hello, I Love
You" by The
Doors, "Hello" by Lionel Ritchie,
"Hello, Goodbye" by the Beatles
and "Hello Again" by Neil Dia-
mond. And then there were a few
songs focusing on the "Hell" part
of the greeting like "Gives You
Hell" by All-American Rejects
and "Highway to Hell" by AC/
DC. They went all-out with the
theme, and it won't be the last
time a gimmick dictates the
musical content of the show.
The Madonna episode is air-
ing tonight, and after the "Hell-
o" episode I have to say I'm not
looking forward to it - at all.
Don't get me wrong, I'm as big
of a gleek as anyone, but only
when "Glee" isn't serving as a
happy-go-lucky music video.
First and foremost it should
remain a TV show, but lately
that doesn't seem to be the case.
"Glee" succeeds when it creates
a compelling story and inserts
appropriate music around it.
There are so many characters
with interesting backgrounds
and points of view and when the
song-and-dance numbers are
used to highlight this, it's some-
thing special.
But as evidenced by last week's
"Hell-O" and what we've seen
so far of the Madonna episode,
"Glee" hasn't been working
around the story or characters,
the characters and story work
around the music. I'm sure the
numbers will be great, but nar-
ratively, how is an episode cen-
tered on Madonna going to make
sense? Why would the manly Sue

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take th
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and fan
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I Love'
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clout w
and "I'
were a;
Hell, ti
the Bra
went o
us "Fai
of talei
the art
time ai
was a r
on thel

er appear in an ultra-fem- it makes sense ina school where
iusic video for Madonna's all the students are show-offs.
?" "S Club," "The Monkees" and
e's a reason we don't "The Partridge Family" were
re TV musicals: They're more concerned with album sales
bly hard to pull off. Too than producing a narrative and
hows attempt the genre consequently were much more
t knowing whether the successful musically. "The Brady
r the songs are going to Bunch" honestly started to suck
e lead. TV musicals can be after the band story arc was
ful (and have been) when introduced because the show had
ators don't obsess about always been plot-driven and the
g a balance. But in the old sudden shift to music just didn't
is wasn't such a concern- make sense.
blem. So for about 40 years, TV
kin the late'60s and early musicals (with the exception of
ere was an odd trend of a few special musical episodes)
iws about musical groups have been looked at with trepida-
mily bands. We had "The tion. And then "Flight of the Con-
Ige Family" who traveled chords" hit the small screen. New
1 in that groovy, painted Zealand's hottest comedy-folk
bus. The Partridge Fam- duo, Bret Michaels and Jemaine
duced hits like "I Think Clement, showed the world that
You" and failures like TV musicals can work without
Bonaduce. More success- being corny.
"The Monkees," through The two wrote the first season
the titular band gained around the arsenal of whimsical,
'ith "Daydream Believer" awkward and hilarious songs
m a Believer," even they already had. The music took
priority, but their songs offered
a great foundation to build a
. quirky narrative. In the episode
arrative be "Bowie," Bret suffers from body
danmined. image issues and David Bowie
visits him in his dreams to help
him overcome them, initiat-
ing a story that fits perfectly
the four band members around the songs "Bret, You've
ssembled solely for the Got It Going On," and "Bowie's
e of creating a TV show. in Space." Interestingly, when
hey didn't even cast a they ran out of songs, they had to
ner and ended up hiring a change their method of writing
r for Micky Dolenz. Even shows, and started writing songs
idy kids of "The Brady to fit their stories for their second
started a singing group, season, which took a noticeable
d a couple albums and dive in quality.
n tour. The '80s brought "Glee" could learn something
me," a show about a bunch from Bret and Jemaine. When
nted kids at a school for you find a formula that works,
s trying to hit the big- you should stick to it. The last
nd maybe some people thing you should do is go back
ber "S Club 7" about a and forth between two styles. TV
pop group from'99. musicals can be successful if they
se shows worked (or commit wholly to their premise.
worked) because there What's going to take the spot-
eason for song and dance. light, the music or the story?

Erica Gimpel jumps up
lunchroom table in the
re of "Fame" and starts
the show's theme song,

Klarecki is the most beautiful girl
on the page, depending on the page.
E-mail her at cklareck@umich.edu.

HPV Fact


will get

genital warts after having any kind of


with someone infected.

HPV Fact
You o havetoactually havesex
to get the virus that causes
Visit your campus health center.

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