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April 13, 2011 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday April 13, 2011 - 7A

United for'Solidaridad'

"Fifty more of these and I've got the corner office."
Worse than work

By JACOB AXELRAD
Daily Arts Writer
Comedy Central needs to leave slack-
er office-comedies to the pros. While
"Workaholics" describes itself as a story
about three room-
mates fresh out of col-
lege coping with adult
life, the series pre- Workaholics
miere, "Piss & S**t," is
little more than a lame Pilot
attempt to recreate Wednesdays
the Mike Judge film at10:30 p.m.
"Office Space," only Comedy Central
more frat boy and less
mid-life crisis.
The Internet sketch comedy group
Mail Order Comedy has come up with
"Workaholics," a 10-episode series star-
ring Blake Anderson, Anders Holm and
Adam DeVine ("Traffic Light") as ...
Blake, Anders and Adam. They proudly
portray life after graduation as a daily
struggle to score drugs, wake up before
noon and keep from moving back in with
Mom. Though this maybe a strong setup,
a proper plot is also required, which the-
oretically shouldn't be too hard.
Yet the pilot concerns itself with
piss. The telemarketing firm where the
titular characters work requires a drug
test of all employees and, big surprise,
they're not clean! Disregarding the
fact that an office drug test seems a tad
ridiculous, watching three grown men
search for clean urine quickly becomes
grotesque. The gag of throwing urine in
someone's face is funny the first time,
sort of. But by the second and third try
it's time to return to the drawing board
(i.e. think of some real jokes!).
This isn't to say there are no redeem-
ing qualities to the show. The opening
party sequence features some qual-
ity hijinks, reminiscent of Judd Apa-
tow comedies like "Knocked Up" and
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall." However,
these movies relegate their crude humor
to the background, using it as a setup for
more emotionally heartfelt fare - Seth

Rogen matures and becomes a father,
while Jason Segel falls in love with the
girl of his dreams. Even the true slack-
ers of Judge's cult classic, which helped
pave the way for misguided office work-
ers everywhere, manage to learn a life
lesson or two.
The only time the episode gains any
real traction is a relatively clever ref-
erence to "Die Hard." While climbing
through a vent in an effort to circum-
vent the drug test, Anderson gives his
best Bruce Willis impression suitable for
TV censors - "Yippie Kai Yay mother-
cluckers." These kinds of pop culture
allusions should comprise a show geared
largely toward college-aged viewers.
"Workaholics" appears to be strad-
dling two worlds: the stoner genre and
workplace situation comedy. Properly
executed, a synthesis of the two could
be excellent and even garner the ever-
profitable 18-49 demographic. Unfortu-
nately, what we're given doesn't evolve
much beyond a sketch from the Mail
Order Comedy website - perhaps this is
where the show belongs.
'Workaholics'
anonymous.
In other words, the jump from Inter-
net to scripted series was premature.
"Workaholics" warrants about eight
minutes of the viewer's attention - and
this would be a hilarious eight minutes,
mind you, complete with just the right
amount of blunt references.
One should expect better from
Kevin Etten. The executive producer
of "Scrubs" perfected schoolmates-
turned-new co-workers - Turk and
J.D. are clearly old roommates, but they
evolve and are real people, demonstrat-
ing that post-college life can, and should
be, more than an endless stream of dick
jokes and drug montages.

Latin@ Cultural Show
to bridge communities
in 11th presentation
By JACOB AXELRAD
DailyArts Writer
Combining musicians, singers, danc-
ers and activists from across campus, as
well as the greater Ann Arbor and Ypsi-
lanti communities, the
Lydia Mendelssohn
Theatre will feature
"Solidaridad," the ith Tonight at
annual Latin@ Culture 7 P.M.
Show, today at 7 p.m. ssohn
From spoken-word Theatre
poetry to Cuban skate
culture, the show aims Free
to present Latino cul-
ture as stemming from an inclusive, mul-
tidimensional identity.
The driving force behind "Solidari-
dad" is the unity of different Latino
groups, both on campus and off. Accord-
ing to LSA senior and event co-coordina-
tor Frances Medina, this participatory
vision breaks with more traditional roles
the show has previously taken.
"The past years were really focused
on Latino history," Medina said. "But
this year is about bringing the com-
munity together and getting different
Latino organizations on campus to work
together."
What began 11 years ago in the base-
ment ofthe Michigan League hassteadily
blossomed into an umbrella organization
for University Latino culture.
Just as participation and interest have
continually increased, so too have the
show's goals. This year, in keeping with
the theme of solidarity, the planning
committee - known as the Core - has
reached out to fellow Latino groups in the
surrounding area.
"There's a pretty big Latino population
in Washtenaw and Ypsilanti. As part of
our mission we need to be including these
neighboring communities," said LSA
senior and event co-coordinator Carla
Fernandez-Soto. "We're trying to create
a greater coalition of Michigan Latinos."

FILE PHOTO/Daily

The 2009 culture show featured a hardcore salsa band.

Fernandez-Soto and Medina both
view the event as a platform for social
justice in addition to being a celebration
of culture and heritage. Groups like One
Michigan, a youth-led immigrant rights
organization from Detroit, will speak and
share personal experiences about what
it means to be. descended from undocu-
mented immigrants.
As opposed to campus clubs like the
Latino Student Organization that dedi-
cate themselves to stopping injustice
plaguing Latinos at home and at large,
the organizers of the Latin@ Culture
Show broach these topics through the
performing arts.
"It's a more relaxed venue," Medina
said. "It's separate from having to fight
every day for issues that really affect us
on a personal level."
Issues like the recently controversial
Dream Act, the bill that would provide
conditional permanent residency to
immigrant high school graduates, serve
as motivation to create a safe venue for
people who identify with and feel affect-
ed by problems in the Latino community
tocome together.
"The students that can't go to the Uni-
versity because they're undocumented
... it affects their lives tremendously and
they're part of our family in a way," Medi-
na explained.

While the message is one of cohesive-
ness, teaching audience members about
the varied ethnic, racial and regional
Latin American backgrounds is also a key
facet of the show. According to Medina,
only in the U.S. do people from Mexico
and Guatemala identify under the same
blanket term "Latino."
A collaborative effort from the start,
the planning process - which began in
December - depends on time and dedi-
cation from the students involved. The
majority of the show's acts are entirely
student-run and student-initiated.
"Most acts come about because stu-
dents come to us with an idea, we usu-
ally love it and we just run with it,"
Fernindez-Soto said.
Students from differing backgrounds
will pay homage to Central America,
South America and the Caribbean with
acts like Salsa dancing and Afro-Cuban
drumming.
From University professors to the
Alberto Rojo Trio, a local Ann Arbor
group, the Latin@ Cultural Show is a
labor of love, running the gamut from
entertainment to educational.
"(The show) is a home away from
home, not just for members of the Latino
community, but for anyone who feels
some form of connection to these issues
affecting Latinos," Medina said.

Traveling map exhibit at the 'U'

'Breaking' disassembled

By KELLY ETZ
Daily Arts Writer
"BreakingIn"should be better. Itstarts
with a promising concept - an off-the-
wall workplace comedy in which a team
of super-skilled hack-
ers break into compa-
nies to test security
systems - but there is Breaking In
little to like about the
grasping pilot. The Pilot
viewer knows where
jokes are supposed to Wednesdays
be, but the laughs just at 9:30 p.m.
aren't there. FOX
The plot, though
based on an interesting idea, is question-
able at best. There is a certain degree of
incredulity that just can't be ignored. A
remote control toy helicopter navigating
its way through crisscrossed lasers and
managing to swipe a card to gain securi-
ty access? Nobody's buying it. It isn't even
particularly exciting. Breaking into a car
dealership and stealing a silver Lambo-
rghini shouldn't be so easy, but for this
team it's not even cause to break a sweat.
The entire 30 minutes of the pilot
feels contrived. The show is definitely
trying too hard, and yet is succeeding at
very little. But it moves at such a fast clip,
it's hardly noticeable. The pilot flies by,
jumping from scene to scene in a chaotic
mess. When the end arrives, it's hard to
know whether to be confused or relieved.
And the characters prove to be even
less interesting than the plot. The head-
liner, Christian Slater ("Interview with
a Vampire"), does what Christian Slater
does best - fall flat. It's unclear wheth-
er his character Oz, the head of Contra
security, is crashing and burning because
of his acting or the campy writing. And
his apparent catchphrase, "I'll allow it,"
is eye-rollingly annoying.
At least the show has the promising
Bret Harrison, who shined in his former

role as Satan's reluctant assistant on the
short-lived series "Reaper," as the focus.
However, he's been unfortunately type-
cast once again as the slightly awkward
underachiever who's in love with an out
of his league brunette. Harrison should
have perfected the character type bynow,
but his portrayal of Cam borders on tired.
The rest of the team is rather unre-
markable. The only secondary cast mem-
ber who displays any kind of promise is
Josh (Trevor Moore, "The Whitest Kids
U'Know"). He manages to pull a laugh
or two but goes over the top by using
phrases like "multi-assing" instead of
"multi-tasking" and actually referring to
his bicep as a "gun rack."
Bale has Batman,
Slater has ...
But there might be something here.
With as short a runtime as pilots
often have, there isn't enough time for
"Breaking In" to establish anything. In
future episodes, there's always the hope
that the show will gain its footing, work
through its kinks, fix Slater's acting and
come out as a decent option. With how
quickly the pilot speeds, it can hardly
count as an episode at all. If "Break-
ing In" can make the effort to focus
on the quality - rather than the quan-
tity - of both the acting and the jokes,
something brilliant may come out of the
unfortunately lackluster pilot.
Will it be another workplace comedy
gem like "The Office?" No. Will it even
make it through a decent first season?
We'll see. But it's too soon to give up on
"Breaking In"just yet. Give it till the next
episode and if that one is just as bad, then
forget it. But it's worth sticking around
until then, just to be sure.

By VERONICA MENALDI
Daily Arts Writer
Students go to the library to study, but
sometimes a few short Facebook or snack
breaks are necessary. Recently, there has
been a more produc-
tive and eye-catching ps and
study break option for
students, faculty and Spaces:
Ann Arbor residents Mapping
to take advantage of
at the Hatcher Gradu- Science
ate Library. Until May Through
24, the library's gallery May 24
will host the traveling
exhibit "Places and Hatcher Graduate
Spaces: Mapping Sci- Library
ence," a collection of Free
60 conceptual and lit-
eral maps along with interactive stations
and child-friendly sections.
The exhibit is organized by "itera-
tions," each one a set of 10 maps. Every
year, a new iteration centered around
its own theme is added to the collection.
The University is the first to host this
exhibit, with its new sixth iteration from
2010, for a grand total of 60 maps.
Rebecca Hill, local exhibit curator
and assistant librarian for the Shapiro
Science Library, said she has seen a lot
of students stopping by the exhibit and
become lost in its colors and organiza-
tion. She noticed students would try to
get glimpses of the maps even-before the
exhibit was fully set up.
For Hill, "Places and Spaces" has a
twofold appeal, to those who are focal-
SAC
From Page 6A
"My movie is basically about the strug-
gle that surrounds the creative process,
and the doubts of the artist," Huang said.
"It's very personal, and the main charac-
ter basically represents me, soI spent alot
of time trying to work through my own
thoughts and what I was feeling when I
made it."
To expedite the production process,
the students had to get help from profes-
sionals all over the University. For her
movie musical, Huang drew fromsources
outside of the SAC department, going
to the Department of Music, Theatre &
Dance for set pieces, singers and more.
Similarly, Mendel spoke with engineer-
ing technicians who guided him through
the process of proper 3-D imaging.
"Because 3-D film technology is rela-

ized in the sciences and to those who
find interest in science but don't have a
large grasp of it.
"It's a really great way to kind of get,
science across to people," she said. "Peo-
ple think 'science' and automatically
think it's very dry - that it's lab work
and numbers. But with the maps, they
can see the history of science and more."
It's natural to think maps can only
show locations, but this exhibit chal-
lenges that notion and goes far beyond
the traditional, with maps ranging from
actual locations on the planet to men-
tal and conceptual maps as well. A few
examples include a map showing man-
kind's ecological footprint on the plan-
et, a map showing where the plots of
world famous novels are set and others
representing concepts like well-being
or potential disease outbreaks, all based
on research.
Hatcher Library
hosts 'Places.'
Tim Utter, a local exhibit curator and
access and information services librar-
ian, said the interdisciplinary nature of
the display attracts even more interest
from people only slightly interested in
dazzling maps.
"That's one thingthat's really unusu-
al is that the maps show different ways
to communicate data or information,"
tively new, there's no school that teaches
you how to utilize it," Mendel said. "The
hardest part of prepping the thesis was
learning the ins and outs of the new
medium."
Mendel refers to his thesis, "Train of
Shadows," as a "flashy business card" that
promotes his new 3-D venture, Giant Eel
Productions. The surreal dreamscapes
featured in "Train" represent his pure
artistic vision, and he thinks that short
films in the vein of the Honors thesis are
a perfect medium for that kind of expres-
sion.
"There's not much of a market for short
films, so it was a lot easier for us to focus
solely on the aesthetics," Mendel said.
But these students also recognize the
important balance between relevance
and artistry.
"There's definitely a film school bub-
ble," Kaye said. "If you're too immersed
in it, you start to make films that appeal

Utter said. "You could be showing data
in a table, and that's one way to display
information. But for me, because I'm
much more visual, if someone makes an
interesting map, that's easier for me to
understand."
One creative map on display was
produced by a Ph.D. student in order to
explain his proposal for a doctoral the-
sis. Using subway tubes to connect his
thoughts, the student was able to map
out his ideas in order for his advisor to
understand his goal and later approve
of the topic.
With this student's map as an exam-
ple, Utter said maps can tell more than
a person's current location - if done
right, they can tell a story.
"People remember stories," he said.
"Someone tells you a story and that's
what you remember. If someone gives
you a statistic, it's hard to really remem-
ber that. These maps work that way -
like stories."
The exhibit is designed to encourage
contemplation and show its spectators
the variety of ways of combining dif-
ferent schools of thought and forms of
communicating information.
"It's fun," Uttersaid. "It's interesting,
it's stimulating and it's a great opportu-
nity to see an important international
type exhibit that's here in town."
Students may now consider stopping
by the gallery exhibit the next time they
have some free time or feel the need to
take a break from their 10-page paper
they're viciously working on at the
library.
only to that audience."
Kaye's film "Slash Fiction" is a comedy
about a conservative library that gets a
unisex bathroom. It explores how people
behave under the cloak of anonymity. To
keep her films coherent, Kaye relies on
her sister to read through the scripts and
tell her what works and what doesn't.
Nevertheless, the thesis students take
most of the burden upon themselves,
accordingto Huang.
"Some of us are directors, cinema-
tographers, set designers, everything in
between," she said. "It's a lot of work."
After tomorrow's affair, the SAC hon-
ors seniors have high hopes for the pos-
sibility of exposure and opportunities for
future work.
"I've heard a lot of fantastic Cinderella
stories about the festival circuit," Kaye
said. "I feel like, for most of us, this is one
of the biggest projects we've done in our
entire lives."

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