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March 05, 2012 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-03-05

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
in ersp
S ome fans of television acter e
just like to watch their Angel)
shows in peace and let the war to
writers do their thang - oth- charac
ers become attemp
completely know,
obsessed with But
the charac- return
ters and their last fal
relationships our fol
(orpotential everyo
relationships) miere,
and have to a "Con
become a KAYLA on Tur
part of the UPADHYAYA began
storytell- me wr
ing process plus w
themselves. The latter are the son, m
shippers, a small but passionate Jeff/An
and powerful subculture of TV Intern
geeks who vehemently advocate on, tha
for - or "ship" - certain roman- quentl
tic pairings within and between show, I
their respective fandoms, relying very set
mainly on the Internet as their Or ne
soapbox. fun shi
I admit it: I'm a shipper. I was the cro
shipping Luke/Lorelai, Phoebe/ charac
Cole and Scully/Mulder before sense
I even knew what shipping was. compli
But I'm not your conventional imagir
shipper, primarily because I altern
don't participate in one of the Jack D
most common shipping activities: love af
writing and reading fan fiction. Amy P
Fanfic refers to scenes and I persc
short stories created by the fans with J
of an original piece of work. For and Pe
me, I trust the original creator Batma
more than the fans most of the nearly
time ... I don't want anyone but dedica
Joss Whedon and Co. making
up Buffyverse stories, because
the imitators are bound to pale sto
in comparison. And let's face it,
there's a hell of a lot of poorly th(
written fanfic floating around the
Interworld written by obsessive
high-schoolers who spectacu-
larly pack passionately recycled
romantic cliches, magnificently
flat prose and dozens of unneces- SOm
sary adverbs into their under- selves
developed, wince-inducing love becaus
stories. is obsc
But I have come to discover story i
that not all fanfic makes me rematc
want to light myself on fire. I'll tions o
click on a link from time to time of "Th
and suddenly find myself get- both. "
ting emotional over a short story divided
about Castle and Beckett. The Delena
t truly talented fanfic writers oper- Stelen
ate within the characterizations ally, I s
outlined by the original work, on the
making it easy to get lost in their everyo
stories as if they came from the don't g
true creators themselves. Elena
And fanfic isn't the only way friend
for shippers to make tribute up to b
to their OTPs (that's "one true there a
pairings" for those of you unfa- storyli
miliar with the language of ship- show f
ping). The more technologically mere b
inclined shippers express them- all kno
selves through fanvids, video Happo
compilations of clips featuring Kather

their ship, usually backed by a and Ala
terrible pop song that somehow In r
speaks to their relationship. and wi
Fanvids are almost always hor- listenin
rible, but I confess that I once the ide
spent nearly an hour searching work.
for and watching Don Draper/ in "Con
Pete Campbell fanvids that never episod
fail to make me laugh until I cry, a fanvi
so they certainly do have their should
entertainment appeal. vice -
While I haven't ever written a would
piece of fanfic or created a fanvid, brothe
I am embarrassed to admit that would
I have participated in a ship war brothe
... or two. For those of you who some a
don't know, a ship war is basi- But
cally an ongoing debate - usually do hav
taking place on Tumblr or a mes- writers
sage-board thread - in which the thing f
most diehard fandom fiends pour versali
their hearts out to defend their movie,
ships and tear down the ships of Even re
others. ardo D
For the most part, I hate ship Paula
wars. I can't count the amount there's
of times I've had to intervene in
a Clana (Clark/Lana) vs. Clois U
(Clark/Lois) war to explain that
Lana Lang is the worst TV char-

Monday, March 5, 2012 - 5A
'Lorax' stays true to Seuss

ver or a Bangel (Buffy/
vs. Spuffy (Buffy/Spike)
explain that shipping a
ter with someone who
ted to rape them is, you
when "Community" was
ing for its third season
1, as a way to encourage
lowers to tune in and get
ne hyped up about the pre-
my friends and I started
smunity" shipping war
mblr and Twitter. What
as mostly a joke ended in
iting a very serious 1,500-
ord manifesto on Wedi-
y personal ship name for
nnie (I think most of the
et uses Jannie, but come
t's just dumb). I don't fre-
y let my shipping colors
but when I do, things get
ot serious at all. The most
ips are the crackships and
ssovers - pairing two
ters who make little to no
or two characters from two
etely different shows. Some
ative shippers concoct
ate universes, in which
onaghy has a passionate
fair with Lucille Bluth or
ond dates Harry Potter.
rally ship Leslie Knope
ason Sudeikis as Joe Biden
ggy Olson with Abed as
n, but sadly, there is not
enough fanfic out there
ted to either pairing.
iy away from
e dark side of
e shows just lend them-
to shipping, whether it's
e every member of its cast
enely attractive or that the
s open to the matching and
hing of endless combina-
f characters. In the case
e Vampire Diaries," it's
Vampire Diaries" fans are
d into two factions: Team
(Damon/Elena) and Team
a (Stefan/Elena). Person-
hip no one with anyone
show and everyone with
ne ... which is to say that I
ive a damn about whether
goes back to longtime boy-
Stefan or switches things
e with bad boy Damon -
re too many other great
nes going down in this
or it to be reduced to a
attle of the ships. Plus, we
w the only valid ships are
line (Caroline/Happiness),
o (Katherine/Heroism)
aricohol (Alaric/Alcohol).
ecent years, showrunners
riters have actually started
ng to the pleas of fans and
as put forth in fan-made
The Jeff/Annie montage
mmunity"'s brilliant clip
e was directly inspired by
d. I don't think writers
always give in to fan-ser-

if they did, Team Wincest
have won long ago and the
r duo of "Supernatural"
be, well, more than just
rs. Fans really do drum up
wful ideas.
it's nice to know that we
e some power and that the
s listen. And there's some-
ascinating about the uni-
ty of shipping - no show,
book or fandom is exempt.
eal-life pairings like Leon-
iCaprio/Kate Winslet and
Abdul/Simon Cowell ...
a ship for that.
Upadhyaya is lecturing Spuffy
fans. To join the discussion,
e-mail kaylau@umich.edu.

Star-studded voice
cast brings new
color to classic
Daily Arts Writer
It's hard to mess up a kid's
movie, but it's easy to mess up
one based on a Dr. Seuss story:
case in point,
"The Cat in the
Hat." Thank-
fully, "Dr. Dr. Seuss'
Seuss' The
Lorax" sticks The LoraX
to its Seuss At Quality16
roots, even and Rave
though the sto-
ryline strays Universal
a bit from the
original. With new characters
and subplots, "The Lorax" is
sure to entertain both the little
ones and the adults watching.
The creators of "Despicable
Me" bring us this wildly color-
ful and touching tale of environ-
mentalism in kid-friendly form.
Pretty much everyone knows
the story of "The Lorax." You've
probably had it read to you a few
times on Earth Day. But in this
version, a boy named Ted (Zac
Efron, "17 Again") goes in search
of a real tree in order to impress
his high-school crush Audrey
(Taylor Swift, "Valentine's
Day"). His spunky grandma
(Betty White, "The Proposal")
instructs him to find the Once-
ler, and so begins Ted's quest to
learn about the trees.
Facing off against an evil zil-
lionaire who makes his money
selling fresh, packaged air, Ted
has a few obstacles to conquer
along the way. The villain, who
has "Frankenstein's head on

"One does not simply cut down a truffula tree."

a spider's body," is comically
reminiscent of a few CEOs out
there today. The whole message
of the movie revolves around an
anti-greed, pro-environmental
stance. At times, it can be a bit
preachy, especially for a chil-
dren's film, though its moral will
probably fly right over its young-
er viewers' heads.
Efron does an impressive job
with the voice acting, and his
character Ted is extremely like-
able and funny. Other standout
voice actors include Jenny Slate
(a former member of TV's "Sat-
urday Night Live"), who plays
Ted's mom, and Ed Helms ("The
Hangover"), who voices the
Once-ler. Danny Devito's (TV's
"It's Always Sunny in Philadel-

phia") voice is so distinct that
you can almost picture him
in place of the actual Lorax;
it doesn't help that he and the
"speaker of the trees" are simi-
lar in shape, too.
The animation is in typical
Seuss style: people with sloped
noses and round eyes, trees that
don't actually look like trees and
some cute woodland creatures.
The singing fish are especially
attention-grabbing, as is the
adorably overweight bear who
towers over the others.
The movie also has a few
musical pieces incorporated
throughout. They're sort of a
cheap ploy to keep the kids'
attention, but they're enter-
taining nonetheless. Surpris-

ingly enough, Taylor Swift has
no major singing parts, though
you'd expect movie execs would
exploit her for all she's worth.
It's kind of ironic that a huge
corporation like Universal is
producing a movie with an anti-
corporate message. They don't
downplay it at all, either. In
fact, the moral of the movie is so
often repeated that you'll walk
away reciting "unless someone
like you cares a whole awful
lot, nothing is going to get bet-
ter. It's not." Hopefully, some
kids and adults who watch "The
Lorax" will leave the theater
having learned something, but
most will probably just walk out
humming a few catchy tunes
from the flick.

E-mail kaylau@umich.edu for an application to write for
the Arts blog.

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