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April 17, 2012 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 7B

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, April 11, 2012 - 7B

Arresting TV habits

Brothers and co-directors Chris and Mike Farah explain their inspiration before yesterday's "Answer This" screening.
Discussing A2 soul
of 'Answer This'

N ow, the column about
a boy who lost his
favorite TV show, and
the one event that gave him no
choice but to keep it together -
it's "Arrested
Feel free to
read this in
the voice of
Ron Howard.
goodbye is
the worst. KAVI
Everything SHEKHAR
inevitably PANDEY
comes to an
end, but once
you utter that vile word, you
actually have to accept the fact
that it's all over - be it precious
time spent with a friend or a
significant chapter of your life
(one semester of college left
- taste the sadness). As I bid
farewell with my final column,
here's the story of my struggle
to let go of "Arrested Develop-
With the help of a Blockbust-
er within biking distance, I was
already on top of my cinematic
game in middle school. A "Fight
Club" here, a "Desperado" there
- I could recite Ezekiel 25:17
with every Sam Jackson inflec-
tion when seventh graders
should be thinking of Tarantino
as the guy who made frozen
pizza rolls.
But when it came to televi-
sion, my viewing habits were
stuck in a perpetual state of
adolescence. One could call it
arrested development. (Hey,
that's the name of the show!) I
still clung onto Chuckie Finster
and Arnold of football-shaped
cranium lore, filling the rest
of my airwaves with Dis-
ney Channel powerhouses
"Even Stevens," "Boy Meets
World" and "Smart Guy," and
when I was feeling especially
bold, the occasional episode of
"The Simpsons."
Because of a friend's recom-
mendation, I started watching
"Arrested Development" mid-
way through its first season on
air (who knew middle school-
ers had such good taste?). One
episode in, and I was hooked
like Buster Bluth's seal-assailed
Beyond its own virtues,
the show was my gateway
drug, stronger than anything
uncle-father Oscar ever toked.
"Arrested Development"
showed me the world of pri-
metime network television,
shining, shimmering, splendid.
It was the springboard for
"Scrubs," "24" and the rest of
the obscene number of shows
I've seen since.
FOX dropped the guillotine
on "Arrested" during its third
season, banishing the final
four episodes to a cold Friday

night i
the fin,
have or
- "Doi
for fate
was rel
But wh
four ep
mean t
I pictu
never s
from B


n February. I had to tape series finale of "Outsourced"
ale because of a conflict are all waiting for me to press
erboy XIV was rolling play. Through an accidental
*h the UP.), but a mishap trick (illusion!), I've even been
ted the episodes from able to save part of "Lost" - I
ing. Mr. Eko would only watched through "The End" but
ne thing to say about that skipped the season two episode
not mistake coincidence "Collision," meaning there's
." another furious glare from
e the season three DVD Sayid, another joke from Hurley
leased, I re-watched the that I've got in my pocket.
series as a grand sendoff. Then came the whopper last
en I reached the final month that Netflix willbe pro-
risodes, I couldn't go on. ducing new episodes of "Arrested
ing those episodes would Development" to put everything
he end - no more huge into perspective. Now would
es, never-nudes, chicken I finish season three and not
or cracks at Egg Veal. watch the new batch? If there's a
red a world where I'd movie, doI avoid that and watch
ee new shenanigans the new episodes? The steps on
luth and company and this staircar led to nowhere, and
d to live in it. No, Kitty they had to end sometime.
rz, I wasn't ready to say Forget my middle school
re to those. viewing habits. The actual
arrested development was
my inability to grow up and
watch these shows to comple-
Saving the tion. It's grim to admit the end
1uth family of an era, but clinging to the
11111 strands of the past advances
nothing. College is going to end
and I'm going to have to leave
end. all my friends - so when I go
home for Christmas, I'll start
by saying goodbye to "Lost,"
"Outsourced" and "Arrested
Development" (for now).
five years, I carried that If you haven't noticed, this
satisfying feeling of is my final paragraph as a col-
ng there are more Tobias umnist for The Michigan Daily.
flubs and Gob dumbshit- I'm glad you didn't pull a pre-
r me to enjoy. Along the revelation Kavi Shekhar Pandey
nce I recognized the joy and save this piece of impec-
ng episodes, I started cable prose for eternity. Thanks
ng the philosophy to for reading until the end.

For f
tery for
way, or
of savir

Farah brothers'
latest film arrives
at the Michigan
Daily Arts Writer
Oct. 24, 2011 - Last night was
not the premiere of "Answer
This!" but it felt like one. As film-
makers Chris and Mike Farah
walked onstage to the sound of
raucous applause, one couldn't
help but get caught up in the
moment. The Farah brothers
gave shout-outs to local high
schools, which were received
with loud screams, and the two
actors in the audience, Chris
Parnell ("30 Rock") and former
University Professor Ralph Wil-
liams, stood up to receive their
Sitting in Espresso Royale last
Monday, Chris and Mike were
much calmer: Scenes from their
first feature film "Answer This!"
were shot near here.
"Moving out to L.A.... it's just
nice to come back to Ann Arbor,"
said Mike, producer of "Answer
This!" and "Funny or Die," in an
interview with The Michigan
Daily. "It feels very comfortable,
it's a comfort zone. Just walking
here from the car, just the smell
of leaves on the ground."
In the past year or so, film-
makers have come to Ann Arbor
- and Michigan in general -
for tax breaks and Midwestern
scenes. But have any of them
known this place well enough
to express the intimate simplic-
ity of "leaves on the ground?"
To have movies like "The Ides of
March" filmed here is not quite
the same as to see a film that
understands what it means to
be in Ann Arbor. "Answer This!"
doesn't use unmarked buildings
in a generic Midwestern town,
but instead celebrates the Diag,
the Big House - the things stu-
dents hold dear. We love Clooney
and Gosling, but do they love us?
"I'd tried writing a bunch of
broad scripts," said Chris, the
"Answer This!" writer and direc-
tor, in an interview. "(But) they
weren't anchored in things I
knew or connected with. So I
decided that for my next script
(I wanted) to do something that
was really rooted in something
that meant a lot more to me."
Few things are more ingrained
in people than their hometown,
the place they grew up and the
place they went to college. But
"Answer This!" doesn't just cel-
ebrate the University - it also
seems to transform it.
"Something about movies, and
this movie particularly, has the
effect of making these places
that are so familiar look incred-

ibly big and epic," Chris said.
He motioned down State
Street to Ashley's, the center of
most action in the film, and dis-
cussed how the movie made this
simple piece of sidewalk seem
like so much more. The brothers
hope the entire film can allow
University students to see our
campus and our city from a new,
epic perspective.
The two also enjoyed giv-
ing some shout-outs to some, of
the "traditions" around cam-
pus. Laughing, Chris discussed
a sex scene that takes place in
the Hatcher Graduate Library
"It was fantastic to see how
people here responded differ-
ently than people in Hollywood,"
he said with a slight smirk.
The talk ended with Chris
recalling how sometimes, when
driving to their parents' house
in Ann Arbor, Mike used to say,
"Let's take it downtown," get-
ting off at an earlier exit - not
because it's faster, but just to take
it all in. The Big House, Main
Street, the leaves on the ground;
Ann Arbor, their town, our town.
For 90 minutes during yester-
day's screening event, hundreds
of individuals were transformed
into a community of friends cel-
ebrating the triumph of a city.

Every new Ann Arbor locale,
inside joke and recognizable
actor brought laughter, cheering,
applause and excited chattering.
It wasn't about seeing a movie,
it was about knowing that after-
wards you would walk down the
street and pass Ashley's, and you
would be standing where trivia
jock Izzy threw up. Or it was see-
ing the theater you were inside
of, in the movie, while watch-
ing the movie. It was a moment
for happiness, a giant raising
of glasses to our city, to simply
enjoying what we know best.
The movie showing was com-
plimented by unreleased "Funny
or Die" shorts (so in a way it was
a premiere), and a Q&A session
with the brothers and Parnell.
They drew laughter in their
setup to "Answer This!" After
the film the brothers and Par-
nell answered questions, any-
thing from "Why was Professor
Williams's name changed in the
movie?" to "What kind of advice
would you offer young comedic
The three exited behind the
red curtain to cheering and
unanswered questions, inform-
ing everyone that they would be
going to Ashley's - the locus of
the trivia battles in the film - for
drinks and food.

every show I loved and was
about to lose - season three
of "Deadwood," season two
of "Rome," the last few epi-
sodes of "Twin Peaks" and the

Dec. 12, 2011 - Pandey
plans to invest in horse
racing. To understand, e-mail

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