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April 15, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, April 15, 2013 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, April 15, 2013 - 7A

Louis still king of comedy

I don't cry when I
watch TV

Famed comedian
as vulgar as ever on
'Oh My God'
By MAX RADWIN
Daily Fine Arts Editor
Louis C.K.'s fourth HBO com-
edy special, "Oh My God" pre-
miered this Sunday with more
hype than it
could possibly B+
live up to. Nev-
ertheless, the Oh My God
most popular
and successful Special
stand-up come- HBO
dian of the last
decade (does
"C.K." stand for "Comedy King"?
It's starting to look that way)
delivered another solid hour of
ingeniously filthy jokes.
C.K.'s comedy specials seem to
age like a fine wine. This one too
looks promising for a second and
third listen-through when he puts
it up on his website for five dollars
in September. But for now, "Oh My
God" just isn't as "hilarious" in the
sense of the word that C.K. so bril-
liantly tore apart in his third, and
perhaps best, album, and which
forces audiences to hold him to
such an incredibly high standard.
There are countless moments
when C.K. is at his best, though. If
possible, he has actually improved
at being vulgar. It's almost thera-
peutic or refreshing to laugh at
his twistedness - like he's giving
everyone a much-needed break
from riding their moral, politically
correct high horse. Who else can
make a joke out of killing an old
blind dog, the benefits of slavery
and suffocating a kid in a plastic
bag? (Of course, it's funnier when
he tells it). Somehow, he manages
to use this level of vulgarity with-
out second thought and in jokes
that are flat-out brilliant.
In the rare moments that wane,
or during the bits that just aren't
as sidesplitting, that brilliance is
still there. That's what separates
C.K. from any run-of-the-mill
John Caparulo: There is always a
profundity to what he is saying -
that what is being talked about, in
his best joke or worst, has a sense
of importance and relevance.
Like any good joke should, his
topics shine a spotlight on some

don't cry when I watch TV.
When asked what movie
or show makes me cry, I
laugh. "None of them," I say, met
with disbelief.
I've read
studies and
psychology
articles on
whypeople
cry when they
watch TV
shows, hop- KAYLA
ing to reverse UPADHYAYA
engineerthe
explanations
and come up with a succinct
answer for whyI - someone who
has seen more onscreen breakups,
breakdowns, deaths and despair
than the average human - can't
get those tear ducts flowing. Most
give the obvious explanation:
empathy.
I saythat's bullshit. My dry
eyes aren't for lack of emotional
connection. I feel for fictional
characters to what some might
call an unhealthy degree. My
friend Christian overheard me
talking to another friend about
how all I wanted was for Blair
Waldorf to be happy, and the
fervor in my voice convinced him
I was talking about someone I
knew and not the Queen B of the
CW's "Gossip Girl." I got more
mad at a friend for calling Betty
Draper a "cunt" than I did when
a group of my friends forgot my
birthday in seventh grade. The
emotions are there - the physical
response is not.
I don't cry when I watch TV,
but ifI did, here are the thingsthat
would make me cry:
Vampires. Iwish I were kid-
ding, butthe number oftimes I've
overflown with emotion over a
damnvampire show, of all things,
now surpasses the number of
times I've had to explain why
"True Blood" sucks. So, no, Alex-
ander Skarsgard can'tquite crack
my hardened interior, but plenty of
other fanged folkshave done the
trick, like in seasontwo of "The
Vampire Diaries,"when Elena
walks to the top of a hill with her
longtime vampire boyfriend Stefan
and tells him she's only a17-year-
old girl, she has her whole life in
front of her, and she doesn't want
to be a vampire. Or inthe following
season when Caroline explains to
her father- who's ironically gay -
that he can't make her vampirism
go away.
Musical montages. Every.
Damn. Time. Score ascenewith a
power ballad fromthe early2000s,
and you've got me. "Revenge" and
"Pretty Little Liars" consistently
exploitthis weakness.
Bitches breakingdown. My
favorite characters on most shows

aren't quick to cry. So, when they
doit'spowerful. The first time
I saw Olivia Pope shed a tear on
"Scandal," I thought the world was
ending.
Anything and everything
Jason Katims has ever touched.
At Paleyfest this year, when panel
host Michael Ausiello asked
Katims - the manbehind"Friday
Night Lights" and "Parenthood"
-if he and his writers make con-
scious effort to include at least
one tearjerker moment in every
"Parenthood" script, he said no.
The writers, Katims explained, are
always surprised by the scenes that
end up carrying the most emo-
tional weight. "Parenthood"brims
with in-your-face sadness like
Kristina telling the family about
her cancer diagnosis and recording
a farewell to her children. But the
more subtle moments linger with
me long after an episode ends,like
Julia learning Spanish so she can
connect with Victor or Max final-
ly gettingthatngoddamn vending
machine back in his school.
No tears, but
plenty of feels.
I don't cry when I watch TV,
but I came pretty close one time.
Two summers ago, I was living
alone in Jackson, Mich. I spent my
AC-less evenings with my good
friend, Netflix. Iwas in the midst
of my first straight-through view-
ing of "Buffy." My friend LaToya
had warned me that season five
was one of the series's most emo-
tionally tumultuous, butnothing
could have prepared me for "The
Body," an episode full of death,
grieving, silence and intimate
camerawork. All it took was an
1,100-year-old vengeance demon
discovering the absoluteness of
death to break me. A single tear
rolled downmy nose onto my bare
knee. "Kayla's First Tear," my
friend called it.
I don't cry when I watch TV. Or
when I read books or see movies.
I don't cry when I say goodbyes or
I'll-miss-yous. Only in very rare
instances of emotional release do
tears escape the crevasses of my
too-dark eyes. My friends call me
robot, cyborg, Cylon.
But 0 promise you, I feel Just
watch me watch any show helmed
by Joss Whedon and you'll see a
jolt of emotion surgethrough my
center. "Ohmygod," you'll say, just
like all my housemates do. "Are
you going to cry?!"
Don'tgetyourhopes up.
Upadhyaya is definitely

FX

Livin' the life.
truth of society, but it's a truth
that always seems to exist beyond
just his own fat, white-guy point
of view, and which you will inevi-
tably encounter yourself when
standing in an elevator, watching
seals at the zoo or, as C.K. sug-
gests, filming your own asshole
for 20 minutes to put on Face-
book.
While "Shameless," "Chewed
Up" and "Hilarious" are now
untouchable hours of comedy,
"Oh My God" joins "Live at the
Beacon Theater" and "WORD:
Live at Carnegie Hall" as C.K.'s
second-tier specials, though still
worlds above most. Perhaps "Oh
My God" lacks the specificity of

these earlier albums, in which
C.K. would delve into lengthy,
situational tangents that layer
brilliant observation on top of
brilliant observation. Some jokes
feel like they are abandoned
early, or cut short by the man
who usually takes things too far.
Sure, you've got Sigourney Weav-
er breast-feeding, but it's just not
quite the same as the detailed
recounting of a 4-year-old slip-
ping and falling in a pile of her
own shit.
If you've watched only one of
C.K.'s stand-up specials or even
just a single episode of "Louie,"
you'd know that he loves
his kids. His two daughters

undoubtedly come up in each
of his albums and like every-
thing else that comes out of his
mouth, it's funny without fail.
But they are much less pres-
ent in "Oh My God." It's almost
as if there isn't anything more
for C.K. to say about them. The
absurdity of a 9-year-old is just
not different enough from the
absurdity of an 11-year-old to
keep it fresh. And five years
removed from divorce, C.K.'s
relationship status threatens to
bear this same staleness. Just
wait until he remarries, or his
kids hit puberty, get boyfriends
and start smoking weed. That's
going to be one hell of an album.

F IN E A R TS N OT E BOO K
Don't let Laurie Anderson s
UMMA art exhibit frighten you

By LENA FINKEL is a pretty cool way to display
DailyArts Writer art. But is it also completely
freaky to walk into a pitch-black
Laurie Anderson's "From the room with only the image of a
Air" exhibit at the UMMA is teeny tiny lifelike person star-
truly one of the most disturb- ing you down? Absolutely.
ing things on campus you might Not to mention that eerie
ever see. music is playing in the back-
The exhibit is deceptively ground of Anderson's speech.
simple and yet immediately Even more unsettling than
shocking. The piece is held in the music is the faint sound of
a small room, no bigger than 10 laughter in the background.
feet by 10 feet, that is complete- And trust me when I say, noth-
ly pitch black. When you round ing that the holographic Lau-
the corner to enter the room, rie Anderson said was funny.
the only light comes from the In fact, she wasn't even saying
five-inch tall hologram of Lau- anything at all. She was merely
rie Anderson sitting in a living telling a story about how she
room chair accompanied by her took her dog for a 10-day walk,
dog, also in a chair of her own. only to have her dog become
But the image is projected onto the object of a group of vul-
small clay structures, making tures' desires.
the holographic image seem The punchline of the story
completely 3-D and lifelike. is that the look of fear on her
Projecting an image onto clay dog's face is the same look that

l
t
t
t
yA
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1

New Yorkers must have had onto some great epiphany - are ones frequently labeled bitches, not crying. To change that,
after 9/11. She says the look of like she's just discovered the andmostoftheseladies, like me, e-mail kaylau@umich.edu.
terror comes from the realiza- Pythagorean theorem or some-
tion that things would never be thing. Well, this exhibit was
the same again, not after 9/1l. certainly no stroke of genius. $M
She says at the end of her three In fact, it was hardly anything
minute-long story, "We had at all.
passed through a door. And we And yet, if you sit there listen- EOffer ndy "
would never be going back." ing to Laurie Anderson speak
for just a second too long, you'll Promo Code: CAT2
get sucked in. You'll become Classes peparngfortJune/July2013
Eerie music enraptured by her speech, not
even realizing what she's saying PrincCATesttas soon as: 55t&o/6
and hologram s to you. You'll end up listening Pri n 800-2ReviewI800-273-8439
to the story two, maybe three Review PrincetonReview.com
.sounds like a times without even taking in
the words she's speaking. This a |dcw|b9= abm-v'cuam'ao"' sm""e a "^ 'saw's-my2,a
haunted house. must be how cult leaders bring
in new followers. m
Luckily for University stu-
dents, the exhibit ran for less

But from the way she tells her
story in the pretentious, monot-
onous way of hers, it's clear that
she thinks she has stumbled

than a week, and was taken
down April 11. I guess we sur-
vive to live another day, cult-
free.

IN THE SUMMERTIME, WHEN THE WEATHER
IS FINE, YOU CAN REACH RIGHT UP AND
TOUCH THE SKY.
OR YOU CAN JUST WORK FOR THE SUMMER DAILY ARTS STAFF.

E-mail arts@michigandaily.com to request an application!

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