6 - Friday, September 20, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
breaks out of'SNL'
humor in 'Brooklyn
By ALEC STERN
Daily Arts Writer
Over the past decade, "Sat-
urday Night Live" alums have
gone on to star in some of the
on television. A
From Tina Fey
and her bril- Brooklyn
liant sitcom, Nine-Nine
"30 Rock," to
Amy Poehler Pilot
of "Parks and
and even 8:30 p.m.
non, whose Fog
work on HBO's
earned her an Emmy nomina-
tion, "SNL" 's performers have
consistently transitioned into
successful sitcom careers. Hop-
ing he can continue the trend,
Andy Samberg stars in the new
sitcom, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine,"
which arrived on FOX this week.
There must be something in
the water in the "SNL" offices
because Samberg most definitely
upholds the reputation of his
peers. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is
fresh, funny and surprisingly
heavy on social commentary, all
of which make it one of the must-
watch comedies of the fall.
"Nine-Nine" follows Detec-
tive Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg,
"That's My Boy") and the entire
Nine-Nine unit of police officers.
Peralta is great at his job, though
his professionalism leaves a lot
to be desired. When a new cap-
tain (Andre Braugher, "Men of a
Certain Age") joins the precinct,
their polar-opposite personali-
ties clash - jokes ensue.
In addition to Samberg being
on his A-game, the support-
ing cast is superb, which is the
mark of any truly great work-
place comedy. "The Office" was
so successful not only because
Steve Carell, John Krasinski and
Rainn Wilson were electric in
their lead roles, but because any
character could be counted on
for laughs. From Erin, to Phyl-
lis, to Creed, these characters
didn't just round out the cast -
they made "The Office" what it
was. Much like the iconic NBC
sitcom, "Nine-Nine" 's back-
ing characters, including Terry
Crews ("White Chicks"), Melissa
Fumero ("One Life to Live") and
Joe Lo Truglio ("Role Models"),
"Nine-Nine" is also quick to
establish its tone, finding its nar-
rative footing very quickly. The
style is fully realized, which is
one of the distinguishing char-
acteristics of a great television
pilot. The vibe, characters, story
and visuals all work seamlessly
together, much like the first
half hour of fellow FOX sitcom
"Arrested Development." While
"Nine-Nine" still has a ways to
go before reaching the soaring
heights of the cult classic, there
is so much potential that one can
only hope it will eventually make
a similar impact.
Toward the end of the pre-
an unexpected turn. Braugher's
captain reveals that the reason
it took so long for him to reach
this level in his career is because
he is gay. When he makes his
announcement, it doesn't feel
exploitive or gratuitous. It's not
so the writers can make jokes at
his expense. It's forward-think-
ing, smart and above all proves
that there is more going on than
just sight gags and physical com-
edy. It also helps that Braugher
continues to be one of TV's most
reliable actors. Last year, his
short-lived ABC drama, "Last
Resort," was regarded as one of
the best pilots of the year. It's a
title that Braugher might once
again claim, as "Brooklyn Nine-
Nine" is a very strong entry.
Hopefully, "Nine-Nine" will
be given ample time to further
explore its characters, all of
which are likeable and hilari-
ous. It's notgoingto help that the
show's lead-in is the abysmal and
offensive "Dads," but if viewers
watch the two in succession, it'll
be even easier to see just how
current and clever "Nine-Nine"
is. Creators Mike Schur and Dan
Goor (two of the masterminds
behind "Parks and Recreation")
have created a workplace with
incredible potential and so far,
we're off to a fantastic start.
Can waster all foar elements; can'I master growing ap.
'Korra' back for superb
By AKSHAY SETH
Daily B-Side Editor
Water. Earth. Fire. Air. The
"Avatar" world has always been
branded by its divides. The
entity, active- The Legend
ly gravitates of Korra.
as the Earth Book Two
Kingdom Season two
sive castles to premiere
wall off out- Fridays at
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Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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record label 5 Time to beware 42 Moderately dry, 54 Followers: Suff.
owner 6 Clock-setting std. climatewise 55 Pep
15 Valentine sender 7 Stewed 43 Challenging 56 Service abbr.
16Submerge 8 Handelopera opening 57 Pre-A.D.
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on a si
in the a
ne stronghold to the ever-present yearning to move on
ke nomads while the - to look for the nextphase in life.
tribes embrace lifestyles That challenge presents itself in
ed around a philosophy the form of unhappy water spirits
sony with nature. These wreaking havoc on the Southern
, apparent dichotomies Water Tribe's ships and villages.
ure and thought, are The source of the problem, as
the reason the original explained by Korra's uncle and
The Last Airbender" enigmatic leader of the North-
so well. ern Water Tribe, Unalaq (Adrian
contrasts were clearly LaTourelle, "Boston Legal"), is
and engrossing as we the South's perceived disrespect
ed the world with Aang for tradition. The decay in the
ingle, unifying mission. sister tribe's regard for the super-
nd his buddies, like our- natural has set the world out of
were new arrivals to this balance. So inorder toteachKorra
continent-hoppingstage how to better embrace her role as
their reactions, tinged the bridge between the spirit and
ildish wonder, felt genu- human worlds, Unalaq offers to
connectable. But what set become her new mentor.
w apart were its darker It's all very teenage-angsty.
In the form of Fire Lord The need to grow up, not only
ad Sozin's Comet, there as an Avatar, but as a woman, is
ever-present, impending a theme that has kept this show
of urgency hanging thick intriguing. In this episode, we get
ir. This urgency is what plenty of shots of Korra tussling
gend of Korra" struggled with herself to come to the right
I in season one and still decision, and when she finally
ound in the premiere of decides, it appears in the form of
wo." that classic "I'm-going-to-enter-
up" format. Like any other time
t mayybea people go into the Avatar State,
d a & the moment is oddly cathartic
dren's show', even if it may be slightly lazy sto-
ry-telling, yet what keeps it inter-
it it knows esting, especially in the context
of "Korra," is the knowledge that
V to get real. our new Avatar has a penchant
for attacking problems head-on,
without thinking things through.
It's always been her great-
premiere consists of the est failing, one that threatens
o episodes, tied together to dilute the relevance of what
40-something-minute gives her her greatest strength.
where we find Korra And here's where this episode
Varney, "Burning Love") excels. It sets up the larger con-
ing to understand her flict that will likely guide the rest
ibilities as an Avatar. of the season, if not the rest of the
(J. K. Simmons, "Jobs") is series: Will Korra be able to con-
by-the-book teacher, and front the realization that, even at
ll the same rage-against- her physical strongest, she can be
hine Korra we've grown manipulated? As is evident in the
and love, but one of the episode's excellent last scene, this
trengths has always been season seeks to explore darker
nging dynamic its writers themes of naivety and forceful
to create between every government in a way that was
ainor character. sadly overlooked in the last few
premiere is filled with episodes.
e lines, coming usually Rather than grand, more tried-
e mouths of Bolin (P. J. and-true ideals of "taking on the
"The Game") or his new- world," Korra's facing the much
ave-interest Eska (Aubrey more relevant challenge of grow-
"Parks and Recreation") ing as a person, something the
are you initiating physical show brilliantly underscores in
with another woman?" meaningful connections back to
change, April), and the Aang. And even if this premiere
cleanly seals any gaps of might not have been the per-
icing around, of which fect way to springboard us into
e plenty. the discussion, I'm sure as hell
sod every corner, there's an excited for what's to come.
22 Author Carnegie
23 CPR proider
25 Libary sect.
32 Venerable ref.
33 Moving line on
34 Places to perch
36 Lean and
37 Good thing to
41 "Just figured!"
48 32-Across cousin
49 River through
58 Prefix with tonic
60 Camival setting
62 Office chair
63 Email suffix
11 Slow movements
12 Place to lie low
13 Make like
1 Command to
23 Abbr. fordating
24 Hood et al.: Abbr.
29 Italian : gennaio:
30 Pattemed cloth
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