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October 07, 2013 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-07

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8A - Monday, October 7, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com



Since when does Olivia drink anything other than red wine?
'Scandal' returns,
builds on success


My So-Called Undercover Life
TOo much melodrama

Washington and another layer to the show,
helping to elevate it to a higher
Gladiators deliver level,
The series follows Olivia
peak performances Pope (Kerry Washington,
"Django Unchained"), whose
By ALEX INTNER job is to help the Washington
For theDaily elite fix their problems, her cli-
ents and her associates as they
Over the course of its sec- go through their lives and their
ond season, "Scandal" grew work. The premiere, specifi-
from a mediocre procedural to cally, deals with the truth about
a great seri- the relationship between Olivia
alized series, A Pope and the President of the
as its focus United States being revealed
changed from Scandal to the press. At the same time,
"client of the Olivia's father decides it's time
week"- ies Seasonthree
to longertory premiere a ,v Ones00 eelements that real-
arcs. The writ- Thursdays ly makes "Scandal" work as well
ers tightened at10 p.m. as it does is the performances.
up the show's At the center of the ensemble
storytelling ABC is Washington, an Emmy nomi-
and used it to nee, giving a fantastic, layered
build tension. performance. In this episode,
And just like that, it elevated she shows a wide range of emo-
itself to one of the best dramas tions, displaying Olivia at her
on network television. highest and her lowest, and
The self-proclaimed "Gladi- Washington handles this task
ators in Suits" return for their well.
third season in an episode that It doesn't hurt that the cast
highlights "Scandal" at its best. surrounding Washington is
This season's premiere con- working at, or even sometimes
tains exactly what makes this above, her acting level. Bel-
show great. The rapid-fire, lamy Young ("Mission: Impos-
almost Sorkin-esque, dialogue sible III"), in particular, gives a
is extremely well performed great performance. When she's
by the show's cast. Structur- on the screen, she commands
ally, it has both the great mon- it. Her character, the first lady
tages and the fantastic scenes, of the United States, is forced
the kind where they just leave to deal with the revelation of
great performers in a room her husband's infidelity and
and let them act. The twisty she does a great job with that.
and creative plotting also adds She has one major scene in

the premiere with Washing-
ton and President Fitzgerald
Grant (Tony Goldwyn, "The
Unknown"), and she owns it.
Joe Morton ("Eureka") is fan-
tastic in a guest role as Oliv-
ia's father. He plays angry and
intimidating very well, which
is a big change from his role on
This was Olivia's episode,
which unfortunately means
that the rest of the ensemble
didn't get to do a lot. Each had
a standout moment or two,
but none get more than that.
As last season unfolded, the
Nvritersgave the supportilk
cast quitAit t do, leading
to their characters being more
than just Olivia's employees.
Hopefully, this season will do
the same thing, continuing to
develop and expand the role
the ensemble plays.
Like every good episode of
"Scandal," this episode ended
on a great cliffhanger (with
the President's Chief of Staff
looking at a piece of paper con-
taining classified information),
hinting that the show is going
to begin to reveal information
about the President's past. This
reveal sets up a great arc that
should carry the show through
its third season.
If one cog in the machine
stops working, the entire show
can fall apart. "Scandal" 's
premiere showed no signs of
slowing down and sets up what
looks to be a great third season
for the series.

in Homeland'remere

for an
ibly e
ous ri
- giv
at the
on cr
and A
over t.
sion d
be in
the se
and e
to ha
It 1
Saul (
nal M

By ALEC STERN terrori
DailyArts Writer (Claire
din") 1
ugh only having aired 24 her bil
les in total, Showtime's hol an
eland" has sent viewers strang
incred- called
motional B- ate re
tumultu- her w
de. After Homeland Thoug
g its first absent
a at a Seasonthree family
ve high premiere point
ing new Sundays at Baccar
ng to the 10 p.m. with t
e "binge- single
ing" and Showtime in the
g "Mad Saylor
's streak attemr
Emmy's - all eyes were at a rel
eators Howard Gordon
klex Gansa. With much
pation, season two pre-
d in September 2012 and
he next few months, con- si
ly diminished pieces of
eland" 's credibility and th
in the top tier of televi-
ramas. Now, with season faV
just beginning, it will
teresting to see where
eland" goes. Judging by
ason three premiere, the In o
illy fluctuating quality land"
xtreme crisis of identity impor
sarred season two seem where
ve bled in, despite the The fi
t year-long hiatus. flawle
has been 58 days since troubb
las Brody's (Damian protec
, "Life") alleged attack on for wh
eadquarters.Inthattime, that r
Mandy Patinkin, "Crimi- las Br
inds") has emerged as the a terr
of the CIA's counter- at an

sm unit while Carrie Remarkably, somewhere in
Danes, "Temple Gran- season two, "Homeland"
has been self-medicating became a forbidden love story,
polar disorder with alco- throwing almost all credibil-
d the sexual company of ity and believability aside. In
ers. She has also been season three, it already seems
to testify before the Sen- as if "Homeland" is continu-
garding the attack and ing to drift further and further
thereabouts thereafter. from its early accomplish-
h Brody is noticeably ments. "Homeland" 's build-up
from the episode, his was impressive, but how it's
continues to-be a major handled the lasting effects of
of focus. essi (Morena Brody's attempted suicde mis-
in, "V") is struggling sion has been less than stellar.
:he media scrutiny and It's as if "Homeland" doesn't
parenthood, especially know exactly what to do with
wake of Dana's (Morgan Brody anymore, let alone his
,"K-Ville") failed suicide family. Season two's most obvi-
pt and months-long stay ous narrative slip-up (Dana
hab facility. and Finn's highly unnecessary
hit-and-run) has been replaced
this season with an even more
The show nfuriating "sexting" story-
line. Of course, it's important
hould ditch to detail the effects Brody's
admission has had on his fam-
e romance in ily (and a stint in rehab actu-
ally makes sense for Dana).
nor of action. But being forced to watch
Dana navigate her love life, on
top of Carrie and Brody's silly
romance, is completely gratu-
rder to analyze "Home- itous.
's 25th episode, it's With each episode, "Home-
tant to look back at land" begins to feel more and
"Homeland" has been. more like a combination of
rst season was an almost "24" and "Scandal" - in the
ss 12-hour story about a worst possible way. Between
ed CIA agent trying to the Brody family and Carrie's
t her country and fight alcohol-fueled sexual antics,
at she knew to be true - the series plays like a CIA soap
eturned war hero Nicho- opera.
ody had been turned into Despite all this, comparing
orist while held prisoner anything to "Homeland"'s first
Al-Qaeda compound. season is a dangerous game. In
the grand scheme, "Homeland"
has continued to be a well acted
and engaging drama, despite
3 ' 9 AM -5 PM not always giving us what we
hoped for. "Homeland" is also
IN great at leaving viewers want-
ing more, and this week's epi-
AS Asode was a perfect example
of that. The final minutes are
ERSITY AVE. quite surprising and give the
series a few viable options for
re the season. It also ensures a
ism great confrontation between
ty Claire Danes and Mandy Pat-
inkinwhose chemistry togeth-
id er has continued to shine since
e fthe pilot episode.
Ultimately, the season three
premiere of "Homeland" proves
that the first season was both a
(1 blessing and a curse. The excel-
lence and skill with which sea-
son one evolved now loom over
the series like a reminder of
what once was (and what could
have been). And while that may
sound like a death sentence,
"Homeland" probably has the
f I(11 foundation to recapture the
magic at some point. With each I
passing episode, however, it
seems as if "Homeland" will
eventually be cemented as a
flawed drama, hampered by a
good, yet not great, legacy.

1636 SSWB, 1080 S. UNIVI
The aim of this symposium is to explo
the different manifestations of Islami
and its impact in both Muslim-majorii
states and Muslim-minority states; ar
to provide a comparative perspective
so as to stimulate discussion among
scholars with different regional
For more details and full event
schedule, visit ii.umich.edu/isp.
Cosponsored by
Centor forSoutheast
Asian Studies (CSEAS)
and Weiser Center for
Emerging Democracies
(LACED) 7i -T7


p a &I


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