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October 16, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-16

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The Michigan Daily - michigandady.com

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 7A

His peacoat is so oversized.
No hopeful future
for Tomorrow'

CW recycles story
for unexceptional
For the Daily
CW's "The Tomorrow Peo-
ple" offers a look at the future of
humankind, the next evolution-
ary step when
people develop.
superhuman The
abilities. What Tomorrow
it doesn't offer,
unfortunately, People
is anything par- Pilot
ticularly origi-
nal. Despite its Wednesdays
tagline - "Dif- at9 p.m.
ferent is Dan-
gerous" - the CW
series starts off
pretty mundane and safe.
The pilot introduces Stephen
Jameson (Robbie Amell, "1600
Penn") as a teenager going
through changes seemingly
unique to him: He's developing
superpowers. He soon discov-
ers that these powers aren't as
unique as one would initially
think. Turns out he's one of the
Tomorrow People, a .group of
people who mark the next evolu-
tionary step for the human race.
Like the others in this group,
Stephen has a genetic mutation

that gives him powers which
include (and are limited to)
telepathy, telekinesis and tele-
Now, pilots have a lot going
against them. They have little
time to go over some very impor-
tant information and hook the
viewer, and to this show's credit,
the exposition-laced dialogue
isn't too hard to swallow, and the
action scenes fulfill some sense
of fun. But the show chooses to
enter into well explored terri-
tory, the ever-popular-people-
with-superpowers genre, and so
far it hasn't presented anything
worth noting. Instead of rely-
ing on its own inventive ideas (of
which there are few), it mainly
draws from the inventive ideas
of the past, only to do little with
them. In particular, it borrows
heavily from "The Matrix,"
with what's shaping up to be
the classic Chosen One plotline,
and pretty much rips off "The
X-Men"; only the X-Men are a
little more diverse and excit-
ing when it comes to their super
powers (and-their personalities).
Therein lies the problem with
the characters: They don't leave
the viewer with much of an
impression. Amell as Stephen isn't'
particularly compelling or char-
ismatic, while the rest of the cast,
which includes Mark Pellegrino
("Supernatural") as the cryptic
villain Jedikiah Price, does little
to breathe life into the story. The

unoriginal premise needed strong
characters to make the viewer
especially care, but for now, the
show's just rather bland.
That isn't to say there's no
fun to be had. Fans of the recent
flood of superhero movies will
probably find something to like
here. The decent special effects
lead to enjoyable fight and chase
scenes, while the futuristic
score sets the tone well. From
a plotting standpoint, the show
spends its hour wisely, setting
up a handful of mysteries and
ending on an intriguing note.
If anything, the series has faint
For now, though, it's hard
to look past the unimagina-
tive opening act. The premise
and characters aren't especially
unique, and what's worse, one
could run by a checklist of pop-
ular sci-fi franchises over the
past 50 years and immediately
spot the multiple similarities.
Granted, this show is a remake
of a British TV program from
the 1970's, so some parallels can
be forgiven. A remake does have
the responsibility of making
itself relevant again, however,
and this show just hasn't done
that - at least not yet.
Until that happens, stick with
the first season of "Heroes"
to get your fix of superpower
action and fun. "The Tomorrow
People" 's future doesn't look
very promising.

"Can I borrow your oversized peacoat?"
"Bolt' recaptures energy
of classic-rock era

'Vanilla Ice Goes Amish,' but
Amish hope he goes home

For the Daily
While most middle-aged
artists are expected to just
tour behind their old hits and
put minimal
effort into new
albums, Pearl
Jam continues Lightnjng
to work hard BoL
to make every
new release Pearl Jam
The band is Monkeywrench
far removed
from its early
1990's-megastar glory days,
but it still keeps up a devoted
fanbase through its top-notch
live shows and generally solid
studio albums. After follow-
ing up early success with an
experimental (and some would
say self-sabotaging) mid-career
interlude, Pearl Jam has put out
a seriesof back-to-basics, rock
'n' roll records, of which Light-
ning Bolt is the latest.
Firstly, Lightning Bolt does
not feel like an album that was
recorded in 2013. The band's
love for vinyl and classic rock
shines through in the guitar-
heavy, riff-driven tracks, and
while the anachronistic style
can be off-putting for listeners
wanting something more for-
ward-thinking, those searching
for old-time rock 'n' roll will
find nothing better. Pearl Jam
is still a master at crafting rock
songs and executing them per-
Despite its members now
being in their late forties, the
band sounds like it has found

the fo
first h
tar so
and ev
Your I
punk r
ately s
the old
and si
tion an
band s
this po
are im
part of
cians k
of the
too lor
of Lig
eter, m

untain of youth on the voice fills the music with joy.
alf of Lightning Bolt. Gui- Though the second half fea-
los command attention tures a less immediate style and
very song sounds tightly therefore makes somewhat less
d. Lead single "Mind of an impression, loose, relaxed
Manners" swaggers with tracks like "Swallowed Whole"
ock energy and immedi- and the folky "Sleeping by
hows that singer Eddie Myself," as well as syrupy sweet
r sounds just as he did in closer "Future Days," highlight
i days. it. Arguably the best song on the
ens," the mid-tempo sec- album, "Future Days" feels des-
ngle, falls short of the tined to be a first-dance song
am standard set by classic for newlyweds, as Vedder looks
Jam ballads like "Black" forward to what will come with
e of its generic produc- his lover, blissfully uncaring
id lack of subtlety, but the about any impending troubles.
aves it simply because at "I got my own way to relate?"
tint in its career, its musi- Vedder proclaims on the first
ip and songwriting chops track of Lightning Bolt, declar-
peccable. Even when one ing to the listener that Pearl
f a song falters, the expe- Jam has nothing to prove to
and talent of the musi- anybody besides themselves.
eeps the whole ship from The band is at a point in its
g. career where it can just do what
it enjoys, and the results of this
mindset are fantastic. Pearl Jam
TrJremains firmly outside of any
clear time period or trend, and
throws it eventwo decades removed from
its most well-known songs, the
.ck w ith old- band has an uncanny ability to
recapture the energy of its early
reaptr teenryofis.al
ehool style. days without sounding old or
Lightning Bolt doesn't revolu-
tionize the genre, but its variety
r two songs in the middle of different tones will engage
album that drag on for those simply looking for an
ng and immediately drop entertaining rock record. Long-
memory, the second half time fans of the band will love
htning Bolt contains qui- this album, and even listeners
tore reflective songs. The who haven't paid attention to
ic guitar plays a much Pearl Jam since the 1990's will
role on this half, and the find themselves pleasantly sur-
seem to be influenced by prised by the strength of the
r's solo project, Ukulele . songs and by how well the band
His strong, invigorated has matured.

Daily Arts Writer
Boasting a name that sounds
like it's straight from The Onion,
"Vanilla Ice Goes Amish" is
equal parts
bizarre and
sweet: DIY's
questionable Vanilla Ice
new program- Goes Amish
ming choice
does not miss Pilot
the mark fully,
instead land- Saturdays
ing in an amus- atlO p.m.
ing place all its D1Y
The prem-
ise of the show finds Vanilla Ice
joining an Amish community
where he learns their traditional
approach to construction and
design. Apparently that's what
people do after their 15 minutes
of fame are up. All kidding aside,
Vanilla Ice seems to have been
working, or at least dabbling, in
the construction field for quite
some time, because when he
helps demo and remodel a kitch-
en, he knows the lingo.
First off, Vanilla Ice isn't
his real name. Shockingly, the
man we (at least those of us
with a working knowledge of
the 1980's) know as Vanilla Ice
bears the Christian name Rob-
ert Matthew Van Winkle, and
so the nice Amish community
that takes him in calls him Rob.
Which seems very normal for

a 45-y
white b
hand a
tional A
the An
the hou
her 60
has mo
of a ca
ing and
- press
his int
not equ
as resp
tool, re
ing "V
been b
a more 1
of "sw.

ear-old, one-hit-wonder somehow seems fitting coming
oy who decides to try his from a middle-aged man who
t construction in tradi- dons two giant earrings while in
umish fashion. Amish Country.
her big hurdle that the Other faux pas in the series
tion team manages to cir- premiere that stand out include
nt is the perception that his continual wearing of jeans
nish community is sup- (with a zipper) and a hoodie
to shun cameras. Clara, (also with a zipper) and driv-
se owner in the premiere, ing an Escalade to his home-
strates that, despite being stay. The clothing choice comes
to avoid technology for off as mildly offensive after he
- or 70-some years, she completely disregards the nice
re natural talent in front man he is living with who kindly
amera than Vanilla Ice. explained that the Amish do
she comes off charm- not allow zippers on their garb.
I sweet, Vanilla Ice yells The choice of an Escalade filled
umably in an attempt to with a camera crew and an old
coherently during all of superstar produces laughs. Did
erviews and voice-overs. the production team not think
tly media exposure does of how inappropriate it was, or
ate to competency. were they instead trying to cre-
ate blatant dichotomies between
where Vanilla Ice comes from to
where "Rob" will end up?
r h toverall, the show holds some
ollaborate sense of potential. Not as dra-
matic or trashy as the type of
h the Amish. programming seen with celeb-
rities of similar popularity on
VH, but not quite as enticing
as hit HGTV shows like "Prop-
le Vanilla Ice comes off erty Brothers," "Vanilla Ice
ectful and sincere to the Goes Amish" stands on its own
nity, he's still a huge ridiculous feet. If "Vanilla Ice
ferring to himself as hav- Goes Amish" were an ice cream
anilla Ice Charm." It's cone, it would be a scoop of plain
whether it would have vanilla with a sad scattering of
etter or worse if he used rainbow jimmies that may con-
updated approach to that vince viewers to give it another
t and attempted the use go before passing complete
ag." His outdated slang judgment.




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