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November 06, 2013 - Image 6

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6A - Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam a I

fiA - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom a

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Complicated 'Avril'
is all over the place

Would you like a
side of Lavigne with
your 'Lavigne'?
Daily Arts Writer
Lavigne was thirsty for an
intoxicatingly wild record to
follow up the relatively sincere
Goodbye Lul-
laby - eager
to free the
untamed pop- Avril Lavigne
rock artist
that became Avril Lavigne
an icon for
every compli- Epic
cated sk8r boi.
Evidently, the
visual production team missed
that memo. Lavigne's fun-filled
thrill ride of a fifth studio album
introduces itself as a cheerless
mascara advertisement, complete
with snow-white skin, a despon-
dent face, raccoon eyes and a
black backdrop. Not exactly the
look of a "Bitchin' Summer." It's
not for nothing that the expres-
sion "don't judge an album by its
cover" exists.
What intends to be an assem-

blage of defiant party anthems is
actually an assortment of absurd
contradictions. Lavigne can't
seriously expect the album's pre-
miere track, "Rock N Roll," to
justifiably introduce a collection
of sugar-coated pop productions
that narrate the intensity of being
a teenage girl in 2013 America.
This senselessness rivals the later
track "Bad Girl" - a hard rock
duet with Marilyn Manson -
being followed by "Hello Kitty,"
the obligatory 2013-dubstep mess
created for the sole purpose of
attempting to follow a trend.
The album isn't doing Lavigne
any favors by relentlessly drilling
the topic of age into the tracks (
"Here's To Never Growing Up"
and "17"). The 29 year old is
pleasantly youthful, in a worldly
sense. In a pop-rock sense, her
age is viewed as the beginning
of the end, despite how irratio-
nal or unfair that may seem, and
waging a lyrical war against age
is a messy battle, especially when
the attempt is as unsubtle asAvril
Lavigne's content.
Two blatantly obvious pitfalls
are the album's lead writer Chad
Kroeger (lead singer of the infa-
mous rock group, Nickelback) and

producer Martin Johnson (lead
singer of Boys Like Girls, whose
production credits lie somewhere
between producing for Hannah
Montana and producing for Vic-
toria Justice).
Stylistically, the album is any-
where and everywhere. Lavigne
took the palette and smashed
the whole thing all over the can-
vas. The Kroeger-written tracks
like "Let Me Go" and "Give You
What You Like") sound as if they
migrated to Lavigne from some
unreleased Nickelback album,
while the Johnson-produced
tracks (e.g. "Here's To Never
Growing Up") are a style junc-
tion between Cher Lloyd and One
Direction. Even the traditional
Avril Lavigne-style songs like
"Rock N Roll" have a rebellious-
ness that's campy to the point of
Avril Lavigne's form stains
its substance. Everything from
cover art to production style and
lyrical content is off the mark.
For another artist or album, per-
haps, the record's characteristics
would be fitting, but the frame
doesn't hold Lavigne or the atti-
tude she was striving for. Ironic,
given the self-titling.


"Masturbation feels like pizza tastes."
'Code' strikes a balance .
with humor and advice

Daily Arts Writer
Turn on MTV, and what will
you find? These days, it's less like-
ly to be music-oriented television
and more like-

ly to be real-
ity television.
And if you
tuned in last
at 10:00 p.m.,
you would've
found what is

Girl Code
at 10 p.m.

oversaturated videos of teens par-
tying, techno music and a sassy
female voice-over commanding,
"Listen up, ladies! It's 'Girl Code.'
For those of you who aren't
teenage girls, "Girl Code" is a
show on MTV that features a
bunch of young, up-and-coming
comedians commenting on topics
relevant to college-age life. The
premise is simple: Each 20-min-
ute installment comprises several
interviews with cast members
revolving around the episode's
four designated topics. Each only
gets discussed for about five min-
utes, so the cast members (five
guys and 14 girls) must exprees
their own opinions in the brief-
est, most creative way possible.
The result is a breeding ground
for one-liners and zingers that are
perfectly suited to being quoted
on Twitter or turned into .gifs on
Tumblr. The season two premiere

basically the
epitome of modern-day MTV:

ELEaSE DATIn- weanesaay, rovember 6, u
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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tackles virginity, popping zits,
slutty Halloween costumes and
bad boys.
And how do
you feel about
losing your
The episode opens with a
discussion on virginity. Issues
relating to sex and sexuality
can get tricky for a show like
this, which is trying to strike
the right balance between genu-
ine advice and its own brand of
snarky, "relatable" humor. The
lighthearted nature of this show
does not allow for a real forum
for discussion on virginity and
what it means, but it does allow
for a few good one-liners. Jes-
simae Peluso starts the conver-
sation by laughing the prompt
off and ,claiming, "I don't know
what virginity is anymore. It's
been a while ... " Alice Wetter-
lund echoes not long after, "I
think losing your virginity is a
personal choice. And personally
I chose to drop mine like a hot
potato with a spider on it."
The next five minutes is an
avalanche of embarrassing sto-
ries and sarcastic asides about
virginity during which each girl
emphasizes that it's important
to make sure that any decision
you make regarding virginity
is yours and yours alone. Jamie
Lee provides the final summa-
ry of the girl code to virginity:
"Lose it when you're ready. Not
when your boyfriend's ready, not
when your friends are ready, not
when some R. Kelly song comes

on and it puts you in the mood.
Lose it when you're ready."
The particular type of wom-
en-specific "relatable humor"
associated with the "Girl Code"
brand (see also: YouTube celeb-
rity Jenna Marbles or the Fat
Amy parody Twitter account,
@RelatableQuote) comes with a
lot of hurdles to jump. Jokes can
come off as bland or predictable
because they're so deeply rooted
in what is familiar to everyone.
To fight against the predictabil-
ity, cast members sometimes
rely on the shock factor of say-
ing vulgar things, but this only
works sparingly.
Many obstacles, however,
make "Girl Code" the perfect
training ground for its young
comedy stars. Being on the
show is a valuable opportunity'
for them to hone their creative
talents and learn how to work
around obstacles: It's com-
mon knowledge that females
are underrepresented in main-
stream comedy and the exis-
tence of"GirlCode" as aplatform
for up-and-comers to get regu-
lar exposure to the industry is a
huge step in the right direction.
The show itself may not be the
most sophisticated, but it serves
the important purpose of sup-
porting female comedians.
The show's one unwritten
rule is simple: "Girl Code" does
not judge. Though they may
sometimes be crass, "Girl Code"
cast members will never slut
shame or look down upon any
fellow female. Instead, they take
the approach of empowerment:
Make every choice your own
choice and own it. Despite their
"freedom of choice" mentality,
the segment on virginity has no
mention of those who choose to
wait until marriage. This is a
loud reminder that "Girl Code"
is a source of entertainment, not
a medium for discourse about
pertinent issues. Ina serious dis-
cussion it would be an important
point of view to hear, but when
the priority is cracking jokes,
waiting for marriage isn't really
good material to play off of.
"Girl Code" 's niche audience
of liberal, college-aged females
is definitely small and doesn't
have much potential for growth,
but it doesn't need to be huge
to be worth airing. It succeeds
at the difficult task of start-
ing a dialogue about even the
most graphic struggles of being
a young adult woman in today's
world in a truly funny way. On
its surface, "Girl Code" is 20
minutes of quotable entertain-
ment, but its subtler messages
and the opportunities it pro-
vides its cast members make it
much more valuable than it may




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