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April 02, 2014 - Image 6

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6A - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

fiA - Wednesday, April 2, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

COMEDY CENTRAL
The joke is probably on you.
'Broad City'ends
with a bold finale

AMC

Season one shows
Abbi and Ilana are
just getting started
By ERIKA HARWOOD
Senior Arts Editor
At this point, it's almost for-
givable for TV shows to have a
rocky first season. In my review
of "Broad City"
's first epi-
sode, I cited
the first season Broad City
(and a half)
of "Parks and Season Finale
Recreation" Comedy Central
as an example
of a show that
needed some time to turn into
one of the greatest shows cur-
rently on television. Also in that
review, I noted the strength
of "Broad City" 's own pilot -
fearless women holding noth-
ing back for the sake of comedy.
It was the strongest premiere
episode in recent recollection
and surprisingly (I say surpris-

ingly because I have no idea
how anyone is capable of this in
any genre on TV), "Broad City"
sustained that aggressive, spot-
on comedic genius for its entire
first season.
In "The Last Supper," Abbi
and Ilana head to an upscale res-
taurant for Abbi's 26th birthday
- thanks to her dad, who's foot-
ing the bill. To the blatant dis-
approval of the host, Abbi rocks
the same teal bodycon dress
she wore earlier in the season
while Ilana sports a glittering
gold crop top and matching mini
skirt. While they made it clear
early on that the night will not
go well, it's completely impossi-
ble to predict the outlandish and
incredible turns it'll take.
As Ilana knowingly feeds her
shellfish allergy, Abbi takes the
world's most memorable bath-
room trip. As things spiral fur-
ther out of control, we're graced
with frequent interludes of their
seemingly poised waiter going
to the kitchen to have scream-
ing fights with his chef girl-
friend, played by Amy Poehler

("Parks and Recreation") who
also directed the episode.
Jacobson and Glazer have
somehow managed to craft
something that many series are
unable to manage during their
entire tenure: a comedy that's
raunchy, witty, relatable and
every so often, heartfelt. Their
performances show off their
talents as UCB-raised sketch
performers while also shining a
light on their fantastic writing.
Normally I'd worry about a
show starting off so well, ques-
tioning its ability to grow or
even maintain what it's estab-
lished. But I have no worries
about "Broad City" - whether it
be my faith in the broads behind
it or my own fervent anticipa-
tion for season two - Jacob-
son and Ilana have proven that
they have what it takes to cre-
ate a brilliant show in just ten
episodes. Regardless of what
"Broad City" does in its subse-
quent seasons, the bold confi-
dence in season one shows that
Abbi and Ilana are just getting
started.

Perfect form.

'Walking Dead' shifts
to growth over gore

RELEASE DATE- Wednesday, April 2,2014
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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(ce)2014Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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By CHLOE GILKE
Daily Arts Writer
After a tumultuous season
that saw the departure of fan
favorites and universally-
hated vil-
lains alike
(RIP Her-
shel and The The Walking
Governor), Dead
"The Walking
Dead" capped Season Finale
off with a
refreshing AMC
surprise. Four
seasons in,
"The Walking Dead" proves
that it's never too late to rein-
vent the game. Though the
first half of the season was a
bit repetitive, featuring Rick
and the prison gang chas-
ing The Governor around the
woods, the last eight episodes
have been more of a charac-
ter study. Episodes followed
characters who rarely had
the opportunity to be fully
fleshed out before and new
pairings explored dynamics
between conflicting person-
alities. Sure, there were just
as many gory zombie kills, but
this season of "The Walking
Dead" proved that the show
has matured beyond shock
tactics and grisly deaths to
sustain its ratings. It's not a
show about the zombies, but
the humans who are just as
capable of being monstrous.
The finale, wonderfully
directed by "Breaking Bad"
veteran Michelle MacLaren,
was an almost perfect execu-
tion of the new precedent the
show set this season. Focus-
ing mostly on four characters
(Rick, Carl, Michonne and
Daryl), the episode explored
the consequences of living
in horror. Rick (Andrew Lin-
coln, "Strike Back"), who
had spent the season trying
to live as a peaceful farm-
er, faced his most difficult
decision yet when Carl and

Michonne were in danger of
being assaulted and killed
by a group of monsters even
sicker than the "walkers." He
had tried to stray away from
his leadership responsibilities
and lead a simpler life, but
when it comes down to it, Rick
is, at heart, the epitome of a
sheriff and father. He can't
avoid his duty to look after
his own. No matter how much
he eschews violence, some-
times there's no other option
than to bite into a man's neck
when his friend's got a gun
to your son's head. Rick has
finally accepted responsibil-
ity for his actions in the zom-
bie apocalypse, and his new
badass attitude is sure to be a
highlight of season five.
Besides Rick showing
strength of character (which
is ' pretty unprecedented,
actually), "The Walking
Dead" threw viewers another
surprise when not a single
important character died in a
finale episode. Yes, the same
show that killed off two lit-
tle girls just a few weeks ago
spent an entire episode with-
out spilling a drop of blood.
Again, this is a hopeful direc-
tion for the show's next sea-
son. Too often, "The Walking
Dead" relies on shock and
gruesome violence to drive
its sluggish plot. But by flesh-
ing out its supporting charac-
ters and taking advantage of a
fresh new setting, the action
has picked up the pace and no
longer relies on gunshots to
keep a viewer's attention.
But that's not to say that the
danger and exigency have to
be sacrificed with the absence
of death. The scene in which
Carl (Chandler Riggs, "Get
Low") and Michonne (Danai
Gurira, "The Visitor") are
imperiled is particularly poi-
gnant. In the zombie apoca-
lypse, it's easy to create a new
identity and be the badass
you always wanted to be in

the real world (see: The Gov-
ernor). But some vulnerabili-
ties are inevitable. Michonne
may wield a deadly katana,
but she is still the target of
male sexual violence. Carl is
handy with a gun and tough as
nails, but he's still just a kid
who can't overpower a punch
stronger than his own. Rather
than pitting these characters,
made even more interesting
this season by heartbreaking
backstories, against brain-
less zombies and dull villains,
the show's new quietude
allows them to face their own
demons.
Even as the
action died
down, ratings
multiplied.
"The Walking Dead" is still
far from perfect. Its female
characters are dying faster
than you can say "Andrea, pick
up those pliers!" and some
lines of dialogue are laugh-
able (see: "they're screwing
with the wrong people"). But
this season saw vast strides of
improvement. The fact that a
series with such ridiculously
high ratings can hold on to
its viewership even through
entire episodes without Daryl
Dixon or a cool zombie kill is
unprecedented. Even as the
action died down for charac-
ter study, viewers and ratings
still multiplied every week.
Like it or not, "The Walking
Dead" is a television jugger-
naut and will likely be around
for a while. But at least it
has proven that it's capable
of introspection and quiet
moments - and, of course,
can still stage a good blood-
bath.

DO YOU EVER STAND
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
ROAD AT NIGHT AND FEEL
INSIGNIFICANT UNDER
THE IMMENSE UNIVERSE
TOWERING ABOVE YOU?
GOOD. NEITHER DO WE.
@MICHIGANDAILY

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