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February 27, 2014 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 3B

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom [lie hSi(IC Thursday, February 27,2014-

My First
Time
Daily Arts writers
pop their proverbial
cherries for some
of pop culture's
biggest hits.
This week's show:
HOUSE OF
CARDS

Vladimir Nabokov:
I'm not actually

like to think of
myself as the
princess of the
pop culture
party. Though I'm
unfortunately not
a TV-bot capable of watching
every show worth a glance, I
like to think I'm in the know
about the status of most every-
thing airing on TV today. And
I'm choosy in the best way - I
decide if a show is worth my
time with perfectly calibrated
algorithm based on my inter-
ests (and which friends are
begging me to watch it).
But we all have blind spot,
and mine just happens to be
the Netflix original series
"House of Cards." For what-
ever reason, I have picked up
exactly zero spoilers from
Twitter and Facebook and
Tumbr, and have only a pass-
ing idea of what the show is
about. I know Kevin Spacey is
in Congress, and he's a pretty
corrupt dude. He addresses the
camera and gives his speeches
directly into the lens. And his
wife is a certified badass.
But that's it. I've avoided
many a conversation since
the new batch of episodes
appeared on Netflix this Val-
entine's Day. Nobody can
know about my embarrassing
misstep in overlooking "House
of Cards," and of course I'm
too stubborn to go back and
actually watch the show from
Chapter One. So here I am,
jumping into the show half-
way through to try and pick up
some good conversation top-
ics and stay relevant to all the
cool kids. *looks into the cam-
era* Welcome to Chapter One
of my story.
We begin with Academy
Award-winning actor Kevin
Spacey and his TV wife (I
assume, anyway) running in
stylish black tracksuits. Heli-
copters blare overhead. I am
guessing the helicopters aren't
actually chasing Kevin and his
wife, because their jog seems
to be pretty leisurely.
Then, the longest open-
ing credit sequence I have
ever seen. And yes, I have
seen "Game of Thrones." The
"House of Cards" credits seem
to include every minor crew
member, each with his own
title card. I watch the minute
hand of my watch tick past
one minute, one hour, one
year. I watch my hair turn
grey. Washington, D.C. flashes
across the screen in time lapse.
Night scenes. So dramatic.
Finally the credits are over
and we open on our peppy run-
ners. Kevin Spacey's character
is apparently named Francis
Underwood, and his birthday
is coming up. But he's grumpy
and doesn't want any presents.
I can't tell if he's serious or
just saying that to test if his
wifey will get him a great gift
anyway.
Frank and Golden Globe
Award-winning actress Robin
Wright (I finally recognize
her as the wife) enter their
dark and impeccably appoint-
ed home. Frank stretches,
treating the viewers to a qual-

ity butt shot. I am suddenly
100 percent more interested
in this show. Robin Wright's
character is apparently named
Claire Underwood. She sassily
remarks that she will not allow
her husband to smoke, now
that he's going to be the Vice
President soon. So I guess he's
not just a member of Congress?
At work, Frank talks to his
deputy, Jackie Sharp. He sug-
gests to her that she try for
the job of majority whip (his
former post). She's skepti-
cal, since the praise seems to
be coming from nowhere. I
get the impression that Frank
doesn't speak this kindly to
most of his coworkers. But he
impresses her by giving her
the files on her competitors,
which he conveniently stores
on his computer. Believe it.
This guy has files on EVERY-
ONE.
But in his meeting with fel-
low political bigwigs, Frank
doesn't even mention Jackie's
name as a possible candidate
for Whip. I'm not sure I trust
this guy. He seems to be mak-
ing promises he can't keep
not the makings of a very good
politician in my book.
At this point, I take a break
to go grab a handful of cereal
from a box under my bed. The
one handful quickly turns into
what would probably fill a
bowl, should I actually bother
to use one. I glance over at the
screen. Somebody is throwing
a deck of cards into a trashcan.
A reference to the show's title?
Now, an angry Mrs. Apple-
baum confronts a poor preg-
nant mistress at her home. I'm
not sure who these people are
or how they are relevant, but
I'll just assume that one of the
Underwoods is manipulating
them or that Mr. Applebaum is
a politician.
By halfway through the epi-
sode, I'm finding it increasing-
ly difficult to keep up with the
plot. Apparently Rachel Posner
(the waitress) is the last loose
end in some scheme that Frank
had concocted in Season One,
and everybody wants to take
her out. Journalist Zoe (Kate
Mara, "Deadfall") receives
some strange texts and replies
to them with nifty on-screen
popups. She has a boyfriend (?)
named Lucas, but she doesn't
seem too interested in spend-
ing any time with him or clue-
ing him in on her own schemes.
Nobody is helping me out with
names, either. I still don't
know what to call Frank's chief
of staff.
Rachel Posner is pretty
scared when Chief of Staff
comes into her home. She holds
a knife to him as he claims that
she's in danger. But I'm not
convinced he's here to protect
her.
Also, nobody has addressed
the camera yet or given any
sassy speeches. I'm disappoint-
ed in you, show.
Okay, so now I know why
Zoe is relevant. She's texting
Frank, apparently talking
about some guy named Russo.
He was found dead in the pas-
senger seat. Which begs a few

NETFLIX
questions - who is Russo?
How did he die? Who was driv-
ing the car that killed him? I
think Zoe knows the answers
to these questions (and prob-
ably the answers to a few too
many questions). Frank wants
her to delete her phone his-
tory and erase all evidence
of context and a relationship
between them.
Frank and Claire do some
political work in bed (no, actu-
al political work). She talks
about trying for a baby, but
it's all diagnostics and results.
Something tells me she isn't
really interested in having a
baby, either (#PowerCouple
#NoTimeForRomance).
Frank Underwood is liter-
ally eating ribs in the morning.
And having a totally chill con-
versation with a guy about slow
bleeding meat and killingwith-
out mercy. What a guy!
Frank and Zoe are at the
train station now, and that
whooshing sound definitely
doesn't sound good. Those
tense drums aren't helping,
either. Add Frank's Heisenberg
hat and mysterious shades, and
Was Russo in the passenger
seat? Frank says he might have
been halfway there. He was an
alcoholic I guess, and either
killed himself or was mur-
dered by someone else. Again,
Zoe brings up all the secrets
she is definitely not supposed
to know. Girl is really setting
herself up for an Angry Frank
Speech now.
Wow. Okay. Bye, Zoe. Frank
pushed her in front of a freak-
ing train, because I guess that's
a logical thing to do when
someone totally agrees to
delete her phone history. I can't
believe that nobody saw and
no cameras or security guards
or Secret Service people were
around to stop it. Apparently
the future Vice President can
just go wherever he wants and
do anything without supervi-
sion. Whoever let him go alone
definitely hasn't seen "Home-
land."
Frank is totally casual about
Zoe's murder on the news.
Nobody suspects anything,
except maybe Lucas. He paces
around the room angstily.
Oh. Frank got a cake for his
birthday. And driver-guy got
him some sweet cufflinks for
his gift, even though he specif-
ically asked for no celebration.
Oh, Chief of Staff, taking care
of his man and threatening
poor waitress/call girl Rachel
Posner. All in the name of love.
Finally, Frank is address-
ing the camera. Justifying his
murder of Zoe, claiming that
in D.C., it's either hunt or be
hunted. Close up on Frank's
cufflinks, aptly featuring a
sassy "F U" design. It's funny
because it's his initials!
And thus, the end of my
first experience with "House
of Cards." It was pretty enter-
taining, and I'm probably going
catch up over Spring Break.
I'll just have to pretend like I
didn't just spoil everything for
myself.
-CHLOE GILKE

ladimir Nabol
Look her
sitting on thE
reading a collection o
stories written by the
literary
"greats" -
acclaimed
MFA creative
writing
graduates
from the
University
of Iowa and JOHN
Columbia LYNCI
that no
one has
ever heard of outsi
self-serving microcosi
produced them - and I'
to venture to say thatt
I'm currently taking ha
as much inventive, exhi
literary worth as the w
these authors. Now, bef
dismiss me as a trash
charlatan, read the woi
follow and judge me b
alone. You can always co
naive, dilated asshole for
prose style.
I once believed that
impossible to create
work of art without sot
of enhanced enlightenm
past that now. Presently
ize that the drugI actua
is whatever natural pres
of Vigorous Life allowet
write so ecstatically. I:
stop laying on my Tempu
bed like a depressed woi
no purpose and get up a
at how infinite the sky
sleep with beautiful woi
cry like a baby (preferab
rate from sex) and write

an ass o e
kov, truly insane person I am. Of co
e. I'm See, I've sat in the dreaded I might
e toilet, writers' workshop. I've felt my ambitioi
f short eyes wander from the "dev- chance!
modern astating" piece my classmate possible
wrote about some problematic slip on
relationship - his style imitat- ice and
ing the same short stories I'm etable, I
currently debating wiping my this wo
ass with - and drift toward the gance as
window as I contemplated how Now,
I need to take my author head- all theI
shots before I lose too much high scl
hair. slowlyc
H Listen, Teach: I'm never gonna PowerP
kill my darlings. I'm a writer, not of a dou
a murderer. ically. "
de the Oh sagacious Vlad, how your things,"
m that writing has plunged deep into ly no on
m going the chasms of my temporal lobe, to read
the shit unlocked that perfect pattern of for may
s about neurons and allowed me to cre- lyst int
larating ate without inhibition or worry madnes
orks of of repercussion. You are the ever goi
ore you reason I sit here spewing this someda
-talking spontaneous shit. You are the absorbe
rds that reason I've become possessed Lister
y them by this demon called Confidence any lite
unt on a into thinking that I can actually without
a fancy become one of the greats. it beat
Now look over there: it's my five-foo
it'd be poor Greek mother reading that I
a great this article, mouth agape. She's God's b
ne form shaking her head and mumbling and ca
ent; I'm about how she's failed as a so that
, I real- parent. She's joined a faceless love an
ly need Greek Chorus in a back and synonyr
cription forth zeibekiko dance and heart st
d you to started shouting at me about I hop
need to hubris and humility. going t:
ir-Pedic Listen, Mommy: Hubris is words s
rm with detestable - of course it is - Best,
:nd look but it's most definitely not when A Fel
- is and my pen is to the pad. If I'm not
men and Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Vonne-
ly sepa- gut, Kerouac and Nabokov all in
like the one, then I am absolutely nothing.

urse, there is a chance
not live up to my lofty
ns! Of course there's a
But since it's equally
that tomorrow I might
some good ol' Michigan
instantly become a veg-
I think I'd rather live in
:rld of solipsized arro-
rd see where it takes me.
my word, here comes
people that hated me in
hool to sit me down and
coach me through some
oint slides on how much
chebag I've been histor-
In the grand scheme of
they yell at me, "near-
ne in the world is going
this column - except
'be a brave psychoana-
ent on deciphering your
s - just like no one is
ng to read the novel you
y plan to write, you self-
d piece of shit!"
n, Fuckboys: I say screw
rary world that exists
me in the center of
ming like the balding,
t-eight gift from God
am, worshiping all of
eautiful gifts on Earth
pturing them in prose
people can laugh and
d make reading & bliss
mous, before and after my
ops beating.
e you know that I'm not
o die with all of these
till in me.
low Lunatic
Lynch needs to calm the
fuck down. To help, e-mail
jplyn@umich.edu.

TRAILER REVIEW

Anybody who misses hear-
ing Walter White's voice spew
with its characteristic force
will no doubt
find good
company B+
in the new
"Godzilla" Godkih
trailer.
It appears Warer Bros.
Bryan Cran-
ston ("BreakingBad") has
returned to subvertgovern-
ment authority once again,
but this time as a good samar-
itan looking to expose a con-
spiracy. With the grandeur of
modern special effects on full
display, we see immediately
that something has wreaked
havoc on human civilization.
The government says it's a
natural disaster. Bryan Cran-
ston says it's not. Guess what
it really is?
The core piece of wisdom
in the new "Godzilla" movie
seems to be the words issued
El
For many comedies, sea-
son one serves as a way to
test different versions of the
show and
find out what
works best.
"Brooklyn Brooklyn
Nine-Nine" Nine-Nine
never really
had to do this Tuesdays at
because, from 9:30p.m.
the pilot, the FOX
writers had a
good ideaof
who the characterswere and
how to write for them - with
the exception of one. This
week's episode made progress
with solving that flaw, as well as
givingthe restofthe ensemble
much to do.
Since itsinception, "Brook-
lyn"'sbiggest issue has been
with Andy Samberg's character,
Jake Parelta, being immature
to afault. It was hard to laugh
athischaracterwhen hewas
constantly acting in such a

deplorable manner each week.
This week's episode proved the
writers are working on chang-
ing that, with a story about Jake
collaboratingwith Gina (Chelsea
Peretti, "Kroll Show") to save
him from being evicted from his
apartment. And with his plan to
have Gina buy the apartment,
Peralta actually made a choice
that would not justlhelphimself.
This is ahuge signofprogress
for the character, as the writers

FOX
work to tone down his immature
tendencies.
Elsewhere, "Brooklyn"'s
ensemble continued to click.
Watchingeach ofthelittle sub-
plots, including the precinct's
self-evaluations, were highly
amusing. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
still has a major problem to
solve, but this episode shows
that progress can - and will
- be made.
-ALEX INTNER

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