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April 14, 2014 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-14

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6A - Monday, April 14, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6A - Monday, April 14, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

The finale

"And, uh, yeah, I guess screenwriters just hate the state of Ohio." .
Enthralling 'Draft'
Cleveland sports Day" belongs to Jennifer Garner Houston Texan Arian Foster
("Dallas Buyers Club"). She plays (who was never drafted himself)
culture mocked the salary cap manager for the is Ray Jennings, a Florida State
Browns, but also serves as the de running back with a Browns leg-
once again factodenmotheroftheoffice and acy. The top quarterback pros-
Kevin Costner's soon-to-be baby pect, around whom much of the
By CONRAD FOREMAN mama. She delivers her lines like plot revolves, barely speaks and
DailyArts Writer an assassin precisely handling a is overshadowed by his agent, a
dagger and her emotions display crazy-eyed Sean Combs ("Get
There's something about a on her face in an appropriately Him to the Greek"), who seems
Kevin Costner sports movie that subtle manner. Her role is misplaced in a small, completely
just feels right. Whether he's rather one-dimensional, but flat role - at least they let him
meeting Joe Garner provides enough attitude crack a joke in "Muppets Most
Jackson on his B and personality to bring the Wanted."
farm, mentor- character to life. Like "Major League" before
ing Tim Rob- Dmft Day The real stars of the film, it, "Draft Day" simultaneously
bins in the though, are director Ivan Reit- embraces and mercilessly mocks
minor leagues AtQuality16 man ("Ghostbusters") and cin- Cleveland culture. It may sound
or pitching a andRave ematographer Eric Steelberg redundant, but people love
perfect game Lionsgate ("Juno"). Throughout the plot, lovable losers - in both sports
in Yankee Sta- Sonny frequently converses on and movies - and apparently
dium, Costner the phone; the prgsentation of Hollywood has decided that
("Dances With Wolves") and these conversations divides the Cleveland sports teams are the
sports go together like lamb and screen unevenly and crosses ultimate underdogs.
tuna fish (props if you get the "Big characters over the dividing line For lovers of sports films, this
Daddy" reference). (think "Life of Pi," when the fish one's essential, and anybody
Costner's latest endeavor into swim over the black bars on the familiar with media coverage
the genre is "Draft Day." In this edges of the screen). These guys of the NFL at all will enjoy
race-against-the-clock drama, deserve credit for finding a cre- the abundance of cameos of
Costner plays Sonny Weaver, Jr., ative way to visually represent analysts and former players.
the general manager of the Cleve- the fluid power dynamics of the For everyone else, "Draft Day"
land Browns, who, after more conversations. They also take is still a visually impressive film
than a decade of losing seasons, is advantage of the simple maj- (especially notable, considering
desperate for a winning team that esty found in football stadiums, that the vast bulk of the action
could revive the franchise and its swooping in over one with beau- is busy-work in an office) with
stubbornly loyal fanbase. With tiful aerial shots each time anew a storyline that never loses its
the owner demanding that he team is introduced to the plot. audience.
make a splash at this year's draft, Of course, a film about the NO, its heart and depth of
Sonny makes a desperate trade to draft wouldn't be complete emotion aren't its strengths, and
keep hisjob and finds himself fac- without an endearing cast of YES, the whole film is a glamor-
ingenormously consequential cir- high-profile prospects. Chad- ized billboard for the NFL, but
cumstances in his career as well wick Boseman, coming off a lead "Draft Day" is a good bit of fun.
as his personal life. role as Jackie Robinson in "42," And you never know, maybe
While no one can deny that plays compassionate and ambi- this is the last time we'll get to
it's a "Kevin Costner film," the tious linebacker Vontae Mack see Costner in the genre he's
performancethatshines in "Draft from Ohio State, while real-life dominated for decades.

A bout two weeks
ago, someone very
important to me
moved away. I helped him pack
his things into a car much too
small to fit
four years
of college
life. On his
last night, a
group of us s
sat around
on stained
couches KAYLA
and shared UPADHYAYA
our favorite
of him. Except me. Because
I hate goodbyes. The next
morning, before he drove
away in his filled-to-the-brim
Range Rover, I kept most of
what I wanted to say to myself
as we hugged and waved.
I've never done too well
with goodbyes. And as with
most things in my life, I think
that probably has something to
do with my love of television.
You see, us TV obsessers never
do too well with closure.
We're spoiled. When we find
a new show to settle down
with, we (usually) get to be a
part of that world and spend
time with those characters for
I've watched a lot of series
finales over the years and feel
pretty comfortable declaring
that they're mostly garbage.
Particularly in the world of
broadcast television, so long
as a show is making enough
money, the show keeps on
getting made, even when it
should probably be put to rest.
In these cases, by the time we
get to the end, the writers have
squeezed every drop of blood
out of the series that we're left
with something hollow and
sagging that looks nothing like
the show you fell in love with.
"Alias," for instance,
devolved into an entirely dif-
ferent show after its third sea-
son (I would say "never forget
those season-four zombies, but
you should actually definitely
forget about them because
what?") If you are one of those
people who stopped watching
"Battlestar Galactica" during

its final season, I don't blame
you. In fact, don't force your-
self to finish it. It's not a polar-
izing finale like that of "Lost"
or "The X-Files" - it's just
straight-up bad.
Most days, I pretend seasons
six and seven of "Buffy the
Vampire Slayer" never even
happened. Of course, that
would mean we never would
have gotten "Once More
With Feeling" or "Tabula
Rasa" or "Selfless," the rare
but treasured gems buried
among trash like "Doublemeat
Palace" and "First Date"
(another thing you should
erase from your TV memory:
"Special Guest Star Ashanti").
Maybe it would have been
worth drudging through all
that hell if the series finale
had recaptured the heart and
soul of the series. But it didn't.
Instead, it validates an abusive
relationship (Spike/Buffy) and
spends way too much time on
the season's most boring plot
device (the Potentials). Worst
of all, Anya dies, and the entire
Scooby Gang spends about two
seconds being sad about ituntil
they start patting themselves
on the backs for saving the
world. I'm still mad at Joss
Whedon for that one. Season
five's finale "The Gift" should
have been the series finale. I'll
stand by that opinion to my
Do you even remember what
happened in the "Gilmore
Girls" finale? Lorelai kissed
Luke and Rory decided to fol-
low the Obama campaign. It
was 2007, I was 14 years old,
and I was so disappointed in
the remarkably average ending
to the series that backdropped
my after-school snack time for
seven years that I turned off
my TV and stormed upstairs
to air my grievances on the
message boards, because
that's what you did in the pre-
Twitter days.
Flash forward to today. As I
wrote that paragraph, I shared
my very strong feelings with
my friend Alex and he looked
at me like I was a monster.
Before I know it, we're
watching a scene from the
finale. Richard tells Lorelai
what an amazing mother and
person she is and suddenly
I'm sobbing in Mighty Good.
What? Where were these feels
seven years ago? Why can I so
distinctly remember slumping
away from that finale so
Well, the obvious answer
is that I'm a different person
now. I'm weeks away from
graduating, and watching
Rory say goodbye to all the
people she loves so she can
start the next phase of her life
hits way too close to home.
TV doesn't exist in a vacuum;
when we watch, we bring in
parts of ourselves and our
lives, that affect the way we
interpret and receive what we
see on s creen.
But even though the
"Gilmore Girls" series finale
has more emotional power
over me now than it did
seven years ago, I still found
myself snapping, "yeah, but
that Lorelai-Luke kiss is still
so anticlimactic," at Alex as
I wiped away my tears and

remembered I'm supposed to
hate this episode.
Yes, the "Gilmore Girls"
series finale is anticlimactic.
Of course it is. The only shows
that don't have anticlimactic
finales are the ones that are
canceled before the writers
get to write a true finale.
Well, and "Angel" 's "Not
Fade Away," which somehow
manages to end on an upbeat
note but also with a sense of
finality, and I'm not really
sure how it strikes such
a magical balance; I'd be
tempted to say Joss Whedon
is a wizard, but again, see: the
"Buffy" finale. Series finales
are anticlimactic because
they're not climaxes; they're
resolutions. There's a reason
why penultimate episodes
are almost always going to be
better than finales: They're
the exciting buildup and the
finale is the slow exhale. I
gave "30 Rock" 's finale an A+,
but "A Goon's Deed in a Weary

World" is a better episode.
So, yeah, even the finales
I love never leave me wholly
satisfied. Everyone loves the
"Friday Night Lights" finale,
there are about a million
logistical reasons the writers
probably couldn't bring back
Smash - many of which were
probably out of their control.
But how can I be logical about
the television industry and all
its moving parts at a time like
this?! When I'm emotionally
fragile, logic and reason pack
up their bags, and few things
make me as emotionally
fragile as a series finale.
Because series finales are
goodbyes and goodbyes are
always going to suck. There's
no such thing as a perfect
goodbye. You're always going
to want more time. You're
always going to wish you had
done something differently.
This is my last television col-
umn for The Michigan Daily
and I know I have about a
hundred more columns in me,
and, yes, most of them would
probably include the words
"feminist," "the CW" and
"witches" because those are
indeed my favorite things to
write about. I never wrote that
column about "H20: Just Add
Water." I never wrote about
how my dad learned English
from American television
when he emigrated from India
or how he used to say phrases
like "I can't do it, captain"
and "beam me up, Scotty" so
often when I was growing up
that I thought they were just
regular American idioms and
not references to a TV show.
That one probably would have
been called "Kayla Upadhy-
aya: TV is in my DNA" and,
as usual, I would have pissed
off my editors by writing 500
words over the limit.
Saying goodbye
is never easy.
So don't make
me say it, please.
So, if this column is my
series finale, I hope it's like
the "Clarissa Explains it
All" finale, in which Clarissa
writes her very last article
for the school paper and
everyone is sad but then she
dedicates the article to The
Future, which is I guess what
I dedicate this column to, too.
But this column is probably
more like that "Gilmore Girls"
finale; it's not my best work,
it could be better, but it'll
possibly make me cry in seven
years when I revisit it.
I apologize in advance to
everyone who have to say
goodbye to in a few weeks. I
got a taste of what it's going
to be like two weeks ago, and
I can tell you, it's definitely
going to suck, and it's
definitely not going to satisfy.
It's going to feel like your
favorite TV show is coming
to an end. And maybe those
two characters who you were

always rooting for don't end
up together. And maybe not
everyone gets a happy ending.
But looking back, you're going
to remember your favorite
episodes and not that painful
OK, I might be a little too
married to this metaphor.
But so long as we're lost deep
within it, I'll keep it going by
calling the post-grad part of
my life my spinoff series. I'm
off to Los Angeles to try to be
a professional Funny Lady,
whatever that means, and to
hopefully eventually create
my own TV series that ends
up at the top of everyone's "10
Shows With the Best Series
Finales" lists.
But it probably won't.
Because I'm terrible at
goodbyes. So don't make me
say it, please.
This is Upadhyaya's last
column. To thank her for her work,
e-mail kaylau@umich.edu.

RELEASE DATE- Monday, April 14,2014
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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(c)2014 Tribune Content Agency,LLC 04/14/14

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