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December 01, 2014 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-12-01

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6A - Monday, December 1, 2014


The Michigan Daily - michiganclaily.com

A rts The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom



"Woooooooh!" - George R.R. Martin seeing his creations come to life on the small screen.
The'plot armor'of
mre i

Attention men: These are Mara MacLean approved. JOHN VARVATOS
My bizarre love
for Chukl~ka Boots

A critique of shows
that give their
characters an easy
out from death
DailyArts Writer
Spoiler Alert for pretty much
every popular television show.
Does this sound familiar?
A television series' character,
most likely a fan favorite, finds
himself cornered. By what? The
undead, a dozen or so enemy
soldiers, a brutal serial killer
... it doesn't really matter.
Somehow, against all odds,
he makes his way out. It's
thrilling, pulse-pounding
suspense. But then he keeps
finding himself in the same
situation and every time he
walks out with only a scrape
at most. And he owes it all to
the magical device called plot
Plot armor is the idea that
a character is too important,
through popularity or plot
significance, to be killed
off by a series' writers.
Take "The Walking Dead"
's Daryl Dixon. During the
show's struggling second
season, the redneck archer's
character development and
general badassery stood out
as a bright spot, and people
latched on with fans crying
"If Daryl Dies We Riot!"
The character's popularity
has allowed him to be one of
the few survivors that .has
lasted through every season
of the show so far. So far he's
survived: being shot, captured
and most recently falling off a
bridge in a van. I'm as big a

fan of Daryl as the next but
whenever he's cornered I find
myself thinking, "How will he
get out?" instead of "Will he
get out?"
Plot armor can extend to
the .majority of many horror
series cast. "American Horror
Story" 's cast stands as an
exaniple. The anthology series
has gathered one of the more
impressive casts in television,
most protected by plot armor.
Suspense in horror lies in
whether a character will live
or die in a situation. That
suspense is shattered when
I can pretty much guarantee
Jessica Lange will make it
to the final episode every
season she's in. This was most
egregious in "Coven" when
the plot armor was so strong
that it raised characters from
the dead, killing any sort of
suspense along the way. What
good is death when it's easily
Subverting plot armor
can lead to effective results.
One of the largest draws of
"Game of Thrones" is the
idea that anyone can die. This
was set in stone when Ned
Stark's head was chopped off
in the show's first season.
Ned was a character that
would typically be gifted
with protection, practically
being the first season's
central character, but his
death served to establish the
harsh realities of Westeros,
as "Game of Thrones"
continuously (and painfully)
reminds us.
One of the first shows to
utilize this subversion of plot
armor was "24." In its first
season Jack Bauer had saved
a presidential candidate's life
(multiple times), killed an

Eastern European warlord
and saved his family ... almost.
Following the capture of CTU
mole Nina Meyers, Jack looks
for his wife only to find her
dead from a gunshot wound.
The fact Teri Bauer was also
pregnant served as a final
gut punch to the audience
that through the first season.
had seen Jack find a way to
solve every problem he was
in. Teri was the traditionally
protected wife of the hero.
Hell, she was pregnant; you
didn't kill pregnant women
back then (at least not until
the baby was born - then they
were fair game).
This set a precedent for
"24" - Jack Bauer was the
traditional plot armored-
hero able to fight his way out
of any life-or-death situation
but only to see those around
him cut down by the brutal
world he inhabited. The series
never hesitatedt kill Bauer's
friends and allies, sometimes
to its own detriment.
Plot armor isn't bad when
it's deployed well. As "24" cut
down most of its main cast, it
found fewer and fewer people
for Jack to connect to. Why
grow attached to characters
if they're just going to be
killed right away? "24" had
to introduce new characters
routinely near the series
initial end and it suffered
for it. Thankfully, the series
learned the benefits of plot
armor before it got to Chloe
O'Brian, one of Jack's few
surviving friends.
Plot armor is a useful trope
for series where death is
common, but when used too
much, can turn a cast into
superheroes instead of actual
human characters.

For theDaily
While I am generally
attracted to Miu Miu pumps
or Zara leopard booties, one
unassuming shoe does grab
my attention when it pops up
around campus. The Chukka
boot, made from calfskin or
suede, with crepe rubber
soles, shines like a beacon of
hope among a sea of Timbos
and decrepit Vans. The boot
is so stylish, yet simple, that
I am truly confused as to why
every college student doesn't
own a pair.
Jack Kerouac immortalized
the look of layers of plaid,
jean jacket, cuffed 501s and
suede Chukkas in his novel
"On the Road." Kerouac and
his fellow Beats imparted an
effortlessly cool look that
does, in fact, stand the test of
time. Students are constantly
throwing chambray over
denim or sporting wayfarers
with a beanie saggingbehind.
If these famous looks endure,
why can't the Chukka boot?
The boots fulfill many
campus needs with rubber
soles that have just enough
traction so you won't wipe
out on an icy sidewalk. The
comfort level is somewhere
between Adidas sneakers and
Ugg boots. And the best part,
unlike Vans or Converse,

to a
and a
I sh
the p
in ri


actually look better with and women. The taupe or
wear and tear. . oakwood suede make for
hile many guys think a fine-looking shoe that
have found the answer pairs nicely with the small
fantastic look with speckling of salt stains at
os paired with jeans the toe that comes with the
Patagonia, I would urge winter months.
male populous to look For those who have been on
a pair of Chukka boots. top of the Chukka boot trend
amelessly give every and are looking to expand
sporting Chukka boots upon their collection, I would
proper check out in an suggest the felt option from
pect-you manner. They, John Varvatos. According to
eturn, usually shuffle the Wall Street Journal, this
, scared, but t'm just boot falls in line with the felt
g to appreciate those trend for fall/winter.
are aware of fashion. My personal favorite is an
unbelievably dope pair from
Golden Goose., They have a
chic star patch on them, so
om Kerouac of course, they are definitely
worth the additional 400
o Kanye to bucks.
Finally, the Chukka boot,
day's Diag, a in all its versatility, has
" gloriously tapped into the
tylish shoe. Chelsea boot trend. Rail has
generously made a beautiful
Chelsea chukka that allows
one to emulate Kanye.
if my approval was not The boot is as stylish as
gh, the boots come in it was in the '60s. Whether
different price ranges, you associate with the
uit any financial or Kerouac or Kanye look, it can
etic need. satisfy a serious closet and
r the classic Chukka practical need. For optimal
or one that closely presentation, I would suggest
nbles something dark denim, simple sweater,
uac would wear, Clarks and suede Chukka boots.
ert Boot" comes in a Then, you are guaranteed my
ty of leathers for men utmost respect.

to s





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