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May 30, 2013 - Image 3

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2013-05-30
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Thursday, May 30, 2013
10 1, The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Acting can't save idle 'Nashville'

Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

13

BUZZ OFF!

Despite powerful
performances, ABC'S
series lacks velocity
By KAYLA UPADHYAYA
Daily Arts Writer
"Nashville" has always had a
Storytelling problem. In the first
few episodes of the ABC musical
aeries, everything
moved too fast; R
ven the pilot
iurned through Nashville
oo much story,
making it a stand-
alone sensation Wednesdays
with an unclear at10 p.m.
trajectory for ABC
things moving
orward. Then,
for long stretches of the season,
was like someone had pushed
9ause - the characters danced in
place while boring storylines got
pushed center stage and stronger
ones faded to the background. In its
inale, "Nashville" piles on the emo-

tional layers that trickle throughout
its freshman run. But in the end,
nothing much more happens than
the pilot signaled would happen;
cut away all the middle stuff and
you really wouldn't miss anything,
story-wise.
But "Nashville" isn't as plot-driv-
en as its premise would have you
believe. Though it's promoted as a
primetime soap about the rivalry
between aging country music leg-
end Rayna James (Connie Britton)
and the young and unstable bub-
blegum country princess Juliette
Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), under-
neath all the glistening musical
numbers is an earnest look at the
music industry and how it affects
families and relationships. It has
all the hallmarks of soapy drama,
but "Nashville" shines in its quieter
moments. On the typical soap, plot
drives everything. On "Nashville,"
the characters are in control.
The series frequently takes
seemingly cliche plot points and
injects them with depth. Creator
Callie Khouri - whose background
in film explains some of the pacing

issues - knew she wanted Juliette
to sleep with Deacon (Charles
Esten), the much older, longtime
friend and past lover of Rayna, in
the pilot, but didn't want it to seem
like just some skin-deep onscreen
hookup. Instead, there are all sorts
of motivations and emotions at play,
like Deacon's longing for a past
that's long gone and Juliette's self-
destructive mentality.
The finale similarly attempts to
carve more dimensions into pre-
dictable plots that are shallow on
paper, but with mixed success.
Deacon's downward spiral was
inevitable: There's probably some
Chekhovian rule mandating that if
you introduce a14-years-sober alco-
holic in your pilot, that cap's com-
ing off sooner or later. It's actually
a surprising show of restraint that
the writers took their time push-
ing Deacon to the edge, and while
his dip back into the bottle might be
predictable and borderline trite, the
way he gets there is both believable
and potent, with Esten selling every
second of it.
But the real gem of the finale is

SOLAR
From Page 1
Councilmember Sally Peterson
(D-Ward 2) said communication
about the Fuller Road panels
went much smoother and created
fewer concerns among Ann Arbor
residents and business owners.
"I think since (the Plymouth
project) they've been much more
proactive in communicating their
intentions," Peterson said.
Peterson said two community
meetings have been held this
year between University and Ann
Arbor officials. The first was held
in February during which the
University apologized for the lack
of discussion on the Plymouth Road

project and announced the plans for
Fuller Road. The second meeting
was to alert the surrounding
neighborhood of the project.
"I think the meetings went
quite well," Berki said. "The
feedback that we've received
from the community on this staff
of the solar project has been very
positive."
Currently both Ann Arbor and
the University have their own
renewable energy projects but
Peterson says she would rather
they collaborate on green projects.
"The city and University are
just now looking for opportunities
to collaborate," Peterson said, "I
would say that might be one of
those areas where we could have
some very positive collaboration."

Are we human, orare we dancer?
Panettiere, who gives her fiercest
performance after a back-to-back
slew of career-changing perfor-
mances throughout the season.
Backstage at the Country Music
Awards, a grieving Juliette barrels
through anger, sadness, guilt and
shock, all under two minutes, and
Panettiere portrays such erratic
recklessness with immense control.
It's no easy feat to outshine Britton,
one of the best actors on TV right
now, and some of the series's best
moments are scenes where the two
play against each other. But this
time, the spotlight rests on Panet-

tiere.
Even with the great character
work and powerful performances,
there's something a bit off-pitch
about the finale. It all comes back
to the lack of momentum, the lack
of real action. "Nashville" some-
times makes it seem like it's mov-
ing forward when all it's really
doing is dancing in place. Even the
two supposed-to-be shockers at
episode's end lack velocity when it
comes down to it. Ask yourself what
really happened during season one
of "Nashville." Turns out, not much
of anything.

MARLENE LACASSE/Daily
In opposition of the Monsanto Protection Act for Genetically Modified Organisms, protesters hold signs in Hanover
square Park on saturday
City counci1 approves budget
amid spending concerns

,g ew course
ENGR 380/598*
Students of
Techology, Culture, Wellness
Participate in Teams that imagine and create
gripping multimedia smartphone-based apps
that will enhance wellness
contact Prof. Jasprit Singh singh@umich.edu

ART IS ALL AROUND YOU!
ESPECIALLY IN ANN ARBOR.
WRITE ABOUT IT BY BECOMING A
COMMUNITY CULTURE WRITER FOR
DAILY ARTS.
Email arts@michigandaily.com
to request an application.

$1.4 million surplus
to be worked into
2014 allotment
By AARON GUGGENHEIM
Daily StaffReporter
The Ann Arbor City Council
has approved the budget for the
2014 fiscal year and has released
a plan for budgeting in the 2015
fiscal year.
The budget, presented to the
council by City Administrator
Steve Powers, contains increases
to the number of full time
employees, expenditures on
social welfare programs and
other various city improvements
and maintenance projects.
With a 2.3 percent increase in
property tax revenue and a 4.4
percent increase in General Fund
revenues, the city has accrued a
$1.4 million budget surplus for
the 2014 fiscal year. Some of this
extra revenue is due to profits
from Ann Arbor's golf courses.

These surplus funds will be
allocated toward making one-
time improvements to facilities,
bettering financial services and
hiring more employees. After
several successive years of labor
cuts, the city will add eight full-
time equivalent jobs - including
four positions in Fire Services.
Despite this surplus, there is
a projected $1.6 million deficit
for the 2015 fiscal year due to an
increase in fixed costs.
Councilmember Jane Lumm
(I-Ward 2) said this coming
deficit was not something that
she thought was in the city's best
interests.
On the other hand, Council-
member Chris Taylor (D-Ward
3) said he had confidence in
the city's financial status and
believed that it would be robust
in the coming years.
"The city has always presented
balanced budgets during the
course of the Great Recession
and has always been in great
fiscal health," Taylor said. "The
ability of the city to provide

desirable services has improved
as economic conditions have
improved."
Taylor said the need to cut
employees has "by and large
gone away."
Similar to Taylor, Powers
said the city had a positive fis-
cal outlook, adding that it was
the result of wise decisions that
helped to contain city expenses
and increase revenues.
However, Powers said it would
be best to contain and minimize
city spending and keep down
recurring expenditures.
"We are still in a position
where we need to restrain our
spending," Powers said.
However, for the coming fis-
cal year, there has been a 15
percent increase costs for the
pension system and 4.4 percent
increase in recurring annual
expenses.
Taylor said despite the chal-
lenge to fund the pensions of
retiring employees, the city
would meet its obligations.
See BUDGET, Page 6

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