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July 10, 2014 - Image 3

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Thursday, July 10, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, July 10, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

13

Sluggish 'The Strain'
still manages to terrify

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w thriller struggles ermo del Toro's ("Pan's Laby-
rinth") name. It's evident that
th pacing, but still FX believes in this show, and
based on this early episodes, that
roves worthy of a belief appears to be justified.
"The Strain" follows what
primetime slot happens when a "dead" plane
with 200 people aboard lands
ByALEXINTNER at JFK Airport in New York. Dr.
Daily Arts Writer Ephraim Goodweather (Corey
Stoll, "House of Cards") leads the
has a lot riding on "The CDC team called to the scene,
." While a lot of their and starts the investigation
t premieres have been crit- behind what happened. On that
its, including "The Ameri- plane, a mysterious box is found
and "The Bridge", none of in the cargo hold, bringing inside
have par- ita threat that can cause the end-
rly large - of-days. The story takes its time
nces. unfolding, letting the little cogs
re putting The Strain in the machine get their time on
of hope center-stage. This is probably the
his show Firstfour show's biggest detriment, espe-
se they're episodes cially in the show's second epi-
g to enter screened sode.
ry crowd- for review However, the slow plot devel-
Sunday FX opment is mostly mitigated by
a space the fantastic work done by the
he first Sundaysat 10p.m. writers and directors to create
since the some terrifying scenes. Del Toro
ney Cox knows how to create fear, and
nds") drama "Dirt" aired throughout the pilot he wrote
in 2008. They have put a and directed, he masterfully
marketing push behind the creates tension through mul-
starting with a spot in the tiple means. The episode moves
Bowl and continuing with slowly from scare to scare creat-
ards that have garnered ing a palpable sense of tension.
iversy because of their There's a big scene on the plane,
queness. The campaign which is the best of the series so
y relied upon shocking, far. Over; its several minutes, the
que imagery and Guill- shots were drawn out and always

slowly moving. The later episodes
don't quite have this masterful
build because del Toro went back
to making other things and the
other directors don't quite have
the technical skills that he does.
There are some great moments in
these episodes which are as good
as the scenes in the pilot, they're
just fewer and farther between.
Miraculously, "The Strain"
finds a way to make good use -of
it's incredibly talented cast. On
"House of Cards", Stoll proved
that he could be an incredibly
compelling actor, and he does
some great work here. Even if he's
saddled with an unfortunate wig,
he provides a center for the show
to build around. David Brad-
ley's ("Broadchurch") character
is forced to be the "mysterious
old figure who knows about the
threat" for the first few episodes,
but once they allow him to get
more involved in the story, he's
great.
"The Strain" isn't a perfect
show. The first few episodes had
pacing issues and couldn't quite
match the tension of the pilot.
However, the show's scares
are effective and the produc-
ers filled the cast with fantastic
actors. Despite the problems,
once the story picked up and the
scares became more plentiful, it
became clear that "The Strain"
was worth the huge investment
from FX.

The Fever
By CHLOE GILKE more vulnerable than most. Tom
Daily Arts Writer says something along the lines of
"it could be anything" harming the
Mystery and noir can have a rath- girls. It doesn't matter if it's a freak
er unfair reputations. They're nov- disease or the too-relatable risk of
els practically built for bent spines abuse and assault. Being a young
and yellowing pages - reading for girl is scary as hell.
the throwaway thrill of solving Another affecting part of "The
the crime. The Fever" is the terrifyingly warped
best mysteries, stream of gossip that pervades the
though, aren't halls of Dryden High. Photos and
just devoured. The Fever videos of the afflicted girls are
The literature shared through YouTube and social
devours you, and Megan Abbott media, and even the teachers sit in
the power of the the lounge, rewatching and perus-
words stays long Little, Brown ing for clues. While Deenie is reel-
past the turning ing over her friends' illness, she
of the final page. can't escape the constant buzzing
Megan Abbott's of her phone, often receiving mys-
"The Fever" is one of these uniquely terious threatening comments from
poignant novels. "The Fever" is a unfamiliar numbers. When Eli loses
harrowing portrayal of a communi- his cell, he's at first excited for the
ty devastated by mass hysteria and freedom, but then afraid of what
the mystery of young femininity. sinister meaning its absence might
At the heart of the narrative is entail. Even the way Abbott chooses
the Nash family. Everyteen Deenie to tell this story enhances the fran-
navigates the rivalries in her friend tic flow of information - each of
group, Eli is a sensitive soul with a the Nash family takes turns narrat-
weakness for pretty girls, and sin- ing, but just when one story seems
gle dad Tom is a dedicated father on the edge of breakthrough, we're
and high school teacher. Their thrust into another.
small town is relatively quiet, but As gripping as the plot and
a certain darkness haunts Dryden. underlying themes are, parts of
There's the chemically technicolor "The Fever" don't function quite so
lake, roped off after a child's death well. Eli Nash is thinly drawn com-
in the water. A woman still bears pared to his more interesting sister,
the scars of being bashed in the and he verges on beinga collection
head by a hammer, though her hus- of conflicting traits rather than a
band's long gone. Maybe Tom's wife real character. (His passionate need
had the right idea leaving the family to protect his sister is a little ridicu-
and starting a new life away from lous.) Tom Nash is likable enough,
the toxicity of the town. but I'm not convinced his point of
When girl after girl collapses in view adds anything to the story.
sudden and inexplicable illness, the In a story about mass hysteria and
townspeople come up with increas- the danger of femininity, a subplot
ingly panicked answers. Could it about a middle aged man's love life
be exposure to that murky lake? A doesn't really resonate. The twist
bad batch of the HPV vaccine, so at at the end is thrilling and smart,
foolishly recommended by school but the ending feels rather rushed.
administration? A strange new Many interesting characters and
strain of STD? One girl even points individual cases don't get the clo-
toward Deenie as being the cause sure they deserve.
of the illness, which may not be so Still, "The Fever" is a wonderful
far off, considering that Deenie's dichotomy. It manages to be both a
friends are dropping like flies while fun mystery and an interesting dis-
she remains unafflicted. section of the dangers of femininity.
Abbott wonderfully illustrates There's enough teen drama to make
the risk of being a teenage girl. No a Pretty Little Liar roll her eyes,
matter how good parents might but the surreal small-town hor-
try and protect their daughters, ror reads like David Lynch pressed
youth brings an inevitable pliability to the page. Its 300 pages are the
The affected girls are diverse, but very definition of a "fast read," but
have one characteristic in common it's the sort of book that leaves you
- visible scars from a dark past. with breathless nightmares for
Between Lise's weight struggles, days. "The Fever" isdarkandtwisty
Jaymie's mommy issues and Gab- fun, worthy of being devoured and
by's felon father, these girls are even capable of devouring.

A2 Election Commision meets
to discuss response to ballot error

City Council approves
Main Street road closures
for football Saturdays

ALLISON FARRAND/Daily
Tom Wieder, Bob Doscola's attorney, voices concerns about the state's desicion to count the misprinted ballots at a meeting
of the Ann Arbor Election Commission Tuesday.

After name omitted,
Ward 3 candidate
files motion in
federal court
By SHOHAM GEVA
ManagingNews Editor
Tuesday morning, the Ann
Arbor Election Commission
met to discuss issues with mis-
printed absentee ballots for the
August primaries, focusing on
a motion filed in federal court
Monday that seeks to bar the
city from counting one of the
races on the incorrect ballots.
The ballots, which left off the
name of Ward 3 City Council
candidate Bob Dascola due to a
proofing error, were sent out to
roughly four hundred individu-
als in the ward June 20. After
the error was pointed out to the
city clerk's office on June 27,
new, corrected ballots were sent
out on June 30.
Dascola is running in the
Democratic primary against
Julie Grand and Sam McMullen.
No Republican or independent
challengers are currently run-
ning for the seat.
On the day the error was dis-
covered, the state Bureau of
Elections initially instructed
the city clerk's office that all
votes on the first, incorrect bal-
lot except for the Ward 3 City
Council seat should be counted
if the second, corrected ballot
wasn't returned. However, on
June 30 the state reversed its
position, instead instructing

the clerk to count every vote on
the first ballot, including for the
Ward 3 seat, if the voter didn't
return a second ballot. Only if
a second ballot was returned
would the first ballot be dis-
carded.
In a letter to the clerk's
office, Christopher Thomas,
state director of elections, cited
potential concerns about voter
disenfranchisement as rationale
for the new decision.
As of a motion filed Monday
afternoon, Dascola's campaign
is contesting the state's revised
instructions and asking the
court to enjoin the city from
counting Ward 3 votes on the
incorrect ballots. During the
public commentary section of
the meeting, Dascola's attorney
Tom Wieder said it is the cam-
paign's position that a ballot can
only be counted as a ballot if it's
an accurate representation of
the race, and that the state has
not yet presented any legal evi-
dence to prove the opposite.
"It's a piece of paper that has
two names on it but that's not
the contest in this primary," he
said of the original ballot. "To
say that you can count votes
from a non-contest just doesn't
make any sense as far as we're
concerned."
City attorney Stephen
Postema, one of the commis-
sion's three members along with
City Clerk Jacqueline Beaudry
and John Seto, Ann Arbor chief
of police, said at the meeting that
the city will look to the courts
for guidance on whether or not
the votes should be counted.
He added that he considers the

issue to be primarily between
the state and Dascola, though
the lawsuit is filed with the city.
"When I talk about the dis-
pute, there is a dispute between
the state and Mr. Dascola as to
this interpretation of the count-
ing of the ballots," Postema said.
"The state has clearly weighed
in in a manner that (the Dascola
campaign) disagrees with, and
that's why the court's going to
rule and of course we will follow
any ruling."
The city attorney's office has
not yet expressed an opinion on
whether or not they believe the
votes are valid. Postema said the
city's position will be made clear
in a response to Dascola's motion
that will be filed with the court
this week. He added that the city
is still waiting to receive some
additional materials from the
state about the issue.
Beaudry reported at the
meeting that only somewhere
between zero and ten voters
have returned just a first bal-
lot thus far. She added that her
office has also been telephoning
affected voters in the area in an
effort to reduce that number.
However, margins in City
Council Democratic primaries
have traditionally been tight -
in 2010, current Councilmember
Stephen Kunselman (D-Ward 3)
won the Ward 3 primary by six
votes - and Wieder said espe-
cially given how close races have
been, the misprinted ballots are
a concern for the campaign.
The commission will meet
again next week to continue
discussing the issue and receive
updates on the lawsuit.

Ann Arbor residents
express concern over
traffic, accessibility
to downtown area
By IAN DILLINGHAM
Editor in Chief
At their bimonthly meeting
Monday night, the Ann Arbor City
Council debated proposed road
closures during football games at
Michigan Stadium after receiving
input from John Seto, Ann Arbor
Police Chief.
The council addressed the clo-
sure of northbound Main Street
three hours prior to games and the
closure of southbound Main Street
one hour prior - procedures that
have elicited concerns from resi-
dents in the area.
Following a 2013 report from
the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, Ann Arbor Police and
University Police implemented
new safety procedures regard-
ing traffic flow around the sta-
dium. After receiving input from
the community, several proposed
modifications to the procedures
were enacted in an effort to allevi-
ate congestion for local residents.
Seto held a forum on July 1 to
discuss the potential impacts of
road closures with city residents.
"It's a balance between security
and inconvenience," Seto said at
the July 1 meeting.
At Monday's meeting, Seto said
his experience with crowds during
the 2013 season led him to believe
that closing northbound traffic
three hours prior was an appropri-
ate response, because it allowed
officers to secure half the road
before the largest crowds began
descending on the stadium.
After hosting the public forum,
he noted that residents primarily
voiced concerns over post-game
congestion, not the pre-game clo-
sures.
Councilmember Jack Eaton
(D-Ward 4) opposed the mea-

sure, stating that he was generally
opposed to the closing of any roads
on game days. However, Eaton
- along with Ann Arbor Mayor
John Hieftje - commended Seto's
efforts to involve community
members in the implementation of
such procedures.
Also opposed to the proposal,
Councilmember Sabra Briere (D-
Ward 1) expressed doubts that the
measures added considerably to
security, and questioned why simi-
lar closures were not instituted
after the games if vehicle traffic
was considered such a danger. She
suggested that Council amend the
proposal to close northbound traf-
fic for one hour after the game.
Seto said after games, police
must balance security with the
need to move fans away from the
stadium efficiently.
"We've made those consider-
ations and thought about it last
year," Seto said. "To reduce the
risk to stadium (patrons), one of
the ways is to get people out of
there as quickly as possible."
He also noted that, once closed,
the road could be overrun with
pedestrian traffic and therefore
difficult to reopen until all the
crowds fully disperse.
Those in favor of the proposal
cited the 2013 federal report and
the general need to promote safety
as justification for any inconve-
nience in traffic flow.
"This came from federal securi-
ty officials," Councilmember Mar-
gie Teall (D-Ward 4) said. "The
idea that we would second guess
this is kind of scary to me."
"When you have vehicles and
that many pedestrians at the
beginning of the game, we certain-
ly can't stop everything, butwe can
certainly minimize the opportu-
nity," added Councilmember Ste-
phen Kunselman (D-Ward 3). "I
see this opportunity as minimiz-
ing the opportunity for something
bad to happen."
The measure eventually passed
Council with Briere, Eaton and
Councilmember Sumi Kailasapa-
thy (D-Ward 1) opposing.

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