"News is the first rough draft of history."

The Voice of the College at Florham

"News is the first rough draft of history." - The Voice of the College at Florham

One of FDU’s own lands spot in Garden State Film Festival

MELISSA KRENEK
Entertainment Editor

It’s about that time again, folks. The weather is getting warmer and all major parts of campus are filled with film crews and excited faces.
Senior Thesis Night for FDU film students is Tuesday, May 1, at Clearview Cinemas in Morristown. The students will get to show off their talents in the art of film and screenwriting.

Many of these projects will go on to receive further acclaim. In fact, one already has: “Ever Last,” a story about an overweight superhero created by FDU’s own Chris Dimoulas, who graduated in 2011.

Dimoulas started writing, directing and acting in his own films when he was 15. His first film was a black and white short entitled “The Last Job.”

Ironically, “The Last Job” made such a splash in his school’s film department that videography classes showed it as an example of “what not to do” in film. Fast forward several years, Dimoulas is miles away from his “how not to” days, and extremely pleased with his film debut.

“Ever Last” centers around an assistant bank manager named Kimberly Alves (Angeline-Rose Troy) who meets a mysterious man, Wolf Sutcliff (Sean T. McGrath), an overweight immortal, when he robs the bank she works for.

Wolf tells Kim that he has been alive for thousands of years and that he feels that he has no purpose in life. Kim decides to help him find a reason for his so-called meaningless existence.

“I pretty much just wanted to write my senior thesis with Sean T. McGrath,” Dimoulas stated in an online interview. “And I thought it would be interesting, different, and comical to write about an overweight superhero, but it quickly changed to a story of the woman who meets him and has to live with him through extreme circumstances.”

Dimoulas said that he wrote the characters based off of the two actors he wanted to work with, Troy and McGrath.

Both Dimoulas and McGrath are members of the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon; many of that fraternity’s members hail from film and theater backgrounds.

For a guy who started off as a high school gag, Dimoulas has made his way up the film ladder.

“Ever Last” was screened at the 10th Annual Garden State Film Festival in Asbury Park on March 25.

The festival brought in 193 films from 17 countries to be presented in seven venues in and around the Asbury Park area. Acting greats like Ed Asner were in attendance.
With Senior Thesis Night around the corner, Fairleigh Dickinson will be churning out new talents in the film world, and hopefully they, too, whether actor or director, are able to get their foot in the door through this great opportunity.

Nicki Minaj’s ‘Pink Friday,’ part two, may be a Black Friday after all

MELISSA KRENEK
Entertainment Editor

Nov. 19, 2010, was filled with pink wigs, tight pants and multi-colored lipstick, all in preparation for the new Queen Bee of hip-hop’s debut album.

Nicki Minaj was on top of the world when “Pink Friday” was released; even veterans like Lil Kim couldn’t bring her down.

Fast forward to 2012, and Minaj is ready to release “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded,” a remix to the original with less hype and even less talent. Any listeners that were into her since her “itty bitty piggy” days will surely want to destroy her alter ego by the end of the album.

“Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” focuses on Minaj’s most popular alter ego, Roman Zolanski (dangerously close to Roman Polanski). Roman is her more vicious side, as opposed to her normal self, or her more feminine side, Barbie. The album starts with “Roman Holiday,” a sad excuse for a song starting with Roman’s mother, another alter ego of Minaj’s, preaching to her son about his need for a “Roman Holiday.”

“I Am Your Leader,” is the next song worth mentioning, a centerpiece to many afternoon jam sessions on both Hot 97 and Power 105.1. It holds the same out of this world type of sound as the other songs on the album, but for some reason it has more intensity behind it. This could be because Minaj’s verses actually have some substance, but most likely because it features some big players like Rick Ross and Cam’ron.

The next song, “Beez in the Trap,” is a song listeners will love to hate. It features newcomer Two Chainz, formally known as “Tity boi,” who is the least talented artist featured on the album, and in the industry in general. The best part of the song is the beat, a common pattern with most songs on the album, though trying to figure out the meaning behind “Beez in the Trap,” is an adventure in itself.

“Roman Reloaded” brings back the old Minaj, reminiscent of “I Get Crazy,” complete with Lil Wayne by her side. The chorus is accompanied by sounds of bullets, and Minaj yelling “bang bang,” which like “Beez in the Trap,” is guaranteed to be stuck in your head.

“Champion” is more of a nostalgic track, talking about the ghetto and the importance of getting out. It features YMCMB label mate Drake, whose only real addition to the song is paying homage to Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri’s “Money Ain’t a Thang.” Young Jeezy follows him, talking about all the money he has, but both rappers are out shined by the third featured artist: Nas. He starts his verse off strong, with “I saw my first two million dollars, I was 23/ I’m barely a man, yet, I had some killers under me.” The rest of it is basic enough, but still wows listeners more than Jeezy could ever do.

This song is followed by an R&B track, featuring the prince of R&B, Chris Brown. “Right By My Side” is a strong duet between Minaj and Brown, catchy from the start with Minaj singing, “It all comes down to this/I miss your morning kiss.” Brown makes the track, as he does with most collaboration tracks he has had this year, his verse nostalgic to a relationship we can all recognize.

Minaj surprised listeners all over the world with her Jersey Shore-Katy Perry hybrid “Starships,” a summer track reminiscent of “California Girls” if there was a house remix. Minaj continues with her techno revelation in “Pound the Alarm,” “Whip It,” and “Automatic,” the latter being the most passable for enjoyable dance music.

The rest of the songs on the album follow suit, until the last track, “Stupid Hoe,” a prime example of music with absolutely no substance. The beat, again, is crazy, but the lyrical content is virtually non-existent.

The deluxe edition of the album features her mega hit, “Turn Me On,” featuring dance guru David Guetta, a song taking over both the airways and clubs around the world.
The album, music wise, is perfection, thanks to producers like Hit Boy and RedOne (most famous for working with Lady Gaga).

The tracks that were collaborations never fell short of being both catchy and street friendly, thanks to Cam’ron, Nas and Drake.

Unfortunately, like many other rap albums we have seen, the actual star of the show is the least impressive. In fact, the songs that were just Minaj herself, mostly the dance tracks, were nothing memorable.

In the days of “Beam Me Up Scotty,” Minaj was the only actor on stage, and delivered every time. She didn’t need the fancy wigs, crazy alter egos, or flashy names behind her.

“Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” was an overall disappointment, and leaves the door wide open for Lil Kim to take her title back, if she ever gets around to it.

Odd Future’s newest work packs more punch than a bully

MELISSA KRENEK
Entertainment Editor

Tyler, the Creator and his clan of cartoons have done it again!

The now 21-year-old and his group Odd Future have always delivered raunchy yet lyrical pieces, and most people hate them for it.
Sure, most of the songs deal with fellatio and fornication, and not always the consensual kind, but it’s what the people want. Their debut album does not fail to deliver.

“The OF Tape Vol. 2” features all members of Wolf Gang (Odd Future), though the obvious forerunners are Tyler, the Creator, Hodgy Beats and Frank Ocean.
In fact, the album should have featured just these three men, since everything else that didn’t involve them was worthy of the skip button.

Though controversial, it is the most lyrical piece of work out in the game today, and what other rappers out right now can speak about dinosaurs, zombies, talking trees and Lunchables and make it catchy?

The album starts with an introduction to its members, entitled “Hi,” a minute-and-a-half of each member being degraded verbally.

It paints a nice picture of what is to come, a light hearted yet vicious attack on everyone and everything.

“Analog 2” is the first song on the album that could be a universal hit, and features R&B favorite Frank Ocean and Tyler, The Creator.
We have seen their undeniable chemistry in “She,” and they bring this same romantic/sadistic message with “Analog 2.”

Ocean does his usual cooing with the hook, “Meet me by the lake at ten/If I’m not there just call/And if you need a way there/ I’ll ride you on my handle bars.”
Tyler even tones it down in this one, talking more about romance than rape. One line could be straight out of a poem, “It’s summer camp Golf Wang where the talking trees are.”

Just as we begin to enjoy the lighthearted jam, Tyler brings back the demonic voice in the end.
The creepy voice talks about how the lake is deep and his date will need a life jacket.

This brings us back to reality, and realizes that the fictional date will most likely end up at the bottom of the lake in Tyler’s land of make believe.
Frank Ocean is featured again on the next track entitled “Snow White,” with Hodgy Beats, both men proving their ways with words.

Hodgy jumps onto the track with a griping first couple of lines,“Gold chain and some J’s like Nas in illmatic/ I’m so real, I’m something to feel, peel fabric./ My folks kill, the hunt every meal, meat cabbage/ Lyrically get out of my way, protein the beats raddish.”

Ocean brings in a natural element to the song. His soothing voice echoes, “Snow so white, moon so bright/ They’re on a playground making canines fight.”
Paired with the lyrics is a simple drum beat mixed with a dramatic synthesizer, with the occasional howling and growling in the background.

Tyler, the Creator joins Hodgy again on “P,” a song where no one is safe from his judgments. Hodgy talks about killing people, while Tyler takes it way too far, as he usually does.

Listeners will be shocked hearing, “So after the showers with Sandusky,/ me and Sean Kingston went and rented a couple jet skis.”
In one line Tyler manages to poke fun at the Penn State scandal as well as the near fatal accident of a pop singer.

But this is what fans love about him, his most famous being his “stab” at Bruno Mars in his hit song “Yonkers.”

Tyler takes it even farther than that here, even referencing Casey Anthony. “You know Casey Anthony, was handling/Dropping her kids off so she could come out and dance with me.”

This shocking track is juxtaposed with Frank Ocean’s ballad called “White.”

Unlike other R&B artists out now, not every song on his repertoire are “panty-droppers,” in fact, most are more depressing than sexual.

Though simplistic, “White” holds more sensuality than any Trey Songz or Chris Brown track out right now, with a lyric like “I woke, you were there, tracing planets on my forehead.” Who needs a complicated beat and a six pack?

“White” reads more like a poem than a song, and is a refreshing break from all the shenanigans occurring around it.

The album ends with “Oldie,” a 10-minute track that features all the members of Wolf Gang. It has almost too much personality for one song to handle.
Overall the album was impressive, and though controversial, Odd Future knows how to stir the pot.

Most rappers out right now talk about two things, women and money.
Though usually paired with a catchy beat, this formula gets old.

Odd Future is the first rap group since Wu-Tang to bring the street rap back into the mainstream, and doesn’t rely solely on a “killer beat” like Rick Ross’s Maybach group.
Many people are outraged by the acceptance of Wolf Gang’s content, but this ideology is no different from why people like slasher films and violent television.

Why can Eli Roth write a film about sex and death but Tyler, The Creator can’t write a song about it?

Chiddy Bang’s ‘Breakfast’ is a fruity treat that lacks nutrition

MELISSA KRENEK
Entertainment Editor

The duo from Philly are back with a full-length album, entitled “Breakfast,” a feel-good album that can be played in any fraternity basement or indie radio station.

The pair, Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege and Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin began their love affair with music while attending Drexel University together in 2009.

They made waves a couple years back with “Consenting Adults” and “Truth,” two songs that boosted their careers.

They continue their art of chop-shopping samples, always creating completely new cars while paying homage to the old ones.

The only problem lies in the content value, since no song on “Breakfast” parallels the genius they have produced in the past.

The somber tunes like “Dream Chasin’” and “Sooner or Later” are nowhere to be found.

This may be their attempt to create a carefree dance album, but every good piece of art has some shadows to it.

As many albums do recently, Chiddy Bang begins theirs with an intro, filled with nostalgic piano riffs and little kids talking nervously.
Next is the title track, “Breakfast,” a song celebrating the duo’s success so far. Paired with some horns and piano, it acts as the perfect beginning song.

“Mind Your Manners” showcases the intricate sampling skills of Xaphoon.

The song features Icona Pop’s “Manners,” a playfully fun song reminiscent of “Truth,” but not as bubbly.
“Ray Charles” follows, a quirky song poking fun at the legendary musician, in a cute way.

The chorus, sung by a sultry voice, screams, “Ohh boy, open your eyes/A girl like me ain’t waitin’ all night.”

The song is filled with pun after pun dealing with blindness, but is delivered in a way that makes it more adorable than insulting.

The album delves a little deeper into emotion with the track “Does she love me?” which speaks of the heartbreak of falling for the wrong one.
“Does she love me?/ No Sir/ Does she want me?/No Sir/ I think she hates me/ What has she done for me lately?”

With a chorus like this listeners can feel the simplistic wallowing Chidera finds himself in.

Nothing really pops out lyrically or musically until the latter part of the album, specifically with the track “Happening,” which features English singer/songwriter V.V Brown.

The upbeat song reminds listeners of what catchy pop is, a song that surely will be on a summer mixtape in the near future.

The infectious sing/yelling of V.V Brown mixed with the clap machine produces a euphoric, young mood for an afternoon drive or a lively party.

Chiddy Bang adds a little of the hip-hop rap mentality in the ending song, “Fourth Quarter” a perfect juxtaposition for its poppy predecessors.
Complete with “ahs,” it would fit perfectly on any Hot 97 playlist, right up there with a YMCMB or MAYBACH track.

Tracks like these prove that Chiddy can sway back and forth between different genres with ease and success.

Overall the album has a footloose and fancy free feel to it, but as with many other albums of the time, it seems to not be a cohesive piece of work, instead just a compilation of different songs.

Xaphoon steps his game up with the beats, making them less simplistic not only by using different samples but by adding more intricate details.

The beauty in his old, simplistic sound was that the listener focused more on the lyrics, which were both intellectual and gritty, thanks to Chidera’s Nas-like flow.
Unfortunately, with this album, the lyrics and flow seemed less street and more celebratory, speaking less about struggle and more about success.

It is a natural progression, but let’s just hope that Chiddy Bang doesn’t forget the correct ratio of fruit loops to milk on their next album.

Tyga watches the throne from a distance with new album; ‘Careless World’ a good attempt at kingship, but the effort falls flat

MELISSA KRENEK
Entertainment Editor

No ear could escape the voracious and aggressive “rack city chick rack rack city chick” coming from mouths of teenage girls in the suburbs to gangsters on the street all the way to hipster writers of West Chelsea.

The radio version, lasting a little over two minutes, became the anthem of the year; don’t forget the infamous YouTube video of the dancing grandma to boot.
With all the hype that “Rack City” attained, many hip-hop fans wonder if Tyga can compete with his many successful label mates of YMCMB, including Drake and Lil Wayne.

“Careless World: Rise of the Last King” was released on Feb. 20, and with a title like that Tyga has a lot to prove. The question is, is he worthy of the crown?

It starts off with “Careless World,” a song that created controversy with its supposed unauthorized sampling of a Martin Luther King speech. Many of the albums released to stores were without the sample, which may have been for the best, since honestly the song doesn’t do it any justice.

The listener can tell that Tyga is trying to make a “rags to riches” story sound interesting; unfortunately, he misses the mark on that one.

It isn’t until track six that things begin to pick up. “I’m Gone,” featuring Big Sean, is less trying to be profound and more just having fun. It has a great sound to it, simple but reverberating, especially since the drum is paired with distant Drake cooing in the background.

Most listeners will find that the simplest of songs are the ones that hold the most meaning, a perfect example being Drake’s “Crew Love.” Tyga appears to be emulating this simplicity while Big Sean always brings the party feel. The song fades out before Sean appears, keeping the song refreshing and moody.

It’s followed by “For the Fame,” a virtually useless song that doesn’t add anything to the album. Sure, it features Chris Brown, but it certainly isn’t his best effort.

Track nine, entitled “Potty Mouth,” has a Wolf Gang feel to it, complete with the eerie piano and demonic voices.
Busta Rhymes busts into the song with his usual aggressive and speedy flow, adding an element of rawness to the track.

“Faded” comes up next, a song already blowing up Hot 97 and Power 105.1 during the weekend mixes. It features Lil Wayne and is a natural club banger.
The infamous “Rack City” is next, though the album version is much longer for no apparent reason.

The beat, again simple, is one of the best of 2011, and pairing it with a catchy chorus presumably speaking about strippers and Tyga’s egotistical rhymes makes the perfect club song.

“Black Crowns” brings the listener back to the serious and heartfelt. A song about struggle and defeating your enemies, “Black Crowns” hits a nerve, especially ending with a lengthy phone message from what could only be a proud mother.

He stays on this emotional kick with “Far Away,” a song about lost love that every type of music fan can appreciate. Featuring Chris Richardson’s smooth vocals, it is the perfect song to reminisce to.

“This is Like” features Robin Thicke’s signature angelic whispers on a beautiful ride through a town at night. “Kings and Queens” features two big names in the rap game, one from the past the other from the present. Both Nas and Wale do their thing on the track, almost making Tyga’s part seem obsolete.

Nas sneaks in with “You’re in the presence of a majestic, esoteric/Message from the most ghettoest king, worldwide respected.”
With a line like that, rappers like Tyga might want to second guess their profession.

He should have ended the album with “Love Game,” another genuine song dedicated to struggling love. It sounds strangely similar to Desree’s “I’m Kissing You,” featured in Baz Lurman’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

Listeners might be wary of the length, stretching to almost eight minutes, but don’t worry, Tyga packs a shocking surprise in the seemingly mellow song.
With two minutes left, the nostalgic “ooohhs” fade away and a powerful rush of dubstep kicks in, which would have served as a great note to end the album on.

Though it packed many strong punches, the overall album wasn’t anything worth jumping at. The length is definitely off putting; 21 tracks on an album nowadays is just wishful thinking, especially if you need three interlude songs to keep it moving. Though all the collaborations worked well, it seemed that whoever was featured on a particular song was the only reason the song was catchy.

Tyga does have strong qualities to him, but guest rappers are meant to complement the song, not dominate it. Since it is only his first full-length album, Tyga might still have the ability to shine, but as of right now, that crown definitely does not belong on his head.

The 54th Grammy Awards: A night for celebration or sacrifice?

MELISSA KRENEK
Entertainment Editor

Though the 54th Grammy Awards was one for the books, it may have left a bad taste in the mouths of millions who watched the celebration.

Sure, there were winners and losers, but everything seemed to have a dark mist surrounding it due to the untimely death of Whitney Houston.

Even Lady Gaga, who always looks frightening, had a more sinister look than usual.

Before dissecting the night of the living dead, let’s focus on the winners and losers of music’s biggest night.

The biggest winners of the night by far were Adele and The Foo Fighters.

The latter, even with dance pop owning the air waves, were still able to snag five awards.
Adele won all six categories she was nominated for, including both song and album of the year.

Her winnings also gave her the coveted title of being the first British woman in history to win six awards.

Kanye West also did well for himself, having seven nominations, winning best rap album for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” best rap performance for “Otis,” (along with Jay Z) and best rap/sung collaboration for “All of the Lights.”

Taylor Swift made it out alive with best country solo performance and best country song for “Mean,” which she paired with an adorable performance of it with her new edgy fringe.

Now let’s look at the rookies of the night; two artists in particular come to mind.

One you may find on the streets of New York City or a smoky basement, the other is a hardcore hero turned dubstep god.

The first man mentioned is Bon Iver, real name Justin Vernon, who won best new artist even though he flat out refused to perform when asked to.
Even during his acceptance speech, he “poo-pooed” the event, acting more like a harsh critic than a grateful winner.

The latter of the two, Skrillex, an online sensation for college students everywhere, managed to nab three Grammys this year. These included best dance/electronic album and best dance recording.

In 2004, he was known as Sonny Moore, a teen heartthrob for the emo generation covered with teen angst and makeup galore.

His band at the time, From First to Last, was one of the headliners of their genre. Moore left the band in 2007 to pursue a solo career.
Five years and half a head shaved later, Skrillex is on top of the dance world with three gold statues and more minions than Lady Gaga.

The next part of the night were the performances, many of them overshadowed by past events.

After years of denial, Chris Brown was finally let back into the golden show, only to be judged harshly during his shining moment.
No matter what dance moves or vocal tricks Brown had up his sleeve, viewers couldn’t get past his violent history with ex-girlfriend Rihanna.
Rihanna followed her ex-beau with an interesting duet with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

Though Martin is usually eerily touching with his voice it seemed under par during this performance, even overshadowed by Rihanna, who usually isn’t known for her live performances.

But all three artists seemed to have the talent of Andrea Bocelli compared to Nicki Minaj’s bizarre performance of her new song “Roman Holiday.”

Minaj’s bark was worse than her bite in this instance, arriving at the awards in a long red cloak accompanied by what looked like a priest, but when it came to her talent she showed anything but.

Just the fact that she needed a pseudo exorcism to prove her point is symbolic of what little talent is left in the business.

Even her glassy-eyed followers were screaming for her mixtape days back. But this performance, as bizarre and talentless as it was, painted a grotesque image of what the industry has become.

Pair this with the mysterious death of Whitney Houston and many conspiracy theorists can cook up a very compelling argument surrounding underlying forces to this dark world of entertainment.

Why did both the Super Bowl and the Grammys incorporate dark religious symbols in their performances?
Is there a reason that Nicki Minaj showed up to the awards with a priest?

What about Lady Gaga’s scepter accessory?

Sometimes we as viewers need to look past the fashion faux pas and dig a little deeper into the meaning behind these bold statements.
Even though the Grammy ceremony is usually for artists to pat each other on the back, this year’s seemed to have a different, darker agenda.

Review: The Luna Laval releases three-track EP, titled ‘Horoscopes’

MELISSA KRENEK
Entertainment Editor

The entertainment section of The Pillar is meant to show Fairleigh Dickinson students what’s new and different in the entertainment world, especially when it is happening in our area.

The Luna Laval is a four-piece band hailing from Old Bridge, N.J., whose drummer, Andy Katz, happens to be a senior here at the College at Florham.
Other members include Jakub Szczepaniak on vocals, Jeff Haberman on guitar, and Tom Risi on bass.

Their newest creation, “Horoscopes,” consists of three earthy tracks, which create a hybrid sound of nature versus nurture.
Though the audio can be gritty at times, the overall package creates an atmosphere of serenity, no matter how heart-wrenching the lyrics may be.

The EP starts with “Presence,” a slower song introduced by a soothing rain storm. Szczepaniak’s bellowing whine follows the pitter patter, accompanied with echoing that lets the listener know this will not be a carefree number.

The voice that precedes the bellowing is a perfect hybrid of Jarrod Gorbel’s work in “The Honorary Title” and Jesse Lacey’s somber tone in the song “Me vs. Maradonna vs. Elvis.”

Paired with a simple cymbal hit and single guitar has the listener focus on the lyrics, obviously about a love lost in time. The chorus, “I just can’t seem to get you off of my mind,” verifies this feeling, a line that says just enough.

“Will we learn to share this empty feeling?/Passion knows no other sympathy” is another line that catches the listener’s attention, but not necessarily for all the right reasons.

Though they hold a sense of profoundness, the lyrics to “Presence” might be trying too hard, and by the third chorus the song begins to be redundant. Sure, the repetition is meant to embody the constant back and forth of loneliness in a relationship, but it may be trying to convey something that isn’t there.

“Presence” ends with an upbeat drum that leads into “Speaking Freely,” a song that holds an entirely different feel from its predecessor.
The guitar has a Silver Sun Pickups feel to it. Matched with the tribal/dancy sounding drum, it makes the song refreshing and unique.

The lyric, “We’re together but in separate places,” appears to hold the theme of the song, matched with the echoing “round and round in circles,” which lends itself well to the music.

Unfortunately, “Speaking Freely” runs into the same problem as the first song; it reeks of unnecessary repetition.
They finish strong with “Cachet,” a song that sounds nothing like the first two, and is a refreshing change.

The lyrics seem to mean something without forcing it and the guitar intertwines perfectly with the simple drum beat.
It appears sincere, and because of this sounds the best to the ear.

The only awkward parts to the song were the backup vocals, often strained for emotional effect but often came out flat or out of tune completely.
It was almost going for a Taking Back Sunday feel but missed the mark. Overall, the album has a strong sense of identity, and acts successfully as a melting pot of many different genres.

The vocals are strong, the music is simple and catchy, and all three songs stay in the mind for a while after the initial listen.

Piggy Piggy: ‘American Horror Story’ goes for the gut; Newest episode of FX’s new show has meat on its bones

MELISSA KRENEK
Entertainment Editor

After the emotional reference to the Columbine tragedy of 1999, “American Horror Story” gave us what we wanted: the shooting.

The last episode showed us the bloodied teen ghosts, who pointed fingers at the unsuspecting Tate, but nothing came of it.
This recent episode, which premiered Nov. 10, starts with a flashback from 1994.

Again it closely resembles the real-life Columbine shootings, complete with a horrifying library scene.
All five ghost students are present and alive, and taken down one by one by the shooter.

We don’t see Tate’s face until his last victim.

The scene changes to Tate in his room surrounded by a SWAT team, not looking very remorseful.

The camera cuts to Violet surfing the web and discovering the Westfield High shooting, with her supposed boyfriend as the shooter.
She runs into Constance who tells her that Tate doesn’t know he is dead, and needs her help to cross over.

We are introduced to a shady medium in this scene, hauntingly similar to the smug real-life medium that was seen on a “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” episode in the past.

Ben and Vivien’s storyline takes a turn for the worst in this episode.

Ben is officially out of the house, which allows Vivien to get closer to the security guard, played by the hunky Morris Chesnut.
This is hinted to us by Vivien putting her engagement ring on the dresser next to her handy security button.

Out of fear or curiosity, she decides to press it, and Chestnut’s character appears.

They bond over their spouses’ carnal desires, a foreshadowing that is guiltily showed in the preview for the next episode.

The rest of her time is spent dealing with her demon baby, which supposedly has hooves, according to the nurse who saw it on the ultrasound.

This title, “Piggy Piggy,” comes from Ben’s new patient, who has a fear of urban legends, specifically the “piggy man.”

To get over his fear, Ben suggests he look in a mirror and say “Here piggy piggy piggy” until he calms down.
Of course he invites the man to say it in his haunted bathroom where a murder occurred, but that’s okay.

The man does it, and in fear pulls back the shower curtain to reveal the dead fat nurse from a past episode.
If you recall, that fat nurse was called piggy by the murderer before he drowned her in the tub.

His storyline is ironic, since when he finally gets the courage to do the exercise in his own home, he is met by a robber hiding in his shower.
The man thinks he is calling him a pig, and shoots him in the head.

As the episode progresses, we learn that Violet is at her breaking point.
She meets with her past enemy, and they bond over their slow descent into madness.

We already know that Violet cuts herself, but when she asks for pills from the girl we know that she is going to do something drastic.
So when she downs the whole bottle after seeing all the ghosts in her basement and seeing Tate’s eerie “I love you” written on her wall, we aren’t surprised.

We also aren’t surprised that Tate saves her, a touching but cliché scene filled with running water and tears.

The last couple of minutes show the true question of the show: Is man naturally evil?
Or do things like greed, lust, and power drive him?

“American Horror Story” asks these questions, through the lens of a haunted house.

It plays off of the characters’ desires and fears, just as society does to all of us.

This is why the last couple minutes, though cheesy at first, hold a bigger meaning to the overall point of the show.
When Constance speaks to the medium about Tate, the story flashes back to the day that Tate is brought down.

He is back in his room, with a SWAT team around him. He reaches for a gun, and is shot multiple times. An officer runs up to him, asking why he did it.
He dies before he can answer.

This leaves us wondering if he walks among the living with no knowledge of his own demise because he didn’t answer the officer’s question, or because he actually blacked out during the time, and something much more sinister had power over him?
The episode ends with a touching scene between Tate and Violet.

He professes his love for her, and she seems to forgive him, even though he is still a mass murderer.

They end up cuddling on her bed, admitting being tired, her from being depressed, him from wandering around without sleep for 17 years.

To view Krenek’s review of the series episode by episode, select the tag “American Horror Story,” or type it into our search.

‘American Horror Story’ continues, gives answers to burning questions

MELISSA KRENEK
Entertainment Editor

With Halloween part one ending on such a high note, the beginning of the second part of the two-part “American Horror Story” scare-a-thon was less than appealing.

The first episode ended with Violet backing away from the front door on Halloween in fear of a mutated visitor. As she walks we see the man in a black bodysuit behind her. The opening to part two shows Violet turning her head, and the man has disappeared. Fortunately for both the writer and the viewers, this was the dullest moment of the show.

The story quickly shifts to Ben’s rage against the mutated visitor, which is shown through a beautiful camera shot. One detail that made some critics confused was when Violet is shown going up to her room after she believes she is safe from intruders. It is the typical damsel in distress shot, complete with her walking backwards towards her bed, accompanied by a creepy slithering hand reaching out to grab her. She hears stones hitting her window, thrown by Tate, and walks away before the hand reaches her ankle. The problem with this scene is that it’s never mentioned again in the episode, making us wonder if it is something that will be referenced later or it was an error in editing.

The majority of the episode is meant to provide answers to the questions regarding the storylines of Tate and Constance. The episode includes a pseudo solution for Hayden and Ben, but the majority of the episode is focused on Tate.

His past comes to haunt him, literally. These ghouls are mistaken for trick-or treaters, when they are actually teenagers that Tate allegedly shot when he went on a rampage at his high school.

His deep-seated problems with high school have been repeated in many of the episodes, though it was subtle enough for the viewer to think it was just some teen angst.

The first episode shows Tate talking to Ben about his hallucinations, one being him dressed in all black with skeleton paint on his face.

This image comes back again, but it hints at the horrible events of that day instead of simply being shocking.

The dialogue in these scenes is extremely witty, having one of the dead girls actually compare Violet to the fat women that marry men on death row.

Violet doesn’t fully understand what they are, which is brilliantly shown through the back drop of a spooky Halloween night.

Remember, the dead can walk freely, we as viewers know this, but the characters do not.
Even Tate seems disoriented, though it is shaky whether it is real.

The reference to Columbine’s questions of religion gives the viewers a bite of reality, while still keeping it socially relevant to the story. The dialogue works perfectly to create a very hazy line between life and death.

This episode raises the question of if Tate is actually living or dead. Sure, he dresses like he belongs in Seattle, but that is also coming back in fashion. He states his obvious admiration for Kurt Cobain and Quentin Tarantino, who both were significant in the early 90s.

Is he one of those kids that grew up in the wrong decade, or is he reminiscing about what he enjoyed during his time on earth? And there is the obvious question as to if he wasn’t dead, and he did kill five students, wouldn’t he still be in jail?

The most powerful line comes from the girl who tells him she is supposed to be 34, married and with kids. Looking at this detail, and if she was a senior in high school, that puts the time of the shooting to the early 90s, while the show takes place in 2011.

As if this revelation isn’t hard enough to swallow, Constance comes into the picture. When Violet is calling the police about Tate being in danger, we see Constance grab Violet and drag her to her house, admitting that Addie is dead. Then the scene flashes back to Constance in the morgue making Addie a “pretty girl” one last time.

Then it flashes back to the present, where Constance reveals that Tate is her son, and Addie’s brother.

While we are left to mull over these new discoveries, we are thrown back into the ongoing story of Ben and Hayden. We all know she rose from the dead and is running around Ben’s house, terrorizing Vivien and the dog, but somehow the story line isn’t as effective as Tate’s. The only scene that draws any suspense in the house is when Vivien finds the kibble sprawled all over the kitchen floor, then discovers something in the microwave as it blows up and fills the inside of it with red mush.

When hunky Morris Chesnut, the security guard, saves the day and takes Hayden to the police station, he finds his back seat empty.

The episode should have ended with the dawn of All Souls Day, when all of the ghosts from the house’s past are seen wandering down the street from separate journeys, all coming back to their place of eternal rest.

Instead, the episode ends with Ben wearily packing his suitcase, kissing his wife on the forehead, and walking out.

The final shot shows Vivien looking back at him, and the screen fades.

Though it is emotionally dramatic, we would have rather kept watching depressed ghosts walk the streets like zombies.

To view Krenek’s review of the series episode by episode, select the tag “American Horror Story,” or type it into our search.

Two-part ‘American Horror Story’ event in the spirit of Halloween

MELISSA KRENEK
Entertainment Editor

After the explosive third episode of “American Horror Story,” it is time for the Halloween festivities, a two-part event that starts off slow, but as always, ends with a bang.

As with every episode, the fourth begins with a flashback. Unlike previous episodes, this flashback is not from decades ago, but from 2010. The two characters, or victims, are a gay couple going through some obvious issues of infidelity and insecurity.

Again the camera shots are brilliant, giving the viewer enough foreshadowing to yearn for more. The one man is complaining about the type of apples placed in the tub for apple bobbing. A couple minutes later the camera pans out to a man in a black body suit who proceeds to submerge the man’s head in the tub. After several violent thrashes, the neck is snapped, and the man goes down. His lover walks in to find the intruder, and the camera cuts out.

The man in the black body suit appears in the second episode, simulating a sex scene with Ben’s wife, Vivien. The audience is given a little bit of information on this mysterious character in both these episodes; unfortunately, the picture is still hazy.

Though the show is always filled with the living dead, the writers made sure to let the viewers know that Halloween is the particular time that the living can walk among the dead, as in the ones that really shouldn’t come back.

Of course, the men from the flashback are back, ready to take over the house. They play the roles of potential buyers, and claim that the house needs to get rid of the newly-built gazebo in order to sell.

This makes the audience question whether this is coincidence or if the dead know that Ben buried his lover in that soft soil.

This also hints at whether Ben’s lover will return, and is foreshadowed by his wife revealing his secret of communicating with her.

The sexual tension continues to climb between Violet and Tate. A mix of violence and sensuality is shown when he scares her in the basement wearing the black body suit and leans in to kiss her. This scene is important for two reasons: it shows the violence in sex as well as points to the present relevance of the black body suit to the rest of the story.

If any of the viewers had grown attached to Adelaide’s character, they are in for a shock. This episode especially shows her mother Constance’s hatred for her. This is shown in the scene where Adelaide and her mother’s lover are sitting at a table talking about costumes. Her mother walks in and immediately scolds her, letting her know that they will not share men.

Once he leaves, Adelaide tells Constance that she wants to be a “pretty girl” for Halloween.

Later on in the episode, Constance surprises her with her “pretty girl” costume, which is a mask that covers her entire head.

This serves as a set up and pay off since Adelaide’s inability to see in the mask causes her to run across the street while trick or treating, not being able to see the car driving towards her.

The paramedics arrive to take her away, but Constance just wants to bring her home.

While this action is happening, Vivien and Ben fight over their unwelcome house guests, and Vivien begins to feel a sensation of a kick, even though the baby is eight weeks old, and this is impossible at that stage.

Vivien is rushed to the hospital, only to have a nurse look at the monitor and pass out cold. Both the characters and the viewers can’t help but think about what evil is now growing inside of her.

Because both Vivien and Ben are at the hospital, this means that Violet, their daughter, is home alone on Halloween. The doorbell rings, and she nervously looks through the peephole.

Instead of seeing excited trick-or-treaters, Violet is staring into the face of the grotesquely disfigured previous owner of the house.
In the last couple of episodes, the viewer finds out that the house made him crazy, and he decided to burn the house down and kill the entire family, burning half of himself in the process.

She calls her parents in fear; when they return, the door is open, and both Violet and the half burned stranger are gone.

Ben closes the door, looks around in panic, and hears the doorbell ring again.

Instead of looking through the peephole, for dramatic effect, the director has him open the door. There, standing before him, is Hayden, his dead lover. The camera zooms in on her ghoulish smiling face, and then fades out.

Most viewers are excited to see the second half of the episode, but some may be in for a bigger shock than anything “American Horror Story” can give them.
According to the commercials, Direct TV will no longer be airing FX, which means that many people who have just became obsessed with the show may have to watch it online only.

For FDU students, this might be a blessing, since the reception causes a loud boom during all dialogue. No matter what cable companies try to do, anyone who watches this show for even a second is hooked, especially during this horrifying week.

To view Krenek’s review of the series episode by episode, select the tag “American Horror Story,” or type it into our search.