Volume 91, Issue 94

Thursday, March 26, 1998

Belushi goes west


Cleansing student bodies on Concrete Beach

By Neil Malhotra and Dan Yurman
Gazette Staff

After countless hours of work and much anticipation, bold and beautiful Western actors showed how young and restless they can be as they revealed TV Western's first soap opera yesterday afternoon.

Entitled Concrete Beach, the 45-minute inaugural episode introduced interesting characters and a saucy story which could only occur in a little place called Melrose. While the idea and the story was imaginative and inventive, the end result left a bit to be desired.

The story revolves around six main characters. There is Jessica, a down-to-earth first-year student (Natalie Poulie); her promiscuous, self-involved roommate Chenelle, (Loren Macklin); Sandra, a down-on-her-luck girl who is fed up with love, (Christine Anagnostis); her roommate, an outgoing, computer whiz named Roland, (Jonas Pennell); a closed-minded first-year transfer student with a unconvincing Irish accent, (Matthew Brady) and a pretty-boy player named Robin, (Jamie Frawly).

As the show progresses, each is developed through script and plot and interact with each other in ways that reveal their true colours to themselves, the other characters and the audience.

The actors played their individual parts reasonably well, but they lacked the cohesiveness and chemistry needed to make their characters realistic. At times, they seemed uncomfortable in front of the camera which was evident by their unwillingness to keep constant eye contact with each other. What really hurt the program, however, was the technical and post-production work.

The audio/visual production was a huge problem for the crew. Many times in the show it was sometimes impossible to hear the dialogue over the "background" music. Also, many lines were barely audible due to the lack of proper microphone techniques. The lighting was inconsistent – blinding in some scenes while others were shot in near darkness. Finally, parts of the program were choppy simply because of poor editing.

These problems aside, Concrete Beach is worth a look and can be enjoyed over the next two weeks on TV Western.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998