Sunday, September 7, 2008
The VMAs sucked. Here are some of my thoughts.
> I think the VMAs have sucked recently for two reasons. One, as the Internet has made it easier for "indie," or at least not record-label-crafted artists to grow popular, there isn't such a clear divide between hits and "underground." Like it used to be that I knew all the VMA-nominated songs, because they were the biggest hits from that year. But this year I can think of a few artists who were, in my opinion, snubbed, but I also didn't recognize all of the music. Like Tokio Hotel and Taylor Swift are NOT the best new artists of the music world. Also, like, Danity Kane is totally not a legitimate brand; in fact, MTV made those girls famous. Way to give yourself a blowjob, MTV. The second reason is that once the show left New York, each succeeding Video Music Awards has been less about the live experience and more about making it a cool-looking television show; ironically, this makes for less enthralling television, since we want to watch what we believe is a live show, not some multi-camera Media Thing that lets you know that Miley Cyrus is performing in 11 minutes or whatever. It totally kills the fun when you can tell MTV has full control (hi Britney.)
> Okay, having the cast of Some Stupid Show tell us that "nothing is at it seems" and then that coming to fruition by revealing that Paramore was actually performing live the whole time is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. But then, so is Paramore, and probably that Stupid Show as well.
> Was that like a new song from Kanye? It just was not Kanye West. Way to try to cross over to r&b, Biggest Rapper In Music Today. Stick to what you're good at.
> Speaking of artists performing music that clearly wasn't meant for them, WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT CHRISTINA AGUILERA. That was your new song? Much like the VMAs themselves, it was forced, awkward, and not what the audience expected or wanted. Like, where was the moment where she belted out a high note? Where was the campy goodness that's always marked her best music? Why did that song sound like a Kelly Osbourne reject?
> Put on clothes, Lil' Wayne. I can actually see your buttcheeks hanging over your pants.
> Shut up, Kid Rock. Lynyrd Skynnyrd are rolling in their graves right now. Everyone hates you and you were never relevant. Go home.
> Shut up, Russell Brand. Nobody wants to hear about your support for the political candidate everyone in Hollywood wants to win. You're annoying as fuck. Hosting the VMAS is like the easiest thing to do--you just crack a couple jokes about some starlets and then tell us when Kobe Bryant's coming--yet you managed to suck at it. Back to England with you, right then.
> Speak up, Britney Spears. I know your publicist probably instructed you to keep your mouth shut, smile, and get off the stage, you could have changed up your surely-well-planned acceptance speeches. Talked a little bit about the problems you've faced, been candid about your recent troubling behavior, assured us you're coming back for real, that sort of thing. I'm not saying you should have given your life story or launched into how this year has changed you as a person, but an acknowledgment would have been nice and you could have at least alluded to the fact that you've been a train wreck for the past year or so but now, things are different. Instead, your Stepford Wife act just confirmed with me that something truly isn't right with you, that you require the same amount of supervision as people like Michael Jackson. Don't make me put you in that same category, Britney. Come back--we're all rooting for you this time.
> Finally: Dear MTV--The VMAs are the one time each year that people actually watch you for the music. Don't fucking give us a half-assed deal like this. Again. Seriously, cutting out halfway through the performances of people like Katy Perry, or hardly showing them at all, makes us both not care about those artists and their performances and makes the people at home, like me, not care so much about the show, since your advertisers' time is clearly more important to you than ours. This was the 25th anniversary of the show; maybe you guys need to go back and remember what made the older shows a success. Mainly, you kept your hands, for the most part, off. You didn't have people accepting awards and performing songs in different areas, you didn't keep the actual awards to a minimum, and you gave us programs we wanted to watch again and again. It's shit like this--more than the advent of the Internet in promoting music or a dearth of interest in television in general--that's making you less relevant a network; your lack of concern about the actual music is astonishing. If you want to retain fans instead of having to continually face criticism from those who once loved you, as Justin Timberlake said at last year's awards, play more music videos. And bring the VMAs back to New York, in a traditional theater with one stage, air the performances in full, present more awards, and let the celebrities create their own scandals, as they always do. Love, America.