03rd Mar2008

Jonas Bros, MTV Dating Shows, and College Road Trip

by Will

“That girl is nuttier than a Porta-Potty at a peanut festival.”

Yeah, I promised an answer to the whole “why did I expect to die last weekend?” cliffhanger, but I don’t really feel like writing about that. Don’t worry – like San Diego, I’ll get to it, but that’s not where my head is right now. After all, that was 2 weeks ago! Anyway, here is where my head is right now:

-It seems that every year, around this time, I write a post that’s supposed to be introspective. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I name names, or come off as bitter, it comes back to bite me. Anyway, these posts are merely me having a breakthrough. Regardless, I have a feeling this is going to be misconstrued as one of those posts: “Make Up Sex”? Really? That exists? Well, let me just inform you that, when your fights are based around the lack of sex, there’s no such thing as Make Up Sex. That’s got to be the one fight that’s not worth having. Or is it the only fight worth having? Think on that for a moment…

Now, on to the pop culture part of our game:

– I don’t like Craig Bierko. You might not know him by name, but you’ll know his face. I always rememeber him as the scumbag husband in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. I just hate looking at him. It’s something about his face. I feel the same way about Kyle McLachlan and Gwyneth Paltrow; just seeing them throws me into a violent rage! Why was I thinking about Bierko? Well, I was watching Unhitched, on Fox, about 4 friends recently thrown back into the single game. On the plus side, it’s a “Fox show”. I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but I love a good “Fox show”. It’s the kind of show that panders to the lowest common denominator, and it’s usually characterized by the fact that it has no laugh-track. Fox was the network to really get onboard the single camera, no-studio-audience sitcom that’s everywhere these days. On the con side, it’s a “Fox show”. As much as I love the style of Fox remembering its roots, very rarely is the quality any good. Instead, there’s usually one really funny/controversial episode that gets enough attention for you to remember it years down the road as some kind of cult hit. Unhitched will be unhitched from Fox’s schedule within the next 6 weeks. Count on it.

-I was really into “When You Look Me in the Eyes”, by The Jonas Brothers, and I really couldn’t figure out why. Then, it hit me: for all of you lovers of crapy pop, the next time the song comes on, try singing the lyrics to Lonestar’s “I’m Already There”. Go ahead, I’ll wait…Hear what I mean? I hate to admit, but I was a Lonestar fan. They only had 2 hits that I cared about, but it was a pretty unmistakable melody. Plus, the whole “singing different lyrics over old melody” game can be fun. Next time you hear Celine Dion’s “That’s The Way It Is”, let her rip with the lyrics from BSB’s “I Want It That Way”. You’ll thank me in the morning!

-Janet, Janet, Janet…MTV, you know your “Artist of the Week” is too old for your demographic when she doesn’t even know the name of your shows. Janet, it’s Making the Band , NOT Making OF the Band. I would’ve let it go if you’d only said it once, but you say it about 7 times during one 30-second commercial. Read the cue cards, baby, read the cue cards…

-While on Making the Band, I’m loving Danity Kane’s “Damaged”. Last week, Diddy told ’em he was going to turn them into an international dance pop group, and this single is a good step in that direction. It’s got an interesting message, too: “Yeah, I’ve got a lot of baggage, which caused my heart some damage, so how’re you gonna fix it?” I love the idea that it’s the other person’s job to fix it. It’s like, “hey, if you want me, this is what you’re getting yourself into”. I’m a big fan of a “buyer beware” warning…

– Speaking of MTV, I kinda like Domenico, in that I think he’s a good guy. I think we all have that foreign-friend-with-questionable-social-skills. I know that everyone in Last Call is thinking of the same guy right now. That said, I’m really sick of the Viacom Dating Show Formula: the whole MTV/VH-1 deal where you get some washed up/pseudo celeb, put them in a mini mansion with roughly 30 members of the same/oppsite sex, and wittle down the list as you have them prove their love through foolish challenges and backstabbing.

I miss the old dating game formula, where you had a bunch of “normal people” (or as normal as you can find in southern California) use alcohol as an excuse for some hot tub centered, stress reduction sex. Seriously, I miss the old dating show archtypes: the weird, hippy new age chick; the wacky foreigner; the player; the busted, fake tits chick who’s a “model”. There were starving actors and actresses in LA who used to do nothing but make the dating show rounds. The timeline was shorter: you met, went to Bucca de Beppo or Medieval Times, and you got drunk; there was none of this 12-week nonsense. Plus, the stakes were lower back then: you just wanted sex. Who cared about another date? Nowadays, everyone’s looking for The One. On national television. Out of a pool of candidates comprised of strippers, former beauty queens, and/or biker chicks. Looking for a soulmate in a group of soulless people. The frontrunner is only making a scene so that she can wow the network execs into giving her a spin-off when everything’s said and done. And the cycle begins anew.

Back to Domenico, though. I liked the idea of him getting his own show, because I liked the dude. That said, I was over it when I watched the Preview Special, where all they did as show him in front of bluescreened stereotypical Italian scenes, like cafes and monuments.Ashley’s back?! For real? Were he and Domenico even that close during A Shot At Love? Plus, I get that Ashley came off as dumb, but I’m sick of his hillbilly minstrel act. I mean, it’s not as funny when the target isn’t exactly in on the joke. Watching the show is like a white Flavor of Love 3, as Domenico’s choices are just as busted as those that Flav’s got available to him this season. Although, I kinda liked Hunter, the au naturale chick they kicked off last night, except for those bags under her eyes…

-I’ve loved Usher’s “Make Love In This Club” since it leaked online two months back. That said, I don’t really like that it’s Usher. On the one hand, I guess I should applaud him for choosing a new style. I mean, Mariah hasn’t had an original sound since Fantasy (seriously, Touch My Body is new? It sounds like every single she’s put out over the past 10 yrs), so it’s good when an artist decides to branch out. It’s just that Usher’s been in the game long enough that I expect more from him. As far as the sound, this song is a Sean Kingston song. Rather, if you want it done right, it’s an Akon song. Just close your eyes and listen to it. That’s Akon, circa Spring 2007. I get the feeling that Usher’s grasping at straws, trying to regain his footing. After all, back in 2003, it was a heated battle between Usher and JT, as to who would be the Prince of R&B. Nobody was really taking Justin all that seriously yet, as he was still working on losing the ‘Nsync stigma. In the meantime, Usher did the a-holest/ballsiest thing by releasing Confessions. Justin had a song about how he was better than his ex, but Usher wrote a whole album about it! I’m not sure if a lot of people realize how heated the battle was; if JT and Usher were in the same club, it always ended up in a dance-off. Over the years, Usher had to deal with the drama of dropping his mom as his manager, his wedding, the backlash of Confessions, while Justin’s star simply rose. Now, you can’t swing a dead cat in music without hitting JT or Timbaland, while “Make Love In This Club” is the musical equivalent of that old man in the club, with the earring and the gold chain, thinking no one can smell the “Old Man Stench” on him. Go home, old man!

-Can I just say that I’m blown away by the concept of College Road Trip? No, it’s not the plot of the movie, but the mechanics behind the movie. First of all, did you ever, in a million years, think you’d see a Disney movie starring Martin Lawrence? Then, did you ever think you’d see a Disney movie starring Martin Lawrence and Donnie Osmond? Then, if you’re still with me, did you ever think you would see a Disney movie, starring Martin Lawrence, Donnie Osmond, AND had a G Rating?! Seriously, this is a big deal. The G Rating, alone, is a kicker. Think of this: the way the MPAA works, simply by virtue of having live actors, you typically get a PG rating. If you ever have some free time on your hands, try to research the number of live action, G-rated movies. The majority of G-rated movies are animated features. Hell, in recent years, even the Disney animated blockbusters, like The Incredibles, have been rated PG. So, in order to have a live action, G-rated movie, Martin can’t even say “Damn, Gina!”. He might not even be able to say “heck”. I might see this movie just to marvel at how they pull it off.

– There was an episode of Clean House on last night, and Niecy wasn’t on it. Now, I’m used to that set-up, as she doesn’t waste her time with the Clean House aftershow, Clean House Comes Clean, so I know that sometimes Brunetz, Trish, and Matt get together. What killed me, though, was the fact they they never acknowledged her absence. Sure, she might’ve been sick or on vacation. Hell, it might have been when she was recording her lines for Horton Hears A Who. I just get worried when I see that kind of stuff because it makes me think there might be a contract dispute going on. I mean, if you’ve ever watched anything on TLC or Style, you know that they have no problem recasting a show’s host, with nary an announcement or second thought. Where’s Thom’s sidekick on Dress My Nest? Where’s the original guy from What Not To Wear? Plus, there’s the notorious example of Blair from Queer Eye, being replaced by Jay between the pilot and the regular episodes. That said, Clean House has no flair without Niecy. If they ever try to oust her, a la Paige from Trading Spaces, she only needs to show them last night’s episode to prove how valuable she is to the show.

Anyway, I might be on a daily schedule this week. I’ve got a lot to say, and this was only the tip of the iceberg…