Monday, September 14, 2009
Let me start off by saying I basically watch the VMA's anymore for the same reasons one feels the need to gaze somewhat morbidly at an accident on the side of the road. I don't have a vested interest in the brand of entertainment or who is up for an award anymore. It is no longer the same show it once was and I know it. Perhaps it's the inner adolescent inside who simply refuses to accept defeat and grow up and away from a cultural staple of my youth. Last night's show proved to me that I should have walked away a long, long time ago.
First things first. Let me just list a few MAJOR problems I have with the show and its production value:
1. They are called the VMA's. NOT the VMA awards. It makes absolutely no sense to call it that and I heard both Russell Brand (the presenter) and Taylor Swift (the first award winner) use the redundant terminology within the first 45 minutes of the show. I know Brand, as a Brit, may be less than familiar with the linguistic formula for this particular award show but he's the fucking presenter and should have, at the very least been prepped with a few VMA basics.
2. While we're on the subject of Brand as the presenter of this awards show, can we really even consider what he did as "presenting"? He was used more as a comic (albeit poorly crafted) filler between performances and awards. Now, I actually like Brand. I think he's funny in an overtly but not seriously offensive sense using his charming pervi-tude to gain notoriety and carve out a niche for himself. However, I still don't understand why MTV thought to bring him back after last year's wholly unfunny spectacle. Are the people at MTV purposely sabotaging their programming?
3. So, this is an awards show, or so it was some 10-15 years ago. Funny though, I watched the majority of the 2+ hour show and saw about 5 awards given out. I can remember when the show had SO MANY awards that they couldn’t fit their presentation into the allotted time and would give them out many in the pre-show. I can also remember a time when I knew like ANY of the songs/performers being applauded in the evening. Damn you, old age. Here's a flashback moment: Do you remember when they used to have artists perform on the top of the Radio City marquee during the pre-show? I can remember the first year they did it with Silverchair in 1995 (I think) and boy oh boy how I luuuuuuurved Silverchair. The next year they had No Doubt on the marquee, the following year Foo Fighters. All of those bands being just totally the shit to me at the time. I suppose I'm at least 10 years out of MTV's median demographic these days but I can't help but feel like music just used to be better then. Which leads me to my next point…
4. I don't think I'm all THAT old yet but I certainly feel so after watching that mess last night. I suppose this may speak more about my personal musical tastes than the quality of programming on MTV anymore (or does it?) but I can honestly say I had never heard (in their entirety) any of the songs nominated under the Best New Artist category. That's right, I can genuinely say I've never blessed my ears with the full club version of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face". I may be the only one left. Hey, at least she won that category because I had no CLUE who the rest of those people nominated were.
5. Here's where it gets tricky… You see, I'm not trying to say that all the music honored last night was trash. I have my opinion and I suppose the millions of MTV watchers have theirs but boy-o do they differ. That's fine though, the world would be extremely boring if we all agreed the same things were interesting. There is one infallible declaration that needs to be made here: Kanye West is a 1st Rate, Prime Cut brand of all American Douche-Nugget. That guy totally sucks. I'm not even talking about his music, which does little for me personally, but as a person he resides at the highest summit of suckery. This isn't the KMA's buddy, so sit the fuck down and deal with the fact that life is just so damn unfair! hmmpf!! waaaaa!!! Go tell it to someone who cares. Also, wtf was the deal with the dude with the headseat who so awkwardly ushered Taylor Swift offstage while the production team (uselessly) tried to cover it up with the Tracy Morgan/Eminem skit after that whole debacle? Like, couldn't they have just cut the feed to the mike, killed the lights and had someone discreetly take Taylor off the stage and away from His Rantness? No, and you know why? Because this is all MTV lives for anymore. They no longer have any music credibility so they need to fluff their content with as much self-made drama as they can cram into a pointless evenings worth of events.
ANYWAY, the highlight of the show last night, for me anyway, was the speech Madonna gave in tribute to MJ. Let me preface this by saying that I basically stopped being a fan of Madonna's somewhere after her Bedtime Stories album, which I loved ~mmmm mmmm, something's coming over meeeeeee, my baby's got a secret…~ Yeah, that was good stuff. She's since become more a caricature of herself then anything resembling the Madonna I used to know AND I don't really dig her new muzak either but I think what she had to say about MJ was extremely sweet and touching and although I think the media AND public (that's right I'm blaming everyone here) have really turned his life and tragic death into a circus, it was nice to hear a sincere word about the man from a true peer.
All in all, I thought the show was pretty crappy. Not that I'm too surprised. I'm just salty because I miss the old brand of crappy that the VMA's used to display. You know, like dropping a saggy assed Howard Stern onto the stage as Fartman or I dunno, when they used to honor actual music and not laud praises to artists who over use auto-tune. Ugh. I'll only win this argument in my mind. I am up against a new generation of pop music and apparently pop culture because I couldn't really give a damn about the new Twilight trailer either.
I fear the unavoidable silence following this statement but puh-leese tell me I'm not alone here…