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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

MTV Video Music Awards?

Posted on September 13, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Last night was the VMAs on the MTVs. And, I’ll be honest, I primarily watched it for three reasons. One, I really thought it was the Video Movie Awards at first, and that is usually pretty damn hilarious, WAY better than the stuffy Academy Awards and their “play you off the stage after 30 seconds” rules. Plus, their skits are the awesome. (If you haven’t seen the one with Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black and Ben Stiller promoting Tropic Thunder, you need to head over to Funny or Die and check it out. Le-gen-dary!) Second, once I realized that it actually wasn’t the movie awards, I figured that host, Chelsea Handler, would be pretty funny and possibly say something ruthlessly offensive that would be water cooler (we actually DO have one at Custom Theater, though Andy and I never actually stand around it; it is right next to the guest bathroom which can be a little off-putting for guests) fodder you wouldn’t want to miss out on. Finally I wanted to see Taylor Swift hopefully eviscerate Kanye West in her world premier debut of the song she wrote addressing last year’s little “This award belongs to Beyonce, yo!” interruption.


Honestly though, I didn’t even know that MTV even still had Video Music Awards. Because, handing out an award for Video Music (or the more commonly termed Music Video) would heavily imply that there was something to actually give an award TO. And if you’ve turned on MTV lately – any time, day or night – I challenge you to find an actual music video playing. In the past they used to try and sneak one in between reality shows, like hyper-quick commercial plugs for the album or artist, or they would show them WAY late at night basically when other stations were running test patterns. But now there is just too much Jersey Shore and Real World vs. Road Rules in the Sun Hole, and Jack Assery going on to clog up the channel with any musics. I believe the M now stands for Mediocre or perhaps Masochistic. (One of Dana’s guilty pleasures is a new MTV show called “Teen Mom” which, spoiler alert, is entirely about actual Teenage Mothers. They follow these 4 or 5 girls around and their incredibly dysfunctional situations and Dana is hook-line-and-sinkered into it. In fact, I wanted to watch a movie the other night and we couldn’t start it until we’d finished the new episode of Teen Mom. I have to admit that I got kind of swept up in one episode where you watched this one girl falling for an Internet scam; one where she sold her car, they send a check for MORE than the amount, and asked her to send a check back for the $3000 overpayment. I’m yelling “No! It’s totally one of those Nigerian Prince Internet scams! Surely they won’t let her go through with it!” But, of course, the MTV producers just sat back, rubbing their money grubbing hands together, watching the tragedy unfold. Likely with an, “Oh, God! We can’t believe our luck! This is actually gonna happen…on camera! Her life will be even more ruined…how delicious!" )


So the two-plus hour (DVR’d down to like 43 minutes) awards show was basically for what seemed like a total of 7 different videos, NONE of which I’ve ever actually seen, since, you know, MTV doesn’t actually show the videos they are awarding. In fact, I believe you can only watch music videos now on the YouTubes or the artist’s actual Website. (And you can count my Eminem, Lada Gaga and Justin Bieber site visits on the same finger; I’d say, use the middle one... ) Besides those three there were Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, some guy named B.O.B. where I believe the periods are silent and it is actually pronounced like the traditionally spelling, and some other people I’d never even heard of. Oh, there was that guy from “My So Called Life” (how Dana remembers him) and “that guy from you’re not good enough, Pre, you’re not fast enough, Pre, Prefontaine” (how I remember him) or “Jared Leto” (how Chelsea introduced him) who apparently is in some kind of band now with some crazy blonde hair. I think Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber won nearly all the awards between them, which just goes to show the power of vote-by-text in the hands of Tweens. (I can only imagine what the outcome of the next election would be if you could vote up to 20 times by text every day for 2 weeks. Though, we could take all those $.95 cents per vote charges and put a pretty good dent in the deficit... ) Oh, Eminem did win an award, but apparently he couldn’t leave the venue quickly enough, jumping on a jet minutes after performing his song with Rihanna and letting some woman with a GIANT (and I mean it looked like it had been Photoshopped or had ILM working on it for several hours or something) ass accept the award. And I don’t mean J-Lo giant, I mean like cramming a few pillows into your drawers and walking around giant.


Chelsea was OK. Her monologue tried to be smart and snarky and biting, but it was just kind of ehh. There was a little skit with her and Lindsay Lohan that could have been so much funnier. But at least she moved it along and wasn’t irritating. I kept hoping for a Katy Perry/Snoop D-Oh-Double-Gizzle performance, but no luck. I didn’t think that I could move beyond disdain and complete disinterest in Justin Bieber, but now after seeing him perform and – oh MAN I hate synchronized male dancing; look, I lived through the 80s and I had my fill of that – his dancing and lip-synching and how the crowd just swooned over him, I’ve elevated my emotions to just being completely disenchanted in my fellow man. The Taylor Swift song was SUPER disappointing. For someone who is so well known for writing these deeply personal, heartfelt songs that just lay it out there about ex-boys and whatnot, I was expecting something really Kanye-licious. But seriously, if all the hype hadn’t told you that this was ABOUT Kanye and the whole VMA debacle (and the brief video clip that she played prior to starting her song) I don’t think ANYONE would have known that is what she was talking about. And, her voice sounded crap. But she looked good; kind of like a younger, less medicated, fully aware Betty Draper.


Speaking of which, Mad Men – which we watched immediately following the VMAs – WAS great last night. After a hit-rock-bottom-puke-on-shirt Don Draper, we’re getting an off-the-sauce (well, the hard sauce at least; is Chianti and beer even really considered drinking at all?), refocused and rebooted Don Draper, and I’m hoping he’s gonna return to this kind of awesomeness: Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound." It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the wheel, it's called the carousel. It let's us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.

Categories: September 2010, TV

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Reply Geoff
9:25 PM on September 14, 2010 
Mad Men?!? Blech... I just liked because I was bored.
Reply Geoff L.
9:33 PM on September 14, 2010 
Boy is my face red. My phone wanted me to "like" Mad Men, however, I want to "puke".
Reply John Sciacca
9:36 PM on September 14, 2010 
Geoff L. says...
Boy is my face red. My phone wanted me to "like" Mad Men, however, I want to "puke".

Your iPhone clearly knows best. There's a moral here: Never question the iPhone.
Reply Dana
9:45 PM on September 19, 2010 
"Teen Mom" -- best show ever!!