Monday, September 08, 2008

2008 VMA's: The Beat-Down

Watching the MTV Video Music Awards has become less and less a tradition for me. Once upon a time, I anticipated it with the fervor Giants Opening Day (or almost). This year, I was kind of bummed because it was on at the same time as my new guilty pleasure, "I Love Money" on VH1.

Despite that lack of adolescente build-up, I invariably end up watching the damn thing, as I did once again this year. I even semi-rushed from running errands and pucking up dinner to catch it on time.

The show kicked off with a Britney/Jonah Hill and followed her much ballyhooed "show introduction." MTV's made a reputation for itself for big intro's, from Pee-Wee Herman coming on post-masturbation-in-a-porn-house-bust to MJ and Elvis's daughter slobbering all over themselves on their way to divorce court a
few years later.

It turned out to be foreshadowing, as Spears wound up winning three awards, including the top honor of best video. She looked like a robot on xanex the whole time, and even my girl called shenanigans, joking it was a big "pity party" for her. Tom Breihan said it was an apology for throwing her under the bus after last year's show.

I think MTV just has too much invested in her to let her fall off the deep end and, in a way, they're probably feeling kind of shaky knowing she at any moment could have died and they might have been partly responsible. Considering what she was up against, I was mildly surprised she didn't shoot herself on stage, in front of the cameras. She just might make it after all.

I was more interested in watching Russell Brand, who I found hilarious in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and has intrigued me since. His monologue fell flat, but mostly because the audience was too stupid to appreciate it. He riffed on the Jonas Brothers a whole lot, and also got a dig in at the Republican party. He had gusto and guts and mad, mad hair. Props.

The network also introduced what they called "live videos," basically turning the back lot of Universal Studios into live-shoot video performances, that fell somewhere between Bing Crosby X-Mas Show musical numbers and Sesame Street performances. In fact, the Jonas Brothers performed on what looked like the Sesame Street stoop before finishing with a big live set and hundreds of screaming fans rushing the stage.

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