Monday, September 8, 2008

Notes on the VMAs

Yeah, I watched them.

--What's with the glitter? Everything Britney Spears wore was sparkly. Ciara sparkled. It was too garish and made me appreciate the black leather on Rihanna and Russell more.

--I liked Russell Brand more than the audience did. He was a vast improvement over Sarah Silverman. He was a little too loud, a little too earnest, and had quite the motormouth, but he seemed genuine and sincere and wasn't vulgar, despite the fact that he only made sex jokes.

--The videos nominated, like in past years, usually sucked. Mariah Carey should have won Female Video of the Year, as her video was the most interesting out of the insanely boring crop.

--Christina Aguilera, of whom I am not a fan, actually did a very smart thing by opening with a funky, spacey version of her first single, "Genie in a Bottle". Even the choreography scored with what her new single must be, which sounded like "Superbitch".

--Most of the videos nominated I hadn't seen, but knew the song. But I could still tell they were nothing special. Seriously, "I Kissed a Girl" is the perfect song to have an interesting video, but all anyone could think of was put Katy Perry in a vaudeville-esque outfit and have the camera focus on her pouty faces.

--Parade of young and hip Hollywood, with the exception of the random appearances by Kid Rock, Demi Moore, and Slash.

--While sex is always the backbone of anything music-related, it seemed like this was fighting with the Forces of Virginity. Russell Brand made one two many jokes about sex, invoking the Jonas Brothers and promise rings, and Jordin Sparks had to climb on her high horse to defend her the decision to wear a promise ring to wait until marriage. Russell Brand then apologized in his rambling way. Honestly, guys, let's move on. It's bad enough that when I saw Vanessa Hudgens standing next to Zac Efron I thought about how they totally had sex.

--T.I.'s lady in his performance was wearing what looked like a sluttier version of a dress I own.

--Paramount Theater was much smaller than their usual performance halls, and many of the performances were outside. As it was in Los Angeles, it was still light at some points. I liked the smaller theater, though it seemed that the network wanted the VMAs to be low-key compared to the past.

--Kanye closed the show by performing a new song. But he was singing, and the song was about love, two things that are not Kanye. And the song was somber, with a backdrop of pretty sunsets and skies. Not the best note to end on; would have better fit midshow.

--Hayley Williams of Paramore should have stuck with her usual black/white combo. Tight yellow pants just didn't work, and she kept touching her inner thigh for some weird reason, though the pants did make her hips look wider.

--Commercial breaks were designed to cut off performances. The television audience only saw the end of The Ting Tings performance. And Katy Perry's much-touted "Like a Virgin" and "I Kissed a Girl" medley was chopped in half by ads. Her pinup outfit worked in conjunction with her "style" but didn't fit her songs.

--Both MTV and MTV2 aired the VMAs at the same time, the first time as far as I'm aware that they've done that.

--Lil Wayne needs to pull up his pants. Nobody needs to see men's underwear on a stage.

--Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson need to stop. Now.

--Tokio Hotel won Best New Artist, though I'm not convinced of anything except that they're the token hipster band. I couldn't even tell if the lead singer was male or female. I decided, after scrutinizing the poor person's body, on a girl...and then he spoke.

--But perhaps the biggest thing of all is how staged the whole Britney deal was. She won three moonmen, the first time she's ever won a VMA (yes, that's correct), and they were all for the horrendous song and video "Piece of Me", a supposed commentary on her tabloid life. Blah. The wins were engineered for her career, a low-key "comeback" to present her as being normal, to prove that she's back from crazy. Her acceptance "speeches" amounted to nothing more than "thank you God, my lovely children, and my fans." That's it. She was perfectly polite, but there was nothing there. She knew she was going to win in advance, hence the dead "I'm so happy" that appeared at the end.

Next year will be my tenth VMAs, assuming I watched all of them. But considering how low my VMA IQ was in regard to this year's nominees and how high my age is in comparison to the groups showcased, it might be time to move on.


John said...

Glitter everywhere to make everyone sparkle? Is it trying to appeal to the Twilight crowd?

According to Wikipedia, Russell Brand was fired from MTV after dressing up like Osama Bin Laden on 9/12/01. He seems to have made quite a comeback, wouldn't you say?

I prefer Chaitea16's video for "I Kissed A Girl," for obvious reasons.

RE: Tokio Hotel: lolhipsturz!!1!1!!11oneonewon

I hate to say it (no, that's a dirty lie. I like saying this) but it was time to move on from the VMAs in 2000. It should have ended with Chris Rock at the Metropolitan Operahouse on 9/9/99.

John said...

EDIT: Upon review of the video, perhaps my "obvious" reasons are not so obvious. I liked the video because it used comic books for its visual source material and because it was made by a friend of mine. If you were thinking anything else, you should be ashamed of yourself :P