Sunday, September 13, 2009

VMAs Tonight

I know that I said last year that I wouldn’t watch the VMAs. But I have been persuaded to by the very fun ads of VMA Side Story, singing montages featuring Taylor Swift, Cobra Starship, Ne-Yo, and Katy Perry:

The tagline, “The Stars Align”, in bright lights, is classy, simple, no real promise set up to fail. Russell Brand is back, presumably because they couldn’t find anyone else to host.

The preshow has already shown me what I know to be true: I have no business watching this. The VMAs target demographic is high schoolers, and I passed that milestone before social networking was popular. MTV Hits has been running videos of previous winners, dating back to 1997 (why that year? I had no idea, but the Video of the Year went to “Virtual Insanity”, by Jamiroquai. Ah, back to the days when the top title went to a video of technical ingenuity and genuine awesomeness, and not to some slapdash job for a song no one remembers.), and I was struck how wholesome the videos appear in retrospect, how respected: Madonna winning for “Ray of Light” in 1998 is so quaint...c’mon, Madonna winning in the (somewhat) near past? As usual, I had grumbles: 2003 was the big year for “Hey Ya”, not 2004 (the only explanation is that it missed the cutoff); 2003 had a number of big hits, and Missy Elliot does not come to mind. I can’t reiterate again how awful last year’s winner was. But the VMAs has long stopped being about the good stuff, though it can be found among a handful of this year’s nominees; I’m just too far removed. Now it’s about tweets and New Moon and a bunch of celebrities-in-the-making; watch for them to become household names in six months.

I know from experience large chunks of the show will be unwatchable, but I’m here for Gaga, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and a handful of other performers.

Notes on the broadcast will follow in a subsequent post.

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