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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
30 Rock


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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Reality TV Killed The Video Star With The Wrench In The Study

Has anyone out there been watching cable TV lately?

I suppose you could say I never really stopped. Still, I don't know when my MTV self officially became more VH1. Did MTV dumb their content down or did I just grow up? Perhaps it's a combination of the two. That's not to say I still don't dabble, as curiosity got the best of me yet again when I tuned into MTV's new Real World this past Tuesday. This time I rationalizied it though. The season is in Philly, and thus almost in my backyard. The cast members themselves? More of the same unless of course you count the "twist", casting not one, but TWO gay guys and TWO straight guys that amazingly enough, BOTH look like the love children of Greatest American Hero's William Katt and Bachelor Bob Guiney.

Other than that, it's the same as it ever was.

Meanwhile, on sister network VH1, I have been going through some serious withdrawal from my weekly dose of Best Week Ever. For those of you living in the unlightened end of the spectrum, BWE is a mini me dose of pop culture a la "Best of" Style. In other words, if you liked Best of the 80's, 90's etc, you'd like this, sans Michael Ian Black. I'd love to be a commentarian (is that even a word?) on the show even if they only pay 500 bucks or less to some participants. Hell, these struggling comedians aren't crazy. Exposure trumps dough in the biz any day.

Maybe someone out there can help me out. Did they change the time or is the show on hiatus? That's the worst part of network scheduling. Sometimes you gotta be Sherlock freakin' Holmes to find out what time your favorite show is on (CBS airing Big Brother and Amazing Race at like 1:07 in the morning, I'm talking to YOU).

Then we have the recently aired second season of Bands Reunited where VH1 "scours the globe" to reunite band members most of us would never know if we came across them in a dark alley. Sure everyone loved songs like Haircut 100's "Love Plus One" and The Motels "Only the Lonely", but how many of us could ID them if they stole our purse? Me thinks it's not that many.

But then VH1 did the unthinkable. They aired an episode attempting to reunite the beloved NKOTB. How exciting and yet incredibly sad at the same time! If you are a girl between the ages of 22 and 32 you know exactly what I'm talking about. You also know that IT WAS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. Let's break it down a bit here. You got Donnie Wahlberg who is by all accounts a "serious actor" and is famous for it, if only in a "I'm riding the coattails of my brother who once was a joke but look at me now" kinda way. After that there's the baby of the group and my former fave, Joey Mcintyre who graciously declined considering he's neck and neck with Donnie in terms of success DESPITE the boy band image. Then we got one half of the brother set of the group, Jonathan Knight who miraculously agrees to do it, despite years of struggling with tremendous stage fright. Anyone who ever watched them perform or speak on live television wouldn't have been too shocked by this revelation. They also know that even if they get Jon on board all by his lonesome, it wouldn't be much of a show anyhow (sorry Jon, but you know it's true).

Then we have Jordan Knight who has officially become one of those former teenage heartthrobs who now has the reverse effect on women. Here's a perfect example of irony, so Alanis, listen up. Poor Jordan would love to get with the much younger American Idol hottie, Ryan Starr... who had it been ten years earlier he might have had a chance...only then SHE would have been prepubescent...and it would have been HIM doing the dissing. Crazy how these things change really. Anyway, to watch him on Surreal Life now (incidentally, the most surreal season yet thanks to the likes of Brigitte Nielsen and Flava Flav), obviously hard up for exposure, it was a no brainer that he would want to participate.

But then the shock of all shocks came when former New Kid Danny Wood not only refused to do the show, but refused to be shown on camera. I mean I expected that from Donnie, but Danny? I thought he'd be clamoring to make an appearance. I guess even he saw that there really wasn't a benefit to a one time only reunion and a chance to have their now aging fans, five year olds in tow, screaming for their autographs. And with that, the the moment has officially passed. So Backstreet Boys, NSync and the now recently defunct Creed, if you're listening, this is so your life in like 5 more years.

So let's review what we learned. The moral of the story being you can't go home again, especially if you're home was once surrounded by screaming teenage girls. Also, if I was ever a fan of your show, status or singing, chances are your longevity is doomed yet lucky for me, still likely to be revered on the beloved guilty pleasure known as VH1.



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