The first episode of ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time” was on tonight, and of course that was no way I couldn’t watch it. Not that I entirely wanted to, come on – can you really not watch? Expecting high comedy, I sat down with my pen and pad and made a running diary of watching the episode:
9:00 As the introduction starts, I get this feeling like I shouldn’t be watching this, like that feeling you get when you watch something in the microwave. You’re pretty sure it’s safe, but you’re not entirely sure.
9:01 Vernon Kay is our stereotypically British host. Wouldn’t it have been a better idea to get a host from the 80’s to do the show? Like Arsenio Hall? (Actually, why not get Simon Cowell to host this? I’d give anything to see Loverboy haul off an deck Simon after he calls their music “fetid rot.”)
9:03 According to Vernon, this show proves that “Great music never dies.” But what happens to crappy music? Does it die, fester in purgatory, then come back from the dead to haunt our children? I’ll have to ask my friend Matt – he had to go to a Rick Springfield concert once.
9:05 First up is Loverboy doing “Everybody’s Working For the Weekend.” How old are these guys? They look like they were forty-years old back in the 80’s. The lead singer looks almost immobile now, like his back is going to go out with the first fist pump.
These guys WANTED to be called Loverboy.
9:08 What are the chances that Loverboy is back stage right now telling a puzzled Arrested Development member to go round him up some young groupies? 3 to 1?
9:09 CeCe performed at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. That’s how long it’s been since we’ve had a good president? Really?
9:10 Why does CeCe get new background dancers? They should have to use the same ones they used in the 80’s. Two forty-year old guys dancing to “Finally?” THAT’s good TV. Not a bad performance though. If Simon Cowell were hosting, he would say something like, “It didn’t make my ears bleed.”
9:13 Next up is Flock of Seagulls. This is definitely the most depressing act so far. These guys have aged. I don’t mean aged a little – not like watching Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon and then in Lethal Weapon 4. It’s like watching Farrah Fawcett in Charlie’s Angels and then in her new show “Chasing Farrah,” where, let’s face it, you just want to strangle her. Or at least burn her so she’ll stop talking about how beautiful she is.
9:14 The good news for Flock of Seagulls is they’ve been out of music for so long that their sound is current again. Thousands of fifteen-year olds are walking past the TV in the living room right now asking their parents “Isn’t this a Franz Ferdinand song?”
9:17 Arrested Development performs next. What does it mean that I actually liked Arrested Development? And still do? These guys have to be the early favorites to win. (And they got the old man dancing with them. Right on. Granted there’s a good chance he has no idea where he is right now, but that’s authenticity.)
9:18 Speaking of winning, can you believe that the winner gets a charitable donation made in their name? Can’t you just see CeCe back stage saying to Loverboy, “Charitable donation my ass, I need the cash!”
9:22 The fact that I found Tiffany attractive when I was a kid just goes to show how far we’ve come. Kids that age these days are looking at Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson. It’s downright evolution. (Cue every 25-30 year old guy shaking their head, saying, “They didn’t have that when I was their age…”) Hell, even Tiffany is hotter now than she was in the 80’s.
The original hit me baby.
9:25 I imagine all different versions of this conversation happening back stage:
Tiffany: “So what have you been up to?”
Loverboy: “I just got back from London actually.”
Tiffany: “Really. Were you performing there?”
Loverboy: “No . . . just, you know, seeing the castles and stuff.”
9:30 That’s it for the original songs. Next up is the bands singing their versions of current hits. First up is Loverboy singing an Enrique Iglesias song. This might be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.
9:33 The camera just panned over two teenage girls in the front row who are wildly cheering for CeCe, yet they weren’t even alive when she was famous. It’s not like it’s the Rolling Stones up there. Did these girls’ mothers hand them copies of CeCe’s album when they were twelve just to keep the tradition going?
9:36 Nope, I was wrong. Flock of Seagulls singing Ryan Cabrera is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.
9:39 Arrested Development currently lives in Fayetteville, Georgia saying they like living there for the “peace and quiet” and the “family atmosphere.” My friend and I stayed over in Fayetteville on night on a long drive down to Florida. We went to a pizza hut across from our hotel and when you walked in the door there was a sign that said, “No concealed weapons allowed in restaurant.”
9:42 They’re singing “Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys. I actually like this song better when Arrested Development does it. Is there any question that they should win this contest? (I’m a little nervous now. Am I huge Arrested Development fan and I just don’t admit it? What does it mean that I’m legitimately mad they didn’t sing “Mr. Wendell,” which is a far superior song to “Tennessee?”)
9:47 Tiffany is singing “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson, and I’m going insane. I hate myself for liking this song. Seriously. I lose sleep over it. I went into the deli the other day and it was playing on the radio. I unconsciously started moving my head to the song, passionately. When I realized what I was doing I almost started crying. And now Tiffany singing it? it doesn’t even qualify as a guilty pleasure anymore. Now it’s just dangerous. This is how drug addictions start.
But the chorus is just so catchy!
9:48 In my defense though, it’s the best song any of the American Idols have put out. I mean, it’s much better than that song that Rubin Stutter never put out.
9:52 And Arrested Development wins! I’m legitimately happy. Yet still legitimately angry that they didn’t sing Mr. Wendell. (By the way, how tall is this host? Either he’s 6’7” or the lead singer of Arrested Development is 5’3”.)
9:59 Highlight of my night: A commercial for the new show “The Socialite” – a reality show where dim-witted contestants will vie, under the tutelage of hotel heiress Kathy Hilton, to become a proper socialite. One clip shows a husky southern guy saying how hard the contest is, because “we’re getting pounded with all this etiquettity and, you know, learning how to be etiquette.” Yes, I know.
All told, not a bad show. It would be better is they were competing for something a little more meaningful, like a record contract, or if they had the contestants vote each other off in a tribal council. It comes off too much as a telethon and not enough as a competition between has-been artists. Why not break them into two teams, “The Apprentice” style, and have them write an original song to be performed with each other? How long would it be before the old man in Arrested Development starts hitting on Tiffany? Or Flock of Seagulls and Loverboy get their guitarists mixed up?
Either way, I’ll watch next week. I mean, Vanilla Ice is going to be on. Does he still do the spin around dance? Has his eyebrow grown in yet? Is it possible I’m a closet Tommy Tutone fan as well? Well, I wouldn’t go that far.