Monday, September 10, 2007

The obligatory bash Britney post

Okay, so I'm officially too old to be watching the MTV Video Music Awards -- so old that I practically did a fist-pump when Justin Timberlake kept asking the channel to start playing videos again (as in, I still remember when they played videos) -- but as a pop culture observer, I felt I had to see Britney make a fool of herself yet again. Thankfully, she obliged me.

That may have been the most embarrassing live TV musical performance since Ahslee Simpson did her little hoedown on "SNL," and Ashlee hadn't been spiraling out of control in public for several years leading up to that point. Britney looked bored, could barely bother to lip sync convincingly, was afraid of walking in those boots, let alone dance in them, and was of course immediately followed by Sarah Silverman. The only plus was that I thought she looked to be in pretty good shape, but I appear to be in the minority on that, judging from a brief skim of the blogosphere.

Compare her to, say, Chris Brown, who was also lip-syncing and not putting much effort into hiding that, but who at least danced up a storm for our troubles. It almost made me forgive Josh Schwartz for casting him as the band geek on "The O.C." last season.

So, Britney Spears: done? It's not like anyone's paid any attention to her music in a long time anyway, and this couldn't have helped.

20 comments:

Homertojeebus said...

Alan,
she's done, she just can't feel the fork yet.
Unlike Ms. Lohan, Brittney doesn't have much talent to get her over these bumps.
I hope you go back to the Mad Men post, I posted lengthy, late comments.

Nicole said...

If Britney wasn't a joke before, she certainly is now because she apparently lost whatever talent she had that differentiated her from the other skanky starlets. It may be because she is lazy or on drugs or both. I have to say the best part was the look on 50 Cent's face like he couldn't believe she was this bad.

Justin Timberlake was lucky that she cheated on him. She would be dragging him down now.

She now joins the ranks of the "has beens", and if it is drugs doing this to her, I wonder if she will even make it to 30.

In other news, that was a pretty boring show, making me think that I was watching the Grammys.

Dark Tyler said...

Actually, I was wondering who was going to buy her CD even before the fiasco. I mean, it's been a long time since she did anything (and by that I mean "Toxic", basically) so by now her base must have moved on to more mature stuff, right? When I say mature I mean something like Kelly Clarkson, I'm not saying that Britney's fan base suddenly discovered Bob Dylan. :P

What I'm trying to say is, the world has moved on. Nobody needs Britney anymore. Except, of course, when she goes and does something so delightfully awful. :D


Now, let's comment on the fact that "Studio 60" now has one more Emmy than "The Wire".

Kari said...

I think she's done -- definitely doesn't have the talent to fall back on, and she's burned through too many of these opportunities. Right now she's a self-destructive mess, which is unfortunate. But to think anyone would consider her overweight? That's the saddest part of all.

Carrie said...

Kari, that's exactly what I came here to say. Of all the things wrong with her performance last night her body was NOT one of them and it bothers me to see so many people slagging her for her weight. I thought her body looked pretty great, actually. That hair weave, on the other hand...

I am a former huge fan of Britney's (I know, I couldn't help myself for some reason!) and I still want her to be okay but it's obvious she's not. It's just sad.

J said...

I like Spears (unlike the equally untalented Silverman). But if she doesn't muster up some sense of Dignity, soon, the world will give up on her. She's got the oodles of money, she doesn't need to put out a record. What she needs to do is become the Jimmy Carter of ex-pop starlets. Build a house, or something.

Carter, BTW, totally shaves his pubes.

Nicole said...

I can't believe people think she is in any way overweight. There is something seriously wrong with people to say that. She lipsynched badly, danced horribly and didn't seem all there, but she still looked good. Except for that weave.

And why was Paris Hilton there? (although I am glad she left Toronto, because I don't want her in my country)

dez said...

I don't think Britney is overweight and if she's "flabby," well, she did have two kids!. However, the outfit wasn't flattering to her figure. And she's either on Xanax or some other prescription anti-depressant because she was sleep-walking throught that performance (some of those things can make one somnabulant and she looked groggy. Either that, or her affect is way flat. Talk about a vacant stare!

I'm not a fan, but I do feel sorry for her. As a co-worker commented, it's obvious she doesn't have anyone looking out for her best interests right now, and she just as obviously can't take care of herself.

Nicole, we don't want that skank Parasite in our country, either. Maybe we can deport her to some country without nukes so they can't retaliate.

dez said...

BTW, Zombie Britney *will* eat your brains....

Rick said...

Has anyone else noticed since Britney and Justin split up (whenever that happened) their lives have traveled polar opposite tracks -- in a way illustrating the best and worst of post-internet, modern popular culture. Justin has artistic cred and has caused thousand (millions?) to laugh at their computer screens with Dick in a Box, whereas Britney is a total trainwreck, whose decline in life is directly proportional to the rise in traffic at Gawker and TMZ. She has caused thousands (billions?) to laugh at their computer screens by not wearing underwear, driving with her kid on her lap and refusing to wear shoes in a public restroom.

I'm sure there is a masters paper in there somewhere, with the final chapter being last nights VMAs where the two sides of modern popular culture showed their heads minutes apart on the same stage. I might be a tad old for the sought demo, but damn if it wasn't fascinating.

dez said...

"Dick in a Box" won an Emmy, too, a slightly more legitimate award than a VMA, heh heh.

Dark Tyler said...

Only slightly.

andrea sepinwall said...

hey Alan

i totally second your comments, esp re Britney getting flak for not being in shape, that is too warped. if nothing else, and really there was nothing else positive to say about her "performance", she has a rocking body (can't say the same for her failure to come up with enough $ to buy a freaking wig to cover up her horrible extensions...). and chris brown pissed me off, despite doing an amazing dance number. the guy can sing so he should at least have made an effort. and rihanna too seemed to be lip synching and she really has no excuse, she was not even dancing...

Withnail said...

She's not overweight - not at all.

She just doesn't have a dancer's body. And, to do the kind of performance she used to, you need a dancer's body. Case closed. She's never going to be a great singer - never was. But Madonna was always a dancer first. Aretha Franklin, not so much.

With out abs she's nothing.

That being said my first reaction when I saw it:
Sweet Jeebus, what is that?

jim treacher said...

Well, she's overweight by Britney standards. The last time she showed up onstage in an outfit like that, she had a faster metabolism and a more modest drug intake. Dlisted managed to find a screenshot of her at the worst possible angle.

Paris Hilton was there because... well, where else does she have to be?

Anthony Foglia said...

I just saw the clips on "Countdown" and I'll be one of those who says Britney's out of shape. True, for the general public, and for a mother of two, she's in good shape. But for a pop starlet, dancing around in a glitter bikini on MTV, she did not look good at all. What did she do to piss off her costume designer so much to get such an unflattering outfit?

As if that wasn't bad enough, she went through the performance like she was on drugs. I've seen karaoke performers with more energy and better stage presence.

cgeye said...

I'm past blaming her for her lack of home training and borderline parenting skills; those issues can be handled by people with compassion, and the backing of the state, to make sure those kids don't grow up completely messed up.

As for her performance, however, I blame the handlers. Somehow, when stars are allowed to crash and burn, in such a public and humiliating way, I think the staff who are paid big bucks to smooth stars' way decide to make a public statement: This is who she is; this is what he does, when we don't bolster his conscience or awareness of the law, or when we take the PR team off the speed dial.

These constant cascades of embarrassment represent the power of the military-industrial- entertainment complex, flexing its muscles, pushing a sacrifice out of its protection, as a lesson to the rest, to pull them closer in.

Vanessa Hudgens' faux pas has not cost her a career, yet, because she hasn't rebelled from her handlers; when Miley Cyrus and Papa make a statement on E! about porno pictures, that shows that the Disney Channel is calling all hands on deck, to keep the HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL train chugging.

And, to get all James Ellroy about it, doing a short-term save on Hudgens' 15 minutes might contribute to extending a cover of beard protection, on Zac Efron's career. 'Zac' brings up his name as the first Google result, his performance in HAIRSPRAY could catapult him outside the Disney/unthreatening-teen-boy axis, and if general internet zeitgeist is a clue, then there are a hell of a lot more girls willing to phone him nude shots, then there are girls right now who think he might be gay. To Disney, that is cash money, and worth quashing a disruptive picture or two.

So, to sum, the gossip industry, the entertainment management industry, and the studios, are all part of the same great greasy chain of being, and even when a girl takes off her scanties for someone she has a movie crush on, she's part of the system; it's only when she breaks important contractual obligations, that she truly sins.

Dani in NC said...

I think that appearance did more harm to her career than if she had just stayed away a little longer and worked on her act more.

When it comes to Britney's costume, I think she would have been criticized no matter what she wore. If she wore a costume that was more appropriate for her current body shape, then the gossips would have said she was trying to hide flab. Why not put her supposed flaws out there for everyone to see?

Kristin said...

I don't get the weight comments either. For having 2 kids in about a year, she looked pretty dang good to me. Not many mothers of 2 would want to be on national TV in a bikini.

However, it did remind everyone that she is not the same girl she was 3 or 4 years ago. It would have been wiser for her to wear something a little less revealing because people can be cruel.

BUT, her performance was atrocious and unprofessional. If I were the producer if that show, I would be livid. She made the awards into even more a joke then they already are. It was like watching a high school girl screw up during assembly. She smiled behind her hand, looked bored to be there, and didn't even try to make it look like she was attempting some kind of 'comeback.'

Pathetic.

This girl needs help. Get her out of the spotlight and into some REAL therapy.

Leee said...

I think all this focus on Britney is misplaced -- she's the red herring to what's really going on, which is a lot closer to the military-industrial complex that cgeye mentioned, though I wouldn't put it exactly in those terms. She is the performance, the text, while the actors are her handlers, choreographers, songwriters, etc.