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Monday, September 10, 2007

The Crotchety Old Man, Surprisingly Contented

After a wholly lacklustre affair last year, the MTV Video Music Awards were looking to do a little retooling for 2007, and their efforts, while a considerable improvement over 2006, was still lacking in a few areas.

While I'm not going to link to everything, all mentioned moments can be seen on MTV.ca right now. Click the 'segments' drop-down on the VMA channel.

THE GOOD
I thoroughly enjoyed the 'Room Party' vibe throughout the show, with their various guest appearances and collaborations. The Foo Fighters seemed to be the hot spot, with CeeLo demolishing the cover of Prince's 'Darling Nikki' and Serj from System of a Down delivering the best cover of 'Holiday in Cambodia' I may have ever heard.

I even enjoyed Fallout Boy's sets. While I loathe the song, having them back up Rihanna on 'Shut Up and Drive' was different and therefore cool. Lil Wayne [someone else I typically hate on] even made me LOL when he dropped that 'I don't really get this song neither, but I'ma figure it out like a palm reader' line during 'This Ain't a Scene'.
The tease currently is that extended replays of the event will have full room party performances, which is certainly something I'd waste more of my time for.

Ooooh, Kanye. You a dangerous man. Performing my favourite song from Graduation was a strong jab. Having Common drop by to do a couple tracks was a knockout punch. Would have been cooler if Lily Allen had been there to sing the hook, but alas.
Final word on the 50/Kanye thing, all I'll say is this. When performing 'In da Club' at the Timberland party, 50 looked like he was catching his breath every other line. Kanye pit all his shit, out of breath or not. That's all I got to say about that.

Really, the performances on the whole were pretty awesome. Alicia Keys tore it up, Linkin Park was fine for being Linkin Park, and while I haven't seen it, even the snootiest of bloggers have sung the praises of Chris Brown's dance number. There was honestly more live music than they could keep on the screen, and that's what the VMAs should be.

THE BAD
There was an actual awards show there. Honestly, I could have given a shit about the actual awards, and the predictable fashion they were handed out in did little to win me over. Take Female Artist. Fergie wins. Nelly Furtado doesn't. Ridiculous. Fergie was custom built in a lab to have a hit record. It didn't matter how stupid or nonsensical it was, everyone knew her record would be a hit, much to our cumulative chagrin. Last year, did anyone think Nelly's album would have kept her on the radio for a year? Or that she would close the show with Timbers Lake and Land? You're lying if you said yes.

Never mind 'Umbrella' getting Video of The Year. Really? A phoned in verse from Jigga, a haircut and some ballet shoes makes the best video of the year? No wonder Kanye was pissed.

All right. Let's get it out of the way. You want me to talk about Britney. At this point, is there really anything I could say that hasn't been covered? Lord I'll never understand why we still care about this woman, or why she refuses to just disappear or willingly join Kathy Griffin on the D-List, but we do, and she doesn't.

I think what made her weak ass performance so is that it was exactly what everyone feared it would be, and nobody wanted to see that. I think after the horrifying year the woman has had, we wanted her to surprise us, and she did not. As soon as that first shot was a close up of the weave tracks going down the back of her head, we should have known. And as the stunned, barely-performed 'performance' played out, nobody was shocked, just disappointed that it met our expectations. We should not be surprised the latest move has been a court order.

What confuses me is why the hell the producers booked the 'shocking' Sarah Silverman to go on right after. It's like after touting the opening number as 'the biggest and most important opening number you will see this year or ever in your life' they hedged their bets by having Silverman go out. 'Well, if she sucks, Sarah can make fun of her and we save face by looking like we knew it would suck in the first place. Just in case.''

As for Silverman, I need to get personal for a moment.

Sarah, honey. The first time I saw you perform it was at the roast of Carson Daly, I believe. You closed your set by thanking the audience and proclaiming, 'This is the best anniversary of my abortion ever.' That's funny. Your bits in 'The Aristocrats' were pretty good, too. Why have you been so wack every other time I've seen you? I want to like you, I've tried to continue liking you. I like the idea of a balls-out, fearless female comedian. But Paris jokes? You've been doing that for two years. Diminishing returns defined. Going after Brit-Brit was like kicking the handicapable kid after he falls out of his wheelchair before study hall. Poo jokes? Poo jokes?! With the mandatory Jewish crack to cap the night off? Has it really come to this?

You're better than this. You know it, I know it. Step your game up. And PS: Your show is damn near unwatchable. Which is the point, I realize, so I guess you should be congratulated on repelling any viewers.

So there you have it. While not without its flaws, a promising first step on retooling the flagship event of the network. Now someone tell me what the hell workout Dr. Dre's been on.

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