Many art enthusiast would agree that art is objective. As we know, a persons perception on life and feelings will dictate how they observe things, this is the main reason why many of us appreciate art. For that very moment, we enter the mind of the artist. [Read more…] about Fab 5 Freddy Unveils His New Art Exhibit at Pioneer Works
Sick Of Scrubbing In After Only One Hour
Scrubbing In: Thursdays at 10 Eastern Time on MTV
With the explosion in reality television across all segments of the cable spectrum (with ironically enough the worst offenders having once been cable’s bastion of high-culture television), it’s pretty interesting to see how networks brand their reality television. For example, E! focuses predominantly on psuedo-celebrity, whether it’s Kim Kardashian or WWE divas. Bravo tends to have cartoonish and morally repugnant caricatures of shallow rich people. At the other end of the spectrum, A+E takes glee at mining comedy out of society’s lower classes with shows like Duck Dynasty, while Discovery takes its’ reality content deadly serious. Oddly enough however, MTV (whose The Real World basically originated the formula) seems to often have a more schizophrenic take on the genre, flipping between super serious (early Real World, Kesha My Beautiful Crazy Life) and completely ridiculous (later Real World and pretty much anything from the Jackass and Jersey Shore trees).
It’s from that perspective that MTV brings us its’ newest occupant of the 10 spot in Scrubbing In. Scrubbing In follows nine young nurses doing a short stint at a hospital in Orange County. Dropped into new circumstances and from all across the country, our young traveling nurses must deal with navigating a new city, disrupted lives, and a hospital in need in what seems MTV would probably pitch as a mix of The Real World and Grey’s Anatomy.
Like many workplace reality shows, Scrubbing In could have taken one of two paths: It could either be a show about nurses who happen to be drunk millenials, or it could be a show about drunk millenials that by extremely contrived circumstances happen to be traveling nurses. It’s pretty clear throughout the first half hour that this show is clearly the latter, and it’s truly a shame as there could be some deep and very real drama within the walls of the hospital (the sort of drama that drove a show like Scrubs).
Instead what the show pushes for is to become some sort of Nursey Shore (sorry guys, I couldn’t resist on that one). The first half hour in particular tends to over focus on the sort of matters that appear in every other MTV reality show ever (petty squabbles, tons of booze, minimum two club scenes a show). Even the drama that occurs at work (Heather’s licensing issues, Tyrice and Chris’s spat over Chris trying to defend himself at the office) tends to fit squarely into this box. The end result is a soul sucking experience that feels like its’ been done before (and better).
This whole scenario would play off much better if our initial cast was likable. To the contrary, we instead get half the cast lumped off into an amorphous faceless mass seemingly more focused on bedroom matters than anything else (collectively referred to as the Pittsburgh girls), with the one outsider on the female half of the cast willing to snap at a moment’s notice (Tyrice). The guys aren’t much better, as Chris is played off as someone who will hit on everyone that moves and slightly two-faced, Adrian is played off as paralyzed in thought and incapable of taking decisive action in his personal life, and Fernando (who for now is this show’s de facto Vinny) never gets to register in any meaningful fashion.
The Final Verdict: If Scrubbing In represents the future of American health care, than I pray that I don’t ever get sick. Instead of getting any real drama derived from a potentially interesting hook, we instead get a pedestrian Jersey Shore clone without any of the personality that made that show entertaining. Skip this one and just give it a couple of months before MTV goes into season 90 of The Real World because it’s a mess, and a boring one at that.
Fall Music 2013- It will be epic!!!
Maybe it’s just me, but the music scene so far in 2013 has been pretty legit for the first time in a long time. The summer alone has brought us some inescapable and funk’dafied jams from “Blurred Lines” to “Get Lucky” to “Summertime Sadness” to name a few. It also brought us Miley Cyrus f***ing herself with a foam finger and wearing a Gaga latex rip off Sunday night. I think I am going to vomit. Regardless, with the fall season rapidly approaching it also is a reminder that some of the biggest names in music will be dropping their records in the upcoming months, thus making this guy here very excited for what is to come for 2013 and beyond. Seeing as the VMA’s was a preview for some of the incredible music we are about the unveil in the upcoming months, one can only hope that it will segue into an amazing 2014. Let’s start off with the news that got me insanely giddy.
Eminem- The Marshall Mathers 2.
Eminem as far as I am concerned was MY GENERATION. He was everything to so many of us growing up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and has continued to be a dominating force not only in the hip-hop industry but in the music industry period. At the Video Music Awards it was announced that his highly anticipated new album, the follow up to 2000’s “Marshall Mathers LP” will be dropped on November 5th and the first single off the album called “Berzerk” has already shot to number one in less than a day of it debuting on iTunes. “Berzerk” is such an insane throw back for so many different reasons yet has a modern edge to it. It also proves why he is the fucking man still practically fourteen years after his debut in 99. Expect this album to do some severe damage on the charts and for him to educate a whole new generation of people on the school that is Eminem.
Katy Perry- Prism
Katy Perry has come quite a way since her days of kissing a girl (I never liked it personally. Not her, kissing girls.) Her last album “Teenage Dream” did the unthinkable in that she tied (and almost topped) Michael Jackson’s record of the most number one singles off of a single album (California Girls, title track, E.T., Last Friday Night, Firework) and received numerous awards and a pivotal nomination for “Album of the Year” at the Grammy’s. Well after a semi-quiet year from her after the long haul of her sophomore album success, she has come back full throttle with the first single off of Prism called “Roar” which quickly debuted at number one on the iTunes charts and raced up to number two on the Billboard Charts (expect it to dethrone “Blurred Lines” this week). The album “Prism” is set to hit shelves on October 22nd and the second single called “Dark Horse” is set to hit airwaves in a couple of weeks. “Blur” is a slower paced version of a lead off single than she normally does but somehow it works as she is very good at belting out a pop hit or two and this album will no doubt compete with Eminem and a couple others for the top spot in the fall.
Lady Gaga- Artpop
As much as I love Lady Gaga, and I really do, she needs this album to be freaking phenomenal compared to what I and many people think was a lackluster third effort with “Born This Way”. That album just felt very rushed and ill planned and conceived as well as it didn’t really hold a candle to what “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster” really did. “Artpop” is set to be released right before Thanksgiving on November 22nd and the leadoff single “Applause” really isn’t taking off like a lot of people thought it would. The song debuted at number 6 on the Billboard Charts where as its biggest competitor “Roar” by Katy Perry debuted at number two instead. She has an insane fan base so it is a given that this album will do well but I don’t think “Applause” was the right start off single. Hopefully her follow up songs will prove why she is one of the best out there right now and a force to be reckoned with in the world of pop.
Justin Timberlake- The 20/20 Experience Part Two
What a comeback year this has been for the prince of pop ey? Part one of “The 20/20 Experience” debuted at number one back in early 2013 with an impressive near million first week sales and nothing has stopped him since. Things really took it to another level with his EPIC VMA performance on Sunday night which included a very abbreviated reunion of the band that made him famous in the first place, NSYNC. He also was the recipient of two major awards that night, The Michael Jackson “Video Vanguard Award” and the ultimate- Video of the Year for his second single off “20/20” called “Mirrors”. Well now expect to hear much more from Justin as part two of “20/20” is scheduled to be released on September 30th with the leadoff single “Take Back The Night” already released last month. Hard to believe you can do two albums in one year, but then again this is a man we haven’t heard any new material from in 7 years, so bring it.
MTV’s Video Music Awards- Live From The Red Carpet
After doing this whole blogging thing for the past three or so years, I can honestly say that all my hard work and dedication has somewhat led up to what occurred on Sunday night. I represented Manhattan Digest at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on The Red Carpet and stood beside some of the biggest press outlets in the world, from Entertainment Tonight to Reuters to Access Hollywood to name a few. Truly, I felt honored and quite humbled to just be there and the exhilarating feeling of walking across the red carpet was something I will never really forget.
The day started with my trek to Brooklyn from Long Island. Once I got to Brooklyn, I waited in line with a ton of other press outlets who were eagerly waiting to see what was going to happen next. The amazing thing is that even six or seven hours early, there was a massive crowd outside of fans and people alike. I’m so happy that MTV decided to do this in Brooklyn as so many real music fans and performers alike were born and bred here. We were then redirected inside The Barclay Center, where we were treated to some great audio in the sense of all the VMA performers doing their rehearsals. Shortly after, we lined up and made our way to the red carpet where the night really took off.
The red carpet itself was magical in its own way, with stars from across the board showing up for quite possibly the most buzzed about and trendiest award show of the night. Early arrivals from Snooki and Kendrick Lamar got things going and the energy and excitement from the fans on the red carpet and even the ones who were hanging in the buildings adjacent from the Barclay Center was incredible as the sunlight went down and it progressed into nighttime.
We were treated to pre-VMA performances on the red carpet from Artist To Watch winner Austin Mahone and fresh-faced newbie Arianna Grande, who recently scored a top ten hit with rapper Mac Miller in her song “The Way”. Some of the biggest starts towards the end of the red carpet from the Twerking and foam finger loving Miley Cyrus to multiple winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Hollywood Legend Will Smith who memorably made the face above when seeing that Miley performance. Tee hee. The only stars that managed to not show up to the red carpet was Britney Spears (who was rumored to be in Brooklyn- DAMMIT!) and Justin Timberlake and NSYNC as they were the surprise performance of the night (that I wish would’ve lasted a little longer. Sad face indeed).
Although I didn’t go to the award show itself, it didn’t really matter to me. I was able to meet and greet people that most people only get a chance to see on the big screen. The whole experience itself was just amazing. I have said this before and will say it again and again- persistence and perseverance pays off in the long run. It always does. If you truly believe something it will happen, without a doubt. Oh and Will Smith said hey to me. The pic is above. Yeayuhhhh. For all things VMA’s and MTV, check out MTV.com
2013 VMA’s Live Blog
Good afternoon everyone! I’m Mike Tyminski and I’m here to live blog tonight’s VMA’s. The VMA’s are an interesting time for MTV, as the network formerly known as Music Television celebrates the art form they use to showcase on the network known as the music video. Where the VMA’s shine compared to their other award ceremonies is that the focus remains on the here and now and make for an interesting yearbook photo of what was hot in 2013. This year’s awards look to be a slug fest between Miley Ray Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop”, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, and Justin Timberlake and Macklemore’s fuller suites (each has three different videos nominated for at least one award). Also of particular importance tonight are the rumors of a possible *NSYNC reunion as one of the performances at the show. I’ll be back at 8:45 to give play by play and live blog the show – I’m skipping red carpet this time around since we have Manhattan Digest’s very own Ryan Shea there to cover the proceedings and give reaction from Brooklyn. I look forward to seeing you all then!
8:45 PM – Random viewing notes from the pre-show:
-Watching Austin Mahone is like someone stole DNA from every late 90’s boy band and mixed it together to create a one man boy band the likes of which Earth has never seen.
-A couple of early awards were given out — 30 Seconds to Mars took best Rock video for “Up In the Air “, and Pink and Nate Ruess took down the award for Best Collaborative video for “Just Give Me A Reason”, with 30 Seconds to Mars receiving their Moon Men on the pre-show. Both awards were mentioned at breathtaking speed.
-Danity Kane announced their reunion at the Red Carpet tonight.
-Katy Perry is calling her performance “Rough, Tough, and Ready to Rumble”, her performance of “Roar” is closing out the show tonight.
-One Direction is slaughtering the vote for Song of the Summer, up 4 million votes on it’s nearest competitor, I think it’s safe to say they’re taking this one.
-Tonight’s show is opening with Lady Gaga’s performance of her single “Applause”. The single sounded middling to me, but a Gaga performance is all about the visuals anyway.
Be back right with any last minute news right before showtime.
8:58 p.m.: Seems like things have quieted down on the red carpet (the last five minutes are devoted to the trailer for Divergent and an interview where star Theo James (Golden Boy) stumbles through an interview) and Lady Gaga is set to open the show (though a Gaga/Perry bookend admittedly feels very 2009). Ryan will have the remainder of the news and reaction from his time in Brooklyn tomorrow. I’ll be going segment to segment with the usual play by play and focus on performance.
9:12 pm: So Lady Gaga’s performance was…I guess what we’d call typical Gaga? It seemed to focus on the various stages of Gaga, as it opened with Gaga looking akin to a flying nun and ended up with a triumphant Gaga in seashell bra. Along the way, there were numerous dancers clad in black who existed to both augment and obscure Gaga during the numerous mid-song costume changes. I thought it was kind of a mess as a whole, but I could totally see where someone would get into it!
From there we kick it to One Direction, who were cued in by a PA announcer, and announce the nominees for Best Pop Video:
Bruno Mars “Locked out of Heaven”, Miley Cyrus “We Can’t Stop”, Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”, Selena Gomez “Come and Get It”, and Fun. “Carry On”.
The winner is: Selena Gomez, “Come and Get it”
We get the announcement that the Artist to Watch award (presented by TACO BELL!) can be voted on via text message.
9:28 pm: Continuing the trend of being an awards show not focusing on awards — they breeze through the technical awards in about 60 seconds — I’m gonna try to grab those during a commercial break since they deserve recognition, Justin Timberlake seemed to take the lion’s share.
Miley Cyus and Robin Thicke, then performed next, with Miley Cyrus legitimately rocking out to her guitar riff laden evil Teddy Bear entrance before going into “We Can’t Stop”, which has three award nods tonight before seguing into Blurred Lines with Miley playing Pharell…it’s not the most technically brilliant thing, but Miley looks to be loving every minute of this and it’s perversely entertaining on a level that I can’t comprehend. This then swerves into a cameo by Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz. This performance, unlike Gaga worked because all of the chaos and **ahem** run-ins ended up building to something much bigger.
Lil Kim then comes out and mentions how excited she was to see the VMA’s in Brooklyn and announce the Nominees for Best Hip Hop Video
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis “Can’t Hold Us”, Drake “Started From the Bottom”, A$AP Rocky f. Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar “Problems”, J. Cole ft. Miguel “Power Trip”, Kendrick Lamar “Swimming Pools (Drink)”.
The Winner is: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis “Can’t Hold Us”
We get a quick speech from Macklemore about rapping on a Pirate Ship
9:42 pm: Kevin Hart comes out to get some more love for the performance and juice the crowd. An advertisement plays to text for artist to watch (Sponsored by TACO BELL!)
Jared Leto then comes out to heap praise on Kanye West, who is performing his single “Blood on the Leaves” off of Yeezus. It starts with Kanye bathed in red light before performing in shadow in behind a wooded image projected onto a TV. This is the first truly great performance on the show tonight, and the audience seemed off of its’ hands for the first time after it. Personally I was pretty amused by a 20 second stretch at the end of the song in which MTV censored out about 14 of those seconds.
9:46 pm: And we come back to the VMA’s with a few seconds of Pharell, Nile Rodgers, and Daft Punk performing “Lose Yourself to Dance” before coming out to announce the nominees for Best Female Video
Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble”, Miley Cyrus “We Cant Stop”, Demi Lovato “Heart Attack”, Pink Ft. Nate Ruess “Just Give Me A Reason”, Rihanna “Stay”.
And the winner is: Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”.
Taylor gives the standard issue (and Kanye free) awards speech before taking a dig at John Mayer.
Ed Sheehan comes out to announce the nominees for the award for best video with a social message
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis f. Mary Lambert “Same Love”, Kelly Clarkson “People Like Us”, Beyonce “I was Here”, Miguel “Candles in the Sun”, Snoop Lion ft. Drake and Corey B. “No Guns Allowed”.
And the winner is: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “Same Love”
We get another quick heartfelt award speech from Macklemore before cutting to commercial.
10:24 pm: We come back to Jimmy Fallon who waxes about his 2002 VMA hosting gig before introducing Justin Timberlake, who gets a long video entrance that touches every hit he’s had a solo artist. He’s performing “Take Back the Night”, starting in the lobby of the arena with a large and growing posse of dancers before entering the arena floor. We then get a spinning camera effect before we find Justin on stage performing “Sexy Back”. Justin seems to be owning this whole moment, even slipping a “bitch” through our incredibly vigilant censors, he then rolls through “My Love” which comes through an extended dance breakdown before walking through the pit during “Cry Me A River” (Which he doesn’t sing). The performance then moves to a dance floor in front of the large moon man for “Rock Your Body” (which comes with another extended dance breakdown). Focus then moved back to the stage for the a quick *NSYNC cameo (short enough it wasn’t a full scale reunion) with a quick quote from “Bye Bye Bye” before quickly seguing back into “Suit and Tie” and “Mirrors”. Jimmy Fallon returns to the scene to present Timberlake with the Video Vanguard award. Fallon’s gushing speech was highlighted by making sure to list The Lonely Island classic “Dick in a Box” not once but three times during the award announcement (also for those keeping score, he managed not to corpse during the speech).
Timberlake gave a real humble speech, giving props to to his directors, his choreographers, and NSYNC.
So…takeaways from that 20 minute concert? 1) Justin…you owe it to America, please do the Super Bowl halftime show….please? 2)If you want an *NSYNC reunion in earnest? It’s not happening anytime soon…the Bye Bye Bye spot was wedged in pretty nonchalantly and was breezed through in about a minute.
On a side note, Lady Gaga is still wearing the same seashell bra while rocking out in the crowd. I don’t know why I think it’s important, but I feel like you never see people wear their performance outfits in the stands.
10:40 PM: Kevin Hart sends it over to DJ Cassidy who plays a quick kicker, before Kevin insists that he is not the host, he’s just called upon to do more stuff but not before commenting on Lady Gaga’s yams before once again mentioning the nominees for artist to watch (Sponsored by TACO BELL!)
Vampire Weekend comes out to introduce the award for Song of the Summer, speaking of which, the nominees for Song of the Summer are:
Miley Cyrus “We Can’t Stop”, Robin Thicke ft. Pharell and T.I. “Blurred Lines”, Selena Gomez “Come and Get It”, Calvin Harris f. Ellie Goulding “I Need Your Love”, One Direction “Best Song Ever”, and Daft Punk “Get Lucky”.
The Winner is: “Best Song Ever” by One Direction (Pete Townshend’s house is safe)
Harry comes out and thanks the crowd before introducing the video’s director.
Jason Collins and A$AP Rocky arrive on stage to introduce Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, whom perform “Same Love”. Macklemore is clearly emotional through the first verse, moving more towards the fire of a preacher in his voice by the end of the second verse as opposed to the more conversational tone that comes with the single. Jennifer Hudson drops into deliver the third chorus before quoting a quick phrase of “Not Crying on Sunday” with Mary Lambert, who provided the other chorus’s.
10:49 PM: We finally get the announcement for this years Artist to watch award, and the nominees are.
Austin Mahone, Iggy Azalia, The Weekends, 21 Pilots, and Zedd
And the winner is: Austin Mahone
A starstruck Mahone, thanks all relevant people including God AND MTV, which according to some might be counteracting forces. Unfortunately he didn’t thank TACO BELL who sponsored the award.
The show cuts to the surviving members of TLC (T-Boz and Chili), whom are here to introduce Drake, whose standing in front of a video screen in a manner that’s mildly reminiscent of Frank Ocean’s “Forrest Gump” performance from the Grammys. He gets mobbed by fans while trying to get to the stage to perform “Started from the Bottom”. Drake ends up in the pit by the second verse.
Looks like most of the awards are finished…we’re down to just Best Male Video and Video of the Year if my account is right.
10:58 PM: Taylor swift comes out to announce the award for best Male video
Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”, Bruno Mars “Locked out of Heaven”, Ed Sheeran “Lego House”, Kendrick Lamar “Swimming Pool (Drink)”, Robin Thicke ft. TI and Pharrell “Blurred Lines”.
And the winner is: Bruno Mars “Locked out of Heaven”.
We get a lightning quick thank you out of Bruno before cutting to commercial.
A quick update on the technical awards front — only posting the winners so that I can keep up on play-by-play
Best Directing — David Fincher for “Suit & Tie”
Best Choreography — Bruno Mars (self-choreographed) for “Treasure”
Best Visual Effects — Capital Cities “Safe and Sound”
Best Art Direction — Veronica Hodgson for Janelle Monae ft. Erykah Badu’s “Q.U.E.E.N”
Best Cinematography — Macklemore ft. Ryan Lewis “Can’t Stop Us”
Selena Gomez is out to introduce Bruno Mars, who’s here to perform his new single, “Gorilla”. Bruno’s performing this slow jam in a leopard-print heavy version of his standard look. It’s a pretty blase performance surrounded by a ton of pyrotechnics. Earlier in the show I would have probably enjoyed it more, but after Kanye, JT, and Macklemore tore it up in their own respective ways this performance feels like it’s just there to fill time until Katy Perry’s show closing performance. It probably didn’t help that his big falsetto note was completely overpowered by the backing tape.
In other news, Katy Perry is walking towards the Brooklyn Bridge to perform “Roar” in about 15 minutes. She’s rocking some boxing gear, which I’m pretty okay with on the basis of how prominently the words “Eye of the Tiger” are placed in the song.
During the break, Pepsi announced that Katy Perry’s new single “Dark Horse” will drop on September 17th.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt comes out to announce the nominees for Video of the Year in what could be described loosely as “an old timey western voice” which was clearly appropriate for the situation.
The nominees for video of the year are: Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”, Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis “Thrift Shop”, Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble”, Robin Thicke f. T.I. and Pharrell “Blurred Lines”
And the winner is: Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”
Justin gives props to all of the performances, before mentioning how the video was a tribute to his grandparents.
Allison Williams from Girls enters to introduce Katy Perry, who is performing her single “Roar”. The boxer gear goes with a fuller motif as the entire performance takes place in a makeshift boxing ring dance floor by the Brooklyn Bridge. I feel like this performance would have actually been better inside if only for the acoustics being better captured allowing for better use of the crowd roars.
I’ll be back in a few minutes with some final thoughts from the show.
Well…that first hour felt like a trainwreck, moving at I Love Lucy conveyor belt speed. However, 10p.m. hit, the VMA’s officially ended, and the Justin Timberlake Show began, things became a lot better. And that’s important, because even with strong performances by Kanye, Macklemore, and Katy Perry, do not kid yourself…this was entirely Timberlake’s show. It seemed like most of the awards were taken by either himself or Macklemore. Of course, while they took a sweep of the awards this show truly felt like MTV treats awards shows the way they treat music 365 days a year, as many of the awards felt like window dressing compared to the performances. If you’re catching this on tape delay, the best approach is to just fast forward through every talking bit and go straight to the performances, which were either really good or really weird.
That’s it for me tonight, it’s been three whirlwind hours and 2500 or so words. Next week there isn’t much new TV so I’m taking the opportunity to roll out some fall previews for the major networks (and the CW even!) Thanks everyone for tuning in, and stay connected to Manhattan Digest tomorrow for Ryan’s report from Brooklyn!
The Show is an Offbeat Affair, But Could Use A Little Longer to Simmer
The Show w/ Vinny: Thursdays at 10pm Eastern on MTV
It’s been four years since Jersey Shore became a surprise hit, spurring the careers of eight twenty-somethings that weren’t actually from Jersey with their off-beat combination of drinking, fighting, and taking back a mild ethnic slur. Since then, we’ve seen a variety of side projects, from DJ Pauly’s new-found music career to The Situation’s appearances on Dancing with the Stars and his own Comedy Central Roast to spin-off Snooki & JWOWW. Tonight mark’s the debut of another of these new projects, with nice guy Vinny Guadagnino’s new talk show, simply titled The Show w/Vinny.
The Show w/Vinny is designed to be an unconventional take on the talk show format. In lieu of a studio, much of the action is supposed to place in a variety of locations, including the Guadagnino’s Staten Island Household. Vinny’s family also plays a heavy role in the action, including his mother, Paola, whom plays a large role in much of the promotional material.
Tonight’s show featured two guests: Our first half featured Lil Wayne, whom enjoyed a nice meal at the Guadagnino household before teaching Vinny how to skateboard at a skate park somewhere in Staten Island. The second half of our show involved YouTube sensation Jenna Marbles, whom was interviewed by Vinny before being hooked up in a video chat with Snooki, whom she did a piece about a while back.
So how does this show turn out? Well, it’s pretty uneven. Vinny is a pretty affable host, but he seems somewhat unpolished and occasionally sounds like he’s reading off of cue cards at times. However, in those moments where Vinny is interacting with his family or doing a bit with his guests that he seems more comfortable. The show also seems to be teasing that Vinny will hit on just about any female guest that crosses his path, which seems to help liven up some of the proceedings.
Vinny’s family is around in limited doses, but provides a nice change of pace, and allows Vinny to introduce his guests by describing them to Paola, who rightfully should not know most of the guests most relevant to MTV’s audience (I know my mom wouldn’t know who Lil Wayne or Jenna Marbles were either). Its’ also in Vinny’s family that we get the overarching feel of the show: that household where there’s always something going on in the kitchen.
If there is one aspect of this show that particularly peeved me it was the random cutting of the camera to wide and occasionally off screen angles. There’s not really much of a reason to capture the empty half of a living room or the crew cracking up at something during an interview. It also takes away from the flow of a show that tends to stop and start quite a bit to begin with (each half of the show contains three segments, meaning that on average each piece of the show runs around 3 minutes) and tends to be visually jarring, two words I never wish to associate with my late night talk shows or the “comfort food” vibe.
The Final Verdict: The Show with Vinny has some good, some bad and some ugly. It feels like the producers provided a lot of structure to protect Vinny (with the absence of a monologue and two segments of the show where he doesn’t really have to do more than provide the occasional one liner), but ultimately sent the show in a direction where matters occasionally feel forced. Vinny could work as a talk show host, but definitely needs a little more comfort in his interviews, which will come over time. Overall, I get the vibe that this is a wait-and-see sort of show, as there’s room for improvement but it could work as mellow, offbeat, late night comfort food.
Ke$ha’s “My Crazy Beautiful Life” is a pleasant surprise
Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life, 11pm Eastern Tuesdays on MTV
In the world of female pop starlets, there always seem to be specific brands that stars seem to hew to. Katy Perry always seems to be somewhat infantilized and stuck in a state of arrested development. Rihanna has often put a sadomasochistic image at the forefront of her brand (and those are just the newspaper headlines). Then there is Ke$ha, whose made her fame on looking and sounding like she’s a girl you met at a rave whom fell into a vat of glitter after an all-night bender. All jokes aside, I’ve always gotten the impression that while some music stars live the lifestyle (Lady Gaga has a new publicity stunt every two weeks to reinforce her “weirder than you” image) that the Ke$ha image is just that: a brand. Luckily MTV is swooping in to save the day with a new reality show that will allow me to test this hypothesis.
Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life follows recording artist Ke$ha as she handles her day-to-day life, both professionally and personally. The show hypes itself on it’s “rawness” and “realness”, with much of the documentary being produced by her brother, Lagan Sebert. Additionally, the show seems to take on more of a documentary feel, as the show intends on using approximately two years of footage to tell her story as opposed to the more in-the-moment feel of other celebrity pushing shows.
Without fail, we open on an exhausted Ke$ha’s back story, discussing how she dropped out of high school at 17 to become a musician and headlining a concert two years ago. The night after Kesha gives her mom a tearful goodbye before hitting the road for a tour. We then get more concert footage from various stops along the tour, before pausing in Los Angeles where she reminisces about a former flame whom she gave up to pursue her music career. We return from commercial to find Ke$ha borderline stalking Harold and being generally insecure while musing stoically about love.
After the L.A. show, Ke$ha gets a review from an unfavorable blogger that sends her reeling, before commenting on how certain bloggers cross the line and tear people apart (I could take guesses as to whom she is talking about, but why should I give them the free press?). Ke$ha then invites her best friend, Savannah with her to Scotland for the Glastonbury Music Festival (which she’s performing at). We then see Ke$ha give interviews to BBC radio in full blown glitter and makeup (which cannot possibly be comfortable). Ke$ha then has a meet and greet with the fans, including a particularly intense moment in Manchester where a fan wrote a letter about being bullied which she then read on the spot.
As a piece of art, My Crazy Beautiful Life comes together excellently as it darts between Ke$ha the performer, and Kesha the person. It’s not afraid to drag you into moments that seem like they would be incredibly awkward (case in point: the awkward limo drive by Harold’s house). Similarly, you quickly gain the impression that there’s a lot of inherent confidence and wildness in that glitter, because it’s often in those moments where she’s without the make-up that we start to see that so much of what makes Ke$ha, well, Ke$ha is becoming the mask to hide what’s a pretty emotionally bruised twenty-something.
The show as a whole is slick and well shot, but also is very heavily padded. We see at least three long concert montages in a show with a 22 minute run time. This is a shame, because Ke$ha the person seems fairly complex, with a mix of insecurity, raw honesty, and just enough of her stage persona to keep the proceedings interesting. Similarly I wish that the show had spent a little more time elaborating on her back story, as it was glossed over in the span of about 30 seconds and would have given a little more power to those human moments that start hitting you from minute one.
The Final Verdict: I was pleasantly surprised with Ke$ha: My Beautiful Crazy Life. I went in expecting that the show would be given the full MTV treatment – a booze fueled romp of glitz and glamour not too far removed from most of their hit programming the last decade. Instead, I got a show that actually lived up to it’s hype and is a fairly gripping documentary with what has to be the most music content a show on MTV has had in years. While I think the series probably would have been better served as a feature length documentary, it’s definitely worth checking out if you need something to watch at 11pm on a Tuesday.
The 2013 MTV Movie Awards Red Carpet
The 2013 MTV Movie Awards were last night at the fashion never fails to intrigue me. The MTV Movie Awards bring out all walks of the celebrity life. From movie stars to musicians to your favorite reality stars. There were a few great ensembles on the red carpet last night and, true to Movie Awards tradition, there were some outlandish fashion train wrecks!
Actress Crystal Reed looked classy and trendy in her coral and nude lace overlay dress. The bottom was pumped up with a tulle and looked like a beautiful tutu. And the nude pumps made her legs looking miles long!
Bridesmaids’ Melissa McCarthy rocked all black with gold accessories. I think the was a great pick for Melissa the funny girl looks slim and glowing!
Model Karlie Kloss’ all white skirt and crop top was sexy! The shoes were by far my favorite part of the outfit! I am obsessed with ankle straps right now! So chic.
My best dressed male goes to my secret crush … The legendary Taylor Hanson! He is so handsome and well dressed. This MMMbop boy surely grew into one handsome man.
And now for the worst of the worst … drum roll please !
What is this chick thinking? I think she is so talented and beautiful and yet she insists on looking like a hobo.
You would never believe this girl had hit songs almost every other month. Apparently hippies have gone goth, which is not a good look! I don’t know what the worst part of this look is … the hat … no the fringe vest … nope definitely the pants … This outfit is just all wrong!
This next one is really hard for me to do … I am absolutely head over heels with musician Macklemore. I think his style and look are perfection, most of the time. I love his swag and his ginger features! But his outfit last night was really disappointing. The royal blue did look cool but the cape was such a let down. I would have rathered a big fur jacket and a onesie.
Don’t worry though I still love you!
There’s always one who has to be a statement maker, and expecting it to be Lady Gaga again, I was surprised to see a burnt cigarette butt hat on Pitch Perfect’s Hana Mae Lee. Lee was one of my favorite characters in Pitch Perfect and her one liners were the most laughable moments in the movie. My favorite line “I ate my twin in the womb.” Befitting to her character’s, shall we say, uniqueness, Mae Lee rocks a interesting hat at the Movie Awards.
Last night’s MTV Movie Award fashion definitely had some note worthy looks. But the overall trend for the awards had to be the pointy toe pump. I have to say I was a little worried about this trend coming back but the new style of pointed toe pumps has a shorter point and is something I am actually excited to try out.
Kim Kardashian really was the first celebrity to rock this look when she stepped out in her neon green Loubitan’s. Last night she showed off her baby bump in a sleek black dress and black satin pointed toe stiletto’s.
Carrie actress Chloe Moretz kept it casual in a denim romper by Louis Vuitton and stunning t-strap pointed toe pumps. The shoes were the focal point in this outfit, beautiful!
Kim K in training younger sister Kylie Jenner looked fabulous in her nude pencil skirt and white crop top. The nude pointed toe heels were to die for! I am absolutely passionate about these pumps. I must go buy a pair now!!
I have to say, I am totally into trying out this re imagined trend. The only issue I have is after I take my shoes off at the end of the night they usually get thrown in a pile of my collection of shoes and then they get all smushed. After they are flattened enough you can never get your toe in right and if someone steps on it, forget it, a little heel dent can ruin a pair of pointed toe heels. Luckily in my never ending online shopping habit, I found the answer! http://www.tiptopshoesaver.com/ sells all different tools to keep your hoes in new condition. Their product, conveniently titled, The Tip Toe Shoe Saver, is a triangular piece that you insert into the toe area of a pointed toe shoe to keep the shape. I ordered a pair and can’t wait to use them in my new heels.
So all in all, I think the fashion at the MTV Movie Awards last night was interesting, but slightly disappointing. The one’s that got it right last night definitely brought in the Spring 2013 trends. White was big and nudes, as well. For accessories, I was happy to see the ankle stap and pointed toe heels were back and modern.
*Just on a side-note, I’d like to send my prayers out to the families involved in the tragic terrorist bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon today. This is a sad and frightening event and if there is anyway I can help I will and hope my fellow Americans will do the same.
Pedro Zamora- Why his legacy remains important
Out of frustration that I was stuck home last night due to circumstances (babysitting my nephew. Cute yes, on a Saturday night not so much), I was flipping through my channels when I saw that MTV was doing a Real World marathon of their three biggest seasons (New York Season 1, San Fransisco Season 3 and Las Vegas Season 12). They hashtagged it with #retroMTV, and where as I don’t see Vegas being so retro the other two were and so much more. Vegas was on last night, and it was a great reminder of how great the show used to be yet somehow I see Vegas as the one that made that show “jump the shark” because they spent every season afterwards sexualizing the program as opposed to making it about 7 strangers who were trying to co-exist in one place. There is a difference there.
Today they are doing what is still considered by so many people as the best season of Real World- San Fransisco. The third season of this iconic show portrayed two of its most polarizing characters in Pedro Zamora, and David “Puck” Rainey. Two completely different men in so many ways yet made the show fascinating with their unique viewpoints and how they got to the life they had at that time in 1994. Puck was considered to be the zany outcast of the group, getting arrested on his way to going to the house and doing a number of unpredictable acts such as putting his fingers in the peanut butter as one. Something by that standards could be on Nick Junior today and no one would blink an eye, but twenty years ago this was considered ground breaking in a variety of ways.
Pedro Zamora on the other hand, couldn’t have been more of a stark opposite.
An avid educator on AIDS, he was shown throughout the show doing his lectures about his condition and how others can prevent it. Him and Sean Sasser also made headlines as one of the first gay couples to be seen on a national spotlight and in such a frank and open manner. They would up getting engaged and had a commitment ceremony in the loft that Zamora and his castmates were living in for the show.
Sadly, Zamora wound up passing away only a couple of months after filming ended on November 11th, 1994. Since his passing, he was acknowledged for his tireless efforts as an AIDS crusader by former President Bill Clinton and had several organizations named in his honor as well.
So why does he remain relevant today? It’s simple. To put it in terms only I can, Pedro stood up and spoke loud and clear about a disease that was killing millions when others cowarded and avoided the topic due to their own personal feelings about homosexuals and AIDS itself. He knew the uphill battle that he had to face and took it head on and instead of retreating and living out the rest of his life in silence he broke the mold and spoke his piece in a time where this disease was a major death sentence and viewed as globally in a terrible manner. He made people wake up and educate themselves, something that a lot of people are still having a hard time doing today.
Quite frankly, he should’ve been nominated and awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize that year. He brought a nation together and gave them an understanding of what he was going through so that each person themselves could get a better judgement on what the disease was and that beyond the disease there is a human being attached to that person. There is more to a person than HIV. He is and forever will be in people’s minds seen as a hero and he is one of mine as well for so many different reasons.
Catfish the TV Show: Addictive for all the right reasons.
I have to say in recent years MTV has sure put out some shows that I would rather run into a knife than watch, most recently Buckwild and the gem of all gems Teen Mom, which is making thousands of girls pregnant and money hungry as I type this post. It didn’t seem too long ago when I was growing up that shows like Fanatic, Total Request Live and The Real World (when it was good and documentary-ish) were filling their airwaves of a once thriving network. Lately though, that sparkle and luster is gone from a network that is completely devoted to programming (why on earth there is still a VMA every year beats me).
Yet, they seemed to have strike it gold with their new reality show “Catfish”, which premiered back in November. The show centers around its star Nev Schulman, who made the movie of the same name two years ago. It is based off of people you develop a relationship online, yet never meet in person, or Skype/Facetime either. His whole purpose of the show was that “Catfish the movie was my story, Catfish the TV show is yours”. Pretty simple, right? Sure. Then, no matter what the topic is, shit always gets real and by the end the show has more twists and turns than a bad Lifetime movie (it’s your opinion if that is a good reference, but you get it).
Take the premiere episode. Cute nursing student Sunny thought she had been talking to a model out in Los Angeles called Jamison for quite sometime. Her younger sister actually talked to him first. Yet during the whole eight months they talked, they never did it in front of a camera. Finally, Nev to the rescue! After doing some research (he does this in every episode, and it seems like anyone can, just pointing that out there) both Nev and Sunny travel to find that the person they were talking to isn’t a drop dead gorgeous model, but in fact a teenage girl named Chelsea. Chelsea in return said she made the profile due to the incessant bullying she was dealing with on a daily basis, and wanted to create an alternate life in a way where she felt like she could be accepted. All hell breaks loose but by the end there isn’t too much harm done and everyone goes their separate ways.
I’m sorry, I would be having serious issues if I was Sunny. For so many different reasons. I felt bad for her the whole time but at the same time you have to wake up and realize this person you think you are talking to isn’t real. Why do I say this? Because just like every other gay man, woman, and even straight man to a certain degree, I have done online dating. Whether it’s an app or a site, I have been there, and still do. The thing for me is unless you are far away or there is a chance you are visiting the Tri-State area I don’t really have the need to talk to you beyond a certain point. It’s not rude, it’s just honest. If you are in Australia, and ask to see certain parts of me, what is the point? Can’t go through someone’s phone and grab it now right? Ugh, I digress.
I have been in Sunny’s situation where I have talked to guys from far away, and there have been several few exceptions of ones that really get my interest. But, within two or three days of talking, we always Facetime or Skype. That way, I know you are real and not cray cray. Moral of the story to everyone reading this and watching the show is always make sure you know who you are talking to. That way, you don’t end up sad and really embarassed in front of millions of people. I think the show is fantastic though for several reasons. It has done a couple of episodes focusing around the LGBT community, especially transgendered which of all those letters doesn’t really get the most attention. It’s done in a non-judgemental way and people can see that when they watch the show, so kudos to Nev.
Bottom line, I am hooked. Watch the show. Debate it for yourself.
Have you ever been in a catfish situation? What do you think of the show? Sound off!