Posts filed under 'MTV'

Les Cousins Dangereux?

Is it just me, or is there totally a Cruel Intentions vibe going on with Olivia Palermo and her sleazy cousin on The City?

1 comment January 19th, 2009

Now THIS Is the True Story

Photo by MTV

Seems like every reality show is in New York this season. There’s Top Chef. There’s The City. I wouldn’t be surprised if Survivor announced that its next location was Manahttan. (Hey, it’s an island, and they could do immunity challenges like having contestants carry a week’s worth of groceries to a sixth-floor walk-up.)

The one that hits closest to home, though, is The Real World: Brooklyn, which airs its second episode tonight. And by “hits closest to home,” I mean my home, because I live in the Borough of Kings, too, though not in Red Hook. Still, I vowed to watch this season. I haven’t really committed to watching a whole season of The Real World since San Francisco–that’s the one with Puck and Pedro, for those keeping track–back when MTV still cast people who were older, goofy-looking (Judd), and had real jobs (remember how Pam was a doctor?). I briefly got into the London season–aka the one where there was no conflict–but that was it. And so, after a 15-year hiatus, I’m back.

I don’t really care about the cast– at least not yet. I’m watching because I want to see how they portray my adopted borough. So, after watching the premiere, I made a list of things you could surmise about Brooklyn from the episode. In parenthesis, I put whether or not they ring true or false when compared to my experiences here. Here goes:

  • Brooklyn is, as Roommate Chet says, “The place that you don’t want to end up.” (False. Um, have you met anybody?)
  • Graffiti covers almost every available wall. (Fair enough.)
  • People play stickball in the street. (True…in 1955. Today, not so much. There are cars.)
  • Everybody lives, as Roommate Baya says, “Right on the ocean.” (False. While some have water views, it’s not quite the ocean yet if you can see Bayonne, NJ across the way.)
  • Residences are akin to compounds, where eight people have a re-purposed industrial building to themselves and, while they have to share bedrooms, they have a shower ratio that’s pretty darn close to 1:1 in addition to their own personal gym. (Uh, false.)
  • People get everywhere by water taxi. (False.)
  • People ride the water taxi once and only once, for novelty purposes. (False. No one takes the water taxi ever.)
  • Concertgoers, like Roommate Chet, put on a pair of fake glasses that look like prescription glasses just to be cool. (True. Sadly.)
  • Each of said concerts begins and ends with someone shouting, “Where Brooklyn at?” (False.)
  • One is able to move into a residence–in Red Hook, no less–without going straight to the IKEA. (False.)
  • Everyone talks about working out all the time, like Roommate Scott. (True.)
  • Residents pay attention, even just a little bit, to the Statue of Liberty. (False.)
  • Girls either dress in punky, funky outfits that always look artsy and put together (like Roommate Sarah) or getups that show way too much cleavage (like Roommate Devyn). (True.)
  • Everyone is either a wannabe dancer, a wannabe actress, a wannabe musician, a wannabe writer, a wannabe filmmaker, a wannabe model, a home-sewer, or a DJ. (True.)

8 comments January 14th, 2009

The City: Behind Olivia Palermo’s dead eyes

You guys! There’s this new thing I’m really going to enjoy hating!

Their hair is just so shiny.

2 comments December 30th, 2008

I want my MTV *that way*

When Marisa asked me to write about music videos for TRL’s last week, I contemplated my fraught relationship with the art form. I was a delayed arrival to pop culture, to say the least (I was still listening to the oldies station until eighth grade), and tended toward pretty safe mainstream choices. I’m not actually sure if any of these, other than “I Want It That Way,” were on TRL, but they’re each vivid musical memories. Unlike the bongo-accompanied rendition of the Foo Fighters’ “Learn to Fly” that’s currently emanating from beneath my living-room floorboards.

Backstreet Boys

This is really the only one of these videos that I distinctly remember watching on TRL, and it was at an embarrassingly late age, too, because this video was on TRL during the only period in my high school career when I would have been at home at 3 o’clock in the afternoon to watch: Just before and after graduation. Yes, I was watching the Backstreet Boys (semi-obsessively, too), at the age of nearly 18. I am ashamed of that. But not too ashamed not to write about it on a website read by tens of people.

NSYNC

My friend Lisa actually taught herself this dance (without the help of Darrin’s Dance Grooves! I don’t think she slept when we were sophomores) and performed it, repeatedly, in our newspaper office very late at night. She’s a lawyer now. And I recall watching a making-of show on MTV that went into great detail about how the boys’ oh-so-realistic doll façades were accomplished. I think shellac was involved. Damn, they sold a lot of CDs. Back when people (other than Jesse) bought CDs. Eight years ago.

Daft Punk

I did not realize Michel Gondry directed this! In high school, my friend Andrew used “Around the World” as the curtain-call music for the short play he directed (the cast was affectionately referred to as the Denver Nuggets because they had so little chance of winning the county-wide short play competition they entered that year) and at the end of the show, the whole cast just grooved for a couple of minutes. At one point the Fresh Prince dance was involved. No, not that one. The other one.

Madonna

So when I was at church music camp in 1995, we were informed in one seminar that the Catholic Church had banned “Like a Prayer.” We were Presbyterians, so we went ahead and watched it and talked about the imagery. I, of course, mainly recognized Leon from Cool Runnings and wondered what was up with the burning crosses. (I was a sheltered 14-year-old.)

The Cardigans

I was fifteen when Romeo + Juliet came out. And like every other teenage girl in those years, I absolutely loved this song, totally thought it was about my imaginary relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio, and wondered what sort of horrifying chemical contact lenses would be required to turn my eyes that color. And then there was the rest of the soundtrack, which introduced me to Garbage, Radiohead, Prince, and drag. If Australia has half the impact on me this movie did, it’ll be the greatest film of the last five years.

And one more…Oasis.

This is my very favorite song. And I like the video because it looks like the Rankin-Bass version of The Hobbit, and because visually, it feels lonely. The song has always felt like the opposite of loneliness to me, and I dig the contradiction. Also, I think Liam totally walks like that.

1 comment November 13th, 2008

If There Was a Me For You: More Music Videos

Continuing our weeklong salute to the even-more-lost art of the music video (check you never, TRL), here are my top five. I don’t know if these are really my five absolute favorites — I tried to work myself into a nostalgic reverie over the videos I remember from high school, but all I could picture were Oasis videos, which were rarely very good, and Aphex Twin videos, which were rarely not terrifying — but these are what feels right at the moment. Also, I already posted Blur’s “Coffee and TV” a week or two ago to celebrate MTV having a website that makes it easy to embed the “Coffee and TV” video (and, secondarily, other videos), so consider these my five favorites besides that one.

5. Fatboy Slim, “Weapon of Choice”

I have to include a Spike Jonze video, and this one gets bonus points for being so much better than the actual song. It also perfectly encapsulates the Jonze style of taking (or coming up with) a deceptively simple premise and running with it for the perfect length of time. Other strokes of his brilliance: “It’s Oh So Quiet,” “Buddy Holly,” “Praise You,” Being John Malkovich, and Adaptation.

Click to continue reading “If There Was a Me For You: More Music Videos”

4 comments November 12th, 2008

Last Night’s TV

I don’t know about you guys, but last night’s TV really brought it. Please be prepared for some spoilers ahead (though the biggest I’ll put after the jump).

I’ve decided to approach the evening chronologically. Not in the order that the episodes aired, but in the age of the characters portrayed.

High School

In the second episode of The Paper, we learned a little more about my new favorite newspaper teen: Alex. Alex went to Hebrew school with Amanda. Alex considered Amanda a friend before junior year, then he started hanging out with the Adam/Trevor/Gianna axis of evil and grew apart from Amanda. Alex had a crush on Amanda in ninth grade! We are witnessing Alex’s transformation from shy dork to life of the party. It’s great.

I don’t have the energy to mount my Amanda defense, but I think as stubbornly odd as she is, you can see that she just doesn’t know how to relate to people. I don’t think she’s a bad person and I’d like to see her succeed — but she does have trouble letting loose, as is clear from her post-its and the “fun” of the ice cream social.

College

rivalry.jpg

I’ve been hoping for a Greek flashback episode for a long time now, and this one delivered. It not only gave us a glimpse of the kids way back when (2 years ago), it also did the impossible: It turned Evan into the hero! Cappie’s phenomenal charisma has always been a problem for the show: Why on earth would Casey ever break up with him? Especially for suit-wearing, soul-crushing Evan? This episode paints the picture beautifully. Cappie is the life of the party, but that’s his priority, not Casey. Evan is the quiet, conflicted best friend who doesn’t know where to belong. Cappie has never had a problem fitting in. Seeing Evan’s problems makes him infinitely more likeable. And seeing how Cappie has grown since his relationship with Casey — he really comes through for Rebecca — makes him, if possible, even more sympathetic (not that he needed it).

Mid to late 20s

How I Met Your Mother has been on fire this season. This episode was no exception. And the ending! I will discuss more after the jump.

Click to continue reading “Last Night’s TV”

7 comments April 22nd, 2008

The Paper

I can’t believe I forgot to talk up The Paper, MTV’s newest reality show. It premiered last night, and unlike most MTV reality shows, this one appears to be about actual teenagers doing things teenagers actually do — in this case, rip each other to shreds and put out a school paper. It is phenomenal.

paper.jpg

Sure, it has that crazy editing thing that MTV likes to do, where they treat us all like kitties that will get distracted and wander away if there aren’t a thousand things going on at all times. Also, MTV, I do not need to know what crappy song is playing every second of the show. Besides, you only play about ten seconds of a song before quick cutting to something else, so it’s not like I get a good sense of what the song is like. <end old lady rant>

The students they’re following — ambitious Amanda, nice guy Alex, basket case Adam, and insecure wench Gianna — are worth putting up with the editing nightmare. These kids have passions. They’re mean. They’re reasonably intelligent. They’re hard-working. They are clearly going to go nuts dealing with each other, and sooner rather than later.

In the first episode, they compete to see who will be the next editor in chief. You’ll have to watch for yourself for the full effect, but just as a teaser: The competition has some parallels to the current presidential campaign.

gianna.jpg
Gianna, right, will crush your happiness for your own good.

I like this show. Teenagers are awkward and emotional and backstabby. They also work really hard at things they enjoy. This feels true to my experience in a way that most shows — especially on MTV — do not. Watch it! And if you did, tell me what you think! First question: Did you hate Gianna and Trevor as much as I did?

15 comments April 15th, 2008

Shaking hands, kissing babies, voting folks off the island

They say politics is show business for ugly people. I live in D.C. — it’s kind of true.

So, when you cross show business with politics, what do you get? Not The West Wing (we should be so lucky). We get reality TV contestants running for Congress. Although, generally, they’re hotter than your average Mark Souder (it’s okay to make fun of him — he’s awful).

yul.jpgThe latest person to throw their hat in the ring is Survivor winner Yul Kwon, who may run for a Congressional seat in California. Yul, who won the Race War season of Survivor, is also known as one of the smartest, nicest and most likable people to ever win the show. That’s saying a lot, given that it’s so easy to have your character flaws exploited on that show. But he’s not only smart, but decent — a real rarity. He’s also hot, but that’s neither here nor there.

This seems like a good opportunity to do a brief survey of reality TV stars who have launched bids for political office. Here goes:

Kevin from The Real World: New York

Kevin, originator of the “angry black man” reality show archetype, was a cast member on the very first season of The Real World. He’s actually made a respectable name for himself as a writer — notably for Vibe magazine. He ran, and withdrew himself, in 2006 for a Congressional seat in Brooklyn. Now he’s entered the race again. I can’t say whether I think he’ll win or not, but let me put it this way — the link to his site is broken.

Jim Morrison from The Mole

First of all, yes — it’s his real name. Second of all, you may remember Jim as the skinny, aviator shade-wearing gay dude from the very first season of The Mole. Morrison ran for the New Jersey State Senate a few years back and, dramatically, was asked to quit the race by his own party based on the fact that he had nude pictures circulating from when he was entered in a contest at an NYC gay bar. You can look at his campaign Web site here, which is (weirdly) being hosted by some t-shirt company. The real one is defunct.

Raj from The Apprentice

Raj is known to viewers of The Apprentice as the gross, bow tie-wearing, wannabe Anna Kournikova-dating guy. Voters in Pennsylvania know him as the psycho who accused his opponent of performing abortions on women without their permission. He ended up getting trounced, receiving less than a third of the votes in the election in 2006.

Sean from The Real World: Boston

Sean was one of the easiest-to-forget cast members on the Boston season of The Real World. The best he got was a brief screaming match with Southern blonde lesbian Genesis — I think over cleaning. Other than that, his only claims to fame were participating in those lumberjack games and pronouncing the word mouth “mowth.” He entertained, but ultimately dropped, the idea of a Congressional bid. He is currently the district attorney for Ashland County, Wisconsin. Fun fact: he’s married to Rachel from the San Francisco season of The Real World. They met on one of the battle of the seasons when it was more about extreme sports and less about body shots. Oooh, oooh, and Rachel was once considered for the “conservative psychopath” slot on The View that is now occupied by Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

2 comments January 18th, 2008

The More You Know: Thrifty edition

If you still have to buy someone a gift, take this coupon to the Banana Republic by tomorrow.

4 comments December 20th, 2007

Giveaway: Run’s House Seasons One and Two

It’s that time again.

rh2l.jpg

The good folks at MTV and our publicist pal Jorge are helping us sponsor another giveaway — this time seasons one and two of Run’s House.

For those of you who don’t know it, Run’s House is basically The Osbournes with Rev. Run from Run DMC. The big difference here appears to be that Run’s family doesn’t appear to be on the verge of imploding. It’s quite refreshing, actually, here’s a really cheesy trailer. I won’t embed the other clip they had of Kid Rock talking to the son while wearing a shirt that says “I (heart) black people.”

To enter, just e-mail tifaux (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject line “I’ve got the runs.” Then Maggie will activate her sophisticated randomized selection algorithm to pick the winner. The contest ends Nov. 15.

November 1st, 2007

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