I don’t have cable, so I don’t watch TV… at all. But I was over at some friends’ apartment last night doing laundry and decided to watch some TV, just to see what I was missing. So I thought I’d head over to MTV and see what was going on… and dear God! I thought it’d be bad, but I didn’t think it would be this bad.
The first thing that came on was a video for the (I assume) new Puddle of Mudd song, and it was just as dumbed-down and mediocre and derivative and pointless as I remember their stuff being 3 years ago. My friends and I had all sorts of names for the kind of crap that bands like this spew out. Suffice to say, most of them aren’t really suitable for children — but they were still fitting.
Then it was Kid Rock’s “I Want To Make Love To You” or some such. Having not watched MTV for so long, I’d forgotten just how ludicrous videos could be. It all came rushing back in an instant. Honestly, who thought it would be a good idea to wrap up the video with several women in black leather miniskirts sensuously washing an airplane?!? I can just imagine the design meetings where this was decided. Oh wait, no I can’t… I’m not drinking a 6-pack of Busch Lite.
And finally came the Britney Spears/Madonna video. I guess it’s only appropriate that I should see a Britney video the first time I watch MTV in months. There was something incredibly disturbing about this video, and no, I’m not talking about the (not so) subtle lesbian undertones between Britney and Madonna. Can someone tell me what Madonna was trying to do as she crawled and rolled around on the ground throughout the video? I doubt she was trying to arouse because I’ve never been more turned off in my life. In fact, I think I’m now sterile from watching that. No, she must’ve been trying to imitate a cat in heat… or maybe an epileptic seizure.
But absolutely nothing prepared me for what was next. I haven’t watched much reality television, so maybe others wouldn’t find it as shocking as I did, but as I watched an episodes of Rich Girls, all I could do was alternate between picking my jaw up off the ground and hurl obscenities at those on the TV. The show follows Ally Hilfiger (Tommy’s daughter) and Jaime Gleicher through the normal pitfalls of teen life, only these two happen to be really rich. You hear about how wealth can go to people’s heads, turning them into vapid, ungrounded souls with little, if any connection to reality. Well, this here’s proof.
The episode begins with Ms. Hilfiger (I’d probably get sued if I deigned to refer to her by first name, though she might stumble a bit at the word “deigned”) on the phone with her dad, sobbing about the directionless-ness of her life, how she needs to become more self-sufficient, her lost childhood, etc. That she’s so introspective is admirable, but she complains about her misery as she wonders through a huge mansion, suns herself out back, and dips her toes in the pool. Finally, she realizes that the solution to her sorrow is to get something to eat… specifically a burrito.
Alas, there’s no food in the house (another thing she complains about… while cleaning out a well-stocked fridge), so she decides to mingle with the commoners down at the local grocery store. This was the single most shocking segment of the episode — confused as to what she needs to make burritos, she enlists the aid of one of the employees, who just happened to be Hispanic. (Who better, right?)
Then it’s off to Ms. Gleicher, who is having problems with her computer. The solution? Run Norton? Reboot? No, that’d be too hard. So it’s off to Circuit City to buy a brand new computer (which is decided upon purely by it’s “cuteness” factor). Thankfully, Mom’s credit card is there to console her. However, the joy is short-lived when her new toy begins acting up on her.
Maybe she should’ve bought a Mac.
Thankfully, at this point my friend suggested we play some Halo so I could work off some of my aggression. (I’m surprised the crew who taped all of this didn’t start beating the two senseless with the equipment — you’re all troopers in my book!) Is this really what passes for entertainment, people? Is it any wonder other countries look at us and our entertainment, and hate what we, a supposedly moral country, stand for? We entertain ourselves by watching rich, slovenly, clueless people live lives amongst wealth that 99.999% of the world will never attain, and we laugh at them even as they’re entirely oblivious that their lives are a joke. Which makes it all the more pathetic.
I almost felt sorry for the two rich ditzes, but now that I’ve learned they co-produced the show, I’m a bit confused. Are they just satirizing the whole vapid, rich girl thing, or do they honestly have no idea how pathetic and stupid they appear to people? And if it’s the latter, don’t they realize that we’re not laughing with them?
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.