Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Energy Best Spent Somewhere, Anywhere Else Dept.
Reality television has gone too far. This time, it's MTV that's taken that particular envelope and pushed it right underneath the door of all that is good and holy, never to be seen again.
I'm talking about the series Crib Crashers, in which design giant Todd Oldham renovates the humble living spaces of music fans to look somewhat like the lavish, mega-tricked-out pads of the fabulously wealthy. They made some rocker dude's little garage pad look a little like Tommy Lee's bacchanalian-deathtrap rumpus room. They took some beach dude's lame little apartment and made it look like the lame Mexican beachfront has-been pad of Sammy Hagar, complete with bar stocked with the trough-distilled pigsweat tequila that the (cough) Red Rocker is obsessed with (he writes songs about it, he started a company to make it, he probably brushes his teeth with it and puts it in the dog dish). They made another homey-dude's place into a "fly" Nelly-style crib, complete with a ludicrous number of television screens.
That stuff is wonderful. A TV show that makes superfan-dudes with a limited ability to breathe through their noses happy and gasping for breath when the big reveal happens (sample reaction: [pregnant silence, then] "Doooood..........doood. Dude..... I can't..... You guys are the best) is a fine idea and will no doubt help sell more Creed records.
But like I said, this time they've gone too far. On the episode that aired tonight, singer Nick Lachey of C-level boyband 98 Degrees is having the crib that he shares with wife/C-level Britney clone Jessica Simpson transformed by the network that briefly propped up their ephemeral success. They've taken away the "Ohmygod doooooood" moment of the show and replaced it with two semicelebs scrambling to regain a flash of MTV airplay. (Sample reaction: "Todd Oldham did a nice job, but I'm going to get P. Diddy's guy to turn this shit out once he leaves.) There's no sense of wonder. There were no kids with greasy hair and unironic Tesla T-shirts stumbling in on a surprise their overloaded, feeble mental wiring renders as something like awe and appreciation. There were no posin' playas lost in the 'burbs reflexively grabbing at their crotches, covering their mouths, and fighting back tears in front of their boys.
Over the years, MTV has taken many things from me and my peers, the first "MTV generation" (for starters: endless hours of time, our attention spans, and, well, music videos).
And now the Crib Crashers money shot's gone.