The big pop news this week
comes courtesy of the VMAs, which can best be summed up in Michael Jackson
Video Vanguard Award-winner Kanye West’s words: “I don’t understand it, bro!”
Host Miley Cyrus successfully freed her nipple on live TV (we all knew that was coming), called Snoop Dogg her “mammy” and ended the night with a performance of a new song about “smoking pot” (suspiciously, a term no one who actually smokes pot uses) from a surprise new self-released album that is available for free streaming. The only redeemable aspect of that final performance was the cast of 30 (mostly) RuPaul’s Drag Race stars dancing along — perhaps a preview of All Stars 2?
Kanye was awarded the VMA’s
Video Vanguard honor by none other than Taylor Swift, who force-smiled her way
through Kanye’s predictably chaotic speech as she pretended to be BFFs with
also force-smiling Kim Kardashian in the audience.
Just like every other time Kanye opens his mouth to comment on his own shit, it was confusing as fuck. It started off sounding like he was about to apologize for the “Imma let you finish” moment, but took a few confusing winds down the roads into biblical territory (And Yeezus said, “…sometimes I feel like I died for the artist's opinion,”) and ended with the joking(?) announcement of a 2020 presidential run. Why wait, Kanye?
Apparently, despite being full of nudity, celebrities and OuTrAgEoUs moments, it was the least-watched VMAs ever. Isn’t that just how it works — everyone and their out-of-touch uncle are talking about the shitshow, but none of them actually watched it first-hand. Pretty accurate depiction of humans today.
Ohio was well-represented throughout the night — Twenty-One Pilots (of Columbus, Ohio) performed during the show with ASAP Rocky, Eric Nally of Foxy Shazam gained national attention with his Freddy Mercury-esque contribution to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ outdoor performance of “Downtown” and Walk the Moon kicked off pre-show. #ohioagainsttheworld
So we all know Serena Williams was in town for the Western & Southern Open just a few weeks ago, but besides kicking ass on the court (and sucking face at Sotto), she was also filming a Beats by Dre commercial here. Fun!
Labor Day weekend is upon
us, which means
fireworks, grill-outs and poolside fun there’s not a lot
of good TV this week. Luckily, fall is right around the corner, and with the
cool air and pumpkin spice mania comes ALL THE SHOWS. Check out our fall TV
preview in this week’s television column.
Janet Jackson’s first tour
in four years kicked off this week in Vancouver and — da fuq is she wearing?
Basic bitches of the world (myself first and foremost): Rejoice! Drinking at Target may soon become socially acceptable — and I’m not talking about the wine-in-a-coffee-cup trick you alchies pull. A Chicago Target is getting two liquor licenses — one to sell the hard stuff on shelves, and the other to sell wine, beer and cocktails in an on-site bar. ON-SITE BAR. For the love of god, please let this expand to all locations.
Christina Applegate is Meryl Streep.
To some people, “bad tattoo” is redundant (“You’re just so beautiful as you are,” cry moms everywhere). But tats like poorly translated Chinese script, eerie portraits fumbled by an apprentice, or straight-up misspelled words are in a league of their own. Everyone’s personal Hollywood BFF Jennifer Lawrence is so normal and down-to-earth, she got herself some erroneous permanent ink. JLaw says she got inked when out with Hunger Games co-star Liam Hemsworth’s family, who were all getting tattoos (you know those Hemsworths, always throwing family tattoo gatherings!). She picked “the color of a scar” (ew, why) and selected the molecular formula for water (you know, H2O) to remember to always stay hydrated. JLaw might have gone the practical route with her reasoning, but that shit is incorrect — it appears as "H2O" on her hand. Even lovable multi-millionaire Oscar-nominees get erroneous tats! Oh, JLaw. You’re just like us!
Miss Piggy performing Rihanna’s “BBHMM” is almost as perfect as the original.
Because of course Miss Piggy is a scheming diva!
Disney animated classic Aladdin is getting the live-action treatment with a prequel about a genie trapped in a lamp. It will be interesting to see the casting (Hollywood has a long history of white-washing characters), but as long as our real-life Aladdin doesn’t look like Steve from Full House, we should be good.
(Via BuzzFeed’s 19 Things You Might Not Know About “Aladdin”)
Apparently there are “leaked” grocery lists that supposedly belong to Britney Spears. (I love that we're referring to someone's kitchen trash contents as leaked documents.) We all know Brit loves her Starbucks and Velveeta, and according to these documents (i.e. girl handwriting on napkins and paper scraps that went for $60 on eBay), she also enjoys cereal, pop, "ham deli" and using the word “baby” in place of “little.” Discuss amongst yourselves.
Is it weird that whenever I discover a new hero, it’s almost always a little girl with killer dance moves? Don’t answer, just watch.
Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a new strain of seaweed that looks and tastes like bacon, which sounds like an event predicted by an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. Kelp is the new kale!
Garrison Keillor’s magical voice will stop comforting people’s earholes soon — the longtime public radio staple is stepping down from hosting A Prairie Home Companion next year.
FX’s Fargo, which follows an anthology format, is coming back for a new season with a cast of new characters this October. The season takes place in 1979 South Dakota and Minnesota and stars Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson, Jesse Plemons, Nick Offerman, Jean Smart, Kirsten Dunst, Bokeem Woodbine, Cristin Milioti, Brad Garrett, Kieran Culkin and Bruce Campbell. Check out the trailer here.
The stoner gods have answered our prayers by way of Taco Bell’s “first meal.” Now folks across the country can start living mas as soon as they wake up, because everyone's favorite south-of-the-border fast food chain now serves breakfast. Taco Bell giant unveiled the new morning menu with a commercial that takes a dig at the golden arches:
Taco Bell breakfast is served 7-11 a.m. — 30 minutes later than McDonald’s, yet still too early for their target demographic. When will fast food restaurants learn that the people who really want to consume waffle tacos do not typically wake before noon?
Yeah, he wore PBR pants to a recent golf outing. NBD.
Of all the terrible reality
shows I relish in, I have never been able to get into The Bachelor/ette. I’m not sure what separates this piece of trash from
the heap of garbage I enjoy — it’s not like the materialistic, bratty children
in Botoxed old lady bodies known as Real
Housewives don’t perpetuate negative female stereotypes, but I enjoy shows
that are somewhat self-aware and poke fun at themselves, and The Bach just doesn’t do that for me.
So, any show in the vein of 2003’s Joe Millionaire
that misleads women who signed up for a TV dating show is a winner in my book.
In a new show coming to Fox, 12 women will compete for the affection of a man
claim to believe is Prince Harry, despite what the smallest amount
of common sense and eyesight would prove — the dude’s just a redheaded
I Want to Marry “Harry” premieres this May. You know when the truth bomb is dropped on these hoes they’ll be all, “How dare this television show orchestrated to create ‘true love’ be fake?!” But in the meantime we can ponder which is worse: a woman trying to meet and marry a prince (of whom she’s obviously never even seen a photo) and believing British royalty would dare be seen on American reality TV or a woman knowing all this mess is some bullshit but riding that gravy train as long as possible?
In what must be the most fabulous robbery ever, three people were arrested for stealing a replica pair of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz. The shoes were on display in a Hilton Garden Inn lobby (which is kind of rude). The trio has been released without bail and is due back in court next month. If only clicking your heels got you out of jail.
Lakewood, Calif., Vice Mayor and Los Angeles County Assistant Sheriff Todd Rodgers is running for L.A. sheriff in an upcoming June election. Typically, county election campaign coverage wouldn’t have a place in a pop culture roundup, save for maybe making fun of an unintentionally funny low-budget ad. But those Hollywood types have connections on the West Coast. If I lived in L.A., it would be important for me to elect an official with not only celebrity endorsements, but a good sense of humor as well. Therefore I’d definitely vote for Todd Rodgers, who last week reunited (most of) the cast of Reno 911! for a series of TV spots.
Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ben Garant, Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Carlos Alazraqui and Joe Lo Truglio all suited up in their khaki uniforms for the occasion. While the videos haven’t been released yet, you can see photos here.
You may be asking, “Why would a serious candidate for sheriff seek out the cast of a Comedy Central mockumentary?” or “Why wouldn’t he seek endorsements from actors on a show that is still actually on the air?” or “Isn’t Reno in Nevada? What does any of this have to do with a sheriff election?” The answers all lie in Lt. Dangle’s signature booty shorts. But seriously, Reno was filmed at Carson Station in L.A. from 2001-2006, where Rodgers was a captain at the time, so the cast was actually familiar with him and his work. We’ll take any excuse for a Reno reunion, though. Vote for Rodgers!
And here’s Samuel L. Jackson reciting some slam poetry about Boy Meets World.
While whoever is behind CranleyVille clearly has more time on his or her hands (whoever it is tweeted 90 times in three days), both provide some pretty amusing fodder for 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.
Why social media has quickly taken to poking fun at Cranley in every way possible — or whether or not a Qualls victory would have brought something like an "Afghan Girl Qualls" to life — we'll never know. And while CityBeat holds a great deal of respect for the mayoral position and for Cranley, that doesn't mean we're not allowed to be immature and laugh a little bit.
The Walking Dead is getting pretty crazy this season, and so is its after-show, Talking Dead. Sunday night’s guests included Jack Osbourne, TWD Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd and a very entertaining, probably inebriated Marilyn Manson. His long-winded, unfocused comments were punctuated with references including Hitler, “scissoring” and the character Carol’s likeness to Jamie Lee Curtis (“Activia!"). Poor Osbourne could barely get a word in as Manson constantly interrupted. He’d often cut off Hurd as she made interesting point from, you know, the perspective of someone who helped create the show, to blab on about is own confusing theories. It was watchable for all the wrong reasons and host Chris Hardwick wasn’t having any of this shit.
The Entourage movie is officially happening, for real this time.
One of television’s magic tricks (cut to Gob: “ILLUSIONS!”) is its ability to make locations around Hollywood look like places in cities across the world. Alas, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is not actually filmed in Pennsylvania and Pawnee City Hall seen in Parks and Recreation is actually Pasadena City Hall. A.V. Club traveled around L.A. to track down memorable exterior TV locations from shows set outside of California including Dunder-Mifflin (The Office), American Horror Story’s original “Murder House,” the New Girl apartment and other spots from popular shows.
Not every girl wants a stupid, one-sided public marriage proposal, as seen in this clip of a woman who thought she was on The Today Show to promote her nonprofit organization but was actually there to get proposed to by her lame, misguided boyfriend.
The Daily Show began as a news satire show but, over the years, Jon Stewart & Co. have exposed some actual Washington dumb-fuckery, inspiring real political change. Case in point: TDS’ Aasif Mandvi interviewed North Carolina GOP precinct chair Don Yelton about the state’s voter I.D. laws and Yelton responded in a shocking and perhaps the most racist way possible. Yelton was forced to step down from his position the next day.
It bears repeating that this was not a fake/satirical/scripted bit. Yelton really admitted voter ID laws are in place to restrict Democrats. He actually said he doesn’t understand why black people can say “nigger” but he can’t. And he backed all of this with the fact that he has a black friend. Jesus, take the wheel!
Yelton didn’t even have an “oh shit” moment the next day — he continues to stand by his comments. His party, however, does not and asked Yelton to step down less than 24 hours after the interview aired.
Can we make this Wes Anderson horror film (via Saturday Night Live) a real thing, please?
Emile Hirsch will portray comedic legend John Belushi in a new biopic.
Sesame Street is decidedly directed toward little kids, teaching them how to
count and share and interact with gigantic talking animals. But, like Yo Gabba
Gabba!, the show is nice enough to tip the hat at adults in the audience. I loved their take on True Blood and Sons of Anarchy, and now the Muppets have put their stamp on Homeland.
Of course, I am rarely around small children so I actually just watch puppet spoofs of TV shows for sheer pleasure.
Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards melted the face off the Internet, so if you’re still trying to form an opinion and sift through gif reactions, or you’re one of those people pretending you don’t know what the VMAs are — the Moonman has been around since 1983 and the VMAs have been pooping out pseudo-controversy for just as long. You know what they are. Sit back down — don’t worry, momma’s here.
If you really don’t watch the VMAs, it’s important to understand that the V and A do not matter — MTV rarely plays music videos, as we all know, and no one ever remembers who actually wins the Mooman by the end of the night. The respected academy of critics are teens who vote for whichever marginally talented star tweets the most. You watch for the pop culture experience — whether it’s Fiona Apple’s “bullshit” acceptance speech, the Britney-Madonna kiss or Beyonce’s baby bump announcement, crazy shit goes down at the VMAs. And this year was no different.
The big draw of the night was Lady Gaga’s big comeback. It’s been two years since a big performance and release, and Mama Monster also is back from a hip injury that kept her out of the public eye for a bit. Gaga opened the show with her new single, “Applause,” which was welcomed by audience boos (those turned out to be staged. Gaga — go figure.). The performance looked like some kind of jazzy, art school, off-broadway number, complete with dudes in leotards and onstage weave and costume changes, ending in LG in a big ass brown curly wig, a mermaid shell bra and thong. Her body was siiiiick (eat it, haters) and it was nice to see her look/act like a human — this is not the meat dress-wearing, alien goth princess, Jo Calderone Gaga. This is ARTPOP Gaga.
She seemed a little more down-to-earth, if that’s possible? Like she was having fun, and not taking it too seriously. Which is good, because her new song is in a fucking Kia commercial.
Next up is the kind of moment that makes careers
and ends presidencies. Just kidding. It’s just Miley! So I (like every human
with access to the Internet) detailed my roller coaster of emotions when I first
watched Miley Cyrus’ video “We Can’t Stop.” And I must say, I have no problem
with MiCy growing up and changing directions. Alternatively, I have no problem with her being a completely fake, manufactured product (cut to Lady Gaga —Government Name: Stefani Germanotta — looking like the normal girl she
actually was less than a decade ago, on an episode of Boiling
Points. Most pop stars were once Hannah Montanas before their producers gave them "molly"
and a rejected Rihanna beat, OK?).
I have no qualms with her getting an fierce haircut and wearing denim diaper shorts and juxtaposing her former good girl image with her current hot lady looks. But there's a difference between shifting from Country to Pop or Disney kid to edgy starlet and purposefully quashing your saccharine image by motorboating a woman's thonged butt on TV just for the shock factor. I see you Miley, and I will not respond to you.