Plus, giant, inflatable pieces of Rock history go up for auction and a government scientist/Folk singer in Canada gets suspended for singing a song critical of the prime minister
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Kanye West gives a confusing, meandering Trump-like "acceptance speech" and announces his future presidential bid after receiving the Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs; a giant pig's head from a Roger Waters' Wall concert is among the large-scale pieces of music memorabilia coming up for auction soon; and a scientist who works for the Canadian government (and also happens to be a known Folk singer) was suspended after writing a song critical of Canada's prime minister.
by Mike Breen
This year’s spectacle-of-an-awards-show on MTV had some Cincinnati flavor courtesy of Eric Nally and Walk the Moon
I tried to watch last night's Video Music Awards on MTV, but it was such an awkward and confusing clusterfuck, I couldn’t take much of it, flipping through for a few moments before moving on out of embarrassment for the people on the screen. I usually like when awards shows are a little chaotic (and the VMAs are known for their often-desperate attempts to be “not your mama’s awards show”). And I actually have always enjoyed the pop-culture pageantry of awards shows in general. But on last night’s VMAs, the annoyance factor was so high, I couldn’t even watch it on a “so bad you can’t look away” level. It made me anxious and uncomfortable, like watching someone fumbling over their words and breaking down while giving a speech in public (kind of like Kanye on last night's show).
It wasn’t really even the performances that made it so unwatchable (most were pretty solid for what they were). It was all of the in-between absurdity that made it so cringe-worthy.Speaking of performances, some Cincinnati artists did well on the big stage. Walk the Moon has become so experienced with these kinds of high-profile appearances that it wasn’t surprising the band’s umpteenth performance of “Shut Up and Dance” was flawless. Airing during the opening of the pre-show “rainbow carpet” portion, I found myself thinking (as I do whenever I hear the hit on the radio), “You know, they have other songs, including a new single?” “Shut Up” was considered a “song of the summer” contender, though it’s been on the radio for like 15 years (OK, it was released as a single in September of 2014, but still). Then the band played the new single, “Different Colors”! And MTV promptly cut them off. (Even “Shut Up” was interrupted mid-song so the pre-show hosts could introduce the program, the clumsiness of which ended up being indicative of the overall mess the VMAs turned out to be.)
2015 VMA, Artists.MTV, WALK THE MOON, 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, 2015 VMA, Artists.MTV, Music, WALK THE MOON, Full EpisodesThe weirder Cincinnati-related appearance came during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of their new single, “Downtown.” I was not aware of the guest artists on the song (OK, I was not aware they had a new song), so I turned it on just as Hip Hop legends Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee and Grandmaster Caz were rapping while walking down the street, thinking it was some cool old-school tribute the awards show was presenting. Then Macklemore came on and I reached for the remote, still unable to figure out what was going on. Then Eric Nally from late Cincinnati greats Foxy Shazam joined in, singing the chorus and doing some of his trademark stage moves and I officially thought I was just having a dream.
Nally did a great job and he caused a lot of buzz online, mostly of the “Who was that guy?” variety (when the single was released last week, a bunch of idiots rehashed the “Eric Nally is racist” stories from back in 2013 when Foxy Shazam released the single, “I Like It.”)
2015 VMA, Artists.MTV, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, 2015 VMA, Artists.MTV, Music, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Full EpisodesIt’s weird mash-up of a song, parts of which I like, while other parts I find tremendously aggravating. Which is kind of what the VMAs were. Is this the present state of popular youth culture? Throw a bunch of unrelated stuff together, put it in a blender and then just stare at the blender, not caring or knowing what the end result is?
MTV/Viacom had something called the O Music Awards for a few years recently, honoring things like “Favorite Fuck Yeah Tumblr,” “Favorite Animated Gif,” “Best Tweet” and “Best Artist With A Cameraphone.” The O Awards ceremony seemed unscripted and filmed without any director whatsoever. It doesn’t appear the O awards are still a thing; perhaps last night’s VMAs were a sign that the network is turning its long-running awards program into the Os? The VMAs were largely just a big WTF moment that people would talk about/complain about/make fun of online. Which is probably exactly what MTV was going for and, scarily, perhaps the shape of youth-oriented entertainment to come.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 10, 2014
This is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in a house and have their lives taped — and then ruined on television.
by Jac Kern
at 11:03 AM | Permalink
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
When Catfish The TV Show premiered in 2012, I was less than impressed.
While I enjoyed the original documentary film
about a man’s (the filmmaker’s brother, Nev Schulman) online
relationship-gone-wrong, Nev’s MTV version lacked the same authenticity and felt
rather exploitative. But when Schulman tweeted about being in the Cincinnati
area (Findlay Market, specifically) this past February, my interest was
certainly piqued. Who doesn’t love seeing Cincy on TV (even if it inevitably
would be a negative representation of the city and its people)?
The Cincinnati episode of Catfish aired last week and local ties
aside, it was one of the most controversial episodes thus far. Nev and his docu-series
partner-in-crime Max embarked on a unique catfishing adventure when Carmen
contacted the duo to help her host a “catfish intervention” with her cousin
Antwane whom, despite never meeting the man in person, had been in a
relationship with a guy named Tony for three years. Antwane explained that he “met” Tony on a
late-night chat line but he’d never so much as seen a photo of him. Carmen and
‘Twane are both big personalities, sure to get a reaction from viewers, but
they both seemed genuine.
After a crazy turn of
events, Antwane’s cousin Carmen nonchalantly revealed that she was “Tony” all
along, and she had kept up the sick charade as revenge for…wait for it…the one
time Antwane called her “a fat ass Kelly Price” in front of her family three
years ago. Oy.
When Max and Nev learned that
Carmen was behind the whole thing and that she planned the Catfish cameras to catch her so she could get a brush with fame,
they were furious. And rightfully so, that’s a straight Disney villain move
(also your cousin?!). In a very
edited scene, Nev heatedly called out Carmen, mocking the way she talked, when
producers immediately stepped in to call for a break. While I in no way condone
any of her sociopathic actions, I did find it bitterly just that these MTV
hotshots got a taste of their own exploitative medicine. They embarrass
countless people on the show (though some might argue the subjects ask for it)
and while they say they do it to help people, like any television producers, it's all about ratings and "good" TV. In the end, this episode was sure to rack up plenty
After the show aired, Nev posted the following
message on his Facebook page, which reeks of his signature smug judginess:
“Shooting this weeks episode of Catfish was
one of the most intense and emotional experiences of my life. Relating to and
understanding Antwane was a struggle for me in many ways, but I really grew to
appreciate and respect him. He has many fears and flaws, but showed so much
courage and resolve in the face of adversity. He is a man who proves that you
don't need anybody else's approval to be happy. My lesson learned is to be
confident and proud of who you are no matter what anybody else says or thinks.
Life isn't always easy, but we can all chose to be positive in the way we treat
ourselves and others. Cheers.”
Watch the full episode
The show features shots of Short Vine (it looks like Antwane lives across the
street from Bogart’s); Coffee Emporium in Over-the-Rhine (Nev and Max famously
do all their research in a coffee shop in each episode, and were very impressed
by the local spot); and various locations across Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.
The term “catfish” has
caught on as a definition for people who assume false identities on the Internet
(or the act of doing so) — so much so, that the word’s new meaning has been
added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Go here to read about how the term originated in
the doc by the same name.
Every year, the Guardians
of the English Language at M-W begrudgingly add new words and definitions to the
dictionary. This year’s list was just released and, in addition to catfish’s
new meaning, there’s hashtag, selfie and steampunk . Peep the full list here.
Brad Pitt and Matthew
McConaughey are neighbors now, and apparently just a couple of bros.
Magic Mike was a hit. Channing Tatum is apparently working on a sequel, Magic Mike XXL.
So it’s no surprise that “The Real” Magic
is also in the works. Directed by Joe Manganiello (“Big Dick” Richie in Mike, Alcide in True Blood), La Bare gives
a raw, inside look at the talented male dancers at La Bare Dallas.
LA BARE RED BAND
TRAILER from Main Street Films
on Vimeo.We now live in a world where Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia gets invited to give commencement speeches and receives honorary doctorates. Which is to say, an awesome world. Check out his words of wisdom here.
Jimmy Fallon has been doing
a Suggestion Box bit on The Tonight Show, where he takes completely random questions or ideas from
fans and brings them to life in epic Tonight fashion. Fallon has dubbed Game
of Thrones with children’s voices, gotten Audra McDonald to sing real Yahoo
Answers and tested out Digi-Staches on Higgins. But this might be one of my
by Mike Breen
Vote for Santino Corleon’s “Night Still Young” clip in MTVu’s The Freshmen competition
Cincinnati Hip Hop MC Santino Corleon’s latest music video, “Night Still Young,” is one of the five music videos by emerging artists currently featured in MTVu.com’s “The Freshmen” competition. If the 2013 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nominee beats out the other nominees in the weekly contest, the clip will be put into “on-air rotation” on MTV’s television networks. Click here to check out the clip on MTVu.com and to vote now (and repeatedly — there appears to be no voting limits). Voting ends this Friday at 2 p.m.The track “Night Still Young” is featured on Corleon’s most recent mixtape, Keep the Change, which is available for free download here. Below is the audio for “Night Still Young.”
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Apparently Lady Gaga did damn well as host and musical guest on this
week’s Saturday Night Live, because I
keep seeing stories
like this praising her. I don’t know for sure, though, because I fell
asleep on the couch at 10:30 p.m. and woke up just before 1 a.m., just in time to see something that has recurred in my nightmares ever since:
Yeah, that’s Gaga performing “Do What U Want” with R. Kelly, a single
off her new album Artpop. The two engaged
in a really weird sexual…something onstage, and shit just didn’t feel right.
Perhaps it’s not Gaga simulating robotic sex with the R&B star that
troubles me, but the notion of R. “I will pee on you” Kelly announcing that he
will do what he wants to your body. *Shudder*
up Dave Coulier, because Alanis Morissette’s quintessential slice of ‘90s
goodness that is Jagged Little Pill is
becoming a musical.
American Horror Story: Coven has been getting better and better by the week. We’ve seen zombies and
real monsters pulled from history as the witches of Miss Robichaux’s Academy
hone and develop their powers and discover new enemies. But the mellow Misty
Day has been my favorite character so far. The Stevie Nicks-obsessed
necromancer played to perfection by Lily Rabe has been shunned by society and,
thus, doesn’t know much about other witches. She leads a lonely life in a
little backwoods cabin reviving dead swamp creatures and jamming to Fleetwood
Mac. Her role has become abundantly more vital to the story, so it only makes
sense that the witchy woman herself, Stevie
Nicks will make her acting debut on an upcoming episode.
Surprise! A comically wigged Alexander
Skarsgård and Lindsay Lohan (who does not require accessories to play a joke character) played Kenny Powers’ grown
children on the Eastbound and Down series
The Real World is getting even realer next season (not) with The Real World: Ex-plosion. Taking place in San Francisco
(returning for the first time since 1994’s third season with Puck and Pedro),
this 29th (!!!) season will start like every other: with seven strangers — seven
young, attractive, easily influenced strangers — moving into a gigantic house
with an disproportionately small number of bedrooms, furnished by the Target
clearance aisle, perpetually stocked with booze and Sun Drop, conveniently
located within walking distance of a Subway. Four of the seven list
"model-slash-something" on their resumes.
But when the roomies take a trip four weeks into their stay, they will return
to their makeshift home full of their ex-boyfriends and -girlfriends. Because
there really weren’t enough
nonsensical drunken physical altercations in any of the past Real Worlds or challenges.
The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was last week (to be aired on Dec.
10 on CBS) featuring a dozen or so very
hungry women, one $10 million bra, a liberal definition of angel wings,
Lisa Frank-inspired looks and Taylor Swift. So if you’re a 12-year-old girl,
which clearly should be Vicky’s
target audience, this will be right up your alley. Photos from Jezebel here.
Kanye West premiered his new music video, “Bound 2” on Ellen this week (for real). This vid starts out on
a high note, with several shots of pretty, wild ponies and a lovely sample from
Brenda Lee’s 1959 song, “Sweet Nothings” (“Uh-huh, honey”). But then a fake
motorcycle and a jiggling Kim Kardashian sporting The Rachel cut pop up, and
they all ride off on the Hot Mess Highway. Kim forgot her shirt, so she has to
ride backwards, straddling Kanye, to protect her modesty. They must be in the
middle of nowhere, too, because Kanye does not seem concerned that his driving
vision is severely obstructed by his fiancée's bouncing boobies.
Seriously, though, did they make it in a mall video booth? Super sorry to
the 10-year-old whose birthday was booked right after this session. I could
only imagine it would be really slippery in there.
This week in classic local Craigslist finds, someone in the area is
looking for the best Chewbacca impression. Winner gets $100. Details here.
by Zohair Hussain
As readers' interests shift, integrity seems to lose its main market in reporting
week’s “scandal” at the MTV Video Music Awards, the pacing of news and
reporting made itself known as a speed force to be reckoned with. In the minute-by-minute duration and aftermath of the performance of one, Miley Cyrus, and
her “partner in crime”, Robin Thicke, new age media came together to do what it
does best: twitter our feed with dribble and spit-up commentary.
It can’t be
denied that news reporting, in many ways, is stepping further away from hard
facts and closer to tabloid gossip. In a day and age where Twitter is the new paperboy,
it can’t be denied that the facts are coming faster. And while this could be an opportunity for better news, more quickly, more often than not we’re
trading chances for quick links to real stories with 140 character quips on
MC-Hammer-like “did you see her butt”s (#chauvanistsforCyrus).
disappointment comes, though, when we look to major media outlets (Still
trusted by some. Take off the aluminum hat, Johnny.) the next day for
hard-hitting news, only to see that they’ve decided to throw their own hats in
the ring. With prize-winning headlines such as CNN’s “Miley Cyrus twerks,
stuns VMAs crowd,” the morning news was just as obsessed as the evening
reporter, a writer, an observer, this obsessive, sprawling focus is what scares
me most. It isn’t the performance itself, full of dancers dressed as teddy bears or Cyrus’ gyrating hips on Thicke’s overly hyped crotch (See “Blurred
Lines” for more details). It isn’t so much the event that took place, as it was
the reactive reports that left an extra, bitter after taste to my morning
reporting, perceived to have more lenient, pop-culture laced subject
matter, used to hold itself to similar standards of respectful re-tellings of
facts rather than fiction. Though there had once been a clear distinction
between opinion pieces and news articles, even in the realm of aesthetic focus,
the lines are suddenly more blurred than ever. And where does that leave us,
the “responsible” voices?
in many ways, defined by the voices that carry out its most essential
conversations. If we are of the few so lucky as to have a readership, our words
carry the weight of decades of said cultural insight and historical backing.
What do we have to say for ourselves when these words, our influence, sacrifice
authenticity for celebrity? Integrity for popularity? What are we really
accomplishing when we re-draw the line between honest reporting and
scandalized, gossip mongering, and honest words inch closer to the latter? What
would our (fore)mothers say?
to say that there aren’t some voices, some news outlets out there, who aren’t
doing it right. While most couldn’t look away from Cyrus’ extended tongue
(search “Venom” and “Marvel Comics” for more details), The Guardian, for
example, wouldn’t look past the more subtly digressive implications of the
performance. Did you miss the moment where the young, stage-dominant, Caucasian
Miley Cyrus groped her not so white back up dancers? (The
Some took an even more seasoned route, using
temperance techniques to stop the sensational train in its tracks. In Rolling Stone's
initially deceptive write up, “It's Miley, Bitch: The Tongue
That Licked the World”, Rob Sheffield gave a more balanced account of the 2013
Video Music Awards, mentioning Cyrus almost in passing, and spending his time
taking equal shots at all the stars involved in what he said was MTV’s attempt
to make “sure this year’s VMA party was a real show. With a little help from
I ask again: What are we
creating when we allow objectivity to bend to the will of popular demand,
asking for glitter and jazz and sensationalized headlines? Nothing. We are
creating a secular sinkhole of informational access.
We lead our readers right back where they started.
says to me that there must be a change made. The truth is, we CAN stop. If we
Why can’t we create insight, rather than propagate fan
mongering, rather than cling to one star's fateful decision to wear her teddy
bear out that night? Let the reporters report and the readers decide. It’s now
or never. Robin Thicke will age (even more so, it seems) Miley Cyrus will
find Disney again (and a few more times after that), “Blurred Lines” will find
its way off the Billboard charts (catchy can only be caught for so long), but
the honest word —that will last for…at least a few more years.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
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
Artists.MTV, Music, Lady
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.
One note I must make about the performance is Miley did share the
spotlight with the black chicks from her "We Can't Stop" video. (Side note: those giant bear
backpack apparatuses they’re wearing look really heavy!) Many critics of the
vid questioned why these “friends” only appeared in one scene of the video,
when she appears to be so immersed in black culture throughout (See: Conversation
on cultural appropriation
I’m not prepared to start here). Once Miley was done assaulting her backup
dancers, rubbing her fur-covered crotch and definitely not lip synching (for
better or worse), the two songs that had everyone clutching their pearls this
year came to an uncomfortable head as Robin Thicke made his way onstage.
Thicke’s video for “Blurred Lines” sparked up just as much controversy
as Miley’s in recent months. From scantily-clad models (plus a naked one in the
uncensored version) to lyrics like “I know you want it” — plus dumb hastags
all over the place — there were bound to be some haters. But, doesn’t that
description sound comparable if not tamer than nearly any popular music video
circulating right now? Now, I can understand the concern about the subject of
“blurred lines” when there is so much right-wing bullshit about rape culture
going on right now. But the video came out in March, and it wasn’t until
recently, once a few people started writing about their disapproval, that other
folks started recycling these opinions and making parody videos that completely
miss the point. Look, I’ve got a soft spot for Robin Thicke. He started off more
than a decade ago as an R&B singer — he’s got a smooth-as-a-baby’s-butt
voice so of course his songs are
going to be sexual and of course some of his videos are going to feature sexy
girls. He’s married to actress Paula Patton, whom he’s been with since he was
16. They have an adorable son named Julian Fuego. If anything, Miley would corrupt him!
So Miley rips off her PedoBear onesie to reveal the two-piece from the
“Blurred Lines” video and everyone realizes yes, she’s going there. The world
looked on in sheer terror as she twerked every which way upon Thicke, stroking
him and herself with a We’re No. 1 finger you see at hockey games. Miley’s butt
looked really scary and Robin looked like Beetlejuice.
Let’s all cleanse ourselves by looking back on Thicke’s earlier, hairier years.
One actual quality performance of the night came from Justin Timberlake.
Sure, he’s ubiquitous, but damn, the dude is talented. JT sang and danced his
way across every stage in the Barclays Center, never missing a beat or breath, touching on
hits from all throughout his career. Naturally, everyone was waiting for the
anticipated *NSYNC reunion, and every time a cluster of male back-up dancers
rushed onstage, I thought that was the moment. Finally, four shadowy figures
emerged from an illuminated stage, and Justin joined them in the center.
I hate to be a spoilsport, but, *NSYNC, you’re tearin’ up my heart. Nearly any
millennial Pop lover was either a Backstreet Boy or *NSYNC fan, and I was
more of an *NSYNC girl. Nevertheless, when I recently had the opportunity to
attend the BSB reunion concert of PNC Pavilion, you better believe I screamed
my lungs out with the rest of the crowds of pathetic women. I had to hand it to
the ‘Boys — they looked more attractive as 40-year-olds than they did 20 years
ago! They were in shape, still had their chops and were really good sports
about it. The concert really was a fun time. So when I saw an overweight,
wobbling Chris Kirkpatrick struggling to pull his jacket over his tummy, I
could not focus on anything else. A single tear ran down my cheek. And why the
hell, of all songs to play during this rare moment, would they sing
“Girlfriend?!” I still love you, *NSYNC, but reunion wasted, in my opinion.
VMA, Artists.MTV, Music, Justin
More stuff: This picture is NOT the Smith family reacting to that Miley mess I
just recounted. This is a still taken during Gaga’s performance and it’s not
even an accurate reaction, so stop sharing it, ya losers.
Drake, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kanye also performed,
and no one is going to say anything about that. Drake reminds me of a dinosaur
and his song was really boring. Kanye performed in a shadow in front of a
screen cuz he’s a dad now and he can’t be bothered with camera close-ups, guys.
The camera cut away to reaction shots from Taylor Swift so often, she should be credited as a co-host. Good god.
Katy Perry’s new song "Roar" ended the night with a boxing-themed performance
by the Brooklyn Bridge, but it seems like everyone was too busy freaking out about
Miley to notice. It was pretty fun, but apparently it sounds a lot like Sara
VMA, Artists.MTV, Music, Katy Perry
news, even D-list celebs, Like Dharma & Greg’s Thomas Gibson can get
Breaking Bad’s Anna Gun (Skyler White) wrote a New York Times op-ed about how everybody
HATES her — or at least the character she plays — any how this widespread
abomination doesn’t seem to carry over to male characters on television.
"Beauty and the Beat?"
In his latest video, my newest hero Todrick Hall takes it to the next level and
tells the story of Cinderella using the music of Beyoncé. Rupaul’s Drag Race star Shangela plays the fairy god mother.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Stephen Colbert makes the best of Daft Punk cancelling its appearance on his show (though Pitchfork only gives it a 2.4); Katy Perry's gold promotional semi-truck has somehow only been involved in one accident so far; and Chris Brown is still a douchebag.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
In Catfish The TV Show, Nev Schulman helps
young folks track down and meet their long
distance loves in person. The series has potential to tread some new
waters and take subject matter just a little bit seriously. Of course,
in true MTV style, it could also seem incredibly scripted or