The MTV VMAs, 2011

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BLACK AND YELLOW GUCCI GUCCI LOUIS LOUIS FENDI FENDI PRADA!!!1!  YO! MTV gives out VMAs!!

Seriously, this is one of my favorite award shows, if only because it is consistently bonkers.  I mean, most of the time it’s only bonkers in an over-produced, manufactured MTV type of way, but it’s still sort of fun if you don’t think too much about it, I think?  And every once in a while something that’s actually bizarre happens.  I was actually starting to get excited about this earlier today until I remembered that Chelsea Handler was the host [Edit: Wrong.].  UGH THAT DOUBLE UGH.

Anywayz, my wife Johanna and I will be competing in another of our CLASSIC winner-picking competitions.  Luckily, there are only like eight categories tonight (at least on our ballot), so this should be easy enough.  Johanna is also, as usual, in charge of our themed beverage for the evening.  I’ve been singing (rapping?) Kreayshawn all day long, so she’s calling tonight’s drink the “Gucci Gucci.”  We don’t have any Adderall to grind up and put in a beverage, so she’s making a variant of a Cuba Libre because, in her words, “it’s something a trashy girl would drink.”  After her first sip she added, “I’ll only be having one of these.”

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Let’s get going.  Categories and winners in bold.  And if Kanye does anything crazy, it’ll be in bold and also, like, 20 pt font.

9:35 – Hey, guess what!?  Time Warner Cable is the worst!  The tech they use is ridiculously out-of-date and barely functions, and it decided this evening to not record the first 35 minutes of this show!  Now I’m going to use that 35 minutes of my life that they saved me tweeting at them about how horrible they are.

I suppose this means I missed the opening performance (Lady Gaga, I think?), so that’s too bad, but this also means that I have to hear Chelsea Handler talk less, so, win some lose some, I guess?  [Edit: Wrong.]  Oh, well.  Deep breaths, Jared;  it’s just the VMAs.  This will all be online later anyways.

Johanna is hopping on to MTV.com to see the results of any categories that we missed.  Let’s check in.

Best Video with a Message: We both went with Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and it wins.  1-1.

Best Pop Video:  Johanna went with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and I went with Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”, because we had both forgotten that it was 2002.  Since it is 2002, though, Britney Spears wins with “Till the World Ends”.

Best Rock Video: I went with Foster the People here because I have never heard of them before.  Johanna remembered that it was 2002 this time, so she went with Foo Fighters, who win.  2-1 her.

All right, let’s rejoin our regularly scheduled programming.

9:35 – Jack Black, Will Ferrell, and Seth Rogen are here reprising their roles as the Beastie Boys from this thing:

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This Derrick Rose and Katy Perry team-up is making me reconsider my “Buy American” stance.

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So at some point, perhaps when I was the owner of a Chrysler dealership while they were going bankrupt (Believe it or not, that is not a joke!  That is a thing that  actually happened!), I got it in my head that I should be one of those “Buy American” people.  One way in which this manifested itself was in my half-baked decision to only wear, like, Nike, Vans and Converse shoes and no longer support Adidas or Puma.

My aversion to Adidas was even more pronounced because I have an inherent distrust of German corporations, mostly because I assume they all used to provide material support to the Nazi Party.  UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIM BASED ON ABSOLUTELY NO INFORMATION ALERT!  When I brought up this attitude about the Germans to my wife’s father and told him I was thinking of buying a Ford instead of, say, a Volkswagen because of it, he pointed out that Henry Ford was a noted anti-Semite who exchanged correspondance with Adolf Hitler.  Or something.  So there’s that.

Another way in which I’m an idiot is that clearly all of these shoe companies are global corporations at this point, and they’re all manufacturing the sneakers in the same Indonesian sweatshops, and blah blah blah, I know!  I know, OK?!  I just said RIGHT AT THE START OF THIS PARAGRAPH that I’m an idiot!  Do I contradict myself?  Very well then I contradict myself, I am a large hypocrite.

Anyway, this new Adidas commercial features both my singer crush, Katy Perry, and my basketball crush, Derrick Rose, so I’m thinking of switching allegiances.  Sorry, Phil Knight!  And yes, I know, you hate Katy Perry, but I don’t care.  She’s really hot, you guys.  Plus, I know you hate her husband Russell Brand, too, but that doesn’t stop me from also really liking him.  So there.

As for the commercial itself, I think it might be slightly too frenetic for my taste, but the new Justice song it uses is pretty awesome, and it really makes me want to go care about something/work hard/never give up!  I’m not sure I’m going to go out and buy a new pair of Adidas shoes, though, because pretty much every pair that I’ve ever owned has sort of hurt my feet.  But if anyone could convince me to switch brands it would be Derrick Rose, on whom I currently have the biggest sports crush I’ve had since the heights of my Pujolsmania.  He’s so hard-working and humble and unselfish and amazing!  Did you see this article?  How could you not love him?!

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Speaking of my current love of Derrick Rose, I really need someone to talk NBA with.  None of my friends care, and my wife, God bless her, tries her best, but I get the sense that she’s just daydreaming about Kyle Chandler while I’m blathering on about how maybe the Bulls are better off with the 2 seed in the East as opposed to the 1 seed because then they would probably face the Heat in the second round of the playoffs instead of the Magic, and I really think they match up better against the Heat in a seven game series.  What’s that?  You’ve already stopped reading?  OK then, I’ll show myself out.

The Grammys, 2011

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God, the Grammys are so gross.  I make a lot of jokes about bad award shows, but this is the worst.  Not only are all the nominees just really aggressively out-of-touch and terrible, but half of this crap came out in 2009.  I could swear some of this same stuff was nominated last year.  Plus, there are the oddities like Arcade Fire being nominated in the Album of the Year category but not in the Best Rock Album category.  I don’t even understand what the rules are here.  This is either going to be a lot of fun to laugh at or one of the longest nights of my life.

As always, my wife Johanna and I will be competing in a winner-picking competition.  This should be an interesting one for us, because the list of nominees is so utterly bizarre that we’re guaranteed to not do what we usually do and pick the same people in every category.  I’ve got to tell you, picking winners in this disaster was painful.  It upset my stomach to have to decide between, like, Neil Young and Mumford and Sons.  And not because they are both so good.  [Update: Turns out Mumford and Sons = Not bad!] Johanna kept saying things like “Whatever, whatever, I don’t even care,” as she went over her ballot.

To help ease us through this living nightmare Johanna has whipped up an adult beverage consisting of vodka, cranberry juice, seltzer, and lime juice.  She’s calling it “The Chris Brown” because it really smacks you in the face.  YOU SHOULDN’T MAKE JOKES ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, JOHANNA.

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Sigh.  Are you all ready to be bored by Lady Gaga’s faux-edginess?  To suffer through some performances by Bruno Mars or someone?  To watch your grandparents’ favorite rockers take home some awards?  Then let’s do this.  In the words of Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, sit back, relax, and strap it down.

8:01 – This is weird.  Doesn’t this usually start with a big musical number?  Like, they just jump right into it?  I know last year started with the Lady Gaga/Elton John/My Nightmares mashup. This year Ladies Love Cool James strolls out to introduce a menagerie of women to sing a tribute medley of Aretha Franklin songs.

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The People’s Choice Awards, 2011

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2011 has begun and another awards season is here, and we all know what that means; Johanna and I must resume our award show winner-picking competition.  If you’re sensing a lack of enthusiasm on my part, that’s due to the fact that tonight we’re starting with The People’s Choice Awards.

I don’t know about you, but I was under the apparently false impression that this was a real award show.  I mean, I knew from the title that it was voted on by the “people,” so the actual winners are inevitably going to be terrible.  That’s no excuse for the list of nominees, though.  No real award show in 2010 has any reason to nominate Jackie Chan for anything, right?  The categories themselves don’t even make sense.  Two of the TV show categories are “Favorite TV Obsession” and “Favorite TV Guilty Pleasure” and the nominees for both seem pretty interchangeable.  And Mad Men apparently doesn’t qualify as either an “Obsession” or a “Guilty Pleasure.”  At least we finally get to vote for our “Favorite TV Doctor.”

I’m having trouble even figuring out who the target audience for this show is.  This is key, because since this is a winner-picking competition, I need to know what type of person was doing the voting.  So, judging from the nominees, this is basically the MTV VMAs/Movie Awards except it’s aimed at the dorkier tweens and teens.  Also, there is probably a lonely housewife factor that I need to consider.  Noted.

If you’ve been keeping score at home you’ll remember that I pretty handily trounced Johanna in the 2010 competition.  Of the eight award shows we’ve done this for, I won seven of them.  It’s a new year, though, so we’re wiping the slate clean and giving her a chance to redeem herself.  Let’s get started.  As always, categories and winners in bold.

9:00 – No one told me this was hosted by Queen Latifah.  Although, to be fair, no one said anything about this show to me at all, ever.

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9:02 – She’s opening with a cover of “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz.  This is officially Johanna’s favorite opening to an award show.  I’m busy scanning the audience to see how many celebrities are actually in attendance to try to see what I’ve gotten myself into.

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What is going on with Sesame Street?

I didn’t watch a whole lot of Sesame Street growing up, so for all I know, it’s always been this weird.  But I keep stumbling on these strange videos from the show.

First came the Katy Perry collaboration, which, while still available online, was pulled out of the television episode in which it was supposed to appear.

I mean, I know they’ve done stuff like this before (I fondly recall Feist’s appearance from a couple of years ago), but Katy Perry seems like an odd choice.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m a fan of hers, and I don’t really think there is anything wrong with this.  But as soon as I saw her outfit and thought for a second about the unaltered lyrics of her honestly-not-Sesame-Street-appropriate songs I knew that people would be up in arms about it.  Don’t the good folks over at the Children’s Television Workshop know how much people love to have fits of hyperventilation about stuff like this?

Then today I saw their parody of True Blood.  It’s more benign than the Katy Perry performance, I guess, although I’m sure people can find something in it to complain about (vague vampire references = sacrilegious?).  I was more just baffled by it.

I mean, I guess ostensibly we’re learning about rhyming?  Is that the point?  All I really took away from it was that grouches like mud.  I know they know more about education than I ever will, but it seems like we might be worrying too much about entertaining the adults watching along with their children here.

[via Best Week Ever]

[Update: Flavorwire has 10 additional Sesame Street parodies, including Mad Men and 30 Rock.]

The MTV VMAs, 2010

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The VMAs!  I actually didn’t watch them live last year and then regretted it when I ended up spending the next afternoon catching up on the videos of the bonkers performances online and reading all about the Kanye backlash.  I was assuming that MTV and I had mostly diverged in our musical tastes and was overlooking the fact that this isn’t really about the awards, it’s about the spectacle.

Now, with the long-running award show winner-picking competition between Johanna and me, there’s absolutely no way I could miss it.  Filling out our ballots proved relatively difficult.  We both employed a strategy of spreading the awards around to as many artists as possible, because we figure the whole thing is rigged and MTV is going to want to get as many people as possible up on stage.  So, I basically just picked randomly.

Let’s roll.  Since this is the VMAs, Johanna has tried to mix us a cocktail that a young person might enjoy.  She’s combined vanilla vodka with Diet Coke, and we’re drinking it out of glasses we appropriated from our favorite bar in college, Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap.  She initially wanted to call it the Sorority Slut, but we workshopped it and came up with the Mean Girl, which is more fittingly high school.  As always, categories and winners in bold.  Also, I unfortunately don’t have MTV in HD, so these photos look awful.  Apologies.

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One last thing.  I’m going on record early here saying that I guarantee they have Taylor Swift “interrupt” Kanye’s performance.  It’s going to be awesome.

8:19 – I have the pre-show white carpet on in the background (yes, white carpet), and all of the sudden Sway starts giving out awards!  WTF?!

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The MTV Movie Awards, 2010

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I don’t usually watch the MTV Movie Awards.  It’s not like I think I’m too good for it; I love these MTV train wrecks and was really upset when I realized I had missed the most recent VMAs and had to watch it online.  But the Movie Awards show just isn’t usually on my radar.

This time around, though, Aziz Ansari is hosting, and since I am both a fan and a Twitter follower of his, I’ve been looking forward to this.  As I was setting it up on the DVR it occurred to me that I should compete with Johanna in a winner-picking competition like we’ve done in the past with the Oscars, Grammys, and Golden Globes.  I went looking for a ballot online, but shockingly was unable to find one.  I guess not as many people participate in office pools for the MTV Movie Awards as they do for some of the other awards shows.  I decided to make my own ballot, so I went to the MTV site and looked up the categories.  And that’s when I really got excited about this.

Best WTF Moment.  Biggest Badass Star.  Best Scared-As-S**t Performance (MTV’s asterisks, not mine).  Plus, I’m pretty sure that the winners were all determined by online polls.  So, to correctly pick winners, I have to put myself in the mindset of a fifteen-year-old girl.  I haven’t even heard of some of these movies, let alone seen them.  This is going to be epic.

Just a warning, my usual strategy of taking photos of my actual television for these live events works out even worse when the show is not in HD.  And Time Warner Cable down here does not have MTVHD.

Let’s get started.  As always, categories and winners in bold.

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