Friday, July 16, 2004


If you have cable, even your most cursory surf through the channels is guaranteed to turn up at least one of three things: (1) Either The Shawshank Redemption or The American President; (2) an episode of Law & Order in one of its three variations; or (3) one of VH1's I Love the ... series.
All are compelling for their own reasons, but for sheer crack cocaine-like addiction, nothing beats the VH1 stuff. The series is now examining the 1990s, and while I've been helplessly sucked into a few installments, I must confess to a certain discomfort over watching.
It's not as if the '90s lacked trends and icons to mock. But we're just too close to the things they're laughing at. The "I've fallen and I can't get up" lady? Sure, I remember her -- laughed at her then, too. The Ally McBeal dancing baby? Sure, I remember it -- thought it was stupid then, too. Look, anything that gets Liz Phair on the air more is something I'll all for, but there's something missing here. The distance between now and prior decades is what made I Love the 70s and I Love the 80s such a kick, and what drains I Love the 90s of its desperately needed "Oh, yeah!" value. If things continue as they are, in about six weeks Michael Ian Black will collapse under the weight of his own understated irony:  

Ed was about a bowling alley owner ... who was also [eyebrow cocks] a lawyer. Because so many lawyers are looking for second careers involving [head tilts] recycled shoes. And then the guy who plays the bowling alley sidekick [eyes twinkle, lip quivers] moves onto a cable series mocking ... . [Head explodes in meta-ironic spectacle.]


At July 16, 2004 at 3:22 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Michael Ian Black is one of the most annoying characters on television. And yes, I'm talking about when he plays himself.

At July 16, 2004 at 6:26 PM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

I know this is off-topic, but did anyone see Frank Fitzpatrick's Morning Bytes "column" today. It was referenced in June's "Golden Moldy's" post. He takes ridiculous cheap shots at NASCAR . . . again, but he thinks that the problem with Phillies pitching is because some of the guys listen to Metallica. I'm not kidding. Everyone e-mail this toad at and tell him to drop dead, please!

At July 18, 2004 at 9:10 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Had I had more time Friday, I would have posted something about Fitzpatrick's spectacularly lame piece. I can't believe they pay him to write.

At July 19, 2004 at 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is the fat black chick on "I Love ..." and why do they identify her as a comic?

At July 20, 2004 at 8:43 PM, Blogger Mike said...

VH1's I love the...series is totally unwatchable, imo. To me, it's like watching amateur comedy night with gay guys & smarmy C-rated "celebrities" like Michael Ian Black, Hal Sparks, Rich Eisen, Stuart Scott, etc. It's ironic that their schtick is to make fun of music, fashion & TV from 10-20 years ago, since the garbage they force down our throats today couldn't hold a candle to that of 20 years ago.

I'll take Night Ranger over P-Diddy anyday of the week.


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