Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Viral

This is cross-posted from my latest blog project Rube Goldberg's DVR which is dealing exclusively with TV stuff. You should check it out.

This semester I'm taking a television history course focusing on television in the internet/digital age. The first class session was tonight where we saw this video:



Kinda cool, right? I realize I'm only 10 or so years behind the times (what else is new?) but midway through the viewing I couldn't help but smile. Not because of the infectious beat or the dulcet tones of Punjabi Boy Band Pop, rather it was what this video reminded me of:



If you don't recognize this video, then you weren't one of the other four people who watched the VH1 program Mission: Man Band. The concept of the show was to take members of four folded boy bands and create a boy band juggernaut that would devour the pop culture landscape in 2007. The execution, however, failed to take the following items into consideration:


  • Boy bands kind of went to the wayside back in 2002.
  • The boy bands represented: N*SYNC (alright), 98 Degrees (meh), LFO (guh), Color Me Badd (wha?).
  • The representatives chosen from these bands were, um, how do I put this diplomatically? If asked to name the members of their respective groups, they would probably be the last one mentioned, usually after the phrase "Ooo, I know I'm forgetting one...whatshisname?"

    Anyway, the group was doomed to fail from the start. The entire first episode focused on each member going through bouts of "do I really want to do this?" with the guy from 98 Degrees pretty much being like "Is this going to take long? Cuz I got other stuff going on." The general attitude from the participants seemed to reflect the joint hope that the check from VH1 would clear rather than any creative ambition.

    The band, named Sureshot, had a manager who didn't help matters much as she adopted an attitude that she wanted to be there even less than her clients. I can't remember her name, but when I picture her all I can see is Shelly from Celebrity Rehab -- the administrative tech/former coke whore (that description is based on her own stories). Anyway, her strategy for promotion was to first have the band sing during half time at a basketball game (boy band pop + basketball arena acoustics = FAIL) followed by creating a music video. Of course no one wanted to sink money into an experiment doomed to failure before pen touched paper so they had no budget and the goal was to "go viral". Aside from the flu-like symptoms experienced after watching the video, I don't think that plan succeeded.

    I stopped watching after the third or fourth episode, but I don't recall if it was because I lost interest or if VH1 yanked it. Maybe if Sureshot watched Tunak Tunak Tan at the beginning they would have had more fun.

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  • Thursday, January 14, 2010

    NYC: Night 2 Day 3 Night 3

  • Networking shindig at Lubin House. Not a complete failure, but it reaffirmed my general dislike of networking. Did get to sit in on a seminar with Ron Howard's AD though and need to add Frost/Nixon to my queue.
  • More seminars in the morning regarding Ad Sales and the Mayor's Film Office. Very informative and provided some strategies for job hunting.
  • Got a hot dog from a cart while in line for The Late Show with David Letterman. Check that off the NYC Tourist Bingo Card.
  • Watched the taping of The Late Show. Seeing how this show is produced made Multicam worth it.
  • Dinner at an Irish Pub.
  • Upright Citizens Brigade show featuring Scott Adsit and Christina Gausas.

    On tap tomorrow: A few more seminars and a writer's panel. Also need to get a photo of Project Runway Avenue over at 39th and 7th (missed the unveiling today unfortunately).

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  • Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    NYC: Night 1 Day 2

    OMG, you guys. This week is crazy and it's only Tuesday evening.

    Last night:

  • Went to Caroline's and saw up-and-comers along with Darrell Hammond (photo-op -- woo!)

  • Dinner with my friend Liz from Oberlin (yay connections!)

    Today:

  • VIP Tour of 30 Rock which included seeing Will Forte at the end of a hall (I think), photos on the SNL set, and this photograph of what you see when you first enter the lobby from the stairs:

    NBC Lobby

    I cannot wait to go to David Letterman tomorrow. DELICIOUS!

  • Seminars at Lubin House featuring Mark Taffet, the creator of HBOPPV and the most brilliant marketing system in television. I'll elaborate on the whole week more when I get back to Syracuse, but I'll just say now that Oregon Trail may be the key to monetizing Twitter.
  • Tour of Magno (NOT Mango) Sound, an editing house that reignited my passion for editing and postproduction.

    Tonight we have an Alumni Mixer (with a promise from Prof. Longstaff that we'll be getting drinks -- woo!).

    Tomorrow: More seminars at Lubin House then David Letterman day. Win!

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  • Monday, January 11, 2010

    NYC: Day 1

    Here's today's rundown:

  • Information sessions at HBO (the security guard had a total case of the Mondays)

  • Lunch at Hale and Hearty (delicious split pea with bacon)

  • More information at HBO including a screening of the pilot for the new show How to Make it in America

  • Tour of the CNN studios which included running into Suze Orman on her way to an interview with Campbell Brown ("Don't get into credit card debt")


  • So far, so good.

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    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    Hmmm

    If I don't feel like putting on the iPod when I travel around Syracuse I usually listen to 96.5/100.3 (Movin!). I don't know how a station that so closely matches my taste in music has managed to stay in business. They play a fair amount of pop (Lady Gaga, Britney, etc.) but they also play some old and obscure stuff. Listen long enough and you can hear "U Can't Touch This" AND "2 Legit 2 Quit" -- neither of which is played with any sense of irony. Driving back from Target one night I heard "Double Dutch Bus", a song that most people would probably recognize only as a sample in Missy Elliot's "Gossip Folks".

    Another track that I have heard more than once is the song by C & C Music Factory that isn't "Gonna Make You Sweat".


    This one is called "Things That Make You Go Hmmm":



    Wow, you know, when I set out to write this I was going to focus on how screwed up the stories are in the song. However, it has been close to 20 years(!) since I last saw this video and...wow. You have to remember, this group was HUGE...at the time. We were still on a Milli Vanilli high and counting off the hits of Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl album. It was the gap between New Wave, Heavy Metal, Super Pop (oh yeah, they play a lot of Expose on Movin!) on one side and gangsta rap and grunge on the other. It was a simpler time, 1990.

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