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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