Sunday, September 12, 2010

My VMA Predictions

Well, it’s that time of year that everyone has been waiting for: not the Oscars or the Emmys, it’s the MTV Video Music Awards! It’s a bit surprising that MTV continues to host this ceremony since to my knowledge they have not aired an actual video in at least a decade. I’m pretty sure the schedule is full up with Teen Mom, Cribs, Teen Cribs, etc. Back in the old days when I was a kid, we used to watch music videos on t.v.- crazy! Looking back, it’s somewhat surprising that my family actually had cable and that my mom allowed us to watch videos. Maybe she was more progressive than she seemed at the time. Anyway, I was pleased to be able to sit at my computer and watch each of the nominated videos online (what an exciting Saturday night it has been!).

I am quite certain that most of the MTV artists who are making videos do not have the suburban music mom demographic in mind during their video planning sessions, and I have not publicized the fact that I am evaluating the 2010 nominees to the many teens who live in my house as I am sure they would be mortified because I am so old and should be doing more “mom” type activities, like gardening or walking the dogs. I justify the fact that I am weighing in on the videos by noting that the VMA host this year is Chelsea Handler, who is just a few years younger than me (okay, 7 years, but that’s not much). Also, Madonna kissed Britney Spears on the VMAs when she was the exact same age I am now, so it turns out I could be doing something much more mortifying than just watching the videos and quietly writing about which ones I like best.

I normally don’t watch videos because they have the potential to kind of change my impression of the songs. Sometimes they are so wacky that they make me not even like the corresponding songs, or I just picture the videos when I hear the songs. Nonetheless, the VMAs are upon us and as they are at least loosely related to music I thought it would be irresponsible for me not to provide you with some thoughts. I am only evaluating four categories because honestly it ends up being the same 15 or so videos nominated for everything, so the whole thing gets redundant. Here we go:

Video of the Year:

Bad Romance (Lady Gaga) – I wouldn’t say this video has a heavy plot to it, but it’s always entertaining to see the many costumes that Gaga pulls out of her closet. You just can’t find those dresses at Ann Taylor.
Telephone (Lady Gaga, feat. Beyoncé) – This video is kind of like a little mini movie, almost 9 minutes long. The premise is Lady Gaga in prison, and while I have never been in prison, I think they may have taken some creative license with this one. Anyway, once released, her friend Beyoncé picks her up and the two of them end up doing kind of a large-scale Thelma and Louise deal. Although I thought this video was pretty weird, I think it will win because it is quite creative.
Not Afraid (Eminem) – Not a ton of action in this video. Eminem stands on top of a building and ponders his fears as he proclaims that he is…not afraid. I still like the message in this song, but I didn’t find the video very memorable.
Airplanes (B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams) – This video was cute enough, but I’m surprised that it was thought to be good enough to be nominated for video of the year.
Kings and Queens (30 Seconds to Mars) – This was the only song of the ones nominated in this category that I didn’t know beforehand, and it ended up being my favorite video. I’m not exactly sure how it relates to the song, but the video is a bunch of people riding their bikes around a city at night, which doesn’t sound very exciting, but it had a nice feel to it.
Dog Days Are Over (Florence + the Machine) – It turns out Florence is about one notch less crazy looking than Lady Gaga, but I didn’t think her video had much about it that was overly interesting and (this part is important) she’s not Lady Gaga.

Overall, my favorite was Kings and Queens, but I think Telephone will win.

Best Collaboration:

Video Phone (Beyoncé feat. Lady Gaga) – I know it’s confusing that both Beyoncé and Lady Gaga recorded songs about phones and guest starred each other in those songs- and videos. This one isn’t nearly as interesting as Telephone, in my opinion.
Telephone (Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé) – see previous section
Airplanes (B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams) – ditto
My First Kiss (3OH!3 feat. Ke$ha) – I think this song is fun and the video is pretty fun, too. Basically it’s a bunch of random people kissing and 3OH!3 singing. I don’t think we’d be looking for much more from a video for this song.
Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z and Alicia Keys) – This was my favorite video of the ones in this category. I love the song, and the video is pretty true to what the song is about: lots of pictures being flashed of New York. Of course, as with anything that has a Jay-Z association, there is also plenty of Jay-Z being flashed around, including him apparently trying to make us believe he still hangs out in the crummy ‘hood he grew up in when we all know that he is really a record exec in a glass office and has what I’m sure is a very nice house with Beyoncé. I’m getting sidetracked; I did like the song and am probably just bitter that we don’t have a song and video nominated that makes Chicago look so cool.

I’m picking Empire State of Mind for this category.

Best Female Video:

Bad Romance (Lady Gaga)
Video Phone (Beyoncé feat. Lady Gaga)
Fifteen (Taylor Swift) – I didn’t want to have to bring this up, but remember how last year Kanye West threw his tantrum onstage when Taylor Swift was trying to accept her award? I don’t think we have to worry about that this year and not just because Kanye is all peace and love for the past year since that incident (supposedly). This video isn’t good enough to win.
Tik Tok (Ke$ha) – Our girl Ke$ha doesn’t really pretend to be anything more than a fun party girl, and this video keeps that image alive nicely.
California Gurls (Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg) – Even though I have heard this song a minimum of 2,000 times this summer, I have never seen the video. I guess it would have been too boring to just have the expected beach scenes or convertibles. Therefore, this video is like a weird, demented Candy Land scene with Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg in it. Too weird for me.

I would vote for Tik Tok in this category.

Best Male Video:

Not Afraid (Eminem)
OMG (Usher feat. Will.I.Am) – Kind of a boring video, in my opinion.
Airplanes (B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams) – Seriously, I might have to watch this video again because I must have missed why it was good enough to keep getting nominated. It was fine but not great.
Find Your Love (Drake) – At first I thought this video might be going in the direction of a sweet summer romance, but I had a hard time maintaining that impression with the drugs, violence and cheating mixed in. Not really a “mom” video.
In My Head (Jason Derulo) – No joke, this video takes place in the parking lot of a convenient store where Jason tries to get a girl to leave with him. At the end, we find out that it was actually all in his head (get it?) when the girl really comes out of the store. As a side note, it drives me crazy when artists announce their names in their songs, basically clobbering us with their branding. We know you’re Jason Derulo!

I guess I’ll go with Eminem’s Not Afraid for this category.

Let’s be honest, no one really cares who wins these awards, first of all. Also, Lady Gaga will probably win everything anyway. She might even figure out how to win Best Male Video, knowing her. Hopefully Chelsea Handler will keep things lively. Enjoy, and if you have time maybe check out a few of these online before the show!

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