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Posts Tagged ‘Ashlee Simpson’

I post in response to a recent New York Magazine article whose subject matter rendered me shocked and appalled. It inquires, “Can Human Giant Save MTV?” an incredibly bold and misguided question not because the answer might be no, but because it assumes that MTV needs to be saved in the first place.
Human Giants
Human Giant, a sketch comedy show featuring the three funniest people ever, is destined for greatness. I find myself in the unique and completely impartial position to make this statement, because, aside from the minor details that I will be making an appearance in the pilot (OMG I’M GOING TO BE ON MTV, WOOOOO!) and that the show is directed by my future brother-in-boyfriendship (I’M TOTALLY FAMOUS, WAAAAA!) I have absolutely no vested interest in its inevitable success. That being said, the show is but a drop in the extremely large bucket that is MTV’s current lineup of timelessly brilliant programming. In fact, because MTV is currently experiencing such incredible success and critical acclaim, Human Giant could be the most boring shit ever and still have a viewership that rivals the Super Bowl. Don’t get me wrong, I think Human Giant is quality programming, and I will proudly collect my weekly royalties when the show reaches syndication and my .06 second performance as Guy on the Bench is streamed on KRZRs across America. I simply feel that this success is unavoidable, as, contrary to the derisive tone of this misguided New York article, Human Giant will be airing not at the MTV’s lowest moment, but rather, at its zenith.

Venture with me, if you will, back to a time when the network was overrun with nonsensical “musical shorts” depicting arsonists, oversexed children, child pornographers, drug addicts, Weird Al, and murderers flaunting their booties and wads of Benjamins. The year was 1995. These unsavory figures ruled the airwaves, threatening the very moral fabric of our society, and frankly, ruining what preeminence the MTV network had painstakingly earned during the days of Peter Gabriel and (early) REM. This was MTV at its lowest. This was when it needed the glorious breath of fresh air that is Human Giant.

As for the troubled network’s “original” programming, the situation was no better. By 1995, a complete lack of viewership fomented the cancellation of MTV’s best programming, Yo! MTV Raps and Totally Pauly. The shows’ enormous budgets could no longer be sustained, and the network was forced to shift its focus to the growing popularity of entirely costless programming. In an unabashedly grotesque display of laziness, MTV chose to air unadulterated footage of life as it really is, a format that would never succeed in a society desperate for the plot, drama, and interpersonal strife that only writers can create. The Real World, the most egregious display of this laziness, had none of this; in fact, because it so precisely depicted day-to-day life as it actually is, it was like watching nothing at all. 1995 also marked the first season of Road Rules, which in fact did not rule, and sent MTV down one road only: the road to suckiness and unwatchability.

And that was the state of the MTV network for ten solid years. Only in recent years has MTV regained its stature as the best network on television, driven primarily by the immense popularity of Ashlee Simpson and the return of the script in the heralded Laguna Beach and Date My Mom. The fire that was lit by the Buggles back in 1981 burns once again, Human Giant merely kindling in its radiant glow. But you should totally watch anyway. April 5th. 10:30. Did I mention I’m in the pilot?

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After a lovely Sunday afternoon of walking around the neighborhood, drinking outside and playing Scrabble at Abilene (Jonathan, I apologize, “wino” is actually in the OED), I returned home, put on my pajamas and opened up a fresh Netflick. My roommate was on the way to his shift at the Park Slope Coop, and I was all set to sit back, relax and enjoy some non-Food Network programming. But before I saw Coming Attraction #1, I got a phone call informing me that Michael Showalter, Eugene Mirman and some guys from Upright Citizens Brigade would be performing later on that evening at Union Hall. My roommate has just recently started enjoying Michael Showalter’s comedy, and was eager to attend. So I took my pajamas back off, put down my Netflick and once again vanished into the bustling Brooklyn biosphere.

Here at Brooklyn Skeptic, a lot has been written about Union Hall, as it is home to two bocce courts, and, according to some, a lot of assholes. Despite all of this, it can not be denied that Union Hall’s basement is a great place to see a live show. The way it is set up is kind of like your childhood neighbor’s basement. A small, old, room with folding chairs and comfy couches, it is truly an intimate and comfortable setting. I spent half the time I was down there waiting for my old neighbor’s mom to walk in with a bowl of cheese doodles and soda (what’s up Mrs. Stirparo?). We were there only about fifteen minutes early, but managed to get seats in the front row, looking at a small stage on which we could literally rest our feet.

The show was fun and relaxed. Michael Showalter came on first and warmed up the crowd, talking about his weekend and making fart jokes. He introduced a British comedian who I am pretty sure was funny, but I might have just been charmed by her accent. Eugene Mirman was really drunk and quite humorous as he went off on rants about how he hates various things. And the guys from UCB were there to plug their new show Human Giant, which is unfortunately airing on MTv, right between Pimp My Ride and My Sweet 16, I believe they said.

At one point, Michael Showalter was crouched down watching the show right next to my roommate, who nerdily kept poking me and smiling. The place is so casual that the comedians usually hang out there afterwards, talking with fans and drinking. This friendly atmosphere worked equally well when I saw Zach Galifianakis at the same venue. He was allowed to get close to his audience, which is essentially half of his show, as he frequently runs around berating people. Although I have never seen live music performed at Union Hall, I can only imagine that the area works well, allowing the audience to truly feel like their favorite band is playing at their basement party.

So for all of the nay-saying that seems to go on about Union Hall, don’t judge a bar by its cover (there is no cover, mind you). There may be some annoying people and some bocce hostility, but there aren’t many bars in Manhattan or Brooklyn that can stir such happy, warm and intimate feelings. And isn’t that what drinking on a Sunday is all about? No? Oh right. I’m just an alcoholic.

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Friend:

I am going to have to disagree with your douchebags/sq. ft estimations. While douchebags run wild in both bars on a typical Saturday night, I don’t recall ever running into one on the bocce court at Union Hall. I did however want to punch a girl in the face at Floyd. Now, I’m not saying more hate-worthy females can be found at Floyd, I’ve just never encountered one at Union Hall.

I also think your average patron age is off, for both bars. And even if you’re right, and the mean age for Floyd is 25, most of the people there look/act/dress like oldish 30-somethings. While Union Hall brings in the opposite; older clientele trying to recapture or maintain their youth by dressing like a young hipster. And yes, hipsters are annoying and always think they’re funnier than they actually are. However, they at least make me feel like the young 23-year old I am.

I mostly agree with everything else you said, but in the end, I choose Union Hall. In spite of the fact that Eugene Mirman like, lives there.

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Exciting: A Milli Vanilli biopic is in the works. Fascinating. While I’ve seen VH1’s Behind the Music: Milli Vanilli once, or twice, or eleven times, I’m more than curious to see their lives in action. Or in a movie.

Who will play Mill? Who will play Vanill?

Oh, the possibilities.

*All Ashlee Simpson jokes will be discarded.

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