The Voice is a bullshit vehicle for stars with dead careers

image from an episode of 30 Rock
Image via an episode of 30 Rock

I do not watch shows like The Voice or American Idol. I think they are lame. I’m all for entertainment and shit, capitalism is whatever, but the false hope that these shows instill in the thousands of forgettable people who are featured season after season makes me sick.

It’s true that SOME people have come out of singing competitions like American Idol with a successful singing career. Kelly Clarkson had a good run. That bald guy from American Idol is doing okay I guess. Clay Aiken was on an episode of 30 Rock once. Out of the 13 seasons of American Idol, Carrie Underwood is by far the most successful. But that’s 13 seasons and only 4 people that are only kinda-maybe culturally relevant today.

As for “The Voice”, I can’t even tell you one person who has had mainstream success. That’s because it’s a pretty transparent vehicle to launch the stagnant careers of its already famous, millionaire coaches.

Exhibit A: Gwen Stefani’s new single “Baby Don’t Lie”

As you may or may not know, Gwen Stefani is a coach on the current season of “The Voice.” Which is weird, right? Because she hasn’t been relevant in the music industry since her solo albums in the mid 2000s. Sure, No Doubt tried to come back in 2012 with their album “Push and Shove” but it didn’t really land anywhere mainstream.

But wait! Today (October 27) she just released a new solo single called “Baby Don’t Lie,” while she is currently serving as a coach on “The Voice.” What a coincidence. Where does she find the time?! I mean, when’s a better time to try and restart your music career than when you’ve been hired to “coach” a “singing competition” on network television?

Exhibit B: Rotating judges on “The Voice” and subsequent releases

Christina Aguilera? Dead career. Usher? Pretty sure dead career, but maybe I’m just not aware of his phantom hits somewhere. Cee Lo Green? “Fuck You” was cool 4 years ago. Shakira? Released a song with Rihanna called “Can’t Remember to Forget You” in between her season 4 and season 6 coaching duties.

Don’t even get me started on Maroon 5. (PLZ for the love of god stop howling at the moon on the radio) I don’t even know what a Blake Shelton is so I won’t go there.

In addition to using the show to promote their own music careers, the fact that the coaches actually perform on “The Voice” chaps me to the core of my chapable human parts. It’s not about you, famous people. JESUS. 

Take this video, for example, of Gwen Stefani performing her biggest solo hit ever “Hollaback Girl” on “The Voice.” I love Gwen Stefani, really. But she is not a singer that I would regard as being able to give anyone a whole lot of singing tips. Especially when the song she chooses to perform on the singing competition show is one where she is talk-singing over backing vocals. Which is totally fine, I ain’t no vocal performance snob. But it’s a singing competition show. The point of it is singing well, not getting by with what ya got. That’s called real life.

Exhibit C: The music industry has been wearing sweatpants in its mom’s basement for over a decade

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Look, we all know the music industry struggles everyday to make money. Small artists definitely struggle, and big artists struggle to make millions off of their music, not including the 7 perfumes they launched this year and a fucking clothing line at Kmart.

Blame it on Napster, blame it on people not respecting time-based art, blame it on the rain. Probably blame it on MTV somehow too.

Let’s not be idealistic idiots. Money is fun. These coaching gigs pay a fuckton of money, so I understand why someone would want to be a coach on a huge show like “The Voice.” They not only get a sick paycheck but they also get to promote their brand. Neat. But taking advantage of these idiot nobody singers (I say with love!) trying to make it big in a show that will never make them big is fucking rude.

Let’s get real: most of these nobody singers are not going to have a singing career after their stints on “The Voice.” They are used as props to fuel viewer engagement and promote the artists telling them they’re “great” and they “love what ur doing” and “ur gonna b a star.” As sickly entertaining as it is to watch people’s dreams get crushed on shows like these, can’t we find another way to promote music on primetime TV that doesn’t involve monetizing false hope in the hearts of starving singers?

COMMENT BELOW and tell me what you think.

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Ford makes everyone at the BET awards pose in front of their mediocre cars

Image via jezebel.com

Oh my GOD. Seriously, Ford? We get that you sponsored the show, but making all the celebrities pose on the red carpet in front of your ugly, soccer-mom cars is sooooooo tacky. What’s next, a Target sponsored event and all the celebs have to pose in front of the Marketplace cleaning products? Gross.

It’s all good when Tina Fey writes a witty product placement into 30 Rock, or even in the Sarah Silverman Program where they drive around in a pink TAB car. Ford just went way too obvious in the worst way possible. Pretty, famous people shouldn’t stand in front of affordable cars on the red carpet. It’s just wrong. Product placement has gone too far y’all.

The 30 Rock live shows are everything right with TV

Yes that is Kim Kardashian. Blarg. Image via hollywood.com

Live TV is SO MUCH FUN. Especially when you have the best of the bests (and best pals of Tina Fey) stop by to help out. This episode is so amazing, with so many guest stars and awesome cameos that I don’t want to spoil for you. The best part is, the episode is in two versions. The east coast version and the west coast version. Both live, as the cast performed twice! Check out the east coast episode here and the west coast episode here.

Yes I watched both of them. Yes they are both awesome. 30 Rock forever. I LOVE YOU TINA FEY AND COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Television: “Up All Night” and hands-on dads are blowing up in Hollywood

Image via nbc.com

Up All Night is a refreshingly progressive show. In the day and age of old, crusty white men hating on the womenz, NBC totally has their shit together with talented, powerful ladies like Amy Poehler on Parks and Rec and Tina Fey on 30 RockUp All Night is no exception.

The lady half, of the relationship, Christina Applegate, goes to work. She’s a producer at a successful daytime talk show that stars Ava (Maya Rudolph). She also happens to be a pretty type-A personality that would go absolutely batshit staying at home all day. And the man-y half, Will Arnett, leaves his post as a lawyer to stay at home with the baby. It’s less gender-forced roles and more focused on these two people as individuals with different personalities and talents that lead them to work or staying at home. Can you feel the fresh air? Ahhhhh.

The legend, the dame, Maya Rudolph. Image via hollywoodofficial.com

Christina Applegate and Will Arnett are an awesome on screen couple too. Their characters are very normal and reasonable, kind of hipster-ish, but the kind of hipsterism (that’s the worst word in the world btw) that exists in mid 30s folk who still have a yearning to be cool burning in them but they have a kid and jobs and responsibilities and shit.

Plus, anything with Maya Rudolph is totally worth watching. I can’t take my eyes off her. She’s brillz!!

What to expect when you’re expecting (this movie to be awful)

Speaking of men being hands-on fathers in entertainment, the movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting also spends a fair share of the film centered on a group of dads that tote their babies around parks and have a secret dad society. In this dad society, they totally own being a hands-on dad in their own way. It’s not feminized, like so many ‘stay at home dad’ movies in the past.

I am totally digging this new foray into movies and television featuring hands-on parenting by either sex. It really doesn’t matter which gender is staying at home, walking their kids, feeding them, etc., however it is nice to see some progressive jaunts into men’s men taking on the mighty task of staying home with the kids. Kudos, Hollywood!!

Politik: 5 people I’d prefer over the Republican candidate nominees

So presidential. Photo via your-hairstyler.com

Khloe Kardashian 

Lamar Odom would be the sensitive, basketball-playing first man and Khloe’s soundbites would be absolutely hilarious. “China, honey, get it together.”

Probable political stances

  • Pro-photo shoot for everyday events including going to the mall, eating a taco and surfing the web
  • Reality shows for everyone!
  • More money for the arts and sports
  • Kim has to live in Guam. Forever.
Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell would be the awesomest president EVER.
She can sense when a sloth is near. Perfect candidate. Image via thefw.com

Probable political stances

  • Sloths everywhere
  • Hunger Games Day is celebrated every year
  • No more wars
  • Mandatory hugs at 4:00 pm and am every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday
  • The Veronica Mars movie will finally be made
Ice and Coco, America’s first presidential couple. Image via celebritywonder.ugo.com

 Ice and Coco

Coco and Ice-T would be the PERFECT pair for the presidency. Ice would be the harder, tough love business side of politics, and Coco would have the tender heart and ass-pics to keep us all entertained.
Probable political stances
  • Law and Order SVU syndicate profits go to underdeveloped areas and at-risk kids in the US
  •  Coco teaches us all how to be sweeter and sexier
  • Strong, monogamous relationships are encouraged and warrant tax breaks
  • Licious online discounts for everyone
Anyone from Downton Abbey 
Can you imagine the drama they would have in the White House?! The Dowager Countess’ soundbites would totally be better than Khloe’s, Mary would sleep with and then kill all foreign adversaries, and Isobel would definitely give us all universal healthcare.
Probable political stances

Yesyesyesyes. Image via fanpop.com
  • Tea time
  • Anyone can marry their cousin if an inheritance is tied up with gender
  • Everyone must dress for dinner
  • Donald Trump and his new money cronies would be sent to Azkaban

Meat Cat from 30 Rock

Probable political stances

  • Cheesy blasters for school lunches
  • Sunglasses and skateboards required to be in public
  • Pants are “immoral”
  • Cats deemed higher class citizens

F me on Facebook + Twitter, baby.

The Netflix Diaries: All-time faves

What a beautiful classic. Image via misstoptenimage.blogspot.com

Ahhhh, Netflix instant. Many a nightcap and rainy day spent in front of the computer or Xbox watching Netflix.

One of the best parts of being an underemployed 20 something gal is delving into the arts. And yes, Netflix counts as delving into the arts. Call them films, if that makes you feel artier, or cinéma if you’re pretty annoying.

It can sometimes prove daunting and a huge waste of time to click your way through most of the crap that gets put on Netflix. So in order to indulge your lazy butt, I’ve compiled my favorite Netflix selections for your ease and enjoyment.

Favorite Movies

LOVE this movie so much. Image via iwannawatch.net

2 Days in Paris is one of my favorite movies. A lovebird vacation gone awry, but not in a lame, slapstick predictable way. Written, directed and starred in by the amazing Julie Delpy. Adam Goldberg plays her boyfriend, an American interior decorator dealing with meeting his foreign girlfriend’s parents. Goldberg’s character keeps learning new things about Delpy, especially her past sex life and her extreme closeness with her parents.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of those classic movies that you always hear about but may have never seen. Watch it. It’s a great glimpse into not really wanting to work or have a real job, but in the 60s with great clothes, no cell phones and lots of cigarettes.

Louis C.K. Chewed Up is hilarious. Great stand up comedian who I have a crush on in a ginger, balding, 40something comedian sort of way.

Eagle vs. Shark is an awkward and weird love story from New Zealand. Think Napoleon Dynamite meets 20 something nerdy love.

Howl’s Moving Castle is an instant, instant favorite the second you watch it. It’s a Hayao Miyazaki anime film with a beautiful and creative storyline. Based on a Japanese fantasy novel, it includes witches, flying castles and a oddly sweet love story. A wondrous fairy-tale for everyone.

Favorite TV

Downton Abbey Duh! A PBS mini series chronicling the upperclass elite, yet oddly kindhearted Crawley family and their servants. Both upstairs and downstairs have an equal amount of drama that ranges from the Titanic’s sinking in 1912 through World War I up to 1920 when season two finishes. Season one is all that’s available on Netflix now, but you can still catch some season 2 episodes at PBS.com! Lucky you.

Don't you just love those manipulating, schemy little faces?! Image via backseatcuddler.com

 Arrested Development Oh God. So many memorable quotes and episodes from the Bluth family. Once in a while I’ll meet a person who hasn’t seenArrested Development yet. If that is you, you’re welcome and start watching NOW!

Parks and Recreation/30 Rock I decided to put these two shows together because they are THAT GOOD. Both SNL alums Amy Poehler and Tina Fey shine in their respective NBC shows. Poehler plays Leslie Knope, a parks and rec lady who loves her town and parks more than anything. And Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon is the weirdo single gal/guy living inside us all who hates working out and loves philly cheese steaks. Perfection in both shows with amazing casts and even more amazing writing.

Cheers It’s impossible for me to even think about Cheers without hearing the theme song. “Where everybody knows your na-a-ame (bum bum bum!)” Friends, love and life at the neighborhood bar. And a young Ted Danson. Need I say more?

Coupling The pilot episode is one of the best written pilots I’ve ever seen in my life. Think a raunchier Friends with way more sex, swearing and yes, coupling.

So many bad decisions. Yet so much fun! Image via netflix.com

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret  This show is absolutely hilarious. Todd Margaret is a deprecated, sad, pathetic American man who moves to England to try and sell toxic energy drinks. Todd Margaret- you guessed it!- makes increasingly poor decisions. The title sets up the show perfectly. Sometimes I feel so bad for characters with bad luck that I can’t watch the shows. But when it’s laid out so wonderfully in the title, you can sit back with ease and watch the beautiful shit storm happen.

Also, check out Lost (best show ever!), Workaholics, Party Down, United States of Tara, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, Never Been Kissed, Shutter Island

Guilty Pleasures

Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Hoarders, Intervention, Gossip Girl, Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, The City