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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Olympics: What the fuck NBC!!!

Image via extratv.com

NBC is SO dropping the ball with the Olympics coverage of London 2012.

First of all, why would they want to impede ANYONE from seeing the beauty that is the olympic athletes? Good lord, those men and women are supa fine. Ryan Lochte, however mundane yet innocent his twitter feed may be, is one good lookin’ piece of gold medal history. And the swimmers! Ye Shiwen just broke a world record AND was faster than all the boys, all at 16! (Of course now there are doping allegations. But fuck that until it’s proven bitches, cuz ladies rule and boys are slow)

Second, the Olympics are a world game. It’s supposed to be a global celebration of sport that we can all enjoy and root for our countries. But how are we supposed to do that when NBC has the absolute worst producers ever? I don’t wanna watch Jeopardy Kids in the middle of the day. Where are the game reruns bitches?! Thanks to not being able to mold my schedule to the shitty NBC scheduling of the Olympics, I missed women’s gymnastics which is THE SHIT. Who knows how many countless people are feeling the same strife.

I bet they use Internet Explorer over at NBC. Figures. Image via fitperez.com

Now, you’d think “Hey, it’s the age of the internet! They must be live streaming and uploading videos of the games to rewatch constantly!” NOPE. In an attempt to show my friend the AWFUL London opening ceremony, I was aghast. The footage was nowhere to be found. Not on NBC’s website and not in any pages I could find in the days following the ceremony.But lo and behold, Beijing’s was on NBC’s website. Thank God, because that’s fucking relevant!

On top of that, you have to have a specific cable subscription to live stream on the internet. Is NBC in such bad shape that they can’t afford to live stream the Olympics?  Would they not make more money from running live streaming internet ads? Who dropped the ball on this?! It’s 2012 for God sakes. You can watch your neighbor jerk off on a webcam, but for some ungodly reason you can’t find good Olympic coverage on the internet. SO. LAME.

Let’s hope another big network gets the games next time, because this is excruciating. Feel free to voice annoyances over at their lackluster twitter!

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!!

TV: Why Smash is better than Glee

Image via nbc.com

I’m not a huge fan of theater shows on TV, because I’ve never watched one that seemed anything more than an overblown and out of proportion take on how people in theater act in “real life.” It’s also almost always done in a really campy, not relatable way that people who have never been in theater don’t understand.

Of course I’m sure we’ve all met people who have been in or are in theater. Sure they are a little quirky, but isn’t anyone in a creative industry quirky? However, not ALL of them are crazy weirdos like those creeps on Glee. (Read a good explanation as to why Glee sucks here) Don’t even get me started on the absolute shit hole that is GleeSmash is nothing like Glee. 

Hahahaha. Image via sodahead.com

First of all, I’m surprised at how well casted this show is. Anjelica Houston, Debra Messing, Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty and the whole gang were all really good choices. It seems at any moment if you were to run into one of the characters in real life, that they would actually exist as human beings and be believable. Rachel Berry and company on the other hand…

Second, the show takes musical theater on Broadway to a more human level. None of the characters are decidedly so far off the spectrum quirky or “too” theater, whatever that means. The actresses vying for the role of Marilyn on Smash are hard working gals living in NYC who are immersed or trying to break into the acting world. That sounds realistic. And the writers, choreographers and producers seem relatively honest portrayals of professionals in the theater biz as well. They aren’t trying to ruin each others lives (yet) in what seem like cheap and easy, not to mention repetitive, story lines with horrible acting. (I hate Glee.)

All in all, Smash is the least self indulgent theater show I’ve ever seen on television. They’re not (yet) selling an album full of songs that are shittier than the original to everyone with too much expendable income. Basically, Glee is sloppy television and product marketing at its absolute finest; Smash is a tv show (with less obvious marketing) about musical theater in NYC. If I have to pick a show about theater on TV, Imma go with the latter.