These Speidi and Amanda Bynes documentaries will change the way you think about celebrity
If you were obsessively reading Perez Hilton circa 2007 until he went soft (aka just became a different brand of ginormous asshole), these movies were MADE for you.
Will Rebein, the creator of these addicting as fuck documentaries, repurposed video from tabloids (lots of TMZ), tv shows and interviews to recreate a different story about a few of our favorite tabloid celebs. I very literally could. not. stop. watching.
His two documentaries focus on Speidi and Amanda Bynes. In Speidi, you get to watch the infamous couple spiral out of control from their days on The Hills to body dysmorphic disorder-induced plastic surgery to spending their fortune on MAGIC CRYSTALS. The body dysmorphia is really interesting to watch because you see Heidi turn into a numb person, probably caused by a combination of becoming famous too fast, having a terribly manipulative boyfriend and reading countless comments about her “horse face.”
What’s even more fascinating is that Speidi details a weird time in pop culture when celebrities were controlled WAY more by the media before social networks like Twitter or Facebook were the number one way for famous people to communicate with the outside world. Before then, it was allllll through paparazzi videos, tabloid articles and statements made to the press instead of pressing “send” on your smart phone. So worth it to watch.
Amanda Bynes in “I’m Not Crazy”
I’m Not Crazy shows you how Amanda went from cute child comedy prodigy and “good girl” Hollywood actress to a tabloid obsession struggling with, at the time, undiagnosed mental illness. Amanda later reported on Twitter:
I was diagnosed bi – polar and manic depressive so I’m on medication and I’m seeing my psychologist and pyshchiatrist weekly so I’m fine 😀
Learning that Amanda Bynes is living with bipolar disorder and manic depression really makes you pause and think about what it means to make fun of any celeb who is “acting crazy!” in the press.
By far the worst thing I saw in I’m Not Crazy is a paparazzo relentlessly touching Amanda and pulling down her hood so he could get a picture of her. That scene makes you feel SO terrible, watching a paparazzo violate a mentally ill person’s personal space like that. And all to make a buck so shithole magazines can sell stories about mentally ill rich women to equally shithole humans so they can make fun of them. Gross AF.
Once dubbed the “3 Bimbos of the Apocalypse,” Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton all make an appearance in I’m Not Crazy. Britney’s especially hits you hard as a viewer (or just me because I’m a huge, forever Britney fan) because she too suffers from mental illness. It’s really sad to see how she was treated by paparazzi, but what’s even SADDER is that at times the paparazzi seemed like Britney’s only real friends.
Anyways the docs are sad, incredibly poignant and provide a lot of commentary on the power the media and society have over famous people. Seriously worth the watch if you are obsessed with dissecting pop culture, fame, society and even mental illness.
Let me know if you watch them and what you thought because I’d love to hear how you felt about them at @ktbcolors on Twitter, on Facebook here or in the comments section.
Oh Gaga. I don’t know if it’s just me or if it’s a growing trend by former Little Monsters, but I have been fully uninspired by everything she’s put out related to ARTPOP. Let’s examine why the fuck she’s falling out of weird pop star grace, starting with her latest album release.
ARTPOP is a disaster
There are a handful of great songs on the album like “Aura”, “G.U.Y.”, “Venus” and “Applause”. But there are some REAL terrible things on this album, like “Jewels and Drugs” and “MANiCURE”, which both haunt the shit out of me. Sometimes I’ll just wake up with a riff from “MANiCURE” in my head and I am instantly annoyed. That song is a goddamn leper in her catalog, but she apparently loves it because she just put a part of it in her “short film” of a music video for “G.U.Y.” UGH.
The G.U.Y. ARTPOP Film
I can’t even deal with this. It was boring! The most frustrating part is that I don’t even know why exactly. Maybe it’s because half the themes are very apparent (fallen angel, industry folks who luv money) and half the themes are WTF but not in a fun way (housewives, Andy Cohen). The fact that she is calling this a film is absurd. I hate to be the kind of fan or person that’s like “why can’t you just release a music video?” but for real girl. Has she never considered that doing something insanely simple would actually be shocking for her brand instead of constantly releasing awkward try-hard grandiosity?
Beyonce’s surprise album and music videos are what Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP should have been if she was actually on the cutting edge of the commercial music scene. ARTPOP was supposed to be a next level game-changer in pop music because that’s what she told us it was going to be. ARTPOP then had a lackluster release, AND on top of that, Beyonce released one of the most exciting pop events of all time a month after AP was supposed to blow our minds. Yikes. Ouch. One more example of LG talking herself up and not being able to deliver. And then this ARTPOP “film” release? Girl, if you’re gonna release something and call it a film, plz make sure it’s actually a film and not just a bunch of pretty ideas that you puked onto a dream board and call cinema.
More than ANYTHING, it just really pisses me off watching rich musicians bitch about the music industry. POOR YOU WITH ALL YOUR MONEY AND NOTORIETY AND FAME. I’m an independent artist and it’s a struggle, but it’s even more infuriating watching big time stars complain about all the people who work for them. I don’t fucking care one bit about the specific woes of famous rich people because life and art are hard for everyone, but not everyone has the world stage and power that they do. While every other artist and person mostly has to worry about paying rent or putting food on the table, Lady Gaga is complaining to the world that her record label wanted her to put out better music and how dare they question her genius. EYE. ROLL.
Lady Gaga’s music isn’t that great
Her visuals are always fantastic, but she straight up doesn’t make interesting music. I’m not saying it’s bad because I really like some of her shit. It is standard in the culture of pop music albums to have a few songs that are killer as fuck, and then the rest of the album is full of B-sides. But the fact that she talks herself up so much, talked ARTPOP up to be this fucking grandiose marriage of ART + POP only sets herself up for more criticism because she can never deliver.
Every time I feel let down by what Lady Gaga claims to be and what she actually is, I think to myself (and out loud nearly every Saturday morning to my roommate) what is she such a great artist at? Really? Sure, she dresses in weird outfits and is a really, really great live performer. But if you just take the recorded albums which she claims is her main raison d’être, they are fucking infuriating. Here’s why:
Gaga’s music isn’t that weird or interesting. If you’re gonna sit there in a fucking teflon-inspired mock duck hammock skirt and tell us for like 5 years that you’re the weirdest and best bitch on the block, then fucking deliver. “MANiCURE” is one of the worst songs I’ve heard in my entire life. The second half of The Fame is terrible. Her country-inspired songs, her weird foray into show tune-esque songs like “Hair” and her embarrassing attempts to mix rock and EDM like “Electric Chapel” on Born This Way are all amazing examples of the grandiose mediocrity I’ve begun to associate with her.
All of Gaga’s albums have a few good pop songs, but so does every other pop album that has ever been released throughout the history of man. It’s no secret that huge pop genre releases have historically spent most of their money on the couple of big hit singles, leaving the rest of the album to sound like the producer had only 20 minutes in between jerking off and eating a boring sandwich to compose a track (for reference, any of Britney’s first few albums, Backstreet Boys, Xtina, Shakira, Rihanna, One Direction, etc). Gaga’s “other” songs aren’t that bad, but they’re not as great as she would have us believe.
Quotes like this about her latest album: “To make ARTPOP there must be an exchange between two auras: one from the sphere of ART, and the other from the sphere of POP.” Bitch what are you even talking about. This isn’t even a question of her being on another intellectual level and the masses having a hard time understanding. This shit just doesn’t make sense. Like, thanks for the definition of a compound word. America really needed that explanation.
Her obsession with the fashion and performance art world
You know what, it’s great that she likes fashion and performance art so much, honestly. But when she spends so much time in those worlds, she neglects her “first passion”–music. It’s like, that’s nice honey. You go scream in a forest. You do you. And then come back and be our Mother Monster plz.
It’s really neat that she’s modeling in a campaign for Versace, and that she hung out with Marina Abromivic and learned some performance art shit. But what she doesn’t realize is that all of that other malarky is negatively affecting her music career because she’s not spending the time on it that she used to (The Fame Monster was brilliant. Where that brilliance at?). And also, don’t continually ask or expect your music fans to be super engaged with all of your mediums. Please please please express yourself in any way you see fit, but pop music fans are pretty much just lookin’ for some feel good dance hits to get drunk to from people who describe themselves as pop stars. I’m not saying that no pop star can change the game, but there have to be less seemingly desperate ways to do so.
Katy Perry vs. Lady Gaga
It was a really sad day when I finally had to admit to myself that Katy Perry is a far superior pop star to Lady Gaga. LG was quoted at SXSW saying that:
“I don’t know what the f–k-all I have to do with Katy Perry. Our music is so completely different. I couldn’t be more different, really. I really don’t fit in pop music in a way, but I came through it and I’d like to think I changed it in some way so you can feel like you don’t have to fit into a mold.”
Lady Gaga’s music is different from Katy Perry’s in that on the whole, KP makes really solid pop music and Lady Gaga makes slightly less good pop music. I don’t even want to like Katy Perry, but shit, you can’t knock her pop songs because she works with solid producers and songwriters. Lady Gaga may be way more involved in the production and songwriting process, which is definitely respectable, but does she really make better pop music because of it? LG comes off as a bratty shit head most of the time who complains that people don’t get her art or that she alone is held to ridiculous standards in the world of pop music.
“I’m sorry I didn’t sell a million records the first week. I have before…..When it comes to me, everyone forgets where the music industry is now. You come see me and it’s like you’re time-warped to the 70s.”
There are so many things annoying about this, but above all it’s the fact that she’s blaming the state of the music industry on her shitty album not selling. Lame. Taylor Swift, Adele, Katy Perry, and alllll of her other contemporaries have fine album sales. And does anyone really still hold artists to album sales standards from the turn of the millennium? I know I don’t. I don’t even care. I just want a good album.
ARTPOP part deux (plz god no!)
What is EVEN MORE frustrating than everything I’ve posted above is that the ARTPOP era is not over. She’s planning a second act to ARTPOP that might actually be good because lucky for her, expectations are already low.
All in all: yes it may be hard to live up to pop perfection standards in the music industry, but nobody is forcing you, Lady Gaga, huge millionaire and world star, to stay in that industry. Nobody is forcing you to be a shit head in interviews and talk up your art like it’s a direct line to God. Do what you want with your body, girl, but PLZ if you continue to want to be a “pop star”, put out a cohesive album that can live up to the ridiculous standards you’ve put on yourself as being some kind of ethereal high priestess of ART and POP. Us lil monsters just wanna dance to some cool tunes from you, and maybe see some cool outfits and fun videos in the process. But if you can’t handle the simplicity of that, then I don’t know where our future together lies. Breakups are tough, but time heals all.
Britney released the video for her latest single, “Work Bitch” and it’s a step in a good direction. In the vid, Britster moves her legs way more in the dance scenes than in past videos of recent history. See “Till the World Ends” for the modern Britney arm wave dance-like reference. So yeah, this is pretty huge, folks. I can’t help but think every single time I see her perform in a video or live that her dancing just isn’t there anymore. But in this video, her dancing is creeping back to almost good again. As you may or may not know, in 2004 Ms. B broke her knee on the set of the video for “Outrageous,” thus leading into the downward spiral we all sort of lovingly remember. In the knee breaking video, you can see how FUCKING AWESOME she was moving. But she just can’t do it like she used to. Of course I feel like a shit fan for wishing and hoping she would dance like the old days.
Hope is such a dangerous drug.
“Work Bitch” also raises important societal questions like:
Will Britney’s new song inspire millions of people to work?
Will everyone who has been avoiding the gym finally get out of their laptop/couch coma and get to sweatin’?
Will Congress finally get their shit together after a Britney dance party?
Let’s hope so. I know I’ve gotten through some weird times by listening to Britney. There’s something ethereal and existentially comforting about listening to a woman ask a stranger to fuck her in the back room of the club, all over super hot club beats. The air of “Fuck it” and “Imma get what I want!” is so inspiring. When you’re knee deep in quarter-life crisis, it’s important to have Britney there as a reminder that you REALLY, REALLY can make it through anything.
CAN a pop song inspire a nation to quit being lazy shitbags on a personal and professional level and “Work Bitch”? Time will only tell if our Godney will deliver us from evil.
I am sick of celebrities, random twitter and my dad saying that the Kardashians are stupid. Or bullshit. Or talentless. Or whores. Just stop it already. I am floored that people like Katie Couric, who are ALSO intelligent entertainment and business talents, don’t realize why the Kardashians are famous. Really?! REALLY. Have you ever seen their show, Ms. Couric? Do you not realize how opportunity mixed with insanely smart marketing, naturally entertaining personalities and EIGHT SEASONS of a successful reality show made this family famous and a household name? REALLY?!
You know what, Katie Couric and everyone else who hates the Kardashians? They are awesome. I have seen every episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and their spinoffs, Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami and Kourtney and Kim Take New Yorkand I (along with my kool friends) have loved every minute of the rich, beautiful and super dysfunctional family drama. It’s like a modernized version of a soap opera where the characters live on forever on screen and in the pages of our real life magazines. Talk about some meta as fuck, never-ending performance art.
And really, you don’t have to like them. That’s not what I’m writing about. But can we put an end to the tired “Why are they famous?” question? This is why they’re famous and super awesome:
Kim Kardashian made a sex tape. And? A) quit shaming women for having sex and seeking kinky pleasure. We R ppl with sex parts 2. It’s boring, rude and misogynistic. Get. Over. This. One moment in time defines no one. B) who cares, this country is obsessed with sex anyways, so why not take advantage of a leaked/distributed sex tape to launch your career? Opportunity people. Take an unfortunate thing and turn it into a fortunate thing. This is like, success 101. C) If you haven’t taken naked selfies I feel bad for you son / you got 99 problems and naked pics is one.
They are business women. Long before the sex tape release, the Kardashians ran a small business-and still do. Their chic fashion boutiques called D-A-S-H first opened in Calabasas, CA in 2006. The stores are owned and operated by Kourtney, Khloe and Kim. They now have stores in Miami and New York City. D-A-S-H is also the underlying story line of the first couple of season of KUWTK and the main reason for the spinoff season in Miami and New York. It’s cool to see young women in their 20s owning and operating their own store. Dare I say it’s inspirational for young girls to see a group of young, hip, beautiful women successfully running a small business?
Their family is dysfunctional as fuck, blended and beautiful.
Really, what family isn’t dysfunctional? There’s like a billion kids in the Kardashian/Jenner family due to marriage, divorce, marriage, children, half siblings, step kids, etc. This probably looks waaaay more like the modern American family more so than parents who have been married since high school and have 2.5 kids. The show doesn’t shy away from the more awkward moments of family dynamics, like when Khloe’s biological father mystery was brought into question, or when Bruce’s sons from his second marriage (Brody and Brandon) began to vocalize why they felt they were never included much in the Jenner/Kardashian family growing up. Sometimes it’s hard to watch, but it’s relatable as all hell to a lot of different people who grew up in blended families.
They have really great vagina moments. Like when Khloe burns her vagina on wax and has Kourtney put mayonnaise on it for her because mayo soothes AND shines the good ol’ vag. When Kourtney delivered her own baby and they filmed it (if that isn’t punk rock as shit I don’t know what is). When they had a vagina smell-off in London to see if eating pineapple really makes it smell sweeter. Hilarity. Vaginas vaginas vaginas.
They provide a different kind of reality programming.
Think about the other reality programs that are on TV. I don’t want to demean the other shows because they are super entertaining too. But come on, Real Housewives? Heyo plastic surgery, rampant materialism, alcoholism, dated gender roles, horrible role models for how any woman or man should act. Bridalplasty? Bridezilla? All women are SO crazy on their wedding day! All they care about is the perfect wedding! PUKE. Pretty Wild? Anything Paris Hilton was in? Every girl is a wild party girl who doesn’t know anything about anything! I think the Kardashians are the most positive role models for young women on reality television, given the competition. They run multiple businesses, have difficult personal relationships that they constantly work on (just like us!), are honest about feeling inadequate/fat/ugly, get cosmetic shit done and show it on television because lookin’ good takes WORK (vampire facelift, cellulite removal), support each other, get in fights with their siblings and later apologize, show a strong work ethic, take care of themselves, spend time with family, etc.
THEY ARE ENTERTAINING. Khloe is absolutely hilarious, it’s fun to watch the whole family make fun of Kim and Kris, and Rob embodies every moment of self doubt, worthlessness and self fat-shaming you’ve ever had in your life. Despite the fame and wealth, these people are fucking relatable.
The Kardashians are entertaining. They have a crazy family dynamic. They are a successful bunch of strong, business-minded women who totally outshine all of the men in the show (sorry dudes but it’s true). I’m not asking anyone to like them, but you can at least give credit where credit is due. *Drops Kardashian Kollection mic*
Katy Perry and Lady Gaga both released singles this week ahead of schedule due to leaks (duh, welcome to the internet and 2008). Along with their single releases, they both have released lyric videos to go along with their singles. You know, to give the drooling pop obsessed masses (yo what up thats me 2) something to look at while the real video gets made, and so the artist/record label can make official money off the ads from youtube. Holla fo that dolla. But really, have we entered a new era of the music video?
The first music video to ever grace MTV was The Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star.” LOL. 4shadowing FTW. MTV gave music videos a great place to live until they decided ain’t nobody got time fo that shit. They cut down the regularly scheduled music video programming to an hour and a half after school on Total Request Live, or belovedly, TRL. In case you were living on Mars, Russia or a home where your parents banned television (my condolences), TRL was awesome. It was a place where kids got to call in (USING LANDLINE PHONES!!!!!) to request their favorite music videos and hopefully get their Britney or NSYNC vid to the number 1 spot. It was such a big fucking deal. I actually miss it.
Since TRL’s cancellation in 2008 (R.I.P. 4ever and PLEASE bring this show back on the internet. seriously. SRSLY), the music video has had a pretty much exclusive internet platform, because let’s be real: MTV2 couldn’t even keep to its word that it would be the real music video channel, and VH1 LOL. Throw in internet file sharing and the money-losing scramble of the music industry over the past decade, our poor little Music Video has suffered quite a lot in quality, budget and creativity.
However, out of a seemingly doomed medium of sonic visual expression came a little thing called the Lyric Video. It’s a modest, bastardly child of the once great Music Video. The first lyric videos started off with horrible fonts and and a gross blue screen. You’ve seen them. They’ve come a long way since Windows 2000 though. Now they’ve got pretty colors and exciting fonts. The joy!
Somewhere along the line, a music exec/artist/manager not completely fucked up on blow realized how many views theses videos get, how CHEAP it is to make them, and how useful it would be to slap ads on an official lyric video and make some extra dollaz.
Good job, music industry. It only took you about 8 years to figure that shit out.
Anyways, it seems more and more with big time releases to put out a lyric video while the actual video gets made, if one even gets made. The lyric video has sort of become a toe in the water to see if a real music video would be a lucrative venture or a compete waste of time and money. But is this creating a greater creative divide between video formats for songs? If the lyric video is the cheap, low-key video version of the song, then will real music videos in turn become something more cinematic? Maybe. Hopefully. We’ll see.
Taylor Swift released both a lyric video and an official video for her single “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” Swift’s lyric video has over 27 million views, and the official video has nearly 175 million views. That’s over 200 million views combined. That’s a lot of fucking views.
Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Ke$ha have all released lyric videos this year for songs. If it hasn’t become a huge norm to release a lyric video, it’s going to be. Especially since both Katy Perry and Gaga released lyric videos quickly after their songs leaked. It’s a great way to make a little quick, extra money ahead of a budgeted music video, give the fans something official to watch and deliver a cheaply made but (hopefully) creative video to accompany a new single.
After all, throwing money at something like art doesn’t always make it good. Put restrictions in place, like money, time and scrolling lyrics, and see how creative artists can get within those boundaries. Who knows. We may have our next piece of musical cinematic brilliance in a 2 Chainz lyric video. Maybe not. All I know is, we are entering a new era of videos made for visually enjoying and interacting with modern music. Thank god a new creative platform has come to the music industry, cuz it’s about goddamn time.
Everyone knows Twitter is full of useless information: jokes about dying alone, endless/useless fights about politics and details about strangers’ day to day lives. But once in a while, some fairweathered tweet about a useless celebrity sets me on fire.
Amanda Bynes erratic behavior is becoming a bore
It’s sort of beating a dead horse at this point to say “Why do we CARE about these people?” Is it because our love lives are stale? Our cubicle is depressing? We don’t have enough interesting things going on it our lives? Probs a combination of the three and a BAJILLION others, but I digress.
My problem with this tweet, and most gossip columns tweeting about AB, is that her crazy weird behavior is something we care to know about. Wearing crazy wigs to court because she shaved her head to wear bad wigs? SHOW ME THE PIC. Mumbling to herself all over NYC? YOU GOT A SOUND CLIP? Throwing a vase/bong out of a high rise window? I LOVE GLASS CHIPS. Entering stores and locking herself in bathrooms to “apply makeup”? DAMN THAT GURL IS HIP. Sure, calling Drake ugly and everyone else ugly is kinda funny and entertaining. But seriously, what the hell is her game?
I will dissect this in three ways:
Amanda Bynes is having a mid life identity crisis. Not legit crazy, which would explain why she has never been held by a court for incompetence. It also explains why her friend Drake Bell (granted I don’t know anything about him besides he starred on her show “The Amanda Show” in the early 00’s) said in an interview with OK! magazine that “She’s a sweetheart. I had lunch with her yesterday, and she’s brilliant. She’s good, and she’s healthy.” Without actual mental issues, there’s little anyone can do just because she’s acting weird and rude.
She is uneducated and starved for attention. At least Joaquin Phoenix’s weird year was for art. Unless Amanda Bynes is writing a dissertation on the absurdity of post-modern media, or planning to compile a book of tweets that mirror modern life in the era of useless information, I’m gonna continue to think she’s acting out for attention.
She thinks acting erratically and getting media attention will bring her career back to life. She’s not wrong, which is even sadder commentary on modern American pop culture and how to be successful. Be a dick! Be crazy! People Love it!
No matter what, the Amanda Bynes news is getting old. Either she’s going to continue to spiral into even more erratic behavior for more and more media/twitter attention, resulting in who knows what, or the public is gonna get bored of her weak attempts at staying relevant. Only sweet time will tell whether our fave semi-crazy B is gonna take it too far or reign herself back in. Oy. Vey.