2015 VMA Running Diary

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Pre-show

It’s that time of year again, when I discover just how freaking old I am by doing a running diary of my experience of watching the MTV Video Music Awards.

8:00 – Well this was at least tuning in for – Walk the Moon performing “Shut Up and Dance.”

8:02 – Hold up – why are we cutting away from the band to meet the interview team? That’s not what I signed up for.

8:03 – That Jeremy Scott character is hella creepy.

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8:04 – For a while there, I didn’t think that Demi Lovato could say anything other than “Thank you.”

8:06 – Hot take: Walk the Moon’s new song is not as good as “Shut Up and Dance,” at least based on the ten seconds that they let us hear.

8:10 – Ugh. Christy Tiegan. Not a fan. John Legend could do better. But she does look great.

2015 MTV Video Music Awards Arrivals

8:11 – Well, I made it 11 minutes into this pre-show before I didn’t know who people were. That’s not bad. Sorry cast of Awkward, Faking It and Girl Code Live – you have not registered on my pop culture radar.

8:13 – Who is this weird bearded guy that Kelly Osborne just introduced as her fashion correspondent:

8:14 – A puppy pen? I can get behind this.

8:19 – “I’m here to talk to you about an extremely popular video that people are extremely anticipating to be shown in this show. Something that’s never been shown before.” – I don’t think Sway (or his writers) know what all those words mean.

8:20 – The Moonman is the most iconic award? Slow down Jeremey Scott.

8:22 – Poor Best Rock Video. It doesn’t even get awarded on the regular show.

8:23 – Fall Out Boy is rock? Ok then.

8:24 – Oy. These idiots from Girl Code don’t know what “vanguard” means.

8:27 – Nick Jonas may be the smartest person in this room. That’s a pretty low standard.

8:30 – Poor Miley Cyrus. I think all this acting out is just to make up for her having perhaps the worst speaking voice of all time.

8:32 – I refuse to acknowledge anyone who has YouTube sensation on their resume as an actual celebrity.

8:39 – Man, they don’t even try to hide their corporate schilling.

8:40 – Best pop video also gets awarded on the red carpet. Taylor Swift does not accept in person.

8:41 – Another award on the red carpet – 5 Seconds of Summer wins song of the summer. I disagree.

8:45 – Nick Jonas presented by State Farm. I wish I was making this up.

8:38 – Um, don’t look behind you Nick Jonas, but you are being followed by a lot of sexy astronauts.

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8:50 – I’m impressed that Taylor Swift got Mariska Hargitay to show up for this foolishness. She has got to be the oldest person on this red carpet other than Sway.

8:55 – Taylor’s new video; you had me at Scott Eastwood.

 

8:56 – I think I like Taylor better with dark hair.

Award ceremony……

9:00 – Kicking it off with Nicki Minaj. Smart move

9:02 – I’m impressed she can move with that giant headdress.

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9:03 – Kayne likes her performance; he even smiled.

9:04 – Whoa – Taylor Swift performing with Nicki? I did not see that coming.

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9:05 – Not for nothing, but their lip syncing is pretty inconsistent.

9:06 – Um…that does not look like Downtown L.A.

9:07 – Is Macklemore singing about a freaking moped? Is this a parody?

9:07 – This reminds me of West Side Story – not in a good way.

9:08 – Who is this Freddie Mercury looking like guy? (It’s apparently Eric Nally and I wasn’t the only one who made the comparison)

9:08 – This visual of Macklemore on a guy’s shoulders is hilarious.

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9:08 – I’m pretty positive he just worked “tiramisu” into his rap.

9:09 – Haha – Macklemore has a raccoon tail on his jacket.

9:09 – Kanye is unimpressed with all of this.

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9:11 – Our first glimpse of host Miley Cyrus. She’s fully dressed, so that’s a surprise.

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9:12 – I do like her googly eye rings. Where does one find those?

9:12 – WHAT DID JUSTIN BIEBER DO TO HIS HAIR?

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9:13 – “I took the year off to focus on my true love – Instagram.” That’s really funny

9:14 – Andy Samberg makes everything better.

9:16 – I can’t believe that they got Rita Ora in a pool of spaghetti.

 

9:17 – Britney is in the house! She looks fab. And she can kind of read.

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9:18 – So we’re still pretending that Mark Ronson has anything to do with this song’s success? Just checking.

9:18 – Well considering that they didn’t even let Mark Ronson talk, I’m guessing that jig is up.

9:24 – Miley is back with a lot less clothing.

9:25 – Jared Leto looks a little like Corey Felman in this outfit.

9:25 – Yay! I really dig The Weeknd.

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9:28 – I’m surprised it took this long to show Taylor Swift dancing.

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9:28 – Kanye is also busting a move:

9:29 – Rebel Wilson in a cop uniform.

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9:31 – It sounds like they are piping in laughter for this bit. This is completely tone deaf.

9:32 – Can Nicki not walk in that dress? That seems like a bad choice.

9:32 – I’ve got a feeling Nicki’s pastor wants nothing to do with any of this.

9:33 – Nicki Minaj – calling Miley Cyrus OUT! #shotsfired.

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9:34 – Miley takes her own shot – “It’s no big deal. It’s just an award. I persevered.” (unless this is all a bit – that’s possible too). Is it impressive to throw shade while wearing this outfit.

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9:40 – Rapper sleepovers!

9:41 – “Meek Mill has been through enough.”

9:41 – So the LAPD killed Biggie? Mystery solved!

9:42 – This may be the weirdest outfit so far.

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9:43 – So obviously we have to be pulling for Nicki to win just so she can get on the microphone again.

9:44 – Dang. Swifty. Maybe someone will rush the stage.

9:45 – Haha…go for it Kanye!

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9:46 – Maybe the director will start some drama.

9:52 – Miley may be setting a record for most costume changes.

9:52 – Are we still saying “turnt?”

9:53 – This is an interesting wardrobe choice for Demi Lovoto

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9:54 – I sincerely hope that the censor tonight is getting hazard pay.

9:55 – Iggy Azalea is the special guest? I was hoping she’d aim higher.

9:57 – The confetti budget for this show is off the charts.

9:58 – Strategically, wouldn’t it have been smarter to release a song called “Cool for the summer” earlier in the year?

10:02 – Justin Bieber continues his rehabilitation tour with a performance at the VMAs.

10:03 – I’ll give him this – his synchronized dance move game is still pretty strong.

10:06 – I wonder if he’s wearing the hat because even he realizes his hair looks stupid.

10:07 – Is this from Bieber’s spoken word album?

10:08 – Bieber busted out a little Peter Pan action.

10:09 – Is he crying? Did they pull that harness too tight?

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10:09 – I actually liked this ridiculous coat.

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10:11 – More Kanye smiling!

10:11 – Big Sean’s grandmother sounds like a pretty kick ass lady.

10:20 – Miley channels Rainbow Brite.

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10:21 – Did Miley just call Snoop Dogg “her real mammy?”

10:21 – I do not believe that Miley cares a hoot about Kim Kardashian.

10:22 – Not only have I never heard of Tori Kelly, I’ve never heard this song either.

10:26 – She did a nice job, though.

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10:31 – What I’ve been waiting for – Kanye West’s Vanguard Award (Read his whole speech here)

10:32 – Look, I love Kanye, but they may be overstating the importance of this award a little bit. He didn’t cure cancer.

10:34 – Haha…..Taylor Swift is giving Kanye his award.

10:35 – “I’m really happy for you… And Imma let you finish, but Kanye West has had one of the greatest careers of all time.”

10:36 – They even hugged! Beefs are being squashed all over the place.

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10:37 – Mackemore looks unimpressed.

10:38 – Honestly, the most Kanye thing he could do right now is say nothing and walk off the stage.

10:39 – Kanye goes to the grocery story? I’m calling b.s. on that.

10:40 – Kanye is asking a lot of questions and he’s not giving a lot of answers.

10:40 – I really hope he wraps this up by saying that he totally would have interrupted Taylor all over again.

10:41 – Is this Kanye’s apology for making Taylor Swift a thing? I hate to tell him that we’re all pretty much over that.

10:42 – Umm…Kanye. You ain’t dead. You didn’t die for anything.

10:44 – “Listen to the kids, brah.” I have no idea who the kids are and who brah is, but this is classic Kanye.

10:46 – Kanye West is the Donald Trump of award shows.

10:46 – If this is Kanye with the edge off, I don’t think that marijuana worked.

10:47 – Kanye – we are the same age. We aren’t millennials.

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10:48 – Wait?!?! Is Kanye really running for President in 2020????? PLEASE LET THIS BE SO!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3213276/Kanye-West-announces-s-running-president-2020-admitting-d-smoked-joint-epic-acceptance-speech-MTV-VMAs.html

10:56 – Good luck to Pharell performing after that craziness.

10:56 – Again with people “putting them in a box.” Is this a real problem in the music industry? Are people actually in boxes?

10:58 – Pharell looks like Elvis in Jailhouse Rock.

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10:59 – What is on the back of Pharell’s pants? Is that an Adidas symbol?

11:07 – What else does Fetty Wap have going on that he’s not at the VMAs.

11:08 – Twenty One Pilots and A$AP Rocky. This will should be interesting.

11:11 – I wouldn’t have necessarily though about putting those two acts together, but that mostly worked as well as anything else on this show (which isn’t saying much).

11:15 – Old person gripe: this show was supposed to be over by now. I want to go to bed.

11:18 – No big surprise – Taylor wins video of the year.

11:19 – I don’t know that I believe that Taylor has seen Straight Outta Compton.

11:20 – “I’m just happy that in 2015 we live in a world where boys can play princesses and girls can play soldiers.” Amen, Taylor.

11:21 – Did the camera just cut to a half dressed Miley backstage?

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11:25 – I knew we weren’t getting out of here without a Miley performance.

11:26 – The furries are back. Thank God.

11:28 – While I enjoyed the spectacle, that new Miley song is horsesh*t.

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11:30 – Well that’s one way to end an award show – by announcing that your new album is online for free (at http://mileycyrusandherdeadpetz.com/ if you are so inclined).

So overall, that show was kind of a trainwreck. The moments that everyone will be talking about are the Miley/Nicki beef and Kanye’s usual shenanigans, but the rest was kind of all over the place. I feel like Miley was trying WAY too hard to be “crazy” and “controversial” and it all came off like an act. She’s best in small doses and when her antics don’t feel so staged. Plus I’ve got a news flash for Miley – this is 2015. Smoking pot is not nearly the big deal that you think it is. That isn’t edgy – at all.

Kevin Hart – Times Union Center (Albany, NY), 8/27/15

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Kevin Hart takes the use of cell phone during his show very seriously. Like, really, REALLY seriously. From the moment I set foot in the arena for his show last night, every security guard I passed asked me if I knew about the cell phone policy and the consequences. There were signs all over the arena warning that anyone even seen with a cell phone during the show would be kicked out automatically and would not receive a refund. It was announced repeatedly before the show and the opening acts reiterated it, giving us an updated number of how many people had already been kicked out of our show (16) and how many people they kicked out in Syracuse (150). During the show, security guards continuously walked up and down the aisles, shining flashlights and on high alert for that telltale glow of a cell phone screen. I had no intention of looking at my phone – I am nothing if not a rule follower – but even though I had not thing to worry about these draconian methods were beginning to get me agitated. I would not flourish in an authoritarian regime; the pressure of compliance would give me anxiety.

I totally get where Hart and his team were coming from; I’m sure that there is nothing more frustrating for a comic than to be debuting new material and then have it posted all over the internet the following year. The proliferation of social media has made a comedian’s job a lot harder. Comics could do the same 90 minute set for years because it was new to the audience. Now your material is old after a few nights because people have heard the jokes by watching grainy cell phone footage of a previous show. So I don’t begrudge Hart’s desire to prevent that as much as possible. But it certainly didn’t cultivate the ideal conditions for comedy. You’re not necessarily in the mood to laugh when security guards are circling you like vultures, waiting to swoop in. So it’s a true testament to Kevin Hart that he not only overcame the weirdness but put on one hell of a show. The weirdness may have been of his own making, but he almost made me forget about the Dementor-like guards patrolling the aisles (except for when they blocked my view ever ten minutes as they made another lap of our section).

For all the increased security and concern about recording the show to protect his new material, I found it ironic that Hart actually kicked of the show with material that he already did when he was on Saturday Night Live earlier this year. It was still very funny, but given the constant refrain that he was doing new material for us, I chuckled to myself when he launched into some stories that I has actually already heard. Perhaps that was intentional – it gave security time to get rid of people that might be hell-bent on recording or taking a photo before he got to the actual new stuff. If so, well played Mr. Hart. Well played.

Kevin Hart has been at this long enough that he knows what he’s doing and his set last night was tight and consistently funny. He’s more of a storyteller than a joke teller, per se, and it’s been interesting to see how his material has changed as he’s become more famous. Now that he’s consistently starring in movies and has made a name for himself in stand up, in addition to just getting older, there has been a tonal shift in what he makes people laugh about. The focus of this tour is on his family; his children and fiancée dominate much of his routine, with some guest appearances from his father and his buddies. Even with this more domesticated focus, he still had the audience in stitches the entire night. I often times find that a little of Hart (no pun intended) goes a long way in movies, but I really enjoy his persona in a stand up setting. His face is so expressive that it helps sell a lot of his jokes; sometimes his reaction is all that is needed to make people laugh. He’s also masterful at working in references to earlier jokes throughout his set. The callbacks don’t feel forced and by the end of the night, the audience was saying some of the lines right along with him. His storytelling was as memorable as it was funny; I was regaling my assistant with some of the bits that I thought were particularly funny and I was surprised just how much of his set that I remembered, almost word for word. I was particularly tickled with his story about what he would do if his fiancée was attacked by a shark (her hypothetical), his “debaucherous” night of playing ping pong with his pals as well his recounting of the time his fiancée put a sex toy in his luggage while he was away on location for a movie. Those were highlights, but the entire evening was a well-constructed night of comedy. I laughed so much that I almost forgot about my stupid sprained ankle, which is saying a lot.

I was less impressed with his openers, a trio of comics referred to as the Plastic Cup Boyz. Joey Wells was the first to perform and also served as something of an emcee and was the strongest of the opening acts. Both Na’im Lynn and Spank Horton made jokes about gay and transgendered people that I didn’t find particularly enlightened or funny, which I could have overlooked if the rest of the material was stronger. I was actually a little worried about the evening after they performed, but Wells returned to the stage to do some additional material about the cell phone policy that helped alleviate my concern.

Kevin Hart is very good at what he does and last night was no exception. He appeals to a lot of different kinds of people, as evidenced by the very diverse crowd that was in attendance. Hart was funny and energetic and certainly gave the sold out crowd more than what they paid for. I’d absolutely go see Kevin Hart perform again – though just to be safe I might leave the cell phone in the car.

Kevin Hart is currently touring the U.S. with the What Now? Tour.

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Heather’s Frustrated Edition

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So I’m still sidelined with this stupid sprained ankle and I’m starting to lose my patience with this whole experience. This morning I woke up and cried a little, frustrated that I’m in some pain and that this continues to be a disruption to my life. I’m beginning to think that I’ll never feel 100% ever again and I’m ready for this to no longer be a topic of conversation. I just want to go back to normal and not have to curtail my activities; for someone like me who is always on the go and prides herself on her independence, this is a tough pill to swallow. Now of course I know that this is not even that serious of an injury and that there are others that have it so much worse than me. But I’m also allowed to be over this entire situation. I know I just have to give it time, but this is slowly driving me crazy. I’m looking forward to the day when my limp suddenly disappears like Keyser Soze:

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But at least the pop culture roundup was something of a distraction this week; you can’t be sad and annoyed when you’ve fully immersed yourself in all that the world of pop has to offer. So while I look into magic cures that will get me back on my feet again and walking around like a normal person, catch up on all the pop culture that you may have missed in the last seven days.

Quentin Tarantino sat down for a lengthy conversation with New York Magazine.

Captain Obvious George R.R. Martin says that HBO might finish Game of Thrones before him.

Anna Kendrick was interviewed by Elle magazine.

There have been some new developments in the case from Serial.

A believed dead Game of Thrones character (no, not THAT one) was spotted in Belfast (spoilers).

Stephen Colbert announces his full slate of guests for the first week of The Late Show.

Colbert was interviewed by GQ.

Don’t look for Superman in Suicide Squad.

Alfre Woodard may join Netflix’s Luke Cage series.

Perhaps in solidarity with me, Jimmy Fallon injured himself again.

ABC has ordered a pilot for Marvel’s Most Wanted, which is based around Mockingbird.

Bruce Willis may or may not have been fired from Woody Allen’s latest movie.

Jeremy Renner is skeptical that an Avengers/Guardians of the Galaxy crossover will happen.

The Rock to star in a movie based on Disney’s Jungle Cruise ride.

Here’s the Rock dancing:

 

Missy Elliott will be an advisor for Pharrell’s team on The Voice.

Lea Seydoux will star opposite Channing Tatum in Gambit.

James Franco and Bryan Cranston to star in Why Him?

Kanye West will receive the Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs.

Here’s who is performing at the VMAs.

Fear The Walking Dead is the most watched series premiere in cable TV history.

Coming soon…..Star Wars soup cans.

Hulu has ordered a pilot from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

The unstoppable Shonda Rhimes has sold another show to ABC.

The director of CITIZENFOUR will do a documentary series on Julian Assange.

John Mayer and The Grateful Dead are doing a ten city tour (including Albany – YAY!).

Fans discovered a Friends subplot that was scrapped after 9/11.

The owner of the Goonies house in Oregon has had it with visitors.

Fox has picked up a comedy from the producers of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Katherine Heigl will join the CBS drama Doubt.

Christian Bale will play Enzo Ferrari.

This post describes what it’s like to be an extra on Game of Thrones.

Bill Simmons, formerly of ESPN, will drop a new podcast on October 1st.

Jon Stewart seems to be enjoying his retirement:

 

J.K. Rowling likes a fan theory about Dumbledore.

NBC has ordered a “sexy soapy Cain and Abel story.” I have no idea what that means and I don’t really want to find out.

Steven Spielberg shut down the idea of an animated Jurassic Park series.

Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs and Chris Gethard to star in Mike Birbiglia’s new film.

The new Ghostbusters reboot has plenty of girl power both in front of the camera and behind it.

One Direction is planning on taking an extended hiatus.

Ruth Kearney will be the female lead in Will Arnett’s Netflix comedy.

The Foo Fighters Rick Rolled the Westboro Baptist Church:

 

It’s the 90s all over again – members of Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Guns N’ Roses and Screaming Trees have formed a Stooges cover band.

Rayanne from My So-Called Life is now a Countess.

Amy Poehler and Jon Hamm once hosted an “Emmy Losers” party.

Time for some trailers……

Gotham, season two:

 

Dark Places:

 

Two new teasers for the new season of AHS: Hotel:

 

 

Kill Your Friends:

 

Mickey Rourke in Ashby:

 

Andy Samberg in a promo for the Emmys:

 

Ash vs. Evil Dead:

 

A trailer for Banksy’s latest installation, Dismaland:

 

Supergirl:

 

The Final Girls:

 

Hellions:

 

Hell & Back:

 

The creator of UnREAL is developing a series about the NYC restaurant business.

Vin Diesel confirms an xXx sequel starts filming in December.

Rod Man, the winner of last season’s Last Comic Standing, has a development deal for a sitcom at NBC.

Debra Winger has joined Ashton Kutcher’s Netflix series.

Captain America: Civil War has wrapped shooting.

People are naming their kids Anakin.

Kevin Bacon will star in Rear Window on stage.

Matthew Lewis joins Happy Valley series 2.

Anna Bates, serial killer?

Miles Teller in talks for a PTSD drama.

Olivia Munn and Aaron Rodgers prove that the couple that Dubsmash together stays together:

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A video posted by Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) on

 

Mo McRae will be a love interest for Gabourey Sidibe on Empire.

Anthony Michael Hall will join Brad Pitt in War Machine.

Probably not a great sign…the showrunner of the new fall show The Grinder has left.

Chicago Med is down a showrunner as well.

Universal Studios Orlando will unveil a Fast & Furious ride.

Sam Kinison almost starred in Beetlejuice.

Gabriel Chavarria will appear in War of the Planet of the Apes.

Who said it, Donald Trump or Mr. Burns?

Jay Leno will guest star on Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing.

John Leguizamo will be a series regular on the second season of Bloodline.

Forest Whitaker will make his Broadway debut this spring.

Instagram of the week: Man Buns of Disneyland.

Danzig will appear on Portlandia.

Julianne Moore is petitioning to get the name of her high school changed.

Iron Maiden dedicated a song to Robin Williams on their new album.

Bindi Irwin (daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter) will appear on Dancing With The Stars.

David Beckham hung out with Frozen’s Elsa and Anna:

 

Morrissey is releasing his first novel next month. I’m sure it will be happy and uplifting.

T.I. reportedly owes the IRS over $4 million in back taxes.

Wiz Khalifa was arrested for riding a hoverboard.

The actors who play Tommen and Myrcella Baratheon on Game of Thrones may be dating IRL.

Shannen Doherty has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The guy who spent way too much money to look like Justin Bieber has gone missing.

Tracy Morgan got hitched on Sunday.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a daddy!

Kelly Clarkson is pregnant with her second child.

Shiri Appleby is also pregnant.

Congrats to Alison Brie and Dave Franco on their engagement! The duo somehow dated for four years without me knowing it.

As always, we end with the mashups and supercuts……

The friends sing the Friends theme song:

 

Ricky and Morty: Back to the Future:

 

Mad Max: Fury Road retold in hieroglyphics:

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Taylor Swift and Alanis Morissette do “You Oughta Know”:

 

A supercut of every Jason Statham punch thrown on film:

 

A supercut of Batman’s kill count in the movies:

 

A cover of “Sweet Dreams” by Mumford & Sons, Mark Hoppus and The Vaccines:

 

Mario Skate:

 

Breaking the forth wall:

 

The Weeknd covered Beyoncé:

 

Was Daniel the real bully in The Karate Kid? This edit says yes:

 

Pentatonix covers “Cheerleader”:

 

Secret movie star skills supercut:

 

Here’s a Dr. Dre mashup on the piano:

 

And finally, Black Thought (aka Tariq Trotter from The Roots) raps over the Mad Men theme (NSFW):