Youth Culture Window
I just finished watching the 2012 MTV Movie Awards, a chore that I’ve reluctantly adopted in the last decade thanks to its huge draw to a young audience. This show provides a unique and honest glimpse into the porthole of pop-youth-culture. Frankly, I watch it so you don’t have to.
Here’s what I saw.
This was my first time turning on MTV this year. After a few minutes of watching it, I was reminded why (I even blogged a little about what I saw in the moments before the show).
Eventually the lights dimmed and the show began, with Russell Brand at the helm, hosting for the second time in just a few years.
Overall, I found this year rather uneventful. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying the show was innocent. It was just more of the same, which is pretty vile. In short, I felt like I was in an unsupervised junior high boys’ locker room for a little over 2 hours.
So this year I thought I’d do something a little different with this article. As I look at the other articles and writing projects I’m working on right now (that are actually productive), I think I’m going to simply give this show the only attention it deserves: mere bullet points.
Here are my brief observations about the 2012 MTV Movie Awards:
- I’m amazed that Russell Brand was given this opportunity to host again. I can think of literally hundreds of comedians and actors who this world would rather watch.
- Similarly, I’m amazed at the attention and respect that Charlie Sheen is given. Brand joked about Sheen doing drugs, even telling him, “Do a quick line (of coke)” and everyone laughed. Ha, ha! Let’s all laugh at a talented thespian who has literally flushed his life down the toilet.
- This year doesn’t have any shortage of penis jokes, most of them not funny. What is funny about Brand saying, “Alec Baldwin actually has hair on the shaft of his penis.”
- This year also provided plenty of foul language that needed to be bleeped out by the guy on the censor button. Not as much as some years past, but plenty.
- Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis couldn’t even deliver their presentation of the award for “Best Onscreen Dirtbag,” a presentation that included sarcastic bashing of Bono and Mother Teresa, followed by a nearly-explicit video.
- Again, when this network knows that a majority of voting comes from the younger end of their 12-34-year-old target audience, why does MTV continue to plug films that young people should not be watching in the first place, movies like Project X and Horrible Bosses? (And why am I even asking this about a network who only shows TV programming that young people should not be watching?)
- How many times did we have to see the Wiz Khalifa commercial for his new song, Work Hard Play Hard? I heard it so many times that I actually like the song now! I saw it move up the iTunes charts as the evening progressed. It was at #34 shortly after he performed, then at #26 after the show. Jump on iTunes now and see where it landed. I bet it will be in the Top 10 within 24 hours. Side note: The commercial for the song sounds sooooooo different than his live performance. It was pretty obvious that the studio did more than a little bit of tweaking to get that final sound.
- The next moments of the show were the clincher. They had Charlie Sheen introduce “cult classic” films, naming Project X the instant cult classic “party movie” of the year. Sheen jested, “Let’s face it, my life has been a party movie.” He went on to say, “Finally a movie that captures what goes on in my head every day.”
- And who better to perform after the award for best party film? Mr. party himself, Wiz Khalifa. Then in an ironic twist, they aired this commercial following.
- This year was one of the first times in years the contestants for “Best Kiss” were all a kiss between a guy and a girl. But the presentation of the award was still soiled when award presenter Adam Sandler joked about his best kiss—when a stripper fell on him while giving him a lapdance. Fellow presenter Andy Sandberg trumped his story by saying this: “Two words, I French kissed my dogs butthole.”
- The second most frequent commercial I saw during the show (second to Khalifa’s new song) was for the new MTV reality series, Real World St. Thomas, with the theme, “Paradise Can Be Hell.” The show looked like Hell.
- As if the awards show wasn’t crass enough, actor Joe Manganiello graced the stage in character of his Magic Mike role as “Big D*ck Rickie,” holding up a stick to his crotch and stroking it like he was masturbating. He then proceeded to hump Elizabeth Banks with the Golden Popcorn she just won. She welcomed the gesture and the audience had a good laugh.
- But I must confess, I did enjoy two elements during the evening. First, I loved the John Malkovich iPhone commercials. My second favorite moment was when Jodie Foster came out and said the words, “This is the last award of the night.” (It was truly the first time I cheered.)
If you’re curious who won, take a peek here for the entire list of the awards.
A Word to Parents
Keeping in stride with this article’s format, here’s some bullets for parents:
- Many young people are watching MTV. If your kids aren’t, then they have friends that do. MTV has the #1 show watched by 12-17-year olds (Jersey Shore) and the network is the hub of youth culture. More about this here.
- Block MTV. I’m not a prude. My family actually watches TV. I actually let my teenagers watch some R-rated movies. But I block MTV. If you don’t block the network, I encourage you to watch it a little bit on your own. (I give you about 11 minutes before you decide to block it for yourself.)
- If you find that your kids are watching MTV, don’t over react. Sit down and watch it with them first and then look for opportunities to talk with them about it. Pray a week before reacting. Then block it! More on that here.
For more about helping build relationships with your teenagers and teach them lasting values, be sure to read Jonathan’s enlightening and entertaining parenting book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent.
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