February 21, 2007

Bald Britney + Bad Movies = Disappointment

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After a Friday night of low-impact socialization via crème brulée and single digit-priced chardonnay, I turned on my PC hoping for some innocent chuckles at my usual online haunts. Sure enough, it was the usual fare of Hilton sibs, Simpson sibs and Olsen sticks. Blah, blah, blah, Lohan out of rehab despite not technically being old enough to be there in the first place, blah, blah, blah.

And that’s when I saw it. The shocker. The half-eaten worm in my pop culture apple. Ahh, gentle readers, it was a horrible way to start off an otherwise pleasant Chinese New Year weekend. As Chandler once said to Monica in a similarly misguided hair fiasco, “I can see your scalp,” but unlike the situational antics of our sitcom pals, this was real life. And though Monica could have blamed the humid island air of Barbados or the mood-altering persuasions of the tropics, all Britney had on her side was a mild case of the crazies. Afterwards, bewigged and properly stoic, Britney seemed to share my sentiment of dismay as she sulkily made her way through clumps of paparazzi armed with unforgiving camera flashes.

I guess we should have seen it coming since Britney has always exhibited a debilitating partiality towards temporary thrills. Remember her 30-second Vegas wedding to a man whose famous-spouse-name-irony factor is now rivaled only by Anna Nicole Smith’s lawyer-lover (Law-ver? Lov-yer?)? And to be honest, I had always preferred to think of her Federline days as a temporary thrill gone too far, perhaps a result of underestimating the lengthy time commitment required of human pregnancy.

Alas, following my knee-jerk reaction of shock and awe, I was overcome by a wave of disappointment. Despite initially high hopes for a pop princess comeback, it seemed my dreams would be mercilessly crushed, probably by another one of those venti frappuccinos surgically implanted within Britney’s clutch. Geez, even Federline has that self-effacing Super Bowl commercial, which managed to wring a smirk from my icebox heart. Come on!
Unfortunately, the rest of the weekend unfolded in a similar fashion, full of letdowns and additional disappointment. Though always a defender of inane action movies, I finally hit rock bottom this weekend when I uttered these infamous last words, “Haha, I mean, how bad could it be?”

The flick in question was Ghost Rider, and despite ominous signs foretelling my cinema mistake such as the hipster teens ahead of me in line deciding that Bridge to Terabithia was a better Saturday night choice, I stubbornly stood my ground. Sure, Nicholas Cage’s suspicious hair augmentation and Peter Fonda’s overly tanned Mephistopheles were amusing for a time, but the movie was two hours long and often convoluted. Please explain to me why, without foreshadowing or explanation, Eva Mendes’ character decides to lug a sizeable Magic 8 Ball in her purse as a means of determining the outcome of romantic liaisons. Huh?

The final blow struck sometime yesterday. My source of amusements has been running dry since the latest string of YouTube purges and box office disappointments. But I’ve always managed to find salvation in the embrace of good old Top 40 music videos such as the amusing “Icebox” where Omarion dramatically bemoans the fact that there is an icebox where his heart used to be, accompanied by a few synthesized one-liners from Timbaland. So imagine my disappointment upon watching Justin Timberlake’s ‘highly-anticipated’ video for “What Goes Around.” Two viewings later, and I still don’t really get what’s going on. What’s up with Scarlett Johansson’s conical boob dress? What’s up with the Moulin Rouge-esque performers? I expected pure gold and was instead served with what appeared to be a rough cut of an O.C. episode.

But I did learn one thing this crazy weekend: mess with Justin Timberlake, and you’re going to pay with either your hair or your life.