Let's play a game. I'm going to name three, ridiculous, products or projects. Two of them will be fake, one will be real, all will be retarded. It's your job to pick out the real one and, subsequently weep at how absurd our culture's become. Ready? No Googling now. Aaaaand GO!
Description:"Mark McGrath. Rocker. Reality TV Star. Television Host. Author? You heard right! Frontman and lead singer for the popular, beloved 90s band SUGAR RAY, is hanging up his microphone and picking up a pen for his new book of poetry inspired by President Barack Obama. The former 'RHYME STEALER' says his book will be a mix of free-association, stream-of-consciousness poetry, as well as more 'traditional' poetry."
"McGrath hopes that the messages of hope infused in his poetry will inspire his readers, as he too was inspired by the messages of President Obama."
-Fan(s) of Sugar Ray.
-Ironic hipsters who enjoy having their coffee tables littered with books that make me hate them.
-A small percentage of Mark McGrath's relatives and personal acquaintances.
B) Karaoke With Your Favorite Principal Dennis Haskins A.K.A. Mr. Belding!
Description: "Dennis Haskins, A.K.A. 'Mr. Belding' from the popular television series Saved By The Bell>, is set to release a one-of-a-kind, first ever celebrity CD/DVD karaoke package on September 1, 2009 titled 'Karaoke With Your Favorite Principal Dennis Haskins A.K.A. 'Mr. Belding.''This CD/DVD combo package contains an audio CD with seven karaoke songs. The purchaser can choose to sing along with Dennis, or sing solo to the additional instrumental tracks. The CD can be placed into a CD-G karaoke machine and lyrics will appear on the screen. "
-The elusive People-Who-Are-Physically-Incapable-of-Singing-Without-Dennis-Haskins's-Accompaniment demographic.
-People who love everything about karaoke except the part where you have to sing alone.
-People who can confidently say that they will only ever need seven karaoke songs for the rest of their life.
C) Somebody That I Used to Know: Hilary Duff Pays Tribute to Elliott Smith
-People who are fans of Hilary Duff.
-People who are fans of Elliott Smith despite never hearing his music or caring about what happens to his legacy.
-A very specific kind of pervert.
So, which of those equally terrible ideas is actually a real thing?
Did you guess B, Dennis Haskins's Karaoke CD? If so, that's really weird but, also, you're correct! Dennis Haskins has a Karaoke CD and that, in my opinion, is the most ridiculous of the bunch, there are just so many layers of retarded I might have a stroke. Do you know why celebrities don't endorse karaoke CDs? Because karaoke is about singing without someone else's voice, otherwise every CD ever released is technically a karaoke CD endorsed by whatever band happens to be releasing it. Karaoke in Japanese literally means "voiceless" (there's no way I didn't make that up) so the idea that Dennis Haskins would try sell this CD based on his celebrity status is laughable. Also, to accommodate for the seven tracks that feature Dennis Haskins, the CD only has seven karaoke songs, which A) makes it infinitely less useful than other more comprehensive karaoke CDs and B) means that Haskins was trying to push this CD, not on quality or usability, but solely on the merits of his status as a celebrity. Finally, and most importantly, Dennis Haskins is just barely a celebrity.
Looking at the rest of the Saved By the Bell cast, sure, Mario Lopez has to grin like a moron for Entertainment Tonight, Elizabeth Berkley did Showgirls, and Screech did an unwatchable piece of amateur porn and, but Haskins's karaoke CD still manages to come off as the most pathetic and unsettling post-SBTB career move.
Description: "Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, American Gangster) has come on board to produce the project. The action-adventure film will be the first released under Universal and Hasbro's six-year partnership. It is slated to hit theaters April 15, 2011.
Stretch Armstrong is an iconic toy that kids around the world enjoyed stretching up to four-feet before returning to his original shape. Through the years, the product line stretched into a wide range of toys and supporting characters that built upon the Stretch Armstrong legacy by allowing kids to 'stretch their imaginations' with play experiences unique to the inventive Stretch Armstrong brand. When Hasbro signed the multiyear strategic partnership with Universal, it was one more powerful example of our commitment to re-imagine, re-invent and re-ignite our incredible brands beyond traditional toys and games."
-Children who love Stretch Armstrong and A Beautiful Mind equally. (???)
-Fans of Brian Grazer who are thinking about turning on him.
-Hasbro's marketing team.
B) The Matrix: The Musical!
The show will be choreographed by Twyla Tharp and promises to feature elaborately choreographed fight and dance sequences that will be just as groundbreaking and original as those of the film. While the crucial role of Neo has yet to be cast, Tony winners Michael Cerveris and Idina Menzel have been confirmed for the roles of Agent Smith and Trinity, respectively.
-Longtime Broadway fans who love explosion-heavy, sci-fi movies. (A nonexistent demographic.)
-Longtime Sci-Fi fans who appreciate the emotional expressiveness of Twyla Tharp's choreography. (A nonexistent demographic.)
-People who accidentally wandered into the theater while looking for Mamma Mia. (75 percent of all Broadway audiences.)
C) Guilty Conscience: The Story of Eminem (2011, Fox Searchlight)
Description: "Ray Charles. Johnny Cash. Notorious B.I.G. And now, Marshall Mathers a.k.a. Eminem will be getting the big screen treatment in Guilty Conscience. 2002's 8 Mile briefly touched on the best selling rapper's troubled life, but that story was fiction, just INSPIRED by the truth. Finally, we'll have the real, untold story that describes how a poor, misunderstood kid from Detroit rose from the streets to break down racial barriers and emerge as the music industry's most popular hip-hop star. Shia LaBeouf (an avid hip hop fan) stars in this biopic that deals intimately with every aspect of Mathers's life; from his career, to his drug addiction, to his very public marital troubles and everything in between.
The famously candid rapper supervised the screenplay and assures us that this is the most honest representation of his life and work he's ever seen, and that people will discover a 'new side, a side they never thought possible' from the artist."
-Fans of Shia LaBeouf (except the ones that like him for his impish, playful demeanor and his Disney-character-esque appearance and mannerisms, aka, all of Shia LaBeouf's fans).
-Fans of Eminem (except the ones that hate Shia LaBeouf for his impish, playful demeanor and his Disney-character-esque appearance and mannerisms, aka, all of Eminem's fans).
-Eminem, because he just can't seem to get enough of himself.
Give up? It's Brian Grazer's Stretch, the Stretch Armstrong movie. This movie answers the question "What would happen if we took the Fantastic Four movie and removed the hot chick, rock monster and entertaining comic relief?"
It's bad enough that Candyland, Monopoly and Battleship will all be getting big screen treatments, but now Stretch Armstrong? Don't get me wrong, I had a Stretch Armstrong as a kid (and, while we're on the subject, I also had Fetch Armstrong, his stretchy dog) and I even played with it once in a while but, to be honest, even as an eight-year-old, after a few minutes of exhausting every possibility inherent to a stretchy, blond doofus (reaching up to high places to retrieve things; tying limbs in knots; super boners) I'd generally put him away, thinking, There's probably a better way I can spend my time. At eight freaking years old. The only redeemable thing about the Stretch toys is that, when you got bored, you could cut the toy open and drink the sweet, sweet corn syrup that made the toys so stretchy in the first place, and I honestly don't think that experience is going to translate to film.
Description: "The troubled actor who starred in such films as Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, Natural Born Killers and Heat will be touring rehab and correctional facilities all across America giving a series of captivating lectures describing his personal battle with both drugs and violence. Digging into his well of painful and emotional issues, Mr. Sizemore will hopefully steer troubled youths clear of the path that he took.
The show was created by Dr. Adam Silver, who met Tom Sizemore in the Hazelden Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation facility in 2007 (where Silver is the facility's chief administrator). Dr. Silver hopes that Mr. Sizemore's celebrity status as well as his personal record (he has been arrested four times since 2003 on various narcotic, theft and abuse charges and has served a total of 22 months behind bars) will add weight and resonance to his message, in a way that tells his young subjects that drug addiction 'can happen to anyone.'"
[Editor's Note: The tour and lectures also happen to be in accordance with a court-mandated period of community service, assigned after his latest arrest for domestic violence (August 5, 2009).]
This Show is For:
-Troubled youths who frequently watch AMC (an admittedly slim demographic).
-Tom Sizemore's parole officer.
B) School's In Session with Professor Arnold (2010, VH1)
Description: "Outrageously outspoken actor-comedian and co-host for The Best Damn Sports Show Period Tom Arnold is going back to school as... a teacher? That's right! Tom Arnold will be returning to Ottumwa High School (Iowa), his alma mater, but this time he'll be behind the desk as the school's Drama/English Lit teacher. The reality show focuses on Arnold's attempts to help the troubled students at Ottumwa, as well as the events in his personal life and his quest to find Mrs. Right. Will he find love in the teacher's lounge? Find out!"
-People on whom the embarrassing lives of washed-up celebrities has a sort of insanely watchable Car Accident Effect, from which they cannot look away (i.e. the typical VH1 audience).
-Roseanne Barr, as this show is just another step in their ongoing feud to out-crazy each other post-divorce.
-Concerned parents of Ottumwa students who are looking for a reason to transfer their children to private school.
C) Steven Seagal: Lawman (2009, A&E)
Description: "Steven Seagal is once again out for justice... this time as a real-life cop in Louisiana.
A reality series that follows action star Steven Seagal's adventures as a fully-commissioned deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana."
Give up? It's Steven Seagal: Lawman and I couldn't be more excited to be a living human being with functioning eyes. Steven Seagal has been fighting actual crime in Louisiana as an actual police officer ("under most people's radar") and now someone is going to point a camera at him and let him spew hot chunks of action madness all over my television screen. He's above-the-law, and out for justice on deadly ground. He's a hard-to-kill, pistol-whipping, executive-decision-making mercenary for urban justice, a one man attack force, and there's a fire down below... in my pants! I can't fucking wait for this show.1