Photo by David Greenwald
Okay, guys, the show is getting bad. You knew this already: this is why you, well, don’t give a shit and aren’t posting any comments on these posts. Which is cool, for sure — I didn’t think the show would appeal much to the non-music critic/Idolator crowd. If you wanted to see Laguna Beach, you’d watch Laguna Beach (yech) or Grey’s Anatomy (double yech) or whatever. Dramarama.
I skipped the live-blog of last week’s episode because I had homework, okay, but it’s also looking increasingly scripted. Russell flamed out, skipped work and got yelled out by his editors; according to his narration, he was scared that somehow, some way, it was all too good to be true and something was going to ruin the whole thing for him. Maybe the self-defeating shtick is what got him into the juvenile hall his bio boasts of, but with so much on the line and as such an obvious front-runner, I have a hard time believing it’s all for real. Especially after watching Joe Levy ham it up for the cameras in the big Russell You’re Blowing It talk. At this point in the game, MTV reality shows are totally dependent on their expert editors, but man, it sure seems like a lot of stars are aligning for ’em, huh?
On to this week: Krishtine is getting seriously pissed off at the Roskilde Festival because Russell “stole” a story from her and now her other stuff is falling through. Not his fault, Krish — and it’s a competition, remember? “I feel like I’m lagging behind,” she says. Maybe she should try applying some journalism skills instead of hugging some PR dude. Russell is trying to explain to her that she needs to be able to write about things she doesn’t like and not just hip-hop. Great advice. One of the first times any of the “characters” have shown hints of knowing what the hell they’re doing.
The group is going on stage with George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic. Me, I make my funk the P-Funk too. But this is a moment for the I’m From Rolling Stoners, not for us viewers, no matter how vicariously we’d like to live through them. Back in New York, the editors are complaining about the group not using quotes in their articles. Not being used to it, even. That’s probably because they’re not used to it.
Again, this is the kind of subtextual stuff that’s keeping me watching: Did Rolling Stone really have no involvement whatsoever in the choosing of the cast? Did MTV not let them see the writers’ work in advance, as seems to be the implication, or was RS just not interested in seeing it? Considering how many “rewrites” the editors seem to be doing behind the scenes to get the cast’s pieces (which aren’t even being considered official Rolling Stone articles) done, it seems like the editorial staff is spending — wasting — their presumably already-cramped office time. It seems like a whole lot of work to do just to earn some MTV cred, especially when the network slotted the show in the late Sunday night ratings dead zone and left it to die. Looking forward to Jay-Z and Tika on the red carpet next week, though.
I saw Dreamgirls on Saturday and it was pretty good. My gripe is that the movie felt as long as Ray with half the context: it was all plot and no story. People fall in love, make hit records, abandon each other, die, abandon each other some more, get back together with the first abandonees, etc., all divided by musical numbers. I’ve seen musicals before, I’m not asking for much, but Dreamgirls can be a real stretch.
Jennifer Hudson, however, deserves all the praise she’s getting. Effie is a great role and she filled it out admirably, blowing Beyonce out of the water on her big songs. If B was a first-timer as well, one might wonder if she was holding back to play the character, but considering she’s sold a few million records and we’ve all heard her sing for years and years, Hudson showing her up at what sounds like the top of her game is a wee bit embarrassing. Eddie Murphy was great too, in his James Brown/Marvin Gaye composite. Nice to see him in a role that didn’t require him to put on a fat suit or call himself Pluto Nash.
I’m From Rolling Stone is a show about rock critics. Sort of. Click below for more.