This time of year pretty much guarantees that every news outlet and blog is coming out with their "Best of" article to make up for the slow news cycle. Time magazine is not immune to this silly little tradition and in their December 24th issue they trotted out the years "ten best" of everything. From movies and television programs to theater shows, songs, buzzwords, scandals, architectural designs, and anything else they could think of.
Of particular interest to me was their column on the "10 best web videos." Making the list is an odd assortment of clips that someone at Time Magazine decided were the absolute best or most memorable clips of the year. Missing from the list are several other, more notable clips and making the top of the list is one that simply astounds me.
Here is what Time listed and our comments about each one:
#10 Backstreet Bird:
OK, this was pretty amusing, however the fact that the bird is strutting its feathers to the Backstreet Boys shows just how behind the times our avian friends are. Seriously, Snowball, you could have at least picked Spice Girls or something.
#9 Clark and Michael
Michael Cera (the guy from Superbad and Arrested Development) and Clark Duke (a guy you've probably never heard of before) got CBS to fork over some money to put together a web-based program creatively called "Clark and Michael." Its actually pretty funny, but to be honest, I didnt know it existed until Time mentioned it. Such is the way with web-based entertainment. Sometimes word-of-mouth marketing fails.
UPDATE: For a detailed review of Clark and Michael, read TV Maven's review of their webisodes here at the Morgue.
#8 Dan Rather Collar Up
This is another clip I never saw until Time mentioned it. Its over 6 minutes in length, which means that the average web surfer watched the first 40 seconds of it, got bored and then moved on in search of porn.
Honestly, it's really not that interesting of a clip and shows Dan Rather freezing his ass off when the producers decide to put him on the roof of a building in Seattle in February to get a live shot of the city in the background for the nightly newscast. I used to work with the CBS Evening News, so watching Dan and his entourage of handlers fuss over whether or not he should wear his coat... on a rooftop in Seattle in the middle of winter seems a little pointless. Especially considering that there must be better footage out there somewhere of Dan doing his best Ron Burgundy impression, or verbally abusing some production assistant that didn't get his Starbucks order right. However, to the average television watcher who is usually clueless as to what goes in to broadcasting a live, nightly news show, it might be mildly interesting. But why this clip is in the top 10 of the best web videos of the year doesn't make a damn bit of sense to me. And here's a thought: if you happen to be the news director of the local CBS affiliate and you know that Dan the man is going to be standing on your rooftop doing a remote, the least you could do is offer the poor guy a propane heater to stand underneath.
#7 Cant Tase This
OK, we've all seen the moron that got his ass zapped when he started a ruckus at a John Kerry address at the University of Florida in September. The student's publicity-whoring actions, caused the phrase "don't tase me bro" to enter into the lexicon of catch-phrases for aproximately 2 days until it became annoying to anyone - and ensured that saying the line afterwards would most-assuredly label the utterer an idiot. Naturally, those creative individuals that inhabit the dark corners of the interwebs quickly edited the students catchy words into the M.C. Hammer video "Cant Touch This" and came up with this mash-up. Thankfully, it was just as amusing and wore out just as fast as the original clip. Yes, it was funny the first time I saw it, but you dont even need to watch the entire clip to get the joke, which is repeated again and again for another minute and a half.
#6 SNL's "I Ran So Far"
It really is sad that we live in a world where anything that is actually funny on Saturday Night Live becomes front page news. So its not surprising that the SNL Digital short with Andy Samberg and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made it to Time's list. Not nearly as funny as "Lazy Sunday" which Samberg did two years ago, but still somewhat humerous. NBC has since pulled the video clip from YouTube because they apparently didnt get the musical rights to the song, but you can still find it if in some places if you search a little bit.
#5 Thrilla in Manila
The orange-suited inmates of the Cebu provincial jail in southern Philippines, performing their version of Michael Jackson's 1980's hit "Thriller," has been downloaded millions and millions of times. As the story goes, the dance routine was designed by by Byron Garcia, a consultant at the jail, who proposed the dance as an alternative to the prisoners' regular (and boring) daily exercise wtih the jail's rehabilitation program. However, people need to understand that the whole "dance or die" incentive really helps to motivate the prisoners in their feeverish attempt to humiliate themselves for the visual enjoyment of millions of people on the internet.
#4 Hillary 1984
Not really sure if this was actually approved by Barak Obama or not, but the only reason to watch this un-creative revision of Apple Computer's original 1984 Superbowl commercial is to admire the jiggle of the girl with the sledgehammer running in slow motion. Other than that, its about as creative as dressing the Burger King guy in a Ronald McDonald costume. I wonder how long it took to come up with THIS idea.
#3 Miss South Carolina
Watching Miss South Carolina, Caitlin Upton bomb her impromptu answer in this year's Miss Teen USA pagent leaves me wondering how anyone - especially host Mario Lopez - could just stand there listening to this cringe-worthy off-the-cuff response and not bust out laughing. I'd be hard pressed not to want to quote the Principal from Billy Madison after that.
#2 The Landlord
Because a toddler shouting obscenities is always funny. And Will Ferrell, well, Will Ferrell is not funny and watching this clip is like watching Ferrell act in antyhing he's ever been in.
And then there is Time's number one web video.
#1 Leave Britney Alone
This is the one that leaves us the most speechless: After Britney Spears' half-assed, fat-assed sleepwalk through what was supposed to be her big comeback dancing at the MTV video music awards, journalists had a field day (Media Morgue included) pointing out just how much of a trainwreck the former mega star had turned into.
And then along came Chris Crocker and "his" empassioned whining and sobbing at the defense of the fallen idol. The act was not so much amusing as it was pathetic. But the viral nature of the internet soon made Chris a superstar and now there is word that Crocker has landed his own TV show. Please excuse us while we throw up a little bit in our mouth.
Chris, in the off-chance that you read Media Morgue, I'm going to say this directly to you: The question I hear most often is why does anyone care about Britney, and for that matter why would anyone care so much about an overly-effeminite whiney little wanna-be hanger-on like yourself? The answer is simple: Precisely because your response is so pathetic. This is why it seems to generate so much interest. Which, of course, you have absolutely no problem exploiting to your own popular and financial gain. Cry on a webcam and poof! Hollywood creates a TV show around you. It prooves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is literally no creativity left in this terrible, terrible town and further prooves just how truly sad Time magazine has become. Your popularity is finite, Chris. Your fifteen minutes are almost up.
I have some serious questions as to why Time would put this video as number one. What about Mr. Tay Zonday and his Chocolate Rain? Or the dramatic look prairie dog? Or David Hasselhoff's drunken chicken eating? Or Paula Abdul's "drunk" interview on live TV? Hell, watching paint dry would be infinitely more appealing than watching Chris Crocker cry under a bedsheet, yet Time decided to call this one the number one web video. I just dont understand it.
Who knows what strange, flash-in-the-pan clips will make legendary status next year. Lets just hope that crying Chris Crocker will not be one of them.