VULTURE DROPPINGS OF THE YEAR: Best Of The Worst Of 2009
It’s time once again for the weekly roundup of my favorite pop culture atrocities, misfires and entertaining trainwrecks. This week’s theme: Best of the Worst of 2009.
In a topsy-turvy year where Lady Gaga and Kate Gosselin were considered fascinating people and Redbox gave Hollywood a run for its money, the biggest successes in pop culture had little to do with the tried and true formula that Hollywood studios and record companies have been running into the ground. Susan Boyle, demonstrated that a mega superstar like Beyoncé‘s got nothing when she’s up against the combination of an underdog story, reality TV and Youtube. Boyle’s performance as a contestant on Britains Got Talent was viewed by millions online and generated sales of over 2.5 million copies of her debut album.
At the movies, most studios enthusiastically dismissed Paramount’s Paranormal Activity as a Blair Witch wannabe, before it went on to gross over $100M and on the small screen, Glee capitalized on the heretofore unknown demographic of the theater geek and the career renaissance of Jane Lynch. The worst consequence of the show’s success, so far has been the rip-off NBC reality show The Sing Off. There will most likely be more to follow.
While they were many refreshing, surprise successes, there were also an equal number of unsurprising flops, bombs and train wrecks. Factor in, some of the most annoying media coverage of the decade and, you could say, 2009 was one for the record books.
Most Annoying News Coverage:
Analysts Predicting Avatar‘s Box Office Take
Seeing as it was the most anticipated movie of the decade, it’s understandable that most media outlets were tripping over each other to report the latest news about the 3D epic. However, with an escalating war in Afghanistan and debates over the health care bill, the media’s obsession over whether or not James Cameron‘s 3D epic would gross less than $600M started to seem like overkill.
“Tuesday’s the new Humpday,” Melrose Place (CW)
Smarmiest Susan Boyle Interview:
Diane Sawyer (Good Morning America)
Silliest Legal Feud:
Hollywood studios Take Redbox to court
Redbox came into its own, putting the final nail in the coffin of bricks and mortar video rental outlets all across the country and striking fear into the hearts and minds of the major studios, who are struggling to hold onto dwindling profits from DVDs.
Universal, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., each tried to fight back,, suing parent company Coinstar in addition to imposing a 28 day waiting period before Red Box can get ahold of their new releases. In response, Coinstar started buying new releases directly from Wal-Mart.
Shortest Short lived TV Show:
The Beautiful Life (CW), 2 Episodes
The Worst of the 3-D Invasion:
A Christmas Carol, G-Force, Jonas Bros.: The 3-D Concert Experience, Monsters Vs. Aliens
Wost Movie Marketing Tie-in:
Monsters Vs. Aliens 3-D Superbowl Ad
Most Over-hyped Comeback:
The actress who first charmed audiences all the way back in 1994 as a plucky bus driver in Speed before going on to a successful run of romantic comedies in the 90s, experienced a career high in 2009, thanks to The Proposal which grossed over $130M and The Blind Side, which became a phenomenon that is still going strong as it nears the $200M mark. Rightfully so, most media outlets are rushing to put their own spin on the story, with some, like Entertainment Weekly declaring, “Bullock Soars.”
The surprising thing about the comeback, is that, for all the success and attention those movies have received, they represent a step back for the actress. Most of the stories also ignore the fact that although it may have been a stellar year for the actress, she also starred in, All About Steve, one of the worst movies of her career and despite its financial success, The Proposal is a mostly charmless “comedy” that reaches its nadir with a scene in which Betty White encourages Bullock to do hip-hop in the forest as Ryan Reynolds looks on.