Judging by the statements coming from MTV, it sure looks like the network's 25th annual Video Music Awards show is going to be one sick little puppy--what with network honcho Van Toffler not only promising that Britney Spears's non-performing appearance will be "fun and unexpected," but also stoking the rumor mill fires by hinting that Michael Jackson may show up as well.
Things were so much simpler back in 1984, when MTV first decided to hand out awards for music videos--although only for music videos they aired on their own network. Sure, at the time it seemed just a tad self-serving--kind of like, say, ABC or HBO giving out awards for its own shows and then declaring them "the best" because, well, because they aired on their network, that's why. But those of us who go back all the way to the old "I Want My MTV!" days have fond memories of, oh, like the year that the big pre-show come-on actually was "The first television appearance of the reformed Monkees!"
Of course, as Mickey, Davy, and Peter could tell you, that was then and this is now, and if they're trumpeting a "fun and unexpected" Britney cameo and a possible Jacko sighting as well, who knows what's in store? Maybe Britney'll drive onto the stage, crash into a few innocent bystanders, then climb out of the car and make out with Kate Perry AND Madonna while MJ dangles a Spears baby or two over the edge of the stage.
"It feels like it's her year," says Toffler, and even though others might argue that maybe it's been a trifle more Miley Cyrus's year--well, until Miley starts getting her scandal quotient up, you can't really argue with the Damaged Celebrities R Us approach that MTV has successfully mined over the years--and will no doubt be on full messy display Sunday night. After all, in MTV's "Real World," we're all just Crash Test Dummies.