Well, the 25th MTV Video Music Awards are now history--and like just about everyone who got up to receive one of those coveted (and boy, do we use that term loosely) "moonman" statuettes, I think anyone out there who actually watched the entire two-plus-hours of the video network's annual backslap to itself should first and foremost thank god. For surviving the ordeal, that is. And I don't just mean Kanye West's singing, either.
You'd have thought that for a real timemarking anniversary like a 25th, MTV might have spent at least a minute or two retrospecting some VMA history. Yet, there really wasn't much in that respect--besides, that is, the pre-show half-hour look back at some of Britney Spears' most (and boy, do we use this term loosely) "amazing" VMA moments. (Striptease, check; python, check; Madonna makeout, check; pathetic "Gimme More" performance from '07, no check: If that wasn't the biggest tipoff that the rigged voting was going her way this year, nothing was.)
No, as prophesized by this year's host, British (and boy, do we use this term loosely) comedian Russell Brand, the 2008 VMAs were going to be "about the future." And, listening to Brand throughout the telecast, that would be a VMA future in which the only adjectives a person could use in describing anything whatsoever would be "amazing," "fantastic," and "wonderful." (Did I mention "amazing"?) A VMA future in which, as Taylor Swift noted in her introduction of boypal Joe Jonas and his bros, the Paramount Studios where the VMAs were broadcast from would be saluted as the studio that produced "such classics as The Godfather, Pretty In Pink, and Mission: Impossible." (I know those last two are certainly on my all-time top 10list!) And a VMA future in which the absolutely oldest person allowed onstage would be Demi Moore. (Who on earth got paid off for that one?)
Actually, the closest thing to any kind of MTV sense memory nostalgia was probably Rhianna's hairdo, which called to mind Sheena Easton in her Prince-ly "Sugar Walls" phase, and Lil' Wayne's ever-dropping pants, which called to mind another Lil'--Kim, that is, in her "no-wardrobe, so no-malfunction" painted breast phase. And, I guess, those fun-lovin' boys from Slipknot, who in their masked finery always call to mind the shackled metalhead kid from the Quiet Riot videos. If only they could have found his old straightjacket--and carted off Russell Brand in it as soon as the show started. Now that would have been, as they say, amazing.