Digesting the Terrible Teen Choice Awards

I'm not going to waste my time trying to argue that it's perfectly acceptable for a 26-year-old to spend his evening watching the Teen Choice Awards. Let's just say that, yes, I did indeed watch the bubblegum/popcorn/Clearasil explosion last night and, as expected, was vaguely horrified.

Not that anyone over the age of 14 should plan on being intellectually engaged by an hour or two of mass-produced shrieking and Jonas Brothers album plugging, but this year just seemed particularly egregious. The three mop-topped savin' it crusaders were our noble hosts for the evening, periodically being dared by video call-in fans to do silly things. Like get fake tattoos of the next award winner! And hug as many girls as possible! Yes, there was a wacky hug dare that involved Kim Kardashian in a failed attempt at a cameo (no one recognized her, because really why would a 13-year-old girl with her braces pressed longingly to the TV screen bother to notice Kim Kardashian when right there next to her is chaste, floppy-haired sex god Nick Jonas?). But really, the Jonas Brothers brouhahas and Kardashian kerfuffles weren't the meat and potatoes of what was so chilling about the evening. No, there were two other reasons for that feeling of dread.

The first was Britney Spears. Well really it was Britney Spears by way of cotton-mouthed elf Miley Cyrus, who presented the BBQ'd princess with what was basically a lifetime achievement award. Britney Spears is 27. Britney Spears is 27 and was given a giant gold-plated (probably) surf board by the prestigious Teen Choice Academy as a way of saying "Congratulations, you are old and done." Which was awful enough. But even worse was that chipmunky Miley introduced Ms. Spears as her "role model." Which... OK. Sure Britney has had a wonderfully successful career for someone who can dance well and sing kinda decently, sure she once conquered the world with her whirling dervish of weave and jeweled bikinis, but presenting her as a role model for young kids? Are we there yet?

She hasn't exactly handled her life well (and didn't get much help from any of us). What with her cigrut smokin' and baby ignorin' and drinkin' and druggin' and head shavin' and all. And clips of a sweat-glistened Britney writhing in an old apartment building in the "Slave 4 U" video is something we're wanting to point out to our younglings and say "Yes, this"? That seems a bit tone deaf. And showing clips of old Brit at the 1999 Teen Choice Awards (the first ever!) to remind us (and her) that ten years have passed and we've all become terribly old was just cruel. They be-surf boarded Ms. Spears because she was the inaugural Teen Choicer--she was the kick off to this great, most recent youth consumer movement that has chewed up and spit out so many starlets and heartthrobs, decimated so many bank accounts, eroded and blown away childhood and replaced it with product-based fandom. The dark lords at the TCAs decided to honor that, I guess. To pat themselves on the back and give Ms. Spears a little thank you trophy for being their first and most-ruined and perhaps most unwitting victim. And that's just sad and evil.

So that was that. The other thing that rankled was this award called Choice Fab-u-lous. The nominees? Conspicuously queeny dudes like Miss Jay, Michael Urie, animate butternut squash Perez Hilton, and Lloyd from Entourage. So, yeah. The Teen Choice Awards decided to be bold and progressive and give out an award for Best Fashion Gay. And while I think their hearts were probably in the right place, the cause of gay rights isn't going to advance all that much if gays are pigeonholed into the swishy fabulous! category. It felt a bit like giving a Tony to a minstrel show. (It's a shame that Bruno wasn't around to crash the party.) That said, winner Miss Jay's speech included a nice shoutout to LGBT kids, which was nice. So, a coupla steps back, maybe, but probably one forward too.

Anyway. It's old and crotchety to shake your fist and say "Kids today," so I won't. It's also overreaching to say that the Teen Choice Awards are any realistic barometer of the state of American teendom. It's mostly just a lame promotional tool (Twilight boombalottie werewolf Taylor Lautner's embarrassing plug for New Moon being a chief example) that most people pretend never existed. But still there's something... Some small thing that points to a very specific ache in modern society. Some sense that time keeps frittering away and that our teenybop fever dances no longer look anything like what those tiny people (who were born in the frigging nineteen-nineties, ugh) are doing in big, overly-lit auditoriums nowadays.

Even if the only people who care about the ceremony were the couple thousand or so who were in the arena for the Sunday night taping, that's still a big group of girls (and, sure, some boys) who bought into it, who continually buy into it. Rooms full of adults have successfully told them what to like, and the real joy of being an adolescent--beginning to discover Who You Are--becomes less organic, less pure. And, really, less and less about choice.

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the TCA are 4 TEENS people! NOT ADULTS! teens today probably think the bands, singers and actors/actresses we liked when we were teenagers suck just like adults think the bands, singers and actors/actresses that teens today like suck. get over it! I don't watch the teen choice awards, but I have a niece who is a teen and a nephew who is going to be a teen soon and I sometimes wonder about the bands, singers and actors/actresses they listen 2 and watch. sure, alot of the peope who are in the music business today could use lots more help and those in the acting business could use ore acting classes, but if you don't like those that sing, don't listen to them and if you don't like those that act, don't watch them. or if you want to, then go ahead.
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Can someone please explain to me why the Jonas Brothers(uhh?) and Miley Cryus are "famous"? Can someone please explain to me why (dare I say it) Disney Channel is so cool? Please someone? ANYONE!!!!!
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ahh . rap producer making pop..... always a bad ending
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Funny and poignent article.
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our moral fiber fades every year...
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WHERE ARE THE NYC PREP RECAPS???? My life isn't complete without Rags McTattershanty.
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Great article and thank God I didn't watch it!
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Absolutely brilliant article!
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The most pathetic thing is watching this show and having 26 years old. Honestly on your dying bed you'll realize you wasted your life...
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I am ashamed of my generation. Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Twilight??????? No one my age seems to recognize real talent.
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After reading this article, I am happy that I did not have to watch it!!
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And by the way, I was happy that Olivia Wilde was at least nominated, but after she was beaten by the sluts of Gossip Girl, she didn't even get a second glance. That's sad.
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I'm so tired of the Teen Choice Awards. The Jonas Brothers were hosting (which almost convinced me to turn off the TV), Twilight got 11 awards (which actually made me so angry I puked) and Miley Cyrus was flouncing around and caterwauling. That was depressing.
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Wow, that's just pathetic. These are role models? A skanky Kardashian and a strung-out FORMER pop star. These are the problem. They really aren't even nominating the worthy people. If this is who kids admire or use as role models there's seriously something wrong, and not even with the nominations. I'm saying there are issues with people watching garbage like this.
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i agree with monke4sale
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OMG! Jensen and Jared werent there...so not worth watching!
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OMG!!! the TCA is horrible and just needs to end... I mean no one should look up to the masses of the people that are apart of the awards... I mean Miley Cyrus was dancing on a stripper pole!!! and no affence to BS but she is no where near role model matterial.
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if heroes won an award then the show has to be bad
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teen choice awards , JUST SUCKS
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Oh good, I'm officially old. Thanks Teen Choice Awards! All I have to say is that there is no good excuse for nominating Perez Hilton for anything - especially a thinly veiled award for the gays. It sounds like this "awards" show was all backwards.
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Heroes won ????????????? come on people
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I'm a teen myself, 16 years old. Although I did disagree with most of the winners, people have different tastes. Obviously most kids and teens are not going to like the same actors/tv shows/movies as adults do. I think most of the voters were 14 and under and just lied about their age to vote. Let kids and teens have their right to vote for something. Even supposedly the producers pick the winners. Quit whining and get over it.
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yeah i totally agree, it was a complete waste of time to watch...and yeah i saw twilight and frankly thought it sucked so why are we celebrating these people that were in it that we never heard of before the whole twilight saga began? i don't get it.
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lolz not even Miley Cyrus grinding up against a pole could save it :/
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And you don't think those same people have told you what to like? I mean just look at this site with the reality shows and celebrity news.
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Kids Choice awards, Teen choice awards, MTV awards and grammy awards as well, this tween nonsense has to stop. Seriously Britney Spears a lifetime achievement? Britney Spears are you kidding me? How about someone with actual talent instead of lipsynching and making lame music. Granted she played a role in her constantly being fed into the teen market creating future tween stars like the Jonas Brothers, and Miley Cyrus. Whatever lame award show.
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The fact that Heroes won best Drama says enough about that award show...
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Why does Fox even bother?
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This is the reason why teenagers are not allowed to vote.
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the last time i watched this garbage award show was when britney and justin both won for hottest male/female. britney wore a dress where you could see her nips. it was amazing.
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i'm glad for the 10th year in a row i skipped it
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I'm so sorry, Richard Lawson.. that you had to go through that. You're job must suck at times.
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The TCA were amazing two hours of all our favorite stars including the jonas brothers what more could a teen want.. only for demi to be there but she was on tour :( But i totally disagree with this article obviously a 20 year old man is not gonna like it unless he sits down and watched hannah montana, JONAS, or sonny with a chance and it would be kind of creppy if he did.....
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In today's world where people's idea of entertainment is getter more stupid by the minute, Zac Efron could be funny. I personally think he's not at all funny and Ferrell, Carrey, Stiller, and Rogan are 10x funnier than Efron will ever be. Plus Twlight sucks as well as the Jonas Brothers.
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The Twilight movie kind of sucked... books are always better than movies. And Zac Efron is funny? This is news to me -.-
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As a teen... this scared me. Deeply. Miley Cyrus is 16 and acts how Britney acted when she was what... 20? And we're overrun by Twilight... it's a big fanbase yes...but not that great really. But in WHAT WORLD does zac Efron beat Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen and Ben Stiller for best COMEDIC performance.
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Junk!
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