My wife wanted to watch the Star Wars on DVD last night but I wasn't having it. I can watch the Star Wars any night. But I could only see Loverboy, Tiffany, and Flock of Seagulls last night, on the gorgeous disaster that was the first episode of "Hit Me Baby One More Time."
The premise was simple: Take a bunch of washed up 80s acts and trot them out on a gimpy little stage so we can all see how fat they've gotten and how little talent they actually possessed in the first place. It's an ingenious germ of an idea, and one that was executed to horrific perfection last night.
Among the many surprises in last night's show: Just how puffy Loverboy's frontman has become; how Mike Score of Flock of Seagulls now looks like the kind of guy you'd rent a fishing boat from in Panama City; that Tiffany is now pregnant (at least, I HOPE she's pregnant, that was quite the gut she had); and that Arrested Development actually sounded pretty darn good.
But let's get back to Flock of Seagulls. Judging by their outfits, I guess they forgot they were going to be on television. Mike Score's baseball cap and stringy ponytail immediatley recall the fashion stylings of the WWE's Paul Heyman; I have no doubt that Score is now bald as hell up top. But even worse than Score's hair and the rest of the band's South Florida Skynyrd cover band get-up was just how god-awful they sounded--flat everywhere and completely lifeless.
The same could be said for most of the acts' abbreviated versions of their hits, save for a pretty enjoyable rendition of "Tennessee" by Arressted Development. Having seen AD back in the day, it was cool to see all of the original members (even the Grandpa still kicking it on stage with the rocking chair); though I could have done without their Puffy Daddy-esque maiming of Los Lonely Boys' "Heaven."
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the show's host, Vernon Kay, a vaguely Irish stiff with a strange propensity for widening his eyes at completely random intervals.
There's so much to dislike about this show--the shoddy production values, the audience members-- all of whom looked like they were promised free Epcot Center passes just for showing up, and the cruddy performances to boot. Yet the show's central premise--a sort of slo-mo car wreck of misplaced nostalgia--will surely rope me in for additional viewings throughout its summer run. I mean, who doesn't want to see what Wang Chung, Irene Cara and Vanilla f'n Ice look like these days?