Everyone agrees that this is the year new technology overtook the traditional delivery systems for entertainment. In other words, who needs Hollywood when you have MySpace?
So who was the first Internet star to cross over to mainstream show biz? Tila Tequila, an airheaded bisexual with the tackiest fashion sense since Bjork.
Tequila's primary claim to fame: She's horny. Believe it or not, at one time, that quality alone was not enough to earn you your own series. But we live in an era when even someone as boorish and crass as Donald Trump can serve as a host in primetime. So anything goes.
Still, Tequila's mating show,
A Shot of Love
, is both the saddest and the sleaziest program on television. It's also MTV's second-biggest hit, nestled in there right behind
, another "reality" show that chronicles a group of spoiled, self-consumed rich kids in Los Angeles who spend all their time spreading nasty gossip about one another. And MTV has just announced a
Shot of Love
, featuring one of Tequila's early rejects, Italian loverboy Domenico Nesci.
Remember when MTV stood for Music Television? Now it represents "Me Too Vain."
Has a fall season ever gone down in flames as badly as this one? Not a single new show made the Top 20. Even a series as formulaic as
is beating the pants off the nearly 30 projects the networks spent millions developing. The only new series I got attached to was
a quirky cop show starring Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi, Adam Arkin and Brooke Langton (who, by the way, is a ringer for embattled CBS3 news anchor Alycia Lane).
Famous for what?
What a year, huh? You didn't watch TV in 2007; you were held hostage by it. A bizarre handful of empty personalities seemed to monopolize our attention.
If there's an alien race monitoring our transmissions, they could be forgiven for believing that Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and even a dead woman, Anna Nicole Smith, are the most important figures on our planet. What did these three women do to deserve this blanket coverage? Well, I hear Britney used to sing a little bit. Not that it matters. We've become such a Tabloid Nation that considerations such as accomplishment, talent and merit have gone by the boards.
The picture doesn't get any prettier when you factor in the year's biggest performers. Could you believe what a sensation was made out of Sanjaya Malakar, A
's dress-up doll? Sanjaya should be the poster boy for 2007: Not much of a voice but his hair sure was purty. Hey, the ubiquitous Maria Menounos, who just hosted
Clash of the Choirs
, has lustrous hair and I can't stand her either.
As if that's not bad enough, for the last few months we've been bombarded with Marie Osmond, as she sought to turn
Dancing With the Stars
Queen for a Day
. I didn't like Osmond the first time around, when she was young and vibrant, so this comeback has really been grating on my nerves. And I don't think I'll ever be able to erase from my mind that nightmarish
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
vision of her on
, made up like a kewpie doll.
Even some of my favorite new shows from last year seem to have gone off the rails in their sophomore season. Take
, which from the first episode took off on a tangent unrelated to last year's plots. Suddenly there were all these new and uninteresting characters running around. Then the show introduced its big twist: an apocalyptic vision of Manhattan that looked exactly like last year's big twist. Maybe they didn't want to spend money on new special effects.
Friday Night Lights
also went down several dead ends: Lyla's religious conversion, Julie's romance with the Swede, Jason's trip to Mexico, and worst of all, Landry and Tyra's murder cover-up. None of it worked.
About the only show that exhibited consistent improvement this year was
. Offbeat and daring, it really hit its comic stride, as when Jack (Alec Baldwin) stood up in the corporate dining hall and admitted (gasp) that he was dating a Democrat.
Enjoy the hangover.
About the only thing left to do is figure out how to ring in the New Year. I'm going with MTV's countdown coverage, which begins at 11 p.m. on Dec 31. It's hosted by (who else?) Tila Tequila. After a TV year like this, might as well go out with a thud.