for April 24, 2002
Look On My Works, Ye Viewers, And Titter Convulsively!
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman
Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love detected a new scent in the
air weeks ago; a topic of conversation that did not include: a.
airplanes; b. Britney; c. that prickly pointy Middle East steel-cage
grudge match. MTV has given us something to talk about, finally. The
last interesting thing MTV did was the first episode of The Real World. Ack!
Strangers! Cameras! The horror of sharing a bathroom! Subsequent
episodes taught us MTV’s supersecret wisdom: having roommates sucks. Did
you know that? Fast forward a thousand years to now, when MTV
demonstrates a decent idea sometimes stumbles on you and breaks its
The Osbournes, MTV’s wild idea, features Bewitched-style graphics
introducing smartly edited reality-TV - yes, cameras in Ozzy Osbourne’s
house. In direct contrast to everyone else on MTV, the Osbournes are not
polished and over-beautiful. Viewers observe as the Osbournes move into
a new house with boxes labeled DEVIL HEADS and DEAD THINGS. Ozzy’s wife
Sharon says it’s the 24th home her children have lived in. Small wonder
son Jack is a powder keg, and daughter Kelly complains her classmates
taunt her with dad’s bat-biting history.
After the first few episodes aired, Your Tastycake was caught looking.
Yes, the very fact that MTV developed something interesting ran smack into Your Bite
Size Treat’s slick conglomerate commodity antipathy: I resisted. I admit
it. MTV? Can’t be. Nuh-unh. As more and more of Your Entenmann’s Coffee
Cake’s witty, charming companions raved, Your Cream Filling caved. Okay,
then, is it really as funny as all that, or is The Osbournes funny in
the retelling by erstwhile comediennes?
The Osbournes is a panic. Ozzy’s constant cries of "SHARON!" when things
go wrong, tiny frou-frou dogs underfoot, the swearing, a beleaguered
nanny cajoling the kids into getting ready for school, Ozzy lecturing
the kids on avoiding drugs, the extended family staring at Ozzy’s X-
rays, all screamingly funny. Ozzy, hair tied in a bun and wearing a
fluffy bathrobe, complains to Sharon about shower water pressure. Sharon
informs him that California regulates that with plumbing devices, but
they’ll remove them if he likes. "No, no," says Ozzy, "we’re not
breaking the law."
While dinosaurs roamed the earth, a sociologist mentioned to Your Little
Debbie psychologists dealing with children from dysfunctional families
asked them to watch The Addams Family. Why? Because for all their
ostensibly violent idiosyncrasies, the Addamses were gentle and
affectionate with one another. Likewise, the Osbournes are tough stuff
(everyone argues, lies; Kelly and Jack wrestle, punch one another) but
their closeness feels real. When Ozzy goes on tour in a snit and without
the family, Kelly says to the camera Ozzy does that sometimes, then
calls three or four days later and says, "I miss you." When Sharon,
Kelly and Jack show up on his birthday, Ozzy’s overjoyed (smiles
patiently and opens gifts) and everything’s hunky dory again.
As an aside: constant bleeping throughout the show may inspire
trendmeisters at The Sharper Image to create portable ambient bleepers.
Bored with your co-workers' insipient prattle? Bleep every third word!
The boss a snooze? Bleeeeeeeeeeeep! Think of it as Mad Libs reversed.
Maybe thanks to Ozzy and MTV, we’ll have exciting conversations and
topics, no matter how tired, may never matter again.
©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
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Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
Miike Snow - Black & Blue
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