TV Shows and Politics

Britney Spears: Hotter as a Virgin

I'm not normally the type of person who does this, but I was watching Will & Grace today (I was waiting for My Name Is Earl to come on, give me a break) and was delighted to see Britney Spears on the evening's episode. I was not delighted because I am a large fan of Britney's, but rather because Britney was large. Unlike other celebrities, Britney seems to be taking her time in losing her baby weight, and to see her crammed into too-small dresses -- and to finally see her in a role when I'm not distracted by wanting to see her naked -- gave me a good laugh. Unsurprisingly, she is a wretched actress, but there were a couple things about her role that did surprise me.

Firstly, she was playing a 'Southern Belle' type character, but her accent was horribly exaggerated. Strange coming from a girl who grew up in Louisiana, but I wasn't terribly offended. If I was a Britney fan from New Orleans (assuming I still have a television), I might be a little disappointed in the character she was choosing to play.

In a very simplistic send-up of the neo-cons, Britney is a southern television producer who preaches against gay marriage and abortion but is secretly gay and "freaky." I suppose hearing the once-proud virgin listing vague, lesbian sexual terms of which even I don't know the meaning was supposed to be shocking, but I was too busy being shocked by Britney's political turn-around.

Remember when Britney won a Razzie? The Razzies are awards given out to the worst actors movies, scripts, etc. - it's like the Oscars, except the Razzies admit that the films they're awarding are big stinking piles of shit. I know what you're thinking, and no, Britney did not win the award for the unfortunately titled Crossroads (I say unfortunately because I love the admittedly crappy Ralph Macchio movie by the same title and when I tell people how much I love Crossroads they give me the look you would give someone who is a fan of Britney Spears movies). She won it for Fahrenheit 9/11, which you may not even remember she was in.

Yes, Britney Spears won Worst Actress for a particularly embarrassing clip that Michael Moore included in his film so that . . . Anyway, I'll come back to that. In the clip Britney says more or less that people should support George W. Bush no matter what. Now Spears has had a change of heart and for some reason is parodying herself. And looking fat.

And what can we say about a show that has not one, not two, but three guests in one episode? (Britney, Wanda Sykes, and George Takei as his gay self) And "boldly" makes overt political jokes? Does the term "jumping the shark" mean anything to you?

I am, of course, reminded that Arrested Development, in its third-to-last episode, had four guest stars, and in the episodes that followed, featured a storyline that had the Bluth brothers go to Iraq; their progress was impeded when, in Baghdad "Dick Cheney Road [was] blocked up all the way to Halliburton Lane." There are several differences between what that show did and what Will and Grace was doing, however. Allow me to point them out:

1) Arrested Development is aware of what was doing -- this is the show that, in the second season, had Henry Winkler, who single handedly invented the term "jumping the shark" when he jumped a shark in 1984, jump over a dead shark (without the water skis this time).

2) William Hung does not really count as a guest star.

3) Judge Reinhold appeared as himself, hosting a show called "Judge Reinhold" in which he was the judge of a mock trial. Bud Cort appeared as the host of a similiar show called "Bud Court." Brief guest appearances in the name of punnery do not count.

4) Jennifer Grey has had so much plastic surgery that nobody anywhere recognizes her anymore. What was that thing she said about Baby in that shitty movie? I'm pretty sure I could use it ironically here.

5) The Iraq thing was part of a three-year long storyline that has always poked fun at the latest headlines in Bush's War.

That's how I rationalize the shark-jumping of my favorite show while using similiar tactics by one of my least favorite shows to insult it. I believe it's called a double standard.


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