Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sorting through the BS that is Entertainment Weekly's "Best and Worst 2014" issue

I know this is folly, but the whole point of this blog is to gripe about inconsequential things that bother me, and hope that maybe it makes me feel better.

Uh, and to enlighten my readers, too, of course!

As a lapsed subscriber from way back, let me tell you this magazine gets shallower every year. I have found getting it at la biblioteca is a good way to consume it. Even if I get worked up about something, it's out of my house again in a few days and out of mind.

There is an inordinate amount of BS in the December 12, edition, though, and I'm not really talking about their top 10 choices. Reasonable minds can disagree on those. It's more just scattered inanities that make their way into everything. But let's start with the cover boy Jimmy Fallon, chosen as "Entertainer of the Year."

This in itself isn't terrible. After all, Fallon has had a very successful launch to his version of the franchise. In a year with no dominant movie or TV personality, someone as inconsequential as Fallon isn't that offensive a selection for this label. Clearly they didn't want to pick, say, Taylor Swift, or she was busy, or something.

The rationale for picking Fallon is pretty funny, though. He...makes celebrities feel at ease by playing games with them! Was Jane Lynch the runner-up? He...gets good ratings relative to his competitors in late night! And best of all...he makes videos that go viral!

This "viral video" garbage is out of control. Cats and 4-year-olds, and very likely some 4-year-old cats, make viral videos. Here's the thing, though: Nobody pays for them. Someone one clicks on a Fallon bit 10 times to kill time at work, and that's a big deal?

Besides being a much bigger star by any metric, one who had a prominent year herself, Taylor Swift makes music that people actually pay money to enjoy. The magazine's own coverage of Spotify makes it clear what a big star she is. By that I mean it cares about it all. I think you could argue that Swift pulling songs from Spotify was the best thing ever in the short term for the company because millions of people suddenly learned about Spotify.

It's not that I'm passionate about Taylor Swift being Entertainer of the Year, but I just think this Fallon thing is absurd. Even worse is they don't get anything interesting out of it. They ask Fallon to give his faves of the year throughout the issue, including his pick for best movie even though he says in the profile piece he doesn't really get to go see movies anymore.

Later we see his pick for show of the year is "Knife Fight" on Esquire Network. I call BS on that. Nobody knows what's on Esquire Network. People may watch the shows, but they don't know anything about that channel. In what may or may not be relevant, Esquire Network is half owned by Fallon's employer, NBC Universal.

I'll either grow up and forget about this issue, and get back to Amazon Prime this week, or I'll keep it a few more days and complain some more about it. Stay tuned!

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