Secret Pop

Nov 29, 2004

Dickensian Disappointment

I don't know why, but I watched a bit of NBC's A Christmas Carol tonight. The one with Kelsey Grammer and Jason Alexander and a bunch of Alan Menken songs in it. I was instant messaging with my friend Kevin (who asked to be mentioned), and I said, "God, musical theater is so gay. I love being in musicals. But it's so super duper gay. I just switched over to the NBC production of A Christmas Carol with Kelsey Grammer and Jason Alexander singing their gay faces off." And apparently that made him laugh out loud. Which is very satisfying to me.

Anyway, the show itself was irritatingly bad. At least to me. Barfworthy. Unwatchable in places. Just stringing together everyone in show business who has ever made jazz hands and dressing them up in 19th-century clothes and having them don crap British dialects and sing awful, awful songs. Which brings me to an interesting realization I just had: Alan Menken writes awful, awful songs. Maybe they don't seem awful when they are being sung by drawings, but when you see real people singing them, you realize that they are garbage. And maybe it's also that the songs in this production sound like iffy repurposings of the songs from Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid only with less calypso and less Angela Lansbury.

Plus, I despise Jennifer Love Hewitt. And I despise her most of all when she's singing. So you can imagine how well I liked her in this abominable show. And, yes, that deserves its own paragraph.

I don't think the people in the show were totally untalented or even such bad singers, but the show itself just doesn't deserve to have been made, and I'm disappointed in how often I leave my t.v. feeling that way. Also, I have seen (and own on laserdisc) nearly every version of A Christmas Carol that has ever been made, including several musical theater versions that I have even performed in (one that I will be playing violin for in a matter of weeks). And the story is dear to me. And I hate to see it crapped on. I went to see Scrooged at the cineplex. I was scared by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in the version with George C. Scott in it. Don't you see what an authority I am? So trust me when I tell you that you are fortunate to have not watched this program, because I am fairly certain that you didn't. Unless you were tied up in a chair with the t.v. on and no ability to change the channel with your mind.

On another note, the "Bannon Custody Case" episode of Harvey Birdman was on tonight. It's categorically hilarious. I watched it at Comic-Con a few years ago at the Cartoon Network panel (before there was an Adult Swim panel, I think, or perhaps at the first Adult Swim panel that was called an Adult Swim panel), and the audience got to vote on which of these new shows they would most like to see. It's where I first saw Aqua Teen Hunger Force, too. And Sealab. And as I recall, no one really liked Aqua Teen. And the creators looked visibly annoyed by that. But look at where they are today. See? It all works out.

Lastly, this ad for Jessica Simpson's Christmas album makes me want to puke. Right into Jessica Simpson's giant singing mouth. That ought to shut her up. People who tell me she is pretty have not yet realized that she is a female version of Richard Marx. And people who tell me she's talented are looking to have their faces punched.

Good night.

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