And to think, I, too, once thought the best way to prep for a terrifyingly bikini-clad, Ambien-induced, unchoreographed performance was to drink a 24-pack of Michelob Ultra with every bacon-related meal.
Bill Simmons: Mention the word "Creed" in 2012 and people will either (A) snicker, (B) say something snarky, or (C) claim they never liked Creed. That's fine. Creed released three monster albums, turned off America and eventually self-destructed, followed by everyone pretending their meteoric rise never happened (and that we never liked a single one of their songs). These things happen with musical artists: Once people turn on them, there's no going back.
Yesterday, NBC released its mid-season schedule on which the charming, abysmally rated Community is nowhere to be found. The network says the show will return, but it's unclear when or for how long (presumably none of this bodes well for a fourth season). While we await official word, this week's YouTube Hall of Fame remembers the TV shows that were cancelled before their time.
My personal pick: CBS's reality show Kid Nation, which ran for thirteen episodes in 2007. The premise was simple (and awesome): Forty children between the ages of 8 and 15 were left to fend for themselves in a New Mexican ghost town. Without any adult supervision, they were asked to prepare their own food, clean up after themselves, and form a functional government, competing each week for "gold stars," which came with prizes like toothbrushes and outhouses. Hilarious controversy ensued, though, when one kid burned her face on a stove and a few others drank bleach that had been left in an unmarked soda bottle. Even though nobody died, CBS pulled the plug. My feelings on Kid Nation are already a matter of public record, but I'll share them again anyway: Kid Nation was the greatest reality show of all time. Watch the above clip, in which the kids slaughter chickens, fight over who should make breakfast, and troubleshoot a minor plumbing problem ("You don't realize how important water is until you learn the hard way"). Please, CBS, bring this show back.
Almost Famous, "Stairway to Heaven" Boogie Nights, "Porn Awards" Bill Simmons: Here's what I want from my "greatest deleted scene ever." It needs to stand on its own as an entertainingly rewatchable YouTube clip. It needs to come from an iconic movie, or at the very least, an iconic movie to me. It needs to take some of the characters from that movie to another level, OR, it needs to cement why I liked those characters in the first place. And it needs to make me think, "I can't believe they left that scene out of the movie, it's inexplicable."
Bill Simmons: "All right, Ashford — wait, which one are you? Simpson, sorry. OK, we're gonna start the fake rain and have Simpson start singing. Ashford, you run into the tunnel and sing your part, but make it seem like you're about to murder Simpson. Simpson, I want you to briefly seem scared like you're about to be brutally assaulted. Then, I want it to seem like there was an inexplicable shift and suddenly you're about to do the nasty right in this tunnel. Ashford, if you get a boner or discharge anything, don't worry, we can edit around it. Be as creepy as possible. Be super-duper creepy. Dry hump Simpson's hip like you mean it. From there, the bicycle guy is going to pedal by for no reason whatsoever — that's the cue for the tough mugger guys to walk toward you and look like they're going to murder both of you, so seem a little distracted as you're singing, OK? But then we'll just have them be your backup band for the chorus because that totally makes sense. Then we'll bring in more and more people, including a deliriously happy drummer, and it's just gonna get weirder and weirder. Background people, make sure you dance with no rhythm whatsoever. And Ashford and Simpson, don't be afraid to put your arms around complete strangers as you're singing. Remember, you guys are solid as rock. All right, let's shoot this. Quiet on the set "
Every week, Grantland's staff watches all 200 million videos on YouTube and picks their favorites.
Bill Simmons: Leftover Mailbag question from Ahmad in Chicago: "The sex scene between Walt and Skyler on last week's episode of Breaking Bad was the least sexy sex scene I've ever seen. What's your favorite 'least sexy' sex scene?"
Let's take it up a notch: What about a favorite "least sexy" 10-minute YouTube clip? I've never seen Moment by Moment in its entirety, just this 10-minute montage clip that accurately captures one of the single biggest bombs of the 1970s. Why did Travolta choose THIS MOVIE, of all movies, as his 1978 follow-up to Saturday Night Fever? I don't know. What possessed a studio exec to suggest, "Let's make a moody/erotic/weighty romance about an older woman falling for a younger man, only we'll cast John Travolta and Lily Tomlin as the leads, give them similar haircuts and really freak people out?" Actually, I know the answer there: Cocaine. Tons and tons of cocaine. (Fine, I'm guessing. You come up with a better explanation.) I beg you to waste 10 minutes watching this clip. It will fly by after the glorious first 90 seconds, which feature porn music in the intro, a bra-less Tomlin pretending to be a sexually frustrated Beverly Hills housewife, Travolta's come-on line, "I did valet parking for you at that big beach party you had a few months back," Travolta's revealing that his name is "Vic Sunset" (and his nickname was "Strip"), and such horrific acting that all copies of this film have apparently been destroyed because I have NEVER seen it on cable. Tomlin didn't officially come out of the closet until 2001, although you could make a pretty strong case that she did during this movie (directed by her real-life partner, Jane Wagner, by the way). Travolta's career survived, at least for a few years, although it really should have ended after the hot tub scene at 4:45. Only the Moment by Moment movie poster came out a winner: Its tagline was "The only thing they have in common is each other." That's a great point. Literally, it was the only thing they had in common: the fact that the other person also happened to be in the room. Try to find me a stiffer on-screen couple. You will fail.
Bill Simmons: I'm ashamed to admit that I watched some of VH1 Classic's 30th anniversary celebration of MTV two weekends ago. OK, I watched most of it. Fine, fine, I DVR'ed all 12 hours and ripped through those 12 shows like a fat kid plowing through Halloween candy. MTV Classic not existing might be our single biggest television failure — you can't even believe how many iconic musical and pop culture moments that channel produced until they're randomly flying at you in a totally haphazard manner.