Sunday, May 29, 2005

TV: Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey Reporting for Two Hours of Self-Love

Haven't the troops suffered enough? Sent into an illegal war by the Bully Boy, often victims of a back-door draft, reserves stationed full time in Iraq paid less because they are "part-time reserves" (aka "weekend warriors" -- that's been some long weekend), the wounded largely ignored when they return home, military familes losing benefits, the coffins hidden away while Bully Boy says they died for "liberty" . . . When will it end?

Not last Monday night when ABC decided to promote the upcoming release of Warner Bros.' Dukes of Hazzard by turning over two hours of prime time television to the dubious talents of Jessica Simpson and, famous for being married to her, Nick Lachey. The "event" was titled Nick & Jessica's Tour of Duty so right away you knew it was going to be horrible and lacking in any sensitivity or perspective. In case you're missing it, let's underscore it. Nick & Jessica's Tour of Duty. Two overly pampered airheads wanted to compare their miniscule contribution as a "tour of duty." Let's be really clear here, Bob Hope did multiple salutes to the military. He did countless version of The Bob Hope Vietnam Christmas Show (1965, 1966, 1971), he did Bob Hope's Overseas Christmas Tours: Around the World with the Troops -- 1941-1972. But he lacked either the vanity or the stupidy (or both) to pass his own efforts off as a "Tour of Duty."

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey apparently lack shame, as well as talent.

After the sense of perspetive/sacrifice died, the second casuality of the night was John Mellencamp's "R.O.C.K. in the USA." Previously a driving rock and roll salute to the pleasures of roots rock became, as sung by Simpson and Lachey, about as "gritty" as the Care Bears.

While name checking various sixties roots rock heroes, Nick Lachey, looking like a deer frozen in the headlights, stumbled past names such as Mitch Ryder until landing on "and don't forget James Brown" with a goofy smile plastered on his face suggesting that a light bulb had finally lit up.

Simpson's been dubbed the dumb one of this pair but we'd have to call it an even draw.

As the "special" continued, the entertainment casualities continued to pile up, far too many to mention. (Maybe Nightline can do a special on that?) But among the more noteable fatalities would have to be Simpson's laughable attempt to cover Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walking." While stamping across the stage and sticking out her nothing to brag about ass,
Simpson managed to chirp each word correctly even while never demonstrating that she had the first inkling as to what the song was actually about. It was as though you were watching a five-year-old scuffle around in Mommy's high heels.

Which is puzzling when you consider another fatality -- "God Bless America." Who knew it was an ode to orgasms?

Watching little Jessie wet her lips and tousle her mane (as a person she makes a great little pony), we were left to wonder what that or heaving bossoms had to do with either God or a country. Simpson apparently learnt the song at Our Lady of Lap Dance.

Which isn't to suggest that Nick Lachey wasn't racheting up his own entertainment body count.
We'd suggest that you have to be truly ignorant of all music genres to attempt a rap in the midst of a country song. Determined to get some "kills" of his own, Lachey proceeded to do just that.
While wearing, it should be noted, what appeared to be more mascara than Kip Winger and Peter Frampton combined. Boy George would have told Nick the make up was "over done."

Equally jaw dropping was the realization that Lachey thought he was cribbing Elvis Presley's pelvis thrusts. If that's Nick's idea of a pelvic thrust, don't expect children in their near future.

Throughout he repeatedly name checked Simpson, never forgetting to mention that she was his wife. Not even the narrator of "Wedding Bell Blues" was so obsessed with marriage! But then it's apparently his only claim to fame so pushing it was in his best interest and reminded the the troops why he was on stage in the first place.

Interwoven between stage patter (really bad stage patter) and the occassional song, Lachey and Jessica would try to do things. One time Jessica Simpson attempted to practice shooting. She had to stop because the kick from the rifle was too much. Tour of Duty? Then Lachey wanted to look the doofus (or maybe he can't help that) and put on the special padding used to train attack dogs. Considering that Abu Ghraib is far from a distant memory, that might not have been such a wise choice.

However, it was hilarious to watch him walk around like a toddler. Another man, in the same suit, was able to move just fine. Tour of Duty?

The whole thing was beyond insulting. They trotted out Willie Nelson for a song but showed nothing to indicate that they were fans of his talent. Apparently, he was only on the special because, like Simpson, he's in the upcoming Dukes of Hazzard movie. Nelson, like Brian McKnight, can basically be said to have kept his head down and moved on quickly.

In one of the more manipulative moments, they surprised a soldier with the appearence of her husband. It would have been less manipulative if the camera hadn't kept cutting back to show the delighted looks of self-satisfaction on Lachey and Simpson's face. An actual moment was going on but God forbid, apparently, that we don't stop hyping Simpson and Lachey, even when they shouldn't be the focus.

Intercut between segments were "messages." Now you might think people watching would have enjoyed seeing their loved ones? You might think that some friends and families gathered around the TV would expect that these moments would allow those serving to send a message to them? You might think that but the "creative geniuses" in front of the cameras and behind them thought differently.

Instead you got the likes of Jennifer Garner and Ashton Kutcher uttering banal greetings into a camera. We find it really hard to believe that most troops were saying, "Did Ashton Kutcher just congratulate us! Man, that is awesome!" We also doubt that anyone watching from their living rooms was overly impressed with the generic comments from the likes of Garner and Kutcher.

The "creative geniuses" behind the camera included Alan Carter (director), Paul Flattery and Stephen Pouliot. Though some of you may not know the names, you need to learn them so that in the future when they flash on screen you'll know to either flip the channel or get the hell out of the living room. This trinity last teamed up for Nick & Jessica's Family Christmas. When you see those names, run, run for shelter and don't look back.

It takes tremendous vanity or stupidity to dub an "entertainment special" a "Tour of Duty." We're guessing it took equal parts stupidity and vanity on the part of of the couple front and center. Both continue to push themselves as "stars" when the reality is that Krista and Ryan qualify for that honor far more than Simpson and Lachey. Having achieved little but magazine covers fretting over the state of their business merger, er, marriage, we're guessing that the star system has so imploded that soon Kathie Lee Gifford will be spoken of with the sort of awe usually reserved for Meryl Streep.

Coming out of a third rate boy band that never really made it even when boy bands were all the rage, coming off a failed solo album and really bad TV guest spots, someone's decided that this basic cable reject (MTV's Newlyweds -- already cancelled) is a star. A reader once wrote that we were too mean about Lachey because he's trying to grow up, as he closes in on thirty-two, we think he should have had to stop "trying" a long time ago. He is the John Davidson of this decade with all that entails.

Jessica Simpson, we can't figure out. There have been plenty of big boobed starlets over the years. But they usually didn't suffer from short legs, knobby knees, eyes set too close together and a nonexistant ass. Or at least not all four. If you're wondering why we're appraising her physical appearance, it's because what else is there? She's not a singer in the sense that she moves people with her voice and she's not racked up a lot of hit singles unless you use the term "hit single" very, very loosely. She wants to be an actress and, with her voice, pursuing other avenues is strongly advised.

One person told us she was Ann-Margaret. That's simply not true. Margaret had (and has) talent. She also had an endearing personality that wasn't village idiot of the entertainment world. Another person told us she was the new Raquel Welch. While it took time for Welch to warm up and demonstrate that there was a brain and soul inside, there's no arguing that, from the start, she was beautiful. Unless the camera catches her at exactly the most flattering angle (3/4 face, shot from above), Simpson doesn't even qualify for pretty.

We feel she's a newly discovered species, the non-star star famous because a magazine cover tells you that she is. The ultimate sign of how non-reality based our nation has gotten. A possible argument for some new creationist "theory" of non-intelligent design.

Maybe the talk about the disappointment of Dukes of Hazzard is premature? But we're told she's laughable (not in the good way and supposedly her nose didn't film well), that females complained about the hairdos on Sean Williams Scott and Johnny Knoxville (they do look like dorks). People are saying the film will be lucky to do as well at the box office as the film version of Beverly Hillbillies.

We're sort of hoping the talk is wrong. Someone willing to do a "special" for the troops that highlights themselves and equates their "service" to a "Tour of Duty" knows no bounds. If Dukes of Hazzard flops, we're frightened to imagine what Simpson has planned next. She's like Pia Zadora with more desperation and stamina. The only thing worse than picturing what new harm she can inflict upon the nation is realizing that there's a good chance Nick Lachey will be at her side to assist.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }