Let's face it, people: Being "dead" is hot! Just think of all the so-so musical artists who suddenly became awesome after kicking the bucket: There's Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Lennon (who was AWFUL), that guy from Lynyrd Skynyrd, that other guy from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kurt Cobain, Jerry Garcia (almost as bad as John Lennon), Joey Ramone, Tupac Shakur, Aaliyah, Biggie Smalls, and two more guys from Lynyrd Skynyrd. Being alive did next to nothing for these people's careers, but once they chose to be dead? Ka-ZING! They're buried in moolah! (Still not convinced? Okay, whom would you rather be: dead Johnny Cash, or alive and fat Wang Chung performing on Hit Me Baby, One More Time? I rest my case.)
In fact, the only thing better than being dead is being in a band where one of your members is dead. That's when the REAL money starts rolling in! Lead singer dies in a motorcycle accident? No problem! Replace him with some longhaired sound-alike, and suddenly your shit-heel band is making more dough than ever. And if you're really lucky, you can capitalize on your bandmates' demise by scoring your own TV reality show!
Let's take Rock Star: INXS for example (CBS, Mon-Wed, 9:30 pm). While the death of INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence may have been ruled a suicide, it's been reported he perished from autoerotic asphyxiation… or hanging oneself while jerkin' one's gherkin. However, this rumor is given nary a mention on this reality contest in which 15 hopefuls vie to take Hutchence's place in the band--presumably because CBS can't offer autoerotic asphyxiation as part of the prize package.
The upside of Rockstar is watching 15 wannabes try to out-ROCK each other, via howling, off-key vocals, torn Levis, and hilariously bad haircuts that look like the contestants fell asleep under a lawnmower. The downside? An underwhelming prize, which includes cutting an INXS album no one will buy, and "a world tour" made up primarily of state-fair appearances.
But the parade of the dead doesn't stop there! Debuting Wednesday, July 27 at 8 pm on UPN is yet another "replace our bandmate" reality show--this one featuring hiphop hotties TLC, who are looking for a stand-in for croaked partner Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Entitled R U the Girl (No, eye am knot!), surviving members T-Boz and Chilli are searching for the perfect gal to join the band, record a single, and then immediately disappear into anonymity--because after all, this is UPN, and nobody gives a crap.
Regardless, my life would be so much better if I were dead! My workload would be cut to nothing, I'd make more money, and I'd be hailed as a genius--even though a retarded monkey could write a better column than I can. So what am I waiting for? Autoerotic asphyxiation, here I come! WANNA TALK TV?
Chat with WM. Steven Humphrey NOW in Blog Town, USA!
Go to portlandmercury.com