Not even a decade into the new millennium, VH1 has capitalized on the popularity of their previous I Love The… series by debuting I Love The New Millenium last night. Typically, the series runs two episodes/years per night, over the five night workweek. However, since this is just 2008 (and the year is still young), it kind of begs the question as what they will do with Friday evening: speculate on the future or just end a bit prematurely?
As I Love The New Millenium kicked off with the infamous Budweiser Whazzup? Guys (were the frogs pre-2000? I honestly can’t remember) and only a brief verbal mention of Y2K, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of angle small-time comedians like Godfrey, Bill Dwyer, and Hal Sparks (who is best known now for his reality show stunts… I mean, stints) and even smaller-time actors like Beth Littleford and Joe Manganiello would put on things that haven’t seeped out of our consciousnesses yet. What is normally so great about the I Love The… series is the sense of nostalgia it provokes: we can laugh at the silliness of the B-movie plot or toy they are describing all while remembering its place in our own childhoods. I Love The New Millenium, therefore, just seems premature.
The first two installments brought us the Baha Men, Shaggy, TiVo, Moulin Rouge, the best summaries of Gladiator and Castaway ever (seriously, you don’t even need to see those movies now!), CSI, the singing bass fish plaque, Razor scooters and Segways, daytime darling Kelly Ripa, XFL, and Melissa Etheridge’s baby daddy, David Crosby (which only really reminds me how old her kids are now and that musicians are weird). The recurring segments this time around feature Johnny Fairplay, Perez Hilton, Taylor Dane?, Moby :( (who actually plugged his own song on his 2001 playlist: LAME!), and Sisqo, who lists people from the year he’d like to see in thongs. When they were all women, I was actually shocked; I think it would have been much more memorable if he had used the segment to admit he’s gay once and for all. Maybe if this had been distributed on Bravo…
In one very poignant episode of South Park, the characters muse that something tragic doesn’t become funny until 22.3 years later. And if that’s the case, then I can’t help but wonder what the good people at VH1 could have done with I Love The New Millenium: 2001 in the middle of 2023. The end of the episode turned very quickly from moderately chuckle-worthy into a flag-waving, “Proud To Be An American” singing, half-circle swaying numb robots. And yes, I shed a tear. But then they wrapped it up with the Mets and Piazza’s homerun. Damn you, VH1; you have to ruin everything!