25th Annual VMAs Yawn to a Close

The 25th annual MTV Video Music Awards were held on Sunday in Los Angeles but, despite the best efforts of British host Russell Brand, the show failed to produce much more than a ‘meh’ from most critics and viewers.

Did you manage to catch the MTV Video Music Awards last night? If not, you didn’t miss much: no “sensational” Madonna lesbian kiss, no Kanye West temper tantrum, no laughably amateurish “comeback” performance by Britney Spears. (Spears, the big winner on the night, gave three perfunctory acceptance speeches in which she thanked God and her fans and her kids and was decidedly not the embarrassing spectacle she was last year.) No one quite knew what to make of host Russell Brand’s manic comedic style (he’s British, maybe it didn’t translate!), least of all the poor Jonas Brothers, who looked baffled as the confessed sex addict Brand repeatedly mocked their purity vows and chastity rings.

The show was so utterly boring that it seems MTV’s PR team is working overtime to convince everyone it wasn’t.

But not just MTV’s team. The AP also managed to concoct a slightly more enraptured take on the proceedings:

Russell Brand seemed a little out of place as the host at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Not because he’s British or relatively unknown in America, as most of the chatter was about before Sunday night’s show from Los Angeles.

It was because Brand injected the VMAs with blunt politics, self deprecation, unabashed sexuality, and, yes, plenty of off-color remarks.

Didn’t he know where he was? The VMAs? In La-La Land?

No, this was no place to voice anything like an opinion on world affairs or joke about young Christian pop stars. This is a place to look cool and thank the almighty for the honor of little moon man statuettes.

Early in his opening monologue, Brand pleaded: “Please, America, elect Barack Obama. On behalf of the world.”

Most of the crowd, seemingly caught of guard, cheered, though at least a few pop stars didn’t. The camera caught Britney Spears — who in 2003 said citizens should “just trust our president” — sitting quietly.

While others took the opportunity to cite Spears’ return to the VMA stage as something of a delicate comeback:

If you had any previous doubts, last night’s VMA’s made it official: Britney Spears is behaving normally. She didn’t make a huge splash by performing some ridiculous walking/dance number on a Hollywood back lot and she didn’t kiss a girl. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that she’s on a steady path to making a solid comeback, not only as a performer, but as a human being.

Overall, however, the consensus was unequivocally that the VMAs were barely worth staying awake for:

So, what did you miss by not tuning into last night’s 25th annual, cheapest-ever MTV Video Music Awards, the first ones, as far as we know, to be held in a high-school gymnasium? Practically nothing! Lil Wayne performed with his pants around his ankles, wacky Christian American Idol winner Jordin Sparks made teenage America giggle by branding all non-virgins “sluts,” and Britney Spears won three awards, ostensibly for the quality of her art.

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