when i woke up this morning, i had no idea what i was going to write about. after the gym, i put on VH1 for the two hours of actual music they play in the mornings. and out of nowhere a new backstreet boys video came on, sans one backstreet boy. bingo! i had my topic.
now, i have never been in a boy band and mainly this is because a) i’m a girl, and b) i have a brain, and c) i don’t really like embarrassing myself. wait, that last one isn’t entirely true (hello? gold undies.). let me rephrase:
i have never been in a boy band because i’m not desperate.
let’s start out with the ones who started it all: NKOTB. (if you don’t know what that means, you should be beaten with a white cassette tape and jelly bracelets). these guys paved the way for guys to sing and dance with other guys and not be accused of being gay. we knew they weren’t gay because they all had rat tails in their pretty hair and this made them bad. rat tails, leather jackets, and whistles blowing in more than the majority of their songs equals bad boys. you don’t get whistles without earning them, people.
the best part was choosing your favorite one. like ice cream. there was always the cute one, the bad one, the sweet one, the funny one and the fugly/who’s that guy one. we’ll call him token.
for example, i liked jon: quiet, sweet, liked to play frisbee, played the lead in macbeth in high school, had a dog named butch and loved pizza. my man. most of my friends liked jordan or donnie. not me. i thought clear braces were gross (jordan, duh) and donnie was WAY too bad for my taste. he got arrested for spitting or something and i just couldn’t be associated with that.
unexpectedly and most astonishingly, three years later, jon was discovered working in a furniture store in jersey. here’s the best part of boy bands: you get to just make another and everything is fine again. yay!!!!
fast forward to 2000. backstreet decides they are “back” (read: exist) and a new challenger rears it’s pretty…heads. but it’s way easier this time. you basically fill in the blank. who likes pizza?
since backstreet apparently came about before and it was a simple mix up that no one had ever heard of them until then , we’ll disect them first. there’s five of them: uh…blond hair guy, bad guy, gay guy, nother blond…oh, go-tee guy. wait, gay guy is n’synch. this one had fugly/who is that guy. it doesn’t matter. they all fit the profile: can’t play instruments, can wave arm at camera in sad motion.
my favorite was the bad boy because he thought he looked like he belonged in rage against the machine, yet purred at us to show him the meaning of being lonely.
and these guys were crazy! justin had curly hair. and they transcended pop music and videos into mainstream culture. they dueled with backstreet in fast food commercials. and won.
now, here we are, 2007 with no boy bands in existence since they all dried up like dog poop in the desert. until now.
there is no worse post-career stigma than a boy-bander. you can’t help but be embarrassed for them at this point when you see them hosting bad shows on network tv or even better, on a reality show, trying to start a new boy band with other lame ex-banders.
but here’s the thing: when one of your own says no thanks to reuniting and doing an album…you might be on to something. that video i saw this morning? boy band perfection. they don’t need go-tee guy, they filled in the parts perfectly. this video was complete with multiple scenes of head and palms against a large window in beach house, looking out at the ocean while singing a sad song, waving arms at the camera, looking into the camera and then looking down, very slowly. it was like they were made to only be four.
so backstreet, i salute you. this time you really are back. because you are desperate for fame and probably need to pay your bills. well, only four of you do. go-tee guy, i’ll be thinking about you when the other four are on stage accepting their teen choice award.