Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Watching a 44 year old man rap the theme tune from a show he used to be in isn't really for me.

Whenever a sports car drives past me, I pretend to look at my watch. This might be why whenever something is over-enthused about on the internet (something I spend about 11 hours of my day interfering with) I glance over it and secretly hope it's rubbish so I don't want to share it too. I'm a stubborn little prick, basically.

This is also the beginning of my explanation as to why I found Will and Jaden Smith doing the rap from Fresh Prince of Bel Air on Graham Norton's talk show a bit rubbish. Carlton was good, but that's because he's got nothing to fall back on. He had to put his everything into that performance.

I have nothing against the Will Smith personally - why would I? He's a a man who makes his living out of entertaining people. I respect people for that (even if Hitch was absolutely fucking diabolical). What I hated was sitting in my house at whatever time it was on Friday night watching a viral video get made in front of my eyes.

It's commonly accepted across the board that whenever there's a guest on a chat show, they are there to flog something. Whether they have a terrible new autobiography out or a new single, or they're about to launch a new show of their own, there's always that moment where they say their promo piece and then get back to being lightly questioned about what hair products they use (unless they're on Chatty Man in which case they are plied with 20/20 and forced to talk about clitorises).

What I saw on Friday night was a man pushing his averagely talented son (who he clearly adores, make no mistake about that, I totally get it) into a glaring prime-time spotlight on the basis that he is related to him. He wants to give him a head start. It kinda felt like Will Smith had gone right up to the bigger boys on the football pitch, Jaden in hand, and said "Come on son! They want you to play with them! See!". It was a bit awkward and from the look of Graham Norton's face, he thought so too. I actually turned the telly off at this point because I didn't want to watch Will Smith make his son tell a joke or do a dance routine that they'd rehearsed or something.

About an hour later, people were sharing videos of him doing the theme tune to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air with Jaden and Jazzy Jeff in tow as if it was the single greatest television moment of all time. Let me just clarify - this is a show that went off air in 1996, that was never really as good as its theme tune led us to believe.

I know, I'm no fun, I'm a cynic, I take good things and turn them into grey, magic-less mush. But are you all really that unimaginative?

This reminds me of the guy on Facebook that will make pictures of LITERALLY ANYTHING on Microsoft Paint. Anything you want. Despite this, time and time again people request him to draw a couple of fairly obscure 90s celebrities doing things like riding broomsticks or making cakes while they wear fancy dress. Clearly in the face of absolute choice, people will go back to the things they know. These days, there's a weird version of accepted oddness where "random" is as sterile as an estate agent in a navy suit. You're more likely to see a man dressed as a banana on a bar crawl these days than you are a man dressed in nice clothes. It's just the way things are now.

You do know they sat and thought up a way to get Jaden posted on the internet as much as possible over the coming 48 hours? It was a cold, calculated "how do you make a viral video?" move that was followed up by Will Smith kicking a ball really badly. I'm sure you've seen that too. Share away.

Maybe it doesn't matter. Content created for content's sake happens all the time on the internet, why shouldn't it happen on TV? I'm still stuck in a behind-the-times dreamworld where people do things because they like to do them though, not because every move they make is a marketing decision. But that's just silly naive little me. That's why I'm not a multi-millionaire with lovely, well behaved, talented kids and a core fanbase of the entire known universe. Because who doesn't like Will Smith? Answer: Nobody. Even I like him, and I hate most things.

To end on a high note, here is an example of somebody flogging something to a live studio audience on a chat show and making me nearly bawl my eyes out with the loveliness.

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