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Home » Uncategorized

Two embarrassing things

Submitted by on November 6, 2008 – 11:10 AM41 Comments

1. Thing the first: you know how you keep seeing the ads for Stylista and saying aloud, "Please, who would watch that?" I would, as it turns out. AND I LOVE IT. I hate Anne Slowey; I hated her on Runway, because I felt that someone who didn't use conditioner didn't get to suck a sourball in the direction of Austin Scarlett, and I hate her columns in Elle because she's trying to be Diana Vreeland and they only made one Diana Vreeland. But I like the show — I don't know if Megan is actually like that or playing a character, but I don't care, and also, SHUT UP KATE — and I like Anne on it. And Joe Zee is my new boyfriend. If you are the other person watching the show, please: discuss.

2. I went to a New Kids concert. On purpose. Not a mistake I'll make again.

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  • SP says:

    Honestly, I went to their show when they came through D.C. out of curiousity, nostalgia, and to accompany a friend whose husband (wisely) refused to go–and I had a GREAT time. They put on a really good stage show, they had obviously put a lot of time into rehearsals, and were VERY excited to be back there together. The sold out crowd of 99% women did not stop screaming the entire time and sang along to everything; it made me feel like (despite the admitted difference in MUSICAL quality) I had been able to experience what Beatlemania was like in the beginning. I was embarrassed before I went, but afterward, I left feeling like it was just a lot of fun. Plus Natasha Bedingfield opened for them and she was REALLY good. I didn't realize how much was really her talent and HUGE voice versus studio tricks.

  • Bkwrm7 says:

    I went to one of the NKOTB concerts in the Chicagoland area and thought my eardrums were going to burst. As I stood there with my hands plugging my ears between songs, I thought "This is it. This is the moment when I officially got old." Other than the excessive noise level, I had a great time with my friends though. The homemade shirts and signs were one of the best parts – one girl had a sign telling Jordan "I'm legal now! (and on the pill)." Also fun – watching the mostly extremely uncomfortable guys who had been talked into coming with their girlfriends.

  • LD says:

    I'm watching it, but right now it's too heavy on the "these are the people you should hate." I most like the shows that start off giving you someone to roll your eyes at but balance it with someone to root for, so you get "Look at these assholes we threw in a room together!" but also, "This guy's one to watch." Hopefully it will hit its stride.

  • Hellcat13 says:

    Curses to you, Bunting! I now have a Step By Step earworm, and it'll be here for days.

    (Great article, though :))

  • Amanda says:

    New Kids? Sars, really? I'd consider quitting over THAT shit.

    Reminds me of the poem I found in Sassy magazine (mrmmfrm) years ago. I haven't been able to shake most of it out of my brain since.

    It actually contained the line "Jon says little either."


  • Linda says:

    I think it's terrible, but also weirdly mesmerizing. (I'm talking Stylista.) Anne Slowey is SO BAD — so stiff and weird and trying too hard. The whole show, really, is like that, but I like the structure, with the combination of an editorial task and a lowlife assistant task.

  • Wendy says:

    I missed last week's Stylista because I'm in too much denial about watching it to get the TiVo season pass, but dear God I'm getting sucked in.

  • Kristin I says:

    I watch Stylista. I'm 36 and have a Ph.D. We have nothing to be ashamed of, HA. I do wish they had vetted the kids a bit more, I'd like to see more smarts and likeability and less cluelessness (a true fashion follower not know what a dart is? Girl, please). But overall, A for addictive.

  • Ella says:

    Heh, I got sucked into watching Stylista in the beginning because I loved Johanna's blog. But I spend most of the time going "Really, Megan/Kate?!"
    Kate's going to cry her way to the top spot, isn't she?

  • Cara says:

    Stylista is weirdly mesmerizing, particularly when Anne Slowey tries to walk in stilettos. I also enjoy that one Elle staff person who seems to be angrily contemptuous of all the contestants.

    I just wish the producers would realize that petty bickering and bitchery is not as compelling as they believe it is. Can we see them actually working for once?

  • Mertseger says:

    I've only seen episode 2 at this point, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yeah, it's a whole lotta drama queens, but I'm enjoying it for its twisted glimpses into glossy magazine editorial processes. I find it's a delicious albeit cheesy companion to Ugly Betty.

  • Rachel says:

    Yesterday was the first time I didn't sit all the way through Stylista, which was probably due to my roommate and my friend who I watch it with leaving to study, so I had to turn it off to avoid having other people seeing me watch crap alone. We actually started watching it because my aforementioned friend is a casual acquaintance of Danielle, and we want to see how long she makes it.

    Anne Slowey's nieces were creepy as hell.

  • Kathleen says:

    If Anne Slowey needs a stylist! Could the dress she wore for the "identify the following clothing details" mannequin-dress-off be any less flattering on her? She lookd like she was several months pregnant, not in a good way.

  • Cerebelle says:

    "Sylista" is a horrible and wonderful train wreck that I love watching. Kate, however, is getting too annoying for her own good, and I'm so ready for her to go. As for the NKOTB concert–oh, Sars. That is all.

  • KLM says:

    Stylista? Ob-sessed. I have never wanted to punch a reality contestant/character in the teeth as much as I do Megan, and yet I thoroughly enjoy every second of her screen time. I love all the handwringing and the "If ____ gets kicked off, then I just have NO FAITH IN THE WORLD!!" and even the weird way Anne Slowey talks. (Side note: She's had a bit of a makeover since her Runway days, no?) I'm also amused at the disdain for Johanna because she's so *serious* and *professional* and acting like she actually wants *a job* or something.

  • camelama says:

    I was watching Stylista, but after the party presentations I realized I actually was disliking everything, so I flipped over to whatever PBS was showing. :) I wanted to like it, but I just cannot STAND Anne's cardboard speeches, and her outfits! And her walking! Gah. The contestants finally were *too* much for me. I agree with the earlier commenter that they need to give us a better balance of bitchy whining *and* good stuff.

    As for the parties – these people had 50 bucks and THOSE presentations are all they came up with?!?! Lordy.

    I don't like it when the contestants spend their entire times bitching and griping and plotting and scheming. I agree, give us more time with them actually working and talking fashion!

  • FloridaErin says:

    Why did anyone think letting NKOTB out of their cell was a good idea?

  • Jennifer says:

    I have never gotten the appeal of boy bands. They're so…fake. Even in fifth grade (I think?) when my friends were all into them, I had to fake that I gave a crap. I think I declared that Jonathan was my "crush" in there (everyone had to have one? why?) because he was still cute, but a lot less showy than the other ones in the front.

  • Diane says:

    Cara and camelama – THANK you, on Slowey's … "walk" … I'm unfamiliar with her, but the first shot of her had me comparing her (unflatteringly) to Peg Bundy, with her wonderful Candie's totter.

    Ella: I really fear she is. Yeep. Also – hee.

    Rachel, SO creepy. And unpleasant. (I make the second comment because there are some creepy people who make for extra-fun viewing and I'd love to have a beer with; the distinction is therefore semi-important.)

  • Snarkmeister says:

    Dear God, Sars. Were you "Hangin' Tough"? What would POSSESS you to go to a NKOTB concert? Oh wait, are you a couple years younger than me? Because I remember my younger sister, at age 12, being completely obsessed with NKOTB. And unfortunately I had to share a teeny tiny room with her for about six months, and I nearly went insane. Imagine a fifteen year old goth (we called in "mod" back then) girl with all black clothes, listening to the Cure, Depeche Mode, the Smiths, etc….and one wall of her bedroom is plastered with pictures of friggin Joey McIntyre.

    And I just watched Stylista for the first time last night. Kate is annoying as hell, isn't she?

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Well, you kind of have to read the article I linked to. I wasn't into them at the time; I didn't hate them with a passion or anything, I just didn't care. (When they first broke big, I was in late high school, which was out of the main demo, although you did have some oogy 40-year-old women who were super into Little Joey. He turned out pretty hot, but back then? Gross, ladies.)

    But they were such a cringey symbol of the "fashions" of the time that when Trog suggested we get tickets, I was totally for it, if only for the people-watching.

    And then I got an assignment to write it up, which made it slightly easier to explain to civilians, but I can't lie, I got the tickets ages ago.

  • Jean says:

    I'm watching and enjoying. I think is the show that The Apprentice: Martha Stewart really wanted to be. Except I'm starting to suspect Kate might be a ringer. I mean, come on. She can't really be that way. But if she is, no wonder she couldn't hack law school.

  • Diane says:

    Sars, I can understand you completely – I'm a bit older than you, so it was Duran Duran I could live without back then. And Prince. And MJ (him I still can live without, but I've grudingly admitted liking some of his pre-surgical grooves). But given a chance I'd totally go see DD now.

    A few years ago, I went to see something even worse than NKOTB: Sebastian Bach. After his gig as the Phantom on Broadway, a friend and I felt that (a) it would be fun to watch this guy when he was down, and (b) the people-watching would absolutely have to be primo.

    Weren't we shocked when it turned out he could seriously sing. I was actually impressed, and he put on a good show (yeah, you have to be able to tolerate the music; but we were charter 80s bimbii, so it was okay with us). Weird.

    Sometimes, nostalgia makes for an interesting guilty pleasure.


    BTW, as a 40 year old woman myself now, I find it incomprehensibly oogy, the idea of someone my age even LOOKING at someone practically in his/her teens.

    I take a certain pride – and care – in not knowing thing one about The Jonas Brothers (who wouldn't even have been attractive to me "back then", not for nothing) and being a little surprised to find out that "Ashley Tisdale" was an actual person, not a jokey stereotype made up for that one Secret commercial I saw a few months ago …

  • Amie says:

    I was in the NKOTB demographic back in the day, and I never saw the appeal. I was never the squeally boycrazy type, so I didn't really get the whole boy band appeal. (In college, I warmed up to the fluffy poppiness of some boy band songs, but NOT the same thing.) I never owned a single NKOTB tape or piece of merchandise, but I do remember watching the short-lived New Kids cartoon with my cousin, who was a few years older than me and OBSESSED. She tried to make her friends jealous by pretending she went to a concert. Her "evidence"? Photos of concert footage off the TV. Yeah. Not that convincing.

  • RJ says:

    Oh lord… I loathed NKOTB, although I liked a couple of their songs. I admit that for a while, I did think Donnie was pretty cute. I had friends who were INSANE fans – one girl I knew papered her entire room (I think maybe the floor was bare) with every TeenBop, BigBopper, etc. poster she could get her hands on.

    I happened to catch their recent video release – it was at the gym, I was on the treadmill, I had no headphones, and my trainer was talking to me, so I couldn't tell you if the song was any good. All I know is that Donnie was trying hard to look sexy while wearing a white undershirt and trying REALLY hard to suck in his gut (unsuccessfully – you could see it making every effort to escape) and it was pretty darned funny.

  • Tisha_ says:

    I was in Jr High when NKOTB was big. I HATED them. I was way too cool and only listened to Poison and Warrant. But, my mom made me go with my little cousin who was about 9 at the time, to see NKOTB in concert.

    Oh my god, you guys… I had SO MUCH FUN!!! I totally did NOT want to admit it, but I did. Back in the day, they put on a great show. And, I'm ashamed to say that I lovingly sported my Jonathan Knight t-shirt afterward. Apparently my gaydar was a little off back then.

    My little cousin, who is now 26, went to see them recently and loved it. I just couldn't bring myself to be that uncool again in my life though.

  • Emerson says:

    I think "Jon says little either" will be the first line of my next (first) novel.

  • Jade says:

    Well I was a massive fan back in the day, I think my room was entirely wallpapered with New Kids pictures much to the despair of my mother who quite liked the blue wallpaper she picked out for me initially…

    I wish I could get to see them, but it's almost guaranteed they won't make it down to Australia, few acts do (boo!) but I did see an interview with them that was quite hilarious in which Joe McIntyre admitted that now that they're all in their thirties they can only do the 'New Kids Dance' for about two minutes before they all have to sit down and take a rest.

    I remember going to their concert sometime around 90-91 and seeing their Limo speeding off down Batman Avenue with sobbing tweenie girls hanging all over it… good times.

  • meg says:

    I've been watching stylista too. I like it, I think, although I feel like it doesn't do a lot with the potential it has to be amusing. I mean, what we want to see is the pretty clothes people pick for fashion spreads, not the way they layout the pictures of Chinatown for a lifestyle article. I know that is the kind of task the job generally entails, but ANTM avoids showing me the constant crushing task of remaining skinny so surely this program could lay off the boring detail tasks.

  • meg says:

    also, I wish someone would post it online somewhere because I keep missing it and it's pissing me off.

  • Liz in Minneapolis says:

    NKOTB were a standing joke-meme between my college roommate and I in their heyday (St. Olaf, class of '91, so age 39 now.) I thought it was clear that we were joking, but when the tour came around last month, another college friend asked, in all earnestness, if I was going to the show. Um, no, despite it being free at the Mall and everything. (Shudder.)

    However, I did go to the Duran Duran concert in 2004, when they made their original-lineup comeback, and bought a t-shirt and the hardbound tour book and buttons and everything. I've avoided seeing my original band-crush, Styx, though, because a.) I'm not a state fair grandstand show kind of person and b.) they're not really Styx anymore.

  • SikeChick says:

    Don't be ashamed. I went to the NSync concert ALONE back in the summer of 2001 ($75 for that ticket!). I was 27 and probably the oldest person there not working security or accompanying a kid, and I screamed just as loud as the 12-year-olds in front of me. I also bought a tee shirt and a fake backstage pass. I am only ashamed because when Duran Duran, my favorite band for over 20 years, came to town a few years later, I balked at paying $83 to see them. Fortunately, I ended up winning tickets through a local radio station.

  • Melanie says:

    Hee! Loved the article, particularly your mention of Vanilla Ice; NKOTB was *almost* my first concert (plans fell through), while Vanilla Ice actually *was* my first. Yeesh.

    And yes, this whole thing does make me feel old.

  • Rill says:

    I couldn't stand NKOTB back in the day, but of course with the continued airplay on the radio and on TV knew every damn lyric of every hit song.
    I remember going out on a date with a guy I worked with (I was 19, he was about 4 years older) and as we drove to the restaurant he told me he had this really cool song I should hear…I said ok, and 'Hangin' Tough' came blaring out of the speakers. I was already to start snarking on his song choice when I realized he was bopping away to the music and snapping his fingers and just flat-out grooving… was all I could do not to open the car door and leap out on the freeway (especially after the fourth repeat on the cd)….sigh…first (and last) date.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Rill: I had the same experience, but it was Milli Vanilli. Seriously considered the old tuck-and-roll.

  • Traci says:

    I went to the NKOTB concert in DC and we (my group of friends and I) found it to be a hilarious and fun experience. Another friend of mine went with her roommate and did not have nearly as much fun as we did.

    Key difference between the fun having group and the bored person – the liberal application of alcohol, and sneaking in of a flask. Just like in 1990!

  • Tisha_ says:

    So, I sent the link to my little cousin.

    Her reply:

    "Saw the show twice – I think I teared up the first time."

  • Walt Ribeiro says:

    The New Kids going on tour is such a smart move. Their fanbase is still in tact and more devoted than ever. Plus, I'd imagine that the show is actually very entertaining and a great experience.

  • Maura says:

    I decided that Stylista is worth watching when Kate started crying at the 24 minute mark. Tears! In less than a half hour. It's awesome.

    Kate reminds of some of the girls I went to cosmetology school with. They thought they were going to sit around and curl their own hair for nine months. I don't think Kate knows a damned thing about fashion. Her being right about the shopping page seems like a fluke to me.

    Diane, your comparison of Anne Slowey to Peg Bundy is right on. And hilarious.

    @Sars: I hate her columns in Elle because she's trying to be Diana Vreeland and they only made one Diana Vreeland.

    I'm happy to say that I was way out of NKOTB's demographic. They were barely on my radar.

    You speak the truth. Even Anna Wintour couldn't pull that off.

  • Kate F. says:

    Yeah, Stylista is terrible but entertaining–the single bitchiest show I think I've ever seen. My Big Question: How do you get to be editor of a fashion magazine if you can't walk in heels? Believe me, all the underlings can. I used to work three floors down from In Style and get the up-and-down from the staffers in the elevator every morning…

  • Courtney says:

    I watched the show one time because it was on. I thought, what the hell is this and then I could not stop watching because I just could not believe there are actually people like that. I was amazed and mesmerized…

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