Last night’s premiere of NBC’s Hit Me Baby One More Time was ghastly. Just ghastly. And not in a good way, yo. Some careers are best left undisturbed. Whatever sweet memories one might have preserved of, say, A Flock of Seagulls or Loverboy were cruelly flogged to death by packing the oldsters into too-tight leathers and pushing them back onto a stage they were clearly unfamiliar with lo these years. Fat is forgivable, but wrong notes aren’t; when Flock’s pudgy lead singer careened out of tune on an old hit, we longed for a snarky reprisal from Simon Cowell – and we loathe Simon Cowell. The series, hosted with toothy exuberance by UK telly presenter Vernon Kay, had the look and sound of an old-school Eurovision contest. Also dug up and exposed to the air were Arrested Development, CeCe Penniston, and Tiffany and, apart from Tiffany, it was obvious why these people are no longer hot. The audience (whose wild enthusiasm seemed paid for) voted for winner Arrested Development to receive $20,000 to be donated to charity. (That’s right, it’s a contest.) There was, thankfully, no recording contract awarded. We hope The Knack and Vanilla Ice fare better in future eps, but we doubt they will.
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