Hollywood “Trapped in the Closet”

att Baker and att Baker

Every summer I glow with the prospect of parking my tail on the couch and catching up on the last nine months of daytime television. Every summer I get excited to watch stuff blow up or roll in the aisles laughing at the latest movies.

And every summer I’m disappointed at the lack of quality from Hollywood. This year was no exception.

Despite having 8 million channels, there was nothing worthwhile on TV. VH1 led the way with its summer of C-list celebrities. As much as I love watching the Snapple Lady in a swimsuit or Jose Canseco’s drunken hook-ups on “The Surreal Life,” the channel has strayed too far from its roots. Abandoning music videos in favor of playing “Celebrity Fit Club 2” is the worst idea since Lindsay Lohan decided to stop eating.

MTV followed suit by ruining its “Video Music Awards.” Diddy failed as a host, the presenters and skits tanked and the funniest moment of the evening was when R. Kelly “performed” a scene from his rap opera, “Trapped in the Closet.”

Even “The Price is Right” looks ready for retirement. Bob Barker has become as senile as Larry King, and his beauties look more like GMILFs than beach bunnies.

The summer blockbusters looked promising, with Brangelina shooting and screwing in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” Tim Burton revamping Willy Wonka and Tom Cruise saving the world to the tune of an H.G. Wells classic.

But they all bombed. Wonka couldn’t live up to the legacy of “Oompa, loompa doompity doo.” “War of the Worlds” was slower than an old woman driving a Buick, and not even Angelina Jolie’s curves could save her mindless action flick.

Granted, not every movie sucked. “Batman Begins” was one of the best films in years, proving that a film can have stuff blow up while having a story line and believable characters. And the addition of Katie Holmes (Cruise) to the cast didn’t hurt, either.

But “Batman” and a long overdue new Fanta commercial were the only bright spots of summer trips to the movies. After all, you know it’s bad when the second best film of the season stars Morgan Freeman and a bunch of horny penguins.

At the center of the lull in entertainment quality is the overall lack of originality in ideas. Sitcoms and scripted TV have disappeared, and every new movie is based on something from my mom’s childhood.

It doesn’t take an RTVF major to figure out that remaking a bad ’70s show starring a woman famous for thinking buffalo could fly and a man best known for getting hit in the balls might not succeed.

So Hollywood needs to get its act together soon. If I see one more movie with a recycled script or another washed-up actor trying to extend his 15 minutes of fame by dancing on primetime TV, my head will explode.

On that note, I have to run. I think “Trapped in the Closet” is coming on MTV.

Matt Baker is a Medill sophomore. He can be reached at

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