Monday, April 14

Pretty Baby, Boring Adult

The other night, I think I had a couple of "buzz agents" in my cab. You know, people who get paid to mention products in conversations? It was two sorority girls--like actual girls in sorority letters--and three frat guys. This is more or less verbatim:

GIRL 1: Did you catch Lipstick Jungle last night?

GIRL 2: No, I missed it...I'll have to catch up on YouTube. Was it awesome?

GIRL 1: So awesome. But don't mess with YouTube...try Alterna.TV. It's got all the hit shows, with no commercials.

GIRL 2: Cool, I'll check it out!

Ahem. I changed the URL up there, by the reason to give them more exposure. I'm not sure which is the dumber scenario, that they were trying to market Lipstick Jungle and a "me too!" video service to a handful of fratties, or to me, their freaking cab driver.

There is, of course, a more depressing angle: that this WASN'T clumsy marketing, but rather the way 20-year-old girls, raised on infomercials and The Hills, just naturally talk to each other these days. That's actually way more chilling than the concept of guerilla marketing.

But their Lipstick Jungle plug--or, less likely, genuine Lipstick Jungle enthusiasm--made me think about how sad it must be to be Brooke Shields. After her first stint as a superstar, she has long since passed into the realm of "celebrity," without actually being very successful.

And not for lack of many failed Brooke Shields projects can you think of just off the top of your head? Well, not really "failed"...just middling and uninteresting.

This is where the sadness comes in: it must be weird to know that you're not famous simply because people just aren't very interested in you. Brooke Shields is beautiful, intelligent, and well-spoken. She seems like a nice woman. She carries herself with an air of class. As an adult she's never been involved in any major scandals that I know of, certainly none where she was at fault. She has the sympathy of the Oprah nation on her side because of the post-partum depression issue and the subsequent Tom Cruise debacle. She doesn't have any weird beliefs or a crazy spouse or a history of terrible career choices. She's not a stunning performer, but she's hardly a terrible actress. She's an icon of the early 80s, and a fondly remembered as a part of a lot of people's childhood.

But she's just never broken through in the way she clearly wants, and it must be so daunting to her, at the end of the day, to know that she has no one to blame. We just aren't interested in buying what she's selling...we're not in the Brooke Shields business.

One of the few consolations I have in this world is that whatever situation I've found myself in at this point in my life, the mistakes I made were my own and I have only myself to blame. But what if you never really made any mistakes and you were still unsuccessful? What if you tried with all your heart and made all the right decisions, and in the end the problem was just...YOU?

Lipstick Jungle, NBC's sizzling new hit series from the author of Sex In The City, airs on Thursdays at 10. Catch commercial-free episodes of your favorite shows, as well as music videos and hilarious skits, at Alterna.TV.

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