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The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: The Enemies

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on December 16, 2007

If everyone voted, than no one would die

We’ve spent the last five days honoring the best and brightest of 2007, the people and moments that most deserve canonization in the annals of our popular culture. But as anyone who actually had to live through the year will attest, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows–there were plenty of forces of evil at work, ones who sucked out the enjoyment of movies, music, TV, sports and commercials until we wanted to give up the whole thing and go into politics or some such. So today, we vote for the villains of 2007–the ones who actually tried their damndest to make pop culture a less inhabitable place in 2007. And of course, voting is as essential in all the other polls–up to five, with an optional write-in vote (though several of you have been writing-in several, which I guess is OK), either in the comments box or to fadeout95@gmail.com. And if you want, you can wait until the end of the week, when I’ll compile a list of the nominees, and you can just submit one big ballot. So for the last time this year:


Jerry Seinfeld

So here we are: the year of the long-awaited Jerry Seinfeld comeback. Hands raised if you felt even slightly satisfied by the re-emergence of comedy’s one-time highest-profile megastar? Between his hugely disappointing guest appearance on the season premiere of 30 Rock (Jerry never really could act, even when playing himself), his super-annoying HP commercial (note to Jerry: noting how Dreamworks wants you to make two references to your new movie in a 30-second spot does not make it OK to make two references to your new movie in one 30-second spot), and of course, Bee Movie, which seemed to bear striking resemblance to at least one other “small-creature-universe-parallels-big-human-universe” flick of recent years. If this is what a post-Seinfeld comeback looks like, then maybe the Curse was for the best after all.


Nickelback

In your average year of 00s pop music, there are only two absolute guarantees: Kanye West will say or do some controversial shit, and Nickelback will fucking suck. And fucking suck is exactly what Nickelback have spent this year doing, somehow managing to milk a third year’s worth of hits out of 2005’s All the Right Reasons (whose first single even sucked–what kind of chances could there possibly be for #s 5 & 6?) In anyone else’s career, songs like “If Everyone Cared” and the particularly detestable “Rockstar” would register as utter career nadirs–in Nickelback’s world, however, they register as little more than “The New Nickelback Single.” The general US public may care little, if at all, for rock music anymore, but with these guys as our most high-profile representatives, can you really blame them?


Isiah Thomas

You know what the worst part is? It’s not the sexual harrassment suit–settled out of court, which ended up awarding 11.6 million to Anucha Browne Sanders, along with an almost certain admission of guilt on Isiah’s part. It’s not the Knicks’ 7-16 record, squandering the relatively considerable talent of players like Zach Randolph, Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury, to currently be ranked even lower in the Atlantic Division than the similarly dispiriting 76ers. It’s not even owner Jim Dolan’s refusal to fire Isiah, despite the chants that he do just that at nearly every home game this year. No, the worst part is how, despite all this, Isiah still always seems to be smiling–like he knows he has nothing to fear, like he knows he can get away with anything. The only other ex-pro athlete with such a smile? O.J. Simpson.


Brian Robbins

Don’t recognize the name or face? That’s cool–Lord willing, you might never have to. If you recognize the name, but you’re not sure where from, that’s OK too–he was part of the Head of the Class cast back in the 80s, and produced Nickelodeon’s classic All That and a bunch of its spin-offs in the 90s. What you don’t want to have to recognize him from, however, is his 2007 resume–which includes, among other things, producing the Travolta-Lawrence-Macy-Some-Other-Guy-biker flick Wild Hogs and directing the post-Oscar nom Eddie Murphy comedy Norbit. These credentials might’ve seemed more harmless had they not managed to somehow produce two #1 movies this year–at which point you sort of have to wonder what kind of destructive powers this ex-kiddie star might have in the future. Keep this man away from Steve Carrell at all costs.


FreeCreditReport.com

The only ad campaign to make me deeply regret watching ~14 hours of TV a day. FreeCreditReport.com was benign enough when it was just presenting those shitty ads with that tool of a spokesman going “I’m thinking of a number between…” and ending with that heavenly jingle, “FREEEEE CREDIT REPORT DOT COOOOMMM!!! But they just couldn’t leave well enough alone, and consequently, FCR.C developed a couple new jingles, full new half-songs meant to convey the usefulness of their product–ones which by now I know all the words too, but I wish to God that I didn’t. I’m not even going to provide YouTube links to them–if you’ve managed to avoid them until now, I’m not nearly evil enough to expose you to them–just trust the rest of us about their utterly diabolical nature.


50 Cent

I’ve expressed my suspicion on this blog before that all rappers are secretly Republican, but now that I think about it, most of this opinion is attributable to the persona of 50 Cent. And I don’t even mean his comments expressing support of George W. Bush–which are sort of remarkable in themself–but I just mean the general attitude he takes towards his art, which is easily summarized as “fuck all y’all, I’ma get paid.” Yeah, music’s a business, and we’d be naive to think that our most commercial artists aren’t making some artistic concessions for popular acceptance, but when you behave like you’d be just as happy doing carpet-cleaning if you could get the same levels of fame, money and ass as you would a musician, then, well, fuck you too, asshole. You were the worst part of “Ayo Technology,” anyways.


Chuck Lorre

Once again–if you don’t know the name, then feel free to keep it that way by skipping ot the next entry. But if you do, then you’re probably just as infuriated as I am by the way this guy is dumbing down TV, and getting rich as a motherfucker doing it. It was bad enough when it was just Two and a Half Men, but now we’ve got 2007’s worst new show, The Big Bang Theory, to go along with it–which was, of course, the first show of the Fall ’07 season to be renewed for a second season. This man could be single-handedly responsible for keeping the laughtrack fashionable for the next decade, as well as convincing other TV producers that there might be an audience for sitcom throwback programs like the godawful Back to You. The really sad thing? There actually might be.


Adam Sandler

I’d been willing to overlook anything else. The increasingly shitty movies, the narcissism he displayed by always playing the one likeable guy in a world of weirdos and bad dudes, the constant casting of Rob Schneider. Hell, I even sort of liked Click–not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but kinda touching in an It’s a Wonderful Life sort of way. But I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry confirmed everything I had long since suspected of Adam Sandler–that his rebellious streak had died out completely, and that the youth icon that made several of the funniest movies of the 90s (including one all-time top-ten comedy classic in Happy Gilmore) had now settled for being part of comedy’s aristocracy, and co-starring in homophobic stock-coms with KEVIN FUCKING JAMES FER CHRISSAKES. Unacceptable, and Dennis Dugan, don’t think I didn’t notice your involvement–one more strike, and you’ll be here next year too.


Scott Boras

I suppose you do have to sort of respect Scott Boars’s willingness to play the Bad Angel–to sit on the shoulder of clients like Barry Zito, J.D. Drew and of course, Alex Rodriguez, and tempt them into going for more money from their respective ball clubs than they’re likely actually worth. But if at all possible, it seemed like this year, Boras’s hubris went a little too far–interrupting the World Series to announce A-Rod’s intention to shop around for more money, then failing to get such a deal, forcing his client to temporarily disown him and have to deal behind his back with the club he initially spurned. When even a 43-year-old pitcher like Kenny Rogers thinks he’s probably better off without you, it might be time to re-evaluate your practice a little bit.


Rachel Dratch

All right, I guess this is sort of an asshole thing to harp on, especially consdering the fact that she appears to have more or less been given the permanent boot on 30 Rock, and will no longer be fucking the show up with her cringe-worthy appearances as she did in S1. But with the writers’ strike, with the show’s relatively declining quality, and with 30 Rock‘s perpetually low ratings, who knows if the show’ll even get another full season? It’d be fairly unfortunate if the show’s one full, good season was forever tained by Tina Fey’s unwillingness to hurt her exceptionally unfunny friend’s feelings.

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12 Responses to “The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: The Enemies”

  1. Sonja said

    1. Jerry Seinfeld
    2. Nickelback
    3. Adam Sandler
    4. Chuck Lorre
    5. Freeeee credit report dottt commmm

  2. buckworth said

    1. Isiah Thomas (the only true villain on the list)
    2. Free credit report
    3. Nickelback (also arbiter of bad taste)
    4. Where the fuck is George W.? Has he been #1 for years? Too easy
    5. Seinfeld

  3. Millie said

    1. Scott Boras
    2. Jerry Seinfeld
    3. Adam Sandler
    4. Free Credit Report.com
    5. Isiah Thomas

  4. Anton said

    Ranked from most to least detestable:

    1 – 50 Cent, for actually being inimical to the idea of treating music as art or at least a vehicle of cultural communication.
    2 – Isiah Thomas, because bad people should only ever be famous for being disliked.
    3 – Nickelback, because they don’t suck LIKE it’s their job, but it really seems like sucking may well BE their job.
    4 – Chuck Lorre, because bad TV shows tend to last longer than bad movies.
    5 – Adam Sandler, because I miss Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison.

  5. 1. Nickelback
    2. Isiah Thomas
    3. Seinfeld
    4. 50 Cent
    5. Write In: Avril Lavigne

  6. Erick said

    Villains
    1 Dane Cook
    2 Brian Robbins
    3 Jerry Seinfeld
    4 Nickelback

    Movies
    1 Southland Tales trailer
    2 Hey Isn’t there a War (Transformers WAS about Iraq – didn’t you see it? Average regular guy soldiers vs. George Bush send-up + secret government agents as villains… robots are just window dressing)
    3 Machine Gun leg
    4 Scorsese
    5 Three is magic

    Television
    1 Dayman/Nightman
    2 Say Hello to Yr Brother
    3 Caveman
    4 Strike

    Commericals
    1 Ahoy
    2 It’s Bacon

    Misc
    1 Don’t Tase Me Bro
    2 Lisa Nowak
    3 Pats/Dolphins
    4 Rockies (or year of the NL underdogs more generally)
    5 Lolcats enter the mainstream (featured in TIME, etc.)

  7. Dan said

    Isiah Thomas is the worst person in the history of the planet (coming from a big Knicks fan, here)
    Nickelback
    Scott Boras
    Brian Robbins
    Adam Sandler

  8. kyle said

    write in for your consideration: Bill Belichick

  9. jonathan said

    1. 50 Cent, not for treating music like a business per se, but for treating music like a business, then being a bad businessman.
    2. Nickelback
    3. Brian Robbins

    I guess my anti-300 vote properly belongs here.

  10. Haley said

    50 Cent
    Nickelback (I freakin’ hate those guys)
    FreeCreditReport.com (I freakin’ hate those guys)
    Jerry Seinfeld
    Isiah Thomas

  11. […] out a little more. Plus, lest we forget, just a short nine months ago, Jerry Seinfeld inducted as a Pop Culture Enemy into IITS’s 2007 Hall of Fame, largely for his grossly self-serving, utterly offensive HP […]

  12. Also, we need to determine the rounds of the quiz according to
    it. At the end of each round read out the cumulative scores.

    28.

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