As the Negative Nancies at Gawker noted earlier this week, New Year’s Eve is a polarizing holiday. In pursuit of the mythic ultimate best time ever, partygoers find disappointment and drunken embarrassment as often as euphoria. And if you’re in New York, you’re probably already freaking out about the inevitable choice between the self loathing of paying out your last few dollars at a lavish party and the crushing resignation of watching the ball drop from the confines of your living room.
Of course, there are any number of ways to go with option three, actual fun, and we’ve got 4-1-1 on all of them at Flavorpill. But just in case you needed any more reason to separate yourself from the TV, here’s a summary of what the networks have lined up. And yes, Dick Clark is alive (at 79!) and involved.
FOX brings together American Idol winner David Cook, Stone Temple Pilot Scott Weiland and Evel Knievel’s son, Robbie, for a night of debauchery, motorcycles and crooning in Las Vegas. This actually makes a lot of sense. Las Vegas and New Years share a certain kinship, both of them existing solely to provide an excuse for drunken buffoonery. Las Vegas may actually be a better setting for New Year’s than New York, if only because you’d be hard pressed to find a volcano anywhere in Manhattan to jump a motorcycle over.
Carson Daly brings his MTV honed bro chops to NBC’s party, along with performances from Katy Perry, T.I., the Ting Tings (?) and Ludacris. Katy Perry and T.I. are totally understandable props for any celebration of the desolate pop tundra that was 2008, and Ludacris is always a welcome guest, but the Ting Tings? Our guess is that this is an oddly choreographed attempt to ring in 2009 with a band that might break into the mainstream in the next year, but the Ting Tings is the best they could do? Carson Daly hosting New Year’s Eve 2009 with the Ting Tings is basically like Adam Curry hosting New Year’s eve 1990 with the Happy Mondays.
Meanwhile, Daly’s old haunt is letting Miley Cyrus go crazy with the channel for an evening, pulling the classic MTV trick of broadcasting from the home of a lucky, and probably hysterically crying, Hannah Montana fan. And, of course, there’s the obligatory marketing technology internet tie in thing. And we quote: “MTV and Pepsi are closing out the final hours of 2008 by engaging consumers in a live text-to-screen dialogue about how they plan to refresh themselves and the world in 2009.” Which to us means that viewers will be subjected to a disorienting stroboscopic display of “yes we can!” txt spk messages flashing across the bottom of the screen during a Metro Station performance.
Finally, New Year’s wouldn’t be complete without Dick Clark. ABC will be bringing him back (from the dead? from cryogenic sleep?) again for New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2009, which he will host beside Ryan Seacrest and, um, Fergie. We’d like to get all negative about how ridiculous the idea of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and Dick Clark are in 2009, but we’re pretty sure Dick Clark has never even heard of a computer, so we’re going to let him off the hook. If nothing else, this show gives us a chance, as we make the plunge into the last year of the oughts, to gaze upon Dick Clark’s ageless mug and, in it’s myriad and deep folds, find a link to our collective past. Happy New Year everyone!