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Hello all. Back from this not-at-all-abnormally-long absence with something just too long for one, or even several, tweets. (And it’s still not all that long.)

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I don’t have much to say about MTV’s new reality competition series, “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF,” because I always tell everyone at the newspaper that “I don’t watch MTV, ever.” But that’s a lie; if I never watched it, I’d never have a legitimate answer for when people asked why I hated it, other than the boilerplate “No music videos!”

So I watched it tonight. I watched the second half of the new Paris Hilton series. I want to tell you why it’s bad, and why its good.

First, the bad. Though she starred in “The Simple Life,” Hilton is a failure as a TV personality. She’s a distant, aloof heiress who doesn’t concern herself with the issues of those she considers below her — a tragic mistake for a show where all the contestants are her subordinates. She comes off as sad, as would anyone who needs a TV show to make a friend. The competitions are cheesy, and the contestants are predictable. And as easy as it is to take a shot at this, it’s impossible to ignore the sickening feeling you get when you watch dozens of attractive young people fawn over a woman who really doesn’t deserve the praise or attention.

But the show isn’t so horrible as to warrant violence, certainly not “Tila Tequila”-level unwatchable. Watching the contestants admit that they’re lying about everything they say is refreshing. None of these people want to be Hilton’s friend — they want to be famous themselves. And when they admit it, as some did in the premiere, it’s refreshing to hear. It’s also fun to know that one day, your grand-kids may ask you about it, since it’s probably the most horrible premise for a show in the history of television. Watch “My New BFF,” and you’re watching history.

There is some strange attraction that I have to Hilton. It’s not physical, because I find her a bit muleish and bland. There’s this itch, somewhere in the back of my mind, that she might not be as dumb as she seems. She’s never done anything to prove her intelligence — quite the opposite, in fact. But sometimes I think she’s a modern day Andy Kaufman, and that she’s consciously playing with an American public so crazed with celebrity that they’ll accept anyone, anyone, to fill the role, no matter how talented. And when I think about that, I just can’t help but love this girl and every hilarious, terrible new joke she plays.

This column ran in today’s inside beat, the weekly entertainment section of The Daily Targum. That neat photo of me ran above the column, meaning my face is now famous.

Whether you’re a freshman involved in your seventh ice-breaker of orientation, looking for an easy way to start a conversation at a party, or just chatting at a bus stop, there is one no-fail topic for people our age: old school Nickelodeon.

Before you throw your newspaper computer down and announce to everyone that you remember “Rugrats,” take a moment to read on. This is not a column remembering the good old days. Instead, I’m attempting to help the Rutgers Internet community raise the level of intelligent discourse surrounding the programs we all remember.

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If you missed my cool “recently updated” format I had here tonight, shame on you. I worked really hard on that. But you can still read everything I thought about tonight’s Emmy telecast, in nice chronological order. Mind you, it’s quite a bit or writing. But it’s generally entertaining, especially if you watched the show.

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Yesterday I was taking a shower, and I had an idea for a game show called “Yeezy, Weezy or Jeezy?” The premise is as follows:

The host plays an audio/video clip, reads lyrics, shows a photo or reads a news item featuring one of the three popular rappers in question — Kanye West (Yeezy), Lil Wayne (Weezy) and Young Jeezy. The contestants then buzz in and say one of the names. There are two rounds of trivia, and in the final round the contestant with the most points gets to face off against one of the three rappers in a challenge completely unrelated to music.

Possible ideas for the final round: Kanye West and the contestant race through a slime-laden obstacle course, collecting orage flags as they go; Young Jeezy and the contestant must pick from a collection of numbered suitcases; Lil Wayne and the contestant try to figure out answers to a large crossword puzzle.

In the season finale, Kanye and Jeezy would team up to perform their hit single “Put On,” and then would face the contestant in a geography competition, in fitting with the chorus to the tune. For instance, “Q: To which side of Milwaukee is Detroit? A: East Side.” In keeping with the song, no answers will be “North Side.”

Prizes range from facial tattoos a la Wayne to sweaters and plastic glasses with lines on them like Kanye, and also whatever the hell Jeezy is into (possibly interesting hats?).

Of course, throughout the course of the show the rappers could bring on special guests. Here’s another idea: when a rapper needs help answering a question, he can use a “featuring” token, where he may enlist the help of an artist who has been featured on one of his tracks. This would make T-Pain a regular on the show. I like that… this thing is gonna be a hit, I can feel it in my bones.

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Some of you might have heard about this spinoff of The Office that actually isn’t really a spinoff but no one totally knows for sure. The latest is apparently that NBC wants a spinoff, but showrunner Greg Daniels wants to create a separate show. The article I’ve linked, which appears to be written by a reputable person, quotes a “source” as saying, “Daniels is a stubborn, stubborn guy. I bet Greg gets his way.” For the record, I hope he does, because I trust his judgment more than the network’s here. But I also couldn’t help but think…what other Gregs do I know of who are stubborn, hard-headed and always get what they want in the end? Hmm… Read the rest of this entry »

‘Camp Rock’ was great.  I just finished watching it and I couldn’t be happier.  This movie debuted two nights ago but I was on vacation and I couldn’t catch it until tonight, which turned out to be a blessing, otherwise this feeling I have right now would have been gone a long time ago and I still wouldn’t be enjoying the thrill of another Disney knockout.  I guess most of my posts are about Disney but if they keep churning out quality pieces of film like this you can’t be angry.

‘Camp Rock’ is the story of high schooler Mitchie Torres (Demi Lovato) who attends the summer camp ‘Camp Rock’ and lies her way to popularity.  Also at the camp is bad boy pop star Shane Gray (Joe Jonas) whose band mates Nate and Jason (Nick Jonas and Kevin Jonas) send him back to the camp to be a counselor to get into good graces with the media.  Meaghan Jette Martin plays the popular girl with an attitude Tess who shakes things up at the camp.  With all that being said…

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NBC announced its fall premiere schedule today, and there are a few interesting bits in there for  John Q. Fanboy.

Most importantly, The Office will be returning Thursday, Sept. 25, with an hour-long premiere at 9. 30 Rock won’t be back until over a month later, on Oct. 30. They did this last year, if I remember correctly, debuting Rock much later, but I really don’t know why. What I do know, though, is that with the epic season finale they treated us to last week, and Greg Daniels spending more and more time on the upcoming Office spin-off, there is going to be a lot of pressure to make this hour-long episode a damn good one. Still no title or date for the spin-off, but I’ve heard that it might be given the precious post-Super Bowl spot.

Also of note is the big return NBC has slated for Heroes third season. Heroes, if you remember, ended its second season when the strike hit, and didn’t return this spring when all the other series did. NBC is planning a Heroes bash for Monday, Sept. 22, with an hour-long clip show and then a two hour premiere. I still haven’t watched the second season, because it fell on a really busy night for me in the fall, but I’ll be sure to catch up on Hulu before September.

Finally, we now know what will be filling Scrubs‘ spot this fall — Kath & Kim, an American adaptation of a popular Australian sitcom surrounding a dysfunctional mother and daughter. It stars Molly Shannon.

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

EDIT: None of this matters anyway, because David Cook won. Still, we can treat this as a hypothetical.

David Archuleta is under two hours away from taking the American Idol crown, and it’s true — he’s a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But can Americans handle their Idol being an Osmond?

We remember what happened last time a Mormon tried singing black music to an awkwardly receptive crowd (Edit — new video, shorter and includes the “bling bling” line Jake alluded to):

Can we be sure that he won’t take Paula back to the Yearning for Zion Ranch in West Texas? Yes. But we must be wary of the forthcoming album that likely champ will be putting out… I know I’ll be listening to it backwards, searching for hidden messages. I think they’ll sound something like this:

“Hello friend, can I interest you in the church of Jesus Christ of… oh, no? OK, sorry to bother you. Have a wonderful day.”

I have chills down my spine just thinking about it…

And we’ve reached the end of upfronts week (feels like it just started!). FOX gets last ups, and their lineup has me very excited because of the bump in prime time animation. Let’s take a look:

Canned: Back To You, Canterbury’s Law, K-Ville, Nashville, New Amsterdam, Next Great American Band, Return of Jezebel James, Unhitched

Staying: Basically everything you care about.

New: Sit Down, Shut Up; The Cleveland Show; Dollhouse (Midseason); Fringe; Do Not Disturb (formerly The Inn); Secret Millionaire (Midseason)

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