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Friday, August 11, 2006

Guilty Pleasure: My Super Sweet 16

The bestest TV show ever (this month) has got to be MTV's My Super Sweet 16. Murray has Oprah, I have this.

Oh the excess, the fights, the drama!

The weekly premise documents the absurd planning that real (affluent) teens undertake to have the most awesomest coming out party ever. Whether a Sweet 16, Quinceaneara, Bar Mitzvah or Coming Out, these teen tyrants throw tantrums and fits and essentially get their silliest demands met by gumpy dads and moms who spare no expense to make baby happy. The gumpy parents are always a joy to behold - they are bound helpless to the "needs" of their ingrate offspring.

Check this example, where teen girl throws the ultimate bash for friends, replete with dancers, chariots, snakes, C-list celebrity performers, and the requisite all new BMW present from Dad at the show's closure (in typical episodes, the BMW is that cruel compromise made with Daddy, who is unwilling to be pushed into the preferred Porsche - gotta draw the line somewhere, dammit!).

The interesting detail about most of the episodes is that the kids hail from affluent, but not necessarily "rich" families. While I am certain that the average kid can hardly get this kind of lavish entitlement (though they surely envy it, and some resentments lie in the fact that they are being denied this new American Dream), I buy that probably more kids get this treatment (or comparable lower-budget attentions none-the-less) than ever before. And the show captures interesting insights about the modern enslavement of today's parents to their kids' "happiness" - which creates unhappiness and dissatisfactions. And match these parental excesses up to my "Bankrupt!" series factoids, and the future don't look happy when all these spoiled brats hit the inevitable reality of low-paid independence post-graduation.


El Gaffney said...

Question to avid viewers: Has there ever been a Jewish guy or girl Super Sweet 16? My guess is not.

Imagine you are 13 and you are invited to 104 Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. 2-3 per weekend if you're popular! Forget the actual service where you see your friends on stage in the spotlight for a couple hours (singing in hebrew, reading from the Torah, becoming a man or woman). Then you attend "Michelle on Broadway" and "Magic by Matt," complete with t-shirts, performances, pigs in a blanket and a sushi bar.
Jealous, gentile?

Second question to avid viewers: Are the majority of these Super Sweet 16's in highly (reform) Jewish populated areas?

I say it's the Jones' Keeping Up with the Reed's AND the Steins. The playing field is even and open. Let the competition AND parents.

P.S. "Hart, this is your father."

Jeremy said...

While I do agree that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah competitions don't help, I think that MTV and Paris Hilton bear some responsibility for this epidemic of excess.

You would think that showing these whiny brats complaining about not having Lucas Prata (whoever that is?) at their party would turn kids off, but Paris Hilton's popularity for doing nothing has inspired a generation.

I actually saw a skit on SNL parodying this show and I thought it was a joke. Then I saw the real show and it was EXACTLY the same as the skit. I was nauseous.

These parents need to stand up to their kids. Even if they are hated by their kids in the short term, the kids will actually "not die of shame"and they will get over it eventually.

I blame Paris.