After an MTV Video Music Awards ceremony Sunday that “felt thin, even by VMA standards,” reviewer Daniel D’Addario writes in Time magazine that it took an “electric performance” by Beyonce to eventually salvage a lackluster event.
“Prior to Beyonce’s appearance, deep into the broadcast, the show had been uncharacteristically muddled,” D’Addario writes. “Sure, the VMAs, MTV’s sassy answer to the Grammys, have long forged iconography out of an absolute refusal to set limits; that’s how we ended up with moments from Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ to Lady Gaga’s meat dress. But this year’s broadcast’s particular messiness seemed less like the raw material for potential greatness and more like a show put on by a network that has lost its touch both for spectacle and for simple appeal.”
D’Addario adds: “Just about every producing decision in the show seemed, simply, wrong.” The show, he says, suffered in particular from a shortage of star power.
“Nominees for the top award included Justin Bieber and Adele, both absent.,” D’Addario writes. “Their fellow nominee, Kanye West, had been given four minutes of airtime to do whatever he wanted — he spoke at some length along similar lines to last year’s speech, then premiered a new video in which he did not appear, one that ended with its lead female seemingly transforming into a big cat.”
D’Addario goes on to discuss the difficulty in attracting top talent in the age of social media. Please click on the link to Time near the top of this story to read his full analysis.