May 29, 2009

What to Do with Jonas

So, I've been trying to figure out what to think of the Jonas Brothers.  

Sure, that may seem like a weird thing to be spending my time worrying about.  But, since our move to Tallahassee and my change of career (to, well, uh, no career), I have way more time to think about useless things.  [Yay!  The blog should be rife with stupidity any day now!]  

It's not like I am obsessed with the Jonas Brothers.  I don't own a single song of theirs.  I don't own any movies or shows they are in.  I just observe the development of the band - well, can you call them a band any more?  They were originally just a confection created by the Disney machine.  That alone should qualify them for a big write-off.  But something happened along the way.  The kids write their own songs, play their own instruments.  They are hugely popular among young girls, teen girls, parents.  And now, they have their own show. 

Ah, the show.  Have you seen the show?  Originally, the thought of watching Jonas: The Show was about as attractive as watching Hippos Gone Wild on Animal Planet.  But one day I got stuck watching as the show came on and my kids were watching.  You know what?  It is funny.  No, seriously.  It is funny.  Not just lame and "tweener Disney contrived funny."  It has some really funny moment - mostly at the self-awareness of just how corny the band itself is on the verge of being at any given moment.  Did you ever watch the Monkees?  I used to watch it when I was growing up.  It was hilarious.  Jonas is in the same vein as the Monkees - and that is a compliment.  

The beauty of the Monkees show was that it was so over the top.  It was just goofy silly, largely poking fun at how ridiculous it was that people were going so insane over bands like the Beatles and other Brit groups.  I remember one show where Davy Jones was given a gig in a movie.  The other guys noticed how he was becoming so egomaniacal, so they tried to sabotage his performance.  At one point, they changed his cue cards.  He looks deep into the eyes of this blond beach bunny.  "I just need to say those three words.  You know, those three little words.  You're Under Arrest."  I laughed so hard at that.  It was just stupid.

I had the same feeling watching the Jonas show.  The episode I saw was about how the band wanted to go outside to get some silly item, but were going to be mobbed by the crowd of adoring fans.  I swear, that was a Monkees episode.  And the guys pulled it off - along with the expected song performances.  

The funniest Jonas appearance I've seen was actually in Night at the Museum 2.  It took me a while to realize it was them.  If you see the movie, pay careful attention to the cupids.  Their performance in those roles didn't just zing themselves, but they actually poked fun at every boy band in the last twenty years.  So, it is apparent that they have natural humor.  And anyone who has listened to any of their music realizes they have some really good musical chops.  And it doesn't hurt that they are attractive, young, and backed by Disney itself.  

So where does this go?  What is their ceiling?  Are they going to be successful separately, or do they have to stick together to win?  Will this be like 'NSync, where there can be only one star surviving?  Will they be relevant once they get to be adults?  This is a question facing all the Disney and Nick stars.  All of them are fighting to keep their Disney ties, while pulling away.  [Entertainment Weekly had a great story on this a couple weeks ago in their magazine.]  I don't know if we have really had a group like this come on the scene.  We've had groups that drew teeny boppers.  Let's not forget the Beatles were once dismissed as a trite youth band, before they had a hugely successful career.  What if the Beatles had Disney behind them?  Where would their career have gone?  Would it have helped or hurt?  

In that case, what if the Monkees had Disney behind them?  They were mildly popular with some big hits, but they didn't have much true talent.  If they actually could play and write well, how would things have been different?  And if they had a huge entertainment entity backing them?  Who knows?  I'm just curious to see what happens with the Jonas clan in the next few years.  Television?  Movies?  Music?  Broadway?  No clue.  Are they the next Baldwin brothers?  The next Estevez/Sheen clan?  Okay, maybe those are poor examples.

Well, I sense that you all are dumber for having read this.  I will do my best to create something more useful and intelligent next time.  But, if you end up paying homage to the Jonas Empire in a few years, don't blame me.  I tried to warn you.  And yooooou didn't listen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My favorite was the part about "hippos gone wild". hahahahahahahaha