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I’m not going to launch into a big claptrap about how the reality TV genre changed the face of television forever (I’ll leave that to Communications majors with a thesis to write), but I will say this: it’s certainly good at making up new celebrities and pushing them on us.
You’ve got your shows like American Idol and Project Runway that make real life people into celebrities. And then you have Surreal Life and Rock Of Love that turn has-been celebrities into somewhat relevant celebrities again for one final hurrah before they fade away forever.
But now there’s something else. Something that deals with not-quite-celebrities-yet. A seriously contrived show that follows around Shwayze and Cisco, two guys that are sort of famous. The show’s called Buzzin’ and it leaves me wondering if these guys will still qualify for the has-been shows of the future or if they’ve cashed in their reality stardom passes too soon. So who are these people? It’s these two guys:
Shwayze is some guy who became friends with Cisco Adler, a Malibu native and the son of Lou Adler, a record producer who worked with Carole King and The Mamas and The Papas (yes I Wikipedia’d that). And now the two of them make songs together and Shwayze has a new record deal.
And that pretty much brings us up to date.
We get a little glimpse of the two of them performing a concert. There’s nothing noteworthy here, except this douche in the front row, singing into his imaginary microphone.
Shwayze, like most hip-hop artists, was raised on the streets. He is from a trailer park in Malibu. Now I know what you’re thinking. How bad can a trailer park overlooking the ocean and situated in a wealthy community possibly be?
It’s actually pretty nice, from the looks of it. And Shwayze is quick to get defensive about his background. “It’s not like Eminem 8 Mile trailer park, but a trailer park nonetheless.” Why do you have to be like that, Shwayze? I mean, this is waterfront property here! If you’re from nice place, just be from a nice place. Stop pretending.
If you ask me, I think he should have played up the whole Malibu thing. People LOVE rich kids.
By now you’re probably wondering if you have tunnel vision. Don’t be alarmed. You haven’t taken too many pills, you’re just experiencing the work of the Flip camera. The boyz were given the little pocket-sized camera to film their own misadventures. So this means that for much of the episode, you The Viewer gets to feel trapped in a box. That black fuzzy frame is almost always there. And there are few wide-shots to establish where we are. It’s all close ups on faces and no perspective of where people are standing in relation to one another.
It makes me feel claustrophobic. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I felt physically uncomfortable while watching this show. Although the sight of Cisco usually causes discomfort anyway. I can’t tell if it’s because he wears scarves or because his arms are skinnier than mine.
Their Entourage-like posse would not be complete without a hanger-on who calls himself a manager. To that end, we have Warren.
So Warren, what is it exactly that you do? “I separate the giraffes from the hippopotami,” he explains. Really? What do you use to do so? Like a big stick?
Even though Shwayze is on the verge of stardom (or so MTV will have me believe), he’s still broke and just trying to work hard and earn some money. His pal Cisco advises him otherwise. “Sometimes you gotta put your thing out to get your name out.”
When I first watched this I ignored that comment because, frankly, it was stupid. But then my friend informed me that it’s because a while back a picture of naked Cisco was all over the internet. And apparently this is the reason that Mischa Barton dumped him. Well, it was either because of the picture, or because his balls looked really gross in the picture. Either way, if I were Cis, I wouldn’t be bringing that up. But I’m not him, and that makes me happy.
Looks like we’ve got quite the crazy crew to take us on some wild adventures. What’s up first, boys?
Shwayze’s music video taping!
It’s on this music video set that we’re introduced to the band’s DJ, Skeet Skeet. It was not until I was researching this guy that I realized that was his name. See how on the show’s font, it looks like Sheet Sheet? I thought it was a dumb name. But I guess I don’t think Skeet Skeet’s much better.
Everything’s going well and the gang takes a minute to relax and talk about their upcoming Super Bowl weekend plans. They are playing 7 shows in 3 days, and this is meant to be the big debut of Shwayze.
But then Shwayze remembers, “Oh yeah, I have a court date on Monday, so I have to be back by 8 a.m.”
“But we have a show Sunday night.”
When asked what he’s gotta go to court for, Shwayze begins with the highly suspicious, “It’s just…drama.” Seems “they thought” he was making fake IDs.
Manager Warren wonders why Shwayze has yet to inform his manager, Jordan, about this court day. Woah woah, back it up, Warren. I thought you were the manager?
“No I just separate the giraffes. Remember? Jordan owns the record label.”
Oh I see now. Well then I agree Shwayze should probably fess up. But he really wants to keep it quiet, so now he’s just got to come up with a brilliant plan to be in two places- the concert in Phoenix and at home in Malibu- at once. It’s like a wacky episode of Full House or something.
Jordan and his record label sidekick, David Patton, drop by to see how the video shoot is going and to stress just how big this upcoming weekend will be for Shwayze’s budding career.
There’s a good deal of corporate businessy talk here, and possibly some critical plot points, but I could not for the life of me pay attention while Cisco’s boots were in the scene.
Just look at them!
For goodness sake. Where did he even find my old snow boots from the winter of ’87 and how did he ever squeeze his feet into a 5 year old’s size?
Once the music video shoot wraps, the gang’s all like, “Well, now what should we do?” “Uh, I guess we can all hang out again.”
And so they all sit around in Cisco’s living room while Warren plays with like 3 small dogs that appear out of nowhere and jump all over his lap. But he won’t be distracted by the tiny pooches, he’s got bigger things on his mind: What the eff is Shwayze going to do about the approaching court date?
Suddenly Cisco comes up with a brilliant plan.
Actually Cisco suggests that Shwayze get a lawyer to appear in court on his behalf and get your court date moved.
And in the next scene, Shawyze meets the attorney who is going to save his life/Super Bowl Weekend.
Turns out that this whole court date switcheroo is not as easy as he’d thought. The lawyer says he’ll see if there’s anything he can do but he doesn’t seem hopeful.
Poor Shwayze just can not get a break! First he has to grow up in a trailer park, then he’s wrongfully accused, and now this. Good thing he’s about to go on a kickass trip to Phoenix. That oughta take his mind off things.
The boyz are going to stay in a house that their record label booked for them. But before you think things are finally looking up for ol’ Shwayze, they take another nasty turn. Shortly after they land at the Phoenix airport, they are shocked to learn that their accommodations are miles from their concert venues. Unbelievable! You mean he’ll have to sit there in the backseat of a Hummer, sipping a capri sun while someone drives him to and from his shows? The hard knock life, indeed.
Once they arrive at their rented house, they deem it worthy of not being bitched about for the next 3 days. So they settle in, Rock Paper Scissors for the best rooms, and then it’s time to get off to their first show. And Jordan reminds them they better impress the sponsors!
They play about 4 shows in one night, bopping around from the Playboy party to the Tommy Lee party to the Snoop Dog party. If I were these guys I’d be hoping for the Have Some Gatorade And Then Take a Nap party. But I guess that’s why these guys are (almost) famous and I’m the lame ass who’s sitting here writing about them.
At 6 a.m. they conclude their marathon evening by cramming a dozen girls into their Hummer.
Three hours later, the boyz wake up from a good night’s sleep, pour themselves bowls of generic corn poof cereal and begin discussing the day ahead. It’s not long before Warren asks if Shwayze’s lawyer was able to move the court date. “Umm, uhh. I forgot about that.” Commence freakout.
Warren decides that the first course of action in remedying the situation is to inform Cisco of their current predicament. Because, if nothing else, Cisco is a man whose got his shit together.
“Cisco Cisco! Shwayze doesn’t know if his lawyer moved his court date? What should we do?”
“Maybe you should call his lawyer.”
“Great idea, Cisco! Just superb.”
But when Shwayze actually does get in touch with his people, he learns that he is still due in Malibu at 8a.m. He’s got less than 24 hours to make it back, but he can’t leave until he performs his show that night.
Alright men, let’s put our heads together and think of ways to get home.
Ooo! Ooo! What about a plane?
It was a good thought, but it turns out that all of the flights leaving Phoenix after the Superbowl are booked.
Just when they start to think there’s no hope, Warren proposes they…drum roll please…drive home!
Oh thank goodness you solved that mess, eh boys? And just in time because now you have to go to yet another party. This time it’s the BIG ONE. The one with the ominous Pontiac Sponsors.
The minute that Cisco and Shwayze arrive, Jordan gets on their case about what a vital evening this is. “You better not leave after your performance. You better stay here and meet the sponsors.”
Shwayze and Cisco do their little show and then the second it’s over with, Warren approaches them with The Plan. They’re going to get in the Hummer right now –right now?! you crazy!–and drive home. Say what? But they’ve gotta hustle before Jordan finds out. And they’ve gotta get Jordan’s lackey, David, out of their way.
The boyz all pile into the car, but David stresses “It’s really important that you meet the sponsors.” Okay, okay they get it. But dude, give it up. They’re clearly leaving you right now. Shwayze has a deer in the headlights look the whole time, and is still desperately trying to cover up his little legal snafu. As he sticks his head out of the Hummer window he’s like “Tell Jordan we had to go…but don’t say anything about court.”
And off they drive into the night. They make it to the Malibu court with just minutes to spare.
Finally, it looks like Shwayze is getting a break. No, make that breaksssss. He gets off with just 30 days community service.
Wait, they haven’t dealt with Jordan yet. And homeboy is pissed. He turns up at Cisco’s house, dropping F bombs so fast that he doesn’t even have time to take off his sunglasses.
Jordan takes Shwayze outside for a private talking to, during which he informs the wee lad that his record label has a team of lawyers on hand for emergencies such as this. Aw, there’s no place like home. They make up and all is right with the Team Buzzin‘ once again.
Oh yeah, and Shwayze has to pick up garbage on the beach.