Thursday, December 4, 2008

Barbara Walters' List of 2008’s Most Fascinating People Continues to be Year’s Biggest Waste of Time

Barbara Walters' list of 2008's most fascinating people is lame, at best. I suppose that ratings were a factor in the television special, so choosing bankable celebrities in an effort to draw a larger audience was a given; but damn, Miley Cyrus? For real Babs?

There's nothing remotely interesting about Miley Cyrus. I don't say that to belittle her success, which is undeniable, nor am I commenting on her talent (…), I'm just stating the obvious. Cyrus has had the most storybook rise to fame since Hilary Duff, and at least Lizzie McGuire was more fun. Perhaps a little later in her career we'll find out that Cyrus is hiding some serious baggage behind those big ass teeth, but until the daddy issues start to surface, I don't really care to see her responding to Waters' standard list of teen sensation centered questions that she probably threw at Britney Spears years ago.

I don't think Will Smith was a much better choice either. The man has been running the box office for more than a decade now. He's THE movie star; we get it. Having his best friend Tom Cruise on later in the hour was even more of a surprise, for all of the wrong reasons. How was Cruise even remotely relevant in 2008? Yeah, he was sort of fun in Tropic Thunder, but Lance Bass' cameo was clearly superior. I will say, at 46, the man has yet to age. That's kind of fascinating, right?

Elsewhere, Tina Fey and Sarah Palin were interesting choices, if only because the two became nearly interchangeable as Fey's impression of Palin became more credible than the governor herself during the course of the presidential election. And while I maintain that the entire pregnant man situation was a poorly conceived (no pun intended) exploitation of the gay and transgendered community's struggle to present healthy images of alternative lifestyles to the general public, I will admit that the story was attention grabbing nonetheless. Of the ten chosen, those are the only individuals from Waters' list that could be considered remotely interesting in 2008. When you're batting 3 for 10, it's time to sit down somewhere and think about what you've done.

Oh, and in case you thought I was going too hard on Babs, let's address her choice for the most fascinating person of 2008: Barack Obama. I would say that's the most predictable choice of 2008. I'll ride for Obama all day, but it wasn't at all necessary for him to be on this list. In fact, I would argue that he transcends it. Obama and his accomplishments go beyond fascinating, and certainly beyond Hannah Montana. While I'm sure Walters wasn't trying to equate one of the most historical moments in our country's history to Tom Cruise's offbeat dancing to a played out Ludacris song, she could have exercised a bit more tact in her selection making process. And if all that wasn't enough; Walters just interviewed the Obamas two weeks ago for 20/20. Overkill much?

What's more fascinating than Barbara's list is her haircut. She's been rocking that same helmet since the 60s, with more versatility than Sally Field any day. And the most interesting thing of 2008: Barbara's sleek yet sensible pant suit, with just enough sparkling beading to qualify it as an elite piece from the House of Dereon AARP collection.

Here's a rundown of the entire list.

10. Will Smith (didn't address gay rumors, or open marriage)

9. Miley Cyrus (no talk of her middle-aged boyfriend)

8. Michael Phelps (dude might actually be a fish; big feet, double jointed, narrow build)

7. Rush Limbaugh (I know, right?)

6. Tina Fey

5. Frank Langella (portrays President Nixon in new film, Frost/Nixon)

4. Sarah Palin

3. Pregnant Man (Google it)

2. Tom Cruise

1. Barack Obama (Yes, President-elect Obama just narrowly topped Top Gun)

What do you guys think…Is Barbara out of touch, or have I just been living under some far off rock all year?

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