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Worst TV Show of the Week

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Teen Choice Awards on Fox

By Josh Shirlen

This year's Teen Choice Awards on Fox lived up to our low expectations and has earned its place on our Worst of the Week list once again.  Wearing the mask of an awards show which recognizes achievement in entertainment from a teen perspective, the show is nothing more than a publicity stunt to give entertainers a platform to plug their latest album, movie, television show, or tour to impressionable teens.  The hosts and presenters irresponsibly and selfishly rely on sexual and drug related humor to appeal to the predominantly teen audience.


Along with Jessica Simpson, the Teen Choice Awards was hosted by Dane Cook.  Cook is a comedian best know for his crude sexual humor and an HBO special which documents his comedy tour "Tourgasm" as it travels around the country performing for predominantly college age audiences.  While Cook's performance as host of the teen awards show was much tamer than his comic routine, it still pushed the limits of decency in the 8 o'clock hour of prime time television.  Within the first ten seconds of the show he jokes about being high and (acting as a pirate) jokes about all the "booty" he hopes to find at the Teen Choice Awards.  When joined on stage with Jessica Simpson he comments on the size of the awards saying, "I guess bigger really is better."


The Teen Choice Awards Show did a great job of acknowledging the dangerous behaviors that teens partake in.  The only problem was that the manner in which these behaviors were acknowledged actually promoted them.  For instance, Marlon Wayans presented an award for best Myspace.com video.  It is no secret that many teens are posting inappropriate information and pictures of themselves on Myspace and therefore being targeted by sexual predators.  Wayans irresponsibly jokes that "you've got to be naked to get in my [Myspace] top 8."  Dane Cook acknowledged teen pregnancy when he introduced the two 15-year-old winners of a JC Penny casting call saying, "Look at them, so young and innocent, and they'll both be pregnant by the end of the night."


Some of the celebrities did seem to feel an obligation to positively influence teens.  For instance, singer Nelly Furtado challenged teens saying, "If you are going to be sexually active, then be safe and use a condom."  Rapper Timbaland added "don't be promiscuous."  Ironically, these comments followed their performance of the song "Promiscuous Girl" which features lyrics such as "Wait! I don't mean no harm, I can see you with my t-shirt on.  I can see you with nothing on, feeling on me before you bring that on."


In addition to the verbal indecency, the show featured teenage girls in bikinis bathing in an on-stage hot tub directly in front of the podium.  The hot tub served no purpose other than to establish the show's atmosphere as one catering to sexually charged youth.


The Teen Choice Awards is the perfect opportunity for America to witness how the entertainment industry views youth.  Ignoring the potential celebrities have to encourage healthy behavior in teens, they manipulate teens by appealing to their vulnerabilities, insecurities, and temptations to benefit their careers.  This show is truly a sad display and worthy of being named Worst of the Week.

Worst TV Show of the Week

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