2012 MTV Video Music Awards: Review Revue

For all the glitzy stars and the roster of top notch performers on hand, the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards seemed downright uneventful. In fact, the biggest surprise of the night was One Direction winning not one, not two, but three Moonmen. (Sorry, The Wanted.) It kind of makes you miss the days of Madonna rolling around on stage in a wedding dress. Or Britney Spears stumbling around to “Gimme More”. Or Lady Gaga dangling above the stage, splattered with blood. Nope, none that happened this time around. And, sure enough, bored critics took note. Head below to see how the Internet at large reacted to the 2012 VMAs.

:: The Los Angeles Times found little to be thrilled by: “A virtual partnership between global communications company Viacom (which owns MTV) and the remaining big four major labels, the annual Video Music Awards presented/marketed some of America’s hottest pop stars in a music production so bloated that ego very nearly burst out of my flatscreen. And what’s worse, little of unscripted interest happened.”

:: The New York Times added, “Valued for its structured freespiritedness and to some degree its stylistic diversity, the VMAs remain the annual ceremony with the greatest potential for shock, even if in recent years it’s rarely delivered on it. That’s because the stakes are lower than they’ve ever been. Musicians act out all year long, and rarely on MTV or any of its related properties. Still, year in and year out, big stars – if not quite the biggest – come to experience a coronation like the one their heroes had, even if it’s depreciated in value.”

:: Rolling Stone looked at the bright side: “No interruptions from Kanye West, no Lady Gaga in drag, no Madonna-Britney makeout session – this year’s MTV Video Music Awards were a pretty tame affair… The performances were the saving grace at this year’s VMAs, which included a powerful turn by Frank Ocean and the television debuts of new songs by Green Day, Pink, Alicia Keys and Taylor Swift.”

:: E! Online somehow managed to scrape together a list of “jaw-dropping moment”: “So, the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards were last night. Yeah… But though the brief-by-awards-show-standards event lacked the sort of Swiftian, Britneyfied, Kid-Rocky drama that has characterized years past, the ceremony was not without its shocking moments… Whatever happened to the good old days of Kid Rock and Tommy Lee throwing down in the audience? Just kidding, it’s wonderful that [Chris] Brown and Drake, just a couple months removed from a bar brawl between their entourages—duly acknowledged by [Kevin] Hart in his monologue—threw neither physical nor verbal punches at each other tonight. Maybe everyone just happened to pick the same night to grow up.”

:: USA Today pointed out there was another big event going on last night: “Despite the playful tone of the larger-than-life awards show, politics was on many of the artist’s minds. Saldana said she set her DVR to record President Obama’s address at the Democratic National Convention. ‘My TV’s already set. I’m not going to miss a thing,’ she said on the red carpet. Ne-Yo agreed: ‘I”m definitely going to get somewhere where I can watch it,’ he said. ‘I’m a 100% Obama supporter.’ MTV even planned for the occasion, moving up the show’s start time so it would not compete with Obama’s speech.”

:: CNN noted, “The 2012 version of MTV’s big show passed without a major faux pas, such as happened three years ago when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance of the best female video award to say it should have gone to Beyonce… As the show ended — and presumably as most viewers prepared to change channels to see Obama’s speech — Hart put in a plug for them to take the time to vote in the election. ‘It’s in our hands,’ Hart said.”

:: The Guardian quipped, “Entertainment was kept to a minimum as the program seemed to secede to the popularity of the convention and not really try to entertain anyone except the millions of One Direction fans, who saw their band win three awards for ‘What Makes You Beautiful’. The musical highlight of this not-very-musical event was Frank Ocean’s performance of ‘Thinkin Bout You’, where his sincere crooning managed to detract from the temperature-defying set that seemed to resurrect Survivor‘s tribal council.”

:: PolicyMic took the event’s host to task: “Kevin Hart, who was disappointingly un-funny, hosted the evening, and for all his talk about being bold and taking no prisoners, Hart was safe, a bit loud, and the most amusing part of his whole schtick were the jokes about his height. Hart standing next to Dwight Howard (Hart is 5’2″ to Howard’s 6′ 11″) received well-deserved laughs, but it was the physical humor that got the guffaws, not the writing.”

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