Unless you are a blogger who subjects yourself to terrible television for a living (like me), you probably didn't bother tuning in last Sunday for the premiere of Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On, the show where a once-popular female trio (three of whose members are the offspring of famous musicians) try to restart their music career.
Was ever there a more desperate title for a TV show? Not that we can recall. But, hey, at least it's fitting, because the content of this thing flailed around like a drowning drunk man. You know that Ricky Gervais movie, in which he lives in a world where lying hasn't been invented yet? Well, watching Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On is like getting a glimpse into a world where nobody recognizes irony as a concept. They say things like "It's been a while since we've all performed together, so to get the juices really flowing, we're headlining..." -- What? What are you headlining? This had better be good! -- "We're headlining the Utah State Fair. This is a real test." Not even kidding.
At one point, Chynna Phillips -- an evil witch of a woman, as far as we can tell, but more on that later -- notes, "I think God hands you a certain number of opportunities and then the door closes." Ya think, Chynna? You don't think that maybe releasing a Wilson Phillips Greatest Hits album two years after you'd released a Wilson Phillips Best Of album was a sign that you'd already squeezed as much out of this band as humanly possible? Maybe the door closed after that. Or maybe it closed after the Wilson Phillips Christmas album last year that charted at 135 in America and literally nowhere else in the rest of the world. We're pretty sure the door sealed completely after that one.
Nope. You wanna know how the trio knew its star was still shining? "We had a cameo in the hit movie Bridesmaids that really boosted our profile, and we had to take advantage of this." Um. Maybe Wilson Phillips didn't see that movie -- weren't they the butt of a joke in it?
And the irony bombs just keep coming. Chynna: "I really think that Jesus cares about this record, because he knows we're playing homage to our parents." Your parents, Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys and John and Michelle Phillips from the Mamas & the Papas? Who don't need their back catalogs annihilated by you three? (Did we mention that Wilson Phillips' new album is made up entirely of covers of their parents' biggest hits?) Sure. We bet that's Jesus' top priority this week.
Did we also mention how much we hate Chynna after watching this thing? In case you're not sure, she's the blonde one whose face has been reconstructed by plastic
surgeons to make her look like a completely different human. She's pretentious, false, inordinately selfish (in the midst of recording their come-back album, she gives her band-mates one day's notice when she bails on them to be on Dancing With The Stars for three months). She's bitchy (at one point she refers to Wendy and Carnie as her "ugly step-sisters"), and she's irresponsible, failing to show up for important rehearsals. Also? Like a lot of bad people, she hides behind religion as a means to give the impression of being a decent human and thus prays every three minutes. Did we mention she's married to Billy Baldwin?
If there is a likable one in this bunch, it's Carnie. She's professional, funny, and isn't afraid to call Chynna on her bullshit. But then she goes and ruins it all by yelling at her husband... because he called her Carnie. Yes. He called her by her name. The horror! "Why are you being really feisty and annoying right now?" she whines at him immediately afterwards.
This TV show represents the very worst of television and music in 2011. On the TV front, we get to pay witness to a trio of women trying to drag out their extra 30 seconds in the spotlight, via the means of not one, but two, reality TV shows. Dancing With The Stars is one thing (there's not much talking on that), but Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On does the opposite of promoting the band -- it makes the trio look sad, desperate, and totally over (duh). Watching these three women bicker and struggle isn't going to make anyone want to buy their new album -- it's just going to make people throw out their old ones (if they haven't already).
And on the music front, the fact that Sony is releasing this covers album for a band that hasn't had a bonafide hit for 20 years, when young, very promising bands can't get a deal? Well, it's beyond depressing. If we were Chynna Phillips, we'd probably say a prayer right now. The best we can do is turn the TV off and pretend that none of this happened.