Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Make better decisions in 2009

In: VH1 is indebted to Flavor Flav. After the reality show cycle perpetuated by “Flavor of Love,” which resulted in two sequels ?, Tiffany “New York” Pollard’s spin-offs and the creation of the “Rock of Love,” VH1 has found the equation for success with audiences in repetition. “Real Chance at Love,” another such incarnation, features the brothers who competed in the original “I Love New York.” Together, along with a third, less noticeable brother, they form the Stallionaires, a musical group shamelessly plugged around each and every turn to the extent that the dating pretense takes a backseat. With pointless challenges and an entirely contrived ranch theme, viewers should wonder when this cycle will be put to its rightful end.

Out: While VH1 has always been successful at exploiting reckless women to the point of degradation, they at least try to clean up the mess they create through “Rock of Love Charm School.” Our favorite trainwrecks compete in trials of teamwork, ingenuity and overall lady-like grace, the results of which are hilarious and, in the case of season one (when it was “Flavor of Love Charm School”) winner Sapphyri, potentially inspiring. And of course, Sharon Osbourne deemed the “headmistress” of anything is great too.

In: Election Night was fun at the Herald office, with everyone crowded around the television as Barack Obama — who was able to inspire so many people in Madison and around the country — was elected president.


I had the three major networks’ coverage streaming on my computer with CNN on the main television. As I glanced over, I saw something terribly disturbing.

CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin, who was evidently in Chicago, magically appeared in front of anchor Wolf Blitzer as a hologram.


My main man Wolf commented on how nice it was to be “looking” at Jessica face-to-face as if they were having a conversation despite being hundreds of miles away. But it just looked ridiculous.

Out: The solution: Just don’t do it ever, ever again. Do the standard split screen. Alternate between the two shots. Anything but the hologram.

John King’s magic wall might work and having 34 commentators around a table all looking at laptops is passable. But the hologram should die a quick death.

Out: Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak (2008)

Following the loss of his mother, Donda West, it only seems logical that the music world gives Kanye West a little sympathy. Unfortunately, his last album, 808s and Heartbreak, released Nov. 25, is a transgression too large to ignore.

Simply put, this bumbling mess of an album was an epic failure. Although it was not the worst album, it was certainly the biggest letdown of this past year. Not once does ‘Ye do any sort of rapping — yes, I know, he’s a producer, not a rapper — but the tracks are sodden, vocodered jumbles of vocals, bleeps and guest artists.

In: Kanye West, Graduation (2007)

Amid sampling Daft Punk (“Stronger”), calling out Jay-Z (“Big Brother”) or being murdered in the trunk of a car in the “Flashing Lights” video, Graduation is arguably Kanye’s most in-depth release thus far. For an alternative to his recent blunder, look no further.

Out: “That’s What She Said” jokes

Nothing stops a conversation in its tracks quite like a “that’s what she said” joke — and that’s why they’re the bane of all of humanity.

While certainly not a 2008-specific trend, this was the year when they grew in popularity, no thanks to Steve Carrell’s Michael on “The Office.” But simply because he can pull this off doesn’t mean the rest of the world can — or should.

Besides, the response usually doesn’t make sense. (That’s what she said.) So, can we all agree to end this madness?

In: Lolspeak

Once again, not specifically invented in 2008, but the popularity of and other sites on the Internet have contributed to the lolspeak phenomenon. Not only are the pictures that accompany the captions teeth-clenchingly adorable, but lolspeak will confuse the hell out of anyone unfamiliar with the trend, making it the perfect comeback.

Out: Sex … with Mom and Dad

No one enjoys having the dreaded “sex talk” with their parents, so throwing in a complete stranger will make it less uncomfortable, right?

Wrong. So very, very wrong. But this is the premise of VH1’s latest debacle, headed up by Dr. Drew Pinsky, the “mastermind” behind one of the network’s other reality missteps, “Celebrity Rehab.” The man, first of all, looks like a young Mr. Rogers. Now, imagine that Mr. Rogers’ friends from the Neighborhood of Make Believe were sex fiends. Terrifying.

Not only is this show the worst of the year, it’s the worst of the decade.

In: Talk Sex with Sue Johanson

But while Pinsky’s show is unnerving, it’s Johanson’s grandmotherly nature — blended with a healthy helping of crazy — that makes her show so delightful, despite the discomfort that may come from watching a 78-year-old woman play with butt plugs and dildos. Besides, the woman, who has been on the air since 2002, actually knows what she’s talking about; Pinsky doesn’t.

Out: Juicy Campus’ intro to the University of Wisconsin

Although the website itself, launched in August 2007, hadn’t reached the University of Wisconsin campus until fall semester this year, it would have been better for it to stay away. Far far away.

Most of the fodder on the website consists of cheap shots between competing sororities or fraternities, but this is often peppered with thought-provoking topics like “quick draws” or “biggest campus sluts.” That’s not nice, not nice at all.

Nothing spells depravity like this website, and while college is a place where this generally thrives, this site is wrong on every level.

In: Gawker

This website is, for the most part, the eyes and ears of Manhattan. Diverting from the obvious gossip websites (PerezHilton, TMZ, TheSuperficial, etc.), Gawker sometimes has some real news on it — emphasis on sometimes. Because of this, the website actually has some level of legitimacy aside from penis jokes and personal vendettas.

Out: With so many mainstream sequels being released in 2008, there was bound to be a lot of excitement surrounding a vast number of films. But as is the case with everything, there is always that one film built up to no end only to fall flat on its face upon reaching the big screen. This year’s worst hyped film honors go to “The X-Files: I Want to Believe.” After being in developmental hell for six years, the second film adaptation of the popular TV series featured a muddled plot, disappointing climax and offered few thrills beyond seeing David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson back together again. In fact, the film grossed only a mere $21 million, $9 million short of its budget.

In: Even though there are better, more obvious highly anticipated movies that succeeded this year, check out “Sex and the City.” This film adaptation of a beloved TV series won the hearts of both fans and newcomers with strong acting performances by its four leading ladies and sweet, touching comedy.

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