Thursday, 14 January 2010

Victoria Beckham- the brave Helen Keller of Light Entertainment

Jobs are awful things. Employment is the terrible toad that squelches on our day, the harridan we married too young and are now stuck with for life, the bore that drags us away from our rightful place driving speedboats in Monte Carlo with Joan Collins.

However, Monday mornings as we face the barrage of rain, depression and broken dreams like World War One soldiers with Oyster cards, we should spare a thought for those less fortunate. There are people out there who are equally rubbish at their jobs but are denied the ability to hide it or the dignity to weep in privacy. If we forget to send that important fax, we can just shred it, if our job application inspires genuine laughter, deny deny deny, whose to know? If however, you are a celebrity and are truly dire at your job, things become slightly more difficult to cover up.

Step forward Victoria Beckham. She first found fame as being the Spice Girl with the worst voice, a heady achievement considering she was in the same group as Geri Halliwell. Her following solo career was one of the most misunderstood and shamefully misjudged events in nineties pop. Her Sisyphus like determination to have a number one hit despite talent that registered in negative numbers should have inspired teary eyed standing ovations. She could have toured primary schools, as an example that even those with most special of needs can be accepted in mainstream entertainment. She couldn’t hold a note or dance, yet she still released records, this Helen Keller of pop deserved a Pride of Britain award not ridicule.

Blighted with singles that were always a number two in every sense of the word, she did what any sensible person would do, quit and pretended she wasn’t really bothered in the first place. Fashion it seemed was her real first love. I know it made eating disorders fashionable but you still couldn’t help feeling sorry for the clothing industry as it faced the full heat of Beckham’s clumsy, tongue clenched in gritted teeth attention. After her unsuccessful swan dive into the world of overpriced jeans she found her place in the world of limited edition high end clothing. Learning from the Dane Bowers incident, she turned to someone who could actually list his job title in his passport without inspiring laughter and went to star designer Roland Mouret for guidance. Apparently just as “sick” now means “good”, “guidance” must now mean “an exact copy of your designs” as you’d be hard pressed to find a difference between the two fashion houses. Luckily the designer of the legendary “Galaxy dress” who shares the same management company as Beckham doesn’t seem to be litigious or mind.

Along with fashion she has tried to use reality TV to win the hearts and minds of the notoriously discerning American public. After her reality TV failed to capture her legendary dry wit, her most recent attempt was a guest judge spot on the latest series of “American Idol”. Many pointed out that Victoria judging a talent show is like Iris Robinson judging an appropriate relationship with teenage boy contest but there she was behind the judge’s desk looking more and more like a skeleton dunked in mahogany floor varnish. The verdict was that she came across as too nutty, in a show that once employed Paula Abdul, in a genre that still counts David Hasselhoff as one of their own, to be given the job permanently. Praise indeed.

If there’s anything worse than being bad at your job it’s not getting the appreciation you think you deserved. Jennifer Lopez has been attracting attention lately by claiming her last film “El Cantante” would have won her an Oscar if enough Academy judges saw it. That’s what J-Lo lacks- exposure.

Every Jennifer Lopez film since “Out of Sight” have been so bad, either the director was on drugs, suicidally sarcastic or a confused child on work experience. If you sat through “Shall We Dance” the rom com where Lopez repairs Richard Gere’s marriage through the power of ballroom dancing, you’d understand. The only thing that got me through it was imaging that those rumours about Gere were not only true but taking place while the scenes were being shot.Before you judge the overpaid reality denier, have a bit of sympathy first. Imagine your very worst day at work, the time you deleted the wrong email, accidentally shredded that file and mistakenly charged that flat screen to the company credit card. Now imagine that it was all filmed and put on worldwide release and you had to show up months later in a dress on a red carpet and say how much fun it had all been. Then my friend, you like Vicky and Jenny would be well and truly busted.

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