Seinfeld Returns — Sort Of — With Inspired Parody

Seinfeld may have ended over a decade ago, but that doesn’t make this absurdist parody of the NBC sitcom any less funny. Though this so-called “return” of Seinfeld is both parody and recreation, as seen through a very distorted prism.

Julian Smith on Being the First to Sing the Praises of the iPhone 3Gs

There’s a long list of YouTubers poking fun at tech and social media, but with February’s viral hit 25 Things I Hate About Facebook, Julian Smith proved he’s one of the few doing it well.  (So well, in fact, that he was invited to film a sequel vid at the Facebook offices.)  Smith, who just turned 22, launched his YouTube channel last year with the subscribe-or-he-dies series Kidnapped, and now boasts more than 17,000 subscribers.  Recently, with Got my Mac on with iPhone 3Gs, Smith took timeliness to a whole new level, getting the slick music vid up less than 48 hours after the phone was released.

NTV got in touch with Smith to discuss YouTube fame and how he managed to make “cut, copy, paste” into such a catchy lyric, so quickly.

NTV: Tell us about how you found your way to online video.

Smith: I was raised in a musical family; I grew up writing, singing and playing.  When I was about 12, I started making goofy videos with my friends. By the time I was 15 I was doing freelance video full-time.  (ed. note: Smith was homeschooled and balanced video work around his studies.)  In September (of 2008), in hopes of building an audience and working my way into feature films, I started a YouTube channel and began weekly comedy sketches.

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NTV Station Today: Tour De France, Amy Winehouse

Despite the fact that the NBC remake of The Bionic Woman was canceled so quietly no one’s bothered to miss it, Comedy.com’s re-imagining of the failed series achieves more than a few chuckles — if only because it’s funny to imagine Amy Winehouse doing anything productive with her life.

And whether or not you’re a cycling nerd, you’re probably not immune to the excitement of the Tour de France, which kicked off on July 5th and will continue through July 27th. But how to watch the legendary cycling race without cable TV — or being fluent in French? We’ll help you out over at NewTeeVee Station.

Karina’s Capsule: The Mena Show

The Mena Show is a period piece, set in 1994, starring 30-year-old Six Apart co-founder/president Mena Trott as the 17-year-old version of herself. It’s “what my vlog would have looked like if I had the web tools available now … in 1994,” Trott says via the clip’s YouTube description, but technically, there’s little evidence that it was made and distributed via modern technology. There’s a knowingness with which Trott address the camera that seems a bit too assured and normalized for the era, but other than that, The Mena Show could be plausibly played off as an actual antique, a 14-year-old VHS tape updated to YouTube on a lark.

In segments stitched together with title cards accurately recalling the stop-start MTV aesthetic of the time, a beret-clad Mena addresses the camera with a series of complaints and celebrations. She’s mainly concerned with credibility –– she calls out a friend for being a Rocky Horror Picture Show poseur, she complains about jocks dancing to Green Day even though they haven’t “earned” it. This (mostly imagined) fight for street cred was the fundamental culture war of the mid-90s, and the war was mostly fought by Doc Marten-wearing teens and 20-somethings wandering suburban and college-town streets. Mena’s earnest obsession with the stratified authenticity of cool is pitch-perfect.

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Karina’s Capsule: Here Comes McCain Again

Were you as surprised as I was that so many people even questioned whether the first McCain Girls video was an earnest effort by genuine supporters? I was amazed that some people even went as far as to suggest that it was paid for or produced by the campaign itself.

I know the jury’s still out as to whether or not the Republican candidate has the pop cultural savvy to be our commander in chief (Was that whole “Heidi Montag is a talented actress” comment made out of utter cluelessness, or was it a knowing wink at the construction of her pseudo-reality show, The Hills?) but McCain seems smart enough to generally play away from his known weaknesses.

Plus, It’s Raining McCain simply looked too good. From the hundreds of little McCains that rained on the Girls to a green-screen gaffe caused by a certain costume, the video’s very badness had a rhythm to it that was clearly intentional. But if any doubt remains that McCain Girls is something between pure parody and Obama Girl-style, cable news-baiting performance art, the Girls’ latest video should clear that up.

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Today’s Woot Pokes Fun at iPhone Price Drop

In case you’re hoping for an invite to the Social, Woot’s got the 30gb Zune for $129 today. The funny part is that they were selling it for $169 just a few weeks ago. So there’s an “Emergency Open Letter” to all Woot Customers which addresses the price drop.
Some choice highlights:

The Zune is a breakthrough product, and we have the chance to “ride the lightning” and “shoot the curl” this holiday season,

If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you’ll never buy any technology product. I mean, why should you? Truth is, you don’t really need any of this junk.

even though we are making the right decision to lower the price of the Zune, and even though the technology road is, like, this total Deathrace 2000-type scene, we need to do a better job taking care of our early Zune customers,

While some of the early iPhone adopters may not find this totally hilarious, I think it’s good for a laugh. And who knows, maybe you want a Zune for $129…