Tragedy Plus Time Equals Adoration: The World F**king Loves Britney Spears Again
I’m not being flip here, but I absolutely love this pop-culture phenomenon where — merely by not going away for ten years, or twenty years — a celebrity gains a kind of newfound respect and adoration based purely on longevity. It’s like bonus points for career hutzpah. Take, for instance, the hair bands of the late 80s. How many of those guys are still around (and not doing sh*tty reality shows)? Basically, one: Jon Bon Jovi. And while he doesn’t sell that many albums anymore, people will f**king show up for a Bon Jovi concert. By virtue of surviving, there’s something weirdly Godlike about him.
It happens to a lot of actors who go through a rough decade or so, where they continue to work, but not in anything anyone sees, until they are rediscovered. Suddenly, we love them more than we ever had before. Hell, I’m still waiting on the world to rediscover Val Kilmer, for instance. He’s going to be huge in 2018.
Anyway, I know Britney Spears has never really gone away. I know that she’s continued to make albums. And I also know from the video of her on Fallon last night that she’s still not that comfortable doing comedy bits.
But by God, she showed up, and the audience fucking loved her for it. For just showing up. Seven or eight years ago, she and Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were considered something akin to the Four Horseman of the Pop-Culture Apocalypse.
Now, those other three couldn’t have a reality show last more than a season (and that’s literally true of two of them), and Britney Spears is showing up on Fallon to a standing ovation.