May 16, 2007
In Memoriam: Fametracker
We couldn't be happier for the success that has come to the Television Without Pity crew--the site got bought by Bravo/NBC in March, and no doubt it's nothing but avalanches of corporate money, booze and sex on tap, and unlimited Tivo hard drive space over there these days.
One downside to the buy, though: Fametracker, the Farmer's Almanac of Celebrity Worth that shares some writers with TWoP, has been "on hiatus" ever since. Site creators Wing Chun and Man From FUNKLE clearly have big things going on, and New York magazine's Intelligencer probably needs a lot of attention. But Fametracker was my very favorite pop culture website for the past several years, and if it really is gone, it deserves some recognition. Or at least a clip show of its own.
So here are a few of our Fametracker favorites from the vault:
The Fame Audit. Assessments of celebrities' current status, and where they're headed.
- Owen Wilson
- William Shatner ("Shatner has conquered. He was cool, then he was nerd-cool, then he was kitsch, then he was kitsch-cool, then he was knowing-wink cool, then just plain cool again, and now he's something better than cool. He made himself a punchline with such debonair cunning that -- guess what? -- the man is not a punchline anymore.")
- Scarlett Johansson, who they recognized was in the process of flushing her career down the toilet two years ago ("The only problem is that, while you might place your lips to the money teat while thinking, "I can always do indies on the side," you can't, in fact, always do indies on the side. Scarlett, don't you think Ben Affleck, while being hoisted in a harness into a model of a fighter plane against a green screen on the set of Pearl Harbor, was thinking to himself, "I can always do indies on the side"?")
2 Stars 1 Slot. Pitting two actors who occupy the same cultural space against each other. Terrence Howard vs. Jeffrey Wright in "Battle of the Next Great Black Actors"; and William Shatner (yes, again) vs. Alec Baldwin in "Battle of the Brilliant, Bloated Meta-Masters".
And some of the best stuff they ever put out in Blue Moons:
- Least Essential Movie lists, in which American Pie 2 was dubbed Pie Fucker 2: The Fuckening
- Rejected Firewall Taglines ("Kick-Ass.exe")
- The totally brilliant Inside the Hollywood Star Chamber, in which five decrepit clones of Karl Malden convene in a secret bunker to select the Academy Awards every year
- The annual Rasco P. Soultrain Awards, featuring the most Undeservedly Famous Person of the Year (last year it was also Time's Person of the Year: You) and the Newgoer of the Year (bye bye, Ryan Phillippe!)
Sure, we'll be able to keep on trudging through life without Fametracker, but without some funny rejected taglines for Ocean's 13, our skies will be just a little grayer.
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