Like everyone else on the internet, I recently read a satirical article titled: “Joey Fatone to One Direction: Everything is About to be Terrible“. I laughed out loud in my office and had to explain my stifled snorts to the neighboring IT guys. I shared the funk out of it, quoting that sassy bit about Chris Kirkpatrick managing a Sacramento Best Buy. Because it seems so likely, it’s extra hilarious. Which is how comedy works.
Later that evening my phone alerted me that someone was embarking on their first ever live Periscope feed. That someone was Chris Kirkpatrick and I stopped everything. I mean everything. I all but threw my half eaten slice of overpriced artisan pizza at my cat’s face as I struggled to command the posture one needs to screenshot a live feed at exactly the right moment. The timing of his reemergence into social media and society in general was impeccable. He was subtly screaming, “I’m not scrambling to cover Travis’s shift at Best Buy, I’m in a dilapidated apartment with Dan Miller of former O-Town fame!” Or, that’s what he would have screamed were he as self-aware as most of the internet believed Joey Fatone to be after they failed to read a byline. Seconds later, I noticed a tweet picturing Erik Michael Estrada, Joey Fatone and Howie Dorough hanging out together in adjacent phone booths. My boyband radar was on full alert. For boyband-beginners, that means O-Town, NSYNC and Backstreet Boys were all making outdated phone calls simultaneously. And somewhere on a gross, deserted road, other O-Town and other NSYNC were hiding in a drippy room and responding to a quickly scrolling onslaught of misspelled greetings. Something was going down. Something big and full of dreamy eyes and left-behind glory days.
So I investigated. I took to twitter and the ‘gram to figure out if there was something on the horizon that would require me to stock up enough money for five or six different Meet & Greet packages.
Here’s what I learned:
There is no conglomerated mega-tour with enough pelvic thrust to set time back an hour. Which is what I originally hoped. There is, however, a made-for-TV Zombie Western being filmed in Butte, Montana. Which seems both worse and also so much better than the alternative. This film was written and is being directed by Nick Carter, the still-bopping heartthrob of the Backstreet Boys. A self-described lifelong fan of anything Sci-Fi, Nick has always dreamed of putting his nerd knowledge to use and creating something that would confuse and concern grownup boyband fans like myself and go straight to the SyFy channel. Which is exactly what “Dead 7” is set to do.
Produced by the disturbed geniuses behind the Sharknado franchise, “Dead 7” promises a cast that’s bursting at the seams with dad-bodied pop singers from the early 2000s. Confirmed participants range from The Backstreet Boys’ Howie Dorough, AJ McLean and of course, Nick Carter, as well as Erik Michael Estrada, Trevor Penick and Jacob Underwood from O-Town and Joey Fatone of NSYNC and Bosley Hair Restoration acclaim. Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees caps off the crooning cast, but rumors of Chris Kirkpatrick (NSYNC) and Dan Miller (O-Town) are floating around as a result of my Periscope screen grab and deductive reasoning skills. There was a rogue tweet between Nick Carter and One Direction’s Niall Horan, asking if he’d like to play Nick’s character’s little bro, and there are rumors that Jordan Knight of the incomparable New Kids on the Block is at the top of the casting wish-list, but no confirmations in either camp. Which is disappointing in the way a failure to span literally three decades of boyband bopping can be.
What I gathered as fact is outweighed by the sincere hopes I have for the production, however.
I hope LFO helped write the screenplay, so all of the dialogue rhymes but makes absolutely no logical sense. Hardened cowboys walking around talking to terrified townspeople, saying things like, “Boogaloo Shrimp and pogo sticks, your life is in danger if these zombies don’t quit. Ruby red slippers and a bunch of trees, I’ll drive the horse, just toss me the keys.” If you’ve ever heard LFO’s summer banger, “Summer Girls”, you’re familiar with the complete lack of logic in the verses. And the chorus for that matter. “New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits, Chinese food makes me sick, and I think it’s fly when the girls stop by for the summer.” It’s just a long series of random statements. With any luck, so is this film.
I hope that every twenty minutes, a baritone bro breaks away from the action and begins a classic boyband soliloquy. Addressing the womenfolk in that low, painfully forced sexiness that Boyz II Men’s Mike made famous, but that BSB’s Kevin Richardson and NSYNC’s Lance Bass continued with fervor. “Girl. You know I’ll always love you. But girl. I can’t go on like this. There are zombies everywhere, girl.” I hope with all my heart that the reunited members of O-Town keep up their gratuitously sexual vibe, and that every six seconds one of them is forced to say a line from the disgustingly named hit, “Liquid Dreams”. One of those zombie ladies is bound to have a body like Jennifer (Lopez), right? I hope, upon hope that any mass zombie killing is done in complete, funky-fresh unison. Except for anyone from 98 Degrees, who will naturally be about two or three beats behind the rest, awkwardly and un-rhythmically stabbing at rotting heads and muttering about “Una Noche”.
My number one hope for this potential cult-hit, however, is just that. That it becomes a cult-phenomenon and serves as a permanent reminder of everything I spent my adolescence (and every day since) obsessing over. A contemporary interpretation of every inch of wall space in my teenage bedroom. Or, if nothing else, proof that nobody should take themselves too seriously. Especially if they’ve ever spent time grinding in unison with four other adult men. Or drooling over those adult men from behind ill-shaped bangs and teenage hormones.
With any luck, the Spice Girls will ride in like the American Cavalry and save the day with Girl Powa.