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TV Review: MTV's boy band movie strikes right satiric note

Monday, February 21, 2000

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

With songs from boy bands clogging the pop charts (call it attack of the 98 'NSync Boys), a parody was inevitable. Leave it to MTV to bite the hand that feeds videos to "Total Request Live."

"2gether," MTV's first original movie for television, premieres at 8 tonight, and it's pretty funny. Like "The Brady Bunch Movie," "Galaxy Quest" and other pop culture spoofs, "2gether" serves up affectionate satire. As much as it makes fun of boy bands, "2gether" embraces the phenomenon by adding yet another group to the chorus.

Veteran music manager Bob Buss (Alan Blumenfeld) gets fired by the singing sensations Whoa! (their hit single is titled "We're So Hot!") after he objects when the group's "cute one" gets a tattoo.

So Buss puts together his own crew, filling all the necessary roles: Jerry "the heartthrob" O'Keefe, Mickey "the rebel" Parke, Jason Q.T. "the cutie" McKnight, Chad "the shy one" Linus and Doug "the older brother" Linus.

None of the actors are household names, although you may recognize Doug Linus, played by Kevin Farley, younger brother of the late Chris Farley. His character is completely unrealistic as a boy band candidate, but the other band members look right for their roles and their performances match what we'd expect.


When: Tonight at 8 on MTV.

Starring: Alan Blumenfeld, Kevin Farley.


The first half of the movie features Buss discovering his new group. It's a little slow, but "2gether" picks up speed when dimbulb Chad joins the group.

"If there's gonna be five of us in the group, we should be 5gether," Chad says.

Buss begins rehearsing his talent, showing them the stereotypical boy band dance moves and how to answer questions from the press. (What does Jerry look for in a girl? "She doesn't need to be a knockout, just someone with a nice personality that makes me laugh," Jerry says with rehearsed perfection.) A mini-dispute erupts when two guys both want to claim blue as their favorite color.

Written by Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn, "2gether" not only apes boy band style, it also embraces the vanilla music of the genre. There's even a soundtrack available on TVT Records, with songs performed by the cast. A video for the single "U+Me=Us (Calculus)" plays on MTV.

Just like songs from "real" boy bands, some of 2gether's songs are -- heaven help me -- catchy. You may want to hate them, but then the tunes get stuck in your head.

Likewise, some folks (OK, let's be honest; I'm talking about the guys) will dismiss "2gether" out of hand. Give up the pretense. If you watch, chances are you'll laugh.

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