Last week a friend of mine told me about a debate that was going on over at EW.com. I initially figured that the debate had something to do with politics and TV, or maybe even something about what shows have the best chance for success during the new fall season. But as it turned out, the debate was much more serious, and I’ve found that I’ve not only become invested in the outcome – I’ve become surprisingly passionate about my opinion.
And the issue at hand?
Now listen. I will admit from the get-go that I was in my 20s by the time both of these bands hit the music scene, and some of you might argue that I should’ve been listening to more sophisticated artists and weaning myself from MTV. However, I didn’t do either of those things. Instead I spent countless afternoons watching Carson Daly chronicle what was going on with boy bands (not to mention J-Lo, Britney, Christina, etc.) on TRL.
From the get-go, I think, I was an ‘N Sync fan. They seemed to laugh at themselves and not take the whole boy band thing too seriously, and oh my word they could dance – especially a young man named Justin Timberlake.
I present you with Exhibit A.
I remembered two things, by the way, when I watched this video earlier today. One is that back around 2001-2002, my friend Merritt was VERY adamant that the American public had relegated Lance to the back burner even though he was EVERY BIT AS TALENTED and worked EVERY BIT AS HARD as the rest of the band and deserved JUST AS MUCH ATTENTION as Justin and Joey and JC and Chris. It still cracks me up when I think about her saying, “WHAT ABOUT LANCE, Y’ALL? DOESN’T ANYBODY CARE ABOUT LANCE?”
(Of course we cared about Lance.)
(I daresay that we cared deeply.)
The second thing I remembered is that I watched and maybe even recorded the Making of the Video for “Pop.” Joey had hurt his foot or leg or ankle or something, so he couldn’t do the dance scenes, and the band’s choreographer took his place in the video. If you watch the main dance sequence closely, you can tell that it’s not Joey in most of it, and just so you know I’m a little bit embarrassed that I struggle to memorize Scripture by BY DIGGITY I can tell you the backstory of a boy band video from 2001.
Even though I’m partial to ‘N Sync, I know that some people feel great loyalty to Backstreet Boys. I never thought they were as relatable as the ‘N Sync guys, but Kevin and Brian seemed really sweet. I was also slightly fascinated by AJ because he seemed like such an edgy addition to a boy band – yet he sang the boy band lyrics with such conviction and sincerity.
For example. Exhibit B.
Also, please note that in the sections of the video where everyone is wearing all white (and dancing with great feeling), AJ goes with the tank top option as opposed to wearing a jacket. Because just in case you missed it: EDGY.
And to be clear, I’m sure that many of you were probably doing worthwhile things like raising families and finishing degrees and volunteering in your community while I was running home to catch the world premiere of “Jenny from the Block.” By the same token, some of you were probably in elementary school. BUT – I’m guessing that there were at least a few of you who were as deeply invested in the music of the late 90s / early 2000s as I was.
(Don’t even get me started on Jordan Knight’s solo single “Give It To You.” Or Ricky Martin singing “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Or TLC singing “Unpretty.”)
(Those are some precious musical memories.)
Anyway – what about y’all? Who was your favorite? ‘N Sync? Or BSB?