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Somebody Really Likes Steven Tyler

By / 02.10.11

TV criticism is best when a TV show aligns with the publication reviewing it. That is to say, it makes sense when The New Yorker devotes 80,000 words to a Ken Burns documentary, or when Michael Ausiello urinates in his pants while writing an EXCLUSIVE story about a guest star on “Desperate Housewives” (or, I would posit, when Warming Glow writes about shows that kick ass). But there’s some cognitive dissonance when the august institution of the New York Times glowingly reviews Steven Tyler as the savior of America’s most-watched karaoke competition:

Mr. Tyler’s face alone is worthy of a weekly show, loose skin slippery over a distant skeleton. He’s a Claymation figure come to life, all elasticity and wrinkle. He dresses like a shaman, a time-traveling dandy or a runaway hippie teen. His grin is wide and white, like the Joker’s, and when he’s laughing, really he’s braying…

Occasionally he’ll regard the performers with exaggerated attention, as if happening upon zoo animals mating…

It’s all part of Mr. Tyler’s air of indestructibility, of untethered masculinity, dulled just enough by age to seem harmless. But it threatens to be reprehensible: nowhere else on television is a 62-year-old man able to make eyes, and loose comments, at young women roughly one-quarter his age. It’s sanctioned catcalling, with moist remarks aplenty…

Listen, I appreciate the creative similes and all, but I don’t think the old guy who looks like Joan Rivers wearing four scarves really has an air of untethered masculinity.


TAGSAMERICAN IDOLsteven tyler

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