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American Midol: The Top 3 Trends of 2005

So, you wanna know what's in the pop ether this year, do you? I'll fill that hankering thrice over...

Naughty Children and the Nannies Who Fix Them
This haughty gem of a trend began its ascent way back in 2002, when The Nanny Diaries hit bookstores with an open-handed THWACK. Once a commodity enjoyed chiefly by the filthy rich, nannies are now sweeping into moderately-incomed homes and rescuing hapless parents who don't have the time, tools, or sedatives to deal with their burgeoning rugrats. Whether you tune into Fox's Nanny 911 or ABC's barefaced knockoff, Supernanny, please don't ever, EVER let Fran Drescher suggest this trend had anything to do with her.

Public Displays of Reduction
Hollywood's response to our national obesity epidemic! And it's simply not enough to watch people go from "kinda average" to "sculpted perfection" (and by "sculpted perfection" I mean "horrid freak show"). This year, viewers demand extra-fleshy candidates for their hungry pulp palettes. We're talkin' smash hits like NBC's The Biggest Loser, and VH1's C-list flab-fest, Celebrity Fit Club, featuring none other than Wendy "The Snapple Lady" Kaufman.* (And you thought she'd never transition from commercials!) There's something about ogling very large people who voluntarily stand on oversized scales and then gasping at those super-sized numbers that makes us all feel less guilty about our own wretched eating habits.

God, Satan, and the Spirit World
It used to be that serious celluloid blasphemy such as The Exorcist and Damien the Omen only dared challenge our puritan sensibilities once a decade or so. Not anymore! Turns out all those prophecies about Judgment Day and its opposing forces are indeed metastasizing but through entertainment channels rather than locust-swarming, plague-ridden phenomena. Fox's Point Pleasant a teenage meditation on good vs. evil in which every character is precariously perched on the Morality Fulcrum is doing its best to become the next Buffy. And NBC's Medium an unnerving "I see dead people" romp inspired by the real-life story of an academic psychic nabbed the big screen veteran Patricia Arquette to play its leading lady. M. Night you really started something!

*Photo of Wendy "The Snapple Lady" Kaufman "borrowed" from Thanks, VH1!

Enjoyed this American Midol column? Or diabolically incensed by its uselessness? Either way, you're invited to check out all of Lani Voivod's Midol spasms right here.

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