Following the ultra successful "I Love the 80s," "I Love the 80s Strikes Back" and "I Still Love the 80s Despite What You Did Last Summer," and the marginally successful "I Love the 70s," "I Love the 90s," and "No One Seems To Remember the 60s," VH1 debuts a new series this week called "I Love September, 2004."
The series is a 30-episode look at the month we all grew up with. The two-hour pilot has already tested extremely well, with audiences enjoying the nostalgia brought on by comedians, actors, and musicians reminiscing about four weeks ago.
"We're really excited about this new project," said VH1 Programming Director Todd Schwartz. "Mainly because we've run out of good ideas."
Other concepts that we're discussed at the network's morning idea meeting that birthed "I Love September, 2004" included, "I Love Last Tuesday," "I Love the Morning Idea Meeting" and "I Love the Guys Who Loved the 80s." That third idea may still go to production, provided the network can land a few big names to riff about how Hal Sparks and Michael Ian Black loved the 80s. Possible panelists are already said to include Hal Sparks and Michael Ian Black.
The pilot is longer than the other 29 episodes because, in addition to panelists discussing the pop music and entertainment trends of September 1st, they also spend an hour discussing the overall mood of September, which was described best by Gilbert Gottfried. Gottfried said the month will be forever remembered for a historic presidential debate, escalated tensions among Iraqi rebels, and clip shows. Though when Gottfried said it, the description sounded more nasal and annoying.
Thankfully for the network, September 1st was an extremely exciting day, featuring the beginnings of a terribly bloody standoff with Chechen separatists, and an exciting 2-1, 11-inning Chicago Cubs win over the Montreal Expos. Now that America knows the results of both stories, it's especially interesting to look back at how the Cubs were playing before the season ended.
"It's mind-blowing," Schwartz said. "Now that it's so many days later, we're armed with the knowledge that the Cubs will lose the Wild Card race and the Expos will be moving to Washington. It's fun to see how naive we were back then. Kerry Wood really pitched a hell of a game."
Other highlights of the series include a raid on Hamas that resulted in 14-deaths, the beheading of more soldiers in Iraq, and Britney Spears' surprise wedding to boy-toy Kevin Federline.
"You know who they should have killed?," panelist Corey Feldman said on the "I Love Sptember, 2004: September 18th" episode. "Britney's wedding planner. Sweat suits? Come on! We all know you can't wear white trash after Labor Day!"
Producers admit that some episodes were lighter on content than others. Not much happened on September 29th, but the same can be said for 1983, and editors found a way to make that show fun. After all, the September 29th announcement that the Haitian death toll from Hurricane Jeanne rose to over 2,400 people was almost as boring as Paul Simon marrying Carrie Fisher.
To create the show, VH1 employed an exhaustive team of researchers who, according to the network's official website, "were saving up to dozens of newspapers at a time."
What's next for the network? No one can be sure. But it will probably involve more rehashing of old content with quick cutaways and lots of music so the public doesn't know the difference. And though Schwartz wouldn't confirm it, the Internet Movie Database is already listing another installment of the "I Love the" series in production for this spring. The working title is "I Love Steve Hofstetter's October 3rd Humor Column."
So do we, Todd. So do we.
Steve Hofstetter is the author of Student Body Shots, which is available at www.SteveHofstetter.com. He can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.