“Did you hear about Pluto? That’s messed up.”

It’s taken seven episodes, but I Love The 2000s has finally run out of things to talk about.

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At first glance of I Love The 2000s, the fact that I Love The New Millennium even existed made the possibility the new series living up to its predecessor’s potential very slim. Somehow, I Love The 2000s has managed to stay afloat, not exactly living in I Love The New Millennium’s shadow but also not buckling to the pressures of having an even more limited amount of topics to talk about—either because of the previous series or simply because it’s saving those for I Love The 2000s: The Streets and I Love The 2000s: 3.0.

However, with 2006 and 2007—which are also the last years to be covered by I Love The New Millennium—nothing’s there. The episode could be the comedians, musicians, and personalities literally grasping at straws, and the end product would be the same.

The problem with these post-2004 episodes feeling more like modern times than the distant past is that their significance has to be even more greatly exaggerated than usual to make up for the fact that most people probably remember them vividly. And if they don’t, then the great exaggeration of their significance is so obvious that the commentators wonder and nostalgia lacks any sense of genuineness.

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Think of it this way. The 2006 episode opens up with Flavor Of Love, while the 2007 episode proceeds to open with Rock Of Love. Being a VH1-created program, I Love The… could have just as easily—and more effectively—dedicated a segment in 2005 to the launch of VH1’s Celebreality, included those …Of Love highlights in the segment clips, and then moved on to the next relevant moment in the year. Instead, there’s the completely transparent concept of filling up airtime until the show can think of something I Love The New Millennium didn’t tackle first in its last two episodes.

There’s been discussion about low culture versus high culture in regards to the chosen segments for each year in this series. The argument is that it pinpoints a sort of cultural deterioration in the 2000s, which explains just why this decade was apparently so awful. Pop culture’s acceptance as a sophisticated aspect of culture is always going to be on a case-by-case status, but if there were any true evidence to support that argument, it would have to be these two episodes of I Love The 2000s.

If it doesn’t seem like there’s a real difference between these and previous episodes of the entire I Love The… series, think about this: Bacon is literally one of the segments. No, not the Atkins diet (which would have easily been featured in 2003 or 2004 if either I Love The New Millennium or I Love The 2000s had chosen to do so). There is an entire segment—the same length as every other segment on the show, including The Wire—on bacon and how it wasn’t until 2007 that bacon became popular.

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It’s really difficult to deny that the minds behind I Love The 2000s realized that I Love The New Millennium grabbed all of the high profile moments in 2006 and 2007—Casino Royale, MySpace, 300, the Geico Cavemen, the iPhone, and that whole Don Imus catastrophe, to name a few—and tried to do anything they could to keep the two hours going. There are legitimate year-defining segments in the episode, with Juno and the Wii becoming a part of the conversation; but at the same time, there’s also a strange infantile runner throughout the episodes.

In 2014, the Hannah Montana mention makes a whole lot of sense when placed in comparison to where Miley Cyrus is now, but the inclusion of High School Musical and Yo Gabba Gabba as stand-outs of the time feels off, especially when the latter’s popularity grew after its first year.

Also, the mid-2000s novelty song is also in full swing with these episodes. Songs like “Laffy Taffy” and “Lip Gloss” are jokingly treated as the pinnacle of hip hop in these years, where the song about the appeal of the inanimate objects reign supreme  In fact, Paris Hilton’s album is considered one of the Guilty Pleasures of 2006, as presented by Bret Michaels. It’s difficult to believe that things were so dire in these years that substance (according to the rules of the I Love The… universe) in these segments is hard to come by.

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The next two episodes of the series (2008 and 2009) are obviously the final ones, but they’re also the only years that were not covered by I Love The New Millennium. In a way, they’ll be the only episodes to either stand or fall or their own. Hopefully they can pick themselves back up after this display.

Stray observations:

  • How Old LaToya Was Here: August of 2006, I had just turned 18 and was beginning my first year of college. Much like Burton Guster, I was very distraught over Pluto no longer being a planet. Much like Shawn Spencer (probably), I saw Snakes On A Plane in the theater.
  • You all wanted a Lost mention for 2004, and you get your wish in 2007—Evangeline Lilly is listed as one of the Hotties of 2007, as presented by Nelly. There’s your Lost mention.
  • Watching the 2007 episode was literally the first time I had ever heard about the Flea Market Montgomery commercial.
  • Does anyone have any idea which interview circa The Devil Wears Prada I Love The 2000s “borrowed” from so it could look like Meryl Streep ever weighed in on anything related to the I Love The… series?
  • Not mentioned above, but 2007 also has a segment on Rock Band, which as I recall, was definitely nowhere near the success level of 2005’s (not mentioned) Guitar Hero. There’s even an episode of the (mentioned) Gossip Girl where characters are featured heavily playing Guitar Hero. What was the purpose of this segment other than to remind us that Green Day’s version of Rock Band exists?

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