The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Is Spears Back on Top?

3 min read

By Charlotta Jarborg

Admit it. You miss Britney.

Whether you want to call it a mini-comeback or not, most of us probably do want to see Britney do well – for her sanity, for her kids, for her happiness, and for the entertainment world in general. After three lackluster music videos from her latest album “Blackout,” Britney finally seems to be delivering a good on-screen performance.

If her guest starring role in the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” is anything to go by, then that absence was surely worth it. The video clips from the March 24 episode are all over the internet, and each clip can be watched separately on youtube.

No pop-culture article would be complete without a little help from the Queen of All Media, Perez Hilton who blogs, “And, surprisingly enough, when it aired last night, the show received its highest ratings ever! Even more surprising, the critics liked it!” Perez also included two quotes from the Associated Press and News Daily, critiquing her appearance.

The latter said, “Those who hang on every one of Britney’s career moves, this bold casting decision worked out. Spears proved she can act every bit as well as she can sing, and with some of the nuances she brought to the character, you’d almost swear she’d been there before.” Let us hope that the singing versus acting comment was meant as a compliment.

Her role on the CBS sitcom might not be huge, and no, it might not be directly related to music. However, that is far from the point—we are finally seeing Britney working and actually succeeding. Regardless of size, this acting spot is a step in the right direction; a welcome change.

Funnily enough, I never quite realized how much I miss Britney sometimes as a true entertainer until I see her doing a good performance, looking healthy and pretty, and making me laugh – in a good way.

Along the lines of taboo laughter, perhaps some of you caught the controversial South Park episode which aired on Comedy Central on March 19. The episode centered on a troubled Spears tormented by the paparazzi who will stop at nothing as a means of sacrificing her for “harvest.”

There are several moments in this episode when the viewer is unsure whether to laugh or to look away in horror, shock and disgust. The image of Spears’ head half-blown off by a shotgun gives poignant new meaning to the lyrics “now are you sure you want a piece of me?” from “Blackout’s” second single, entitled, of course, “Piece of Me.”

The ludicrous nature of the storyline is darkly funny, yet the episode leaves you feeling pity for Britney and a renewed distaste for ferocious paparazzi. The weaker the South Park version of Britney became, the more uncomfortable it became to laugh. The same is true for the real Spears. Making fun of Britney is actually not that fun anymore.             So yes, her performance at the last MTV Video Music Awards was no comeback by any means, and this guest spot on a sitcom starring another once-icon—Doogie Howser—is hardly the final step to the top either. However, it is an upward peak on an uneven path back to success.