Woe is DC Comics. While competitor Marvel somehow emerged from the 20th century as the arbiter of superhero glam, DC, excluding the Superman and Batman franchises, remains little more than a silly putty-like substrate for the affectionate mockings of our collective pop consciousness.
Exhibit A: DC’s The Super Friends, a long-running animated series that has, in recent years, served as fodder for everything from Budweiser parodies to Office Space satire to political commentary. The latest riff, The Superficial Friends, drops pop heroes (Superman, Wonder Woman) in favor of pop starlets (Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton), who binge and purge their way to justice.
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Heavy.com launched the series last November,and each video typically receives 150-300k views, according to Jason Marks, VP of programming (and founder of MTV Overdrive). But last week’s episode featuring an authentic voiceover from celebrity blogger Perez Hilton (playing himself as a chihuahua-riding supervillian) has garnered over 2.3 million views since Friday.
“We did it in the hallway of my apartment building,” Perez told me, referring to his voiceover duties. “Video? Yeah, I’d totally do it [on perezhilton.com] if I had a staff. I mean, whatever. If you can provide as many different forms of entertainment, totally.”
Adding: “I’ve got pneumonia. I was in Australia all week. I hated it.”
But Perez Hilton, a supervillian? If Heavy.com’s auteurs really had their protoculture druthers, they’d make Perez the omniscient narrator of the Superficial Friends’ adventures — “Meanwhile, at the Hall of Anorexia…” — and offer the super-villian voiceover to someone less, how do you say, “accepting” of pop culture. How about Anthony Lane.
After all, it’s Perez’s snackably snarky wit that so defines the contemporary approach to celebrity culture, as opposed to the earnest baritone of William Woodson, which graced the original series, but today only seems quaintly anachronistic.