Carpool Karaoke was the first thing I thought of when we got this assignment. Every time I go on Youtube, a new James Corden video is recommended for me in my feed. Every time it’s with a new star, and now a series of solely Carpool Karaoke has been released.
There is something about Carpool Karaoke that is great to watch. You see a funny British man and a celebrity you love having fun and driving around. It seems like simple and carefree entertainment. On a closer look, however, there is something troubling about it. What does it say about American culture that just watching celebrities engage in mundane activities is considered great entertainment?
The Tonight Show features similar segments with the same underlying question. On his show, Jimmy Fallon plays games with his guests, which again acts as simple entertainment, but something is still off. As a society, we enjoy just seeing celebrities exist. It has stopped mattering whether or not they are actually using the talent that makes them noteworthy, but more so just us watching them talk to someone.
Considering this brings a lot of our culture into question. What is a podcast other than one or more famous people existing? What is the merit of a blooper reel? Is any interview, no matter how profound considered “high culture?” Where does it end?
I don’t have the answers, but there is something about all of this that is troubling.