Sunday, May 17, 2009

Teen Heartthrobs II - The Reckoning

The other day, while trying to talk my wife down from buying a full-size Edward Cullen poster for our bedroom, I had an eerie sense of deja vu.

Hordes of screaming girls. Object of adoration plastered on posters and T-shirts everywhere. Impossibly sexy hair.

And then it hit me. I've been here before.

It was 1988, and teenage boys everywhere were up against a force even their powerful hormones and youthful optimism could not defeat.

The New Kids on the Block (NKTOB) had arrived. This hair-gel based boy band stole the hearts of obsessive teenage fangirls the world over, leaving a trail of jealous, less-perfect boys in their wake. Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan and Jonathan lip-synched their way to fame and fortune, producing the kind of mass swoons even Robert Pattinson has yet to achieve.

Uncanny, isn't it?

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would once again, over twenty years later, be forced to compete with an equally formidable adversary: Stephenie Meyers' fictional vampire Edward Cullen, as embodied by British sensation, Robert Pattinson.

At first, I felt uncomfortable reliving my most awkward of years. But the fact that I had lived through this before gave me hope: it didn't last then, and it cannot last now.

Sure, in 1988 they were bigger than Jesus.
But by 1992, NKOTB experienced a wave of backlash they never recovered from. First came the disastrous self-produced album. Then allegations of lip-synching. Finally, persistent rumours that the band members hated each other took hold, and sales slumped.

Then in flash, they were gone.

Fast forward to 2009.

Twilight-mania has reached a fever pitch. After the release of the highly anticipated final chapter in the series, a successful movie and with a much-hyped sequel in the wings, we are experiencing the same high-water mark as NKOTB in 1989, between the release of Hangin' Tough and their number one single Step by Step.

If the parallels continue as they are now, I expect a final waning of the Twilight phenomenon due approximately in Fall 2014.

While this may seem like a long time, it is reassuring to know that this will eventually come to an end. With the continued support of blogs like this one, us Twilight Widowers should be able to weather these dark times, knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Hang in there.


  1. Haha, you are hilarious. I love your blog. And, I totally feel fine about my Twilight obsession because my mom didn't allow me to get wrapped up in the NKOTB madness (read no cable tv until I went to college) I feel that I am retrieving a piece of my lost childhood with every boy band (yeah loved 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys in college) and teenagery (it's a word, see douche-baggery) tv show and movie. And, I think 2014 sounds like a sufficient amount of time...until the next obsession of course!

  2. What you haven’t accounted for is that Edward Cullen is a fictional character and therefore cannot make mistakes like lip syncing. It’s possible that his image will remain untarnished, you may need to prepare yourself for that. Especially since there are no other books in the works.
    Robert Pattinson on the other hand, will make many mistakes in the coming years. He’s only 23 and his fame is very new.
    Good luck to you! I love your blog.

  3. Also unaccounted for... NKOTB's 2008-2009 return tour, which sold out in many venues, and produced many screaming fans (myself included... and at 26 I was younger than most of the women there, who haven't forgotten how NKOTB made them feel in the late 80s). Will Twilight history repeat itself?

  4. I knew you were gonna say NKOTB! How did you ever find that picture? You're right, it's uncanny!! The expressions are so similar, the positioning, weird! It's especially interesting to note that R.P. and Jordan Knight are both in the center of their pics...Jordan was "like totally" my favorite! ;) Funny post!!

  5. TW, I hate to tell you this, but I paid $350 for backstage passes to NKOTB--in 2009. And I'm saving up for the NKOTB cruise in 2010, after following them on Twitter during this year's cruise and wishing I were there.

    Now, if you will excuse me, my Pocket Edward has arrived.

  6. Sorry, I went to their new tour too. And bought their new album. So sorry. So so so sorry. The worst part of it all is that they are books, not cds. They are printed and will last forever! MUAHAHAHAHAHA

  7. I see a trend forming....

  8. I think what really scares me, is you know WAYYYY too much about NKOTB. I didn't know any of that stuff.....I was too busy watching "The Lost Boys" and listening to Metallica lol....who will always be my first love.

  9. hi..i have been wanting to actually chat with you!..if you have AIM or yahoo messengers, please email name is Samara & i am a 31 year old female in email address is hope to hear from you soon! by the way, my hubby & i love your blog!

  10. I am starting to see a pattern in myself now, as I was crazy in love with NKOTB. Went through a big Titanic obsession/phase too, and was the only movie before Twilight that I could not see enough. Wonder how many other Twilighters see this same pattern in themselves?

  11. Good thing I didn't have any food in my mouth when I read your first sentence...
    while trying to talk my wife down from buying a full-size Edward Cullen poster for our bedroom,

    You had me at Full-Size!

    Ur so funny..and I needed a reality check after being immersed in the twitter Rob at Cannes mayhem. Good Luck with that btw. There are more pictures in 1 day than for the past 5 months. Expect cold food and lots of laundry to pile up.

  12. Oh my God! NKOTB?! For all of you out there who may not be familiar with New Kids on the Block,they were a boy band that,yes,for awhile had their appeal to some.The New Kids made you get up and dance and shake what your momma gave ya, for a time. Swooning female fans aside- their stardom is not even remotely the same as the effect that the Twilight Series is having upon the world or women who inhabit it.

    Living as close to the "Dazzle Effect" that Edward/Robert has upon your wife I feel you may be just a tad bias..I did say a tad, right?! ;)

    I can't believe you have me doing this- I'm Team Jacob always have been and always will be; to actually be attempting to sum up Edward is a bit disjointing for me. I will try...

    Edward Cullen is fictional and yes,quite flawed,by his own admission. What makes him so interesting to women, myself included but nowhere near the level your wife is experiencing,is that he truly is a gentleman. He always treats Bella as a lady,a precious gift that has come into his life,a delicate flower that can be crushed in an instant.For fear of hurting/destroying Bella he won't even address the whole issue directly with his rival Jake.
    No man on the planet can be Edward or even attain that level(even R.Patz.). Edward was born in 1901 and raised in a period of time that no longer exists. How many men do you know are versed in the arts of courtship and manners.Please,don't get me wrong. There are still gentleman in the world but for whatever reason they don't/aren't taking it to the level of Edward, (my boy Jake is included).

    I think Stephanie Meyer did not intend to alienate women from their mates, I like to think that by creating Edward men may just step up their game and women will be aware that they don't have to settle, there are truly some amazing men out there.

    I appreciate a walk back in time as well as any other woman and having been alive and well(not to mention a year shy of legal) in 1988 makes the walk even more fun to take, but to actually attempt to compare the Twilight franchise/ phenomenon with the New Kids on the Block is a bit of an impossible yoga stretch.
    Nice theory though.Keep trying ;)

    Love your site! Makes me giggle my ass off.

  13. Yes, you do know A LOT about NKOTB! Wow, I was reading and I couldn't stop laughing. I think my husband is super worried because NKOTB has been doing their comeback tour and then swoosh, TWILIGHT....both at the same time for me! Seriously, I almost went on the NKOTB cruise and also considering the Twilight cruise, but hey I justify my actions by saying I LOVE CRUISES, hubster can come if he wishes...I am pretty sure the hubster will committ me soon....well, I guess what I CAN SAY is you sure are HANGIN' TOUGH!!

    Umm yeah, I went there!! Love the blog!!
    BTW, has you wife made her way towards the sisterhood? Maybe she shouldn't know about

  14. Your blog is hilarious to say the least and honestly, I was wondering when someone would see the similarities between NKOTB BUT have you also forgotten Mark Hamil in Star Wars?? Where did he go after the Star Wars Movies? Is it possible this could happen to RPatz? I do believe so. I hope so for my own sanity because I'm irrevocably in LOVE with him & I have got to stop obsessing. I'm too old for this! LMAO!

  15. my husband and i love your blog... he feels your pain!! Like your wife I am totally "Robsessed" And I never was a fan of NKOTB!!

  16. I was so not a NKOTB fan. I liked Duran Duran and had a favorite member (John Taylor), but I was obsessed with the Police. Hmm, British guys...maybe there's a pattern here somewhere...

    Anyways, all Robert Pattinson has to do is make one good non-Twilight movie and your whole theory is blown to hell. I mean, come on, how long were people obsessed with Brad Pitt before he finally started making good movies? ;)

  17. Unfortunately NKOTB have used the past year or so to stage their come back! Now with a new album, concerts across the country and even their own special Caribbean cruise they are now back in the hearts of those who loved them way back when...and of course their daughters. So even if Twilight obsession wanes by 2014 it should have a come back by 2030.

  18. LMAO Love the NKOTB correlation, maybe once a fangirl, always a fangirl? Although I am quite certain I would not run down the street screaming at Rob, something that I admit to have done with both NKOTB and Color me Badd. (ahh good times!) I'm too old and mature for that...well maybe mature is too strong of a word, I admit my inner 14 year old will be fighting me every step of the way should I ever get the chance to meet and greet Rob, I'll be screaming on the inside!

  19. Oh gosh. I just picked myself up off the floor from a flashback overload.

    I was SOOO into NKOTB!! It was a horrible obsession. Had they been touring close to my house, I would have SO WENT this time!

    THEY HAD A CRUISE!!! Why didn't I get that memo?

    Sweet, you've added to my obsession and now thanks to you, my hubby must endure next years NKOTB cruise. LOL.

  20. NKOTB was my first obsession. I think I have 14 NKOTB t-shirts. it's sick.


  21. erm..arnt NKOTB getting back together for a second bite at the apple.??

    sorry chap

  22. Never underestimate the power of someones who is designed to draw you in buddy. His face, his smell, his looks. You better add a few years on to that little calendar of yours just in case Mrs. Meyers decides to finish Midnight Sun.


    keep up the awesome work!

  23. All very excellent points but there is a very important fatal flaw to your plan...which I hesitate to point out. According to the Mayan Calendar the world is going to end on Dec 21, 2012 and although it't not a done deal there is a slim chance that you could be living in Edwards shadow for the rest of your days on the earth...and that is quite depressing....sorry mate.

  24. I can't even read any more... NKOTB? Truly! LOL

    Real? Real?

  25. legend - wait for it - ary! And so true!! LMAO!!!

  26. The bigger question in my opinion is which NK is the Edward equivalent? HAHA ... I'd argue Joe BUT I'm a Joey-Girl (AKA a Braveheart!)

  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  28. I can't believe you have me doing this- I'm Team Jacob always have been and always will be; to actually be attempting to sum up Edward is a bit disjointing for me. I will try...
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All comments welcome. I feel your pain.