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In spite of myself, looking forward to ‘Web Soup’

I try not to make it a secret that I’m hopelessly addicted to celebrity gossip. No, I know: it’s a horrible way to spend my time, and it’s embarrassing that I blow my cigarette money on US Weekly, OK! Magazine, and People at the local CVS. I know, I know.

But one thing I like about E!’s reality TV weekly roundup, The Soup—you may have known it as Talk Soup in the 90s—is that it’s just a little smarter about everything, just a little more impish. Oh, sure, it helps that its gangly-hot host, Joel McHale, is twinkly-eyed and snappily dressed. Plus, he totally has it out for Tyra Banks, Miley Cyrus, and Kathy Lee Gifford.

Now, the minds behind The Soup embark on their greatest challenge yet: making the inanity of eBaumsworld funny. They’re producing a new show satirizing the worst of the Internet, Web Soup, premiering on the please-air-something-besides-Cops nerdery channel, G4tv. Hosted by Chris Hardwick, the spin-off promises to bring The Soup’s trademark snark to the awful car wreck that is Internet Video. LOL!

On the one hand, I have my doubts: the type of audience that watches web videos is exactly the sort that always catches it a week ahead of you. Like great celeb gossip, Caturday videos go viral well before they get reprinted on the newsstands several days too late—er, I mean, retweeted.

Still, The Soup’s own success defies all odds. Reality TV is dull, piddling, and the brain’s ultimate muscle relaxant—what possible commentary can a host add to something so stupid? And yet it works! If Web Soup reproduces even a third of The Soup’s charm, it will be well worth watching.

But can it compare to Current TV’s Viral Video Film School? Only time will crown the victor.

Web Soup premieres on G4tv June 7 at… 9PM… PST? Or sometime? Anytime?

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