Sprawling Drunk to the WeHo Girls

Soap, porn-lite or both?

By , Contributor

The greatest thing about the internet is that it is like a drunken ramble in a maze. It’s the digital enactment of those books that used to give you a fork in the road every page or so.

I just went onto YouTube all sad and bored and lonely in the middle of the night. I'm not drunk, but what I find soon leaves me lightheaded.The first thing that crossed my eye was Drunk History Vol. 5 w/ Will Ferrell, Don Cheadle and Zooey Deschanel.

Will Farrell is doing a great job of being the modern Bill Murray. I can't really figure out what he's doing, why or how he could be making any money on any of this, but I'm usually amused. In the past two weeks I found out that Farrell has been doing free goofy regional-only beer commercials for Old Milwaukee. Then he's at an NBA game doing weirdo untrue player introductions.

And then there's his web show/site/parody Funny or Die. I've seen a couple Drunk History that were narrated by men and didn't really get why it was necessary or amusing. The video of celebs acting out historical events in silly costumes didn't really hit me as funny. Then I saw Vol. 5, which is instead narrated by comedian Jen Kirkman.

Kirkman has supposedly had two bottles of wine and proceeds to do her best to recount the story of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. Suddenly, I don't really care about Cheadle and Ferrell, I'm all about Kirkman. Wow, she's cute. Is she really drunk or just pretending?  If she's really drunk, I'm titillated. If she's stone cold sober, she's super talented and I'm impressed beyond belief. Either way I'm entertained. It feels a little like Girls Gone Wild minus the explicit nudity, scumbag ruler Joe Francis, and the extreme level of filthy guilt you feel when watching that stuff.

From there I soon wound up even farther through the "looking glass." After finding a few more "drunken histories" not nearly as engrossing, I somehow wound up at "Leah's First Phone Sex Call."

Now I'm not falling for this for a second. This is obviously an actress pretending to give in to my sick need to watch young pretty girls do salacious things. I feel sort of let down that it isn't the real thing, but then again neither was Beverly Hills 90210 or the OC, but I was enthralled and stuck to my television for those.

Suddenly, I fall into "Leah's" trap and wind up watching her make out with a girl, almost sleep with a guy, and almost pathetically, I'm suddenly watching three girls share a bathtub in bikinis.

This has gone too far. Have I fallen into a YouTube sinkhole? These videos are obviously done by "actors and actresses," they're clearly meant to be just titillating and not pornographic, but then again these are real young boys and girls making out with each other and acting provocative. They all stop short of real nudity and can't really be considered pornography, but I suppose I could see someone out there pleasuring themselves to it. I don't know whether to continue or to banish myself to the Roget's page so I can find ten synonyms for titillating?

Is this really what I was dying to see all those years on 90210? Exactly how bad about myself should I feel for being dragged into this shadier side of YouTube. Are these girls closer to Jennifer Aniston or Sasha Gray? Are they the next Shannen Doherty or Traci Lords?

All of these videos had been labeled as part of the WeHo Girls Channel, and turned out to be the product of Iron Sink Media, which seems to regard what it is producing to be an internet "soap opera." It's clearly all an improvisational joke isn't it? Does that still make it porno-lite?

The videos are essentially Howard Stern interviews with young lesbians acted out by real girls instead of related aurally to Stern. Perhaps the notion that it's acting gives these young women the excuse to experiment and provoke without the stain of Rick Soloman or Larry Flynt -- or more likely they are mocking the viewer by giving them the story and romance that they find sadly missing in their porn.

The real genius of modern porn was the guy or girl who realized that most people had little or no need to see any story with their porn. People just wanted to see attractive people having sex. Freed of the need to provide the story part of the movie, porn became cheap and omnipresent.

Like it or not, pornography has fueled just about every media discovery of the last half century. Whether it was VHS, DVD, or internet video, if you wanted to see the most advanced visual technology it was usually to be found on a porn site.

Nevertheless, maybe there is still a big market for some story. I have no idea whether this kind of "entertainment" appeals to my sense of romance or my lustful needs, and my question remains are the WeHo Girls closer to Gossip Girl or those creepy casting couch videos?

At what level of the spectrum, should I feel dirty? How far can the internet "soap opera" go before it becomes actual pornography? Are these scenes just a more realistic version of what it looked and sounded like when Brandon Walsh brought a girlfriend home or just a tamer doorway to real pornography? Are the WeHo girls just giving me what I want - a seeming way to hang out and enjoy being around young, sexy women or are they making fun of me for what I think I want to see and be around.

Supposedly, the one comforting part of pornography was that you always knew it when you saw it. Suddenly, that is no longer true, but I'm definitely intrigued.

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Brad Laidman has been a freelance writer since 2000. His work has appeared in Film Threat, Perfect Sound Forever, and Rock and Rap Confidential. His defense of The Kinks' Dave Davies so moved the legendary guitarist that Davies labeled Brad his hero and he has the email to prove it.

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