Alright, it’s time to talk about one of my favorite things in the world, and that is the wonderful world of Big Time Rush. I’ve posted things related to them here before, like featuring Carlos as my last Web Crush, but haven’t worked up the nerve to talk about the whole band and everything I love about them.
Ooh, I’m getting excited just at the prospect of talking about these guys and their show and their music and how much I love them. Truth be told, I’m a bit nervous too. There’s so much hate for entertainment aimed at teens/tweens, especially the music which aims for that demographic, that I worry people will write off these fantastic guys just for being a Nickelodeon band without giving them a second glance. So I ask you to give them a chance, to ignore that voice in your head saying “Look at these over-produced, auto-tuned, mass-marketed punks” and open up to the possibility that they are more than they seem.
Because they are more than they seem. They are so much more.
Big Time Rush was conceived by Nickelodeon to be The Monkees for the new millennium: a television show about a band and an actual band that makes pop music. The casting process took around two years I believe as the producers searched for the right combination of singer/actors who would work well together as a group and appeal to the right demographic.
Not only did they achieve this, but I think it’s safe to say these four young men gelled better than anyone could have imagined.
The four band members are James Maslow, Carlos Pena Jr., Logan Henderson, and Kendall Schmidt. James, Carlos, and Logan had been selected for a while before the fourth spot was finally filled by Kendall and he has been described as the last piece of the puzzle which finally fell into place. Despite being the last to join the group even after others had been tried in his role he became the instant fit and all involved knew that they had gotten the group right. Seeing how these four interact and speak so highly of each other is frankly beautiful. In a world where machismo is so valued and male friends are not exactly encouraged to be affectionate with each other it’s incredible to see these four so unafraid of hugging, sharing private jokes, and using the words “love” and “family” to describe their bond.
This incredible chemistry is a huge part of what makes their show such a joy to watch. It’s rare to see a group of males whose friendship is the focus of a television show. I don’t mean that there are no male friendships on TV, but I seem to see it always being two friends, usually a girl or two thrown into the mix for romantic tension, and the focus of the show is usually outside of their relationship with each other; the fact that they’re friends merely an accepted fact of the show and not its main thrust. This is not the case with “Big Time Rush”. The four boys share a bond which is celebrated, tested, damaged, and mended but never broken. While there are love interests and romantic story arcs it is this incredible bond of friendship which is the heart of the show.
Also on the show we see some amazing things which are almost never a part of teen/tween shows: ongoing story arcs, character development, parents who aren’t utter failures, consequences for careless/selfish behavior, and incredible role models for both girls and boys. To be sure, these are not heavily emphasized aspects of the show and over-the-top antics and slapstick humor are much more apparent, but seeing what drives the story behind those gimmicks is so rewarding, and after all, isn’t that the point of being a geek? Looking deeper than the surface appearance of something, obsessing over the details, and appreciating the nuanced heart of the matter?
So this is my brief introduction to the world of BTR. Look forward to posts expanding on the ideas I’ve touched on here and further celebrating these guys and all they’ve built. I’m excited to share my love for them with you!