Written by Ella Ceron, edited by Amelia Diamond
It’s already vintage news that *NSYNC “reunited” last night at the MTV Video Music Awards. “Reunited” is lodged firmly between quotation marks because it lasted for a generously-approximated one minute and fifteen seconds. And because it happened in the middle of an endless Timberlake retrospective love fest.
The quintet crooned a few lines of “Girlfriend” and harmonized in their signature oohs and aaahs; their choreography in *near-perfect (wait for it…) sync. Hearts over the world were racing as hard as if they’d been taking the drugs Kanye and Miley kept mentioning. And then they literally said “Bye Bye Bye!” and it was all over.
Was it underwhelming? According to Twitter, a little. But to me it was still glorious.
The fact that Justin deigned to share a stage with JC, Lance, Chris and Joey one more time – even if the premise was the lifetime achievement award he received as a solo artist – is everything to me and all the other grown women who first perfected their lipstick stamping abilities on the plethora of *NSYNC posters adorning their bedroom walls.
Why? Because these boy bands remind us of an era before rent and bills and responsibilities. We sang along to their songs in the car and expressed honest outrage when our mothers confused their songs with those of another band. We hated the fictional women who inspired their break up ballads and imagined ourselves as the muses to their anthems of love. We had our favorites, our future husbands. Were you a Lance girl or team AJ? Nick Lachey or Nick Carter? Those of us old school Justin fans remember the agonizing dichotomy of his relationship with Britney. She was at once our pop princess and yet, the only tangible barrier between Justin and our hands in marriage. (Now, it’s Mary Camden. Lord, how times have changed.)
We really loved these boys.
Whether you bought Wade Robson’s dance video then promptly burned it after learning that Britney cheated on Justin with said backstabbing choreographer, begged your parents to buy concert tickets and shuttle you and your friends to the venue, or pledged your allegiance to another band entirely – perhaps the anti-boy band, Good Charlotte? – there was little denying that the Y2K generation was defined by TRL and its pop music.
There’s no need to feel ashamed about the fact that we still lose our shit over things like this final *NSYNC reunion. It reminds us of that magical yesteryear: a time when frosted tips were hot, leather pants were almost only worn on males – and sexy at that – and when four guys dancing in unison was the only key to our fast-beating hearts.
So maybe the “reunion” wasn’t life changing but it was a reunion (wedged between two condescending quotation marks) nonetheless. And it was nice to be reminded that just because the boys became men, our love didn’t have to die. Maybe theirs didn’t either. I mean, come one, how excited was JC?
*Charlotte Fassler pointed out that friggen LANCE was one second off at the 12:02 mark. And one second off in boy band choreography time is like…an eternity.