You can now pay money ($49, to be exact) to go on a tabloid tour of New York City. Gawk at the Plaza Hotel where Charlie Sheen shacked up with a porn star! Relive the Chris Brown vs. Drake fight at SoHo nightclub W.i.P.! Reevaluate your finances/life because all this shit's online for free!
There are two options, reports the New York Times: TMZ's "relentlessly trivial and strenuously contemporary" offering, or the New York Post's more "scholarly" (and, it sounds, dull) tour. The Times reporter was disappointed that neither guide acknowledged the contributions Amanda Bynes has made in recent months.
It takes a certain kind of person to show unfeigned interest in an apartment formerly inhabited by Rachel Uchitel, prominent in the romantic scandals surrounding Tiger Woods a few years ago. Our guide was such a person. Actors, singers, fashionistas — all were absolutely fascinating to him.
It takes a certain type of observer, too, and not my type — for example I wouldn't call Amanda Bynes a "cute, talented young actress in a downward spiral." But if the following doesn't sound like air-conditioned hell to you:
Product placement is not a problem on the TMZ tour. The enclosed bus, which takes off from Midtown twice a day, is outfitted with drop-down television screens that the onboard guide cues every couple of minutes to broadcast a prerecorded clip. You get, at full volume, the patented TMZ voice-over, delivered in the snide, braying-jackass voice familiar to fans of the television show.