MTV's annual music bacchanal, the Video Music Awards, took place on Thursday night in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and despite its history of taking a magnifying-glass look at pop excess—Madonna in the wedding dress, Britney Spears on the path to glassy-eyed ruin—this year's edition of the show seemed curiously inert to those watching at home. Which isn't to say that the people running the event weren't trying hard: Rihanna gleefully patted her crotch during her performance of the demi-entendre "Cockiness," and Harlem's own A$AP Rocky engaged in a little ass-grab of his own during his cameo. Australian actress Rebel Wilson tried to carry a segment based solely on the comedic potential of the implication that her ample frame was adorned with more pubes than your typical Brazilian-ed bikini model's. But the sex talk felt forced, an attempt to graft hashtags onto Twitter feeds that were already overloaded with talk of not just MTV, but the Democratic National Convention, the later stages of the U.S. Open, and... More >>>