'Big in 2003' offers irreverent tributes

Sunday, November 30, 2003

— Big moments of 2003? War in Iraq. Turmoil in the Middle East. The space shuttle Columbia.

No, the other big moments -- Ben Affleck and J.Lo, trucker hats and tadpoling.

With awards such as "Biggest Gay Hero" and "Biggest, Guiltiest Pleasure," VH1's "Big in 2003" offers an irreverent tribute that celebrates and skewers the year's biggest celebrities, trends and moments.

Combining clips from television, films and music videos with appearances by some of today's hottest stars, the result is a sometimes raucous, sometimes raunchy sendup of award shows.

"We're addressing everything in the year. The show is sort of a comedy-variety look at that," said executive producer Lee Rolontz.

The music channel's annual awards show, which airs at 8 p.m. today, also features performances by matchbox twenty, Shania Twain, Kid Rock, OutKast and an audience singalong with the Rev. Al Green.

The show began four years ago as an Internet program that allowed fans to vote for their favorite performers. It evolved two years ago into a comedy-musical salute to celebrity.

In one of the show's more serious moments, the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines accepted the award for "Big Quote of '03" for her criticism of President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq during a concert in London.