Worst... week... ever...

Up next: Jim Belushi and Steve Harvey are kidnappers turned matchmakers

Sometimes "the charts" are a great barometer of American culture: They're the entertainment industry's crystal balls that give the clueless record/film/TV execs a clear view of what America wants, offering them a springboard to launch an endless stream of copycats chasing the tails of their crapulicious predecessors.  (Mama Hilton, don't you know it's gauche to piggyback on your daughter's vapid dreams?)

So what do this week's sales and Nielsen ratings predict about our future? Hitch was the best-selling DVD, taking in $10.8 million and making it one of the biggest video releases ever. The Backstreet Boys were at no. 3 on the Billboard chart, selling more than 300,000 copies of their latest CD filled with insipid love songs and faux-hard-boy anthems. And the most-watched show on television this week was the Katie Couric interview with the perpetually surprised "runaway bride." This could only mean more awful buddy flicks are in the works, boy band reunions are being planned, and millions of people are plotting their own fake kidnapping.

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