It seems that in every generation or so, a fresh new artist comes along who changes their genre forever. And then the culture spends years struggling to find someone who can do it as well as that legend. In the 1950s, it was Elvis. And his success brought pale imitations like Ricky Nelson. In the '60s, it was the Beatles, who were followed by wannabes like Herman's Hermits. In film, the '70s gave us Slyvester Stallone's success with the Rocky franchise, which gave birth to a whole host of sports movies about plucky underdogs. And in the '80s, John McTiernan's brilliance meant a decade or more of Die Hard on a bus, Die Hard at a hockey game, Die Hard on a plane, and so on.
Well no artist has perfected her particular field the way Tiffany Gomas has. She revolutionized the Crazy Plane Lady genre to the point it will never be the same. Or done more with her sudden notariety. No sooner did she burst onto the scene than she began using his to rocket herself to stardom:
And like any great performance, hers is going to spawn imitators. Fame is intoxicating, after all. And it was only a matter of time before some other, lesser Crazy Plane Lady would come along to try and fill Tiffany's knee high boots:
Now to be clear, there is perhaps no issue in our time that deserves more coverage than it's getting than the plague that is human trafficking. And if this unknown woman is, in fact, a victim, disregard everything I'm about to say. It just seems unlikely to me that the way you escape from bondage is to stand in the aisle of a Southwest flight bound for Kansas City screaming the phrase over and over again in the New York-based flight crew's faces and talking about getting on TikTok. Personally, I think quietly pulling a flight attendant aside as letting them know about your peril so the Air Marshals can be waiting at the gate seems the more effective strategy. Because nothing says "batshit" like shouting the same words repeatedly at the top of your lungs. It's not the sort of behavior you see at, say, the Nobel Prize ceremony. And judging by the fact the other passengers could barely be bothered to look up from their books or watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on the in-flight entertainment.
So how does this performance stack up against Tiffany Gomas? Your results may differ, but this one left me a little cold. Just garden-variety craziness. The kind of thing you'd see at any given Applebee's after too many Dollaritas. She was trying, to be sure. She brought big energy to the role. She projects an air of confidence. But ultimately fell flat. She just never grabs her audience's attention and holds onto it the way Gomas did. And to be sure, her signature catch phrase, "I'm being human trafficked!" is not only grammatically clumsy, it lacks the undefinable wit and charm of "That motherfucker is not real!"
Put simply, this was a nice attempt. But in the end, a failure to launch. It's going to be hard for anyone to walk in the 4-inch stiletto footprints of the Crazy Plane Lady trail Tiffany Gomas has blazed. And since the standard of all such meltdowns should be Ugly Sweater-worthiness, I don't think she'll ever be challenged.