Best: Miley Skurfs the Net
The Miley-centric comedy shorts that peppered the broadcast were winningly silly: a skit involving a pot brownie and Snoop as a talking pig, another about a sleepover at the Cyrus compound featuring Tyga, Mike Will Made It and dad Billy Ray as spot-on straight man ("Goodnight, rappers," he said before turning out the light). But the strongest by far was a sketch starring Andy Samberg and MadTV's Ike Barinholtz as co-captains of Cyrus' personal Instagram Think Tank. The bit, in which the pair custom-engineered a Miley selfie for maximum viral potency, perfectly summed up the way the host elevates the vapidness of Internet culture to a satirical science. As Cyrus followed her consultants' orders to a T — posing on the VMA set with a motley cast including Frankenstein untangling some headphones, Papa Skurf ("from the Bulgarian Smurfs rip-off the Skurfs") wielding a T-shirt gun that fires pants and Rita Ora sitting in a kiddie pool filled with spaghetti, you could see why she was the ideal ringmaster for the circus that is the VMAs. She was both a self-aware commentator on the night's shameless spectacle and its most willing participant.