Monday, August 4, 2008
A friend of mine and I were having a great conversation about how much MTV has changed since I was in middle school (the end of the 90s). It's kind of depressing to see the route it has taken since then.
I followed MTV pretty heavily in the 90s, given that I was a yound adolescent who craved to be updated on pop culture. I watched MTV specials on VJs and watched every episode of the I Wanna Be a VJ run when Jesse Camp defeated Dave Holmes. I watched TRL when Carson Daly was the big-time host. I watched many of the original Real World casts (New Orleans, Hawaii) before it catapulted to what the show is today. I was a Celebrity Deathmatch fan. I loved watching Undressed (even though nothing really happened), and I loved watching music videos.
But today, where are those music videos? I don't mean little clips of the videos, I mean the entire videos themselves? Isn't it called Music Television for a reason? Now, it's more like trashy reality television. Yuck. It caught on to the rest of the disgusting trend of recent television.
I remember Justin Timberlake makin a comment similar to mine above, in which MTV responded that they air some high percentage of music videos between television shows, during shows like TRL (which are videos CLIPS, not the whole video), and late night/early morning (1-5AM). Even if that statistic is correct, those videos are not accessible. I don't want to watch a 20 second clip, I want the video! I know that these videos are available on YouTube now, but that takes away the value of watching it on TV, which is what we used to do when I was in high school. Now we rely solely on the computer instead of also relying on TV. It's so much better to watch it on TV with surround sound and a bigger picture than on my choppy YouTube player. Come on MTV! Do something here!
MTV has just taken a turn for the worse in general. My whole conversation with my friend stemmed because we were talking about VJs. Remember when VJs didn't necessarily have to look like Abercrombie and Fitch models? Remember John Norris? Kurt Loder? Matt Pinfield? They would never get jobs at MTV today! They are not anyone to fantasize over, so they wouldn't get the job. But, they are the most qualified and intelligent people. Just because they're not eye candy, they wouldn't be the first candidate. Sigh.
After Carson's generation, we have pretty little VJs like Lala, Damien, Lindsay Rodrigues, Hilarie, Vanessa, etc. Why does it have to resort to this?
The Real World has even become a pretty game, as opposed to earlier years when they sampled a good portion of the later adolescent population. Now, every person is given a title: the anorexic, the pretty-boy, the army boy, the jock, the homosexual, etc. Everyone needs a story, and they pair them together just for good ratings. These candidates no longer look like someone I would see on the street and could relate to, they look like they could star on a television show or soap opera. They would be considered "popular" in high school instead of just being a random sample from the high school. Why has it gone this way? Why does it have to be like this?
And, MTV is now bombarded with horrible reality TV shows that rich daddies bought for their daughters, i.e. The Hills and Laguna Beach. They air horrible dating shows that are painful to watch, i.e. Dismissed, Parental Control, Next, etc. Their shows are not stimulating. They are mind-dulling. Who cares about Pimp My Ride?
I do think some of their shows can actually help other teenagers who are struggling: MADE, True Life, other documentaries. But overall, not too much good production is happening at MTV. There needs to be a change! The 2000s are embarassing. Something must be done here.
So what do you think of current MTV and its change?