I Want My MTV… To Stop Being Such A Bitch.
Ugh. Yet another reason for me to want to punch everyone involved with MTV.
According to this article from USA Today, the network has started taping TRL (that’s Total Request Live, for those of you not native to this planet) two days a week “in an effort to save money.”
MTV needs to save cash? All that network does these days is come up with vapid reality show after reality show, therefore completely side-stepping any need for actors or original content. What are they spending their money on? Unless it’s tight clothes for that cute VJ, (what’s his name? Damien? Like the devil?), they shouldn’t be using it for anything but getting new music to the general public.
According to the article, the total amount of TRL viewers ages 12 to 17 is “only 113,000, half what it was only two years ago”. According to some editor at Vibe magazine, a possible reason for this drop in viewers is that “pop music is much more fragmented these days”, therefore “lessening the desire of fans to congregate at a central place.”
Maybe. Or maybe it’s because MTV as a channel isn’t what it used to be. Now, I’m no music snob, but I’m old enough to remember when the channel was rough around the edges, loud, young and energetic. They had those cartoons…remember those cartoons?…that scared the hell out of me with their weird characters and adult plots. Watching MTV used be the raddest way to spend an afternoon. Even Beavis and Butthead watched music videos. And who can forget the first Real World? I know it’s an old argument, but those people were real. None of this polished, big boobs, giant muscle, drinking all day and doing nothing else bullshit. Remember Eric and Julie? It’s like you lived next door to them.
Yes, yes, the world has changed since then. Flash and bling and hair extensions and rehab stints are staples these days. MTV had to mold to its surroundings. Blah blah, I get it. But what that channel doesn’t seem to understand (or maybe it does, which is even more frustrating) is that it has the ability to change pop culture. Hell, it could MAKE pop culture.
Do something new, MTV. Shake off the reality show lamness and make The Real World about more than people partying and crying over who hooked up with who. Kick off Lauren Conrad and everyone else from The Hills (who, as far as I can tell, are acting anyway) and tape more episodes of Made and TrueLife. Play more music. Give us more than a snippet of emerging artists between shows. THINK about the image you’re passing off to those 12-17 year olds.
Taping episodes of TRL is just another gloss on a network that used to wear the label of ‘radical’ proudly. Another way to diffuse the life of a channel already choking on hair spray and shielding its eyes from those diamond and gold grillz. One more step toward mass-produced, watered down entertainment.
MTV, you used to be the coolest kid in school.
Now you’re just the channel that makes annoying people famous.
(…But keep that Damien. In fact give him his own show. And call it Naked Time.)