Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I want my MTV

MTV Logo

MTV is currently celebrating its 30th birthday. Of course, I wasn't watching from the beginning (being about 6 years younger than the network), but even in the time since I watched it religiously it has changed drastically. I'll choose to remember the good 'ol days of the network.

I started watching MTV around the time that I was 7 years old. I would sit up for hours watching video blocks. I didn't watch a lot of the non-music related shows at that age, I was just obsessed with music videos. I remember loving the videos for The Beastie Boys' "Sabotage", Biggie's "Big Poppa" and especially Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby."

Ahhh...back when she was relatively normal.

The first of their non-music related programming that I watched was probably "Singled Out," which my mother didn't actually let me watch. I, however, had a babysitter named Danae who would let me stay up and watch with her when it was on. Horrible show, but I loved it then.

Outside of music programming, anything I wanted to watch was per my mother's permission. I would ask her if I could watch a particular show and she would always say yes. I would only know that she wouldn't let me watch it if she screamed "Turn that off!" from the other room five minutes later. That happened with "Celebrity Death Match."

As I got older, I was able to watch more and more of MTV's programming. I started on "The Real World" around age 11 and "Daria" around 13. Those were two of my big favorites.

My major obsession on MTV, however, was "Total Request Live." I watched that show religiously. I came on right when I got home from school and I rarely missed an episode. It went perfectly hand in hand with my boy band obsession. I always envied the audience in attendance when The Backstreet Boys, N*Sync or 5ive were in the studio. In the battle of the boy bands, 5ive was my clear favorite, probably because they were British (though, to be realistic to what was most popular, I'll say N*Sync).

I loved this, and I refuse to explain myself.

MTV really started slacking on music programming around the time I was completing high school/starting college. They started showing second-long clips of music videos (if that) on TRL and the only time to actually catch music videos was in the wee hours of morning. I kept watching the network a lot though. I had always really liked "True Life" and will admit to watching the first couple of seasons of "Next" and "Laguna Beach" (I'm ashamed).

I stopped watching almost all together once they stopped showing even the early-morning blocks of videos. Now, I only occasionally tune in to see what all the hoopla is around these Oompa-Loompas and pregnant teenagers (I still don't know).

This may very well be the last music video I ever saw on MTV.

I reminisce fondly about growing up with MTV and do miss what it used to be. Thankfully, there seems to be some glimmer of hope that the network's producers are realizing what the network was founded for. The network will be bringing back "120 Minutes," a show that focused on alternative rock. Granted, it will be on MTV2. But given that the secondary network had become a wasteland for the lesser reality show, I consider it progress!

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