Ummm….excuse me….what does the “M” stand for in MTV? I can take a few guesses….”moronic” TV, “mediocre” TV, “mistake” TV…..the list can go on and on. It certainly no longer stands for “music!” They shouldn’t even include the term music in their logo anymore. They should take a note from KFC and the SATs, and go to initials only. Having “music” in your logo will just confuse people into thinking that they are going to hear music on the channel.
When I was a kid, music videos were groundbreaking and MTV was the sh*t. Video actually DID kill the radio star, and people who were not suited for TV lost popularity to people who were better looking and more flashy (talent took a backseat). The concept of the “music video” was something totally new. The idea that mini-movies could be made for songs that previously only had words to tell the story was something totally new and something that had not been thought of in the past. Vee-jays became rock stars and video programming like 120 Minutes, Headbanger’s Ball and Yo! MTV Raps got high ratings. This, for 1981, was the future.
Unfortunately, it didn’t become the future. MTV continued to promote videos, but they appeared on the channel less and less, losing out to more “network” type programming, only with a slight “MTV” edge. Programs like Remote Control, The Real World and House of Style started to appear, causing the music videos to decrease in number. These shows were innovative and still, sort of, kept true to the music roots of the network. More non-music programs were introduced in 1990s, leading to the demise of the music video as the main type of broadcasting for MTV. It seemed like MTV became the network for morons (hence my first recommendation to replace the “M”). Shows like Jackass, Beavis and Butthead, Punk’d, The Tom Green Show, The Osbournes, Viva la Bam and late-night shows like Lovelines, Undressed and The Jon Stewart Show were added, and videos removed. MTV all of a sudden became the home for idiots. Idiots dominated the lineup and musicians were ignored. It’s at this time that I stopped watching MTV. Even with Total Request Live (TRL) playing daily, MTV was showing 90% less music than it had when it first started (and Carson Daly is just such a tool). Speaking of TRL, I was always amazed the MTV could do a countdown of the most popular videos of the week when they didn’t even show videos! It got so bad that Justin Timberlake, in his acceptance speech at the2007 MTV Video Music Awards (kind of an oxymoron), plead with MTV to “play more damn videos!”
As popular as MTV became, launching satellite networks around the world, it lost sight of the original and wonderful premise on which it was begun. People wanted to watch their favorite singers and bands perform on television. They wanted to see their favorite songs made into small movies and watch their authors become stars. Now, even the international MTV networks play nothing but 16 and Pregnant, Ridiculousness, Awkward, Jersey Shore and Teen Wolf all day; this drivel dominates the lineup. I guess not everyone is annoyed with the demise of music on MTV. It opened up cable for other networks to begin showing music videos. Much Music found a niche after MTV ignored its roots and became a new all-video network. Other cable “brands” opened up music channels (Disney Music, Nat Geo Music and fuse). They see a “new” niche that used to be dominated by MTV and VH1 (its sister station that also gave up on music).
MTV has lost me as a viewer. I have to say, they actually lost me years ago when they stopped playing music videos and pawned them off on their “lesser” channels of MTV2 and VH1 Classic. I hear that MTV is beginning to feature more music on their station. Shows like Chart Attack and AMTV are starting to creep back into the MTV lineup, bringing music back to “music” television. Even though these shows are featured at times that are far less than “prime,” AMTV actually showing in the wee hours of the morning, at least they’re something. Sorry, MTV, but you haven’t won me back. It’s a situation of too little, too late. Too little music and too late after your 20 year moron phase. MTV, you disappointed me and continue to do so.
Just a few of MTV’s lineup…..not a music show among them!