Why I miss my MTV

It was a month before my 7th birthday and when Video Killed the Radio Star came on, MTV was alive. For the next decade if you wanted to make it, you had get video play on MTV. To some this new channel and way of exposing the masses to the music also provided the opportunity to shoot a movie. A lot of the most memorable videos from MTV’s history were the ones that were the most cinematic. It was in 1983 that Michael Jackson’s video for Thriller set the bar high for anyone who wanted to dominate the video air waves.

For over a decade it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that if you turned on MTV you saw music videos then something happened that changed all TV not only MTV forever. The Real world was the first reality TV show and it aired on MTV.

In the 90’s I didn’t know anyone who couldn’t repeat this opening from the show.

This is the true story…

of seven strangers…

picked to live in a house…

work together and have their lives taped…

to find out what happens…

when people stop being polite…

and start getting real…

The Real World.

If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. The show went on to prove how stupid that saying is.

We thrive on impolite and not nice behavior in our entertainment. The Real World drew people in with it’s drama as conflicts arose each season with new groups of 7 strangers getting real in front of the world.

At the same time MTV was creating the future of reality TV they were beginning to run more non music video programming. They starting to show regular TV shows and cartoons. The cartoons were not aimed at children.

If you have never seen Beavis and Butthead and Celebrity Death Match, you have missed out on cultural phenomenons that people still talk about and have even been brought back.

Now this is all the shit that ruined my MTV.

Saturday nights were a special event for metal heads everywhere, The Headbangers Ball was all metal for 3 hours every Saturday night. While others did host the show first it was Riki Rachtman that became the most recognized name hosting the show.

When you think about the radio DJ’s of old who knew some shit about the shit they were spinning, Riki was the quintessential VJ in hosting The Ball. Riki had been in several bands before becoming a VJ.

For me personally why I miss my MTV is that I can’t stand reality TV. I love the art of story telling and to me the mix of film and music in the art of creating a music video created film making opportunities for people who showed what they could do with a music video. Michael Bay, Spike Jonze, David Fincher and others got their start in music video.

It was shortly after MTV pulled The Headbangers Ball off the air without telling anyone that I stopped watching all TV for a few years. That was back in 1995. Since then the only time I have ever watched TV is because the woman I was living with wanted to, except for a couple syndicated shows that were aired during the weekends. Those shows were Stargate SG-1 and The Outer Limits.

Reality TV created by MTV killed TV for me. In retrospect as I look back at what I did instead of watching TV or MTV, I went out and lived and I spent more time in study of everything else. Or to say I’m grateful for what it did to me in encouraging me to shut off the TV and do as the door mouse said and feed my head instead of blowing my brains out with mindless programming.

Thank you MTV for ruining TV and your own station.

This is still one of my favorite videos of all time simply for the original artistry of telling the story of A-ha’s Take On Me.

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6 thoughts on “Why I miss my MTV

      • Yeah VH1 is iwned by MTV and When MTV 2 came out and said they going play music videos non stop I have a Lewis Black like rage meltdown.

        “YOU’RE FUCKLING MTV MUSIC FUCKIN’ TELEVISION PLAYING MUSIC VIDEOS IS THE ONLY THING YOU EVER HAD TO DO IN ORDER TO GET IT RIGHT. ONE FUCKIN JOB, PLAY MUSIC VIDEOS AND NOW WE HAVE A REALITY TV HOST IN THE WHITE HOUSE.!”

        That’s right I blame MTV for Trump.

        Liked by 1 person

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