Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A few of my favorite former MTV things

This week marks the 30th anniversary of MTV,aka "Music Television",an innovative merge of the audio/visual delights that both music and televised media can provide.

VH1 Classic aired the first hour that MTV broadcast back in 1981,with "Video Killed the Radio Star" being their first music video(bonus points if you know what was the second video that day). Like every other fledgling form of entertainment, this network has had it's share of highs and lows,not to mention changes to it's content and format over time.

No longer is there the need for "VJs"(video jockeys)to set up blocks of video clips and not that many exclusive debuts of certain music videos,due to instant internet access. While it is necessary to keep up with the times,there are some things that I miss from the former glory days of MTV and for those who have no idea what the big fuss is all about,here's why many of us still clamor "I want MY MTV!":

REMOTE CONTROL: One of the earliest non music related programs put on the network was this wacky game show,which asked contestants a variety of pop culture questions.

Some of the Q&A was acted out,such as Survey Says,Stud Boy(played by Adam Sandler)and the ever popular Sing Along with Colin. Filled with good natured humor and fun, this show was the perfect answer to the question "Who needs Jeopardy?":

JUST SAY JULIE: While MTV did sponsor a good number of comedy shows like The State and The Ben Stiller Show,my personal favorite was comedianne Julie Brown(not to be confused with "Downtown" Julie Brown,aka the "Evil Julie Brown")and her silly sweet skit show.

Julie was best known for her parody songs such as "The Homecoming Queen's got a Gun" and movie roles that showcased her wacky Valley Girl act such as Earth Girls are Easy. Her show only ran for three seasons but her snarky girl power humor left quite a mark there:

BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD: I know that Mike Judge is bringing this twisted cartoon back on air and the advance clips do look promising.

However,the boys are going to be mocking reality shows like The Jersey Shore(which is kind of redundant,in my opinion) in between story lines for the most part instead of music videos. As much as I long for these crude laughs,it won't be the same without the much deserved pot shots taken at music artists that B&B are so fondly remembered for:

BASIC CONTENT VIDEOS: Music videos with narrative drive have really overtaken the simple performance clips that MTV started out with and as much as I love a well done visual story line that matches the song,this concept can get old in a hurry.

It would be nice to see a straight out rendition of a song in video form once in a while. The closest that we've come to that recently is Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory" and I suspect that she's not the only artist out there who wants to do away with the bells and whistles and just sing their song for that special someone:

Oh well,it's always good to look back to see just how far you've come. I don't know if MTV will last for another thirty years but you can't say that it didn't help advance the power and impact of music upon more than one generation. Oh,and the second video that MTV aired during it's debut? It was Pat Benatar's "You Better Run",a powerhouse tune that still rocks today and will do so for many tomorrows afterward:

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