It’s called Music Television, but where is the music?

By on October 10, 2007

We can all remember running home after school to watch Total Request Live with black nail polish adoring Carson Daly, to count down the top 10 most requested videos made by everyone else our age. Now, I find myself hard-pressed to find any video playing on MTV, no matter when I turn it on. Where did the music go?

MTV, short for Music Television, may have officially lost its original intentions. It is my belief that the network has officially sold out to pop-culture and is no longer about the music. There are hardly any music-based shows left, or even many worthwhile programs (other than The Hills, of course. What can I say, I am just as addicted, if not more, than most girls I know). But where exactly should MTV draw the line between completely selling out, and remaining true to itself and its fans?

How about drawing the line with their new show, “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila”? Recently featured in an article on entitled “MTV continues to be top media corruptor of Teens,” the show is based on a sexually confused bi-sexual who engages with boys and girls to find her “one true love” on public television. Who would have ever thought a network with the name Music Television would feature a show like this? I bet whoever created the channel would have never thought they would be considered the “top media corruptor of teens.”

Don’t get me wrong, dating shows are fine and entertaining. Homosexual and bisexual shows are certainly fine by me as well. But making a mockery out of ones sexuality and showing the distastefulness of its content in a simple 10 second preview commercial is simply ridiculous. And so is playing it on a channel entitled MUSIC television.

I remember not being allowed to watch MTV until I was about 10 or 11 years old, not because of its corruptive potential, but because there were certain songs my parents didn’t want me hearing. Although banned, I used to always sneak to see my favorite bands anyway. I recall watching the Spice Girls sing “Wannabe,” or the boys of N’SYNC dance around. And who can forget Britney dressed as a school girl in her first video?

I’ll never forget when my mom came downstairs and caught me watching MTV, and lo and behold, “Lets talk about Sex” by Salt and Pepa was playing. I was mortified because I had probably just learned what exactly sex was, but at least this song was part of a larger picture. It was part of an educational and political movement, back when the station’s first priority was still music (and still, I was just so totally embarrassed).

And now what will kids see? Tila Tequila making out with men and women, possibly at the same time, dressed in a bikini, if that? But maybe we will be lucky and there will be a good techno song playing in the background. That’s enough music for MTV nowadays, isn’t it?

I have recently been forced to come to terms with MTV’s lack of interest and programming time for music, or music related shows. We now live in a world where a good majority of people our age would rather talk about what a jerk Spencer (from The Hills) is than, I don’t know, who they want to vote for in the next presidential election. And again, I am just as guilty. I am a wholehearted believer that one day LC and Jason (from the Hills) will get back together, and the world will be alright. Well, sort of.

Either way, MTV has been disappointing music fans across the nation, with even Justin Timberlake saying at the VMA’s, “Play more damn videos. We don’t want to see the Simpsons (Ashlee and Jessica) on reality television.” And yet, once again I contradict myself because I loved “Newlyweds,” which just might make me the biggest hypocrite this side of the Mississippi.

I just don’t believe these shows belong on MTV. But then where would they be put?

My point exactly.

Maybe it’s as simple as MTV no longer being the right acronym. Maybe it should be ATV (addicting television), or MTVLM (music television lacking music), or possibly STV – smart television. Because if nothing else, they continue to show things that people cannot stop tuning into. They are raking in the dough and turning normal people into celebrities on a daily basis, while capturing our minds, hearts and possibly intelligence.

I am not complaining. I am just a bit confused.

I miss the days of “TRL,” “Ren and Stimpy,” and “Daria.” Yet, the latter of these shows had nothing to do with music either, which leads me to a final and simple conclusion: For as long as I have been alive, MTV has just been a falsity which, to an avid music fan such as myself, is a major disappointment. There should be a station somewhere out in the world of cable that devotes itself nearly 100 percent to music.

It’s time for MTV to face the music, and realize that they don’t have any.


About Erin Miller