You guys know that song, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles? Well, I think we need a catchy phrase like that for the new millennium, because guess what? There are no video stars any longer! At least, not really. See, here are 7 ways I think MTV – and VH1, too, but MTV is hipper – is killing the video star. Maybe you'll agree with me!
1. Reality TV
MTV's many, many, many reality TV shows are definitely killing video stars. The same is probably doubly true for VH1, because it has even more reality TV endeavors. Even channels like CMT are starting to incorporate more unscripted TV shows than videos. They seem to think it's enough that their shows star former or current musicians. Guess what? It's not!
2. Scripted TV
And then you have the scripted shows, like the Hills and things. I haven't ever been able to get into that show, its originals, or any of the spinoffs. I don't even understand it. Is it scripted? Is it true? Huh? The one thing I do know is that the Hills and Laguna Beach and the City and what have you, are all taking up space where videos could be played instead. I mean, I remember watching Beavis and Butthead, the Senate, Singled Out, and shows like that – but at least Beavis and Butthead played videos!
For that matter, MTV has too many franchises in the works to even pay attention to videos anymore. They have to keep the Hills going. And the Real World, which is in, what, its 500th season or something? Plus there's that Gauntlet show or whatever, which evolved from those ridiculous Real World/Road Rules challenge shows. You also have the 16 and Pregnant/Teen Mom franchise. Yeah, I watch it, but I'd be happier with videos.
Here's one of the real problems: MTV and VH1 both only play videos where very few people are awake to watch them. Back in the day, VH1 had Insomniac Music Theater, which started sometime after midnight and stretched until 6 or 7 o'clock in the morning (I think; something like that, anyway). Perfect! I watched them before I went to bed at night and got to see them in the morning while I was getting ready for school! Sweet! Now? Not so much. At most, you get to see 30 seconds worth of a video between reality shows. Great.
See, this is what MTV has now. This is its video block. It starts around 4, sometimes around 3am, and stretches until, I don't know, something like 9 or 10 in the morning. So … people are either sleeping, at work, or at school. Who's around to watch videos at that time frame? You'd have to play hooky to see any music videos! Okay, I work from home, technically I could watch them, but how many people, all told, are able to work from home?
Oh, MTV is full of hypocrisy. Want to know why? This one is short, sweet, and simple: they have a huge, wildly popular music video awards show, right? But they don't show hardly any of those videos! You have to go watch them on Youtube or something if you want to see them! MTV awards artists for their creative videos … but then rarely plays the videos they are awarding. Um. What?
7. There Are No Videos
Not really. There really aren't any videos. A few hours when no one can really watch them, some blurbs between shows, and that's it. It's depressing.
I mean, can't MTV give us an hour? Between 11pm and 12am, maybe, or even 12am to 1am? Can't they cut us a break? Don't you miss video blocks?
Top Photo Credit: Ross Colquhoun