MTV launched a logo redesign this week – one that stripped away the words “Music Television” from the network’s iconic symbol.
To me, this confirms my worst fear – that MTV is turning its back on music and forever relegating itself to reality show hell.
If you wanted to watch music videos today, you would have to watch MTV from 3 to 6 a.m. With all that time left on the schedule, it begs the question, what’s taking over instead of music?
Today’s lineup is filled with reality shows such as “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” which makes the guys from “Jersey Shore” look like really classy dudes, and awful movies, including “A Guy Thing” and “Into the Blue.”
The latter airs twice in a row. Just in case you miss the Oscar-worthy acting abilities of Paul Walker and Jessica Alba the first time, there’s still hope.
While I’d be lying if I said I hate MTV’s current programming lineup and think all reality shows are a danger to society. However, I do think music needs a place on television, more than just playing in the background while girls of “The Hills” stare into space (or as they call it, thinking).
Sure, I can name a cast member from practically every season of “The Real World,” and yes, I love comparing my life to the girls on “16 and Pregnant,” just to feel good about myself.
I can, however, also recall watching the music videos of *NSYNC and Britney Spears and attempting to unsuccessfully mimic the dance moves.
It wasn’t just pop musicians that enticed me. Whenever a new video was debuting on “TRL,” MTV’s music countdown show, it became an event on my street – no matter what musical genre it came from.
With the demise of “TRL” last year, MTV seemed to be separating itself from the one thing that put it on the map in the first place. (Note to MTV schedulers: Bring “TRL” back. Carson Daly would do much better there than at whatever ungodly hour he is on at NBC.)
By removing “music television” from its logo, MTV solidified its decision to bite the hand that fed it.
Think about it.
Previous generations excitedly remember the first videos they watched on television as if it were a national event.
What do we have like that nowadays? We get to reminisce about where we were when we first saw the train wreck of “Jersey Shore.” I was unassumingly sitting on my couch when I was swept into the disaster.
It may be too much to ask for constant music on MTV but how about an hour during primetime? Instead of continually playing the same tired programming repeatedly, why not give emerging artists the chance to showcase their skills?
What about bringing back “Making the Video,” a show that MTV once had, giving an inside look as the biggest stars shot their music videos?
Missing music isn’t even MTV’s biggest issue. With its overflow of reality trash, MTV has become a joke in the entertainment TV that it once dominated, and its best shot at redemption seems to bring back some music. If they abandon the music, what does the “M” stand for?
MTV’s slogan in the beginning was “I want my MTV.”
Now, music fans everywhere need to proclaim, “I want my MTV back.”
Erin Henneberger is a junior journalism major from Livonia, Mich. She is the assistant Voice editor.
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