Today, in honor of the nation’s birthday — and perhaps to offset the traditionally low holiday viewership — VH1, MTV and CMT will be showing 12 hours of music videos, concerts and band interviews.
From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the not-so-cleverly named Music Independence Day will showcase new and legacy musical content to provide “the ultimate party playlist for fans of pop, country, hip-hop, indie and electronic dance music,” according to a news release.
When I first heard about this event, I gave an enthusiastic round of applause to media conglomerate Viacom for finally, if temporarily, moving away from shows like “Jersey Shore,” “Redneck Island” and “Mob Wives.” Many of you agreed.
“I remember the day MTV launched and hearing ‘Video Killed the Radio Star,’ but I suppose reality killed the music star,” wrote Chattanoogan Jeremy Belk in response to a post about the event on the newspaper’s Facebook page.
“I don’t watch ‘M’aternity TV anymore,” quipped Jim Rothwell, also of Chattanooga, about the network’s teen pregnancy shows.
I’ll admit to taking a certain guilty pleasure in watching my fair share of reality series such as “Pawn Stars,” “Swamp People” and “Deadliest Catch,” but in my defense, those programs are carried by channels on which they are at least slightly justifiable. (The glaring exception to this would be “Swamp People,” which weakly attempts to explain its inclusion on the History Channel by claiming that ’gator hunting is a tradition going back hundreds of years.)
Try all you want to, but there’s no justifying “Jersey Shore” or “Mob Wives” as even marginally music-related.
The more thought I gave to this return to “the good old days,” however, the more the tempo of my clapping decreased until it became decidedly slow and sarcastic.
I might disagree with channels that retain names that create a false impression about their content, but there’s little sense in arguing that they should alter their schedules in the slightest, so long as their audiences numbers are high enough. The Top 10 most-viewed episodes of all time on MTV.com are from “16 and Pregnant,” “Teen Mom 2” and — shocker — “Jersey Shore.” Why fix what ain’t broke?
I might not like the seeming fall from grace of the channels that gave us “TRL,” “Behind the Music” and “Headbangers Ball,” but if I want to see music videos, I’ll just go online like everyone else. Reality didn’t kill the video star; YouTube did.
Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...