Today ends the summer reign of Retro MTV, the network’s blast from the past that aired some of MTV’s most popular shows every weekday morning for 3 hour blocks. The limited run of your nostalgic TV fixes started on June 25 with Laguna Beach, then transitioned to The Hills and ended with Daria. What an odd succession of TV show choices… And this clumping together of two opposite ends of MTV broadcasting got me thinking of the network’s evolution from the likes of House of Style to the pranks of Punk’d.
Which MTV shows do you miss and which current series are your favorite? And yes, you can admit to enjoying Next and Viva La Bam. My Date My Mom is your Sorority Life.
Checking out every program broadcasted by MTV, I never realized how much original content MTV has jam-packed into its daily schedule. Seriously, the volume of material aired first on the much-reveled and always controversial network is overwhelming. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, I suggest checking out a full list of MTV programming and tallying up the number of shows you remember watching. I didn’t have full access to cable until I was in college, meaning my number probably could have been larger given my parents would have even allowed me to watch MTV.
The network boasts reality, dating, competitive, talk and animated shows aplenty. Each genre’s covers all surfaces and corners of every taste level. Some shows are heart-wrenching, poetic and ground-breaking. Some shows are purposely idiotic for the brilliantly low-brow’s sake. And then some shows like The Real World have been aired for years now and have experienced intricately planned changes in material and focus.
The demographers of television have the shaping of content according to viewership down to a science. So what target market is MTV aiming to appeal to now? Do you notice the change in the quality of programming as new generations of audiences take control of the remote?
Aside from my guilty pleasures like “Laggy B”, the pinnacle of rich, first-world problems, my favorite MTV show ever is Daria, which I have often referred to in past posts. I never watched it as it aired – my best friend in high school lent me a videocassette decorated in glitter nail polish that she recorded every episode on. The character of Daria Morgendorffer was basically written for me and every high school outcast. Finally I found a show with a heroine who was as bitterly dry and proudly misfitted as I was. And I had a huge crush on Trent. Cartoon, schmartoon.
I jumped with joy two years ago when the entire series finally became available on DVD. I bought it pronto and still watch it on the reg. And here’s a fun tip for Daria fans or interested viewers – Daria‘s run on Retro MTV garnered so many supportive tweets that it will return for next week! Tune in on weekday mornings for your dose of wry teenage angst!
Which MTV shows were your favorite? Are you still a fan of MTV original content or has it gone way downhill?