I Still Want My MTV

Call me old fashioned, but are music videos really so old fashioned?

I’m a child of the eighties and nineties. I grew up watching Michael Jackson scare his date in Thriller. I grew up watching Madonna strip for children in Open Your Heart. I grew up watching Paula Abdul move with sober ease in Cold Hearted (Snake).


Madonna - Open Your Heart


What do the kids get on MTV today? A reality show about pregnant teenagers, a reality show about people who live in New Jersey, and a reality show about remaining a virgin or taking the big plunge? I understand that reality TV is everywhere. Even the History Channel rarely discusses history anymore.

I remember watching TRL on summer vacations and after school before my parent’s got home from work. It was something my brothers and I did together and even today we’ll randomly (usually while drinking) bring up some videos from those days. I mean, remember Sugar Ray?

It’s not that I support people watching Carson Daly or anything. I just think a channel created to play music television should probably play some music. And I’m not talking about 30 second intro shots to The Hills or some nonsense. I mean music videos. Like the ones people watch on YouTube now.


Carson Daly and Marilyn Manson



As the demands for programming changed I wish someone at MTV would have had the balls to say, “Hey! We’re MTV! Who cares if we only make a shit ton of money rather than an extra shit ton of money? We are playing music videos.”

Music videos used to be productions people watched. They actually increased record sales because people could not only hear and feel the music, but now they could see it, to a certain degree. There are plenty of artists who were not helped by MTV, but for most people of my generation, MTV was actually about the music.

It was exciting to be introduced to new artists through MTV. Everyone looked forward to the new music video from their favorite musicians. I remember there were countdowns of the top videos for the year on New Years Eve which served wonderfully as the soundtrack to your holiday party.

Nowadays, I would avoid a party where MTV was being offered as a portion of the entertainment. How disappointing as a music lover.

Now turn up the speakers or put on your headphones and pretend you’re having a better life.




Chris is a writer, photographer, and designer. He thinks he's smart. He thinks he's funny. He thinks he's gay. What do you think?