Despite Changes, MTV Programming at High Point
I've been watching MTV for literally longer than I can remember. Heck, I even remember when they played MUSIC VIDEOS! My favorite era of the cable network happened to be in the Mid-90s, when I could stay up late to see episodes of Singled Out and Beavis & Butt-Head, but could also come home from school, grab some snacks and see mostly music videos from bands like Pearl Jam and Boyz II Men. In the late 90's MTV ditched the music video "format," electing to offer programming designed more to the lifestyle of the late-teen/young adult, regardless of a musical focus. While I still think this era of the network was awful, with shows like Cribs and Room Raiders, the station found a nice medium in my opinion around four years ago when their shows flooded the pop culture mainstream and social media with shows that I (judge me if you want to) found genuinely entertaining like Teen Mom and Jersey Shore. Rightly or wrongly, those became the flagship shows of Music Television and the face of the station... And over the past three months, BOTH of those shows ended their highly-successful runs on TV.
Jersey Shore, from a ratings and financial standpoint, was the most successful show in the history of MTV. Teen Mom was not far behind, keeping the network relevant and on everybody's tongue. Often times it would be hard to turn on MTV and NOT see one of those two shows. And if you found one of those times, you could rest easy knowing that a rerun of one or the other was just around the corner. Make no mistake about it, over the past three years, these two shows DEFINED MTV.
You would think that I would be upset that these two pretty important backbones of my television viewing habits leaving me, which I am, but I'm happy that the cable network may actually be entering it's most compelling era it has had this millennium!
While the controversial yet lovable girls of Teen Mom have gone away, the integrity of the show still lives on with its sequel Teen Mom 2 and predecessor 16 & Pregnant. What's NEW to Monday nights however is the show Catfish, which has been very critically well-recieved and seems to offer more substance than following around teenagers attempting to raise children with a camera. The show is a documentary series focusing on a different couple every episode. The kicker is that the couples have actually never met and are having a relationship online. One person has a hunch that the person they're in love with may not be autentic, and they enlist the help of show host Nev and his crew to help them get to the bottom of it and, ultimately, meet face to face. If you haven't seen an episode of Catfish yet, you really should check it out... Even the normal programming MTV offers disgusts you.
Jersey Shore leaves a huge hole for MTV to fill on Thursday nights. For those unaware, Jersey Shore featured eight people acting like douchebags in New Jersey. The show is being replaced with an all new concept... A show called Buckwild which features eight people acting like douchebags in WEST VIRGINIA! The show is only one episode in and has already hit the ground running.
Kudos to MTV for making huge changes to their television lineup while still staying fun and relevant. I'm excited to see these fresh new stars arise and become the new faces of depravity and brainlessness for the forseeable future... Stay on your toes, Honey Boo Boo!