What Happened to MTV?

Written by: Jason Garoutte

MTV logo

Updated MTV logo

In 2010, when MTV dropped the slogan “Music Television” from underneath their renowned logo, they finally got something right. The original purpose of MTV was to be “Music Television”, playing music videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but the famous cable music channel hasn’t been the same since the dawn of the reality show sensation.

In the year 2000, MTV aired 36.5 percent fewer music videos than they did in 1995. In the year 2000 MTV still managed to air upwards of eight hours of music videos per day. By 2008, that number dropped to just three hours of air time for the music videos that MTV was so famous for a decade ago.

To fill the air time, MTV decided to introduce reality based shows like “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.” For those unfamiliar with the show, it was similar to “The Bachelorette” where male contestants vied for Tila’s “love”. Since she is a bisexual, female contestants also competed for her attention, which was the subject of much criticism.

Another show that has acquired more controversy than it can handle is “Jersey Shore.” This show brings eight young adults into one home on the Jersey shore to watch them experience the drama that comes with living together, including fights, drinking, sex, and enough crazy antics to deem it a reality show.

These reality shows cross a fine line when it comes to defining true life reality, especially when MTV’s targeted audience are adolescent teenagers. The President of MTV, Van Toeffler explained, “Clearly, the novelty of just showing music videos has worn off. It’s required us to reinvent ourselves to a contemporary audience.”

Why are these kinds of shows so popular on the air? What is a contemporary audience and how is it that Snooki & JWoww appeal to that contemporary audience? Why does MTV need to reinvent themselves if its original purpose was to air music videos? And why are parents allowing their children to view this kind of entertainment? These are questions that deserve answers, and nobody seems to know the answers.

Some people believe reality shows such as these are appealing because it allows the audience to feel as if they’re participating vice being spectators. Americans have a fascination, a morbid curiosity if you will, for tales of self-destruction and MTV provides that. Yet others believe the script-less programming allows the audience to feel that the show is happening in real time. Another reason for the appeal may be the fact that viewers witness the lives of screwed up individuals and realize their problems and daily life routine aren’t as bad as what they are witnessing on television.

If MTV continues to air these reality based shows and not bring back music videos like their name suggests, perhaps they should consider changing their name to RTV (Reality Television) and alter their entire logo.


Johnny Depp is Honored at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards and Steals the Show

Written By: Rikki Lux

Johnny Depp Performs With the Black Keys at 2012 MTV Movie Awards
Johnny Depp Performs With the Black Keys at 2012 MTV Movie Awards


UNIVERSAL CITY, California – The 2012 MTV Movie Awards was gifted with the appearance of the iconic actor Johnny Depp this past Sunday evening, June 3. He was presented with the MTV Generation Award, and rock legends Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, who presented him with the award, described him as a “truly revolutionary artist.”

Those who have followed Depp’s career know that he has a stunning resume, including Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise – to name a select few. Those who have not followed his career may not know that his passion for performance extends to music as well.

With two rock legends and the rock band the Black Keys standing on-stage with him, Depp expressed his deep gratitude.  “I’ve got to thank MTV for this. This is quite an amazing honor, truly… And it’s an honor to be presented by these two legends, Steve and Joe, and these up and coming legends, [the Black Keys], so thank you very much.”

Depp celebrated his award with a guest performance playing guitar alongside the Black Keys for their song “Gold on the Ceiling.”  To the millions who watched the performance, it would be hard to say whether he is more passionate about acting in films or being on stage with a guitar slung over his shoulder.

His performance at the MTV Movie Awards is not his first time performing on-stage.  The start of his acting career manifested from his move to Los Angeles decades ago with the hopes of becoming a famous rock star.  As a teen, Depp fervently practiced on his guitar with dreams of success in mind, and even started a band named the Kids, but he ultimately found a different kind of success.

Although Depp has appeared in over 50 dramatic indie films and blockbuster movies, earning him a permanent place on the celebrity A-list (as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, numerous Oscar wins and nominations, and multiplying tattoos that have gained as much attention as his films), he never lost his desire for performing music.  Depp has made connections and performed with musicians, including Tom Petty, Oasis, The Pogues, Keith Richards, Alice Cooper and most recently, Marilyn Manson and Patti Smith.

His performance on guitar of “The Beautiful People” with Marilyn Manson at the 2012 Revolver Golden Gods Awards was an unexpected move that shocked and pleased both Depp and Manson fans.

What’s next for Mr. Depp?  A collaboration with legendary musician Patti Smith and a lead role in Gore Verbinski’s adaptation of “The Lone Ranger.”

Artistic Culture Is Drowning At The Jersey Shore

Four Guidos

A trend now sweeping the nation is the arrogance of ignorance; in other words, more and more people are proud to be stupid. And, though there are several groups expressing their disgust with the newest MTV pop sitcom, Jersey Shore, the majority of Americans embrace the death of art with shaved arms.

The broadcast company acknowledges that the show isn’t meant for everybody, asserting that they intended merely to depict a single aspect of youth culture, and not to propagate the death of art.


Rocking Out for the Team

In our modern culture, it seems commonplace that a man attending a play is forced, and that he’d rather pass on the symphony to watch sports. But, as more and more of the ‘cultural elite”  express their distaste, the entire cast of the Jersey Shore enjoys 10 grand an episode. And, now that these self-proclaimed “guidos” and “guidettes” receive a salary that is equal to or greater than the average salary earned by a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, it doesn’t seem that a funeral for artistic culture is very far off.  After all,  in Pennsylvania, members of the art community barely succeeded in their struggle to overturn an increased tax on art-related activites (like the symphony, and theater); so, maybe there’s still hope enough to believe that the death of American art won’t happen during the next season.