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  1. #1

    Angry I Hate My MTV!!!

    [FONT=Times]Deadline Hollywood[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times]Who Hates Their MTV?[/FONT]
    How the rebel network sold its soul for bimbos, princesses and bucks
    by NIKKI FINKE

    Let's talk about the end of civilization as we know it, in this case signified by the rise of Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County and My Super Sweet 16, the logic-defying successors to the creepy I Want a Famous Face and that scummy Cribs. We feel your pain. We, too, remember when MTV used to be all about the issues — subversive and usually liberal. Now the network is all gab about the glam lifestyles, love triangles, mean girls and staged cat fights on these impossible-to-ignore unreality shows starring spoiled simpletons. We don’t mean to make like the Rev. James Dobson, but we’re certain that the MTV execs who green-lighted these docudramas about socioeconomic excess are headed straight for hell.

    Nor are we alone in our thinking. Increasingly, college newspapers everywhere feature angry articles by normal students complaining that the once-worshipped music channel has abandoned its values and is embracing acquisitiveness for the sake of crass commercialism. Consider, for instance, this recent column in the Penn State Daily Collegian: “The saying used to be ‘I want my MTV.’ But for the last few years, all I can say is that I hate my MTV. I wish my friend Holden Caulfield was here. He would tell you how phony, superficial and just plain crappy that network has become. No music and no real substance . . . Does anyone believe money buys happiness? You would if you watched shows like Sweet 16 or Laguna Beach. Gag me with a spoon... MTV has hijacked who we are right now...”

    How that writer would have howled had he heard Mr. MTV Network himself (since 1987), Tom Freston, Viacom’s co-president and CEO, boast at a Goldman Sachs global confab on September 21 that his company has created a “hit machine,” which he described as a “consumer-obsessed, terrific, program-development model.” The result is that “We take 25 cents of every dollar that is spent on cable.” Freston may actually believe what he says: that “the philosophy at MTV is constant experimentation, constant pushing the needle.” But to what end? He semi-apologized to the analysts for putting on shows like Cameron Diaz’s Trippin’, which he termed a “pro-environment show essentially.” Said Freston: “We knew it wasn’t going to be a big ratings success. But when we thought in terms of the pro-social part of things we do, and the image part of things we do, it made a lot of sense.” What he didn’t say was the truth: We only ran that show because this really hot celeb who dates Justin Timberlake hosted it. We all know the subtext: Ignore those do-gooder shows MTV throws up as a sop to our audience, and pay attention to our profits.

    But MTV’s do-gooder shows are few and far between these days. Once upon a time, MTV meant something. Sure, there was commerce, and lots of it. But there also were milestones, ranging from Live Aid, to Rock the Vote, to the Motor Voter Drive, to anti–status quo news and politics aimed at younger demographics. Meanwhile, one news report this week says CBS boss Les Moonves is considering MTV entertainment chief Brian Graden to sex up CBS News. It's Graden who bears responsibility for all the crap on MTV now, having developed sickening fare like Laguna Beach, The Osbournes, Pimp My Ride, Jackass and Newlyweds.

    “I’ll tell you exactly the day the music died on MTV,” former VJ Adam Curry (from 1987 to 1994) told me last week when I called him in London. “It was when the game show Remote Control came on air. It was a tremendous success. People were, metaphorically speaking, running through the hallways because all of a sudden there were major ****ing ratings. That was the knife. And after that, they ran Beavis and Butt-head, and so on. It was an understandable decision from a business standpoint.”

    Which is why it’s too bad the buzz around Laguna Beach’s second season, which wraps up this month, has made it the ninth highest-rated cable series, with nearly 4 million viewers a week. What a shame that L.B.’s first season on DVD is doing brisk business. How sad that Journey’s golden-oldie song “Don’t Stop Believin’” became one of iTunes’ most downloaded songs after it aired on this season’s premiere. Kind of pathetic that the MTV Overdrive Web site plugs style news from the beach babes, who advise: “Wear oversized sunglasses, the bigger the better.” (No wonder the girls all look like they’re in the Witness Protection Program.) Clearly, this kind of contrived pablum is more palatable when it’s shot with high-tech digital cameras, made to seem like a movie, features surf wear and skimpy sundresses, and stars peroxide bimbos and six-pack-abs himbos. How we hang on every word of the riveting dialogue, like the wasted way that heartbreaker Jason Wahler (yes, these dimwits have last names) keeps responding to every probing question from his series of lovesick girlfriends with a simple “Dunno.”

    Determined to kill off still more of our brain cells, MTV just announced a third season of Laguna Beach. In fact, the producers are in the midst of interviewing prospective cast members. Good luck: There’s something like a 20-page application to fill out. (Note to parents: Lock up your teens lest the cameras catch — as they did with Jessica this season — your daughter saying she’s a slut.) For next season, the producers are lobbying for access to the local high school. Not to worry, though: No one’s tampering with the concept. The old gang will come home occasionally to mingle with the new gang. All will swap spit — that is, when they’re not swapping phone numbers for Hollywood agents and publicists.

    Yes, it’s sad but true: The entertainment business has spawned yet another brood of infamous no-talents mistaken for iconic figures. Already they’re staring out from magazines (Kristin Cavalleri on the covers of Seventeen and Rolling Stone, Stephen Coletti in a fashion spread in Teen Vogue), signing recording contracts (Talan Torriero and Alex Murrel) and hanging with Lindsay Lohan (at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel). For now, they are 15 minutes of fame away from hitting bottom and begging to take part in the next Reality TV All-Star Reunion Show for dumbed-down Bravo. What this means is that the L.B. airheads have driven north on the 405 freeway and settled in the Los Angeles area to seek stardom. But who wouldn’t dream big after months on end of being followed around by the two to three cameras assigned each cast member?

    Kristin’s flack Jack Ketsoyan says she’s taking acting lessons, auditioning for roles and living in Marina del Rey. Talan is sporting a new rocker image, and his forthcoming album should be out next summer. He also has signed with United Talent for acting gigs. And Lauren Conrad (L.C.) is working as an intern for Teen Vogue, while camera crews follow her around Condé Nast’s West Coast bureau. That footage may mean a possible L.B. spinoff or just inclusion in the third season.

    As for My Super Sweet 16, MTV has gone out of its way to showcase the most shocking examples of obnoxious teens and their over-doting parents. The result is a world where a coming-of-age party is imitative of Hollywood Babylon, with red carpet and VIP rooms (which exist solely to distance the popular from the not-so-popular in the nastiest way possible). We’re confronted by foul-mouthed scions demanding that their personal fantasies be indulged down to the last detail, no matter if that means horse-drawn carriages, couture clothing or Mercedes/BMW roadsters. Meanwhile, we’re bewildered by this I-wanna-be-a-princess, I-deserve-the-best attitude they all seem to have for simply existing. Who’s to blame: Princess Di? Paris Hilton? Disney movies?

    The first Real World featured seemingly spontaneous angst over racism, sexism and homophobia. Now, MTV’s best-watched series has devolved into nothing more substantive than sordid bed-hopping. And Dubya might have been dumb enough to invite Ozzy to dinner at the White House, but we now know the Father Knows Best image MTV gave us of The Osbournes was complete bull****. Behind the scenes of those palatial digs and those decadent dinners and that compulsive shopping was an entire brood eventually headed to rehab for addictions and eating disorders.

    My own disappointment with MTV occurred in 2003 during the run-up to the Iraqi war. That’s when Stephen Friedman, the vice president for public affairs, told me the network was compiling footage both pro and con the invasion for a big hourlong broadcast. It was going to feature young Marines going off to Kuwait, and anti-war activists like Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The old MTV would have gone ahead and made the documentary with a deliberately liberal point of view, conservatives be damned. But again and again, Friedman told me that MTV’s role was to “show all sides” — yet he mischaracterized the anti-war movement as “a small and vocal minority.”

    In fact, MTV’s flabbiness on the issues was directly related to the increasing scrutiny that the Federal Communications Commission was giving media companies. No company was a bigger advocate of mergers and acquisitions than Freston’s Viacom at the time, and the FCC had regulatory control over that. But even that paled in comparison to the FCC’s 24/7 decency watch following Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction on that Super Bowl show organized on CBS by — you guessed it — Freston’s MTV. After that mishap, Viacom begged for mercy from the howling right-wing hordes
    .
    At MTV, executives like to say, “We worship at the altar of our audience.” But O.G. VJ Curry, who set up MTV.com in the pre-commercial days of the Internet and is now nicknamed the father of podcasting, wants to know “Just who is MTV’s customer these days: the viewer or the advertiser? Some of the great things you’re talking about that MTV did were actually fought for and put on the air by passionate individuals, who themselves were really talented kids who made it happen, then moved on. And there was compassion for it from an executive level.” Curry sighs, “But those kinds of people aren’t there anymore.”

    Instead we have Kristin, and Talan, and Jason, and Alex M. frolicking in Laguna Beach. It’s an appropriate time to remember it was Dante who said, “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality.”
    OK... I BLOG. YOU READ. at http://jedipartner1967.livejournal.com
    **Steven Sterlekar (1969-2001)**

  2. #2

    Re: I Hate My MTV!!!

    I saw this article and just KNEW it was going to be good. I thought, "eh-- stick it in music. If they think it's more Other or General Discussion, they'll move it.

    I had mentioned a couple months ago that I thought it was ludicrous for MTV to be giving out music video awards when they barely manage to programme any music videos at all. I also thought it was immediately hilarious when the country asked, "What the f**k was that?" in response to the MTV Networks' initial "coverage" and broadcast of LIVE8, earlier in the summer.

    The problem with MTV is that they have completely lost the plot. They tried to fix their problem a couple years back by creating M2, a station on which they would actually play music videos, old and new. Unfortunately, through lack of foresight, they managed to muck that channel up pretty well in just a matter of a couple years. Their solution? Hey, let's create yet another channel and call it "MTVu"!!

    Unfortunately, not many cable providers are interested in picking up another MTV affiliate. Heck, most cable providers don't even have the plethora of niche music channels like all the particular variants of MTV and VH-1 that were designed to fill in the holes.

    Stupid, stupid people. The "M" used to stand for "Music". Now, it seems it just stands for "Meaningless".

    Feh!
    OK... I BLOG. YOU READ. at http://jedipartner1967.livejournal.com
    **Steven Sterlekar (1969-2001)**

  3. #3

    Re: I Hate My MTV!!!

    I totally agree! MTV needs to be boycotted by all. It is a complete waste of a channel. These shows they put on it are absolutely stupid, meaningless, etc.

    If anything they should change their call letters to something other than MTV. How about SOTV. Sellout TV.

    I firmly beleive that if they would have kept to their roots that they would be in much better position. If they would have kept with the Music TV aspect they would be doing very well. The only poeple that watch that crap is preteens and some actual teens who know no better.

  4. #4

    Re: I Hate My MTV!!!

    I've long complained about MTV and the fact that they made a second channel to play music (which is funny because they were supposed to play those in the first place) and that channel sucks a**!! I hate how the shows on MTV just give all of these little 14 year old bi**hes that feeling that they are little princesses. The worst show is that f**king "My Super Sweet 16". I utterly hate that show and the people involved with it. These kids get brand new cars for there birthdays and if it's anything less than a 5 series beamer it's "the worst birthday in there life".

    Thanks alot JP. Now you got my panties in a bunch. I hope yer happy.
    Up, up, and OKAAAAY!!!

  5. #5

    Re: I Hate My MTV!!!

    We all need to take a moment to revolt and send MTV a nasty e-mail!!!
    OK... I BLOG. YOU READ. at http://jedipartner1967.livejournal.com
    **Steven Sterlekar (1969-2001)**

  6. #6

    Re: I Hate My MTV!!!

    it makes me glow from the inside out that i don't even know what the hell they're talking about in the article. i have no clue what those shows are, and have no desire to ever find out.

    FUSE was pretty cool, but i don't think i get it where i live. i don't really watch that much tv these days... M or otherwise.
    Nachos are the right of all sentient beings.

    The guns... They've stopped!
    - Dan Akroyd, Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope

  7. #7

    Re: I Hate My MTV!!!

    Haven't watched MTV in years now, that's how far they've driven away the original audience. What amazes me is how the music industry has been whining and moaning about poor sales and less exposure, yet they haven't put 2 and 2 together on the fact that the flagship MTV and even its cousin VH1 have all but stopped exposing music videos to the audience - perhaps MTV overinflated the music industry's expectations back in the '80s and '90s when videos would sell albums, but clearly those days are over and music industry execs should be leaning hard on MTV to fix that instead of blaming downloading and copying.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  8. #8

    Re: I Hate My MTV!!!

    What gets me about the music industry's griping is that sales are down because to find anything other than Britney Spears or Nelly, one has to go online, where browsing is inconvenient at best and impossible at worst. And even then, stuff goes out of print at the drop of a hat, and eBay has changed society's perception of the meaning of "out of print" from "bargain bin in the used CD store" to "super-rare collectible worth ten times the original price, regardless of whether anyone wants it or not."

    It still boggles my mind that they still haven't come up with a good, universal online delivery system for all music that's ever been commercially released.

    And mTV does suck.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  9. #9

    Re: I Hate My MTV!!!

    What gets me about the music industry's griping is that sales are down because to find anything other than Britney Spears or Nelly, one has to go online, where browsing is inconvenient at best and impossible at worst.
    Ah, but perhaps Britney and Nelly are the proof of the MTV paradox, MTV shows less videos so the music industry gurgitates up those prefabbed artists so corporate and focused-grouped, and it is only that kind of music which MTV still airs videos for. MTV shows less videos, music biz sales droop, so the music biz sells even more of their soul creating corporate-spawned hit machine "artists" which are more aimed to get airtime on MTV, and the cycle continues.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  10. #10

    Re: I Hate My MTV!!!

    I don't mind Pimp My Ride. The following is a slightly edited version of a hilarious review for the WORST MTV SHOW EVER- Rich Girls. It was written by Matt Cale on ruthlessreviews. If you find it funny, check out the site sometime, but beware of naughty language.

    "The rich are not like you and me," F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, and this before he had the opportunity to view MTV's new "reality" show Rich Girls. Had Fitzgerald lived to see this latest attempt to extract entertainment from the comings and goings of the decidedly dull, there is no doubt that he would have modified his comment to include the phrase "and as such we should slit their *********** throats." Few shows (and this is just the initial episode!) have been so obvious in their contradictory desires, although MTV is notorious for pushing an agenda while simultaneously undermining that agenda with conflicting images. For example, MTV would pride itself on racial tolerance and diversity, but I have yet to see a black man appear on the air who wasn't an illiterate misogynist, or some other gross stereotype. Here, MTV is clearly fanning the flames of class envy, showing the lives of young people who do not work, spend their days shopping, and for whom a major crisis is whether or not an upscale spa allows dogs. Yet, despite the glamour, MTV seems to be winking at its audience and showing that indeed, the wealthy are a rare breed; not only different, but inferior and silly. By displaying the shallowness of the upper crust, MTV can adhere to its pseudo-populist stance while continuing to promote (and profit from) the idea that middle-American yokels in Iowa must strive in vain to be beautiful and rich or else feel the sting of rejection. (It's like Bill O'Reilly screaming that he's "looking out for you" while tucked away on his remote estate.) Yes, dear readers, that is why MTV is the tool of the devil.

    The two young women we meet on the debut installment of Rich Girls are named Ally Hilfiger and Jamie Gleicher. Both are not particularly attractive, which makes it even more offensive that they are treated like queens in our midst. It is one thing to slobber with deference over a hot babe with a healthy rack, but quite another to kiss someone's *** merely because she has a fat wallet. Obviously, these girls are the epitome of vapid vulgarity; whining in limos about the "necessity" of thousand dollar prom gowns and treating $500 shoes like disposable sneakers. From all appearances, these women do nothing but spend the money someone else has earned, moving from store to store in a tornado of giggles, toothy grins, and b****y vanity. Nothing of consequence comes from the lips of these twits, except to reinforce the notion that money can buy everything but class and intelligence. It might be a cliche to argue that leading a sheltered life of privilege leads to moronitude and narrow-minded selfishness, although there are enough wealthy folks who can debate and think with the best of them. In the past, the children of high-profile elites often went into public service or worked tirelessly for charitable foundations (the Kennedys and Rockefellers are prime examples). Now they are content to ride in comfort from one party to the next, relax while their hair and nails are done, and sleep the days away in air-conditioned comfort. How very charming.

    One of the most telling moments in the program occurs when Ally (or Jamie, or whomever, as they do not deserve the status of individuals) looks around at a party and declares that her friends and acquaintances are truly gifted and will all be important and famous in their own right. And this is why so many people who have never had to struggle or take chances are so insufferably boorish. In a world as small as Ally's, it seems quite reasonable to assume that dullards and drunks are "the best of the best" because deep in her mind she knows that even if they screw up, they will always be able to fall back on a massive fortune. Or if their grades aren't up to snuff, they can rely on legacy preferences or pop's donation of a library to settle the bill. And it's all relative as we know. If you are surrounded by the same people day after day without input from diverse sources (i.e. non-whites, liberals, lower class folks, those with brain matter), you have no means of comparison. It's like believing your father to be a genius until you go away to college and discover that hey, he's just some small-town bumpkin without a ****ing clue. For me it's similar to those people who always cite their parents as their heroes because they've never seen the world, opened a book, or entertained an opinion that wasn't endorsed by the parental units. If you're reading great literature and philosophy while touring the capitals of Europe, dad's inane ramblings about cookouts and spark plugs simply won't measure up.

    Another telling remark is from some dolt in a prom party who criticizes New York's Mayor Bloomberg as "not being conservative enough." Whatever, *****. Again, this a young man who has never punched a time clock or been yelled at by an irate customer, so why exactly are we listening to his opinion on economic matters? His right-wing insensitivity is reason number one why the only just society is that which confiscates all wealth upon the deaths of those who earned it. If indeed we want to live up to America's image of a "meritocracy," then these little ***** need to make their own way in life without the contacts and backing they had no part in securing. Advantages based on accident of birth are supposed to be antithetical to the American Way, for are we not hostile to the whole notion of divine right and royal privilege? And how conservative is it to rail against "welfare dependents" and "irresponsible louts" who aren't willing to pull themselves up by the proverbial bootstraps, and yet expect checks every month from mom and dad? Ah yes, rugged individualism for you, my dear serf, but I'll coast on the sweat of others. is the true Americanism.

    If I've rambled, forgive me, but Rich Girls is just the sort of television program that gets my blood boiling and pushes me to load the weapons in anticipation of a bloody revolution. I'm not so much anti-rich as I am anti-spawn-of-the-rich, because I too believe it is best to earn one's keep. Not to say that I wouldn't take a trunk full of cash or help bring about the untimely demise of a wealthy relative if that meant saying goodbye forever to the world of work, but at least I would recognize that I was a lazy, good-for-nothing bum without ambition, talent, or relevance. I would toast you from my penthouse apartment with the doors firmly bolted, but I would leave you with words that speak to my worthlessness as a human being. It is undue self-importance that I cannot abide, and that is what sets these twits apart from others that might be a bit more humble. Being shallow is not a crime; being shallow and thinking one has depth, however, certainly is.
    Peeps who have hooked me up: General Grievous Dark Marble jjreason Ramy GrandMoffLouie Josephe vader121 Val Da Car

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