Friday, September 26, 2008

MTV DOA w/o TRL

If you haven't heard yet, MTV is canning its final bastion of music seen in the daytime hours. For ten years, Total Request Live (TRL) was viewed by "musicians" as a launching pad for the million-plus selling CDs -- and that was just in the first weke of release. It was a show that brought us a wheelbarrow full of boybands and the much-maligned late-90s bubblegum pop of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and a host of others who are now pitching "reality" shows to MTV and VH1.

The other thing which MTV's TRL did was give the vapid she-shores and man-whores of the "music" world a platform to show the zit-faced adolescnets of America how mentally retarded they are. Without TRL, how will celebrities/"entertainers" pimp their whorishness?

In all actuality, TRL did little for the music world. Sure, it tapped in to what music school-age teens were listening to but what is viewed as popular by one person is viewed as the bottom of the barrel crap by another. Thus, popular is losing its shine and becoming harder to cast a wide net to draw in an audience. Popular, as a phrase, isn't even popular. Think about websites. Think about TV channels. There's something out there for every damn interest, sub-interest, fetish and genre and the same goes for music.

Sure, TRL was still a great way for artists to grab some major on-screen time but that only matters if the people watching are actually interested in music. The caveat there is that MTV hasn't been the place for music videos since TRL began. TRL could easily be blamed for making MTV into the vast reality wasteland that it is today because while it focused on music, it usually showed only snippets of videos and instead focused on the celebrity aspect of the musicians and interviewed them.

Will most notice when TRL vanishes in November and is replaced by repeats of "My Super Sweet 16"? I tend to think that while MTV has vanquished music now entirely from its programming, it still needs to program music because as a cable channel it is drifting dangerously towards sameness with a whole host of other cable outlets and the edginess of music is what differentiated the channel in the past. Without music at its core, it's only a matter of time before it's overtaken by a channel like Nickelodeon or Disney.

1 comment:

justacoolcat said...

I haven't watched MTV in years. I'm so old that The Real World was called Headbangers Ball in my day.