MTV at Age 30: A Shell of its Former Self?
Twenty-somethings sound off on MTV, which celebrates its 30th anniversary today. Many scoff at the channel's current state.
Thirty years ago today, viewers around the globe turned on a music television station called MTV for the first time. They watched a space shuttle launch and a moon landing as a voice came on and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen: Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
A lo-fi logo was displayed while a rock song played in the background, and then a music video for the Buggles' “Video Killed the Radio Star” came on. These days, if you turn on MTV, you are more likely to see reality shows likeJersey Shore, Teen Mom and Made rather than music videos, even though the channel remains MTV.
Those who grew up with music-centric MTV programming seem to be a bit disappointed in the direction the channel took, opting to ditch its music videos for reality shows.
Here’s what people are saying:
“You know, MTV practically invented the 'reality TV' genre, yet every major network other than them has a show looking for talented musicians. Why is MTV more concerned with finding idiots living in Jersey than it is looking for real artists?”
-Scott Brenner, Owings Mills
“At least they brought Beavis and Butthead and 120 Minutes back. All new episodes of both. Kudos for that.”
-Brandon Linton, Annapolis
“It's like 'pop-punk' ya'll. It's become a sad contradiction; the polar opposite of its original intent. That is why folks who grew up with it can so easily loathe its current status and wish that today's youth of that demographic had something like what we had.”
-Joe Granato, Towson
“I'd like to know at what point along the last 30 years the M changed from music to marketing.”
-Damien Nichols, Pikesville
“About as relevant as Saturday morning cartoons.”
-@KBRosenberg via Twitter
“Even though they're bringing back Beavis and Butthead, that still doesn't take back the awfulness that is Teen Mom and Jersey Shore. I think those shows scarred me for life.”
-Asia Anderson, Chicago
“It’s false advertising, pure and simple. There is no music.”
-Jeremy Taubman, Long Beach, New York
You can watch the entire first hour of MTV’s 1981 debut here.