Thursday, February 11, 2010

The End of an Era (or: How Old Do I Feel?)...

Reality killed the video star.

So the other day, MTV announced it would drop the words "music television" from its logo. While it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's flipped channels to the network late at night looking for a music video or two only to find another episode of The Real World or The Hills, it still marks the end of a pretty significant era.

One of my friends living in East Windsor, NJ got cable before I did, so I remember going to her house and watching nonstop MTV. I remember when videos like "Leave It" by Yes and, of course, "Thriller," were considered "special events" when they premiered. To this day, when I hear certain songs, I remember some videos perfectly (like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"...whatever) and even when there were snippets of dialogue in between verses of songs, I knew where they fit in the song.

I remember when the early VJs—Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, JJ Jackson and, of course, Martha Quinn—used to rule the airwaves. I remember when the MTV Music Awards were more about the music than the non-musical celebrities that attend now. I used to want to be a contestant on Remote Control—perhaps that was what started my quest to be on a game show. And it was MTV that introduced me to a world beyond the top 40 stuff I listened to in high school, with 120 Minutes exposing me to "alternative music."

Granted, the network had moved far, far away from its early days, with countless reality shows and versions of The Real World and MTV Cribs. But it still feels like a big deal, another reminder that I'm not as young as I used to be.

So, all together, one more time: I Want My MTV...

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