Things I Miss: When MTV was cool


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Now tell us about your various issues with the kids these days, grandpa.


I miss the televised joylessness that was Kurt Loder. Kurt, we hardly knew thee, and it was enough.


I don’t remember anything specific about Loder, other than he impressed the h**l out of me.


goddammit, i just got that dire straits song OUT of my head earlier this week (earworms, where do they come from??), and now here you go, putting it right back in there again!


Loder was manifested coolness, but Tabitha was the bees knees.



How about two earworms for the price of one :slight_smile:.


Although it premiered a bit later than peak-cool MTV, the best show MTV ever produced, I believe, was Daria.


OH NO YOU DON’T! that looks like a weapons-grade mashup, and i refuse to play it!


Let’s not forget the USA network’s Nightflight.


Randee of the Redwoods was the freaking best.


MTV pioneered the model for making a niche cable channel into an unrecognizable Monster.

Step 1) Find a niche. Like music videos.
Step 2) Find an audience.
Step 3) Tweak it to get the largest audience you can with current niche format.
Step 4) Introduce NEW content. This can casually relate to the original niche - or not. As long as it overlaps with your target demographic.
Step 5) Find new programming that hits, make more or of it.
Step 6) Completely lose site of your original niche in the quest for more eyeballs and more ratings.

At least TNN had the decency to rename itself to Spike. AMC’s change is for the better, but it isn’t as much of a movie channel. History and Discovery have dumbed their shit so far down it makes me weep.


That show was the 90s for me. Period.


Back in the early 80s I was in my 20s and a budding film maker. I attended a day of seminars in Seattle to see the guy who did the sound edit for Apocalypse now and Godfather 2 among others. I also wandered the show floor and attended a breakout with a guy from MTV who gave a presentation. It was during this moment that I realized that MTV although still cool was doomed.

In a sea of 80s hipster Seattle film folk this guy was a suit. He did not talk to the new genre that was music videos but rather an MBA mid term presentation on the business plan of this new and popular TV channel. As the years progressed and the jokes about how MTV used to play music grew stale I always remember that yutz and his complete lack of artistic vision.


I remember Liquid TV opening my young and impressionable eyes to all kinds to new and wonderfully weird stuff.

It was also the show that introduced the world to Beavis and Butthead and Aeon Flux.


And what about the Unplugged concerts? Some unforgettable classics. Nirvana, The Cure, Jeff Buckley…


I remember having a crush on Martha Quinn and wanting Alan Hunter’s hair. But since moving out of my parents’ house in 1986 (thus, away from cable tv), I have probably only see 30 minutes total of MTV and I don’t regret that a bit.


Liquid TV was genius! I was introduced to so much weird animation on that show, and not long after discovered Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation. I miss that stuff.


I hear a lot of Martha Quinn on XM. She’s great. I loved DT Julie Brown.


When Unplugged was truly unplugged, they had some absolute classics. It’s my unpopular opinion that Nirvana’s Unplugged concert was one of the best things the band ever did.

I don’t think Jeff Buckley ever did an Unplugged, though. I think I remember him on 120 Minutes or one of their other “alternative” shows.