Saturday, July 30, 2016

What MTV Classic Should Also Have

For 16 years, VH-1 Classic was the source for music videos from the 1980's and 90s, the occasional block of Saturday Night Live reruns, and rock documentaries. This week,  it will become MTV Classic, and emphasize music and shows from the 1990's and early 2000's.

It will start Monday with "Hour One", the videos shown during the first hour of MTV 35 years ago this week. It'll be followed by video music blocks, and episodes of Unplugged that haven't been shown in years. The first batch includes Bob Dylan, REM, Alice in Chains, Oasis and Nirvana. The next wave better include Yo MTV Raps Unplugged, especially for LL Cool J.
They'll also bring back Beavis and Butthead and Daria, both that may be relatable to Millennials as much as Gen X was (and maybe a Baby Boomer or two). The groundbreaking reality shows The Real World and Laguna Beach will also be on the channel, along with Jackass and Punk'd.

However, some old habits die hard. MTV Classic will keep a bit of its old VH-1Classic identity with movies like Ghostbusters 2 and docs like David  Bowie:  Five Years. On the other hand, it will also air The Maxx, a classic animated series that still have its fans.

Well, that's a start, but MTV Classic needs more than that to be a musical version of ME TV, This TV and other digital channels that air dramas and sitcoms from 50 years ago.


MTV didn't live by The Real World and Total Request Live alone. It had a lot of shows that featured future stars. Its classic game show, Remote Control, had early appearances of Denis Leary and Adam Sandler (not to mention some racy game show models).

Jon Stewart had a talk show a few years before The Daily Show. Let's see that, too. If Antenna TV is showing Johnny Carson reruns to remind us that late night TV isn't what it used to be, this makes a lot of sense.


It's a nice nostalgic look at the closest we had to American Bandstand on cable. We can enjoy the early days of artists we know.


It's not too hard to get hour-long chunks of the early days, seeing Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood and the late JJ Jackson invent the VJ. Let's see them again into videos many of us have long forgotten.


Showing the early days of rap and hip-hop should be a great idea, and  today's rap fans get a history lesson (and maybe what rap songs were in Star Trek Beyond.


While it's a monthly show on MTV2, bring back the old episodes with Dave Kendall, and even some hosted by musicians. The one hosted by Red Hot Chili Peppers is especially good.


This should be automatic, and a reminder of how these shows should really be done. MTV aired the 2011 version last weekend. Who wouldn't want to relive Nirvana's live performance of "Lithium" that ended with Kris Novoselic getting beaned by his guitar and "Hi, Axl"from Dave Grohl...

or Madonna doing her thing, in the 80s and 90's?


When MTV first visited Florida, it was chance for the VJs and up and coming stars to shine and enjoy the sun. It also got pretty race, especially because of the swimsuit contests.

Those are some of my ideas. I also suggest airing footage from Lisa Kennedy Montgomery back in her VJ days. Let's see her try to explain them to her viewers at Fox Business. It should also show the TRL episodes after 9/11,and the second wave of VJs including John Norris and Adam Curry.

MTV has a deep vault of memories, and MTV Classic would be the best way to show them. While it prefers to concentrate on the 90's and early 2000's, why stop there? Besides, it's better than digging through YouTube.

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