Music fans across the nation probably stopped watching MTV post 2000 because “Hit Me Baby One More Time” didn’t carry the same amplitude as “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” not only on a sonogramic level, but also on a quality level. Some MTV generation fans left when Carson Daly did, and some may only remember the days of Spring Break specials in Ft. Lauderdale. As the show progressed over its decade run, the music videos became sparser and the commercial breaks seemed to be increasingly more frequent than music.
MTV canceling its only remaining music show, on the station supposedly dedicated to music, is incredibly ironic. In the early days, MTV was revolutionary, a pioneering station doing something no other station had dreamed of doing before. But in its later years fell into a trap of reality shows involving extravagant birthday parties and dating lie detector tests. Music fell out of the picture long ago and message boards on MTV’s Web site show that audiences are happy to see it go, rallying for more of The Hills and Road Rules. MTV’s music catered to popular music and has become embarrassing to admit you watch the channel.
TRL’s finale was filled with nostalgic celebrities and past hosts relishing past successes. But the death of the music video was actually what the party represented.
What is music television without music videos? MTV seems to have adopted the ideology that music television is a vehicle for gaudy reality stars and excessive commercial breaks. But the transformation seems to have followed a predictable pattern of harvesting money from the youth of America.