Opinions vary. Some say MTV sucks because they've switched to lifestyle programming over the years, becoming something like an ordinary basic cable network like USA or Lifetime, but targeted to a different, and lucrative demographic. There is now, of course, M2, with an emphasis on music videos, but they don't yet have the same sort of market penetration that MTV has. To these people, I say: try to get M2; be patient if that isn't possible yet. There's always VH1.

Others say MTV sucks because music these days is inferior to those Golden Days of the channel. This is not an unusual opinion; the elders of my family lamented the absence of good doo-wop on the airwaves, while we youngfolk grooved to James Brown or Jefferson Airplane. To these people I say: deal with it - you're getting old, probably much earlier than you thought you would. There's always VH1.

A third group says MTV sucks because it has too many black people on it; there's too many rap or rhythm and blues videos, plus all those boy bands try to sound black, too. "Where is the rock?", they ask. They could even stomach Jesse Camp, because at least Jesse rocked. To these people I say: Fear of a Black Planet, anyone? Then I turn my back, snicker, and high-five Hector and Andre. And there's always VH1.

Lost in all these arguments is the fact that MTV sucked from Day One. It's a business, folks; the best music of the 80s was, for the most part, ignored by the programmers and marketers there. The point of the enterprise is to get a bunch of young, clueless eyeballs glued to the screen so they can watch the ads. Whether it takes pr0n, a dancing test pattern, lame "music", or Jenny McCarthy's hooters, MTV will achieve its P/L, bottom-line objectives. By any means necessary.

Each member of the MTV Networks family of brand names sucks, each with its own unique flavor of suck. That's variety, folks, and variety is the spice of life. I don't see why you people complain. You can still see Twisted Sister and a-ha on VH1, right after the Weird Al duet with Ricky Martin.

MTV will achieve its P/L, bottom-line objectives, by any means necessary.

And that's the name of that tune, Matt.

Shows about shows.

My roommate and I have noticed the increasing amount of shows about shows, and in some cases, shows about shows about shows. I don't mind most non video-based mtv shows, but do we really need "Mtv's Hottest Moments" and the like? Maybe Mtv is a lost cause because the channel seemed to follow a common trend, which David Bennahum described when talking about the stupidity of some GUIs in his book Extra Life:

"What first promises to be an extraordinary intellectual expansion [well, in Mtv's case decent idea] is quickly, by virtue of its popularity, undermined by the market's inclination to reduce the sophicated to the homogeneous."

MTV sucks in comparison to VH1. But wait - doesn't VH1 play crappy pop videos as well? Aren't they both owned by the same people? Yes - BUT VH1 also has some (by no means all) programming of high quality. Partly, this is due to the fact that many of the documentaries are on MTV. But MTV does documentaries on itself all the time! Yes, this is true. It's the whole idea that VH1 is less biased and presents a more balanced picture of MTV than MTV does of itself, putting MTV in its historical place, but hardly glorifying it the way that it does itself.

As inane as the numerous countdowns on both channels are, VH1's tend to include more of *gasp* events and songs from BEFORE the 80s and 90s, which is (shock and horror) when MTV first started out. What a coincidence!

VH1 also projects a more mature attitude than MTV, which is all about teen and pre-teen exploitation. VH1 doesn't want to alienate its older audience, which actually was alive when the Beatles first broke into the mainstream. Though still "hip" in its style, VH1's pacing is still slower than MTV's, which gives it the time to actually say something of substance in between flashy videos (which are usually less flashy than the typical MTV video).

Also, overall, VH1 plays more videos than MTV and of a greater variety. This is music television, after all.

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