>>> Casual Misanthropy
By staff writer JD Rebello
March 7, 2004

You know what I hate? I'll be talking to someone about something great I saw on TV the other night (like the Rick James episode of Chappelle's Show, which deserves a full column of praise at some point), and I typically get the same response: “Oh, I've never seen it. I don't watch much TV.”

Please cut the bullshit, all right. Everyone watches TV. Stop trying to be a pinnacle of maturity by saying you avoid TV. If people ask me if I've seen a certain show, you know what I say? “Yes, I have. I watch TV all of the time!” And if I haven't yet seen it: “I'll probably catch it eventually, because I am a lazy bastard who hates to leave the house!”

And as an avid TV watcher, I've noticed one problem. TV nowadays sucks. Everywhere I turn, shitty reality shows, god-awful sitcoms, and braindead TV dramas. How bad is the state of TV right now? Ellen Degeneres, Sharon Osbourne, and Wayne Brady all have their own talk shows. Take a minute to let that settle in.

The worst offender of the boob tube now, of course, is MTV. MTV is the absolute upper echelon of TV suckitude. Even worse, like many people my age, MTV was like a third parent growing up. “Daddy and I are leaving for the weekend, sweetheart, and we're not getting a sitter. You just listen to Dre and Snoop Dogg and do what they say.” Here is a short list of my grievances with MTV.

*The videos. Or lack thereof.

“I know, I know, wow Justin, complaining about MTV's lack of videos, eh? That's a new one. How about some airplane humor, or pontificating the differences between black and white people?” It's not just the lack of videos. It's the complete and utter lack of videos. This Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. all day, there will not be a single video aired. This wouldn't be a problem if the channel wasn't called Music Television! What next, is Lifetime going to start airing porno and the Man Show and saving the Delta Burke abuse movies for midnight? This is worse than when ESPN plays couples figure skating, only this is ALL the time!

And what videos MTV does show, I mean, I don't even know what to say. We all know rap music officially sucks now. DMX and Jay-Z were the last breaths of hope in the genre, and now they are gone. But when did Justin Timberlake become the lyrical voice of the black community? And how shitty is some of the pop music out there? Pop music has sucked for a long time, but at least back in the day it had novelty value. I don't know about you, but I'll take Aqua, Ace of Base, Chumbawumba, and the New Radicals over Kylie Minogue, Pink, and those American Idol assholes, which have already fucked up two channels and counting.

Then there's TRL, the show to end all music. How, in less than ten years, did MTV go from Headbangers Ball and YO! MTV Raps to TRL with Suchin Fuckin Pak?!

*The shows.

If MTV was going to rid itself of music videos, at least fill up the dead air, with, well, something less vacant than dead air. It's not just the piss poor reality shows. (More on those in a second). But does anyone care about the Osbournes? Does anyone else miss the old scary, bathead-eating Ozzy who pissed on the Alamo? Watching Ozzy now is like visiting your dying grandma. It's an absolute shame.

Then there's Nick and Jessica. I do gain some pleasure watching this show with girls, as they shout things like: “She is so stupid!” “Omigod, what a dumb blonde!” The sheer hypocrisy is so prevalent. Sorry girls, but you're all really like that. Jessica Simpson is merely a mirror of your own societal woes. If you need anymore proof that this show needs to be canned, here it is: Nick and Jessica are both outrageously rich. Why are they always drinking Miller Lite? Can someone explain this to me?

I'd comment on Dave and Carmen, but it's not worth my time. What happened to the old MTV shows? Buzzkill, Beavis and Butthead (the unequivocal funniest show of all time), Daria, Old Tom Green Show, Jackass. Same with all the specials—Spring Break died with Springer Break. What the blue fuck is with the new VMAs and that weird camera thing? (They introduced that travesty the same year they did a Guns and Roses reunion sans Slash—are you kidding?)

*Enough Real World.

At least, enough of the new Real World. What happened to the old Real World, when the worst thing that could happen was some asshole biker dude putting his fingers in your peanut butter. New Real World is weird. Every girl is a skank. Every guy is an Abercrombie model gone berserk. They've taken the “real” out of the Real World for shock TV that just isn't fascinating.

Same with the Road Rules. Road Rules used to be entertaining before it became a pseudo-Fear Factor.

And I've had it with Real World-Road Rules Challenge. And Real World-Road Rules All-Star Challenge. And Real World-Road Rules All- Star Challenge-In Space! And I've had it with these marathons that last all day and all night and into next week. And I'm sick of my English teachers telling me I'll never amount to anything if I keep starting my sentences with ‘and'.

*I have a solution though.

If I can figure out how to save the NHL, and the way Seinfeld should have ended, I can save MTV. It's real simple. Create an MTV Classic. It would be so easy. Just take all of the programs, videos, etc. from 10 years ago and make it a channel. Look at the success of ESPN Classic. Imagine, the ability to watch the nose bleed episode of Beavis and Butthead, followed by the infamous Puck in Real World: San Fran followed by Buzzkill, Ricky Rachtman, Pauly Shore when he was funny, MTV Sports with Dan Cortese, Downtown Julie Brown, A-ha's brilliant “Take On Me” video, the devil on Jackass telling people to “Keep God Out of California”, the lost VMA's with Andrew Dice Clay's censored riff, LL Cool J's incredible Unplugged episode (which sold me on how cool rap music could be) Dre before Coors Light commercials, Snoop before the suffix “-izzle”, Nirvana before the shotgun, Sublime before the OD, Biggie before Tupac, Tupac before Biggie, when East and West meant everything, Tom Green pissing on Glenn Humplik, Dookie, the amazing Moon Man commercials, MTV news with the old shitty graphic before John Norris, and Martha Quinn v. Nina Blackwood—you know, the good old days? Bring 'em back, MTV. I miss them.