Questioning Music Television

Last night millions of people tuned in to watch the MTV Video Music Awards. The irony is that the leader of music television– you know when they actually had music videos playing all day everyday– has lost its grasp on music. Parts of the show were entertaining( Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake)and others a complete train wreck (Miley Cyrus). I give it to Cyrus for living it up on stage and proving that being in your twenties is a time to not give a damn. With this said, the most anticipated performance was given by J.T. and his fellow N’sync members establishing that boy bands reuniting,even for a minute and 30 seconds, can make women around the world shed tears of joy. By far the best performance of the night. Nevertheless, watching this pop culture phenomenon raised many questions.

1. If this is what music has come to, I wonder what the greats like Billie Holiday, Placido Domingo, and Etta James would say about this so called “celebration of music?”
2. When teenage boys and girls watch this show what message are they taking from the people they have chosen to idolize?
3. Is this music a true representation of American pop culture?

Each year the VMAs have lowered its quality and entertainment value. Nevertheless, does the channel that brought us the sassy and witty Daria and the everyones favorite afterschool show TRL, not have a responsibility to  invest in music and quality entertainment? At least so they could regain some of the respect they lost by taking music airtime for pseudo reality shows like Teen Mom and the Jersey Shore.

I understand that the award show is a celebration of music and I did enjoy some moments; like the powerhouse voice of Ariana Grande and Katy Perry roaring at the end of the night. However, I cannot help but wander what earlier generations of musicians and entertainers would say.
As a young adult I cannot help but question the roles and stereo types portrayed and promoted in this show. Most importantly, they claim to be a music channel (it’s in their name) yet they only have three hours of music a day. They need to re-examine their identity as a channel and pop culture contributor. Nevertheless, this was a much better show than years passed even with the camera focusing solely on Taylor Swift and Drake most of the night with a sprinkle of Rihanna during every performance.

These are my views about MTV and my dissatisfaction with them as a channel for the last 8 years. Last night was a culmination of their total lack of respect for music fans and young viewers that make up their demographics.

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