I Want My MTV (Classic)!

Yesterday, executives over at MTV decided the repeats of the Eric Clapton hour-long jam band special on VH1 Classic just wasn’t getting the ratings they were expecting, so they decided to rebrand and turn VH1 Classic into MTV Classic. Just like the regular VH1 and MTV, MTV Classic is the cooler, more hip cousin as opposed to your slightly off-colored uncle who was a diehard DeadHead back in the day.

What this rebranding means is that now millennials can watch “retro” shows from the 1990s like MTV Unplugged, Cribs, OG Road Rules and an animation block featuring the likes of Daria and Beavis and Butthead. Plus, MTV Classic promises more 90s and 00s music videos, including a TRL Retrospective, so I better be seeing more Carson Daly and Jesse Camp in my life. JK about that last one.

Growing up, I was the kid who thought watching MTV made me cool. The first season of The Real World that I ever watched was London, which aired in 1995. I was nine years old. MTV was a staple throughout my teen years, including my teenybopper days when I was legitimately named TRL Fan of the Week (Something I take pride in all my social media “about mes”).

A) this is a printed out webpage because it’s from 2002. B) the answers to all my questions are embarrassing but at this point in my life, like, who gives a shit C) lol my screen name

All this to say that MTV was as much a part of my life growing up as books I read or movies I watched, and it’ll be interesting to go back and watch these shows as an adult. Will the cast of The Real World: London look like babies to me now? Is Beavis & Butthead still as offensive and stupid as I remember it? Will I still get an unenecessary aversion to ‘N Sync’s Bye Bye Bye video because I was hardcore Team BSB (yes. the answer is yes and always yes)? Here are a few shows I hope pop up on MTV Classic moving forward – do you have ones you are DVRing too?

Making the Video

Maybe it’s because MTV doesn’t show music videos any more, but can we get new eps of Making the Video? I guess for now I settle for anything from Making the Video seasons 1 through 3, where fans were given a behind-the-scenes look of how stars like Britney, 98 Degrees, Mariah Carey and Sisqo create their TRL-worthy videos.

Diary

You think you know … but you have no idea. This the Diary of  :: insert every big MTV celeb here:: This documentary show focused on one artist for each episode, usually as they’re in the midst of doing something big like a press tour or photo shoot or releasing an album, whatnot. It’s important to remember that celebs didn’t have social media back then, so having this kind of backstage access was exclusive in the purest sense of the word. With a simple Snapchat, Demi Lovato can show you what she’s eating in her dressing room before a concert. That would’ve never happened in the 90s + 00s with Britney unless it was through a show like this. In the episode above, the late, great Aaliyah gives a glimpse of her diary, and it aired just a couple weeks before she died on August 25th, 2001.

Fear

To be honest with y’all, I maybe watched a full episode of this show then immediately called it quits. After being freaked out by the episode I watched, I maybe saw a clip here or there, and just pretended I thought it was the best show ever. *I was trying to be cool*. Fear is a reality competition show that features a group of contestants alone in a haunted location. There are no camera men, only the night vision cameras as well as some attached to them as they went on their dares. Dares, you say? Yes. Contestants spend the night, are given a dare, and if they complete it and make it to the end of two nights in the haunted location, each survivor gets a monetary prize. You couldn’t pay me enough to do this. Or maybe even to watch this again.

Singled Out

Kids, Nerdist/@ Midnight icon Chris Hardwich used to host a dating show on MTV and his eye candy co-host was Jenny McCarthy. I just want to see if I think the people on this show are truly hot or not in 2016.

Say What? Karaoke

It’s basically karaoke on a much bigger platform than the dive bar club you used to go to in college. Everyone embarrasses themselves and celebs are the judges.

Making the Band

Ok, but OG Danity Kane – 👏 THAT 👏 IS 👏 WHAT 👏 I 👏 AM 👏 TALKING👏 ABOUT 👏 . There was a lot of drama in the literal making of the band and subsequent downfall, but for a period of time, they had so much potential. They were the ultimate 00s girl group and I was sucked into the process from day one. In the video above, Diddy Sean Puffy Daddy Combs P had narrowed it down to a handful of girls and had them perform in groups a la Hollywood week on American Idol. The first song, which featured eventual Danity Kane members Aubrey O’Day and Aundrea Fimbres, was my JAM and I ripped it off the TV somehow and made it into an MP3 that I listened to more often than any normal human. #BoomKat

2ge+her

One of the most brilliant ideas MTV ever had was to make the TV movie 2ge+her, a mockumentary on a fictional boy band. The director of the 2000 film was Nigel Dick, a frequent staple on Making the Video as he was one of the top music directors for Britney, BSB, Jessica Simpson, etc. Then, they cast actual cute guys and truly catchy pop tunes and soon, what was supposed to be a joke became a real life boy band sensation, and it took on a life of its own. After a successful movie and soundtrack, the boys did another album and a spin-off TV series. It didn’t last long for multiple reasons, but one unfortunate reason was the passing of member Michael Cuccione, who died in 2001 at the age of 16.

The Real World

Seasons I want to see again: 1 through 12 (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Miami, Boston, Seattle, Hawaii, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas).

Road Rules

None of the “Challenge” shit. I’m talking Mark Long. I’m talking Semester at Sea. I’m talking Theo and Abe before they became Challenge/Gauntlet veterans.

Rich Girls

There was only one season and 10 episodes of Rich Girls, but it felt like so much more. Before the Kardashians and Laguna Beach, MTV had Rich Girls, which follow Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter Ally, and her best friend Jaime, whose late father was a millionaire. Their life in New York was fascinating to me, and my main takeaway from the show was that to calm themselves down, they used one finger to tapp their “Third Eye” aka the space right above your eyebrows on your forehead, to keep calm. I did this before going on stage in high school. I don’t think it really worked.

Room Raiders

I just want more of this.

O-Town? O-Yes! A Look At The Boy Band’s Criminally Underrated Tracks

This week, the members of O-Town announced they’re getting back together – for real this time – to record a new album and eventually go on a tour.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with O-Town, they are one of those boy band fabricated in the groundbreaking first season of Making the Band in 2000. Five guys were chosen as the winners: Erik Michael Estrada, Jacob Underwood, Trevor Pennick, Ashley Parker Angel and Ikaika Kahoano. However Ikaika was all, I’m not into this and quit (He later formed his own group called LMNT with MTB rejects Bryan Chan and Mike Miller, and MATTHEW MORRISON FROM GLEE HOLY SHIT I HAD NO IDEA UNTIL NOW. They sang this Hey Juliet song, that may sound familiar). To replace Ikaika, the group decided to invite runner-up Dan Miller to the band and O-Town was officially formed.

They were managed by the infamous Lou Pearlman (who also created MTB), and went on to record two albums before disbanding in 2004. They say they wanted to pursue individual endeavors, but really, the only one who had any sort of semblance to a successful endeavor is Ashley Parker Angel, you know the token cute blonde one. And by successful, I mean he had his own reality show, played Link Larkin on Broadway, and now voices a character on Disney cartoon Handy Manny.

Nearly a decade later, the boys are back at it – without Ashley Parker Angel – and going into a ‘new beginning’ of their careers. And here’s the thing – I’m excited to see what they come up with. It’s no secret that I am partial to boy bands, and unfortunately (or fortunately) I wasn’t able to hide my feelings for this 2000s group either. Fun fact: In high school, my friend Sarah and I, on a whim, decided to drive to a local mall where O-Town was having a CD signing, and since we got there kind of late, we were sort of the last ones in line. And when it looked like we just might have our chance, they LIT’RALLY cut us off with one person in front of us, thus prohibiting us from meeting these dreamboats. But Sarah, because she was way more ballsy than I, decided we should just sneak over to the table (that was set in front of a Bon Ton department store) and we managed to get a few of them to sign our CDS.

Anyways, I appreciated their music, and I feel like because of the success of ‘N Sync and my beloved Backstreet Boys, a lot of boy bands cropped up and took over the space, making it nearly impossible to survive if you weren’t either, well BSB or ‘N Sync. I think with O-Town’s vocals, they had potential to be something bigger and better, but just didn’t have the right mix of management, record label support, or good music to back it up.

In saying that, here’s a list of some of O-Town’s best songs you may not be familiar with, but deserve more attention. Yes, they only had two albums out, but there were actually some solid pop tracks on there. Warning: if you don’t like pop music, maybe don’t listen to the first few on the list.

10) Every Six Seconds // O-Town

Well, I liken this song to Next’s Too Close, in that I loved the song and sang at max vol when I listened to it – but I never understood the lyrics. Until I was old enough to actually listen to them. Oops. And looks like Lou Pearlman was trying to sneak in a couple of product placement ads in the song. I see you Victoria’s Secret and Mac.

9) Shy Girl // O-Town

If you want to time travel back to the late 90s/early 2000s, this song will do the trick. Honestly, this is the poppiest pop song and could’ve been recorded by 2ge+her. Their first (and second to last) album was totally a representation of Lou Pearlman and the band he wanted to make on the reality TV show. It was also becoming a copy cat of all the other boy bands, so much so that it was on the edge of becoming a parody of itself. Enter Shy Girl.

8) Sexiest Woman Alive // O-Town

Again, with the lyrics. Absolutely ridiculous. But that beat though. Product placement tracker: Häagen-Dazs & Calvin Klein jeans.

7) Take Me Under // O-Town

Remember when 90s songs had someone talking in the beginning? Yeah, this song has that. Except it’s supposed to be like a sexy woman robot voice? The future was so bright, y’all. Sidenote: I randomly remember them recording this song on MTB, and through the power of YouTube, we can watch it all over again – oversized turtlenecks and OG Mac systems included.

6) Love Should Be a Crime // O-Town

O-Town: not just a boy band, lobbyists against love.

5) You Can’t Lose Me // 02

O-Town’s  second album, O2, was such a different sounding album than the first. It was like they broke free from the Lou Pearlman chains and were like, ‘Screw you, we’re doing what we want… for 90% of the album’. It has more of an acoustic feel than bubblegum pop, and I’ll let’s be real, I still listen put some songs into my iPod rotation to it to this day. This song is the last track on the CD, and kind of gave me the vibe of closure yet open for possibilities in the future… am I reading too much into this? Also please take time to appreciate the Windows Media Player-like graphics in this video.

4) Girl // O-Town

O-Town was particularly good at O2/acoustic songs and R&B/pop tracks, the latter of which is featured in this song. Pair that with an ode to a girl and you’ve got the perfect mix to make the fangirls swoon.

3) Suddenly // 02

It’s songs like Suddenly that make me think they’re channelling BSB circa 2005, which I’m totally okay with. It’s much more bearable than some of the almost unlistenable songs from the first album.

2) Craving // O2

There are a string of songs on O2 that are just on point, and this is one of them. One of the reasons I’m looking forward to them getting back together is the hope that they do more songs like this. If you put this next to Shy Girl, it’s like two different bands.

1) From the Damage // O2

O-Town haters, listen to this before you judge any further. Or just pretend they don’t have the stigma of being a fabricated boy band and listen to it for what it is. The lyrics aren’t hokey, and there’s so much emotion in it, it’s like they finally believe what they’re singing. There’s a reason why this was the first track on the album – they wanted to make it clear they were not the same boy band from the first record. One might think they’re actually full-fledged artists.