Tag Archives: MTV

Teen Mom 2… should have stopped at Teen Mom 1

In the past, I have given MTV a bit of a hard time on this blog.  Maybe I’m still shipping for Lauren and Stephen, maybe I just still expect music videos, or maybe I’m still incredibly bitter that “Daria” is no longer in my life.  Despite all of my gripes about MTV, I still watch it.  I should really give them some kudos here and there.  I love that “Beavis and Butthead” are back, and the teen show addict in me loves “Awkward.”  There are definitely a few gems sandwiched in between all of the vapid trash on this network.  However, last night with the premiere of one of MTV’s biggest shows, “Teen Mom 2,” I forgot about all of those gems.

“Teen Mom 2” is the follow-up to MTV’s self-proclaimed groundbreaking show, “Teen Mom.”  In it’s second season, it documents the struggles and life choices going on in the lives of MTV’s second batch of young mothers.  I believe that the show started out as a vehicle to show how difficult it is to raise a child when you’re still growing up yourself, but it has slowly turned into a train wreck, as do most reality shows on television.

However, when I watch “Jersey Shore” and I see a hot mess of people, I have no problem rolling my eyes and shutting it off.  Oh, look.  Snooki is drunk again.  No big deal.  When “Teen Mom 2” is a train wreck, my heart aches.  It’s painful to watch.  I don’t want to see a young girl’s life spiral out of control while a baby suffers the real consequences.  I don’t want to see young couples’ relationships fall apart when they need to be strong right now for their sick child.  I don’t want to see a naïve girl continuously go back to a destructive and abusive relationship in hopes that she will be able to provide her child with a father.  These are the kind of troubling story lines that we don’t want to just sit back and watch; we want to step in and help.  And we don’t want to help by bringing Dr. Drew on board.

While “Teen Mom 2” star Chelsea, seems to be a sucker for her child’s father and his abuse, and while star Kailyn has a turbulent relationship with baby Isaac’s father; it is Teen Moms Jenelle and Leah that my heart really breaks for.

Teen parents Leah and Corey have had their struggles in the past, but none greater than the struggle of their slow developing daughter Alianna.  Alianna is a twin to sister Aleeah who is developing at a healthy rate.  Alianna is having problems and the doctors can’t pinpoint the source.  Since Leah and Corey married and moved in together, Leah has found herself staying at home with both babies day in and day out.  She is slowly loosing her mind and getting bored.  It’s stressful enough being a young mother of multiples, I can’t even imagine what it must be like having one that needs extra care.  Throw in becoming bored and stir-crazy to the mix, I’m becoming drained just thinking about it.  Leah is actually a lot stronger than editing implies; a lot of young mothers in her situation would not handle it as well as she does.  Some even snap.

You may recognize Teen Mom Jenelle from her mug shots that are repeatedly showing up on TMZ.  Jenelle is the rebellious mother of the bunch, so much so that her mother now has full custody of baby Jayce.  Jenelle’s goal for the new season of the show is to simply not get in trouble.  That means no drugs, no alcohol, no stealing, no fighting and no breaking and entering (all of which we have seen her do in the last season.)  The key to Jenelle staying clean is avoiding ex-boyfriend and bad influence, Keifer.  Jenelle’s mother thinks that Jenelle has been doing well while Keifer is away at jail.  Unfortunately, her mother soon finds out that not only is Keifer out of jail, but it was Jenelle who bailed him out.  Jenelle’s friends think that he is a bad influence (and since he doesn’t have a job and is homeless, which is also a negative) but the heart wants what it wants.  While this is true, watching a teenage girl date a bad boy is no fun when there is a baby watching.  The fights Jenelle has with her mom are intense, loud, abusive and downright cold.  It’s a toxic environment for poor baby Jayce and it seems never ending.

A show that initially started out as a great way to shed a light on a topical subject and problem in today’s society, has turned into a very sad story.  I found last night’s season premiere particularly difficult to watch.  Not because I’m tired of seeing a bunch of drunk idiots in a Jacuzzi (although that is true), but because I don’t want to see young families that need help exploited for my entertainment.  I’d rather just help them.

I think when Teen Mom first started it was groundbreaking.  I think the first group of girls were an interesting batch of young ladies and we formed an attachment with their stories.  After a few seasons, it was time to wrap that story up and let them get back to being families without cameras constantly surrounding them.  There is no need for another group of girls.  The mission of shedding a light on a topical subject has been accomplished, now is a good time to start looking for other issues and stories to tackle.

I like MTV.  There, I said it.  I liked it when it was music television and I liked it when it was the Lauren Conrad network.  But, I definitely think that there is a certain amount of programming that deserves a second opinion.  My opinion?  Time to pull the plug.  Not just for the audience, for the stars.

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Goodbye, music television. Hello, gorilla juice-heads.

I know I have asked this before but, what the heck has happened to MTV?

It’s no secret that MTV is no longer Music Television.  The days of music videos are long gone on that network.  I’ve accepted it.  I don’t like it, but I’ve accepted it.  Shows like “the Hills,” “Teen Mom” and “Silent Library” have taken the place of shows like “Diary,” “Bio-Rhythm” and “Unplugged.”  The only music you will find on this network will be the background beats playing in the club that Snooki and the Situation are fist pumping in.

So MTV is bringing us “Jersey Shore” season 2 instead of music videos.  On the bright side, it’s still original programming that you can’t find on any other network- oh wait.  I forgot.  EVERY NETWORK NOW HAS A SHOW STARRING NEW JERSEY NATIVES.  Well, at least we’ll see some new people, right?  NOPE, IT’S ALL THE SAME CAST MEMBERS.  Well then, at least we’ll still see them work at a tee shirt shop and enjoy all of the fine amenities New Jersey has to offer, right?  NOPE.  THEY ARE IN MIAMI.  Yup, it’s the Jersey Shore… in Miami.

In fact, the cast being in Miami is the only thing different about this season of the show.  The drama seems to be the same.  There are still grenades, J-Wow is still beating up every girl she encounters, Angelina is still annoying, Vinnie still has the cutest family ever (okay that’s one compliment I snuck in this article,) there are still stupid quotes from Snooki (she feels like a Pilgrim from the 1920’s when she washes clothes in a sink,) Paulie D’s hair is still higher than Dylan McKay’s circa 1992,  and Sammi and Ronnie are still fighting.  This show, just like last season, is one of the most vapid, mindless, pathetic shows on Television.  It’s high ratings and huge attention reflects very poorly on our taste in television.

It’s not the cast’s fault though.  Anybody given the opportunity they were given would jump at the chance.  I don’t even blame producers and creators for tapping into people’s obsession with, and I’m quoting the cast, guidos.  The real let down is MTV itself.  I like a good train-wreck every now and then.  But not when it takes the place of something unique and original.  Every hour that “Jersey Shore” is on the air is an hour of music videos that you’re not seeing.

How upsetting that a network that once broke boundaries as the only music television network is now selling out by just slapping a camera in front of any air head.  Goodbye, music television.  Hello, gorilla juice-heads.

I don’t have low self-esteem. I have low esteem for everyone else.

You may recall a few months ago when I mentioned that Daria was finally being released on DVD.  To say the news excited me would be an understatement.  I soon found out that I wasn’t alone in my excitement.  Everyone I spoke to, from friends to coworkers to twitter followers to commenters, all had the same reaction: “I love Daria!”

So, this is it.  Tuesday May 11th is here and “Daria:  The Complete Animated Series,”  is finally in my hands.  From the minute you pop disc one into your dvd player you are brought right back to 1997.  That recognizable theme song, those sarcastic quips, those pushy parents and their plates of lasagna… it’s all there.  And it has only gotten better.

In addition to the five seasons of Daria, the DVD features BOTH Daria movies.  (“Is it college yet?” and “Is it fall yet?”)  There are character profiles and original sketches of the characters, as well as the original “Daria” pilot storyboard animation.  Music videos, MTV countdowns, and interviews with the cast-members (voices) of the show round out the dvd bonus features.  The rom portion of the bonus features contains a script in PDF format for the “Mystic Spiral” spin-off that never got made (RIP, that could have been great.)

Remembering how much you loved “Daria” isn’t enough.  You need to watch it and laugh all over again.  It was wit, sarcasm, and insecurity all rolled into one great package.  The voice of a generation is back and that voice is timeless.  Just ask your friends, they’ll probably agree.


Written by Jessie Kanev

It’s the last season of the Hills… will we miss it?

I’m done speculating whether or not “the Hills” is real or fake.  I think we all pretty much know where we stand with this show.  I think we all know what to believe and what we roll our eyes at.  The topic is old.  With that being said, I’m just going to talk about the show that is in front of me.  I’m going to talk about its content and judge what’s in front of me, whether it be real (ha) or fake.

I watched “Laguna Beach” in 2004 and when “the Hills” premiered in 2006, I watched it.  You could pretty much say I have been watching this vapid fake/reality show for about six years.  You would think when I stick with a show for a long period of time like that, I would be the first to write about how great it is, how amazing the story lines are, how it hits home and how I can relate to these characters.  You would think.

The truth is, I have no clue what it’s like to party until 8 a.m in Miami during Super Bowl week.  I will never have an emotional conversation with my mother about how I looked prettier before plastic surgery and while everyone claimed to be surrounded by drama, I saw none.  I waited for some major fireworks after seeing the previews, but none came.  The words “crackhead,” “risking your life” and “AA” were thrown around, but they didn’t stick.  The whole episode was just a tease… it was a glimpse of how things could have gotten out of control but never did.  It just left us in that awkward limbo where we can’t decide whether we want to keep watching to see how dramatic the show can get, or if we should throw in the towel.

This is the limbo I have been in for the past six years.  I never watched an episode of “the Hills” and felt satisfied with what I was given.  I wanted tears, I wanted fighting, I wanted confrontation… I got a montage of Kristen Cavallari drinking and photos of Heidi before her surgery on her mother’s mantel.  There have been a few episodes that have satisfied me.  On “Laguna Beach” season 2, the episode “I saw you kiss her” where Lauren Conrad flips after seeing boyfriend, Jason Wahler, kiss his ex, I felt satisfied.  On “the Hills” when the episode “With friends like these…,” and “Apology not accepted,” I felt SO satisfied with Lauren’s confrontation with the backstabbing Jen Bunney.  With this year’s season premiere, the first episode of the last season of “the Hills,” I realized the previews for the next episode are what really keep me watching.  I’m clinging to that hope that something dramatic, realistic and satisfying will occur.

Typically, I would ask myself if that’s a reason to keep watching.  But after six years of watching, I guess I know the answer.  Yes.  Fancy editing and a couple of sound bites have kept me watching for years.  There have been glimmers of an interesting, compelling show, but no real substance.

So, as the show comes to an end, I’m done asking myself if it is real or fake.  Instead I’m asking myself, will I miss this?  Am I sad it’s ending?  I don’t think so.

Before there was Snooki, there was Daria

I feel like there was a time when MTV was different. No, I’m not just talking about when they used to play music videos, although that was a great time too. I’m talking about when MTV actually liked women. It was a time when the channel would highlight the intellect and talent of females by showing clips from Lilith Fair and playing songs like “bitch” by Meredith Brooks. A time where every drunken-big-breasted-bimbo became a Hollywood starlet. Does anyone remember these days?

In fact, one of MTV’s most popular shows at this time had nothing to do with living in Hollywood, having hot tubs filled with girls in g-strings and featured little-to-no-alcohol.  Oh yeah, and it wasn’t a reality show.  It wasn’t even a live action show.  It was “Daria,” the animated series where our heroine was not only apathetic towards popularity, but smart, sarcastic, and intelligent.  Daria Morgendorffer was the anti-Heidi Montag and the anti-Snooki.  And we loved it.

Now where do we turn when we want to watch some one roll their eyes at girls like Quinn (Daria’s sister?)  Certainly not MTV.

We certainly wouldn’t find a character like Jane Lane (Daria’s best friend) on “Jersey Shore.”  Jane who was every bit as witty as she was fierce and sexy.  Jane made red lipstick and being anti-social seem glamorous.  And what about Trent?  Are there any guys like him on MTV anymore?  One would think that a channel that used to be known for music would have a sensitive and poetic rocker as their love interest from time to time.  Jason Wahler is certainly no Trent Lane.

The bad news?  There is no show like this on MTV.  There is no longer a show on MTV that you can turn to and see cute blondes be portrayed as the antagonists.  (And sorry, I do NOT accept “My Life as Liz” as a modern day Daria.)  The good news?  MTV has finally announced they will release the entire animated series on DVD May 11th.

You can even pre-order your copy now on Amazon.com.  Needless to say, I did.  I have to be able to enjoy a show where the popular kids don’t always come across lovable and desirable.  A show where woman are smart and funny and not ridden with body issues or self hate.  I certainly wouldn’t find a show like that on MTV.  I wouldn’t even find music on MTV.


Written by Jessie Kanev