1. MTV Then: Alternative Nation 1992-1997
This show, hosted by the badass Kennedy, was a television show about alternative music. It featured some great iconic bands from the ‘90’s such as Weezer, The Replacements, Butthole Surfers and New Order. Because music television used to broadcast shows about music.
2. The Real World 1992-Present
The roots of reality programming on MTV. It’s the longest running show in MTVs history and it all started with Real World: New York. They creators intent was to depict young adults to an audience of about the same age, while they struggled with issues such as sexuality, prejudice and substance abuse and soon snowballed into a reputation of immaturity and crude behavior.
3. The State 1993-1995
This is what a comedic sketch show should still look like: memorable returning characters, just enough rebellious and absurdist humor to attract teens and young adults alike, and what an amazing cast. I mean, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, Kerri Kenney, David Wain, Joe Lo Truglio. This was MTV at the acme of it’s broadcasting power. Let’s all raise our glass in memory of “The State”.
4. Amp 1997-2001
Do not adjust your monitor, and no, we did not spike your drink with ecstasy. This is just Amp, an awesome MTV show that introduced electronica and rave music to the main stream. Basically the entire show consisted of mind=blown visuals accompanied with music without a host or VJ and began with a logo and some basic information on what that show has in store.
5. TRL 1997-2007
Ah, back in the day when pop music ruled the world and Toby Aimes and Carson Daly were still relevant. Total Request Live was a show that counted down MTV’s most popular music videos at the time, was a staple in teenager’s in the ‘90’s.
6. Celebrity Deathmatch 1998-2002
Classic. Celebrity Deathmatch pinned our favorite celebrities against one another in a gory claymation fight to the death. Who didn’t love exaggerated bone breaks, limb hacking and a gratuitous amount of celebrity mockery?
7. MTV Now: 16 and Pregnant
Dear lord, where did MTV go horribly wrong? When did they decide that music was no longer a viable programming option and following the lives of borderline incompetent teenagers was? This show, now in it’s FOURTH season, tries to depict the hardships of teenage pregnancy and in doing so, highlights a pretty scary part of our culture.
8. Which brings us to…Teen Mom
As if watching 16 and Pregnant wasn’t painful enough, Teen Mom was created to chronicle the same girls as they begin their lives as horrible parents. Okay, well not all of them are horrible. Wait, yeah they kind of are. Also, they keep getting arrested like here and here.
9. Super Sweet 16
So, here’s where the beginning of 16 and Pregnant starts. Super Sweet 16 documents the lives of unjustifiably spoiled children who’s parents are unable to just fucking. say. no. to ANY of the ridiculous demands they make for their coming of age parties. It makes you wince because, jesus christ, how are these children ever going to be functioning members of society after their parent’s cut them off? The answer is they won’t be. Ever.
10. I Just Want My Pants Back
MTV decided they wanted to do a tv show that reflects the wonderful booming sub-culture that is Williamsburg hispterdom. “I Just Want My Pants Back” recently premiered in 2012 and follows the lives of attractive twenty-something-year-olds as they bang each other and then roll their eyes while making quips about the L train or something.
11. The Jersey Shore
We hate it. We watch it. We’ve all probably contracted herpes from it. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the current state of MTV. This is the death of Music Television.