Internet Killed the Video Star: An Open Letter to MTV

When Beavis and Butt-head began, I wrote an article interviewing the first episode of the new series. I felt very excited. Unfortunately, one element plagues the show, and though I didn’t mind it in the first episode it soon became apparent that it just doesn’t work. I refer to recycling MTV’s content such as Jersey Shore and Sixteen and Pregnant. Give us more viral Youtube videos and crappy bands!

When Beavis and Butt-head first aired in the nineties, an episode consisted of the actual episode interspersed with the boys watching videos and commenting on them. The videos made up part of the show as a whole, and many lamented their disappearance from the episodes released on video and DVD. This happened because of copyright disputes, in yet another example of industry strangling creative expression. When they announced a new series, we wondered if it would have music videos. Articles hinted at viral videos from Youtube, and shows like Jersey Shore. The latter has proven more true.

As a kid, I spent many summer vacations in Ocean City, New Jersey. More recently, I have vacationed in Cape May. I meant to write an article about that, because I ate at a wonderful place called the Bela Vida Cafe. Anyways, seeing a show like Jersey Shore disgusts me on many levels. I have never understood these shows idolizing horrible people.

South Park made fun of the show Jersey Shore in a episode entitled It’s A Jersey Thing. In the show, a monstrous creature named Snookie attempts to rape Eric Cartman while saying “Snookie wants smushsmush!” I thought they made fun of mythic creatures such as the Jersey Devil, or other Jersey weirdness such as Ong’s Hat. It turns out Snookie refers to a female human named Nicole Polizzi. Video clips show her getting drunk, acting stupid, crying, trying to have sex with gross guys, and worrying about putting the wrong kind of lotion on her ass. She will write a novel, more proof of the impending end of everything. It just doesn’t do it for me. You can watch the boys bagging on a crappy video fifteen years ago and it still seems funny. This loses its replay value immediately, like how a soda loses its flavor if left sitting out.

Even more disturbingly, sometimes Beavis and Butt-head watch even worse MTV drivel, such as Sixteen and Pregnant, or Teen Mom. These two separate shows cover what you might expect, following poor teen moms around and video taping their dysfunctional lives and those of their families and partners. “Mom, help take care of my baby and pay for my new boobs.” summarizes the plot perfectly. These shows have absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever, and it pains me to know of their existence. I pitty the people in them.

On the positive side, Beavis and Butt-head did a fake movie review of the horror film Human Centipede. While I wouldn’t enjoy the movie, I did enjoy this segment. I also enjoyed them making fun of the terrible viral video “It’s So Cold in the D” a rap tribute some girls made for a friend shot in a restaurant. As one comment put it, it’s nice they made a song for their dead friend, but they should learn about making music before making music. This has great replay value. A friend and I had that stupid song stuck in our heads for a day afterward. And in all fairness, they do make fun of other videos, just not all the time like before.

To summarize, the new Beavis and Butt-head rules. I love the actual episodes. I just don’t like all the tripe they have had to put in between the segments instead of music videos. I guess bands don’t really make videos the way they did before. Has the internet killed the video star? I appeal to MTV to show more clips like the Human Centipede review, as well as awful viral youtube videos. You can find tons of things there. If MTV does not alter this aspect of the show, it will lose its replay value. That would suck! I also appeal to any crappy bands out there to make a video and send it in so Beavis and Butt-head can make fun of it. America needs you!

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