There are a few puzzling things about MTV’s new Retro Mania block: First and foremost, we never expected a slate of MTV programming to share its title with a book of Simon Reynolds’ cultural criticism. It’s a whole lot less surprising that this news fully supports Reynolds’ argument that we’re running out of “past” to revive — because you won’t be seeing many genuinely classic MTV series, like Liquid Television, on Retro Mania. Aside from Daria, which debuted in 1997 and was in our opinion the single best thing the channel ever aired, the 9 am-to-noon block will include… Laguna Beach and its spin-off, The Hills. Yes, The Hills, which ended less than two years ago, gave the world Speidi, and whose greatest cultural achievement was not being Jersey Shore.
According to The Wrap, MTV will pair the shows with guest commentators — MTV hosts Nikki Glaser and Sarah Schafer will chat about Daria; One Tree Hill actor Stephen Colletti will relive his Laguna Beach days; and Audrina Patridge, Lo Bosworth, and Stephanie Pratt will squeeze one more paycheck out of The Hills. Retro Mania is set to debut next Monday, June 25th, with Laguna Beach, before moving on to The Hills July 2nd, and then we’ll get a measly week of Daria beginning July 30th. Sigh.