MTV

25 Things You Didn’t Know About MTV’s First Broadcast

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The MTV of today is packed with more reality television than music videos. But the groundbreaking network used to air music videos, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and promised that we’d “never look at music the same way again.” And we haven’t, after the channel’s maiden broadcast back in 1981. Today is the 34th anniversary of that first year on air. Here are some fun facts about the very first music videos played on MTV and the network itself that reveal the channel’s widespread cultural influence.
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MTV’s ‘White People’ Documentary Sticks to the Superficial and Comes Up Short

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When MTV announced White People, and when the trailer for it was first released, the documentary’s existence was met with uncomfortable laughter, genuine derision, and some bafflement. It seemed totally improbable that any network — especially MTV — could explore this subject with any accuracy or nuance. While it’s not as bad as many predicted, White People still isn’t worth the watch.
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‘Skeletons’ United ‘Real World’s’ Guilty-Pleasure Present With Its Socially Conscious Past

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The 30th season of The Real World had to be something special. It was not only a milestone in reality television (the big 3-0!) and the follow-up to a strange, “shocking” new format (Real World: Ex-Plosion), but it also had to justify the show’s continued existence. To accomplish this, MTV introduced Real World: Skeletons, another format change in which the basics are the same (seven strangers in a gorgeous house), but there’s a twist: Each of the roommates is visited by a “skeleton” from his or her past. MTV opted to bring in not just exes but other kinds of skeletons, too — reuniting the roommates with enemies, siblings, and even an estranged father. The decision often made for compelling television, especially for a franchise that has been slowly fading out for years.
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Can Guests Like Charlamagne and Angel Haze Keep ‘Catfish’ Fresh in Season 4?

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Catfish was already beginning to show signs of wear and tear in its third season. It remained entertaining throughout, but it was clear that the catfish were different, more self-aware, and perhaps even catfishing purely for the purpose of appearing on the show. It’s the problem that most reality shows face after a few seasons: How do you continue to stay real — or even “real” — if participants know the rules and can easily fit themselves to the mold? Catfish hasn’t figured that out quite yet, but it has found one way to shake things up this season. Because Max is off filming a movie, Nev has a string of celebrity guest hosts to fill Max’s void. It’s just too bad that this change doesn’t really add anything, making the Season 4 premiere disappointingly boring.
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