MTV

MTV’s ‘Slednecks’ Isn’t Particularly Offensive — So Will Anyone Care to Watch It?

The film Reality (by Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone), about a provincial Italian fisherman who dreams of being on Big Brother, and keeps dreaming himself into a series of delusions that bring his life crashing down, beautifully sums up the ambiguity of the whole reality TV genre in its very title. In the 21st century, nobody in their right mind mistakes reality TV for reality. The fact of it its factlessness is no epiphany — but reality TV also shouldn’t be mistaken for fiction, either. Stripped of the woes that befall fictitious characters — as fiction is typically written to emulate reality — bracketing people, who, as real people, are prone to tragedy and tragic missteps, into lighthearted, producer-planned dramas that are confined to producer-planned sleepovers or producer-planned outings, reality TV is a claustrophobic realm unto itself of enclosed, resolvable dramas. The “reality” in it is neither “reality” nor fiction as we know it. It’s something far more stifling. … Read More

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Revisiting MTV’s ‘Fear,’ the Scariest Reality TV Show Ever Made

Generally, reality shows don’t lend themselves to the horror genre. The horror in reality programming often lies within the notion that people are actually willing to participate in them or the realization that we are actually willing to watch 30 (30!) seasons of The Real World. But true, chilling horror isn’t often explored, except in silly series like Celebrity Paranormal Project. That’s what made MTV’s Fear such a great watch: It was new and innovate in 2000 and, at times, it was legitimately scary. … Read More

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Your Weekly TV News Roundup: Marc Cherry’s ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Series, Fox’s Archie Comics Adaptation

The television world moves so fast that by the time you learn of a show’s premiere, it could already be canceled. It’s hard to keep track of the constant stream of television news, so Flavorwire is here to provide a weekly roundup of the most exciting — and baffling — casting and development updates. This week: Nick Frost stars in an ABC comedy, Ryan Murphy gets another horror anthology series, and networks continue to pick up book and film adaptations, from the great (Archie comics!) to the terrible (Marley & Me?!). … Read More

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‘Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word’ Is an Honest, Inspiring Documentary About Transgender Youth That Everyone Needs to See

Last night, at the premiere for Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, narrator and executive producer Laverne Cox explained some of her intentions in creating the documentary: “We wanted to tell trans stories on television, and we wanted to do them in a different way than what we have seen before.” Trans narratives aren’t the most commonly explored narratives on television, but between Jill Soloway’s brilliant dark comedy Transparent, Laura Jane Grace’s True Trans web series that premiered last week on AOL Originals, and The T Word, which will air simultaneously on MTV and Logo tonight, it’s fair to say there has been a rise in these narratives. But The T Word goes a different route from what we’ve seen by centering on a more diverse and younger group — the subjects range in age from 12-24; they were in attendance last night, and Cox praised their bravery — and the result is fascinating and informative, heartbreaking and optimistic, and far better than your average MTV documentary. … Read More

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MTV’s ‘Happyland’ Hangs a Forgettable Melodrama on a Ridiculous Incest Hook

MTV’s scripted pilots are always hard to figure out. Most of them have potential, but few know what to do with it. Awkward. is their biggest success, quality-wise, even though it’s struggling to fix itself after a rough patch. Faking It took a confusing premise and made an even more confusing first season; its aim is to be groundbreaking, but this intention gets marred by the writing. Finding Carter had such an original and interesting idea at its center, but the show escalated the drama with every episode, becoming nothing more than a nonsensical (if addictive) hate-watch. MTV’s latest attempt is Happyland, a comedy that desperately wants to tell a good story. Unfortunately, its writers just don’t know how to write one. … Read More

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Can ‘Awkward.’ Fix Itself Midway Through a Disastrous Season?

For three seasons, Awkward. was a surprisingly great show that stood out on MTV, not just because it was a scripted comedy among reality programs but also because it was an honest and nuanced gem on a network that values dishonesty and sensationalism. What began with an iffy premise — Jenna loses her virginity to a popular jock and then a series of mishaps is misconstrued as a suicide attempt — turned into a funny, touching, and, yes, awkward tale of navigating high school when you’re not quite popular but not quite an outcast, either. It was about first relationships, strong teen-girl friendships, and the countless insecurities that plague us through adolescence and never go away no matter how old we get. In Season 4, with a new showrunner at the helm, Awkward. seemed to realize it was on MTV, destroyed complex narratives, and went for cheap tricks. Can it redeem itself during the second half of senior year? Possibly. … Read More

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Neil Young Is Dating Daryl Hannah: Links You Need To See

Every day, aging rockstars do great things that help them maintain their status as icons and prolong their eventual, inevitable fading away. Today, one of those people was Neil Young, who is hooking up with Daryl Hannah. Really! It’s sad, sure, that his marriage of 36 years ended and he’s already shacking up with somebody else. But it’s also sort of undeniably great that he’s canoodling with a mermaid. … Read More

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The ‘Dating Naked’ Lawsuit and a Brief History of Reality Shows Getting Sued

Last week, a contestant on VH1’s reality show Dating Naked filed a $10 million lawsuit against Viacom for failing to properly blur her genitals during a recent episode. Jessie Nizewitz was aware of the nudity going into the show — it is titled Dating Naked, after all, though the show obviously blurs out breasts and genitals — but says when her episode aired, viewers could briefly see everything during a segment when she playfully wrestles with her date. This may seem like an absurd news story, but reality shows are constantly getting slammed by lawsuits. … Read More

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MTV VMAs 2014: The Year of the Class Act

No pop-star threeways, no meat dresses, no speech-crashing, no boob jiggles, no compacts thrown, no assless pants, no shade, no “This World Is Bullshit,” and definitely no twerking. This year’s MTV Video Music Awards, airing living from The Forum in LA on Sunday (August 24), were downright tame, even snoozy. That is, until Beyoncé and Miley shook things up in the last half hour. But the two pop juggernauts did so without controversy — an approach that seemed to trickle down to define this year’s ceremony. Even a Nicki Minaj wardrobe malfunction, which she handled beautifully mid-performance without revealing more than her navel, came to define the rapper’s three performances during the night, including celebrations of the ass during opening number “Anaconda” and a booty-bumping moment with Usher. … Read More

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