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Brenda Says: 'What happened to MTV?'

By Brenda Sanchez, iLander Staff Reporter

Whatever happened to the good old MTV? Also known as “Music Television,” MTV is a cable channel that’s been on the air since 1981 and in the 1990s spawned others like MTV2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTVU and even MTV TR3S (the channel targeted toward Latino viewers). 

Music videos are played late at night, but during daylight hours it’s nothing but reality TV. It’s disappointing for the viewers who want to listen to music at any point of the day. MTV TR3S sadly fell in that “reality” hole as well. The other MTVs are meant to play music, so the first MTV can show more reality shows if it needs to. But those channels have started to play more reality TV and other shows more than the music videos, too. 

Once in awhile it can be fun to watch reality TV shows, but after watching hours of just MTV and MTV TR3S, I noticed that the majority of what’s being played are shows like Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, Jersey Shore, Snooki and The Real World.

For MTV TR3S, it’s shows like Quiero Mis Quince (I Want My Quinceañera), Quiero Mi Boda (I Want My Wedding), Quiero Mi Baby (I Want My Baby), The Ricardo Laguna Project and so on and so on. MTV TR3S is targeted at the teens and young adults of the Latino-American culture. Like its sister stations, the music videos are played in the morning and at night and dawn -- when people are sleeping. MTV TR3S does a good job of keeping it bilingual and entertaining for its Latino-American viewers, or whomever decides to watch it. But face it: Spanish commercials don't beat out the Latino or American music we want to listen to.

Let’s remember these channels are targeted to younger folks. They show teen lives and what teens can go through, however the shows for young adults (which teens watch) show what we’re told not to do in our lives. These are the shows talked about in young culture, not shows like Teen Wolf or Awkward. Also, some but not all of these “reality” TV shows are scripted, so why are they even called “reality?

“I used to watch MTV back when it was music TV, not entertainment TV,” CHHS Student Estefania Lujan said.

So the question is why call it “Music Television” if it doesn’t play much music?

Although the MTV channels don’t play as much music programming as they used to, people can still watch music videos on websites like YouTube or Vimeo. You’ll find reality TV shows on nearly every network and they usually appeal to a large audience, including real teens. The audience that MTV appeals to with its reality shows are young adults. Truthfully, reality TV is a cultural thing and MTV just decided to become a part of it.

Who knows if MTV will remain that way, so enjoy the “reality,” of it.