Throwback Thursday is your weekly concentrated dose of nostalgia, where we round up the bests and worsts of all things 90s (and the early 2000s.) This week: The top 5 throwback MTV shows!
MTV — Does anyone in our generation even know what it stands for anymore? Music Television, people. Music. At one point in history, MTV was all about the music and pretty much only played music videos and the like. And now, if you tune into MTV at any given moment, you can hear screaming babies and frustrated teen moms. (If you haven’t already guessed, I’m not a Teen Mom/16 and Pregnant fan, but hey, whatever floats your boat. I will, however, give props to Catfish — hellooo Nev Schulman because it’s amazing, and Teen Wolf for reasons you can find out in another article.) There was, however, an interim period where music and TV mixed pretty well on MTV, and that was in the 90s and the early 2000s (duh, because everything amazing happened then!) Back then, MTV played a lot of reality TV shows but also made time for music videos and shows like TRL.
The MTV that we grew up on is also pretty much completely responsible for everything that we know about spring break and is undoubtedly the reason why college kids go way too hard in Cancun and Miami every April/May. Sometimes, MTV even brings back the best shows from back in the day on #RetroMTV (which is AMAZING.) And since I spent 99% of my tween TV time drooling over the amazingness that was MTV, I figured it was about time to reminisce with you all. Here are the top 5 MTV shows of our collective youth. Annnnd, GO!
And now on Sick, Sad World! Daria Morgendorffer is my spirit animal. She started out as a recurring character in Beavis and Butthead (another throwback MTV gem) and MTV went ahead and made her the star of her own animated series. Daria had an amazing group of characters, including her artsy best friend, Jane, her perfectly posh sister, Quinn (and her fashion club croanies), Brittany the cheerleader and her dumb jock football player boyfriend, Kevin, their overly emotional teacher, Mr. O’Neill, their perpetually stressed out teacher with the bulging eye, Mr. DeMartino, and of course, Daria’s token crush and Jane’s older brother, Trent the totally cool rocker dude. Daria exhibited hardly any emotion, didn’t participate in gym class, and was always being sensible, not caring if she fit in. And the whole show was just all-in-all, totally awesome. I honestly have nothing snarky to say. (Although whiney Brittany gave all of us Brittany/neys a bad rap. Not all of us are blonde, bubbly, naive cheerleaders!)
I don’t think anyone actually liked Total Request Live or understood the point of it, but the fact of the matter is that everyone watched it. Everyone. You did, I did, we all did. TRL was a staple of our youth. I dreamed of going to New York and seeing TRL in real life, but it never happened. All TRL actually was was a countdown of the top music videos and time for Carson Daly to interview famous singers/bands, but yet all of us tweens and teens tuned in religiously. The best was when the Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears made an appearance and the crowds outside and inside the studio went insane. But TRL was nothing without Carson Daly. Nothing, I tell you!
I follow Lauren Conrad, Lo, and Kristin Cavallari on Twitter and read LC’s blog on the reg, and Laguna Beach ended 7 years ago. AKA, I’m obsessed to this day. My mom used to judge me for watching Laguna Beach with all its prissy teenagers out in California prancing around and dating each other, but I didn’t care. Laguna Beach was life. Sometimes I still wonder what life would be like if LC and Stephen lived happily ever after, but alas, my dreams never came true. Kristin Cav, is, however, engaged and a new mom (!!!) but not to Stephen’s children (thank goodness) and LC is super successful. And don’t even try to lie to me and tell me you didn’t love the rivalry between those two. It made for some serious teenage television.
Flashback to the year 2003. My best friend, Katie, and I were obsessed with singing and spent most of our cherished slumber parties making up dance moves to Christina Aguilera songs and writing our own songs. (I was good at writing poetry and essays back then, but not so much at song lyrics. Our songs sounded more like products of Ark Music Factory — hey Rebecca Black! — except poorly executed and without some weird rapper dude interjecting his self-centered-ness in every one of them.) And being that she was just as obsessed with MTV as I was, applying to be on MADE was a no-brainer, right? Right. So we did. I swear on my life, Katie and I wrote a letter to the MADE people and tried to get on the show. They never replied, but had they, well, we could’ve been famous today. And in case you were wondering, yes, we did have a stage name for our little duo. Yes, it was based on our initials. And yes, it was so 2003 — Kandii & Butterfly (we almost settled for Kit Kat & Brit Brat, but I digress.) I couldn’t make this s*** up if I tried, people. In retrospect, that’s probably why they didn’t pick us.
If you like any season of Real World past like, 2009 (at the very latest, and that’s a stretch), you are not a true MTV fan. I’m sorry, but it has gone wayyy downhill since its inception on MTV in 1992. And forget all of these stupid Real World/Road Rules spin-offs. The classic, early 90s to early 2000s Real World seasons were flawless. Seven strangers living together under the same roof? There was always sex, drama, sex, cool jobs, more sex, more drama, and some pretty intense moments. There were completely insane cast members who got kicked off the show for various reasons including drug use, violence, and more. There were amazing cast members who did great things while they were on the show. There were timeless (and timely) romances, marriages, moments of loss and heartbreak, and some damn cool jobs (and even cooler, amazing houses.) But since we started to get a little older, Real World got to be a little too formulaic. They started to very obviously pick people to represent different races and sexualities, and they even moreobviously picked people who they knew would hate each other. Listen, MTV, the drama was better when it was real, not forced. I’m old-school Real World fo lyfe.