1982 wasn’t so long ago. I call it the good old days. MTV stood for just music television videos that ran 24 hours a day. The catch phrase was “I want my MTV” and everybody protected rock-n-roll music. It is hard to believe that twenty-nine years have since passed and now look at MTV in 2011. It is a wasteland of reality TV programs or sexually provocative shows aimed at teenagers.
MTV has become a huge influence whether we want it to be or not. I recently was sitting on the metro red line train here in Los Angeles and watched several high school kids jump on. All they talked about was a guy named “The Situation” from the popular MTV reality show Jersey Shore. It premiered last year to huge TV ratings and made reality stars out of each cast member.
MTV premiered a new scripted TV show called Skins that is a U.S. remake of a popular U.K. (United Kingdom) British version. This show is about a bunch of high school friends who only drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, pop prescription pills and have sex. The first episode garnered a whopping 3.3 million viewers. The second episode dropped considerably in viewer-ship with a 1.0 rating.
The reason for the huge decline was an outcry from parents who literally called the show child pornography. The Parents Television Council launched a campaign to get major sponsor companies to abandon the show. It worked because after the first episode advertisers began pulling out. They include, Taco Bell, Wrigley Gum, General Motors, Subway and H&R Block.
The creator of Skins defended his show by writing an article in the entertainment section of the Huffington Post . Several of the young actors who star in Skins are claiming that this is what teenagers are doing today. MTV has since said they have confidence in their new teen drama and toned down the provocative nature of sexuality in the second episode. According to the Hollywood Reporter MTV might move Skins to 11pm from its’ 10pm premiere slot.
I sat down and watched the first and second episodes back to back. I must have missed out on a lot during my high school years. I never got to see our cheerleaders dressed in tight fitting bikini tops. I didn’t see any girls pull out a small whiskey bottle and swing it back like it was an everyday thing. I also never saw my friends go to some stranger’s house alone to score huge ounces of marijuana. I never heard about the teen girl who was known to pop pills and before passing out, sleep with a random guy at a party. I also did not know of any open teen lesbians.
I never woke up everyday to see my sexy MILF blonde neighbor standing nude in front of her window. I never had that much control over my parents where it made them appear so inept and just plain stupid. I never, ever saw my underage friends during the day drink from an opened container liquor bottle. I never saw teen girls dressed up like porn stars. The list goes on and all of it coming from high school teenagers. Not once did any of these teen characters show emotions or even angst. All they wanted to do was drink, do drugs, have sex and not even attempt to read a book.
MTV was so different back in 1982. Our parents only complained about how provocative Madonna was dressed in her music videos. They just simply turned the channel, clicked it off or never let us watch cable. Today, MTV has a TV show called Skins where the teenagers consume alcohol, smoke marijuana, pop pills, have sex and pass out. I hope they survive until graduation. At this rate they might burn out before senior year.