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MTV finds new low

Madeline Buckley | Friday, September 12, 2008

When flipping through channels a few days ago, I saw the commercial for Paris Hilton’s new reality TV show and realized that MTV has somehow reached a new low.

While I enjoy watching “The Hills” every Monday, even when the only thing that happens is Heidi’s sister deleting three of Spencer’s Tivo shows, most MTV reality shows make me want to throw my TV out the window and mourn the demise of quality television on the network.

I thought that “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila” was as bad as MTV could get, but the network has given the green light to a show that looks like it could be even worse. This is, of course, Paris Hilton’s “My New BFF.”

In the commercial promoting the show, Paris Hilton sits on a lawn chair and invites girls to come live together in one house and compete to be her new best friend. Each week she will eliminate someone until she finds her “new BFF.” Somehow Paris once again finds a way to get attention and earn money without doing anything worthwhile. Why aren’t people sick of her yet?

The entire premise of this show is pathetic. Women will appear on the show to get their 15 minutes of fame and perhaps access into an exclusive club for one night, and Paris will get the exposure she craves. What is real or appealing about that? In airing this new series, MTV has reached a new level of bad.

What happened to the old MTV, the MTV that aired Thriller and made Madonna a star? It used to be a network devoted to promoting music videos in order to showcase emerging artists and create interest in new music among adolescents. The old format with VJs and music videos playing one after another seems to be almost completely dead. Every once and awhile the network will air a video, but for the most part MTV has abandoned music videos in favor of ridiculous and not that real reality shows.

The format of MTV has changed so much since its TRL days, yet it is still one of the most popular networks among teenagers. It is noteworthy that the network was able to reinvent itself in the age of the Internet, which made music videos non-exclusive to MTV.

I just wonder if the network producers have reached the end of their creative rope in airing a show with such an awful premise as Paris Hilton’s “My New BFF.”

While reality TV doesn’t lend itself to quality in general, each new MTV reality show somehow keeps getting worse. The network that launched so many bands’ careers in the 80’s and 90’s has sadly become a bastion of trash TV and should no longer call itself Music Television.