VH1: Thoughtless Fun

I do not watch VH1. I swear. I have no idea what the “Flavor of Love” is. I hate New York, and I have never seen a drunken midget urinate off his little scooter. Okay, fine. I’ll admit my guilty pleasure. Admittance is the first step to healing. I can’t help it. VH1 is now the best channel to watch when you aren’t really watching television. When I’m studying or eating, the absurdity of VH1 is the best background noise. It contains no plot. The characters are all one dimensional. It requires no thinking at all!

VH1 used to actually play music videos. It was just like MTV, but it played all the bad music. Kenny G, Sting and the like filled the airwaves. In the 1990s, there was the ever popular “Pop-Up Video.” The little factoids were ubiquitous. There we even many parody episodes of shows that decided to use the little information bubbles. We learned all about the drug habits of our favorite burnt-out musicians from “Behind the Music.” For the first time, the inner details of Queen, “Weird Al” and Britney Spears were open to us.

Sometime this decade, VH1 decided to make fun of all the other decades. All of the these shows began VH1’s journey into the cheaply produced, vintage footage world of television. Hire 10 B-list comedians, have them talk about clips that you already own and voil?, you’ve filled a time slot. After reviewing every decade in parts one, deux and 3-D, they used the same formula for “Best Week Ever.” News footage with a few jokes from comedians equals yet another time slot.

Then came all of the celebrity shows. The “Surreal Life,” “Celebrity Fit Club” and “Strange Love” brought the joys of MC Hammer, a chubby Snapple lady and a very desperate Flavor Flav into our homes.

This led to all of the dating shows and a smorgasbord of stereotypes. White trash, black thugs and every Miss Thang that had a fascination with clocks. “Flavor of Love” taught us you cannot cook chicken in a microwave, you shouldn’t spit on people and Flavor Flav is either senile or mildly mentally handicapped. Then came Miss New York and Bret Michaels both wanting some affection.
My main problem with all of the reality dating shows is that all of the contestants seem to have no self worth. How small does your ego have to be to go on a television harem and debase yourself for the affections of one person who obviously cannot find love in any normal way? When searching for the lucky losers to fill the house, what exactly do the producers look for? Obviously you have to be good to look at to even apply. Nice muscles, ample bosom, check. After those criteria, what’s next? A slightly moronic stare? A certain manner of speech that is linked with neurotic psychosis?

Watching these depraved people takes so little thought and effort. That is why VH1 is the best channel to watch when you’re not really watching television. In the middle of an annoying homework problem, the insane, barely coherent mumblings of a clock-wearing used-to-be just brings a smile to my face.

Under any normal circumstances, I would complain about the dumbing down of American entertainment and compare VH1 to all of the lowest common denominator comedies MTV likes to air late at night or any new Ben Stiller movie. But you know, sometimes a good low-brow joke is just the thing needed to put life into perspective. So, long live the cheaply produced, easy humor shows of VH1! The highly neurotic characters that are looking for love for my entertainment. Life is long, and it can’t all be taken seriously.

With that, I wish everyone luck on their exams and to have a great winter break!

  • March 26, 2008