DAR TV: 10 Of The Greatest MTV Shows

By @TrueGodImmortal

When we look back at some of the most important networks, one of the most important networks in the history of television is MTV. MTV was a groundbreaking network in its heyday, showcasing music videos left and right, as well as engaging content. While the network isn't as fun to watch now, I wanted to look at 10 of the greatest shows in the history of the network. The shows that mean the most to the network and have the entertainment value and quality to back it up. Let's get into it.

*MTV Cribs
(106 Episodes)

-One of the most hilarious and engaging reality shows before reality TV really took off is MTV Cribs. The premise honestly was pointless in a way, as it just served to drive home the excess, or lack there of, for celebrities by showing us inside their homes, or what was perceived to be their homes. We saw celebrities like 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Mariah Carey, Juelz Santana, and many more take us inside their homes to show us personal pictures, personal possessions, and more. My favorite episode of the show was Redman, as his crib was nothing like you would have expected and that honestly made for an entertaining episode. Overall, despite the premise of the show, it was always funny or interesting to see what MTV Cribs had to offer every episode.

*Beavis And Butthead
(8 Seasons, 122 Episodes)

-I was never the biggest fan of this show, as I thought the humor could be hit or miss, but when it worked, it worked very well. This show was really my introduction to the entire network and I did find myself engaged to some of the shows, and there's no denying the cultural impact of Beavis And Butthead. The story of two heavy metal loving teenagers who never seemed to do much outside of the ordinary was relatable for the intended MTV audience, which made the show a pop culture phenomenon. Beavis And Butthead has rarely been rivaled in popularity on this network, and I doubt you'll find too many shows that are more important to the network than this one.

*Celebrity Deathmatch
(6 Seasons, 93 Episodes)

-Senseless violent fun. Ah, you have to love the era we came up in. For 6 seasons overall, we watched the hilarious claymotion series that saw brutal fights breakout between celebrities fighting to the death, and featured a number of notable names. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mills Lane were my favorite characters on the show, as their hilarious commentary throughout made the ridiculous death matches even more entertaining to watch. The show became so popular that it even spawned a video game, and every time a controversy celebrity was featured on the show, it made for a moment you knew you had to watch. All in all, whether it was something crazy like Pamela Anderson vs RuPaul, Mariah Carey vs Jim Carrey or even realistic battles like Tim Allen vs Jerry Seinfeld, Celebrity Deathmatch gave us something we could watch for simple mindless entertainment.

(19 Seasons)

-Daily, we would watch MTV to see what videos would come on Total Request Live. This wasn't for the hip hop generation so to speak, this was for pop culture 100%. With the host at the time being Carson Daly, TRL was essentially the video countdown show for MTV, where Britney Spears, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, and many other pop artists got their music and their videos promoted regularly. There are some interesting moments on the show, such as the infamous Mariah Carey meltdown and the pandemonium of Michael Jackson appearing in New York. TRL kept everyone interested and was the end all be all for pop culture during the late 90s and early 2000s.

*The Real World (32 Seasons, 602 Episodes)

-Way before the days of Love and Hip Hop, Catfish, and many other scripted "reality shows", The Real World provided us with a look inside what would happen if you put a bunch of strangers from different walks of life in the same place at the same time for an extended period. While the show was likely a bit scripted, what it did do was shed a light on issues affecting the audiences in a more realistic way than a sitcom could. In the early years, the show addressed a lot of issues, but of course, as the audience changed, the focus became more centered around drama. Still, with over 32 seasons and 600 plus episodes, this show is the most important program in the MTV Network history and it was one of the first reasons many viewers tuned into MTV.

(5 Seasons, 66 Episodes)

-A show that seemingly took the world by storm is Daria and with good reason. With a bit of dry humor, witty jokes, and a relatable story once again for the intended MTV audience, the story of Daria living her life as a young misanthropic teenager in school resonated with many in the late 90s generation. A spinoff from Beavis and Butthead, Daria was a bit more easy to watch, as the jokes and the characters had a bit more fleshing out. Daria was intended as a parody and spoof of high school and everything within the experience, and it succeeded. Daria is a solid sitcom that doesn't get mentioned enough, but the impact it had on MTV and the audience was strong without question.

*Punk'd (10 Seasons, 76 Episodes)

-Pranks are always risky. Some of them are fun, some dangerous, most unnecessary, but when Ashton Kutcher became the host of this program, you didn't know what to expect. The concept was simple and it worked. He was going to prank his celebrity friends in various situations. Truthfully, looking back now, this show was more than likely scripted, as one would assume that eventually the celebrities would catch on, but it made for a fun watch no matter what. A small known fact about the show is that it was intended to prank regular people, but a prank backfired and Kutcher would end up being sued, furthering the belief that it was pre-planned. There were some epic pranks when Ashton was the host, but admittedly the show took a small hit when it got revived with Justin Bieber as the host. Still, the show is forever iconic for what it accomplished and furthering what felt like MTV's dominance of television at the time.

*MTV Unplugged

-One of those shows that truly changed the way we consume music via television, Unplugged was special for its time. It was a show that gave most of the artists featured a platform for a live acoustic show in front of what was usually a smaller audience. This worked well for the artists, as they got to have a more intimate show, engage with the fans, and strip their songs down to the most raw element. MTV Unplugged was a bit groundbreaking, as legendary Unplugged specials and albums came from Nirvana, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Maxwell, Jay-Z, and my personal favorite Lauryn Hill. If you've never experienced MTV Unplugged, you've severely missed out. That's for sure.

(3 Seasons, 25 Episodes)

-Perhaps the most controversial (and shortest run) show in the history of the network, Jackass was an acquired taste for viewing.... yet it would receive massive ratings throughout the duration of the show. While the show could be very well summed up as "white people doing crazy shit for absolutely no reason other than attention", it was entertaining to many to see people inflict harm upon themselves and do absolutely insane shit for nothing. I was never a fan of the show, but I definitely recognize how important it was to the success of the network and how it changed pop culture..... mostly for the worse, but the impact could never be denied. Jackass is an iconic short lived show that spawned movies and many copycat shows later on. For that, it gets a spot on this list.

*Pimp My Ride
(6 Seasons, 73 Episodes)

-If you want to talk about a show that captured the ridiculous focus on MTV during this era, look no further than Pimp My Ride. With talented MC Xzibit as the host, Pimp My Ride was similar to MTV Cribs in the sense that it featured unnecessary excess, but it was always entertaining to watch. The concept was simple: take a regular or beaten down car and fix it up with as much outlandish shit as they could find. It was absolutely ridiculous, but it was always so entertaining waiting for the final result. Sometimes, MTV would put necessary things into the car and on the car, from specialized cup holders to improved rims for the tires, and other times (which was usually the case) they would put things like a TV or PlayStation in the headrest, massive 24 inch rims on smaller cars that would make it a pain to drive, and various other unnecessary additions, but that was the fun of the show. It was over the top, it was outlandish, like most of the programs on MTV. That's what we loved about the network and of course, that's what we loved about the programming.



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