Remember when MTV used to play music videos by talented, legendary artists – artists who actually looked unique from one another, who wrote their own lyrics and even played their own instruments? Well, anyone who can knows those days are ancient history. In fact, today’s generation probably doesn’t even know what the “M” in MTV stands for.
Instead, the network is best associated with reality TV, and it makes sense, really, as MTV was the first to introduce the genre to the impressionable minds of America’s youth nearly two decades ago, with its first “reality-based” program, The Real World. But even now looking back, that show -- which explored social taboos and seemed to push the envelope so far -- absolutely pales in comparison to seeing the debauched faces of Snooki and the “Situation” as they troll the Jersey shore for cocktails, tanning beds, and the affection of fellow "guidos" and "guidettes."
Still, despite the apparent lack of "substance" in MTV’s distinct brand of programming, executives at the network are continuing to ride the reality wave, forever in search of the “next big thing.” And this time, according to one report, it might just be a show about high school drop outs. Fortunately for network, there’s no shortage of potential cast members -- some who might even drop out of school just to be eligible -- as they clamor for their fifteen minutes of fame.
ABC reports on MTV's "exploratory" casting for the potential show:
The MTV casting call, which has been paired with a "mini-resource fair" put on by the College of Lake County in Waukegan, Ill., and PASS, Positive Alternative Student Services, offers potential reality TV stars "options" for completing their educations and finding jobs.
Now one might argue, that attending a casting call for high school drop-outs in order to explore educational "options," seems antithetical to a would-be reality star's obvious mission.
Eighteen-year-old Maria Alvarez of Waukegan plans to attend the casting call Friday. Alvarez dropped out of school last February, saying that family problems were distracting her from her schoolwork, and she started skipping classes.
"I thought, 'What am I doing in school?'" Alvarez said. "I didn't care."
Months later, Alvarez regretted her decision and realized she did not want to work in a fast-food chain for the rest of her life. When she heard about MTV's casting call, she saw it as the perfect opportunity.
With channels broadcast in over 160 countries and a line-up of shows that many believe glorify drunkeness, promiscuity and overall reckless behavior -- including the Jersey Shore, Jackass, Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, and Tila Tequila – the pervasive force of MTV has graced, or, some might say dis-graced the world’s airwaves with programs scientifically shown to "impair" people's "cognitive performance."
Ironic, coming from the network that once censored Cher for being too risqué.
Below is a video from the ABC report, exploring MTV's many incarnations: