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MTV Brings Back the Music Video…Again

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This Friday night MTV will premiere FNMTV, a one-hour block of uninterrupted music videos hosted by Pete Wentz and MTV News’ Tim Kash and James Montgomery. All of the feel-good phrases have been used to hype up the show’s premiere: “Trying to save the music video,” “Once upon a time music videos meant something,” and “Videos shown in their entirety.”

I’m all for it–let’s bring back the music video!

(above: Pete, I served with John Sencio, I knew John Sencio; John Sencio was a friend of mine. Pete, you’re no John Sencio.)

Before I get too excited, I’ve got to remember that I’ve heard all of this before. Back in 1996, MTV tried to “save the music video” by creating a network that showed nothing but music videos “in their entirety,” when they created M2 (later changed to MTV2 because another company shared the same name). Fortunately, I was able to work for MTV2 before it became littered with MTV reality re-runs.

Some would assume I have a bitter ax to grind with MTV Networks, since I went from hosting one of the greatest indie-minded video shows of all-time to pawning soft drinks and handheld video games in the orgy of a beast known as integrated marketing (ew). But, I would love nothing more than to see MTV succeed in their current endeavor. Before IFC’s webmaster deletes this post, let me explain. If the music video does makes a comeback (in the televised format), everyone wins. Damn, I’ll be the first in line to host IFC’s answer to 120 Minutes. More attention on music videos will mean more money for music videos, which means less of my favorite bands will have to rely on their art school buddies’ lo-fi, cut-and-paste animated videos.

It’s very easy to laugh off MTV’s latest attempt to pull off a successful video show, since they’ve done such a wonderful job of destroying the medium they single-handedly created. Yes, the internet helped kill the video star, but we all knew music videos would plateau at some point, right? I think MTV executives realized this when they began airing the game show Remote Control in the late 80’s. Even though MTV soon became littered with reality shows and pre-packaged-pop videos, there was always still some quality music content on the channel. Even some of the most die-hard indie kids, who vehemently despised the channel, would tune in occasionally. That would all change when MTV basically abandoned music a few years. Yes, they aired videos in the wee hours of the morning, but why stay up all night when you could just catch the one or two videos you wanted to see with one click of the mouse on your computer? Instead of giving us something the internet didn’t have, MTV cluttered their TV airwaves with pre-scripted teen reality shows and sent its music-hungry viewers to their website which wasn’t nearly as easy to navigate as YouTube.


I don’t even know where I’m going with this (gotta love the beauty of a blog–no need to wrap things up nicely).

MTV sort of reminds me of when I used to work at McDonald’s. Every couple of years they’d change the way we made burgers, claiming, “Ah, this is so much better than the way we used to do it.” After a few years, we’d end up making burgers the same way we did when I first started (and it’s not like making a cheeseburger is a complicated thing to do).

If the music video does make a comeback, I’m almost too frightened to see how the McDonald’s-like corporate structure of MTV, advertisers, and back-scratch-requesting record labels will do to ruin it…again.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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