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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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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

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