‘O’ No, MTV (Part 4)

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

MTV is nothing if not obnoxious. Don't believe me? Take about four-and-a-half minutes. Click over to its website. Pick two stories. Read them. Walk up to a wall. And shudder as you feel the desire to bang your head against it wash over you like a warm rain in August. If the abundance of Internet-specific acronyms doesn't make you gag, the atrocious middle-school-cheerleader-undertone should do the trick.

And it's a shame, too, because its kitschy approach to content development/presentation tends to overshadow some pretty solid ideas. The most blatant example of such is the O Music Awards, or, as some may know it, MTV's pathetic attempt at establishing itself as a destination for innovative online programming. It's like allowing a gang of 16-year-olds to run Bank of America. Imagine the statements you would receive every month: "You have overdrawn your account by $56.59 LOL!"

This blog, in all its ignored glory, has taken to the World Wide Internet in the wake of the show's previous three ceremonies, and because we here at TV Without A TV enjoy both consistency and anger, it's now officially time to take a look at the thing's fourth installment. And by "look" I mean, "unfairly criticize," of course.

That's the thing, though: The gripes about this stuff are far from unreasonable. More often than not, each O Awards webcast feels like a midterm project for overly enthused undergrads. Why the network would treat the process with so little respect and attention drives beyond stupid and parks somewhere near offensive. Nobody is asking you to give out these awards, guys. If you don't care about how cheap it looks, why do it?

But I digress. This particular ceremony (the brilliant minds at the network once offered up two of these things in one year, so you can't really use the phrase "this year's ceremony," now can you?) devolved further than its predecessors. The token world-record-breaking-moment came in the form of Andrew W.K. going for ... Longest Drum Session in a Retail Store, a name that appeared to literally be made up on the spot by some bellhop in a blazingly yellow jacket. He went from a Wednesday to a Thursday playing the drums for exactly 24 hours.

Yes. When he likes to party, he likes to party hard.

W.K. looked genuinely spent after crossing the one-day mark, as the hosts for the thing (those two comedy twin-dudes who for reasons unbeknownst to anyone with a funny bone and a working pulse continue to land work on every single faux countdown the MTV family of networks cobbles together), awkwardly faked their way through an uncomfortable amount of enthusiasm. ?uestlove showed up. Hanson performed the one song off their new record that made me write this, and subsequently get attacked by some MMMbop diehards (seriously: Check out those comments). We learned that the former TRL studios haven't yet been turned into a homeless shelter. And — surprise! — Tokio Hotel won something.

To rub salt in the wound, we then found out that the most popular music television network this world has ever seen actually pays American currency to someone to write this ...

"OH MAN! OH MAN! OH MAN! That’s about all we can say at present, as our brain has leaked out of our ears and pooled on the floor. The O Music Awards have officially drawn to a close — yup, after 24 hours, 16 awards, 5 kittens, one goat and an entire day of drumming from our official HERO Andrew W.K. we can finally reveal all the winners and revel in glorious, sleep-deprived abandon. Yup, kids, after more than 100 million votes — 100 freaking MILLION — MTV, VH1, CMT and LOGO’s O Music Awards ended tonight with one final loud crashing beat of a drum. During the course of the 24-hour event, awards were doled out in categories like 'Best Artist Instagram,' 'Best Music App,' and 'Fan Army FTW.'"

Wait. Then there's this sentence:

"For the first time, the O Music Awards also featured our wildly popular 'Make a Band Famous' award and opportunity."

So ... it was the first time the thing was ever given out, yet it's also "wildly popular?" Wait ... what?

Anyway, the point is this: If I could link the other three posts about the other three O Music Awards ceremonies (thank you again, archive system), you would see how much hope I once had for such a forward-thinking notion. Television is moving toward the Internet, so why not have an Internet-specific trophy show? It was ahead of its time, I contended, not without a fair share of skepticism. Work a few kinks out, find a captain willing to steer the ship and watch as the whole process grows into something people can look forward to and talk about.

But that's not what has happened. It's essentially become a mockery of a travesty. Or a travesty of a mockery. Or a travi-sham-ockery. It's not even watch-able. No, like, seriously. It's very literally not watch-able. Why? Because nobody with a steady job and/or life that includes an adequate amount of sleeping hours could watch it all. That's what happens when you toy with a 24-hour format that is so heavy on filler that it's less substantial than a McDonald's hamburger. A hundred million votes mean nothing, if none of those 100 million people have any idea about how or when to find out if their vote went toward a winner. There's no focus on sustainability, no desire to build something that could last. Click away at nominees with the last name Jonas, sure. But at what point will the people producing the show actually expect those teeny-boppers to stick around to see who won something called the Friday Friday Award?

In short, it's too disorganized to be appealing to those who might care about seeing the show succeed, yet the implications of its existence are too serious to be taken with only a mere grain of salt. The promise of such an approach knows no bounds, but if the fourth edition of this artist and pony show is any indication, it's hard to believe that the thing has any type of future. And that's sad. Because, like it not, there will be an audience for this type of stuff. It might not be today or tomorrow, but it will be here. Silly production or not. 

And so it goes. For those who might want to check out the show's highlights, head on over to http://www.omusicawards.com. For those who want nominate their cat for "Favorite Musical Cat" for the next time this thing comes around ... well, I've got nothin' for you.

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