Spin It Round, Flip It and Reverse It

Total Request Live, the cornerstone of the constantly changing cable network MTV, is on its last leg. At one time TRL was the premiere after-school program for preteens, tweens and even the occasional teenager, but now the show is a mere shell of its former self. With a viewership under 300,000 an episode, MTV is looking to possibly remove TRL and, with it, take away the last music-related program on the Music Television channel. This week Carlye and Brian discuss if it’s time for the show to push up daisies or stay the course.

Brian: Keep it!
Despite my love and admiration for anything and everything connected to Laguna Beach, my wanting to keep TRL is not a front for keeping Stephen “Hunk Hogan” Colletti on television. Sure, he rivals Carson Daly as the worst host in cable history, but the necessity for Total Request Live runs deeper still. To most people, there are more important things in the world than watching 30-second clips of JoJo and Gwen Stefani videos in between Gideon Yago pretending to not be a tool-bag while talking about oil dependency to an audience that thinks Osama Bin Laden is the king of Iraq. But we as a society need this more than we know.

TRL encapsulates what it is to be American every afternoon. Democracy reigns as the videos shown are based on the people’s votes. Capitalism reigns, as the show is a clever way to shove shameless promotions for music, movies and various text messaging devices. Vanity, the third leg on the stool that is our great country, also holds up Total Request Live. Pretty people talk to other pretty people as they promote their pretty pristine music, while a bunch of pretty people sit in a circle and clap their pretty hands. The uglies stand in Times Square screaming with signs and wishes to be in that studio. What’s more American than that?

We need TRL because it shows us who we are as a people. It is a funhouse mirror of our young and carefree lives. Think of it as an amphibian.A frog is an environmental indicator; it will be affected by environmental changes before anyone else will. We need TRL to show us how and why we will be fried and left for dead by our own vapid culture. We need to save TRL so it can help us save our lives and our country. MTV needs to stay the course.

Carlye: Cancel it!

Ever since Carson Daly left to do Last Call (which I’ve never seen and thought no one watched, until a family member said it was good, and that people actually do tune in. So now I pretend it has an audience of insomnia-ridden 50-something adults lying in worn-out, brown La-Z-Boys who slowly come to realize halfway into the show that, “Oh wait, this isn’t Johnny Carson,” but are too lethargic to change the channel), TRL has been in the shitter. The concept, the hosts, even the audience falls short from its boy-band ridden, screechy-girl-scream laden, need-to-cover-the-windows-because-NYC-is-going-crazy days. MTV – I think it may be time to flush.

However, I believe there is a chance MTV might hold onto TRL, due to the large influx of brand-new shows on the network that may or may not last. So, if the network does decide to keep it, I would suggest firing one person: Vanessa Minnillo.

There’s something about MTV VJ Vanessa Minnillo that makes me very uncomfortable. It’s not that she’s beautiful – I don’t find her pretty enough to be intimidated by, probably because she closely resembles a Cabbage Patch Doll. It’s not that I’m jealous of her dating Nick Lachey, since I won’t date anyone with a tattoo around his bicep anyway, especially one with a tacky resemblance to barbed wire. I think she irks me because I’m convinced that behind her fun, happy MTV host facade, she’s just
a crazy psycho-bitch.

To me, she seems insecure, mean and the type of girl who would pretend to take birth control or poke holes in condoms and justify the behavior by saying, “I’m sorry, I just wanted to start a family.” She’s a former Miss Teen USA, and you have to be quite feisty to survive in that world. Also, her boyfriend married extremely high-maintenance Jessica Simpson, which makes it safe to assume that he has a “type.”

TRL would be much better off if they filled Minnillo’s shoes with the MTV news crew. SuChin Pak is precious and accessorizes well, Gideon Yago is a hot Jew (they’re few and far between) and both are extremely smart and articulate. The youth of America could learn about politics and social issues in between videos and TRL wouldn’t feel like a spoon-fed helping of Carson Daly’s sloppy seconds anymore. But, if TRL is canceled, I won’t fret, and neither should you – it only means more episodes of Exposed.

About Carlye Wisel and Brian McGovern

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