7 Shows I Wish MTV Would Bring Back

The other day, I was flipping through the channels and stumbled upon an episode of MTV’s True Life. The documentary series used to be an incredibly compelling show, and it even won an Emmy in 2009 for its revolutionary production. And maybe it still is riveting television, but “I’m a Textaholic” was about as uninteresting as the content from the 12,000 text messages the one 16-year-old girl sends on a monthly basis.

By now, we all understand that music videos cease to exist on MTV. It’s why the network created the continuous music video channels MTV Hits and MTV Jams in the early millennium, so people like me would stop complaining in 2001 when Total Request Live only played 27 seconds of “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias. But all of this got me thinking. Instead of the dreadful programming that MTV airs throughout the day, like My Super Sweet 16, FriendZone, and Ridiculousness, why not revive some of the shows that made MTV great, if only for a brief period of time. Until, you know, they make entertaining television again. Here are the seven series I would like to see regain syndicated prominence.

Say What? Karaoke

This show, accompanied by the lovable host Dave Holmes, was just goofy. I’d like to see it again if only to see the celebrity judges and song choices on the karaoke wheel. Although, I swear no one sang anything but ‘N Sync’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart.”


Say what you will about the often grotesque nature of Jackass, but the series also had some hysterical material. Johnny Knoxville as a perverted old man, Chris Pontius as Party Boy, and Preston Lacy and “Weenie Man” as underwear/diaper wearing hooligans, who would chase each other in public were only a few of the funny bits that put Dickhouse Productions on the entertainment map.

Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County

I know…I know…I know…I know…I KNOW.

The Tom Green Show

Tom Green was a pioneer for the lets-bring-a-camera-in-public-and-get-kicked-out-of-places movement. Green, couch hog Glenn Humplik, and “The guy in the window” Phil Giroux were the clashing personalities of The Tom Green Show. Thinking about what Bam Margera did to his parents on Jackass seems almost benevolent in comparison to what Green’s parents were subjected to by their son.


La, la, la, la, la. La, la, la, la, la. Daria has to the be the wittiest show MTV ever created. In the late 90s, it was one of the networks highest rated shows, and if it was rerun, its satirical scope of high school would be the perfect contrast to what MTV seems to glorify now. I was a pre-teen during the show’s peak, so I feel I would appreciate its dryness much more now than when I was hooked on Real World/Road Rules Challenge. 

MTV Unplugged

I suppose this show is still in existence, but their last special was in July and it was 30 Seconds to Mars. Reaching all the way back to its series premiere in 1989 (freakin’ Squeeze was the first performance!), this acoustic, intimate series exhibited great depth from musicians that fans may have otherwise never seen. The list of bands/artists who have appeared on Unplugged is loaded with distinguished talent, and naming some would only make me implore MTV to reach into their vault even more.


Diary may forever be my favorite show from MTV. The series documented celebrities through a magnifying glass that went behind the closed doors that were typically shut from the fan’s eye. Through one camera crew, the audience would see just about everything a prominent figure goes through on a daily basis. Sometimes, it was saddening. Often, it was intense. But it was always entertaining, like this memorable dialogue between Chris Rock and a drive-thru clerk.

Drive-thru clerk: “Hi, can I take your order?”

Chris Rock: “Yeah, can I have a cheeseburger, a diet coke, and some mashed potatoes?”

Drive-thru clerk: “Umm, I’m sorry, sir. We don’t have mashed potatoes here.”

Chris Rock: “Ya’ll got french fries?”

Drive-thru clerk: “Yeah…”

Chris Rock: “Mash ’em up!”


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6 Comments on “7 Shows I Wish MTV Would Bring Back”

  1. Liz Connolly
    11.11.11 at 6:15 PM #

    I’m happy you stayed true to yourself and included Laguna. I’ll be pulling for LC and Stephen till the day I die. Personally, I’d like a follow up to 2gether, but that could just be 13 year-old Liz talking.

  2. 11.11.11 at 6:22 PM #

    Daria, Diary, Say What Karaoke..so many great classics on here I miss.

  3. Tami
    11.11.11 at 7:16 PM #

    Thanks to Diary “You think you know but you have no idea” was a permanent part of my Instant messenger info.

  4. Colin Holmes
    11.11.11 at 7:36 PM #

    I remember really liking Daria when I was in fourth grade, which is incredibly strange when you think about it.

  5. 11.12.11 at 12:18 PM #

    I’m fairly certain my dad may have bought a Nissan Altima because Chris Rock drove one in Diary

  6. 11.12.11 at 6:24 PM #

    Chris Rock driving in a parking lot: “Look at all these nice cars, man. People drivin’ Benz’s and BMW’s. I’m just rockin’ the Altima.”

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