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    Beavis and Butt-head

    Beavis and Butt-head

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    MTV - Music Television
    Beavis and Butt-head was first aired on the U.S. cable network MTV in March 1993. This show, which combined animation and music videos, was an example of the unique programming that MTV has consistently provided for its youthful demographics. The half-hour program alternated between a simple narrative, which focused on the exploits of two low-life adolescents, and clips from music videos, which the two teens commented on. Creator Mike Judge had penned the aimless duo for a festival of animation when Abby Turkuhle, MTV's senior vice president picked up an episode for the network's animated compendium Liquid Television. MTV immediately contracted for 65 episodes from Judge, with Turkuhle as producer, and placed Beavis and Butt-head in the 7:00 and 11:00 P.M. week-day time slots. The characters, Beavis and Butt-head, are rude, crude, and stupid, and can be placed in the "dumb comedy" tradition, which includes Abbott and Costello, The Three Stooges, Cheech and Chong, Saturday Night Live's Wayne and Garth, and FOX's The Simpsons. When the show debuted, television critics differed in their opinions, with some praising the show for daring to present the stupidity of male "metalheads" who watch too much television (effectively satirizing the core MTV audience), and others categorizing Beavis and Butt-head as another example of television's declining quality. Beavis and Butt-head did find an audience and began pulling in MTV's highest ratings. But the show was also quite controversial, instigating heated public debate on the interconnected issues of representations of violence in the media and generational politics surrounding youth subcultures. Beavis and Butt-head they found, was especially popular with those in their twenties. It turned out to be bothersome to many that young people enjoyed the show and laughed at its two imbecilic boys, even if these fans were much more intelligent and much less grating than Beavis and Butt-head. In this sense, Beavis and Butt-head raised the issue of generational taste cultures. Definitions of "taste," Pierre Bourdieu notes, "unite and separate, uniting those who are the product of similar conditions but only by distinguishing them from all others. And taste distinguishes in an essential way, since it is the basis of all that one has--people and things--and of all that one is for others, whereby one classifies oneself and is classified by others." To the degree that taste cultures agree, they are brought together into a subcultural formation; but to this degree they are also separated from those with whom they differ. It was the "bad taste" of Beavis and Butt-head's audience which bothered many, and this brings to the surface another one of the reasons why Beavis and Butt-head was so controversial. Cultural critics, educators, and concerned parents gathered skeptically, sternly, and anxiously in front of the television set and passed judgment upon the "tasteless" Beavis and Butt-head show. And in an ironic reversal, Beavis and Butt-head countered by ascending the cultural hierarchy. The two youths channel-surfed, looking for videos that didn't suck (i.e. those with heavy metal or hardcore rap, those that contained violence, or encouraged genital response.) In becoming the self-proclaimed Siskel and Ebert of music video, they served to evaluate pop culture with an unencumbered bottom line--does a music video "suck" or is it "cool?" Beavis and Butt-head as a television show, was certainly towards the lower end of traditional scales of cultural "quality." But these two animated "slackers" evaluated other media, and so pronounced their own critical opinions and erected their own taste hierarchies. Beavis and Butt-head had their own particular brand of "taste:" they determined acceptability and unacceptability, invoking, while simultaneously upending, notions of "high" and "low" culture. In this, they entered that hallowed sphere of criticism, where they competed with others in overseeing the public good and preserving the place and status of artistic evaluation. They disregarded other accepted forms of authority, refusing to acknowledge their own limited perspectives. But like other critics, this was an important part of their appeal. After all, critics are sought out for straightforward opinion, not muddled oscillation. In this recuperation of the critical discourse, Beavis and Butt-head joined with their audience, approximating the contradictory impulses of contemporary cynical youth, who mixed their self-delusion with self-awareness. In the case of fans of Beavis and Butt-head, these lines of demarcation indicated both a generational unity and the generation-based barriers between the baby boomers and the "baby busters." The reputed cynicism of the "twentynothings" was on view as Beavis and Butt-head evoked both a stunted adolescence which was long past and an unsure and seemingly inaccessible future.moreless
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    Daria

    Daria

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 2002)
    The people of Lawndale just don't get Daria Morgendorffer. She's cool with that. See, Daria was born alienated, and now she's just trying to make it through high school with as little human contact as possible. Popularity, friends, activities... whatever. Daria lacks enthusiasm, but she makes up for it with sarcasm. Daria is the spin-off of MTV's most sucessful cartoon, Beavis and Butt-Head. Theme Song: La la la la la This is my stop Got to get off I may go *pop* Excuse me (repeat once) I've got to be direct La la la If I'm wrong please correct La la la You're standing on my neck La la la You're standing on my neck (short guitar cord) La la la la la (repeat) Rating: Usually all Daria episodes are rated TVPG-L.moreless
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    Celebrity Deathmatch

    Celebrity Deathmatch

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 2007)
    Sport and event coverage re-defined! Today's hottest celebrities are pitted against each other in no-holds-barred fantasy fights complete with pre- and post-battle activities, one-on-one interviews, press conferences and behind-the-scenes locker room moments that parody the worlds of film, television, music and politics. Announcers Johnny Gomez and Nick Diamond offer commentary and play-by-play coverage while legendary referee Mills Lane presides over the Celebrity Deathmatch Ring. moreless
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    The State

    The State

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 1995)
    The State was a half-hour sketch comedy show that aired on MTV from 1994 – 1995 and consisted of a total of 26 episodes. The show featured approximately 11 – 12 skits per show that were based on a loose themed in the sense that each sketch transitioned into the next. A variety of reoccurring characters were featured mainly to mock or parody popular themes of other sketch shows such as obnoxious catchphrases (Louie), fish-out-of-water characters (Old-Fashioned Guy) and odd couple situations (the Jew, the Italian and the Redhead Gay among others. The cast consisted on 11 young comedians who performed all aspects of the show from writing, direction, acting and editing. The cast (sometimes referred to as Statemembers) formed as a comedy troupe in 1988 at New York University where they were at the time in their freshman or sophomore years. In 1992 they where hired by MTV to do a series hosted by Jon Stewart called "You Wrote It, You Watch It." It was so successful that it lead to a pilot which was purchased and premiered in 1994. The show ran for 3 seasons, after which the cast informed MTV that they were interested in doing other projects and would not be producing a 4th season. While on the air, The State gained modest to good ratings and achieved critical acclaim including being named one of the top 10 shows of the year in the Wall Street Journal and highest rated sketch show in Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone magazines. The complete series is being released on DVD on July 14, 2009.moreless
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    The Tom Green Show

    The Tom Green Show

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 2001)
    Tom Green is a comedian who likes to go around and pull pranks on everybody. Among his most famous are putting a cow head in his parents' bed, suckling a cow's udder, and throwing plastic babies onto cars... just to name a few. The show is half talk show and half documentary.moreless
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    The Maxx

    The Maxx

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 1995)
    Welcome to The Maxx guide at TV.com. Most of us inhabit at least two worlds: The real world where we're at the mercy of circumstance and the world within, the unconscious, a safe place where we can escape. The Maxx shifts between these worlds against his will. Here, homeless, he lives in a box in an alley. The only one who really cares for him is Julie Winters, a freelance social worker. But in Pangea, the other world, he rules the outback and is the protector of Julie, his jungle queen. There he cares for her. But he always ends up back in the real world. And me? Old Mr. Gone. Only I can see that the secret which unites them could destroy them. I could be helpful… Bah, screw it. I think I'll have some fun with them first.moreless
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    The Head

    The Head

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 1996)
    "The Head" began as an ongoing serial which originally ran under the title "MTV's Oddities." The Head is the story of Jim, a trade-school student, who awakens one morning to find that his cranium has enlarged to mammoth proportions. A week later, out bursts Roy, an little blue alien with an odd sense of humor, who's taken up residence in Jim's head. Turns out Roy needed a place to stay to adapt to the Earth's environment while on a mission to save the world from a power-hungry alien named Gork. Aiding Jim and Roy are his girlfriend, Madelyn, his doctor, Dr. Richard Axel, and a group of "human anomalies." The group consists of Ray, a landscaper who has a lawnmower blade lodged in his skull; Mona, a normal looking woman with a tail; Ivan, who has a mouth in his chest; Raquel, who has a nose like a rat; Earl, who has a fishbowl in his mouth; Chin, a long-limbed former-freak show performer; and the annoyingly normal head of the group, Shane Blackman. After the initial 13 episodes had aired, "MTV's Oddities" began airing another serial, entitled The Maxx. When "The Maxx" had finished airing, "The Head" returned with a new batch of episodes, but the focus often shifted from Jim and Roy to the other "human anomalies" they'd befriended -- and the new episodes lacked the serial structure that had made the initial run so successful. Shortly after the second season finished airing, "The Head" (along with "MTV's Oddities") vanished from the airwaves. The first 13 episodes were released on video under the title "The Head Saves the Earth." Snippets from the original airings were left off of the video version (a similar edit was made to The Maxx video) to keep the running time under two hours. The second batch of episodes were never released on video. In 1996, Pocket Books released a graphic novel entitled "The Head: A Legend is Born," which was based on an episode that was never filmed. The cover shows a picture of Jim and folds out with a pop-up of what's in his head -- namely Roy. The story included the return of Dr. Elliot, who was last seen being probed on a UFO in "The Invasion."moreless
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    Oddville, MTV

    Oddville, MTV

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 1998)
    coming soon...
  • 9
    You Wrote It, You Watch It

    You Wrote It, You Watch It

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 1992)
    The primise to MTV's You Wrote It, You Watch It was simple: people write to the show and skits are made based on the letters. Each show had a theme for example, one show was about letters that were about dreams. Jon Stewart was the host of the show, other cast members were random actors that performed the skits. Some the skit performers when on to MTV's The State and Comdey Central's Viva Varitey and Reno 911.moreless
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    Apt. 2F

    Apt. 2F

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 1997)
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    The Jenny McCarthy Show

    The Jenny McCarthy Show

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    MTV - Music Television (ended 1998)
    Welcome to The Jenny McCarthy Show guide at TV.com. This was Jenny's very own sketch comedy show.
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