momlogic's Vivian: Soooooo ... I'm deep into a nocturnal channel surf when I notice a curious title flash across the MTV bar on my viewer. It reads:
I immediately wondered if this was a tell-all about some exotic new strain of toxin teens were floating on, or a show illustrating the delusional postpartum euphoria that actually convinces new moms that the physical process of giving birth isn't half bad. But the latter would go against MTV's target audience, right?
Not entirely. Upon further investigation, I discovered that the special show is about girls struggling to raise children while in high school.
This is hardly akin to the MTV programming of yesteryear, back in the ancient days of yore when the weightiest MTVNews topics involved what shade Antony Price suit the members of Duran Duran would select to sport on the Video Music Awards. You know, back when MTV actually played MUSIC?
Sure, the channel was little more than visual radio, but at that time, music was an instrumental (sorry -- I had to) element in how we chose to channel our teen angst. Our generation raised our fists -- cuffed with zillions of black rubber bracelets -- and grew into a population unafraid to think outside of the proverbial "box." You know -- the people who brought you the Internet.
Now MTV only features music at the crack of dawn -- when many teens finally snap off all media to catch a few z's. And if you ask me, there's something inherently out of place in broadcasting an "AMTV 10 on Top Countdown" for music videos you barely play. It's posing -- like wearing the concert T-shirt of a band you haven't seen live.
At the risk of sounding like the old crone I've become, I ask: What are shows like "Baby High" (not to mention other MTV gems like "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom") reflecting back to today's teens about the world and their place in it? How large a percentage of MTV's current viewership will actually be able to relate to these shows? Is teen pregnancy the new "Hungry Like the Wolf"? Or are these shows covert scare-tactic PSAs to encourage teens to keep their junk in their Rock & Republics -- or at least slap on a rubber?
How about providing teens with some inspiration? Maybe through reviving an alterna-rock/hip-hop playlist and forging an emotional connection through something other than depictions of babies these babies can't afford themselves?
What say you, readers?