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The show melded superimposed annotations on the most popular music videos of the day with trivia and deadpan humor.And it had a healthy dose of nostalgia as well, with each episode featuring a video from the primordial era of music television.
Eventually VH1 producers figured out you didn’t need the wisdom imparted by years of thoughtful reflection to make fun of celebrities. It was snark about pop culture minutiae unfolding almost in real time.
Mix that with the surprise mega-success of Former VH1 president John Sykes has described the network’s first decade of existence as “the bastard stepchild of MTV.” The network was launched by Viacom in 1985 as a free add-on to cable packages that took MTV in a bid to kill off a competing music channel launched by Ted Turner.
Like early MTV, music videos made up the bulk of the channel’s programming, and upstart VJs included Don Imus and Rosie O’Donnell.
It’s the flagship program of a revamped VH1 that has a relationship with the world of music that is, at this point, incidental.
’s characters — artists, significant others, managers, stylists — exist within the orbit of music, but the show succeeds because of its soap opera storylines, heightened by the added tension that someone just might get punched the fuck out.
“Up until that point, reality TV on network television had been almost entirely white,” says Jennifer Pozner, a media critic and author of reinforced negative stereotypes of women of color, portraying them as brash, vulgar, and violent.