Blog Archives

That Rockin’ Lounge is…Back?

Yet another confirmation of the adage that things were better in the “good ol’ days”?

As of now, specific details on how the new Total Request Live are mostly scarce. It’s presumed that it will follow a similar format to the original series which combined an interactive user-determined music video countdown with celebrity interviews, live performances and more. One thing we know for sure is that Carson Daly will not be returning for the new TRL, and he’s been replaced by five relatively unknown hosts.
–Ethan Anderton, Slash Film, “
MTV is Rebooting ‘Total Request Live,’ But How and Why?”

The primary problem with this reboot (before it even airs on MTV) of this popular after-school show dedicated to fun music and celebrity interviews and premiering hot music videos pre-YouTube and social media is that the show’s defining host, Carson Daly, either passed on this forthcoming project or wasn’t asked. The former reason seems more likely, but it’s ultimately irrelevant.

Why?

There were lots of guest hosts in the prime TRL (Total Request Live) days in that very cool lounge-like studio. And while some guest hosts were entertaining in small doses, TRL was Carson Daly as much as Carson Daly was TRL. Mr. Daly was the captain of the ship lead singer of this amazingly awesome band that sold out both arenas and tiny clubs in equal measure. Plus, he knew/knows everybody in music. The genre doesn’t even matter. If you’re talented (rising or established), Carson Daly knows and he’ll score an exclusive. It’s what the fans wanted and what the fans loved about Carson Daly’s TRL.

Add in the fact that this TRL reboot is on an MTV today that is far different than the golden era of the ’80s, ’90s and early-to-mid ’00s of this music-centric channel. For a cable channel, MTV was king for a long time. Oh, and by different, I mean way, way worse in 2017 and its recent years. As in completely unrecognizable and, yes, unwatchable.

Without Carson Daly (NBC Today Show) and the incredible bands and singers of the late ’90s and early-to-mid ’00s, the TRL reboot, as cool as it could be, looks like its heading down the same road as modern day MTV:

Unwatchable.

Pro tip: Nostalgia doesn’t work years later if it’s unrecognizable to its dedicated fans.

Just ask MTV (and all of the people who have stopped watching throughout the past decade).

The True Colors of Bill (and) Murray

Spoiler Alert: Content from this blog post is from the May 6, 2015 episode of The Goldbergs

“I want my MTV!”

The ’80s were a glorious time, when music was forever transformed into a visual addiction for hours and hours of VHS-quality entertainment. Fortunately, Adam Goldberg figured out what made this groundbreaking art form such a success.

“A music video is one part thumping bass, one part big hair and one part animated dancing cat.”

Adam’s expertise as a pop culture savant and budding filmmaker came into play because Erica was bound and determined to make the perfect audition video for Juilliard. Since Juilliard was (and is) the best performing arts school in the country, her singing would have to be the best of the best…like Madonna good. And double fortunate for Erica was the fact that her smother mother Beverly would be right by her side throughout the entire process.

Beverly literally held up a fake Garfield puppet on Erica’s right side during her MTV music video-inspired audition tape. Clearly, nothing could go wrong here.

Murray, on the other hand, surprisingly discovered the one person who brings a smile to every man’s face: Bill Murray. Even more impressive (and comical) was that his enemy was named Bill and they were in the principal’s office when this “coincidence” about their names was revealed. Surely (“Don’t call me Shirley”), the writers were waiting for the right moment when they could premiere this episode with that title and storyline. Hopefully, the writers gave themselves well-deserved high-fives.

Bill and Murray soon became the best of friends, which led to watching TV together, eating Philly cheese steaks together, drinking beer together and napping on opposite sides of the couch together. Nothing could come between this electrically-charged adult bromance, except the one thing no men dare talk about under any circumstance:

Feelings…with tears.

Well, Bill/Murray was nice while it lasted.

As Erica and Beverly watched Adam’s raw editing magic, they immediately realized the Jenkintown Funk Academy may be more her speed. Despite glorious, but ultimately disastrous attempts by Adam to recreate iconic ’80s music videos (from A-ha to ZZ Top), Erica’s hopes at Juilliard were dashed. Devastated, she chose to think about her path to becoming a pop singing sensation, which led to a beautiful rendition of, “True Colors” by Cindi Lauper to end the episode. As this show does so perfectly, Erica’s singing provided the inspiring mood for Murray to hear Pops when he explained the true meaning of friendship in a heartfelt moment for the kings of the Goldberg castle.

This revelation further proved that Bill/Murray in any form will live forever, regardless of the quality of character impressions (looking at you Murray!).

The A-ha video (“Take on Me”) that Adam tried to recreate for Erica’s video is widely regarded as one of the best music videos and one-hit wonders of all-time. I can’t remember when I first saw it, but it was around Adam’s age in the early to mid-’90s and it remains one of my permanent impressions of the ’80s. I wanted to be in a world that was part real life-part pencil drawing. Spielberg movies, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superman and Speed the movie (among many other influences), the music video below was a prime example of the excitement related to escapism into a new, fun place for a little while. This all helps frame our imaginations for the future, which is an eternally powerful force.

The Goldbergs is a weekly reminder of the awesomeness of the ’80s and all its funny life lessons involving family that helped shape its very enthusiastic fan base. The show’s viewers thoroughly enjoy the nostalgic trip down memory lane to a world that borders between real life and a wonderfully exaggerated picture of the past.

A-ha, got it.

What’s Your Name Again?

As high school students across the United States receive their acceptance letters to college, they must weigh the pros and cons for each school to ultimately decide where they (& their parents) want to invest for the next four years. As we all know, choosing the right college is a major life decision and must be determined with proper due diligence.

However, one thing that is perhaps more important than all of the above is the transcript submission by the guidance counselor.

Shane-Shaun, close enough…