Pete Wentz Brings Music Back To MTV, Keeps Network’s Celebrity Glorification Quotient Intact

Jun 16th, 2008 // 14 Comments

7M2E0881.jpgAfter a lot of buildup that stretched all the way to an Idolator reader poll, I watched Pete Wentz’s effort to bring videos back to MTV, FNMTV Premieres, on DVR-delay Saturday morning. And it was… OK. Friday night’s premiere didn’t result in ground-breaking TV by any stretch, but it wasn’t completely awful despite the musical presence of both and the Pussycat Dolls. The biggest complaint I had, really, was that the show was full of filler; Anthony’s prediction last week that the hourlong show would air seven videos in toto was actually over the night’s tally by three. (A few older videos got a bit of screen time, but most of the music within was papered over by Wentz’s explaining the clips and the collective “whooooo”ing of the well-manicured crowd.)

As Dan Gibson noted in an IM to me, it’s hard to not at least appreciate the effort; surely every reader of this site has made the “lol, MTV doesn’t show videos anymore” joke at least once in the past five years. The live-performance aspect of the show was also noble, and having Snoop Dogg and Panic at the Disco collaborate on “Gin And Juice” at the show’s end was fine (as a bonus, it made me dig up Sissy Bar’s MySpace page).

I wasn’t surprised that only 30 seconds were allotted to each of the “vintage” videos that aired on the broadcast, which included Idolator pick “Bastards of Young.” More irritating than that, really, was the fact that for a show that was supposed to be about the music and its associated videos, FNMTV sure felt like it had to remind viewers over and over that, yes, the people on screen were famous, solo-album flops be damned. The filler ranged from a NBC Summer Olympics-reminiscent look at the “rise” of Flo Rida to an awkward interview between Wentz and the Pussycat Dolls, and recaps of the featured clips were provided by both an instant text-message poll of the crowd (the cell-phone era equivalent of “it has a beat and you can dance to it,” I guess) and a video review panel that featured MTV News’ James Montgomery and the Gym Class Heroes’ Travis McCoy spouting reasons why each video may have been worthy of “instant classic” status. The extra padding and the fact that commercial interruptions were limited dragged the show out, and I was left to wonder why some of these bits weren’t cut in favor of another Panic performance, or maybe–gasp!–another video?

It seems odd that the attention-span-challenged youth of today really need six minutes of filler and an invitation to make their own video responses in order to properly process a clip attached to a four-minute pop song, even one as shitty as the one accompanying the Pussycat Dolls’ unintentional ode to the end of the 21st-century gilded age, “When I Grow Up.”

If you fast forward to the end, you can see Scherzherface making a series of increasingly crazy faces (and miss most of the song, to boot).

I suspect that week two of the show will reveal some tweaks–apparently in addition to the four new clips (including one by Vampire Weekend, oh boy) we’re going to see live performances by both Lil Wayne and Duffy. Here’s hoping they team up for a performance, just for the sake of making her a bit interesting.

FNMTV Premieres []

  1. Clevertrousers

    meh. Pete Wentz is no Peter Zaremba and FNMTV is no Cutting Edge. MTV still bites nuts and today’s youth are weak excuses for rockers.

  2. iHaveaRagingTebowner

    Who the fuck watches MTV?

  3. Maura Johnston

    @Clevertrousers: Well, 2008 is no 1983. Let’s just state that from the outset.

  4. Tauwan

    So for some reason I was awake on Saturday morning and got to catch this at 8 or 9 a.m.

    [Yo MTV, why is it that you can make time for a ANTM and/or MADE and/or So You Think You Can Dance marathons on the weekends, but can't take the time to air this show again during a time when I don't know, people aren't getting their rest on.]

    Anyways, I walked away with a lot of thoughts on the show [wow, y'all gon go ahead and commentate and take a poll on the video while the artist stands there in silence? I like you Panic at the Disco, but Mr. Urie's vocals during their performance was a little rough, no? Flo-Rida has been perfecting his flow for damn near 12 years? Unbelievable!] But the one thing that really grabbed my attention was how charmless Pete Wentz was. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t hate the guy. Never listened to him speak for more than five minutes, but based on all the coverage he gets, and how he is the go to guy for Fall Out Boy promos and the like, I was just surprised by how little charisma and stage presence he had. I mean it’s not like I don’t know or can see that he is excited by it all, I just want to, I don’t know, feel it.

  5. Al Shipley

    This is really more of a new Hangin’ w/ MTV than a new Cutting Edge.

  6. Dan Gibson

    I was a little disappointed, especially in the classic video montages (the pattern that emerged: talk over moderately successful video, talk over another moderately successful video, THEN YELL WHILE WE SHOW THRILLER OMG OMG), especially since I was crossing my fingers for more than four videos and one live performance. On the other hand, for MTV it’s progress (I suppose), and if they dumped the “critical” peanut gallery constantly encouraging a visit to the website, it would make for a vastly more watchable show overall.

  7. Dan Gibson

    @Dan Gibson: Learn another word other than “especially”. Duh.

  8. MayhemintheHood

    30 seconds of the vintage videos? Whats even the point then?

  9. Halfwit

    I can’t help but think that a lot of these things would be a lot more enjoyable (to watch, and possibly to produce) if they got rid of the live studio audience. Expectations are a lot lower if you’re lounging in your apartment watching videos than if you’ve waited in a line ans shuffled into a studio space. Half the Short Attention Span Theater is done for the “benefit”/engagement of the hordes of sugar-filled teenagers there on their summer vacations.

  10. Clevertrousers

    @Maura Johnston: Stop reminding me.

  11. Clevertrousers

    @Tauwan: Seriously… idiot manwhore Dan Cortese had more charisma than Wentz…

  12. Maura Johnston

    It’s being re-aired right now with commentary from today’s TRL audience. One young woman expressed slight worry about the Pussycat Dolls being role models, but that was quickly brushed aside (by a dude in the audience) by the fact that it’s “a new era” and women should show as much skin as possible.

    Also isn’t Scherzahooha in her early 30s? I only ask because one woman was defending them against charges of being old by saying “they’re all 23-28.”

  13. Rob Murphy

    @Maura Johnston: According to Wikipedia, she turns 30 on June 29.

  14. Anonymous

    @Rob Murphy: Meaning she’s actually 33-35.

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