After 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 will.i.am 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 [mtv.com]