So the 2011 MTV VMA’s are this Sunday at 9/8c on MTV. Will you watch? It looks to be as outrageous as ever and I’m sure they’ll push the envelope somewhere it instinctively doesn’t want to go. Which is exactly why I tune in – no matter how out there it is, I still have to watch so I can see what they’ve gone and done now. Also, for all the naysaying about MTV’s current programming (or lack thereof) they still know how to attract musical talent.
Plus, this year everyone knows the VMA’s have no host. And a quick check to the internet reveals countless pundits and blogosphere soothsayers who are all sure that MTV ran out of time and they couldn’t find a host.
This is just a guess, but I’m pretty sure that’s absolutely not the case. For two reasons. (That’s two reasons besides the Hollywood tenet that nothing is exactly what it seems.) First of all, there’s no such thing as being unable to find talent. Particularly when you’re MTV. This town (that millions call fun, many call exciting, a select few call profitable, and no one really calls home) otherwise known as Los Angeles is nothing if not filled with talent. It may not be everyone’s idea of talent, it may be too young or too racy, too vulgar, too crazy, too reckless or too enhanced, but if there was someone MTV wanted, they would have landed that person. No matter where that person lived. The second reason I don’t believe the no-host thing was an accident is this: the host-free idea itself is very smart for the MTV audience. Think about it. This is an awards show built on hype, on spectacle, on shocking turns of event that knows its audience. And they’ve seen everything – they want something new. Something untried. These people are all about interactive media and social platforms and the message is usually their own – whether it’s being Tweeted or Skyped or whatever. So why do they need a host? They grew up on the sound bite, they grew up on videos, for Pete’s sake. They prefer to exist in a world where they control their entertainment and the myriad devices from which it springs – why do they need someone telling them what’s happening next on the show? They know there will be a Bruno Mars appearing here or a Nicki Minaj there. They know Adele will belt something out sooner or later, and that Pitbull will be up eventually. They know there will be a Hunger Games preview that’s going to get everyone jazzed about Twilight’s heir apparent. Why do they need a host who’s just going to detract from their VMA content? The answer is, they don’t. There will be so many performers, musical numbers, interstitial videos, weird costume changes, random movie stars with films to promote, and Lady Gaga, that there’s actually no need for a host. That’s what I think MTV is doing this year, and given the VMA audience, it’s kind of smart. But that’s just me.
Host or no host, I’ll watch the Awards – will you?
1) Nick Lachey & Vanessa Minnillo
2) America Ferrera& Ryan Piers Williams
3) Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton
4) Prince William & Catherine Middleton