Summer Snooze

In the space between the MTV Movie Awards in June and the Video awards in September, "summer" overtakes MTVland, leaving three months for viewers and VJs alike to kick back and relax. And what's a better place to set up summertime MTV-style than in Southern California. Umm, right dude?

MTV has the summer formula down, from the meticulously styled San Diego shore studio to skaters-on-the-boardwalk station tags. They have the sandy beach, the ocean backdrop, and even the sun shows up once in awhile. Supertrendy new programs? Check. Girls in bikinis? Check.

Just one slight problem with this summer insta-mix: it's about chill as Durham in July. For one thing, the VJs are annoyingly caffeinated-you gotta be hopped up on something in order to talk 4000 words a minute without pause. There are also pieces of the screen moving at all times, videos or whatnot-it's frighteningly frenetic as it tries to be free-flowing. This is nothing new; MTV is ever-increasingly processed and smugly self-congratulatory. But does the network really think So-Cal is So-Cool? It's nearing self-satire status.

What is new are the levels of inanity reached by the "new" summer shows. At least they air in the morning, when most of us are either at work or asleep. In fact, you've probably never see these so-called shows. But Recess made me watch (I swear) so here's a rundown of some of the stuff you've been not-missing:


Mandy Moore hosts an hour-long show where she gives advice on clubbing, Coronas and boys. Doesn't it bother anyone else that she's 16? But hey, while kinda illegal, it's downright educational. Two big points I learned: Mandy's friends think she can be kind of stuck up, and Mandy is not a "taco person." For an entire 30 minutes, she whined about how scared she was to eat a taco. She asked to "fake" eat it, and then smoothly spit out the bite she cried through. I wish I were kidding.

Hot Zone

At least they played a relatively eclectic set of mainstream hits (Macy Gray, Blink 182, Next). But VJ Ananda's constant chatter spoils out any "hangin' on the beach" vibe whatsoever. As for the word-association game and favorite action movie segment? Lame, lame, lame.

Sisqo's Shakedown

If dancers are good (no, if they're HOT!) spray an "S" on their stomachs! If they don't make the cut, spray an "X!" All this tiresome tripe needs is an "E"-for enough already. Sadly, this show just doesn't measure up to The Grind. This is a shake-your-booty show, hosted by none-other than Mr. Booty himself, Sisqó. I heard his full name is Mr. Booty-whack, but they shortened it to match how long his MTV career will be. And the shorter the better for this joker.

Say What Karaoke

Here's your chance to watch a bunch of jackasses do karaoke on a beach, with celebrity judges like Busta Rhymes, B Real and Bijou Philips. Watching other people do karaoke is annoying even when you're drunk; when you're at home sober watching MTV people do it, it's excruciating.

So if you want to maximize your MTV summer break experience, I've got only one suggestion: sleep through it.


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