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I Blame Andy Warhol

June 24, 2008 - Wes Burns
This is going to be a short one, of faithful readers of The Opinion, as the subject matter has pushed the bile to the back of my throat and I'm going to need a Zantac.

Have you ever had a friend that refuses to move beyond the past? Somebody that no matter what point you are at in your life, no matter how far you have come or how different your life may be now, this person only wants to tell the same old stories that you barely remember from 10 years ago? Some sordid set of disconnected stories that all may or may not have taken place at a Diamond Dave's.

Now imagine instead of a friend telling you boring stories about people you barely remember imagine it was a vast, cold television channel deep within the recesses of basic cable? Such is VH1. At the turn of the millennium VH1 had found a successful niche for itself. The channel was dedicated to a near 24 hour loop of programs taking a humorous look back at the bygone days of yesteryear. Bell bottom pants? Collecovision? “Tricky” Nixon? Sock it to me!

Don't act like you didn't watch the shows. Remember the 80's, Remember the 70's, Remember the 80's part 2, Remember the 90's, Remember the 70's part 2, Remember the 80's part 3, and I Love Toys. The shows were cheap to make, increased the core audience of VH1 to include irony-jaded youths and gave Hal Sparks something to do with his time.

This was all well and good until VH1 pretty much ran out of pop culture references after I Love the 90's part 3 and decided that it would be better from a programming standpoint to now produce only shows that involve aging celebrities and a bevy of young women each trying to out perform the other women in the most time honored of competitions. Its kind of like the Olympics but with more Jello wrestling and self esteem issues than gold medals and Wheaties boxes.

Whatever Faustian deal VH1 made to get these shows on the air is about to collapse around them as I heard recently that VH1 is going back to the well. How, you might ask? By creating the most meta of all pop culture reference shows: Remember the New Millennium? That's right, one of those “hey, don't you remember...” TV shows for a decade that isn't even over. And "the New Millennium"? Whatever happened to calling this decade "the oughts"? 8 years in and it is still just me.

VH1 has gone from the friend that can only tell stories about the past to the friend that can only tell stories about what has happened in the last 7 minutes. This is beyond the pale. VH1 has come full circle in their attempt to catalog the pop culture existence. Hey, you remember 2002? You remember what life was like back then, in the long long ago? You want to know what I was doing back in 2002? I was watching VH1's Remember the 80's.

The horror. The horror.


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