You really can't judge the show without judging the music that is on it. Carson was a decent host. Not great, not bad. The whole slew of new hosts that have taken over for him in the past couple months are not great, and not bad, too. The show's concept is not unique, but it was a good idea from whoever came up with it in the beginning. The show itself has some flaws; but most of the flaws comes from the music it plays itself.
First of all, I don't claim to be an expert of TRL history. I've only seen maybe 15 episodes my whole life. I've never voted. And most of the times I've seen the show is during the summer when I wasn't doing anything at the moment, or if I got home early.
TRL seems to present its audience with maybe 30 or 40 videos to chose from at any given moment. You can pretty much count on it that anything outside those 30 or 40 videos won't ever get on the countdown. As a result of these restrictions, it's no doubt that the same brainless mush manages to get on the countdown. TRL doesn't present its audience with any unique or different music. So, it's audience (mainly kids between 10 and 15) never votes anything unique or different on the top ten.
TRL is also strictly placed into one demographic - kids between 10 and 15, so, anyone outside the demographic, or people inside the demographic who like different types of music, is turned off by the show. And since these people don't watch (and vote) for it, there are no other outside influences. Basically, TRL is stuck in a small airtight bubble with the music it plays. Recently this has changed slightly, but, not by much.
What TRL plays on its countdown is just stale and doesn't fully represent what is out there, right now. It's regulars include Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, B2K, the boy bands, Jennifer Lopez, etc. Only one of these regulars actually plays an instrument and writes songs. The rest either write no original songs, play no original instruments... or have written or co-written one or two songs on their albums. Not very much artist integrity, huh? Recently TRL has embraced pop-punk and mainstream rap. But, really, these genres are also focused on TRL's demographic.
If TRL really wants to dig itself out of the drudgery of its music and ratings, it needs to try to expand its demographic. Otherwise, this show will be stuck as a show for pop hungry pre-teens and younger teens.
I haven't watched TRL very much at all, and I won't ever. Out of interest, I've watched it a few times, and I don't like what I see.
For those of you who have yet to define what you think is good music. Or, if you think what TRL is playing is good music (you're entitled to opinions)... this is a show for you.
If you don't like what gets played on TRL, don't watch it. There's always CDs and MP3s.
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