Friday, 13 October 2017

The Return of TRL

I was just having a pretty basic Friday until I logged on to my blogger account and apparently the TRL/106 and Park article I put out this week is quite the hit. It was also unintentionally timed to come out exactly a week after its premier. What are the odds?

Let's just say since the last TRL episode aired nearly a decade ago, a lot has changed. Obviously they've got different hosts and  on first impression I have gotta tell you, I am not impressed. You read that right.

 The guy, I guess he realizes this is  an opportunity of a lifetime and he is milking it dry, if we are going to be honest I think he is doing a little bit too much. Back in the day I used to associate male hosts with a sense of suave, I am sorry I have to do this but I will have to draw comparisons; Terrence J from 106 and Park embodied that and so did homegrown talent, MTV Kenya VJ Emukule Ekirapa, might I say that he was awfully easy on the eyes. Damn, I miss him.

The girl, she is too focused on being cute with her thigh highs, hoodie and sleek little pony. For female hosts, I always drew from them an ultra cool vibe, sure the looks,clothes, hair extensions,nails and make up were a big help but do I have to say it? We are in the 21st century and women still have to prove that they are just as equal as men, if you are successful at this you end up being given just about the same respect as your male counterpart and sometimes the level of respect you enjoy even surpasses his. For a hot minute, we couldn't even say Terrence J without saying Rocsi as a suffix, until he went along and built a name for himself post 106 and Park. Please understand TRL defined generations at some point and judging by the first episode, maybe it was the premiere jitters that were taking a toll, but she has got to step it up.

Of course, MTV did what nearly every other network is doing...bringing internet stars on to prime time television. Apparently the assumption here is, once their viewers get wind that their favorite Youtube star, Viner, Musical.lly star is going to be on a show, they are counting their chickens before they hatch, see they come as a package, with their fans. Even before the show airs, they are already assured of above average ratings. I have never been a big believer in this new approach to television. I am also a seeing-is-believing type of girl, give me the stats, show me some consistency, even some projected consistency, then you'll have me.

They managed to rope in Liza Koshy who I happen to be a huge fan off. Her puns are a gift from the most high. As for being a co-host, that's up in the air. It's a whole different environment I have to get used to her in and I can already tell, it's going to be a totally different Liza up there. In as much as I am okay with that, I 'm really not.

Did I mention that I am having to watch clips of TRL on Youtube? Let me be honest I do not know if it's airing internationally which would mean I would be able to catch it on MTV Base. If it isn't airing, well this is just one of those things that have changed. Before Kenya saw the digital transmission age, digital television was a luxury. Plainly put, the average Joe was not going to fork out a couple thousand shillings to get access to pay t.v. when it was available free. My access to TRL was at my high flying cousins' place whom we used to spend ages at over the weekends. This was before MTV went ahead to create MTV Africa and what not. In the event that it will only air in the US and probably neighbouring Canada, there is a problem. Producers, just go back to the drawing board and figure that out. But I could be wrong, maybe they did do their homework and it just turns out no one beyond the land of the free would even so much as throw a glance in the TRL direction.

Predictably, they reached out to the Migos. For a literal second there, the crowd was hype, phones were out, of course you have gotta flex for the 'gram and snappers. As their performance continued, that crowd was just not feeling it. The one person who was about it just so happened to be black, was the only one with hands up in the air, jumping up and down. I have never been to a hip hop concert, but from the vlogs I watch courtesy of Amber Martin people know the lyrics word for word and let's not even get into the level of hype. These guys were just standing there. Ah,  a classic case of the culture divide.

The line-up also included Ed Sheeran and the rambunctious DJ Khaled who of course had to tag along... you guessed it, Asahd. Is it me or does this line up just not gel? Not Asahd though, it's safe to say we all have a soft spot for the youngest mogul in the game.

So what could have been done different?

The episode aired after the Las Vegas shooting, they had a fifty-something second long clip acknowledging the incident. This is just one of the reasons why, TRL needs to bring the heat. In no way shape or form am I insinuating that they should they have made the show about the shooting but there is more they could have done. A moment of silence in Time Square would have been a start. I realize a lot of networks are treading on dangerous grounds if they so much as even mention the phrase, 'gun control' so, what if TRL took a stand against 'gun violence'. TRL thrives on live performances and with live performances come concert goers. This would have been a statement that shows TRL is bringing everything and the kitchen sink,while paying much needed homage to all involved in the shooting from the live performers to the victims.

If it was my line up, I was thinking more along the lines of Lil Chano, Khalid, Logic, Major Lazer, Dua Lipa. Yes, the feminine touch is nearly negligible but give me a break, brainstorming on this without a team behind me is more of the challenge than I thought.

What's  done is done. I hate to say it, but I don't see a long shelf life for this edition of TRL.

Have a good one!

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