Wednesday, May 25, 2011

VH1 Returns to Its Roots, Rejuvenates Music Videos, With Return of "Pop Up Video"...

It's been a long time since MTV lived up to its name, but at least come fall its sister network VH1 will! Returning to a nostalgic fan favorite, the Viacom music-turned-reality-TV channel will be producing sixty new episodes of its famed 1990s "Pop Up Video" series. Through the resurrection, they will single-handedly breathe new life into old music videos.

VH1 is known for its snark (remember Best Week Ever?), so though the decade has changed, we expect the sentiment to remain the same. Or perhaps be even more sarcastic and comical. The trivia facts for some bands, after all, border on the "who the hell cares?" feelings for anyone who isn't a diehard fan. Regardless, unlike all of its mindless lifestyle and dating "reality" drivel, Pop Up Video ensures its audience is paying attention (all eyes and ears on the screen), lest they risk missing a particular gem of information. I, for one, used to love to squint at my old nineteen-inch rounded set top box in my bedroom on an early weekend morning, sometimes learning, but always laughing, and a song that otherwise should have had no business still being played on a countdown. Pop Up Video gave them new relevance and appealed to the budding critic in me.

Though VH1 has not yet announced what videos will receive the pop-up bubble treatment, they have announced that for the first time ever they are expanding their genre to include hip-hop and expanding their commentary to include user-generated quotes and polls. I'm not really sold in that online interactivity (if I wanted to read what fans had to say, I'd just watch the videos while logged into Twitter), I am super excited to see what they can dig up about which artists and songs. I only hope they delve more deeply into the behind-the-scenes of the production of the track, rather than reaching for more general statistics.

Which artists or videos do you want to see given the Pop Up treatment? I feel like Eminem or Britney Spears or even Lady Gaga's are ripe with Easter eggs all on their own and might make for a very crowded screen image with word bubbles added. But how about long-lost one-hit wonders? I, for one, would love for the videos to include a bit of where they are now, in addition to what they once accomplished way back when!

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