Monday, August 1, 2016

Controlling remotely

In a brutal bit of mutual backscratching, Rolling Stone has dropped an ultra-puff piece about MTV.

The ancient pop culture rag runs through 35 swell things that the ancient cable channel has gifted to us all. The worth of some of the items - Bill Clinton, Jackass, the Miley twerk - is a matter of taste. But most folks can agree that Remote Control was a nice addition to our little genre.

A goofy quizzer with La-Z-Boy recliners, emphatic contestant ejections, and groaner subjects (like the one in the picture) Remote Control proved that a game show could survive on a channel which depended on a hip look and the 18-34 demo. Wikipedia says the show lasted five seasons, and many remnants still litter YouTube for those who want to relive past glories.

Remote Control could turn arch and cynical, but you can say the same about any show on MTV. Archness and cynicism came with the cultural junkosphere that spawned the cabler in the first place. At least Ken Ober and company provided some simple q-and-a fun on a network that has always tried so hard to be cool and snide.


  1. VH1 CLassic yesterday was rebranded as MTV Classic. While they are showing reruns of stuff like 90s era Real World, Beavis and Butthead, and Daria, they don't have Remote Control reruns on their lineup. Word is they're focusing on the 90s and 2000s era more than the 80s. Vh1 CLassic showed a lot of 80s related stuff it seemed like, with 90s stuff creeping in only in more recent times(they never showed reruns of Remote COntrol). MTV showed two episodes of it in 2009 in late night in the wake of Ken Ober's passing.

    1. Ow. My head. My poor head. Where's my asprin?