I have a confession to make: I didn’t watch the VMAs this year. Yes, I have cable and yes, I’m on the Internet for nine hours a day, so I like to think I know what’s up. But for some reason, scheduling four hours to sit in front of MTV on a Thursday evening when a bunch of other stuff was going on (hello, DNC!) didn’t make my priority list. My editor said this made me a “bad pop culture columnist.” Friday morning we both agreed I didn’t miss much.
The biggest night in pop music is no longer, it seems. This 60-second recap of the 2012 VMAs highlights … well, nothing. New “Twilight” clips and the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team? If McKayla Moroney wasn’t impressed, I’m certainly not. Where were the controversial kisses? The stripteases and the snakes? The big name interruptions? What about the baby bumps, the boob touching and meat dresses? I don’t know if the PR stunt people were feeling lazy or the stylists just weren’t into it this year, but from what I can tell: the 2012 VMAs were a serious bore.
MTV News insists that all the juicy stuff happened behind the scenes and away from the cameras. “There was no shortage of action on camera at the 2012 Video Music Awards, but as is often the case at our signature event, that only tells half the story. Because there was nearly as many memorable moments that took place when the cameras weren’t rolling.” Rihanna and Chris Brown may have had some kind of disturbing embrace that involved mouth-to-mouth, but other than that off-putting tidbit, I don’t believe MTV for a second. Twenty bucks says Taylor Swift went home after the show and baked cookies with her cat.
What does this say about pop culture at large? Everyone knows that MTV hasn’t been known for music since the end of the “TRL” era. Forget “I want my MTV.” Perhaps the VMAs should move to another locale. E! could work. Or maybe YouTube should stream it, considering that’s where we all watch music videos anyway. One thing’s for certain: the lack of news from this year’s awards ceremony didn’t make me feel bad I missed it, or even wish I had a DVR to record it. Let’s bring the scandal back. Kanye, Britney, Madonna — please start scheming for next year. We need you.
Allison Berger is a Philadelphia-based writer and a pop music columnist for Reverb. Check out more of her writing here.