Posts Tagged: vh1

The Missing Episode of VH1’s "Tanning Of America": Ladies Make Noise!

All my women in the house love hip hop, and yet it does often seem that hip hop has trouble loving them back. Gangsta rap and corner boy narratives aside, even the most thoughtful, most nakedly vulnerable emcees will identify a woman—if not all women, in general—as the vessel of their frustrations and fatalism. Kanye West will punctuate his "black excellence" thesis and anti-capitalist invective with poignant misogyny. In 2014, Yeezus is state-of-the-art.

But enough about the boys.

Watching VH1's four-part Tanning of America documentary—a broadcast reconfiguration of rap executive Steve Stoute's book of the same name, published in 2011—you'd never guess that women listen to [...]


Who is the Greatest Diva of the Last 25 Years? We Offer Scientific Proof!

By way of eulogy to the dying animal that is the Diva, my crack team of consultants, statisticians and graphic designers have assembled DIVA-OFF 2010, a highly scientific (we used computers!) evaluation of the greatest divas of the past twenty-five years. A list of divas was evaluated on eleven levels of diva-ness, and, because each diva characteristic is not created equal, we scaled the values in the hopes of creating an aggregate diva number that will serve as a reference point for future generations.

Here is why we needed to do this. On April 14, 1998, at the Beacon Theater in New York City, VH1 put on a [...]


False Nostalgia: How VH1 Ruined the Taste of a Generation

In the period between when VH1 stopped airing music videos but before they became the home for such quality infotainment as "Glam God with Vivica A. Fox" and "Celebrity Fit Club," they were best-known for two series: "Behind the Music" and "I Love the 80s," and that show's light-history spawn.

On December 16, 2002, VH1 aired the first segment: "I Love 1980." This American interpretation of the BBC show (which itself started with "I Love the 70s"), had segments on Airplane!, The Empire Strikes Back (isn’t it weird that those two films came out in the same year?), “Rapper’s Delight,” and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, among other pop culture [...]


Reality Television

The eternal, baffling conceit of all television is that it's showing you something real, when, more often than not, it's telling you how to think. This is especially the case now that producers have deranged the very notion of reality into a genre convention all its own. Viewers of the reality genre are expected to double down on the myth of televisual exposure, since reality TV purports to dig deeper into the human drama than mere entertainment fare does.