Long before YouTube arrived on the scene, MTV was the only place you could watch your favorite artist's music videos. Yes, at one point the cable channel featured nothing but music videos on a daily basis. Shows like "Headbanger's Ball", "120 Minutes" and "Yo! MTV Raps" collected the up and coming videos of the time and divided them into heavy metal, alternative and rap shows such as these. Of course, there was also the countdown every afternoon. I still recall when artists like the Pharcyde were featured after their single "Passin' Me By" became a big hit. Furthermore, I remember programming the VCR just to record "120 minutes" because it aired at late hours of the night!
Of course, the network today, doesn't bare any semblance to it's original music video programming. Over the years, the channel evolved into focusing on reality shows instead. One of the first memorable ones was "The Real World" where strangers were grouped together and their daily lives filmed. Later on, shows like "The Osbournes" and "Jersey Shore" would carry on this new programming trend. The channel carried on with a mix of reality shows and a peek into the lives of celebrities with shows such as "My Super Sweet Sixteen", which focused on the teenagers of celebrities as well as shows like the "Newlyweds", which followed the lives of one-time couple Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson.
Back in high-school during the 1990s, my peers always looked forward to the MTV Music Video Awards show. It always the talk of the crowd the following morning. You wouldn't want to miss the show because it was almost certain your favorite artist would having an amazing performance or end up being the highlight of the show for a different reason.
Here's to you MTV on your 30th birthday and all our couch surfing memories.