I, myself, have fallen victim to the MTV parade and have noticed one thing in particular; most of the shows that I have found intriguing enough to commit to watching have all been cancelled. Why? Production value, plot issues, the liquidation of the show’s corresponding department, or the fact that I was one of five people that actually enjoyed watching them.
At any rate, the following is my top ten list of shows that I personally believe MTV was stupid for cancelling.
6. Singled Out (1995-1998)
I’m not sure I even need to explain this show and how amazing it was. One of the first reality dating game shows fit for teens, Singled Out combined mindless elimination with the beauty of a young Jenny McCarthy and an all or nothing conclusion. It was generally a fun show to watch!
It wasn’t a whole season of getting to know the finalists or dramatic rose passing ceremonies. It was good, clean fun. It really never should have been cancelled, especially if MTV would, much later, introduce a reality dating show starring Tila Tequilla that would be as lame and cookie-cutter as the rest of them.
5. Undressed (1999 – 2002)
One of the most sexually charged shows to have ever existed outside of the premium channels, Undressed was responsible for cold showers all across the viewing population. Set in college, the show followed several different students on the road to sexual freedom. The plot was thin in most places, written purely for the opportunity to connect three different sexual confrontations, but it did what it was meant to do: excite audiences into watching more.
Yes, when this show first aired, I was young. Too young to be watching it, but that didn’t stop me. It helped me see that sexuality wasn’t something to be ashamed of and that, when the time was right, I could embrace it. And that right time was college. A lot of people can argue that the show was distasteful, but when you’re watching a show called Undressed, what can you really expect?
3. Clone High (2003)
This cartoon series was only on television for one season. One season! An absolute outrage for something as original and witty as Clone High. The premise of bringing historical figures back to life with cloning and putting them all in high school together is interesting enough, but to portray their own conflicts with living up to their originals made for a nice twist set against the backdrop of average teenage problems.
There was not one historical figure that went unnoticed when illustrators dove into this show, but their choice of main characters was fantastic. Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Joan of Arc, John F. Kennedy, and Cleopatra, whom it is safe to say would otherwise never be seen together, get along, fight, make out, and destroy each other throughout the series, just as any high school characters would. I actually had this series on DVD and, not for nothing, but every person I ever showed it to fell in love and shared in my rage for its cancellation.
2. Celebrity Death Match (1998-2002)
What can I say about this show that hasn’t already been said? There will never be a lack of celebrities that people want to see go toe to toe in a death match. This was the show that made that a reality. A claymation portrayal of limb-losing, head-smashing, back-breaking carnage, Celebrity Death Match paired comedy and violence together better than anything else either before or after its arrival to MTV.
Though the celebrities themselves were pretty captivating, the show offered three constants in the two hosts and the referee, all three respectively engaging and dependable. The show was hilarious, the action delivered, and, whether they won or lost, all celebrities got what was coming to them, which was very satisfying.
1. MTV’s Fear (2000-2002)
Cancelled when it was the top show MTV broadcasted, MTV’s Fear was one of the first, if not the first, reality horror/paranormal investigation show. Long before Ghost Hunters, Stranded, and Haunted Collector were even in the works, this show delivered the terrifying, gut-wrenching thrill that all of us were looking for in life. Matching up a group of random citizens, the show sent their contestants to the “most haunted” places in America (only once sending their cast to Mexico, which ended terribly and resulted in a new group being sent) and daring them to perform very strange, borderline masochistic acts in order to survive through the end of the night to get their promised $5,000 prize.
Watching the show made you squirm, cover your eyes, and even bring your legs up onto the couch. It was hard to imagine being sent to a terrifying place, but then being asked to sit in a jail cell for thirty-two hours alone in silence? Or to put a noose around your neck where the rumored ghost had hung himself? No, thank you.
The show was cancelled after its second season due to production costs, but I sincerely believe it was MTV’s biggest mistake taking this off the air. Now that MTV is completely rich from entertainment stains such as The Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant, they surely have enough to re-launch the scariest reality show that was ever on television.