Wednesday, August 13, 2008

VH1 loves... well, just about everything.

In December 2002, VH1 proved it was no longer just a music channel by airing the first installment in its I Love The series, titled I Love the ‘80s. The show was made up of ten episodes (one for each year in the decade) consisting of B-list celebrity commentary regarding the people, music, movies, TV shows, fashion, and events that made up popular culture that year.

The show became the guilty pleasure of many pop culture lovers, most of whom were born in or after the 1980s. But it wasn’t until the following year when it became clear that the I Love The series might be getting a little extreme.

In August 2003, VH1 aired I Love The ‘70s. The show was exactly the same, except that the focus was now one decade earlier. Unfortunately, the 1970s weren’t quite as tubular for viewers, and the show didn’t do as well in the ratings. So, possibly out of desperation, VH1 quickly aired I Love The ‘80s Strikes Back, which was pretty much part two of I Love The ‘80s. In July 2004, I Love The ‘90s premiered, followed by I Love The ‘90s Part Deux in January 2005. Then, thinking viewers hadn't gotten enough 80s trivia, I Love The ‘80s 3-D premiered in October of ’05. (Luckily, special glasses were not required.)

The following month, the network aired a “special” in the I Love The series titled I Love The Holidays. This was the first episode that did not deal with a decade, but still covered pop culture. Obviously enjoying the addition to the series, VH1 then followed with I Love Toys, in which the same old stable of celebrities commented on their favorite child and, um… adult toys.

Just when the “decade” episodes seemed to be over, another one, this time I Love The ‘70s Volume 2, aired in June 2006. While a 3-D version was also expected, viewers got slapped instead with a brand new batch of decade shows. This time, in June 2008, VH1 aired I Love The New Millennium.

This is where WB draws the line.

It’s one thing to go back 30, or even just 10 years, but it’s a whole different story when you go back only seven. VH1 jumped the gun (or maybe the shark) by bringing out the “millennium edition” of these shows before the decade is even complete. The series only covered pop culture through 2007, which made for some pretty unfulfilling television. Yes, the shows are amusing, but when the “memories” that the celebrities are discussing happened last year, it’s just plain strange. What makes these shows so entertaining is that most viewers have forgotten just how “cool” people looked sporting jellies and legwarmers. But when the discussion is about Britney Spears shaving her head and what happened on The Bachelor, it’s pretty much like watching Entertainment Tonight — for a review of what happened just yesterday.

We’d like to say the new millennium is the last thing VH1 will love, but, not surprisingly, their show Best Week Ever is just another name for I Love Last Week. So what does VH1 have to say about this series gone out of control? The network’s only words are, “No decade is off limits!”

Yeah, no kidding.

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