Jul 26, 2005

I Love Popnost

popnost - (derived from the phrase "pop-culture nostalgia") n. A type of retrospective programming that humorously and nostalgically talk about things from pop-culture past and present. Also adj. (~ program)

A couple of articles down, I talked about how networks tend to have lost their primary focus as they continued to evolve. VH1, which began life as a music video network, has more or less become a pop culture network, rarely airing music videos. Some shows I don't really care for. Kept? The Surreal Life? Celebrity Fit Club? The Fabulous Life of . . . ? Feh. Give me more popnost anytime.

Pop culture nostalgia has become a part of our pop culture. It's nothing new, people always had fond memories for cultural events of the past. However, I blame the British for this modern era of popnost, of course. BBC introduced the "I Love The . . . " format to the world in 2000. VH1 introduced it a year or so later with their version of "I Love the 80s" followed in the months ahead with a quartet of related specials, "I Love the 70s," "I Love the 80s Strikes Back," "I Love the 90s," and "I Love the 90s Part Deux" (the Brits wven went as far as to make "I Love The 60s" and "I Love The 50s," but for some reason, I don't think VH1 would make those in this country.

With the success of the "I Love The . . ." series of specials, VH1 tried their damnedest to imitate its success with random popnost shows celebrating celebrity moments, television stars, musical moments, and reality moments. Rival network E! Entertainment Television revamped their network in 2002 to focus more on reality, celebrity/pop culture documentaries/biographies, and popnost programming. E! developed their own popnost franchise, "The 101 Moments," which combines a countdown format with the popnost interview elements made famous by VH1's "I Love The . . . " series. Hell, both franchises usually have the same talking heads.

Perhaps the biggest thing VH1 has done for its popnost programming is the creation of "Best Week Ever." Think "I Love This Week." The best and oddest events of the week combined with a bunch of comedic minds make up this show. Meanwhile, E! created their own popnost weekly show, "The Soup," a show that mocks reality shows and celebrity news in the tradition of the late "Talk Soup."

They're all pretty damned good. Other networks have aired popnost programming in recent months. TV Land has "Top 10," CNN had numerous CNN 25 specials which chronicled 25 different highlights in their 25-year existance. You know, if Cartoon Network was a legitimately-ran network, they could create their own popnost programming. But that would actually means they have to show reverance to the past, which they clearly don't. Pity. It could have been fun.

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