17 MTV Shows You Were Totally Obsessed With Back In The Day
Before there were shows about teen parents (Teen Mom), filmmakers tracking down high-tech romantic frauds (Catfish: The TV Show), or werewolves caught up in supernatural drama (Teen Wolf), MTV was the one channel you were secretly flipping to to watch some truly boundary-pushing television. Remember cramming in as much MTV time as possible after school, and gobbling up the craziness/rudeness/pop culture schmaltz that were shows like Road Rules, The Hills and Viva La Bam? Remember feeling the thrill of watching something outrageous like a teenager throwing a lavish birthday party, and both secretly pining for it and being thankful you didn't have to choose between the Range Rover or BMW for your big gift? How about the excitement of watching the top 10 most requested music videos while mainlining Hi-C and Doritos before you did your algebra homework? There were just so many awesome MTV shows to love!
There were so many great shows in the '90s and '00s on MTV, in fact, that it was hard to keep track of them all. These were the shows that piqued our curiosity in reality television and in celebrity culture at large, letting us experience a different side of the pop culture world from the comfort of our living rooms.
Ready to take a trip down memory lane and see the shows you forgot about but totally loved?
1. The Real World
The original, the first, the one to rule them all! Like anthropological lightning in a bottle, The Real World has been putting seven strangers in one house and recording their lives together since the early '90s. There are so many iconic cast members and moments; it's too good to forget.
2. Road Rules
Road Rules was The Real World's brother that went on a gap year and came back home covered in dirt, smiling from the experience. As zany as it was hilarious, watching five strangers live in an RV and compete in crazy competitions started to look pretty cool after multiple viewings.
Be still, my beating heart. Daria was a bae of a show, mostly because it's eponymous protagonist was the jaded Gen X teen that channeled all of our pubescent malaise.
4. Total Request Live
If you weren't watching TRL, you were always going to be out of the loop. Where else were you going to get to see the hottest music videos, the wackiest celebrity interviews, and ogle Carson Daly, aka the first bonafide TV show host you avidly watched?
5. My Super Sweet 16
The lavish, all-out extreme glam that was served up for a single birthday — some rich kid's sweet 16 party — was the set-up for My Super Sweet 16. Jaws dropped across this nation as we watch entitled teens throw tantrums and start drama for one fleeting birthday. And boy, we ate. It. Up.
I'd still argue Punk'd is the best of the many hidden camera shows, even to this day. Ashton Kutcher was never more on brand that as the wily host who collaborated with other celebrities to pull some of the most elaborate pranks around.
Jackass was as frightening as it was entertaining. How did we not see more broken bones or bruises on these guys? Satisfying for the adrenaline junkies among us, this show literally made you feel the cast's pain as the pulled ridiculous stunt after ridiculous stunt.
8. The Hills
Iconic doesn't even begin to describe The Hills. Perfect? Totally. Timeless? You betcha. The drama, the glam, the super cool jobs, the female leads...everything about The Hills gave you a twinge of envy while you watched, but boy, you totally loved it.
9. Pimp My Ride
Remember being 15 and a half, watching this show and desperately scraping together the change from the seat cushions to save up for a hot tub in the back of your future car? No? Was that just me?
10. Aeon Flux
Only the cool, avant-garde kids in your middle school and high school classes knew about Aeon Flux (until Charlize Theron starred in the film adaptation) — but back in the day, this animated show was literally one of the coolest shows on the planet.
11. Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County
Before she was rubbing shoulders with Kelly Cutrone in L.A., Lauren Conrad was just a cool chick from Orange County. Watching her and her friends all spin an intricate web of teen drama and hijinks was like watching a delightfully vivid Hollister ad come to life — and it was absolutely magical.
12. Viva La Bam
The heir to the Jackass throne, Viva La Bam was the best of a portrait of a wild and fun family mixed with ridiculous pranks — all courtesy of Bam Margera and co. Who didn't want to build a big ol' skate ramp in their back yard after watching Margera do it? (Still, don't try that at home.)
13. MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch
If you had a moribund friend, they were probably giving you the deets about Celebrity Deathmatch. Definitely one of the edgier and more graphic shows to have aired on MTV, this was one you caught clips of late at night at sleepovers or while your parents were asleep — it was that intense.
14. The Osbournes
What's not to love about the Osbournes? Rude, crude, and possibly the most tight-knit family on the block, the Osbournes were the family you loved watching every week. They supported each other, didn't let the celeb life faze them, and were endlessly hilarious.
15. MTV's Next
This dating show was absolutely wild. Watching Next, you knew that nearly every person that stepped off that bus was doomed. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a total riot reading their fun facts and watching the cringe-y banter between the potential dates.
16. Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica
Marriage was never as kooky as it was with Nick and Jessica. What was cooler than getting to peek behind the curtain of a famous celebrity couple and see what marriage was like for the rich and famous?
17. The Ashlee Simpson Show
Oh, Ashlee Simpson. Your star burned bright and fast in the early '00s and your show on MTV was your peak. I salute you for letting us into your corner of the world.
Who's ready for a MTV rewatching marathon of these absolute classics? I'll bring the popcorn, you bring the boxed sets. Let's do this.