The History Channel seems to have lost touch with what made it popular, but more importantly, it lost touch with what its name implies it is.

MTV is the most well-known and probably first example of this. MTV = MUSIC Television. They played music videos. Then they played shows about music, like news and gameshows and stuff. Beavis and Butthead even stuck to this theme, as they’d do short segments heckling music videos. Then came Daria and Celebrity Death Match, et al. Somehow this degraded into hours upon hours of Real World, Road Rules and Real World vs. Road Rules Challenge. The only music you can find on the station is on TRL, and that hardly counts because when the video plays, it’s interrupted by a screaming teeny-bopper crying “Oh my god, I love Papa Roach because Jacoby is so sexy!”

So MTV is something other than it was when it started. No big deal. You’re a business and you go where the money is. Oh well.

Then came MTV2. The network for people who missed the old MTV. Eventually, this station also deviated from a 24-hour music format, and became a dumping ground for shows not good enough for MTV. I watched a show about slang on MTV2 once. Timbaland kindly explained to me “Well, first we said “fo sho”, but then everybody started saying that, so then we said “fo shizzle”, but when people started saying that all the time we said “fo shiggity”. Now I like to say “fo shaginov”.” Well, the business model of video-video-video-commercials-video-video-video-commercials must’ve failed, because they really have became another MTV. MTV2… fo shaginov.

I just spent the day down for the count, sick on the couch. The History Channel was my drug of choice. I watched a show about pirate technology (historical), a show Caribbean pirates (also historical) then several hours of Mantracker, which I’ll admit is a great show, but not very historical. (And it’s annoying that the constants call the guy Mantracker. His name is Terry. Call him Terry. You don’t have to call the guy the name of the show. Les Stroud doesn’t call himself Survivorman.)

Then it hit me. The History Channel has turned into MTV. Sure, it has Modern Marvels which is generally historical, but often covers present-day things. It used to have Futureweapons, but that ended up on The Military Channel. Futureweapons? History Channel? Well, that’s not as bad as Life After Humans, another show about the future. That obnoxious Dr. Kaku is getting too much face time on the Discovery Networks, and I can’t escape him. I’ve hated him ever since What The Bleep Do We Know. Questionable stuff that is arguably history involves doomsday prophesies, mythological creatures and religious history, but the way those shows are put together, they put people who appreciate the cultural significance of the topic at hand next to people who actually believe the crap, as if their opinions are both equally valid. Then there’s the other stuff that is not history in any way, shape or form. UFOs, ghosts, cryptozoology.

What the hell happened here? I miss when it was the Hitler Channel just like Tony Soprano used to watch.


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