官方APP下载:英语学习播客(支持苹果手机、安卓手机)
创办于2003年
UNSV记不住?那就记中文谐音“忧安思危”吧!
  Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
UNSV英语学习频道 - Slow and steady wins the race!
公众微信服务号(英语全能特训)
英语全能特训(微信公众服务号)
UNSV英语学习频道淘宝网店
客服短信:18913948480
客服邮箱:web@unsv.com
初级VIP会员
全站英语学习资料下载。
¥98元/12个月

MTV Is Turning 40. Here's How Beavis, Butt-Head And Daria Upended TV Animation

作者:Jason Slotkin 发布日期:7-31-2021

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Here's some news that might make you feel a bit old - MTV turns 40 this weekend. The network launched on August 1, 1981, with this music video.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR")

THE BUGGLES: (Singing) Video killed the radio star. Video killed the radio star. In my mind and in my car.

MCCAMMON: That, of course, is the Buggles with "Video Killed The Radio Star." But MTV was more than just music. It also was a pioneering force in adult animation, as NPR's Jason Slotkin reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD")

MIKE JUDGE: (As Beavis) Hey, Butt-Head, I think I might throw up (laughter).

(As Butt-Head) Cool.

JASON SLOTKIN, BYLINE: "Beavis And Butt-Head," the show about brain-dead teens and their pubescent whims, debuted on MTV in 1993. It was quick to catch flack for everything, from its rougher animation style to the impulsive actions of its stars.

Here's just a sample of the outrage from the public affairs program "The McLaughlin Group."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP")

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Previously, critics had railed against the duo as crude, dumb, ugly, thoughtless, sexist, self-destructive and foolish.

SLOTKIN: Kris Brown became the head writer of "Beavis And Butt-Head" in 1994. He says when he was assigned his first episode, this is how he described the show to his own father.

KRIS BROWN: It's about these two 13 year olds that are really stupid. And they're just self-destructive. They're really into heavy metal. And I mean, I don't think it's for you, really. But I'm excited about it. And there was a pause. And then my dad just said, well, do you plan on writing for anything else?

SLOTKIN: But the show is critic-proof. "Beavis And Butt-Head" became MTV's highest-rated show at one time and expanded into a 1996 feature film, "Beavis And Butt-Head Do America." "Beavis And Butt-Head" may have been a cartoon, but it was also central to MTV's identity.

Animation, it turns out, was baked into the network's foundation, says Fred Seibert, who helped develop MTV's initial branding campaigns.

FRED SEIBERT: Over time, we kind of realized that in many ways cartoons like "Looney Tunes" were kind of like the kid equivalent of rock ’n’ roll.

SLOTKIN: For animators who wanted to work outside of TV conventions at the time, MTV became home.

Maureen Furniss is an animation historian at the California Institute of Arts.

MAUREEN FURNISS: It showed people in the public things that they'd never had seen before in animation and gave opportunities to a lot of independent animators and experimental animators.

SLOTKIN: One of the most important of these experiments were shorts that served as the station's promotional IDs - the M of the MTV logo morphing into various forms.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: M, mongrel - M, mom - MTV.

SLOTKIN: And the freedom given to the creators of these promos helped serve as a prototype for how MTV approached its longer animated shows, says Abby Terkuhle. He became head of the network's on-air promotions and eventually oversaw MTV Animation.

ABBY TERKUHLE: MTV Animation was truly a outgrowth and extension of MTV on-air promotion. It was a creative laboratory.

SLOTKIN: That ethos drew show creators to pitch and push for ideas that wouldn't end up elsewhere on television.

SOUNDBITE OF MARK MOTHERSBAUGH SONG, “LIQUID TELEVISION THEME”

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Liquid television.

SLOTKIN: This is the theme from "Liquid Television," a show that premiered in 1991. It was a free-flowing showcase of all kinds of animation. It included the cable debut of "Beavis And Butt-Head," as well as parodies of existing TV genres, like a soap opera starring actual soap products.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) Just like I thought, consorting with a liquid half her age.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (Laughter).

SLOTKIN: "Liquid TV" (ph) also included bold experiments in narrative storytelling and introduced the visually sumptuous world of "Aeon Flux," a spy who has since become a cult icon.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "AEON FLUX")

DENISE POIRIER: (As Aeon Flux) You can't give it, can't even buy it. And you just don't get it.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SLOTKIN: Peter Chung developed "Aeon Flux" for MTV.

PETER CHUNG: It had to be something that you could not see anywhere else. And so that really encouraged me to make something that was as loaded with as much innuendo, making it a point to make it as transgressive and as eye-catching as I could make it.

SLOTKIN: For the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, MTV ran its own animation studio. It produced multiple series, including a "Beavis And Butt-Head" spinoff that gave audiences another iconic character.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DARIA")

MARC THOMPSON: (As Mr. Timothy O'Neill) Right here and now let's pledge to make Daria's dream a reality.

TRACY GRANDSTAFF: (As Daria) You mean the one where people walking down the street burst into flames?

SLOTKIN: "Daria" premiered in 1997 and was a show unafraid to bite the hand that feeds. Its incisive main character regularly went after the superficialities and commodification of teen life, a tendency MTV itself has long been accused of.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DARIA")

STACY BASS: (As Val) Yeah, Daria, tell your dad what edgy is.

GRANDSTAFF: (As Daria) As far as I can make out, edgy occurs when middlebrow middle-aged profiteers are looking to suck the energy, not to mention spending money, out of the quote, unquote, "youth culture."

SLOTKIN: But "Daria" could also offer poignant coming-of-age moments. Take, for example, this season 4 conversation Daria has with her mother.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DARIA")

GRANDSTAFF: (As Daria) You know, I had everything more or less under control. I'm not saying it was great. But I could deal with school. I could deal with home. And now nothing's under control.

WENDY HOOPES: (As Helen) It never is, sweetie. We just tell ourselves otherwise we can function.

GRANDSTAFF: (As Daria) Who came up with that stupid arrangement?

HOOPES: (As Helen) It's called life.

SLOTKIN: "Daria" co-creator Susie Lewis.

SUSIE LEWIS: We kind of just went with the typical stories that every show about teenagers covers. But because it was from the eyes of Daria, it ended up with a completely different tone.

SLOTKIN: It wasn't just hand-drawn animation, though. MTV also produced a hit Claymation series called "Celebrity Deathmatch," in which mock-ups of celebrities took each other on in the wrestling ring and fought, well, to the death. The pilot episode aired at the same time as the Super Bowl halftime show in 1998.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) Scary Spice is putting the Louisville Slugger on little Zac.

SLOTKIN: In recent years, MTV hasn't had the same track record in animation. Other networks and streaming services have become home to even bolder cartoons intended for older audiences. But MTV Entertainment President Chris McCarthy says you shouldn't count MTV out just yet. McCarthy says MTV is developing new series, as well as rebooting a few old favorites.

CHRIS MCCARTHY: We think the animation and its rebirth is just the beginning of a next great chapter of this legacy.

SLOTKIN: Among the shows coming back are "Beavis And Butt-Head" and a new series reimagining Daria side character Jodie as a Gen Zer fresh out of college.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU'RE STANDING ON MY NECK")

SPLENDORA: (Singing) La, la, la, la, la.

SLOTKIN: Jason Slotkin, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU'RE STANDING ON MY NECK")

SPLENDORA: (Singing) Got to get off.

版权所有©2003-2019 南京通享科技有限公司,保留所有权利。未经书面许可,严禁转载本站内容,违者追究法律责任。 互联网经营ICP证:苏B2-20120186
网站备案:苏公网安备 32010202011039号苏ICP备05000269号-1中国工业和信息化部网站备案查询
广播台