Amanda Ann KleinApr 5, 2021
Millennials Killed the Video Star
MTV's Transition to Reality Programming
In Millennials Killed the Video Star: MTV’s Transition to Reality Programming (Duke University Press, 2021), Dr. Amanda Ann Klein examines the historical, cultural, and industrial factors leading to MTV's shift away from music videos to reality programming in the early 2000s and 2010s. Drawing on interviews with industry workers from programs such as The Real World and Teen Mom, Klein demonstrates how MTV generated a coherent discourse on youth and identity by intentionally leveraging stereotypes about race, ethnicity, gender, and class. Klein explores how this production cycle, which showcased a variety of ways of being in the world, has played a role in identity construction in contemporary youth culture—ultimately shaping the ways in which Millennial audiences of the 2000s thought about, talked about, and embraced a variety of identities.
Dr. Amanda Ann Klein is associate professor in the Department of English at East Carolina University.
Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations.