MTV: Sex, Drugs, and (almost no) Rock and Roll… FOR KIDS! (Part 3)

Date My Mom might be the most fucked up thing I’ve ever seen in my life. For those of you who have yet to see this preview of the end of the universe, it works like this: a dude (no women, because it’s humiliating for men to compete for women or something) is looking for love and MTV has chosen three potential matches. The dude won’t get to see them or meet them, but rather will go on dates with their moms and make a choice on that basis. That could be interesting, but not to worry, MTV wouldn’t allow that. They’ve found a way to debauch everyone on the show and their mothers.

In the first episode I watched, it was a gay dude who was wookin’ pa nub. Now, I’m not here to pretend there’s no such thing as a promiscuous gay dude with a lisp, but this guy was unbelievable. He was essentially a caricature of himself, a 12-year-old’s idea of what being a gay man is all about. Obviously, MTV purposely chose a guy that would fulfill everyone’s stupid expectations of gay men. But it wasn’t just him. The three contestants were such cliches that I thought they were all brilliant actors playing out roles from a script written by a lame homophobic early-90s stand-up comedian. (MTV cultural info bite #1: The gays all talk funny and have weird posture.)

The first contestant was a rather fat and pale blond guy who was clearly completely out of his mind and had an unhealthy interest in Great Britain (or at least shirts with the Union Jack on them). His mother was absolutely batshit nuts, and apparently extremely intoxicated throughout the taping of the show. She and the dude went on their date at a wrecking yard where they sledgehammered cars and discussed her son. She told the dude that her son had had so many boyfriends she had lost count, that he liked to party, and that she and her son used to sing a song about centipedes when he was small, which she demonstrated and which was completely insane. It was one of the most surreal moments I’ve ever seen on television.

Next, the dude went out with an Asian woman whose son called her a “hot bitch” when she left for the date. He did so because she had agreed to tell the dude that her son had a “monstrous penis.” (Good lookin’ out, mom!) Their date was at a fucking karate studio. I swear to god, MTV sent the dude and the Asian mom on a date to learn martial arts. And the mom wore mandarin-collared clothing throughout the episode, which I suspect she might have done at the network’s insistence. (MTV cultural info bite #2 – Asians love karate and Chinese-style clothing, no matter what their actual ethnicity or how long their families have lived in the US. Me Chinese, me play joke, me go peepee in your Coke.) I’m pretty sure she was on at least 40 milligrams of Valium and possibly some box wine, because she told the dude that her son’s ass was “pure perfection” and that his penis was gigantic. Ugh. (MTV cultural info bite #3: The gays like big penises, so if you’re Asian and want to get with a gay, you’d better let him know that the old Asian stereotype doesn’t apply to you.)

The last mom was the least insane of the three and would have avoided giving creepy descriptions of her son’s physical attributes, but the dude sort of forced her into it. He asked her how many times a week her son went to the gym, and she said none. They actually showed the dude wince when she said that (MTV cultural info bite #4: The gays are superficial!). This dude was starting to sound too… not gay. I almost thought MTV had lost their place at the avant garde of stupid stereotype reinforcement until the mom came out with the info that her son was involved in musical theater. Even the dude who was choosing between the three moms had something to say about how cliche that concept was.

Once the dates were all over, the dude met the three moms at the beach and told them who he had and had not chosen. First, he told the crazy centipede mom he wasn’t going to be dating her son because he didn’t want to date a guy who was too promiscuous (huh?). Her son got out of the back of a limo wearing yet another British-themed outfit and the dude winced again. Apparently he doesn’t like ’em chubby (MTV cultural info bite #5: Being fat isn’t ever cool, but it’s especially uncool if you’re gay.) Then he told the musical theater guy’s mom that he wouldn’t be dating her son. When that guy got out of the limo the dude behaved a little more civilly, saying he thought he might have blown it because the musical theater guy was hot (ssss!). Then he told the Asian mom, who was naturally wearing a qipao for the occasion, that he’d chosen her son, and that the information she’d shared with him about her son’s penis was what had sealed the deal. No, I’m serious. I swear. So the penis dude gets out of the limo and the guy is pumped because he’s picked the hottest one (of course). He was so impressed, in fact, that he told the cameras, “I know I can’t make babies with him, but I’m going to die trying.” Ah, love.

Once MTV had gotten through insulting gay men and their mothers everywhere, they moved on to heterosexual women and their mothers. The dude this time was a lifeguard and the three women whose moms he would be dating were really something. The first one was a rather portly young woman who spent almost every second of her screen time bragging about how many strings of beads she’d earned by showing people her ample bosoms and bragging about how ample those bosoms were. Her mother was her bosoms’ biggest fan, it seems, because she talked about them almost as much. She and the lifeguard did a CPR lesson and the mother reported to the dude that her daughter was a party animal extraordinaire with a bead collection nonpareil and a “voluptuous” bod.

The next contestant really made me want to kick someone’s ass. Her mother made a point of mentioning the fact that the girl had an abnormally high IQ and was an academic genius, but the girl asked that her mother not mention that to the date. Instead, she wanted her mom to tell the guy about the time she made out with two other women at a party. Do I need to comment on what that means? Mom blew it. She told the guy about the make-out sesh, but she slipped up and told him that her daughter was smart and liked to read. Bummer.

The last woman was the hottest (as was her mom), and she was the brattiest, least interesting, and most superficial of the contestants, so I knew she would win from the start. I really can’t remember anything about her or her mother except that they looked like they liked day spas.

At the beach, the dude told the first mom he wouldn’t be dating her daughter, and when the daughter got out of the limo he winced (remember, MTV viewers, fat people are only good for laughing at, they aren’t human beings). She took it all in stride, though, and seemed to really believe that it was his loss, which I think I agree with (besides, there’s a world of bead necklaces out there, afterall). Then he told the mother of the smarty-pants he wouldn’t be dating her daughter because all that reading sounded a little too dorky. (MTV cultural info bite #6 – Being smart is lame. Get naked and make out with your friends if you want attention.) Finally, he told the pilates mom that he had chosen her daughter, and the meeting took place. He was visibly thrilled that he had chosen the hottest one, and they shared a big hug in which he lifted her off the ground, at which point her skirt came up and exposed her entire enthonged ass. No pixelation anywhere. A beautiful ending to a beautiful love story.

Cut to “Dance Dance” by Fall Out Boy.

So, what have I learned from watching 3 hours of MTV? I’ve learned that love, happiness, and success increase in direct proportion to how many chicks I make out with in public. I’ve learned that being smart sucks and that I should pretend to be as stupid as I can lest I freak dudes out and end up a lonely spinster. I’ve learned that if I ever get fat, I might as well kill myself. I’ve learned that the best way to find love is to have sex with as many strangers as possible and then choose the one who is most easily manipulated with sexual favors. I’ve learned that love = sex+power and that there’s no room for trust, intimacy, or even morality in romantic relationships. It’s all about fucking and getting fucked. And anyone who has a problem with any of that is a reactionary asshole, you hear?

That includes parents. I learned from watching MTV that today’s parent doesn’t try to direct her child’s behavior, but rather tries to emulate it, because the most important thing for a parent to be is cool. Parental guidance is fucking lame, dude.

I’ve also learned a lot about homosexuality. For instance, women who are gay are gay for men’s visual enjoyment, but gay men actually are gay and don’t care about any women except their hot bitch mothers, who they’re inappropriately attached to, even as adults. You know, because gay men are mama’s boys. I discovered that the Andrew Dice Clay-esque stereotypes of gay men that I’ve thought were untrue for so long are actually pretty spot on (how naively PC of me!). It turns out that they really are all missing tendons in their wrists, they really do only care about asses and wieners, and they really are all into musical theater and Britney Spears.

Oh, wait. I didn’t learn any of that. I just learned that the producers of Date My Mom, The X-Effect, and A Shot at Love are the worst people in the world and that they don’t mind if they turn an entire generation of American youth into sex-crazed, disease-ridden, materialistic, unreflective, asshole robots who are terrified of books and people who don’t adhere to stereotypes. All the better to market Skechers and text-messaging scams to.

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16 thoughts on “MTV: Sex, Drugs, and (almost no) Rock and Roll… FOR KIDS! (Part 3)

  1. You know, Date My Mom turned out slightly better than I initially thought. Before reading the third part, I thought in the show children would try to persuade the guest to date their mothers and worried what impact that would have on the kids. So I was relieved after reading that no children were hurt in the process. That would have been much more fucked up, wouldn’t it?
    Btw, the idea of Date My Mom is pretty interesting, isn’t it?


  2. Yeah, it could have been bad, but I was pretty taken aback at the idea that these mothers would act the way they did. I mean, telling a stranger that your daughter gets naked in front of strangers for beads? Being OK with your daughter getting naked in front of strangers for beads?


  3. I haven’t had a TV in years, and it’s nice to see that I’m not missing anything.

    I used to watch MTV as a teenager, you know, back when they used to play music videos.

    I love your writing. I’m sorry you had to watch all that crap, but I do appreciate the fruit of your labors.


  4. Ahhh! I was really excited for you to talk about this show. I saw one episode. One of the moms gave the guy a skirt of her daughter’s, which he sniffed, afterwards calling the daughter a “butterface”. The mom whose daughter won had one of the most enormous chests I have ever seen and gave the guy a lapdance. It made me want to kill myself a little bit.


  5. I remember seeing an advert for this with my older brother, oh how we laughed. You know, in the way you laugh at that film Teeth.

    You know, I used to feel so sad in school when I could see all the Paris Hilton wannabes dumb themselves down. Like, there was this girl who’s essays would be given out to show the rest of us how to wright essays, and she would act like such an air head. “Wright a description of what you think culture means” and she kept saying she had no idea what culture was, that it was unfair she was being asked to wright it because she didn’t know, and she was so obviously lying. And I just felt so bad, because she was actually really nice and super clever. And then she just started failing everything. The same happened with quite a few girls I knew, and it was awfully depressing. But, of course, they’re he girls you always see on guys laps, plastered in make up. So I guess they reached they’re goal to be fuckable and nothing else.

    Great article again ND.


  6. What’s great about these shows is the excellent mocking fodder they provide. What scares me though, is that people like your commentators and you and I are fairly rare. I hope I’m not being overly pessimistic when I say that the target audience, teenagers, don’t have the same kind of bullshit detector that would allow them to realize that MTV is totally lame. My mother, horror of horrors, loves to watch shows like these. She, of course, falls into the easy trap of viciously mocking the participants of the show. The only show I’ve seen her visibly upset with the creators is that horrible “To Tell the Truth” thing where they make mostly women confess that they think their husband is fat with lie detectors for money. Thank you FOX.

    Shows like this are horrible. Firstly, if you are malleable, you internalize the messages. Don’t be fat. Be promiscuous. Gays are weird, lol. Et cetera. If you’re a bit smarter, like my mom, then you probably sit on the couch and viciously mock every poor shlub who gets hooked into doing these shows. The second group thinks very highly of themselves and their intelligence, and continues to engage in “body sharking” on a regular basis. So and so is a fat pig. So and so has a weird chin. Basically, programming like this (and it’s not just MTV, unfortunately) creates two kinds of people: culturally indoctrinated, and pedantic narcissistic asshats.


  7. Just when I thought we couldn’t sink any lower than “Real World”. (Yep, that’s how long it’s been since I last watched MTV. Thank you, Carson Daly, for driving me away!)

    Seriously, I owe Carson. Nine, thank you for your sacrifice. It was worth it to read your commentary!

    UGH. Smart girls aren’t sexy? Good to know. Now let me go home, where I live alone except for my nine billion cats.

    And yet? Still preferable to dating Mr. “Reading is too dorky”.


  8. Y’see, as far as dating goes, I tend to go for people who are smart/talented in ways which I am not. I’m linguistically gifted, my boyfriend is mathematically gifted. I know a lot about cars, have a natural sense of direction…and my boyfriend can keep children entertained for hours. Et cetera. Now, wouldn’t it make sense for someone who doesn’t himself enjoy reading to want to date someone who does? Make up for his deficiency? I mean, sex appeal is nice but it’s not the only thing you need to have a good relationship.

    Or maybe I’m the one who’s screwy.


  9. I think I just threw up a little. Not terribly articulate, but accurate. ND, that was painful but fascinating to read, and ye gods I hope you’re taking some recovery time after watching all that garbage. (My palliative of choice is usually cartoons- at least I know they’re supposed to be stupid.


  10. “Her mother made a point of mentioning the fact that the girl had an abnormally high IQ and was an academic genius, but the girl asked that her mother not mention that to the date.”

    This made me sad.

    “Then he told the mother of the smarty-pants he wouldn’t be dating her daughter because all that reading sounded a little too dorky.”

    This made me sadder because it suggests the contestant was right to ask her mother not to mention that she was smart. If someone ever made me choose between him and books, I’d dump his ass and then write a novel about it. It’d be a bestseller.


  11. I agree that it was sad, but the girl wasn’t right asking her mom to hide her intelligence from the dude. I’m of the opinion that any dude who doesn’t like smart women is a dumb asshole. I’m usually right about that.


  12. Um…you watched 3 hours of this? I mean, sure, people tend to have a morbid fascination with watching footage of racing cars crash into each other and so on, and will sit through one or two slow motion replays, but 3 hours seems like an awfully long time to watch something you know is going to make you unhappy with your eyeballs.


  13. I truly hate shit like this. I tried to be honest for a very long time, I really did. I was hardcore into feminism while I was 13 and 14, and then I just decided “fuck it” and wanted to kill myself. I still do, but now I’m trying to get back to my radfem roots if you can call them that, even though the only way I make it through the day is to tell lies about everything I see, repress myself, and manipulate others. Great life MTV; it’s brilliant.


  14. People really do forget how impressionable teens are. I’ve only just stopped being one, really- & I’ll admit it. I was an inpressionable dick.


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