Words by Nick Slay


For many millennials, TRL was the last big hoorah of the, “I want my MTV” generation. Helmed by its original iconic host Carson Daly, it dominated the airwaves and was the go to show to watch when teens got home from school. Teenagers would pack Times Square a hopeful moment to see their favorite celeb or girls screaming for their favorite boy band or rapper reminiscent of the golden days of American Bandstand. The newest version of the powerhouse that ran for 19 amazing seasons and was only done it by its successor 106 & Park, barely resembles its former glory.

Today’s Total Request Live is hosted by Internet star and Wild ‘n Out alumni, DC Young Fly. His insane antics on and off the cuff sense of humor dominated the newest iteration of Nick Cannon’s highly acclaimed show.  However, critics aren’t really feeling the updated version of TRL, it just doesn’t work. Maybe it’s the show’s haphazard show structure that struggles to blend Internet and social media stars with polished musical superstars. Maybe it’s the weird games that try to transition to the performances of more established acts. It could be the shows hosts that also feature Tamara Dhia (who spoofed the Kardashians), and Matt Rife, a comedian who aren’t prepared for the task.

The original TRL didn’t have to contest with the small screen for audience attention, and it shows that being a star in the closed confines of a vine or youtube clip doesn’t translate to live TV. There are many occasions where there are awkward silences after transitions or in the middle of interviews as when Jhene Aiko discussed keeping a journal after her brother’s death. Or Rife making inappropriate or sexual jokes to under age guests like Noah Cyrus discussing, “naked yoga”. DC’s jittery comebacks or knee jerk reactions that seem to put his co-hosts at unease. TRL has seen acts that own the stage and create buzz worthy meme-like moments that permeate into pop culture, yet the new show has yet to find a solid footing.  Even Glassdoor.com ratings has the show’s new management rated at one star.

However, it took a while for Carson to build his brand into a household name, so maybe they just need our support until they find their own way.