10. Celebrity Deathmatch
In the wake of the 1990’s pro wrestling boom, MTV sought to capitalize by airing some “wrestling” of their own. The maverick cable network began showing clay “celebrities” fighting, while Stone Cold Steve Austin officiated the mayhem. At its best, “Celebrity Deathmatch” was hilarious, if not a bit macabre.
Back when MTV actually played music videos, the late-1990’s birthed the grandaddy of all video countdown shows. “Total Request Live (TRL)” was such a show, but also offered live performances and superstar appearances. Truly, this show was the place to be, hosted by Carson Daly.
Today, you could essentially just find this stuff on YouTube, but in the early-2000’s such a medium did not exist. Thus, we got “Jackass,” a show which probably inundated emergency rooms with minor injuries. Some of the stunts here were pure madness and others just plain disgusting.
7. Singled Out
Long before Jenny McCarthy was a household name, she was the plucky sidekick on “Singled Out.” The show was equal parts “The Dating Game” and “Double Dare.” Honestly, most of the shows on this countdown are tough to watch, but “Singled Out” was awesome because it didn’t take itself too seriously.
6. The Osbournes
Sure, it became a bit cliched and plastic towards the end, but early episodes of “The Osbournes” were some of the best in the history of reality television. The craziness here was outta control and helped launched Sharon’s career.
5. Headbanger’s Ball
If you liked metal, then “Headbanger’s Ball” was must-see TV. Sure, MTV played music videos round the clock, but you never got to see the heavier bands. Well, the Ball was you chance, and you got to shred it on late nights.
Embodying all the teenage snark that was the 1990’s, “Daria” was a show with some serious attitude and laughs. I’m not sure this one would hold up quite as well today, but for its time, it really hit on some hot-button issues.
3. Road Rules
On the heels of “The Real World,” MTV created “Road Rules,” which introduced reality TV to physical challenges and more crazy hi jinx. The show truly was a lot of fun to watch and the challenges kept the genre fresh, but we just never got the poignant drama of “The Real World.”
2. Beavis and Butt-Head
Along with “The Simpsons” and a few others, “Beavis and Butthead” changed animated series forever, allowing for appeal with a wider range of viewer. The show was crude and course, but it was also extremely funny and much smarter than it might appear on the surface.
1. The Real World
Imagine a world without reality television. Can’t? Well, prior to “The Real World,” such a world did indeed exist. The series showed us all that our own lives could be just as entertaining as our favorite fictional characters. The show covered a lot of ground and touched on some seriously controversial issues during its run. Towards the end, the series was a parody of its former self, but a groundbreaking show, nonetheless.