The MTV Video Music Awards show is a paradox: It’s a three-hour awards show that still airs on regular TV and caters to an audience that is either too young or too old to care about MTV, asking viewers to sit through half-hearted speeches about how young people are cool and how they have the power to enact meaningful social change through music, all while famous people hand out awards that nobody involved can really be bothered to care about. If they were ever relevant, that relevance died with, well, watching music videos on regular television.
But that doesn’t mean MTV should stop doing the VMAs. On the contrary, MTV has actually found a better way to broadcast the show, it’s just not the version that’s airing on TV. The superior take on the VMAs is the one that lives on TikTok and—in a smaller capacity—on MTV’s YouTube page. Do the kids even still use YouTube? Anyway, while MTV has been uploading sporadic videos of the constant performances happening during the VMAs, it has been slightly more on top of uploading very, very short, vertically oriented clips on TikTok and YouTube that offer a much more digestible version of the Video Music Awards.
Really, who needs to see Olivia Rodrigo perform all of “good 4 u” when you can just see the end of the performance when she smashed the camera?
Or how about skipping the whole Twenty One Pilots performance, which started with the one Twenty One Pilots guy singing a tune with a ukulele before throwing it into the crowd and then joining the other Twenty One Pilots guy for an intense song about… going dancing on a Saturday, in favor of an extremely short clip that omits nearly all of that?
How about a clip from a Justin Bieber/Kid Laroi performance that leaves out Justin Bieber? Or one single minute of Kacey Musgraves singing “Star-Crossed”? Or Chlöe dancing?
If you want to see Lil Nas X, but just the part of his performance where he was wearing a marching band uniform (as opposed to wearing nearly nothing), here’s a clip of that and only that! Host Doja Cat didn’t get much to do during the show, so you can say you saw most of it with this short video!
The TikTok version of the VMAs has it all, and you don’t need to spend three hours of your life waiting for Foo Fighters to show up. (Nobody did that, right? People who like the Foo Fighters still use YouTube.) Hell, since they’re all so short, you could watch all of them and get the gist of the whole show in less time than it takes to get through an episode of Ridiculousness. You could even watch them all at once and wrap the whole thing up in one minute. Why ever watch anything on regular TV?