In case you’re just waking up (good morning!) and you have yet to see the millions of hoedown GIFs and memes that flooded the Internet late last night, allow us to esplain the madness: MTV gone and done it again, putting the incomparable Miley Cyrus on stage for the masses…but this time we “Unplugged” her! As usual, the controversial pop star was titillating in front of the cameras (that horse-twerk was a neat touch!), inspiring much social media commentary, though this particular special’s intimate atmosphere allowed Miles to really showcase her singing talent. We loved hearing the sultry, stripped-down versions of her biggest hits, and it reminded us why “Unplugged” has always been such a popular franchise.
The series has brought us 25 years of raw, unfiltered entertainment, including a legendary Nirvana episode, and with it being Throwback Thursday and all, we figured we’d give a shout-out to even more classic MTV shows that ruled the ’90s and ’00s. Here are 10 of our favorites, which still have a permanent place in our hearts (and, in some cases, our VCRs).
1. “Singled Out” (1995-1998): Before Jenny McCarthy was tapped to sit at the big girls’ table on “The View,” she was harassing potential daters on MTV’s “Singled Out” with her eternally young co-host, Chris Hardwick. Watch this totally out of context season trailer — in a way, it explains both nothing and EVERYTHING.
2. “Say What? Karaoke” (1998-2000): Turns out, it was actually sort of awesome watching complete strangers murder our favorite pop songs before the days of “American Idol” auditions. This show was just like “Glee,” only with less talented singers and, thankfully, none of that annoying Rachel person.
3. “The Tom Green Show” (1999-2000): If you were born after the early ’80s, there’s a good chance you missed out on Tom Green’s deadpan delivery, girlish giggle and random musical stylings. We’re sorry for your loss. Check out some epic moments from the once-popular sketch comedy show that came to us all the way from Canada.
4. “Road Rules” (1995-2007): So, funny story: It used to be you would try out for “Real World,” and if you were almost (but not quite) good enough, you’d get sentenced to three months in a Winnebago instead. Which seemed only marginally worse than just going home? Whatever, it’s the reason we have “The Challenge” today. And for that, we are truly thankful.
5. “Sorority Life” (2002-2004): This was our introduction to the cutthroat world of college sororities! Since we never pledged in real life (or would at least never admit to doing so), it’s still the closest we’ll ever come to true sisterhood. Also: Props to Michelle Branch for lending her pipes out for the theme song.
6. “The Osbournes” (2002-2005): Turns out, the scary Black Sabbath frontman is actually sort of adorable! And his foul-mouthed family are sort of appallingly endearing! This show made us actually care about Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly. And really, really made us want to dye our hair pink.
7. “The Ben Stiller Show” (1990-1991): This series only spent one season on MTV (and later two more on Fox), but it’s one of our hands-down favorites. Look it up if you want to see some legit underground comedy (and Stiller, Janeane Garofolo and Andy Dick before they were stars). P.S. We may have already forgotten high school math (whoops!), but “B- History Student” will be remembered for ALWAYS.
8. “Jackass” (2000-2001): Johnny Knoxville and friends elevated destruction of property (and self-inflicted injury) to a whole new level in the series that spawned several movies and an entire generation of immature frat boys. Remember, kids, don’t try their stunts at home. And never, ever google the words “Steve-O” and “stapler” in the same search. You’ll thank us later.
9. “Daria” (1997-2002): We’re sure your high school is awesome/terrible in its own way, but we’re guessing it’s got nothing on the fictional world inhabited by Daria Morgendorffer. The coolest person you’ll never meet, Daria was smart, funny, loyal and absurd, with a zero BS-tolerance. In short: everything you’d still want in a BFF today.
10. “Rich Girls” (2003-2004): And on the complete other side of the spectrum…there was “Rich Girls,” featuring socialite-in-training Ally Hilfiger and her BFF, Jaime Gleicher. Like “A Simple Life” for teens, this show taught us how the 1 percent spent their time before the advent of “My Super Sweet 16″: by buying (and applying) extremely expensive face creams made from the foreskins of baby boys. (Don’t worry, guys — Oprah does it too.)
+ Wanna give your favorite old-school MTV show a shout-out? Tweet us @MTVShowsBlog using the hashtag #MTVtbt!