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Carson Daly and Christina Aguilera during "Spankin' New Music Week" on TRL at the MTV studios in New York City. 11/4/02 Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images

TRL was the best MTV show.  It ran from 1998 to 2008, then it was revived from 2017 to 2019.  I was in sixth grade when I discovered Total Request Live.  One of my best friends lived next door to me.  Most days after school one of us would be at the other’s house watching it.  Who was the special guest going to be?  How many people were holding signs up outside of the building today?  What was the number one video going to be?  Pop culture and pop music was being revitalized at this time.  There were so many “battles” going on between artists.  Serious debates took place from pre-teens to high school seniors.  Do you like Backstreet Boys or NSYNC? Your answer was always wrong.  Do you like Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera?  Again, your answer was probably going to be wrong.  Then a rapper who called himself Eminem exploded onto the scene and was putting out the BEST music videos.  There was also reality TV.

MTV was a pioneer when it came to reality shows.  I actually discovered Road Rules before Real World.  The drama that was unfolding once a week for 30 minutes to an hour was almost too much to handle at a young age.  We all craved it though!  It laid the path for other shows like Survivor, Big Brother, and how could we not reference Jersey Shore?  While reality TV was still new but a clear success for MTV, shows about music were still the most fun to watch.  I can’t watch anything with Carson Daly without feeling nostalgic.  TRL was the best MTV show.  In fact, it may have been the best show on TV during those years of such a huge pop culture revolution.  Other popular MTV shows are below!

  • "Total Request Live": 1998 - 2008, revived 2017 - 2019

  • MTV Unplugged: 1989 - present

  • "Making The Video": 1999 - 2010