That MTV Documentary On The '80s That Was Filmed IN The '80s!

The '80s were a magnificent time. Perhaps too magnificent. All one need do is look at the ensuing blackout and wicked hangover that was the '90s to know just how heavy the '80s had been. Of course, more enjoyable still is to watch this documentary on the '80s put together by the folks at MTV before "The Eighties" had even ended.

Of course, what would you expect from a network that, by 1989, had already christened the 1980's "The MTV Decade"?

What had begun so innocently, so colorfully, and so carefree in 1981 had, by 1986, become the bully on the block, completely upending the Monopoly board and rewriting the book on how the music industry would promote their artists.

People stayed home to catch the world premiere of big-budget videos by the likes of Prince, Madonna, and Michael Jackson and, before long, labels were regularly dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on lavish videos in hopes of snagging some much-coveted MTV airplay.

Yet all one needs to do is watch the first five minutes of this documentary to see what was coming.

The look of jaded resignation in the eyes of David Byrne, Steven Tyler, and others as they attempt to wax nostalgic on a decade still in-progress should tell you all you need to know about "The Eighties" that recent documentaries on the same subject by the likes of CNN and others fail to capture.

What makes watching this documentary so riveting is that nobody - not even Frank Zappa, Rosanne Barr or Sandra Bernhard - knows what's to come. In that sense, it's like watching historical footage of people in Hiroshima talk wistfully of life in their fair city two years before the atomic bomb was dropped.

What's truly daunting is that they still had the awareness and foresight to try to warn us that worshiping TV and giving into greed would be our ultimate undoing.


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