Early 2000s MTV was television at its finest. I know there are people that love the vintage shit where it was all about music, and then millennials will bitch about how great Teen Mom is because it opened their eyes to the epidemic of teen pregnancy in trailer parks across America, but like, none of that holds a fucking candle to the days of Real World, The Hills and My Super Sweet Sixteen. It was our first taste of reality TV besides shit like Survivor and American Idol, and we wanted to be exactly like everyone on these shows, even if they were trashy and/or douchey af. There are people who say that Netflix and other streaming services have brought us to the age of “peak TV,” but anyone who had the pleasure of watching Sammi and Ronnie in their first season knows that we reached “peak TV” long ago. That’s why we’re ranking our fave MTV shows from our youth by the only metric that matters: betchiness. Also because like, it’s better than focusing on whatever tf is going on today.
10. ‘Jersey Shore’
Don’t get me wrong, I fucking live for a weekend-long marathon of GTL, bar brawls and Sammi Sweetheart screaming Rahhhnnn at least seven times an episode, but like, this group of guidos and the Jersey Shore in general is so not betchy. They wore shit from… Fuck, idk where you buy shit like that because I would never, but y’all know what I’m talking about. It all looked like it came from the back room at the airbrush T-shirt store they “worked” in. They had a duck land line for fuck’s sake. Funny, but not betchy.
9. All Of The Dating Shows
Looking back on it, all of these shows were beyond fucked up. We think going on Tinder and Bumble is bad? Try having a fuckboy judge whether or not you’re worth his time by going on a date with your mom. Dating in the early 2000s was absolute savage. There was Next, where possible datees sat on a bus together and the main suitor just said “next” after five minutes if they were bored or thought you were ugly; Date My Mom, which is self-explanatory I hope; Room Raiders so pervy dudes everywhere could judge high school girls by their underwear drawer and women could use black light technology to see exactly how much men ejaculate on stuff; and my personal fave, Parental Control, where parents who hated their kid’s S.O. forced them to go on dates with other people and then they watched WITH THE BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND. I’m shook just thinking about it. Anyway, these were fun to watch, but like, if you need to go on one of these wack-ass shows to find love, you def can’t sit with us.
8. ‘Real World’
Real World is basically the OG reality show. If you’re anything like me, Real World was the first show you watched behind your parents’ backs because they didn’t want you turn into an alcoholic thot like all the girls on there. Understandable. The show was entertaining af, mainly because it was a bunch of semi-hot strangers who lived together and therefore ended up fucking, almost killing each other, or saying something racist. Sometimes all three. Naturally. It was fine and we all loved it, but everyone on it was legit trash and was either forgettable or went on to compete on Road Rules or The Challenge aka is now just a desperate middle-aged fame whore. No fucking thanks.
Ahhh… The classic tale of the state-winning high school football team and their undying love for every girl on the cheerleading squad. It was pretty much just MTV capitalizing off all of us being obsessed with Friday Night Lights by giving us a way more boring real life version. I loved it at the time because I could like, relate and shit, but now it’s just meh. Football captain Alex and cheerleading captain Kristin were a cute couple and all, but I would rather exercise than watch people do sports. And that’s serious.
Who doesn’t want to look in celebrities’ houses and see all the tacky shit new money can buy? Hopefully no one because that shit is entertaining. It gains betch points because the whole premise is touring v expensive mansions, but loses points because there’s no drama. Show me an episode of Taylor Swift’s “pad” as they liked to call it and have Katy Perry or like, any of the other billion people who hate her throw a glass of wine in her face. Now that’s a damn show. We need to get Andy Cohen on this, asap.
5. ‘My Super Sweet 16’
It’s a fucking miracle I didn’t turn into a legit terror because of this show. Or maybe I did, idk. Ask my mom. But despite them being the fucking worst, these spoiled af teens were betchy. They knew what they wanted and got it. Even if it was a six figure birthday party. I specifically remember one with two girls who had Sex and the City drag queens and Three 6 Mafia performed. Like, that’s legit af. But god, everyone was so annoying.
4. ‘Laguna Beach’
Let’s have a moment of silence for the first time we met Lauren Conrad… Okay enough of that. Who would have thought an overly bleached blonde teen that obsessed over a guy who friend zoned her for the BSCB would end up being our life idol? But here we are. There was the perfect mix of nice guys, mean girls, and people in the middle we’d actually wanna hang out with and I may or may not have tried to convince my parents to move to the real O.C. more than once. A lot like Two-A-Days, MTV just took a popular TV drama (The O.C., fucking duh) and turned it into a less exciting reality show. I mean, Laguna Beach was great, but no one OD’d in TJ or anything.
3. ‘8th & Ocean’
This is def one of the most underrated, forgotten MTV shows of all time. Beautiful people in a beautiful place with a decent amount of drama? I’m in. We watched really really ridiculously good looking models live together and fight about bookings and who was hotter. Riveting. There were the twins from the astigmatism commercial, the innocent new girl, the heartthrob and some more people who were there but irrelevant. In fact, is there anyway we can make this happen now? With like Gigi, Kendall, Bella, and the likes? God, I should be in television.
2. ‘The City’
This show could have slid into the number one spot because of head betch Olivia Palermo herself. Was she the mean girl who treated nicey-nice Whitney like shit while they worked at DVF? Sure. But welcome to NYC, bitch. You’re not in L.A. anymore. It’s cutthroat af. On The City, we watched Whitney go off on her own and stop being in Lauren’s less qualified but still more successful shadow. She hung with models, worked in fashion, got a scruffy boyfriend in a band, pretty much your usual basic new to New York betch starter kit. But we love Whitney and New York. And we really really love Olivia Palermo.
1. ‘The Hills’
Fucking duh. Lauren Conrad went from back burner betch to HBIC in like one fucking year. Sure, there was the whole Jason Wahler, giving up Paris to live with your bf at the beach thing, but we’re gonna pretend season 1 didn’t happen. We naively believed that Lauren was actually an intern at Teen Vogue and that she and Brody were soul mates and that she really did coincidentally meet a hot, already mic’d girl at the pool of her apartment. Were we stupid? Yeah. But The Hills gave us Lauren Conrad 2.0, one of the betchiest of all betches.