While flicking through morning news breakfast programs, cartoons, re-runs of dated TV evangelists and weird shopping channels, I realised that my weekend mornings have been missing one very vital thing – hours and hours of music videos thanks to Video Hits, Rage, and the like. And now I want them back, please.
I will go to some kind of TV programming war to fight for the fact that having back-to-back music videos for a good chunk of time every Saturday and Sunday morning does more to soothe my dumb brain than anything else. And after enduring all of last year, the time is ripe for morning television that helps us ease into the day instead of being immediately stressed the fuck out.
After realising that I am actually missing vegging out on the couch with Video Hits or Rage counting down the Top 40 of video clips from the ARIA charts – or whatever else we marker success with these days – I did a bit of research. I needed to know if I’m just tuning in at the wrong times, or if we’ve slowly but surely phased out the time-honoured tradition of being hungover on a weekend morning, watching music videos and letting our brains do a gentle brrrrrdt.
When did this happen? How long have we not had bulk hours of mid-morning Rage for? And how the hell can we bring it back?
ABC’s Rage, a long-standing staple of my weekend morning routine while I potter around the house, make breakfast, or lie extremely still horizontally so as not to disturb the Hangover Beast, is still going but definitely not in the same way that I remember.
Instead of playing hits right through the morning until about 11am (from memory) including an hour of selections from whoever was taking over the red couch that night, it’s literally just the overhang from the late-night programming until 7am (and who is up that early on a Saturday unless you’re launching into kickons) and then an hour-ish of Red Couch Selections from 11am until midday.
Which is…fine, but I absolutely manage to miss both of them every weekend because I’m still in bed at 7am and I’m usually out of the house or something by 11am.
In the golden era of music TV, if you were tired of Rage – like I used to get when they overplayed Gotye‘s Somebody That I Used To Know for the entirety of 2011 – you could always flick over to one of the other channels playing the Top 40 countdown in video form.
Over on Ten, Video Hits was the second longest-running music show in the world behind Eurovision – and was a huge part of my weekends as a kid and into my teens – before it got cancelled in 2011 and was soon replaced (?) by The Loop, which then got the axe in Feb 2020, right before we probably needed it the most.
If this isn’t seared into your brain from a childhood of racing into the loungeroom like Pavlov’s dog, then I feel so sorry for you.
So now we’re stuck with watching morning news (or “news” if you’re on one of the commercial stations) going over the stories of the day, and then hot takes of the news of the day, and then the discussion of takes, until you just give up and turn the TV off.
If you were lucky enough to have Austar/Foxtel/whatever other satellite services, you were treated to bulk music videos from the now-closed MAX, CMC, Channel [V]. If you can foot the bill of a Foxtel subscription, you can still benefit from some of these gems but it’s simply not the same as rolling the dice with the ol’ free-to-air TV.
But in 2020, the year that if anything I’ve needed a good brain switch-off in the form of watching hours and hours of mind-numbing video clips, we had piss all. And I want it back. Bring me back my morning music videos that someone else has curated and programmed, so that I may sit on the couch with a coffee and let my brain go all goopy.
2021, let’s get it done.