A Blast From The Past- MTV Classic ‘Unplugged’ Returns


Victoria Lapinson , Staff Reporter

What is one thing Kiss, Nirvana, Eric Clapton, Alice In Chains, and Jay-Z have in common?

  Besides chart topping hits, all of the aforementioned artists have appeared on MTV’s cult classic ‘Unplugged.’

  This is a performance show like no other. It features musicians playing a variety of hits, covers, and new songs in an acoustic setting. No audio tune, special effects or light shows, the program provides an intimate atmosphere.

  So, why, today, is a show that primarily aired in the ‘90s relevant?

  That’s because it has returned to MTV.

  Incomparable harmonies and acoustic musicianship has been displayed on the show for decades, yet the show has faded in and out of existence.

  In recent years, there have been attempts at ‘Unplugged’ specials. However, it is only now that a complete relaunch is to be engaged.

  This July teen heartthrob and rising pop artist Shawn Mendes filmed the first episode of the renewed season of ‘unplugged.’

  Members of the sold out audience were asked to check cell phones on the way in to keep the show content secret, and to bring back the show’s trademark ambience. This episode aired September 8th, 2017. It is now available on MTV.com http://www.mtv.com/shows/unplugged as well as on MTV’s cable station.

  Rising artists and popular stars such as Mendes (see a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmU9nhfLTSo  are expected to appear on the show to promote the show to its target audience, adolescents. MTV is confident their approach to ‘modernizing’ the classic will spark the interest of teens.

  In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, MTV executive Amani Duncan claims the reboot of ‘unplugged’ is a direct reflection of the current 90’s revival. “Everything ‘90s is cool again,” Duncan says in the interview. This explains the purpose for bringing back “unplugged” as well as “TRL.”

  While the relaunch process has brought back nostalgia for many, there are additional modern elements being weaved into the program to promote the show to young adults, its target audience.

  The shows digital presence will include not only full-length episodes online, but added content from the performances .

  Another recent episode featured indie pop group Bleachers with special guests Lorde and Carly Rae Jepsen. This was particularly interesting because it was filmed more locally, at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

 ‘Unplugged’ is expected to showcase a variety of musical genres in changing venues throughout the upcoming additions.

  The revival season is certain to provide entertainment, but will it hold up to the current era’s high standards? Is it possible to recreate the magic that once was ‘unplugged’? Critical eyes are on the show, and now it’s the audience’s response that will determine the fate of the program.

  At the very least, hopefully the show will inspire a couple teens to pick up their guitars and jam the old fashioned way.


BTW: Check out Nirvana here: