MTV's Buzz: fantastically forward-thinking TV from 1990


In 1990, MTV aired a groundbreaking TV documentary series called Buzz. Created and directed by Mark Pellington (Mothman Prophecies, Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" video), Jon Klein, and Mark Neale in partnership with MTV Europe, Buzz was a fantastic experiment in non-linearity and cut-up that drew heavily from -- and presented -- avant-garde art, underground cinema, early cyberpunk, industrial culture, appropriation/sampling, and postmodern literature. Experientially, it feels like what Mondo 2000 would have looked like as a television show, and in fact Mondo founder RU Sirius was interviewed on the first episode. Other notable contributors/subjects included William S. Burroughs, Jenny Holzer, Genesis P-Orridge, Syd Mead, and many other happy mutants. This was the future of television, circa 1988. Too bad it didn't quite pan out this way. I'm delighted that YouTube user BlackFlagParty has posted the first episode online. I wish the full 13-episode series would be issued on DVD! Above is segment 1 from episode 1. The rest of the segments are after the jump.