The 'TRL' finale almost made me cry

Carsondalytrlfinale_lHold up — I said "almost!" I don’t know about you, but I found last night’s Total Finale Live broadcast sort of touching. Admittedly, I haven’t watched a full episode of TRL in many years. But there was a time when that show meant a lot to me, in the way that only a television program you watch every single afternoon throughout your adolescence can do. And now TRL is done forever. So the long-departed Carson Daly came home again to 1515 Broadway last night, and with help from a cavalcade of Y2K-era celebs and sorta-celebs (Jesse Camp!), he re-enacted that treasured ritual one last time, on a Sunday night no less. As a friend IMed me during the broadcast: "It’s like a funeral for our youth."

Anyway, I am not ashamed to admit that I came close to shedding a single rueful tear when I saw the Backstreet Boys (sans Kevin) back on that MTV stage performing "I Want It That Way" again. I did not, in fact, shed that tear; I am made ofstronger stuff than that. However, the same cannot be said of the many, many special guests who spilled the TRL-related contents of their hearts (in between quick plugs for their respective newest products) over three long hours. They gave us way too many poignant moments to list, so I’ll just call out a few choice soundbites, after the jump.

addCredit(“Scott Gries/Getty Images”)

Most Necessary Moment of Raw Honesty: "I am a tool." — Carson Daly, finally. (The context isn’t really important, is it?)

Least Necessary Moment of "Raw" "Honesty": "I just love this show….Thecameraman, everybody behind the scenes who greets me…" — Diddy, getting all verklempt for no reason.

Most Oddly Apt Moment of…Something: "It’s emotional, it’s sad, it’shappy, it’s just a thousand different things." — some dude named "Damien," paraphrased slightly. Did this guy actually host TRL ever? Apparently so. (I told you I haven’t watched in a while!)

Most Burning Question:
Was it just me, or was Snoop Dogg misting up a little bit at 11 p.m. afterthey played "…Baby One More Time," the final No. 1 TRL video ever? Or maybe thatwas just a side effect from the cigar(?) he and Kid Rock were passing between them at the time.

Ah, man. What a show. So were any of you watching? What momentsstood out? I’ll just be sitting here, thinking quietly aboutthe end of an era.

More on TRL:
On the scene at the ‘TRL’ (*sniff*) finale!
Tanner Stransky collected 10 Classic TRL Moments for
PopWatch attended, and screamed for, Kanye West’s 2007 TRL performance
Can FNMTV be the new TRL?
EW took a close look at the emerging TRL phenomenon in 2001

Comments (80 total) Add your comment
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  • Liz

    I agree that was a funeral for our youth. It was a celebration of what that show has created and what that show gave music. Without it we would not have the Justin or Christina’s of the world.
    I was a regular watcher of TRL back in the beginning. It will be missed. It brought actual music to MTV instead of reality show crap. Bring back the music MTV!!

  • E

    Carson Daly’s looks are disturbing. He used to be attractive, now he looks so old and sickly.

  • Marie

    Good riddance. TRL brought some crappy music to the masses.

  • Sharie

    The BSB performance was awesome. I loved how crazy the crowd got when the said that they were releasing a new album soon. “The last band standing, You outlived TRL” refering to the Boys. Totally agree.
    I never really watch TRL, I’m Canadian so it never showed up here. But I have heard of it and seen a few clips here and there and it looks like it was a great show. Sucks that it’s over. What’s the reason for that anyways?

  • Elizabeth

    Oh Simon – you made my day: I missed Kevin too with the BSB. How they were only #3 is beyond me, but it was nice to see “The Fellas” even if they were minus one.
    It cracked me up throughout the show how there was an underlying theme of “MySpace & Facebook killed this show” subtly dropped here and there. No, don’t blame social networking, blame the inability of MTV to play videos – and not just 12 seconds of videos during a 30-minute countdown show that spends the majority of the time plugging different things.
    (Stepping off my soapbox…)

  • H

    e – you are everything wrong with hollywood! of course he looks older, HE IS OLDER!!! stop being so damn critical of these people, they age just like everyone else. i bet you were never attractive enough to host your own show, anyway.
    regarding trl itself, i didnt get a chance to watch it last night, but im looking forward to youtubing BSB! wow, its been a while… good riddance, youth!

  • alexandra

    i admit that i watched last night – and i felt really, really, reeeeally old. i remember watching TRL in college when it first debuted. what was making me crack up was thinking about all the teenyboppers out there who probably didn’t know dave holmes(loved him!), carson or jesse camp(i completely forgot about that nutjob until he showed up oncamera). you can argue until you’re blue in the face about whether TRL was a good thing or a bad thing (depending on your opinion on the state of music today), you can’t deny it was an influential and powerful music show. even it if was cheesetastic most of the time.

  • fs

    Liz wrote: “Without it we would not have the Justin or Christina’s of the world.”
    Well, I guess you can’t argue with that. TAKE THAT Roman Empire, Galileo, and Winston Churchill!
    Expected Liz reply: “Who?”

  • Dee

    I misted up at the exact same moment. TRL and the music of the past ten years really did define my youth. I loved seeing all the old VJ’s come back. They were my heroes back in the day. It was a good show!

  • Lizzy

    I felt the exact same way watching the show last night.

  • nykolus

    s’bout damn time.

  • Quinn

    And with it, music on MTV dies too. The TRL finale made me so sad. Watching MTV now is infuriating; an endless stream of pure “reality” crap. VH1 is the exact same thing. My two favorite channels growing up have become the two worst on cable TV. MTV would be so easy to fix – put the Music back into Music Television, guys!

  • fsfan

    fs, you rock!!

  • Shamrock1014

    I thought this show was canceled a long time ago. Why is Mtv still on the air.

  • E

    H-I was going to respond to your comments (in which you misconstrued what I said), but once you stated you were looking forward to “youtubing BSB” I knew you were useless. And you lose your bet!

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