Before American Idol became the go-to venue for aging hipsters wanting to launch a musical renaissance, there were few places for rock relics to be seen or heard by a younger audience. One of the best, however, was Pop Up Video, the 1990s VH1 program that made shamelessly dated music videos redeemable with the aid of humorous, often sarcastic, trivia. Many a college student sat mesmerized while Pop Up Video skewered former hits like A-Ha’s “Take on Me,” or David Lee Roth’s “I’m Just a Gigolo,” only to be reminded they missed Chem Lab when they reached the bottom of the Bugles bag.
Well, prepare to get lost in the bubbles again. After a 10-year hiatus, Pop Up Video is coming back to VH1, with 60 new episodes ordered for this fall. This time, not only will the show tackle classic hip-hop and rap music videos for the first time, but the Pop Up treatment will feature user-generated pop up content and updated polls in its bubbles.
I’m thrilled about the inclusion of hip-hop, so I can finally learn what went on during the making of 3rd Base’s “The Gas Face” video. But I wonder if the audience-interactivity aspect of the new show might have a drawback: It encourages viewers to be semi-lucid. Might they then notice the passing of time, and choose to be responsible students/boyfriends/firemen instead of sitting through another 30 more minutes of bliss?
Do you remember killing time to Pop Up Video? Which rap or hip-hop video most demands the bubble treatment pronto?