I watched Aeon Flux, the animated series version, for the first time tonight. The first few episodes are fascinating. I'm pretty sure indie comics tackling genre stories are only now exploring that kind of territory.
However, the legacy of MTV's original programming reminds me of a Brecht piece called the Trial of Lucullus. I'm retelling this mainly from memory, so excuse any errors.
The Roman general Lucullus dies and enters the underworld. The Gods put him on trial to decide whether or not he deserves punishment or reward. The people who he dealt with in life are called before the assembled group to testify for or against him.
A long group of witnesses come forth, who condemn Lucullus for the lives lost and ruined to war, his service in the extension of an imperialist dictatorship, and for pillaging & looting his victims.
On his behalf, a cook comes forth. In the course of his conquests, Lucullus developed a taste for cherries. So he ordered his cook and other servants to bring some cherry tree saplings to plant in Italy. Thus, Lucullus has advanced Western civilization by introducing a new food-source. However, it is not enough on balance, and thus he is sent to hell.
In the same spirit, I am grateful that, for a brief period, MTV gave us The State, Aeon Flux, The Maxx, Beavis and Butthead and Daria. But it in no way makes up for them inflicting The Real World, Road Rules, Rob & Big, Laguna Beach, and Jersey Shore (among a list of others) upon us.