Julie Brown wants you to know that her character on MTV's "Just Say Julie" is, to put it simply, sort of crazy.
If you've seen her ditsy caricature of an empty-headed Valley girl, you might agree. It's a persona she's honed with albums like "Goddess in Progress" and such songs and videos as "Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun," "I Like 'Em Big and Stupid" and "Trapped in the Body of a White Girl."
She co-wrote the movie "Earth Girls Are Easy," in which she also had a starring role. The movie was based on one of her songs.
Brown's weekly half-hour show is a tongue-in-cheek way of introducing rock videos. It's set in her tacky condo, where friends and relatives occasionally drop by.
"I make fun of the videos," Brown said. "Some of them are pretty lame. After all, if it's rock 'n' roll, it should be a little rebellious. Poking fun at them is in the spirit of rock 'n' roll. MTV never told me to do that. They just said, 'Here's the show.'
"You know, when television first started, Ernie Kovacs did a lot of experimental comedy. That was before the networks started research to see if their shows would appeal to people. I think research is killing a lot of good shows before they ever get on the air. It destroys innovation and originality."
Brown speaks from experience. Her pilot "Julie Brown: The Show" was broadcast by CBS last summer. "I got amazing reviews," she said. "But the research wasn't good enough to get it on the air."
Brown is in her second season on MTV. Of the cable music network's three female video jockeys, two are named Julie Brown. The other is better known as "Downtown" Julie Brown.
Don't think for a moment that Brown is like her character. She did grow up in the San Fernando Valley, the Valley Girl's natural habitat, but she studied acting at the prestigious American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. She's been a stand-up comic, and she writes her own offbeat songs.
She and her regular writing partner, Charlie Coffey, have several more movies in development: "Medusa: Portrait of a Pop Legend," in which Brown would play a pop music superstar, and "Totally Witchin'," a musical about a woman possessed by a witch's spirit.
Before starting her half-hour show on MTV, she had made several guest appearances as a video jockey. When MTV offered her a show, she said, she didn't want to move to New York.
"I'm an actress, and I felt that would take me out of acting," she said. "We reached a solution, and I do the show here. As long as I show three videos on each show, I can do anything I want."