Monday, 21 July 2014

Why I Let E! Canada Get Away With it

E! is all about celebrities and pop culture, right? Well, if by "pop culture" you mean popular shows, like Saved by the Bell, and franchises like CSI, then the Canadian version has that covered. I'd never expect that on the American version, since, despite it's premise, is still a female-skewing network in NBCU's portfolio. That being said, it was either talk shows & drama reruns or the U.S schedule of Sex & the City and the K-Word.

...Yeah, I thought so. As long as they aren't in-name only, like MTV2, E! can do whatever the hell they want.

Fave Five: Channels I don't like, Vol. 2

* IFC (Canada)
When OLN became a sports channel and Bravo became a fashion channel or whatever it is, their Canadian counterparts couldn't follow suite because of their respective licences. Instead, they kept their names but changed their logos and expanded upon what they were allowed to do: OLN added more adventure programming (and reality shows), while Bravo began adding more dramas.

By now, IFC should have already done this. They are the basic cable equivalent of a premium channel, airing both indie and mainstream films uncut as well as premium series. Shaw Media should have taken advantage of this along time ago, especially since Bell Media now has exclusive rights to the U.S version's programming.

They have time to rebrand two networks that nobody gives a crap about into two more networks that nobody gives a crap about. Yet, they don't have the time to rebrand IFC or even launch an HD feed? Really? Bottom line: Showcase 2 HD. Flippin' do it!

* CMT (Canada)
I have no idea why Viacom still owns a stake in this service. CMT in Canada doesn't air any of CMT's shows - or at least the ones I care about - and their programming lineup has little to do with country music or southern culture (as far as I can care). If CMT Canada is to be applauded for something it's for giving a crap about country music to the point of airing more of it than Much or MuchMore does with mainstream music. Yes, MuchMore, because M3 isn't a music network.

The problem with Corus Entertainment is that they don't program for anyone except women and children. With the exception of the Teletoon family of channels and Sundance Channel, they believe niche isn't nice. The only reason why CMT is still called CMT is because of some controversy that happened when this network first launched.

Well, it's 2014 and CMT Canada is clearly doing it's own thing. Unless you want to associate your brand with the channel that created Mom's a Medium, I'd say it's time to bury the hatchet and give this network a proper makeover.

* Every new Canadian channel that launched/was announced in the last few months
Gusto TV is the only channel we might need, everything else is a waste of space.

* G4 (U.S and Canada)
Esquire Network is doing fine, Oxygen is getting a rebrand, and Fearnet is dissolving into Chiller and Syfy. Nice work, NBCUniversal, but aren't you forgetting something? You know? That one network that you've literately left rotting since 2012. The network that you were supposed to rebrand but kept putting it off until you decided to just say "screw it"? Yes, I'm talking about G4! It's bad enough that NBCUniversal and Comcast don't know how to run a network, but the fact that they won't even shut it down is just pathetic. Seriously guys, DO SOMETHING!

...And what are you smirking about Rogers? The only reason I cut some slack off the Canadian version is because they at least know now what they're supposed to air. Other than that, the channel is in the same boat as G4; It's obsolete. If by some miracle SOMEONE will SOMETHING with G4, the american version can start over from scratch. They can become a companion channel to Syfy and Chiller or they can cut the bull completely and just become a male entertainment channel.

The best direction I can think of for the Canadian version is to become a technology-related entertainment channel. Otherwise, between OLN and the FX franchise, I'd say Rogers is at the end of their rope with this brand. I want G4 to stick to the "geeky Spike TV" gimmick because we already have enough generic lifestyle channels. Besides, with websites like Machinima.com providing our fix, the infotainment genre is just dead air.

5) Take a Guess (Canada)
I think I finally got the relationship between MTV and MTV2 figured out. MTV does scripted series, documentaries, and studio programming. While MTV2 is all about lifestyle and male-interest programming...and shows targeting teens apparently.

I have to say, MTV2 is perplexing to me. They could have just shown old MTV shows instead of airing marathons of old sitcoms. They could have also just did a plain old countdown show and savor the in-depth, cutting-edge bull for a network that actually cares about music. I like this channel, but I know it hasn't filled it's full potential yet. I don't think it has for many years.

If you like something, you have all the more right to criticize it. That's the only way it will get better. I like MTV2 and I want it to get better. So, I'm gonna call bullshit when I see it. ...Notice how I was talking about the U.S version and not the Canadian version. You already know how I feel about that channel.


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Dumping Grounds and Branding

I wanna put into prescriptive why Mystery and Twist are getting rebranded. See, Action has TruTV shows, Slice has Bravo shows and the like, and if it weren't for the Travel Channel's shows and related fare, DTOUR would be no better. My point is, these two networks have no programming to call their own, original or acquired, they air programming from other networks instead. These are what I like to call "dumping grounds" and, if it were up to me, I would have them both shut down.

When launching a Canadian version of an international network, branding is everything. When FX premieres a new show, FXX and FX Canada premieres it as well. They even take it a step further and do things a little differently from their counterparts: The lineups between them have switched and FXX even premieres some of the shows (Fargo, Married, You're the Worst), that were meant for FX.
This is what separates them from the likes of MTV2 and IFC, which have both gone rogue. Hell, the only reason why IFC gets off scott free is because, where IFC in the U.S has become it's own thing, IFC in Canada still plays indie films. Same goes for OLN and bravo, which even traded in their American colors and became their own individual networks.

But that's for established brands. Shaw is launching a local version of a network that hasn't even found it's footing yet. Already, Shaw is in danger of trashing whatever value - i.e NONE, but I digress - the FYI branding has. It's in danger of becoming like G4 which, thanks to Rogers' management, is just as big a laughing stock in Canada as it is stateside. Or MTV2, which has degraded into "MTV2 with tampons." And the less said of CMT becoming half-country, half-crappy, the better.

This is all the more reason why I'm against launching local versions of international networks; I would rather import them instead. But as long as they are in capable hands, I wouldn't even mind a local version of WE tv. ...OK, maybe I would mind a little bit. Funimation Channel on the other hand....!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Crime + Investigation and FYI Coming to Canada

It's bittersweet news to hear that Mystery TV and Twist TV will be rebranded as Canadian versions of FYI and the Crime and Investigation network. On one hand, Twist TV will FINALLY kick the bucket. On the other hand, Mystery TV, the only network where you can find all of Global's crime dramas all in one place, will be replaced by the crime genre's equivalent to reality television. It won't be a total lost since we still have Bravo, which pretty much does the same thing nowdays. Furthermore, the rebrand might help skew the channel back towards actual mystery and suspense shows. Plus, with a name like Mystery, branding is a bitch.

Meanwhile, lifestyle dump Twist TV will changeover to the newly launched FYI. If it were any other network, I would have pointed out the bad idea of launching a Canadian version of an American network before said network even launched! We're not talking about FXX, a young adult-oriented entertainment network and spinoff of an established brand both north and south of the boarder. We're talking about yet another lifestyle network, as if we didn't have enough of those already. But, hey, maybe lightning can strike twice.

You don't need to see how Lifetime Canada turned out, to know that CI and FYI will be treated very fairly under Shaw's umbrella. Ignoring IFC (which is the way it is because of the Americian version changing formats), Shaw Media has a very good track record with imported channels. History and Lifetime actually aired the Bonnie & Clyde miniseries in simulcast with the American channels and A&E! If that doesn't show dedication, I don't know what does.

Ultimately, while I'm a bit saddened to see Mystery TV go and couldn't care less about Twist TV, I'm more concerned about what Shaw is doing with Action. It looks like the channel will stick around, anchoring itself to TruTV shows. As the only pure-entertainment network for guys, I hope Action will stick around for a LONG time.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Metacritic Reviews Suck

So far I've counted DMC, Most Wanted 2012, Watch Dogs and every Call of Duty game after Black Ops. It's pretty obvious that this trend of "gamers" vandalizing Metacritic pages out of spite is never going to stop. You'd think they'd know that some people actually rely on honest reviews to save their money. 

So what? Just because Most Wanted 2 is nothing like the original Most Wanted, I should avoid it? I should condamn DMC just because of a friggin redesign. I'd expect this from the Sonic fanbase but, last I checked, Devil May Cry wasn't for little boys and spoiled brats. I'd go on but, I think I made my point.

This isn't about people having different tastes or opinions, this is about so-called gamers abusing the system just to besmirch a game they don't like. And you wonder why people like Spike TV paint the image that gamers are a bunch of basement-dwellers? Not exactly proving them wrong, aren't you?


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Starting to Really Dislike Cable

You never really know what you have until it's gone. At first I thought Canadian's had it good when it came to television. What with genre protection preventing something like Nickmom from coming to Treehouse or Teletoon not going overboard with live-action programming like Cartoon Network did. It helps that most of said programming wasn't as bad as Cartoon Network's was (Mudpit > Anything on CNReal). Then, just yesterday, we had to downgrade our cable package because it was too expensive. I now have around 220 channels...AND THEY ALL SUCK!

Television nowadays panders to women, tween girls and men; everyone else gets the finger. Young adults, like myself, get the worst of it. There are only 4 or 5 channels of non-vanilla television we can enjoy. Everything else is just reality shows, dramas, lifestyle shows, sports, and teen pop trash. No wonder we spend more time on the internet. As much as I love to babble on about how crappy Canadian speciality services have become, my beef is with Rogers and other television service providers.

Back in my day, we had theme packages: channels of different subjects and genres grouped together. But now we 3 or 5 packages with a mishmash of channels and, ultimately, you're gonna buy the most expensive package because they have the channels you actually want to watch. It has dawned on me that, out of all the channels I have, I only watch about five. But now I only have two, and we have to pay an additional $14 on top of $60 our current package costs if I want to watch them again. Not all of my channels are available a la carte, so we'll still have to pay $10 or $20 just to get them back.

The annoying noisy non-existent-but-would-be protesters have lobbied for more pick-and-pay channels. That's good, run along and complain to the CRTC like you do for all of your problems. Meanwhile, I'm going to find an immediate alternative.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Turning Point [Update Summer 2014]

...So, I lost everything. Well, not everything, but most of my stuff is all gone. Music, videos, pictures, collected articles and websites, guilty pleasures. Almost all of it is gone. More importantly, all my machinima-related files, inducing Brawl hacks, are gone. Luckily, I STILL haven't gotten back to work on Reycralibur nor The Abridged Knights of Brawl. Plus, my laptop is still functional, and I haven't thrown out my old laptop, the one I used before, yet. On top of not losing all my stuff, there's a chance some of my older stuff, the movies and files I thought I lost forever, can be recovered at a future date. So, it's not that bad, for me at least.

But I shouldn't get my hopes up for getting my current stuff back, so now it's time for me to figure out where I'm headed, as far as online entertainment goes. I now have an SD Card which I can use to softmod my Wii U and possibly return to making Brawl machinima. Meanwhile, I'm becoming more disillusioned with Reycralibur and, without my laptop AND my stuff, it's gonna be a while before I can get back to making SSB64 machinima. I've decided to see what I can do to get back to doing the latter, while shifting my focus towards doing the former.

Last year, I began writing a new Smash machinima, one that I have gotten really attached to. Like The Abridged Knights of Brawl, it's based on a really crappy web series..., or rather, a really crappy webcomic. Unlike Knights, this was going to be an adaptation, a re-imagination, in machinima form. I was going to do it in Melee and, like Reycralibur, it would have showcased hacks that were NEVER used in a Melee machinima before.
But, now I've decided to make it a Brawl machinima, and a back-to-basics one at that. Nothing too fancy. Don't worry, it would have at least had voice actors...besides myself.

So there's that and, since I've already uploaded the entire Knights of Brawl series to one of my YT channels, I can continue work on The Abridged Knights of Brawl by downloading those episodes. Knights is another series I've grown attached to. I'm actually planning on turning that into a Brawl machinima adaptation as well after I finished "Season 3".

Like I said, it's not that bad, for me at least.