Tuesday, 28 January 2014

A Black Month Indeed. [YTV Bionix and other genres]

February is an interesting month for three reasons: the first reason is that it's Black History Month, the second reason is that this was the month that Bionix was taken off YTV, and the third reason...I'd rather not say.

So, since it's BHM, let's talk black shows. If it wasn't for BET and Peachtree TV, we'd never be able to see any quality programming that Black Canadians can enjoy. WPCH is the only station available in Canada that syndicates black-centric shows and ever since BET revived The Game (embarrassing The CW in the process) their original programming slate has moved towards more scripted programming; which I can definitely vouch for.

Now imagine what would happen if BET stuck to reality shows and TBS didn't branch off onto cable? For Americans, it won't mean much; for Canadians, life would suck just a little bit more. Unless were talking Chris Rock, Bill Cosby or a the star of a kidcom, shows featuring black stars or a predominate black cast wouldn't even be given the time of day. You'd think the Canadian version of OWN would premiere The Haves and the Have Nots by now but, no, of course not. And what a coincidence, guess who owns the Canadian OWN? Not Bell Media, but Corus Entertainment; the same company who owns, that's right, YTV. 

Now, I don't have to remind you about Bionix's fate, quoting TV Tropes, YTV screwed it over so bad, it made what happened to Toonami look minor in comparison. No new shows, a shorter run time, and two shows, Naruto and Bleach, that were stuck in limbo: no Shippuden and no Arrancar Saga. Though, in the case of Shippuden, it would have ended up on Family Channel, if Family was stupid enough to air a show that was clearly not intended for children that is. Ironically, the Canadian version of Jetix (which replaced Power Box), which also airs on Family, was also being phased out around this time.

When Bionix ended it left a void in Canada's anime community. Sure, YTV was still acquiring anime titles, as they have done in the past, but only ones that were aimed at children. Mature-themed anime, to my knowledge, gets no air time anywhere in Canada, at least not on basic cable. To be fair, like music videos, new anime titles can be found via the internet. Websites like Crunchyroll premiere brand-new shows for fans to watch, without having to wait for the english dub and, chances are, it's going to air uncut. That's fine..., but that still doesn't explain why specialty channels are restricting themselves to children's anime. 

At this point, I've come to the conclusion that the Canadian television industry just doesn't care about anime or niche programming. This is an era where niche networks - like OLN, G4, and Much - and their shows are being homogenized to cater to people who normally wouldn't give a crap. Instead of action shows, we get dramas; instead of anime, we get reality shows. There's a good reason why so many people wanted Toonami back, it's because they got tired of seeing the same crap over and over again..., and because the Cartoon Network manchi-I MEAN fanboys just couldn't accept change.

Nonetheless, if "change" means I give up the diverse programming I like for whatever show my mom or sister likes, then I'd rather "change" the channel.

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