Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Fave Five: Depressing Moments From 2015

1) Call of Duty still gets no love.
Why? Because Modern Warfare 3 was, from the fan's perspective, god awful. In reality, It's a decent game with a single player campaign that offers a satisfactory conclusion to Modern Warfare 2's latched-on excuse of a plot. But it also cemented the franchise's reputation for not being innovative enough with its sequels and for becoming as formulaic as the likes of Dynasty Warriors or the average sports franchise. Depending on who you ask, even the critics and detractors can agree that either Advanced Warfare or Black Ops 3 was a step in the right direction. Unless you're a fanboy, in which case, fuck you.

Nonetheless, Call of Duty is still a twitch shooter on steroids where every gun is overpowered and the guns that are nerfed are damn near useless. It'd be easier trying to beat Hotline Miami than to survive a round of this game, which is probably why the game is way more popular in the competitive scene. It's nice to know that there are people defending the game that aren't stupid six-year-old brats or grown men who act like them.

2) Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid
I'm not ashamed of admitting I enjoy fanservice-laden anime and panty fighters, mostly because its the internet. If its misogynistic and sexist to enjoy smut yet also support gay marriage and believe women can do everything a man can do and more, then call me a pig. Besides, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too, to have racy content and a good narrative, and Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid...is not a good example.

What really sells a show like this is likable, relatable characters and a plot that doesn't get in the way. Mermaid knows its audience (Hi! I'm Kira) and gives them what they want, physical and very sexual girl-on-girl action, but because of its unlikable characters and uninteresting plot, the rest of the show beyond the infectious opening becomes a pointless waste.

Let's just say that I was more impressed with Yuri Kuma.

3) Jimmy Kimmel Offending Gamers
I'm not going into details. Let's just hope that the "other" Jimmy's ordeal helps get the message across to the likes of Spike, ESPN, and other television brands and personalities that if you're gonna do ANYTHING that offends the gaming community at large, don't. Just. Don't.

4) Konami
Once an iconic name in the gaming industry, Konami is now associated with the likes of Uwe Boll for being one of gaming's most hated figures. The shit Konami has pulled in recent years has turned a few heads, but its the controversy surrounding Silent Hills, P.T, Metal Gear Solid V, and recent Castlevania outings that earned them more hatred than EA, Activision, or Ubisoft could have ever had.

It would be nothing short of karma if these guys fall harder than THQ did.

5) Donald Trump for President
What started out as the funniest joke I've heard from American politics since Arnold Schwarzenegger running for governor, or whatever, has become one of the reasons why I'm grateful to live in Canada. I don't give a crap about politics, aside from democracy, but I'm pretty sure a racist, ignorant, twat better known for appearing on reality TV and for being rich as hell isn't really the best candidate most people would pick to run an entire country.

I can't judge whether or not Steven Harper wasn't a good Prime Minister, even though he did try to kill the CBC, but I can sure as hell say he wasn't a horrible monster. I don't need to say anything else other than this: if Trump for President is a joke, than its comedy at its worst.

Now, Kanye West for president? THAT'S funny!

Friday, 25 December 2015

Is This the End of Teletoon at Night?

...Better question: Did Santa give me a present or what!?
http://www.teletoonatnight.com/contact-us/channel-shift-faq/
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Let's face facts: Teletoon has never been "Cartoon Network Canada". Sure, they aired Cartoon Network shows, but it was their own output that made them a household name and, now, a worldwide brand. Nowadays, the difference between the two couldn't be any more definitive. Cartoon Network's output has become just as popular with adults as it has been with kids. Hence the reason why Regular Show and Adventure Time are critically-acclaimed, award-winning, flagship shows, whereas, the likes of Teen Titans Go are seen as the children's equivalent to Brickleberry.

Teletoon's output has become the latter, with shows like Johnny Test and Total Drama getting a lot more fans north of the border and just as much scorn down south. With Cartoon Network's original shows now airing exclusively on the Canadian version, and with the pick-and-pay revolution just a few months away, older viewers (like myself) are jumping ship. All that was stopping them was the long-awaited arrival of Bob's Burgers to Teletoon at Night, with the anticipated return of Archer in January.

..But then, THIS happened! On top of FINALLY getting Rick and Morty, it seems Adult Swim is taking reruns of Bob's Burgers and the new season of Archer from Teletoon! For those of you keeping track, [as] has also stolen away Fox's animated sitcoms, Night Sweats and the new season of Fugget About It. After Teletoon Retro was closed, I knew it was high-time that Teletoon Prime addressed the overlap between Adult Swim and Teletoon at Night. It seems as though they've finally made a decision.

The end of Retro left open a void that Teletoon could potentially fill once CanCon requirements are lowered and they no longer have to rely on reruns of Johnny Test. Nostalgia is a trend, but as TeenNick has proven, its a trend that brings in a desired crowd. A block for classic cartoons should be the replacement for Teletoon at Night because, if the "movies" Teletoon at Night we're referring to in the FAQ are the same twelve live-action movies they've been playing for years, then the block is as good as dead.

Again, Let's face facts: No one watches animation networks for live-action programming. The only reason Adult Swim got away with it was because their shows were leagues above CN Real. Likewise, the only reason Teletoon at Night got away with it was because, up until now, it was the only network that targets a demo that neither YTV, ABC Spark or any other rival channel could ever properly serve: Young Adult Men. Three years and the rise of cord-cutting later, the former channel as a whole is growing from being the equivalent of Nickelodeon Canada - which might as well be called "Nicktoons Canada" - into an actual domestic counterpart to Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.

The CRTC's Let's Talk TV hearings forced the hand of Corus Entertainment. It made them to close the general-interest, premium service, Movie Central, because their women and kids' brands were more popular and streaming services like Netfilx offers more choice than seven linear channels. It made them close Teletoon Retro because, with Family Channel ditching Disney programming, they can become the sole operator of the big three American children's brands.

I'm not saying all these changes are for the better; I'm saying it's better to get with the times then to be left behind. Would you rather have a block that airs Adult Swim shows, Fox and FX animated comedies, original Canadian-made shows, and the occasional live-action movie or a block that just airs live-action movies? Clearly, Corus has favored Adult Swim as the better block to target adults and, like-wise, viewers who used to watch Teletoon as kids now prefer Cartoon Network as adults. All that's missing is Toonami, but don't get your hopes up.

Now if only MTV2 would actually air MTV2 shows...

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Decoys, Species, and Lifeforce vs Vampire Cheeleaders

Decoys, Species, and Lifeforce are about aliens disguised as beautiful, attractive women who use their sex appeal to seduce men into having sex with them for their own gain. In the case of Decoys and Species, they're trying to mate with the human race to save/expand their own. In the case of Lifeforce, they're trying to bring about the galactic rapture. These movies are very much guilty pleasures for me, but only because they share one crippling, fatal flaw: the aliens aren't the protagonists.

If I learned anything from premium television, anime, comic books, and video games, its that, in stories like this, the villains are always the most interesting characters, especially if they're superhuman femme fatales (and vice-versa). So why not make them the protagonist? I wouldn't mind if we're talking about a slasher flick or torture porn or (if that's not a good enough description for them, then) whatever the hell Saw is supposed to be. However, in a thriller about horny, humanoid, creatures who've weaponized sex against us, do you really expect for me to root for the cockblockers? The boring, white, cardboard-cutout, protagonist I see in every other movie?

Anyone who's read Vampire Cheerleaders will agree with me on this one. It's a comedic web comic (or web manga, given the premise) that's exactly what it says: a story about undead bloodsuckers who just happen to be spoiled, bitchy, cheerleader stereotypes. It's slice of life gone bloody wrong; within the first volume our protagonists have "initiated" a naive girl into their ranks, enthralled her family and turned the hero antagonist into their slave.

These girls are straight-forward villains and, if it were a different story in a different genre, your first instinct would be to root against them. Yet, by the third volume, when the heroes are competent enough to stop them, the fandom found themselves rooting for the vampires, despite the horrible things they've done. This is what happens when you've created despicable villains who are also very likable characters and made them the protagonists. Tell me you haven't watch a movie or TV show where the villains were more likable than the heroes (okemon-Pay) and you wished the story was about them.

Going back to the gutter with a fresh new suit, the aliens in Decoys are simply trying to protect their race from going extinct. They didn't mean to leave a trail of frozen corpses, but if they must... Meanwhile, the "heroes" are just hormone-crazed college students who realized too late that these girls are not what they seem. Am I supposed to believe that, at the drop of a hat, they go from the annoying kids you're more likely to find in an episode of Degrassi to a group of alien exterminators? Screw that!

Granted, if the villains of these movies were the true protagonists, the ending would either be tragic for the villains or horrendous for humanity. On the other hand, aren't thrillers supposed to have bittersweet endings at the very least? Perhaps I should be looking for a sci-fi black comedy instead? I guess it is too much to ask for junk food to be compelling. If it wasn't, we wouldn't have guilty pleasures like these and we wouldn't be asking ourselves how we can make them as "decent" as the stuff we normally enjoy. If you enjoyed it for what it is, then who cares what others think, right?

...On the subject of horror franchises making a comeback, is a third Decoys movie or a television series really too much to ask?

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Less of a Pikachu, More of a Bear [December 2015 Update]

I'm not doing anything right now. Because its winter, I like to kick back and relax. But in my relaxation, I forgot to upload some videos I made, but hey, no one watches them anyways. Maybe I'll upload the rest of the SmashVines I recorded before the year ends. Maybe. Sadly, I'm gonna have to scrap the next Shoopa Smash movie. Why? Because my computer simply can't record any Smash Flash/Crusade footage. Too much resources, so little power. Instead, I'll upload them as separate videos on my channel, again, before the year ends.

As far as machinima goes, I really don't have anything in the pipeline besides the occasional sketch video. I'm still gonna finish Reycralibur, but it's not my number one priority anymore. Also, Aile x Opal is cancelled. So, there's that. I know that most people who do watch my videos wanna see more SSB4 machinima, so I'll give to them. In the new year, I'll be sure to make more Smash 4 machinima videos. Because I'm a benevolent god.

As far as rants go, nothing has really bugged me in recent months. Sure, Konami - aka "the Yu-Gi-Oh Company", since that's all they're good for - has really transcended to Uwe Boll levels of disgusting thanks to what happened at The Game Awards. Sure, small broadcast networks like Comet, Bounce TV, and Cozi TV have become superior to cable networks like Syfy, BET, and Boomerang (Ha!). Sure, Disney XD and TBS are making e-sports more prominent, whereas ESPN has made it a laughing stalk in the past. And yes, Destination America truly does suck now that they've lost TNA and Ring of Honor, the only programming worth a damn on what is otherwise another worthless lifestyle channel in the midst of a pick-and-pay revolution.

But hey, it's the holidays. Why spoil the mood?

My new year's resolution is to stop making goals I can't keep. I'm never going back to Twitch; I'm not gonna make more than one episode of Reycralibur; and I'm never going to become famous on the internet. I'm just gonna do whatever I want, whenever I want to do it. Besides, what's the point of being famous on a website that wants to be the new Hulu? I'm better off getting a following on ZippCast.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to sleep.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Thanks, Answerman [RE: Glitter Force]

Why Are Adapted Dubs Still Being Made?
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2015-11-10/.95173
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I don't normally listen to other people's opinions, since I'm the smartest goddamn man on the internet, but I've learned a lot about anime from Anime News Network's Answerman column. In an earlier post, I called bullshit on Saban localizing Smile PreCure for Americans. 4Kids localized jobs had left a bad impression on me and led me to think that any dub that isn't faithful to the source material is pure garbage. However, thanks to Answerman, I at least learned in detail why it has to be this way.

Admittedly, I was pretty ignorant of the fact that Pretty Cure was a kids show, just like Digimon, and these sort of things tend to happen. Kids are way to young to understand another country's culture, let alone care. Also, unlike 4Kids dubs, the shows being adapted today (LBX/Denball, Yo-Kai Watch, Doraemon, etc) are actual kids shows. Furthermore, since "Glitter Force" will be streamed on Netflix, the show will get far more exposure than the original series ever did on YTV. After all, one is Netflix, and the other is a kids channel owned by a company that has all but killed off adult anime from Canadian television.

It's not just the dubbing issue. Through Answerman, I also learned what happened to Manga Entertainment, I learned more about Animax and Crackle's anime selection, and why anime isn't on TV more often. If you're like me, and would like to learn more about anime, Answerman is nice column to check out. Because even when you're the smartest goddamn man on the internet, you can always get smarter. That being said, I'm still not very big on "Glitter Force's"name. I mean, if it takes off, what's gonna happen when they start localizing the other series? Yes! Glitter Force 5!?

...Crap, that actually sounds pretty cool...

Friday, 30 October 2015

How to Survive in a Pick-and-Pay World: My Checklist

* Have Exclusive, Attractive, Programming
A good example of this is Spike TV. On neither Shomi nor Netflix will you find Bellator, Glory, Cops, Lip Sync Battle, Jail, or certain cards from Premiere Boxing Champions. Since I like watching all of this, I'm gonna stick around.

* Niche is Nice
Unlike Teletoon, the animation on Cartoon Network is much more appealing to adults. Compare the likes of Adventure Time, Regular Show, Gumball, and Steven Universe, to most originals from Teletoon and YTV. If you wanna know the appeal behind Japanese animation, Cartoon Network's original shows are your best bet.

Although, it would be nice if Adult Swim aired more of their originals. But that's what you get when your interpretation of the brand is "adult animation" as opposed to "FOX cartoons and live-action comedies". I mean, isn't that what TBS is for?

* Serve the Underserved
Wanna know why FEVA TV is better than BET's Canadian feed? Then read the posts I've made; I've already said my peace.

At the moment, excluding broadcast networks, these are the only channels I'd want to subscribe to. These are the networks and brands that appeal to me the most and, therefore, are worth sticking with cable. Different people have different tastes though, and there's no guaranteed that enough people share my interests enough to subscribe to these channels as well.

You can guarantee that most people will stick with Showcase, CP24, YTV, Treehouse or the sports channels and American networks, but not on crappy lifestyle networks or the likes of M3, Fashion Television, BookTelevision, G4, MTV2, DTOUR, or even DejaView.

...Different tastes, remember?

Saturday, 24 October 2015

How to Make a Modern Action Show (or "Why From Dusk Till Dawn is Better Than The Player")

When I heard from IGN that NBC reduced the episode order for The Player, I knew it was time I had this chat with you. The Player is one of the most disappointing shows I've seen a while. I'm sorry if I sound like a tool, since I really hate being that guy, but I have got to be honest. If I sound like I haven't done my research on this show, or even watched it, that's because I can barely remember what has happened in the show so far. If I can't do that the first time around, its not worth watching a second time.

From what I read from an interview on IGN, The Player was supposed to be influenced by 80s action Shows. But, from the episodes I've watched, this show is little more than a genre-lite drama: a typical drama but with more gunfights and explosions. A template action show is, from my perspective, an kids show rewritten for adults. Instead of character development or plot, the shows focus is on the good guys fighting the bad guys. Think Power Rangers if it was written for adults. In fact, character is everything because, ultimately, action shows aren't about the plot, but about how its cast deals with it. I mean, do you honestly believe Dragon Ball Z was remembered for the plot? You want an actual story? Then go watch a drama, because this why I love action shows and movies.

Characters are defined not by their backstory or motivations, but by their ACTIONS. Its why the Mr. T's and James Bond's of the world are remembered as such. We didn't care about who they were, but we remembered what they did and how they went about it. I didn't give a shit about the titular "Player", but I learned he used to enjoy his old profession. Again, as I'm writing this, I can't remember what that was, but it sounded messy. I would have loved to see that guy as the main main, instead of this FPS protagonist I can find in any Call of Duty knockoff.

Compare this to From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, an real action show. The series is about a group of disparate people who are after some macguffin by the big bad for various reasons. Each of these characters are defined and remembered by their actions. As a bonus, the tone and genre of the series can change depending on them. The story of our leads, the Gecko Brothers, is treated as crime fiction; The Fuller Family, a drama; and Ranger Gonzales, an action-horror flick.

As an action-drama, The Player instead follows the same template as Gotham, The Flash, and Arrow. But those shows had characters that would still be memorable even if they weren't based those from a comic book. Case-and-point: Fish Mooney. Being dramas at their core, it also helps that their ongoing story arcs are intriguing. However, The Player's plight - a man trying to find his wife - is just cliche. It wouldn't surprise me if it turned out the wife was working for the bad guy the whole time.

I would have love to see a break in the traditional prime-time crap I watch, as well as the influx of superheroes dramas, but The Player isn't it sadly. I'm not surprised that NBC is wavering on it, nor will I be when it gets cancelled. Outside of 80s action shows, I don't know what the gold standard for a primetime action show on broadcast television is, but The Player (along with Taxi Brooklyn, by-the-by) are good examples of how not to go about it.

'Should have just renewed Constantine.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Canadian Broadcasters Would Suck At Anime Simulcasts

I think it's about time to call out broadcasters who spend so much money on American crap, yet never finds the time to air them until the whole world finished watching. Case-and-point, Mr. Robot, the show that finally gave USA Network the chance to properly tell its critics to suck it, is now airing on Showcase months after it already aired in the States. More recently, MuchMusic began airing season two of TripTank a just a few weeks after Comedy Central premiered it. You would think that since Much started airing Comedy Central series that they would air them day-and-date with the States. Seriously, its on Fridays at Midnight! I know its not Futurama, but come on!

Meanwhile, shows like Jane the Virgin and iZombie are bypassing a Canadian broadcaster in favor of Netflix and other streaming sites. In other words, if we can't watch them on the same day stateside, we can at least watch them tomorrow. If we can at least do that with dedicated streaming sites, why couldn't Much or other broadcasters do that with their websites? If you can't air it on the network today, just stream on your website tomorrow. This is kinda how Anime Simulcasts work. The big difference is, viewers can and will be able to watch them at least an hour after they air overseas. Although, its very jarring that I can only watch From Dusk til Dawn on Netflix the day after it airs on El Rey Network.

I believe we can chalk this problem up to the messed up programming rights Canadian networks have. Its the reason why we're still waiting for Shomi or some other outlet to give us a legal way to watch every episode of Arthur and The Simpsons ever. Its the reason why Adult Swim Canada won't be airing the new Robot Chicken DC Comics special until who knows when. Most damningly, its the reason why Canadians almost missed out on the new season of The Mindy Project, after the show was brought back by Hulu. But, if you're like me, you can just pirate that shit. After all, if Canadian broadcasters aren't willing to put in the effort to meet our needs, why go through the trouble to do things their way.

Its ironic how Canadian broadcasters seemingly wants nothing to do with mature anime because, compared to the way anime is streamed and broadcast elsewhere, its way better than the treatment they've shown for American shows these days. I'm almost glad Corus Entertainment isn't getting back into the anime scene anytime soon.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

"Freeform" is the new Showcase

Juicebox, Pop, Action. You would never have known these were the names of TV channels because they are just words in a dictionary. Generic, uninspired, bland. Compare that shit to Teletoon, YTV, and MuchMusic; far more recognizable names and, in turn, marketable brands. Basically, if I were to use Google News to search for your brand and I end up getting something completely different, no matter how many times I rephrase it, you fucked up big time. That is exactly why ABC Family's decision to change their name to Freeform is a mistake. Not a huge mistake, just a mistake.

The name change was necessary; parents of America have long complained about the network airing more mature fare than its namesake would have you believe. Of course, parents of America being parents of America, they didn't bother to recognize that ABC Family is named as such due to some contractual crap by the channel's original owners, The CBN, in which the word "family" must be in the channel's name in perpetuity. However, as Disney/ABC were planning on a major revamp for their network, they found out that no such clause exists. They still have to air that CBN crap, but that doesn't mean they have to keep the name. So fuck, Parents of America, and Suck it, CBN!

That being said, the new name is, to be politically incorrect, very lame. At least with ABC Family, you get the impression that network's programming would be more in-line to what a 24/7 version of the ABC broadcast network would be like; mature, yet wholesome. Freeform is just an adjective people use to describe stuff like CBC Radio 3 or MTV2 back in its glory days. It's no different than Pop, a universal word used to describe what is, or was, popular. Wheras TVGN was the name of a fucking network.

You want to know an example of a good name change? Try Sci Fi, a network named after a genre of it had very little to do with that decided to change their name, but keep its pronunciation. Nowadays, its called Syfy and it has since become its own thing, but because of how familiar the name sounds, people can still recognize it. Better yet, try ABC Spark: a name explicitly chosen to avoid confusion with Family Channel, which in itself is confused with the many international networks sharing the same name!

If the new name really was chosen based on research and demographics, I'm inclined to believe so. If I learned anything from the years I've covered television, as well as the news and controversies I've heard from the gaming industry, this market-based research crap only does more harm than good. Anyone who doesn't know a thing about television, but has enough common sense, would have come up with a better name because at least they understand that a name has to stand out. It has to be unique, unconventional, or at least something you can't just look up in a goddamn dictionary.

At the very least, they should keep the ABC branding. Though, on the other hand, didn't they want change their name to XYZ in the first place?

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Even TV Anywhere Apps Suck in Canada

I know I had some unrealistic expectations about the new NickGO app Corus just launched when I tried it out. After all, Corus only uses the domestic version of Nickelodeon as a dumping ground for Canadian originals and an outlet for classic Nick shows. Neither Nick Canada's website or Facebook page has been updated in years, and yet its getting its own TV app?! It's very disappointing that Corus hasn't really taken advantage of their exclusive rights to Nickelodeon programming to build a better streaming platform for them. Bell Media had the right idea with Cravetv and its exclusive access to HBO and Showtime series.

In general, TV Anywhere apps are garbage; they're basically video-on-demand platforms with even less content. More insultingly, their barebones offerings are gated behind a cable/satellite subscription paywall and I still have to deal with in-app advertisments. The best they can do is stream the channel live and offer select episodes from network programming; exactly what YTVGO does. Otherwise, you're better off getting an app for Netflix, Hulu, and Shomi (Also, Cravetv, in 2016) first. After all, what's the point of a live channel stream when you can watch the show you want now and the new episode later?

For comparison's sake, I downloaded both the Shomi and FX apps for my Android phone. Naturally, I'm able to watch past seasons of, for example, the League and You're The Worst on Shomi and the current seasons on FX Now Canada. However, with FXNC, I can only watch the last two episodes aired. So that means, if I somehow miss the first episode within two weeks of airing, I can't watch it again legally. Keyword being "legally", as in, the only way I can watch that episode if I steam it on a pirate site illegally. Is that what you want, Rogers? Because that's what's happening thanks to your shitty app. It's probably better just to watch on-demand from my cable box.

Compare that shit with the Adult Swim app, which offers a lot more value even outside the paywall. I can watch full episodes of old original shows, livestreams from their website, and do some other cool shit. Stuff like that makes these apps a lot less useless than they already are. So not all TV Anywhere apps are shit, they do their jobs fine, but even the decent ones could use a lot of improvement.

At the end of the day, however, I do believe the current TVE model is just a waste of time. HBO had the right idea with HBO Now; instead of tying our brands to the cable subscription model, we should be creating streaming platforms of our own and allow our subscribers to access our content free of barriers (aside from money, of course). Corus should have created a Nickelodeon app that allows fans of Nick's programming, from the 90s to now, to watch them all, anytime, anywhere. Every Simpsons Ever? Try, Every Rugrats Ever! They can do more than just a livestream of the Canadian Nick channel and only a few shows with a handful of episodes.

Canadian companies are so desperate to hang on to the tired cable model, they would settle for the outdated and mundane, when they could have made more money by being innovative and creative. I'm not asking them give their shit away for free, I'm telling them that if they don't try a more creative, consumer-friendly approach, they will lose more than just subscribers.

But, seriously, a Nickelodeon streaming site would be nice...

Thursday, 1 October 2015

FM vs M3: Two digits, One-sided

Yesterday, NuvoTV folded into Fuse and, in the former's place, FM was launched. Sadly, Fuse's schedule looks almost identical to MTV2, mostly because they both air Everybody Hates Chris. So, yet another music network bites the dust, but that's where FM come into play. In an earlier post, I commented on how FM was going to be similar to networks like MuchVibe and MTV Jams; just an automated music video loop. But, looking at its current schedule, FM looks more like Fuse before the relaunch: an entertainment channel that's mainly music-focused.

I don't know how the southies are taking this, but I definitely wish M3 would take notes. In the three years M3 has spent stealing shows, they could have been experimenting more with their format. They could have tried airing videos overnight, when Much and other so-called music networks are airing their entertainment crap. Or, since they like retro videos so much, they could air more retro shows too. I bet you their marathon of Saved by the Bell got more viewers than any episode of Pretty Little Liars. They should have brought in Beverly Hills 90210 or even shows like Charlie's Angels and The A-Team, rather than forgettable fare like Anger Management.

Fuse also has the right idea of targeting millennials, rather than M3's 30+ "cool crowd" that would rather watch FX or Showcase. From the get go, M3's lineup was teen oriented, which clashed horribly with their adult-oriented fare. You would have never guessed that the original home for Reign also airs Dating Naked. More unforgivable, since the MuchMore era, the channel's adult video rotation has been drowned out by CHR crap. If you want to know a better example of a channel targeting a dual-audience, try watching Nickelodeon sometime.

Fuse has nothing to lose with their rebrand. In the near three years Revolt has been on the air, it's become a lot more popular than Fuse. I'm not even sure people know the latter still exists, but they will soon enough. With FM, Fuse is going right after MTV who, like the rest of Viacom, is in the middle of a ratings decline and trying to reverse their luck. MTV's five-network suite is bleeding out, and Fuse's duo of destruction is out for blood.

But in Canada, there's no competition. Every network is doing the same thing: eight-hour blocks, then its back to their imported crap. The only real music network left is Aux, and even they're starting to slip. In the end, I'd rather watch FM than M3, because at least FM gets it. With FM, they're at least trying to modernize the music genre in television. Like I said before, they're finding a mix between music and entertainment, with music on the dominant end.

Bell Media could stand to learn a lesson from these guys.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Comedy Central and Canadian Television

FYI, Bloomberg, Disney Channel. Is it just me, or are we just importing second-hand crap from the States these days. You know what network I want to see? Comedy Central! I find it very ironic that Bell Media has exclusive rights to Comedy Central's shows, the very same shows that helped carry The Comedy Network and got people to watch MuchMusic again, yet they never launched a local version. With the cable revolution on the way, now would be the perfect time.

I suggest doing what Corus Entertainment did with Teletoon Retro and Disney Channel. Unlike Teletoon Retro, Comedy Gold hasn't aired that many new shows since their rebrand from TV Land. In fact, some of their shows have actually moved to The Comedy Network, while The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air airs regularly on Much. If Comedy Gold gets shut down, it won't be missed.

Bell Media is in the process of converting The Comedy Network into a Category B service, which would lower CanCon requirements and enable it to air more foreign programming (and less Cash Cab reruns). It's would actually be for the best if Comedy Gold shuts down, and have its shows incorporated onto The Comedy Network's lineup.

I mean, just look at Comedy. The only shows worth a damn these days are The Big Bang Theory, Fraiser, The Daily Show, The Nightly Report, and Just for Laughs highlights. The rest of the lineup is nothing but rehashed Canadian fare (JUST. FOR. LAUGHS. GAGS!) and, most embarrassingly, shows that have supposedly moved to Much. Much has little room to air reruns of these shows, mainly because its a MUSIC network, so The Comedy Network does it instead. Classic Bell Media.

Anyway, Comedy Gold's demise would leave a slot for Bell Media to launch a new specialty channel. That channel would be the official domestic version of Comedy Central, and it wouldn't just air South Park marathons, but classics like Drawn Together and Reno 911 (a la Nickelodeon Canada). With BiteTV out of the picture, the local version of FXX lacking the Animation Domination block, and the local version of Adult Swim making a big push, a Canadian Comedy Central is just what Bell Media needs to attract potential cord-cutters.

The only alternative is for The Comedy Network to focus more on upcoming Canadian acts, air more from the Comedy Central vault, and take back (*cough*@Midnight*cough*) some of the shows (*cough*Drunk History*cough*) that are currently airing (*cough*Workaholics*cough*) on Much (*cough*Nathan for You*cough*). But since Bell Media is Bell Media, that will only happen when hell freezes over.

Ironically, Hell is an accurate description for this company.


Monday, 28 September 2015

MuchMoreMedicore

Reign is moving to E! Canada, Pretty Little Liars is ending next year, oh, and Ravenswood is still cancelled. M3 is at the end of its rope with the three big shows that have carried the network post-rebrand. The real stars of M3's lineup however are Mike & Molly, The Mentalist, and Hot and Cleveland; because they are the only shows that are aired regularly for the last three years. In those three years, M3 has grabbed, snatched, and latched onto shows that, for all intents and purposes, shouldn't be airing here.

Despite running for over 100 episodes, M3 (nor any sibling channel that I know of) NEVER aired past episodes of Pretty Little Liars, yet they reran Gilmore Girls like there was no tomorrow. Reruns of Supernatural have also moved off-network, after it was buried in a graveyard slot where no one would be awake to watch it. True Blood only aired a single season on M3 before it was taken off, as was Franklin & Bash, which should have stayed on Bravo. Oh, and the movies; Screw them. If I want to see some decent films, I'll watch Showcase.

From just that small sample, we get the message that M3 is a poser; someone trying to fit in with the cool kids. Cool kids being networks like MTV & VH1 who'd do anything but music. Yet, MTV and VH1 still remain popular because, unlike M3, they actually produce their own shit. That goes triple for CMT Canada, Aux, and even MuchMusic.

More than ever, Much is looking a lot better. Almost two years after they ditched boring teen dramas for comedies and talk shows, they have launched their own MCN on YouTube. Essentially this is their way of ditching VJs for untalented hacks like [insert stupid YouTuber here], but its a nice concept that also acknowledges that the network's former audience is online. Moreover, I'll take TripTank and Moonbeam City over The Vampire Diaries any day.

For a network billed as "larger-than-life", M3 is really lamer-than-lame. Three years later, people still think of it as the ghost of MuchMoreMusic; a network that had a purpose and identity but, like so many others, lost it to ratings, old age, and the need to appeal to everyone but their own audience. The only thing the network is good for is stealing the rights to programs they have no business airing, denying more suitable networks the chance to air them. You call it a business move, I call it fowl play. This is signature bullcrap that only Bell Media can dish out.

Enjoy the ride.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Fave Five: Networks That Should Follow in TeenNick's Footsteps

From the perspective of a YTV viewer, the last couple of years from Nickelodeon are a blur. I remember iCarly, Victorious, Big Time Rush, Spongebob and Fairly Odd Parents. The only recent series from Nick I remember seeing were The Legend of Korra and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That leads me to believe that the main Nick network has only sporadically produced a single show, live-action and animated, that was worth a damn.

So, I'm convinced. Compared to everything after their 2008 rebrand, the 90s Nickelodeon felt like a way better TV channel, and TeenNick has gone above and beyond to bring it back. Subsequently, the network better known for Degrassi, Nickcoms, and burn-offs, has become arguably better than Nickelodeon itself. I'll never favor nostalgia over common sense, but if it could help TeenNick, imagine what it could do for these networks...

1) Disney XD
I love what this channel has become. No longer is it the juvenile boy version of Disney Channel, Disney XD is now the modern successor to Toon Disney we should have gotten in the first place. That being said, with news of a Ducktales reboot afoot, now is the perfect time for the network to go back to its roots.

We need to go back, long before Kim Possible, to the era of One Saturday Morning and The Disney Afternoon. There, we'll find long dormant shows like Darkwing Duck and the original Ducktales. How about some House of Mouse or Pepper Ann? Pit this against Toonami on Adult Swim, I doubt it would win, but it'd be a nice fight.

2) Disney Channel
Of course, the O.G DC should get in on the action. In fact, it's mandatory, because Disney Channel sucks. It does good in the ratings, but channel as a whole is bland, bland, bland. Of course, they already know this, which is why they introduced Disney Replay, a Throwback Thursday to the golden age. The downside is, Disney Channel doesn't have a vault as big as Nickelodeon's; you don't want to dry up the well too quickly.

The reason why Disney Channel makes this list is because, I didn't even know Disney Replay still existed until I wrote this sentence. A little more promotion would be nice, thank you very much.

3) MTV
MTV can never go back to being an all-music channel; it's foolish and futile. Besides, MTV was never truly defined by music, it was irreverent fare like Beavis and Butt-head, The Real World, and Jackass that earned the network its place in pop culture. Nowadays, MTV churns out train-wreck after horrible train-wreck, with only scripted fare, like Teen Wolf and Awkward, keeping the network relevant.

It's about time people were reminded why MTV shifted away from music in the first place. The only way to do that is if MTV ditches the syndicated crap, cracks open the vault, and give the 90s back their MTV: The MTV that was edgy, wild, unruly, and occasionally did something music-related. The idiots in suits wonder how to keep MTV relevant? My advice: try remembering why it was relevant in the first place!

4) Boomerang
Dear god, Boomerang, you don't need an explanation. I'm just gonna tell you what Shia LaBeouf told me: JUST DO IT!!!

5) Nick@Nite
...And so we come full circle. For all the bad vibes I get from people about TV Land's current direction, it's Nick@Nite that should be getting all the flack. Here we have perfect example as to why broadcast networks like Cozi and Me have beaten cable outlets for their nostalgia fix. n@n' s recent airings are little more than shows already seen on other networks, sans George Lopez and Full House. Such as Friends, which Nick has a deal with TBS to air it only at night; or How I Met Your Mother, which is seen on so many networks its not worth keeping track; or the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, currently being gangraped by BET and MTV.

What Nick@Nite really needs to do, is go back further. As long as you got Full House, I think we're overdue for some Happy Days too. Surely the premier classic TV network can do better than this, especially as TV Land continues its Gen X pursuits. If any network should be taking the initiative started by TeenNick, it's its fellow siblings.

...At least its still better Nickmom.

Smile Precure will be a "Bad End" for Saban

http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/news/2015-09-24/saban-listed-as-promoting-smile-precure-to-licensees-as-glitter-force/.93269
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OK, everyone remain calm.

We don't know what the status of this...thing is, other than the fact that it exists. So, let's assume that Saban wasn't working on this while Vortexx was falling apart, and that this was their way of announcing that "Yeah, we're doing this." NO, they really shouldn't, and here's why.

First of all, in the year 2015, it's about time children's anime gets the proper treatment it deserves.
The trend of acquiring shows from Japan, smashing it into tiny unrecognizable pieces, and putting it back together as an entirely different show is absolutely disgusting and should have died when 4Kids Entertainment went out of business. Sure, it's mostly toy-driven crap and, outside of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, no one really cares about it. Hell, Saban Brand's predecessor, Saban Entertainment, did the same thing with Digimon, and it still remained a nostalgic childhood memory. But the fact remains, it's still a form of censorship; to deny kids even the slightest taste of another country's culture, simply because it's a "cartoon", is revolting.

On a less fanboy-ish note, YTV already tried bringing the original series, Futari wa Pretty Cure, to Canada (and the UK), with their own English dub, produced by Ocean. Even though it was somewhat faithful to the original version, it just didn't catch on. Maybe it was because YTV didn't do a good enough job promoting it or maybe it was because they aired it in the mornings of a school day. Whatever the case, it was no Sailor Moon, dare I say Winx Club was more popular?

So, 4Kids-style dubs suck and no one will watch them, the franchise isn't as popular in North America as anything before it and, much like Digimon, the follow-ups and spin-offs in the Pretty Cure franchise are disputed in terms of quality and memorability. It's almost a fool's errand to try to pull the same trick with this show. Maybe if it was the current series, Go! Princess Pretty Cure, they'd have much better luck, but I just don't see Saban having much luck with this show. Unless they plan to release Smile Precure in its original form, they're better off sticking to Digimon and Power Rangers.

Also, Glitter Force is a stupid name. Just sayin'


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Some Things the New Boomerang Needs to Do...

It's great to see Turner has not forgotten about Boomerang. It can be more than just a network for classic cartoons and burn-offs. With its rebrand, it can be a testing ground for new shows and ideas that might not work on Cartoon Network. Hell, I'm pretty sure there were a lot of shows the vocal CN fanbase wanted nothing to do with. Had Boomerang rebranded eariler, they would have gotten their wish.

It's going to take some time for them to stretch their legs but, for the moment, let's help them out. Bitching and complaining only makes things worse and, let's face it, the CN fanbase is as snobby as the Call of Duty fanbase is disgusting and the Sonic fanbase is just plain horrible. So, instead, let's try to be a little more constructive.

Boomerang has no clear focus at the moment, it's all ratings-driven now. Right now, they're more focused on the most popular characters from the archives of Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbara. That's understandable: the likes of Yogi Bear and Top Cat have been on Boomerang for years; eventually they were gonna get stale. But, here's the thing: the shows that have replaced them are either too new, unmemorable, or were already airing on Cartoon Network.

There is absolutely no excuse for Boomerang to be airing reruns of Gumball and Teen Titans Go. They're already seen multiple times on Cartoon Network; if Boomerang wants to air reruns of those shows, they're gonna have to air reruns of the rest of CN's current slate. Better yet, Cartoon Network, how about you start doing that!? You can start with some damn Adventure Time episodes! No, instead Boomerang should be airing older CN originals, particularly the "Cartoon Cartoons" from the network's golden age.

The acquired slate is a mess, it's just a random mishmash of kiddy-fodder. The biggest highlight, of course, is Numb Chucks. A show so horrible, it more than justifies Boomerang's rebrand. If they hadn't, it would have ended up on Cartoon Network, and I don't think they're in the mood for another Canadian embarrassment after Almost Naked Animals had their fun.

I'm glad they realized their mistake and kept that shit on YTV where it belongs, but I'm also glad that Boomerang won't be airing the Inspector Gadget reboot either. Sure, it's one of Teletoon's best shows in a while, but we could do better then that buggy goofball. I'm sorry Canada, but at moment there are far better networks to acquire kids shows from than YTV and Teletoon. I speak on behalf of Canadians Rallying Against Programs Poisoning Youth.

The only hope Boomerang has now, is in its original slate: Wabbit, Be Cool, and Bunnicula. For better or worse, these shows are the only hope the channel has at redemption. Boomerang tried to do something different than what TV Land is doing but, in its current state, has become a dark and twisted version of Cartoon Network from an alternate universe where the network has become as bad as Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. In other words, it needs more work.

You see, Teletoon Retro, it was for the best that we part ways...

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Road to Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

Edit: "You might want to tell Wikipedia about that." Yeah, someone told Wikipedia about that.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Digimon Story series began with the 2006 game on Nintedo DS, followed by Dawn and Dusk in 2007, Lost Evolution in 2010, and Super Xros Wars in 2011. In America, the former two installments were marketed as sequels to the Digimon World series (along with Digimon World Data Squad and Digimon World Championship), however, they are in name (and crappy localization) only.

Ironically, an actual installment of Digimon World, 2012's Re:Digitize for PlayStation Portable, was never released in America. In fact, I believe a Digimon game hasn't been localized since the release of Digimon Championship in 2008. Maybe because Pokemon was just too popular, maybe because Xros Wars/Fusion wasn't as popular as the other anime installments, maybe because Championship sucked so much. Who knows?

Last year's Digimon All-Star Rumble was the first game to be released in America in six years. I guess the announcement of Digimon Adventure tri, a new movie series featuring the cast from the original anime, or the fact that it had the word "Rumble" in it, caused a renewed interest. In any case, it's nice to see the franchise hasn't been totally abandoned stateside.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

A Quick Top 9: Teletoon's Longest-Running Original Series

From the article on Teletoon Original series on Wikipedia, I've listed these shows. I've excluded quarter-hour and interstitial shows, but included international co-productions: shows that Teletoon have had a hand in producing at some point. This list is current as of September 9, 2015 and you are more than welcome to dispute it.

9) Mega Babies
Produced by Cin├ęGroupe, Landmark Entertainment Group, and Sony Wonder
4 seasons, 52 episodes
January 5, 1999 – April 1, 2001

8) Angela Anaconda
Produced by C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, Decode Entertainment, and Angela Productions, Inc.
65 episodes
October 5, 1999 – February 24, 2002

7) Braceface
Produced by Nelvana
3 seasons, 78 episodes
June 30, 2001 – September 1, 2004

6) Chaotic
Co-Produced by Chaotic of America, 4Kids Entertainment, and Bardel Entertainment
3 seasons, 79 episodes
October 7, 2006 – March 13, 2010

5) Caillou
Produced by Elastic Rights, Clockwork Zoo, Cinar (1997–2004) and Cookie Jar Entertainment (2004–2012)
5 seasons, 92 episodes
September 15, 1997 – October 3, 2010

4) 6teen
Produced by Nelvana (season 1–3) and Fresh TV (season 4)
4 seasons, 93 episodes (including specials)
November 7, 2004 – February 11, 2010

3) Johnny Test
Co-Produced by Warner Bros. Animation (Season 1), Coliseum Entertainment (Season 2), and Cookie Jar Entertainment  (Season 2–6)
6 seasons, 117 episodes
September 17, 2005-December 25, 2014

2) Total Drama
Produced by Fresh TV and Neptoon Studios
5 seasons, 120 episodes (including specials)
Note: By surpassing Johnny Test and Kevin Spencer in episode count, I believe Total Drama is also the longest-running, domestically-produced, Canadian animated series.

1) Totally Spies!
Co-Produced by Marathon Media Group and Image Entertainment Corporation (season 3–5)
6 seasons, 156 episodes
November 3, 2001 – October 3, 2014
Note: Technically, Teletoon was not involved with the sixth season.


The 90s Are All Splat?

There's one thing Canada's Nickelodeon has going for it that the American version doesn't have, and it's something viewers of the latter channel have complaining about for years. Along with the current crop, Nick Canada also airs classic series from the nineties; every night, every weekend.

Why is this so important? Under normal circumstances, it wouldn't be, but at least in the 90s Nick's long-running shows wouldn't be accused of decaying quality, their sitcoms wouldn't be as predictably stale as the crap on Disney Channel, and the overall quality of programming wasn't simply kid-fodder. You know your network sucks when you commissioned a show like Rocket Monkeys, but only aired the first season because it was just so horrible! All this explains the significance of TeenNick's late night block, The 90s Are All That, which has been huge success for a network that's mostly known for airing Nickcoms, burn-offs, and Degrassi.

You'd think the other networks would have done this already, maybe in overnight hours, but no. Between preschool programming and Nick@Nite, Nickelodeon only has eight hours to itself on the weekdays, and promoting their current crop of shows is elementary. That being said, it would have been nice if Nick@Nite would have done this on the weekends, to switch things up at least.
Nicktoons clearly would have benefited more from airing the classics than they do from airing censored anime and producing original crap that's even worse than Rocket Monkeys. Finally, the less said of Nickmom, the better. It was a horrible idea and, if Nick Jr. was that desperate for ratings, they should have also done this instead.

That's brings us to The Splat. We know it's a programming block that will launch in October, but I got some questions of my own. Will it replace Nick@Nite? How will it affect TeenNick's block? Will it replace Nick@Nite? Will it air on weekdays and/or weekends? Will it replace Nick@Nite? ...Don't look at me like that, I'm only giving TV Land some incentive to not become as bad as Boomerang.

Anyways, all this 90s Nick talk has actually got me feeling a bit nostalgic about YTV. I'm too old for it, and its current shows are too juvenile for anyone. Still, I can't help but feel YTV would also benefit from doing something like this. Guess that's why they uploaded Invader Zim to their YouTube channel.

...And I'm talking to myself. Nice.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

10 Things You Might Want to Know About

1. Lab Rats and Mighty Med are merging to form a new sequel series. Yes, I know Avengers: Ultron Revolution is far more buzz-worthy. But, as one of the few good shows made by ITL, I do need to give Lab Rats a shout-out. It's a way better show than the Gamer's Guide to Anti-Humor.

2. Teletoon is airing classic cartoons again. Because no one wants to watch Rocket Monkeys. No one.

3. Revolt is promoting Afro Samurai 2. ...And Fuse is airing Miami Ink reruns.

4. TNA is under siege again. Speaking of buzz-worthy, no word yet on GFW Amped's premiere or Lucha Underground's second season.

5. Inspector Gadget got a reboot/sequel/whatever. Better a goofball like Gadget than a prick like Hong-Kong Phooey.

6. Ben 10 and The Powerpuff Girls are getting reboots. And yet, Young Justice remains at large.

7. ReBoot is getting a reboot. Mend, defend, and do your homework. *sigh*

8. Full House is getting a reboot. ...Wait, what?

9. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is getting a reboot. OK, Hang on!

10. Nickelodeon is developing a Nickoons Crossover reboot. Hey, Hey, Hey HEY, What's Going On Here?!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Fave Four: Channels I like (Vol 2?)

The herd is thinning. In a pick-and-pay environment, you count on my subscription to these channels.

1) Teletoon
Needs no explanation. Kids watch it, but my demo wishes for better. Thankfully, Teletoon is doing just that; They've ditched some of their crappier originals to Cartoon Network, while also bringing back some older series and incorporating shows from Teletoon Retro (R.I.P) to fill out weekends. On average, since 2011, they only produce one decent show per year, but this year's slate may be their best yet. It's no Cartoon Network, nor Teletoon's golden age, but at least it's getting better.

2) FEVA TV
When they called FEVA the entertainment channel I've been waiting for, they weren't kidding. A great alternative to BET's Canadian feed, FEVA TV offers a broad range of entertainment and lifestyle programming. Let's just say 4th and Forever was a better show than 4th and Loud and leave it at that.

But my favorite programming to watch on this channel are the music blocks. Finally, fresh, unfiltered, non-vanilla, music from Canadian, American, and International artists on my TV. The best part? It's not even a music channel; the channels in our country can't do this sound justice. I wish these guys the best of luck!

3) Spike
Meh, I like watching Cops, and Jail too. But the real meat of Spike's programming has to be it's combat sporting events from Bellator, Glory, and Premiere Boxing Champions; a lineup like that was worth ditching TNA's crap. All of the above is the best Spike has to offer, along with the few movies that aren't blacked out, but Bar Rescue and Ink Master are no slouches either. Out of all the crappy reality shows Spike has churned out in the last four years - not as bad as TruTV, but nowhere near as good as A&E - these two were the most intriguing. Not until the premiere of Lip Sync Battle was there ever anything better.

The best reason why Spike is "the One to Watch" is their return to scripted series. If TUT was any indication, Spike's offerings are going to get a lot better in the future. Yes, even better than 1000 Ways to Die.

4) Cartoon Network (Canada)
It's not the American version, but it'll do. The main draw of this channel is right in the name: Cartoon Network, a brand that stands for superlative animated series that kids and adults can enjoy. Even on its worst day, CN's original shows are better than half of the crap on Nickelodeon. Half of the crap; calm your rolls, airbenders.

In the past, this channel aired the definite mix Cartoon Network's best. From classics, like the Powerpuff Girls and KND, to fan-favorites, like Young Justice and Generator Rex, to modern hits, like Regular Show and M.A.D. However, as of late, it seems the channel has fallen back to newer CN shows, some of the worst Teletoon has to offer, and Detentionaire. I've always wondered if Corus Entertainment actually had the same exclusive rights to Cartoon Network's programming as they do for Nickelodeon and Disney's networks. Considering that the Adult Swim block still hasn't picked up Rick and Morty, yet Childens Hospital is on Much, I think its a safe bet.

When all is said and done, Cartoon Network is a worthy substitute for both the real deal and even Teletoon sometimes. If only they could produce their own version of Toonami, the channel can truly feel whole. You do realize it's not just anime, right?

5) ?
...There is none. I realize I don't have as broad a taste as other people, but that's because I'm not interested in mainstream sports, dramas, sitcoms, dramas, reality shows, and dramas. Also, reality shows. Yet everywhere I look, that's all I get. When I talk shit about Canadian cable networks, it's only because I want to see more diversity on the dial. If more networks moved to the beat of their own drums, instead of following the leader, cable subscriptions would be as stable as they air in the States. Declining, but at a snail's pace.

You see folks, networks like Revolt and El Rey are keeping people from completely ditching cable, because they provide programming not seen anywhere else. I guarantee you that if Fuse decided to air something like Samurai Champloo, rather than Miami Ink, more people would pay them mind. If MTV2 aired more damn videos and focused more on their original shows, instead of crappy movies and recycled sitcoms, they would truly be to MTV what Disney XD is to Disney Channel.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I don't read charts, I watch television. These chumps in suits need to start doing the same.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

It's a Laugh? More Like a Snoozefest!

Words can not describe my feelings towards the company known as It's a Laugh Productions. As of writing, they've produced twenty-seven shows for Disney Channel and Disney XD; only three of them were decent. If there was ever a scapegoat for the low quality trash that has ruined Disney Channel, and almost did the same for Disney XD, these guys are it.

I just watch the first half of the second episode of Disney XD's newest live-action trainwreck, Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything, and I'm not watching the rest. You'd think by now, they would have gotten better, but no. The settings change, the actors change, the actual creators and their staff change, but just like Call of Duty's campaign mode, it's still the same old shit! The same crappy jokes, the same character types, the same predictable plotlines, the same shitty music, and the same old laugh track; which has become grating to my ears, because a live studio audience wouldn't find this shit funny!

In the decade that they've plagued Disney Channel (and, by extension, Family Channel), and Disney XD, only three of their of their shows have I begrudgingly called decent. There was the more family-oriented Good Luck Charlie, which had as much to offer adults as it did their children. There was JONAS: a quirky counterpart to Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide that was horrifically overlooked, due to the fact that it stars a boy band that can't rock for shit, and for being retooled as a shitty teen drama. And more recently, Girl Meets World, a worthy successor to Boy Meets World and, by god, the only decent show on Disney Channel these days.

What? You thought I was talking about Hannah Montana, or Wizards, or The Suite Life? Yes, they have their respective fanbases. Yes, they were the only shows on Disney Channel that were worth a damn popularity-wise. Yes, they did help launched the careers of some of their stars. And yes, I still like watching the original Suite Life a hell of a lot more than the crappy sequel series. Quite frankly, those three shows were better and far more memorable than any other show on Disney Channel I didn't mention. But, that's only by tween standards.

By the standards of anyone who's a fan of shows like That's So Raven, Lizzie McGuire, or The Proud Family, the shows made by those hacks at It's a Laugh Productions make Saved by the Bell look like the fucking Chappelle Show. The only reason why shit like this broke Nickelodeon's rating dominance, was because Nick's new sitcoms were a just a bit more juvenile and a lot more forgettable. As for Gamer's Guide, this show is a sign that Disney XD should just stick to cartoons, and leave the sitcoms to the professionals.

2016, the year when Family is finally rid of this shit, can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Teletoon's Power Play is VERY Unreal, Indeed [EDIT: 9/4/2015]

Maybe you're an anime fan or maybe you caught a glimpse of the U.S Cartoon Network, whatever the case, you know that animation has as much appeal for adults as kids. That's why, a few gems aside, I believe Teletoon hasn't been good since 2011; when they began incorporating CNReal-esque shit onto their lineup and skewed a brainless demographic of stupid tweens (I'm looking at you, Majority Rules) and even dumber kids (I'm looking at you, Rocket Monkeys). As the national network for all things animated, you'd expect a more diverse lineup of shows for kids, families, and adults. Sadly, Corus Entertainment is only good at pandering to the first, and Teletoon suffers because of it.

That's why the end of Teletoon Retro was so tragic for some people, it marked the end of the last safe haven for some truly iconic shows, a far cry from Teletoon's current offerings. However, Retro's end is also what makes Teletoon's power play, as I'd like to call it, all the more intriguing. We were told that some of Retro's shows would move to Teletoon, and all of Cartoon Network's programming would move to it's Canadian counterpart. Done correctly, this would be a HUGE benefit for Teletoon, and a nice bonus for Cartoon Network (which, thanks to Retro, will now be available in more homes).

What they didn't tell us, on the other hand, was that Teletoon would be bringing back some of the more contemporary shows and incarnations from days past (Tom and Jerry Tales, What's New Scooby-Doo), or that Detentionaire and the so-called "Teletoon Rejects" would also move to Cartoon Network and apparently displace some of their older programming. Yes Canada, this month, we will know how fans of the U.S version feel. Not only will we be treated to a buffet of Teen Titans Go (and Gumball) reruns, with not a single episode of Adventure Time in sight, but they will air along side what many consider to be the worst of what Teletoon has to offer. Also, again, Detentionaire; which might help wash the taste of shit out of people's mouths.

Then at the last second, we were also told that virtually every adult-oriented show, not named Archer, would move from Teletoon at Night to Adult Swim. In addition, while Adult Swim still lacks the newer shows from it's American counterpart (and Toonami), it's also gaining some newer shows of it's own. However, while TaN is FINALLY getting Bob's Burgers, it's also getting more live-action "cult films" and reduced air time; probably because, at this point, you're better off watching Adult Swim.

In the end, the once superlative version of Cartoon Network has been reduced to being even more of a dumping ground for Teletoon fodder, Teletoon at Night's future is now in question, and nobody wants to watch Disney Channel. On the upside, Adult Swim now has even more offerings and Teletoon is now airing more decent shit, while also focusing on their current shows. Clearly, Corus Entertainment hashed this out at the last second, and it will take an extra month or two to get everything sorted out. But when they do sort their shit out, I believe it'll be for the better.

But seriously, Rick & Morty; we need that shit now!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Let's Roleplay: BET + MTV2

In an earlier post, I commented on the overlap between the BET Networks and MTV's urban music channels: MTV2 and MTV Jams. I also forgot to talk about BET's low-budget presentation: what with its lack of original series, the poor promotion of upcoming events, and asinine graphics which cuts out the ending to a show and can even take up 1/3 of the screen! But now that I have, let's get back on topic. Viacom networks are all in the middle of a transition, a metamorphosis of sorts, the most recognizable being Spike and TV Land's re-brands. Now, if any other network is in need of a makeover right now, it's BET.

Ever since 106 & Park came to an end, the only thing keeping people from changing channels was BET's scripted series and special events like the BET Awards. They come for those shows, but once they're finished, they head back to greener pastures, since they've already watched Life twenty times and can watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, without commercials or irritating bugs, on Netflix.

Meanwhile, MTV2 is scoring record ratings.. on its own channel because, up until now, nobody watched their channel, not even for Bellator. Thanks to the popularity of Wild n' Out and Guy Code, they've begun producing better, sensible, more notable shows. A lot better than most of the crap MTV makes. Unfortunately, said shows are never around for more than 10 episodes; meaning all MTV2 really has to offer is reruns of MTV shows already airing on the main network, syndicated sitcoms that you've already seen on another channel, and really crappy movies. It's pointless to remind you, but isn't this supposed to be the MTV network that's actually about music?

Here's my solution: a merger. I purpose we shut down MTV2 (and MTV Jams) and let BET be the hip-hop network; like how CMT is the country network, and VH1 is the "adult" music network. Since virtually every show on MTV2 not named Guy Code & Wild n' Out hasn't lasted more than a season, and most of BET's new programming are just cheap reality shows, I believe we should incorporate MTV2's programming into BET's lineup. Hell, with their reboot of Punk'd, they've already starting taking MTV shows as their own anyway. MTV2 and BET both target the same age range, the demographics are different, but you'd wouldn't know that since they both air the same damn sitcoms.

At this point, the only reason why MTV2 (and BET Hip-Hop) exists is to drive profits for Viacom, to the point where if just one of their networks aren't on cable or satellite, none of them are. I still wonder what kind of strategy that is; if the provider doesn't want to carry their channel, it's probably because it's a piece of shit...or because said provider was DirecTV. It's as if everything, everything, from the cancellation of TRL to the launch of NickMom, was for no other reason but to cut costs and drive ratings. That's fine, but what's the point if it ends up damaging established brands and turns away viewers, since the network they used to love has become a shadow of its former self? Now that the cord cutting revolution has begun, Viacom is desperate to milk as many cows as they can before they, and other companies, are reduced to the same level playing field.

Of course, just shutting down worthless channels isn't a sound business strategy, not if they can still be revamped. MTV2 could still shift back towards actual music programming, and leave non-music programming to MTV1. Of course that's about as likely as Oxygen making a reality show that isn't a trashy piece of shit (Too soon?). Instead of milking dust, what I'm proposing will give those chumps at Viacom a fresh new cow to process. After all, what's the point of keeping around channels if you're not going to put in the effort to make them stand out; if all you're going to do is stick with a few exclusive shows and fill the rest of the schedule with rehashed shit? At least NBC was able to figure that shit out!

...Oh dear lord, Viacom really is the American Bell Media: twice the money, double the stupidity. Prey for BET, folks. Prey.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Fall 2015: The Full Package

CTV
http://www.ctv.ca/TheCTVInsider/Articles/News/More-Better-CTV%E2%80%99s-2015-2016-Schedule-Revealed.aspx

Global picked the wrong season to dump Sleepy Hollow, they could have benefited from that show's crossover with Bones later this season. Not to mention, who watches CTV Two? If I had any problems with CTV's lineup this year, its that it's owned by Bell Media. 

My Picks for CTV and CTV Two this season are Blood & Oil, The Goldbergs, Gotham, Lucifer, the Arrowverse (Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow), Sleepy Hollow, and Best Night Ever.


Global
http://www.shawmedia.ca/Media/PressReleaseDetail.aspx?pressReleaseId=6442462338

When Shaw Media said CTV "showed them the way", they weren't kidding; just look at that schedule. From CBS, co-owners of The CW, and the people who brought you the Arrowverse comes Supergirl. Hopefully this show won't get screwed like Constantine was last year. Thanks, NBC. Meanwhile, on that same network, Heroes is making a comeback in the form of Heroes: Reborn. Thank you, NBC! It's gonna be a homecoming on both sides of the border, since Global also aired the original series back in the day. Hmm? Do you notice anything else different about this lineup? 

My picks for Global are Supergirl, Heroes, The Blacklist and Elementary (aka the best things to happen to crime dramas, ever).


City

City has a whole lotta FOX to give this year. From returning series like The Last Man on Earth, The Mindy Project & Bob's Burgers, to newcomers like Scream Queens and the Grinder. Also, Bordertown. They also got The Muppets, Rush Hour, Empire (which will move from Omni 2) and CBC's Mr. D. Speaking of Canadian shows, Sunnyside is back this fall (Yay!) and so is Hockey Night in Canada. Overall, a huge improvement from last year's barebone offerings.

My picks for City this year are Scream Queens, The Grinder, The Muppets, Rush Hour, Sunnyside, and Empire.


CBC 

I don't really watch CBC all that much since Republic of Doyle ended, so please excuse me if I cut to the chase. My picks this year are Young Drunk Punk, courtesy of City; Murdoch Mysteries, also courtesy of City, by legacy; Still Standing, Jekyll and Hyde, 22 Minutes, and the Rick Mercer Report.


CHCH

After going who knows where (M3?), Supernatual is back where it belongs, and it joins fellow CW series The Originals. I'm a little disappointed that they didn't pick up more series from the CW, because they're definitely not the broadcast equivalent to MTV anymore. Also new this fall are Rosewood and Nashville, which might have aired on a previous network, but I don't really care all that much to look into it. 

CHCH is truly an alternative for those who are two low-brow for CBC, yet don't find anything on the other networks all that appealing. That being said, I have to ask. Seriously, more reruns? Surely they could have aired a movie on Friday instead, since it's nothing but reruns. In fact, since movies saved this station, they should be airing more of those instead! However, CHCH is owned by a small company, a company that's launching a Canadian Bloomberg channel this year, so it's probably for the best to play it safe for now.

My picks for CHCH are Supernatural, Rosewood, and Canada's own The Pinkertons!

There you have it folks, set your PVRs!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Oxygen Media: Why Does It Still Exist?

When Style Network was replaced with Esquire Network, I questioned why NBCUniversial didn't shut down Oxygen as well. Unlike E! (which focuses on pop culture and entertainment) and Bravo (which focuses on fashion and...pop culture?), Oxygen is more of a general-interest channel. That means they can air programming that its siblings can't, like Olympic coverage.

However, because of it's lack of exclusive programming, Oxygen is almost nothing but syndicated TV series and shows recycled from it's siblings; the only exclusive show they have out their entire acquired slate are reruns of America's Next Top Model. However, its original shows aren't much help either: while Snapped has been syndicated to other crappy networks like LMN and REELZ, every other reality show they've ever produced has been overshadowed by their flagship series, The Bad Girls Club, a show so horrible it makes The Real Housewives look tame.

As I said in an earlier post, I don't base my opinions on ratings and demographic charts, I based my opinions on simply watching television. When I watch a TV channel, first and foremost, I expect to see shows I haven't already seen on another cable network. When you compare Oxygen to Lifetime, not only does the latter have more original content than acquired, said original content is a lot more notable, and watchable, then anything on the former.

Oxygen is almost worthless as a cable network, far more so than WE TV. The only people who find value in its existence is NBCUniversal, which makes it bittersweet to know that they are still trying to turn dust into diamonds with this channel. Even down south, people would rather watch Hulu than anything on TV these days. So NBC better work hard to bring Oxygen up to the same standard that E! and Bravo are held to in their portfolio. They should have did something different with this channel; target a different demo, find different programming, anything but the same old shit we've seen everywhere else.

Then again, maybe you'd be better off watching WE.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Why Do Moviegoers Always Pull This Shit?!

You know, there is something really wrong with the world if Hitman: Agent 47, a movie that we all knew was gonna suck, still made more money than something like Amercian Ultra. Sure, the critical dissonance over the Need for Speed movie gave the slight hope that non-Japanese movie adaptions of video games were finally getting better, but be realistic. Need for Speed had no plot to adapt; the positive reviews from that film just means the plot that they thew together was either good enough, or not terrible enough, for people to say "Well, at least it was better than King of Fighters."

No, I don't think "original ideas are over", I think there are far too many rich kids out there who spend a lot of money on shit, or just haven't learned their lesson yet. For example, how did the Resident Evil and Transformers film franchises get so many sequels, when they didn't even deserve one? The answer: movie goers kept throwing money at them, when they should have been throwing stones. If you didn't like the first movie, why the fuck would you pay money to see the sequel?

At least Twilight has the excuse of being an adaption by an equally crappy book loved by fans worldwide, but these other movies have no excuse. These sequels and reboots should have been produced on mockbuster budgets and sold in bargin bins. If they were truly terrible films, they should not be making that much green. There are really only two logical explanations: either there are millions of idiots with too much money on their hands, and just as much free time, to do with it; or, there is actually a market and audience for these so-called adaptions, a safe-heaven for those who love guilty pleasures, and those who couldn't create a decent movie to save their life. Or, in Michael Bay's case, a decent adaption, speaking of critical dissonance...

In all seriousness, people, the only films that should have this much luck are the films by Friedberg and Seltzer, their films are cheap enough that they can keep making more despite critical mauling. There is something wrong really wrong with the world if Hitman: Agent 47 made more money than something like Amercian Ultra, and guess what? It's you. Stop spending money on crap!

...And yes, stones, not popcorn; don't waste food.

Monday, 24 August 2015

The Big Comeback (And Others)!

When I heard from SmashingTheNew that Young Justice, the greatest superhero hero show since Batman: TAS, was making a comeback, I though he was on something. Then, I actually did some research and found out that, almost two years since its cancellation, the campaign to #RenewYoungJustice is still going strong. That hashtag was actually trending this past weekend! Sadly, what STN thought was a renewal, planned for December of this year, turned out to be a hoax. Seriously, first Bloody Roar, then Crash Banidcoot (for the umpteenth time), and now this! Am I just doomed to hear nothing false hopes for franchises deserving of a revival?

Apparently not, because something else was making headlines this month: SWAT-Kats! There are no words to describe this show, other than it being criminally short-lived. SWAT-Kats, and everything else on Boomerang at the time, gave me new respect for the classics. Big shock, there was a Kickstarter campaign for a sequel series - "SWAT Kats: Revolution" (yeah, it's generic, but just roll with it, will you?) - which reached $141,500. That means, at the very least, we'll get a teaser.

Now, I won't be greedy, if I can't have a third season of Young Justice, I'll take SWAT-Kats. After all, we got reboots and comebacks up the butt. Ben 10 and The Powerpuff Girls are getting reboots, ReBoot is getting a reboot (That joke will never get old), a new Mega Man series is in the works and, on the east side, Speed Racer is coming back. Yes, the iconic series, originally known as Mach GoGoGo, is finally being released uncut.

So now we just have to sit and wait for actual substance from these announcements to appear. As Square-Enix taught me, announcing something is very different from actually doing something. ...Then again, I tend to do that a lot myself.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Black Entertainment Television - Do They Really Got Me?

In the months since the end of 106 & Park, I feel BET has gone downhill in the programming department. In the wake of The Game's final season, leaving Real Husbands of Hollywood and Being Mary Jane as the only scripted series, it looks like the network is going back to making forgettable reality shows. I'll admit, Nellyville had just the right amount of comedy and drama to keep me watching, at least when nothing better was on, but I just can't see it as anything else but filler. For the record, I don't hate reality shows, nor do I think of them as guilty pleasures. It's just that the sheer amount of cookie-cutting crap on TV these days makes me grateful that they brought back Punk'd.

I think the biggest problem with BET is that it relies too much on DVD movies and syndicated sitcoms, but especially the movies; don't get me started on the amount of times I've seen "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins" and "Life" being played. Even worse, after Centric's rebrand, damn near all of BET's syndicated shows moved to that network; the ones that didn't are played rather frequently on MTV and MTV2.

You'd think BET would be able to balance it out with their original programming, but when an original show does air, it's almost always from the current season, not the past seasons. This is especially jarring when The Game sits at over 140 episodes, yet BET doesn't even find time to air The CW-produced seasons anymore. Granted, BET doesn't order a lot of episodes, and quality will always triumph over quantity, but it would be nice to see something different for a change.

Instead, viewers are stuck with the same movies over and over again, unless you live in Canada, in which case, you're stuck with the same music videos over and over again. Yeah, did I mention that certain programs on BET are, excuse the pun, blacked out due to programming rights? Even shows from a sibling network, especially if it's available in Canada (Spike), will be blocked. When such programming airs, Canadian viewers are treated to reruns of BET Now and The Pull-Up: old music video blocks. Not old as in the 90s, old as in "contemporary songs from only a few years ago". Needless to say, it gets repetitive after a while. Thank god for FEVA TV!

I'd like to believe that all of these problems are a result of Viacom spreading themselves too thin. If BET still aired gospel and hip-hop videos, rather than just shunt them off to spin-off channels that no one will watch (nor will cable providers want to pick up), they wouldn't have to air the same damn movies over and over again. They already have MTV Jams anyway, and it would be a cheap, yet refreshing, change of pace in a world without 106 & Park and Bobby Jones Gospel. Besides, with Vevo TV Flow and other internet-based services, I can get my fix without a cable subscription.

Furthermore, if MTV2 is only good for reruns and crappy movies (No seriously, the movies they air CRAP!), instead of shows related to hip-hop and rock music, then it should have been shut down long after Sucker Free got cancelled. With their crappy ratings, MTV1 can benefit from the gender-balanced audience MTV2's programming brings. It's not like any original show on MTV2 not named Wild 'n Out or Guy Code will make it past 26 episodes anyway, not even the reboot of Celebrity Deathmatch is safe.

Ultimately, in their current state, targeting a younger demo will not change BET's fortunes; it just makes the competition look better. I don't believe the network is in any trouble because, right now, change is happening all across Viacom's networks. That being said, I do believe it's time for a change at BET. They say they got me, but I got better networks to watch.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Summer is Almost Over... (August 2015 Update)

I've been having second thoughts about Aile x Opal lately, especially since I've started making SSB4 machinima. At the suggestion of someone at GorillaGong, I was going to use voice actors for the series but, surprise, barely anyone auditioned. So screw it, from now on, I'll stick to what I know: bad voice acting and subtitles.

I haven't gotten started on the next episode yet, because I was already working on Reycralibur, episode thirteen. Really, I just don't have any ideas for future episodes, at least not ones that were going to be used for Reycralibur. Aile x Opal was supposed to be a reboot but, since I've decided to continue Reycralibur, there's really no point. So, I'm shelving that series for now. I might come back to it in the future but, for right now, I really just want to finish Reycralibur.

Besides, I've already started a new series: SmashVine! I'm very lucky no one tried this before, making a six-second Smash machinima every week. I can use this to practice my craft in 64, Brawl, and Wii U, and still have content for my web channels. Hell, since Smash 4 is popular, I might actually get some viewers for a change. Right now, though, I'm working on the next Shoopa Smash installment. As you can guess from the teaser, it's a Crusade machinima, and the timing couldn't be more perfect: there's a new version on the way!

So there you have it: Reycralibur thirteen is on the way, Shoopa Smash is coming, and I have a new series you can watch RIGHT NOW! But hey, "machinima sucks" and I should just "do more TV stuff", right? ...Wrong, Moron. I'll do whatever I want, whenever I want to do it, and if you don't like it, you can kiss my furry, blue, ass.

*sigh* Sometimes, I love freedom of speech...

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Some Things I Noticed About City's Fall (2015) Schedule...

http://www.rogersmediatv.ca/pr_detail.php?id=1236
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First off, Bob's Burgers and Family Guy, which will move from Global. Now, Bob's Burgers isn't all that exiting, everyone knows it's nowhere on the same level of popularity as The Simpsons and Family Guy; American Dad, maybe, but not those two. Family Guy, on the hand, is very telling. The ratings don't lie, as much as I hate acknowledging this, Family Guy is past its prime and Global has taken notice. The Simpsons IS pop culture, I'd be surprised if it made it past 30 seasons, but it's gonna to be a little while longer before that show comes to an end, or loses steam, and that's what Global is counting on. In their mind, they're basically giving City used goods.

Next up is The Mindy Project, which is now flying under the Hulu banner after FOX cancelled it. I'd like to get something off my chest because you idiots thought you would never see it again, since Hulu is STILL not available in Canada, but here it is. Even it wasn't on City's schedule, it would have probably been streaming on Shomi, which will soon be out of "beta" and available to all cord cutters. All I say is, If you're too morally-righteous, or dim, to go to a back-alley pirate site or use a VPN, you have yourself to blame for missing the show. After all, why let Hulu get away with their bullcrap, when you have alternatives? Seriously, leave the TV talk to the professionals and keep your crap where I can't see it.

Then there are those homegrown Canadian shows that I'm really looking forward to. Sunnyside is really funny and unique show that I would have missed out on if FX Canada hadn't aired the show a half-hour before City aired it, which was probably when a show I'm already following was on. Meanwhile, because Rogers and CBC has improved their working relationship, they will rerun CBC's comedy Mr.D, while CBC itself airs Young Dunk Punk, another great new show that City also screwed. Seriously Rogers, you need to stop throwing your shows into the fire and give them a chance to stand on their own two feet first! Keep that shit up and FX will never be rid of those Package Deal reruns.

Finally, if you didn't notice (or if you were the above mentioned morons), take a good look at City's current lineup. That's right, the bulk of their shows were all acquired from FOX.  Co-coincidentally, City and FOX both target a younger demographic than their peers and their parent companies, Rogers and 21st Fox, co-own the Canadian FX Networks. I know I'm thinking too much, but perhaps we could be seeing the beginning of something more bigger.

...But seriously, buy a damn VPN, you morons!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Why Anime Series Won't Air in Canada Anymore

...Ratings.

...But, seriously, Canadian networks would rather air imported U.S crap than produce their own shit, let alone shit from other countries not named India or the U.K. Besides, you can just stream that shit online. But, if that's not a good enough answer for you...

First, there's the trouble of acquiring anime for broadcast. You see, children, unlike the Bleach's and Naruto's of my time, year-long continuous series, what we call "seasons" for modern shows are treated as separate series in Japan. What the english Wikipedia calls the "seventh season" of Fairy Tail and "fifth season" of Dragon Ball Kai onward, are actually separate series. You can tell this due to the time gap in their broadcast dates. In Japan, from what I learned, a series "ends" when it doesn't air in the same timeslot the following week. If new episodes air at a later date, it's treated as a new series.
In short, acquiring the entirety of Gintama, every episode ever aired so far, is the equivalent to buying three television series, and I don't think they come cheap. Of course, this is all just a theory, based on how Adult Swim acquires their titles. How else can you explain why they only have rights to the second season of The Big O, aside from the fact that they co-produced it?

Then, there's cultural differences. Just as western adult animation has the unfortunate stigma of being nothing but Simpsons-clones, Japanese anime has gone from having the stigma of being all widget-series made on crack, to having the stigma of being all tentacle-porn and fetish fuel.
In fairness, there are a lot of shows that run on drugs, and there are a LOT of harem series in the news these days, not all of them good. Sure, its OK when it's a Bollywood movie or a British drama, but even children's anime has had to put with a good deal of censorship, even changing the damn premise in some cases.

Lastly, there's finding the right broadcaster and actually broadcasting the series. Outside of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, most networks wouldn't give anime the time of day, unless its a merchandise-driven show like Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh! Hell, even when they do, they will still try to fuck it up as much as possible.

Whether its YTV scheduling shows on Friday mornings, when kids have to go to school (Pokemon: Battle Dimension, Digimon Fusion, Pretty Cure), or Family Channel showing anime on Saturday mornings at times when the sun hasn't even woken up (Power Box/Jetix)! How about Teletoon's neglect to even promote their shows. Sure, now you know where Pokemon went after it left YTV, but I bet you didn't know that Buddyfight and Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V also aired on this channel until you read this sentence!

Really, it's too much of a hassle, for us! I say, if broadcasters don't "get it", they shouldn't air it. CBC didn't "get" Doctor Who, so now it's on Space, and by all accounts, it should stay off the CBC. Destination America doesn't "get" pro-wrestling? Fine. Let them have their ghost and goblins speculative crap, it's not like people will watch that shit instead.
If watching Panty and Stocking on Teletoon at Night or Dragon Ball Kai on YTV means I have to put up with schedule changes, censorship, and a near-butchered broadcast, I'd rather they stick to shitty live-action movies and crappy kidcoms, respectively.

So, again I ask, why complain about Canada's treatment of Anime? You can just stream that shit online.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Another One BITEs the Dust / RadX Ain't Radical

First it was bpm:tv, then it was Teletoon Retro, and now, if the rumors are true, a third channel will soon "bite" the dust before fall rolls around. In it's early years, Blue Ant Media's BiteTV was well known for it's interactivity and for introducing Aux, the programming block and website turned music channel. In it's later years, Bite's reruns of cult comedies, like Arrested Development, led to its rebrand, shifting focus entirely on comedies.

Nowadays, it's current offerings are no laughing matter. In a single season, Bite's acquired slate has gone from not-as-popular shows, like Brickleberry, to straight-up shunt programming, like Party Down South. Seriously, that fact that those two shows ended up here must mean that MuchMusic and the Canadian version of CMT have some level of standards. Not helping things is Bite's mediocre, if not, forgettable original offerings. The biggest highlight was Free-Loading, a cheap Tosh.0 clone, which is also saying something about the original show.

There's no doubt about it, it was Bite's time to go. If you can't find or create any unique programming that audiences can connect and relate with, you won't last long in the television business. Between the pick-and-pay revolution, the end of genre protection, and lower CanCon quotas, this hat trick of shut-downs confirms that broadcasters are in for the perfect storm, and they need to start batting down the hatches.

That being said, there's one other channel Blue Ant Media has overlooked: RadX. I've done some research and I found that this HD-only network's current lineup is little more than rehashed T+E shows. It's absolutely redundant since T+E is also available in HD. The other networks in Blue Ant's portfolio are also guilty of recycling shows, as are the networks of Shaw Media, but never before have I seen a network that was actually made up of shows already airing on another network.

There's not much that needs to be said, if BiteTV gets shutdown, RadX needs to go with it.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

After The End of Teletoon Retro

I think Teletoon has caught on to the fact that people would rather watch classic cartoons on Teletoon Retro than ANYTHING on the mothership network nowadays. So, instead of bitching, complaining, and bemoaning the fact that one of the only cable networks worth subscribing to will be shutting down at the end of the Summer, let's find the canary in the coal mine and see what good can come from this.

First and foremost, we can assume that Corus Entertainment will divvy up the shows on Retro and air them on their other kids networks.The bulk of their shows will most likely move to Teletoon; I know from watching one of the channel's ads that The Smurfs is heading there. That's great news to hear since the majority of Teletoon's lineup was reruns of original shows that didn't really age well (barring Jimmy Two-Shoes, which apparently has a cult following). The addition of classic cartoons will definitely draw in new viewers and leave a little room for their current lineup of shows to shine, though I highly doubt people are getting hyped up for another season of Dr. Dimensionpants.

Babar and the Berenstain Bears will probably return to Treehouse and Dexter's Lab and The Powerpuff Girls to Cartoon Network, despite the latter previously airing on Teletoon prior to the return of Camp Teletoon. But wouldn't it be nice if the latter two shows returned to YTV instead? That's another network in dire need of some decent shit because, like I said before, anything on Teletoon is better than what's on YTV. Anything.

I also believe broadcasting companies can benefit from operating fewer channels, since that will eliminate the need to recycle shows, reduce brand overlap, and save a few dimes. The majority of all cancon on Shaw Media's networks are all the same shit; MTV2 is more akin to a BET network than a MTV sibling, and Rogers would be a few bucks richer if they would just shut down G4, a channel that no one watches and has made little efforts to get noticed. So, I do believe shutting down Retro is for the best.

But don't be fooled, this not being done in the interest to "service" us, nor does it have anything to do with Corus' commitment "to [provide] high quality, award winning programming for Canadian kids and their families". This is a business decision, plain and simple, and they could give a shit less what you think. Cancon requirements will soon be lowered and genre-protection will become a thing of the past. The decision to close Teletoon Retro and incorporate its programming into its siblings will be a benefit to Corus' Kids division as long as they don't fuck it up.

However, the trade-off is that Canadian networks will soon become a lot more shittier.