Thursday, 15 December 2016

CN Red

Right now, Cartoon Network is getting the hype train going for the long-awaited premiere of Justice League Action. The show will premiere on Friday, December 16, but after that, new episodes will air on Saturday mornings starting December 24. ...Yep, just Saturday mornings; no timeslot indicated.

Already we're assuming that the show, whether or not it's good, will be buried in the same 6-8am graveyard slot that Cartoon Network gave to Pokemon, Transformers and Sonic Boom. Furthermore, we can also assume that CN won't be promoting the show anytime soon. We assume this because that's how bad Cartoon Network has become; that we can already assume the worst and never expect any better.

Nickelodeon has been much more merciful with the shows they've screwed over than the critics give them credit for.

They buried Invader Zim, but because of its MASSIVE fanbase, it still appears in video games and survived long enough to spawn an ongoing comic book series. The Legend of Korra was expanded into a full series, but was constantly moving on the schedule. That Nickelodeon decided to move the final Book online, as opposed to outright cancelling the show, shows that they aren't foolish enough to completely scrap one of the best animated series they've put out since the original Avatar.

Finally, I wouldn't worry too much about the piss-poor treatment Nick's been giving to Harvey Beaks, because The Fairly Oddparents has gotten even worse treatment. It seems even Nickelodeon doesn't like how badly that show has jumped the shark. Despite being the second-longest running show on the network, it doesn't even get half of the airtime Spongebob Squarepants gets. In the end, just because the network renewed a show, doesn't mean they have to air it...on their main channel.

Didn't Cartoon Network have their own secondary network? What the hell happened to Boomerang? Are you telling me they can air reruns of Teen Titans Go, because the airtime on Cartoon Network wasn't good enough, but not have time to air the shows that actually need more exposure? How convenient it is for the new Boomerang to be targeted towards kids, families, and girls, as opposed to the supposedly more boy-slanted network that shares channel space with Adult Swim.

Speaking of, notice how Adult Swim's upcoming slate of animated programming has gotten the internet all fired up. [as] is making twelve new episodes of their favorite anime, FLCL, they're bringing back Samurai Jack for a fifth season, and not only have they just announced Funimation's dub of Dragon Ball Super this past week, but also the long-rumored dub of Dragon Ball Kai: The Final Chapters. All airing inside Toonami, which Adult Swim also brought back to let viewers know, "Yes, we still air mature animation." But the one show that everyone is talking about, more than anything on Toonami, is Rick and Morty and its long-awaited third season. I don't need to say anything about that show other than it being the benchmark for what a modern adult animated comedy should be like.

The ONE program Cartoon Network got a lot of positive feedback for in 2016 never aired on the network, it was uploaded to their YouTube channel. Breathe it in people, because the internet is the only place you're gonna find truly modern animation like that. That's not to say shows like We Bare Bears or The Amazing World of Gumball are terrible, but they are leagues above Teen Titans Go and everything else the network has churned out as of late. And yet, they've also been pushed to the side for juvenile comedies that only exist to get ratings and sell toys.

Once again, Cartoon Network has let its envy of the better-rated Nickelodeon and Disney Channel usher in a new dark age, not only where ratings dictate programming, but where shows have to be "appropriate for kids". I still think Cartoon Network's fanboys are nostalgic man-children and animation snobs, but I can't blame them and I feel their frustration. I fear Cartoon Network is about to become to animation, what MTV has become to music.

Irrelevant.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Update: December 2016

Writing this post on a phone so screw gramar

Getting a new computer because i hate my old one. Slow, laggy. Need more powerful machine.

Backing up everything to cloud and portable hard drive in preperation for the move.

Power cord broken; using phone app for now.

No, Reycralibur will not return this year.

I hate my life.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The People vs Adult Swim?

You gotta believe someone in America is hoping this will be the anti-Boston bomb scare that animation fans have been waiting for since Snyder came to power at Cartoon Network.

So, there's this show on Adult Swim called Million Dollar Extreme Presents:World Peace. I never watched it, I figured it was just more of the same surreal humor [as] runs on. However, in the wake of Donald Trump becoming president, the seedy background of Sam Hyde, one of MDE's members, has been cause for alarm among the network's creative talent.

I won't bore you with the details because there is a shit ton of articles on Buzzfeed about this. Long story short, Hyde's anti-comedy has made him a favorite among the scummy, pro-white, bastards that partied like no tomorrow when Donald Trump was voted in. As such, [as] creators are calling for World Peace to be cancelled, on the grounds that it basically promotes hate speech. Just for the hell of it, they also complain about the lack of female creators, of which network head Mike Lazzo didn't really good job defending himself in that regard. If anything, the success of Full Frontal on sister network TBS just elevates that complaint.

But don't get distracted from the important issue here. Adult Swim's modus operandi is to buck the mainstream and give a voice to the voiceless. None of the original shows they air would have been given a shot on any other network. Case and point, Metalocalypse was never revived after Adult Swim cancelled it. One series finale was all the fans wanted, but they never got it because it was too expensive.

So coming off of that, you can imagine someone who isn't a terrible person is hoping [as] keeps World Peace on the air. What kind of message would be sent if [as] sent ANOTHER show off the air, not because of money, but because someone didn't like the people who made it. As a Cartoon Network spin-off, you can imagine the kind of bullshit that happens when someone in power doesn't like a show and tries to bury it. They can play affirmative action card if they want, because I too believe there exists a women who loves making shows about sex and violence for women who love sex and violence just as much as I love sex and violence. That's not what this is about, nor is it about Donald Trump sending social conventions back to the stone age.

To me, this is an issue of censorship.

As I've said, I don't really care about this show. In fact, outside of The Eric Andre Show, Black Jesus, or maybe Dream Corp, LLC, I actually don't care too much for any live-action show on the network. Adult Swim is low-budget, so you can understand how cartoon admirers like myself feel about the network spending the very same resources that could have been used to give Metalocalypse its well-deserved sendoff on live-action shows. You can also imagine the frustration of longtime network fans since adult animation, the very thing Adult Swim was built to bring prominence to, has been downplayed. English-dubbed anime has been pushed back to late Saturday nights for nothing except FOX sitcom reruns. Finally, with TBS looking for more edgier comedies and TruTV stretching their legs; Adult Swim's continued ventures into live-action comedy look redundant.

However, this is all a matter of opinion. Unlike Hardig, who worked on another live-action show I don't care for, I'm not gonna call for the cancellation of a show simply because I don't like the people who made it (nor because I want Adult Swim to air something besides American Dad reruns). In fact, I encourage Adult Swim to renew the show for another season, because it's cancellation for this reason is nothing short of hypocritical for people who despise those racist, sexist, Trump supporters yet at the same would deny these idiots the right to spew their crap.

It's a little something called freedom of speech, and it is a blessing as it is a curse.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Ranking Teletoon's New Shows (2016)

As Canada's designated animation brand, Teletoon has a responsibility to air shows that appeal to all walks of life. After a staggering a bit in recent years, Teletoon is finally getting back on track. It's time see which of their 2016 freshman is worth my time. If I offend you, I'm sorry, but I'm still expecting better from this channel and Canadian animation as a whole. If it helps, these aren't even the worst shows on Teletoon right now.

Inspector Gadget REALLY should have stayed in retirement.

4) Looped
A bland, one-trick pony that doesn't even deserve a mention.


3) Supernoobs
SuperOverrated, more like. The only reason people like this show is because they hate Johnny Test. Having a storyline and supposedly better animation does not make a better show. If anything, this show is just as annoying. The same reckless cast of jerks, but on proper medication. It's original, I'll give it that, but I can only wait so long for a show like this to reach its potential.

Also, do I really need to give the time of day to ANOTHER superhero cartoon aimed squarely at kids, when Marvel completely flooded that market? When Cartoon Network is already airing FOUR of these shows and only ONE of them shows actual promise?

Sorry Scott Fellows, but you should have stuck to live-action comedies.


2) Freaktown
Freaktown is yet another vehicle for toilet humor with no ounce of originality.

It's not a bad show, it's certainly better than crap like Camp Lakebottom and the in-name only Day My Butt Went Psycho, but I was kinda expecting something more clever from one of the guys behind League of Super Evil. So was Teletoon apparently, because they screwed this show just like they did Endangered Species. I'll be surprised if Freaktown gets a second season after that, but it's probably for the best if it didn't.


1 1/2) Counterfeit Cat
About damn time, leave it to the British to show us how its done! Imagine Roboroach if Reg actually had a conscience and you have one of Teletoon's best comedies in YEARS! The animation is crisp, the music is delightfully bubbly, and as far as relatable characters goes, Max may very well be my cartoon avatar. ...Or at least he would be, If I didn't hate every single person I've ever met.

What I really love about this show is that the friendship between Garth and Max is actually shown, not said, to be genuine. It doesn't seem like much, but that's a rarity in kids' cartoons these days, so I found it to be very refreshing to say the least.


1 1/2) Atomic Puppet
Supernoobs, Teen Titans, take notes. THIS is how you do a superhero comedy! Better yet, Dr. Dimensionpants should be taking notes, because Atomic Puppet is to it what Supernoobs is supposedly to Johnny Test.

The episodes are nicely-paced for a quarter-hour, its animation is very pulp, and the main theme kicks so much ass! An action show is only as good as its cast, and the dynamic between Joey and AP is perfect in every single way.

This is one of those moments that remind me why I NEVER do countdowns. I simply could not choose between Counterfeit Cat and Atomic Puppet, not because one is a comedy and the other is an action show, but because these are the kinds of shows that Teletoon should be doing more of!

The Death of Shomi

Again, did you really think I wouldn't notice this crap? Here we go again with another "Why Television Sucks" rant.

Shomi's demise is nothing short of saddening because it had almost all the movies and shows you can't find on Netflix. It was also another outlet for broadcast network shows that couldn't find a home on Canadian soil, as well as shows from other streaming services that just couldn't deal with a Canadian launch. ..I'm looking at you, Amazon.

Thanks to Rogers' outdated thinking, Shomi was never able to impress potential customers. Their so-called "beta", when the service was exclusive to cable customers, lasted longer than it needed to be. For customers, trumpeting Shomi as a Netflix competitor only to have it daisy-chained to a cable subscription only served to make the site look like a glorified TV Everywhere app, and we all know how much those suck!

No doubt Bell Media's CraveTV will capitalize on this, as they should. Bell Media being Bell Media, CraveTV isn't much better.

Remember, the only reason why CraveTV is now available as a stand-alone service was because Shomi did it first. They may be the exclusive home to all HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central programming, but they gave Canadians a raw deal by only streaming past-HBO programming. That means no Game of Thrones and probably no Westworld either. Bell Media has let either its greed or incompetence deny CraveTV the one show that could seal the deal to any new customer.

It's actually a tragedy that CraveTV has amassed one million subscribers in spite of their bullshit, when Shomi should be the talk of the town. At least they're being smart about how they leverage their program rights by premiering Showtime series day-and-date on CraveTV, rather than The Movie Network. Like with Rogers' FX and FXX Canada, the need to make buzz-worthy programming available to Canadians as soon as they air in the U.S means you can't keep it all on one channel.

Having said that, Rogers still has A LOT of work to do with FXX and they'll have all the time in the world to do that now that Shomi is calling it quits. If you aren't feeling CraveTV, then you can only hope that some of Shomi's leftovers will be picked up by Netflix. There's a good reason why they have five million Canadian subscribers, and its the same reason why Shomi and CraveTV are still regarded as poor man's knock-offs.

As long as Canadian broadcasters keep playing second fiddle to cable, Netflix will always have the upper hand.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Disney XD's got Anime-nia!

It seems like only last year that Disney XD was just a knock-off of Disney Channel for boys. Who could forget their ill-fated broadcast of Naruto Shippuden, where they made the amateur mistake of thinking the show was aimed at kids? They didn't even need to know about the manga; if they heard about Naruto from its Toonami broadcast on Cartoon Network, then they should have known that the initial English broadcast was edited for content, meaning, the show was clearly not intended for children.

Since then, it seems DXD has learned their lesson. They've returned to the anime broadcast scene, but now they're airing shows that are meant for a younger audience. Localization's a bitch, but unlike Dragon Ball Z and One Piece (and Pretty Cure, depending on who you ask), these merchandise-driven shows were meant to be exported as such. Although, after seeing the all the seriously dark stuff left in LBX's localization, it really makes me wonder: What the hell was the original Japanese version like and how the crap did they get away with keeping THAT in the English version?!

This brings us to the two MAJOR additions to Disney XD's portfolio: Beyblade and Pokemon. I get it, you wanna laugh, but the original Beyblade series was a real rags-to-riches sort of show. With spinning tops. And mythical creatures. Now that DXD has rights to every installment of the series, including the new Beyblade Burst series that began airing on Teletoon, it would nice to see that show on TV one more time, even if it doesn't really hold up. Being that Beyblade has aired on an Disney-ABC net before, it would be one heck of a throwback.

But undeniably, the real prize is Pokemon's anime: based on a franchise that's more popular than its ever been 20 years ago. I get it, you wanna groan. So do I. As much as the XY series deserved its warm reception, there's no denying that the show as a whole should have at least hit the reset button after Diamond and Pearl and started over from scratch. Better yet, it should have outright ended with the Advanced Generation. Regardless, now more than ever, not airing the Pokemon anime in America would be a huge mistake for broadcasters.

At this point, with Disney DXD also airing Yo-Kai Watch, they've got the kiddy anime business on lock. But one major franchise still eludes them: Yu-Gi-Oh! Unlike Pokemon, the many Duel Monsters spin-offs have kept the franchise fresh and new on the anime front. And let's face it: card games are way cooler than spinning tops. It was a wise move for Nicktoons to nab Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL and pick up Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, if only to keep it out of the hands of a network that's clearly got their number.

But all in all, it's nice to see this chapter of Disney XD's dark history end on a high note.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Worst Animated Shows of 2016

Don't expect me to bash these shows or spew nonsensical crap that only an idiot fanboy could understand, because that's what stupid YouTube rant videos are for. Also, I won't talk shit about a show I didn't even watch, because I was smart enough to know that show was gonna suck, unlike yourself.

Of course, for this list to exist means I clearly didn't do my best this year.

* The Powerpuff Girls
Quoting a random review about the earlier CGI special, "I want more, but I want better." Sadly, the reboot of this iconic Cartoon Network series is more, but no better than what came before.

It's as if they couldn't decide between going back to what made the original show so beloved in the first place and picking up where that show fumbled, or truly starting over from scratch and maybe take inspiration from the many critically-acclaimed shows that have been created in the years since. Instead, the new show plays it safe; disappointing more fans of the original show than they would have if they actually tried doing something more bold.

At least the likes of Fuller House have the excuse that they were made with fans of the original show in mind. From the get-go, it was pretty obvious this show was little more than a weak nostalgia grab for ratings and merchandise. What cements this is the truly terrible crossover it had with Teen Titans Go! TTG is undeniably a worse show than The Powerpuff Girls, but even then it has the alibi that it's a "comedic" spin-off that's based more on the far superior DC Nation shorts rather than the 2003 series that inspired them.

The reboot of The Powerpuff Girls is irrefutable proof that the franchise has run its course and its second season renewal is yet another sign that Cartoon Network, as an institution for superb animation that appeals to kids and adults alike, is entering another dork age.


* Bordertown
If I want to watch Family Guy, I'm gonna watch Family Guy. FOX is content to let that show run itself into the ground, and I'm fine with watching it crash, burn, and jump a million sharks until it gets cancelled a third time. Seasonal rot can kiss my ass, because I fucking love Family Guy.

So I don't need to watch another half-assed, carbon copy that lacks a even shred of originality.

Bordertown is yet another one-trick pony of a sitcom that relies on its cookie-cutter plots to be a framing device for jokes and gags that only the writers were laughing at. If that sounds like a typical episode of Family Guy to you, that's because it is a typical episode of Family Guy. Whereas that show wasn't afraid to experiment and actually has something of a mythology, Bordertown is nothing I haven't already seen before.

The funniest part of the show, if not the only funny part, is the cold opening to each episode, where the recurring character of El Coyote and his shenanigans with main character Bud delivers the kind of slapstick you would find in a classic cartoon, a la Looney Toons. Considering that such cartoons were not really "appropriate" for children at the time, but are still as entertaining to adults than any other "animated sitcom", it only serves to make what happens after the intro to Bordertown look all the more abysmal.

There's nothing wrong with adult animation being immature. But with the likes of Rick and Morty, Archer, and Futurama going beyond telling a simple joke, vs the likes of The Boondocks and even South Park on its best days offering a biting critique on culture and society, you'd expect better from an American adult cartoon these days. Even kids shows like Regular Show and The Amazing World of Gumball can be more critical and more entertaining to adults than any modern live-action kidcom could ever be.

Let's not even compare them to Japanese animation, a medium that's considered by Americans to be more mature and more complex than anything airing on Adult Swim outside of Toonami. Never mind that fact the few animated shows Adult Swim still produces, including the aforementioned Rick and Morty, are just as good as any anime.

By virtue of being completely different from The Simpsons and Family Guy, Bob's Burgers is probably the only good cartoon on FOX nowadays. If Bordertown is the best they could come up with since they cancelled The Cleveland Show, booted off American Dad, and pulled the plug on Animation Domination High-Def, it just goes to show you how creatively bankrupt FOX has become.


* Dimension W
See? Even Japanese anime can be as bad as any juvenile adult cartoon or, in this case, a network drama.

Dimension W's anime adaption was the first show in which a licencor like Funimation was among the production committee and the show's English dub premiered inside Toonami almost a month after it began airing in Japan. A good example of what happens when you overhype something, Dimension W was criticized for its bad pacing and its asshole of a protagonist. While I could work with the former issue, the latter issue is what really triggers my shit.

For me, an action show or movie is only as good as its cast, and their actions say more about them than their backstories. Am I expected to feel sorry for this prick just because someone he cares about was killed by this show's macguffin? How cliche. If anything, he just uses this as an excuse to act like a total ass to the rest of the show's characters, including the more interesting ones.

Most people compare this show to the likes of Ghost in the Shell and Psycho-Pass, but this show looks more like a poor man's Darker Than Black to me.


Saturday, 22 October 2016

Why We Still Need TNA

Fuck Final Deletion. Fuck Decay vs Delete. Fuck the entire angle. I've only seen a small bit of Passions, but I'm sure that crap was a lot better what TNA has become, when the so-called "men's soap opera" becomes just as bad as an actual soap opera.

Yes, barring Empire, obviously.

The most interesting story angle involving Total Nonstop Action this year actually happened outside of Pop TV's broadcast of Impact Wrestling. Billy Corgan has been very involved in the dying company this year, from providing Impact's new theme music to becoming a minority owner. But TNA just isn't TNA without a shitty takeover angle, and Billy Corgan's lawsuit filed against the company is probably the best one in years. You can read all the details online, and you probably have already.

Long story short, the IWC is rooting for the Smashing Pumpkins front man to dig the company out of the massive hole that it (or rather, Dixie Carter) has dug itself in. As much as we can agree that TNA was doing just fine before Hulk Hogan showed up, and has been chasing some resemblance of its "glory days" ever since, we can also agree that it's not the time for TNA to tap out to Murphy's law just yet.

In every medium, we have alternatives. CTV has to compete with Global, Citytv, and even the CBC. Whenever Marvel is in a rut, comic book readers turn to DC. Netflix is leading the new era of internet television neck-and-neck with Hulu. Even WWE has competition, not with Ring of Honor, but with it's own developmental brand in NXT, which has been stealing the spotlight from a large of number of bad pay-per-views and an even worse Wrestlemania! The NXT Takeovers may have very well been the catalyst for WWE ending the dreaded "supershow" era and bringing back the brand extension.

Even if Ring of Honor is the new No.2, it's still just an indie promotion, and it has it's own "competition" with the indie promotions on WWNLive.com. You can argue that this means we really don't need TNA anymore, especially with Lucha Underground rocking it and Global Force Wrestling stretching its legs, but I argue that this means we need TNA now more than ever before.

It's only when you're at the bottom of the food chain that even the scrappy starts to grow it's beard, or in this case, grow it back. The fact that our own Fight Network in Canada, rather than Pop TV in the U.S.A, is funding new TV tapings shows that there's still something valuable about TNA that makes it worth saving; that this puny company shouldn't go the way of WCW and ECW and be gobbled up by the WWE. I'm gonna guess it's either the X-Division, the six-sided ring, the all-steel cage PPV event that even allowed women to compete (WAY before WWE's women division will in Raw's Hell in a Cell PPV this year), or the sheer pandemonium and spectacle that unfolds when Impact is at it's best, the likes of which we haven't seen since the GLORIOUS Attitude Era!

I'm avoiding TNA like the plague for now, but if Billy Corgan plays the right cards, if TNA can get out of its financial rut, if Impact Wrestling can cut the crap and get back to some decent storytelling, and if the company as a whole can hit the reset button in 2017, I might consider giving it another shot. At the very least, I refuse to label TNA as the Nickelback of professional wrestling, no matter how offensive it is...to Nickelback fans.

Professional wrestling's cockroach will do just fine.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Dark and Gritty is Shitty

Seraph of the End's anime is a perfect example for why I hate "dark and edgy" works. How do you expect me to root for the main characters when most of them too jaded and unlikable for me to sympathize with. Not to mention the old "corrupt government" cliche, wherein the human faction has commuted just as many atrocities, if not more, than the villains they're fighting. If comparing this to Akame ga Kill is a demeaning slap to the face, than I guess Gears of War would a be better comparison. Seraph is not a terrible show, but it's not my cup of tea either.

So how about the ones that really deserve this crap, like season three of From Dusk Till Dawn? So far, all of the problems I've had with season two have been doubled. The "heroes" have been reduced to being self-centered assholes with no redeeming qualities and even the unimportant background characters are too annoying for me tolerate. Whatever arguments to be had about making the vampires from the movie more sympathetic are rendered moot by the end of its second episode, and they become more invalid as the season progress.

How about Wynonna Earp or Hunters? Sure, the former series has a fanbase, despite its title character being a total bitch and its inaugural thirteen-episode season ending in one hell of an anti-climax, but Hunters has no excuse. Hunters is a generic, depressing, drama that's too cynical for its own good. Syfy should have given Defiance one more season, despite its many flaws, instead of wasting money on a show that takes its premise way too seriously.

I'd talk about the low points of The Flash's second season or question why the hell FOX decided to give Scream Queens a second go-around, but this is really just a preference of mine. Maybe some people like these kinds of shows, and I'm already too bitter and miserable to enjoy works like these.

...Or maybe television dramas have become too dark for me to give a crap about and need to learn how to lighten up!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Because I'm Not Dead and This Blog Needs More Posts

Preview guides are stupid. You really expect me to listen to one man's opinion on a show they don't like before it even airs? Ever heard of judging a book by its cover? I'd rather read a stupid comment section. Better yet, I'd rather make a slightly less stupid list of shows you should be watching.

***

My dream anime is a cross between Bleach and Ikki Tousen. Bleach would contribute the quirky, slice-of-life humor, kickass music, and urban fantasy atmosphere that helped the earlier episodes earn its popularity in the first place. Ikki Tousen would bring its cast of amazons, les yay to the point of it not being subtext, and its hard-knocks school rivalry setting. Throw in an actual plot with better pacing, and there you have it.

***

I definitely think Super Channel should take notes from Family Channel and HBO.

Family Channel looks and acts like a basic TV channel, instead of the commercial-free premium channel that it really is, but what sells it is that its bundled with actual basic cable channels. Its clear that Super Channel is completely outclassed by The Movie Network and needs to switch up their business strategy.

HBO has reach the point where subscribers are willing to pay for the channel directly, without a cable subscription. With HBO Now, the channel has granted their wish. Now imagine if Super Channel followed a similar route for fans of Ash vs The Evil Dead.

***



Monday, 5 September 2016

Ranking Viacom's Cable Networks

It's a little jarring to see a major broadcaster own so many channels, when we only watch three of them. No wonder Viacom has been going through changes, that's exactly what they are: a major broadcaster that owns so many channels, when people only give a crap about Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon.

Let's take a quick look under the hood, shall we?


9) Logo
Putting Logo at the bottom of the list may ruffle a few feathers. After all, gay truly is the new black, and the LGBT community needs a voice like Logo now more than ever. The problem is, ever since they cancelled all their original programming, Logo looks less like a cable network for lesbians and more like TV Land if they actually aired classic TV shows. Though I wouldn't say it's as bad as Bravo (U.S), because at least Logo didn't create The Real Housewives. They still have Drag Race, but Logo has a LONG way to go.

8) BET Networks
BET is the most popular network for African-Americans that nobody watches. Whenever BET isn't airing anything original, people are turning to networks like TV One and Bounce instead. They have the black sitcom classics no other network airs, unlike BET, where all of their shows can be found on MTV2. The fact that MTV2 has produced better unscripted series doesn't help their case either.

Centric is even worse. They now lay claim to be the first network for African-American women, but that only applies to their original slate. In the end, Centric is still the same incubator for sitcoms not airing on VH1 (or MTV2) and little more than an enabler for BET to continue to be the Bill Cosby of African-American television. Ironic, considering the accusations Bill Cosby himself made about the network. I've said it before and I'll say it again: BET is more of a brand than a cable network.

7) TV Land
How did TV Land go from being an offshoot of Nick@Nite, to being a less shitty Nick@Nite? By less shitty, I'm referring to TV Land's slate of original sitcoms that people actually watch. Do you even remember that See Dad Run was a thing? Unfortunately, with their decision to produce original programming came a shift towards more recent network sitcoms. You could blame this on the passing of time, where what's new now will eventually become retro in a decade or two, but that's not what TV Land is doing at all. What TV Land is really doing is airing the same regurgitated crap that's been rerun to death, not just on a Viacom network, but on cable television as whole.

Instead of asking "Why the hell does TV Land only air retro shows during the day?" We should be asking "Why the hell does TV Land even exist at all?" The answer is either Impastor or Younger, because those shows are the reason why TV Land is still relevant. ...Well that, and NickMom was even worse than what Nick@Nite has become. Seriously, find some different shows to air at night or don't even bother.

6) CMT
CMT is what MTV should have been when they shifted away from cartoons. Yes, some of their programming choices were questionable, but at least they still give enough of a crap about county music to avoid going down the same road as the countless networks that came before it. Also, they brought back Nashville. Lucky dogs.

5) VH1
It's a damn shame that VH1 ditched their morning music video block for sitcom reruns because they were supposed to be the Viacom network that actually gives a crap about music! Besides, and I can't stress this enough, all those shows were already airing on other networks! All signs point to MTV's new slate of music shows and the re-branding of VH1 Soul and Classic as the reason for the main channel's relapse, as if Viacom has decided to make MTV their one and only mainstream music channel. At least VH1's schedule is still dominated by their own original programming, for better or worse.

4) Spike
Spike is in much better shape than the previous entries on this list; it's also the only entry on this list that people watch less than BET. Let's face it, Spike TV has REALLY let itself go after they shifted to reality shows and became A&E for men. If it were not for MMA, boxing, and police-related shows, you'd be forgiven for thinking Spike TV was gobbled up by MTV2.

Between Bar Rescue, Ink Master, and new episodes of Cops and Jail, Spike produced a dozen reality shows hoping they'd find the next Storage Wars. All they really did was kill Blue Mountain State, 1000 Ways to Die, Deadliest Warrior and all of their best shows for a bunch of crap no one even watches. TNA Impact was more entertaining than Catch a Contractor, and even then...!

Despite all this, Spike has survived long enough to launch Lip Sync Battle, which became its flagship show in a matter of weeks, and rolled out international versions with arguably better shows. Only time will tell how long Spike's upward swing will continue.

3) Nickelodeon Networks
I never thought I lived to see the day Nickelodeon went back to producing decent shows not named TUFF Puppy or The Legend of Korra, but enough about Harvey Beaks. The way I see it, there are only two things wrong with Nickelodeon: Spongebob Squarepants marathons and Nick@Nite. I love Spongbob as much as any sane person would, but Nickelodeon's obsession with the show has turned it into punchline of children's television, and dragged the rest of the network's quality down with it. You'd think The Fairly Oddparents would have it worse, but the network barely airs that show anymore, just like another Frederator cartoon on another network.

If Nickelodeon wants to show nothing but Spongebob, the least they could do is cutback Nick@Nite's runtime. Which brings me to my next gripe with the network: they need to cutback Nick@Nite's runtime! Nick@Nite is lucky enough to be airing shows that aren't as rehashed as the other acquired fare Viacom owns. When your program block is reduced to airing nothing but sitcom reruns and movies, it's time to step back and make room for the network-produced shows Nickelodeon forgot to cancel.

One last thing, can we STOP with the live-action programming on Nicktoons? Power Rangers is fine, but Nick already has a dumping ground for Nickcom reruns. It's called TeenNick, and they should have moved Winx Club there. Moving the show to Nick Jr, the same network they launched NickMom, speaks volumes about the morons running that outfit.

2) MTV Networks
Lately, MTV has become a dumping ground for Comedy Central shows. You know MTV has took it to a new low when they would rather air better shows from a better network than any of their own original programming. I wouldn't be surprised if Broad City moved to MTV next season. While I applaud the decision to bring Wild n' Out back home to MTV, I still question their decision to bring MTV2's own original series with it. They might as well shut down MTV2 while they're at it, because without an attention-grabbing original series, MTV2 is little more than another sitcom rerun farm.

Still, between the launch of MTV Live and MTV Classic, and the fact that MTVu still airs nothing but music videos, MTV's future is looking a bit more interesting.

1) Comedy Central
There's no denying it, Comedy Central is still number one. Yes, I'm still pissed that they cancelled Moonbeam City and greenlit a spinoff of the absolute worst skit from TripTank. Yes, I do consider their animated shows to be little more than juvinile trash. And yes, The Comedy Network isn't even a poor man's counterpart to Central anymore, because MuchMusic airs the Central shows people actually watch.

Nonetheless, Comedy Central is still the one network that gets more buzz than any other Viacom-owned outlet. It's original slate is more popular than MTV's and of higher quality than anything on Nickelodeon. A sea of generic reality shows and overplayed sitcom reruns overshadow some of cable's most interesting scripted series (and Hit the Floor), but Comedy Central has never had this problem. They give the people what they want, the best damn shows on television (and Brickleberry) & the funniest movies, and the people give them ratings in return.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Kids' Shows for Grown-Ups: Screwed By The Network

For teens and adults who watch animated shows, children's television has become cable's equivalent to NBC. Or FOX, whatever your preference. Cable networks are so desperate to attract an audience that has all but shifted to online streaming sites, that any show with critical praise and viewer approval are shunned in favor of shows that bring in ratings; even if that high-rated show is a piece of crap.

Look no further than Nickelodeon's high-profile screwing of The Legend of Korra, and lesser-acknowledged screwing of Winx Club, which saw both shows move online late into their runs. You'd think they'd at least move to Korra to Nicktoons or the almost barren wasteland known as TeenNick (before they brought back the 90s), given the show's popularity with the older crowd. Of course not, because this is the same network that moved Winx Club to Nick Jr. of all places!

Meanwhile, Cartoon Network's flagship shows, Adventure Time and Regular Show, have almost no presence among the lineup aside from selling merchandise. The blame could be pinned on the current network head, Christina Miller, who just so happens to dislike both shows for their..."edginess" and find them too inappropriate for children. Her actions have shown that she favors Teen Titans Go, the infamous black comedy that has taken over the channel and pissed off numerous other fandoms (from comic books to Transformers) for screwing over their shows with its multiple episode blocks. That, and the show was terrible to begin with.

Even live-action shows aren't safe.

On Disney Channel, rumors are swirling that Girl Meets World is either being cancelled or its moving to Freeform. It's no surprise that Disney Channel would cancel GMW after its third season, because this was the most mature show the channel has had in a LONG time. So, of course they're gonna screw it over for more crap like Jessie, a show that lasted four seasons on high-ratings and critical-scorn. Disney XD did the same thing with Arron Stone.

The appeal behind these shows could be their fast-paced episodes for some, their light-hearted or mature nature for others, or their unbiased escapism compared to TV dramas and traditional sitcoms. On the flip side, it really is more about the show than the network that airs it, but given all the evidence, its not hard see why. If a show pleases a certain audience, but does almost nothing for the network as a whole, it's understandable if the network wants to back down.

But when a show is deliberately given piss-poor treatment by its parent network for reasons beyond just ratings, especially when that network's screwing is causing the low-ratings to begin with: that's unacceptable! It might not hurt the ratings, but it will guarantee that would be producers of the next big thing in children's entertainment will think twice before going to a cable network with their show. It might actually be for the better, given the prejudice these networks seem to have for decent youth television, the accessibility and flexibility of streaming sites, and the fact that anyone over the age of twenty REALLY shouldn't be watching Disney Channel these days.

Business is business, bullshit is bullshit.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Re: Corus not making radical changes to lineup yet in wake of Shaw acquisition

 http://www.news1130.com/2016/06/09/corus-not-making-radical-changes-to-lineup-yet-in-wake-of-shaw-acquisition/
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don't get me wrong. People who say "if it ain't broke..." need to be bashed in the head with a shovel and buried alive; those idiotic cavemen. However, for Corus to tell the press (and savvy viewers) that they weren't making any major changes to Shaw Media's channels (yet) shows that they've also inherited the wisdom that made Shaw Media the most coherent portfolio of specialty channels I've ever seen.

Still, I lament that networks like Action and IFC, which are in need of a shake up, are still on the back burner, at least until Corus "figures out how to make channels that once competed now co-operate and complement each other."

Clearly, they were talking about the women lifestyle networks.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Analysis: FXX (Canada)

Ever since the NHL deal, Rogers has become a born again broadcaster. In recent years, they've shifted their broadcasting outlets towards a LONG underserved demographic of young adult men. This shift was punctuated with the demise of the female-skewing, in-name only, Biography Channel and the rise of Viceland.

The Canadian version of FXX, another network aimed at young adults, was created to continue this trend and keep in line with FX Networks in the U.S. FX and FXX have aired new original series at the same time, so it makes sense to launch another network to air the new stuff day-and-date with the U.S, rather than keep them all on the same network and deal with all the nonsense. However, whatever complaints viewers in the U.S had about FXX might be justified in the case of the Canadian channel.

The problem with FXX Canada is that it's barebones. Rogers lacks the stacked content libraries that Corus Entertainment and Bell Media have and because of this, at launch, the channel was siphoning off or outright recycling shows airing on FX Canada. Case and point: Murdoch Mysteries, a drama that used to air on Citytv. Since FXX is geared towards comedies, Murdoch sticks out like a sour thumb and is only there to fulfill Canadian content requirements.

Are you telling me they couldn't have at least picked up the rights to another Canadian show?  For instance, Republic of Doyle - a comedy-drama which would have been a perfect for FXX's comedic slant. What about all those animated comedies, like Odd Job Jack or Chilly Beach? They would have been a nice compensation to FXX's short-lived Animation Domination block. Instead, Rogers decided to recycle the handful of scripted series they already have, rather than pay money to acquire something different. Rogers is trying to avoid taking risks, but they come across as lazy instead.

FXX Canada does its intended job correctly, airing premieres at the same time as FXX in the U.S. As for reruns, The League is gone but It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia still has a strong presence on the channel. However, I feel FXX Canada doesn't fully utilize the rest of its acquired slate to its fullest.

Given Family Guy's popularity and the fact that FXX Canada has a lot more stretching room than Teletoon at Night or Adult Swim Canada, you'd think Rogers would capitalize by airing the show more frequently, just as FXX proper did with the Simpsons. Instead, it only airs once a day, twice on the weekends (repeats don't count). My hypothesis is that Rogers shares rights with Corus Entertainment, who program Teletoon at Night and Adult Swim, and have some sort of arrangement. However, as of writing, FXX is the only Canadian network that airs Family Guy, so you can't help but feel that things are about to change.

The Mindy Project and Bob's Burgers haven't been on as long as Family Guy has, so a daily strip is fine. But while Bob's Burgers also airs on Teletoon at Night, The Mindy Project only airs on FXX as a season encore on Tuesday Nights. Meanwhile, endless repeats of Seed and Package Deal, the other two recycled shows Rogers owns, completely takeover weekend nights. So, instead of the "premium, anti-formula" programming people subscribe to watch, does Rogers expect them to settle for low-rated Citytv burnoffs?

If the problem is that Rogers only has rights to the current season of The Mindy Project, and that they only air Bob's Burgers and Family Guy at a specific time, then they should work on their negotiation skills. These three shows are the only things keeping viewers from asking the inevitable question: "Why am I subscribed to this channel?" It would be beneficial for Rogers to hang on to these shows and make sure people know FXX is the only channel that airs them. If money is the issue, Rogers owns a dead weight of a network called G4 that needs to be put down. Cable bundles won't save it forever and, unless Rogers is willing to put in the work to revitalize the channel so it can make more money, it's not worth keeping around.

A channel like FXX Canada hasn't existed in years, so I'm pulling for it to stick around. Its current state is the best its been since its launch two years ago, I expect it to get better from here on out.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Teletoon and the Animation Age Ghetto

When Cartoon Network and Adult Swim's programming left Teletoon for its domestic counterpart, it felt like the rapture. Finally, fans of shows like Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Robot Chicken won't have to watch the same network that airs Rocket Monkeys and Fugget About It: juvenile shows for a juvenile audience. Instead, they can settle for a network that caters to "big kids" and ditch Teletoon altogether. Why shouldn't they?

Personally, I only watch Teletoon for Totally Spies reruns, Transformers, and maybe some Power Rangers. Other people might stick around for what little classic cartoons Teletoon still airs, anime like Yo-Kai Watch and Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, Teletoon at Night, or the action shows and superhero movies that have displaced that block. Since Teletoon caters solely to kids, most of their shows make the idea of "grown men who watch cartoons" look more and more like a taboo with each new production.

From the beginning, Teletoon's original shows are designed for a specific audience and are not meant to have a lasting impression on its viewers. If 6teen has had that effect on you, it was unintentional. Shows you liked as a kid or teenager might not look as good when you watch them as adults, especially in the case of shows like Johnny Test and Total Drama.

Whatever the motivation before, Teletoon originals are now designed to pander to kids and be sold to other youth networks worldwide. Ratings don't really mean all that much to them, since the success of their shows mostly depend on how their treated internationally. If that was the goal, then Teletoon is hopefully doing better everywhere else than in the United States; what with Disney XD screwing over their shows and the shows on Cartoon Network being scapegoated as everything wrong with animation.

What I lament the most about Teletoon is that their focus on kids pushed aside Canadian-made adult animated shows in favor of Archer and shows from Adult Swim. Fugget About It got off easy, NONE of the other adult shows Teletoon created lasted more than 26 episodes. They were doomed to rerun hell, airing the same 13 or so episodes over and over again. When the American-produced shows briefly left Teletoon at Night in 2015, the audience left with them. There was nothing left for them to watch that was worth a damn, since none of Teletoon's shows could stack up to the likes of Rick and Morty and Family Guy. The very same can be said of Teletoon's daytime originals.

Teletoon's adult lineup has NEVER had as much variety as it does now, with encores of Knuckle Heads and Night Sweats being the most original, if not tolerable, Canadian programming seen on Teletoon at Night in a LONG time. If the people behind these shows at least put this much of an effort into kids cartoons, Dr. Dimensionpants would have turned out much better than it did, shows like Endangered Species would have been the standard, and shit like Rocket Monkeys would have never been made in the first place.

My point is, as Canada's designated animation brand, Teletoon's content should be better than it is now; it shouldn't be overshadowed by American fare. Canadian animation should be as diverse as the country its from, with shows for families and for adults. Cookie-cutting crap that panders to kids is only as good as the money it makes.

Of course, if you follow that logic, YTV is bankrupt.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Why We NEED a Film like Sausage Party

For better or worse, I'm glad something like Sausage Party exists. Not since the days of Heavy Metal have I seen profile theatrical animation for adults. We're not talking about the lack of "mature" storytelling, because there are plenty of those in the CGI-animated family films that plague theaters nowadays, but those films are lumped in with the factory-produced, cookie-cutter crap created to sell merchandise and shill famous actors. It's the polar opposite to television animation, with its many different styles and age appeal. Whether its Japanese anime or western animation, comedies or action shows, 2D or 3D, there's always something for everyone.

In Hollywood, 2D animation is extinct. Some jerk in a suit decided that EVERY film had to be computer animated, had to have a celebrity in the booth, and had to be a movie for kids. Two stop-motion films in particular that dared to be different, the adult film "To Hell and Back" & the partially CGI-animated family film "The Little Prince", were screwed over and banished to Netflix. I'm inclined to believe that the only reason Sausage Party survived was because it was, in fact, a CGI film with a celebrity voice cast and they didn't know what they were getting into until it was too late. If that were the reality, the fact that Seth Rogen's name was attached to this should have been a major red flag, and the big wigs ignored it because they were total idiots.

Regardless, I'm glad Sausage Party made it, because it seems the only to fight this "theatrical animation ghetto" is to fight fire with fire. Only then will we take the first step in bringing diversity back to theatrical animation. There's nothing wrong with how things are, but things used to be better.

Monday, 27 June 2016

The M3 Rant I Posted on Their Facebook Page (Because I Have an Ego).

You'd think that Bell would take notice from Corus' switcheroo with Teletoon Retro and Cartoon Network (Canada). MTV2 Canada's license is far more flexible than MTV Canada's license, since they aren't restricted to talk shows and CanCon (and they can actually air music videos).

By now, they should have closed down MTV, moved their programming to MTV2, relaunch MTV2 as the new MTV, and take the channel slots of the previous MTV. Since the new channel would be on the same cable tier as MUCH and M3, Bell would have been able to move Pretty Little Liars to MTV with no problems.

But Bell Media has no interest in putting any work into their networks. Instead, they slap whatever show they got on some random network and then screw around with it when it isn't making them money.

While I'm at it, since MTV Canada turned off comments, can anyone explain to me what's the point of owning a American-branded channel that doesn't air that channel's programming? Why is MTV2 Canada stuck with shitty teen dramas instead of the original shows airing on MTV2 proper in the U.S? What's gonna happen when MTV2's shows move to MTV in August? Will I be able to watch them on MTV Canada, or do I have to wait for someone to upload them some random video site?

Finally, out of all the networks to move Pretty Little Liars to, why Bravo? Clearly, Bravo is intended for more upscale, adult dramas. I get it, MuchMusic is better off NEVER airing another teen drama EVER again, and I (and music lovers everywhere) appreciate that. So, why not MTV Canada, the same network that got away with airing Degrassi? Surely, that wasn't because Degrassi was a Canadian series? That's too good an excuse. I could care less for both shows, but I have to call it when I see it.

Bell Media has been playing fast-and-loose for far too long.

MTV2's Last Summer

This summer will be bittersweet for MTV2, because Wild 'N Out, the flagship show that they revived, is moving back home to MTV, and its taking the sophomore series - Kingin' with Tyga and Joking Off - with it.

Let's face it, until Wild 'N Out came along, nobody gave a crap about MTV2. As MTV became the youth entertainment juggernaut it is now, MTV2 was supposed to be the network where all of their music programming went. Fast forward to 2012: MTV2 has become a skeleton network. The five hours of music videos shoved into the early morning graveyard slots are the only actual music-related programming on what is otherwise a sitcom rerun farm. Sure, Guy Code debuted in 2011, and quickly became MTV2's flagship original, but the only reason why it was the network's most-watched show was because it was on a network no one was watching.

When Wild 'N Out was revived in 2013, it breathed new life into MTV2. Suddenly, a slew of new and interesting original shows appeared. Sure, most of them never lasted a year, and some of them weren't even that good, but it was better than nothing. Scratch that, it was better than the Saved by the Bell reruns. Not since the days of Wonder Showzen and Crank Yankers has MTV2 aired shows that were fun to watch, and maybe even more fun to make. They were the Disney XD to MTV's Disney Channel - different demographic, way better shows.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. With Wild 'N Out back in the mix, and MTV in the midst of a reinvention, Viacom pulled the trigger. Not only was Wild 'N Out moving back to their old stomping grounds, the network were it all began, but it was taking MTV2's other successful shows with it. With MTV also dipping their toes back into music television, with the rerun of Unplugged among other new shows, the coming months look to once again redefine MTV as a youth entertainment brand.

But in doing so, MTV2 will once again become little more than the black sheep of music-based television. Sure, Uncommon Sense might be your idea of late-night TV, but can the same really be said about Binge Drinking? Can MTV2's new "remixed" originals - Wild 'N On Tour & Guy Code vs Girl Code - reach the hype that their parent shows did? If they don't, MTV2 will be written off as another reason to scale back your cable package or the ditch the cord altogether.

With MTV Jams now realigned with BET Networks, VH1 seemingly ditching their video blocks (I'm Canadian, I can only learn so much about American networks from my personal experiences, my research, and Zap2it listings), and new competition in "Nuvo Fuse" and Revolt, it would make sense for Viacom to re-purpose MTV2 as their alternative music network, as well as a hangout for young men. With all the shake-ups and revamps across Viacom's other networks, it seems like a possibility.

After all, guys need their MTV two.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Movie Network is the New MTV

The demise of Movie Central and apparent bankruptcy of Super Channel has all but confirmed what I always knew: Premium channels have become as irrelevant as old-fashioned music channels. That's not to say the likes of Revolt, Fuse, and even MuchMusic have become old news, or more worthless than premium channels. Once upon a time, we relied on Much and MTV for our music fix. But overtime, the internet would provide a more faster, convenient way to get the latest news and music videos. So, Vevo and Spotify became the new standards for finding new music, while the music networks found success in other entertainment ventures, often incorporating it with what little music programming they have.

Now history is repeating itself. Netflix and Hulu have been slowly eating away at the precious subscriber-base HBO and Showtime have spent years building. Game of Thrones is HBO's number one show, but's also the most pirated show in the world. Showtime's series don't get that much, but there's no denying that cord-cutting is a thing. It's not the end of cable television, but they'll need to evolve to better compete with the increased competition. Hence HBO Now, which essentially turns HBO into a premium streaming service, and Showtime's bundle with Hulu. Now, in addition to the standard cable model, the two channels have found a way to connect directly to cord-cutters.

You'd think Canadian networks would follow in their footsteps in this pick-and-pay era. If you do, then you must have been living under a rock for the last six or so years. 

When competing against The Movie Network and Super Channel, Netfilx has it in the bag, because most of our premium networks were run by old men in suits who refuse to try anything new. By now, CraveTV should have offered next-day streams of the acquired programming that we came to see. Instead, Bell Media still expects you to shell out tens of dollars to The Movie Network, on top of your already expensive cable bundle, and stream their shows through a restricted on-demand channel or through a shitty TV Anywhere app. The ease, the accessibility, the easy money and notoriety CraveTV could have gotten by now: they don't have it because Bell Media is too stubborn to face the future.

All of the above is what's plaguing Super Channel, and why they've filed for bankruptcy, but it doesn't end there. From the beginning, Super Channel was competing against premium network shows with basic-cable product. I'm not slinging mud at Rizzoli and Isles, Spooksville, and especially Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I'm just saying they expected you to pay tens of dollars for shows that air on more affordable networks in the U.S. I wouldn't be surprised if more people watched the off-season encores on Showcase television than the new episodes airing on Super Channel.

The Starz and movie deals, as well as Canadian original programming of their own, were exactly what Super Channel needed, but they were also the last thing they needed. Everything has become too expensive for them because Super Channel itself was too expensive for new costumers. The ultimate irony for me is that Super Channel wasn't just put into check by The Movie Network. There's one other pay TV channel we often overlook: Family Channel.

In case you don't know, or simply forgot, Family is a premium service, but it's bundled with basic cable channels like YTV and Teletoon and treated as such. However, just like Super Channel, Family Channel also airs basic cable product: from Canadian shows to acquired Disney fare. Since its a channel for kids, they don't have to worry about cord-cutters too much, even though teenagers are a fickle audience to please. As long as they keep churning out hits like The Next Step and Degrassi (which should have ended after MTV and TeenNick cancelled The Next Generation, but I digress), they won't be left in the dark. When all is said and done, the only reason why Family is acknowledged as a higher-tier channel compared to YTV and Teletoon is because their own premium licence means they don't have to air commercials. 

In the era of pick-and-pay, Family Channel is no different than Super Channel or The Movie Network; if the people want it, they will subscribe to it. That's why both services need to find a way to evolve and be more accessible. In danger of going off the air, Super Channel is doing just that; by first evaluating what works and what doesn't. Meanwhile, Canadians are more than ready to pay directly to HBO and Showtime, because The Movie Network and CraveTV just aren't a good enough substitute. I don't believe Game of Thrones will be the end of The Movie Network, I believe it will be the end of cable as we know it.

And while all of this is going on, Netflix is still chilling in the background. For all the flack Netflix Canada gets for lacking the beefier offerings the Americans get, there are still more people subscribed to it than any premium channel. Contrary to what the pirates would have you believe, we're fine with whatever shows we're allowed to legally stream on Netfilx. Of course, we'd be even happier if geo-blocking was never a thing, since anti-consumer polices are the major cause of piracy to begin with! 

#FucGeoBlocking

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Re: Ashby: In the CRTC's game of thrones, cable companies must lose

Full Article:
http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/ashby-in-the-crtcs-game-of-thrones-bell-and-hbo-must-lose
--------------------------------------------------------------
I'm not gonna let MTV upstage me with the power plays they've been making. It's time I got back to my roots too.

With Bell Media granted exclusive access to HBO programming, you'd think that they would have the flexibility to meet the needs of its consumers. For example, they could allow consumers who aren't subscribed to (or don't want subscribe to) The Movie Network to watch Game of Thrones on CraveTV. In addition to streaming past seasons, they would be able to watch new episodes, along with the rest of HBO's catalog. Being that Game of Thrones is one of the most pirated shows in the world, and CraveTV is cheaper than HBO Now, it would be a win-win for the company and all Canadians. After all, the only way to stop piracy is to meet the needs of the consumer.

However, that would imply that Bell Media actually gave a shit about the costumer, or had respect for the numerous channels and television shows they owned. Let me refresh your memory.

They turned MuchMoreMusic into a skeleton network. They left MTV2, BookTelevision and FashionTelevisionChannel to hang, dry, and eventually die when consumers are finally able to pick-and-pay for channels that are actually worth a damn. They switch around acquired programming like a kid with LEGO blocks and later lock them up behind cable subscriptions and paywalls. If you're new to this blog and wonder why I'm always slinging mud at this company, I just gave you your answer.

When it comes to television, Bell Media is the Electronic Arts of Canadian broadcasting; they are the worst of the worst.




Saturday, 4 June 2016

Let Me Clear My Throat...

One of the reasons why I do rants on this blog, rather than in videos, is that it allows me to speak my mind without worrying too much about offending anyone, especially someone who (wishful thinking) likes my videos. It's the perfect place for me to vent about the true evils and annoyances of this world!

For example, did you know that teenage girls have the worst tastes in entertainment? 

Their music is shit, their dramas are shit, and their sitcoms are the very definition of anti-humor. Oh sure, you might have enjoyed that crap when you were young, but that's because they were factory made to be only enjoyed by teenage idiots. It will not age well, not even if you remember it for nostalgia. When you've finally grown a pair or had your first time of the month, you'll wonder what the hell you ever saw in that shit. That's not the ramblings of an old geezer or jaded student, that's the goddamn truth.

What about sci-fi geeks are their need to cry over spilled milk? Yesterday, it was George Lucas "mutilating" his own franchises, despite the fact that Star Wars fanboys were supposedly into nonsensical bullshit, or that Indiana Jones movies aren't supposed to be realistic. The day after that, it was Sci-Fi Channel changing its name Syfy, to avoid sounding both generic and misleading, like The History Channel. 

Today, its the "actionized" trailer for he new Star Trek movie, and the controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson playing the Major in the upcoming live-action Ghost in the Shell movie. Never mind the fact that, thanks to a little something called Dragon Ball Evolution, no one will touch that movie with a 500TB hard drive.  To them, it's the end of the world. To the rest of society, it's basement-dwelling geeks complaining about things they don't like. I know that's politically incorrect, and an insult that's been used to death, but stereotypes exist for a reason.

...And that's just what was going though my mind when I typed this up. I know it's unhealthy to think like this, but it's also just as unhealthy to keep things bottled up inside. However, it's also very hazardous to hear the opinions of others, as you might have just learned the hard way if you were offended by this post. What can I tell ya? Some things need to be said, and a blog is the best place to say it.

...Just throwing this out there, as exited as I am for the next game, I honestly think Kingdom Hearts is just making shit up now.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

ELEAGUE's Biggest Challenge So Far...

Canadians can't watch TBS, which means all they'll have is the observer feed on Twitch. That's fine, Turner's new competitive gaming league is still a work in progress. Plus, thanks to its lackluster exposure on EPSN, e-sports as a whole have a LONG way to go before they secure a place on television. Honestly, a video game tournament on a mainstream sports network. What were they thinking? If anything, they should have aired that event on G4. After all, they could have used more programming like that, as opposed to half of the stuff they were airing at the time.

No, I don't blame TBS for this, because this is just another reminder of how abysmal in variety Canadian networks are that we don't have a proper broadcaster for ELEAGUE or anything game-related.

The first choice anyone would make is G4 Canada. They could use some decent programming after they parted ways with The Electric Playground, because now they're back to airing the same unrelated crap they were churning out before the CRTC laid down the law. Considering the American version was popular enough to be resurrected as the brand for Syfy Games news coverage, it's safe to say the Canadian version is just a waste of money at this point.

So why not bring ELEAGUE to another Rogers Media television property: Sportsnet 360? If SN360 can air poker tournaments and whatever drivel the WWE churns out, there's no excuse not to air something like a competitive gaming event in their downtime. The Score Television Network was known to air events like these, and they continue to cover e-sports with their e-sports app.

When it all comes down to it, e-sports doesn't have a home on television for the same reasons why adult anime can only be seen on Toonami or why music networks spend half their time airing crappy reality shows. In this modern era, niche entertainment just doesn't work. It doesn't bring in ratings and mainstreamers don't get it. Instead, its left up to the Twitch's, Crunchyroll's and Vevo's of the internet to deliver what the people want, when the people want it.

ELEAGUE hopes to change that, at least for e-sports, and we'll just have to hope for the best.

Quick Update June 2016

I'm in a really bad place right now. I have nothing to live for except living itself. Without going IRL on you, the Reycralibur Finale has not been a top priority for me as of late. Like I said, I have nothing to live for, least of all YouTube peons who don't even watch machinima. I still have plenty of Smash Bros. shorts to make, and there will always be something to rant about on this blog, so I'm not out of the game just yet.

Monday, 9 May 2016

The Call of Duty Complex

Blame anyone who complained about MuchMore's relaunch as M3 back in 2013 for me saying this but, Whoever said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" needs to be punched in the face. And kicked in the groin. And set on fire. And die.

For progress to be made, some things (especially MuchMore) NEED to be broken. Not only will they be fixed, they will be better than before. Change is a good thing, and yet, having too much of a good thing is a bad thing. So? Get rid of what makes it horrible, not what makes it great. Problem solved! That's evolution. That's change. That's the way life works.

Don't agree? Then allow me to retort: CALL OF DUTY!

Let's be honest. The main entries developed by Treyarch and, especially, Sledgehammer Games' own Advanced Warfare were better than any of the games churned out by Infinity Ward in recent years. Treyarch in particular deserve recognition for building upon what made Modern Warfare so great by adding new features and tweaking the core gameplay just a bit. Obviously, it wasn't enough, but at least it was better than Infinity Ward's "If it ain't broke..." approach.

Compare Black Ops II's Strikeforce missions, branching paths, and "Pick 10" multiplayer, to Modern Warfare 3's linear campaign and reshuffled killstreaks. ...OK, so all those changes weren't perfect, but the only thing rehashed about Black Ops 2 was the graphics. Treyarch had the right idea. For Call of Duty to stay relevant, it needs to evolve and continue evolving.

Why else do you think that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (and by extension, Modern Warfare 2, depending on who you asked) is still regarded as the franchise's high point? Compared to what came before it, it was very different. It changed the shooter game and opened a Pandora's box of imitators. Now the franchise itself has become an imitator, and its shift to sci-fi does little to hide the obvious.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Whoever said that needs to be shot. At least when MTV ditched music television, they still remained a pop culture icon to this day. If it wasn't for Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto V would still be played from a top-down perspective. People who say "If it ain't broke...", can go fuck themselves.

...Though, in retrospective, MuchMore should have never became M3. Not when music videos are still the only programs worth watching on that channel.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Netflix Went Worldwide WAY Too Soon

Once upon a time, if you put something out there on the internet, the whole world could see it. Then, one day, someone decided that entertainment companies can put something out there, but only their native country can see it. The rest of the world was like: "Wow, what a jackass!"

That last bit also happens to be the reaction from Canadians who aren't satisfied with just watching House of Cards and Bojack Horseman. That last bit is the reaction Canadians had to Netflix's border-hopping crack down. Hungry for the full catalog of titles available in the U.S? Too bad. If you try to use a VPN or unblocking service to cross the border, Netflix will deport your ass faster than you can say Bordertown.

When your streaming service is now available worldwide, the first thing you want to do is make sure your content isn't available worldwide too. That's the message Netflix is sending to Canadians. It's true that Netflix does want to have a worldwide-viewable catalog, hence the shrinking movie lineup (which could also be chalked up to them spending more money on original programming), but actions speak louder than words, and Netflix's actions as of late have said otherwise.

Since Canadians can't rely on unblockers, now they're prepared to just pirate everything Netflix offers the United States that they can't get up north. After all, it's not stealing when you take something for free that you aren't allowed to pay money for in the first place. That's the biggest problem with geographically-restricted subscription services: people who were willing to pay money for something are now "stealing" that very something because the owners, apparently, don't want their money.

Now flip it in reverse! Netflix Canada has given us new episodes of Scandal before the Americans can stream them, exclusive series like From Dusk 'ill Dawn & Shadowhunters, plus exclusive streaming rights to the new Star Wars movie. Surely someone in another part of the world is looking at us with envy. As awesome as these bonuses are (and they are FREAKING SWEET!), it would be even better if we ALL were able to enjoy them. If we could all enjoy From Dusk 'till Dawn and Star Wars, without having to use an unblocker, it would truly feel like Netflix is available worldwide. If we still lived in a world where "if you put something out there on the internet, the whole world could see it", that's would be the reality.

Instead, everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too and, once again, the customer has the short end of the stick. If Netflix truly wants to have a worldwide catalog of shows, then they need to stop making these region-specific deals. The same goes to all businesses: the only way to slow down piracy is to make your goods accessible to the customer. The pirates are winning because they provide a better service. When your business avoids anti-consumer practices, like geo-blocking, piracy becomes an afterthought.

Then we'll all live happily ever after.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Machinima Update: April 26, 2016

I should have stuck to short videos, it was a lot more enjoyable making those than a full length, ongoing, machinima series. With Super Smash Bros for Wii U being the new thing, and my channel sorely lacking in original machinima, I intend to make as many movies and shorts as I want. But right now, I need closure. As I'm typing this, I'm about to edit the opening scene from the final Reycralibur movie. Yes, Reycralibur: The Movie. In other words, Reycralibur: Legend of the Miracle Beam, the SSB64 machinima series that I've been working on for over six years, is finished.

I'm not doing this because I want people to watch, not even to showcase the possibilities of SSB64 machinima. Since the beginning, I've been doing this for the same reason every machinimator takes up this hobby in the first place: for his or her enjoyment. But in the case of this long-running saga which I've grown disillusioned with, I'm doing this for closure. I'm lazy, I procrastinate, and I usually give up something before I finish it. Anyone can make a comedy video, but to do a whole machinima series takes hard work, dedication, and commitment.

Also, originality, but that never stopped certain machinimists from making the same fanfic over and over again. I mean, we get it: Peach and Zelda are only good for getting captured by Bowser and Ganondorf and being rescued by Mario and Link; Snake, Samus and Team Star Fox are the authority; and everyone else is either cannon fodder or henchmen. Cue the anime opening.

Time and time again, I've seen so many newcomers in the same boat as I am in. They announce their new series. they hold an audition, they make the flashy animesque credit sequences..., and then they just quit before they even get to the second episode. How am I gonna stand out, in an era where machinima as a whole plays second fiddle to AMVs and a multi-channel network that doesn't even give a crap about the thing its named after, if I can't even finish what I started?

Given my poor track record for setting goals and meeting deadlines, I won't bother with a release date. In fact, I'm gonna go ahead and jinx myself by saying Reycralibur Final will not be released before the next installment of the Smasherz finale, or the next episode of Brawl Universe or Fates Hand, but on my pride as a machinimator, I will get this done!

In the meantime, you can just keep enjoying the shorts. That's all I'm really good for nowadays.




Sunday, 17 April 2016

iHeartRadio, iHateBellMedia

I'm having mixed feelings about Bell Media's decision to (once again) rename the Much Music Video Awards to the iHeartRadio MMVAs. First of all, what is iHeartRadio, other than a bunch of TV specials I've seen on broadcast networks? In short, it's an app that let's you listen to radio stations, owned by parent company Clear Channel. It has gained more traction than Spotify and Pandora ever did in their early years. Most importantly, it's doing exactly to the MMVAs what Kanye West did to the Pan AM games last year: stealing the spotlight away from Canada, its artists, and their venues.

In reality, Bell Media is bringing iHeartRadio to Canada and shilling it out like a kid who got his first rare trading card. At launch, iHR Canada will allow users to steam all of Bell Media's radio stations. It will also allow Bell Media to slap the iHeartRadio name onto any music-related event to build brand awareness and generally make it sound more special to them. Case in point: the CHUM FM Fanfest is now the iHeartRadio Fest. Though, in fairness, the iHeartRadio FanFest would be an even more appealing name.

But slapping the name onto the Much Music Video Awards will most certainly not "elevate the MMVAs internationally". Instead, it cheapens an iconic Toronto event by making it play second fiddle to an American product no one has heard of, nor cared about, until now. It also shows the further lack in confidence Bell Media has in MuchMusic as a music brand, as opposed to a network for Comedy Central originals and late-night talk shows. With the likes of Revolt and Fuse/FM signaling the proper return of music television to American airwaves, its very jarring that the only thing Canada's largest music-based network has going for it, aside from Much Digital Studios, is an award show named after an American website.

On the other hand, its nice to see an American brand brought north and not turned into a cheap cash grab, just like so many Canadian specialty channels (*cough*FXX*cough*). Being Canada's largest (and most corrupt) radio broadcaster, and with Virgin Radio and CHUM already on-air in the states, it makes sense for Bell to be iHeartRadio's Canadian ambassador. Finally, am I really going to shed a tear for an event that's clearly become skewed towards pop music fangirls? Seriously, how do you have a "Fave Artist" category when, for the last six years, the same artists were nominated and the winner is always Justin Bieber? That is bullshit to the ninth degree!

So what's next for Bell Media and iHeartRadio? Will Virgin Radio and M3 change their names too? Does anyone even care about iHeartRadio now that we have Spotify? One thing's for sure: the MMVAs aren't dead, but they might as well be.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Fave Five: How I Knew From The Start That Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Wasn't Going To Be Good

I'm not one to judge a book by it's cover but...I FUCKING CALLED IT!!! ...And here's how I made that call.

1) A Good Superman movie? WRONG!
As far as live-action films go, there hasn't been a good Superman flick since Superman II. Animated flicks, definitely, but either you tolerated Superman Returns or disliked Man of Steel. Either you enjoyed the epic "Clark v Superman" scene from Superman III or you hated all of Superman IV. Either you thought the first Superman movie was pretty good, or you thought the sequel was way better. Either way, live-action Superman movies are garbage, and BS wasn't going to change that.

Even the bad Batman movies (for lack of a better term describing ANY Batman-related film not named Batman & Robin) had more redeeming "qualities" than any S-emblazoned ripoff.

2) It was directed by Zack Snyder
I didn't watch Man of Steel, but I did watch Sucker Punch and I did not appreciate someone taking advantage of the sexist pig in me who only came to see a fun action girl romp but got his mind screwed instead. It wasn't a terrible movie, because at least I get the message it was trying to send, but I was not amused. I was not going to take my chances watching one of the biggest superhero movies in history knowing this guy was in the driver seat.

3) Big-budgeted action films are simply glorified pornography
The best part of watching Transformers: Dark of the Moon was the TOTALLY AWESOME set pieces in-between all the other crap I didn't care about. The same could be said of anyone trying to defend the American Resident Evil films (or really, any American video game adaption) or any other film in its genre. For all the explosive, heart-racing awesomeness movies like these deliver, they really stink up the place when they try to tell a good story. A task that really isn't that hard.

In fairness, at the end of the day, the human race was willing to sacrifice millions of dollars in theaters just to watch giant robots duke it out over some shit related to Apollo 11. They have no right to complain when the film surrounding said giant robots was too complex for its own good. That being said, if you were expecting a good story out of a film like BS, you are an idiot and you deserve to be broke.

However, the fact that Hollywood can still churn out films like these knowing how stupid people are, yet still make back the money needed for the sequel, just goes to show you how necessary it is to save your money and rent the DVD instead. Or just bootleg it; movies like these deserve to be pirated anyways.

4) They spoiled EVERYTHING in the trailers!
...Well, not exactly. They spoiled almost everything in the trailers. Still, who does that, and why do they think that's OK? Part of the fun of watching any movie is in the twists and turns and how everything plays out. As we've already pointed out, watching explosive, action set-pieces are the only reasons why people like me bothered to watch films like these. These set-pieces are given so much focus, that the plot is guaranteed to suck.

So when you spoiled the big brawl between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, and the appearance of Wonder Woman, then what do I REALLY have to look forward to before and after the bell rings? Because, at this point, an episode of Teen Titans Go is looking pretty good right about now.

5) Everything else DC made was better
When the crew tried to defend themselves, they pointed out that BS was "made for the fans". Really? Because, last time I checked, the real reason why they went forward with this was because DC Comics is trying to create their own "Cinematic Universe" to compete against Marvel's. You know who else tried doing that? Sony, with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and look how that turned out. This follow the leader crap is going to be the death of the genre, or it could "dumb it down" to levels reserved for the live-action Alvin & the Chipmunks movies.

This is in sharp contrast to DC's far superior animated movies, which are straight adaptions of acclaimed stories or great original stories in their own right. The fact that they don't share the same setting and continuity only makes these films more greater in their own right. If DC's live-action films were more like their animated films, they wouldn't need to sweat what Marvel's doing. It's not like every Marvel film was the best film ever made either.

DC is already putting out so much product outside of theaters, and outside of comics, that it's hard to care about something that looks too similar to the grey, gritty crap I've already seen in other movies. When it comes down to it, I was more hyped for the fun and flashy Suicide Squad movie than BS. I was more hyped for the Supergirl/Flash crossover than BS. I was more hyped for Teen Titans vs Justice League than BS. I was more hyped for any DCTV show than BS. Yes, even an episode of Teen Titans Go, because at least that was made with the fans in mind (mostly).

When all is said in done, BvS was just going to be BS. Take it from a guy who watches nothing but action movies and shows. I can't talk too much crap about something I've never seen, but I have seen enough of this crap to know how this ends up.

...Up, and a-Way too soon for this shit.




Sexism Against Men (Also, Some Crap About Reboots)

You know it's time to take a break from TV Talk when someone starts complain about how much reboots suck, despite numerous points to the contrary. I won't say who, but his/her website shares the name of the fifth season of Archer and, depending on who you ask, they suck even harder! ...Well, it actually wasn't THAT bad at all, but you get the idea. Word of advice: Keep your personal crap on your blog and off the news. We read to be informed, not to care about your stupid opinions.

Speaking of double standards, has anyone noticed how absolutely rubbish the male image really is? Of course not, we're too busy fighting for women's rights and reminding North Americans that it's 2016 and black lives DO matter that we don't notice that, when it comes to sexism, women aren't the only victims.

For starters, how come boys and men can't talk about their feelings and write cheesy pop songs, yet we don't mind when women do it, (even if said songs are worse)? Are we still living in an age where men aren't allowed to be sissies or get help from their friends to fight their battles?

"Men need to drive fancy cars and play sports and have sex with a bunch of women." "A real man wouldn't drive cheap rides, or take up ballet, and have sex with other men." Yes, other men, because this isn't a crappy slashfic, it's the real world in 2016. Get over it, homophobes. I'm really sick of guys parading around this idea of what it means to be a "real man". If I want to know what it truly means to be a real man, I'll watch Yu Yu Hakusho. I don't need to be told what a man isn't supposed to do by caveman and thick-skulked morons.

Well, there you have it. I just proved sexism against men is real and that it's a real problem, because it's men who brought it onto themselves! And now, back to more TV stuff.

Moonbeam City shouldn't have been cancelled, Cassius and Clay should have been greenlit, and the Much Music Video Awards shouldn't be riding the corporate pen of a service no Canadian has ever heard of! And again, if creatively bankrupt scrubs are to blame for the likes of Thundercats and Hunter x Hunter, I say keep the reboots coming and may the naysayers and critics forever lick my balls.

Although, in fairness, Full House was not the best idea for a reboot...and who the hell thought Rush Hour was?!

Friday, 1 April 2016

The Bright Side to Teletoon at Night

Teletoon's after dark lineup has been pretty dope since they cutdown Teletoon at Night's runtime (Mon-Thurs, 10pm-12) and started airing more superhero and comic book-inspired fare after dark. Sure, it's not as good as the Detour days, but that's why Corus Entertainment has been flexing their muscles with their version of Adult Swim, which shares channel space with the far more mature Cartoon Network. After all, as we've already established, Corus has no intention of making Teletoon anything more than a network for kids shows and tween fare.

You gotta see this from a business perspective, or at least a business-minded person who knows what the hell their doing most of the time. Ask yourself, in an age were people only subscribe to the channels they want to watch, what money can be made from having two channels airing the same shows? Ultimately, you're going to pick one or the other to save money. Realizing this and seeing the opportunity to experiment, play, and ultimately refresh two late-night blocks in need of a shakeup, is the most logical reason for some wise moves (and not so wise moves) by Corus in the past winter.

That being said, you'll be glad to hear that Corus has thankfully decided not to leave Teletoon at Night high and dry in favor of Adult Swim. For starters, TaN FINALLY ditched the random live-action movies. Between the likes of Action (thanks to Shaw Media), and youth stations like YTV, there is now ZERO reason for Teletoon to air unrelated live-action programming.

More good news: Archer; Teletoon at Night's flagship show and one of the few reasons for millennials to even bother sticking around, is back where it belongs. As is Bob's Burgers, which only aired for about THREE months before it was shunted off to Adult Swim; a dick move if I ever saw one. TaN even returned the favor done by Adult Swim by taking Axe Cop (at least until Archer returned) and freshman series Night Sweats. Not bad for a two hour block, but I guess it helps that Adult Swim proper (in the U.S) is more into live-action comedies than adult animation these days.

One last thing to bring up is Bento Box, the studio behind Bob's Burgers, who are developing some new shows for Teletoon at Night. The one thing EVERY cable channel needs in this age is original programming that, at the very least, brings in ratings. With Teletoon's french originals and Fugget About It airing on Adult Swim, Teletoon at Night will need some creative shows of its own if its going keep those eyeballs glued.

In the future, I don't see Teletoon at Night becoming a standalone brand like Adult Swim, but more of an adult equivalent to The Zone on YTV, and that's fine with me. As long as they stick to what they do best, and restrain themselves from playing fast-and-loose with their programming, I think the block will do just fine as is.

...Of course, I won't object to Teletoon at Night airing FLCL.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Corus Line (P.S Sue me.)

Just from watching Teletoon alone in the past months, I can tell Corus Entertainment is ill-prepared for handling the responsibility that comes with managing the dozen of channels owned by Shaw Media.

For starters, Teletoon's on-air presentation has been on kindergartner levels of sloppy, from misinforming promos to idents and graphic bugs that look more like a student project uploaded to Vimeo then professional work. How can it be professional when its taking up one-third of the screen? They couldn't even time it so it avoids blocking an episode's title.

Then there's the old "day-and-date dilemma" which, in this age, is getting very old indeed. It's fine when certain premieres air weeks after broadcast in the States, I know every show can't air soon enough in Canada. Nonetheless, I find it very half-assed that Teletoon hasn't premiered the new Marvel Universe seasons from Disney XD, yet Disney XD Canada is airing debuts day-and-date with the American version.

This isn't like the scenario with Adult Swim, where other broadcasters have rights to their shows or Corus just didn't bother going the same extra mile they did with Cartoon Network. They have the rights to the Marvel Universe lineup from Disney XD and have aired Guardians of the Galaxy day-and-date on Disney XD Canada. Are you seriously telling me that Teletoon couldn't have at least aired the season premiere of Ultimate Spider-Man within the same week on Superfan Friday? There's no excuse.

With Teletoon dropping the ball lately, you can imagine my skepticism in knowing that soon Corus will have the chance to let the likes of Showcase and History Canada fall into disrepair. The introduction of pick-and-pay was supposed to increase competition for the attention of viewers and subscribers, but instead broadcasters like Corus Entertainment are trying to find new ways to make more money from doing less work. The last thing TV lovers want is another bloated broadcaster that owns too many cable channels than they know what to do with.

The last thing we need is another Bell Media.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Adult Animation: Western and Eastern

If you're like me, you grew up on YTV's Bionix block and the shows that came before it. In those days, I thought Japanese animation was not all that different from the "adult" cartoons I'd watch on The Detour on Teletoon, aside from them having longer intros, being more dramatic, and leaning on the censors a little. When those shows disappeared from YTV, it left a void. A void that no FOX sitcom or Adult Swim original could fill. Except for (maybe) The Venture Bros, but between Corus being Corus and Adult Swim's irregular production pipeline, I didn't even know the show was still going until now.

Now don't get me wrong, I fucking love Family Guy, but I love the Boondocks more. The Boondocks uses satire to challenge its viewers to see things in a different light, while throwing in homages to the obscure and the occasional kung-fu fight for kicks. Compare that to South Park which, while having the balls to criticize literally everything and everyone, is mostly seen as the poster boy for what western adult animation looks like: offensive & vulgar shit for little boys who stayed up too late. Yes, I loved Panty & Stocking. Why do you ask?

Now I'm not saying every animated series should be more like Japanese anime, nor should they follow in the Boondocks footsteps. That's like saying every kid cartoon should be like Young Justice. As much as it would be nice to have more mature animation on TV, they don't all need to be dark and edgy. That kind of thinking is what was responsible for Loonatics Unleashed, and judging by what I heard from my time on TV Tropes, that's the last thing the world needs. Yes, I did like Loonatics Unleashed. Wanna fight about it?

Once upon a Summer, before Cosmic Panda, I discovered that several licensors, like Funimation and Bandai Entertainment, had uploaded their titles onto YouTube. I wouldn't exactly call it "joy" I felt, but rewatching shows like Fullmetal Alchemist and discovering new shit like Code Geass, Darker Than Black, and When They Cry (which I blame personally for fucking with my mind. Seriously, now every girl I see looks like a psycho to me.) was a very enjoyable experience. I also stumbled upon Crunchyroll, which had a library of shows I've never seen before. I didn't watch that many of their titles, since I'm more of a dub fan, but they did not disappoint. Yes, I do perfer dubs. Got a problem with that?

I'm not an anime fan, I'm a fan of animation that I would have loved to see as a kid as much as I do now as target for pedophiles. So much so, that I find myself watching Teletoon in vain for something like Endangered Species (or really, ANYTHING by Nerd Corps) or Totally Spies (barring the shark-jumping fifth season). Outside of Teletoon at Night, which has seen better days since Adult Swim Canada stole its thunder, there really isn't anything here for someone like me anymore. Yes, I like watching Totally Spies, and Rule 34 says so do you.

Luckily, in addition to the aforementioned [as] (and Cartoon Network), Corus' new Disney XD channel is an authentic recreation of the channel stateside, which has shifted away from cookie-cutter sitcoms in favor more animated series. They even premiere new episodes day-and-date with the American version! The only downside is that, aside from Guardians of the Galaxy, the rest of Marvel Universe still airs on Teletoon and, for whatever reason, lags behind the American premieres. Classic Corus.

But that's why we have streaming services. If you're into animation like I am, Netflix, Crunchyroll, and FunimationNow are a must. Between new simulcasts and Netflix originals, like the excellent Bojack Horseman, you're all set for life. However, I should mention that Shomi is the only place to watch Bob's Burgers and some Canadian staples like Bromwell High that you REALLY should check out.

Here's to living life in 2D.


Sunday, 28 February 2016

Fave Five: Canadian Sports Broadcast Theme Music

Not every piece of production music can be as iconic as the Fox football theme, but sometimes Canada comes through.

1) Canadian Gold - Hockey Night in Canada [https://youtu.be/jJizRX1Vjpk]
Chosen by viewers as the replacement for the iconic "Hockey Theme" that was stolen away by TSN, Canadian Gold captures the old-timely and distinctive Canadian atmosphere that makes Hockey Canada's favorite past-time. ...Or at least it did until Rogers took over the broadcast and remixed it into something unrecognizable, a perfect anagram for Hockey Night in general these days. But hey, at least it's better than Sportnet's actual hockey theme.

2) The CTV Basketball theme [http://www.majomamusic.com/]
No other theme in this country captured the drama on the court than CTV's basketball theme, and no other theme did. Sadly, TSN only sporadically uses this theme, like in promos for non-Raptors coverage. One might ask, why not use this theme more often?

3) The TSN Raptors theme [https://youtu.be/TdT-eJ397jg]
...Because the music used for TSN's coverage of the Toronto Raptors is just as awesome. For as long as I can remember, Basketball has been entrenched in rap culture, and TSN current theme is perfect mix of the two. It's not obnoxiously loud and overly dramatic like the others themes I've heard. Instead, it's laid back yet edgy and very easy on the ears.

4) The TSN Baseball theme [https://youtu.be/udERti1nJK8]
The hot summer sun glows and tensions are high as the long contest on the field rolls on. That's the moment encompassed by TSN's Blue Jays theme, which might as well be the theme to Canadian baseball in general. If you miss hearing this theme, you can once again blame Rogers. But at least they have a good excuse.

5) The Sportsnet Baseball theme, Fueled by Fans [https://youtu.be/FEukFeEoCT4]
Aside from the above mentioned Canadian Gold remix, Sportnet's baseball theme introduced after the rebrand is hands down the best theme music you will hear watching the network. One second it's smooth and peaceful, like the green grass and outdoor field the game is played, next thing you know it gets dramatic, like when the batter is about to hit it out of the park or trying to make it to home plate. Stephan Moccio's name gets thrown around a lot because of theme, and deservedly so.