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.

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