Monday, 1 December 2014

Is Something Wrong with A&E?

You have a show, it's the highest-rated series on your network and it has gathered a large following. So what do you do? You cancel it. Does that make sense to you? Welcome to A&E: a cable network that has become so bad it makes Lifetime look watchable.

I am, of course, referring to the infamous cancellation of Longmire. Up until now, I assumed that the model for television series was that as long as a show gets ratings, everything is alright. Why else do you think the KardashIdontgiveacrap franchise has lasted so long? But apparently, A&E is saying that if a show skews an older audience then your other offerings, it can still be cancelled. What kind of logic is that? So what happens when Bates Motel starts targeting an older audience? Are they gonna cancel that too?

And don't get me started on the "production cost" excuse. If A&E didn't waste so much money on forgettable reality shows, they'd still have enough to spend on another season. And we're not talking Storage Wars, The First 48, Beyond Scared Straight, or Duck Dynasty. We're talking about the shows I've never heard about or cared about because, odds are, no one else did either.

Not even A&E cares, because most of the shows I didn't mention (and there were a LOT) were probably cancelled after just one season. Yet, every five seconds they introduce another reality show that will inevitably suffer the same fate. That's the problem with reality TV; it's a paradox that wastes our time and the network's money. The only way for a show to survive is if the people it focuses on are worth watching.

What A&E should have done from the beginning was focus their attention on the shows that were getting money and the shows people wanted to see. My Lifetime quip was not an insult; that is exactly what that network is doing. While it is very sad that Lifetime has fallen in the scripted area, the fact that they kept Devious Maids and canned Pretty Wicked Moms shows that they at least have an idea on what works and what doesn't. It's a small hope that the network won't become as bad as it's competition.

But with A&E, I see no hope. It's like I don't even know what it's supposed to be anymore. Is it a entertainment network or a reality TV and drama dump? All I know is, it was better off being a crime network.



Sunday, 30 November 2014

About to Take a Break [Update November/December 2014]

Nope. I'm not doing this again. I notice that winter always drains the motivation to work on Reycralibur, so I'm calling it in for now. Alternatively, since it seems I always say one thing but then do something else, by saying I'm not going to work on any series for the rest of the winter, I might just end up doing a remake of Reycralibur, episode five.

Anyway, I've finished episode twelve of Reycralibur, but I'm not going to release it just yet. As I've said in my last update, I was going back to doing a more straightforward story with Reycralibur. To that end, I am currently working on a remake of episode one. This remake will help streamline the story and drop hints (or rather giant bombs) on what's going to happen in episode twelve. I've already finished filming all the scenes, now it's just a matter of finding the music and putting it all together. Like the episode three remake, I didn't reshoot the fight scenes because I'm lazy. Once I finished the episode one remake, I'll polish up episode twelve before I upload them both.

Meanwhile, in the seventh generation, I'm still making preparations for my return to Brawl machinima. I know I should be looking towards making SSB4 machinima, but I'm an old fashioned guy. If I had the time and money, I would make a few more Melee machinima. I wanted to do something more laid back for my new Brawl machinima series. Something to break up the norm and dismiss the stereotypes Smash Bros. machinima is known for, namely the Smashtasm and Smash King knockoffs, and the fact that Link or Mario is always the main protagonist. Hence, Shin Knights of Brawl.


Arguably, The Abridged Knights of Brawl might be considered a deconstruction or commentary on Brawl machinima as a whole, but that's for the public to decide. Yes, I know I haven't even touched TAKOB since episode ten. So far, I've decided to turn it into a non-canon mini series, since most of the characters from the previous episodes are gone. The most I've done was a mock trailer for the series, and I didn't get around to dubbing it because I wanted to work on a new Brawl Universe gag dub instead. On a related note, shout out to banjokazooieplush, the man behind the monstrosity, for being such a good sport (or for just being clueless). I'm definitely going to do more gag dubs in the future, but I want the jokes to come naturally.

Finally, keep a eye on my ZippCast channel. Since YouTube is too broken to use, I plan on growing an audience there. No, I'm not switching sites, because I'm still not convinced ZC will stay online much longer.

That's it for now. See you a few.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Fave Five: Amercian Channels I like

Here's a proper stereotype about Canadians: our cable networks suck. Here are five reasons why.

1) MTV2
Urban Dictonary calls it a "waste of space", I call it the best youth network ever. As the male-focused counterpart of MTV, MTV2 boasts lifestyle programming that, shockingly enough, actually taught me something about life! Of all the syndicated shows you can have on a network, MTV2 just happens to have the one of best rosters, right up there with TBS. Now if only they would air more music videos and less shitty movies (ie. Vampires Suck).

2) TBS
Now THIS is what I'd call a Comedy Network. I don't know how, but TBS managed to nab the rights to the funniest sitcoms ever made and mangled them together onto one network. Then they take the next step and produce their own original shows which, while not very notable, all have their share of fans. It all came full circle when those Bell Media scumbags starting buying the rights to their shows for MuchMusic and The Comedy Network, while American Dad made a channel hop for a new season. It's a no contest, TBS is the B.E.S...T.

3) Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
I said it before, I'll say it again. Networks like Cartoon Network have something that YTV lacks: maturity. In what TVTropes calls "The Post-CNReal era", the network has produced shows that are living proof that cartoons aren't' just for kids. If they're well-written and produced with love (sue me), they'll have fans of all ages (and the ratings to go with them).

Unfortunately, Adult Swim's original lineup didn't really follow suit, but that's only because maturity isn't their style. They're edgy, unique, and irreverent, everything advertisers wish other networks would be like. Their original shows are still a hoot to watch, both animated and live-action. And, of course, with Toonami handling action programming, it's the best place to be on Saturday Nights.

4) Revolt
How do you run a music network without living in the stone age? Do you look for music-related
shows? Do you mix music videos with a bunch of pop culture crap? Or do you just live in the moment?
Apparently, it's option three, because that's Revolt in a nutshell. There's no acquired programming or movies and there's no glorified videoblocks. Instead, we get news and documentaries based on current events. Not current events as in "whatever shit celebrities are doing", current events as in the Ferguson shooting. ...Yep.
Revolt is like the antitheses of the modern music network. Even when it's doing something different, it's still worth your while. Here's hoping the channel grows.

5) El Rey Network
This one caught me off guard. I mean, aren't cult movies IFC's thing? El Rey Network is a celebration of all things awesome. There's no cliched dramas here, nothing but the best damn shows and movies ever made. If I were to go on, it would sound like I was doing some sort paid advertisement. Just look up their lineup, check out their original shows, and tell me that you don't wish any of the Canadian networks I'm stuck with would just grow a pair!

Other networks worth mentioning: Syfy (Because SmackDown is now officially the black sheep), Disney XD (Because it's better than Disney Channel), "The New" truTV (Because they finally stopped jumping on bandwagons), Esquire Network (Because it's the best lifestyle network no one will ever watch), Funimation Channel (Because it's the only anime network on TV), IFC (Because they have great movies and funny shows), and A&E (Because even G4 looked better).

Monday, 17 November 2014

RE: Gamespot

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/weekly-recap-xbox-one-finally-outsells-ps4-batman-/1100-6423609/

There are three types of Smashers: the ones who play the game as intended, the ones who play without items, and Tourneytards. There are no "purists", just people who couldn't cut in an actual competitive fighting game and like to brag about being "pro" in a casual fighting game while belittling those who play the game for fun. Get it right.

*sigh* ...And this is why I don't like Melee.

Friday, 14 November 2014

YTV's New Groove

If you've been following the business side of things, you will recall that Corus Entertainment now owns 100% of Teletoon Canada Inc, which includes the eponymous flagship network, on the condition that YTV's programing does not overlap with Teletoon or any of it's sisters.

As a result, YTV has begun airing Teletoon's past original programming, which doesn't really help fulfill that condition. The only thing that this accomplishes is giving YTV some decent shows to air, since YTV hasn't done that in years. On a less sarcastic note, it also helps to replace YTV's outdated preschool block. Betweeen Treehouse, Disney Junior, BBC Kids, TVO Kids, and even Kids' CBC, there really is no room for another outlet for preschool programming, all the more reason why Teletoon abandoned such programming years earlier.

On another front, Teletoon began airing YTV's anime series as well as Power Rangers. While this is VERY good news for Teletoon and it's viewers, this is a sign YTV's, and Corus', treatment of anime has gotten worse since end of Bionix in 2010. It used be that, kid-friendly anime, such as Pokemon, gets top billing. But now, even new titles, like Digimon Fusion and B-Daman Crossfire, get ZERO promotion. You could make the excuse that the Pokemon anime hasn't been good since 4Kids stopped dubbing it and YTV's acknowledging this. But Digimon? Come on!

As for Power Rangers, there isn't much to say. Teletoon has been airing live-action programming for as long as I can remember. You didn't notice this because it was mostly in the form of movies related to animation and comics or shows (and movies) that were decent in their own right, as least compared to CNReal's content. Power Rangers is no exception, and in fact, there is a very cultural connection between it and rest of YTV's anime roster. Of course, don't expect Teletoon to air something like Dragon Ball Kai anytime soon.

When all is said and done, these plays by Corus Entertainment proves a theory that I and many people have had about YTV for while. Teletoon - and to the same extent, Cartoon Network, Disney XD and The Hub (R.I.P) - has something YTV doesn't have: maturity. In recent years, kids networks have been targeting older audiences; teenagers for Disney XD, families for The Hub, and adults for..., well, take a guess. YTV, on the other hand, has been targeting the same immature audience that are more likely to think the average YouTube celebrity is a laugh riot.

Really, the only thing remotely attractive about YTV these days, aside from certain Nickelodeon shows, are the promos done by that voice guy (God, bless him). Yes, it's a kids network, but it doesn't have to treat it's viewers like morons.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

I suck at Backstories [Reycralibur Update November 2014]

I'll cut to the chase.

Forget everything you heard in episodes one and five. Much like episode three, episode five introduces backstories on the Triangle War and Reycralibur's origin. I am NOT in the mood to redo "The Rouge Rogue" AGAIN, so just forget about what you heard. There was no Teal-Crest tournament and there is no Squire Academy. As far as the Triangle War goes, General Gorous' backstory is the only one that matters. But, other than that, it is of no importance to the plot. As for episode one, Reycralibur didn't JUST appear after a decade, but you don't need me to tell you to forget that load of crap. Do you?

I'll tell you one thing, the story is easily the most frustrating part about working on the series. I wanted to create a lore behind the series. To that end, I also incorporated little bits of information about the world of Reycralibur through the cold openings in season one. I've also tried writing the rest of the story in advance, as well as rewatching previous episodes to avoid having to do retcons. But, the more I go on, the more boring and complicated the story sounds. No amount of lampshading will make it better. In short, the story itself is the reason why it takes so long to make one episode. Because, after all this time, I don't know where to go next!

So, from this point onward, I'm going to go back to telling a straightforward story. No more flashbacks, no more gambits, no more ass pulls. All you need to know is: There is a sword, it's been split into three pieces, the bad guys want the three pieces. So the good guys are trying to find them all. You can also forget everything you learned in the cold openings (yes, even the episode three remake) as that's basically a bunch of mambo jumbo. As far as how the sword was split into three pieces and, of course, Skyru's true identity, you will learn all of that in episode twelve.

Wanna know the worst part? At some point, I'm gonna have to remake episode one AND episode five before moving on to the final episodes. Keep in mind, that's AFTER I get through this episode. ...This why I'm glad this series is almost over.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Some new Developments [October 2014]

Flow 93-5 has shifted to a new format of throwbacks and new music, ending the dreaded Bell Media era once and for all. G98.7 owner, Fitzroy Gordon, has gotten the greenlight from the CRTC to launch a new television service targeting the Caribbean community. Finally, all anime (even Power Rangers) on YTV has moved to Teletoon, as part of YTV's more comedic shift in programing (I'm getting a nasty case of Deja vu). All in all, Fall 2014 is looking pretty good for specialty services.

In personal news, I'm still having doubts about making a new series after Reycralibur. Would you believe me if I told you that, after all this time, I only have two scenes done? If you can, then you'll understand why, if not retire from machinima (HELL NO!), I would like to focus on more short-form stuff. I actually got started on a new gag dub yesterday and I was planning to to start recording lines today. But first, I have to film something for Reycralibur, episode 12. Once I grab the Gamecube Adapter, I will definitely make more Brawl machinima. I've been itching to do so for a long time.

Question is, what am I gonna do now?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

October 2014 Update

I've officially begun work on Reycralibur, episode 12. Though, at this point, I'm fighting the urge to cancel the series altogether. With the release of the GameCube adapter edging closer and closer, I'm getting more and more anxious to just start a new series filmed in Brawl. The beauty of my next project is that it will be a non-serial series, much like Typhoon School was. It has no beginning or ending so it won't end on a cliffhanger due to laziness like so many other web serials (ie. Super Mario Bros. Z).

Thankfully, the end is near. Right now, I'm estimating three more episodes of Reycralibur are left. It'll be bittersweet that I bring this project to a close, SSB64 machinima feels like the one thing I'm actually good at. Of course, I won't stop making SSB64 machinima, but I am looking forward to trying my hand at something else. For now though, after Reycralibur, my sole focus is on Brawl machinima.

Speaking of which, I know I haven't started on The Abridged Knights of Brawl: Bjohn's Quest yet. I'll get around to that eventually.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Toronto's Music Radio (Aka, why I don't listen to Flow 93-5 anymore)

MuchMusic doesn't give a crap about Canada's music scene or music in general. If they do, it's probably to shill out that Top 40 bullcrap. AUX is more of a music channel than MuchMusic will ever be. Unfortunately, it's editorial staff is run by elitist hipsters who are more than happy to talk shit about mainstream music. Apparently, Canadian music journalists think Nickelback is still relevant. Next thing you know, they'll be making jokes about K-Fed and Blood on the Dance Floor. ...Exactly.

Unlike television, FM radio is a MuchBetter (pun intended) outlet for music, thanks to stations like Indie88 (CIND) and G98.7 (CKFG). Unfortunately, while it's more diverse than television, it still has it's share of problems. Chief on my list is Flow 93-5, aka CFXJ. Thanks to those scumbags at Bell Media, Flow has regressed from being the only urban station in Toronto to just being another Top 40 station.
Most damningly, when G98.7 first attempted to launch, Bell and host of other major media companies, even the flippin' CBC, got in their way! And to think, this was the same hurdle Flow had to deal with when they first launched. The reason why Flow and G98.7 existed to begin with? To play music other stations won't.

This is why Indie88 is so popular. It's one of the few music stations playing an underserved genre of music, much like The New Classical 96.3 FM (CFMZ) and JAZZ.FM91 (CJRT). ...Hey, CBC Radio 2, how ya doing? Anyway, it's a shame this principle hasn't been applied to other music stations. It's been a couple of months since Flow was mercifully auctioned off to NewCap radio, owners of Boom 97.3 (aka CHBM, a station for oldies), yet it's still as dreadful as it was under Bell Media's ownership. Apparently, the new owners would rather try to butt heads with Virgin Radio and Kiss then try something new.

Perhaps this is why 102.1 The Edge (that's CFNY for you, alternative fans), in the wake of the Dean Bundell incident and the return of Alan Cross, is switching up their setlist. To fans of CFNY, Indie88 is the modern day "Spirit of Radio", and The Edge recognizes that they now have an opportunity to remind people who the crap they are. Between that, G98.7 becoming Toronto's de facto urban station, Indie88 growing in listeners, and New Classical & Jazz succeeding where Radio 2 failed, It's no wonder why no one watches music on TV anymore.

Forget television, radio is where the real music is at.

Monday, 1 September 2014

I Don't Play Many Games

When we downgraded our cable package, I realized that I don't watch that many TV channels. So I went ahead and deleted some the channels on my Yahoo TV faves. In the same vein, I realized that I don't play that many games in my spare time. The only games I've played over the summer were Team Fortress 2 & Hawken. I've barely touched my PS3 in months!

So, with games like Destiny and Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution on the rise, I decided to pick up my controller and get back into the console scene. But first, I wanted to clean out my PS3's hard drive by getting rid of all the games I don't feel like playing anymore. In the end, I was left with games like Injustice, Remember Me, Saints Row, and Reckoning: all games that I really enjoyed playing but, in the case of the latter three, didn't finish.

You know how when you stop playing a game, how hard it is to get back into it? That's what happened with Dragons Dogma and Reckoning. It doesn't help that Dogma only has one save file, an over-reliance on autosaving, no fast travel, multiple load times, and boring title music thanks to the Dark Arisen update. I almost feel like starting over. Luckily, Reckoning and Remember Me are much easier to get back into.

I ended up getting rid of most of the fighting games on my hard drive too. All I have left was Injustice, which is a hella fun to play, and Mortal Kombat 9, which is also a hella fun to play too once I've warmed up! Meanwhile, I might end up getting rid of all the shooters on my drive by the end of the year if the player count on Gotham City Imposters gets any lower. I tried getting into Defiance but, for me, it would have been easier winning a game of deathmatch on Call of Duty. Destiny may very well be the last online game I buy for a console.

I got a Wii U this year for the sole purpose of making Brawl machinima. With my Nintendo Network ID linked to another console, I purposely forbid myself from playing online; an act of protest against that absolutely stupid idea of not letting me use my ID on multiple consoles. But, with games like Smash 4 and Hyrule Warriors being released, I decided to make more use of my console beyond just machinima. Maybe I'll pick up Bayonetta while I'm at it. Just because I can't play online, doesn't mean I can't play offline!

This fall, since I won't have anything to watch on TV in the afternoons, I might as well spend more time with my PS3 and my Wii U.


M2, a new spinoff channel from Bell Media

Say Bell Media decided to do to MTV2 what they did to Much & M3 last year. In concept, last year marked a refresh for these two channels as they edged further away from their roots, their purpose and, arguably, their mediocrity. As a result, MTV Canada is finally playing the U.S version's scripted programming, plus Degrassi, positioning them as BM's de facto teen channel. However, aside from a lineup refresh, MTV2 was once again left to rot.

Here's the thing, MTV is licensed as a channel for talk shows. There are only so many shows they're allowed to play. On the other hand, MTV2 is, in fact, licensed as a network for teens. If MTV can't play it, they can. Teen dramas, sitcoms, documentaries, even music videos. That being said, for Bell Media to not take advantage of this, choosing instead to cram dramas and old sitcoms into Much and MuchMore, is yet another testament to their incompetence.

So here's the thing. Let's say that, in addition to M3, Bell Media launched a companion channel: M2. M2 is a rebrand of MTV2, targeting the same audience but with more contemporary programming. In addition to shows like Saved by the Bell, Malcolm in the Middle, & Degrassi, M2 would also air The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars and Reign. Other programming would include music videos, movies, documentaries, and pretty much anything that teens are into nowadays.

There's so much good this relaunch could do for the MuchComedy division. With M2 carrying some of the weight, MTV can air more of the American version's shows (even shows from MTV2!) while fulfilling their license requirements. With M2 capturing young adults, M3 can focus more on the "30-something crowd". If they're any flaws with this rebrand it's that, unless Bell negotiates with cable service providers, the new channel will STILL be bundled with actual music networks. Seriously, it's 2014, why the hell is this still an issue?!

Alternatively, Bell Media can just shut down MTV2 and incorporate it's programming onto M3. After all, M3 is more wildly available, and it's not like BM will air any of the American version's shows anytime soon. Plus, between The Marilyn Dennis Show, Gilmore Girls reruns, and a slew of shows that should be on Bravo, Space (I'm looking at you, Supernatural), & the Comedy Network, M3 could use some new programming.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Notorious YTV

It's not often I do this. In fact, I never did this before. But that's before I learned about the power of social media. In my MuchMusic Fall Schedule post which I shared on Much's facebook page, I actually got my first comment for this blog. I normally wouldn't care about comments in general, but one comment that took what I said and... Well, just read it for yourself.

So, I figured. Hey, why not take the request and talk about YTV for a second. It seems as though YTV has gotten some infamy lately. Though, I wasn't sure why. The announcer is still as funny as he was back in the day, The Zone has expanded to become THE hotspot on YTV's schedule, and YTV still maintains a healthy relationship with Nickelodeon. What could be the problem? That's when I remembered my little rant from Channels I don't like Vol. 1. Oh yeah. THAT'S why.

I don't know. There's something about YTV that's feels so..unnatural. Hollow. Soulless. Maybe not a ghost of it's former self, but still. Why am I thinking about Bleach all the sudden?

The on-screen graphics have gotten dull. Blue & abstract, like it's still 2007. The credits pushback has been ruined because now I can't even see the credits. Original scripted programming has gotten lazy. Spongebob knockoffs and Disney Channel knockoffs; nothing memorable in the least. The shows from Nickelodeon aren't any better; all the good stuff is on the Canadian version.

Primetime sucked before Teletoon and the Hub Network's shows took over. Still sucks because YTV has to rely on Just for Laughs Gags and movies. Movies, movies and more movies. That's all YTV does in primetime anymore. Maybe they should have kept reruns of Naruto and seasons one through three of Bleach. At least that's different.

I know I'm nitpicking, but, something feels off about YTV. It's a kids network, so I shouldn't care. But, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, The Hub Network, Teletoon, Teletoon Retro and Disney XD look so much more appealing to me. I don't have a choice but to make comparisons. They got some great shows and a burst of energy to go with them. Especially Disney XD, which is SO MUCH better than Disney Channel and even Family Channel.

...Dear god. That's right. YTV is a kids network, it isn't for teens or adults! THAT'S the problem! Think about it. Everybody Hates Chris, 8 Simple Rules, anime, Smallville, Friday Night Lights, Freaking Buffy! All of these shows appeal to the "older youth audience" mentioned in YTV's viewer advisory bump.

In the wake of CNReal, Cartoon Network has found new success with it's original shows attracting young adults. Disney XD targets the same audience as Disney Channel, tweens, but does it with action and comedy programming. The time range of retro programming has changed, but Teletoon Retro and Boomerang still offer shows that are as appealing to the adults who watched them, as the kids who watch them for the first time. And I don't even need to talk about the Hub Network beyond the reason why it was created in the first place.

Kids networks don't just appeal to kids anymore, they appeal to their families as well. That's why YTV feels so wrong. They're pandering to kids, while alienating their older siblings and their parents. So, "Anonymous", as for what YTV is serving up this fall, it doesn't really matter. It's all the same bull we've seen before that will only appeal to kids, not anyone else. YTV is as appealing as the average YouTube original show. (ie. AwesomenessTV)

There you have it, the mystery is solved. Going back to being weird won't help YTV in the public eye if they keep doing what they're doing now.

Friday, 22 August 2014

MuchMusic 2014 Fall Schedule Thoughts

I know I talk about Much as often as I criticize MTV2 Canada, but I REALLY need to get this off my chest and out of my brain.

http://assets.bellmedia.ca.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2014/02/MUCH_Schedule_Fall_2014.pdf

First off, applause to Much for having one of the only coherent schedules among the Much MTV Comedy Networks this season. By cutting down on shows that people really didn't need to see (no offense, Exit), they now have more time to spend on the two things they should be broadcasting: music and pop culture-related programming. Meanwhile, The Comedy Network has very little to offer now that most of Comedy Central's programming airs on Much, M3's lineup is mediocre times three (apologizes), and MTV2 Canada... Well, who gives a crap?

The weekday comedy block has been largely pushed to primetime. In it's place, Much will continue to air repeats of The Tonight Show and will now add repeats of Jimmy Kimmel Live, which will transfer from Citytv to The Comedy Network this season. I'll bet you fans of Conan will take this with envy as they know damn well Much could have done the same for their show last season.

It gets better, because the Comedy Network will air JKL this fall, @midnight will move to Much. Because of this, having already been pushed back to midnight due to Simpsons reruns, movies, and the Countdown, Conan will now be pushed further back to 12:30. Seeing as Much had a legitimate reason for the move (for once), I can't help but blame Peachtree TV for this.

The 10pm slot has been controversial last year. With the exception of South Park, Tosh.0, Comedy Bang Bang and few others, few of these new shows have anything to do with pop culture. If anything, it's further proof that Bell Media wants to turn Much into an entertainment network and they don't give a CRAP about Canada's music scene. At least CMT Canada is somewhat committed to country music which, for a network owned by the same company that killed Bionix, Scream, CLT and nearly killed The Edge, is saying a lot.

Anyways, this year Much will air TBS's Men at Work and Angie Tribeca, which are just sitcoms that no one has heard about and, thus, should air on the Comedy Network. Keep in mind that Angie Tribeca will air mid-season, so its your guess what Much will air in it's place. On the other hand, Much will also air Parks and Recreation, which does have some connection to pop culture as it stars SNL alum Amy Poehler.

Finally, on Fridays, Much will air an episode of Workaholics. You heard me. One episode of Workaholics per week. Bad enough it's yet another show that should be on the Comedy Network but, at fifty-three episodes, it's good opportunity to air the show in strip. In fact, what really irks me about Much's primetime schedule is the way they treat Comedy Central shows. No, I'm not a fan of shows like Tosh.0 and South Park. Sue me, but that's not the point. 

The point is, had these shows been airing on the Comedy Network, not only would they be able to air the new season, but they'd be able to air past episodes as well in primetime. Instead they're stuck on Much, were they're limited to graveyard slots and serve no purpose but give the network some extra ratings after dark. 

The most infuriating part is that, in all cases, they have been pushed back because of Simpsons reruns. Hell, the Sunday night South Park Block has been pushed back for reruns of Simpsons reruns. It's obvious that this lineup is "Too Much for Much" and they need to give some it's shows to Comedy and M3. Furthermore, in the future, Bell Media needs to just GIVE UP trying to turn Much into something that it's not. 

You want to do "pop culture"? That's fine. But Much is not a comedy network, it's a music network.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Fall Update [August 2014]

"We're superheroes...."
"We can save the world together..."

...Huh? Oh, sorry. It's been a while since I did an update, so here you go. I'm not currently working on anything. But, I will eventually get around to the Abridged Knights of Brawl: Bjohn's Quest and Reycralibur, episode 12. You can expect to see Bjohn's Quest first.

If you saw my little test video back in July, you might have guessed that I was trying go get back to doing Brawl machinima. You'd be right, but there's a catch. I'm planning two new series; both of which are adaptations and re-imaginings of infamous web serials. I'll give you a hint, I've already adapted one of them as an Abridged Parody and the other one is a certain web comic you might have heard about in the past.

However, there's a catch. First off, with the lack of interest I have in Reycralibur, I fear that I might show the same "work ethic" when it comes to these new shows. So, for the sake of productivity, I'm going to finish the final five episodes of Reycralibur first. Secondly since, by some miracle, I haven't sold off my GameCube controllers, I'm gonna wait until the new GameCube adapter, included with Super Smash Bros for Wii U, comes out before I start filming. Saves me the trouble of buying those god awful Wiimotes and Nunchucks.

Finally, since I will be using my PVR for Brawl machinima, I need to figure out the proper settings that I should use for capturing, converting, and rendering. The only thing more frustrating then filming the test video was editing the test video. The end product was also unsatisfactory; I noticed some chopped frames. As you can see, there's A LOT of work to be done before I can even begin production.

So, in the meantime, I'm going to continue work on the projects I have now. ...At least I will, when I feel like it.

..."Life is what we make it..."

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Canadian Television is Boring

When Spike claims to have television's most intriguing content, they aren't kidding! In fact, a lot of my favorite networks are all owned by Viacom. Their Canadian counterparts, original or imported, are no substitute from the hours I spend watching their networks. Action, despite its name, doesn't get as much action as Spike does. MuchVibe, an all urban music video spinoff isn't enough of a distraction from BET's Canadian feed - which is one-third music videos from around 2007! Hell, MTV is a lot less appealing then Much but, as you all know by now, I'd rather watch MTV2.

Shall I go on? Much like MTV, CMT has become a lifestyle network, but one that never forgets it's southern roots. CMT Canada is in name only and, aside from actually supporting country music, serves of another example of how Corus' ruined niche television. Comedy Gold and Dejaview lack the iconic shows that make up TV Land's lineup. Do I even need to compare Comedy Central to the Comedy Network nowadays? Thanks to years of relying on Central's programming and Much's new comedy gimmick, Network is now the new BiteTV. In fact, BiteTV arguably has a better line up than Comedy Network, and it's owned the same company that owns a music network that actually focuses on music.

Let's take it a step further. Adult Swim Canada and Teletoon at Night severely lack the diversity the O.G Adult Swim has. G4 in Canada might have finally returned to programming related to technology but it's a snoozefest compared to the slate on it's american counterpart. Yes, the same network that has all but been abandoned by Comcast, is still more interesting to watch than it's northern spinoff despite the fact that it is now a wasteland. Go figure.

See the problem is that, with the exception of MuchVibe, Canadian networks play it safe, and stick to what makes them money. American networks on the other hand, are more willing to take risks with what they can and can't do. It's precisely that reason why FX and AMC networks have become so well regarded in recent years. The moral of the story is: if it ain't broke, then don't just fix it, MAKE IT BETTER!

...Or just don't do what Corus, Bell, and Comcast are doing.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Building a Website

http://speedy149.wordpress.com/

I thought about getting a new website for my blog, somewhere far away from the Google machine. But, ultimately I've decided to stick around here. I'm a minimalist kind of guy when it comes to design. I'll keep the Wordpress site open, just in case.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Monday, 21 July 2014

Why I Let E! Canada Get Away With it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Dumping Grounds and Branding

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Crime + Investigation and FYI Coming to Canada

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

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

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

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

Monday, 23 June 2014

Metacritic Reviews Suck

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

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

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


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Starting to Really Dislike Cable

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Turning Point [Update Summer 2014]

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Update (and short)

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ycuba_falcon-run-ssbb-machinima-short-update_videogames

[This video was] Originally going to be included in a collab..., until I realized that the deadline has already passed. That's not the only bad news, I'm afraid. Something's wrong with my laptop...again. If I can't get it fixed, I don't know what I'm going to do.
I'm looking into using my family's computer for making machinima. Windows 8's start menu is about a threat to me as a cockroach. In the meantime, I'm getting ready to start recording for "The Abridged Knights of Brawl: Bjohn's Quest." There's a chance I can film Reycralibur, episode 11 here too, but we'll have to see.
There is some good news to this..., Mortal Kombat X and Homefront 2. Street Fighter and Battlefield be damned.

Friday, 30 May 2014

TNA and Zippcast

Total Nonstop Action and ZippCast have a lot in common, don't you think? They're both better alternatives to PG-WWE and CoperateTube, they actually listen to their fans, and they actually focus on wrestling and video-sharing. In short, they're awesome! ...At least that's what I would say if I was drinking the Kool-aid.

Here's the reality. ZippCast has a better layout then YouTube, every update they make actually improves the site further. Plus, while every video on YouTube is treated like some original web show or movie, hence the advertisments and copyright bullcrap, ZippCast is all about video sharing. They don't do it to get famous, they do it because they don't want to keep to themselves. On the other hand, the layout is so outdated and hard to navigate, the actual site is buggy, help and support is pathetic...AND IT'S ALWAYS SHUTTING DOWN!!!!

From the beginning, TNA was in WWE's face; whether it was playing the sports entertainment card or actually focusing on wrestling. It's also helps that TNA is very, very, VERY innovative. But let's recap: they had a video game, a developmental territory, a relationship with Bellator MMA, live TV tapings on the road, a roster made up of modern day legends and icons of the past, and a very different atmosphere. All of which they could use to compete with the WWE...and they blew all of it with terrible booking, repetitive invasion angles, and, allegedly, terrible treatment of their superstars and talent.

Meanwhile, the PG rating, 3 hour Raw which nobody can finish in one sitting, and supershow format - which almost killed off the exposure for mid and low card performers - have only hindered WWE in recent years. And while YouTube continues to be Google's personal money-making machine, while giving the finger to it's users and the community, they're still doing what they did before Google bought them out: creating viral hits and turning niches to mainstream entertainment.

At this point, ZippCast and TNA's respective fanboys fanbases look more like brainwashed mooks. Clearly, ZippCast and TNA aren't as "good" as they think they are. They're underrated, yet overhyped; great ideas, horrible execution. They only time when they should get the applause is when they actually beat WWE and YouTube at their own game, which they have done many times, but that's not the point. The point is, at some point, we need to stop giving them a pat on the back every five seconds and start giving some criticism.

We need to stop wishing that they were better and actually try to make them better.

Monday, 12 May 2014

In Spike We Trust? The Prelude to Spike's Gaming Coverage

From what I heard, I was right about VGX being an improvement but McHale absolutely ruined it. As far as criticism goes, if McHale didn't co-host, last year's revamped event would have been the turning point for Spike. Something that would give them a bit more credit as a gaming broadcaster.
But sadly, that isn't the reality. The reality is, once again, they blew it. I said it before, I'll say it again, online networks like Machinima.com have replaced television networks like G4 when it comes to gamer entertainment. They know who their audience is and they know how to cater to them. Television offerings just don't cut it anymore.

And yet, between video game adaptions and tie-ins like Defiance and the surprisingly positive reviews for the Need for Speed film, I still believe there is still some hope that TV and movies can actually get it right. Why else would Spike be named the official broadcaster for E3? Because, while Spike at least gave a crap about gaming, G4 was apparently too busy with Cops, Cheaters, and Lost reruns! Whether gamers like to admit it or not, Spike is the only network left on North American airwaves to bring gaming to their TV sets.

If the team behind VGX wants to solve their "PR problem", all they gotta do is find people who will actually treat gamers with some respect. Spike's demographic and the gaming community are two different beings. You can cater to the former, by all means, but at least treat the latter with some dignity. Meanwhile, I notice that GTTV is off the air, leaving Spike without a gaming news show. Whether or not they've cancelled it and will replace it something else, I'd like to see the show at a more accessible timeslot.

I'll admit that I never got to see VGX or last year's E3 All Access, I just scrambled around news articles and hoped for the best. This year, I'll follow Spike's coverage of E3 2014, then I'll check out VGX at the end of the year. Now that we know for sure that G4 is dead, I want see for myself if Spike can learn from it's mistakes and take G4's place, not as a gaming network, but as a network that at least casual gamers can trust.

Gamers can dismiss it, but the rest of us won't. Spike is the last frontier for gaming television; they need to start acting like it.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Well, This Is Weird... [MTV2 May 2014]

http://affiliate.zap2it.com/tvlistings/ZCSGrid.do?stnNum=16361&channel=&aid=symbel2y2

I was browsing the program listings on the American channels on My Faves, when I noticed something on MTV2's schedule. On Monday May 5th, Rather than the occasional Boy Meets World or Saved by the Bell rerun blocks, I saw Sucker Free, Elite 8, and You Rock the Deuce. ...Y-You don't think that...? Nah, that's crazy! American networks returning to their roots? HA! It's probably just Zap2it bugging out again, what with their crappy new layout being rolled out. Then again, if this is the real deal, this would be a nice step forward.

It's been three years since MTV2 began to, as Wikipedia put it, "reinvent themselves". To do this, they started producing original lifestyle shows that target young adult males as well as resurrect some older shows such as Wild n' Out. Being the only shows worth watching on MTV2, they quickly brought in large ratings for the channel. If MTV2 were to bring music programming back to the daytime, I believe it would entice viewers to stay for a little bit longer. And hey, as long as they don't get in the way, I'd welcome Bell, Boy, and The Wayans Bros. to stick around for a little while.

What really caught my eye about this schedule slip was that most of MTV2's programming debuts, as well as other major events in the past, have all happened in May. Citing Wikipedia again, there was the end of 120 Minutes, which was renamed as Subterranean as well as the return of Headbangers Ball in 2003. Then there was Human Giant 24 in 2007 and, just for kicks, the premiere of Hip-Hop Squares in 2012. Really, the only thing that makes me doubt this is the real deal is the status quo. Again, what happened to This Week in Jams?

Well, here's to the best. I'd say something about the Canadian version of MTV2, but I think I already made my point about that.