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.