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.