Thursday, April 18, 2013

The stupid that come from the History Channel

Came across this. History Channel, remember when it was about history?

It is almost a cliche now to talk about it (When Chuck Grassley is on it, it must be old.). But it is an annoyance. It once was nice to have access to a channel where you could watch historic documentaries. Now it is day long marathons on scavenging, logging, and other things.

Sure you can see more docs, if you get History Channel 2 (which I don't), but that's like saying you can get music videos if you get MTV2 (Do they still have music videos?). So it's annoying, and makes me not want to get the channel on my cable.

But as this video notes. About as bad as the ridiculous reality shows, the channel spends a lot of time on pseudoscience and pseudohistory. Why are you offering up conspiracy, demons, bigfoots, and alien abductions? I shouldn't be surprised when you honestly critique conspiracies. Still, most of these have moved to other channels now. And History Channel has it's reality TV, mixed with some old ancient aliens and bible mystery docs.

Now, I do get the evolution of channels. (I going to make a long aside now.)

I remember getting SciFi Channel...when it was still called that. It was early days, and like every young channel, it was filling space. It would buy up cheap shows and show them in mass. So you would get day long runs of Star Trek, Knight Rider, Invisible Man, etc. And that could be repetitive  But it was also scifi, and fun. (There was also the occasional UFO or mysterious sightings shows.) They also threw on shows that were made in their studio, like Sci-Fi Buzz and SF Vortex. These were shows that would promote and talk about what was going on in scifi TV, Movies, etc that week. So you'd get the channel's niche topic talked up, have interviews with actors and writers in the genre, clips from shows (it was how I discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and even rants from Harlan Ellison. It was fun. It was the kind of thing you ought have on a channel specializing in Science Fiction entertainment. And eventually they got dumped as the channel evolved.

Here's some of those old shows:

SF Vortex:

Sci-Fi Buzz:

An Ellison Rant:

That is what we always see, channel execs see cheaper or more engaging ways to draw customers/viewers and they change. So more shows come and go, and the original in studio shows get dropped. That made me sad, as it would be nice to have at least one show talking up the genre. But the channel changed and started buying up new shows, like the Invisible Man, Chronicles, Farscape, Lexx, new MST3K episodes. So there is a trade off. And this seems like a nice place. Some old shows, some new shows. But...the channel evolves.

Execs look at ratings and want more, and they want to find ways to pay less. So shows get replaced, and fans aren't happy. And change keeps coming. Reality shows boom. Ghost Hunters. Horror makeup shows. Weird little games. And then wrestling is put on. And I missed the point they started buying more and more crappy bad movies off the shelves on studios to put on and original movies.

And SciFi come SyFy might want to look back at itself to see what it's become. (Makes me want to pull up the piece Charlie Brooker did showing how TV is where innovative ideas go to die...OKAY!)

SciFi was an interesting channel to start. It needed improvement. It needed to grow. It needed to change. Some changes have been good, and many bad. And it is definitely not what it started out seeking to be.

But it's like what we see with History, Learning, Arts, Discovery, etc. The channels start shifting from who they are. Some more than others, but the marathons of silly shows and ridiculous choice of funding these silly shows...They've made online choices for thoughtful entertainment a desperate need. I think Travel Channel had some better luck. For awhile they became the Poker and Vegas Channel. But they seem to have shifted back some (And they are about travel, which is all about advertising.).

But then we have examples of where this can go like Tech TV. A niche channel, that gave some gaming talk, but also lots of talk about technology, computers, and Leo Laporte. Then they began the move that ended up with them becoming G4. As G4, they had a lot of crappy reality shows, Ninja Warriors, old movies, old TV, with a bit of guy focused gaming talk shoved in. And that channel is dead now (Gods, it's not around, right? I mean, we already have Spike. -- Another tale of an evolving and changing channel.).

Still, let's get back to the History Channel. Ice Road Truckers? Top Gear? Ancient Aliens? Pawn Stars? Swamp People? Chasing Tail (What is this even about?)? American Pickers? Ax Men? Cajun Pawn Stars (Cause one isn't enough.)? Counting Cars (Theirs a show called Counting Fucking Cars.)? Really? This is who you are, History Channel?


But, as noted in the video at the top, this was a long time in coming.

Look at this show Satan's Army (Interesting point. This is an example of what a lot of these channels do. You have a show. And you just plug it into whatever other show you have that is related and pretend it's new. I've seen most of this in another show on History, with different graphics. You know, I once saw a piece on the haunting of a WWII aircraft carry pop up on three different paranormal shows. What a way to save cash.)

But just watch the first minute or two, and think, "This is what the History Channel does."

Oh my gods. I forgot for a moment about The Nostradamus Effect...That was so dumb. Anyway, I want to sit down at a some point and talk about how bad this and some other shows were.

Shame on you History Channel. Shows like this make my brain hurt. So so dumb.

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