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April 21, 2006 2:02 AM   Subscribe

Newsfilter: Just because you're called "Cartoon Network" dosn't mean you have to show cartoons Look how well MTV has done since they stopped showing music. And what could be more fun then watching reruns of saved by the bell? Have they simply exhausted the supply of cheaply licensable cartoons? Seems like Comedy Central is already starting to abandon Comedy with "Mind of Mencia".
posted by delmoi (109 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Oops, the last link should go here.
posted by delmoi at 2:03 AM on April 21, 2006


Well, to be fair, my afternoon cartoon viewing on WPIX was always mixed with a heart dose of SitComs.

That being said, 'Saved by the Bell' has always sucked ass.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:09 AM on April 21, 2006


And why should 'Metafilter' be a 'filter'? Why not just link to 'news' stories?
posted by tapeguy at 3:01 AM on April 21, 2006


Uh, del? Since Day One, Cartoon Network's main perrogative was to compete with Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. The move toward live-action and youth-oriented (pre-adolescent) fare may be calculated to wean other viewers to Boomerang and Toonami.

If you're looking for Popeye and Roadrunner cartoons, swallow your pride and buy/rent some DVDs. CN stopped pushing that a long time ago.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:31 AM on April 21, 2006


I dunno...I always thought there was something rather cartoonish about Saved By The Bell.
posted by darkstar at 3:44 AM on April 21, 2006


A long time ago, adult swim put up bumpers about spliting off into a separate network. What happened to that plan? And why show the SBTB shows during adult swim? show it during the crappy daytime schedule. If CN is off the air before they show season two of the venture bros. i'll be pissed.
posted by about_time at 4:07 AM on April 21, 2006


Teletoon in Canada is thankfully required by the CRTC to stick to the format they were granted a licence for. (afaik)
posted by Space Coyote at 4:09 AM on April 21, 2006


I frequent the Adult Swim boads, and this has actually been a big issue for the last few weeks. When [as] first announced they were going to run SBTB at midnight everyone assumed it was just a prank, but a lot of animation sites like Cartoon Brew and Toonzone threw out the suggestion that perhaps CN was testing the waters to start doing more live-action stuff.

To me, it's moronic, because if they want to "compete" with Nickelodeon and Disney, just make a KidsWB network or something. SciFi isn't going to start showing reruns of ER just to get ratings. If anything, Turner's family-programming station has always been TBS.

I'm annoyed as well becasue I always respected CN for beinga rare place on America television where original animation comes through. Before CN there was, basically, Liquid Television, which was a half-hour a week and lasted three years on MTV. Disney and Nick made a few good originals over the last few years but in no way as many as CN has.

Adult Swim, meanwhile, is ranked by Neilsens as a completely seperate network from Cartoon Network, which means on that end [as] is most definitely NOT competing with Nickelodeon or Disney- and if they were, they'd be winning- as a standalone network Adult Swim is ranked #1 for 18-35 viewers.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:11 AM on April 21, 2006


And what could be more fun then

than.
posted by quonsar at 4:15 AM on April 21, 2006


about_time: see previous comment. [as] "split off" only on paper so they could be ranked as a seperate network.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:17 AM on April 21, 2006


Good call about Mencina. One of the most unwatchable shows I've had the displeasure to surf by in a long long time.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:30 AM on April 21, 2006


Something like that was also mentioned in the Variety article in the first link:

dunno...I always thought there was something rather cartoonish about Saved By The Bell.

Ouweleen points out that certain comedies on network TV, including "Arrested Development""Arrested Development" and "Scrubs," are "by and large live-action cartoons. There's no reason we couldn't do something similar for kids."

As an animator, I really don't think you (or to my surprise the new Senior Vice President of Cartoon Network) realizes how insulting statements like that can be.

Animation isn't some magic button a director pushes that switches live-action into a cartoon. It's an art form, and more importantly a craft. Even switched to computers in today's day and age it's an incredibly laborious process that requires some of the most talented people in the industry to make a quality product. That's in no way to dismiss the talent of the cast of Scrubs, but to me it's like saying to a top chef "well I customize my order at Burger King, that's kind of like cooking, isn't it?"

Quality animation, and for that matter quality comedy, is in its uniqueness. The reason both Spongebob and Arrested Development are funny is because it would be difficult, if not impossible, to produce them in any other format. AD isn't "like" a cartoon... it's not a cartoon. It's in real-life, which is what makes the jetpack and all that other shit hysterical.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:31 AM on April 21, 2006


D'oh. Hope Toonami gets spun off into its own network even sooner. I've had, what, 15 years?, to get caught up on my Saved By The Bell and have never felt the need to do so.

Where are the hysterical parents showing clips of Showgirls mewling, "Do we want our kids watching this!??"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:35 AM on April 21, 2006


XQUZYPHYR pretty much has it. A live action The Venture Brothers wouldn't work (cue: obligatory snark from someone who doesn't The Venture Brothers...) Some things just can't be redone, repackaged or replaced.
posted by Cyrano at 4:40 AM on April 21, 2006


I actually disagree, robocop. I think one of the reasons CN started to tank is becasue they dropped all their reruns of old Hanna-Barbera and Looney Tunes classics and shoved them over to Boomerang- a seperate network that absolutely no one gets on their cable plan. For some reason, instead of that, they run three-year-old episodes of the same three original shows over and over and over again and then wonder why they don't get good ratings? I don't want them splitting their networks apart- I want them to have one great network that shows nothing but really good cartoons. Whatta concept!

The network guys come in and say, well, let's put in live-action programming and hit movies. Why? Because that's a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for new, more interesting and entertaining original cartoons- which was one of the original founding principles of Cartoon Network.

Contrary to Smart Dalek, CN's original goal was NOT to compete with Disney and Nick (hell, when CN first started Disney was still a premium channel). However, he's absolutely right that it's what they're doing now, and that's unforgivable.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:41 AM on April 21, 2006


SciFi isn't going to start showing reruns of ER just to get ratings.

HAHAHA, FUCK YOU
-The Sci-Fi Channel
posted by queen zixi at 4:43 AM on April 21, 2006


Oh for FUCKS SAKE
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:55 AM on April 21, 2006


I just don't understand how these networks can totally and completely change their concept and content without understanding they are angering/confusing/losing viewers. G4 shows the Man Show! Boomerang shows Dexter's Lab! I'm going to open a hardware store that serves Mexican food. Whooeeeeee!

Maybe they've just given up on the concept of a 'network' all together. Everyone knows that Video on Demand and Bittorrent/RSS is the wave of the future anyway. Right?
posted by Otis at 5:27 AM on April 21, 2006


You know, MTV actually had a reason for switching formats. They had no way to measure ratings for three-minute bits in a world measured by the half hour programming slot. That ended up being a big part of why they removed the video and went to a schedule of live action shows. (Why the network became progressively more dumb, I can't say - the current crop of programming appears to be aimed at the mentally deficient. Could just be that I'm old now and don't "get it"?)

But this? Hell. I gave up on CN a while ago, when they dropped the Tex Avery and MGM stuff, and moved to 24-7 cheap Japanimation. I am not now, nor will I ever be, a fan of cartoon programming that is nothing more than a cheaply animated commercial for some foolish trading card game. I never liked Saved by the Bell - stupid, asinine show - and now I can watch it during prime time. Hooray, just what I want.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:01 AM on April 21, 2006


I used to really enjoy music videos. MTV almost never shows them. VH-1 has moved away from showing them. I understand that they are getting better ratings and making more money, but I would think that there would be room somewhere for a music video channel. Why can't those music stations that are like radio stations on the television (in my area, there are about thirty of them and they are in the 400s) show accompanying videos? Where the hell are videos? Are they only online?
posted by flarbuse at 6:06 AM on April 21, 2006


Hell. I gave up on CN a while ago, when they dropped the Tex Avery and MGM stuff, and moved to 24-7 cheap Japanimation. I am not now, nor will I ever be, a fan of cartoon programming that is nothing more than a cheaply animated commercial for some foolish trading card game

Well that sentence is filled with a wonderful lack of knowledge of anime.

That said, I'd like to see both vintage American cartoons and anime on the channel. For the most part, I feel present day American work somewhat lack luster and dumbed down.

As for CN, pathetic.
posted by Atreides at 6:23 AM on April 21, 2006


Hrm. After looking through the AS website, are we sure this isn't some form of elaborate joke?
posted by Atreides at 6:30 AM on April 21, 2006


XQUZ, I see your point. I'd actually follow up on getting Adult Swim on my cable plan rather than watch CN's Live Action junk.

But then again, would Adult Swim have any anything new beyond hit-or-miss Williams Street programming?

And as for Sci-Fi's impending Friday night line-up, thank God! I've been looking everywhere for a channel to rerun Law and Order!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:32 AM on April 21, 2006


flarbuse, comcast offers (along with basic cable) a bevy of on-demand music videos. i was really glad to find a place where new bands are still able to get videos out. i'm not sure what their service is like outside of mass, tho. (/end plug)
posted by es_de_bah at 6:36 AM on April 21, 2006


Nah. This whole thing is just a way to cut off nostalgia for early/mid-90's live-action kids tv shows before it even gets started. Think about it--you might have fond memories of Hey, Dude! and Salute Your Shorts, but those shows really weren't all that good.

I guarentee that this whole thing started because someone at the network started talking about how good The Adventures of Pete and Pete was, and as a result some dudes made a bet that they could keep their ratings up, even showing absolute twaddle. This is a network that employs Seth Green, people. As soon as they've made their point, Saved By The Bell will be back to the 7am timeslot on TBS.
posted by thecaddy at 6:37 AM on April 21, 2006


Similar grumblings erupted over on the Speed Channel (nee SpeedVision) boards after Fox bought the network and switched it from a cornucopia of different varieties of worldwide motor sports into, basically, the NASCAR network, almost completely alienating the viewer base that put the network on the radar in the first place. The justification is, as always, bottom line profit. NASCAR is the largest zombie cult in the US. It's followers will eagerly consume whatever is tossed to them, as long as it has the NASCAR logo attached.

You do whatever it takes to expand that bottom line, your original mission be damned.

This is why Le Cirque will soon be serving nothing but Big Macs and Happy Meals. [/sarcasm]
posted by Thorzdad at 6:39 AM on April 21, 2006


I don't have the bandwidth to be mad about this.

They've already ticked me off enough by cancelling JLU.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:39 AM on April 21, 2006


if they wanted to go with cheaper, they shold have just put old animated shows on--starting with Speed Racer (more campy and way more fun than Saved by the Bell) and Gigantor, and all the old celebrity novelty cartoons (Brady Kids, Jackson 5, pacman, etc)
posted by amberglow at 6:44 AM on April 21, 2006


I love animation in all its freaked out forms. What really upsets me, though, isn't the departure from a rigid network formula, it's that saved by the bell is worse than jock itch.

If cartoon network wanted to air something that was live action and interesting, I'd be alright with that.

Imagine a live action Aquateen Hunger Force. Some guy running around in tights with a giant foam rubber french fry costume on his head. I'd watch that. At least once.
posted by 1-2punch at 6:47 AM on April 21, 2006


Atreides writes "Well that sentence is filled with a wonderful lack of knowledge of anime."

No, that sentence is filled with disgust at advertising thinly veiled as entertainment, empathy for the poor parents who who had to sit through the Pokemon movies with their kids, and sadness for the loss of the traditional cel animation. Used to be pride in being a background artist, now it's "how many frames per second do we absolutely need to make the picture look like it's moving? 3, 4 maybe?"

Yes, I'm sure there is some good anime out there. But "I hate crap advertising cartoons with shitty frame rate and shitty writing" != "all anime is bad". It also doesn't mean I like everything that isn't anime. Crap is just crap, plain and simple. For example, I also happen to detest the shitty, shitty shitty Gene Deitch era "Tom and Jerry" 'toons, and, as good as Mr. Jones was, I honestly think that the Chuck Jones Tom'n'Jerry toons were a little suspect as well (characters look too cute. I mean, look at it this way - 7 Oscars and 6 nominations with Fred Quimby, and zero after he was no longer in charge).
posted by caution live frogs at 6:53 AM on April 21, 2006


The cast of saved by the bell where the same clothes even if the episode spans multiple days at bayside. They are scrubs.

During the beginning credits AC Slater is seen lift weights in the locker room. This shows how committed he is towards being a hunk.
posted by I Foody at 6:54 AM on April 21, 2006


On preview: Speed Racer? I'd watch it again. That stuff is sheer comedy gold. I kept waiting for Trixie to figure out that Speed was really in love with the monkey...
posted by caution live frogs at 6:55 AM on April 21, 2006


Have you people not looked at the other speciality channels on basic cable? They're all turning into the same channel, only differentiated a couple of niche shows they rely on. I only recently got cable and what a huge disappointment that was. The History Channel is more about UFOs, Bigfoot and Biblical In Search Of, the Discovery Channel is all about building motorcycles and Bravo is the Law & Order channel. It's all watered down barf.

And regarding Mind of Mencia: it's just straight up racism from what I've seen. Do the execs think this is something like Strangers With Candy, where they're saying awful things, but actually mocking racists and the ignorant? Is that how it seems to sneak past, because of all the ironic humour out there today? The man is a simpleton.

Example joke from a commericial I saw last night: Mencia is interviewing a man on the street, asks him what his race is and the man replies that he's half black and half african-american. Mencia's reply, and this is the whole joke by the way: "So you have a casino, but you're too lazy to run it".
posted by picea at 6:56 AM on April 21, 2006


But then again, would Adult Swim have any anything new beyond hit-or-miss Williams Street programming?

Not sure what you mean there... [as] is definitely branching out beyond Williams Street... The Venture Bros. and Morel Orel are both made in studios outside of Atlanta, and their Saturday night block is mostly Anime acquisitions.

That said, they've publicly said already there are no plans to make [as] a physically seperate network, as they just don't have the capacity for it. It works, for now, because it's a short-time block that caters to a really positive merketing demographic. The rest of CN is aimed for younger audiences, so it's sort of like the Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite tradeoff.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:58 AM on April 21, 2006


I wish Cartoon Network would bring back the Monchichis.
posted by inigo2 at 7:01 AM on April 21, 2006


I only recently got cable and what a huge disappointment that was...
Bingo!
The mad rush to the bottom line via lowest-common-denominator programming results in homogenized pap. Really puts the lie to the whole "expanded choices" meme.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:07 AM on April 21, 2006


"For some reason, instead of that, they run three-year-old episodes of the same three original shows over and over and over again and then wonder why they don't get good ratings? I don't want them splitting their networks apart- I want them to have one great network that shows nothing but really good cartoons."

OTM.

Where's Gundam? Where's Robotech and Macross? Where's Escaflowne? But then, they've been hit and miss of a long time. ATHF was good for a season, Sealab has sucked since the Captain died, Harvey Birdman has exactly five funny episodes, and Space Ghost started to suck years ago (though when it first came out if was bar none the best show on TV). Has Mission Hill ever been funny? If ever a show needed Evan Dorkin, it's that one. And sorry, Huey, but Boondocks blows (in large part because of the shitty music. It's like the writers bought one Tribe album in the mid-90s and have stuck with it forever. But the voicing is bad, the sanctimony is laid on with a plaster knife, and it's never as revolutionary as it thinks it is). Also incredibly shitty— Squidbillies, that stupid mouse show, and Boboboboboobobobobobobo.
That their core demographic is the barely literate Family Guy fans that confuse cutaways with insight and flashbacks with punchlines doesn't help, especially since they continue to inflict American Dad on the viewing public (a show that rivals Mencia for the most abhorent show targetted at adults). That they go for the televised adderal of Robot Chicken is indicative of their ability to process complex themes.
The good things are Futurama reruns, The Venture Brothers (which is fucking genius), Samurai Champloo, Paranoia Agent, FLCL, Ghost in the Shell and Inuyasha (which despite being kinda soap opera is still a good show). But they cancel their good anime to provide more crap.
posted by klangklangston at 7:11 AM on April 21, 2006


So it's really just straight Saved by the Bell? I was hoping for some sort of a MST3K deal or perhaps an overdubbed take off by the guy that remade the GI Joe promos.
posted by Hubajube at 7:12 AM on April 21, 2006


yup, Huba--just regular (horrendous) episodes--all they do is weird bumpers.
posted by amberglow at 7:14 AM on April 21, 2006


As long as they keep going strong with [ Adult Swim ] I could care less what they show durring the day.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 7:15 AM on April 21, 2006


And what Klang said.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 7:16 AM on April 21, 2006


People watching reruns of Saved By The Bell, huh?

I think that irony has now officially jumped the shark.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:18 AM on April 21, 2006


However, I would totally watch 28 Days Slater.
posted by Alison at 7:21 AM on April 21, 2006


I mean, seriously. Back when it was new, we didn't even want to admit that we watched it.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:23 AM on April 21, 2006


At one point, there were 7 channels on my cable lineup that were showing Seinfeld in syndication.

Cable has become an unnavigable wasteland to me. If it weren't for my Tivo I would literally never get to see a single TV show I wanted to.

Regarding Mencia, I think some of his stuff is funny. I saw some standup of his that was quite good. The show is hit or miss, but that's standard operating procedure for Comedy Central's live action programming, save Stewart and Colbert. The Man Show was on rare occasions brilliant but usually unwatchable. The Showbiz Show would be a great 5 minute filler to get to the top of the hour, but a full slot makes it look as shallow and empty as it is. I love Dave Chappelle's standup, but even his show was very uneven, with fantastic spots separated by ridiculous wastes of time.

I think CN should show reruns of Beavis and Butthead. At least we'd get to see some videos that way. (I know MTV2 does already).

As far as MTV dropping videos... don't get me started. I've been bitching about that since the first Road Rules hit the airwaves. That is perhaps my pick for worst show ever.

On preview: Robotech, yeah, I'd watch that. I also was crazy over Space Ghost when it first hit. But, I still don't get the hatred towards Family Guy. It's a funny show. It doesn't have to be deep or complex. I watch it for entertainment, not high cinema. American Dad misses the mark badly however.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:27 AM on April 21, 2006


I mostly watch [as] for Futurama and Family Guy reruns (I also watch some ATHF and used to watch Sealab) and the first thing they did that really bothered me was when they moved Futurama from 11pm to 10:30. If I have the TV on between 10 and 11, it's because I'm watching something (probably a L&O rerun) and I got into the habit of flipping to Cartoon Network as soon as it was over. Now, I don't notice the time until Futurama is half over, if I remember it at all.

I've seen every ATHF at least once, and most of the aren't good, and I don't much care for the other stuff they've stuck in the 11-11:30 slot, and since I mostly just watched Family Guy because it was on right after Futurama, I usually don't watch that either.

I can't figure out what the the hell they were thinking when they decided to show Saved By The Bell. Though, a friend of mine told me that instead of "[adult swim]" overlaid at the bottom right, it said "[crappy 1980's live action show network]", which is amusing.

While I'm here: WTF is Sci-Fi doing showing Law and Order? We don't need a fourth cable channel showing them (TNT has the original, USA has SVU and CI, Bravo has CI, and now this?). If anything, they should show reruns of CSI, because so much of the science is fiction.
posted by Godbert at 7:28 AM on April 21, 2006


When I actually feel like watching Cartoons, everything on their channel is trash. When I want to catch one of the Adult Swim shows, I download it - because who can stay up 'till 1:00 AM Saturday and Sunday morning to watch cartoons? Only now is it dawning on me that I must have missed the implication of this programming schedule, to enjoy it fully you must be an insomniac with no commitments before noon of the next day. Are these Saved By The Bell Re-Runs supposed to be mental warmups for the intellectual onslaught that is Paid Programming?
posted by prostyle at 7:31 AM on April 21, 2006


I would like to note that, as a fairly wide-ranging anime fan?

I have the urge to smite the individuals responsible for the addition of Boboboboboobobobobobobo. It's the least funny thing I have seen.

The loss of JLU isn't a bad thing; the show had a good run, and this season, like the last season of Teen Titans, was just a stretcher. The original ending for JLU was the end of last season. My only regret is they never managed to get modern-day-Static and Gear on JLU in anyway - not that it would have been hard for them to do, either, especially when there are episodes of Static Shock (a sadly underrated show, really - it started off a little blah in the first season, but the second season really took off) with the Justice League in it.

But good god, man, another All Night Of Naruto and I may end up editing it out of my TIVO lineup. I don't need that level of pain.
posted by mephron at 7:32 AM on April 21, 2006


>The History Channel is more about UFOs, Bigfoot and Biblical In Search Of, the Discovery Channel is all about building motorcycles and Bravo is the Law & Order channel.

Haha. Welcome to cable programming. I'll take your 49.99 a month now. Slight correction, its all about underwater UFOs now. I got some big laughs from that "documentary" the other night.

As far as shows being cartoony goes, well, there's a good argument here saying that animation is not live action, but there also millions of gen-x'ers out there willing to drop all their expendable income (and more) on crappy comic-book movies, toys, and retro crap. CN is just reading the writing on the wall. Don't blame CN, blame the fans who will consume anything and beg for more 80s crap like SBTB and Knight Rider. Kitschy cool rarely makes for interesting programming.

I've been complaining about these horrlbe comic-book based movies for years yet they keep making them. Now its pretty much all Hollywood makes.

Also, I've noticed that the new offerings from CN has been pretty lackluster outside of the venture brothers, which is the ultimate nostalgia show btw. I mean, references to David Bowie and Johnny Quest? Hello, the 70s are calling and they want their effeminate boys back.

Right now and for the forseeable future 80s nostalgia crap is selling. So if you don't like that, don't yell at the CN execs who know a little about giving people what they want. Instead do this: Next time you hear someone say "OMG They need to turn Watchmen (or whatever) into a movie!!!" punch them in the face. Hard. If you have ever said this then you are part of the problem.

This message brought to you by the keep the shit in its own media campaign. Comics arent movies. Cartoons are not live action.
posted by skallas at 7:35 AM on April 21, 2006


I think CN should show reruns of Beavis and Butthead. At least we'd get to see some videos that way. (I know MTV2 does already).

CN will never show B&B (or Invader ZIM, or Ren & Stimpy, or any show that aired on MTV or Nick) because Viacom owns them.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:40 AM on April 21, 2006


Look how well MTV has done since they stopped showing music.

And Fuse is heading in the same direction: now they have more vapid commentary about videos than the do actual videos. Fatally irritating; I guess I don't "get it," either.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:42 AM on April 21, 2006


Teletoon in Canada is thankfully required by the CRTC to stick to the format they were granted a licence for. (afaik)

That, unfortunately, still doesn't make Teletoon any good.
posted by Robot Johnny at 7:57 AM on April 21, 2006


I think thecaddy has it, that it's just test marketing for the AS guys, combined with a joke. I mean, how can it not be simply obvious "ironic-ness"? Seth Green, indeed.

Also, the bumps during Saved By The Bell are very strange, and make fun of the show. It doesn't make up for the fact that they're running the show in the first place, but it does give a little indication about their attitude toward it.

And the only time that I've seen the show run is late at night, like around midnight. So they don't just run it during the infomercial hours.
posted by dammitjim at 8:02 AM on April 21, 2006


So I heard years ago that CN might split into three Networks:
1. Cartoon Network - sloppily drawn fun for the whole family with that Nickelodean feel
2. Classic Cartoon Network - Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and hopefully that Porky Pig Goes to Wackyland cartoon at least once every day
3. [Adult Swim] Network - Anime, fart jokes, Hanna Barbara parodies, and topical entertainment humor [not like it's a bad thing]

So appartently, they've scrapped number 3 and implemented number 2, but as a network that most people can't get?

Someone needs to resurrect Liquid Television and Mtv Oddities. I was able to locate a copy a copy of the Maxx but I never did see how they ended The Head.

My favorite part about CN thewse days is the stuff they play inbetween [AS]'s second run of the night and the children's morning programs: cheap animation from the 1970s starring Chuck Norris and the Harlem Globetrotters.

I'd be down for a 90's cable nostalgia network. My parents never let me have cable, which made all the shows of the era that much better, so long as they play Pete & Pete, Are You Afraid of the Dark? and The State
posted by elr at 8:16 AM on April 21, 2006


Just thought I'd chime in and mention that Carlos Mencia isn't his real name -- and he's not Mexican. His real name is Ned Holness and he's half-German and Central American or something. He's also hated in the comedy world for stealing other people's bits. Last I heard George Lopez was suing him for ripping of his bits in an incredibly blatant way (not that he's particularly funny, but at least he's less offensive and more original).
posted by Heminator at 8:21 AM on April 21, 2006


don't forget Cartoon Sushi!
posted by destro at 8:22 AM on April 21, 2006


God, television sucks. And I say that as someone who works in it - right this very minute, I'm "working" on a sub-stupid show for Fuse that they will play instead of the videos that people really want to watch. Painful. God, the other day they did a piece called "Top Ten Places to Vomit" and the execs actually thought it was too smart.

Now that I've posted that, maybe I can get fired now.

MTV is fucking evil, and they started this shit. I can go to any other country on Earth and their MTV plays videos. I, however, work literally two blocks from the world headquarters, and I can't watch a music video, except in a tiny little window on the internet. Fuckers.

Now CN wants to change? Well, fuck them. My kid loves Boomerang better now anyway! (I know, same company.) Now, how long before Boomerang becomes filled with cynical crap and cheap shitty live stuff? Remember when MTV2 actually played videos?
posted by fungible at 8:28 AM on April 21, 2006


And Fuse is heading in the same direction: now they have more vapid commentary about videos than the do actual videos. Fatally irritating; I guess I don't "get it," either.

That I could never understand. I watched Fuse for a while at college when I had satellite TV (and there was still plenty of music on) and I thought it was great. Since I didn't listen to the radio, it was basically the only exposure I'd have to "new" (to me) music.
Now, my cable package has it included, but it isn't worth watching, because there are hardly any videos anymore. At least their shows are generally still about music, at least (with the exception of that dubbed-over kung fu stuff they used to have), and haven't (yet) followed MTV into loads of programming with no connection to music whatsoever. Though, I do seem to recall that Fuse used to poke fun at MTV for not showing music. It was definitely a better network when it was called "Much Music USA".

One thing I wonder about, though; I always hear people complain about the lack of music videos on these channels, and about the non-music-related programming on instead. I don't think I've ever met anyone who thought it was a good idea, but with Fuse starting down the MTV path, there's got to be an audience for it. Who are those people, and why have I never met a single one?
posted by Godbert at 8:30 AM on April 21, 2006


What a bunch of haters.

How 'bout some relativity here folks? Some of the worst shows on Adult Swim (original or not) are light years ahead of what other networks regularly air.

Personally, I think Tom Goes to the Mayor is totally unfunny, but I'd watch it before American Idol any day.

I like anime, but I'm really picky about it because there is a ton of crap anime out there. AS is fairly selective about shows they pick up, and it's a great way for me to sample stuff. I trust their opinion, so I don't have to spend half of my life as a smelly otaku. Call it AnimeFilter.

The comedy blocs are the only places a low budget, 15 minute series could even exist outside of the internet. As a result, some very talented people get exposure, and have a venue for future projects.

To those of you who decry the SBTB reruns, I hear ya. That sucks.

To everyone else who derailed into bitching about how much adult swim sucks, I dub thee, HATER.
posted by butterstick at 8:34 AM on April 21, 2006


Godbert, CSI is on Spike, meant to be the male equivalent of Lifetime.
posted by emelenjr at 8:35 AM on April 21, 2006


Thankfully, CN still gives voice to some unique content creators.
posted by sswiller at 8:37 AM on April 21, 2006


As far as I can see the [adult swim] business plan seems to just be to throw shit at the wall and see what sticks, with a bunch of wise ass, self-referential commentary behind it to keep people engaged in the... what do you call it? Time slot? This very specific identification of a quasi-separate segment of a network seems itself a very new technique, and in its ability to raise this sort of ruckus online shows some ominous promise (can you imagine trying to get this sort of conversation started on Metafilter over something like "must-see teevee?")

The SBTB thing seems very much in line with their running gag of stirring up bitter controversy in their fan base. I wonder if they really have a strategy as such - (I mean like "target x demographic with SBTB reruns to compete with Nick at Night...) I sometimes suspect they just try to keep things stirred up, drive traffic to their website and cross-promote. The obvious bottom line is that if they become a net loser Warner Brothers will eventually make them dissapear and they know it and their fans know it - its part of the schtick.
posted by nanojath at 8:41 AM on April 21, 2006


All of this is so sad.

I was hoping AS would redeem themselves spectacularly...but I think I just gave them too much credit for the high points of Space Ghost, Aqua Teens and the consistent brilliance of Futurama...which I now miss because it's a half hour earlier.
posted by Brainy at 8:44 AM on April 21, 2006


What a bunch of haters.
Okay...here's my moment of repentance...
God bless CN for The Boondocks.
Amen.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:48 AM on April 21, 2006


Thanks Thorzad. Forgot about Boondocks. That show is brilliant.
posted by sswiller at 8:49 AM on April 21, 2006


Speaking of G4 (another network blatantly shying away from its roots), Howard Stern's girliefriend Beth O has signed on to host Filter.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:50 AM on April 21, 2006


Oh, and Filter won't be about videogames any longer. It's now "a fast, funny and always-surprising countdown show that sifts through the mediaverse to bring viewers an unpredictable, off-center, over-caffeinated take on pop culture." Whee.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:51 AM on April 21, 2006


See, now, I find Boondocks to be only moderately funny. Occasionally funny. Not Aqua Teen funny. Certainly not Futurama funny. Also, Tom Goes to the Mayor = not funny. And thank god they got rid of Milk Chan. Completely not funny, though visually neat. I agree that they throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks. And I have no problem with that.
posted by dammitjim at 8:53 AM on April 21, 2006


I used to think AC was Slater's nickname because he's so cool, like air conditioning. I was wrong!
posted by I Foody at 8:59 AM on April 21, 2006


Atreides writes "Well that sentence is filled with a wonderful lack of knowledge of anime."

caution live frogs: No, that sentence is filled with disgust at advertising thinly veiled as entertainment, empathy for the poor parents who who had to sit through the Pokemon movies with their kids, and sadness for the loss of the traditional cel animation. Used to be pride in being a background artist, now it's "how many frames per second do we absolutely need to make the picture look like it's moving? 3, 4 maybe?"



... as opposed to non-anime products that aren't packaged to elicit the highest dollar value possible (insert video game property, it's movie spinoff, it's action figures, etc here). I have news for you, the most lucrative and long-lasting licenses worldwide are not from anime cartoons... and they are certainly not among the best packaged marketing plans. If they hit here, they hit, but they don't hit big for very long. And I'm guessing that it hasn't hit you that entertainment is a 'selling' market, you buy it, be it either a book or a cable connection... I'm 99% sure your internet connection at home isn't free either.

Hm, as for Adult Swim being geared towards getting kids to buy stuff, I always thought Adult Swim was on late at night, when children should be in bed... but that's just me. I don't let my 10 year old up past 9 pm... but then your house is likely different from mine.
posted by eatdonuts at 9:10 AM on April 21, 2006


sorry, I lapsed and wrote "it's" as opposed to "its." my bad.
posted by eatdonuts at 9:12 AM on April 21, 2006


klangklangston: And sorry, Huey, but Boondocks blows (in large part because of the shitty music. It's like the writers bought one Tribe album in the mid-90s and have stuck with it forever. But the voicing is bad, the sanctimony is laid on with a plaster knife, and it's never as revolutionary as it thinks it is).

In other words, just like the strip. I find it interesting how Boondocks is frequently paired with Mallard Fillmore. As if you gotta have matching strident and consistently unfunny strips on the page. Of course, IMO Mallard Fillmore rivals Garfield for ugly and lazy, while Boondocks is at least well drawn.

skallas: I watch cable when visiting family and in hotel room. Since then, I've not looked back on having it cut off in favor of Netflix, and a good local video shop when I need instant gratification. My only complaint is the really long wait for the second season of Carnivale.

Having said that, I really gotta disagree with notion that Hollywood or television can, or should avoid adapting other media. The golden age of Hollywood was built by plundering pulp and Broadway for material after all, having a profound impact on the way contemporary directors make movies. Likewise, the comics were never self-contained. Superman first appeared in short story form, and Batman is derivative of characters that were developed for radio and pulp fiction.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:16 AM on April 21, 2006


Cartoon Network's decision to begin producing and airing live action shows and Adult Swim airing SBTB are not connected at all.

SBTB is complete shit. Everyone at AS knows that... they're showing it to be IRONIC, and as a bit of a prank on their viewers. They really care very little for ratings over at Williams Street (even though theirs are tops), so they do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, good idea or not. I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled out some "Small Wonder" episodes at some point in the future. SBTB was an easy choice, since TBS already owned the rights. This isn't the "direction" that AS is heading in by any means.

Cartoon Network, however... CN has been getting shithammered in the ratings by Nick and Disney for quite a while now. Those networks do quite well with their own live-action pre-teen bullshit shows. Since the CN Programming and Creative folks don't seem to have any original bones in their bodies, the best they can do is copycat their competitors. It makes me sad.

You would hope they would put their time and effort into coming up with amazing new animated material that kids just couldn't help but watch... do what CN supposedly does best, and get the audience back that way. Nope.

Cartoon Network... No Longer the Best Place for Cartoons.
posted by BobFrapples at 9:18 AM on April 21, 2006


If I'm the only person out there that thinks TGTTM is the best comedy on TV, so be it.
posted by sswiller at 9:29 AM on April 21, 2006


Here's an idea. We'll just comb YouTube for live action video of stuff vaguely dealing with comics or animation and just show it on CN!

No paying animators or dumping syndication money down Mario Lopez's already engorged gullet!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:29 AM on April 21, 2006


I don't have much to add regarding the discussion of the [as] cartoons except to say that its always funny to see how angry people get over the idea of someone else liking a show they don't like.

However, regarding "Mind of Mencia": Worst. Show. Ever. Carlos Mencia is like the hispanic Larry the Cable Guy.

With Larry, whenever he has a joke with no punchline, he just inserts, "Git 'er done!" Carlos just tacks on "Deet deet deet!" Same effect: no one laughs and I die a little inside.
posted by papakwanz at 9:34 AM on April 21, 2006


Is this where we complain about "Mind of Mencia." It seems like an attempt at humr in the style of "The Chapelle Show" but minus any intelligence.
posted by dial-tone at 10:06 AM on April 21, 2006


Hmmm... I like Saved By The Bell (except the original Disney channel ones which are thankfully never in syndication). I like the tongue in cheek nature of [as] and I like Boondocks. There I said it.

I agree that [as] could be a good jumping off point for new animators, but much of the crap they show (squidbillies, Mission Hill, ATHF et al.) is poor. Poorly written, lazily animated and just a miss. I think if they held their animators to talent than topical/fart jokes, we would get better cartoons.

On Preview, thank god I have never seen Mind of Mencia
posted by subaruwrx at 10:23 AM on April 21, 2006


By the way, if they want to show crappy teen TV shows, why not show Fifteen? Truly, the epitome of so-bad-its-freakin-brilliant teen dramas.
posted by papakwanz at 10:30 AM on April 21, 2006


"In other words, just like the strip. I find it interesting how Boondocks is frequently paired with Mallard Fillmore. As if you gotta have matching strident and consistently unfunny strips on the page. Of course, IMO Mallard Fillmore rivals Garfield for ugly and lazy, while Boondocks is at least well drawn."

Nah, the strip is consistently good and incisive. It just didn't translate. One thing the strip has that the show doesn't? Timing.
posted by klangklangston at 10:31 AM on April 21, 2006


TGTTM?
posted by klangklangston at 10:33 AM on April 21, 2006


They said it was a limited two week run, so thankfully there's that. Just something to make everybody mad until the new lineup starts. [as] seems to enjoy things like that (the "Boo Boo Runs Wild" show that they ran over and over for months) I wondered the same as many here: is there even any sort of nostalgia for "Saved by the Bell" anyway? I can't remember too many people liking it that much in the first place.

And yeah, it sucks that they would choose to move toward non-cartoon programming. One recent Friday night CN was showing "Dumb and Dumber". It's sad, and it's not like they're running out of cartoons.

Anybody that dismisses the Boondocks cartoon as "oh, it's crap just like the comic strip" must have glanced at it maybe once or twice and turned away. They were re-running the MLK episode last night and again I found it just brilliant.
posted by First Post at 10:43 AM on April 21, 2006


I disagree, klang. I think the strip is funny, but it can't escape the beat-beat-punchline rhythm of the 3-panel comic strip, nor can it be as cutting or edgy in its commentary because of limits on what can be printed in a newspaper. The show can do stuff, like the MLK episode, that they'd never get awy with in the strip. The voices are also perfect, especially in the guest voices: Samuel L. Jackson as a crazy Iraq war II vet "wigger" spouting Rumsfeld quotes and Pulp Fiction dialogue is almost surreal in its brilliance. As for the complaint about the soundtrack... I've seen most episodes, and I don't remember a single Tribe song, but I might have missed something. Most of the incidental music is made up of callbacks to previous themes (the Gangstalicious gay love anthem "Thuggin' Love"), and if anything, the other tracks are more Wu-Tang inspired than anything.

ANd TGTTM = Tom Goes to the Mayor, a show that had 1 good episode (the first). Since then? Not so good, although I like the Bob Odenkirk live action bits.
posted by papakwanz at 10:44 AM on April 21, 2006


First Post: Yeah, the Dumb and Dumber thing was... well, dumb. I can picture the corporate meeting behind that one: "Well, Jim Carrey makes funny faces, like in cartoons, and I once saw a review in 'Variety' that described him as 'animated' and 'cartoony'! Let's air it!"
posted by papakwanz at 10:46 AM on April 21, 2006


Obviously Mencia is an attempt at "a latino version of Chapelle." The difference between Mencia and Capelle (besides the fact that Chapelle is funny and Mencia is not) is that Chapelle can tell racist jokes about black people because he's black. It's the same reason why Jon Stewart can get away with jewish jokes, Foxworthy/Cable Guy can get away with redneck jokes, and Bob & Doug McKenzie can make fun of Canadians (not that Canadian is a race, but you get the idea).

Mencia doesn't hold that "get out of jail free" card because he tells racist jokes about races which he is not a part of. His show comes across as pathetic and sad. Sorry for the derail...
posted by afx114 at 11:00 AM on April 21, 2006


The voices are also perfect, especially in the guest voices: Samuel L. Jackson as a crazy Iraq war II vet "wigger" spouting Rumsfeld quotes and Pulp Fiction dialogue is almost surreal in its brilliance.

Agreed. The last three or so episodes of the season were way too overly preachy, but "Let's Nab Oprah" was 22 straight minutes of brilliance.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:06 AM on April 21, 2006


Is Delmoi's opinions about cable programming really the best of the web?
posted by afu at 11:24 AM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I just wonder about the studio audience in Mencia's show. Who are these people? Do they give them laughing gas before the show? Are they paid to laugh? WHY ARE THEY LAUGHING AT SHIT THAT IS NOT FUNNY?!
posted by papakwanz at 11:24 AM on April 21, 2006


klangklangston: Nah, the strip is consistently good and incisive. It just didn't translate. One thing the strip has that the show doesn't? Timing.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this. Or rather, I'll meet you half-way and say that the strip is not half as bad as most of the rest of the comics page, but not at all worthy of the lavish praise heaped on it.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:29 AM on April 21, 2006


I have MTV Hits and MTV Jams, which both show nothing but videos. Hit is mostly mainstream garbage, but they have some good stuff now and then. Jams is just hip-hop/R&B, which would be fine if mainstream hip-hop wasn't so bad nowadays.

I've almost complete given up on MTV and MTV2. Though, I do really love 8th & Ocean, a ridiculous reality show on MTV about young models in Miami. Sweet Sixteen used to be good for some ironic TV viewing, but they've pushed it too far now.
posted by mullacc at 12:40 PM on April 21, 2006


I'm so excited...I'm so excited...I'm so SCARED!
posted by banishedimmortal at 1:05 PM on April 21, 2006


Stop that. Stop that right now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:15 PM on April 21, 2006


Stop that. Stop that right now.

Hey hey hey, what is going ON in here?
posted by 235w103 at 2:38 PM on April 21, 2006


thecaddy (a response to something you said early in the thread): I'm not sure what you're implying about The Adventures of Pete & Pete. But unlike the other shows you mentioned, it was actually good. Brilliant, actually, very much the spiritual predecessor of Malcom in the Middle.

So, if you were implying it was as awful as Hey, Dude or Salute Your Shorts, then you are mistaken. That is all.
posted by JHarris at 3:17 PM on April 21, 2006


"very much the spiritual predecessor of Malcom in the Middle."

That is a compliment?
posted by papakwanz at 3:27 PM on April 21, 2006


A whole post about Adult Swim and only one mention of Robot Chicken?
posted by UseyurBrain at 3:29 PM on April 21, 2006


I agree that it's meant to be ironic. I also think you don't have to like or dislike SBTB to see that it doesn't belong on CN.

I have boomerang. They seem to show videos on MTV2 and sometimes BET although they're usually the same four videos over and over.

People have mentioned Fifteen, Hey Dude!, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Salute your Shorts, and others--I'm here to tell you that members of my generation WOULD watch these shows if they put them back on TV. And we watched SBTB too. Several times a day. The same episodes. Over and over. There's a real block of people who are into the 90s nostalgia. Not, apparently, the CN/MeFi audience. But there you go. Let's see some Blossom reruns, people! They had been showing Daria on N! but it seems no more.

I love TV.
posted by lampoil at 4:00 PM on April 21, 2006


I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled out some "Small Wonder" episodes at some point in the future.

See--that would be good, if they did one surprise shitty show a night--one night it could be Small Wonder, another She's the Sheriff, another Saved by the Bell, another Joannie loves Chachi, etc...this block of SBTB is like torture--one episode was way more than enough.
posted by amberglow at 4:14 PM on April 21, 2006


When I saw Save by the Bell on Adult Swim, I definitely took it as a prank, and I still think it is. Based on the distorted clips they play at the commercial breaks, they are just reeling people in to show the hilarious episode where Jessie gets strung out on caffiene pills tonight. Hopefully that will be the last of SBTB on AS. The rest of the network might be moving to live-action teen shows, but I think the AS guys are goofing on them for it.
posted by team lowkey at 4:32 PM on April 21, 2006


i recently found out that one of my friend/coworkers was big on the mind of mencia and i cringed as she said "he just says what we all think." and she seemed so normal. they're out there, man.

i was interested when the show came out at first, because i like anti-pc stuff when its done well. it isn't done well. i guess overt racism went underground long enough to be cool again, huh?
posted by es_de_bah at 4:37 PM on April 21, 2006


cartoon network has been disappointing on a consistent basis for a year and a half, at least. i miss the good [as]. :(
posted by wakko at 1:49 AM on April 22, 2006


Sorry to poop on this thread, but it seems like the right time, and anyway if you poop on poop you hardly notice it.

First of all, what afu said.

Also, I assume XQUZYPHYR was responding to this. Imagine if even half the comments sounded like that.

To the rest of you TV snobs: If you want to be really snobby, stop watching!
posted by MarkO at 1:50 AM on April 22, 2006


i don't know if i count as a tv snob, but i mostly have stopped watching television... most people don't bother watching stuff they think is shitty, but what's wrong with complaining about a product which used to be better?
posted by wakko at 1:56 AM on April 22, 2006


People have mentioned Fifteen, Hey Dude!, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Salute your Shorts, and others--I'm here to tell you that members of my generation WOULD watch these shows if they put them back on TV. And we watched SBTB too.

Reminiscing...

Sifl and Olly
Parker Lewis Can't Lose
The Dana Carvey Show
The Critic, The Tick, Futurama (coming back I hear)
Police Squad!
Benny Hill
Chapelle's Show
...
posted by MarkO at 1:58 AM on April 22, 2006


and i cringed as she said "he just says what we all think." and she seemed so normal

Good for you. It's probably for the best that you write her off due to her taste in comics and cable programming.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:15 AM on April 22, 2006


and i cringed as she said "he just says what we all think." and she seemed so normal

Good for you. It's probably for the best that you write her off due to her taste in comics and cable programming.

See, you'd have a point if his friend/coworker said, "Hey, I really love that King of Queens show", and he flipped and ridiculed her on Metafilter.

There's a big difference here. Mencia is mindless racist/sexist/homophobic shit masquerading as comedy. Plus the fact that the advertising for it pushes its whole 'OMGZ IT'S TEH SHOCKING YET SOOOOOOO TRUTHFUL' aspect by spouting something very similar to the brilliant "he just says what we all think" gem previously quoted, does indeed say something about the sponge-like qualities of his acquaintance.

How Comedy Central gets behind it, I don't know. Same thing with Drawn Together. Horrible on every level.
posted by defenestration at 6:04 PM on April 22, 2006


drawn together is funny.
mind of mencia is not funny but it is comedy. and i think it was funny for a few seconds this one time.
posted by MarkO at 9:54 PM on April 22, 2006


not sure if anyone's mentioned the office yet. quality show.
posted by MarkO at 9:55 PM on April 22, 2006


Drawn Together is shit. In fact, the simple Adam Carola corrolary indicates that anything he touches is shit.

Re: Boondocks music— I wasn't saying that it was Tribe, simply that it has a very dated "jazzy hip hop" vibe to it that's associated with pretentious older hip hop fans.
And having see nteh MLK episode a couple of times, while it has funny moments the overall effect is still maudlin and overwraught.
posted by klangklangston at 11:19 AM on April 23, 2006


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