James

by James

Spotlight: Expressionist of the Month – January 2014

August 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sometimes I applaud members here for bringing beauty to this site. Sometimes the praise comes when they go out of their way for the community. Today, for the first time, I’m here to give a standing ovation to someone who simply made us all look badass.

TheOtherDude92…Round One – FIGHT!

Since May, our good friend who also abides has been constructing, member by member, a giant roster of characters for the Manic Expression Fighting Game series. One by one we’ve made our way to the arena: Detective Ratin8tor, Moderately Pissed-Off Canadian, Alex the Big D, Mister Smooth of the Clan MacSmooth. The list goes on and on. Dozens of members have been rendered in awesome sketch form for this series, and every new installment has been a hell of a good time.

I can’t imagine how long this undertaking took. Plotting out the story, coming up with character designs and then drawing each one. OtherDude has shown incredible restraint in how he’s released these sketches. Many were ready far in advance, yet he teased us with them. Who were the secret bosses? When would we see the admins, who of course were the evil bosses of the game? The suspense was maddening!

Sometimes, to show your love for your community, it’s not about moving people or going on and on about what they mean to you. Sometimes it’s about fun. Good, old fashion, spine being ripped from your body fun. How many of us have bonded with people over a video game? Gotten to know someone throwing sonic booms? Oh sure, having a friend who’ll be by your side after a death in the family or a break up, handing you tissues and listening to your inner thoughts, is always helpful. Equally helpful can be a friend who comes over and says, “I’m going to kick your ass in Mortal Kombat, mother fucker!”

I get the feeling OtherDude might be that kind of friend, and thank god for that! Having those friends around often times makes all the difference in the world. So here’s to El Duderino! For the better part of a year he’s made those that have appeared in his series feel special, entertained the community as a whole, and reminded us that Manic Expression is not only the greatest community on the web, but that we’ll take on all challengers and crush them!

Oh, and thanks for making me look badass. That’s the first time thats ever happened in my life. It’s a nice change of pace.

by James

Spotlight: Expressionist of the Month

August 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sometimes I applaud members here for bringing beauty to this site. Sometimes the praise comes when they go out of their way for the community. Today, for the first time, I’m here to give a standing ovation to someone who simply made us all look badass.

TheOtherDude92…Round One – FIGHT!

Since May, our good friend who also abides has been constructing, member by member, a giant roster of characters for the Manic Expression Fighting Game series. One by one we’ve made our way to the arena: Detective Ratin8tor, Moderately Pissed-Off Canadian, Alex the Big D, Mister Smooth of the Clan MacSmooth. The list goes on and on. Dozens of members have been rendered in awesome sketch form for this series, and every new installment has been a hell of a good time.

I can’t imagine how long this undertaking took. Plotting out the story, coming up with character designs and then drawing each one. OtherDude has shown incredible restraint in how he’s released these sketches. Many were ready far in advance, yet he teased us with them. Who were the secret bosses? When would we see the admins, who of course were the evil bosses of the game? The suspense was maddening!

Sometimes, to show your love for your community, it’s not about moving people or going on and on about what they mean to you. Sometimes it’s about fun. Good, old fashion, spine being ripped from your body fun. How many of us have bonded with people over a video game? Gotten to know someone throwing sonic booms? Oh sure, having a friend who’ll be by your side after a death in the family or a break up, handing you tissues and listening to your inner thoughts, is always helpful. Equally helpful can be a friend who comes over and says, “I’m going to kick your ass in Mortal Kombat, mother fucker!”

I get the feeling OtherDude might be that kind of friend, and thank god for that! Having those friends around often times makes all the difference in the world. So here’s to El Duderino! For the better part of a year he’s made those that have appeared in his series feel special, entertained the community as a whole, and reminded us that Manic Expression is not only the greatest community on the web, but that we’ll take on all challengers and crush them!

Oh, and thanks for making me look badass. That’s the first time thats ever happened in my life. It’s a nice change of pace.

by James

Spotlight: Expressionist of the Month – February 2014

August 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

By now I’m sure you’ve all seen Manic Expression: Creative Chaos. While the scene that takes place early on, with Time Paradox appearing to explain the process of what goes into the making of a video, seems obvious now, it wasn’t always planned. In fact, it was kind of a last minute addition. 

I had a “duh!” moment where I realized that, for all the talk about making a video, no one ever shows us what thats like. Because Time Paradox had not filmed an interview I asked him to demonstrate for us, and he went above and beyond. What he delivered was no only informative but also entertaining, showing off his wit and his fantastic skills as an editor.

I wanted Time Paradox in Creative Chaos because…well…I like him. He’s a nice guy, and he’s told me how much Manic Expression means to him. Going into MetaCon to promote the film, Decker and I were both pretty nervous. The room we were presenting in was huge, and neither of us had ever done anything like that before. The morning of the con I checked my email and found a message from Time Paradox, wishing me good luck. I carried those well wishes with me during the presentation, and they made all the difference.

With so much talent on display at Manic Expression, it’s easy to forget that what makes us awesome is kindness. Of course Decker is a brilliant video producer, but he’s also a hell of a nice guy. Of course Creepy is a talented man, but he’s also a good listener. Of course Timdiana is a great performer, but he’s also always willing to help out when you need him. Being a community doesn’t just mean stepping up in the big projects, it means giving words of encouragement when they’re needed. 

Time Paradox has a bright future ahead of him. He’s got the skills and the talent to take him as far as he wants to go, but in life skills and talent will only help you achieve professional success. It’s his good heart that makes him an outstanding success as a human being.

by James

Spotlight: Expressionist of the Month – March 2014

August 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Back in the day, I blogged on ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com. This was a pre-Kickassia TGWTG, before they were the giants they are today. It was during this time that I first encountered many of our first Expressionists, but there were three who I was closest to: Les, Jim Bevan, ThatCanadianGuy (who never joined up here, though I hope some day he does), and, of course, Fluffyman. Together, we called ourselves the Anti-Hate Brigade.

Like Manic Expression now, TGWTG at the time was a place where bloggers were big names too. Stop the Hate was a big series over there, and it influenced quite a few people to start their own blogs about chilling the hell out. I started seeing similar titles popping up like Calling Out Haters, The War on Hate, and Stop Hating On…, and I was thrilled. Finally! Finally, people I could sue!

Seriously though, I was so honored to have had an effect on my fellow writers. One series in particular became a favorite of mine – Calling Out Haters. Fluffyman, in many ways, created a series far superior to Stop the Hate. While I often strayed into topics that clearly nobody hated, Fluffy kept his series pure. He defended hated movies, actors who were taking shit, and most impressively he took on hot button issues. It was Fluffy who kept the anti-hate torch burning brightest.

Over the last couple of years, Manic Expression has become known as the underdog site, not just because we give shelter to those looking for a safe haven from the trolls, but because we defend that which others won’t. Hundreds of articles, videos, and podcasts here have been devoted to standing apart from the herd and beside something targeted with vitriol. Of all these, Calling Out Haters has been the most consistent.

When Fluffyman sees injustice, he just has to speak up. Whether he’s defending Wendy Davis or 3D, he’s always passionate. He offers his opinion, backs it up, and puts it out there in the world without apology. I was concerned when these anti-hate blogs started that people might accuse the authors of ripping me off. However, Calling Out Haters has become an entity all it’s own.

I get distracted easily. “Oh, I want to review Iron Man, a universally beloved movie!” I simply lack the focus to stay on my original path, defending that which others won’t. That’s why I’m so grateful for Fluffyman, our warrior for justice. He’s a man of honor, and I’m proud to call him my friend, and a hero of mine as well.

by James

Stop the Hate Classic: Childish Things

August 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

by James

Spotlight: Expressionist of the Month – April 2014

August 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

James: Normally this is my gig. I choose the member to celebrate, I write up the article, I post it and the community joins with me in cheering on the man or woman of the hour. Not this time though. This one’s too big. I can’t handle it alone. And so, to honor my friend and co-founder of Manic Expression, I have invited Moviefan12 here to help me out.
Moviefan12, tell us all about…Les. Read the rest of this entry →

by James

Spotlight: Expressionist of the Month – May 2014

August 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Every now and then a member comes along and just clicks immediately with the whole community. This seems to be the case with Dom Perignon. In the short time he’s been here he’s been a part of the 400 member special, teamed up with Timdiana for a review, and it seems no matter who I talk to on the site they know his name. Our policy here isn’t to raise anyone up as a star, but sometimes a member will raise themselves up to such a level. Dom has done that.

Read the rest of this entry →

by James

SPOTLIGHT: Expressionist of the Month – June 2014

August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

I’ve never really written a part for someone before, let alone written an entire play for them. As a writer the words always come first for me, and then I find an actor who can deliver something as close as possible to what I wrote. But today I have a new Podcast Play out, Another Time, and for the first time ever the actor came first.

That’s because the actor is one Matti Mali, better known around these parts as Hedonistic Actor, and when you have someone as good as Matti around you want to write for them. My first Podcast Play was Vows, and I considered it a very American story. Our lead character, played with wonderful venom by BigBlackHatMan, was a homophobic Vietnam vet who drives his gay son to suicide. The play was made up mostly of volunteers. Mark, Decker, Patricia – they all wanted to be in the play. So did Matti, who is Finnish. I was hesitant at first, because I wanted an all American, boy next door type for the role of Decker’s husband. Then Matti sent me his lines. In the scene where he is screaming at Mark, accusing him of murdering Decker, there is such a rawness to the performance. Matti dredged up something that was so angry and broken it makes you turn away, as if the scene you’re hearing is really happening.

Read the rest of this entry →

by James

A STOP THE HATE Discussion: Accepting Change

July 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

(Note: This discussion was inspired by Doug Walker’s announcement that he was retiring the Nostalgia Critic in September of 2012. As it turned out, it was more of a hiatus than a retirement, but the points made in the discussion below are, I feel, still relevant).

If you followed the blog section on TGWTG last year, you might remember a collaboration between James Daniel Walsh and James Bevan titled ‘Accepting Change’. There, they discussed James Rolfe putting his most popular creation, the Angry Video Game Nerd, into semi-retirement. Over a year later, another beloved Internet personality is doing something similiar, so I thought I’d ask James Daniel Walsh to join in on a similiar discussion.

I think I’ll start off by once again quoting Sad Panda’s Nostalgia Critic anthem. I know I already did that in Fluffyman’s big collaborative Nostalgia Critic tribute, but it fits in with the point I’m making here so here it is again.

“I hope he’ll never stop. Or else I’ll be nostalgic…

For the Nostalgia Critic. Oh, the irony…” — Sad Panda, ‘The Nostalgia Critic Anthem’

Chris: The quote from Sad Panda above is a brilliant illustration of my opening point. We all find ongoing forms of entertainment, be they television shows, musical groups, or other performers, that we latch on to and hope will keep entertaining us in the same way for years and years to come.

Read the rest of this entry →

by James

A STOP THE HATE Discussion: Accepting Change

July 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

(Note: This discussion was inspired by Doug Walker’s announcement that he was retiring the Nostalgia Critic in September of 2012. As it turned out, it was more of a hiatus than a retirement, but the points made in the discussion below are, I feel, still relevant).

If you followed the blog section on TGWTG last year, you might remember a collaboration between James Daniel Walsh and James Bevan titled ‘Accepting Change’. There, they discussed James Rolfe putting his most popular creation, the Angry Video Game Nerd, into semi-retirement. Over a year later, another beloved Internet personality is doing something similiar, so I thought I’d ask James Daniel Walsh to join in on a similiar discussion.

I think I’ll start off by once again quoting Sad Panda’s Nostalgia Critic anthem. I know I already did that in Fluffyman’s big collaborative Nostalgia Critic tribute, but it fits in with the point I’m making here so here it is again.

“I hope he’ll never stop. Or else I’ll be nostalgic…

For the Nostalgia Critic. Oh, the irony…” — Sad Panda, ‘The Nostalgia Critic Anthem’

Chris: The quote from Sad Panda above is a brilliant illustration of my opening point. We all find ongoing forms of entertainment, be they television shows, musical groups, or other performers, that we latch on to and hope will keep entertaining us in the same way for years and years to come.

Read the rest of this entry →

by James

A STOP THE HATE Discussion: Accepting Change

July 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

(Note: This discussion was inspired by Doug Walker’s announcement that he was retiring the Nostalgia Critic in September of 2012. As it turned out, it was more of a hiatus than a retirement, but the points made in the discussion below are, I feel, still relevant).

If you followed the blog section on TGWTG last year, you might remember a collaboration between James Daniel Walsh and James Bevan titled ‘Accepting Change’. There, they discussed James Rolfe putting his most popular creation, the Angry Video Game Nerd, into semi-retirement. Over a year later, another beloved Internet personality is doing something similiar, so I thought I’d ask James Daniel Walsh to join in on a similiar discussion.

I think I’ll start off by once again quoting Sad Panda’s Nostalgia Critic anthem. I know I already did that in Fluffyman’s big collaborative Nostalgia Critic tribute, but it fits in with the point I’m making here so here it is again.

“I hope he’ll never stop. Or else I’ll be nostalgic…

For the Nostalgia Critic. Oh, the irony…” — Sad Panda, ‘The Nostalgia Critic Anthem’

Chris: The quote from Sad Panda above is a brilliant illustration of my opening point. We all find ongoing forms of entertainment, be they television shows, musical groups, or other performers, that we latch on to and hope will keep entertaining us in the same way for years and years to come.

 However, the old saying that ‘all good things must come to an end’ is the truth. Someday, Weird Al Yankovic will stop doing song parodies, Gail Simone will no longer write comic books, and Brad Jones will quit doing the Cinema Snob. Whether we like it or not, sooner or later our favorite performers will decide it’s time to retire. And some might decide to move on sooner than we’d like them to.

As I’m sure most have guessed by now, this is a reaction to the recent announcement by Doug Walker that he is retiring the Nostalgia Critic as a weekly series. He says that he and Rob felt that after 250 episodes, the show was running its course and it was becoming harder to keep finding new variations on the same old formula. So while he is not ruling out the occasional special or return appearance, the Nostalgia Critic is no longer going to be the big weekly show that they’re going to do.

 I for one applaud this decision. I agree completely with Doug that just because something is popular, that doesn’t mean you should keep doing it after you’re creatively burned out on it. Some shows DO keep going even though the writers clearly aren’t inspired anymore, and the results aren’t pretty. Often they descend into bitter self-parody and become pale caricatures of their former selves. As an example of a show that’s been run into the ground but still keeps going, I’d give The Simpsons.

 Don’t get me wrong. I loved the Nostalgia Critic, and have ever since I discovered his show back in February of 2009 (like others, it was hearing the phrase ‘Big Lipped Alligator Moment’ on TV Tropes that led me to the Ferngully review, and the Nostalgia Critic). And I’m definately going to miss having my weekly Nostalgia Critic fix. But I respect his decision to move on wholeheartedly.

 Others, however, aren’t so accepting. While some, like me, understand his decision and support it, I’ve already seen a few nasty people flaming him for it, swearing at him and accusing him of abandoning his fans. And these nasty people claim to be fans of his.

 I honestly don’t get it. Doug didn’t sound at all like he was abandoning his fans. In fact, he thanked his fans for all the support they’ve given over the years, and clearly hopes they will like his new project Demo Reel. So why the hate?

 JDW: Well, this is a case of fans being d-bags, in my opinion. You know, I remember a letter in the back of a magazine, way back in the early 90s. George Lucas was working on some project or other, I don’t recall what. Well, this guy wrote an angry letter that the magazine published. In it he demanded Lucas comense work on the prequel trilogy IMMEDIATELY! …How’d he like those prequels when he got them, I wonder.

Look, I’m going to miss the Nostalgia Critic. Between him and the Angry Video Game Nerd, they changed the direction of my life. Without those two guys, there wouldn’t be a Manic Expression site. However, I think both Doug and James Rolfe have both grown tired of being one joke wonders, which accounts for why both are placing their characters into semi-retirement.

There are things that, as a fan, I have to accept. I’ll never get to go to another Phil Collins concert. I’ll never see Christopher Reeve in that Superman suit again. Robert Englund will never again wear that claw and stalk sleeping teens. That makes me sad.

But to get ANGRY!?

Chris: Yeah, the anger is something I just don’t understand. It’s not like he’s stealing anything from them or anything. He still intends to keep the old episodes available, and has already planned a Nostalgia Critic Retrospective in which he’ll answer some questions he gets asked a lot (which were his favorite moments, which are the worst films he’s reviewed, and so on and so forth).

The fact is, the Nostalgia Critic is Doug’s creation, and he has every right to do with it as he sees fit. And if he and Rob feel they should end the series before it gets too stale, then by all means they should do it and the fans should understand why he did it and support his decision. They should also be glad that Doug got to end the series on his own terms, as opposed to being forced to end it by some clueless corporate representatives who neither know nor care what the show is about. (Seriously, if the Nostalgia Critic was a weekly show on a television network, could you imagine it lasting any longer than, say, Firefly?)
JDW: If you mention Firefly once more, you’re going to make me cry…

 I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest fan of To Boldly Flee. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was fun, but it was my least favorite of the three TGWTG movies. That said, it accomplished one thing I NEVER imagined – a send off for the Nostalgia Critic. I always assumed that one day the episodes would just stop. Doug would get bored or life would get in the way or he wouldn’t have time any more, and the show would just end. Instead, the Nostalgia Critic got a send off usually reserved for characters like Frodo or Luke Skywalker. Who saw that coming?

 I know what bugs a lot of people is that, as far as the show proper goes, the Nostalgia Critic ended on what many feel was a weak review – Scooby Doo. Any thoughts?

Chris: Actually, I thought the Scooby Doo review was one of his most clever episodes. He manages to make it funny, but also manages to work in plenty of legit criticism as well. The gimmick of having the Nostalgia Critic’s past, present, and future selves join together to approach the film from three different perspectives was, I thought, a pretty neat idea. We have the younger Critic approaching the film from the perspective of a fan of the original Scooby Doo show, the present day Critic questioning whether it works from a comedic standpoint as a parody of the original show, and the future ‘Doc’ Critic approaching it from the standpoint of someone who doesn’t remember the original Scooby Doo series and is critiquing it on its own merits as a film. In the end, they decide the film fails on all of those levels.

 I especially thought the homage to “All Good Things”, the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, was well-done. Both it and the opening rant (where the Nostalgia Critic makes it clear he’s getting tired of the same, unchanging routine over and over again) strongly hint to observant viewers that things are going to change soon.

 Honestly, I don’t see why others say it’s one of his weakest reviews. I thought both the jokes and the moments of actual criticism worked really well together. As for To Boldly Flee, I’m still undecided on where I rank it. I think Suburban Knights is still my favorite of the three feature-length specials, but To Boldly Flee really impressed me with how much work was put into it, and how Doug managed to give just about everyone involved their moments to shine this time around (if there was one thing that disappointed me about Suburban Knights, it was that Bennett the Sage wasn’t given much to do).

 True, To Boldly Flee starts off slow. In Part One, it seemed the jokes, while still there, had a lot more space between them. Part Two is where both storywise and comedy-wise, things start picking up in my opinion.

 Not everything in the movie worked — the whole ‘meet the writer’ thing has been done before, and done better. (My favorite take on that is still Grant Morrison’s at the conclusion of his Animal Man run). But all in all, I think To Boldly Flee (in contrast to the Scooby Doo movie) succeeds on all the levels Doug, Rob, and the gang were going for: It succeeds as an affectionate parody of geeks’ favorite sci-fi films/franchises, it succeeds as a sci-fi/action adventure film, and it succeeds as a comedy.

  And it also succeeds as a good sendoff for the Nostalgia Critic. And yes, I didn’t exactly see this coming — at least not before the teasers or the trailers, anyway. But I can see why Doug did it this way — since the Nostalgia Critic is one of the most popular reviewers on the Internet, he couldn’t just disappear without saying goodbye the way lesser-known reviewers like Little Miss Gamer could. He needed a big last hurrah to give the many fans who’ve supported him over the years closure.

 Personally, I think that both in the last regular weekly episode of his own show (the Scooby Doo review), and in To Boldly Flee, he went out on a good note. And I accept that some might disagree with me, particularly on the former note.

 But as for those “fans” who got all angry about the NC’s retirement, I don’t think the Scooby Doo review is the issue. We saw this happen with the Angry Video Game Nerd, and we’re seeing it happen here too. There are some ‘fans’ who just don’t understand that Doug Walker, James Rolfe, and others have the right to do with their shows as they wish. And if they wish to retire or at least take a hiatus, it’s their decision — they shouldn’t have to ask the fans for permission.

 I myself think that the true fans are the ones who will not only support Doug in his decision, but will give Demo Reel a chance. As far as I’m concerned, Doug’s not a one-hit wonder: He also has Bum Reviews, Ask That Guy, and Video Game Confessions. Also, he and Rob have put together three great feature-length specials, so I’m expecting good things from Demo Reel.

JDW: I am too. If nothing else, it’ll be different, and different is always good.

Honestly, the Scooby Doo review being the last NC video doesn’t bother me either. Was it the perfect movie to go out on? No, but then whatever the perfect movie was he probably already reviewed it. Batman & Robin probably would have been the perfect review to go out on, but he hit hat one out of the park years ago.

As for To Boldly Flee, I think my problem with it was it was a bit too epic for it’s own good, suffering from being too long and over dramatic at times. However, the good moments were great, I love that they went for it and went balls to the wall, and it was a touching send off.

I don’t know if there’s a fan backlash against To Boldly Flee, other than fanboys whining about “you can’t quit! We’re not done with you!” I have a feeling these same fans will decided to hate Demo Reel, and every comments section will be filled with “bring back the NC! Demo Reel sucks!”

Chris: It wouldn’t at all surprise me, sad to say. The thing is, this is related to another problem some extreme fans have besides accepting change: dictating to people what to do with their shows.

Some online personalities have more than one project that they do at the same time. As I said earlier, Doug also has Bum Reviews, Ask That Guy, and Video Game Confessions, and apparently Demo Reel is going to be replacing Nostalgia Critic as the ‘main’ project he focuses on the most. James Rolfe, in addition to AVGN, also has various Cinemassacre projects, Board James, You Know What’s Bullshit, and so on. Noah Antwiler not only has the Spoony Experiment, but also his V-logs and Counter Monkey (where he talks about his role-playing game experiences). And Lewis Lovhaug, aka Linkara, not only has Atop The Fourth Wall, but History of Power Rangers.

Some of these other segments develop a fanbase as well. And some of those fans can be just as extreme. When I read the previous ‘Accepting Change’ collaboration with James Bevan discussing the semi-retirement of the Angry Video Game Nerd, I was surprised to find that people were trying to pressure Linkara into making ‘History of Power Rangers’ his main project and de-emphasizing or even stopping AT4W. My thought was “Seriously? I think Linkara can get a LOT more material out of comic books than he can with Power Rangers, which, even though it’s been around a while and had a dozen or more incarnations, only has so many versions to discuss. Also, AT4W allows him to discuss lots and lots of franchises, and not just one.”

But more importantly, what Linkara does with AT4W, History of Power Rangers, and his other projects is his decision in the end. Just as what Noah Antwiler does with the Spoony Experiment is his decision, and what Doug Walker and James Rolfe do with the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd is their decision. We the fans can make suggestions (such as recommending them things to review) but we mustn’t cross the line between making suggestions and flat-out telling them what to do.

JDW: Agreed. A demanding audience can be death to an artist / performer. Like when you go see The Who in concert, and they’re trying to perform songs from their latest album and people keep screaming, “MY GENERATION!”

 People grow and change. Will I be writing Stop the Hate forever? Probably not. Will I let others tell me when to give it up? Nope. I’ll do it till I don’t want to, then I’ll stop. Otherwise I’d end up resenting the series and my audience, and why would I let that happen?

   Doug is a married man now, in a very different place than he was a half decade ago. He can’t be the Nostalgia Critic forever.

Chris: Indeed. I’ve seen a lot of my favorite performers retire over the past four years or so, and many of the retirements can be attributed to a combination of burnout and personal lives whose priorites have changed since they started. As well as a desire to get out of a rut and try different things.

And before we close, I’ll remind the readers that Doug and Rob have been wanting to do the Demo Reel series for some time. It was something they knew they wanted to do after they felt the Nostalgia Critic had run its course. And Doug, in his announcement video, sounds really excited about the new show.

I think we’d better wrap this up. In closing, I say this: It’s okay to be sad that the Nostalgia Critic is no longer a regular series. But give Demo Reel a chance. You might end up liking the new show just as much as Nostalgia Critic, if not more. As for me, I’m looking forward to seeing Doug and Rob try new stuff and do things they couldn’t do with Nostalgia Critic.

Any final thoughts?

JDW: I think fans have to decide, at some point, if they support the artist or the project. Is Doug someone you’ve come to care about, as an artist? If some, welcome his growth and be grateful for all he’s given us.

Chris: Indeed. Doug has given us not only five incredible years as the Nostalgia Critic, but also Bum Reviews, Ask That Guy With The Glasses, Video Game Confessions, various specials, and three feature-length anniversary films. Personally, I like all of them and support all of them just as much.

Doug’s a very talented performer. At times, when he’s had his characters cross-over, I almost forget that, for example, the Nostalgia Critic and Chester A. Bum are played by the same person. Here’s hoping he brings his A-Game to Demo Reel and whatever other new projects he has in store.

But that’s just me. Some might have only tuned in for his Nostalgia Critic videos. To them, I say treasure all the great moments he’s given us, see some of your favorite episodes again … and look forward to the retrospectives and the occasional special. Doug has said that while yes, the Nostalgia Critic will no longer be his ‘main weekly series’, we still might get a few reappearances by the Critic every now and then.

So in closing, I say it’s all right to be sad to see the Nostalgia Critic at the very least go into semi-retirement. But don’t be angry. Just be glad for all the many years of entertainment he’s given us, and give his new show a chance. In my opinion, true fans of an entertainer will still support an entertainer even when they decide it’s time to move on … and they’ll be there if and when they decide to make a comeback or an encore appearance.

I think I’ve said all I wish to say. James, thanks for joining in on the discussion.

JDW: Thanks for having me!


The article received the following comments:
James
5:30 PM on September 28, 2012

Thanks everybody. This was a lot of fun to write. Big thanks to Chris for inviting me over!
Fluffyman
1:29 PM on September 28, 2012

You guys really did a great job, it doesn’t matter if I did something first, others can still have their own co-ops and this has the advantage of two people constantly interacting with each other, not just someone posting their thing like it was with mine.

Personally I think “To Boldly Flee” is probably their strongest effort, with “Kickassia” second and “Suburban Knights” third. I felt “Knights” felt a little too padded out to be as enjoyable as the other two.
Ingonyama70
11:51 AM on September 28, 2012

I’ve loved the Nostalgia Critic for the better part of a year. His videos helped pull me out of a grade-A depression when I was fired and had nothing better to do than look up YouTube videos. In some ways, I think he saved my life.

He also opened me up to Linkara, Angry Joe, the Nostalgia Chick, and by proxy Andre the Black Nerd, the Gay Comic Geek, and Long-Haired Creepy Guy (who I stalked here when YouTube stopped letting me see his vids) & Timdiana (who I found here and greatly enjoy!).

That said, I like the Nostalgia CHICK just that little bit more than the critic, and if anyone deserves to carry on the nostalgic legacy an TGWTG it’s her. And I’m just as psyched and revved up for TGWTG’s new projects as anyone.

I’m excited about the future of Internet reviewers everywhere. Doug Walker has left one hell of a legacy, and I for one am grateful. 🙂

Jim Bevan
11:11 AM on September 28, 2012

Excellent piece, Chris & James. I saw the writing on the wall that “Scooby Doo” was probably going to be Doug’s last NC review, and while I’m disappointed that the series is ending, I look forward to what he and the rest of the CA staff have in store (checked the site update today – they’ll have Brad Jones hosting a game show. Yes please!). Hell, I was upset when Leon Thomas stopped “Heart of Gaming”, but I’ve grown to be a big fan of Renegade Cut.

Unfortunatley, it was inevitable that we’d have pricks bashing Doug for his decision to retire the character… the same people who’d probably say he wasn’t funny anymore if he stuck with the Critic for another year. I know some of these people feel “betrayed” that he didn’t announce up front that he was ending the show until after “To Bolyly Flee”, but honestly, if he had, then these same unpleasable peons would be whining about how his exit didn’t live up to their expectations, or some shit like that.

 

by James

Random Thoughts-Sitcom Stereotypes-Stop the Hate!!

July 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Its soapbox time again! This is a tough subject; in fact I originally discarded this idea because I was afraid of offending people. But then I decided that it’s something I really wanted to address. As always, this is all my opinion and all comments are welcome. I mean no offense to anyone. For the purpose of this discussion I am only talking about sitcoms.

 

What I wanted to discuss today is a certain reason some people hate some shows. Some people assume that a show is meant to accurately portray a specific group or culture, and if they feel it doesn’t match up with their view they are up in arms about it!  I mean folks, sitcoms are not documentaries. They’re sitcoms! It doesn’t have to be an “accurate” portrayal. Now don’t misunderstand me, and I want to make this clear, if you hate a show that’s fine. I have hated lots of shows in my time. But I never hated a show because I felt it was portraying me or my group (whether it be ethnic or social) in a certain context. I hate a show because the writing sucks or it’s a premise I just can’t get into. Even the shows that do get a little more controversial, like All in the Family, are still just TV shows.  But some shows get lots of heat that is really unfair. In fact some people will go so far as to hate people who like the shows, and that is beyond wrong.

 

Let me try to clarify my point with a few examples and my arguments against these complaints. I am not saying that you can’t hate these shows, just that the reasons for hating them that I discuss below seem a bit, Idon’t know, silly. Of course there are shows which go out of their way to be offensive, and that’s one thing. But what about the shows that don’t intend to be offensive and yet people are up in arms anyway? Here are some examples:

The Cosby Show-when this show came on many people said that it was an inaccurate depiction of African American families. Um, why exactly? There aren’t African American families out there who are successful upper middle class? Up until that point the stereotype for an African American family on TV was to be poor. We had Sanford & Son,Good Times, and so on. This show changed that, and some people didn’t want to accept that African American families are no different than any other family.That was the genius of the show. And even if you can make the case that The Cosby Show is a bit of an exaggeration, so what?? I don’t watch The Cosby Show for a tough look at family problems. I watch it for a few laughs and to forgetabout my own troubles for a half hour.

 

Roseanne-How dare they show a family on TV having real problems! As hard as it may be to believe, this show was highly controversial when it first premiered. People did not respond to Roseanne’s view of a blue collar family. Two working parents, a sarcastic mother, and people were enraged at the episode where she killed her kids (it was a fantasy episode, and what parent hasn’t wished her kids would go away once in a while?)  This show really changed the stereotype of the sitcom mother, who didn’t have to work and was always smiling happily. I admit I didn’t embrace this show right away but soon I did and realized it was pretty funny and well written. I have known people similar to the Connors, but does that mean this show represents EVERY blue collar family in the country? I don’t think so. Then Roseanne pushed the envelope further by having (gasp!) gay characters in her show among other things.
Will & Grace-A lot of people say that this show did not accurately portray gay people. Especially Jack who was a big stereotype. Here is something they forget, that was the whole point! Jack was supposed to portray the stereotype and Will the way most gay men are which is the same as any other person. I will concede that as the show progressed they kind of got away from that a bit. But the cool thing is this is the first show ever to have an openly gay person as a lead character right from the start. Rather than applaud the show for how it portrayed gay people, it gets hated by some. I have known gay and lesbian people, and they did not act like gay people are portrayed in the show. Know why? IT’S A TV SHOW!
The Seinfeld/Friends Double Standard-This is a sensitive one but it really bugs me. Many people hate these shows because the main cast happen to be the stereotypical all white cast. Soooo?? What group of friends ever worries that they’re not culturally diverse? I know I never sat around with friends and said “oh my god, we’re all white!” Now if you are part of an ethnically diverse group, great. But why would I hate these shows because the cast happened to all be the same race? I didn’t love The Cosby Show because it was a black family but because it was funny!  Now if we were talking about a work place comedy, that’s another story. But a show about a couple friends hanging out? Please. Just because the cast is all white doesn’t somehow make it offensive to other races! It’s a double standard if it’s okay to have a show that is a primarily African American cast but not ok to have a show that is an all-white cast. And besides, what does the race of the characters have to do with how funny or well written the show is!!
The Big Bang Theory-Here is the big one. This show and its fans have gotten a lot of heat because of the way it portrays the nerd stereotype. I love this show; let me state that outright, because it’s funny as hell. But even if I hated it I do not think the show portrays nerds generally in any way. It portrays these four characters in a certain way! What makes people think that the four male cast members are meant to reflect EVERY nerd in the world? And by the way, Sheldon is an extreme example. Saying Sheldon represents all nerds is like saying Dan Fielding from Night Court represents all men in the world. But in my opinion, I like the way the characters are portrayed. Honestly I think that the show has done more to help nerd culture than hurt it. The worst part is that while I love the show I will not look down on people for not liking it. Why can’t be people do the opposite? A few weeks ago an episode promo showed the ladies entering a comic book store and the tag “the ladies are going where no women have gone before”! Obvious a reference to the classic Star Trek line but people were upset because women do go into comic book stores in the real world and even work in some I have been in. But really, it was just a joke not social commentary! True some of the jokes get silly, like how the men know nothing about pop culture and stuff. But why do people think by making those four characters like that it’s the show’s way of saying ALL nerd culture is like that?
Yes I am leaving out many other stereotypes including women and Asians but I am running long.  The thing that’s important to remember is that TV characters,like real people, are not going to be exactly like you. It would be boring if they were and its plain not fair to expect them to be. Some hate The Brady Bunch because it’s a perfect family; others hate Roseanne or Married…withChildren because they are such horrible people. Meanwhile there are those that adore those same shows! Thankfully we have the freedom of choice. It seems so simple, don’t like it, turn the channel. Simple as that.But for some reason certain individuals or groups can’t just leave it at that, and have to be up in arms about it!
There have been examples of someone or group hating a show so much they literally affect it! Married..With Children had an episode that never aired because a woman in Michigan was offended by content (you can find it on DVD). Seinfeld only aired “The Puerto Rican Day Parade” once because a conservative group cried that the show was offensive (it wasn’t). When Ellen Degeneres came out in “The Puppy Episode” advertisers boycotted the episode while religious groups were up in arms. It was even reported that Ellen got death threats and was stalked! I mean, really?  How does her coming out affect you in anyway, just don’t watch the bloody show! The good news there is the episode did air, but the network ended up canceling the series. By the way, that episode was hilarious! And that is just three examples, I am sure I can come up withmore. These people and/or hate groups are just out for attention as far as I am concerned, I have always believed that. Take PETA for example. They took creditfor NBC’s Animal Practice getting canceled. Now that is wrong, no one group hasany right to dictate what everyone else should be allowed to watch. And it was cancelled due to low ratings by the way not the angry actions of that hate group who live in their own world.
It’s a big world and all ideas and opinions should be welcome. But for some, just expressing their opinion is just not enough. JUST BECAUSE YOU FIND IT OFFENSIVE DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CENSOR IT!  Of course if you don’t like it you are free to express that opinion, but to assume it should offend everyone just because you don’t like it is flat wrong. For instance, I hate South Park. I find it crude,crass, and just not funny. But I accept that I am in the minority on that and do not raise my fists to the heavens yelling “why do people like this horrible show!! I must form a petition to get it off the air!” I just don’t watch. Simple as that.
Ok soapbox time is over; I think I have said all I had to say. Please feel free to agree or disagree. Special thanks by the way to James for allowing me to borrow his “Stop The Hate” title.
Final note, once again my timing sucks as Rowdy Chris Moore on TV Trash kind of broached this very subject. I swear I am not ripping him off. Check out his video if you haven’t yet on TV Shows that got screwed over, it’s an interesting list and I agree with his comments at the end regarding One Million Moms.