Friday, January 15, 2016


"Lately, however, I have been in a reconciliatory mood with franchises that broke my heart." This actually got me thinking about what canons or franchises broke my heart in the past, why they did so, and if any of them have begun to win me back over to them. Here's what I got:

Disney - This one happens every once in a while, but it was mainly during the post-renaissance days when Michael Eisner started to run the company and it's many properties into the ground with his micro-managing, over merchandising, network decaying, DTV cheapquels, pandering, and greed that emphasized success and money over art, imagination, and quality. Thank Heavens he got the boot.

Winnie The Pooh - It started when otherwise good Disney's Pooh properties such as "The New Adventures" and "The Book of Pooh" were being put out on Playhouse Disney. Then more and more Pooh stuff got aimed and marketed solely to kids rather than people of all ages like it's meant for. The introduction of the merchandisable Kid Appeal Character, Lumpy the Heffalump, was the nail in the coffin. A CG series centering around Pooh and Tigger solving problems alongside Chloe Grace Moretz (in retrospect, her involvement in anything kid friendly becomes so wrong) only reaffirmed this. The quality Winnie the Pooh material I enjoyed was as good as dead. Now as of 2011, the short but excellent "Winnie The Pooh" film was released and Disney Junior began airing re-dubs of the original Pooh shorts. But only time will tell if Pooh can maintain being treated with this respect.

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" was a favorite story of mine in my childhood, so when
I heard that Peter Jackson was finally tackling it and adapting it into a two part film, I was so hyped. The trailers only raised my excitement, and that first installment was really damn good, telling half the story while also adapting the predecessor storyline to "The Lord of the Rings" told in the appendixes. Then I read the announcement that the planned duology was to now be a trilogy. Immediately I knew that was a terrible idea since "The Hobbit" isn't a big enough story to carry three films. My feelings were validated when the second installment turned out to be an absolute mess, with the third being slightly better but still padded out with too much film-invented crap. I was overall very underwhelmed by the Hobbit trilogy and there are many others who feel the same way. Peter Jackson was in fact overwhelmed by it after he was done, the studio executives pushed so much on him and wrecked so much of his vision for the films. Someone has got to do an edit of the second and third films so that we can see the "There And Back Again" we were meant to see from the start.

Star Wars - Hooh boy, where to start with this one? Well my first full exposure to "Star Wars" was with the first ever Special Editions and I will say now that I do not at all find anything wrong with the idea of said Special Editions - the problems come from George Lucas constantly going back to make more of them while simultaneously denying the original editions to exist. I loved every movie in the original trilogy and ate up all the good merchandise I could get. Episode I came out in 99 and I was as hyped for it as anyone, and while after watching it I could immediately tell it wasn't nearly as good as the original trilogy, I enjoyed it for the most part. (Yes, it does get worse upon rewatches, why do you ask?). But then I mostly forgot about the franchise until Episode II came around. I cannot begin to describe how utterly underwhelmed and even let down I was by that film. I went to it expecting to see the Clone Wars, but it advanced nothing until the very end in which the Clone Wars truly began! After a while I found that nothing about the movie stuck in my memory except how bad that romance was, how sort of cool the climax was, and how much I disliked the experience overall. I soon found that the further into the franchise I delved into, the less it began appealing to me. The prequels, the expanded universe canon that ran throughout different stories told in different mediums, the f**king Clone Wars, the arbitrary revisions in the second and third Special was just a huge mess that seemed so damn insistent upon itself and it's greatness. More than that, the fandom was a whiny, entitled, geeky nightmare that was also so damn insistent upon itself and it's greatness! The last straw was the realization that George Lucas was little more than Ed Wood if he'd been fortunate enough to surround himself with more competent people whose work he could profit off of and take credit for. "Star Wars" was dead to me. That is, until Disney bought out Lucasfilms and took the helm of the franchise in 2012. Suddenly, the force has awakened and is strong with this one again.

Star Trek - I'm not an avid fan of the "Star Trek" franchise, but I really did feel like it had a good thing going with the movie reboot by JJ Abrams, and I still maintain that the cast and effects in these films are extraordinarily good. But "Into Darkness" pretty much killed my investment in the series, and it can be summed up with this one clip. Good luck taking Zachary Quinto's Spock seriously after that.

Kingdom Hearts - This may well be the biggest heartbreaker. When I first heard that such a game was actually being made, it felt like a childhood dream coming true. Long had I wanted to see Disney undertake a project that would put a large number of their greatest characters from their animated canon together in one epic adventure narrative. The first game exceeded my expectations and fulfilled my desires for the most part - things I would’ve liked to see in it that didn’t make it in eventually got put into KH2 (Beauty And The Beast based world, Mulan, The Lion King, etc.) Overall it was a thing of magic and beauty to me. Flash-forward to today and the franchise has become more like my personal Star Wars than Star Wars!. I still love and always shall love the original trilogy (KH, CoM, and KH2), and I’m fine with the “special editions” that got released (the Final Mixes, “Re:” versions, and HD remakes), but I feel like the “prequel trilogy” (Coded, Days, and BBS) and all that followed it have just completely wrecked the series, with only the last of them released (BBS) being any good. And the new games up to KH3 are on Expanded Universe and Clone Wars Era levels of untidy, convoluted, pretentious clusterfuck that stray so far from the roots of the series that I fell in love with. The entire point of this franchise was to be a DISNEY based series made as collaboration between Disney and Square Enix, and yet now it’s largely a Square Enix original RPG series with Disney as window dressing and decorative ornaments. Yen Sid, King Mickey, and presumably Donald and Goofy in KH3, are now the only Disney characters to be of any importance to the ongoing story. And what has transpired in said ongoing story is nonsensical, shitty writing and bad storytelling by any standard. And since the original games are still some of my favorite things ever, this really doesn’t please me. At all. Tetsuya Nomura is a hack who ought to be removed from this series ASAP! The first three games were, are, and always shall be excellent, but the series went down the wrong path afterwards, and the “Seeker Of Darkness Chronicle” was a terrible idea that never should have been since it has only served to kill quality, enjoyability, and interest in a once great property.

Pokemon - Almost up there with KH in terms of how badly it's let me down as of late! This was once an endearingly simple franchise in it's first few generations and aside from the anime's writing quality going to hell in the Johto seasons it was great in every aspect until the series' creator Satoshi Tajiri became executive producer for the following generation, putting the less ambitious and less talented Junichi Masuda in the role of producer. I noticed the games taking something of a decline in Gen III, which also gave us a half-assed continuation of the anime, a needless retooling of the TCG, and really weak manga arcs. Gen IV then added more complications to the games and had a horrendous anime series, but it gave us some terrific manga. With Gen V I felt the franchise underwent a renaissance in which everything seemed up to par again in terms of quality, even the anime, but even that started to dwindle towards the end. We reached Gen VI and I've stated my gripes with it before, but it's gone further than I'd ever anticipated. After the disappointing X & Y versions and the even worse Ruby & Sapphire remakes, Gamefreak seems to be foregoing a Z version and putting all of their efforts into Pokemon GO, a mobile cellphone game that you have to pay to keep playing. Longtime art designer Ken Sugimori has been removed, and Masuda seems dead set on pushing his overly-idealistic visions onto the settings of Pokemon, as the franchise just keeps biggering and biggering beyond what it should. At this point I just want everything to crash and burn after Gen VII. Go down in Charizard flames, Pokemon!

Avatar - This is a strange one since the series itself left me thoroughly satisfied in how much I loved it for how damn great it was. It's just everything that came after it that let me down. The Dark Horse comics underwhelm me because I feel Gene Yang's not talented enough at writing the stories and characters they present, and not only did "The Legend of Korra" not quite live up to the greatness of it's predecessor (to be fair, how could it?) but for a time (the back half of Book 1 and for nearly all of Book 2) it was a total disaster! By the time it got good in Books 3 and 4, the series and franchise had fallen out of relevance, getting thrown out by the network that had once embraced it. That's sad.

Batman - Look, I'm just getting real tired of Batman, okay? Please DC, stop over-saturating Batman!

Dragon Ball - When I finally got around to seeing the Buu Saga, the fabled final saga of the series,
it failed to stick the landing, big time. Most of the anime movies underwhelmed me, as did a lot of the video games, and Dragon Ball GT sucked the big one. The Kai series was great for the most part but it's production was something of a disaster, and even the new Super series isn't quite what it could be due to the overwhelming amount of time and importance Toriyama places on the SS Gods.

Spider-Man - "Peter Parker is dead: I am the Spider!" When those words were uttered, it was a sure sign that Spider-Man, both the hero and his franchise, would go to shit. The Clone Saga was one of the greatest Jump The Shark moments in comics history. Originally meant to run for a few months, it actually ran for two agonizing years, and amounted to "we thought Ben Reilly was the clone of Peter, but the Peter we've been following for so long is actually the clone and Ben Reilly is the original Peter - oh wait, no, nevermind - our first assumption was correct after all, Ben's the clone, and then he dies. And Norman Osborn comes back to life. But it's over, so yay?" Spidey was never the same again for many of us. The things that hit me even harder, though, were the hectic production of the bloated and unfocused "Spider-Man 3", One More Day, that misguided disaster of a movie reboot, and the only good Spidey property still left, "The Spectacular Spider-Man", getting unfairly cancelled in favor of the godawful yet confoundingly still running "Ultimate Spider-Man". So for now I say Spider-Man is dead!

Yu-Gi-Oh! - While the divergences and fillers made in the "Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Monster" anime bothered me, I could live with them because the core story was still so damn good. But due to the anime being a monster of a trading card game marketing vehicle, the franchise just wouldn't die. "GX" was at least somewhat aware of how bad and needless it was, so it made itself semi bad and was pretty fun for it's first half before got crappy in it's second half. "5Ds" was like that second half multiplied in sheer blahness, taking itself super seriously despite having card games on motorcycles! "Zexal" was the worst, going too far in the other extreme of being silly and childish, often trying to recapture aspects of the older series' but with zero heart or charm at all, and featuring the most obnoxious protagonist. "Arc-V" seems to have course corrected the anime part of the franchise and taken it back to a quality that's somewhere between "Duel Monster" and "GX". Still not enough to save it.

Digimon - This is one that I've extensively covered elsewhere, so you can read all about it HERE.

Gargoyles - Need I even explain this? The goddamn "Goliath Chronicles" sent the series on a path where there's no returning from unless Disney gets off their asses and gives it it's renewal/reboot!

Superman - He's Superman, he's the freakin' Man of Steel! To save the day he'll do whatever he can, he'll even KILL THE MAN! JEEZUS, guy! Yeah, that movie has killed any investment I had.

Final Fantasy - The last Final Fantasy game released under Squaresoft was Final Fantasy X. All the games after it released under Square Enix have proven to be colossal letdowns. XI was a dud, XII was mediocre, XIII and XIV were just abhorrent, and all the compilations and cash-grab side games Square Enix keeps forcing down our throats just aren't working out. And now while XV is still yet to come out, they're actually remaking FFVII! At this rate, I'm hoping they come full circle and file for bankruptcy!

Power Rangers - The fact that it's still an ongoing franchise breaks my heart! Seriously, the last series that had any sort of consistently good quality to it was "Time Force!" The franchise shouldn't have lived much longer past the new millennium, and yet they seem dead set on keeping it going!

Sonic The Hedgehog - What didn't gone wrong with this franchise? The games kept on sucking after the jump to 3D, all the animated shows came and went, and the comics canon became a clusterfuck. It's seems to have recovered significantly now, but it'll never grab people the same way as in the 90's.

Neon Genesis Evangelion - The anime could have ended better, the movies sucked ass, the manga had a horrendously sluggish release schedule to rival "Pokemon Special" before it finally ended, and we're still waiting for the finale for the "Rebuild" film series, which hasn't entirely clicked.

Teen Titans - This one hurts me. The "Teen Titans" animated series and comics were a huge part of my late middle school and early high school days, and the show still holds up as one of my favorite animated series. So what has Cartoon Network done with it as of late? They had "New Teen Titans" cartoon shorts for the short lived DC Nation block, and those probably could have been made to carry a series. What we've got instead is "Teen Titans Go!", the network's most overexposed show that showcases the cheapest animation possible, terrible writing, thin characterization with zero depth, horrendously unfunny humor, and a total butchery of the original show's spirit. I thought it sucked from the start but it's only managed to get even worse with every season, to the point where it had the gall to insult not only the original show, fans of the original show, and people who hate and criticize this show, but the animation medium as a whole by saying all cartoons are "for kids" and that older fans who have "outgrown" it should just move on rather than complaining about something that "wasn't for them to start with" not being as good as they remember it being. 'Cause y'know, cartoons were "never cool" like that - it's the whining fans who don't get that they're not and never have been in line with the tastes they acquired when they matured. They're the problem, not the cartoon and it's makers! Right? FUCK YOU, TTG! This trash is an abomination to both animation and the Teen Titans' good names!

One Piece - I discovered the manga in the monthly Shonen Jump maganizes and found that the first chapters were solid enough, but by the Buggy and Kuro arcs the series showed itself to be very fun, awesome, and even emotionally involving. When did that start to change? The CP9 Saga. Many fans, particularly in Japan, are as enamored with the series as they've ever been even after that, but I just do not care for the "pirates VS government" angle that it's gone for. Not to mention the series has gone way longer and further off the rails from what Oda initially envisioned it as, to the point where they've crammed too many characters and too much of the world on the Grand Line and that's dumb. We really didn't need this much more One Piece, especially when the handling is so bad.

Sailor Moon - The anime kept declining in overall quality with each series, and when I discovered the final season, "Stars", it was absolutely putrid, to the point where I wanted to forget it even existed. We now have a new anime in "Sailor Moon Crystal", and it looks AWFUL. F**KING AWFUL.

Code Geass - My disillusionment with this one really started with the Euphinator incident, which not only a badly written Diablos Ex Machina and fridging for poor Euphie, but a lazy way out of some potentially interesting story and character ideas that were being set up. The season finale was actually good, but the event that had directly led to it lost much of my investment and it set the tone for the death and angst filled R2 season, which is one of the dumbest anime series' I've had the displeasure of seeing.

Gurren Lagann - While I felt that the death of Kamina came a few episodes too early, it was still
a great move that served as the game changer from the show, giving it a more serious edge instead
of the pure camp and silliness that came before. I was totally on board with this anime...until the timeskip in episode 16. Afterwards things started gradually getting too grim and serious! While the reveal that the Spiral King and the beast men were trying to appease an even greater force wasn't surprising, they chose to paint it as the beast men having been trying to protect humanity...through oppression. And that they kept mankind safe from the Anti-Spiral's killing children. Nope, not working! We then got Nia getting possessed and practically raped by the Anti Spiral, Rossieu betraying and attempting to execute his former friend, Kittan dying like a psycho punk trying to invoke Kamina's sacrifice, the Anti-Spiral spouting out crap that's clearly wrong wrong wrong, and even after an over-the-top epic final battle, Simon still didn't have enough power in him to save his beloved. Thus Nia chooses to die after her marriage to Simon, Simon chooses not to save her, and everyone lives rather dismal futures, with Simon walking the earth as a hobo waiting to be reunited with Nia in death. The best thing we got out of this arc was Viral's redemption, but otherwise I found it to be downright unpleasant and a betrayal of the series' themes. Am I the only one who sees this?

Inu-Yasha - When this series started, it was almost like something from the mind of Miyazaki, that's how good it seemed. And then it went on. And on. And on. And on. AND ON. With the status of the storyline and characters stagnating while Rumiko Takahashi threw around different ideas to draw the series out even more and make more money off of it. When it finally ended, it wasn't worth the wait.

Eureka 7 - I was never even that big a fan of this series and even I felt heartbroken and offended by how terrible "Astral Ocean" turned out to be! Talk about taking a huge dump on the original work!

Toradora - It started off as a fun little romantic comedy with some degree of depth to it, but in the second half things got increasingly angsty and unpleasant and bland, and the ending was bullshit.

Haruhi Suzumiya - Publication of the light novel series went to heck after book nine. The tenth book ended up being split into two parts when it finally came out, and it told a story that felt very climactic to the ongoing Haruhi saga. We might as well skip to the end now, but no such final book, or any book since then, has come out, so it might as well BE the end now. The anime series, meanwhile, had a notoriously awful second season. Aside from the Tanbata episode that set up The Movie, we were given atrocious Endless Eight episodes and the unpleasant story behind the making of the SOS Brigade's student film from way back at the start of the show. Just like that, the franchise died.

Bleach & Naruto - The problems I have with "One Piece" are nothing compared to these two Shonen manga atrocities. "Bleach", despite it's shortcomings, was an alright manga for a good while until the Arrancar arc started and the plot moved to Hueco Mundo. It's become one of the most hack-written series to come out of Japan, with almost none of the plot and characterization clicking anymore. But "Naruto" is the absolute worst. It had a really good opening chapter and some of Kishimoto's earlier work shows much potential, and while much of that went to waste, the series was bearable until the timeskip and it getting re-branded as "Shippuden", and Kishimoto showed himself to be a terrible writer. The plot was stupid, the characters were frequently misused, the world-building was atrocious, everything's padded out to the point of boredom, the action scenes are lackluster, they explain how every damn chakra works, and it ended up as one of the most poorly written, horrendously executed, nationalistic and misogynistic, downright vile and repulsive series that I've ever had the displeasure of getting exposed to. So now my best advice to anyone would be to avoid these like the plague.

Jim Henson's Muppets - It seems everything involving Jim Henson's creations have decayed and left me feeling empty inside, even Sesame Street! And let's not even get into that edgy new show...

Game Of Thrones - I have been let down by this in two mediums, but particularly the HBO television series. George R.R Martin's first three books remain some of the best epic fantasy works I have ever read, but his ability to continue writing the series at a good pace literally declined after he wrote the dreaded Red Wedding. He's even gone on record saying it was the hardest thing he's ever written. And thus his writing, and his series, was never the same since then. The following two books were less plot driven and more about world building and politics, often featuring POV of characters we do not give a shit about. Dany and her dragons are no closer to Westeros and the Others are no closer to breaking out from beyond the Wall. And now, the TV series is actually likely to get ahead of it's source material in terms of plot advancement, and said show majorly Jumped the Shark for me following the aftermath of the Purple Wedding. Losing Joffrey was followed by Jaime's "accidental rape" of Cersei, a scene that destroyed Jaime's integrity as a character and the credibility of his redemption arc. And that was only the top of the downhill slope, as more needless, often detrimental alterations were made to Martin's story afterwards. Shae's characterization was assassinated for no good reason, the plots for Stannis, Arya, and Jon got stretched out to the point of boredom, and we didn't get time for important stuff while still having time to hear Tyrion ramble on about beetles. But even those couldn't compare to the absolute horror that was Season 5, in which the storyline in the North was butchered (including a needless rape and character arc destruction of Sansa at the hands of the show's resident Villain Sue), the storyline in Dorne was butchered (as evidenced by the total characterization 180 of Elarya Sand and those dreadful Sand Snakes), and the completion of Stannis Baratheon's arc was butchered. At this point I cannot see how Benioff and Weiss can drag their work through the mud any further and make this show any more disappointing. I look forward to how the show tackles uncharted territory in the coming seasons, but I'm not passionate about the show itself.

Pirates Of The Caribbean - It started with such a splendidly done summer blockbuster based on the theme park ride and introduced us to the great Captain Jack Sparrow. So what. the hell. happened?

Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Seasons 4 and 5 weren't the best, but they gave us a good enough story and good enough note for the series to end on. And then the sudden renewal and move to UPN happened. The show became a mediocre quality, poorly written, overly angsty and melodramatic, heartless shell of it's former self for both seasons 6 and 7, and from what I can tell, it's continued to be so in the continuation comics. It's no fun anymore, which enrages me since it used to be so fun!

Once Upon A Time - Another one I've extensively covered elsewhere, You can read about it HERE.

Everworld - A magical realm where all beings of mythology and folklore co-exist and is in danger from a great threat that must be fought by teenagers from the real world? That's the coolest idea ever! So imagine my horror as, past the first four books, all the potential of this book series started going to waste, with the characters sans Jalil lacking growth and the story settings and characters became as drive-by as those in "The Page Master!" The asinine  non-ending sealed the deal.

Epic Mickey - I absolutely love the first "Epic Mickey" game and thought it had potential to spawn a game series, hopefully with games that improve upon the problems with the original and give us some great Disney material. Only two sequels got made. "The Power Of Illusion" is easily the better of the two, but it feels like a half-finished game that got Nintendo Hard towards the end. "The Power Of Two" was the biggest letdown. The story and game design are a HUGE step down from the first game, the addition of voice acting and songs didn't matter much when Gus Gremlin had a miscast voice that he would not shut up in and the only character singing was the Mad Doctor, and the main draw to the game, playing as both Mickey and Oswald, turned out to be a complete disaster due to a split screen style, a horrible AI for Oswald, wanky camera angles and bad controls. Warren Spector showed that he'd learned nothing from his earlier mistakes, which is why Junction Point Studios got shut down afterwards. That's alright - the idea for the next sequel didn't look very good anyway.

X-Men - This is a very notable one since I really, really do love the idea behind X-Men yet feel it has never been done complete justice in any medium, with only the movie series coming the closest. The original comics went downhill ever since Chris Claremont Syndrome kicked in, and the convoluted and often pretentious nature of this ruined the X-Men name for many. The 90's series tried to replicate the comics' finer points but was met with too many terrible limitations, "Evolution" took a while to really take off as a good show, and need I elaborate on "Wolverine & The X-Men?"

Ben 10 - I thought the premise of the original series gave it such potential to be something far better than it ultimately was, but it still ended up the best we got in terms of this franchise. It showed signs of decline from the very start of the "Alien Force" sequel series, where Kevin 11 became a good guy and got a crush on Gwen out of nowhere, and then the continuity and characters of the original series were constantly altered or ignored because they just didn't care. Then the sequel Jumped the Shark with the two-parter "Absolute Power", in which Kevin had gone back to his pure evil psychopath self only to be forcibly re-redeemed so that everything went back to the status quo in the end. Boo! This got followed by a horribly grim final season of "Ultimate Alien", followed by the "Omniverse" series that went too far the other extreme in being dense and wacky. This franchise crashed and burned.

Code Lyoko - Similar to the above, I don't think the original series lived up to all the potential given to it by it's premise, but I'd take it in it's entirety, flaws and all, over the absolute joke of a "sequel" they made for it, "Code Lyoko: Evolution/". Bad CG animation mixed with live action mixed with piss poor storytelling and Scrappy new characters. Naturally, this show tanked and ended abruptly.

Looney Tunes -  Oh geez, the Looney Tunes. *Sobs* Can't they ever appeal to today's' kids?

Total Drama - "Total Drama Island" was a great animated reality show that lampooned real reality shows. It was all downhill when it got more seasons. First came the sophomore slump that was "Total Drama Action", where the reality show spoof was underplayed in favor of movie parodies, the characters got Flanderized into unlikable shells with little substance beyond their stereotypes, and the show just wasn't as fun. The following "World Tour" season seemed to get the series back on track, only for it's own shark jump halfway through when Duncan, a character no one wanted back on the show, was brought back on and the team that found him won the challenge, while the team that actually completed the objective of the challenge...lost the challenge. The Hell? And Noah is the one who got booted off in favor of Duncan. And then Duncan cheated on Courtney with Gwen, starting a nasty love triangle drama. All this happening in the second half of the season just killed it, and even after the satisfying resolution of Alejandro vs Heather, it all ended with "rocks fall, everyone dies!"
A bunch of new seasons have come out afterwards, but they're a dime a dozen. All humor, no soul.

Adventure Time -  When I really think about this one, it actually kind of hurts me. This show could have been so much better than what it ended up as nowadays. The surreal but fun and zany style of the show hiding a story of growing up, with the show, characters (mainly Finn), and audience growing up along with it, could have made for such a great show. And yet they flubbed it, mainly when Larry Leichliter departed and the show's direction changed gears for the worse and eventually found itself settling with an odd tone where some things would get better but then other things would get worse, and sometimes what got better would go bad and what got worse would get better. It's just a really uneven show now and that's such a letdown given what it could have been. It can't end soon enough.

Spongebob Squarepants - I and many others have covered how this show Jumped the Shark after the first four seasons and the movie. Series creator and producer Steve Hillenburg intended for the movie to be the series finale, but Nickelodeon wasn't willing to part with their cash cow property so they kept renewing for more seasons. Hillenburg and creative director Derek Drymon left altogether, the less talented Paul Tibbit and Vincent Waller taking their place. The show lost it's clever humor and adult edge, becoming childish, stupid, mean-spirited, and filled with gross-out humor and black comedy where heart used to be. And the occasional good episodes don't make up for all the tripe.

The Fairly Oddparents - It went down the same path as "Spongebob." The plots, characters, and humor grew to be truly horrible. Timmy became a completely selfish brat, Cosmo became an idiotic jerkass manchild, Wanda became a shrill nag, Timmy's parents became despicably abusive parents, Vicky became an over-the-top evil caricature who set out to torment kids for the evulz and even had her own parents afraid of her, Trixie Tang became a total bitch, Chester and AJ became stereotypes, Jorgan Von Strangle became obnoxiously overbearing, and Mr. Crocker became a hyperactive loon who talked of nothing but FAIRIES! and giving all his students F's! About the most decent character left was freaking Mark! The birth of baby Poof seasons later was the nail in the coffin for this shit.

Fillmore - The greatest crime committed on this show is that it got cancelled too soon. Just imagine how much more could have been done with this show if it had lasted for more than 26 episodes? What characters could have returned and how much more crime drama could have been spoofed? This was truly a show that was just too good to last. But at least it was a great show while it lasted.

Thundercats - The 2011 revival of this 80's cartoon show had everything going for it. Stellar animation, great designs, a solid voice cast, and an epic feel. All spoiled by those pampered princes!

W.I.T.C.H - The comics Jumped the Shark when the writers changed. And that included the original creators! Suddenly we saw Prince Phobos, he had a plan that was not hinted at before, Elyon was rushed to the side of good, and Caleb was introduced as a forced love interest. Such potential went to waste and it only got worse as the issues and story arcs went on. The animated series was never all that good to start with, being something to watch more for characters than story, but the way it ended up a flop that concluded on an anticlimatic letdown of a finale just reinforced the letdown.

TMNT - Namely the Nicktoons CG animated series that started in 2012. Despite it's flaws, it's first season was very solid and entertaining, and at it's best this show is possibly the best rendition of the Ninja Turtles ever. But things shot downhill almost immediately in Season 2, with the original writers leaving and the show now being run by sexist hacks who have no firm grasp on how to execute good storytelling. It's gotten a little bit back on course in Season 3 and onwards, but it could still be better.

Channel Awesome - What the hell happened to this site after "To Boldly Flee?" It was supposed to get changed up for the better, but instead it's only changed for the worse! Many of the reviewers have up and quit, one of them is dead, and the Walker brothers have become hacks who use and abuse everyone and everything in their business how they see fit so long as they get views. I miss the days where Channel Awesome's site was still home of the Nostalgia Critic, not Demo Reel V.2.

Modern Comics - The modern comic book industry is a wreck, which makes comics a terribly tedious medium as a whole. This isn't to say that all modern comics are bad, but that "dark age" of comics from the 90's never really went away. All the warts of the industry still persist: greedy execs, egocentric hack writers, and demand for things to be "dark, edgy, and cool" run rampant. Different writers get brought on board to tell different stories of a never ending narrative that, if mishandled (which it is), fatigues casual readers. Darkness, violence, cynicism and grittiness is intensified in order to make the comics appear more serious or "grown up", and shocking swerves with "huge events" happen so often in order to increase sales and make more profit. Comics are no fun anymore: they're in an awful, endless Dork Age that only appeals to die-hard geeks. And that is heartbreaking.


  1. Yeah, I'm through lying to myself about Channel Awesome, it's reached a point where "Atop the Fourth Wall" is the only show I consistently watch nowadays and even that's starting to drag. I think Doug Walker is less of a "user and abuser" and more passive to everything which is arguably not much better.

    I'd also like to add Pixar - Pixar was one of my biggest writing influences growing up and seeing Cars 2, a film that pandered to children so much that even the children in the theatre I was in didn't find it funny, just left a bad taste in my mouth.

    1. I knew Channel Awesome was done for the moment Demo Reel was bombing. Everything after that just kept on reinforcing the notion.

      And I give Pixar a pass because, while I miss their golden days from Toy Story to Toy Story 3, I always knew that it wasn't a perfect studio and it was only a matter of time before their "hit after hit" streak would stop. They're like the American counterpart to Studio Gibli, and that studio has also released some duds aside from it's masterpieces. At least "Inside Out" has shown us that they're still capable of doing great work.

    2. For me the break-down for Channel Awesome especially the Nostalgia Critic was the Old vs. New: Spider-Man review.

      I loved the Old vs. New episodes back in the day, because even when I didn't agree with them they really got me thinking and appreciating remakes that were genuinely good. The problem with the Old vs. New Spiderman wasn't whether I disagreed with him or not, but the presentation SUCKED! Not only did Hyper Fangirl outstay her welcome really fast, but the implications in having her represent the old films was just insulting, the bit at the end where the Critic tries to say that they all had their good points felt extremely disingenuous. It also felt like Critic was going back and forth on his opinions with Fangirl only making the barest contributions.

      I think the idea of having two characters represent a side in a comparative review was handled much better in a YouTube series called "Books vs. Movies" where two characters debate whether the book or its adaptation. Both characters are played by the same guy, Matt Guion, so while the "Book" counterpart is a purist know-it-all and "Movie" is open-minded and laid back, you got the sense that whatever won was a fair opinion.

      Also, the No.1 Dumbest Lord of the Rings Moment was... the "Fly the Eagles to Mordor" argument, something that even Linkara and Spoony have debunked. Just... Urrrrgh!

    3. I don't think his points at the end of that were disingenuous and I didn't mind Hyper Fangirl there, but for me that one went way downhill when he got to comparing the love interests and the Spider-Men - not only was he way too hard on MJ and too lenient on Gwen despite her own faults (some of which were the same damn stuff MJ suffered from), but his conclusion for why he prefered one Spider-Man to the other was bullshit that actually missed the entire point of the character. (Peter Parker is not "someone you'd want to be like" because we already ARE like him - he's the everyman who can't catch a break and constantly screws things up, not some badass wish fulfillment role model!) Lewis was actually in that review as Hyper Fangirl's grandma, so I wonder what he thought of Critic's blatant misinterpretation of Spider-Man.

      And to be fair, NC was talking about the Lord of the Rings movies there, and in those films the eagles were not properly explained or even foreshadowed beforehand, so the average viewer won't know why they DIDN'T just call on them and use them to fly to Mordor to start with.

  2. You can count me among those who have been disappointed with Game of Thrones. I had such hopes for this show and for awhile I genuinely liked it, but the fifth season was such a disaster that it completely killed any interest I had in watching more of it. Not only that, but looking back, even the first three seasons, which are the ones I consider watchable were not without their share of glaring flaws. So, yeah, I'm done with GOT. I do remain a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire though and will definitely pick up Winds of Winter whenever it comes out.

    Oh, and while I still have a great deal of affection towards Adventure Time, I must admit that my interest in the show has waned considerably. I haven't watched any of this season beyond the multi-parter which focused on Marceline, nor do I have any particular desire to. Maybe I'll get back into it at some point, but for now, it feels like the magic is gone.

    Finally, Eric, when you say that the modern comics industry is a wreck, can I assume that you're talking mainly about the stuff from Marvel and DC?

    1. Season One was the best because it stayed closest to the source material, followed closely by Season Three. Season Two was mostly good but not as great as the seasons preceding and seceding it 'cause the flaws that showed up for half the season were very glaring and damaging. I think Season 4 is where the decline started, and Season 5 was just the worst. I just wish George RR Martin could write those books faster, but I've bitched about that before.

      Yeah, that's how I feel about it too.

      Yes, I mostly mean the big name comic publishers. The relatively lesser known publishers actually come out with more good stuff.

  3. Agree with Kingdom Hearts, Disney, Yu-Gi-Oh. You will find people whom will disagree with you on Pokemon but I don't mind.

    As for Star Wars, I will disagree with you for the fact that I am more exposed to the Expanded Universe and I will always defend the Clone Wars CG series for fixing some of the problems with the Prequels.

    Much of the fanaticism in the Star Wars fanbase through I will say is because of the Expanded Universe. It gave some fans the excuse to remain fans despite the Prequels saying "ok the Prequels sucked but this book was much better". This is despite the fact that a lot of EU stories I will admit jumped the shark at a certain point.

    I feel inside out shows Pixar may still have some potential.

    That said, I will admit that this is on the basis of bias but personally I think GoT will not get worse. This is because I've never read the books and thus have a degree of nostalgia filter. I can understand the backlash but one of the reasons for the whole thing with Stannis is that the writers had an agenda against him. I feel the show won't be as half as bad without that agenda anymore since Stannis is dead. While Dorne arc was lackluster and Sansa's rape was over the top, the rest of the season, especially Hardholme leaves me cautiously optimistic for what comes next.

    1. I don't care if they disagree - a lot of people in the Pokemon fandom are nitwits who seem to enjoy buying into money-taking scams.

      I really don't like most of the Expanded Universe (there are shining gems in it, but most is generic sci-fi shlock that only cluttered up the Start Wars mythos) and while I DO like that Clone Wars show and do agree that it fixed a lot of problems with the prequels, I'm just not that invested in the prequel era and Clone Wars era in general especially after all the other media that tried to sell us their versions of the Clone Wars.

      I'm aware that the EU has a big following, but it was never my thing. I prefer things that are either definitive canon or close enough to the spirit of canon (like Shadows of the Empire or the Thrawn Trilogy) than books that are basically published Star Wars fanfiction.

      I don't even necessarily disagree with the end point for Stannis (it was an inevitability from the moment he started burning people alive in his fanatical religious practices), but the transition to it was handled SO POORLY, placing Stannis at one point of the moral spectrum and then rushing him to the very bottom just to make us invest in his final defeat and death, and it didn't feel naturally for a guy who's supposed to be like a morality tightrope walker. Jamie and Sansa's arcs also went to shit and I don't see those recovering, even in the new seasons.

  4. And personally I thought 90s X-Men was pretty good. Power Rangers, personally I will say you're ignoring RPM and you could make a case that Dino Charge has a shot of being decent as the person behind In Space, Lost Galaxy and Time Force--the three series often considered the best is back in the writer's seat.

    1. It was "pretty good" but that's all it was - the animation and voice acting is pretty dated. And yeah, point taken on those Power Rangers series'.

  5. Other than it being among my guilty pleasures, I really can't argue in favor of Into Darkness, but I find that the ongoing comic series from IDW has been a much better follow up to the 2009 ST film.

    Though ironically the first six issues had similar problems to STID (being more of a copy of TOS), the series found a good balance between honoring the Original Series and doing new things.

    Heck, #21-23 (which actually follows Into Darkness), reintroduces Pon Farr, but the plot isn't a retelling of Amok Time.

    1. Into Darkness is sort of a guilty pleasure for me too, as I feel it's first half showed a lot of potential before the second half went all "your government is lying to you, and by the way I'm really Khan, so we're going to rehash Space Seed and Star Trek II rather than do anything original with our new concepts!".

    2. Also I do actually enjoy Spock's Khan yell, but not for the right reasons. I mean I find that Quinto does an decent Spock for the most part, but I find the scene in question more enjoyable by envisioning that Sylar came across William Shatner at one point and copied his hammy acting:-).

      But regardless, I'd say to check the comic out sometime if you can spare the time and money (specifically #7 and up). I won't risk overhyping it as perfect, but it's arguably good rather than say guilty pleasure fodder and it's writer, Mike Johnson is actually a fan of Trek as opposed to Abram.

      Additionally he also wrote the ST Green Lantern crossover which without getting two into spoiler details is set in a hybrid continuum/multiverse of DC and the Abram film.

  6. Most comics for DC and marvel are sadly underwhelming. For every good comic (vision and ms marvel from marvel and manhunter and midnighter from dc) there are a hundred lackluster or just bad comic books from the the big 2. Image has so many great titles, though the problem with most of them is that some of them are nothing but violence, swearing and sex. That and certain writers take hiatuses due to their contracts with the other companies. Still, overall image comics is still a great publisher, along with valiant.

    Honestly, superheroes are starting to bore me nowadays, thanks to overexposure of batman and marvel changing elements in the comics to match the films (yes, I hate comic book Jackson as new nick fury and I want him gone). I prefer heroes who are unsung, who feel real, make real mistakes, but are still sympathetic or understandable and very engaging. Examples: Margie from fargo, elijah Snow, Elric brothers, Okabe (Steins gate), Steven U and the crystal gems, Darkwing duck. Samurai Jack, Solid Snake, Rick Grimes, Daria and more I can't even name.

  7. I actually like the new format of Nostalgia Critic. Never really hated an episode...maybe except the Scooby Doo one..

    1. Why hate the Scooby Doo one? (The one that was intended to be the last one and most likely should have been.)

    2. Probably it was too 'real?" I don't know...But yeah It should have been the last but I'm glad his newer review aren't just him screaming at the camera

    3. At the same time, there's often way too many skits that take time and focus away from the actual reviews of the subject matter, which kills the momentum of the summarizing + jokes that the Critic is supposed to be doing.

  8. And I despise All of Total Drama. The host of it is the most vile thing I have ever seen.

    1. Which host? Chris was given the boot for the most recent iteration.


    In some ways the show is BETTER than the books; the books are bogged down with new characters and worst of all while there is important things it's so drowned out by extraneous nonsense and dragged that you honestly feel you can take the important things and make one book.

    1. Watch Season 5 and some of the heavy alterations made in Season 4 and tell me sincerely that the show is better than the books. Heck, I detested "A Feast For Crows" and "A Dance Of Dragons" too for the stuff you mentioned, but compare what goes on in Dorne or in the North in those books compared to what the show replaced them with and it's obvious which one is preferable. George R.R Martin has his problems but he's an excellent writer - Weiss and Benioff are hacks.

    2. I still think Ellaria should stay evil

    3. Whether she stays evil or not isn't my concern - I just think she never should have BEEN evil in the first place. The Dorne plot in the book didn't have any straight-up "bad guy". It didn't NEED one.

  10. In some ways changes were neccesssary.

    In tv shows every new character means that unless they're bit players (the sand snakes) you have to pay over more money and put more into it. As such it's more practical merging characters. As such this in turn means that you may have to merge character or in the case of there not being enough likable characters, merge them with others or make characters likable. Jon Snow being made more proactive was neccessary, and ellaria being evil made more sense than putting in the extraneous nonsense of Arianne.

    Also, the show knows how it will end. The Night King is the clear big bad and the thing is building up to the final confrontation.

    1. Evil Ellaria made zero sense. Even without the context of her book counterpart being the complete and utter opposite of who they're depicting on screen, having her think that the best way to avenge her brother, a man who said "In Dorne, we don't hurt little girls", is to...kill a little girl in Dorne. That's not avenging Oberyn, that is pissing on his grave, and Ellaria is shown to have zero self awareness about that.

    2. On the contrary. Arianne's subplot would have involved spending more money, more sets and would have dragged the series down. Simplifying it so that Ellaria was evil saved money, streamlined the story

      Also, Jon as more proactive is better. The hammer's about to fall, and in that case decisive action is needed. Plus since you can't shove new characters you have to make some likable.

      The show doesn't do everything right but the main beats (Jon snow, the intrigue in King's landing, Roose's death) make sense.

      Roose's death was the most appropriate; he betrayed robb for power, he gets betrayed by his own son....because he wants power.

      Also raw story covered the Sansa Rape thing, and the creators themselves actually discussed it in depth on the commentary. They explained why they did it but apologized if they offended people.

      The Night's King is a great big bad and the series looks to be building to an explosive conclusion

    3. I care more about the integrity of stories and characters than I do costs for making the show. Pulling a 180 on Ellaria's character, giving Jaime a beefed up role, and making Dorne and the Sand Snakes into a total mockery was inexcusable, period.

      I've no complaints with Jon - not sure where that came from. Ditto Roose's death, though I'm hoping Ramsay will hurry up and get to his last stand already. The sooner that happens, the better off the show will be.

      I've heard all the explanations and excuse for Sansa's rape and none of them fly. Sansa got raped because the showrunners are two vile men who get giddy at the prospect of more Rape For Drama and were eager to put someone who was at the time of planning that subplot a child actress through a rape scene. It's exploitative, unnecessary, and derailing of a character's entire arc. That's all there is to it.

      In about one or two more seasons. But until Ramsay Bolton is dead, the Night's King actually steps up to the plate, and Littlefinger plays his hand, I won't be too invested in this story.

  11. Well season 6 has begun and it turns out so far I am right. This is the most fast paced season to date. We'll see how it makes up for s5 through, but very hopeful.

    1. It wasn't hard to be an improvement over Season 5. Aside from the continued embarrassments in Dorne and Rasmay overstaying his welcome, I've got far less problems with it. The show still doesn't engage me as much as it used to, though.

  12. Honestly, no. Raw story explained it well enough, and Sansa doesn't shatter into glass. Since other feminists have said they don't see the problem I think some may be blowing it out of proportion. Also, they did apologize in the commentary somewhat.

    Arianna's arc didn't make sense and just seemed like adding more plots into a series overburdened. Inevitably shit had to be cut and maybe cutting Dorne would have been better. It was adding new stories when others were in motion. It dragged the plot down and slowed it to molasses.

    Done could have been better written but I see why they changed it. Putting in Arianne this late in the game was stupid storytelling.

    1. If some feminists don't see the problem with setting up a female character's arc to be about an abuse victim whose agency as a person was being denied and disrespected finally being liberated from being a victim and becoming a player in the game of thrones but then sending it all crashing down so that she's right back to square one and is victimized, abused, and denied agency all over again solely to further a male character's arc, then I question if they're really as feminist as they claim to be. I don't care if they apologized for it - there's no coming back from something like that.

      I concur that Arianne's arc wasn't exactly needed, but what they're doing with Ellaria is even less welcome. Even when Martin does something wrong, he still writes it better than Dumb & Dumber and their team do.

      Please stop these attempts to shill Game Of Thrones and convince me that it hasn't already jumped the shark and went off the rails in regards to being an adaptation of a much better book series. This show lost it's footing in Season 4 and lost me completely in Season 5 - nothing is going to bring back my investment, period.

  13. Okay that just seems....arrogant. Part of the problem is that it assumes that sansa being a victim of sexual assault automaticallyy makes her weak and powerless and reduces her to square one. You're basically victim blaming her.

    What matters just as much is HOW she reacts to it, and Sansa doesn't curl up. She remains strong continues to plan and plot. She goes through the fire and survives with her dignity intact.

    1. No, taking the sexual assault out of it, Sansa's entire engagement to Ramsay and involvement in his plot at Winterfell was reducing her to square one because WE SAW IT BEFORE WITH JOFFREY AT KING'S LANDING. It's a rinse and repeat of the plot beats we've seen Sansa get put in already and it was inexcusable. The rape added in for extra "drama" and shock value and to motivate Theon was icing on the disgusting tasting cake. It does Sansa's character no services to take her out on an environment where she could continue learning how to be a better player in the political games and back into the same abusive environment she'd escaped from, thus putting her through more trauma all over again, needlessly at that. And if she endures the pain and comes out stronger and smarter for it, again, IT'S BEEN DONE. I want to see Sansa's character and storyline truly progress, not regress for no good reason. After the "Darth Sansa" scene in Season 4, we all expected a hell of a lot more from her than her Kings Landing plot 2.0.

      I'm glad to see that Sansa's getting treated better this season, but it only serves to REINFORCE how ultimately pointless her plot in Season 5 was. They could have kept her out of the action for the entirety of that season and her actions in this season would not be affected in the slightest. Cut her out and replace her with Jeyne Poole like in the books and Theon's arc is still advanced without having to throw Sansa's under the bus.

    2. that implies rape is acceptable if it happens to someone else.

    3. Rape is never acceptable when it happens to anyone, and Jeyne Poole's rape in the books was the one time I felt Martin went too over-the-top in terms of it's depiction. In terms of story and character, however, rape as a dramatic plot point can be justified if it's both A: Portrayed clearly within the narrative and to other characters who are not the rapist as a terrible thing that no one with a functioning moral compass would ever do (which both the Jeyne and Sansa rapes were correctly portrayed as) and B: the effects it has on the victim and how they come to grips with what happened and come out stronger from surviving the experience is heavily explored and dealt with (which happened with neither Jeyne or Sansa's rapes.) Oh and it it moves a story forward, which both rapes did, but both times it was for Theon's story rather than the victims'.

      So both of those "rape of a female character to progress Theon's arc" situations are problematic, so why is the show's one just one bit worse? Because the fact is that Jeyne Poole does not have her own POV and her own arc where it's required for her in the narrative to be at a certain place and taking a certain position as an active player in the political games rather than being forced (back in Sansa's case) into the role of a depraved young male's abuse victim - Sansa does. While having Jeyne get raped to advance another character's arc might be shameful, it's not RUINING another character's arc either since the character who is the victim has no arc to speak of. With Sansa, it destroyed the progression and point of her arc.

      Now again - no more Game Of Thrones defenses please? I get that you love the show and I do think Season 6 is an improvement over Season 5, but you're not changing my mind on the criticism I gave it.

  14. So how do you feel now that Ramsay's dead?

    1. Relieved. SO relieved. As I said elsewhere, I feel like the show can only get better in the next seasons now that he's gone.

    2. Littlefinger's demise was also great to see. After years of swagger the man's broken and reduced to groveling for his life. SO satisfying.

  15. I think that maybe they could have done it in a way other than cavalry arrives to save the day (we got that in blackwater and watchers on the wall. To be fair the books had that problem.)

    It's been confirmed that in book 6 SHireen WILL burn. I think they just rushed Stannis there too quickly.

    1. Exactly. D&D must've asked Martin for what Stannis' downfall and the end of his story would be, he told them, and they adapted it into Season 5 without considering proper context for the lead-in to these events and if it gelled with his characterization at the current time, and as a result it came off as a total wreck. I'm pretty sure that Stannis is only presumed dead after his fight with the Boltons but actually survives long enough to see the Walkers invade Westeros, and when things go completely beyond his control, he loses all sanity and rationality and has Shireen burned in hopes that the Lord of Light's blessing with empower him to stop the threat only to end up meeting a gruesome demise (not at Brienne's hand, either.)

  16. In regards to Pokemon. . . Ash was made competent in the XYZ season, and he made it to the league finals after a brief depression arc. He still lost, but I blame crappy BW Anime writers for that. The flare arc is shaping up to be pretty well done.

    1. XDD Oh wow, I actually get someone on my blog trying to defend XYZAsh (who's a complete shit character no matter how competent a trainer he is or what forced depression arcs he get - in fact those only WORSEN his character and make him more of a Mary Sue) and blaming the "BW writers" for his loss at the league (newsflash: the writing staff of the anime is literally the exact same people IN EVERY SINGLE SEASON SINCE THE FIRST ONE - the crappy BW writers are now the crappy XY writers, have been for some time, and so if they wrote that loss, it's a strike against XYZ, not the fandumb's favorite scapegoat series.) As far as I'm concerned, Ash Ketchum and his story in the anime is deader now than it's ever been.

      The Team Flare arc is amazing, though. Mainly cause it's a culmination of all the stuff in the XY anime that the writers actually put any effort into.

  17. Yeah. Code Geass (which had underwent seasonal rot) really passed to point of no return with the betrayal in Turn 19 of R2. And the worst part was that the traitors (much of whom were lacking a leg to stand on) and a few of the bigger less redeemed adversaries lived on instead. Straight up Karma Houdini-ville.

    As for Teen Titans Go! vs. the '03 Teen Titans, the '03 show already felt like a bit of a bastardization of the comics to me, with less characterization of note than that or the Dini/Timmverse DC cartoons, plus the animesque style that always felt weeabooish to me, with anime pratfalls that killed many moments. Slade was no longer a complicated mercenary, just a card carrying villain. Justice League vs. Teen Titans, and the upcoming followup film, The Judas Contract, are much closer to the original comics, even though they're based on the New 52 versions of the characters.

    1. I didn't have a problem with the idea of the Black Knights betraying Lelouch eventually because, and this is something many fans seem to miss, he WAS using them for the fulfillment of his self interest, not truly fighting for them and their kind. The issue I had is that their big reasoning was "he's actually a Britannian prince!" going by the word of...a Britannian prince. And that Ougi's part in it was just due to his love for Viletta and done with zero rationality, investigation and fact checking.

      The '03 show being deviant from the source material in terms of many aspects isn't the same as it having no heart of it's own, it's writing not having strengths and care, and the characters being exaggerated caricatures used purely to generate laughs and move a long an episode's so-called "plot." All that i just said applies to TTG but not to the first show. The "weabooish" complaint makes no sense seeing as animation is a varied artform and the anime style is just that: a style, and as much as I like Deathstroke, I loved card carrying supervillain Slade and feel he actually avoided a lot of the bad writing pitfalls that the character fell into in comics. Am looking forward to The Judas Contract though.

    2. Yeah it says something when Tamaki was the voice of reason.

      At one point a fan did a fan novelization of season 2 that was much better. It goes in different directions but it does do a lot of good things (when lelouch regains his memories he's overcome with guilt for among other things geassing Euphie.)

      And Ron Perlman's voice work was awesome; chilling and cold blooded.