Draconically Speaking: Fed Up With July

Draconically-2

Sigh.

The end of July is fast approaching, and to it I say, “Good riddance!” The only two decent experiences I had this past month were seeing Guillermo Del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM (2013) & that I started gaming again, semi-regularly, for the first time in more than a decade. This past weekend is a prime example of why I look forward to August. I will usually admit to when I am in a foul mood and this weekend was a perfect storm for such a mood. There was no particular reason as to the cause, but then some people just get into bad moods for simply no reason whatsoever. Unfortunately, a bunch of things culminated and just fed me up to the point where if I was an anime character, a huge, throbbing  vein would appear on my forehead.  When I am confronted by things that annoy me, or seem blatantly stupid, I tend to let my venom loose a lot more freely during these moods. There was no shortage of it this weekend. The fact that the Mets had a horrible showing all weekend, losing 3/4 games with the Nationals doesn’t even really enter into it. Being a Mets fan equates with dealing with disappointment & carrying on. I was far more disappointed by the latest offering from DC Entertainment – JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE FLASHPOINT PARADOX. Story wise, it went fairly close to the limited series, barring many story elements – out of expediency’s sake, as I expected – and there were no major changes (that I currently recall – I’d need to re-read it again) save one having to do with Abin Sur, that I won’t spoil here. No, my problem was the animation. It was almost a pure anime style, along the lines of Naruto & Bleach. I like both of these shows, but I didn’t like the look for a DC movie. Thin lines and  muted color schemes were the least of my problem with it. What bothered me most was the character design. Every man had these huge, barrel chested bodies, with enormous trap muscles and thick necks with small heads and tiny faces, centered within them. Case in point – Aquaman:

flashpoint-aquaman

All of the male heroes looked like this – it was like a steroid convention. Am I being picky? Maybe. Maybe my lack of a nice mood exacerbated my intolerance for the movie? It’s not even that I was prejudiced against it because the print version is what led into DC’s damnable New 52. In point of fact, I saw this before the weekend’s wilting my rose-colored glasses. It was just the beginning of a long string of crap proverbially being flung into my face. What else?

I’ve long tweeted my feelings in various missives on the dearth of decent TV programs. It seems that TV is constantly being ‘dumbed down’, and no channel is immune to it.

Bravo – The term used to vocally applaud for a quality performance by an actor or singer.

Note that word – quality. I can no longer identify the channel bearing that name with that word. Long have I bemoaned how Bravo had gone from bringing quality, intelligent programs about entertainment to the puerile offerings of countless ‘Real Housewives‘ shows. They even had something called ‘The Shahs of Sunset’, which I thought could never have existed, save for the old “Bel-Arabs” sketch on an ancient episode of Saturday Night Live. I miss Inside the Actor’s Studio. Even Top Chef has degraded into the low brow, by apparently initiating drama thru what former contestants call ‘creative editing’ and seemingly keeping contestants around that cause drama, as opposed to qualified chefs that can out-cook them. Then you have that See What Happens Live show (or whatever it’s called) with the host who instigates trouble between the contestants on reunion shows/finales to make it ‘juicy’.

History Channel – When did they go from having the “H” stand for “History” to standing for “Hillbilly”? Because that’s sure what it seems like. They’ve spread themselves so thin with trying to make ‘niche’ channels, like the Military Channel and History International, they have no programs of quality left on the base channel, so we’re inundated with offerings like “Duck Dynasty”, “Swamp People” and other ‘redneck’ fare. Can someone PLEASE tell me what these have to do with History, other than these people with an attitude like they were in the 1800s, but with modern conveyances?

Food Network – Even this channel is showing signs of pandering. Food Network Star BLATANTLY ripped off the Top Chef webcast-only second chance cook offs, despite the fact that the ‘winner’ was kicked off of the main show because of a lack of personality or likability on camera (for which she was booted off again, the same episode as her return). They have announced two new shows. First, ‘Bubba-Q’ which features a (very) Southern man who designs custom barbecues and smokers for various ‘clients’, some even shaped like the critters they’re cooking. Then there’s one called ‘The Shed‘. Apparently, it’s a restaurant that was visited by Guy Fieri on his own show – Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives – and someone decided that the owners were such interesting characters, why not make a reality show about them? If only they’d said, “No”.

The Learning Channel – The worst offender of the offensive, is the (misnamed) Learning Channel. What can someone LEARN from Honey-Boo-Boo? How to stuff your kid full of cake & cookies until they burst & let them do anything they want, no matter what? And people wonder why kids today have feelings of entitlement.

The bottom line is this – so-called reality television is scripted in part, in some way, so therefore it’s NOT reality and therefore should not exist. But alas, it does. And people wonder why BD & DVD sales are up? 500 cable channels & they all have crap.

Sigh, well at least it’s only a few weeks until NCIS, Elementary & Big Bang Theory are back with new episodes.

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