Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Out With the Old, In With the New

TUESDAY PSA:  Don't forget, new episodes of Stargate Universe and Caprica tonight on Syfy starting at 8 p.m CST!!!

With The Guild wrapped up for another season, and the Legend of Neil series finale getting ready to air tomorrow, there is a sad empty spot in my heart that was once filled by web series.  But, never fret!  Syfy has the answer (scary as that may seem)!  A new web series is premiering today on the Syfy website called Riese:  Kingdom Falling.  Here's the "about" blurb for the series:

Riese: Kingdom Falling takes place in Eleysia, a dying kingdom where distrust and anxiety have clouded people's minds, causing a regression into primitive ways of thinking. Rituals and mythology have resurged, and the darker side of mankind has begun to reveal itself. Riese, a wanderer, travels across the decaying land with her wolf, Fenrir. Marked as a heretic by religious group The Sect and the new Empress, Riese must evade their assassins and discover their true intentions for Eleysia.

Narrated by Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary), the series stars a cavalcade of talent from the world of popular speculative drama including Christine Chatelain (The Bone Collector); Sharon Taylor (Stargate Universe); Ben Cotton (Harper's Island), Allison Mack (Smallville); Ryan Robbins (Caprica); Patrick Gilmore (Stargate Universe); Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica) and Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary).

Of course, this isn't actually a new series.  Riese was running under it's own steam for at least one whole story arc before the creators brokered a deal with Syfy and pulled all the episodes off the air so it could be retooled and they could have exclusive rights to it.  I watched the first episode about a year ago and was very intrigued.  I didn't get a chance to delve too deep into it before it was pulled though, so I am really excited that it has come back.  I can only hope Syfy does it justice.

Though looking at their website I can already see a big issue.  They don't seem to understand that part of what makes web series so popular is that they don't follow the BS scheduling practices of network and cable television.  They've got its scheduled "air time" plastered all over the page--which isn't until 11 pm CST.  What the heezy?  Sigh.  Once the episode is up, it should be available for viewing at any time though (hopefully), but still.  Come on, Syfy, don't jerk us around and try to make us dance to your schedule--that defeats the whole purpose of a web series.  If I get excited because Tuesday is web series day, that means I get excited because I can hop on my computer at any point on Tuesday and watch my shows, not have to wait until the end of the day or the next day for you to get it put up.  At that point, you may as well just decide that Riese day is Wednesday, not Tuesday.  I really do want this series to succeed though, because it truly does have a fantastic cast--those listed above don't even start to list all of the awesome people involved. 

But this just reminds me again that the heyday of the SciFi Channel is long long gone.  There was the name change, of course.  I'm not going to get into my rant about that, it's been done already and often, and has been done well.  Plus, there's the wrestling thing.  Look, I am not a fan of professional wrestling.  I really just don't get the appeal.  Many people I know (my brother-in-law in particular) love it, and I am totally cool with that.  Not everybody enjoys science fiction on the level that I do, after all.  To each his own.  BUT.  Syfy is supposed to be a specialized cable channel.  Changing the spelling of your name doesn't change the expectations a name like "Syfy" is going to give your viewers.  The programming decisions that the network has been making over the last several years has made it very clear to me that the people now running the show don't believe there is an economically sustainable demand for a purely science fiction and fantasy channel.  So they've got this Ghost Hunters crap, and they've got wrestling.  And they keep making ridiculously substandard monster and disaster movies instead of devoting those resources to well-done series.

Update:  It looks like the first episode is already up and can be watched here.  Thank goodness for Ryan Robbins' FB account keeping us all in the loop!  Though, this does make me wonder, why the heck do you even have an air time listed on your website at all Syfy?  

The decision to move Stargate Universe and Caprica to Tuesday nights is another clue that the people running the show don't really care about the actual scifi programming anymore.  They moved the shows primarily because they got Friday night wrestling and didn't want to risk losing any of those shiny new viewers by changing the night of the program, so they decided instead to screw over all of the existing viewers by canceling the long-standing SciFriday and shunting our programming to Tuesday nights.  The argument was that this should actually help these shows succeed because their summer programming does so well on Tuesday nights.  Okay, see, here's the thing, summer programming that is original is going to do better simply because it isn't reruns.  But your fall shows?  Why would you put them on against such a seriously stacked existing Tuesday night lineup on other channels?  An io9 article yesterday stated that SGU and Caprica are "circling the drain" and it made me bristle--but it's true.  The ratings have been abysmal.  The shows themselves have been outstanding, but there is simply too much competition on Tuesday nights for anyone who isn't a straight up fangirl/guy to bother about watching the shows live in the days of DVR.  The +7 day numbers for SGU, at least, are something like an additional 70%.  What does that say when 70% of your viewers aren't watching your show live?  It says it's on at a bad day and time.  The end of the year is coming up, and along with it the decision of whether or not to give these two shows new seasons.  I think the yea or nay here is going to say a lot about the network's devotion to its scifi programming, because the move to a new date should definitely be taken into account when they start crunching numbers.  I try to keep watching this channel, because the genre shows it does air are a lot of my favorites, but it is getting harder and harder to trust the people behind the scenes to look out for my viewing interests, I'll tell you that.

Hmm, well, that was a kind of unintended rant.  Sorry about that.  I'll wrap up with some costuming updates.  I only ended up having one party to go to last weekend because one got called on account of rain and rescheduled for a few weeks from now.  As predicted, no one at the party recognized my costume, but that's alright.  Here's a reminder of what I was going for:

Karen Gillan as Amy Pond
And here's what I ended up with:

Cori as Amy Pond

Considering I am a bit shorter and quite a bit rounder than Karen Gillan, I think I pulled it off rather well.  I do think however, that when I do wear this to a convention, I'll probably just go ahead and invest in getting my hair colored, because when push came to shove, I couldn't bring myself to wear the wig.  Here's what it looked like with the wig though, in case you're curious:

This wig adds +6 to Silliness.

And, to close things out on a happy note, here's another picture of a baby dressed as a giraffe.  

Baby Girl checks out her costume.

Enjoy your Tuesday, folks.

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