Archive - Feb 18, 2005

Whoever Wins... We Lose.

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Some days, picking sides is a bitch.

Like Alberto Gonzales vs. Rob Black. On the one hand, you've got a reactionary yes-man who thinks that torture is good for America. On the other hand, you've got a vile little troll of a man who thinks that filmed, consensual tortureporn is good for his pocketbook. Sure, as an avid free-speech proponent, so I'm honor-bound to pick Black over Gonzalez, but that doesn't mean I want to actually touich anything Black's ever been in contact with. Which brings me, in the least obvious segue since Dubya tried to explain Social Security in Florida, to children's cartoons.

More specifically, new kids cartoons. Even more specifically, "Loonatics". Loonatics is creating a bit of a stir in the GND* community, which has pitched itself, as it often does, against the corporate forces seeking to ruin beloved childhood memories. Which is fine, except the GND community, as it so often does, is overreacting with histrionics, ignorance, and really obvious and trite Simpsons referencing. A pox on both their houses.

"Loonatics", in case you hadn't heard, is a new cartoon coming to KidsWB. KidsWB, in case you hadn't heard, is the cartoon part of the WB network, which has apparently gone down the tubes. I didn't know, but then, I hadn't been watching it for about six years. The premise of Loonatics is enough to make any sane person cringe - take six Looney Tunes characters (Bugs, Daffy, Taz, Road Runner, Wile E., and Lola) - and make a show about their super-powered, crime-fighting, far-future descendants. Awful, awful idea. And the way WB execs announced it didn't help. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME, DOC!

"This is a kids show intended for kids today who are growing up in the Internet age, an age of technology, an age of hip, cool animation, and something that we hope will resonate with that age group. The new series will have the same classic wit and wisdom, but we have to do it more in line with what kids are talking about today. " - Sander Schwartz, president, Warner Bros. animation.

You would think that by this point, the studios would have their people go through training classes or something. A half-day session of "Shit You SHouldn't Say Unless You Want To Piss Off Internet Nerds". It would include, for example, the word "hip" unless immediately followed by the word "replacement". People like Schwartz say these things as if they think people will believe them, despite a decade of evidence that it just ain't so.

So, how bad are the "re-imagined", 2772 A.D. versions of the Looney Tunes? About like you'd expect. Wile E. Coyote looks... like Wile E. Coyote, only with big rounded Teen Titans feet. Road Runner looks like Road Runner, only slightly pointier. And blue. Bugs, Daffy, and Taz all have pointy curved hands, angular lines, and grey/black tones. Really generic and bland. Lola Bunny... oh, right. Nobody gives a shit about Lola Bunny, because she came on board with Space Jam, and nobody gives a shit about Space Jam.

Of course, this isn't the first time the Looney Tunes have been "re-imagined". Bugs 1940 is different from Bugs 1960 is different from Bugs 1980 is different from Buster 1990 is different from Baby Bugs 2000 is different from Buzz Bunny 2005. Studio execs use poor words to describe bad idea in Hollywood SHOCKER. But before you can even finish asking "Who gives a flying fuck?", the GND community responded with predictable outrage.

Here's something I want everyone on the Internet to drill into their thick fucking nerdskulls. We've ALL SEEN THE POOCHIE EPISODE. Every last one of us. We know. You don't have to scream "POOCHIE" every time someone is quoted as saying "edgy". Unless it's Kevin Nash**. Find a new comedy landmark already. It's been EIGHT YEARS. New rule. If you compare anything to Poochie (except Kevin Nash**), you have to grow a handlebar moustache and wear a bow tie. EVEN THE WOMEN. And you have to incorporate "dagnabbit" into every sentence.

There's some choice hyperbole amongst the non-Poochie-citing nerd crowd, too. ACTUAL QUOTE LIGHTNING ROUND!

"The world has officially come to an end." - "I forsee those admiting to liking this getting death penalty someday." - "The only reason I'll be watching is to see Bugs and Lola together again." - "You gotta wonder who approved this upcoming disaster..." - "Sander Schwartz has the real Wile E. Coyote tied up in his basement, along with Road Runner. He's had Tweety caged for some time, replaced by an effeminate clone with an affinity for pink and flowers. Now he's got Bugs and Daffy, and even Taz. Oh, the horror." - Selections from ToonZone.net reasders.

What these people obviously want is for a group of slavisly devoted, yet incredibly talented and brilliant individuals to take their beloved characters and make new cartoons that are utterly true to the spirit of the classics. And they want to be asked to lead that group, because they know best. Of course, if they actually managed to GET the gig, all we'd get are four thousand rehashes of "What's Opera, Doc" and the Robin Hood one.

In the battle of Stupid Ideas and No Ideas, everybody loses. As a wise sage once said, the only way to win is not to play the game.

*For newer readers - Geek, Nerd, Dork.

**If you don't get this joke, you don't want to get this joke. Trust me.