Monday, September 19, 2005

I had the serious misfortune today of catching an episode of ‘Fast Lane’ on G4. What a complete pile of crap that is. Nothing like a really, really bad blatant rip off of a no-so-good movie.

I started thinking. G4 has started a lot of car-based programming recently. The Whip Set, Formula D, Street Fury as well as the aforementioned pile of rancid llama droppings that is ‘Fast Lane’.

Why in the hell are they starting up a whole block of street racing TV shows, on a network that’s supposedly dedicated to gaming?

I’ll tell you. It’s all because some Jackass in an expensive suit hired a team of consultants, who told them that street racing is what the kids find ‘hip’ these days. These are the same people who did a ‘study’ and discovered that shows with ‘X’ in the title are popular.

I mean, come on, it couldn’t possibly mean that a few really good TV shows had the word ‘x’ in the title, but were watched because of the good writing, acting and sheer entertainment value! No. According to the team of ‘consultants’, all you need for a successful show is to put the letter ‘X’ in the title.

Go on, people, I’m jumping on the bandwagon. This Blog is soon to be titled “Life, what the hell is going on - X!”, I’m also changing my name to Paulius X! That hit counter will just spin around so fast, it’ll make your eyes hurt.

“Yes, your little network is good, honestly. However, you’re not trying to sell them enough things. Put in more ads, and something else that the kids find ‘groovy’ these days! It’ll be great.”
So we get lumbered with a complete and total ‘Fast and the Furious’ rip off, and a whole bunch of shows featuring a very generic ‘cool’ black guy, with a generic ‘cool’ name (Big ‘C’…hmm, he should change that to Big ‘X’, and I’ll automatically like him)…saying lots of generic things like ‘let’s get sideways!’

There really is nothing like a whole two hour block dedicated to the most obscure pointless sport I’ve ever seen. It’s like racing, but the skid around corners! Wow!

Anyway, back to my original topic. That is, rip offs.

I find it amazing that today, when the RIAA will come down on you like a ton of bricks for downloading a few music tracks, that the makers of original movies, TV shows and music don’t sue the OTHER media producers who rip them off.

Take ‘Mutant X’, for example. This is a TV show that features a group of ‘mutants’, who are part of a special organization, all have special powers and fight crime, conspiracies and anything else that comes their way.

Does this sound eerily familiar to anyone? Can you imagine the pitch meeting?

New Guy : “Errr, isn’t this a complete and total rip off of X-Men?”

Suit : “No, it’s completely different. You see, X-Men has a school for mutants, and Mutant X has an ‘institute’ for mutants.”

New Guy : “But that’s just semantics, they even have the same powers.”

Suit : “Are you blind? Instead of firing lasers out of his eyes, our guy fires electricity from his HANDS! They have Wolverine, but our mutant named after a big cat is a GIRL!”

Anything that’s popular gets completely and totally ripped off. The saddest thing is that the copier doesn’t even attempt to camouflage it.

Pokemon, that very annoying but popular cartoon, gave birth to ‘digimon’. Only in this one, instead of being actual creatures, they were DIGITAL!

I wish someone had pointed out that pokemon is Japanese for ‘pocket monsters’…whereas ‘digimon’ is meaningless.

How do they get away with it? Surely someone somewhere must say "Hang on a minute! This guy is totally cashing in on my idea!"

To close today, I finish with an open letter to all producers of main-stream media:

Dear Buttholes:

Listen, fire your consultants and hire some writers. If you have a network dedicated to a particular subject, stick to it, or at least, if you must branch out, decide on something that’s at least related to the original subject. Ignore your advertisers. Yes, they may think something is ‘cool’, but we don’t.

When a competitor comes out with something that is incredibly popular, this is a time to be creative as possible. Come up with something new to over shadow them. Yes, I know you’re disappointed and upset that you didn’t have their idea, but that’s no excuse for blatantly ripping it off. You’re not fooling anyone.

Ever heard the saying “Always be original, a copy will always be second best.”?

Have it tattooed on your forehead.

Yours Sincerely

Everyone in the f**king world.


Kato said...

I hear ya.

Mutant X is lame.

The Whip Set is lame.

Having an X in your title is lame (the precursor to "X-Play" was entitled "Extended Play" which makes much more sense in a gaming-context)

MC Etcher said...

Standing ovatation and thunderous appplause!

Paulius said...

Yup, with the added advantage that X-Play laugh at themselves about it. One episode they had a segment about the slew of games with 'X', 'unleashed' and 'reloaded' in the title. They laughed at themselves about it.