With the second season of Syfy’s creepypasta inspired show, Channel Zero, well into its run, I figured it was finally time to sit down and watch its first season. You know. For science. Last year I showed off the trailer and addressed some of my worries surrounding this leg of the series, but I’ll give a quick recap. First of all, for those perhaps a little less internet-niche-y, “creepypasta” refers to short, scary (or attempting to be scary) stories that get passed around the internet until they become ingrained in that niche’s mind—or in the case of less serious creepypastas, they enter more mainstream meme status, such as the lines “who was phone” or “man door hand hook car door”.
Channel Zero’s first season, Candle Cove, was based off a well-beloved creeepypasta of the same name which, through forum posts, shows a short interaction between people remembering a children’s show from their past that may not have actually existed. As far as creepypasta-based media goes, Channel Zero is nowhere near the worst thing I’ve ever seen. However, it was disappointing to discover that most of my fears from my earlier post were well-founded, and that even though the creators had a clear love for the creepypasta itself, Channel Zero seemed to forget what made the story scary in the first place.
Through whatever machinations of fate and luck, sometimes I manage to hop onto a big thing before it becomes big. While sometimes that thing is a little more niche (like a mysterious little dating sim for mobile devices), making it that much more surprising when it does become huge, this time it felt inevitable that this YouTube channel would rise up in the ratings and take the internet cooking world by storm. If you’ve checked out the front page of YouTube at any point in the last year and glanced at the trending videos, then I’m sure you’ve seen a link to the show Binging With Babish. If you’ve avoided them because trending videos are typically trash and not indicative of what’s actually good on YouTube, then I’m here to tell you that you need to watch at least one episode immediately. I’ll even let you pick.
With the end of September not too long in the future, Halloween is practically just around the corner. Whether you’re waiting for those creepy final days of October or have been celebrating the spooktacular since the Fourth of July ended, for scare aficionados and average people who trawl the internet, one of the easiest ways to catch a scare these days is to read up on some creepypasta. We’ve slightly discussed creepypasta before, but as a refresher, “creepypasta” is typically the name given to scary stories written on the internet, especially by the anonymous hordes who frequent 4Chan. While many of these stories typically devolve into “there was this lost episode of [insert cartoon show] where some character died. Between that there were one frame pictures of various gory scenes, and something about bleeding hyperrealistic eyes,” SyFy seems to have latched onto one of the beloved oldies in hopes of making something truly terrifying for the holiday season. Me? I’m not so sure they can pull it off.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that this season of Steven Universe is tackling some very difficult, mature issues. From feelings of inadequacy, to the struggle with accepting grief and moving on, to ways of coping, approaching, and dealing with different forms of abuse, the crew behind the show seem genuinely invested in giving kids (and their older audience) outlets and role models for healthier ways of dealing with these very real problems. So when the newest episode “Bismuth” came up, many were interested in seeing what issues it would tackle. The crew had teased Bismuth’s existence by proof of her gem for a while, and designs of her humanoid form had been floating around way before the episode even aired: needless to say that there was a general consensus of excitement over having another Black-coded gem joining the cast, if only for a little while.Yet, after the episode, many fans were left confused and angry by Bismuth’s episode. Indeed, despite their best intent, the heads behind Steven Universe tackled an issue that they didn’t have time to account for, and in the end this lack of time hindered Bismuth as a character, the Crystal Gems, and the perception of the crew behind the show.
Being a first-generation geek is a tough burden to bear. While many people my age grew up watching classic sci-fi and fantasy with their parents, I was trapped in a boring, imagination-less void until my reading skills were advanced enough for Harry Potter. This being the case, I never got to experience firsthand many of the television shows that are all but sacred to other geeks of my generation.
Two weeks ago, I decided on a whim that it was long since time for me to watch The X-Files, which originally aired between 1993 and 2002. Though the show has faced some valid criticism on this blog before, I have been thoroughly enjoying the first few seasons as a first-time viewer, and it’s easy to see why it became such a cult classic.
What… why are you squatting like that? What are you doing?
Checks off another box on my “My Influences on Steven Universe” list
Have your feels been adequately invoked, Steven Universe fandom? The end of the third Stevenbomb is upon us, and while I thought I was ready, there were so many things I just wasn’t ready for—example one being my home state getting a cameo in “Keystone Motel”. While shit is constantly going down in Beach City with only small ups on this emotional roller coaster, I keep holding out for the day where everyone can get a happy ending. Needless to say, one of my favorite things to see on my Tumblr dash are the AUs where Steven, the Crystal Gems, and the Homeworld Gems all somehow coexist together peacefully and Peridot is a huge MLG (that is to say a “major league gamer”). Clearly, I’m not alone in my desire for happiness to be the next invasion on Earth, so while today’s fic isn’t exactly the happily ever after that I’m willing to pay Rebecca Sugar five whole dollars to get, I do intensely sympathize with the author’s aggressively wanting good things to happen to everyone. Especially Lapis Lazuli.
If last week Game of Thrones was “heading into darker territory”, this week the show did a kick flip off the deep end into some terrible shit. Admittedly, I spent the first ten minutes trying to remember which house’s motto used the episode title “Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken” (it’s the Martells, by the way), and in all honestly I wish I could have spent the entire hour pondering that rather than actually watching the episode. I was tricked by some interesting aspects of the Arya storyline into paying attention, and all I got for it was me seriously debating whether or not to drop the series entirely.