Monday, March 16, 2009

"SyFy": Stupid

Have you all heard that the TV's  SciFi Channel (also known derisively as "Skiffy Tube") is changing it's name this summer to...SyFy? I don't talk about TV and movie affairs very much on this blog, and SciFi (or SyFy) is one of the reasons for it. I've come to view these other media as being, at best, step-siblings of the actual sf genre. Though I was excited about the potential of this channel when it first launched all those years ago, I think it's been largely a potential wasted. For a channel that has the ability to produce a large amount of it's own content, and whose new slogan is "Imagine Greater," there has longed seemed to be a real dearth of imagination there. Who keeps putting up the effing money for these goddamned giant snake movies?

Yeah, I get it that nobody wants to watch on TV the kind of stuff that I like, those moldy old 1950s and 60s TV shows, and all of those long boring old thinky movies of the immediate pre-Star Wars era, and the older ones from the 1950s with "bad special effects." So I'm not saying that SyFy should just be re-running old stuff all of the time.  But if they're going to produce original content, why can't they once in a while look to the written genre for some inspiration?  So many awesome books are screaming for a film adaptation, and I can't even count the number of times that I've heard of some great story on the way to the screen on SciFi just to never see it happen. They have had some original content that's good: I really liked the Children of Dune film from a few years ago (much better than the Dune miniseries that preceded it), and Battlestar Galactica (about to end its run) is an all time fave of mine. When they import something from Britain, like Doctor Who or Torchwood, they also do well.  It keeps Ghost Hunters away for an hour or two.

The reason for the name change is that they think that the new word, pronounced exactly like the old one, will better encompass the whole range of programming that they offer without making anyone feel limited.  I guess they focus-grouped it or something and figured out that "SciFi" conjures thoughts of space, aliens and the future. But "SyFy" apparently does a better job of conjuring thoughts of ghosts, giant snakes and re-runs of movies like Field of Dreams and Pirates of the Caribbean. Brilliant.

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D. D. said...

And where the hell did they get the idea for broadcasting wrestling? Some of their show just stink. You're right on about the creature features they seem to love to show. How about something like a Quatermass Marathon? I love the way Julian Glover gets it. Hell, how about a marathon of shows where Julian Glover gets it? Lot's of those around! He dies so elegantly (albeit messily!)

Christopher Fletcher said...

Yeah, WRESTLING. Unbelievable. A few months our cable system here picked up the Chiller horror channel. I don't know if its from the same company as Syfy, but there's some cross-over programming (snake movies, and the one about the snake-head fish that's on somewhere almost every time I look at the channel guide). That channel has been getting worse almost by the day. In fact, it's getting worse RIGHT NOW as I write this.

And yeah, they oughta consider running Quatermass. I mean, like, BOTH of us would be watching it, right?

D. D. said...

Absolutely! Intelligent, thought-provoking themes. And Julian Glover gets melted!

Unknown said...

Ok the Sci Fi Channel just changed its name to SyFy....Also in a related story Jiffy peanut Butter changed its name to "STFU NUB Ub3r 1337 P3@nu7$ NOM NOM NOM!!!1"

I hate retards, pretty soon Spike TV is just gonna be called "Sweet Bang Tube" and FudRuckers will become "ButtFuckers"... is Idiocracy coming to fruition?

Anonymous said...

You're wrong about the reason for the change. NBC, which owns "Syfy" has stated that the purpose of the change was to make the station's name a brand. They can't own the name "sci-fi" because it's the name of a genre, whereas "syfy" can be trademarked.

I'm not too upset by this. "Sci-fi" or "Syfy", whatever it calls itself, has always sucked. Hard.

Anonymous said...

@ d:
If jiffy peanut butter was renamed to "STFU NUB Ub3r 1337 P3@nu7$ NOM NOM NOM!!!1" I would SO buy it.


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