Channel Awesome: Epilogue

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I haven’t really written anything about the whole Channel Awesome debacle (post 1, post 2, post 3) since the most recent revelations. I guess that was kind of because I was so “burnt out” on the subject. This was one of the biggest “fandom scandals” I had seen in quite some time, with an enormous amount of vlogs covering the subject in every excruciating detail.

But lately a rumor started that Channel Awesome figurehead, and star of The Nostalgia Critic, Doug Walker had quietly left the site. According to the story, Doug’s brother Rob accompanied him, and they “lawyered up” to eventually take the Nostalgia Critic IP back from CEO Mike Michaud.

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The Channel Awesome Controversy Intensifies Even More

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“I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us.”
–Ray Stanz, “Ghostbusters”

I really have been putting off writing this post because just contemplating all this makes me really fucking mad. And it’s as triggering as FUCK and it makes me wish I never went down this rabbit hole, much less ever heard of any of the entities involved. It’s dredged up shit for me personally regarding a different fandom/industry—comics—and I’ve just had to process a lot of shit the last couple weeks.

But I felt like I couldn’t “end” the coverage of the Channel Awesome implosion without at least briefly (and fuck it, it won’t be briefly; how could it?) addressing this topic.

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The Channel Awesome Dumpster Fire Continues

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So like less than like a week ago, there was a big controversy about the critic aggregation site/YouTube channel Channel Awesomea bunch of ex-contributors/employees listing grievances against the channel/site in a 70+ page Google document that was passed around the Internet. Channel Awesome had initially posted a “non-apology” that seemed to upset people even more…and apparently yesterday night they published a longer “statement” which is like…bananas.

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My Expanded Thoughts On The Channel Awesome Controversy

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OK, I’ve had a couple of days to absorb the full brouhaha surrounding the “Not So Awesome” document—a nearly 70-page whistleblowing document on the business practices of Channel Awesome penned by around 20 of their former contributors & employees—and I just want to get down a few final thoughts on the matter before I stick a pin in this and move on to other schadenfreudey stuff.

For those who don’t know, Channel Awesome is a website and YouTube channel that hosts/features a number of video review critics—of whom, Nostalgia Critic (Doug Walker) is the most prominent. Originally seen as a sort of collective, it has been plagued with a number of contributor exoduses (exodi, if you will) over the years, and rumblings of various alleged malfeasances.

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Donald Glover, Chevy Chase, And The Life And Death Of “Community”

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“Community” co-stars Donald Glover and Chevy Chase

The NBC sitcom Community, which ran from 2009-2015 (its last season actually running on Yahoo Screen) was once one of my most beloved TV series. Blissfully unaware of my later revelation that “fandom ruins everything,” I had an intense fandom for this show.

But reading Atlanta creator/star and current Lando Calrissian Donald Glover discuss his experiences on Community, I am reminded once again what a clusterfuck that series was & why it was ultimately doomed.

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How “Dodgeball” Challenged Traditional Masculine Stereotypes

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Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, is one of those mid-level comedies from the Aughts that I keep revisiting every once in a while. It’s funny, has some memorable quirky characters, and it moves. So many comedies during this period “felt” like Dodgeball…with the same actors, the same sense of humor, even overlapping plots (that’s got to be a separate post down the line).

This video essay from Trash Theory points out something that I never quite noticed before in previous viewings: just how much the film subverts traditional conceptions of masculinity.

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When Movies Fail: 2001’s “Evolution”

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Evolution, directed by Ivan Reitman, should have been everything I sought for in a movie. I was still a huge X-Files fan when it came out, and the flick was largely shaped as a star vehicle for David Duchovny. Some sort of alien-conspiracy goodness seemed to be promised, and it even had a devil-may-care three-eyed smiley face logo that I might have seen before in other cool and counter-cultural entertainment

And yet, I never saw Evolution. And even before the smallest bit of motivation gripped me to climb out of my basement apartment and actually see this movie in the theaters, it had already gotten horrible reviews and audience buzz. And then…

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