As a Fanboy I’ve Always Deeply Hated the SyFy Channel

Posted by Michael Pinto on Mar 17, 2009 in Television |

The SyFy Channel

I’ve loved science fiction for almost as long as I can remember my life — as a child I grew up screaming if my parents would drag me from watching a Star Trek re-run (in black-and-white no less) to waste time on something trivial like dinner! And I came of age in that magical time of the late 70s to the early 80s and watched every new TV show from Space:1999 to Red Dwarf. And you want to know a little secret? I’ve always hated the Sci Fi channel (now branded the SyFy Channel) from day one — here’s why:

Firstly they never ran the very rare but great re-runs when they got started. Yes you could find something like Space:1999, but the stuff as a fanboy that I wanted to see — shows like Blake’s 7, Max Headroom, Starlost, and yes Star Blazers where never anywhere to be found. Instead what we got was lame crap like The Powers of Matthew Star and Tales from the Darkside. You quickly got the feeling that they aired what was cheap rather than what the fanboys wanted to watch.

Tales of the Darkside on the SyFy Channel

And speaking of Tales from the Darkside why the hell was there always non-science fiction programming on the channel? I’ve got nothing against horror — and sometimes horror overlaps with science fiction — but Tales from the Darkside was NOT even close to science fiction. And so from the beginning I quickly got the idea that the folks who ran the channel didn’t even know what science fiction was, or didn’t seem to care.

Who Wants to Be a Superhero was CRAPTASTIC!Today you look at the channel and you see junk like wrestling shows or Who Wants to Be a Superhero? and you wonder why do they even keep the damn name? Instead of trying to be cyber they should rename the channel to G4 and get it over with (except for the fact that as sad as G4 is, they have more nerd appeal at this point than SyFy).

And now for another ugly bit of truth: I’ve always the “original programming” on the channel. It never really took a chance, they turned out tons of space aliens running around cardboard sets. When you look at what other cable channels have done during the last twenty years the SyFy channel hasn’t done much that stands the test of time. Back in the day MTV came out with cool things like Aeon Flux or just think of all the great shows on HBO or Showtime — what’s been produced for the SyFy channel feels lightweight and lacking in originality. And yes I’ll put the Sopranos or first season of Six Feet Under up against Galactica any day of the week.

Where was the anime on the syfy channel?

And lastly there’s my favorite topic — Anime! In the 90s the SyFy channel got involved with anime early on by showing films like Project A-ko. But alas they never kept up with the times, it’s sad and pathetic that Cartoon Network ate their lunch all these years with Adult Swim and Toonami. When I think of all of the great anime that I’ve watched the last ten years (The Big O, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, etc.) none of those shows have ever been seen on the SyFy channel. In fact it feels like I’ve seen some good anime shows everywhere except for the SyFy channel at this point.

I guess I shouldn’t be upset: After all MTV no longer plays music videos and CNN no longer seems to be interested in breaking news, and now the SyFy channel officially doesn’t care about fanboys. When they first went on the air I had that bit of hope, hell I remember they even gave Harlan Ellision air time — but now that time has long since passed. And now I gladly throw dirt on the coffin of the Sci Fi channel…

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