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JonathanAshleyMoore's blogs from January, 2013

  Saturday, January 5th 2013 11:50 pm  
Topic: Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special
Message: As a general fan of children's entertainment, I am always on the look out for the next thing to watch that I have never seen. I don't care if it's a children's classic or a soon to be classic, I just want to see it. For me, there are two special times of year that I just go co-co nuts for, Halloween and Christmas. Whilst Christmas doesn't quite trump Halloween, it's cut-throat close. Now, Christmas for my family and I suppose most, involves awesome Christmas Special's. Every family has their own special's, for mine it's a Jingle all the Way, Mickey's Christmas Carol type situation, with some of the South Park Christmas Specials thrown in for good measure. This year, we had the inclusion of three new ones: The Victorious Christmas episode, Drake and Josh's Christmas Special and probably more importantly, Pee-wee's Christmas Special. But we are only going to be talking about Pee-wee's glorious special this time. I just wanted this article to be a little more of a laid back, relaxing affair than the usual where I can just spit some love and tell my personal story and experience with one of my personal favorite Christmas Special's ever made.

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  Saturday, January 5th 2013 11:50 pm  
Topic: Face-Off: iCarly vs Victorious
Message: I think this is a tougher one than the last Face-Off, mostly because the same person made both of the shows up for critique and as such, the presentation, humor and structure in both shows is pretty similar. iCarly debuted in 2007 as the driving force in a new era of children's comedy, primarily focusing on females as the leads of the shows, as opposed to the male-dominated children's programming of yesteryear. Sure, there had been female leads before, but not in the way that iCarly seemed to trigger the industry and viewers. True Jackson, VP and Victorious soon had numbers way beyond other Nickelodeon shows after their debuts, but iCarly's viewer-ratings continued to thrive in a way Nickelodeon really hadn't seen from their live-action programming before. Our second show, Victorious, debuted in 2010 and has definitely taken its world from the predecessor, iCarly. It uses the same technology and the same rip-offs in its episodes (Pear-phones, Computers etc), generally retains the Dan Schneider humor that was so prevalent in iCarly and older Schneider shows, however had a much larger main-cast than iCarly, where as iCarly was based around three characters (eventually becoming four with Gibby becoming a star in the fourth season), Victorious handles six characters at almost all times. iCarly has aired its last episode recently, however Victorious still has one season to be aired before its eventual slumber.

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  Saturday, January 5th 2013 11:49 pm  
Topic: Absolutely Classic: The IT Crowd (Season One)
Message: It's pretty crazy to think that when this show debuted on February 3rd 2006, I was in high school. Yet me and my friends still knew that this show was something special. I think as a kid that had (by accident) embraced geek-culture so intensely from a young age, a show that didn't talk down to me, actually had the knowledge of such subjects to back up their references and bring in so many great actors and actresses was almost a dream. We had great underground, web based shows no doubt, but something based in the world of television with these aspects embedded in its subconscious was unmistakably absent. The Big Bang Theory was still a year away and even then, these two shows had completely different agendas. The Big Bang Theory was a show about geeks for the casual crowd, The IT Crowd was a show made by people with a knowledge of geek-culture, made for everyone. I guess what helps The IT Crowd's audience-wide mark is that you really, really don't need to know anything about technology to understand its appeal. It is a really funny show with references in the background. Where as The Big Bang Theory shoves references down your throat incessantly, The IT Crowd uses the art of subtlety to entice people who may, or may not, be interested in technology, old or new. Subtlety is a huge tool for success in the world of geek, people don't understand that putting someone on a camera and making them reference an old, low per-center video game is not funny. It's not. Basing your show around hilarious antics and situations and then hiding items in the background for later findings is genius and it works perfectly.

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  Saturday, January 5th 2013 11:48 pm  
Topic: A Look Back: iCarly (Season One)
Message: I really don't want to come across as though I am beating a dead horse here, after all, I did claim Dan Schneider being at the helm of the show as a primary reason that Kenan and Kel did so well, but it just can't be understated: Dan Schneider has made Nickelodeon what it is. The way that people perceive Nickelodeon's humor is completely on Dan Schneider and the way that he made shows in the so called "Golden Age" of Nickelodeon. Kenan and Kel and The Amanda Show would be the first to cement Nickelodeon's childish, over-exaggerated style of comedy, with Drake and Josh pushing the “Two guys getting in trouble” format once again not even a decade later. But then we had this unusual part in the Nickelodeon time-line where everything took a shift and girls programming became a more viable market to sell to. iCarly, True Jackson, VP and (later on) Victorious became some of the most popular programming Nickelodeon had to offer, with little in the way of their animated golden age being replicated in any manner. Nickelodeon had officially hit a new age, one in which girls dominated the market and had spoken loudly: We want more of this and we want it now.

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  Saturday, January 5th 2013 11:46 pm  
Topic: The Unpopular Opinion: South Park Peaked Early
Message: I would debate to the death this little diddy: South Park has been consistently great throughout it's run. I also believe that most people wouldn't disagree to be honest, so there's not much debate within this subject and of course, this is not what this series of articles is about. So what is my unpopular opinion this time? Well, it's a simple and rather controversial opinion: I think South Park was best in the first three seasons. Now before I defend my opinion to the death, I want to clarify a few things, One: People have asked me "So do you think the movie is the start of the downfall?" to which I say: No, Not at all. In fact, I personally believe The South Park Movie is the magnum opus of the show, if you count it as a big episode, which I kind of do to be honest. Two: People sometimes want to know whether I really enjoy the newer episodes or whether it's just fine or filler for me. Well, to that I say I definitely enjoy the show, it's one of the smartest comedies disguised as the un-smartest comedy ever and I personally believe this is the only show of the "Big Three" (The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park) that is even trying anymore. To divert the subject matter for a second, I personally believe The Simpsons is such a half-empty affair these days in terms of story-lines, wit and general importance to animated history that for me, regardless of a few good episodes here and there, it comes off as a shell of what it once was. As Doug Walker of Nostalgia Critic fame had expressed recently, we're all just waiting for The Simpsons to get canceled so we can start reveling in just how much of an influence it has had on our culture. However, I give it slack. Who doesn't, right? I mean hell, it's The Simpsons. They have been on forever, had countless directors, writers, producers, etc switched up throughout their run and have tackled every storyline in the book... In my personal opinion, some slack has to be given.

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