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Thursday, January 14, 2016

2764 - 2015 In Review

NOTE: Yeah, I know. It's a little late, but shit happens. So this is being posted now. Sorry, everyone.

In what has become something of an annual tradition for my web presence, I figure we do a year in review. For those joining for the first time, I do this thing at the end of the year where I would post a list of winners and losers of that year, otherwise known as the high points and low points of that year... along with some middle-of-the-road mentions. It's something of an annual tradition and... it started off as a written form on the old blog and it continues to be that here, since after a couple days, I'll post the written version for those who want to read it or understand what I'm trying to say in these rambling sessions. And sometimes, those written versions will have slight revisions or additions, but... in any case, let's check out the Winners And Losers of 2015.




THE YEAR'S WINNERS
Let's get it to it...

CLASSIC GAME ROOM
Right on top of the list because, even though the show is winding back, closing its store, shutting down Undertow, more relaxed schedule, uncertain future, I felt it appropriate to give Mark and company the top spot because to do otherwise would be foolish. And it's my small way of saying thanks for the good times and for the entertainment and for reminding people that video games are supposed to be fun. Something that I feel has been lost in the wake of certain negative bits that... well, in any case, CGR crew, I salute you. And good luck with that Patreon.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
The movie may have been the single most hyped thing in recent memory and it is inevitable that going into something too hyped up will lead to disappointment. Fortunately, my expectations were tempered. I wanted this to be good and that's what I got. It has its flaws, but for what it's worth, it sits in a comfortable position where it's better than the polarizing prequels, but stands firmly in the shadow of the original films. Nonetheless, it made its money. I'm sure it'll make more down the line.

SUPERGIRL
Finally, a Super person who's happy and cloy and not depressing to watch. Primary colors. Smiles. Is this a DC product? Because I'm not quite sure of that... but yeah, this was a good show. Good start, good cast, good Supergirl. Have a cookie. But yeah, here's an example of a show that I had high hopes for that it would be good and it turned out just that. And I can't complain too much about it.

SETH ROLLINS
Saved a horrible Wrestlemania main event that had the distinction of giving birth to one of the stupidest sayings in the universe by cashing in money in the bank and winning the WWE World title. And while things can be said about how poorly Seth's run as champion has been and how it came to an end due to injury rather than a proper loss, never let it be said that when allowed to do so, Seth Rollins can deliver the goods and in grand fashion indeed. Godspeed, Seth. Get well soon. You're sorely missed.

WWE NETWORK
The smartest thing that WWE with their Network is create more original content for their network. While it sucks to have to tune in to the channel and get a marathon of worthless Total Divas shows, there is a lot of good, quality stuff if you're into WWE. While their main product that they're airing on Monday and Thursday nights have been pretty much shit, their Network output is exceptional. The occasional Network-exclusive specials such as the WWE event from Japan and the various NXT Takeover specials are worth checking out, Table For 3 is a lot better than I thought it would, and there were a couple others that came and went, but at least now they're trying to make the Network worthwhile. And as much as I miss Throwback Thursdays, at least they're filling the void with stuff that I'd happy to sit down and watch on a lark. So kudos, WWE Network.

POWER RANGERS DINO CHARGE
Based on the few episodes of the show that I've seen thus far, it's already better than the past four years worth of Tzachor-produced Sentai adaptive wankfests. For that alone, it gets the nod. But seriously, from what I've seen of the show - the eight episodes that are on Netflix at the moment - I'm really enjoying it, I wouldn't call it a fresh take, but I would call it refreshing, after the tripe that was Megaforce, both Super and vanilla.

WINDOWS 10
It was a free upgrade. That's the only real justification I have for giving it a Winner's slot. When I bought a new computer, it came with Windows 8 and I liked Windows 8 fine. It wasn't amazing or anything, but it worked and unlike most people, I didn't have a problem making the adjustment with the Start screen or whatever. Windows 10 changed a few things, but it works. And it works rather well for my needs, at least. So I'm satisfied at least. I expected the worst, but it works. Can't complain.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU
Babyface Trudeau, who wasn't expected to win this past years' Canadian federal election, and suddenly won. Even now, Prime Minister Babyface Trudeau... odd thing to say. I didn't vote for him; but for him to get to where he is, that has to count for something in my book and so he gets the nod. And this is probably the only time I see myself putting the guy on the list at any point in the future unless he does something really stupid.

BATMAN/TMNT
Only the first issue thus far, but it's a good start. Maybe if it keeps up, it might make the 2016 Winners' List... It's telling that I'm stretching for winners at this point because 2015 as a whole was pretty fucking abysmal.

THE YEAR'S LOSERS
Holy shit. We're here for the long haul.

TARGET CANADA
The great failed experiment that started in 2013 and then fumbled along the way until limping into bankruptcy in 2015. I've said this before and goddammit I'll say it again; I suppose the lesson of the day should be; if you're going to buy out a long-tenured Canadian discount store chain and replace it with your own, you'd better be able to deliver the same kind of quality service and products or else you will fail. A shame. An even bigger shame that we lost a perfectly acceptably Canadian retail chain in Zellers to get an American franchise that thought phoning it in would suffice for Canadians and look what happened. The blunder to end them all, ladies and gentlemen.

UNDERTAKER VS. BROCK LESNAR (all of them)
For a big prize fight - or as close to a big prize fight as you're ever going to pretend to get in sports-entertainty WWE - this match managed to somehow outsuck their Wrestlemania encounter the previous year. You can't blame it on concussions or anything; these were boring, plodding matches featuring two part-timers that are coasting on name recognition more than anything.

#LOLDIVASREVOLUTION
Uh, why even bother? I wrote about the whole thing and that somehow appeared on Reddit. You could look up the post elsewhere. And while we're at it, how about we add another ridiculous hashtag that went nowhere, such as... oh, I don't know...

#GIVEDIVASACHANCE
Yep, this was a waste too.

TNA
Last year, they got a notch on the winners' list for finding another network and I was hoping for big things to come out of the woodworks. Instead, TNA sorta sat there and did nothing of note beyond a token invasion from Jeff Jarrett's Global Force Wrestling group as well as crowning Matt Hardy World champion, only to strip him of the title two days later so they could turn a bunch of random matches taped in July into a "World Title Series" of sort. It doesn't even matter that they've gotten a new deal with POP TV, whatever that is. TNA had the opportunity to make a bold statement and give people a reason to care about them again beyond their current joke status. They didn't, so there goes my good will.

VINCE RUSSO
Started a website called Pyro & Ballyhoo and was later turfed from his own website... a website that he claimed to have full control over and yet he was locked out and thus... look, the guy moved on to other things. He's on RELM Network, he's on Wrestling Inc. He clearly recovered, but this Pyro & Ballyhoo fiasco is enough to stick him in the Losers segment this year. Bro.

CHRIS BORES
While a lot can be said about his output this year being less than stellar - and I'm being nice here - this is solely aimed at one particular piece; his new book. Ghost Hunting 2.0, which I made a couple silly videos at its expense. But all kidding aside, the book is supposed to educate people on this new approach of ghost hunting and all I got was a lot of ego-stroking, delusions of grandeur, and plenty of goobledygook that left me bored more than anything. It was fascinating to read how much of that ego would seep in and ruin the book and it did that in droves. This was essentially the Angry Video Game Nerd movie in book form; the only difference is this book didn't need a kickstarter to fund it. And also, there were some technical bits from the Nerd movie that I could enjoy whereas the book was full of formatting and editorial issues that it makes Moviebob's book seem like a work of art in comparison.

KONAMI
I'd elaborate a little more, but I'm afraid they might mark this program with magical content ID. Suffice it to say, anyone who followed the company and its woes know why they're on the list and therefore, no need for me to elaborate.

FANTASTIC FOUR REBOOT
So bad it killed any chance of a franchise... and I suppose the wait continues for someone to do this property some semblance of justice because I am seriously tired of saying that the best FF movie came from Roger Fucking Corman.

TRUTH or THAT IDIOT PRETENDING TO BE SUPERMAN
Because fuck you, that's why... oh well, at least the Lois & Clark comic is pretty good... primarily because it has a proper Superman in it.

MIGHTY NO. 9
What was poised to be the second coming of Mega Man and hyped beyond all belief became a sad bitter saga of delays, broken promises, vague promises, and just an all-around mess of a campaign. Now if the game comes out in the coming year, it'd better be the most amazing thing ever considering all the hooplah surrounding this because otherwise, there's a spot waiting on the 2016 list.

MIDDLE GROUNDERS
Less middle ground and more honorable mentions. Only a couple this year.

DANIEL BRYAN DANIELSON
Sigh... had a nice moment at 'Mania winning the IC title and then Sheamus got involved and DBD hasn't been in the ring since. I don't have the heart to put the guy in the "Losers" section because he technically didn't lose anything, but considering he hasn't done enough to warrant another Winners label, we'll just plant him in the middle.

ROMAN REIGNS
Poised to be the next big thing, but was the victim of bad booking, bad creative, and simply being the corporate "Chosen One" being pushed over the one guy people really wanted to see pushed and even when that guy was gone, Roman still had trouble. Now it took a while, but they seem to finally set things right with Roman with him beating McSon-In-Law and him winning the title and suddenly, people are somewhat interested in Roman Reigns, which is why he's in the midcard rather than the out-and-out Losers section.

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