Syfy Channel: Imagine Less

Not everything we do here will be about the NCAA as I plan to tee off on television shows too when it affects the “nerd” part of the website. The Sci-fi channel, sorry, the Syfy channel has been the flag bearer for the nerd genre for a long time but it appears to have given up the fight.

Its slogan “imagine greater” makes no sense the channel seems to have no imagination whatsoever. Instead it has fallen into a copycat problem known as reality television.

Syfy used toy around with reality television with shows like “Face Off” and “Ghost Hunters.” Today it seems like very little originality is being produced. Shows such as the grandstanding “Robot Combat,” the painfully fake “Ghost Mine,” and now the ulcer producing “Fangasm” are the main culprits. Check out this teaser for Fangasm, not an actual clip from the show, a promo they actually thought would draw people in. More like a repellant.

Imagine and entire hour like that! I’ve tried to watch an entire episode in one sitting but I can’t persevere through the pain. Fangasm is Syfy’s attempt with another reality show about nerds living together in one home called “King of the Nerds,” on TBS. Fangasm offers little more than a smarter version of “Big Brother,” the biggest jock show on television. It doesn’t take much to outwit that.

Syfy’s schedule is littered with shows more likely to be E! than Syfy. “Heroes of Cosplay” is one such show as it features 10 minutes of entertaining television jam-packed into one whole hour. Speaking of E! Syfy has aired episodes of “Total Divas” to promote its sister station’s programming. You would think they know people watch Syfy to get away from E!
More reality shows are coming down the pipe including a show called “Naked Vegas.” Sounds more like a porno than science fiction.

Syfy’s scripted programming has not been very creative either. “Being Human” is an idea taken directly from a British show that few enjoy. “Defiance” has plenty in common with “Babylon 5” and also serves up a huge side order of borderline porn in each episode. That’s better than “Lost Girl” which serves up porn as the main course. And don’t even get me started on “Sharknado” as it was the ultimate movie title gimmick of the year.

“Continuum” seems to be a good show but it was on in Canada before Syfy wanted in. The show has interesting takes on time travel but is also confusing with all the paradoxes time traveling provides. The season 2 finale was a very depressing cliffhanger that does not entice me to watch season 3.

This leaves only one show on the Syfy network to carry the flag on nerd programming. “Haven” displays creativity telling stories of troubled people with various powers in a small coastal town in Maine. It’s like “X-Men” meets “Law and Order.” Haven stars Emily Rose and while not every episode is good, it has had a few great ones.

Problem is “Haven” has had its share of problems too. It was poorly managed by the network having its season 3 finale in January and waiting almost nine months for the premiere of season 4. By then momentum is impossible to build and fans lose interest. The show is also hard to get into if you join in late or have skipped a few episodes.

Even worse, Haven has a big plot twist to start season 4 that screams desperation. Rose’s character is trapped in an alternate reality which is actually a magical barn. Yeah I know. She also thinks she is someone else and has no memory of her fellow cast mates. Colin Ferguson joins the show to bring over some “Eureka” viewers. This is funny because both shows are just slightly above mediocrity.

Syfy can do better than mediocrity. Basic cable networks can produce some awesome shows if it makes a commitment to them. AMC has succeeded in creating hits by only cranking out 5 or so shows a year. Syfy is too scattered trying to create hours of programming to make anything amazing.

Instead of spreading its budget among crappy shark movies, pornographic reality shows, and mediocre dramas, Syfy could focus on four dramas and pump everything into them to make them great. Make it happen Syfy. We need more “Battlestar Galacticas” and less “Alphas.”

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2 thoughts on “Syfy Channel: Imagine Less

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