For us all I asked. I was answered for us all. Welcome, you are. So here’s the skinny. Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome is getting released on DVD. After it shows on TV. Which will be after it’s chopped up and shown on the Interwebz. But it’s the same thing. Although it’ll be edited for TV. And the Internet. They’ll be the same. Probably. Just the DVD release will be unedited. Beyond the usual editing, anyway. All this was announced yesterday and will start to occur in five minutes.
Or, Friday. Whatever. Point being it seems odd that an official trailer is only first released now for something that will happen in less than five days. You might expect such things 6 months or more in advance. Example? Starz (and those guys I like) newest series, Da Vinci’s Demons will premiere in the first half of next year. They released a teaser trailer for it weeks if not months ago and a trailer proper today; Blood & Chrome gets a handful of days. Bit weird. You’ve not seen it, you say? Well check it out. I’ll wait.
You realise of course, that I’m taking full responsibility for this. We hear nothing, then nothing, then a bit of some more nothing then I write about it and a month later the trailer’s released, the online and TV debuts are both announced, the DVD release is announced and it’s all to a schedule so tight it’s like spandex on a SyFy regular? Come on. Like coincidence is even a real word.
Anyway, looks fine. Fucking webisodes though?
I’m not opposed to such things in principle. I’m really not. Ever watch The Guild? I stumbled across the first season once upon a time and thought given the nature of it webisodes were a perfect format. It was cute, quirky and ten minutes or so of fun whilst taking a break from something else. Of course, the fact that the creators didn’t have a TV channel to put it on probably had something to do with the creative decision to put it on YouTube but… whatever, it worked.
You catch that Mortal Kombat web series? I liked that a lot. Very cool. With each episode focused around a specific character and narrative, again the format worked. ‘Course in that case it helped that it was actually written specifically to be shown in ten minute chunks but… whatever, it worked too.
And that Halo series? Well, I didn’t watch that. But apparently it was good if you’re into faceless avatars and… whatever the plot of Halo was. Something about space gremlins, I think. I must admit I got distracted by [anything with a plot] instead.
And maybe this will work too. Maybe the script which was originally written as a web series before the decision to make a backdoor TV pilot which was itself before the decision to drop the idea of a TV series which was immediately prior to the decision to not show it on TV of course followed by the decision to show it online in chunks and in whole on TV can hold up. Maybe my grammar checker won’t put a wiggly green line under that sentence.
My problem isn’t with webisodes, online distribution or people that campaign for the Tea Party. Well… okay, the latter but that’s not particularly relevant here. It’s once again the disdain SyFy has shown the concept and in large part I simply don’t understand it. Mark Stern can talk about ‘exciting new mediums’ until he’s blue in the face but I don’t want to watch a 2-hour movie in weekly chunks on YouTube. I’ll forget, or lose interest, or simply not have the time or patience. When I want to watch a movie, I cook a meal, fix a drink and settle down for a session in front of the box. I don’t munch a Mars bar whilst checking my emails on the other screen sat at a desk. Same with TV shows. I started watching that H+ thing and was mildly interested, but I couldn’t be bothered checking back ten times to see the equivalent of what I’d have watched in one 90-minute go if it were on TV. As a result, I’ve watched three or four episodes and can’t really be bothered catching up.
Now to be fair to SyFy, and I’m all for treating corporations with the individual personal rights that they enjoy under law, it’s not like this doesn’t make financial sense, at least sort of. Late announcement or not, this is the Internet. People know. People will watch. They get whatever money they get from the deal with Machinima Prime and then they get the money from the TV event and then they get the money from the home releases. They’ll also get a good test to see how popular online shows can be for them, and even better, if it turns out it’s actually good they’ll have weeks running up to the TV release of good press. So that’s all hunky dory.
Of course there will be a bunch of people like me who won’t want to watch on YouTube and yet don’t want to wait till the new year either. These people will be instantly put off, and won’t exactly sing the praises of SyFy.
But then we weren’t anyway and if SyFy’s proved one thing over the past few years, it’s that it doesn’t give a shit what you say or think, just so long as you watch.
And online or not, cut up or not, many of us still will.