Photo by Con Karampelas on Unsplash
Look at that.
It has been a long time since we, the fans, had first heard the news about how Channel Awesome (ThatGuyWithTheGlasses from the first 5?6 years of the site) and the exposure of several well-trusted producers stories about the terrible company practices. Several issues that grew over a period of ten years, for several of the long term producers.
As someone who became a fan in the middle of 2012, when things started to rapidly shift for the site, behind the scenes, I was entranced by the surface. I would be lying if I said I didn?t enjoy Nostalgia Critic, but the others on that site were varied. One day I would watch Linkara, ripping into One More Day, the next I would see Lindsey Ellis?s former persona of the Nostalgia Chick trying to reenact the Carlton dance from her review of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, or seeing how bad the Incredible Bulk (which is not a typo) is from Allison Pregler?s show, under her not entirely retired name of Obscurus Lupa.
During the six months that Doug Walker retired his character the Nostalgia Critic at soon as his mini-series/movie To Boldly Flee ended, I never watched his followup show, Demo Reel. I had no need to. I was fine with the rest of the producers still there, their shows, and several others were the main draw for me. And that should have been enough for the rest of the people who visited the site as well.
Demo Reel | Channel Awesome |
(Pictured: Rob Paulson, who was only in a short, that was shot at a convention) The start of a handful of episodes surrounding Donnie Dupre and his co-workers while trying to make it as a web series remaking movies.
On January 22, 2013, the series finale of Demo Reel aired, and, through a tie-in idea with To Boldly Flee called the Plot Hole; it was also the return of Doug Walker?s most famous character, the Nostalgia Critic. And on February 5, 2013, the show called the Nostalgia Critic, started again. The style of the show was revamped: with the studio they purchased for Demo Reel, it was used as the Nostalgia Critic?s new settling for the continuation of the show. There were cast members that could enact a sketch, or a comedic storyline that typically revolves around the media that?s being reviewed. And there was a push towards making reviews of media that was currently in theaters or online, as the case for It (2017). And there were popular enough with the audience that with the aforementioned review, there was at least one showing at an actual theater in Illinois.
This was the start of the marked change for the site?s history. It was shown, felt that the site, which had amazing creators and bloggers and artists, rested on one man, it was the reason the site was made in the first place, after all. Then, there?s the troubling issues of having a fundraiser for the express reasoning of funding for several new shows, and only completed half of the promised episodes, on one of the shows, a game show, hosted by two reviewers during its short lifespan. Broken promises on the one hand, the inability to learn enough business edicate on the other.
In 2015, long time reviewers Lindsey Ellis, Allison Pregger, and Phelan Porteous left the site, due to several circumstances, one of which is notable due to being fired from the site. 2015 was also the year that Blip ended, leaving several reviewers scrambings to head back into Youtube. Which caused the slow decline for the site in the revitalization of Youtube and how their algorithm worked.
(Representation of One of the sights seen in Lindsey Ellis?s Documentary ) Photo by Sheldon Nunes on Unsplash
Lindsey would go on to produce new content under her name, eventually producing a three part documentary series about the Hobbit Trilogy, even heading off to New Zealand, conducting interviews with some of the actors. And receiving a Hugo nomination (pending as of 4/7/19)! And, in partnership with PBS, having her own show on their Youtube channel, called It?s Lit!, which is focused on the several different subgenres of books!
Allison Pregger, and Phelan Porteous are still together, both with seperate shows, with Phelous and the Movies focusing primarily on knockoff animated movies, and Allison creating a show called Movie Nights, where she still reviews the usual type of movies, plus added content including, a podcast about the Charmed Reboot, alongside a series retrospective, plus Baywatching, which focuses on episodes of the show Baywatch.
In 2018, there was a straw that broke the camrade of Channel Awesome?s camel?s back. There was a commentator on Twitter, who asked Allison about something involving Doug Walker, a throwaway question, but one question too many. Over the next several days in March, Allison, Kaylyn, among other of the former, and then current, producers from the TGWTG/Channel Awesome site, came together on Twitter, talking about the real behind the scenes going on.
By early April 2018, a Google document was made, comprising of several producers?, fans, throughout their time on the site. There was backlash to the document, even going so far as being called ?pleas for attention?. But there was a consequence to this document.
- Several Youtubers commented on the #Changethechannel, including even more former producers who have not contributed to the site.
- By the end of April, only Guru Larry and Brad Jones are the only non-Doug Walker-connected producers on the site. There were more than 40 producers at the start of 2018. Guru Larry is only staying on as a joke.
- Videos from the Channel Awesome Youtube, were being downvoted, and several comments about #changethechannel were removed manually. They also made an attempt to past one of their most downvoted videos, off as a joke in one of the reviews.
- Due to providing a statement from their website?s twitter, several long running producers started to leave.
- After another response, where not only they haven?t apologized, they tried to refute the claims, actually proving one of the testimony, which involved sexual assault, to be true.
Channel Awesome is still thriving, to some extent. While the Nostalgia Critic reviews have never broken 1 million again since the Doom review in late 2018, there are still people visiting the channel, they are gaining subscribers with every passing day. As of this writing, there have been over 12,400,000 views in 30 days. The site itself was gutted, forums were people started their careers on the site came from disappear into the either, along with a blog feature of the site, hundreds of reviewers blogs, gone. All that remains is the two producers and everything from Doug Walker?s catalog, excluding the anniversary movies due to a music issue for all three movies, partially explained by Linkara.
Everyone who has also left have their own things going on : Angry Joe, Chris Stuckmann, Peanut Butter Gamer,Diamanda Hagan, Folding Ideas, The Dom, Todd in the Shadows, Calluna, Linkara, Kyle Kallgren, Some Jerk with a Camera , Nash, PushingUpRoses, The BlockBusterBuster, Bennett the Sage, Maven of the Eventide, Nella, among other wonderful people out there who are still active. They have their fans, they can go to the conventions, they make fan creations in their name.
We?re certainly spoiled for choice.
The landscape of the video reviewer was different in 2009.
It was still the early years of Youtube. There were other available sites to gain money. People were able to get away with showing longer clips of the movie they were reviewing, on top of using music in some of their videos.
There had been a need for a website like Channel Awesome, or That Guy With The Glasses, as it was known at the time.
As Shakespeare wrote, it?s a brave new world out there, with such people in it. Channel Awesome, or That Guy with the glasses, started out as a way for Doug Walker to housed his videos after being pulled off of Youtube. But it was the rest of the producers that followed that made it truly special, for several people.
There have been friendships torn apart from this, new connections made in light of certain information. There were also friends who stood by each other, fire forced relationships.
(Note: a visual representation in respect to the producers? friendship. I?m sure they don?t randomly wave at the Sun close to sundown) Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash
A quote from one of the final Channel Awesome anniversary movies that feel pertinent. It was during a conversation between Kyle Kallgren, under the analogue as Yoda to Kingley Mochie?s Luke. As his mentor went to the dark side, this conversation was a mirror reflection of the conversation that brought the mentor to the dark side.
Bad art is a distraction, Great art changes people.
-Kyle Kallgren, To Boldly Flee, 2012
The world may move on, the age of the video critics have moved onwards. I?m hoping to see what they do next.
Edited as of 4/11/19, due to updating links and spelling errors I forget to check.