Yes, I know this isn’t necessarily about music. Deal with it. Photo relevant.
Because I am a spiteful son of a bitch, I verbally rejoiced this week at the news that The X Factor would not continue to air in 2017. Christ, there truly is a god, isn’t there?
Since the shows superficial inception onto Australian airwaves in 2010, the show has been leaking out viewers like the old, dirty unwanted barrel that it has now become. Not even wrangling national and international pop stars such as faux-Queen frontman Adam Lambert, that-bloke-who-isn’t-Shannon-Nole Guy Sebastian and Iggy Azalea for the 2016 season could not help save the reality show’s ratings.
Seven’s head of programming, Angus Ross, told TV Tonight (a website that I didn’t know existed a day ago) that the shows underwhelming audience numbers were to blame for its demise, saying “Obviously the back half of the year wasn’t as successful as the front half of the year for us. We walk away with Secret Daughter as a win from the back half, but there was a bit of disappointment with some of the other shows.”
Likewise, Dancing With The Stars also saw the flash of the descending axe at the end of last year, with low viewership also being responsible. And let us not forget that Australian Idol got taken behind the shed and shot back in 2009. The Voice had better lift its game.
Now, without googling it, can you tell me right now the name of The X Factor’s 2016 winner? It’s okay, I’ll give you a bit of time for my rhetorical question in which you couldn’t possibly answer me because this is a one-sided discussion sink in.
No? Here, let me end your suffering:
It was Isaiah Firebrace. Isaiah Firebrace was the answer I was looking for.
That’s a name that I didn’t hear back in 2016 and a name that I only first heard of earlier when I was writing this piece (he’s a good fucking singer, though). And while it is purely anecdotal, I’ve known people who have auditioned and gotten through the preliminary stages of The X Factor and who have mentioned how toxic the show is behind the scenes and how monitored and “staged” it all is.
Oh man, a TV talent show being toxic and staged to certain degrees? I am, well and truly, shocked.
However, when the universe giveth it also tends to taketh away, and as such, the ABC went and gutted their prime video game show, Good Game. In the complete opposite of my opening sentence, I verbally lamented this news.
This morning (Tuesday, January 31st at the time of writing) ABC’s Good Game announced that the ABC2 show would not be returning in 2017, due to the short-sighted powers that be canning the show, save for the ABC ME, child-friendly and the rather shitty spin-off, Good Game Spawn Point (which just ain’t gonna cut it, I’m afraid).
Now, to be fair, one of the show’s main hosts, Stephaine ‘Hex’ Bendixen was moving on from the series, and so to was their YouTube cast member, the charismatic and always loveable Nich ‘Nichboy’ Richardson who ran the daily Good Game Pocket series. To the higher-ups, I can only assume that these departures seemed like the end of the show to them, despite many of the long time on-screen and behind the scenes staff members staying on board. So, instead of helping a show at the peak of its transformation and growth continue on to become a better program, down came the axe.
Some see this action as a by-product of the tough times that the Aussie media giant is facing right now – in which one of the longest running video game TV shows in television history would be the least of their concerns, sadly. Also with their former boss and unfortunate two-first-name recipient, Mark Scott, moving on to become the head of the NSW Education Department, there’s definitely some big decision making going on in the background and Good Game got the short end of the stick here.
I’ve been watching Good Game for almost the past ten years of my fucking life and it was a massive part of my childhood. I clearly remember the very first episode I watched was of their coverage of Halo 3 and Heavenly Sword, way back when I was 13. God, that feels like a fucking lifetime ago now.
The Good Game fanbase, myself included, are a passionate bunch of people, and judging by the reactions from the public Facebook group relating to the show, I’d confidently say that the ABC has received dozens upon dozens of complaints from viewers (if not hundreds by now) wanting to see their beloved show continue on. Again, myself included. There was even a trending hashtag on Twitter yesterday –#putoutyourcontrollers. People really are pissed that this show is gone!
Sure, Good Game was really childish and cheesy sometimes, but fuck me, that was part of the charm and as the show developed and matured so too did the writing, the access they got for games and events, as well as its production values. Plus, the past two years saw its biggest expansion of segments and growth in its entire decade-long run-time. Although, in saying that, I would also like to point out that despite its history and almost-pioneering nature of the video game medium out to the Australian masses through their square boxes, the show didn’t have the best of ratings. Though, it certainly deserved them. Ever since the Liberal government entered power in 2013 I’ve often wondered when Good Game would get cut, and it sure as shit wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ with the way our current government handled their budget spending either.
But considering how much of the show was shifting away from television side of things and over to iView (despite that platforms two-week cycle) and their YouTube channel, maybe a sole digital media reworking of this program is what’s needed to save it and better it?
Well, here’s hoping that this isn’t the last we see of the show because I can’t fucking live without Bajo!
[Update: APPARENTLY, according to Junkee, from an email sent out by soon-to-be-leaving ABC’s Director Of Television – Richard Finlayson – it turns out both Hex & Nich will be going on to star in a new video game show on Channel Seven. But this hasn’t been confirmed by the hosts, the show, or the ABC.]
Oh, and if like me you hate seeing things you love die, then you can complain about it directly to the ABC here. Let them know just how idiotic a decision this is. Oh, and to the people still labelling the show “sexist” because they removed Junglist as a host way back in 2009 – that was all for the betterment of the show, you greenhorns.