Sharktopus. DinoCroc vs. Supergator. Chupacabra: Dark Seas. The channel formerly known as SciFi is telling you something. Are you listening? Here it is: “We don’t take this genre seriously, and neither should you.” Sure, we all enjoy a nice bit of schlock cinema now and again, but what happens when schlock stops being schlock and starts to supplant quality entertainment? I’ll tell you: the bar gets lowered, and people learn to expect less. That’s what SyFy is doing. It’s lowering the bar for fans. But it’s not only doing that: it’s also ruining science fiction, fantasy and horror for the rest of America. There are plenty of people who think that they don’t like science fiction or fantasy because they think it’s all stupid stuff like mutant sharks and the Chupacabra on the Love Boat. They think genre films and books are incapable of saying anything intelligent or genuine, and who can blame them when they’re blowing through the channels and see descriptions like this?
While trying to find a cure for the West Nile virus, a scientist turns herself and her subject into mutant insects.
Saturday, March 5
3:00 AM – 5:00 AM, 17 SYFY
Sure, you might think it sounds like a good time, but what about your grandmother or baseball coach? Think they’re going to change their stance on horror films or science fiction? Not likely. Anyway, even if watching Mansquito sounds like a fun way to spend the wee hours of the morning, are you still going to feel the same way when these kinds of movies are all that the SyFy channel churns out? How about Mansquito 5: The Manskeetering? Will you still be along for the ride? Probably not, but the thing is that since we’re all giggling along with SyFy and watching all this stuff – even ironically – they’ll keep making them. Know why? It’s because of the advertisers. They don’t care why you’re watching something. They only care that you watch it, and thus more of these stinkers keep getting made. This is the same thing that keeps those day-glo orange CHUDs from Jersey Shore on television. Oh, and The History Channel’s boner for Bigfoot? Same thing.
So how do we stop this steady erosion into mediocrity? It’s up to you. Stop watching it. Stop linking to it. Stop reviewing it. Don’t give it any attention, and maybe it will go away. You deserve better. Demand that that SyFy lives up to its motto, “Imagine Greater.” It’s either do this or stop complaining that mainstream culture doesn’t take your favorite genre seriously. The choice is yours.