The internet needs more shows like VGHS

VGHS Season 3 from Production Studio Rocket Jump premiered this week online. Yup. Online.

VGHS (Video Game High School) is described by Rocket Jump as “an action/comedy web series about best friends, first loves, and landing that perfect head shot.” It almost reminds me a little bit of Hunger Games in a sense that it’s almost a parallel reality. In the Hunger Games, everything in the Capitol is very different. Weird outfits and strange people. In VGHS, e-sports are the biggest thing, even bigger then the FIFA World Cup. So it definitely has some uniqueness to it.

I got introduced to VGHS when it was airing it’s second season, and I just binge watched to get caught up and finish. It captivated me because it was very different but yet still very entertaining. The story line was familiar, but at the same time very different. Guy likes Girl, Girl is dating the jock, etc etc. Very familiar but they did it so differently that it felt fresh every episode.

When Season 3 came out it definitely lived up to the story. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t do more episodes and explore more opportunities to build the arc to the final episode but nonetheless it was still a great season and the series finale was probably one of the best series finales I’ve ever watched, except for one thing but I’ll let you watch that to figure it out. ;)

What impressed me the most about the series as a whole is how well it was done. From the story writing, to the camera work, effects, it was all done well. I thought I was watching a movie made by Marvel or Disney. It was done that well. The fact that it was produced for online distribution only is what boggled my mind the most. A show like this you would expect to be airing on TV, though the story is something that the major networks I doubt would ever pick up and that’s what I feel the problem is with TV these days.

TV is the best that it’s ever been. We have some really great TV shows airing right now. To name a few some of my favourites being: Agents of SHIELD, The Blacklist, The Flash, Arrow, and many more. The thing about TV is you can tell a story over 12-24 episodes with those episodes being 20-50 minutes long. To average that out you can get 500-1000 minutes of content per season. One movie gets you 120-220 minutes of content to watch (typically). Even if a movie does a trilogy you’re still looking at something thats quite less, time-wise, then what TV has to offer. So the fact that we can tell these stories over a pro-longed period of time allows for writers to tell stories they would never be able to tell in a 2 hour film.

Unfortunately TV is a business and networks need to find shows that are going to bring them in a lot of money. Which is why we often see good shows get cancelled to soon, or get no support. Let’s take Revolution for example. This show I thought had a lot of potential. Season 1 was great, Season 2, well just flat out sucked. Probably because they cut the budget down and resources because they didn’t feel it was worth it and then eventually it got cancelled. It’s unfortunate because the story line was very unique and had something different to offer then the 30 cop or federal investigation shows we have airing right now.

Shows like VGHS I feel have a hard time making it into the real world of TV because networks look at it and say it’s not going to bring in enough money. But what is enough. 5 million vs 25 million? 5 million is still a lot…I’d take that…

So that’s why we find people turning to the online world of websites like YouTube, Vimeo and more. Because they are able to produce what they want with no restrictions (except for money). There’s no one telling you how to do it, or changing your story, except you. Which is why I feel these shows are able to excel in the online world because content creators have full control over their content. For VGHS it worked. They have over 7 million subscribers on their YouTube channel. Season 3 is on Google Play and is on it’s way to iTunes or you can watch for free every week on YouTube. It’s incredibly popular because they took an idea that they had and rolled with it and put it out there for the world to see and it went viral.

We need more shows like VGHS. I love TV. I really do, but I feel that we are limited by the networks making the decisions of what does and doesn’t air. If it’s not making enough money it’s going to get cut, regardless if it’s a great show or not. Which is truly unfortunate. I believe that the world of internet TV shows is going to start to become a lot bigger. Netflix and Hulu are already producing their own tv shows for online distribution. Yahoo picked up Community and is going to continue it online as well, and how many shows are already airing on YouTube created by independent content creators?

Online entertainment has already exploded with people turning to YouTube for their daily dose of videos, it’s only a matter of time before the internet becomes the major breeding ground for all the new tv shows. The thing about major networks is that they are controlled by the Cable Companies who make it incredibly hard to watch TV the way we want to. Requiring subscriptions to this or to that, only able to watch the latest episode, theres no backlog of episodes. Watching TV on networks is incredibly hard, and it shouldn’t be. We should have the freedom to watch what we want, when we want, not when the cable companies say its ok. But because it’s a business, we may never see that until the internet cripples the cable market. Oh well.

VGHS Season 3 Episode 1 is available for streaming now with new episodes every monday. You can also pay $14.99 and get access to all the episodes right now via Google Play, Vimeo and soon iTunes.

Apple vs The World

This is a very touchy subject but I wanted to write about it because I feel that there’s a large majority of people who are very narrow minded when it comes to the subject, and that is Apple. Not the red fruits but rather the computer company.

Now before we go any further let’s establish some background on myself. I’m an Apple user. I have an iPhone, an iPad, an iMac and a MacBook. I have used PC’s before and I have tried a few of the other tablets/phones but at the end of the day I would consider myself an apple user. But I am not Pro-Apple.

Now you’re probably asking yourself, “you just listed off a long list of apple products you have but you’re against apple?”

We’ll get back to that in a bit.

Let’s talk about Samsung. Samsung is probably one of the biggest competitors to Apple (in my eyes) in terms of hardware that they are selling. It’s no question that the Samsung Galaxy phone line sells incredibly well and has a large following. We’ve also got Google making the Android software which is used by a large amount of cell phones out there, and then the Windows phone is mixed in there as well. But Samsung is probably the biggest competitor in the mobile world. Now one of the main reasons that I don’t like samsung is because of their marketing campaigns. Almost every commercial I have seen from Samsung is an attack ad against apple. From calling the apple users “iSheep” to making fun of a live stream which isn’t even a product that apple offers. No matter what it is they are always bashing apple in some way. Now granted Apple bashed Windows for years with their Mac vs PC commercials, nonetheless I digress. The fact that Samsung uses these commercials as one of their main points of advertising, just bothers me. Now I’m not saying it’s bad because it probably does work to some extent and they probably are making a decent amount of money from those ads, I just don’t agree with them from an ethical standpoint because again it’s the only thing I see coming from Samsung. They even take it one step further by promoting their tweets to the top of the Trending Topics when new products are being announced by apple in an attempt that consumers will get confused and think that Samsung is the one with new products when in reality they are just actually promoting a product they’ve had available for months and haven’t sold.

What bothers me the most is the fact that these loyal samsung followers attack apple users for being “iSheep” or “blinded by apple into buying last years product in a new shell.” My question to you is, Why do you care? It’s not you who’s buying it and you’ve obviously made the the “better decision” by buying a samsung phone or whatever product it is so why do you care what someone else buys?

The point I really wanted to make is that if you like a Samsung product, then buy the Samsung product. If you like an Apple product then buy the Apple Product. Why does it matter who buys what as long as YOU are happy with what you buy. Isn’t that was these products are suppose to do? Make us happy and let us enjoy them? How can we enjoy them if we are constantly fighting about which one is better.

Now granted I do tend to like apple products more and recommend them more because of the overall usability of the products. They work well, they’re built well and for the most part they are user friendly. I’ve used a few non-apple devices and found myself flustered and confused using them. It’s just not for me. And that’s ok. What I like is different then what my friends like. It’s what makes us all individuals and different.

I worked at an Apple Premium Reseller for two years selling apple products to people and convincing them that apple was the better choice over the competition. And I was very good at it so I can easily convince someone to go for an apple product regardless if it sucks in comparison to the competition (which again I don’t think it sucks). One of the arguments that people always come at me with is “Well my phones had that feature for two years already.” That’s great. Did you use it? Did it work well? The one thing that Apple does well is that when they implement a feature they take their time to get it right (for the most part, some things *cough* maps *cough* have not been thoroughly tested). When iOS 8 came out, it brought a lot of simple features that customers had been asking for for quite a while that other phones have already had. But I believe the features were implemented perfectly and at the right time.

Shifting over to the iPhone 6. This is the main reason I am writing this article because there has been a lot of talk since this phone came out. Mind you there’s talk whenever a new apple product comes out because people just love to bash apple and you can’t please anyone, but I digress. One of the features that the iPhone 6 came with is NFC. NFC has been in a lot of phones for YEARS now. Why did it take apple so long to implement it? Let’s go through it. NFC has a primary use of mobile payments. Now without doing research I know there are a couple phones that have mobile payment systems set up. But have you ever seen someone whip out their Android phone and make a payment? Never. NFC hasn’t been widely adopted by the consumer or prosumer community yet. It is only now just starting to gain traction. In Canada, NFC payment terminals are becoming mandatory and you can walk into almost any store and find one. I believe the same for Europe follows and the US is working on something similar. So NFC is about to become EVERYWHERE. So Apple’s timing with a mobile payment solution and NFC is perfect. From everything that I’ve read about Apple Pay, it is a great solution at the perfect time. So Apple has taken their time to make something wonderful and implement it at the perfect time. Getting it right. Of course people love to hate on apple and companies are already saying they won’t support it or that they will never use apple pay because they don’t want their credit card information getting leaked. Have you ever heard of iTunes, the #1 online music store, getting hacked and having Credit Card information released? Nope. But many other companies have. I believe Apple to be one the more secure companies on the planet. But people LOVE to hate.

Then there’s bendgate. Honestly I think the whole iPhone 6+ bending thing is ridiculous. 1st off, why would you willingly try to bend a phone. Are you stupid? If you’re spending money on a product, take care of it. Everyone always asks why I haven’t ever broken an iPhone screen or why all my products look like they’re brand new, and the answer is simple. I take care of them. I don’t have a case for any of my products. At most I have a smart cover for my iPad. My iPhone and iPad are always used bare. My MacBook doesn’t have a case on it except when its in the bag travelling. I just take care of my products and they last. So why would I willingly bend my phone to see if it actually bends? (Im not even gonna mention the whole “charge your phone in the microwave” lie that was going around. That’s even worse.)

The video that sparked the whole iPhone bendgate issue I believe to be faked. In fact the video that that same guy did in follow up I also believe to be faked. Theres no way that a brand new phone is going to bend THAT much THAT easily. I just don’t see it. Theres been rumours going around that Samsung paid the guy to fake the videos and if you look closely in the second video it even looks like he switches the phone for a decoy half way through. I’m not going to link to the videos you can find them easily enough if you want.

That being said, if they are more “bendable” then they should be, just take care of your dang phone and you’ll be fine. People have a bad habit of abusing products because they assume them to be indestructible. When I worked at the Apple Store people always got mad at me for suggesting extra warranty saying that “If apple is so good I should never have a problem” Well I have news for you dude, Apple is just like any other company that produces products. And everything is subject to flaws or issues on the machine line. Especially when they are producing 15 million phones in a matter of weeks. No company is perfect and Apple is no exception. Yes apple has a very high quality program and they want to hold their products to a higher stander then others but that doesn’t mean that you’re never going to run into issues. I’ve had a few minor issues with my iPhones in the past, I take them to the store and swap them out and move on with my life. No need to complain “Oh my phone isn’t working my life is so awful” no you’re life is not awful get over yourself and go get your new phone for free. If you take care of your products you’ll be fine. If you find a flaw it’s not the end of the world.

So now let’s go back to the beginning. I am not pro-apple. I am pro-usability. For me Apple products work better. I do a lot of video and audio production and I prefer macs to accomplish that. As well with iCloud syncing services between my iPhone and Mac, it makes my life super easy and that’s why I choose the products. If a PC works better for you then go buy a PC but don’t chastise someone else for buying a Mac because everyone has different needs and wants. And that’s the great thing about the world that we live in is that we have the freedom of choice. Competition is good, it forces people to strive to improve and be better. We probably wouldn’t have larger sized iPhones if there weren’t Androids on the market with those bigger screens. So pick what works for you and don’t let someone else bully you into choosing a product because that’s not the way it should be.

Let me know what you think in the comments or tweet me @lyndondueck. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. But let’s not start a flame war. Remember that everyone has their own opinions and thats ok. We don’t all want to be the same do we?

 

A Blog? A Venting Place? Who Even Knows

So for a long time I’ve wanted to write a blog. I’ve had this website for a longggg time now and mostly it hasn’t had a real purpose. I was using it as a personal portfolio showing some of the websites and videos I’ve done, but I feel that I want to do something more with it, so I said “Hey, why don’t I just write a blog?”

So here we are. Me writing words on a computer and you reading them on a tablet, phone, or computer. Words that may or may not be interesting to you but hey, you’re reading them so that’s gotta count for something right?

What am I going to write about? Who even knows. Anything and everything. I do a lot of things, and by a lot of things I mean:

  • I run my own business
  • I work in a Customer Service Department of a Department Store
  • I like to make movies
  • I like to make music
  • I play guitar and drums
  • I play guitar at church on a regular basis
  • I like to make websites
  • I like to play games
  • I can DJ
  • I do a podcast with friends
  • I do live announcing at my old schools basketball games
  • I’ve livestreamed a many events with live commentary and fancy TSN style overlays
  • I enjoy going to the movies because I’m a big movie buff
  • I’m addicted to TV
  • and a lot more other things

So I like to do a lot of things and I like to watch a lot of things. So I guess this blog will serve as a writing grounds for all of them. Whether I’m talking about a TV show I just watched, an event I’m working on or showing off a website or video I just made, you can probably find it all here.

You can follow me on twitter and I also have a couple YouTube channels, one where I post personal vids and stuff and one where I play games. All the information should be to the left of this post.

Thanks for reading folks.