i’m pretty sure monster by mistake is already well-known on the internet, especially in the circle of tumblr with a deep appreciation for visually horrendous mid-90s/early 2000s cg animation, but what i want to know is: how does it not already have a semi-ironic and surprisingly active fandom surrounding it?
like, from the pov of someone who wouldn’t be personally interested in it, but would prefer to watch it from afar , it seems like it would be the perfect thing for internet users to be writing weird fanfiction about. there is a preteen boy and the bully who bothers him at school, ready to be turned into yaoi and greedily beta’d. there is also said twin boy’s magically powerful sister, as well as the older ghost man who just kind of secretly hangs around their attic, i think? there’s obvious transformation stuff and a weird thing about sneezing embedded in the core of the series itself.
there’s just this massive empty chasm where the years-old monsters by mistake tag should be on ff.net. there are no hypersexual, strangely polished monster by mistake amvs on youtube. it’s reassuring to know that the universe can hold itself together with such a rich, huge chunk of internet history missing from it, but that doesn’t make the void itself any less eerie to stare into.
fin this is so many good words about this mysterious show that exists for reasons literally NO ONE can explain. who was the target audience? what is wrong with canadian children? where are all the memories of this show
So hey, funny story, the guy who “created” this show is the best animation prof I ever had and it’s entire production was a really sad frustrating story. Knowing the good intentions and upper management meddling behind it, I actually kinda get my feathers ruffled when people point to it all LOLOL CANADA WHATEVER.
The guy who pitched this show (Mark Mayerson, one of my favourite people at Sheridan) actually uses it as a cautionary tale about the risks you take when you sell your ideas to a network and cites it as the reason he stopped bothering with television. You can read the story in his own words on his blog (which is great) over here, but generally the initial driving idea behind the show was to make something that would give kids with social, mental, or physical handicaps a character to identify with. Turning into a monster was supposed to be this othering challenge for the main character and the show was intended to deal with that theme of isolation from your peers.
YTV bought the show and was immediately just like “okay but what if turning into a monster was a funny thing instead?” And he just immediately lost control of the project. Like, that is 100% the risk you take as an artist trying to sell your ideas to executives, Once you hand your ideas over “you” aren’t making a show, there’s a whole team of people designing it by committee and the best intentions can be spoiled by the worst executives trying to trendspot and figure out what kids “want” to watch no matter how much you protest. Like, The entire show just turned into this horrible goulash of things YTV businesspeople thought appealed to the demographic they were aiming at.
In his own words;
I actually have to credit Mark Mayerson as a big influence on getting me interested in web publishing, because after dealing with all of the bullshit that came with this show he was a huge proponent of building a web presence and would tell us that if we built our own brands online we would have better leverage if we did decided to try to sell our ideas to networks down the road. If you can say “this is the fanbase I already built” there’s a better idea that a) they’ll respect your ability to pull an audience and b)they’ll know they risk losing all the free fans and publicity you’re bringing them if they mess with your formula too much.