Thoughts On Repetition


It’s actually somewhat rare that I second-guess myself on anything to do with my various projects shared with you folks here.

That sounds arrogant, but I genuinely feel like about 80% of it is a function of working on a pretty breakneck schedule: With the exception of episodes that require extra research/prep or are held for specific times of the year, your average episode of IN BOB WE TRUST takes shape in my head around Saturday night/Sunday morning and gets worked on into the overnight Sunday for a Monday morning release. I actually prefer doing it this way, because it keeps things about as current as I can keep them and let’s me react to things in a pretty immediate way.

To use a recent example: I didn’t decide to do a show about the LAST MAN STANDING cancellation controversy until I heard about the petitions gaining steam, which was really close to the weekend on my end – that’s turned out to be one of the more popular shows of late. On the flip side, the yet-untitled “How I’d Have Fixed Spider-Man’s MCU Debut” episode(s) are currently being pre-written because that’s going to be a project, but the final production will be as close to launch (currently hoping to drop PART I the week of HOMECOMING, so PART II can have the Monday after it opens – no promises though.)

However, there’s a direction I’ve been going back and forth on vis-a-vi whether or not it’s a good idea, and since you’re the audience I figured it was a good idea to solicit feedback. So, here goes: How do you feel about topics/subjects that were previously featured as episodes of my earlier series, THE BIG PICTURE, being revisited in similar (but not directly-reproduced) fashion as part of IN BOB WE TRUST?

For context, in case some of you came aboard within the last few years and thus may not be 100% up to speed: My catch-all pop-culture series IN BOB WE TRUST is, in tone and area(s)-of-focus, something like an unrelated (and unofficial!) successor to the legacy of THE BIG PICTURE; which was a series I had previously produced while under contract to a website known as The Escapist. Owing to boring specifics of contracts and agreements, the rights to broadcast/re-post episodes of THE BIG PICTURE (all 225 of them, give or take) – which I wrote, recorded, compiled and edited entirely on my own with only a handful of recurring visual assets and some music cues provided by the content-host – are owned entirely by the corporation which now owns what remains of that site.

What this means is that, whereas I am able to collect a (relatively small) amount of advertising profit when you watch episodes of IN BOB WE TRUST on my YouTube Channel, I am unable to derive a similar traffic-benefit from current viewings of content produced for BIG PICTURE or other prior series because I am not permitted under old agreements to feature them on my own channel. To be clear: I acknowledge that this is absolutely fair, legal and undisputed on my end… it just kind of sucks, you know? And on the less innately-selfish side of this, a lot of these episodes were “starmaking” turns for my brand that I’m both very proud of and are still among the most widely viewed and shared material I’ve produced, but because of the era in which they were originally posted to their current homes on YouTube they are mainly available in low-quality versions that not only don’t reflect the current quality of my work, they don’t even reflect their original quality. That bugs me.

While I can’t discuss the specifics for a variety of reasons, I’ve had several discussions with relevant parties about reclaiming full or partial rights to re-feature my older work; but thus far have not achieved satisfactory results. As such, I’ve begun to seriously consider doing new episodes of IN BOB WE TRUST that would cover topics previously featured on older series like THE BIG PICTURE. To be clear: These would be new scripts, new edits, new graphics, etc; and the subjects in question would be mainly “this is a thing that exists” episodes, not necessarily issue/”essay” episodes. Example: Old cartoons (Street Sharks, Samurai Pizza Cats, the “lost” Super Mario Bros or TMNT Anime features), bizarre comic book lore (The Spider-Man Clone Saga, the two different Captain Marvels, etc) that sort of thing.

I realize that this might sound like a whole lot of fretting over nothing to some: “It’s your show, man – talk about the same thing twice or however many times you want!” But it really does matter to me that I’m NOT producing filler or content-for-content’s sake – I’ve worked hard and, in many cases, taken the more difficult road in order to build a name for myself as a writer, critic and content producer so that my fans, followers and viewers know that even when I put out a Top 10 show or a “listical” there’s real thought and depth put into it. And even though I’m confident that just the years having passed alone would result in a Street Sharks show now being suitably different from one produced 4-5 years ago, the prospect of my audience feeling cheated to see a topic being “revisited” rather than something 100% new worries me. A lot.

That’s not to say that I’m putting whether or not I do these sorts of shows at some point in the future up for some kind of “vote” – I’ll do it if it feels right, and won’t if it doesn’t. But I’d genuinely appreciate it if anyone who felt particularly strongly one way or the other on the subject wanted to weigh in with their thoughts.

Thank you for your time,

39 thoughts on “Thoughts On Repetition

  1. Christopher Sola says:

    I think retreading old episodes with a new flavor would probably work out well. As someone that’s probably watched your whole filmography front to back, I think seeing an old episode reimagined into a new one would be pretty damn neat. The problem as far as I see it is that some of these episodes haven’t gained all that much? Like, unless the context of a particular something has changed significantly in one direction or another, and there’s some real, new thought that can get brought to the table, I feel like the problem you’re describing would absolutely come to pass.

    Like, I think a version of things that’s “Let’s go over the different Captain Marvels” is probably not the best because that video already has that covered. But “Let’s go over the different Captain Marvels and work through which of those might show up in the movie” sounds great to me. Of course, with the super obscure stuff, where the context whatever it is would be all but guaranteed not to change (given obscurity), it might be left out to dry?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Simon James Dodd says:

      I agree, anything where you’ve had new (or different) ideas, or might have gained new context from new media productions or cultural events would be well worth revisiting, but redoing the old episodes just for the sake of having them in a new format risks them becoming stale. A lot of the attraction to your content is the obvious passion you have for what you’re talking about and I think you’ll find it difficult to get that same energy into a straight remake, particularly given the not particularly pleasant reasons behind having to do it.

      Having said that, I would be particularly interested if there are any topics where you have substantially changed your views, or could take a different stance (sort of a counterpoint/on the other hand) as that could make for a really thought provoking episode.


    • Dominic Robertson says:

      Dude the content you’ve been producing as of late is so good that, to me, even if it’s something you’ve basically covered before (and that I’ve seen) it would be to entertaining of a video to pass up. Seriously, you’re killing it lately.


      • Mosi says:

        I agreed with Dominic. I’ve enjoyed and followed your content since The Escapist (I initially came on for Zero Punctuation and then I found Jim Sterling on the site as well). As long as I have the funds, I will fund your Patreon. Your work is always high quality for to me. I know this gush on your work isn’t what you were probably for, but you just do excellent work.


  2. Joseph O. Doran says:

    Go for it! I loved those old episodes, and you’ve got a lot of new viewers now who might not be aware of them. Even it’s re-visiting previous topics for a viewer like me, for your new viewers, I’m sure it’ll be great new content.


  3. jackelopemoon says:

    I have to say I’m against it. Or rather, don’t do a revisit unless you know you have something new & significant enough to say that you’d still do a revisit even if you still had ownership of all those Big Picture episodes.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved BP, but the impulse to redo old stuff so you can be really, really sure you own it is why we have those terrible Spider-Man movies. (Fingers crossed Homecoming is decent.) If the best revenge is living well, then the best thing you can do is make amazing new episodes that you’re even more proud of.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. C.S.Strowbridge says:

    Yeah, I’d like see updated videos on some of the old topics. There might be new DVD / Blu-ray releases for some of the TV shows / movies you talked about and letting people know they can now easily see them would be a big enough change.


  5. Percys Owner says:

    I’d love to see you revisit your old work, with a new view. Now, mind, I only found you recently, so to me it will all be new. I don’t have the time to go back and seek out TBP, so having a new outlook on an previous subject show up in my notifications would be great. In other words, go for it.


  6. the princess says:

    I’d definitely want to see updated versions of this stuff. The Captain Marvel episodes are what made me a fan and in the light of her future addition to the MCU I’d love to see that again with the additional material that comes from the development of the marvel universe and more recently the massive impact Wonder Woman is likely to have on the portrayal of femal superheroes.


  7. Aigars Mahinovs says:

    I would be slightly against mechanical recreation of episodes from old scripts. However, when a topic is in some way related to current (or future events) or you find that you can add something new or your opinion has changed, then revisiting topics that were covered a year or two ago is perfectly fine. For full transparency I would include links to the old version in the description of the new one. Over time you will find new things to say about all of those topics (unless they are fully and completely dead, in which case – why revive them?)


  8. jon_bossenger says:

    I got into your videos based on the Pixels review you did (I still visit that review when I need a good laugh. “White hot pants shitting rage” being my personal favourite line). Then I started watching your In Bob We Trust videos and I did a little research on you and discovered your old Movie reviews and The Big Picture. I then watched the entire (and I do mean all 200 odd episodes) thinking what a shame it is that you don’t gain any benefit from it. Therefore I say do it. Not only so that you can ‘control’ your own content better, but also I would love to see your ‘updated’ take on some of these topics. I think that the only topics that wouldn’t make sense to redo would be specifically ‘topical’ ones that were relevant to a specific event occurring at that time. But to redo all the pop culture related stuff, especially as to how it then relates to what is going on with the current trends, I say go for it man!


  9. dawsjaed says:

    I would be extremely interested in hearing an updated version of ‘Out of the Park’, and it would be nice to see your opinions on certain subjects without having to give unnecessary revenue or views to a youtube channel extension of a website I don’t care to visit much. I say go for it.


  10. inestableyvolatil says:

    Bob I rewatch those videos more often than I should, I’d love to get some new insight on them or just be able to support you while watching them again even.

    Not gonna lie tho, I still miss those gentlemen cutouts x)


  11. Marion Kruse says:

    I’d be happy to see a revisiting of some of these old topics, and you’ve certainly earned my trust as a member of the audience that these won’t just be rehashes of what’s already been done.

    Also, it kills me to know that you don’t own your old videos and I feel bad whenever I watch them that whatever fraction of a cent the ads generate doesn’t go to you. If you ever wanted to start a Patreon or Kickstarter to buy those back from their current owners, you can count me in.


  12. aiedave says:

    I think a kind of “Big Picture Remix” could be a neat idea, you don’t need to reproduce every episode, do it by the old script or hold the same views, but remaking an older episode because you want to convey your ideas better or have something to add and really want to share it could be cool. as its own side series playlist kind of deal.


  13. dfdfleming says:

    I generally find your attitude, thoughts, and opinions fascinating to listen to regardless of subject matter. That being the case, whatever you choose tot alk about is something I will listen to. As you mentioned things change over time so shows on subjects previously covered are probably going to be pretty darn different now.
    I say go for it, if you so desire.


  14. Ronny Massaad says:

    Speaking as someone that’s watched (and read) almost all your content, I think the concept of redoing an old topic is a great idea, especially with new scripts.

    Seeing as many of the old BP videos were quite some time ago, revisits will inevitably include some manner of new perspective and context, even if most of the information would be the same.

    I say go for it. For old viewers it’d be nostalgic and for newer ones it’d be a chance see your take on topics that they may have missed out on.


  15. ronanwills says:

    This sounds fine to me. You’ve changed as a critic and a person in the time since those episodes, so a fresh take–even if it’s not radically different from what came before–would be cool to see.

    You do you, man!


  16. AdamS says:

    I think a series that revisits older movies (Esp. considering how poorly a lot of recent films have aged, *coughManofSteelcough*) would be pretty interesting.


  17. Joe Streckert says:

    Go for it! You’ve grown as a critic and commentator in recent years, so your new perspectives will almost certainly add value to the old topics. That, and I will happily click on basically anything that has to do with Street Sharks.


  18. Dan says:

    You’re not the same person you were during the Escapist years. They might be covering similar material, but won’t be the same content. It’ll be fine.

    Plus, I’ve always kinda wanted to know what happened with the whole Marvelman saga, since from what I can see, the answer is not much, but it has to be more complicated than that.


  19. Canneddirt says:

    I like the idea of you revisiting popular topics from the Big Picture. Just please intersperse it with new content. I don’t think I could stand a rehash of old content for the next year and a half. I also hope you don’t get into legal trouble with Escapist for covering the same topics in a similar format.


  20. Brett says:

    I’m in favor of this. You’ve occasionally commented on stuff that appeared in much earlier Big Picture/Escape to the Movies videos, and there’s a noticeable perspective shift (like on Captain N, or Prometheus). I’d definitely be interested to see new videos touching on those topics.


  21. giantgemclips says:

    As long as you can say something new or at least not completely retread old info I’m all for it. There’s a reason that people watch your stuff and I think they trust the level/quality of content you produce. Do what you have to do.


  22. Stoldney says:

    I’m a pretty new viewer, I found your stuff maybe a year or so ago, so those old episodes of BP are news to me. I say go for it. If there is something you want to say, a point you want to drive home, do it!


  23. mattygsite says:

    I would try to avoid doing re-treads on a regular basis (like two or three weeks in a row), but especially during rather slow news weeks, I’d be down for seeing some old material in a new style.


  24. Tim says:

    Dude your content is awesome, I would totally be down for some retread episodes, a lot of which I’ve probably forgotten, so a rehash on some of the more interesting subjects would be cool, especially with a new take on the subject. I feel that by improving the original content, and perhaps as previously suggested keep them to slow news weeks or if they become super relevant again, you should keep the older fans happy while giving essentially new content to newer viewers. Either way man I’m sure you’ll keep producing quality content, cheers!


  25. Clownboss says:

    I don’t want to revisit subjects, unless the content change is significant. I’ve seen every single one of the Big Picture episodes, and they are all also available on YouTube for viewing. I’d say try it out only if you’re really running out of ideas.


  26. denelian says:

    I’m a fairly new watcher of yours
    [gods, does anyone else feel like a stalker, when they claim to be a ‘watcher’?]
    i have NOT seen all your older content — only what the friend who introduced me to you can remember, or what i can find that’s linked in the YouTube sidebar. so personally, i would love to see those old eps [redone or not] show up on your new channel.
    more broadly, a new spin on an old topic is often fun for those who have seen the old [that’s half the fun of comic books movies for me — at least when done right — seeing how the source materiel has been adapted]

    so you’ve got my vote; go for it 😀


  27. Reed Byers (@Unbeliever64) says:

    Could you EXPAND on your previous topics? Instead of a 6-10 minute summary (ala Big Picture), do a half-hour analysis of them? For example, more detail on the various incarnations of Captain Marvel, how they came about (both in story, and in real life), etc?

    I’ll always watch everything you make, but that might be a way to make older topics fresh again…


  28. Christian says:

    Absolutely, go for it. Your Big Picture stuff, especially the obscure comic book lore episodes, was what got me into your videos in the first place, and I have been supporting you on Patreon since its creation, in the hopes of seeing more like it. I feel that kind of nerdy knowledge-dump content (the series on the history of movies is another great example) is not really something you have focused on to the same degree, and would love to hear new or updated takes on previously touched-upon subjects.


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