Saturday, March 7, 2015

The End of Berry Bitty Adventures?

I'm back! Long time no see, huh? I know that two months have gone by since my last post, but as I stated a while ago, this blog is still under construction, and therefore I'm still experimenting with it. But I didn't come here to write this post about how indecisive I am about this blog; I came here to discuss a more important matter.

It's pretty much old news that Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures hasn't had a new episode since the season three finale in May of 2013, and since then, fans have been very puzzled as to what's been going on with the series. It's been almost two whole years since a new episode has aired, which makes everyone unsure as to whether or not there will be a Berry Bitty Adventures season 4 at all.

A few months back (okay, a year), I eagerly searched all over the Internet hundreds of times every single day for news about the new season - and no, this is not a hyperbole. The odd thing was that I couldn't find absolutely anything regarding the new season: when Berry Bitty Adventures was green-lighted for a third season, it was announced all over the web that it was in progress, and that was about half a year before it even aired. I was expecting the same thing to happen for season 4, but sadly the company didn't announce anything about an air date.

In fact, I had given up hope of there ever being a season four several months back, even before everyone else came to the tragic conclusion that the show must have ended. It wasn't until the 11th annual Strawberry Shortcake convention back in August of 2014 that my hope was renewed: American Greetings had announced that season four was in production and even went as far as revealing three new characters that were to be introduced (Apple Dumplin was brought back, now being a tween world blogger, and Sour Grapes was reintroduced as a more teenaged-looking version of her former character, only this time she has a twin named Sweet Grapes. I didn't hear anything about the Purple Pieman, but I assume that he would become a teenager as well if he were to be introduced into the series). To the side is my representation of the new Sour Grapes, which I had to draw myself so I wouldn't have to take anyone else's pictures. I haven't drawn any pictures of Apple Dumplin or Sweet Grapes yet, but I will probably add them to this post whenever I get around to doing so.

With all of this, I was excited beyond words: my favorite TV show wasn't canceled, and it was going to make a huge comeback with a stunning new season full of new characters and plots. I looked forward to seeing how the new trio would interact with Strawberry and the rest of the gang as well as being able to see what their personalities were like and hear their voices for the first time. It was also said that an exclusive sneak peek was shown at the convention, but considering that no one posted it anywhere on the internet, I'm guessing that they weren't allowed to record it. Too bad I wasn't there: I would have kept everyone up-to-date about the happenings of the convention through my YouTube channel.

After seeing all of the new toys, the new characters, and learning the fact that season four wasn't thrown into the trash, you can bet that I was thrilled. I had no doubt that the series was canceled then, and thus I continued my daily activity of scouring the internet to see what other news I could gobble up.

However, months passed after the convention, and there were still no official announcements about when the new season would even premiere, and that struck me as strange. First it was revealed to the world that there would even be one in the first place, and now it's completely vanished? In the end, my daily searches turned out just like the former: inconclusive. I assure you that I was skeptical beyond that point. The Strawberry Shortcake fans were informed that season four of Berry Bitty Adventures would air in early 2015, but did that actually happen? Nope. It's already March, and there's still no news whatsoever about season four at all like it just vanished; and technically speaking, it did.

There are several reasons why this could have occurred: a couple of months after the SSC convention, the staff of the Hub Network were laid off and replaced by new employees, and shortly after that the company declared that it would no longer be the Hub Network as it had been for the last four years. Instead, it would become the Discovery Family Channel and replace it's normal stream of shows with documentaries, more documentaries, and reruns of Cake Boss, all of which already air on other networks, making this endeavor quite pointless.

After the first couple of months following the change, Strawberry's show came on less and less, eventually being reduced to 5 a.m. on the weekends. Not long after this, it was taken off the air as a whole. Instead, it was replaced with another set of reruns of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Littlest Pet Shop, both series already getting more than their fair share of air time to begin with. As a result, I no longer watch the Discovery Family Channel and don't plan to watch it anytime soon unless they bring back Berry Bitty Adventures and the other shows that they've canceled.

It has been months since these occurrences, and since then I have decided to try to move on with my life. There's no use in wasting my time mourning over the show when I don't have the power to bring it back. It's gone now, and there's nothing I can do about it, sadly. The show had so much potential, too, and for it to just be set aside after the production team worked so hard on it is just depressing. If I worked for a production company and put my heart into what I've created to find out that it was all for nothing, I'd be upset, too. As you may know, I made a video regarding the show's cancellation. This issue has pretty much taken an emotional toll on me, but I'm more irritated than anything.

I know that I've probably upset you with this news, but the truth needed to be said. I'm tired of being left in the dark concerning these issues, and so I feel compelled to share whatever information I discover with other fans because they've been dealing with the same thing. If the show was really canceled, I would prefer that we are notified so we can move on instead of still being confused about the situation in general.

Despite this whole fiasco, there's still a little bit of hope left for us Strawberry Shortcakes fans. Last month, Strawberry attended the annual New York Toy Fair and brought with her a new set of toys to release this fall. The new toys look great, but to be honest, I'm a little disappointed: while the new dolls and play sets look rather interesting, I haven't seen any pictures new of mini dolls aside from the dolls they released last year, which are just included in a play set that formerly contained dolls with rooted hair. Since I've already purchased this set four times (don't judge me: I have my reasons), I don't think I'm willing to pay another $25 just to get the dolls out of this one. I find it surprising that The Bridge Direct finally produced a doll of Huckleberry Pie, but there isn't a mini doll version of him to be found. Ah, oh well.

This isn't what took me off guard, though. Following Strawberry's arrival at the toy fair, the internet was blazing with the recently discovered news that American Greetings sold Strawberry to a new company called Iconix, and frankly, I was very shocked by this: Strawberry has been with American Greetings for almost forty years, and after all this time she's moving on to another company? Wow. Let's just hope that Iconix will do the redhead justice.

In addition, a few matters concerning what Iconix will do for Strawberry have been discussed: according to what I've read, apparently the company is considering producing new movies and perhaps even a new TV show for the character, so hopefully they will pick up production sometime soon. I just pray that they will go down the right road with where this is going. For the article of Strawberry Shortcake being sold to Iconix, you can click here: Snoopy Owner Iconix to Buy Strawberry Shortcake for $105M.

All in all, Strawberry has gone through quite a few drastic changes over the past few years, so we'll just have to wait and see what these additional changes will bring about.

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