Today I'm going to take a timely look at G4TV, the Los Angeles High School-based video game channel that bought out the somewhat entertaining and informative TechTV over a year ago before transforming most of the latter channel's programming into pure shit through a process of alchemy so advanced it warrants a nobel prize. I almost wrote an update like this when the merger first happened, but it would have been purely reactionary. The resulting channel needed time to ferment for better or worse, and luckily for you it got much worse because my only backup article idea was a fake guide to an NES game based on the Herman Melville book Bartleby The Scrivener.
Let's take a look at G4's main lineup, shall we?
Attack Of The ShowOh, you two slightly out of focus lovebirds! Your antics are in no way annoying or creepy.Originally titled The Screen Savers and hosted by the duo of Leo Laporte and Patrick Norton, this show used to focus on technology and answering the audience's computer-related questions. Then just about everyone on the show was kicked off, and the two most annoying people stayed on to host. Kevin Rose and Sarah Lane are enamored with the fact that they're on television, and seemingly have no grasp of anything beyond illegal file sharing and showcasing "funny" sites that have already circled the internet more times than Superman circled the Earth when he went back in time to avoid a late charge at Blockbuster for Faces Of Death 4. The two of them seem to exist solely to remind us of the fact that they're going out.
Kevin: So that's how you download the newest fake nude pictures of Angelina Jolie and your "legal" (long dramatic pause to let his delicious rebellion sink in) mp3s to your PSP's memory card and your Xbox's hard drive.
Sarah: (giggles) Your hard drive sure was in my Xbox last night! If you know what I mean!
Kevin: (turns to the camera and gives a slow wink) I know how to crack your app! PEER TO PEER NETWORKING.
Kevin is the guy you knew in high school that attempted to be cool by putting a whole lot of effort into showing how little he cared about everything. If someone mistakenly says something genuinely funny, he looks at them blankly and tries to continue the conversation either because he doesn't understand the joke or he's jealous that he didn't come up with it. The only way he'll admit to being interested in something is if it's illegal or "edgy" in some way, because that makes him a total badass.
The decision to boot everyone in favor of these two is perplexing at first, but it makes sense when you consider the network execs' desire to appeal to the lowest common denominator by removing anyone over the age of thirty and the I.Q. of 80. Imagine that Sesame Street comes under new management. After studying the show's demographic charts, they come to realize that while there are plenty of multiethnic kids in the audience, there are virtually no muppets or gigantic yellow birds watching the show. What good do the muppets serve if they don't fit the demographic? The following week, the only remaining cast members are Maria and that bald guy who might be Louis Gossett Jr.
Regardless of what you thought of Leo's personality (I personally liked him though some people thought he was annoying), he was an intelligent guy who could grasp really advanced concepts and relate them to the audience in a perfectly understandable way. As a result of this, the show's guests typically included people at the forefront of emerging technologies, the space program, and string theory. The best they can book now is the latest moron who made a flash movie that got picked up by Adult Swim as a series, the COMPLETELY unbiased spokesman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and actors who play people that understand technology in top notch sci-fi shows such as Star Trek: Challenger.
I'm imagining Kevin Rose trying to interview someone like Microsoft's Steve Ballmer.
Ballmer: ...and that's basically how a processor works. I'm sort of surprised you didn't know that already.
Kevin: Whatever. Hey, didn't I hear somewhere that Microsoft is a big company that employees thousands of people and tries to make a profit? What's up with that? I hope someone figures out how to install Linux on it.
Ballmer: On what?
Just to make things confusing they brought in another Kevin not too long ago. Kevin Pereira is a smart, funny guy whose work I've seen before and enjoyed. In other words he's a fish out of water. His funnier moments go so far over the other hosts' heads that they violate federal airspace regulations and occasionally graze God's testicles. By this point Pereira seems to have resigned himself to the "read a story vaguely related to technology, tell unfunny joke, pause uncomfortably" format of the show, and it's only a matter of weeks before he hangs himself from a basketball rim in the station's high school gymnasium/production facility.
Two interchangeable hot women - a ridiculously gorgeous asian and a Britney Spears look alike with short hair - host shows pretty much designed to waste your time. In Cheat! the Britney girl devotes half an hour to reading cheat codes for a single game out loud, all of which can be found on GameFAQs in about three seconds. In Filter, viewers are asked to vote for their favorite selection in exciting categories such as "Who's cooler: Master Chief, Link, Cloud, Sepiroth, or Samus?" and "Best motion capture in a Madden game". Again, this is something easily replicated by visiting the GameFAQs poll section. It seems they've taken the best parts of that site and left out the abysmal forums where the notoriously retarded community speaks out. Speaking of that, next is...
A call-in show designed to let viewers express their opinions, this program is actually good stuff when no one is calling in. You're pretty much guaranteed to hear Goku90172 pant breathlessly into the phone about how much the new StarFox title is the best game ever made even though he just bought it and only played the first level, followed by DarknessNightmareDeathsword claiming how much the same game sucks because the weapons aren't realistic like Counter-Strike's.
The show works best when hosts Laura Foy and Tina Wood chill and have off the cuff discussions about gaming or when they have a guest on. There's a third host, but they've gone through so many that I can't risk the heartbreak of remembering his name only to see him go in a week. You can tell the hosts actually play a lot of games and have particular tastes, and they're pretty amusing from time to time. They even manage to get people like Cliffy B and Tim Schafer to come on the show occasionally.
Something unusual happens when Laura and Tina get into a heated conversation and begin to talk over each other, which happens quite a lot. Their voices gain momentum and combine into a high-pitched siren's wail that beckons my boner to rise as if in response to the hypnotic tune of a snake charmer's Pungi. This is my secret shame. I am not a proud man, but I am honest.
Adam Sessler is the fucking man. He's a total geek and refuses to hide it, nay, he thrives on it. He throws himself into goofy and sometimes embarassing comedy segments which don't always work, but when they do they're great.
Morgan Webb is a Viking who was accidentally separated from her pillaging tribe a few years ago and wandered into the old TechTV studios. This is evident by her broadly set shoulders, attractive yet masculine facial features, and the once-blonde hair which she dyed a darker color to lull us all into a false sense of security. One day when she has completed work on the ship in her backyard she will throw Adam over her shoulder and set sail for her glorious homeland, vanquishing all who stand in her way.
The duo review games and do a great job, despite Morgan's monotone voice (yet another ruse concealing her Viking heritage). More often than not I agree with a game's score, but when I don't agree the show typically explains things so well that I can understand where they're coming from. Thankfully this show remains largely unchanged from its original version on TechTV.
Think "X-Play hosted by a mongoloid and his comparatively normal friend" then think "change the channel" if your brain hasn't already gone into shock, permanently destroying your motor functions. Tommy Tallarico's review scores make absolutely no sense, but I'll attempt to explain them with this handy scoring chart.
Does the game have explosions?
If yes, add 3 points (out of ten)
If no, subtract 4
Are said explosions better looking than Halo 2's?
If no, subtract 6
If yes, subtract 1
Does the game contain farts, burps, pooping, or sexual innuendo?
If all of the above, add 10
If three of the above or less, subtract 3
How's the game play, story, and overall fun factor?
If excellent, add 1
If horrible, add 1
The Whip Set
They said he was crazy. They said it would never work. But when Big C's proposal for a block of programming centered around drift racing, import cars, and scantily clad attractive women was met with criticism, he held his ground.
"Look," began the head of programming, "I'm sure there's a small market for this stuff somewhere out there but you need something to grab the average viewer's attention. No one in the male aged 16-35 demographic knows about import cars, and if a hot woman was rubbing herself all over a $100,000 automobile while hip-hop music blasted in the background there would be no compelling reason to stop flipping through the channels. You need to use exploitative images and concepts that manipulate young men's attention. Our studies show that the best such concept is a long, drawn out shot of Precious Moments figurines over which classical music is softly played."
Big C would not give in to their callous suggestions.
"I refuse to pander. This is my art. This is my craft. The dozens of hours I spend writing insightful and profound dialogue each week and the craftsmanship with which I book hoochie models are what will draw viewers in, not insulting their intelligence by tempting them with flashy images and the latest fads."
"Maybe we can compromise." The head of programming was impressed by the younger man's spunk. "We're willing to give the idea a test run but I've seen your commercial mockups and they stink. A woman repeatedly thrusting her ass toward a camera placed millimeters away? Who in the world is that going to appeal to aside from workers in the short shorts industry?"
There would be no compromise, for Big C was a level 27 negotiator and he rolled a natural twenty on his saving throw. Content, Big C put on his shades and majestically levitated his golden throne through a portal in the ceiling which he had willed into being. Glaring white light splashed into the room through this portal, not in the form of energy like normal light but rather an actual liquid that burned all that it touched; the milky mana from another dimension come to ruin the tastefully patterned carpet of G4TV's main offices. The men covered their eyes and escaped with minor burns, but Chuck Austin's secretary Brenda entered the room at that precise moment to see if anyone needed a coffee refill and was blinded for her troubles.
In conclusion: fart, burp, poo, hump.
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