By Colorwind 52 Comments
I used to be a big fan of G4. I remember back in 2004 channel surfing and stumbling upon a show talking about Half-Life 2. I stopped and watched it and after it was over, a show called X-Play came on. The set had a bar and furniture that reminded me of building blocks. Still, I was sold and I started watching what I eventually found out was a channel known as G4TechTV.
I loved Icons, Judgment Day, and G4tv.com. When it debut in 2005, I started watching Attack of the Show and although I wasn’t that into it at first and stopped watching when Olivia Munn first came on, the show improved and I started watching it everyday. My favorite show however was X-Play, especially in 2005. The reoccurring characters, the various sketches, and the funny yet critical reviews hooked me instantly.
Having said that, the channel has been in a slump for sometime now. I tend to think that the channel lost its magic after many of the shows were canceled and reruns of Cops and Cheaters filled the daily schedule. However, I still watched X-Play and Attack of the Show, which remained solid. The downturn was ironically first signaled the reinvention of X-Play.
In 2008, X-Play became a more journalistic show, focusing on critical reviews and previews and less on comedy. While at first I liked this change (although I sorely missed the skits), a half an hour proved to be not enough time to do all the new show wanted to do. Reviews that used to be four minutes long and more detailed despite comedy being mixed in, became two to three minute summaries that really didn’t tell me why the game was good or bad. Similarly, previews became listing of features rather than impressions and reporting of the game in question. The show has been in this rut ever since.
The next signal was when Olivia Munn left Attack of the Show. AOTS was at its best during 2008 and 2009 when the hosts consisted of Kevin Pereira, Olivia Munn, Alison Haislip and Chris Hardwick. However in 2010, Munn just dropped off the show for long periods of time. No explanation was given until Comic Con that year when she announced what we had already guessed.
Her replacement was Candace Bailey and while she has a lot of hosting experience and is charming on camera, she doesn’t really belong on a show like AOTS and she didn’t have the chemistry with Kevin Pereira like Olivia Munn did. The show became very different in tone, with Kevin Pereira being the only one on the show who seemed to belong there. Sara Underwood doesn’t help things.
The final straw for the channel however was the departure of Alison Haislip, Adam Sessler, and Kevin Pereira in November 2011, April 2012, and June 2012 respectively. Losing three of its four most popular hosts proved to be too much and G4 has loss a lot of its credibility. Proof of this can be seen in G4’s loss of its E3 exclusivity this year. Morgan Webb is the only resemblance of the channel it once was and many are predicting her inevitable departure, especially with the announcement that G4 will be rebranded in 2013.
When I heard about this news, I wasn’t surprised. I knew the channel would have a hard time recovering from the loss of three of its hosts but I hoped that something or someone would come along and bring G4 back from the dead. This looks not to be the case and the channel is going to be rebranded to resemble content you would find in a GQ magazine and resemble Spike TV. I will say that Candace Bailey and Sara Underwood would fit perfectly on a GQ-style network.
For a short time, a nerd culture TV channel was a reality but it hasn’t been around for a long time, partially due to G4’s loss of direction but mostly due to the audience moving to the internet. Fortunately, G4-like content is still available online. Web shows like Classic Game Room, The Angry Joe Show and The Destructoid Show are great substitutes. Hell, 4Points (featuring Alison Haislip) is basically The View for nerds. So I just say lets put G4TV to rest and remember the good times by someone uploading old G4 and Tech TV shows online, all on one site. Oh and Morgan Webb, Blair Herter and Jessica Chobot, as the only good things about the channel now, you jump off that sinking ship now! Chobot’s got an in at IGN. Take advantage of that!