G4 Blows

One of the few things I could look forward to when coming home was the fact that we got TechTV on the tube (I've shared my love of TechTV before). If there's anything better than hot chicks talking about technology, it's Patrick Norton and Leo Laporte talking about technology.

So TechTV went up for sale earlier this year as a pretty big network - I read somewhere that it's in 26 million households in the United States. Comcast Cable's videogame upstart network, G4, was failing, on less than 5 million TVs, and with good reason. I had never seen G4 prior to a few weeks ago and was intrigued, but nothing could prepare me for the awfulness.

Comcast bought TechTV and saw it as a way to expand and turn its G4 network into a success. Comcast merged the stations to form G4techTV. However, Comcast failed to realize that there's a reason that TechTV was successful: its programming was good. As seems to be the thought process in most of corporate America, Comcast gave no regard to what the people want, and made the new station heavy on the G4 and very lite on the TechTV.

The result? One big fucking train wreck. When the station isn't showing "celebrities" like the Barenaked Ladies or Vince Neil acting like they play videogames on a regular basis to get some TV time and free exposure, it has average nerdy kids sitting around and playing videogames.

I mean, come on, is that really exciting? You wanna see average nerdy kids playing videogames all day? Put a camera in my fucking room, you'll get plenty of "entertainment."

Although that's not fair, there are other programs. A show called "Pulse" has a weekly news recap on videogames, but it's pretty worthless since the news is a week old by the time it hits the air. There's also a show called "G4tv.com" with two hot chicks and some lame dude in a call-in radio show style format debating videogame subjects. It's probably the best that G4 has to offer, but that's not saying much.

As for TechTV's programming, the only regulars are "X-Play" (which needed some work in the first place), "Unscrewed" with Martin Sargent, and "The Screen Savers." Leo Laporte's "Call For Help" was canned, as was Leo, for the most part. He gives daily tech tips on "The Screen Savers." But the oldest remaining TSS hosts, Patrick Norton and Yoshi, are leaving the network. All the TechTV original programming, which is filmed in San Francisco, is being moved to G4 headquarters in Los Angeles.

And so now TechTV will die a slow death. It's only inevitable that they soon remove the "tech" portion of the network altogether and G4 is back where it started: a heaping pile of shitty TV.

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2003 - 2005
Reverend Hughes