Saturday, April 08, 2006

Raped by a Network

Ok, I’ve been blogging one hell of a lot over the past few days…in fact, this is my third post today. There’s usually no point in blogging so much, because people tend not to read back over the last few posts…but there’s something I want to get of my chest.

G4 officially sucks.

Because this network wasn’t shown in England, I only caught the tail end of its previous incarnation, Tech-TV.

I flicked through the channels, landed on a show called “The Screen Savers”, and was hooked from then on.

G4 used to be Tech-TV, in name and in content. It was a network for smart people. They’d answer questions such as “How can I make my wireless network more secure?” and “I’m considering changing my drives to a SATA RAID configuration, but I’m having problems, any ideas?”

Now they answer questions like “I m r33ly 133t! Sarah lane is hot! Get her to show her boobs!”

Now I know that a TV network becomes successful by appealing to the largest number of people, but G4 has gone too far. They went from smart TV, to dumbed down TV, to downright insulting-your-intelligence TV…and right now it’s changed into some kind of weird Spike TV rip-off.

The whole point of G4 was that is was geek-oriented TV. It was a network for intelligent people interested in computers and technology. Now it’s not geek TV, it’s not even tech-based TV. It’s pure lowest common denominator TV.

It appears that Tech-TV was bought out by a group of people who had no clue what they just bought. I can imagine the meeting:

“Ok, this is a fairly good network, but do we really need all this technology stuff?”

“Uh, sir? This is Tech TV, it’s the whole point of the network!”

“Yeah, but it’s all so… high brow. People aren’t clever enough to enjoy this. What are the kids into these days?”

“But our demographic is intelligent people aged 20 – 40.”

“Yeah, but they don’t spend enough money! I know, let’s put on a show about street racing, featuring a black fellow who talks ‘street’, and we can show women ‘shakin’ their junk’!”

“Great idea! We can put on that street racing show, you know the one, the Fast and the Furious rip off that completely bombed on Fox!”

“But how is that Tech TV?”

“Who cares?”

“Yeah, and let’s put on ‘The Man Show’! Not being able to think is actually a requirement to watch that show…and it has big breasted women jumping on trampolines on every episode!”

“I quit.”

They no longer have shows about how to tweak your computer for better performance, and reports on the latest OS vulnerabilities and exploits. Their only nod they give to actual technology now is a call in show for people asking questions like: “How do I install Windows?” and “my friend has really fast internet, but mine is slow…what’s wrong with my computer.”

In short, it’s tech TV for people on AOL.

The best example of G4’s downfall is ‘ The Screen Savers’. It was a great show, but then they changed the format, re-named it “Attack of the Show.”…but at least it kept the same presenters, and almost the same content…at first.

Now, even that has changed to something I’m not quite sure how to describe. Computers and video games went out the window, and it because some sort of freaky entertainment show. From computers to bar-reviews and dumb ass skits. In an hour long show, at the most, 10 minutes is devoted to actual technology.

Then Kevin Rose left.

Look at it this way. Kevin Rose asked to be released from his contract, and left a TV job, and started an internet podcast. I admire him for this. It comes to something when someone is willing to make a major career step backwards, because they got so fed up with the network.

Think of it this way, if you worked as a TV presenter on a popular network, what would it take to make you quit that, and run a blog instead?

A lot.

Also, in the past day or so, the two remaining ‘original’ presenters, namely Sarah Lane and Bredon Moran, have also left.

Who did they choose for the new co-host? A woman by the name of Olivia Munn. A woman with apparently no tech background whatsoever.

So what makes her qualified for the job? She’s easy on the eyes, and has big boobs.

Now, I know that a lot of people won’t agree with me. I’m coming across as saying “What? Gorgeous women with gigantic boobies? Who wants to see that? I’d much rather see a report on the latest in motherboard technology than hotties cavorting on screen!”

I’m not saying that. My point is that if I want to watch an entertainment show, dumbed down television, or women bouncing on trampolines, I have over 100 other channels to watch it on.

This crap, quite simply doesn’t belong on a technology based network. Rather than buying G4 out, and turning it into Spike TV, why didn’t they just go ahead and buy out Spike TV, or start up a whole new network? Why go ahead and ruin a perfectly good network?

The truth is true tech-based TV will never be insanely popular. There’s a market for it, but this market will quite simply never be as big as the market for women in bikinis. Either run a tech network, or don’t. Don’t run a lowest common denominator network, pay lip service to technology, and call it technology TV.

Right now, the only show on that entire network worth watching is X-Play. Good game reviews, hosted by Morgan Webb and Adam Sessler. In fact, X-Play is the most popular show on that network, and guess what? It’s the only show on that network that is the same as it was before Tech TV became G4.

There might be a lesson to learn there, G4. The one thing you didn’t change is your most popular show.


MC Etcher said...

To fight my too-agreeable image, I'm going to have to disagree.

G4 rocks now!

Anonymous said...

actually, Attack of the Show is the network's highest rated program, though x-play still does very well.

MC Etcher said...

I was joking of course.

I really miss TechTV

Paulius said...

Anonymous : Just because it's the highest rated doesn't mean it doesn't suck ass when compared to "The Screen Savers".

Etcher : Oh, you're a wacky one!

Anonymous said...

About the TV - tech or Hotties neither sounds good to me. But about people not reading your previous posts - I have read everyone up to press. At the moment I'm reading from 6/4/06 up to today 13/4/06. If I haven't had the chance to log on and read each day I always read all your posts to catch up. Rants & all - their riverting

Kato said...

G4 is teh suck. It sounds like their ratings aren't doing too well, either (though I have no hard numbers). It seems obvious with them grasping at syndicated content all over the place ("The Man Show", "Star Trek", etc.)

TechTV was great. It was never going to gain a huge viewership because it had a specific audience, but that's what made it so great: it wasn't "dumbed down for the masses". As far as I can tell, G4 never really intended on "merging" with TechTV. They pretended to for a few months "G4-TechTV!" but canned all but literally a couple of employees and eventually axed all of the shows except X-Play. And even that isn't very good anymore (IMO) because they've starting doing more and more stupid skits instead of game reviews and the writing is abyssmal (unless you are a 12 year old boy, in which case, it's awesome because they just made a cock joke).

The real reason G4 bought TechTV is for the cable slot. TechTV had a desireable channel number and was carried by a large number of big name cable companies. So, G4 bought them out to take over the spot, figuring, yes, that's all they need to get good ratings, a better spot on the dial! Nevermind the fact that their programming sucks and they at one point had like four shows reviewing video games.

A pox on them!