G4TV Falls and Esquire Network Rises

Ever since G4tv staples Attack of the Show! and X-Play were pulled from the airwaves earlier this year any talk concerning the future of the network had been rather quiet. Until today. According to the LA Times, the network that once was beloved and then reviled by gamers will officially change to the Esquire Network on April 22.

Dropping video games and the video game lifestyle in favor of a more refined demographic, the Esquire Network will be a male-focused channel not too unlike Spike, but less pro wrestling I guess. Some TV shows considered for a network include an edgier, “after-hours” style of Iron Chef and a sitcom about friends who get drunk and make jokes. Flip through an issue of Esquire and you should get an idea of what they’re going to do. I can only be marginally excited, as A) I will miss the hell out of G4’s personalities, and B) I’m a GQ reader.

Even in its dying days, I had a soft spot for G4TV. The post-Screen Savers was actually my era, my home during my high school days. I already loved TV and video games, so seeing a marriage of both with the visage of journalism and news opened a whole new world. My nostalgia is definitely rose-colored, and some skits on X-Play really were not that funny. But to the 14 or 15-year-old Eric, I was more than entertained.

In the years following people jumped on the hate bandwagon, sometimes with good reason. I can’t argue that they “forgot” their video game roots and instead packed anything video game related to just X-Play and Attack of the Show!, while leaving the other 23 1/2 hours of broadcast to COPS or Cheaters reruns. But I can argue that they sought the video game lifestyle. Their James Bond and Bruce Lee movie marathons were killer. Without those movies developers wouldn’t have made such excellent action and driving games. Know your roots, I say.

I had tons of fun watching shows like Attack of the Show! I easily forgot they could have been the leader of video game journalism on broadcast.

Although Spike came out as the victor when it came to E3 press conferences in its final years, I have fond memories heating up wings and chugging soda like it was a summer Super Bowl. I can still taste the hot sauce when Xbox revealed Kinect. Not that I like Kinect. I just remember that for some reason.

I already wrote about how much the faces on G4TV mean to me when Adam Sessler unceremoniously took his ball and sought greener pastures. I have never met any of them personally, although I wish I have. Even if they’re dicks. I’d like to know first hand. Only time I’ve ever come close was at New York Comic-Con 2011 and 2012, when Blair Herter and Blair Butler sat signing autographs at their booths. Writing that now, it finally dawned on me I’ll never see them under those banners again.

Then again, Morgan Webb did think me liking her shirt was kind of cool.

I totally wasn’t being creepy.

I’m still a little teary-eyed to do a proper send off. One day I’ll tackle my favorite moments from my time watching the network — Jack Thompson’s Attack of the Show! interview, X-Play‘s “Emperor Gets A Job” skit, any time Olivia Munn did something embarrassing (she was a trooper) all stand out right now — but for now, I’ll just say au revoir. I’ve even held off seeing their goodbye videos on their website. I probably should watch before the site goes black.

Yup. “Watch.”

Still, I look forward to the future. Catering to a purely tech-savvy crowd probably wasn’t a good idea to begin with, as they’re the type to never watch any TV, ever. Less hardcore gentlemen who like to kick back with their TV and a beer are easier to profit from than a guy who has multiple consoles, a video game library, a Minecraft account, and hard drives of pirated episodes of Game of Thrones.

I don’t fault NBC Universal. Gotta do what you gotta do.

I can’t. Not yet.

Source: LA Times.

Side note: Charlie Jr. of this site and I met because the Attack of the Show! Twitter once featured one of my tweets. He followed me and we’ve been in love bros ever since.

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