Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Attacking the Show.

Okay, so I'm old. But I embrace it; at least I can recall when things were good. Like MTV. And Saturday morning cartoons. And McDonald's.

And being That Old, I can also recall when GTV (Geek Television) was good. Back when Syfy wasn't spelled in Ebonics, Comedy Central aired MST3K, and G4 was called TechTV. Back in the day, TechTV was veddy, veddy good to the geeks, freaks, nerds and techies by giving them great shows like X-Play, Call for Help and The Screen Savers. Then TechTV merged with G4, renamed itself G4TV, got rid of everything that was great and credible (save for two things: X-Play and its perennial hostess with the mostest, Morgan Webb), subtracted the T and V, added the T and A, threw in a few couch-potato staples such as Cops and Cheaters, and became the pop culture urinal cake known today as G4.

By sticking to a recipe consisting of one tbsp. of Spike TV, a tsp. of Maxim, the soul of young gamers and two cups of social media—stirred together with a lightsaber and served up on an iPad with a side of fresh ink—G4 has successfully reinvented itself into becoming a penultimate Gateway to the Geeks. One show in particular, Attack of the Show, has managed to lodge itself firmly into the Geekgeist, and with everyone showing their "G" spots these days, the advertisers are taking notice.

Attack of the Show has, since its inception, subscribed to a guy-girl presenting aesthetic, with the show truly establishing itself through the duo of Kevin Perreira and Olivia Munn. That said, and reserving my comments on the latter part of that pairing, I'll skip over the latest "Feed" at AOTS—the announcement of Munn's replacement, Candace Bailey— and get to straight to the dramarama, which was that the real news was not what was announced, but who wasn't—the always-great, always-cute Alison Haislip. DVRs love Alison Haislip. Or, at least ours did at Casa de Chance.

Now, I've done all my wailing, moaning, hair-pulling and garment-ripping over Haislip not being selected as Perreira's wingwoman, so I've elected to go into Acceptance mode, wish Candace Bailey well (I have no hard feelings about this girl, it's just that Haislip earned the spot and was robbed), sew my knickers back together and get over it (although the Haislip slight signals the end of my G4 viewership). I would've even been happy with Jessica Chobot, but that's mostly because 1) I like Chobot and she has cred, and 2) I was punch-drunk for Wonder Woman as a child, and she looks just like Lynda Carter. But as I review the stable of revolving fill-ins AOTS has had since Munn's departure, I've got something to say, and I've been wanting to say it for a while.

AOTS—and G4 in general—continue to completely shut out the "cullah" girls. Or, in other words, girls like me. I'm talking brown, black, yellow and mocha-chocha-latta-yaya; we were completely shut out of the running during Munnwatch 2010. Sure, Tiffany Smith is Rosario Dawson-ite in color, and yes, Olivia Munn is Eurasian, but that's not the same as G4 actually reaching out and giving a girl of color a shot at the AOTS title. Gee, 'Four—Even TechTV had Sumi Das.

But I get it. The reason is because girls like me are considered the antithesis of the American Ideal. Basically, we "don't sell." Girls like me are not even "good enough" to have Gone Wild. Without getting all Summer's Eve and Ani DiFranco about this, I'll just say that I get it, and it sucks. Now at 35, I'm way too old to present (or even want to present) a show geared toward the Axe demographic (I'm more of a High Karate type, anyway). But somewhere in Middle America, there's a black girl who can read "MC Hammer" on a teleprompter, who subs to horror podcasts (btw, anyone subbing The Walking Dead podcast? It's pretty ace), who collects old Fangos and will never get how Freddy Vs. Ash still hasn't managed to be made. And maybe she's a pretty good gamer, too.

To be fair, G4 has been known to add a random black Booth Babe at various events like E3 or Comic-Con. However, this is not the same as allowing a girl of color to actually host the channel's centerpiece show. But maybe things will change. Maybe Bailey, like her predecessor, will shrewdly exploit her loyal fanbase before leaving them to choke on her dust while she moves on to other things.

If that happens, I hope that G4 will consider throwing a Herschey kiss into the candy bowl. Who knows—maybe the kids will like chocolate.