The early 2000s were a very different time for the internet, especially in circles that were centered on gaming and geek culture. The introduction of things like YouTube, social media, and many other things people take for granted now were in their early stages of development. Alongside all of this was the creation of a cable network G4TV, which came into being after TechTV was combined and rebranded with a slew of new shows that appealed to fans of gaming and geek culture. Of the many shows that spawned from the network, Attack of the Show was among the most popular that solidified the relevance of G4TV. Attack of the Doc, a documentary directed by former G4TV host Chris Gore, chronicles the keystone events from Attack of the Show that made G4TV what it was back then. What you get is a fun nostalgic trip back to a time when Attack of the Show and G4TV was very popular, but unfortunately, everything is held back from being truly great in some ways.
What Attack of the Doc does best is taking viewers through moments in the show’s history that were both edgy and groundbreaking in many ways. From the very beginning of G4TV coming together after TechTV was purchased, to the high point of Attack of the Show and G4TV’s popularity in the early 2000s, right up to when the network shut down. However, this is not a complete look at G4TV the network, but rather seeing things through the lens of and from the perspective of people behind Attack of the Show. There were a lot of things going on with G4TV at each of the points the documentary touches on, especially when the network was winding down. There were many shows like X-Play, Cheat, and others the documentary mentions that were on the air, but much of the focus here is on Attack of the Show.
One glaring issue with this however is very apparent early on in the documentary. While there are producers and directors of Attack of the Show back then interviewed on different topics for the documentary, the main hosts of Attack of the Show during the height of its popularity are not. Both Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira only appear in archival footage, past interviews with comments during the time they were filmed while Attack of the Show was still on the air.
Nowhere are there any new comments or brand-new interviews with either of them for the documentary, which is a real bummer. Having their input and perspective now on how Attack of the Show was back then could’ve reinforced a lot of the insight that many of who contributed to this documentary talk about, especially since they all worked together for so long. Why Olivia and Kevin didn’t contribute to this is anyone’s guess, but their absence is definitely felt throughout.
When going through the history of the show, Attack of the Doc does a great job of revisiting older segments and giving details about how they came to be. Many of the writers and creators behind the scenes for Attack of the Show detail a lot of stories for some of the bigger segments, as well as the ones that were viewed as more controversial in the years that followed. The humor and handling of segments in it would most likely not be approved by today’s broadcasting standards, especially when Attack of the Show would edge on the line of gratuitous or nasty in some segments. But for everyone on the staff back then, things were a lot more open and free to experiment with humor.
The documentary goes to great lengths to highlight how much of the trial and error of making segments would result in very impactful and industry-changing successes. Things like the live Twitter Feed and coverage of major events like Comic Con and E3 were incredibly important that got the attention of other cable networks at the time, resulting in Attack of the Show winning a few awards for their work. If you watched any of these segments live back in the day, you’ll have a lot of fun revisiting them again here.
Unfortunately, there are moments where Attack of the Doc lingers a bit long at certain points, getting caught up in the nostalgia rather than trying to say anything significant about it. There are points where some of the AOTS team comment on how different things would be approached today, or how networks and creators were heavily inspired by their work back then, but it’s littered far between long periods of reminiscing. For longtime G4TV fans, the nostalgia trip is great and a fun way to relive things they saw live. But for everyone else without that experience, or anyone just curious about the differences between G4TV now and back then, these segments will drag on for a bit too long.
Speaking of modern G4TV, the documentary doesn’t do much to say anything about the reboot of the network years later, let alone the reboot of Attack of the Show. While there’s a lot of discussion about the standards for today compared to back then, there are very few spots where any comparison or comment is made about the newer G4TV. The documentary is focused on much about Attack of the Show and its history, but a big chunk of that story is what was happening to the G4TV network, and what it ultimately became.
Part of that history also includes the reboot of Attack of the Show that came later, since AOTS was one of the main shows that came with the revitalization of G4TV. There’s a very brief mention about G4TV making a comeback towards the end of the documentary, but it’s part of a very quick gag that ends up saying nothing, nor does it cover anything that happened with the reboot. Some people might find this to be appropriate since Attack of the Doc is covering more of the classic G4TV era of Attack of the Show, but it ultimately feels like an entire chapter of the story that’s missing.
Anyone who grew up watching TV during this era will resonate with the trip down memory lane, especially if you were a gaming or geek culture fan that loved classic G4TV. Attack of the Doc definitely accomplishes its goal of going back to what made the network special, as well as highlighting how Attack of the Show endured for so long because of the reception of die-hard fans and loyal supporters. But everyone else that wasn’t exposed to G4TV of that era won’t come out of this with any new perspective or appreciation for what it was. They won’t have any more to think in relation to the new rebooted era of G4TV and Attack of the Show either. Perhaps in the future, another documentary done in the same style can have a wider outlook on G4TV and its history of shows, with hopefully more input from even more of the personalities and people behind the camera of the content they produced. But for now, this is just a good way to reminisce about a time that’s long past. If you know, you definitely know.
Are you a fan of G4TV programs or grew up watching the network on TV? What was your favorite thing about Attack of the Show or any of the classic G4TV shows from back then? Share your thoughts and memories of everything down below in the comment section!
Attack of the Doc
This documentary is a nostalgic trip to the early days of Attack of the Show and G4TV the network. There’s a lot of archive footage of the show and behind-the-scenes, with a lot of insight from those who worked on it. Unfortunately, there are some glaring omissions from the interviews and topics about the history of the show that are not covered. Some things can go on for too long, which may or may not resonate with some viewers. Long-time fans of Attack of the Show or G4TV may enjoy revisiting things they grew up with.
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