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The Screen Savers Is Gone, Get Over It: Attack of the Show


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#1

MegaJ

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Posted May 4, 2005 @ 9:55 PM

Despite what the thread title says, I do like this show. I wasn't really a TSS fan (I liked X-Play) For those wondering what I'm talking about, Attack of the Show (or AOTS) comes on G4. It used to be called The Screen Savers and was hosted by Leo Laporte and Patrick Norton on TechTV. When G4 bought TechTV out, they brought the show over to their network and it was hosted by the two remaining Screen Saver hosts Kevin Rose, Sarah Lane and a new guy. Several months later, layoffs at G4 left the Screen Savers gutted and it was hosted by G4's Kevin Pereira and Chi-Lan Lieu.

Fast forward to February, TSS is now AOTS, hosted by Kevin Pereira, Sarah Lane, and Kevin Rose. I'm guessing they changed the name after the second round of layoffs since the show drastically changed in content. TSS used to be about technology and computers, and AOTS has that tech element in there, but they now cover aspects of pop culture their target audience (nerds) would like.

Discuss.
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#2

SVNBob

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Posted May 5, 2005 @ 1:46 AM

So, basically, G4's coke-sniffing weasels took all the TechTV shows that they scrapped plus what was left of TSS, threw them in a blender, and set it on high. And this is the result.

I remember in the G4 newsletter just after the change of title came about that one of the first segments would be a man-on-the-street interview asking people what they thought of the new name. I hope the overwhelming actual response was "ass."
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#3

cabbey

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Posted May 6, 2005 @ 12:00 AM

Hmm... well if your assessment of their target audience is right, then I'm clearly in it. But I don't like where the show has gone, no I don't like it one bit. Let's compare and contrast, shall we? (For reference, any time I refer to TSS, I mean the ORIGINAL TechTV version of The Screen Savers.)

TSS most memorable moment: in a segment about how to protect your private data after the hard drive it was on has failed, Patrick Norton took a ball pein hammer and set about to badly dent the (by now exposed) platters of a hard drive, only to learn on live television that the hard drive he had selected had a new breed of glass/ceramic substrate platers from IBM in it. When the shower of broken shards of glass settled Patrick was visibly shaken, but like a true professional finished off the sequence and threw it to commercial about the time the nerdvana adrenalin of discovering something new started to show itself. After the commercial he had come back with information about the platters and a web site on the topic, presented some facts and such.

AOTS most memorable moment: the guys got their hands on what is likely the worlds smallest general purpose computer system, about the size of an RJ45 (Ethernet) jack. Once hooking it up and serving some pages from it, they brought in a "Doctor" and a "willing participant" in a "medical study". They then showed us the horrified and grossed out faces of the cast while they shoved this server up a man's ass and proceeded to serve pages from it.

TSS cast dynamics: The show felt like a big family, Leo the paternal figure, Patrick the big brother, and a variety of big and little brothers and sisters who started of with little bit pieces and grew into bigger positions on the show, some of them even spinning off onto other shows on the now dead TechTV. While there were rarely more than two or three people on screen at a time the set was usually populated with upwards of a half dozen people and the show moved back and forth regularly and smoothly between the various cast members.

AOTS case dynamics: well, Kevin R and Sarah are clearly "a couple"... the other Kevin forms the wobbly 'third wheel' on this televised date. Given that all three of them are pretty much the same age, there's very little of a family feel... it's much more like just a bunch of friends hanging out. It even feels like they try to encourage this, as is evidenced when the guys are at the island and try to bring Sarah into some discusion, only to have to repeat the conversation for her 'cause she was sitting on the couch and totally not paying any attention to them. When they're trying for a quick zinger with her, and have to stop the forward motion of try of explain the conversation so she can make some witty remark... yeah, quality television. Neither of the guys seem to fit into the role they're trying to play either... Kevin R is trying to act cooler than he is, and Kevin P is trying to act nerdier/geekier than he is. The result, especially when they
both try to reach for a joke after a story... painful.

TSS subject matter: covered a wide range of interests in technology and popular nerd/geek culture: from hard core gaming, to basic operating system usage and upkeep, to more advanced computer usage such as video editing or advanced photoshop skills, basic and advanced hardware purchasing, maintenance, debug and advice, politics as it relates to technology or culture, web safety, music and movies. All levels of audience, from pre-teen to grandma and grandpa were entertained and informed.

AOTS subject matter: games, movies, music, porn, booze, oh and "weird stuff" like the aforementioned server up the arse. Pretty much everything is targeted at the college age group, no one younger should be watching the show, and no one older will have the stomach to watch it. Most of the reviews are shallow, even by G4 standards. Lots of the dialog on the show seems... contrived... unnatural... I'm not sure exactly what it is about it that just doesn't feel right, but quite often it doesn't... and there are either awkward pauses, or awkward rambling to prevent awkward pauses.

So if we're to assume that your assessment of the target audience is right, then I'll assert that they missed their mark by a wide margin. But I'll counter your assessment with one of my own: their target audience is the frat brothers. And there I think they came pretty close. They have the token nerd that is just cool enough not to be an embarrassment to the house: Kevin R, the Jock/BMOC: Kevin P, and the Cheerleader/Sorority Sister: Sarah.

Now it's possible that I've missed something in the show... afterall I've not seen as many of them as I have seen the good old TSS... there haven't BEEN as many of them to see yet. :) But I have seen quite a number of these, and quite a bit of the "butchered TSS" after the migration to G4... which pretty well set the stage for AOTS.
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#4

MegaJ

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Posted May 6, 2005 @ 12:33 AM

So if we're to assume that your assessment of the target audience is right, then I'll assert that they missed their mark by a wide margin. But I'll counter your assessment with one of my own: their target audience is the frat brothers. And there I think they came pretty close. They have the token nerd that is just cool enough not to be an embarrassment to the house: Kevin R, the Jock/BMOC: Kevin P, and the Cheerleader/Sorority Sister: Sarah.


I'm not really sure about that. I can't imagine frat brothers watching something like this (in fact the 18-24 male demo isn't watching television a lot, due to outside activites like sports, cars, and yes, video games.) I would say their demo isn't facts, not really nerds, but gamers and the stuff they would be interested in. I'm not a geeky person over stuff like computers and technology but I like video games (as do my friends) and I can see this show as something they would like.

I do notice the awkward rambling, but as a whole, I think the cast gets along and has good chemistry, especially after the tension after second round of layoffs.

One thing I hate about the show? The bands. Either get rid of them, or have them come on every other week.
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#5

Dinkadoo

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Posted May 17, 2005 @ 11:07 AM

The topic is really cruel, guys. Really cruel.
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#6

SVNBob

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Posted May 17, 2005 @ 11:16 PM

Well, the show is cruel. Incredibly cruel to the fans that watched what it used to be before the merge and the meddling of the coke-sniffing weasels that are TPTB@G4. Cruel to an audience used to a show that assumed the viewing audience had some intelligence, but made no assumptions about technological aptitude or experience. Cruel to people that had questions about technology in general.

It used to be unique. Now it's no different than any other G4 show.

(And as a small reminder, double check the name of this website. In particular, the last 2 words.)
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#7

MegaJ

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Posted May 18, 2005 @ 2:15 AM

I think the original poster meant the NAME of this thread topic was cruel.

I don't think AOTS is a bad show at all, just different.
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#8

LambyToes

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Posted May 20, 2005 @ 5:16 PM

Although I'm sure TSS was a great show for some and AotS is a gross let down to that fan base, and for the life of me if I had a magic wand one of the things I would effect was to seperate G4 from TechTV cause the old TTV fans are ANGRY, I have to object to being lumped in with fraternity guys and the like cause I'm nearly 30 and a woman and I love AotS. I like the dynamics. Some of the content is questionable and sometimes a little boring but the show makes me laugh and I'm impressed by these guys' live broadcast abilities. Interestingly, Brendan Moran (funny no one has mentioned the pretty boy) and Sarah seem the least capable broadcasters and they went to college for it.

I don't doubt that TSS was a great show. I met a smart techie woman who loved the old TSS and bemoans the G4 takeover but as a layperson, I remember turning it on and having each and every concept either fly 10 feet above my head or just be so mind numbingly boring I wound up turning anyway. AotS is mindless fun with people I wouldn't mind getting a drink with. If you'll notice, they haven't done anything since that rectal surgery incident that was remotely that offensive. Maybe there was an FCC fine, who knows.

AotS has it's faults to be sure. I have to say that I do get a bit worried when they show you how to build deathrays using concave mirrors and sunlight because some callous or psycho kid might build one and start murdering cats or something. Also, Brendan sucks imho. He basically reads the teleprompter (poorly) and sucks me up in a vortex of his anti-charisma, plus he can be such an asshole to guests.

All-in-all the show is an acquired taste to be sure but then so was TSS. If AotS is niche, TSS was even moreso. Come on guys remember the giant nintendo controller they built and on which the Kevins played a level of Mario Bros while bitching each other out. Good times.
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#9

LambyToes

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Posted May 23, 2005 @ 12:15 PM

I just wann ask what folks think of Kevin Rose leaving this week. I'm gonna miss him but if it means that the TSS folks who wine about the show all the time will finally move on now that the last vestiges of their show is leaving, then so much the better.
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#10

Sprout

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Posted May 23, 2005 @ 1:09 PM

Link? This is the first I've heard of Kevin R. leaving, although his absence from the E3 coverage was a little suspicious.
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#11

MegaJ

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Posted May 23, 2005 @ 1:35 PM

Details.

Apparently, he also said in TwiT that G4 hoped the new version of TSS, with Kevin and Alex would take off and when it didn't, the show was revamped and retooled during the layoffs and the producers were told to come up with a new name, which was Attack of The Show.
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#12

LambyToes

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Posted May 23, 2005 @ 2:37 PM

Who's Alex? How long did they run the new TSS before they scrapped it and came up with the name AotS? I figured he wasn't in the E3 footage because he doesn't like video games which he's said on the show before.
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#13

MegaJ

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Posted May 23, 2005 @ 6:32 PM

Alex is Alex Alberecht (not sure if the spelling is correct). He took the place of Patrick Norton when The Screen Savers moved out to LA. I think this version of TSS ran for 2-3 months before G4 decided the show needed to be revamped and rebranded. In November (after the layoffs), Kevin Pereira and Chi-Lan Lieu (Fresh Gear) were brought in for the new version and G4 said they (the producers) had to come up with a new name for the show.
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#14

LambyToes

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Posted May 24, 2005 @ 10:03 AM

I've been wondering about Chi-Lan. Is she behind the scenes or did she get layed off as well? It must suck to relocate for a job then a few months later get shitcanned.
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#15

MegaJ

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Posted May 24, 2005 @ 1:37 PM

Here is her blog. She said she no longer works for G4, and she seems very bitter towards the network, leading me to think she was let go. She was good on Fresh Gear, but man, oh man, she can't host live tv worth shit. Seriously, it was leaked that the producers forbade her from answering caller's tech questions because she would get them wrong like, EVERYTIME. No charisma whatsoever.
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#16

nate263

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Posted May 29, 2005 @ 10:18 PM

G4 is the worst station on t.v. They destroyed techtv so they could get a bigger market for their crappy shows. I am so angry.
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#17

MegaJ

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Posted May 30, 2005 @ 3:26 AM

G4 is the worst station on t.v. They destroyed techtv so they could get a bigger market for their crappy shows. I am so angry.


Even after a year?
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#18

General Mike

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Posted Jun 2, 2005 @ 11:48 AM

Anyone know if Adam Sessler is the permanent replacement for Kevin Rose, or is this just a temporary thing?

Edit: Because Chris Rose is the guy on BDSSP, not the AOTS guy.

Edited by General Mike, Jun 2, 2005 @ 12:00 PM.

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#19

Sprout

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Posted Jun 2, 2005 @ 12:25 PM

No, Kevin explained on Tuesday that they're having guest hosts for the next few weeks until they find a replacement. Guess this is Sessler's week.
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#20

SVNBob

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Posted Jun 2, 2005 @ 12:49 PM

Morgan will prpbably also get a week...and it'd be a sad, pathetic excuse for a homecoming...

Expect a Tina Wood week and a Laura Foy week too.

A Diane Mizota week...that may not happen.
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#21

Sprout

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Posted Jun 2, 2005 @ 1:40 PM

A Diane Mizota week...that may not happen.


Although that might be the most unintentionally hilarious week in AotS history.
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#22

MegaJ

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Posted Aug 15, 2005 @ 1:59 PM

Supposedly, there's a "scandal" about the host auditions. It seems like in NY, they were auditioning actors as well as geeks and nerds and the actors were supposedly given preferential treatment (special audition, skipping to the front of the line) Reports are all over the place, I don't know who to believe and I don't know if this just happens in showbiz.
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#23

Sprout

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Posted Aug 15, 2005 @ 3:04 PM

Frankly, after the last 2 weeks' shows, I kinda wish they would forget the contest crap and just back truckloads full of money up to Seanbaby's house until he agrees to be the permanent co-host.
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#24

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Posted Aug 17, 2005 @ 10:50 AM

I don't think it would take truck loads. He seems to like it and he can't be making that much money writing one article in a game magazine. He does have that cartoon coming out so good for him! Plus once you advertise for open casting call you can't renig so we're kinda stuck. I wish they would get on with the guest host audtions already. I thought they were trying to have it done by September. That's obviously not going to happen.

I don't know, I'm of two minds with Seanbaby. He is funny and unpredictable as fuck so that lead to a wild two weeks which at any time he could have said something totally unacceptable on live tv. He came pretty close and you could see Kevin was a little nervous sometimes too but after a while he and Kevin go into a nice little rhythm and Sean and Sarah were very adorable together.

My other mind is saying that Seanbaby's antics would have grated on my nerves after a while. I said on the G4 board that anytime Kevin Pereira is playing the 'strait man' the other host must be completely crazy. My other peeve is the misogyny that Sean brought to the show. Sometimes I could just laugh it off but other times it just left a bad taste in my mouth and as he stayed he'd only get worse in my opinion. I'm not saying that the show wasn't already sexist and borderline misogynistic but Sean just took it there.

In regards to the scandal, I just have to say that a vast majority of G4's viewership are deeply stupid. They just are. I've made piece with it. There wasn't a scandal. Casting directors routinely have cattle drive-like open calls and then specific casting calls. You think Leonardo DeCaprio just answers ads in Variety? When they said a person needed to be tv ready they meant "unugly and with some charisma" They never said they were gonna hire some pimply faced Screech. In fact they already had actors coming in or sending tapes in and they were all abysmal cause the actors didn't know anything about the show or how it worked according to what Kevin said on his pod cast. He joked that showing these videos would make a funny segment. I'm thinking that's where the idea to have an open castin call came in. I know AotS just wishes they had passed on that idea now.
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#25

SVNBob

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Posted Aug 26, 2005 @ 1:20 AM

Holy shit! I just checked my e-mail, and read a newsletter from G4 that shocked the hell out of me. In an absolutely surprising move, G4 is bringing back Call for Help with Leo Laporte starting on Monday. I guess with the gas prices so high in LA, there wasn't as much coke for the weasels to sniff.
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#26

LambyToes

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Posted Aug 31, 2005 @ 1:06 AM

Any thoughts on the first Co-Host hopeful, Anthony Cabroni? I like him so far. After I get back from DragonCon I'll have half a weeks worth of AotS to watch so I'll have a final decision then.
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#27

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Posted Aug 31, 2005 @ 10:08 AM

Who, Emo Rocca? Yeah, I like the kid. He stumbles over lines on the teleprompter sometimes, but that's the kind of thing that improves with practice. I could definately see him as the full-time co-host.
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#28

Dariendude15

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Posted Aug 31, 2005 @ 6:05 PM

Seriousely!?!? G4 actually LISTENS to its fans?!? So call for help is back, and so is Leo Laporte? Cool. I remember seeing this blooper on the internet featuring the old CFH host and this guy. The guy was... well, I'm sure any self-respecting Techtv fan has already seen that one.
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#29

cabbey

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Posted Sep 2, 2005 @ 7:27 PM

Actually, it's even better than that SVNBob!! G4 is picking up US broadcast rights to the Canadian Call For Help, they'll in theory ONLY have the right to rebroadcast it, no "creative input". And, to make it even better, I'm told by some Canadian co-worker, that since the demise of TechTV in the states, TechTVCanada has subtly shifted CFH's focus and now it looks a lot more like classic TSS than CFH back before the black merger. So in a way... we're getting back The Screen Savers. Kinda. Sorta. In a way.
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#30

LambyToes

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Posted Sep 7, 2005 @ 10:46 PM

Yah since my tv is always on 162 G4. I turned it on today and "Call for Help" was on. I felt so good for you fans. I know you guys were hurting. I'm gonna try to check it out. I won't understand a lick of what their saying but maybe I'll learn something by osmosis.

In regards to AotS, I can safely say after whitnissing half of Nar's performance that there is no way in a fair society that he should win over Toni Carboni. Cartoonish name aside, Carboni did a kickass job.
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