NOW ON VOD! When I was a teenager, there was only one place I could turn to when it came to everything “nerd” related. It was a network known as G4, which brought all things video games, technology, and movies to the forefront in one place. This made G4 unique. From documentarian Chris Gore, Attack of the Doc! tells the story of the rise and fall of the groundbreaking G4 network focused primarily on its beloved flagship series, Attack of the Show!.
In the early 2000s, Comcast purchased TechTv and merged it with the gaming channel known as G4. Citing TechTv’s broader cable audience as one reason for the merger, many TechTv employees would either be laid off or just quit after the merger announcement and its operation moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This left the channel primarily made up of G4 employees. With a new network comes a new direction, including a number of new shows, and leading this new movement was the aforementioned love letter to pop culture.
Attack of the Show! was hosted by Kevin Pereira and several different co-hosts. It brought the latest video games and tech news while blending in comedic sketches full of pop culture parodies. The show really took off with the arrival of Olivia Munn. She not only matched Pereira’s energy but also allowed Pereira to push the boundaries of decency by doing so herself. It was a stride-for-stride partnership that took the show to new heights. With its nerd focus, the series started covering the biggest pop-culture conventions on location at San Diego Comic-Con and E3, which was groundbreaking at the time.
“…the rise and fall of the groundbreaking G4 network focused primarily on its beloved flagship series…”
Aside from all the things that made Attack of the Show! and G4 great, Attack of the Doc! also discusses the birth and to-hell-with-it spirit of the beloved show and, ultimately, the fall of the network. The downward spiral started when hosts began leaving the show to go on to do other things – Oliva Munn is probably the most notable name to go from G4 news anchor to the bright lights of Hollywood appearing on The Daily Show, in the X-Men franchise, and Magic Mike. Finally, in case you’re curious, the doc touches briefly on the recent 2021 relaunch of the G4 network, but not much can be said about it due to its failure lasting less than a year.
The film definitely hits the mark when it comes to highlighting the key moments that made the network great. In doing so, it also provides all the nostalgia for me as I had a lot of great memories of G4 as a teenager. I mean, who didn’t have a crush on Munn, and how else would I see San Diego Comic-Con when I was a broke teen? The documentary also has a few sketches thrown in reminiscent of the many parodies unique to G4.
However, I felt the documentary is missing insight from more of the faces of G4, including the likes of Pereira, Munn, and Adam Sessler. There are plenty of archival interviews and appearances from some familiar G4 faces, such as series regulars Chris Gore and Zach Selwyn, which all work very well in telling the story of G4. Even though a network like G4, and specifically something like Attack of the Show! could not be made today, as we saw with its shortly-lived relaunch. It was a kickstarter for everything you see on Youtube, social media, and podcasts. Without Attack of the Show! a lot of what we enjoy about pop culture on YouTube today may not exist, and this documentary proves that point.
Attack of the Doc! is not only a great hit of nostalgia, but it also takes us back to a time when many of us started to find ourselves and had no fear of doing so.
DISCLAIMER: Attack of the Doc! executive producer and director Chris Gore is also the publisher of Film Threat.
"…a kick-starter for everything you see on Youtube, social media, and podcasts."