When G4 asked me, a few months ago, if they could turn my column into a TV segment, I was intrigued. A number of questions immediately popped into my mind, the foremost of which was, "What in the crap is G4?" Once informed that they were in fact a television station, and one dedicated to video game culture, the situation became much more appealing. I've always felt that there is a crippling need for shows about awkward, immature post-grads on gaming-themed television, and here was my chance to fill that void.
Still, I had to approach the opportunity with caution. TV producers are not known for their scruples, and I wanted to ensure that our deal was handled with the necessary prudence. It was important to me that I was paid accordingly, retained creative control and presented in a dignified manner. After being told that none of those three requests would be honored, I re-assessed the situation and realized what was truly important to me was having a show on TV, even if it was two minutes of pixilated video game women having sex.
Thanks to those Trump-ian negotiating skills, you can now looked forward to seeing the premier episode of "Rocked . . . Or, Epic Disasters on a Relative Scale," an adaptation of my column that ranges from sobering truth to hilarious fiction, depending on how embarrassed I am of each particular story. The tales are presented as a series of animated video game clips paired with Daytime Emmy-caliber writing. It's not entirely unlike "Lost," except starring the cast of "Mario Party."
It's also been a re-introduction for me back into the world of video games. My gaming career began with the original Nintendo Entertainment System and has since, despite a few stop-offs with other systems, returned to a state of 8-bit NES bliss. While it made game-buying a very cheap enterprise, my old school affinity left me very disconnected from modern developments within the industry. Now, after having seen dozens of clips, I feel much more informed about the current crop of video games which, as far as I can tell, all involve endless legions of naked, monumentally endowed women.
I had the good fortune of seeing an exclusive sneak-preview of the first episode, "For Love or Madden," late last week. Having had a few days to absorb everything, I can now say with unwavering confidence that the episode might almost redefine the world of two-minute video-game-clip montages. Enhanced by narration that's delivered with all the enthusiasm of a toll booth operator, the show quickly establishes me as a juggernaut in the gaming vignette industry.
Additionally, the execs at G4 kept bringing good news to the table. I was naturally thrilled to find out the show would appear during a block called "Nocturnal Emissions," a catchy title that essentially guarantees Mom won't be showing the grandmas my prestigious accomplishments. It was equally as exciting to learn my episodes would be occupying the coveted midnight time slot, presumably sending Leno, Letterman and Co. scrambling toward their respective war rooms to figure out how to stave off the imminent threat. All considered, it's pretty apparent that I'm going to be making a name for myself with this project, though the jury's still out on whether or not that name should've been my real one.
Either way, tonight's debut marks a turning point in my life. After the premier of "Rocked . . ." I will officially be a television writer a job that, like being Spiderman, comes with great responsibility. It will be my duty to maintain the quality of my craft. Sure, right now these stories about my buddies and I might be animated with clips of pirates, dragons and 17-person all-female orgies (rightfully so). But I know that in time, there will be a point when "Voetsch" is no longer played by a sword-wielding lobster, when Sweeney isn't represented by a talking mutant sneaker and when my real-life roommates actually get jobs.
Until then, I guarantee that the hard-working fellas at G4 will continue to receive the best damn 150-word scripts that I can scribe. It may seem like inauspicious beginnings, but make no mistake: this is where all truly great television writers begin. Eventually, when NBC, Fox and Lifetime decide that they once again want to fill their must-see blocks with hours of video-game clips, there will be only one guy fit for the job. A distinguished list of careers has started in the trenches of video-game-clip storytelling. Now, it is with great pride, principle and the desire to be on TV that I add my name to the bottom.
"Rocked . . . Or, Epic Disasters on a Relative Scale" will be premiering tonight on G4 at 12 am ET, 9 pm PT. Check your local listings for the station or swing by the Cinematech Nocturnal Emissions "Rocked" home page for more information.
The show is rated TV-14, so plan accordingly.