Attention, sophisticated males! It's clear that the media has been neglecting your needs for too long—where can affluent, well-groomed dudes in expensive suits go to get a little respect once in a while? But don't fret: in April of this year, G4 (you know, Nick Arcade: The Network?), will officially cease to be, and the Esquire Network will take its place. An offshoot of Esquire Magazine, the Esquire Network will feature guy-centric programming without all the terribly gauche regular-guy stuff we've come to expect from places like Spike and the History Channel. In fact, they say, in this country-clubhouse there are NO REGULAR GUYS ALLOWED. Tagg's room! Keep out!
Via the Atlantic Wire:
Rumors that Hearst and G4's owners NBCUniversal have been floating around entertainment news crowds at least since last December, when The Hollywood Reporter said that the two were in talks rebrand G4 as the Esquire Channel, "which will look to court metrosexual viewers that History and Spike ignore, will include programming focused on gaming and lifestyle." Deadline Hollywood similarly reported that NBCUniversal was aiming "to keep the male-centric nature of [G4] but make it more upscale and sophisticated, which is what Esquire is about."
...Whereas most channels try to appeal to men, in Stotsky's words, with "down-market shows [about] tattoos or pawn shops or storage lockers or axes or hillbillies," the Esquire Network will have shows about cooking, fashion, politics, and so forth.
Linemouth @ branding "history" as a male pursuit, but okey dokey! (I hate everyone!)
Esquire higher-ups are characterizing the fledgling network as "an upscale Bravo for guys," which means, as far as I can surmise...17 iterations of Real House-Husbands, plus a couple of shows where gay house-flippers yell at their assistants about pelmets? I guess? Oh also they will sometimes show The Mummy, but not the kissing parts (ew!).
No, but actually, they have released a couple of details about the programming they've got planned so far. The Esquire Network will feature two original shows: Knife Fight, which is like Top Chef but more stabby, and The Getaway, which is about celebrities going on vacation or something. To fill in the rest of the time, they'll be pulling various male-friendly NBCUniversal shows, such as those testosterone-drenched dong-a-thons, uh, Parks & Recreation and Party Down. (So I guess what they're saying is that this is the Adam Scott Network. Got it. To be fair, I would totally watch that network.)
And therein lies the reason why we don't really need the Esquire Network—because what the fuck is explicitly masculine about food, travel, or Parks & Rec? It's the same problem I have with Esquire Magazine from time to time—they run these long-form, original, well-reported pieces on gender-neutral topics, and by virtue of running in Esquire they're branded as "men's" stories. Dudes get to have all their dude stuff and they get to have all the neutral stuff too? Because women couldn't possibly care about cars and whiskey and the guy who shot Osama bin Laden. This is a semantic quibble, to an extent—of course women can and do read Esquire—but it's worth noting that women's magazines are about fashion, grooming, relationships, cooking, and bodies, while men's magazines are about those things plus the world. It's irritating.
But, on the other hand, maybe it's great that Esquire's attempt to curate a network "for men" comes off sounding almost 100% gender-neutral. That's what we're going for, isn't it? To break down some of these weird, binary cultural restrictions and let "man things" and "woman things" converge and just be "people things"? Anyway, whatever your opinion, if the Esquire Network really is 98% Adam Scott plus a cooking contest where the chef-testants are eliminated via actual knife fight (in my dreamz), I will basically never turn it off. So I guess I'm a man now. A sophisticated man.
And if Esquire does want to expand their arsenal of original programming, I've come up with some suggestions that fit perfectly into the "upscale Bravo for guys" market. They're really good. Trust me, I'm a man.
It's a reality show about a guy who's a millionaire, and in his spare time he makes artisanal matches.
It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World
Day-to-day life with Hollywood's top dad stylist.
Say No-Means-No to the Tuxedo
It's like Say Yes to the Dress, only Randy menaces you with a sock full of quarters until you fucking pick one.
A makeover show for short dudes who are nerds. Like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, only smaller and slightly less gay.
Adam Scott interviews himself in a mirror.
Yeah, WTF Was Up with THAT Guy!?
It's a show about that weird con-artist dude who dated Anne Hathaway. Because seriously, WTF was up with that guy. I feel like Esquire would know.
Uhhhhhhhhh...the urban dandies of Bangkok discuss diet tips and Mad Men spoilers in Tom Ford's solarium. (Listen, SOMETIMES THE PUN COMES FIRST. I'm SORRY.)
It's like The Apprentice, but for knights. "Turn in your leather cap—thou art conflagrated!" And then they literally burn the losers at the stake.
Law & DISorder!!!
A bunch of dudes with Esquire subscriptions keep getting mistaken for actual lawyers and are hired to defend cases in criminal court. The judge finds THEM guilty...of looking sharp!!! (And also of impersonating a lawyer. Everyone is in jail now.)
Pimp My Monogram
You just tell them your name and they give you a new, better name and also a car made out of a fish tank. Possible names include: Tagg, Tripp, Brogan, Bragen, Brody, Bennett, Barge, Borg, and Chud. Hosted by Rafalca.
Image via Poleze/Shutterstock.