There are a ton of embittered gamers out there, totally and completely miffed that they spent their Saturday evening – all three hours of it – watching what amounted to a YouTuber's daily basement-quality video amped up by 10x (and minus 7 for the fact that it lacked gifs and memes) and essentially felt like padding for something that never arrived. The alternative, of course, was spending the Saturday evening with a box of Kleenex and a photo of the next-gen game console they can't afford, so it's not like it was a total bust.
Nevertheless, Spike's VGX has effectively been labeled as a “train wreck” by, well, everyone. It was trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons and is currently filling up news aggregators and social media sites with tons of negative criticisms.
No one can consistently say what the exact problem was, but everyone knows that every part of it was a problem. One of the bigger issues of debate was whether the Dorito Pope and the Dorito Bishop made the show better or worse. Well, I have to say that Joel McHale working sidekick duty with Geoff Keighley was the best worst thing to happen for the Spike VGX Awards show.
From insulting developers, to picking on Keighley like the kid brother he never wanted, to dissing the game community with lame jokes, and even bludgeoning viewers with deadpan wit that was so thick that it would make Janeane Garofalo blink twice to question if there was sarcasm involved; McHale stole the show with the sort of awkward laughter you would expect from a less-than-sober Larry David. The alternative would have been sitting through an insipid and boring show that wouldn't have been any different than a Bonus Round on Game Trailers.
Funnily enough, there's some minor debate about whether or not GTA V deserved to beat The Last of Us as 2013's Game of the Year, but for the most part all the chatter, dialogue and social media meta-verse has been consumed with how terri-bad the VGX awards show was. From the Loiter Squad proving that some pro-lifers are wrong for wanting abortions banned, to the cheap set designs that looked like they were rented from a college student who was squatting in a condemned loft, the whole thing was an epic fail.
However, the one centrifugal nexus of entertainment that held the show together was the cringe-worthy comments and nonchalant snark of C+ television star, Joel McHale. The guy managed to make every embarrassing moment of low-budget drudgery a slightly more entertaining affair to distract viewers from that 80 inch television surrounded by the garbage that was gathered from Andy Dick's front yard and stacked around the set as if a blind construction worker was accidentally hired to erect structures as an artistic interpretation of the Xbox One's resolution output.
Unlike Player Essence, who said the show “sucked” and should “R.I.P.” or The Koalition, who hammered the show harder than Rob Ford hits the crack pipe, I can't help but note that McHale is what got me through those three grueling hours of commercialized puff.