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Channel Awesome, formerly That Guy With The Glasses, is a network of content creators founded by Mike Michaud and Doug Walker in 2008. Although they've had many types of content over the years, it has mainly been centered around the entertainment review-style that they helped popularize, which incorporates sketches and comedy into a review of material that's often "so bad it's good."
That Guy With The Glasses Era
That Guy With The Glasses (TGWTG) was a website hosting various webshows, usually video reviews. Originally most of the content centered around Doug Walker, host of the best known TGWTG show: the Nostalgia Critic. In addition to the Nostalgia Critic, Walker initially also hosted Bum Reviews and a humorous Q&A show called Ask That Guy With The Glasses. The site also hosted a series called 5 Second Movies, which were hyper-edited recuts of popular films.
Early on, TGWTG held a contest to find The Nostalgia Critic's distaff counterpart, and in 2008 Lindsay Ellis was hired as one of the first outside content producers for TGWTG, hosting "The Nostalgia Chick" to Doug Walker's "The Nostalgia Critic."
By 2011, the site had attracted over 20 different reviewers, most of whom existed in the same continuity, colloquially known as the awesomeverse or reviewaverse. These reviwers frequented collaborated and appeared in each others videos, enforcing this continuity. The shared universe included the existence of magic, incredibly advanced technology, and intersections of the two, as shows that started out as mainly reviewing media began to grow their own plot arcs. The most extensive of these is Linkara's Atop The Fourth Wall, which led to a movie in 2015.
The first five anniversaries of the site's creation were celebrated with anniversary films. These started with the TGWTG Year 1 Brawl in 2009, in which the website's contributors split into two teams (led by Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd) and battled each other. This short film was followed by three features of increasing length and scale: Kickassia in 2010, Suburban Knights in 2011, and To Boldly Flee in 2012. In 2013, the anniversary was celebrated with The Uncanny Valley, an anthology of short films by various site contributors.
In 2009, TGWTG created Blistered Thumbs which was a similar content creator network specifically focused on gaming. They also created Inked Reality for comic book and manga themed reviews as well as Bar Fiesta, which was for food.
Channel Awesome Era
In 2014, TGWTG rebranded into Channel Awesome and closed Blistered Thumbs. This led to several long-time content producers leaving the site, most prominent among them Lindsay Ellis and Phelan Porteous, who took Allison Pregler and Andrew Dickman to his own site.
See Change The Channel for more information.
- The Nostalgia Critic: Doug Walker's first series. Initially a show for reviews of media from the 80s to 2000, but eventually expanded to include more recent media and occasional editorials on topics such as superheroes, Disney Princesses, and the merits of recent cartoon series.
- The Cinema Snob: Brad Jones's main series, wherein he reviews porn and exploitation films. Recently, though, he has branched out to obscure and overall "weird" movies, recent flops, and themed months in which he takes on films of a certain type (musicals, movies considered the worst). Is known for his excellent speaking voice.
- The Nostalgia Chick: Originally meant to be a female counterpart to the Nostalgia Critic who specialized in reviewing girls' media, Lindsay Ellis retooled her show to discuss animation from earlier eras along with giving more serious and detailed reviews of "girly" nostalgia and various movies.
- Atop The Fourth Wall: Linkara's show, in which he reviews comic books. This one is hugely popular and has had the biggest story arc out of all the shows on the site.
The biggest TGWTG community, The Secret Treehouse, was established by Emeriin, Bubosquared, and Aunt_Zelda in October 2009, and has remained the most prominent location for fandom ever since, although TGWTG also has a prominent following on tumblr, due in part to the blog TGWTG secrets, a single-fandom version of Fandomsecrets.
According to a post by Emeriin, the biggest tropes in TGWTG fanworks are Fem!Dom, Alternate Universes, Whump/woobies, and writing characters as 'evil' for fanservice. The fandom produces a lot of AUs which contain multiple fics, often by different authors; the most prominent of these include the Hookerverse, The Denny's Court and TGWTG in space.