Sunday, November 12, 2006

and i feel fine...

i am full of cbc love today. so much, that i am going to devote a whole post on 'the hour'.

i got a lovely email from allison brachman, a producer on 'the hour'. she actually made me feel bad because i think my original e-mail wasn't as nice as the one she sent me. a few weeks back, mr. stroumboulopoulos plugged the upcoming week on 'the hour' and mentioned a frank black interview. by sunday nite, on the strombo show, it had become it might be on this week or next. so far, nothing. so i sent an email to 'the hour' asking about it. i think i only put 'where is the frank black interview?'. i hope it wasn't anything worse . :) i just assumed it would be treated as a general comment. was i surprised to get a response in less than 24 hours. she sent me this information.

"I am a producer with The Hour. Just wanted to let you know George's interview with Frank Black will be coming up in the last week of November. We have not set air date yet but I will send you a note as soon as we have it in our lineup. Keep checking our web site as well"

how nice is that? and when i went back to her, because i wanted to make sure it was ok to post her response, she again got back to me within 24 hours (on a weekend!). besides agreeing to the post, she again mentioned that she would send me a note with the exact date so i can put it on my blog as well.

ok, onto the actual show.

i have to say that, in my humble opinion, there has been a vast improvement in the show in the past two weeks. loved the 'fear' episode. except for hilary doyle's piece. here is my beef with her. and i like to say i figured this out before i read it in the 'now' piece. at first, i thought she just annoyed me because she reminded me of all things i didn't like in kim d'eon (but i did grow to like her). but it wasn't until i watched 'the daily show' right after seeing her piece on halloween that i figured it out. she's too much of a samantha bee imitation. and i don't necessarily think that's her fault. perhaps the producers are pushing her in that direction. the pieces that she does always has that samantha bee slant to it. i wish the pieces that she would do would be more focused on being serious pieces. because the glimpses of actual journalism i have seen in them, make me want to see more. but then it rapidly dissolves into trying to be funny and she loses me again. i just think, if i wanted to see straight humour on news, i'd watch 'the daily show'. plus she needs to tone down her on air personality. she is way too loud and in your face for my liking. reminds me of a music vj or a host of etcanada. just relax lady. breathe.

the guests and interviews in the past two weeks have been less fluffy. more filling. even the pop stars (groban, cochrane, jean) were actually talking about stuff other than their latest cds. i understand that's why they go on these shows. it's just that if i'm not interested in their music, i have no reason to pay attention, unless they can offer me something else. which they did.

i always enjoy when they have david suzuki on. and i'm liking the fact that they are extending some interviews. i don't want all the interviews longer, but when you have someone as fascinating as david suzuki on, it's nice to hear him talk for longer than five minutes.

the plugging of cbc shows are getting better. at least, there were no puff pieces like that gill deacon one. the cast of rumours was on, but they didn't try to sell it as anything other than a plug for a tv show. but on the same note, i saw no point in putting up the mercer/harper clip on the website. it's from mercer's show, not 'the hour'.

the closers are starting to get a little better. there were a couple in the past two weeks were a glimmer of what they used to be. i hope it keeps up. the closers used to be something people would talk about. not anymore. i mean, they aren't even posted on the website.

stuff i liked about 'the hour' in the past two weeks.

david suzuki (and also his list. i knew he was funny)
lewis lapham
deepak chopra (i had no idea he was so funny... oprah chopra...)
the money lesson with kardinal. to me, this is how you can make a story entertaining.
disinformation segment
i loved the bobbby orr story where mr. stroumboulopoulos said for the second year, he could not talk to bobby orr as he was too nervous. i loved it because i love bobby orr and i do not think i could do it either.
the panel van
the newsstand. i love this feature anyways but to have rick mercer on it. perfect. and the fact that he mentioned stephen harper and idi amin in the same thought was too freakin' funny.
paul wells.
marc zupan
vice magazine and travel
rick hansen

stuff i didn't

the whole cultural threat index thing. i just don't find it funny.
hilary doyle pieces
the gum chewing during the fear doctor's interview.
the time slot
the theme music.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Well, kudos to Allison Brachman - now there's someone who gets things done. Hey, maybe you can ask her about getting the schedule changed!

I will have to try to watch the Frank Black interview. I watched 3/4 of a show last week before I fell asleep. Damn! I probably won't have a chance now until Christmas, though.

mellowlee said...

I agree with you that the shows are getting better YAY! Maybe they just needed to warm up :)

J said...


When I read this I was so happy!
Hilary Doyle bugs me. I am sure she is a great person but she is trying sooo hard on air. George was doing that a bit the first week of Season Three and then piped down and became himself again. Hilary just isn't funny and totally unecessary.

I like(d)the Hour last season because it was so raw and edgy, and it wasn't forced.

Check on the length of the interviews... last season they sometimes had two days or parts of an interview. It was awesome!

This year... not so much. But they are getting longer and I like that too.

Suzuki was great. Flat out, just great.

OMG, I am sooo glad someone else noticed this!!!!

I used to love waiting just to see the Closers cause they were usually thought provoking and great and this season all about plugging the next epi... I was like, "George, I listen and I can read! Thanks but use this time for a CLOSER, not a plug."

LOL! I loved the gum chewing... it just made it that more real...

You rock!


Allison said...

I'm always amazed by there quick responses. A couple weeks ago I emailed that I video was posted wrong on the website, they emailed back within the hour. I was impressed.

I missed the David S interview, I need to get caught up online this week.

Thanks for the recap.

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

now i am full of perogies... :)

barbara - haha. you know i never got a response back from this one! although i did get an invitation to come see the show being taped. um, thanks, but it's a bit of a commute.

mellowlee - maybe. i like to think all of us helped to. haha. the guest list is looking good this week as well. i am so excited to see catherine o'hara.

j - thanks! i agree with you on strombo being over the top in the beginning of this season. and i had forgotten about the two part interviews. the gum chewing was real, but if i was that doctor, i would have slapped it out of his mouth. :)

allison - i like hearing stuff like that.

cbc love all around! :)

Toccata said...

I had wondered if the fiasco of "The One" didn't affect him more than he let on because he didn't seem quite his normal self at the start of the new season. I think the show is improving and I'm glad to see the closers are starting to return. They had always been such fun.

The gum chewing was weird. I would have loved to have seen someone, "Slap it out of his mouth!"

Toccata said...

p.s. Ok I have no idea why I am suddenly being posted under the name, blue conversations! What the hell did I hit this time!!


668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

it could have been that toccata, or maybe just the switch to the main netwerk. i found he was stiff during 'the one' but gradually improved.

haha... you just like to keep us guessing!

Barbara said...

Love your Hour posts.
I like Hilary Doyle though I don't watch the Daily Show so I don't know the reference you speak of.
I am missing Jian... Where is he?
I know he can do so much more than what he has done so far this season. He had some very brilliant openers on 'Sounds Like Canada' this summer and is a genius with words...I wish they would use that creativity he is capable of on the show, or on any show.
Give him another radio show...

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

samantha bee is wonderful. and she is canadian as well.

and although it may sound like it, i haven't written hilary doyle off yet. and i'm not even sure it's her fault. because in the end, she's just an employee and someone is guiding the show. i say these things because i think they need to be said and hopefully, things can improve. i love 'the hour', i've watched it since the beginning so i feel very protective of it.

it's funny i tried hard not to like jian (loooong story) but i can't help it. he's good.

maybe one shouldn't blog after a few chocolate martinis... :)