Monday, January 30, 2006

Curious George

When George Stroumboulopoulos began his broadcast of The Hour at CBC I watched with great interest. Finally someone would speak meaningfully to people my age (a few years younger than George) about things that could hold our attention for longer than 5 seconds. At least that's what I think the CBC was hoping for. I watched the first few episodes and then gave it a miss. It seemed amateurish. The set was kinda boring. George seemed still set in his rocker ways from his days at Much. I get the angst bit but I wanted good commentary, thoughtful commentary, not just "Awww c'mon".

Now, a couple years in, George is strutting around Queen West in his slick new Beemer and I think he deserves it. I was watching the show tonight and was impressed that it finally nails what I hoped it would be in its first season. The CBC has pulled it off. The news was fresh and I got a kick out their segment on 4:20 (though I wished the camera person had thought of white balancing the outdoor interviews). I also think they've done much better with the set, street scenes of Toronto is more fitting than bookcases filled with nick-nacks.

I followed this by a visit to CBC's site for The Hour and was happy to see fellow bloggers listed on the home page. Great way to get people involved, continue a discourse. (Apparently The Hour had to remove it's own blog because of a nasty situation). Can my blog make it to his front page? Something to aspire to maybe. (I think I might have to offer a sweeter review).

Well, here it is... The Hour's website does offer some juicy bits. Perfect for us after-work and weekend browsers. The video segments online were fantastic; could've loaded somewhat faster but were worth the wait. I watched George's interview with Rick Mercer, a piece on June Callwood, and then for kicks his interview with ex-Crossfire front man Tucker Carlson.

While not too many Canadians paid attention to Tucker before (unless you caught video of John Stewart bitch slapping the poor guy on Tucker's own show) they certainly are now...and if you don't know why, check out the video for yourself. The man calls Canadians "the retarded cousin" of the States. I was impressed George took him on. Watching the interview like I might a boxing match, I hoped to God that George didn't make it a fluff piece, that he nailed him on some of the bullshit, and he did. Thank you George.

So much to say about this piece, Tucker Carlson is a pretentious jerk and George slyly made comparisons to people like him needing slick sports cars to make up for ...ehm...other stuff. George even got him to revoke the "retarded" bit.

However (you really gotta see this thing) Tucker has some points. He admits that only about 5% of Americans would know who our Prime Minister is (yep, he'd be right - doesn't that say more about them) and that we think we're morally superior (well, our policies often are).

I was drunk on a rooftop in Brooklyn for NYE where some of the party had moved to and I was yelling "Move to Canada" and some sweet American guy came to me to say how much he liked Canada and then asked "Who is your Prime Minister?" But Mr. Carlson was wrong about one thing and that's that everyone wants to live in the States. Check out The Hour's About The Show page, in all the sweet comments made about it, one guy from Chicago so loves Canada and The Hour that he thinks he might retire here. So much for Tucker's point. While some of us might see better opportunities down south, when it comes to where to live the Golden Years some of us would still say Canada.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have posted a nasty review too: we're all about transparency here. If you've got something to say, we'll listen. (But thanks for the kind words.)

Web Producer

Anonymous Anonymous said...

your blogs give me wood.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the meantime...check this out

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sookie, Excellent post about The Hour. I share your views. Check out my own page if you want.I also wrote about the Tucker bit, I love how George handled him-"Do you need a hug?" good stuff.

I wrote a very silly bit about George's fashion on the show (one of my first posts) and was shocked to see it featured on the CBC page.

Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

I warmed to The Hour right from its premiere, and actually thought something was a little lacking this season (although I still think it's the best thing on tv next to South Park). I do miss the emails, even though I can see they could cause a huge scheduling headache, and we all really miss Peter McBain (what happened to him?). Plus the show keeps getting shorter and shorter. Relatively minor points though, which are more than made up for in quality and sassiness.

Blogger Barbara said...

I borrowed your pic of George and changed it a bit. You can borrow any of my George pics you want.

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