Tag Archives: Brian Williams

Post-Games Positivity: Celebration over Criticism…until Tomorrow

Post-Games Positivity…until Tomorrow

March 1st, 2010

In the post-game euphoria which followed Canada’s epic overtime victory, as the nation flooded into the streets to celebrate, CTV’s hockey commentators were still getting paid to do their jobs. And so while no one else was thinking about how Canada had given up the lead in the final moments of the game, the commentators were talking about what Canada did wrong, and James Duthie raised an important point: if he had not scored that overtime goal, and if Canada had gone on to lose that game, Sidney Crosby would have been labeled a disappointment.

Sure, he scored a big goal in the Shootout against Switzerland, but Crosby wasn’t a force to be reckoned with on the ice. If the team had lost that game, he would have been singled out as someone who didn’t live up to their potential, who failed to be the next Gretzky or Lemieux as he has been labeled. But because he did score that goal, and because Canada did win the gold medal, no one will ever remember that he had been held pointless in the nine periods which preceded that extra frame; they will only remember that “Sid the Kid” scored the golden goal.

Canada is still wrapped up in post-Olympics euphoria at this hour: sure, my Facebook feed is filled with enough cynical twenty-somethings that the music selections at the Opening ceremonies are under intense scrutiny, but for the most part Canada has exited this games with a flurry of national pride. Four gold medals over the final two days have given Canada a place in the record books as the country with the most Gold medals in a single Winter Olympics, and the hockey victory made the entire evening’s affairs really feel like one big celebration of Canada as a nation. And while I have all sorts of quasi-critical thoughts about the Ceremonies, and about some of the events over the past few days, and certainly intend to more critically analyze CTV’s coverage of the games over the past 17 days in more detail in the future, right now just doesn’t feel like the time.

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Hot Tubs and Hot Topics: CTV’s First Night as Canada’s Olympic Broadcaster

Hot Tubs and Hot Topics

February 13, 2010

As Donald Sutherland has been telling me for weeks now, through the ubiquitous and overexposed commercials CTV has been pummelling us with, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games are Canada’s, in more ways than one. While there is always a sense of pride surrounding the honour of hosting the games, it seems as if the games organizers are intent to engage the entire nation (rather than just those on the West Coast) in the excitement surrounding the games.

This is, clearly, an honourable discourse, and of course those of us on the opposite end of the country want to feel as if these games belong to us to some degree. However, I can’t resist pointing out that these efforts exist to drive viewership more than national pride, and in some ways I’m more interested in how the media is covering these games than in the games themselves (if only because I have serious issues with suspense during sporting events, and the focus on Canadian athletes makes my heart race involuntarily).

This is likely fairly niche for most of you, and I promise to talk a bit about the Opening Ceremonies to keep non-Canadians from being too detached, but I want to take a look at CTV’s coverage leading into the ceremonies, and what it tells me about how the network is handling its takeover of the games from the nation’s public broadcaster, CBC.

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30 Rock – “Audition Day”

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“Audition Day”

November 5th, 2009

I think that 30 Rock would be far funnier if it wasn’t so annoying.

This likely seems like a derogatory statement, but it’s really not: I thought “Audition Day” was the most enjoyable episode of the season yet, but yet I wouldn’t necessarily say it was that great, which reflects on both the quality of the season so far and the reality of this type of episode. It’s effectively a grab bag of comedy, as by the end of the episode you have plenty of jokes that you remember fondly, and callbacks to previous episodes that make you reminisce, and even some new jokes that really connect. However, while you’re happy with what you’ve received in those arenas, there’s also a bunch of other crap that didn’t connect comically, and that served only to promote business networking tools.

When there’s no real central premise to hold an episode like this one together, you’re left feeling like something was missing even as you gush over the genius of Brian Williams, which is pretty much where I stand with 30 Rock right now. I laughed, I commented on its cleverness, and yet still in the end I can’t help but be annoyed with elements of the episode that didn’t quite work. It’s particularly frustrating in that I actually think “Audition Day” was a pretty solid and funny episode, but there’s just something about the show that’s taking a shotgun approach to comedy that I’m just not responding well to.

At least we’ll always have Moonvest.

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30 Rock – “The Ones”

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“The Ones”

April 26th, 2009

While its Thursday night comedy counterpart The Office has been delving into a long-term storyline over my hiatus, which has made not blogging about it a little bit more problematic, 30 Rock has been in a very different sort of place. This isn’t to say that the show isn’t achieving its goals: this is two solid episodes in a row now, so one can’t say the show is necessarily coasting.

In fact, I’d argue that “The Ones” was really on the ball in terms of both its light comedy (which is almost always strong) and its resolution and continuation of some storylines and characters who have been hit and miss. I was less than kind in my analysis of the Elisa storyline, but some time in Puerto Rico seems to have done both the character and the writers well, as the zany but grounded conclusion felt like the ideal sendoff. Combine with the second straight good use of Jenna, a fun little Tracy diversion, and Liz as Jack’s bro? And this was an episode chock full of strong dynamics.

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