A hot topic around certain media water coolers this week is definitely George. And for once it’s not Mr. Bush we’re scrutinizing, it’s Mr. Stroumboulopoulos and his new show, The Hour.
The formula fits. The CBC needs to nab a younger audience before their mostly-geriatric audience croaks. Hell, we’re all a generation in need of fresh ideas. So, they give themselves a to-do list:
– Make a hip new show that happens to cover the big void (aka Primetime –oh hockey how we miss thee…)
– Get the hot “it” pop-journo (meet George, the object of many a girl/boys admiration/affection).
– Get the VJs – this one is key. There’s a template, and they found the necessary filler. The Hour’s got the token hot-girl VJ (Kim D’eon, former host of CBC’s teen show Street Cents), token funny-man-cool-guy (Derrik Beckles, who happens to be cool also cause he’s a talented documentary film maker too, really!), the token experienced-and-reliable-guy (Darby Wheeler-another good guy stolen from George’s infamous New Music show)…am I forgetting something? Oh, right, the token goat-feeder (in this case, it’s disaster-man Yasir Khan who happened to be on vacation when this century’s biggest natural disaster happened).
– Get the goods. By goods we mean direction, content, consistency…. The “meat” if you will (this is the tough part).
So that’s the ol’ CBC’s list. Now can they say check to all of the above? Tonight marks the end of their first week on air. They’ve previewed it, but no one’s RE-viewed it yet. Torontoist, for one, was excited, as were a lot of media-junkies. Big on promises, The Hour marketed itself as a “fresh take” on the news, a “different” perspective targeted at the oh-so-valueable 18-34s who care more about Jon Stewart than they do about Walter Cronkite. Anderson Cooper’s 360 meets The Daily Show??? HELLO—who wouldn’t be interested?? BUT, can the show live up to its promises?
The reaction seems mixed. A brief discussion on 1051 shows critical optimism, and here’s another thread to consider. And Torontoist has heard many a discussion at home and at the CBC.
Here’s what we’ve heard… in incomplete sentences and no particular order:
George needs to STOP being MM George and start being CBC George….there is something called TOO casual….it’s exactly what it said it would be, fresh and different and neither here nor there….it’s a show still in search of its own identity…it’s too derivative of CBC News Sunday in it’s quest for the “spiritual” element….the director or switcher or whoever’s in charge of those A/V glitches should be shot….George wears black too much…if they can keep saying what other people won’t [ie. Africa is an epidemic, Indonesia is a temporary problem re: AID] then they’ll knock it out of the park….that Kim chick is hot….um, what the HELL was that Prince Harry photoshop project?…the 16th minute is actually funny, nothing on the CBC is ACTUALLY funny! ….they need more ammo if they’re gonna keep this up…..a whole hour four days a week is a LOT of air to fill……
But what do YOU think???