10 things about television that must be stopped – The Globe and Mail

Posted: October 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

People write and ask, “Doyle, why are you so irritable?” Sometimes it’s just, “Doyle, you’re irritating.” Sometimes they write and lecture me about my “so-called feelings” for Erica Strange. Never mind. We shall draw a veil over that and carry on, head high and only slightly tranquilized. Anyway. Whether the accusation is “irritable” or “irritating,” it’s not me. You know that. It’s the TV racket. Herewith: 10 Things About Television That Must Be Stopped

1. Two-part weather reports. This has become a craze. And it makes you want to scream. Some weather specialist-thingy is introduced. There follows some bafflegab about how hot/wet/windy it was today and what’s its like outside right now. Then it’s all, “We’ll have the full weather picture and forecast later!” Listen, sunshine, we know what it’s like outside now by looking out the window. Just give us the weather forecast. No teasers.

2. Mixing up the show with the ads. Right now, a guy who’s on Hawaii-Five-O on Global pops up all night shilling Hyundai cars, telling us that it’s “Hyundai night on Global.” With some vague Hawaii background. It’s called, “an integrated advertising campaign.” Jeez, it’s just sleazy. Meanwhile, we all know that some guys in the ad department are high-fiving each other like crazy.

3. Lady news anchors jawing on about being a mom, all regular folks, just like the regular folks watching. Peanut butter on your best skirt kinda cuteness. Global has gone to extraordinary lengths to present Dawna Friesen as a mom. That’s nice. But if you’re a network news anchor, you’re not regular folks. You’re extraordinarily well-paid for a pretty cushy job. And no way on earth would Pastor Mansbridge or Lloyd “Boy” Robertson be jawing on about being a dad. Think about it, mommy.

4. TV stars taking off their clothes to promote a show. Esquire currently features Keri Russell half-naked and draped over very nice pieces of furniture. Or so I am informed. This is all in aid of promoting a horrible sitcom in which she stars called Running Wilde. This must stop. Meanwhile, we can all agree, the first sign a show stinks is when someone involved is taking off their clothes to promote it.

5. Paris Hilton reality shows. Apparently she has landed a new show for the Oxygen Network in the United States. A source quoted in the New York Post said: “This isn’t The Simple Life, where she played a campy version of herself. This show will give viewers a glimpse of the real Paris and her life, which is sometimes quite amazing.” Yeah, we know. And viewers will have to take a shower after watching it.

6. BBC Canada – could you get some new shows? Something – wait for it – BBC-ish, maybe. Holey moley, but right now it’s Holmes on Homes over and over and over again. And some show about really boring English people retiring to the countryside.

7. Cameos on Glee. Its getting embarrassing. Britney Spears was on it for 30 seconds and there was about 20 minutes of the Glee characters talking up the genius of Spears. Coming soon – Gwyneth Paltrow! Honestly. Apparently the deeply irritating actress steps in and takes over the glee club when Will Schuester is sick. And Schuester starts to fall for her. Beware: She. Sings. Four Songs. La-la-la-la. I’m covering my ears, now.

8. Starting the news with, “Here’s what’s happening now.” It’s not happening now. It happened earlier. Most of it was on the previous hour’s newscast. Time present. Time past. Get your head around it, newsreader types.

9. Actors who, like, talk, like, about, like their, like, work. Jennifer Love Hewitt recently explained the challenge of a guest-star role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She plays a rape victim and said.: “Looks-wise, wardrobe-wise, hair-wise, makeup-wise … [I had to] take everything off and be something that I’ve never been before. [It] really allowed me emotionally and physically and mentally to go to a different place.” Honey, it’s called acting.

10. The CBC’s ceaseless promotion of George Stroumboulopoulos and George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, whatever that is. Recently at a perfectly pleasant Toronto film festival party at a Toronna nightclub, I had to use the washroom. As one does. It was a unisex set-up. No urinals. I was stunned to find that as I used the facilities in the stall, a neon-bright ad for Stroumboulopoulos faced me. Hands on hips and glaring, Strombo stared at me, throughout. The kind of disturbing experience that stays with you, I’m sure you’ll agree. Might make a person wary of washrooms. Enough is enough. Let the washrooms of Canada be a Strombo-free zone.

No Mo Strombo


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