Friday, March 27, 2009

CUTS TO CBC

In an efert to deal with financial challenges, Cbc has announced the following cuts. To read the whole press release, click the link above.

-   Planned reductions in prime time entertainment, variety and factual entertainment programming, including the number of episodes of programs such as The Border, Being Erica, Little Mosque on the         Prairie and others; Fewer episodes of the comedies and dramas that have helped make them so popular. That's smart.
-   Discontinuation of the daytime Living programs; A girl I knew in college hosts Living Newfoundland. Now she'll probably be out of a job. I'm going to kick your butts.
-   Reduction of spending on children's television programs; They all suck anyway.
-   Reduction or elimination of some sports programming, including international figure skating, skiing, world aquatics, world athletics and some soccer
programs; Reduction of sports just before you want to put an amateur sports channel on the air: also a smart move. Otherwise, I don't mind because nobody watches those.
-   Reduction of staff at current affairs and consumer affairs programs the Fifth Estate and Marketplace; Besides, who watches those now that their on Friday?
-   CBC News overall will see a reduction of approximately $7 million and 80 positions; Good plan. A reduction in the news coverage which has also been an integral part of making you so popular.
-   (Recently announced) cancellation of daytime program Fashion File and hiatus of Steven and Chris); Faggots.
-   On CBC Radio, discontinuation of network programs The Point, Out Front, The Inside Track, In the Key of Charles and the weekend edition of The Signal; For the most part, shows no one listens to anyway.
-   Reduction to one-hour of regional radio noontime programs; "We will maintain our commitment to the regions but we're cutting regional programming."
-   Reduction of live music recordings and radio drama; There is barely any radio drama on there now.
-   Closure of one-person bureaus in La Ronge, SK, and Thompson, MB;
-   Reduced staffing in: Windsor, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Quebec City, Moncton, Saint John, Sydney, Corner Brook, Labrador, Gander and Grand Falls, NL; See above.
-   Reductions in staffing Whatever that means.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

1050 CHUM TORONTO NOW CP24 RADIO

Today 1050 Chum Toronto became CP24 radio.

Ah, there's nothing like giving up. In 2001 Chum flipped to The Team. In September 2002 they flipped back to oldies and have been dead last in the ratings ever since.

"We'll relay CP24 in hopes we'll get a little bit better ratings."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

INDIA REBORN

Cbc Television, Sunday March 15 and 22, 8:00 p.m.

A spectacular, informative documentary.

India Reborn explores modern India. It is a large, populous country that is going through monumental changes. To paraphrase a line in the film, "What factories are to China, office towers are to India."

India Reborn is narrated by the guy who played Judge Fraser on This IS Wonderland.

The first hour talked about urban development and social changes. It featured a group of members of the lower caste marching to Delhi to demand their rights. To me, the fact that people would even dare to shake off the shackles of this horrible system is monumental in itself. I don't know how successfull they'll be, though. India's hindu traditions are pretty rigid.

The second hour focused on the entertainment industry. It talked about people flocking to Bollywood. It also talked about how Bollywood and Hollywood are colaborating on some productions. This has led some people to worry that Bollywood will become Americanized. I don't think this will happen. Indians like their movies.

The documentary profiled this radio announcer in Bombay who has become really popular. His salary has grown ten times in the past three years. Gee, how can I get a radio gig in India?

The Indian television industry was also talked about. In ten years India's television broadcasting system has grown from one state-run channel to 300 channels. The programs are starting to be more explicit than what Indians are used to in their entertainment. I don't think this is a good thing. Sure, it's not good to not even allow couples to kiss in a film, but Indian movies and television shouldn't descend to the soft-core porn level that so much of television has sunk to over here.

Catch the second part of India Reborn this Sunday at 8:00 on Cbc.

FACEBOOK OF REVELATIONS

Empire Theatre, Belleville, Thursday March 19

This revue was excellent.

From the tradition that brought us Sctv comes this show in the time-honoured form of Second City shows that produce hilarious sketches, satirize current trends and, I daresay leave you a different person after the show for having seen it.

Facebook Of Revelations featured sketches about a cheesy cable-access show which, like Sctv, had the look and feel of a cheesy cable-access show hosted by a high-energy idiot with a boring guest.

This show also spoofed current trends, with sketches about GPS units on cars, politics and yes, a sketch which talked about the internet.

The writing was top-notch. During a sketch about a brother from the streets interviewing a proper, English dog breeder, there was nothing to give away that the two characters didn't know each was talking about different things. The parts were played straight and the audience got it.

The performances were also tops. As mentioned earlier, the sketches had the look and feel of the situations they were portraying.

If you've never been to a Second City show, you should really go to one. For information, click the link above.

Monday, March 16, 2009

DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION: TOUCH OF GREY - EPISODE REVIEW

The main plot of last night's episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation revolved around Emma getting into smoking marijuana. She tries it for the first time, gets high and exhibits all the typical behaviour people on TV exhibit when their stoned.

When I smoked marijuana for the first time, I didn't get high.

Then, Emma decides to bake some marijuana brownies for the floor Olympics. We had activities like that in residence when I was in college. Hardly anyone participated.

One of the girls eats a browney at the event and goes into a diabetic coma. The student in charge says it was due to the pot in the brownies. I don't think so. I think it was more due to the sugar in the brownies.

I'm pretty sure diabetics won't go into a coma when they smoke pot. As a matter of fact, if you are diabetic and you smoke marijuana, it might make you better.

The campus police come and search the rooms. Emma's boyfriend takes the rap for possessing the marijuana because it was found in his room. The campus police must have gotten in some extra practice with their Where's Waldo books.

The subplot revolved around Casey joining the basketball team. Connor looks up his address and finds out Casey lives in a group home. Casey tells Connor that he has been involved in some bad stuff but makes him promise not to tell anyone. Connor then tells someone. Connor and Claire then make a couple speeches about how that was then and this is now. It ends happily.

I think the truth about Casey's past would have gotten out eventually.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

LAUGH OUT LOUD

What is it with the Cbc show Laugh Out Loud? At first the show had a pretty clear format: a theme featuring a comic who's been in the business for years, a comic who's been in the business for a few years and a new comic. However lately it seems like it's all about how you shouldn't discriminate against minorities in commedy: women and homosexuals for example.

There's also no context. At first Sabrena Jalese would say what the comedians had done and what upcoming roles they had. Now she just talks about how they've appeared at a whole bunch of comedy festivals. Yes, but have they moved beyond the stand-up and Cbc radio circuit to bigger and better things? It mainly consits of playing recordings from the Cbc Winnipeg Comedy Festival and Madly Off In All Directions.

Then there are the live shows. Jalese doesn't know whether she should be making a speech, doing stand-up or being the cool deejay, which come to think of it is the problem with all the shows. Also, what is the point of the live shows, anyway? I thought this was supposed to be a show that played comedy recordings, not another version of Madly Off In All Directions.

Monday, March 9, 2009

DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION: JANE SAYS - EPISODE REVIEW

The main plot of the latest two-part episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation revolved around Jane but first I want to talk about the subplots.

The subplot of Part One involved Laya saying her dad was a big music producer to impress Peter. Laya said that her dad had worked with Fallout Boy and that Pete Went used to sing her lullabies when she was in fifth-grade, which actually since the show is set in Canada should be Grade 5. Sav points out that Fallout Boy only formed in 2002, which would still have made it possible for Laya to have known them in Grade 5. Anyway, Laya admits that her Dad's not a music producer but really an engineer. Whether this means he designs things or drives a train is unclear. Peter is upset by this and Laya promises not to lie to him again.

The subplot of Part Two involved Ali and some guy but since I didn't see most of this episode I'm not going to comment on it. I like how the subplots are now. There sticking more to what the show was in seasons two and three: a heavy, issue-driven main plot and a light subplot.

The main plot of this two-part episode involved the return of Jane's dad. Jane isn't two thrilled about this in part one, and cut to the chase, this is because at the end of Part Two, we find out he is a pedophile. Jane tells her mom, her brother and a group therapy session. Regrettably, there is no scene with this guy hanging from a lamp post, but one can always fantasize.