It’s a streaming service, Charlie Brown

Streaming services are gradually taking control of our daily viewing options

It’s a streaming service, Charlie BrownIf you happened to be channel surfing on TV on Oct. 24, you might have caught the classic Peanuts animated special: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It must have been on CBS, where it was first broadcast in 1966 and ran until 2000. No, it wasn't. Then it was on ABC. They picked it…

Spending Thanksgiving with Rumpole of the Bailey

Leo McKern transforms into the barrister with personality, magnificent inflection and dry wit

Spending Thanksgiving with Rumpole of the BaileyThanksgiving in Canada is a wonderful, relaxing time. Turkey dinner with family. Football games and baseball playoffs. Listening to music. Catching up on reading. How could you ask for anything better? As it happens, I can add one cherry on top of the proverbial sundae. I was able to go through my DVD collection of…

Why I can’t get enough of Ted Lasso

A silly, unrealistic comedy about real life

Why I can’t get enough of Ted LassoI’m not a big fan of fiction in any format. I prefer that writers clearly elaborate their theories or explain what’s actually happening in the world. I’ve also never been particularly influenced by the latest draw in popular culture. Given my disposition, I was surprised to find myself binge watching the hit comedy Ted Lasso…

Streaming giant Netflix flexes its podcasting muscles

Podcast titles have doubled since April 2020, when Apple announced the one-millionth entry in its podcast directory

Streaming giant Netflix flexes its podcasting musclesThe phrase “video killed the radio star” is often used as a metaphor for the domination of video over audio. It’s also a song by British new-wave band and one-hit wonder, The Buggles, and was the first selection played by MTV 40 years ago, on Aug. 1, 1981, sparking the music video revolution. It was…

Assembly Required has that old Home Improvement magic

Tim Allen and Richard Karn return to TV with reality series Assembly Required, where they show they remain a dynamic comedic duo

Assembly Required has that old Home Improvement magicSituation comedies – sitcoms – have been a crucial component of television for decades. Everyone has their favourite shows. My list includes The Jack Benny Program, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, M*A*S*H, All in the Family, Cheers, Night Court, The Cosby Show, Newhart, Frasier, Father Ted and others. In particular, I’ve always had…

We can’t just laugh off unidentified aerial phenomena

The observers of these phenomena are sober professionals who seek to understand what it is that has been detected and recorded

We can’t just laugh off unidentified aerial phenomenaThe venerable television program 60 Minutes aired a segment recently focused on a topic that has been examined before, but not with the same widespread receptivity and credibility. It had to do with UAPs. And the Pentagon, directed by the United States Congress, recently released its file on UAPs, or unidentified aerial phenomena. These sightings…

Uncovering the myths and celebrating the reality of André the Giant

Bertrand Hébert and Pat Laprade’s book, The Eighth Wonder of the World: The True Story of André the Giant, helped unlock this Giant mystery

Uncovering the myths and celebrating the reality of André the GiantProfessional wrestling has had many great performers with athletic prowess and an ability to engage – or, at times, enrage – audiences. Yet one pro wrestler was always in a class of his own: André René Roussimoff, better known as André the Giant. Inside the ring, André was a massive, near-invincible foe with seemingly unlimited…

HGTV personality takes from Canadian taxpayers to build Bahamian resort 

Government intervention in films and television is both expensive and unwarranted

HGTV personality takes from Canadian taxpayers to build Bahamian resort The much-anticipated Island of Bryan (Season 3) started on HGTV a few weeks ago. The series follows well-known builder and entrepreneur Bryan Baeumler and his family as they try to rejuvenate an abandoned resort in the Bahamas. Baeumler is a successful TV personality from Ontario. And clearly, many Canadians enjoy his shows. But here’s the…

TV series shines a light on Norway and its war

As historically-inspired dramas go, the eight-part PBS series Atlantic Crossing is unusually authentic

TV series shines a light on Norway and its warWe’ve just finished watching the eight-part PBS series Atlantic Crossing. It’s an excellent drama that shines a light on an interesting aspect of Norway’s Second World War experience. The main focus is on the relationship between Crown Princess Martha of Norway and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In addition to his own anti-Nazi leanings, Roosevelt…

Don’t turn news conferences into Hollywood productions

The camera doesn’t doesn’t lie. The stuffed characters behind the head of government in COVID news conferences are always on

Don’t turn news conferences into Hollywood productionsWho are those people standing behind the newsmaker at press conferences? I see them in the hallways of legislatures when the party leader is making an announcement. I see them in a studio behind the head of government during a COVID-19 news conference. “Oh,” you say, “they’re showing that governing is a team effort and…
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