Sunday, October 16, 2005

Well the CBC is back and I have to admit, after listening to As It Happens, I realized how much I do love (and did miss) some CBC Radio.

But then I heard some of CBC Radio's weekend fare and much of the good feelings that had welled up with the return of the Ceeb promptly vanished.

The first of the two offending programs was the radio show called Go. I know its an cheap shot, but it really should follow its own advice and be like Marvin K. Mooney and just go now as the show is just awful. Radio can be scripted or delivered off-the-cuff but on Go, all the banter has been up written ahead of time. I'm not upset at this deception; what gets me is that there is no attempt to deceive the listener at all. The show's conversations are delivered in a stilted, un-natural manner with "tongue-in-cheek" allusions to its own artificialness ("Wow Contest Girl [pause] that's a great segue [pause]"). Its like the entire show is delivered in "air quotes".

If Definately Not the Opera scripts its banter, it does a better job at it because the show is much more breezy and relaxed in its delivery. But, like Go, it is also guilty of being unfunny and not particularly clever (unless someone clever is being interviewed). I'll give you an example: one DNTO correspondent decides to go to a comic convention and showcase his own hand-drawn comic because "how hard can it be to draw a comic"? For the next five minutes we hear anonynous people give him a poor review on his comic book and his supposeded hurt by their judgement ("Why did you give me a one out of ten?" "Because one is the lowest you can go"). I think the only reason why this piece was given the go ahead was because the correspondent's comic book was about (get this - its so quirky!) three Canadian bands competing to be on the Vicky Gabereau Show (an odd choice - Vicky Gabereau used to be a CBC Radio host until she couldn't take anymore of the CBC and left for private broadcasting).

The CBC has some excellent programming; As It Happens is so good that its also broadcast in the United States on some NPR stations - which is high praise indeed. But the CBC also has such frightfully mediocre shows. Now I can understand that local programming may be a bit weak but I don't think there's any excuse to have national programming sound like it was done by high school students. And that's an insult to high school students.

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