The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

as long as they spell your name right ...

If the intent was to create a buzz, then it certainly did what was intended. As horrified as I was to hear that George S will be hosting The One, I have to admit that the chatter about this move has been pretty intense. From a flurry of comments on this blog, to a full-page article in today's Calgary Herald, to a smack-down contest as to who will be the top reality show host - Ben Mulroney or George Stroumboulopoulos - on Radio One's Freestyle today, everybody has an opinion.
The cynic in me is speculating as to whether this is all a well-crafted publicity stunt. You know what they say about publicity, good or bad...
But despite my personal distain for this type of programming, despite my belief that the death of this type of reality show is long overdue, despite the inward cringing that I am suffering through by watching someone whose high standards and whose integrity I have always admired, be swayed by the whore of Babylon, I have to step back and say George is a big boy and it's his life.
I still think this is a huge mistake and I hope that this is not the thin edge of the wedge of the lure of the American media market, but it is not my place to interfere in someone else's decisions.
I am not mad, I'm just disappointed (and you know it hurts so much more to hear that).

Barbara B


I've had a good 24 hours to digest the news, and though I agree with Barbara B. that George is a big boy and can handle his business, and though I agree with a lot of the points Jeremy made in the previous post's comment section, that it will bring a lot more attention to The Hour from American viewers come October and if anything it will increase the traffic for The Hour's website...I'm still bothered by it all. I think one of the reasons so many of us respect George is that he's always refused to be a sell out, he always seemed to put up such a fight against "the man" that all of this The One information is like a unseen punch in the face, leaving us bewildered and wondering where it came from.

In a sense, I feel kind of dooped. Yes, I can make my own decisions and I'm at liberty to have my own taste in media, but since we're part of the Stroumboulopouli and should be up on what he's doing so in turn we can discuss it and share it with you, it's like I've just signed my soul over to the devil known as reality tv just because George is taking part in it, and as Barbara B. mentioned, I'm cringing. To say that reality tv is another immoral way to stomp on your own IQ is a gross understatement, and though I know it's only for a couple months and George will return to The Hour and get back to being informative and globally aware, I can't help but bite my nails and cross my fingers that what we all see in George won't be altered.

But it's not all bad, right? As it's been pointed out, George has the opportunity to bring charisma to a reality genre that smacks of "buy this" hype and overprocessed bubble gum music, and if given the chance he'll be able to bring a new perspective to the American Academie VJ Search Talent Idol monster, and with every ounce of my being I hope that's exactly what he does, instead of pulling a Seacrest and therefore forever changing himself into a pompous fame hungry cheeseball with no self respect. George can do so much better.

Crossing my fingers (and toes),


Not to completely echo the previous sentiments, but I have to agree with Barbara B, I'm a little disappointed. And I agree for the most part that this will bring The Hour's audience to another level (one hopes), but really at what cost?

I can really only think of one thing to compare it too; its the feeling some music fans feel when they hear their favourite band playing over top of an M&M's commercial, or racing down the desert roads in a Land Rover ad. I remember a Newstand segment from The Hour featuring K-OS, where he talked about this very issue, and how he did not want to be an artist who was heard about via a song playing over a commercial, it should be the other way around. I feel that George hosting another ridiculous reality singing competition is one in the same.

Hosting a national singing competition with all the pomp and circumstance that is American TV just doesn't scream Strombo to me. Was not that one of the reasons he left MuchMusic in the first place? Clearly, George is a big boy, and can make his own decisions...but one things for sure, I'll be able to read more this summer by not turning on the telly.

Okay, first thing's first, wasn't George the one who always expressed his dislike for American Idol? The fact that he said this and is now taking part in a show so similar to Idol is, to me, selling out. Which, of course, disappointed me.
I always looked upon George as a credible journalist who used Much as a way to first get his work out there, but nothing more than that. And now, like Barbara B said, it seems like he's taking a giant step backwards. I hate to say this, but by George taking this job, even if only for the summer, I lost a lot of respect for him. I agree with Allison that's it's like fave-artist-in-a-commercial scenario (Yes Feist, I'm talking to you, you and your Lacoste ads), or as my dad just said, it's like when Bob Dylan went electric.
Barbara is right in saying that it's certainly making quite the splash, not only in the comments as she mentioned, but also in the Stroumboulopouli themselves. If not displayed here, there is quite the variety in opinions about the subject, something pretty new to these blog members (although, I really think it strengthens the group).
Anyway, sorry to be so hard on you George, but what did you expect? I, like many of the Stroumboulopouli, definitely won't be watching.


What is he thinking? It seems to be a different George than the one hosting The Hour. When I read the news on this blog I thought that I misunderstood, that it couldn't be true... but unfortunately, it seems to be true? A career move to be known outside Canada, yeah but at what cost?

But it's his life, he can do whatever he wants with it, yes it's going to deceive some (no, a lot) of us, but if he's back in fall with The Hour and if he hasn't changed (still the down to earth guy saying his opinion and giving a hard time to some guests) I'm kinda okay with it, I'm not sure I'll watch (maybe once, to see how it is, but hating reality tv I don't think I'll be watching on every night). But it's not because George is the host that I'll love this show, I don't think it's the smartest move of his career but, we'll see what's going to happen (oh, and please, don't become an other Ben Mulroney).


John Mutford said...

Re: "To say that reality tv is another immoral way to stomp on your own IQ is a gross understatement"

Wow, that's a terribly high horse you're on there. Can hardly see you wave. Where do people get off being so superior with their tastes? So you don't like reality TV- good for you. Do you need to pretend you're intellectually superior because of it? Do I think it's a shame that more people vote for Canadian Idol than federal elections- you're damned right I do. But that's not everybody. Some of us can enjoy the occasional reality show, and we're quite well-informed about world events, etc, etc and take reality TV fluff for entertainment only, picking and choosing what shows to watch or not. And no, it's not a guilty pleasure. I'm really sick and tired of the snobbery. You have your tastes, and others have theirs. Unless you want to live in a world where everyone is a clone of you- deal with it.

Alana said...

Well, I'm sorry you feel that way John. I wasn't trying to be offensive to reality tv viewers, more so the producers and the message behind reality tv itself, in a social situation. Regardless, that's how you feel and that's cool, thanks for the input, it's appreciated in any form.

Brooksie said...

I came across these two articles with a fair amont of George quotes in them in case anyone is interested...

Barbara said...

Thank you brooksie for those links I found them very interesting.
Hi John, Me? I am going to stay out of this one because I watch what I want on tv and I don't care to get into what's good and what's bad...

John Mutford said...

See it's that sort of Zen stuff that nails me every time. I get all huffy and puffy and then you're polite back, and I just want to apologize. So, I'm sorry. I'm not THAT angry all the time- especially over reality TV. Again, my apologies.

Allison said...

Thanks Brooksie, those were interesting. Pretty much what I expected, but interesting nonetheless!

Alana said...

John, don't worry about it. I have my opinion about reality tv, and you have yours, and clearly given it's popularity more people stand in your shoes than in mine. :P

I can entirely understand your position, or at least you being heated about it. I'm never one to skirt around an issue, and obviously you aren't either, and good on you for having the balls to show it!

mo money, mo problems said...

I don't think it's a question of is reality t.v. quality programming?

George can do whatever he likes, and he clearly is. But, when someone convincingly comes down hard on American reality t.v. and champions indie music, then suddenly hosts a similar show in the States that churns out pop stars, you have to wonder.

So when George says that this move is only temporary and he has no plans to leave The Hour - I guess we can expect the complete opposite.

And if he comes back, then what??! How are people going to tell what he's saying on the Hour is credible and authentic?

I think it's obvious that his decision was based on business. Huge mistake and very disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Cheese Dog. Terrible.
Oh well, might make the hour more popular, but will Strombo ever be the same?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hi no money, no problem - welcome. You have of course, stated what many of us have been wondering - is this the beginning of the end? Was the temptation from south of the border (for whatever reason) simply too much to resist and what is next?
Hopefully this is just a one-off, but one never knows.

Anony, I think publicity is a very tricky thing. Presumably people who will watch The One who have never seen The Hour, may be interested in viewing just because of the charisma of the host. But because those two types of shows are so very different, will they remain as viewers? Or will the Hour change as well to accomodate the expanded audience. One sincerely hopes not.

Becky said...

Maybe not liking reality TV just means that I care what ideals my friends and family are getting in their heads. But hey, maybe that's just me.

Alana said...

I'm with you on that one Becky, that's a good way to put it.

Brooksie said...

A few thoughts on recent comments..

I think brushing reality TV with one stroke is unfair.

Determining what one's children sees certainly is every parent's right and responsibility. But I think an adult enjoying entertainment programs like reality TV does not mean she/he does not care about what ideals are passed on from TV to their friends and families. They just might have different values as well as different perceptions of reality TV than people who dislike reality TV. Or they might understand that their friends can make up their own minds about what they should watch on TV.

Becky said...

I'm a teenager, not an adult. I go to school every week and see my friends talking to our teachers about who was the lastest to get voted off whatever. I know several people with eating disorders, because of this crap media. In terms of family, my siblings are old enough to look out for themselves, but my baby neice is going to grow up in a world where tv shows her that you need to be this small to get anywhere in life, and that it's ok to be a complete moron to others, because that means you have a better chance at getting a job.
I'm not talking about adults, I'm talking about my life, and personally I think that the positive entertainment value of these shows that teach these things don't outweigh the negatives of the things they teach.
Just making myself clear.

Brooksie said...

As a teenager you probably get to make your viewing choices for yourself (unless you have very strict parents) and it seems you take care in the choices you make which is always a good thing.

When it comes to certain reality shows teaching things - I get a different message than you. If people behave rudely I think more along the lines of what not to do.

I do think it is good to be a critical TV viewer no matter what your age. Personally, I really wish that critical media skills were a part or bigger part of the school curriculum (I am an ex high school teacher by the way). I also think that in the end people make their own decisions and hoping to influence people or blaming the media can only go so far.

Sorry if I went off topic. But I think it is great that in our own ways we are contemplating the choices of an admired TV host and journalist and the relationship to media responsibility and integrity. Neat stuff!

Anonymous said...

Hey well the buzz is really happening here. I would like to give my spiritual comment on the whole thing. I think you need to remember who george is and i don't think one little job has changed him. Lets as humans decide to support each other no matter what and sign a packed not to judge. I don't even know george but I know how much canadians respect him i really don't think he would jeopordize that. anyways keep love in your heart and please don't notice all the spelling mistakes. Yellow

Barbara said...

Thanks Yellow! You are a good friend.

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

i am trying to put aside all the selfish reasons of why this decision has me feeling out of sorts. (ie do i really want to see george in people or us magazine? but that's my issue and as stated it's based on purely selfish reasons). but i can't help feel like i have been duped somehow. trying to look on the bright side of this, higher profile in the states should translate into easier access for higher profile guests and stories for the hour next year (although so far, not impressed by what i'm hearing about for season three but that's a whole 'nother issue). am i going to watch the one? still undecided on that. but i will tape it. even if i am mad (ha ha) at a certain host making me watch an entire episode of extra tv today, due to his plug of his appearance on it, which, sadly, did not happen.

Alana said...

You're not alone with those thoughts, 668. We all have our own thoughts about The One, but I myself can relate to a lot of what you said. Others may disagree, and that's cool right? All I can say, don't lose hope, George may do wonders to it by hosting it, and Season 3 may very well kick nothing but ass. :)

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