The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

The place to get the latest news on what’s coming up on #Gtonight. Find out what Canada’s boyfriend is up to. Share stories, pictures, favourite tv and radio episodes.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

A New Change

As you may have noticed, the sidebar changed today, as Alana, Becky and I aren't part of this blog anymore. We expressed our opinion about this show in previous posts and comment sections and we said it, we don’t watch it a lot this season and we also don’t love it as much as we loved the first two seasons. When Barbara B and Allison decided to leave the group, the three of us started to think about it, what is our role here? Should we stay, or should we leave? Do we really want to be part of this group? We were thinking about it even before they decided to leave, but when they e-mailed us to tell us about it, well, it was a turning point, and we thought about it even more. But today, we decided that it was in our best interest to leave, but we will still be on our personal blogs. Barbara W will stay here, she will still be blogging and other bloggers should join the team, so this isn’t over just because we are leaving.


I personally decided to quit because I haven’t really watched a lot of episodes this season, I’ve been really busy with school and other things and it gave me less time to watch The Hour and even more to blog about it. And there’s also the new format of the show, I don’t love it. So, I’ve been thinking a lot about it and when Becky e-mailed us today to tell us that she wanted to leave the blog, I thought that it would be a good opportunity, I’m not leaving this blog because other people are, I’m leaving because I don’t think that I can contribute to this blog. I enjoyed our discussions here, but it is time for me to move on and to let other people write about the show that they like. If I have time, I'll still try to catch the show to see if it changed and I'll still come here once in a while to read what you have to say, but I can't be a contributor anymore.

But I'm happy that The Hour gave me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people, thanks for reading and good luck to the next contributors.



I think this is something that has been coming for awhile now, something that most of us have been thinking about individually and each debating whether or not we were being beneficial to the blog itself. Personally I have lost a lot of faith in the show this season, and given the lengthy posts we made about it before Season 3 started, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that some of us a disheartened about the turn out of The Hour's new season. I still watch it once or twice a week, but it lacks so much of the passion, the urgency that it had before, I don't find myself compelled by the content or even really paying that much attention to it when it's on. Of course, everyone grows out of one thing and evolves into something else, and I think the changes made to The Hour's content made a lot of us re-evaluate what we're looking for in an informative piece, and unfortunately we didn't find a lot of those things in Season 3. I can't speak for the other contributors, but I will still watch the show from time to time and I will still appreciate George's take on journalism for what it's worth. He is still a thought-provoking host and I hope the show's new spin has captured the attention of a lot more people, but honestly it's just not for me anymore, not on the same scale as it used to be.

I want to wish the best of luck to Barbara W. and the future contributors of this blog, may it encourage more discussion and interest than ever before. :)

Thank you to all the readers for all your support, it's done phenomenal things for this blog.



I'd been thinking of leaving the blog, but I almost thought of the original contributors as permanent. Almost that no matter how strange a fit it seemed, the original 7 would stay. When Barb B and Allison left I realized they made a good decision, and I should think about the part I play in this blog.

As many of you know, I haven't had very positive things to say about the show this season. In conversations about The Hour with friends and family, I started defending it less and attacking it more. I wanted enjoy it, like I did during season two, but the new show just wasn't the same to me.

Last year it was a huge influence on me, it even made me re-evaluate my feelings towards politics, and my future career path. It's casual interviews with people like Justin Trudeau inspired me, and it's format made it feel like an indie news show. This year, to me at least, all that's gone. It feels like George doesn't care, and is trying to make bad jokes just to impress the audience. They feels like two completely different programs.
But I still have to thank The Hour for all it gave me. Mostly, it let me meet so many awesome bloggers. I remember first reading Hilary M's blog about The Hour, with comments from so many people I know better now, and thinking that a show that can create a community like that has to have something going for it. I personally hope that old something will come back.
I know the blog is in good hands with Barb W and her new recruits, I wish them well!



668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

i can only repeat what i said earlier.i will miss all of you and respect your decision.

i will see you at your blogs. :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Evelyne, Alana, and Becky - you have all made such insightful and thought-provoking posts on this blog in the past, and I understand how difficult it is to feel you are making a meaningful contribution when there is nothing you feel compelled to discuss. I wish you all the best and will certainly continue to enjoy your writings on your own blogs.

strombover said...

'The One' really was the end for the man's mystique, huh?

Barbara said...

Becky, Alana and Evelyne is was very nice working with you and thank you for everything you have done. I will continue to check in your blogs.
I will keep the doors open and the lights on here.
You take care of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody have anything POSITIVE to say about this TV show?

Allan said...

I do.
The Hour is probably the best show on TV in Canada ... to have a job with.
To watch, however, is a bit like being Lisa Simpson finding she's been put back a grade!

squid said...

I actually like the new format. The content could be better, as for the jokes...but have you listened to The Strombo Show? Maybe this is who he really is...

The old shows were great because of the content. I'm sure you can agree, but at the same time it was a little information overload, as I am a little older and have trouble with the newsbite type of format.

The new format breaks things up a little. So maybe the solution is to have the current format meld with the older content...

I'm not saying...I'm just saying.

Allan said...

I know, I know.
I'm repeating myself.
Never saw the first two seasons, but I think I understand what is being said here because I certainly waited with baited breath for the Oct, premiere last year.
Could this be the breakthrough broadcast I've been waiting years for, and couldn't find on radio or in print anywhere?
God knows Canadians love to be polite and quiet and follow the rules - thinking outside the box is not welcome. (Despite the fact that it was innovative thinking that gave us Greenpeace, Terry Fox and Riick Hansen).
So no one had higher hopes than me when this "new" Hour hit the air.
Chances of getting a job with the CBC and to help with this show was going to be slim, but it could cause a ripple effect that would wake up other broadcasters to the fact that it was time for something New and Real.
What a let down, even though it was immediately apparent.
I get the drift that this blog was originally started when people thought they were part of something revolutionary, and it was heartening to be able to support an underdog. The thrill of revolution is a heady experience.

But clearly, this year, in order to appeal to a broader audience than Newsworld, the show became a different mission. It became an celebrity hype show, and rushed and empty regardless of how many "names" and variety of topics it showcased.
The more I watched, the more I had the sense that my time could be better used elsewhere.
But the Hour seemed to be doing well - tons of huge billboards, George splashed on nearly every page of and no evidence of trouble in paradise.
I visited the show in person and wrote a first impression.
Something was wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on it exactly. That took time and reflection.
As the weeks went by, it became clear, but the truth about the Hour was there the night I visited. I just gave them the benefit of the doubt.
And it was painful and personal revelation.
Which I'll share with you soon on this page. But it takes a bit of effort and though to explain, so give me a bit of time to try and pull it together.
It may surprise you.

squid said...

I think I spelled newsbite wrong. Is it newsbyte?

Becky said...

Thanks to everyone for their comments...
Don't worry squid, I accidently put "they feels" in instead of "they feel"... oh well, to late to change it now :P

Allan said...

... and the lucky 13th comment is ...

So there you have it.
Now go ahead.
Ignore me. Attack me.
At least I've put my thoughts out there, and "dared to be stupid".
Unlike your friend George who basically hides.

just Lauren said...

All I can see is negativity without solution.

I can agree with the reasons, the statements, the sentiment... but we do the same when we chide companies for their roles in global warming. But without giving them answers on how to remain viable companies AND fix the environment, what good are we for complaining.

Be a beacon unto all of us. Put it down, here, the good, the potential, what you see as the "should happen" and not just alluding to comments and links and previous moments we cannot experience.

Put it out there. This thing is broken. I know this. I don't care about how or why it is broken anymore. I want to know how it can be fixed.

So lay it out, please, because you show intelligence and creativity, and passion most of all, and the ideas you have will be appreciated. But we need to read them, without everything else in the jumble.

How is this fixed?

Alana said...

As for the show, for George, I don't think it's all negative. I think some of us were accustomed to the way the show was when it started, and don't feel the same way about the way it is now. I don't think any of us who left the blog did it because of some kind of lack of respect for George or something, but we've moved on to fall in love with something else, that's life. And as Squid has mentioned, there are a lot of great things about the show too.

BarbaraW (and any other future contributor), good luck with the trolls!! They'll go away if you ignore them, I swear. Does anyone actually read the entirety of a million-paragraphed comment?

Barbara said...

Is it a full moon?
My response Allan, is to remove abusive comments. Allan if you want to rant like that get your own blog.
Thank you Alana, Barbara B, Becky and squid. George had agreed to do an interview for the blog so if you have questions about the direction of The Hour let me know.
And Allan if you have a civilized question for George let me know.

Allan said...

The Hour can't be fixed.
I mean, it can, but won't be.
The producers are happy with it, George is happy with it.
When you read the FEEDBACK section on the Hour's web page, well, it's unanimous.
The show is great. There's nothing wrong. Who cares about complaints when you have so many satisfied customers. The average viewer doesn't question a programs content, they just switch channels.
Any discussion here is pretty much a clubhouse of meaningless banter.
But every blog has worth, if only because someone is trying to reach out and express themselves. And the odd posting or comment may strike a chord.
It's always helpful to know that we are not alone in our joy and in our uneasiness about something, anything.
Not everyone has what it takes to be a blogger.
It's a challenge to face a blank page and look deeply into ones thoughts about something. We can use it as a chance to learn about ourselves and it's interesting too when we see how views evolve.
It would be an interesting exercise sometime to imagine the perfect show, but they are very satisfied with themselves and their product. I've seen no evidence that they care about viewer reaction or feel inadequate and are open to new ideas. If anything, the train is moving full speed exactly as it has been for months.
But the best leaders are the ones who listen, seriously, sincerely. They're not afraid of criticism or outbursts. They want to understand and find a way to include everyone. They believe in themselves, yet acknowledge they are not infallible.
In broadcasting, ratings and surveys are the only barometer, and the only serious avenue of influence.
But it could be fun to pretend someone is listening.
Viewers aren't broadcasters, yet even they can fluke into a good idea.
Too bad no one here, or anywhere apparently, watched what happened to the Gill Deacon show. That would make for a good study.

I don't enjoy being referred to as a troll, or having my comments labeled abusive.
I'm not and they're not.
But you're free to give your opinion. There's plenty of room here for free speech.
I'm far more intrigued by the dissenters than the easily impressed. They are willing to take risks and ask questions and challenge those who temporarily hold power.
There are plenty of people who stay quiet rather than draw attention to themselves, and plenty who feel that the problems of the world are too big and complicated to even think about.
This becomes a philosophy lesson that probably is not necessary for the people here.
If it were someone else voicing objection about the expedient and glib entertainment of the Hour, then maybe I could join them or try to temper their unhappiness by pointing out the redeeming aspects of the Hour.
But there's so little sharing of either view. A lot of is just "I'm impressed. Go CBC."
Boring. Unhelpful.
To say that the Hour is so great and different is also to say that a lot of other television isn't.
And if the Hour is so much better than other programs, why freak when I suggest that there's something even better than the Hour?

Allan said...

"Have you always been this gorgeous, George?"

If you could ask only one question of George Bush or Stephen Harper what would it be?
That's one tough assignment.
Worse still is knowing that you won't get a straight answer.
I think I know how Strombo plans to deal with any questions submitted from this blog.
Interviewing someone is entirely dependent on their co-operation.
The only way to get the truth from George is to have questions posed anonymously and have one of his buddies read them out loud during his radio show, without advance notice of what they'll be.
Anything else is going to be too easy for Mr. Hardcore Journalism.
And pose a greater risk than George is prepared to take.
He can barely bring himself to dish it out, so you can already be pretty sure that he can't take it.

But your game is the only one in town Barbara, so what's the deadline for a civilized question?

Barbara said...

try to get the real question back to me by Friday noon..

hilary m. said...

I just think it's really unfortunate the Hour hasn't been able to live up to what it was in the previous seasons. I noticed something as this season started that made me less and less enthusiastic about it. Barbara, Allison, Evelyne, Alana and Becky you guys have summed it up for me and in a rational and articulate way you have made your statement, and taken the appropriate action.

I hope that something else comes up, because I'm really missing my great way of checking out current events and what's going on in the arts...

ps. I loved the June Callwood interview, that's the kinda stuff I want to see on the show. It's entertaining and you get a perspective that is unique, interesting and amazingly real, you could see that it touched a lot of people. Not just another celebrity interview.

The loss of popularity with people who valued the show for its ability to make you think and to entertain you makes me curious. Is it possible to create a more provocative, unique television show and still be able to gain mainstream popularity? I'd like to ask George that.

ps. sorry for the long comment.

just Lauren said...

Allan... you don't know. You don't know how to fix it! I asked, and you dodged it!

You typed: The Hour can't be fixed.
I mean, it can, but won't be.

You're a fraud! You have nothing to contribute but negativity.

I know how broadcasting works too, and what you say is true, but if you cannot share solutions with us here, then you're just a fraud.

So, want to prove me wrong by writing, and I mean, just writing about ways to fix it, without the rheotric and lessons in broadcasting?

Can you actually do that? I'd like to think you can, but somehow, I feel you'll prove me wrong on that automatically.

Just write one entry which says "Okay, here is what I think could be done" and forget whether or not it will be done. Just open up and share the good.

I am not a problem oriented person. I am a solution oriented person. So give me solutions and nothing else. I am not asking for risk analysis, possibility of implementation, just solutions.

So can you actually do that? Can you just... give me ways to fix it?


Allan said...

I assume there are a lot of agendas here.
Some are nearly heartbreaking.
I'd like to think that my agenda(s) boil down to:
cult of personality

That's why I rarely talk about the details of each segment/interview.
I also assume that everyone here knows just as much as I when it comes to the three items above.
So we can talk.

I'll try to answer your challenge shortly. I'm a slow typist and an even slower thinker.

(well, this'll keep me up all night)

hilary m. said...

Allan, you have a right to your opinion, but frankly you've said it and I don't care.
Please stop wasting your own time with these abnormally long paragraphs. Chill out, this isn't a place for debate, it's for dialogue and discussion and I don't hear you saying anything new.

Allan said...

Has anyone ever told you what a nice avatar you have?

Allan said...

lauren ...
Roger Dodger here. I will try and answer your assignment very soon (though why I would give away my brilliant ideas for free is ... so Canadian), but I really want to try and come up with something. As you can imagine it's not an easy task to think of ways to elevate what is already such an outstanding program.

In case I don't last until Friday, here is my question for George, giving him plenty of time to find a way to avoid it:
You were asked "Is there a better show on television than the Hour?", and you answered "Yes", and cited Bill Maher and others.
My question for you is "Then why aren't you doing that show?"

Miss A said...

Hey Barbara, here are a couple of potential interview questions for George...

Some viewers have felt that the presence of the live audience has added a detrimental aspect to the show. Why was the decision made to include the audience and will a live audience be part of season four?

What response do you have for your "critics" who repeatedly claim that you (and your colleagues) don't really care about the quality of The Hour, that you are inept as an interviewer and that you don't really care about the opinions of your viewers?

Allan, instead of assuming George is going to dodge Barbara's questions, why don't wait and see how the interview plays out...who knows...maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Allan said...

Thanks for that miss a. You know, reading other people's questions is just ... incredibly fascinating. It really is.
I hope each and every person within earshot steps forward. This could be the best ever.

(of course, don't expect me to let a chance for a joke get by without seizing it ...)

Did you say season four?
I ... I ... I can't stop laughing.

Barbara said...

I will consider these question...
I can't say I have ever heard a real critic say George was inept at interviews though.. and I have heard a lot of journalist say the opposite...

I will see what he says about, the audience, criticism, feedback, future plans for the season 4 and if there are better shows why isn't he doing them...I have a few Q's of my own. I'll keep that a surprise.

Allan said...

Been reading me all this time and yet you don't know a real critic?
I get no respect, I tells ya.

Perhaps you missed Barrett Hoopers report card in the NOW paper.
For old times sake, HERE.

At least I never said he was inept, just ineffectual.

Miss A said...

Barbara, I haven't heard a REAL
critic called George inept either! I was referring more to those pesky armchair critics.

Jade said...

just lauren,

Interesting challenge to Allan. I am sending it back to you.

How would you fix The Hour?

I have watched you for sometime on this blog.

What other questions would you ask George?

just Lauren said...

I never claimed I knew how to fix the Hour, but I can fire up a few ideas. Sure!

One - George is the Hour, the Hour is George. So bring back the Closer, let him rant a bit about something, make a point, take a shot at something or someone. The closer is a great way to end.
The list, followed by a few words and then a reason to tune in to the next episode... well the list is not always funny or interesting and it can actually kill the end of the show.
But if George is the Hour, then closing with what he has to say about something keeps the fan connected to the man. I am guessing many of us tune in to see what he is going to say, where he'll take something. Yes there are writers, and they take it places, too. That's what we like about the show, they speak up, take shots. We've lost some of that edge by losing the Closer.

Two - change the audience dynamic. The audience can be distracting because George makes a joke, then has to stop and explain sometimes. He can lose pace because of this.
The audience thing should be once a week. Thursday's show, audience, ramp up the week to a big finale. Small audeinces at other times, like, a broadcasting class from Humber, poli-sci class, actors, bring in groups that benefit from seeing the show and the guest that might be there on that day. Make Thursday the day fans can have fun with the Kid, a wild party to cap it off.

Two quick ideas for things to change for a new season, bringing back some great things for season two, but including some aspect of season three. a compromise, if you will.

Are they good ideas? I don't know. The part about the closer is good, the audience compromise, not sure. We'd have to see it in action, and who knows what would happen for a season four, if we even have one.

As for questions I'd ask George? How are you, how's things, feeling good today? Mundane stuff like that.