- Peter Mansbridge was a good sport in playing along for the Cold Open.
- A new theme song...my dog will be happy...he really disliked the old one.
- Both the Tim Robbins and Ricky Gervais interviews were FANTASTIC. Gervais, in particular, was, as always, a riot. What a way to launch a new season.
- The staff of The Hour are all extremely friendly and pleasant people. I met a few new faces today.
- It was freakish to me that another audience member identified me as one the Stroumboulopouli bloggers...she had been at the last public taping in June when one of the writers pointed us in the crowd. My fellow audience member, you have great facial recognition skills! :-)
Without a doubt The Hour lives and breathes primarily on the charisma of the host. As I wrote in my inaugural post [July '07], it is George's genuine nature that draws people in. I witnessed it yet again tonight...long after the cameras have stopped rolling and the audience is free to go, people sit in their seats listening to the impromptu Q & A. What goes on 'behind the scenes' is as interesting as the finished product. I cannot over-emphasize that if you are in the Toronto area seeing a taping of The Hour is a MUST.
Season Premieres have always held a special place in my heart, so I'd been looking forward to today since... well, since season four ended in June. Wanting to kick of the new season with a bang, the gang at the Hour brought in two powerhouses in the entertainment industry, and both definitely made an impact. Tim Robbins is always interesting to listen to and Ricky Gervais is just freakin' hilarious! It's always interesting to people watch at tapings, and today I really noticed the cross section of people who watch the show... young and old, male and female... you could really see how the show can appeal to everyone.
There's one big change this year, the opening credits have a new song, "The Good in Everyone" from Sloan. There are other subtle changes, the background guest titles have a new look, along with a variety of little changes. The season's kicking off in style, and it will be interesting to see what interesting little things will pop up over the season.
The Kingston Whig-Standard published an article today about The Hour, which focussed on George's interview "style":
"I don't have a set plan when I walk into an interview," Stroumboulopoulos said. "I'm just trying to connect with somebody and see if I can get them to open up, and the only way to do that is to have people skills. Hopefully the older you get, you learn more about listening. And it's also learning to not try to conquer the mountain in every interview.
The rest of the article is available on the Whig-Standard website.
Let us know what you think of the season premiere. Anything you really liked? Really hated? What do you want to see on The Hour this season?
Welcome to Season Five!