I had a lot of catching up to do this week. I was out of the country for the past two weeks and missed all the news from Canada.
Monday was the first taping I have been to this season and the first full show I was able to view. I had the privilege of seeing Jack Layton in studio again and this was the best one yet. He was relaxed and natural and was having fun. I would enjoy seeing any of the candidates in studio it's not a political bias. I watched the Interview with Ms. May with as much interest. Too bad Mr. Harper did not take George up on the kitten offer. You know George is kidding about harming the kitten so don't waste your e-mail time...
-I like the new theme song... it makes sense for the show.
-I like that there seems to be more of the intelligent ranting like they used to do at the closer.
-All the pre-tape interviews and all the interviews I have seen this week either online or by watching this weeks shows, as I expected were very interesting. So good to have The Hour Back and it's good to be back in Canada.
Very nice how political they all are (Actors, Directors, Comedians and Politicians) at this appropriate time.
Speaking of political messages a reminder of one issue that is important to some of us.
It was an interesting mix of guests on the show this week. On Monday, I found Jack Layton to be engaging and interesting to listen to. It's nice to hear the leaders in a more relaxed atmosphere. It makes them much easier to listen to. Harper come on the show... save the kitten. I'd never seen Greg Kinnear in an interview before, so I enjoyed learning more about him. His movie "Flash of Genius" sounds like something I definitely want to see.
On Tuesday, I found the Bill Maher/Larry Cameron interview interesting and a little over the top, but yet I found myself nodding my head in agreement, particularly the point about atheists not being represented. Of all the HNIC themes presented this week, the one by the 13 year old kid was my favourite and I hope it wins. I was doing cool stuff when I was thirteen, but being a finalist in a national contest wasn't part of it. I wonder where this kid will go.
I was standing on the same side of the street with George about the bear that visited a Subway on Wednesday. That bear was freakin' brilliant. It can open doors. That's amazing! And yet they kill it. Ugh. Senseless. Tony Campolo once again impressed me. He's the only religious leader I can think of that I don't want to start throwing things at him when he opens his mouth. I found his take on many things about the Evangelical movement and those who say they believe but don't walk the walk to be very enlightening. Just an overall inspiring interview. I have nothing to say about the Sean Avery issue other than it was occasionally interesting, but I found his pretty boy attitude unattractive.
I enjoyed hearing from Elizabeth May on Thursday in a much less electoral frenzy setting. Like with the other leaders that appeared on The Hour, May was more engaging and easier to listen to. I was disappointed that she refused to answer George's hypothetical question, as I thought it was a valid question to ask. I enjoyed taking a second look at the Lauren Graham interview, as I was in the audience when it was pretaped during TIFF, and I picked up on a few things that I missed.
An overly hectic schedule kept me from watching The Hour much over this past week and the 11pm hour often found me slack jawed on my couch. An attractive scene to be sure.
I did enjoy the opening banter and constant upping of the ante to get Sweater Boy to appear on The Hour. Diefenbaker the kitten. All the change in George's pockets. An autographed copy of The 100 Greatest Canadian Albums of All Time... offer up a custom knit baby blue cashmere number to seal the deal already.
As a non religious person, I view the subject with a healthy dose of skepticism. I respect different views, but am seldom impressed. Fanatical, extreme or judgemental religious ideologies and holier than thou mouthpieces like repeat visitor to The Hour, Charles McVety, turns me cold.
For that reason, I was particularly interested to watch both the Tony Campolo discussion as well as the segment with Bill Maher and Larry Charles - makers of the new film Religulous. Campolo is impressive because he points out simple tenets of Christianity and promotes a philosophy of compassion. He closed his remarks by speaking of the poor and how those of us of the 'have' persuasion should help the disenfranchised. To me however, this is simply a humanist, not religious view. Campolo has my respect.
Maher and Larry Charles - nice! Religulous looks like my kind of movie - wry, funny, an unvarnished take on the absurdity of organized religion. Let's be real here for a moment. After the millions Larry made working on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm - you gotta think he could muster up something better than orange Crocs? "What Not to Wear"? Orange Crocs Larry, orange Crocs.
I was present for the Sean Avery taping. Watching it back again - this crafted "bad boy" persona works for him and rewards him with commercial opportunities that far exceed what he'd enjoy based on his skill level alone. I actually respect his unapologetic and cocky attitude. Sean wouldn't be caught dead in orange Crocs. Come on ... Vogue...
Let us get this over with right off the top...Sean Avery...whatever.
Tony Campolo was, once again, a great guest. I like his brand of Christianity.
Elizabeth May was very impressive. I love her positivity and the Green Party is quite fortunate to have her at the helm. However, I was a touch disappointed at the end of the interview when she tried to plug her new book. That was not the appropriate time.
I have always been a fan of Jack Layton's people skills. During his appearance on The Hour, Jack did what he does best...he speaks to the 'every man'. For me, it was the best interview of the week.
Mr. Harper's lack of interest in visiting The Hour is curious to me, but not at all surprising based on how he micromanages the Conservative ship (yes, that read ship with a 'p', not with a 't', which is what I REALLY wanted to type). While failing to appear on The Hour cannot be considered political suicide by any means, to me, it says a lot about Harper as a person and it reinforces the beliefs I have about him. Harper doesn't strike me as someone who enjoys the unscripted. If anything, I think an appearance on The Hour might help to increase his appeal.
I just had a scathingly brilliant idea...if George is looking to up the ante in Harper Bait '08 perhaps he could extend an invitation to young Benjamin Harper, who is apparently learning the guitar. As many people know, George plays Guitar Hero. Perhaps he could invite Mr. Harper to bring young Ben by the broadcast centre so he could give him a few GH pointers. Ben would love it I am sure! Heck, maybe Mr. Harper would like to rock out with them on the piano...and since he's already there, why not sit down in the red chair for a little chit-chat? Picture it...George, Ben and our Prime Minister...Welcome to the Jungle. Sweater vests are optional. ;-)