Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Toronto Critic Strikes Again
You asked for it. When a former Toronto critic gave her acerbic view of Channel 4 and Channel 2 news a while ago, one reader of stilltalkintv requested that Channel 7 get the same treatment.
So Tuesday night, The Toronto critic (henceforth referred as TTC) watched the 11 p.m. news co-anchored by Keith Radford and Joanna Pasceri.
TTC was impressed before they said a word. The classic phrase “it is 11 o’clock, do you know where your children are?” turned TTC nostalgic.
“You know what, I love that,” said TTC. “I have heard that since I was 5 or 6 years old.”
TTC wasn’t quite as impressed by half of the anchor team.
“(Radford) is like another orange anchor guy,” said TTC, referring to the other orange anchor guy, Channel 4’s Don Postles.
Told that Radford was Canadian, TTC questioned it: “Really? He’s Canadian? I’ve never heard of this guy. I think he is a fake Canadian.”
I assured the TTC he was a very real Canadian even if he’s been the main anchor here since Irv Weinstein retired.
TTC was much more impressed with Pasceri.
“She looks young, fresh and normal,” said TTC. “She looks like a real person.”
Real person and TV? What a concept.
Then came another nostalgic moment when Channel 7 showed pictures of two politicians who did telephone interviews addressing the passing of the state budget.
“The phone calls,” said TTC. “TV is awesome. It like we have pictures of someone so let’s show their face. Imagine the rest.”
Soon there was some discussion of waterfront and downtown development, which no longer will include Bass Pro,
“In Toronto, Bass Pro is a store,” said TTC. “Here it is the destiny of Buffalo. In Toronto, it is like a thing in a mall that no one goes to. Here is it a big deal.”
It was a big deal. No longer.
After that big city putdown, TTC felt it was time for more praise of Buffalo and noted that a cabbie made a save that day when TTC was about to go the wrong way down a one-way downtown street.
“Nice people, Buffalo,” said TTC.
When Channel 7’s John Borsa covered a story, TTC was impressed.
“He has extremely well-groomed eyebrows,” said TTC.
TTC wasn’t quite as impressed by community leader Kevin Gaughan, who now is leading the controversial effort to abolish the Village of Williamsville.
“He is scary intense,” said TTC.
Especially to opponents of downsizing government.
When Channel 7’s Adam Francis did a report, TTC didn’t think anything about him until being told he is one of the photographers at the station who has been turned into a reporter.
“He is OK," said the TTC.
TTC wasn’t impressed by a news report about the fun things -- that supposedly included dancing -- that were happening at a festival. The video on the report showed people exercising with a hula hoop.
“In Canada, we call it a hula hoop, we don’t call it dancing,” said TTC.
By then, TTC realized that Channel 7’s news presentation was as old as the question, “do you know where your children are?”
“It is like a really old-fashioned newscast,” said TTC. “They don’t have a lot of stuff. The anchors are just sitting there as talking heads. They are like Presidential spouses. Nod sagely in a very stiff format.”
But TTC remained impressed with Pasceri. TTC even liked the anchor’s “fake little laugh.”
“I would lift her out of there and take her somewhere else to work,” said TTC. “She doesn’t get a lot of air time.”
Then a commercial for the law firm of Cellino and Barnes popped up.
“We make fun of this whole Cellino and Barnes thing in Toronto,” said TTC. “Classic ambulance chaser ads. Lawyers were only recently able to advertise in Canada. They don’t want to be like Cellino and Barnes.”
Hey, don’t knock it. I was on Long Island on vacation a few days ago. The same Cellino and Barnes ads featuring that pretty woman with the great voice play here.
“But remember to say how much I love Buffalo,” added TTC.
Channel 7 news? Not so much. It soon became evident to TTC that the news department doesn’t have many resources.
“They must like have under 10 people working,” suggested TTC. “They do OK. It’s just a very old-fashioned plain job.”
TTC also had some compassion for Radford and Pasceri, who TTC figured get so little to do that their script for the entire newscast would only be four inches long.
“It is just boring,” assessed TTC. “It is a boring job. I feel bad for them.”
Maybe TTC should feel badly for the viewer instead. After all, TTC loves Buffalo.