Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Throwing Stones: call to arms

A couple of days ago, we told you about Canada’s Throwing Stones, a now-rejected TV pilot that airs tonight as a one-off on CBC (9:00pm eastern).

You can check out the July 13 posting, which includes an exclusive story by world champion participant Jill Officer, by clicking here.

A couple of media types have finally weighed in today, and there’s a clear feeling that if enough eyeballs tune in tonight, the show may yet find another life.

Randall King of the Winnipeg Free Press lists the negatives as a “cloying, cute tone and a generic sense of place” and suggests this is a “glossy-looking product that might just as easily have been set in Scarborough, Moose Jaw, or any Canadian burg deemed to be Nowheresville.”

But he also states that “presumably, if enough viewers respond favorably, it may induce one of those reclaim-the-airwaves movements where we, the viewing public, might rise up and dictate the kind of programming we expect from the nation's broadcaster, instead of taking the dictation.”

You can read King’s preview/review here.

Macleans, Canada’s national magazine, says the pilot “isn’t terrible” and links to a brief review by Jill Golick, as well as a Facebook page... plus the aforementioned TCN blogpost (ahem). You can read all that right here.

TV writer Denis McGrath posted a rather simple preview of the pilot – but with another on-ice photo – located here.

Finally, Kate Taylor of the Globe & Mail points out that “new Canadian shows used to get time to find their feet and their audience. Now they are routinely smothered in the cradle. So, take a look at Throwing Stones (tonight) and see whether you think the smothering was an act of mercy or of villainy.

“Women’s curling team on the Prairies tangles with an ugly American? Too regionally sensitive, Cancon-laden to be anything more than a cliché of CBC programming? But remember, somebody liked the concept enough to order the pilot.

“... we will never know because the CBC, which is currently trying to attract more female viewers while shying away from the half-hour format, will not be ordering any more episodes of Throwing Stones – unless, of course, a million of you happen to tune in tonight.”

Taylor’s piece is available by clicking here. And hey, does that photo (also above) reveal a good old Winnipeg Slurpee being consumed on the ice? Very timely, considering this news.

(For more on Slurpeetoba, including the tale of a dastardly, failed American effort to hijack the title, check this.)

So... what’s it going to be, Canada? Will you take advantage of today’s ease of virile-marketing technology – email, Twitter, Facebook et al – to get all your friends to tune in tonight?

And where to go to let CBC know how you feel? Click here ...

1 comment:

Call me Paul said...

Came across this on TV last night. Watched the first thre or four minutes, then had to turn it off, it was so bad. Total crap. But then again, no worse than Corner Gas, Little Mosque on the Prairie, or any other Canadian television production, so maybe it has a chance.