The first half of this season is neatly in the can and although I love the show, I do not like all of the changes this season. I am not sure if it is due to some staffing changes in the writing department, or that the show needs to stretch out of some season six growing pains. Either way I’ve been a die-hard fan since day one, but something seems out of sorts for me this season.
Most notably irking me is the writer(s) reading out the bios. I know George maintains that The Hour’s a success due to the team effort that goes into it, but the name of the show is, ‘ The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos’. The audience expects to see and hear; the host. How often have we all heard him say that the show is a late night conversation to ease us out of our day? The bio was George’s time to introduce his guest to us. As if we are sitting and sharing in that chat. George turns to us, the audience, and says, This is so-and-so and here are some facts about him/her before we get started. It was a successful technique in helping us to get to know the other person in that conversation. With the writers chiming in, it somehow seems incongruent with the flow between George, his guest(s) and us. Like someone jumping in to interrupt and then disappearing again. It is awkward and it does not work.
Another miss, in my books, are the comedic skits that replaced the cold opens. I know that humour is a subjective thing and that what I may find funny isn’t necessarily what you will, but this seasons skits are just not hitting my funny bone, at all. Indeed I am finding some of them just plain awkward.
I personally DO like the absence of “The News” that used to consist of Celeb factoids at the end of the show. I am interested in the private lives of people I actually know and care about, not in the rumour and speculation of those I’ll never meet or befriend. I am interested, or not as the case maybe, in their creative endeavours, full stop. I never thought that segment really fit in with the uber hip “people are interesting and celebs are just people too” attitude of The Hour.
I am relieved that the Mile-a-Minute is still in the mix as is The Good News segment. Although I do wish it was on more than once a week. Then again that could be a production/marketing decision or it could, sadly, be a sign of the times. I am enjoying the once a week email bit, George on his own, adlibbing with the email is charming and at times hilarious.
The new walk in intro to the show started off a bit choppy but our host seems to be easing into it in typical G fashion, making it his own and making it work. The addition of live performances and Tomorrows Headline Today as a closer is rather enjoyable; some of them being wittier than others.
The new blue lights in studio give the set a new warmer sultry glow, but I’m not convinced they suit the tag line, “Welcome to your talk show Canada!” Not that that line is being used much these days now that The Hour is being syndicated to other countries.
Much congrats on that BTW! The fact that a made in Canada, for Canadians show is now being enjoyed by people globally warms my red and white maple syrup filled heart 🙂 They get to know what a treasure we have in both George and the team at The Hour and we get to keep them, for a little while longer.