Thursday, October 13, 2016
Shomi Couldn't Show Me
Hot flashes and cool conclusions from the messy desk of a veteran TV critic:
At the recent block party in my neighborhood I asked friends who if any subscribed to shomi or CraveTV.
Nobody seemed to know what I was talking about.
Well, the online Canadian TVservice Shomi fades to black in November after intense competition with Netflix.
Shomi had claimed 900,000 subscribers which I always believed was wildly exaggerated.
Netflix boasts an estimated Canadian audience of over five million paying Canadian customers.
Metflix is seem by more people than any individual Canadian YV network. And it does not have to obey any CRTC Canadian content rules.
From the start shomi which was an uneasy union of Shaw and Rogers seemed on shakey ground.
People were understandably reluctant to subscribe to a service with so many reruns and few hit series like Netflix.
Yes, Orange Is The New Black and House Of Cards were welcome but there were such stinkers as Stranger Things and Narcos.
Energetic promotion for the service was nonexistent.
I could never get a preview copy of anything new out of this weblet.
In truth there was fierce resistance from subscribers from the beginning.
And that resistance will surely translate to other Canadian cable networks once the CRTC mandates the freedom of the subscriber to pick and choose what we want to watch.
I've never met anyone who watched OLN --Outdoor Life Network.
DYI seems like leftovers from HGTV.
Mystery TV? I can't even get it.
And what about A&E which stands for Arts and Entertainment?
It was set up as a high end cultural channel but these days has stuff like Dog the Bounty Hunter.
I'm fearlessly predicting a whole lot of "Canadian" cable channels will bite the dust as soon as the CRTC orders the three cable giants to give subscribers free choice in what they want and what they'll drop.
Is it just me or is that Kiefer Sutherland voicing those Blue Jays playoffs spots?
It sure sounds like him --and he is Canadian.
Last year when the Jays were still a mediocre team the games had a huge number of public service announcements.
This year with ratings at an all time high?
There are luxury car ads at every commercial break and I'm told the asking price for a one minute spot has hit an all time high for a Canadian TV event.
So maybe the Jays could afford a Kiefer Sutherland as spot announcer?
The most exciting event on TV these days?
I say it's the American election.
With Ronald Reagan the U.S.A got its first Grade B movie actor as president.
Remember mogul Jack Warner's comment?
"No! Jimmy Stewart for president. With Ronald Reagan as best friend."
Now Donald Trump of The Apprentice is getting down and dirty.
The big problems facing this great nation are never discussed.
Instead we turn in to see Trump's temper erupt live on TV.
It's a great show but what does it mean for the future of our neighbor to the south?
With all these revivals of American shows why doesn't CBC try a revival of an olds staple?
Like Quentin Durgens, MP which the great Gordon Pinsent once starred in as a backbencher Canadian member of Parliament.
CBC ran it for four years and 41 episodes from 1965 through 1969.
I'd call the TV movie The Return Of Quentin Durgens and the plot has Quentin retired and his daughter has taken over his seat.
Pinsent's real life daughter Leah Pinsent would be perfect as Jane Durgens.
She gets into political troubles and Quentin has to come pout of retirement and solve the complicated murder mystery and restore honor to the family name.
And I won't even take credit as the TV movie originator.