Monday, May 15, 2006

Programming Notes
I give it about six months before some enthusiastic entertainment journalist writes the inevitable 'Demise of MuchMusic piece' about how the nation's music station has lost itself and MTV is the way of the future. Don't get me wrong, MuchMusic isn't going anywhere (and it's really no worse than it's ever been - Gen Xers just can't resist playing the 'it was better in my day' card), but the station is making it way too easy to forecast its doom. (And, for really the first time ever, there's a decent alternative.)

For instance, tonight I flipped on the latest episode of Born To Be. Essentially, this program is supposed to document, through old interview clips and a strangely ridiculous voice over, how a given artist was destined for greatness. Essentially, its an infomercial.

Anyway. Tonight's subject was Nickelback. Any kind of 'indepth' programming about Nickelback is fascinating because Chad Kroeger is just so preciously self-serious and Much loves to replay his measured explanation as to why Nickelback does not, in fact, 'suck.'

The best part though had nothing to do with Prof. Kroeger. Instead it was creepy voice over guy informing us, in ominous tones, how Nickelback's record Silver Side Up had been released on (Gasp!) Sept. 11, 2001 and how (My God!) Nickelback were just ten minutes from the spot in Pennsylvania where United 93 crashed. Somehow, we were told, Nickelback managed to persevere through this adversity.

Pretty phenomenal television. Nickelback as victim of the worst ever terrorist attack on American soil. If you're a writer at MuchMusic are you submitting that just to see if your producer is clueless enough to include it or have you simply drifted so far from reality that you honestly believe as much? Could even Kroeger say that with a straight face?

The best part is: that isn't even the worst thing I saw on Much in the last week. No, that prize is reserved unquestionably for new VJ Tim's appearance on MOD. I knew he wasn't going to be very good. We all knew this. But I was completely unprepared for how bad he is. It actually kind of hurts to watch. You end up feeling sad for him. Sort of.

For the few minutes that I watched he was teamed with VJ Leah and it was like watching Mozart and Nick Lachey teach a seminar in classical music theory.

Obviously, he could get better. Surely, there's some kind of camp for cases like his. Or a pill he can take. But right now he's projecting to eventually challenge Rainbow Sun Francks' standard for Much VJ futility.


Meanwhile, Much quietly introduced new VJ Hannah Simone the other day, immediately rendering the whole VJ Search thing pointless. And she just so happens to have what must be the most impressive resume in the history of VJdom.

Born in England, raised in Calgary, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, India and British Columbia. Previous work includes modeling, researching a book for Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy, acting in the Vagina Monologues and developing cultural awareness programs for the UN. Plus, she likes Gwen Stefani.

Tim, meanwhile, thinks Blink-182 is one of the five most influential acts of all time.

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