Sunday, October 17, 2004

One part Mr. Rogers, One Part Elwy Yost

He had the look of a Hockey Dad dropping into the rink to watch the kids play, just another neighbour. And dressed as he was like the late Mr. Rogers, one expected that Ron McLean might break into the neighbour song at any time. But this was no episode of Mr. Rogers neighbourhood; instead it was the CBC’s programming gap filler known as Movie Night in Canada.

McLean would introduce a triple header on this first night of what should have been NHL action on the people’s network. Instead of the New York Rangers we were given Dinosaur (perhaps not that much of a stretch after all!), the Adventures of Indiana Jones would take the place of the tribulations of Pat Quinn and Jaws would fill in for the Orca Bay whales known as the Canucks.

McLean did an ok job of introducing the flicks and shilling for the new and exciting schedule of CBC programming coming up this season. But one wonders how long the audience might stick around if indeed it did at all. No Cherry, No satellite Hot Stove, no Kelly Hrudy to dissect the play. Instead we get the chance to view movies readily available on 99 cent night at your local video store. If the CBC really wants to mine this movie night idea, perhaps schedule their excellent mini series of a few years ago called Net Worth, it probably will put the current labour dispute into perspective better than all the talking heads combined.

While Mclean practices his best Elwy Yost delivery lines we at HockeyNation wonder how long it is before the likes of Sportsnet and TSN fill the hockey void with games from the AHL or Junior leagues on Saturday Nights. Instead of the Bay Boy or New Waterford Girl how about following the boys of the Screaming Eagles! There’s an audience there for the tapping should they choose to attack the CBC’s hallowed ground.

Sadly the CBC must know something that the rest of us only fear, the labour problems with the NHL will last a while, they have movies scheduled through til mid December! Perhaps the CBC could expand on the use of their celebrities during the hockey shutdown; my personal choice is to have Nicholas Campbell in his character of Dominic Da Vinci conduct an inquest into the death of the NHL season, now there’s a Saturday night program to die for!

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