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Attn Fellow Canucks: "Hockey: A People's History" starts this Sunday.....

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by JR, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    John Doyle, the TV critic (and a good one) from the Globe isn't impressed:

    Hockey: A People's History (Sunday, CBC, 8 p.m.) has the worst opening credits I've witnessed in years. There are a few pithy quotes from the expected pundits -- Wayne Gretzky, Ron MacLean and Don Cherry, among others -- and then, lord save us, parents and kids stand around looking in awe at big-screen footage of hockey action. It's beyond geeky.

    In the ensuing hour we get a great deal of schmaltz. Every darn iota of trivial information about the history of hockey is, of course, a metaphor for Canada. The rules of the game are a metaphor. The darn stick is a metaphor, according to Bruce Dowbiggin. We get a dramatic re-creation of the first game played under recognizable rules in Montreal in 1875. That's nice, but the accompanying music is so garishly melodramatic, and yet undistinguished, that it's highly irritating.

    In fact, there is much that is irritating about Hockey: A People's History. As William Houston of this paper's Sports section has pointed out, it looks and sounds more like a slick docudrama than a good, authentic documentary about the origins and the history of the game. It's all very odd. The narrative, delivered by Paul Gross, is well-written and engaging, but the dramatizations amount to a lot of Heritage Minute pseudo-seriousness run amok. The first hour -- which I'll admit is all I've seen, along with a highlights package -- is rather like a Hallmark greeting card version of hockey and Canadian history.

    Now, of course, I'll acknowledge that some you might adore this series. But I'll stand by my view that, to judge by the first hour (there are two full hours on Sunday), this is horribly unsophisticated material aimed at a childish mentality. Hockey has inspired great writing, theatre and music. It matters in a way that few sports matter in the context of a particular country. Yet Hockey: A People's History aims low. Perhaps later episodes will improve dramatically, but right now I'm not in the mood for 10 hours of Heritage Minutes hokum
  2. Vic Mackey

    Vic Mackey Member

    There was a screening for this in Toronto last week. Some people I knew who were there came back mightily unimpressed.
  3. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Well, comparing a show to a bunch of Heritage Minutes is about as damning as you can get.

    We'll see after tomorrow night I guess.
  4. BigDog

    BigDog Active Member

    Considering that JR has nearly 40 percent of the posts on this thread, I think we can safely deem that most people -- Americans and Canucks -- simply couldn't care less what he thinks.
  5. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

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